by baldilocks

Usually, I forego linking to the Washington Times; not for an ideological reason, but a practical one. The site is a nightmare of pop-up ads.

But for this story, I couldn’t resist.

The [U.S.] Navy has rejected the application of one Jason Heap, a doctor of theological history, he having obtained such a degree at Oxford University in Great Britain. (…)

Mr. Heap sued, first in 2014 and again this year, to require the Navy to appoint him to the chaplaincy corps, and, to his point, to recognize him as a “secular humanist,” presumably on his dogtag, thereby recognizing secular humanism, or atheism, as a legitimate “faith.” (…)

The Navy was about ready to make the appointment after the Chaplain Appointment and Retention Eligibility Advisory Group recommended it to the chief of naval operations, who has final say over who gets to be a chaplain and who doesn’t. After 67 members of Congress, 22 senators and 45 congressmen from both parties urged the Navy not to make the appointment, the Navy agreed.

“Without a belief in the transcendent, and with avowed opposition to religion itself,” the lawmakers wrote, “an individual cannot fulfill the mission and duties of a chaplain.”

Ooh look! Congress does something logical for a change! That right there is one of God’s miracles. But I predict that it won’t be long before the definition of military chaplain receives a postmodern facelift, also known as the Coconut Treatment.

Question: What do you call a chaplain who doesn’t believe in God?

Answer: A psychologist.

Question: Why would Dr. Heap want to be appointed as a Navy chaplain?

Answer: In order to infiltrate the program. It isn’t as if this hasn’t happened before.

(Thanks to Stacey E. Washington)

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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steve eggBy Steve Eggleston

Over the last couple of decades, the Tomahawk cruise missile has become the Navy’s go-to standoff weapon of choice. Its range, accuracy, stealthiness and range of warheads has proven invaluable, as over 1,000 Tomahawks have been used since its combat introduction in the first Gulf War. Several ballistic missile submarines have been converted into Tomahawk cruise-missile subs carrying 154 missiles apiece, over twice the number carried by a destroyer or cruiser.

Therefore, in Barack Obama’s America, its production must end years early, with procurement dropping from 196 this year and a planned 980 through 2018 to 100 next year and nothing afterward.

The claim at the time was that the resources that would have gone to procuring the Tomahawk are going instead to developing its replacement, the Next Generation Land Attack Weapon. That’s a “slight” exaggeration – the proper verb is “will” as that program doesn’t exist yet and won’t be producing operational missiles until at least 2024.

Bryan McGrath over at Information Dissemination offers an “innocent” explanation of why the sudden shift has happened; there is only a finite amount of money out there, and there is, despite the wild claims from the Washington Free Beacon, a fair amount in reserve. I would buy it…if sequestration had first happened this past year. However, everybody has known it was the “default” since 2011.

Rather, I put far more stock in his closing statement as the reason (emphasis in the original):

I believe that the country needs to put additional energy toward deterring the war it cannot afford to fight, and that is a war with China, Russia, or China and Russia. In order to best deter such a war, it must be well-prepared to wage it. Calculations of risk that involve diminishing stocks of precision guided munitions without the industrial capacity to quickly replace them should be viewed with concern. It is not 1939. We do not have endless untapped industrial capacity that will build 50,000 airplanes and 6000 ships and boats. We have limited production lines in incredibly high-tech factories that rely on a precious supply of skilled workers who are not reproducible overnight. Any war with another major power will expend PGM’s at a rate our industrial base will strain to replace. Steady peacetime procurement of these specialized weapons not only makes the US better prepared to wage war–should it come–but it sends powerful signals of readiness and will that serve to deter war in the first place.

At some point we must recognize that the height of national strategy is NOT the pursuit of the most efficient allocation of resources. It is the advancement and sustainment of national interest. In taking on this additional near-term risk, the United States efficiently allocates resources while sending yet another message of quiescence in the face of an increasingly troubled world.


Olimometer 2.52

Dire Straits isn’t just a music groups it’s when it’s a Saturday and you need $817 to pay the mortgage and have only 3 days to get it.

