A cruise to be remembered. Not!

An article posted on Fox News tonight about the end to a great journey gone bad.

Every time a cruise ship loses power or has a fire, I can’t help but wonder how is it that ship builders don’t have sufficient redundancy built in to cover an engineering casualty? Where are the backup generators? How is it that a fire in an engine room always ends up being so catastrophic? Are the fire fighting systems so inadequate as to be unable to suppress a fire in short order? Why is ship’s company so ill prepared to deal with such a situation? Why did it take four days to get the ship under tow? Why were auxiliary generators not aboard, or brought aboard by Coast Guard or the dispatched tow vessels?

The US Navy has had some pretty rough fires aboard ship, mostly aboard Aircraft Carriers. The two most notable fires were aboard the USS ORISKANY and the USS ENTERPRISE, both of which resulted in a lot of damage and lives lost. The USS STARK and USS COLE are two more examples, both having their start from an attack that generated out of control fires. Fires that were expertly brought under control by training, grit, and determination. In none of these situations did the ship completely lose power, nor were the ships so adversely affected as to not have some level of ship’s services available to the crew. Why? Redundancy and training. Navy crews are noted for running drills to handle any kind of emergency, often without notice at odd hours of day or night. The training pays off premiums in the form of continued operations and reduced loss of life.

It seems to me that maritime law and standards should be revised to require more and better training, along with improved redundancy in ship’s systems. The Carnival Triumph situation was, in my opinion, a disaster waiting to happen. A needless disaster of the sort we keep seeing at sea, and an especially dangerous one because there are passengers aboard who have no training or experience with emergencies. Improvements need to be made, sooner rather than later, and, for what it’s worth, no amount of refund or discount on future cruises will make this better.

More testes

That is the word, isn’t it? It’s so hard to know these days, English being such a proper language and all

Well, there’s stuff to be done. Households to pack and laundry to wash, perhaps an interview to be had.

These times, they are a continual source of puzzlement.

Lovely. Innit now?
Not sure where this came from. Pinch, perhaps?
At any rate, not to leave out credit where credit is due.

 

For those moments when we are offline…

…but feel compelled to compile words into something comprehensible, an offline writer. In this case, Windows Live Writer. I’ve been on the iMac for the most part the last few months, and liking it, but for those mobile times there is the Windoze contraption.

No need, really, to reply. Unless, of course, there is a compulsive need to do so, and we know some are wont to do. We know who you are. Oh yes.

There’s an offline writer being installed on the iMac, so there’ll be another one of these inanities thrown your way, humble reader (victim) of these scribblings.

Okay, I’ll shut up now. Offline test over.

Mongo sends.

Live Writer wants to insert something, so we shall. A sample, as it were, of someplace. Not this place, but some place.

Desert

How about a new routine for Jeff Foxworthy: “If you own a gun, you might be mentally ill”

Imagine that 1 in 17 of us are mentally incompetent or ill, and, as such, are ineligible to own a firearm.

You: “Oh, but there aren’t that many mentally ill among us!”

Me: Umm, not according to Senator Maria Cantwell, who recently wrote and I do quote “According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately one in 17 Americans suffers from a seriously debilitating mental illness. I care deeply about mental health care and understand the important role behavioral health services play in the lives of both those who suffer from mental illness and their family and loved ones.”

I’ll bet the good Senator does care deeply, enough so that she, along with other deeply caring individuals in Congress, seek to implement new standards designed to seek out the more than 5% of Americans whose bread ain’t quite done. But to what end? I get the “care deeply about mental health care” part, but question where the “understand the important role behavioral health services play in the lives” part seeks to take the American people. Additionally, one has to wonder by what standard are we Americans being evaluated?

When was I evaluated that they might have an accurate number to go by? When wast thou last evaluated thus?

I believe the primary focus of the most recent Obama Executive Orders is to have Americans psychologically evaluated and rated. You know, kind of like the IQ testing conducted yearly on we younglings whilst in our formative school years. That brain-fry day when we had to put our thinking caps on and fill in the dots on page after page after page of stuff we’d better know. In like manner, Americans (read that especially gun owners) will be subjected to mandatory pysch evals and, not surprisingly, will be found mentally ill or incompetent, and lose their rights due to such illness. Such is the insidious nature of the new Executive Orders.

