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October 10, 2009 - October 3, 2009

Friday, October 09, 2009


Our Nobel Crackerjack


BELIEVE IT OR NOT. As I understand it, the nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize were closed early in February of this year, a couple weeks after Obama's inauguration. That's quick work, maybe even a Guinness World Record on par with most consecutive hours of playing with a yo-yo. All we can do here at InstaPunk is extend our congratulations to the Obamessiah and, courtesy of Wikipedia, offer our readers a brief overview of the glorious tradition behind the prize our president has won:

Cracker Jack is a brand of snack consisting of caramel-coated popcorn (caramel corn) and peanuts. It is also well known for being packaged with a "Toy Surprise Inside" of nominal value.

History

1893: Frederick William Rueckheim (known to friends and family as "Fritzl") and his brother Louis mass produce Cracker Jack and sell it at the first Chicago World's Fair in 1893. At the time, it was a mixture of popcorn, molasses, and peanuts and was called "Candied Popcorn and Peanuts".

1896: Rueckheim devises a way to keep the popcorn kernels separate. As each batch was mixed in a cement-mixer-like drum, a small quantity of oil was added — a closely-guarded trade secret. Before this change, the mixture had been difficult to handle as it stuck together in chunks. In 1896, the first lot of Cracker Jack was produced. It was named by an enthusiastic sampler who remarked, "That's a Cracker Jack!"

1899: Henry Gottlieb Eckstein developed the "waxed sealed package" for freshness, known then as the "Eckstein Triple Proof Package," a dust, germ and moisture-proof paper package. In 1902, the company was re-organized; Rueckheim Bros. & Eckstein.

1912: Prizes included in Cracker Jack boxes for the first time. These attained pop-culture status with the term "came in a Cracker Jack box" referring to an object of limited value. In recent years, the toy and trinket prizes have been replaced with paper prizes displaying riddles and jokes.

1918: Mascots Sailor Jack and his dog, Bingo, are introduced (though they were not registered as trademark logos until 1919[1].

1964: The Cracker Jack Company is purchased by Borden after a bidding war between Borden and Frito-Lay.

1997: Borden sells the brand to Frito-Lay[2].

2002: Frito-Lay acquires the bankrupt Nobel Prize Corporation of Dumfukk, Norway, and adds a new line of cheap prizes to the Cracker Jack product, the first one awarded to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter for being the Number One Cracker Peanut Farmer on the planet. Another recent U.S. recipient was former Vice President Albert Gore, Jr., awarded a toy medallion in 2007 for gobbling down 68 boxes of Cracker Jack in one hour, narrowly defeating champion competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi of Japan



What a world we're living in.

UPDATE 10:15 AM. Looks like this is a story that's going to keep on giving for a while. On Glenn Beck's radio show, the host received a call informing him that he'd been elected to the Astronaut Hall of Fame for his intention to go to to the moon someday. The National Review's Corner blog is close to 100 percent dedicated (much of it comically) to the Nobel fiasco so far this morning, and ironically or not, Jonah Goldberg's newest column, written before the Nobel announcement, seems hilariously pertinent.

So stay tuned. If further comedy ensues today, there will be more updates.

UPDATE 10:40 AM. Finally. An explanation that makes sense. Once again it's a before-the-fact commentary, but that's what makes it so convincing. If Obama is Jesus, why shouldn't he get the Nobel Peace Prize pronto, ASAP, and PDQ? Right?



Right.





The Obama Burkha

Is that you in there, Mr. President? Very pretty, if I may say so.

SYMBOLS (NSFW). Just playing devil's advocate here, but I was intrigued by a post from the Green Room Ghetto a while back, which seemed to make sense at the time. Since my first reading, though, I've been tempted by recent events to go back and give it a second look because what appears to be antiseptic logic doesn't quite add up. The initial premise was -- and remains -- persuasive:

In the absence of a discernable [sic] trajectory of purpose, a person’s actions may seem random, unpredictable, and inexplicable. Why did he do that? Why not this? What’s he going to do next? We haven’t a clue.