That’s better than $250 a day when we haven’t met a weekly goal all month, but as Yogi Berra says, it ain’t over till it’s over.

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Note: this post owes a great debt to Fletcher Pratt wonderful book from 1950 Preble’s Boys commodore Preble and the Birth of American Sea Power. Chapter 13

Today on the Sunday shows Denis McDonough and surrogates of the president continued to attempt to rally the US congress to support Barack Obama’s use of the military to confirm his manhood punish Syria for the use of chemical weapon. They continue to make this push while insisting he not only doesn’t need their votes but will not commit himself to any result he doesn’t agree.

Given the messterpiece that this administration has painted might I suggest that this administration in general and this president in particular take a lesson from history from a young naval officer by the name of Charles Stewart during another crisis facing radical Islamic foes.

Back in 1805 the Bey of Tunis, claiming international law didn’t apply to him, demanded the return of two ships caught running a US blockade (imposed because of the Bey’s ships preying on American shipping) and an indemnity for daring to prevent him from seizing our merchantmen. Our US consul being a sane and rational man refused. The Bey not being so threatened to send his fleet after our warships. As the US had a small navy of under 20 ships that threat had some teeth.

Unfortunately for the Bey while the US navy was tiny his timing was really bad. A fleet of nine US warships was nearby from the USS Constitution and four other frigates to the USS Enterprise and three other smaller ships 230 guns commanded by John Rodgers who in an age of honor and duels was certainly not going to let the Bey’s insult pass.

Rogers led his fleet to Tunis and sent Lt. Stephen Decatur to negotiate satisfaction but the Bey defiantly refused to even see him.

That was enough for Rogers he proposed to open fire and called a council of officers for approval before doing so. With one exception every single officer backed war, that exception was Lt Charles Stewart.

Stewart case was constitutional only congress could declare war. If even the president of the United States did not hold this power how could the commander of a squadron, that had not been subject to attack, claim that right?

Rogers didn’t like it but he abandoned his planned attack and was able to eventually bring the Bey around diplomatically.

While Rogers was not happy with Stewart, President Thomas Jefferson had a different view expressing…

“high satisfaction at having an officer in the squadron who comprehended international law, the condition of his country and the policy of his government,”

…and he expressed that satisfaction by promoting him to Captain.

That would prove to be a wise decision by Jefferson. Stewart would serve his country well as captain. He and William Brainbridge would be directly responsible for persuading the Secretary of the Navy and President Madison to allow the US fleet to engage the British navy during the War of 1812. Our tiny navy’s incredible string of victories shook the world and saved the country. Stewart himself would win the final one in command of USS Constitution taking the HMS Cyane & HMS Levent in a skilled action.

Stewart would go on to be the Senior Flag officer of the Navy, the first ever US Admiral and would, even after 67 different papers endorsed him for president in 1844 decline to run for an office that he was in an excellent position to win.

President Obama and his administration would do very well to take the example and wise counsel he gave. Then again if this administration was wise enough to take such counsel we likely wouldn’t be in this mess.


Olimometer 2.52

For the first time since last Sunday DaTipJar is appearing in a post. That’s because you dear readers generously filled my entire $305 paycheck on the first day giving you a full week without the need to solicit your support.

While one can’t expect that kind of result two weeks in a row with a trip to DC to cover the Exempt America from Obamacare Rally coming up and lots of big news and interviews to come from it I’ll certainly be working hard this week to earn that full paycheck once again.

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A terrible case of the 1% oppressing the 99% took place yesterday as the US navy seized a fishing boat from Somali pirates the “occupy the oceans team“.

According to the Navy, a helicopter from the Kidd spotted a suspect pirate boat alongside the Iranian vessel. At the same time, the Kidd received a distress call from the captain of ship, the Al Molai, saying he and his crew were being held captive by pirates.

A team from the Kidd boarded the Al Molai, took 15 suspected pirates into custody and freed 13 Iranian hostages, the Navy said.

Those Somali’s taken into custody live in one of the poorest countries in the world and yet here is the US taking a ship after they occupied the ship of Iran an oil nation just like those 1% people in Texas!