As always, President Obama intends to appoint non-elected “Professionals” to do the evaluating, and, indeed, has already done so at our VA facilities. President F.D. Roosevelt stacked the Supreme Court with Justices put there to do his bidding, and now President Obama intends to put in place Mental Health Professionals designed to do the same for him. For example, ever notice how when you go to the VA these days, a series of questions is asked about your mental frame of mind? “Are you depressed?”, “Do you feel like hurting yourself or others?” (Innocent enough. Yes?), followed by “Do you have a firearm (gun) in the home?” The smart ones are saying “There’s your mental health question for you.” The stupid ones are asking “What’s the big deal??”

Diane Feinstein’s Firearms Bill doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of passing in the House, and could face a tough fight in the Senate, but that’s what Obama wants the focus on right now. He wants people to ignore the mental health Executive Orders, which, on the surface, seem innocuous enough, but which also need the same amount of focus as the Feinstein Bill. I won’t say “don’t write Congress about the Feinstein Bill” because it is important that we do so, but I do also say we write Congress to also protest the blatantly ad hoc nature of psychological evaluations and background checks. It’s all too easy to create ‘mental illness’ where there is none, based upon a set of arbitrary standards established by an entity with a particular agenda.

Imagine a ‘new clinical study’ coming out with a set of “If you {fill in the blank}, you might be a Redneck.” guidelines:

  • If you take medication for depression, you might be mentally ill.
  • If you take medication for ADD/ADHD, you might be mentally ill.
  • If you take medication for high blood pressure, you might be mentally ill.
  • If you take pain medication to cope with long term pain, you might be mentally ill.
  • If you have a stressful job and can’t pay all the bills, you might be mentally ill.
  • If you’re out of work, or only have a part time job, you might be mentally ill.
  • If you have a gun in the home, you might be mentally ill; remember the VA hospital question above? Thought I’d forgotten that, didn’t you?
  • If you own a gun and/or support the Second Amendment, you must hate the government and might be mentally ill.

Look at Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s remarks in the last week about the ‘demons’ that are the GOP because they support the 2nd Amendment. Add that to the list above: If you’re a member of the GOP, you might be mentally ill. The mental health directives just issued through Executive Orders are simply another move towards a modern day witch hunt designed to categorize/marginalize Americans and strip them/us! of our rights.

Finally, with regard to the Executive Orders, Obama has performed another end around on the Constitution by requiring Federal background checks, when the Supreme Court has pretty much given regulation and background checks into the hands of the States. Remember the 10th Amendment here, that whatsoever is given to the States belongs to the States. Side note: background checks, already being the purview of State and local authorities, are already being conducted and regularly reported to the NICS database.

So, there’s your chew bone for the morning. Have at it…

Best,

Mongo

UPDATE:

The Feinstein Bill, while important, is something of a red herring by comparison to the mental health care issue. If a government can classify a segment of its people, then they have you under their control. Remember the mark of the beast spoken of in the Bible? Apply that thought to what’s coming with psychological evaluations, the reporting of those evaluations to federal agencies, and how the results of those evaluations will apply to every aspect of our lives.

A Date Which Will Live in Infamy

A Date Which Will Live in Infamy.

Let those of us who remember honor the devotion and sacrifice of that generation.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13

Never mind that DOMA is federal law, nor that West Point is federal property, same-sex marriage is all about New York…

…which, frankly, doesn’t surprise me all that much. Still, since when does the United States Military Academy condone blatant violation of federal law?

First same-sex marriage being celebrated Saturday at West Point’s Cadet Chapel

The 20-year-old Defense of Marriage Act still prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages. New York approved gay marriage in June 2011.

Alrighty then. Federal law prohibits gay marriage. New York says “screw the roolz”. New York wins. Right? Well, not quite. Seems the Defense Department had some bearing on the matter.

Obama in September 2011 ended the U.S. military’s so-called “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that banned gays from serving openly. And the Pentagon issued a statement at about the same time allowing same-sex marriages at U.S. military facilities.

