Wah Wah, My Tender Feelings Are Hurt….

I wanna be accepted for who I am,

I’m a sexually confused freak and want to suck your cock while you push a coke bottle up my butt, so you have to love me! —

I wanna be honored for what I think,

I’m a fascist, I hate everybody who doesn’t look and think like me, I’m a conservative in the best way, going back to the good ole days of the 20th Century when men could stand tall and kill them all — I will have my way!

I wanna be respected for my place in the world,

I’m a Blacks Lives Matter activist, read all the books and took them the wrong way; I’m angry and indignant and it’s all your fault —- listen to me and do what I say, or else!

I wanna take over the campus,

I’m a student who doesn’t realize the university is for the faculty and I’m just passing through, but I demand still that no one can speak on my campus things that are contrary, inflammatory, radical, or that hurt my feelings — free speech and free thinking scare me!

I wanna stop the haters,

I’m a religious righteous follower, a sheep who thinks he can lead, veiled woman are my right, inculcated believers left and right are my right, fuel the cure for all infidels and light the sky with glory of end days — bigots, atheists, and heathens beware!

I’m just a good boy, a good girl, who has been pampered all my life.  I’m just a good boy, a good girl, abused and misunderstood all my life.  I’m just a seeker and found my way by telling other people to tolerate me, embrace me, walk my walk, and feel me up just like I like it, then back off and follow me.  I never figured out that wrongs don’t make a right, and your right doesn’t change a wrong, that people don’t get along because other people force shit down their throat or have active agendas to change them into you, or, to accept the shit coming out of you.

I wanna see the sissy dumbasses clean the toilet,

cry as ammonia flares their brain

when they reach down the deepest drain —

scrubbing up the foul shit they disseminate.

 

Grow up, crybaby, you little baby whose mommie didn’t give you enough attention.  Oh, I feel so bad for you, wah wah wah,   Get down in that drain and scrub more and smell

— the shit coming out of you!

————————-

LeeMan, September, 2017

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Confederate Monuments are Part of America: Leave Them Be

Lee Martin, PhD, Tampa, Florida — July, 2017

The American Civil War was fought primarily over slavery.  Yet let no one tell you otherwise that it was not also fundamentally about state’s rights versus the role of the federal government, the Westward expansion of the nation, and the differing economies that shaped the North and South.  This brief essay is not meant to be an analysis of the war’s origin, as you must educate yourself by the vast literature and historical record of the Civil War that is abundantly and easily available.  My premise is that there is a relatively small group of Black activists and others who sympathize with their cause of having state and local governments remove Confederate memorials because their feelings are hurt over a profound misunderstanding of the history of this most tremendous event in America’s story.

About 620,000 American men died during the Civil War, more than during both World War I and World War II combined.  Many died on both sides during battle or later from wounds, but hundreds of thousands died from disease.  Fifty thousand or more died as prisoners of war.[1]  As in all wars, no one knows the number of deaths among survivors whose fate of suffering and demise was contributed to by experiences during the war.  The sequela of war’s trauma is not easily measurable or able to be disentangled from the behavioral and medical consequences it manifests, leading to later illness, life disruption, and death.

My problem with the activists who think that Civil War Confederate monuments should be removed from public places because they view them as signatures of racism is that they are haunted by the hobgoblins of their own ignorance and do not appreciate that men died in our greatest war.  The vast majority of them were simple citizen soldiers.  Nearly all white Confederate soldiers were poor farmers who did not own slaves, were themselves subordinate to slave-owning elites, and were psychologically captured by propaganda of the ruling ideology like the human fodder of every great war.  The common Confederate soldier in the course of battle was no different from the common Union soldier—afraid, tired, and wrapped up in a war they did not ask for nor want.  To honor them is to honor their lives, their deaths, and the rebirth of a new Nation.  Lincoln’s Gettysburg address curiously does not say the words that the dead commemorated on that bloody field of battle were just from the North, nor ignores those who died fighting from the South.  He said “we cannot dedicate—we cannot consecrate—we cannot hallow, this ground.  The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have hallowed it, far above our poor power to add or detract….we here highly resolve these dead shall not have died in vain; that the nation, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people by the people for the people, shall not perish from the earth.” [2] That means all the dead, and that the war itself was of larger import than any one person no matter their position or station in life, or what side they were on.