Some might paint this as a victory for the camaraderie of nations:

“Rescuing Iranian sailors by the U.S. was a humanitarian act and we welcome such acts,” he said. “The Iranian Navy also engages in such rescue operations. It is the responsibility of all nations to rescue nationals from other countries from pirates.”

but friends of the occupy movement recognize I’m sure that the Iranian fishermen have no more rights to private property than wall street fat cats.

I’m sure Former Obama Administration Adviser Elizabeth Warren as the intellectual founder of the occupy movement will be condemning this aggressive act on the part of the 1% against the poorest of the poor any minute now!

In the age of fighting sail it was not uncommon for captains of rival navies to know or befriend each other as Captain Issac Hull of the USS Constitution and Captain James Dacres of the HMS Guerriere did.

Before the war of 1812 Hull had Dacres on the Constitution as a guest. Dacres, who had; served in the Royal Navy since he was 8 years old, came from naval family and would eventually retire an Admiral had little respect for the American Ship and its odd design. He considered it no match for his own Guerriere based on his years of experience.

Strangely enough his attitude didn’t change after August 19th 1812 when Hull and Constitution battered his ship so badly that it had to be blown up. At his court marshal (required when a ship was defeated) the court acquitted him noting that his ship was French built and that the loss of Guerriere’s masts..

was occasioned more by their defective state than the fire of the enemy.

I thought of this today when I saw this clip from Morning Joe concerning the Florida Straw poll:

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Joe Scarborough: Well lets look at the number really quick and a couple of things to bring out of here. One is that Herman Cain will never be elected or nominated or win a primary but it was a very big win for him…

Considering his total was higher than Perry & Romney combined I’d say that was a big win. After discounting said “big win” Joe says the following about 4th place finisher Rick Santorum:

…but if you look at Rick Santorum at 10.9% I think you’re seeing a guy who is having more of a presence of late and a guy who is creeping into the top-tier of Iowa.

Now I like Rick Santorum but after Florida Cain also finished 3rd in Michigan. Santorum was near the bottom.

Robert Stacy McCain notes that a lot of the political class seems to be unable to process events in front of them. He has a much longer memory than the folks on the panel

Seems like forever ago, doesn’t it? T-Paw was “the only candidate . . . with any real chance,” and Ben Smith didn’t even bother to name the other candidates in the Greeneville, S.C., debate. But the other four are all still running, while Tim Pawlenty quit the race six weeks ago.

One of those candidates with no “real chance” was Herman Cain, who stomped Pawlenty like Godzilla stomped Tokyo that May night in South Carolina. And it was Cain’s victory that was the first hint that maybe T-Paw didn’t have “any real chance” after all.

Nobody at that time expected that Pawlenty was on his way to presidential oblivion

Certainly not the Morning Joe cast who had T-Paw as a regular guest and only today acknowledged that Jon Huntsman is going nowhere.

It would take many more embarrassing defeats for the reality of the situation to cause the Royal Navy to forbid their frigate captains to take on their American counterparts one on one. It remains to be seen how many times Herman Cain has to confound expectations for the MSM to take him seriously.

Exit question: Rather than simply asserting that Herman Cain can not win the nomination or a single primary, is it too much to ask the keepers of conventional wisdom to explain why not?

Captain Owen Honors has been relieved and apparently so are liberals everywhere:

Without any regard for the highest moral values that military officers are expected to uphold, he broke barriers of taste and decency. Or, as the Navy put it in a statement on Tuesday afternoon, the Enterprise’s skipper used “poor judgment.”

I don’t know if Luisita Lopez Torregrosa served, I didn’t but Blackfive has. That’s most likely why he has this reaction over the relief of Captain Honors:

Well, and while you can compare an aircraft carrier to a frat house, it isn’t. But the further away from that alpha male and females mentality, the more pussified and Dutch-like our military will become. They have a union for their troops FFS. If we don’t have guys like the XO flapping his gums, buzzing the tower and deriding Surface Officers and other lower life forms, then we won’t have the mentality that flies toward an incoming swarm of 200 enemy planes, that charges a machine gun, or that leaps on to a grenade to save comrades.

