30 thoughts on “News/Politics 8-21-17

  1. What is going on with our Navy!? This is the second such ‘accident’ in a few weeks. Are we cat-fighting over there and no one wants to tell us about it? On an international scale, it is genuinely embarrassing, and it does not contribute anything positive in our stand-off with N. Korea. Come on guys, you can do it! Step it up a notch!


    The guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain was involved in a collision with the merchant vessel Alnic MC while underway east of Singapore and the Strait of Malacca, according to officials with U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs.

    There are ten sailors missing and five injured, officials say.

    The collision was reported at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time, while the ship was transiting to a routine port visit in Singapore.

    The ship is currently sailing under its own power and heading to port.

    Initial reports indicate John S. McCain sustained damage to her port side aft. The extent of damage and personnel injuries is being determined.

    Search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities. In addition to tug boats out of Singapore, the Republic of Singapore Navy ship RSS Gallant (97), RSN helicopters and Police Coast Guard vessel Basking Shark (55) are currently in the area to render assistance, according to the U.S. 7th Fleet Public Affairs.


    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t imagine how two ships can get close enough to collide.
    I wasn’t a pilot, but I remember the regulation in the AF.
    “All taxying accidents are pilot error”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Debra, I think you are nit-picking. Our ships may not be able to avoid cargo ships, but our military (like the rest of the US) is completely friendly to women, minorities and the LGBTQ community. How can sailors be expected to steer ships when they must spend much of their time learning not to be sexist, racist or homophobic?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. This is what my own personal former Navy Commander had to say about it. (He is the husband of L–she is the one we pray for on the Prayer Thread)

    I don’t know what caused the collision and I am not going to speculate. But I do know this: Driving a ship longer than a football field requires great skill, teamwork, and training under ordinary circumstances. The Strait of Malacca is one of the most challenging transits in the world and demands extraordinary levels of skill, teamwork, and training. Disasters at sea are rare not because seafaring is easy, but because so many civilian and Navy mariners are so good at what they do that they make it look easy. For now, I just pray that no one was hurt.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. Don’t they have sailers who watch their position in relation to others. And what of all the expensive sonar equipment. Surely there were alarms going off everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So how much does today’s solar eclipse cost?

    700 million, if you count productivity lost due to non-working gawkers. Plus the price of glasses.

    Now get back to work!


    “The total solar eclipse of 2017 could cost U.S. companies nearly $700 million in lost productivity on Monday (Aug. 21) when workers pause to watch the moon block the sun.

    Based on an analysis from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the worker outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. estimates that employers could lose as much as $694 million because of the solar eclipse, which occurs during a workday, company representatives said in a statement.

    Challenger arrived at its cost estimate by using the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2016 American Time Use Survey. The company used survey data for the country’s average hourly wage data and number of full-time employed workers age 16 and higher to calculate what the lost productivity on solar eclipse day would cost if workers took 20 minutes out of their day to observe the total solar eclipse.”


  7. Good question, and it would explain how this keeps happening aboard ships with billions in equipment that is supposed to ensure it doesn’t happen.


    “Today the USS McCain collided a merchant vessel, marking the 4th incident in the past year at the Navy. The timeline is as follows:

    8/19/2016 — USS Louisiana
    5/09/2017 — USS Lake Champlain
    6/17/2017 — USS Fitzgerald
    8/21/2017 — USS McCain

    These ships share similarities, they are all based in Yokosuka Naval Base, and the USS McCain & USS Fitzgerald are both part of Destroyer Squadron 15 and the Seventh Fleet.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Bored yes, and disgusted.


    “I took a week off from the milieu of political insanity to go out amongst the normals and chalk up another huge trial victory, and when I got back I was stunned – stunned! – to find that a consensus had formed that Nazis are bad. Beforehand, I had no idea where the establishment stood on Nazis, but now it’s crystal clear. They hate Nazis because Nazis are bad. Everyone from CNN to Mitt Romney hates Nazis. I couldn’t be prouder of an establishment that takes that kind of tough stand. They’re going to hate Nazis, and they don’t care whose jack-booted toes they step on!