There are many statues and monuments memorializing the sacrifice and deaths of Confederate soldiers throughout the United States.  While most are unsurprisingly located in the Southern states, they appear out West in Arizona and California, and in the Northern states like Illinois and Ohio.[3]  There are at least six Confederate memorials in or near Washington, D.C., including 480 Rebel soldiers buried in Arlington National Cemetery, which is land once owned by Robert E. Lee.  Lee’s house that overlooks the cemetery is an official federal memorial site governed by the National Park Service.  In fact, statues of Lee and others who served in the Confederate Army are in the United State Capitol building, the seat of our federal government. [4]

Historian Fergus Bordewich pointed out that “thousands of Civil War veterans lived far into the 20th century.  In 1913, 54,000 Union and Confederate veterans gathered at Gettysburg for the battle’s 50th anniversary, and an astonishing 2,000 were still alive to show up for the battle’s 75th anniversary in 1938.  The last verified Union veteran died only in 1956, and the last Confederate in 1951.”[5]  My father was born in 1917, and purportedly his Georgia mother gave him his middle name to honor Robert E. Lee, which he then gave me.  I am a Northerner who has founded a home in the Deep South, and I do not hate people because of what they are from birth.  I have learned a few things about war though, and what it means.

James J. Fitzpatrick of the 16th Mississippi Infantry was in the midst of the fight during one of the most horrific battles of the Civil War during the battle of Antietam in Western Maryland.  I have been there and walked in the corn field that still grows there, where men assaulted each other in a desperate firestorm that was part of the single worst day of war dead in American history.  I was walking among the ghosts of the dead.  The rebel soldier wrote in his diary:

Tired and sleepy we still march on, and as we come in proximity of the battle ground the scores of wounded passing to the rear remind us that bloody work is going on. A little further on, to the left of the pike, we halt & “load at will.” No sooner done, then in again. The enemy’s batteries give us shot & shell in abundance causing many muscular contractions in the spinal column of our line. But all the dodging did not save us. Occasionally a shell, better aimed than the rest would crash through our line making corpses & mutilated trunks.[6]

The Civil War killed and injured over a million Americans, roughly a third of all those who served.  This grim tally, however, does not include the conflict’s psychic wounds.  Tony Horowitz pointed out in the Smithsonian Magazine that “disease killed twice as many men as combat.  During long stretches in crowded and unsanitary camps, men were haunted by the prospect of agonizing and inglorious death away from the battlefield; diarrhea was among the most common killers.  Though geographically less distant from home than soldiers in foreign wars, most Civil War servicemen were farm boys, in their teens or early 20s, who had rarely if ever traveled far from family and familiar surrounds.”  When they came home, especially after having lost a war, they often suffered from what we now call Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  In past wars the condition was called “nostalgia,” and then later after the terror of World War I, veterans were found to suffer the results of “shell shock.”  The newest rhetorical formulation is the introduction of Traumatic Brain Injury, which has been widely reported among some battle veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, although just as easily could have applied to many soldiers on both sides of the Civil War.[7]  Horowitz notes that “at war’s end, the emotional toll on returning soldiers was often compounded by physical wounds and lingering ailments such as rheumatism, malaria and chronic diarrhea. While it’s impossible to put a number on this suffering, historian Lesley Gordon followed the men of a single unit, the 16th Connecticut regiment, from home to war and back again and found ‘the war had a very long and devastating reach.’”[8]

Rapprochement may take centuries.  Ignore the KKK, skinheads, and redneck racists who will rot in their sorry graves.  Read history, have empathy, gain perspective, and perhaps, just maybe, shed a tear for all the men who struggled and died in a war that brought forth upon this land a new nation.  Those were men who fought and died on both sides.  The war is long over, but not forgotten.  However, this nation has clearly had some retrograde cultural reaction, a degradation borne of anger, fear, and ignorance among a vocal minority.  Freedom also involves remembering….and clarity of thought.

[1]   https://www.civilwar.org/learn/articles/civil-war-casualties

[2]   https://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=36&page=transcript

[3]   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_monuments_and_memorials_of_the_Confederate_States_of_America

[4]   https://www.washingtonian.com/2016/10/27/how-many-confederate-memorials-are-in-dc-area/

[5]   http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/civil-war-veterans-come-alive-in-audio-and-video-recordings-97841665/

[6]   http://www.historynet.com/antietam-eyewitness-accounts.htm

[7]   https://www.armstrong.edu/history-journal/history-journal-suffering-in-silence-psychological-disorders-and-soldiers-i

[8]   http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/ptsd-civil-wars-hidden-legacy-180953652/

IMG_0717 - Copy.JPG

100 Favorite Songs of All Time

Lee Man, Tampa, Florida, 2017

(Subject to change)