For the most part it takes a particular type to be a great soldier. I’m reminded of the Falklands war when the British commented on the bravery of the Argentine Pilots saying that any country that produces world-class formula one drivers are going have brave fighter and bomber pilots.

A Soldier’s perspective provides some:

Let’s be honest, the videos were not politically correct, but they contained messages of importance that every command must convey to their subordinates. I’ve heard from many people directly who were either on those deployments and saw the videos firsthand or viewed them later. Their response was that, for the first time ever, those messages were actually watched by Sailors on the ship.

Typically, military command messages are monotonous, cheesy, dry and boring. Not “or”, but “AND.”

The Navy has to endure a different type of suckiness than land forces do when they deploy. By and large, they are confined to the limits of the ship on which they are assigned. Unlike Soldiers and Marines, Sailors do not get to drive into town, move from camp to camp, etc. They are stuck in confined spaces with perhaps a tenth of the personal space that ground combat forces enjoy during their deployments. The mood gets pretty crabby and I’m sure that Capt Honors understood that and did a great job livening the mood on board the ship.emphasis mine

Of course some people found it offensive. As a Christian, I found it distasteful, but I also saw the humor in it and thought it was a brilliant stroke of genius to get the Sailors to pay attention.

In the military the goal is results, what results did we get:

Capt Honors served a successful tour as the XO of the USS Enterprise and followed that with a successful command of the USS Mount Whitney (LCC/JCC 20), in Gaeta, Italy. The ship conducted humanitarian assistance missions in Lebanon and the Republic of Georgia in support of Operation Assured Delivery. His awards include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Joint Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medals, Meritorious Service Medal, and various campaign/unit awards.

Yeah, sounds like this incident really reflected poor performance didn’t it? Luisita Lopez Torregrosa again:

Though the videos have caught everyone’s attention, the captain’s anti-gay slurs cut more deeply, especially now, just weeks after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and the beginning of a new era of openness and tolerance in our armed forces.

Because what we are all looking for in combat is openness and tolerance? I’m sure that is just what is needed when fighting in Afghanistan. Funny how our friends on the left don’t have the same openness and tolerance for humor that others are expected to have. Do you hear Sicilians going nuts over every mafia joke out there? However let’s go back to Blackfive again:

I have given my fair share of shite to any number of fighter pilot types, heck quite a few of them bought me and my friends drinks in O-clubs like Osan and Cubi Point as we told stories using our hands to show how we got on the guy’s six. But I sure as hell respect the stones, ability and discipline it takes to ride a rocket into the sky and then land it on a boat in the ocean. So unfortunately a good officer loses his chance to command the Enterprise over something this lame, but worse yet we lose a bit of our warrior spirit.

He doesn’t get it. The left has never cared for the “warrior spirit” The loss of American warrior spirit IS the goal of these folks. This isn’t a bug, this is a feature.

…all he has to do is apply for a NEA grant for his videos and then it will be considered art and all will be well.

I haven’t seen the full videos yet so I don’t know how far over lines he crossed but if this has been out for 5 years and the crews didn’t have an issue with it who am I to say otherwise? I’m inclined to give a bunch of folks trying to keep loose while deployed far from home a bit of a pass but I reserve the right to change my mind once I’ve seen the full videos.

Update: No one of any import asks if this is the start of a purge:

My gut feeling is, this guy was trying to connect with his crew in a positive way. He was trying to help sailors have fun. He was purposefully ignoring all manner of political correctness.

For that, I salute Captain Owen P. Honors.

We all know what political correctness gets us, anyway.

It gets us children who can’t call dogs “Nazis.”

It gets us children who can’t play Cowboys and Indians.

Goodness knows, it gets us Season’s Greetings instead of Christmas.

Oh, by the way. The USS Enterprise is scheduled to deploy soon. Are they going to replace its CO because of these four-year-old video clips? After the hard work that Captain Honors has successfully seen the ship through?

I hope not. We’ll see.

Captain Honors’ job is high-profile. This controversy comes two weeks after the repeal of DADT. Coincidence? The beginning of a purge? Or simply a disgruntled sailor, looking for revenge?

Her perspective is superior to mine on this issue.