    I also learned that if you hate Nazis for being bad, you’re not allowed to hate anybody else who’s also bad, because Nazis are so bad that you have to devote all your hating capacity to hating Nazis such that there’s no room left to hate anybody else. Those hammer and sickle flag-carrying Communists? Well, you must love the Nazis if you hate them, because you have got to hate the Nazis with all your mind and all your heart since, as we learned this week, Nazis are bad. I’m so glad that our moral betters have this all figured out.”

    “They are not utterly harmless; one of these cowardly morons ran over and murdered a woman, which fulfilled the media’s long-standing dream of being able to report on a terrorist who wasn’t a radical Muslim, a Black Lives Matter fan, or a Bernie bro. But the fact remains that this scraggly collection of polo-shirted dinguses numbering in the dozens is less of a threat to our society than the gleeful attempt by the establishment and its media puppets to use the looming threat of the Third Helping Reich to crush all opposition to the status quo.

    The establishment’s tactic is to paint anyone they dislike as Nazis and any ideas its members oppose as hate speech, all in support of a strategy of slamming shut the Overton Window on any kind of change. The media is running with it, and if you get on Twitter, anyone to the right of Maxine Waters is now a Nazi – especially if you dare observe that the fascist fatties are not the only scumbags out there.”

    “It’s also got the usual suspects of the wuss right activated. That’s why you see needy Fredocons like Mitt Romney being retrieved from their well-deserved obscurity and sent out to dance eagerly for the nods and nickels tossed his way by the same media that said he gave people cancer. I don’t know, but assume the guys vying to replace John McCain as the leader of the Blue Falcon wing of the GOP, Jeff Flake and Ben Sasse, competed vigorously to see who could ignore violent leftists in order to signal the most solemn rejection of Nazis in a manner that validates the lying liberals’ premise that the Republican Party harbors Nazis. Of course, we saw another pathetic grasp at relevance in the form of finger-wagging by the has-beens at that failing cruise cabin sales organization,The Weekly Standard.

    But this cheesy grab for short-term political advantage is much more dangerous than that motley collection of stormdoofuses. The Times is now running op-eds advocating the suppression of speech its coastal elite readership finds unappealing. Yeah, a newspaper advocating censorship seems like a smart long-term strategy. The ACLU has added an asterisk to its acronym that explains that the only civil liberties it’s going to be protecting from now on are the ones exercised by people approved by its rich liberal donors. Yeah, abandoning the one thing that earned the ACLU grudging respect across the board, its free-speech absolutism, seems like another smart long-term strategy. Oh, and the tech twerps of Silicon Valley decided to take it upon themselves to decide what discourse may be discoursed. Yeah, that’s a smart long-term strategy that couldn’t possibly explode in their smug, goateed faces.

    But what’s the effect on normal people? Taking a break from Twitter and the media for a week to go be with normal people gave me an interesting perspective that I don’t get when I’m surrounded by others invested in politics. None of them care. The exact number of times I heard normal people mention Nazis was zero. No one normal was talking about it, except on the occasional big screen I passed in my travels. No one normal was paying attention to the Wolf Blitzers or the Rachel Maddows. Everyone normal was living their lives, and this fake moral meltdown had no part in them. The fact that the whole thing is so ridiculous doesn’t help it gain traction. Donald Trump is a lot of things, but a Nazi is not one of them.”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. And in the “Real scandals the media is ignoring because they’re Democrats” category…….


    “Federal authorities are investigating whether sensitive data was stolen from congressional offices by several Pakistani-American tech staffers and sold to Pakistani or Russian intelligence, knowledgeable sources say.

    What started out 16 months ago as a scandal involving the alleged theft of computer equipment from Congress has turned into a national security investigation involving FBI surveillance of the suspects.