Hmm. So now the demise of “Don’t Ask, don’t tell” trumps federal law?

But wait! There’s more!

However, the Defense Department has made clear the policy change does not constitute its endorsement of gay marriage.

Huh? The old saying “talking out of both sides of your mouth” comes to mind. So does the old idea about trying to walk with your feet on both sides of the ditch. At some point you’re going to fall in.

Here’s the deal. I get it that Gays want to openly serve in the military. I get their wanting to get married and enjoy the same civil benefits (if that’s the correct way of expressing it). What I don’t get is how what they want can take place in open defiance of federal law. Same-sex marriage, whether any State condones it, IS a violation of federal law, and, given the existence of a federal law, no state may now contravene that law with their own allowing same-sex marriage. At least, that’s my understanding of the Tenth Amendment. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just too old fashioned and need to come into the modern world where we do as we damn well please. There are too many examples to list of how that could apply in one’s daily life, like creating one’s own speed limits while driving. Wouldn’t that be fun, cutting down our drive time to the market and back? Imagine how much more one could get accomplished in a day!

Another point of contention is that of the Defense Department not openly endorsing gay marriage. Umm, but you did, Mr. Secretary, by establishing a policy of allowing gay marriage at U.S military facilities. No double speak there. Yah? Really, this boggles my mind. Using an abstract interpretation of this policy, Midshipmen at Canoe U may now get married, because, well, federal law is ignored concerning gay marriage and we’re all about not discriminating on the basis of anything. Right? Screw the roolz, cause you made it okay. Right, Mr. Secretary? Mr. President?

I don’t know. Maybe I should have had a cup of coffee…anything…before sitting down to write this.

I’m sick and damn tired, however, of the government violating laws it established for the good order and conduct of the citizenry, and all because a tiny percentage of the population decides it wants what it wants and screw the rest of us. Four percent, to put a number on it, are motivating federal and state governments to shape policy that affects the rest of us. So much for my vote, and likely yours too. I mean, I didn’t vote for Obama. But he’s still going to be inaugurated in January, and I have to live with it. We all do, like it or not. Why, then, must we make exception for Gays? Why must we set aside properly established law for four percent of the population? Will it contribute to the greater good of mankind? Or our society?

Government, at all levels throughout the country, has opened Pandora’s box with gay marriage, suborning disobedience of the law and creating an environment where minority special interest groups may sway public policy, not for the good of all, but simply for the good of themselves. To any gay folk who might happen upon this rant, imagine, if you will, where this will take society from here on out. Imagine, if you will, what might happen if a tiny percentage of non-Christians start to bitch about Christians putting Christmas creches on display in public places.

Oh. Wait. That’s already happening. Happened last week…again…in Santa Monica, CA. An Atheist has a problem with creches. Christmas creche display is gone. The rest of Santa Monica’s population be damned, because one guy has problem with their traditions.

Okay. Never mind. Bad example.

Oh! Here’s one! How about Muslim groups looking to institute Sharia law in their communities, where anyone passing through has to abide by their laws? Veils over faces, ladies? Yes, because you’re in their town now!

No. Can’t use that one either. Seems Muslims somewhere in Michigan are already on a rant about doing just that. Detroit, was it?

Shall I go on?

Sorry, but I need coffee.

What we all need is clearer thinking about the way forward in this nation, and whether pandering to special interest groups is in the best interests of the nation as a whole.

Somehow, I think not. But that’s just me.

Or is it?

Wake up and smell the Jihad

Over at Fox News, Christian Whiton has some advice for the nation’s leadership: Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Obama, it’s time to wake up and smell the global jihad

While I’m working to confirm that prior knowledge of the attacks was in hand at the Oval Orifice, this much is clear: Somebody has either left the clue bat in the closet, or we’re looking at something designed, in the short term, to win an election. Longer term, who’s to say? After decades of relative peace, and under several Presidential Administrations from both sides of the aisle, why are we now seeing such unrest in the Middle East?