But sometimes, in a great flash, you finally see the pattern; and all previous actions make sense. You can not only explain what he’s done in the past, you can predict what he’ll do in the future. This is, of course, why finding the appropriate pattern is so important: knowing what’s to come.

Of course, more than one pattern can be constructed to “explain” a person’s actions; it’s tempting just to grab at the first pattern you invent… then start shoehorning every previous action into the pattern you’ve picked, willy nilly, no matter how badly it fits. After a while, the pattern begins to determine which facts you can see — and which become invisible to you. We see this pattern of “pattern-worship” among true believers in any ideology.

So to avoid that trap, it’s best to make numerous specific predictions and use them to test, and when necessary, correct our pattern-hypothesis. The predictions must be:

    * Specific: This rather than that.
    * Testable: This and that lie within our power to check, both in theory and in practice.
    * Dispositive: If that happens instead of this, then our pattern-hypothesis is wrong.

So let’s test our newfound prediction regimen by observing our president, Barack H. Obama, at work — and trying to find a pattern-hypothesis that explains his actions to date and predicts what he’ll do next.

Fine. I'm game. The writer, Dafydd AB Hugh, proposes theories to explain what we've seen Obama do thus far. After listing a number of perplexing Obama policies and actions, he starts setting out his hypotheses. His first, an apparent straw man, is that:

Hypothetical Pattern 1 — Obama is secretly a radical Moslem, and he wants to destroy America from within to pave the way for a sharia-state.

Now it’s true that this pattern-hypothesis could explain some of the facts:

    * His actions on the economy are designed to destroy it, so an Islamic revolution can arise from the ashes.
    * He kow-tows to Iran because he’s secretly working for them. Same with al-Qaeda and the other Sunni terrorist groups.
    * He sabotages the Afghanistan war because he’s on the Taliban’s side.
    * He hates Israel because Islam considers Jews the original heretics.

But for the other facts, we discover ourselves banging square pegs into round holes:

    * He pushes ObamaCare because he wants lots of Christians to die, so that the 1% of the country that are Moslem will eventually outnumber them… in about three hundred years.
    * He doesn’t want to drill for oil in the United States because he wants to send more money to support Moslem countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, and Iran… all but the last of which oppose and fight against jihadism.
    * He opposes missile defense against possible Russian missiles because if we have it, we might sell it to Israel, and then they can defend against a Iranian attack. Oh, please.

Well, when you put it like that, maybe this premise is less likely than sheer intuition might suggest. What's next?

Hypothetical Pattern 2 — Obama has always hated individualism, believing in the greatest good for the greatest number; he has always hated federalism, because states used that to justify segregation; he wants all power vested in the highest level of national government and all governance from the top down (with him at the top).

Well, this pattern might explain the economic and health-care policies, but how does it explain diminishing American power vis-a-vis the international political and military environment?

Another failed hypothesis-pattern...

With a second straw man out of the way, he gets down to brass tacks:

Hypothetical Pattern 2.5 — Obama has always hated individualism, believing in the greatest good for the greatest number; he has always hated federalism, because states used that to justify segregation; and he has always hated nationalism, because he believes that’s what causes all the wars in the world. He wants all power vested in the highest level of international government and all governance from the top down (with him at the top).