    Investigators now suspect that sensitive US government data — possibly including classified information — could have been compromised and may have been sold to hostile foreign governments that could use it to blackmail members of Congress or even put their lives at risk.

    “This is a massive, massive scandal,” a senior US official familiar with the widening probe told The Post.”

    And most of the media is ignoring it.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Whether it’s a cyber attack or not, the Navy needs to figure this out. The Navy is “pausing” for a review of the matters.

    What I don’t get is how these accidents occurred in the first place. Even if it was a failure on the Navy’s part, procedures, staffing levels and what not is only a part of this. Even if the failure is their’s, it doesn’t account for the other ships involved. Every ship plots courses and has advanced radar and tracking to avoid collisions on their own. It seems a stretch to think they would have the same exact type failures at the exact time and point on the globe. This isn’t happening with civilian vessels, so why?


    Liked by 2 people

  11. The McCain is a really, really, smart ship. My husband was overseeing work on it 20 years ago and everytime the yard deactivated the systems, it overrid their actions and turned them back on.

    My Navy guy agrees with Kim’s.

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Okay, so it was time spent watching something interesting with a lot of other folk rather than hanging out at the water cooler. Take time to smell the roses. Everybody gets a work break now and then.

    We have a son in that area, but not on that ship.


  13. AJ @12:23: The media are too busy promoting a civil war and the impeachment of our president to be bothered with minor stuff.


  14. As Kim points out, the Strait of Malacca is probably the world’s largest shipping bottleneck. And to increase the difficulty, its also notorious for pirates. Some cargo ships attempt to “ghost” through pirate waters. This may have added to difficult for the McCain to navigate through as cargo ships minimize radar and travel without lights.

    AJ — Your link fails to note that if the president had unequivocally condemn the white supremacist and Nazis, the media ruckus wouldn’t have occurred. When a Republican president fails the easiest test — condemn a domestic act of terror (without using the word “but”) the media rightfully asked other Republican politicians if they had the same difficult condemning Nazi terrorism. The writer needs to realize this could have easily been avoided if Trump had passed politics 101 — condemn Nazis.

    When the ADL points out around 75% of political acts of violence is right wing, the columnists should instead be surprised how easily the media is distracted by the antifa. The US media continues to fail to note right wing terrorism.


  15. AJ at 12:14: call me stupid, but when I click on a link labelled 15 Photos, I expect to see photos. How does one see them?!


  16. Cheryl,

    You must have your privacy settings cranked to the max if it’s not showing you the pics. I just clicked it again, and there they are. It only took a couple seconds to load. Maybe you didn’t wait long enough?


  17. hwesseli’s and the ADL’s claim:

    it appears its 85% of terror incidents are right wing

    It isn’t. When support for that assertion includes the Colorado Spring clinic shooter, the report is immediately discredited.

    Here’s another blatant misstep from the report:

    “Pullman, Washington, September 2015: An
    unknown perpetrator firebombed a Planned
    Parenthood clinic, causing extensive damage. No
    one has been arrested in the incident.”

    A Planned Parenthood clinic was bombed by nobody knows who, but the confident conclusion is it’s right wing terror. Look at the report. All kinds of that garbage data in there.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The ADL is a fairly reputable organization. They track racism and political violence on all sides. I can understand a dispute on anti-abortion violence but for thr most part its well documented right wing violence.

    The interesting part for me is the continuity of this violence from the 90s onward and the minimal amount of leftist violence. Despite this the press and politicians insist on a false eqivilancy.


  19. So if the ADL were to be correct (not saying it is) and overall 85% is right wing and 15% is left wing–should the 15% be ignored when it happens because it is a lesser percentage of the total overall? I have been accustomed to thinking that violence that is not self defense should be condemned whenever it happens. Is that wrong?


  20. ADL has about the same credibility as SPLC. If you’re ardently left, you take everything it says as gospel. If you’re simply garden variety conservative, you’re probably part of a hate group to them.