When the men who killed our ambassador to Libya were in the final stages of their preparation, Hillary Clinton was in the Cook Islands, being regaled by locals in traditional dress.  Her seemingly endless world tour has prioritized symbolism and pageantry over substance.  So too has the administration of her boss, Barack Obama, and the costs are now becoming clear.

This explains why Obama’s chief diplomat said of the Libya attack: “I asked myself—how could this happen?  How could this happen in a country we helped liberate, in a city we helped save from destruction?”

Madam secretary, it is time for you and your boss to wake up and smell the global jihad.

Frankly, all the hubbub in the Middle East does not surprise me. From the start we have had Presidential (sic) mewlings about tiny nations and the religion of peace, such that a number of our citizenry now seek to align themselves in a politically korrect way with pro-Moozlem beliefs. According to Mr. Whiton that’s prolly a really bad idea, and here’s why:

There are people in this world—and not a small number of them—who share the vision bin Laden had and have the will and means to act.  No amount of apologizing for America, embracing our adversaries or mistreating our allies will change that.

It is worth recalling that Cairo, the city where a mob entered the US embassy compound and burned an American flag, was the epicenter of what critics call Obama’s “apology tour.”  It was there that he apologized for critical steps American officials took in the Middle East to defend against the Soviets eight years before Obama was born.  It was there that he criticized his own nation’s response to 9/11.

That was the reason US diplomats in Cairo instinctively put out an apologetic condemnation of those who “hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.”  They were simply channeling the Obama view of the world.

…not a small number of them-who share the vision bin Laden had…

I’m thinking back to 9/11 here, and their celebration at the success of the World Trade Center. Exclamations of joy and all that, over the cataclysmic destruction and loss of life. Celebrations, mind you. Not just “Wow! That worked well…”, but outright celebration. Gleeful, jumping up and down, clapping of hands, celebration. High fives all around.

Imagine such celebration the day the first nuclear weapon was detonated over Hiroshima, Japan, in August of 1945. Kind of hard, isn’t it? Why? 1. Because such an event is not cause for celebration. 2. Because no one celebrated and exclaimed “Now there’s an ass whoopin’ for you!” Hiroshima and Nagasaki prevented a million lives lost in battle. No cause celebre, just a means to end an already bloody war.

Hillary also said that the attack was the result of a “small and savage group.”

Wrong again.

Viewed correctly, the attack was perpetrated by a very large group.  Terrorism as we have known it since 9/11 is but the violent vanguard of the Islamist political ideology.  This ideology unifies diverse terrorists from Jemmah Islamiyah in Indonesia to Al-Shabaab in Somalia to Boko Haram in Nigeria to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to the Haqqani network in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Pinch commented on this the other day, alluding to the fact that the Benghazi attack was a well coordinated one. I note how today we see multiple outbreaks of violence against Embassies of several nations. What’s the message here? What are Jihadi Boy and his malicious band of players telling us?

While the groups are diverse and at times antagonistic toward each other, their hatred of America unites them, and they work toward a generally common goal.  Behind them is a large body of people who cheer on and support Islamists—a minority of Muslims, but hardly a body of people we should ignore.

I note that word ‘hatred’. Strong word, it is. One that I, for one, am not inclined to ignore. “hatred of America unites them, personifying the old adage “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. A lot like the Soviet Union being our ‘friend’ during the last days of WWII. Some friend. Nevertheless, we now have Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda, Taliban, and let’s not forget the Cartel clans peddling their wares and services just to the south of us. Strange bedfellows and all that.

Mr. Whiton goes on to point out Syria and their cache of chemical weapons, and the obvious lack of shift in U.S. policy toward a collapsing regime/state. He also gives some sound advice to Hillary Clinton:

Hillary ought to park the plane and understand that diplomacy—or more accurately statecraft—ought to be about recognizing and fighting these problems.  Pageantry, apologies and photo ops are obviously not getting it done.

As a fabulous place to start, I’m thinking there’s space on the ramp at Damascus airport. ICAO designator: OSDI. I’m sure any number of the crowd I know could help with the flight plan. With the Fight plan? I’ve got plenty of friends around who could help with that too, but it’s your paycheck. Time to start earning it.

 

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