  1. These are the Days (Natalie Merchant)
  2. Candyman (Christine Aquilera)
  3. Let it Be (The Beatles)
  4. Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry)
  5. You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC)
  6. Me and Bobby McGee (Janis Jopin/Cover by Pink)
  7. Lean on Me (Bill Withers)
  8. Rolling in the Deep (Adele)
  9. Over the Rainbow (Judy Garland)
  10. Hound Dog (Elvis Presley)
  11. We Got the Beat (Go-Gos)
  12. Hollaback Girl (Gwen Stefani)
  13. Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
  14. Fulsom Prison Blues (Johnny Cash)
  15. Sympathy for the Devil (Rolling Stones)
  16. We Will Rock You/You are the Champions (Queen)
  17. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
  18. The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald (Gordon Lightfoot)
  19. The Living Years (Mike and The Mechanics)
  20. Wish You Were There (Reo Speedwagon)
  21. Shooting Star (Bad Company)
  22. Love Hurts (Nazareth)
  23. Wicked World (Black Sabbath)
  24. What’s the Matter Here (Natalie Merchant)
  25. I Love Rock N’ Roll (Joan Jett and the Blackhearts)
  26. One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer (George Thorogood)
  27. Spirit of Radio (Rush)
  28. Shake It Off (Taylor Swift)
  29. Revolution 9 (The Beatles)
  30. Rock Around the Clock (Bill Haley & The Comets)
  31. Piano Man (Billy Joel)
  32. Stranglehold (Ted Nugent)
  33. Summer (George Winston)
  34. Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)
  35. Turn the Page (Bob Seger)
  36. Hummingbird (The Gothard Sisters)
  37. Sound of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel)
  38. Messiah (Geo. F. Handel)
  39. Use Somebody (Kings of Leon)
  40. Nothing Compares to U (Sinead O’Conner)
  41. Blinded by the Light (Manfred Mann’s Earth Band)
  42. Rocketman (Elton John)
  43. Spirit in the Sky (Norman Greenbaum)gothardsisters2
  44. Let There Be Light (AC/DC, with Bonn Scott)
  45. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (The Beatles)
  46. Love Shack (B-52s)
  47. 1812 Overture (Tchaikovsky)
  48. Dueling Banjos (Deliverance [the Movie])
  49. All Summer Long (Kid Rock)
  50. Johnnie (Billy Jack [the Movie])
  51. The Rock (Harry Chapin)
  52. Proud Mary (Tina Turner)
  53. Take Me Home, Country Roads (John Denver)
  54. If I Had a Hammer (Pete Seeger)
  55. Ophelia (Natalie Merchant)
  56. Black Betty (Ram Jam)
  57. Jane (Jefferson Starship)
  58. Bang Your Head (Quiet Riot)
  59. Dust in the Wind (Kansas)
  60. Respect (Aretha Franklin)
  61. Baba O’riley (The Who/The Blue Man Group)
  62. 99 Red Balloons (Nina)
  63. Royals (Lorde)
  64. Good Golly Miss Molly (Little Richard)
  65. Burning Down the House (Talking Heads)
  66. Radar Love (Golden Earring)
  67. Highway to Hell (AC/DC)
  68. Go Your Own Way (Fleetwood Mac)
  69. Skating on the Thin Ice of a New Day (Jethro Tull)
  70. Lola (The Kinks)
  71. American Pie (Don McLean)
  72. Sunday Bloody Sunday (U2)
  73. Don’t Know Why (Norah Jones)
  74. Ode to My Family (Cranberries)
  75. I Hang My Head (Johnny Cash)
  76. Fast Car (Tracy Chapman)
  77. Precious Things (Tori Amos)
  78. Candy Everybody Wants (10,000 Maniacs)
  79. Slow Ride (Foghat)
  80. Sandy (Harry Chapin)
  81. Toxicity: System of a Down (Rock Violin Girls)
  82. Tubthumping (Chumbawamba)
  83. Rock This Town (Stray Cats)
  84. Heartbreak Hotel (Elvis Presley)
  85. StarWars (the Soundtrack)
  86. Rock Lobster (B-52’s)
  87. Foggy Mountain Breakdown (Steve Martin & Co.)
  88. Whole Lot of Rosie (AC/DC)
  89. Bridge Over Troubled Waters (Simon and Garfunkel)
  90. Where Have All the Flowers Gone (The Kingston Trio)
  91. Blowing in the Wind (Peter, Paul, and Mary)
  92. War Pigs (Black Sabbath)
  93. You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Rolling Stones)
  94. Limelight (Rush)
  95. Roll With the Changes (REO Speedwagon)
  96. Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven (Country Sisters)
  97. Houses of the Holy (Led Zeppelin)
  98. Jack and Diane (John Cougar Mellencamp)
  99. Alice’s Restaurant Massacree (Arlo Guthrie)
  100. Amazing Grace (Leann Rimes)……Amen.