    Timothy McVeigh. Has to be “right wing,” right? By what definition? He opposed U.S. military involvement in Iraq. That’s a “left wing” thing. He didn’t believe in God. That’s “left wing.” It’s so easy–and uber lazy–to just cast these things this way. The report is garbage.


  21. Beyond that, Debra at 8:05, whatever the numbers are, what’s the point?

    hwesseli, in what way is white supremacism a “right wing” thing. Stipulating that it is, what’s your point? Conservative ideas are responsible for it? How? What moral culpability does a “right winger” bear for the existence of white supremacism? How does one’s adherence to “right wing” politics exacerbate white racism movements? Are conservative readers of this blog guilty of something? What?

    Liked by 1 person

  22. The ADL is heavily criticized by the left for their criticism of left wing groups as pro-Semitic. I thought theirs numbers would have legitimacy here as the left considers them right wing. Criticized by the left and the right — they must be doing something right.

    Conservatism does not imply white supremacy or racism, however, its on that side of the spectrum for its emphasis on culture and ethnicity as opposed to the universalism on the left.

    Numbers aren’t that important but they do indicate equivalency is the wrong approach and the US does need to confront the right wing political violence as a greater threat than left wing or religious-based violence. Dealing with the most threatening issues first. Prioritize.


  23. We love the Hallmark Channel in the State of Denial.


    The feel-good Hallmark Channel is booming in the age of Trump

    There’s a very good chance that you or someone in your close circle of friends watches the Hallmark Channel.

    Ratings are booming. Hallmark was the only non-news channel in the top 15 to see substantial viewership growth last year. In November and December, when Hallmark aired Christmas movies almost nonstop, the channel often ran neck-and-neck with Fox News and ESPN for the title of most-watched TV network on basic cable. Ratings are up another 9 percent so far this year, Nielsen says, and the Christmas movie marathon hasn’t even started yet.

    It’s feel-good TV. There’s no sex or gore. Hallmark movies and series like “When Calls the Heart” and “Chesapeake Shores” have happy endings. The main characters do the right thing. The problems get worked out. The guy and girl, whatever their age or grumpiness level at the start, always end up together.

    This kind of TV has always drawn in older women, but Hallmark’s appeal isn’t limited to them anymore. Ratings are growing fast among 18- to 49-year-old women, and a growing number of men are tuning in as well. Men account for some of the jump in the Nielsen ratings, and when the channel does focus groups, increasing numbers of men say they watch with their wives. …

    Liked by 2 people

  24. hwesseli. Nobody here, nor any non-fringe “conservative,” does the equivalency thing the way you describe it. I think your misunderstanding of that thing–or your intentional misstating of it–fuels your input here the last few days. You keep seeming to imply, “You guys believe this, or support people who do,” then we (perhaps, as I can really only speak for myself) think to ourselves, “Really? That doesn’t describe me or anyone I support.” Then you show us some study and we’re non-plussed, because a critical few of the beliefs of the violent parties in that study are shared by us or the people we support. But you throw that “right” label in there like some kind of smear. It doesn’t add up.


  25. hwesseli, I don’t get this: “Conservatism does not imply white supremacy or racism, however, its on that side of the spectrum for its emphasis on culture and ethnicity as opposed to the universalism on the left.” It’s actually the left that emphasizes “culture and ethnicity.” So something doesn’t compute here.

    Racists appear on both sides, but are certainly a tiny minority of conservatives; I can’t speak for liberals, but some of the belief systems of liberals skew toward belief in a vast difference between races (e.g., a belief that white people are all racist, or a belief that people in minority groups can’t have a chance without extra help–which is belief in minority inferiority and the need to treat adults like children) and even a willingness to kill those in unpopular minority groups: black people, girls, and handicapped all being disproprtionately represented among abortions, and handicapped and elderly among assisted suicides.


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