Friday, January 27, 2006
*** I liked standing on the bridge wing at sunrise with salt spray in my face and clean ocean winds whipping in from the four quarters of the globe - - the cutter beneath me feeling like a living thing as her engines drove her swiftly through the sea.
*** I liked the sounds of the Coast Guard - the piercing trill of the Boatswains pipe, the syncopated clangor of the ship's bell on the quarterdeck, the harsh squawk of the PA system, and the strong language and laughter of sailors at work.
*** I liked CG vessels -- nervous darting 255s, plodding buoy tenders and light ships, sleek 327s and the steady solid hum of the twin engines on the HH16E
*** I liked the proud names of Coast Guard ships: USS Bayfield, USS Cavalier, USCGC Taney, USCGC Absecon, the Wind class Icebreakers and the USCGC Bibb just to name a few.
*** I liked the lean angular names of CG "shallow water cutters" the 83 footers, Pt Divide, Pt lookout, Cape Trinity and the Cape Higgon. Named for Locations around the states.
*** I liked liberty call and the spicy scent of a foreign port.
*** I even liked the never ending paperwork and all hands working Parties as my ship filled herself with the multitude of supplies, both mundane and to cut ties to the land and carry out her mission anywhere on the globe where there was water to float her.
*** I liked sailors, officers and enlisted men from all parts of the land, farms of the Midwest, small towns of New England, from the cities, the mountains and the prairies, from all walks of life. I trusted and depended on them as they trusted and depended on me - for professional competence, for comradeship, for strength and courage. In a word, they were "shipmates"; then and forever.
*** I liked the surge of adventure in my heart, when the word was passed: "Now set the special sea and anchor detail - all hands to mooring stations for leaving port," and I liked the infectious thrill of sighting home again, with the waving hands of welcome from family and friends waiting pier side.
*** The work was hard and dangerous; the going rough at times; the Parting from loved ones painful, but the companionship of robust CG laughter, the "all for one and one for all" philosophy of the sea was ever present.
*** I liked the serenity of the sea after a day of hard ship's work, as flying fish flitted across the wave tops and sunset gave way to night.
*** I liked the feel of the CG Cutter in darkness - the masthead and Range lights, the red and green navigation lights and stern light, the pulsating phosphorescence of radar repeaters - they cut through the dusk and joined with the mirror of stars overhead. And I liked drifting off to sleep lulled by the myriad noises large and small that told me that my ship was alive and well, and that my shipmates on watch would keep me safe.
*** I liked quiet mid-watches with the aroma of strong coffee and horse Cock sandwiches-- the lifeblood of the CG permeating everywhere.
*** And I liked hectic watches when the exacting minuet of haze-gray shapes
racing at flank speed kept all hands on a razor edge of alertness.
*** I liked the sudden electricity of "General quarters, general quarters, all hands man your battle stations," followed by the hurried clamor of running feet on ladders and the resounding thump of watertight doors as the ship transformed herself in a few brief seconds from a peaceful workplace to a weapon of war -- ready for anything.
*** And I liked the sight of space-age equipment manned by youngsters Clad in dungarees and sound-powered phones that their grandfathers would still recognize.
*** I liked the traditions of the CG and the men and women who served so valiantly. This few gave so much in service to their country. A sailor could find much in the CG: comrades-in-arms, pride in self and country, mastery of the seaman's trade. An adolescent could find adulthood.
*** In years to come, when sailors are home from the sea, they will Still remember with fondness and respect the ocean in all its moods - the impossible shimmering mirror calm and the storm-tossed green water surging over the bow. And then there will come again a faint whiff of stack gas, a faint echo of engine and rudder orders, a vision of the bright bunting of signal flags snapping at the yardarm, a refrain of hearty laughter inthe wardroom and chief's quarters and mess decks.
*** Gone ashore for good they will grow wistful about their CG days,when the seas belonged to them and a new port of call was ever over the horizon.
*** Remembering this, they will stand taller and say, "I WAS A SAILOR ONCE."
Thursday, January 26, 2006
The second is Fire and Ice. It is the blog of Marine Michael Fay. He describes himself as;
I am the artist in residence for the United States Marine Corps. I'm currently deployed in Iraq creating a body of artwork reflecting the experience of fellow Marines engaged in the War on Terrorism.He has put a lot of his artwork on his blog. (Hat Tip to Michelle Malkin.)