This pattern-hypothesis seems to fit all the facts pretty well:

    * Obama’s stimulus backloads spending because he’s using the money as both carrot and stick to control state and local governments and private companies and individuals.
    * He’s raising taxes because he wants to wrench the United States onto the EurAsian economic model, thus to diminish the control individuals and private corporations have over the fruits of their own labor (they might spend it selfishly, while the national government and international law will take from those who have too much and spread it around to those who need it.
    * He wants banks and other corporations to remain in debt to the government because that gives him an additional lever of control over them.
    * He’s trying to bring American health care “up to” the standard of the rest of the world (centralization, nationalization, single-payer). And he’s staying “hands off” at the moment not because he doesn’t care what’s in the bill, but because he expects to be the final arbiter of the final version of the bill, the last link in the great chain of power.
    * He sabotages Afghanistan, kills missile defense, and favors diplomacy over defense at every turn because he wants to handcuff America’s “unilateral” military power. That way, all use of force could instead be approved and directed by an international agency — either the United Nations or an actual world government that succeeds it.
    * He appeases our enemies because that’s how you bring them into the International Coalition of Everyone; he’s dismissive of our allies because they have rejected Obamunism and won’t support him as the natural leader of the entire Earth.
    * And of course he opposes any policy leading to energy independence for the United States because his radical internationalism demands that we become even more energy dependent on foreign nations...

He goes on to make some specific predictions that meet his testability criteria, and I urge you to read them on your own. Because, while I think he may be onto something with his third hypothesis, I'm having second thoughts about his quick dismissal of Hypothesis 1.

A couple of current posts from the HotAir penthouse are somewhat alarming in this context There's the sudden change of mind about the Taliban:

They’re looking for any way they can to avoid giving McChrystal the troops he says he needs to secure the country, so they’ve come up with a way out. If the people we’ve been fighting for eight years aren’t the enemy, then the country no longer needs to be secured from them, does it?...

[R]ather than eat crap by forthrightly admitting he’s prepared to abandon huge swaths of the country to Islamist fascists rather than invest another 40,000 troops, [Obama's] going to create an artificial distinction between the Taliban and Al Qaeda to let him save face by claiming he’s focused on “the real enemy.” Much like how he was focused during the campaign on “the good war” in Afghanistan rather than “the bad war” in Iraq. I wonder how long it’ll be before he decides that not everyone who’s in Al Qaeda is an enemy either — or, better yet, that AQ’s been “substantially defeated” or something, which has been the unstated thrust of all those WH-leaked pieces in the press lately about how weak Bin Laden’s gang has become. Why, I’ll bet in a year or so we’ll be told that they’re so weak that we can start pulling out of Afghanistan altogether. Things sure have improved over there since Bush was president, huh?

Trust the Taliban? Okay. How do you feel about that in light of this?

Barack Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize on a nomination submitted ten whole days into his term of office in part due to his effort in “easing American conflicts with Muslim nations.”  Helming that effort is Dalia Mogahed, Obama’s advisor on Muslim affairs, who gave British television viewers a taste of how Obama won the Nobel.  She explained that the oppressive shari’a law that results in stonings, mainly for women, is actually “gender justice”, which might be news to women’s-rights groups around the world...

Gender justice?  Under shari’a, a woman’s testimony in court only counts for half of that of a man.  If a woman is raped, she needs four male witnesses to prove her case.  If she makes the accusation and doesn’t find four witnesses, the victim gets charged with fornication or adultery and faces death...

Instead of defending the rights of women and secular application of law, which is the basis of our law, the advisor of the President of the United States fails to answer a demand for the imposition of an extreme religious code on free people. Mogahed also never rebutted the notion that women should not hold public office...

Or this?

Necessary Gesture Or Bad Decision? U.S. Cuts Funds To Iran Rights Group

by Andrew F. Tully

WASHINGTON -- The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center specializes in collecting data on human rights abuses that it says the government of Iran has been perpetrating against its own people, ranging from unlawful detentions to torture to assassinations.

In the past five years, the group has received about $3 million from the State Department's U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID.

Rene Redman, the group's executive director, reportedly was ready to ask for $2 million more for the next two years, to be used to investigate Tehran's harsh response to protests against the June 12 election, which many say was rigged in favor of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.

But this week the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center learned it will get no money for the foreseeable future.

The funding cutoff comes as the United States is negotiating directly with Iran about its nuclear program, which many Western governments believe is aimed at developing nuclear weapons. It's the first such contact between the two countries in three decades.