 

 

Please, Run Into My Expensive U.S. Naval Warship

hitship

Lee Martin, Ph.D. — June 17, 2017 — Tampa, Florida

A military organization is always in motion.  Accidents will happen.  Men will die.  Men train with deadly weapons and weapons systems; race to and from danger on foot, in vehicles, ships, aircraft, from parachutes;  men have been known to play with their weapons; men operate in inherently hazardous environments and make mistakes or do not pay attention and pay with their lives.  History has demonstrated this fact in the U.S. military.  For example, during World War II about 60,000 men were killed due to non-battle injuries.[1]  Of the 58,220 documented U.S. war dead during the Vietnam War, over 9,000 service member deaths were from accidents.[2]  There is some evidence that up to 20 percent of U.S. service members killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were due to non-hostile circumstances.[3]

To provide historical context, I quote at length from an excellent summary of Naval accidents from the end of World War II to 1988 by Willian Arkin and Joshua Handler:

“This report documents 1,276 accidents of the major navies of the world between 1945and 1988. By frequency of occurrence, 406 accidents involved major surface combatants (not including aircraft carriers), 359 involved submarines, 228 involved aircraft carriers, 182 involved logistic support ships, 142 involved minor military ships, and 75 involved amphibious warships. Seventy-five accidents were actual sinkings, 60 of military vessels, and 17 of civilian boats. The accidents have resulted in over 2,800 deaths, with U.S. and Soviet fatalities constituting about 65 percent of the total.

Of the 1,276 accidents, 799 have involved naval ships of the United States. This preponderance of U.S. accidents does not mean a higher accident rate than other navies, particularly the Soviet Navy….  The most prevalent type of major accidents has been collisions, of which there have been 456 documented cases, 190 between military ships, 184 between naval vessels and civilian ships. There have been 51 collisions involving aircraft carriers.”[4]

This brings me to the recent tragic story of a collision between the guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG-62) and the ACX Crystal, a huge, loaded container ship much larger with far heavier displaced weight.[5]  It appears to have been a hard bump at sea, because at possibly 40,000 tons loaded and 730 foot long the Philippine flagged freighter could have cut in half the 8,300 ton destroyer.  The destroyer is larger than most naval and other ships in the world, but an ocean going container ship that was not nearly as big as they come was still 2/3rd the size of an aircraft carrier.  The destroyer cost about 1.8 billion dollars to build and equip with its sophisticated Aegis weapons system, and as one internet blogger guessed, this accident caused maybe $500,000 damage to the bow of the freighter and $50 million damage to the destroyer.[6]  It also apparently killed 7 U.S. sailors.

What gets me is not what the investigation will foretell about how the Filipinos may have made mistakes.  The Aegis weapons system has radars that are the most advanced in the world, but they are for warfighting, shooting and defending.  Yet like all modern U.S. Navy ships, the USS Fitzgerald has very advanced navigational radar capability.  The Navy is proud to describe the active radar system designed for surface search and navigational awareness:

“The Radar Set AN/SPS-73(V)12 is a short-range, two-dimensional, surface search/navigation radar system that provides contact range and bearing information. The AN/SPS-73(V)12 provides for signal processing and automatic target detection capability. The AN/SPS-73(V)12 surface search function provides short-range detection and surveillance of surface units and low-flying air units, while the AN/SPS-73(V)12 navigation function enables quick and accurate determination of own ship position relative to nearby vessels and navigational hazards. The system’s radar processors and displays combine Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) products and specialized technologies to create navigational awareness.”[7]

Thirty years ago I was an Electronic Warfare Technician on a Spruance class destroyer.  The ship design is the basis for the highly upgraded Aegis guided missile destroyer.  We operated a post in Combat Command in front of a machine that had a circular screen that showed all radar operating around us, showing position, type of craft, and distance based on passive radar intercept.  However, just to my left sat phased array active radar technicians (OS, Operations Specialists) who operated those cool looking machines with circular screens like airport controllers use having the pin in the middle representing the ship and a second hand clock-like line going around and around because their antennas were emitting detection waves to ascertain surface objects, thus the primary source for navigation (Combat Command had no windows, whereas limited visual observation was from the Bridge and topside lookouts).  I cannot imagine anything other than gross incompetence could have caused this collision.  The destroyer can go more than 30 knots, weave like a massive sailboat, accelerate and slow fairly rapidly given its size.  The original concept of building modern destroyers was partly how nimble they were managing the seas.  I doubt the radar systems failed.  Even then, I used to stand on the O-4 deck on my destroyer and look out of enormous binoculars fastened to a rotating stand and see out for long distances.  Someone fell asleep at the helm of that destroyer, and men died.  Heads will roll, as well they should.

