31 January 2006

Random Rounds

All of these deserve more than just a few lines. I will follow up if I have the time later:


A soon-to-be submariner has come out of the closet to the Sub School Chain of Command (via the New London Day – annoying registration required). He claims it was not a political stunt, despite the fact that “prior to enlistment [he] worked on Democratic political campaigns, including Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean's bid for the presidential nomination.” Nope, no politics here, he just “resent[ed] not being allowed to be honest about his sexuality, especially when honesty was a major military virtue.”
Hmmm, major military virtue, eh? How about your enlistment contract:

9. FOR ALL ENLISTEES OR REENLISTEES: Many laws, regulations, and military
customs will govern my conduct and require me to do things a civilian does not
have to do. The following statements are not promises or guarantees of any kind.
They explain some of the present laws affecting the Armed Forces which I cannot
change but which Congress can change at any time.

a. My enlistment is more than an employment agreement. As a member of the Armed Forces of the United States, I will be:
(1) Required to obey all lawful orders and perform all assigned duties.
(2) Subject to separation during or at the end of my enlistment. If my behavior fails to meet acceptable military standards, I may be discharged and given a certificate for less than honorable service, which may hurt my future job opportunities and my claim for veteran's benefits.
(3) Subject to the military justice system, which means, among other things, that I may be tried by military courts-martial.


Or his enlistment oath:

I, <state your name>, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.


Emphasis on both mine. Guess what, buddy? DADT is a terrible rule, but disobeying orders will get you tossed. Every time. Plenty of others have tried it this way. Don’t get me wrong here – I have no problem with gays in the military, I have served with my share. And yeah, some shot the breeze about it (midwatch, man, conversations range all over), and some kept it quiet. As long as they did their job, though, no one really cared. So yeah, I call BS. Please make you point in a more effective and less grandstanding manner, if you truly want to affect change.



The explosion at Unison in Florida – I have very little to add except to ask, “When will the media learn the difference between radiation and contamination?” *Sigh* Sadly, I know the answer, “But ‘radiation’ just sounds scarier.”



Indonesia is looking to buy 12 more subs. That will certainly shoot them towards the top of the list I put together here. If twelve sounds like a lot, it is – especially considering where they are located – the straits of Malacca are a key navigational chokepoint. One or two conventional subs could shut it down. Twelve makes them a big player in the Pacific, at least in their theater. Now we’ll just have to see if the sale actually goes through, and what type of boats they buy if it does happen. I’ll speculate on what they might buy in a later post.



Buy Danish. Like from here, for example. Why? Because we should be able to joke about what we want without threats of economic embargoes. Especially when the so-called offended parties can tolerate jokes from people who share their faith.



Another $1.1B for the VA-class might sound like spiraling costs, but not if it is the planned increment for the next bit of sub building. Electric boat gets a big chunk of it for their portion of the new construction (0.5 subs a year - *sigh*), but they are took such a hard hit from other losses that they are still moving forward with their plan to lay off 2,400 workers, or over 20% of their workforce (NL Day registration again, H/T The Sub Report).



As we all already know, Exxon had a record profit. But have you heard their explanation? Really, it isn’t do to arbitrary price jacking, but because they “identify world-class projects” and have a “disciplined approach – riiiight. It has nothing at all to do with this:

Oh, and the comparison that they only have half the profit margin that pharmaceuticals do is bogus. When was the last time an oil company had to sink most of their profits into R&D to develop the next big thing?



UPDATE:
Yes! The guys at Silent Running rule! Buy Danish indeed.


Thanks for pointing it out, CDR Salamander.

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