Do these developments entirely explain Hypothesis 2.5, which postulates an antiseptic if dim-witted allegiance to statist internationalism? Or do they seem rather to hearken back to Hypothesis 1, an irrational fealty to muslim sharia law?

That's when I revisited the objections to Hypothesis 1. Do they really seem so inexplicable as to deserve the "oh please" they were dismissed with?

   * He pushes ObamaCare because he wants lots of Christians to die, so that the 1% of the country that are Moslem will eventually outnumber them… in about three hundred years. OR: He pushes ObamaCare because he knows it will bankrupt the linchpin economy of the Christian west. Long life is hardly a primary value in a culture that celebrates suicide bombers and other martyrs to the prophet. Moreover, Europe is already demographically doomed, with an average birth rate of 1.4 children per couple. In the imperial west, only the U.S. still has a birth rate above 2.1; government control of health care, including federal funding of abortions, can only serve to drive this last outpost of christianity closer to the European example. (And since when is 300 years a ridiculous timespan in muslim ambitions?)
    * He doesn’t want to drill for oil in the United States because he wants to send more money to support Moslem countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, and Iran… all but the last of which oppose and fight against jihadism. But what if the motivation isn't expressly political or short term? Again, crushing the prosperity and independence of the western industrial economies is hardly inconsistent with  the ambition to weaken their long-term capacity for military, economic, and cultural opposition to the rising tide of muslim hegemony around the globe.
    * He opposes missile defense against possible Russian missiles because if we have it, we might sell it to Israel, and then they can defend against a [sic] Iranian attack. Oh, please. 'O please' is is right. He's neatly misdirecting our attention  to a short-term tactical argument, away from a much more sinister potential long-term strategic objective. If the United States is withdrawing its umbrella of protection from eastern Europe, it's also signalling an unwillingness to protect other vulenrable allies like Taiwan, South Korea, and, uh, Israel. Obama's giving free rein to the barbarians to do what they will, including -- and probably hopefully -- Russian collusion with Iran in the annihilation of the Jews.

Remember, I'm only playing devil's advocate here. But while I'm at it, I have four more points that argue more strongly for Hypothesis 1 than Hypothesis 2.5.

First, Obama is not behaving as if he really cares whether the American people approve his policies or not. His conduct as president thus far fits the template of vandal better than despot. He's delegated his supposedly transformational, reform minded agenda to two of the most inept politicians in American history, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. He's let them write the legislation in all their reckless vengeful abandon, pursue every wild liberal idiocy the Democrat Party ever conceived, sell out to every well-paying campaign-contributing special interest, and defy a host of polls showing that Americans in general don't approve of the contemplated massive increase in the size and power of an obviously arrogant, out-of-touch, and runaway federal government.

If Obama were merely a canny leftist politician, he would be handing down marching orders to Pelosi and Reid. Instead, he is fey, vague, and detached. He doesn't actually care what the legislative outcome is. His purpose seems to be chaos, crippling levels of spending (however achieved), and the same kind of consequent deterioration in the American economy he has already catalyzed in foreign affairs with his Apology Tour. To date, his experience with health care is close enough to Clinton's that he should be, if he really cared about reelection, moving toward the center. Word is, he's not. Behind closed doors he's still pushing for the "public option," hyping the insane ambitions of morons like Pelosi. But he doesn't do it in public. Why? Because his intention is chaos, a state near civil war within the United States. He knows Pelosi and Reid are imbeciles, and he's happy about it.