[1]   http://history.amedd.army.mil/booksdocs/wwii/PrsnlHlthMsrs/chapter7.htm

[2]   https://www.archives.gov/research/military/vietnam-war/casualty-statistics.html#category

[3]   https://mmj.vcu.edu/2010/12/06/non-hostile-deaths-common-in-iraq-afghanistan/  — As in all wars, the non-hostile death category includes causes such as suicide, murder of comrades, friendly fire, illness, and other sources.  Yet there is always a very large proportion of those killed in non-hostile situations that are accidental, including those friendly fires.

[4]   https://fas.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/NavalAccidents1945-1988.pdf

[5]   https://apnews.com/81421f8df91c4f60a30b7a8983bc8842

[6]   See comments:  http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-06-16/us-navy-destroyer-collides-merchant-vessel-japan

[7]   http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_display.asp?cid=2100&tid=1287&ct=2

 

House Nigger in Django Unchained versus a Joke versus Free Speech

The mainstream media, twitter, and internet blogs are aflutter about Bill Maher “dropping the N-word,” as it is frequently and instructively described, on his Friday’s HBO show Real Time.  The story is presented as a “how dare he!,” crossing the line, shamefully inappropriate scandal.  That in itself is funny—and pathetic.[1]  Maher made a joke during an interview with Senator Ben Sasse (R-Nebraska), who has recently published a book, The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis — and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance. [2]  During the interview with Sen. Sasse, the conversation went like this:

“Adults dress up for Halloween, they don’t do that in Nebraska?” Maher asked.

“It’s frowned upon,” Sasse replied. “We don’t do that quite as much.”

“I gotta get to Nebraska more,” Maher said.

“You’re welcome; we’d love to have you work in the fields with us,” Sasse joked.

“Work in the fields,” Maher scoffed. “Senator, I’m a house nigga.”

“You still working in the fields out there, huh?” Maher said.

“Yeah,” Sasse said. “We want our kids to suffer.”

Sen. Sasse grinned when Maher called himself a house nigger, but held in his laugh.

Sen. Sasse backed off his mutual amusement at the joke in the context of when it was actually made on TV, and HBO also said the offensive word would be removed from any programming after calls to fire Maher, calling the episode “inexcusable and tasteless.”[3]  Sen. Sasse has used twitter to take on Trump, the king of blurb thinking twitterisms.  So, in the storm of “my feelings are hurt” criticism that followed he took to twitter to explain himself in brief little sound bites to the offended:

“Am walking off a redeye from LAX. I’m a 1st Amendment absolutist. Comedians get latitude to cross hard lines…..  But free speech comes with a responsibility to speak up when folks use that word.  Me just cringing last night wasn’t good enough…..  The history of the n-word is an attack on universal human dignity.  It’s therefore an attack on the American Creed.  Don’t use it.”

Upset twitterheads immediately responded to his posts, saying:

“N word isn’t a hard line. An offensive word 2 degrade, oppress & dehumanize AA allowing oppressor 2 feel comfortable in false superiority,”  and another posting “I’m black and wish no one would use the N-word, blacks included.  It’s always been a slur to demean & dehumanize. Not a word to embrace ever.”

Some even found it exponentially more egregious that a white man would use the word “nigger” as opposed to the supposedly less offensive “nigga,” when in fact he said “house nigga,” but who cares except those who don’t understand humor.  The fine actor Samuel L. Jackson did not get bothered using the “N-word” in his Quentin Tarantino movies like Django Unchained and The Hateful Eight because it was authentic for the period, and it was making entertainment.[4]  Maher is also a comedian besides being a serious political pundit and cultural commentator.  He makes jokes all the time.  He first did his translating rap lyrics for white people comedy bit on TV before the Real Time show, and repeated it during a stand-up performance.[5]  If you listen to rap and hip hop music you will hear “nigga” over and over, but some people think that is okay because it is a way of modern Blacks, Negroes, or whatever we want to call people other than say hello my neighbors, friends, and family.

I have worked with and otherwise dealt with many people who call themselves black and others who are white, hispanic, asian, or just cannot or will not be ethnically or racially described who routinely use the words “nigger” and “nigga.”  Most of the time I find they are themselves fully inculcated in a ghetto culture, but sometimes they are people who understand the bizarre concept itself yet use it in certain contexts to manage social situations in the most fluid way reasonable at the time.  See Mark Dice’s interviews on the street about using this slur, and find perhaps it is something else to those using it or to whom it is directed or hearing it.[6]  The best idea is to accept using the word in historical context, even when used in a joke, but not as an everyday way to refer to people who you might want to address as friend, Sir, or Ma’am.