Be sure to check them out.
Monday, January 23, 2006
January 23, 2006
Dear Mr. _____:
Thank you for contacting me to express your support for Congressman John Shadegg in the race for House Majority Leader. I appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts on this matter with me.
Rep. Shadegg has been a member of Congress since 1994 and represents the3rd Congressional District of Arizona. He previously served as Chairmanof the House Republican Study Committee and is now the Chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee. It is important that we have strong leadership in the House that supports limited government and traditional values. Please be assured that I will certainly review Rep. Shadegg's platform and maintain an open mind towards his candidacy.
Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. As your Representative in Congress, I appreciate your input on this matter. If I can be of any assistance on this or any other issue, please feel free to contact me in my Washington DC office at (202) 225-6365 or online at www.house.gov/forbes.
With kind personal regards, I am
J. RANDY FORBES
Member of Congress
I guess this puts him as a definate maybe.
Thursday, January 19, 2006
FM COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//G-C//
INFO SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHINGTON DC
DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
DEPT OF STATE WASHINGTON DC
WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
WHITE HOUSE HOMELAND SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
SECNAV WASHINGTON DC
CJCS WASHINGTON DC
JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
CNO WASHINGTON DC
CMC WASHINGTON DC
CSA-W WASHINGTON DC//DACS/ZA//
CSAF WASHINGTON DC
CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
CDR USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL
CDR USSOUTHCOM MIAMI FL
CDR USJFCOM NORFOLK VA
CDR USSTRATCOM OFFUTT AFB NE
CDR USTRANSCOM SCOTT AFB IL
DNI WASHINGTON DC
DIA WASHINGTON DC
CIA WASHINGTON DC
DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC
DIR ONDCP WASHINGTON DC
SUBJ: PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION OF COMMANDANT
1. PRESIDENT BUSH HAS APPROVED AND WILL FORWARD TO THE SENATE THE
NOMINATION OF VADM THAD W. ALLEN AS COMMANDANT OF THE UNITED STATES
COAST GUARD TO RELIEVE ADMIRAL THOMAS H. COLLINS EFFECTIVE 25 MAY
STATEMENT BY HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY MICHAEL CHERTOFF ON THE NOMINATION OF VICE ADMIRAL THAD W. ALLEN AS COMMANDANT OF THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD
President Bush has announced his intention to nominate an exceptional leader and public servant as Commandant of the Coast Guard in Thad Allen. Thad has my complete confidence and full support, and if confirmed, he will play a major role in shaping the future of this department.
Most Americans came to know and respect Thad for his work overseeing the federal government’s recovery efforts following the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. Thad is a highly-accomplished Coast Guard veteran who has served our nation in several key positions since his graduation from the Coast Guard Academy in 1971. His service includes Chief of Staff and Commanding Officer at headquarters; Commander of the Atlantic Area, Fifth Coast Guard District; Commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District; Director of Resources; and Commander of the cutter Citrus. In response to 9/11, Thad led Coast Guard operations to re-position the Atlantic fleet in support of local port commanders and to establish critical command and control capability.
If confirmed, Vice Admiral Allen will follow a distinguished Commandant in Admiral Thomas H. Collins, at a scheduled change of command in May. Admiral Collins has led the Coast Guard during one of the more challenging periods in its history. He helped to ensure a seamless transition into the department and introduced emerging technologies and innovative programs that have enhanced overall mission performance. I thank Admiral Collins for his continued service and commend his dedication to country.
Saturday, January 14, 2006
I've signed my name to this statement from many center-right bloggers about the House Republican leadership race:
We are bloggers with boatloads of opinions, and none of us come close to agreeing with any other one of us all of the time. But we do agree on this: The new leadership in the House of Representatives needs to be thoroughly and transparently free of the taint of the Jack Abramoff scandals, and beyond that, of undue influence of K Street.
We are not naive about lobbying, and we know it can and has in fact advanced crucial issues and has often served to inform rather than simply influence Members.
But we are certain that the public is disgusted with excess and with privilege. We hope the Hastert-Dreier effort leads to sweeping reforms including the end of subsidized travel and other obvious influence operations. Just as importantly, we call for major changes to increase openness, transparency and accountability in Congressional operations and in the appropriations process.