Second, the controversies surrounding his appointed advisers and "czars" do not betray any consistent cultural bias except chaos. Van Jones was an avowed Marxist. Kevin Jennings, the "safe schools czar," is an avowed homosexual with creepy ties to NAMBLA. And Dalia Mogahed is an outrageous proponent of Sharia, which would see to it that homosexuality is a death penalty offense and feminsim as the Democratic Party knows it would die a violent "honor"able death (or epidemic of honor killings). What's the purpose here? The purpose of staffing the White House with polar opposites whose only point of commonality is that Democrats will defend them all to the last gasp and ordinary Americans will find them all equally offensive? The answer is simple. Destruction of the common belief in the virtue of American institutions that claim to care about "the people." If we can be made to doubt that, we can be destroyed entirely.

Third. Who are Barack and Michelle Obama? She's not that much of a mystery. She clearly hates her country of birth, except insofar as it celebrates and kowtows to her. She's not proud of the U.S., not grateful for her taxpayer-funded power elite education at Princeton and Harvard, not even cognizant of the need for (at least a show of) modesty in her current lifestyle given the privations of a deep recession in the country as a whole. She parades her sudden celebrity and affluence like a braindead sitcom star.

But Barack Obama is a mystery. We elected him president without knowing much of anything about him. We'd know more about a junior-grade marketing manager hired at the firm we work for. We'd know his SATs and GPA. We'd know his college major and courses. We'd be able to make calls to confirm or refute the truth of his claimed work history. We could have long talks with his references. Except that in Barack Obama's case, we can't do or know any of these things. He won't allow it. Raw data aside, every intimate of Barack Obama is ultimately dismissed as a mere acquaintance, a chance meeting, a cordial misfire that has no real meaning in the arc of his life. Right. In the course of becoming the most famous man on earth, he's been transformed into a fucking phantom without mentors, friends, or confidants. He's either a god beyond the need for human contact or a cipher who uses and ultimately dispenses with everyone who helps him along the way.

What do we know about the president of the United States? Not enough to dismiss the wildest implications and possibilities of this post. And that's a fact. It's impossible to disprove the possibility that he's a muslim Manchurian candidate. That's the biggest scandal of all. Nobody can tell me definitively that this scary devil's advocacy position is absolutely wrong. Which leads me to...

Fourth. The radical muslim interpretation is not one wild hare. It's two. Which should give everyone pause. There's a circling back that should make people queasy. He migrated to Indonesia as a child, where the evidence suggests he attended a muslim school as a muslim. That's not hard to understand by itself. One can outgrow early influences. But what if one doesn't outgrow early influences? He returned to the United States, clambered onto the most positive track anyone could hope to follow, and then found his way back to not just anti-American influences like Bill Ayers but much more problematic leading lights like Reverend Wright, who preached a perverse version of Christianity that found common cause with frankly religio-racial organizations like the Nation of Islam. The Reverend Wright was(is) an admitted admirer of Louis Ferrakhan. What was Obama doing in Wright's church? Is he really a Christian? Or is he a little known species of revolutionary we might term an "African Black Muslim"? Think about it.

I'll close with two equivocal pieces of evidence. Michelle Malkin is all upset about White House art acquisitions which suggest that the Obamas admire plagiarist African-American artists. I don't care about that. Plagiarism is a way of life for female artists. What I do care about is the art they've imported to the White House that shows their real disposition with regard to promulgating trans-racialism. There's an artist named Glenn Ligon, four of whose works they've chosen as emblematic of African-American contributions to the American canon that belong in the White House. Do they seem trans-racial to you?



Maybe you didn't get the drift. Here are more of Glenn Ligon's works:






Is this what you think art is? I don't. I think art is something (to be crudely right about art for once) you could put on your living room wall and look at with love, admiration, curiosity, sensuality, and inspiration for years...) I'm sorry. I don't think the Obamas love art. I think they hate us. For being white. I think this one existential fact distorts their entire esthetic and emotional experience of life. Is that a racist thing for me to say? No more racist than their choice of these paintings to stare at. I suspect that Barack and Michelle are Black Muslims. Their preference for art that contains no love or passion or affectionate representationalism contributes to my suspicion. They don't love life. They resent their lot in life. Which will never ever change. What greater definition of despair could you imagine than an Affirmative Action Nobel Peace Prize? The ultimate proof that history will never treat you as anything greater than a second-rater thrust into celebrity and praised unto death by eternally patronizing superiors.