—- Lee Martin, June 2017

[1]   WARNING: This post contains graphic language.  That is such a stupid and offensive comment itself to just about anyone over seven years old in this country, as if they are ignorant and do not grasp the matter or have heard the term, perhaps themselves the recipient and/or the user of the term.  This is the opening tag to the “outrage” reported by People magazine online — http://people.com/tv/bill-maher-drops-the-n-word/

[2]   https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/15/books/review/vanishing-american-adult-ben-sasse.html?_r=0

[3]   https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/jun/03/bill-maher-hbo-real-time-ben-sasse

[4]   https://www.buzzfeed.com/kelleylcarter/samuel-l-jackson-and-the-n-word-in-tarantino-movies?utm_term=.qwEM3xVj8z#.baPWPzADb8

[5]   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMUJ_6uxSM0

[6]   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAN841Apmd0 ; and, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GzZXFFUZNc

Threatening the World One Strike Force at a Time

carlvinson

There is threat and fear around much of the world.  Trump-O-Mania has started to take on the world by wasting $94 million of cruise missiles killing a few Syrian soldiers and messing up an airfield.  Now the continuing status quo militaristic foreign policy of the United States has saw fit to again send an armada of warships to cruise off the coast of North Korea to see if we can start World War III.  Since World War II showed the world how important aircraft carriers were, and how vulnerable they were, we talked about Battle Groups.  Battle means you are ready for war, but now they are called Strike Force Naval Groups, and language is informative.  Strike is a word for aggression and offensive action.  These deployments are not meant for border protection, for territorial defense, but rather designed for offensive activity in all areas of the globe.  They are meant to threaten other countries, to demonstrate that the United State will destroy you if step out of bounds of the narrative our geopolitical great thinkers and power brokers are creating to enhance their power and wealth.  Below is a sampling of just what is capable when the most grossly funded military comes to threaten you.

USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier

Strike Group One has about 7,500 sailors and some marines

Surface Speed: 30 knots+ (35 mph)
Operational Range: Essentially Unlimited

  • 90 aircraft and includes helicopters
  • 2 x Sea Sparrow Mk 57 Mod 3 surface-to-air missile launchers
    2 x RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile short-range surface-to-air missile launchers
    3 x 20mm Phalanx CIWS
  • F/A-18C Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet
                       Airspeed: Mach 1.8+
                       Ceiling: 50,000+ feet.
                       Range: Combat: 1,275 nautical miles (2,346 kilometers)

Ferry: 1,660 nautical miles (3,054 kilometers)

                

One M61A1/A2 Vulcan 20mm cannon

AIM 9 Sidewinder, AIM-9X (projected)

AIM 7 Sparrow, AIM-120 AMRAAM, Harpoon, Harm, SLAM

Maverick missiles; Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW); Joint Direct Attack      Munition (JDAM); Data Link Pod; Paveway Laser Guided Bomb; various general purpose bombs, mines and rockets

  • EA-18G Growler – Electronic Warfare
  • E-2C Hawkeye – Survellience/Early Warning
  • C-2 Greyhound – Transport

Destroyer Squadron (CDS) 1 includes:

Ticonderoga class guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57)

  • MK41 vertical launching system Standard Missile (MR)
  • Vertical Launch ASROC (VLA) Missile
  • Tomahawk Cruise Missile; Six MK 46 torpedoes (from two triple mounts)
  • Two MK45 5-inch/54 caliber lightweight guns
  • Two Phalanx close-in-weapons systems

These cruisers are a little larger and more heavily armed than destroyers, but they are built on the same keel design as the destroyers listed below.  Both are updated versions of the engineering concepts originally drawn from the Spuance class destroyer that I was on in the Navy in the early to mid-1980s.  These are large ships, and if you were ever close to one or on one you would be mightily impressed.  They support the aircraft carrier, but be assured that they can operate independently and are each self-contained warships capable of handling any threat and causing terrible harm.  When we steamed alone in the Pacific, we were never afraid of anything.  But if you get all these ships together in a Battle Group formation it is an awesome sight, and this is why the bastards call it a “show of force,” because it is a bullies’ game out there in the world of attempts at global hegemony.  An aircraft carrier 20 stories high and so big 6,000 people have to live aboard to make it operate can fly 35 knots on the open ocean, and these other warships can haul ass alongside.  I have seen it, with a sense of wonder and thrill that only the heavy wind and ocean spray in your face can make you believe.  Now they have made these destroyers more than escorts and sub killers, they are lethal to all in the sky, land, on the surface of the water, and undersea.

Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers (DDG)

USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112)

USS Wayne E. Meyer (DDG 108)

  • Evolved Sea Sparrow air defense missiles against short and medium range targets
  • SM-2 and SM-6 missiles against long-range aerial targets
  • SM-3 missiles specialized for engagement of ballistic missiles
  • Six Mk46 anti-submarine torpedoes
  • MH-60R anti-submarine helicopters provide long-range anti-submarine capability
  • 5-inch, 127-millimeter gun is mounted on the bow, capable of anti-ship, shore bombardment, and even a limited anti-air role. Two 25 mm guns and four .50 caliber machine guns

According to Lockheed Martin, the Aegis combat system fitted to these warships flanking the aircraft carrier are “the world’s most advanced combat system.  Aegis can simultaneously attack land targets, submarines, and surface ships while automatically protecting the fleet against aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.”

Attack Submarines (SSN)

According to the U.S. Navy official site online:  “Attack submarines are designed to seek and destroy enemy submarines and surface ships; project power ashore with Tomahawk cruise missiles and Special Operation Forces (SOF); carry out Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions; support battle group operations; and engage in mine warfare.”

  • Tomahawk missiles
  • Twelve VLS tubes (SSNs 774-783) or two VPTs (SSNs 784 and beyond)
  • MK48 ADCAP torpedoes, four torpedo tubes

Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarines (SSBN)

  • can be anywhere in any ocean at any time, most likely undetected and capable of global holocaust

The U.S. Navy is generous enough to say up front that “since the 1960s, strategic deterrence has been the SSBN’s sole mission, providing the United States with its most survivable and enduring nuclear strike capability.  Each of the 14 Ohio-class SSBNs can carry up to 24 submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) with multiple, independently-targeted warheads. However, under the New Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty, each submarine will have four of its missile tubes permanently deactivated in the coming years. The SSBN’s strategic weapon is the Trident II D5 missile, which provides increased range and accuracy over the now out-of-service Trident I C4 missile.”

            100 : Number of kilotons on one Trident W76 warhead

            455: Number of kilotons on one Trident W88 warhead

            345,600: Total number of kilotons deployed on Trident fleet

            14: Number of kilotons on atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima

            150,000: Number of people killed by the atomic bombing of Hiroshima

            $66,000,000: Price of one Trident II D5 missile

We know that at least one attack submarine is always nearby in the waters underneath wherever a Battle Group is deploying, but a “boomer” sub can be attached or just out there on one of their constant patrols ready to join the horror when called upon.  That is called threatening.  The leadership and military men in all these countries all over the world are not stupid, and they know what I know.  That is why every country who could develop defensive weapons did so, given their circumstances.  And as we all know, any weapon that can be used in defense can be used in offense.  It amazes me that so many Americans fail to understand why much of the world has at best conflicted feelings toward us.  They often like or embrace at least parts of our culture and economic activity, but they are scared because we threaten everyone.  This is why I have long said the first and most important policy objective of any new government in this country is to completely restructure our military and foreign policy.  We must cut the defense budget by at least half, focus on home territorial defense rather than imperialism and global manipulations, and build trust through diplomacy and cooperation.  So much for idealism.  Time for a revolution here at home?    FIN

Lee Martin, PhD — Tampa, Florida — April 9, 2017

The Tragedy of Schooling in America

Lee Martin, Citizen and Activist — March, 2017

Several years ago someone linked me to one of Mark Dice’s infamous YouTube “man-on-the-street” type interviews where he demonstrates the ludicrous ignorance of average American citizens.  He is known as a conspiracy theorist too, as I might be becoming likewise known, but I do not follow his other projects.[1]  Still, his “man-on-the-street” interviews broadcast a series of snippets that has disturbing implications for the future of our country.  They touched off a nerve based on my experiences teaching and engaging conversations with co-workers in many types of jobs—manual labor, office jobs, and professional work.  I have since watched many videos of a similar sort, including some done in other countries, and none of them are encouraging.  What they demonstrate is not just ignorance of what should be a basic stock of knowledge (ignorance not meant pejoratively but rather only a lack of knowledge), but rather a deeply troubling lack of curiosity about what is in the world and how the world functions.  Below is just a small sampling easily found on the internet of survey/polling results that support the same kind of findings from the video exposes.

For example, a 2012 Xavier university study found that 97.5% of immigrants passed the naturalization test, yet only 7 of 10 American born citizens could answer correctly the necessary pass rate for the simple ten questions.  Interestingly, they revealed that “only 44% of respondents with a high school education or less passed in contrast with an 82% pass rate among college graduates—a 38% gap. Compared to the immigrant passage rate of 97.5%, college graduates underperform by 15%, while high school graduates underperform by 53%.  The numbers were consistent among red states and blue states.”[2]  See these results from other studies.