As for the Republican leadership elections, we hope to see more candidates who will support these goals, and we therefore welcome the entry of Congressman John Shadegg to the race for Majority Leader. We hope every Congressman who is committed to ethical and transparent conduct supports a reform agenda and a reform candidate. And we hope all would-be members of the leadership make themselves available to new media to answer questions now and on a regular basis in the future.
N.Z. Bear, The Truth Laid Bear
Hugh Hewitt, HughHewitt.com
Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit.com
Kevin Aylward, Wizbang!
La Shawn Barber, La Shawn Barber’s Corner
Beth, MY Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
Lorie Byrd, Polipundit
Jeff Goldstein, Protein Wisdom
Stephen Green, Vodkapundit
John Hawkins, Right Wing News
John Hinderaker, Power Line
Jon Henke / McQ / Dale Franks, QandO
James Joyner, Outside The Beltway
Mike Krempasky, Redstate.org
Michelle Malkin, MichelleMalkin.com
Ed Morrissey, Captain’s Quarters
Scott Ott, Scrappleface
John Donovan / Bill Tuttle, Castle Argghhh!!!
Check it out and sign on if you agree at N.Z. Bear's.
I have been using the Legislation Information System to see what bills the GA will be working on this year. I came across HB 187. The short title of the bill is; Prohibition on the provision of certain intervening medical technology to unmarried women. The gist of the bill is;
No individual licensed by a health regulatory board shall assist with or perform any intervening medical technology, whether in vivo or in vitro, for or on an unmarried woman that completely or partially replaces sexual intercourse as the means of conception, including, but not limited to, artificial insemination by donor, cryopreservation of gametes and embryos, invitro fertilization, embryo transfer, gamete intrafallopian tube transfer, and low tubal ovum transfer.
In other words, if this becomes law, unmarried women couldn't be artificially inseminated. It seems that this would prohibit surrogate mothers. Now I too am distressed by the unimportance placed on fathers by the left and decline in the strength of the traditional family. This is none of the government's business.
The bill's patron is Robert G. Marshall (R-Manassas). Tellingly, there are no co-patrons. I see this bill dying a quick death in committee. It won't be a quiet death if the Dems can help it. They will use this bill as a bully pulpit for them to say how mean Republicans are. Just what we need.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
Chicken Cobbler Casserole
Prep: 10 min., Cook: 25 min., Bake: 15 min.
6 tablespoons melted butter, divided
4 cups cubed sourdough rolls
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 medium-size sweet onions, sliced
1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup white wine
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup drained and chopped jarred roasted red bell peppers
2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Toss 4 tablespoons melted butter with next 3 ingredients; set aside.
Sauté onions in remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat 15 minutes or until golden brown. Add mushrooms, and sauté 5 minutes.
Stir in wine and next 3 ingredients; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until bubbly. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 9-inch square baking dish; top evenly with bread mixture.
Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Southern Living, JANUARY 2006
Sunday, January 08, 2006
You can read about the case
here, here, here, and here.
I'll post more about it later. Before I go to bed though, I have to ask, why would you row across the Atlantic?
UPDATE: The last article by the Irish Times is here..
There is one error in the story, we didn't have a boat on standby in Clearwater. We launched a second C-130 from there to assist.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
Dec. 28, 2005 — Many Americans were unaware of who they were or what they did until this year. But when Hurricane Katrina hit and the waters began to rise, U.S. Coast Guard members moved in by air and by sea, risking their lives to save thousands of others.
It was a mission for which they had never trained. Normally, the Coast Guard saves an average of 5,500 people a year. Within two weeks of Katrina, it had rescued or evacuated more than 33,000 people under the most difficult circumstances imaginable.
I've been in the Coast Guard for 14 years. The past few years (since 9/11) the public's awareness of what we do has grown expotentially. I have always been proud to be a part of this organization.
Hat tip to Tidewater Musings
I immediately launched the closest station and got a helicopter from Elizabeth City, NC. Virginia Beach Fire, Portsmouth Fire, Virginia Marine Police all responded. The VA Beach boat located the vehicle and the dive team went down to investigate. They found what we feared, the driver never made it out of the vehicle.
WAVY-TV 10 has this story.
Daily Press too.