Some other black president could have survived this. Obama won't. The one pitiful constant about him is his desperate desire to fit in, to be approved. Everyone should read this psychological profile of Barack Obama. It makes sense for a Manchurian candidate but not for a rising despot:

Did We Elect a Beta Male As President?

By Greg Lewis

We're all somewhat familiar with the body language dogs display when they greet each other. The dominant alpha male approaches directly, asserting his authority, while the beta male genuflects, crouches, tucks his tail, and may even end up on his back, exposing his neck in acquiescence, making sure the alpha male knows he has no intention of challenging him. With his "we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist" opening to the world's dictators, the President is exhibiting classic beta male behavior, in essence rolling over on his back and exposing his throat to them to make sure they know he has no intention of challenging their authority.

Of course, the problem is that he's not simply exposing his throat, he's exposing America's collective throat, sending the message that he's a typical beta male intent on submitting to all the alpha male leaders around the world, and damn the consequences. His response to the discovery of Iran's newest, and heretofore "secret," nuclear facility was, as Daniel Henninger (Wall Street Journal, October 1, 2009) points out, to have our State Department offer to start a direct dialogue with the tyrannical Burmese regime.

The Obama administration has also offered conciliatory gestures to the genocidal Sudanese leader Omar Hassan al-Bashir, and it has dispatched none other than John Kerry to meet with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. This, of course, is not to mention his somewhat more visible overtures to the world's alpha male thugs: Obama has consorted jovially with Hugo Chavez and his counterpart Daniel Ortega, he's bowed down to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, he's agreed to halt plans to install a missile defense system in eastern Europe to placate Vladimir Putin, and he's offered the aforementioned hand to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, despite the latter's expressed unwillingness to even agree to acknowledge the truly important issue of Iran's nuclear weapons in our talks, all quintessential beta male behaviors.

While we've all been seeking a political rationale for the president's actions, his behavior goes beyond the political to something deeper and more personal: like all beta males, Barack Obama simply does not have the temperament to confront tyrannical alpha males around the globe. In this light, even his inability to work with American allies Gordon Brown and Nikolas Sarkozy is a function of his being incapable of facing down the world's tyrants: to cooperate with our allies would require Obama to display alpha male behaviors, including demonstrating courage, something he's simply not capable of doing. The president's beta-male proclivities are arguably putting the safety of his constituents, the citizens of our country, in serious jeopardy.

Another cue to this unfortunate character trait of the president's can be found in the lack of assertiveness of his oratorical style. While many people insist that Barack Obama is a wonderful speaker, in fact, he exhibits less emotional range when he addresses a crowd than his predecessor, George W. Bush, did. He may have better speechwriters than W, but his delivery is monotonic and his cadences clipped, both signs of a beta male, unsure of himself, putting his words out there more for the purpose of seeking approval than of providing leadership.

The president's characteristic head tilt when he's speaking to an audience or having to deal with a tough question when he's being interviewed (although there are certainly very few instances of his having to do this) is another sign of submissive behavior. It crops up less than a minute in during an interview with Fox News's Bill O'Reilly (YouTube - Barack Obama Interview With Bill O'Reilly Sept 4, 2008 - FNC ) in answer to O'Reilly's question, "Do you believe we're in a war on terror?" After an initial "Absolutely," the Candidate begins to hedge, his head tilts as he explains the difficulty in sorting out the good guys from the bad guys in the Middle East. Like beta males everywhere, Obama is not about to commit to words that he might have to back up with assertive action.

Being a beta male is all about developing strategies for deflecting aggression, and for this reason, beta males do have an important place in society. Within the confines of a social unit, beta-male behavior can help to defuse aggression and maintain domestic peace. But in a world where other nations' alpha-male leaders are constantly probing for even the smallest signs of weakness, having a beta male president has thrown into stark relief the dangers to which this president's unfortunate character trait is exposing his country.