A 2006 Geography survey of young adults by National Geographic discovered some disturbing things about the future of America:[3]

  • Take Iraq, for example. Despite nearly constant news coverage since the war there began in 2003, 63 percent of Americans aged 18 to 24 failed to correctly locate the country on a map of the Middle East. Seventy percent could not find Iran or Israel.
  • Nine in ten couldn’t find Afghanistan on a map of Asia.
  • And 54 percent were unaware that Sudan is a country in Africa.
  • Remember the December 2004 tsunami and the widespread images of devastation in Indonesia? Three-quarters of respondents failed to find that country on a map. And three-quarters were unaware that a majority of Indonesia’s population is Muslim, making it the largest Muslim country in the world.

The full report in their Map Locator Questions section on Asia shows the actual map with just political border lines they presented to respondents and asked them to identify North Korea, Afghanistan, India, China and Japan:[4]

  • Seven in ten could identify China and only one in ten could find Afghanistan.
  • In total, young Americans could find, on average, two of the five countries. Only 6% of young adults could identify all five countries correctly; 21% were not able to find any.
  • Only about half can spot rising economic, political, and nuclear power India (53%) or long-time U.S. ally and trade partner Japan (49%) ñ both countries with large parts to play in the U.S.ís strategic and economic future.

Likewise, showing a map of the Middle East and asking young people to simply identify countries they found:

  • After three years of war in Iraq, only 37% of young Americans could find Iraq; 63% could not. As many cannot identify Saudi Arabia. The result is even worse for Iran and Israel.  Only one in four could find Iran (26%) or Israel (25%).  Three-quarters cannot find these two countries. Overall, up to one in five say they don’t know where these four countries are located (ranging from 16% for Iraq to 20% for Iran).

Likewise, Alternet in 2010 reported on a Newsweek survey that found how astonishingly misled the American people are:[5]

  • Nearly one-fifth of Americans think Obama is a Muslim.
  • 25 percent of Americans don’t believe in Darwin’s theory of evolution, while less than 40 percent do. Consider the fact that several of our newly elected officials, specifically newly elected Kansas Governor Sam Brownback that belief.
  • As of just a few years ago, about half of Americans still believe there was a connection between Saddam Hussein and the attacks of September 11, a lie that was reinforced by none other than Dick Cheney.
  • Two out of five Americans, despite separation of church and state being a foundation of our democracy, think teachers should be able to lead prayer in classrooms.
  • Many Americans still believe in witchcraft, ESP and other supernatural phenomena. A decade ago, 20 percent of Americans still believed that the sun revolves around the earth.
  • Only about half of Americans realize that Judaism is the oldest of the three monotheistic religions.
  • In 2006 more Americans were able to name two of the “seven dwarves” than two of the Supreme Court justices. Happy and Sleepy are easy to remember.  More Americans can identify the Three Stooges than the three branches of government.

Then a 2016 report by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni called “A crisis in civic education” found:[6]

  • Only 20.6% of respondents could identify James Madison as the Father of the Constitution. More than 60% thought the answer was Thomas Jefferson—despite the fact that Jefferson, as U.S. ambassador to France, was not present during the Constitutional Convention.  College graduates performed little better: Only 28.4% named Madison, and 59.2% chose Jefferson.
  • How do Americans amend the Constitution? More than half of college graduates didn’t know.  Almost 60% of college graduates failed to identify correctly a requirement for ratifying a constitutional amendment.
  • We live in a dangerous world—but almost 40% of college graduates didn’t know that Congress has the power to declare war. [Note: I bet most adults do not even care that American Presidents throughout our history have invaded countries and created wholesale wars with only a Congressional resolution or even without one, much less a declaration of war.]
  • College graduates were even confused about the term lengths of members of Congress. Almost half could not recognize that senators are elected to six-year terms and representatives are elected to two-year terms.
  • Less than half of college graduates knew that presidential impeachments are tried before the U.S. Senate. And 9.6% of college graduates marked that Judith Sheindlin—“Judge Judy”—was on the Supreme Court!

Good luck to us all.  We will need it.

[1]   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Dice

[2]   http://www.xavier.edu/news/One-in-Three-Americans-Fail-Immigrant-Naturalization-Civics-Test.cfm?grp_id=319#.WNgOYWe1upo

[3]   http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/05/0502_060502_geography.html

[4]   http://www.nationalgeographic.com/roper2006/pdf/FINALReport2006GeogLitsurvey.pdf

[5]   http://www.alternet.org/story/148826/16_of_the_dumbest_things_americans_believe_–_and_the_right-wing_lies_behind_them

[6]   https://www.goacta.org/images/download/A_Crisis_in_Civic_Education.pdf