To return to the canine metaphor: It's the height of folly to think that other nations won't be doing everything they can to make President Obama their bitch.

So Obama bows to the King of Saud. He laughs and bluffs his way through a confrontation with Chavez. What will he do face to face with Putin or Ahdumjihad? What if he's not really one of us but one of them? And a Beta to boot? Maybe he's a man in a burkha, perpetually concealed from us and perpetually obedient to his, uh, Prophet? What if 'bending over' is a duty he learned in childhood? What if his ineffable 'manner' is really synonymous with his abstract bitch burkha? And Muhammed is doing him all night and all day.

How much trouble are we in? As I said, devil's advocate. I confidently await your convincing rebuttals...




Thursday, October 08, 2009


Roadtrip!


NAMESAKE. The wind was gusting to 40 mph yesterday morning and everything upright outside was falling over, so Mrs. CP and I decided it would a fine time to stand on the deck of a ship and try not to get blown overboard. The official commissioning will be on the 10th, but the USS Wayne E. Meyer has already been in Philadelphia for a week, open to visitors at selected intervals.

They showed us a video before herding us up the gangplank, and I'm sure it was instructive but my view was obscured by a young dad wearing a Naval Academy sweatshirt and holding a wriggling young future sailor on his lap. I didn't mind, but I had to look up the ship particulars after I got home. The following apply to all ships in the Arleigh Burke class of AEGIS destroyers:

Propulsion: Four General Electric LM 2500-30 gas turbines; two shafts, 100,000 total shaft horsepower.
Length: Flights I and II (DDG 51-78): 505 feet (153.92 meters)
Flight IIA (DDG 79 AF): 509½ feet (155.29 meters).
Beam: 59 feet (18 meters).
Displacement: DDG 51 through 71: 8,230 L tons (8,362.06 metric tons) full load DDG 72 through 78: 8,637 L tons (8,775.6 metric tons) full load DDG 79 and Follow: 9,496 L tons (9,648.40 metric tons) full load.
Speed: In excess of 30 knots.
Crew: 276
Armament: Standard Missile (SM-2MR); Vertical Launch ASROC (VLA) missiles; Tomahawk®; six MK-46 torpedoes (from two triple tube mounts); Close In Weapon System (CIWS), 5” MK 45 Gun, Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) (DDG 79 AF)
Aircraft: Two LAMPS MK III MH-60 B/R helicopters with Penguin/Hellfire missiles and MK 46/MK 50 torpedoes.

Additional specifics about the Meyer are at the ship's own website:

The USS WAYNE E. MEYER (DDG 108) [is] a Flight IIA variant of the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer incorporating a helicopter hangar facility into the original design.  The ship can carry two SH-60B/R Light Airborne Multipurpose System MK III helicopters. Guided-missile destroyers operate independently and in conjunction with carrier battle groups, surface action groups, amphibious groups and replenishment groups.

They let us into the combat control center, but politely reminded us that if we took any pictures there we'd be choppered immediately to Gitmo. It wasn't till after the tour, when Mrs. CP and I were courteously ordered to get the hell off the vast Penn's Landing plaza alongside the ship, that she made her joke about promising not to bomb the Navy's newest destroyer. Thank God for the wind. I don't think the security guy heard her.

All in all, a GOOD day.




Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Flotsam

The Balmoral. Destined for a lugubrious voyage.

NATURE SUCKS SOMETIMES. Can't believe how serious people got about the most recent TruePunk post. Seems like it's time for a little breather from heavyweight subjects, even when we're just making fun of them. Life goes on. So does normal human weirdness, silliness, obsessiveness, and WTF-ness. That's why we jumped into the Internet with a trawling net to see what we could catch that might be more interesting and amusing than deadly serious. Not that everything below is devoid of topical relevance; it's just not what you'd call deep. Relax. Put your feet up. Enjoy yourselves for a change.

Did we say "weird"? We did. Here's an outstanding example:

Tempting Fate, Titanic Anniversary Cruise Sets Sail in 2012

Monday , October 05, 2009

A trans-Atlantic cruise is being offered in 2012 to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

The Titanic Memorial Cruise will depart, as the original ship did, on April 8, from Southampton, England, and arrive at the spot in the North Atlantic where the Titanic sank on April 15.

A memorial service will be held onboard the cruise exactly 100 years after the Titanic hit the iceberg and sank, between 11:40 p.m., on April 14, 2012, and 2:20 a.m. on April 15.

The cruise will then head to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where passengers can visit three cemeteries where Titanic victims are buried. The final destination for the cruise is New York, where the Titanic was headed. The memorial cruise will also make a stop in Cobh, Ireland, after leaving Southampton, just as the original vessel did.

The British firm Miles Morgan Travel has chartered the Balmoral, a ship owned by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, for the memorial voyage. The Balmoral holds 1,350 passengers and a crew of 510 and has 710 cabins. Prices for the 12-night trip started at $3,900 for an inside cabin, including taxes.

The cruise will include food that matches the menus of the original voyage, a live band offering music and dancing from that era, and lectures from historians...

Coincidentally, Fred Olsen's parent company Harland and Wolff built the Titanic. The cruise line is Norwegian-owned but based in the United Kingdom.

Is this a fun vacation? Or a ghoulish "Ship of Fools' exercise in bad karma? If you have an idea about it, that's one more than we have.

Speaking of the Millennial Generation (Were we? Was someone? Probably...), here's a hint about how hardworking the kids are when they actually do land a job in Corporate America. Go ahead. Look at the games. They're not great, but they come with a lot of built-in "looking busy" camouflage.

Next is something we can only call "geek paradise," a blenderized dessert that mixes Star Trek with Monty Python. You're gonna love it.

People have criticized us before for caring about immaterial sports minutiae like football uniforms and baseball socks. Here's proof that we're not the only ones. A Venn diagram of major league baseball team names. Hey, the playoffs are about to start. We like this one.

Are you still irate about the Roman Polanski affair? Well, here's obsession taken to the logical next step: a list of projects to be shunned because they're the work of artistes who signed the petition protesting Polanski's arrest. The emotion is understandable, but by our count, the human body has only one nose. How many times can it be cut off to spite the face?

Maybe you heard that the oh-so-brilliant Will Ferrell (Talladega Nights, etc) recently produced a satirical public service announcement designed to make us feel like idiots for opposing ObamaCare. Well, if you live by the satirical sword, you just might die by the satirical sword. Rank amateurs have responded, turning the tables rather neatly here, here, and here. Celebrities have certainly been taking their lumps the last week or so. (Unexpected Mitigation: Kanye's One Good Thing. Lest you forget, we even like Eminem, DRV. Not reaching out to the kids? Phooey.)

A star is born. Some young lady figured out that the best way to use the YouTube phenomenon was to boil its greatest "viral" hits down to four minutes. It's NSFW. So maybe you should figure out some way to toggle between the video and the games above. We wouldn't want to do any real work at work, would we?

The closer in this vapid post is sort of mysterious. Maybe a headline that got carried away...?

Chevy Goes Mad!..Max With New Police Cruiser

At the International Association of Chiefs of Police convention in Denver on Monday, Chevrolet introduced the Caprice Police Patrol Vehicle (PPV), which it hopes to begin delivering to law enforcement agencies in 2011, and talk about a delivery.

The police Caprice is to be based on a car sold by General Motors' Australian arm known as the Holden Statesman, and will be built along side that vehicle in the Down Under city of Elizabeth. Until recently, GM imported the smaller Pontiac G8 sedan from the same facility.


Yawn.

Pricing and full specifications have not yet been released, but the current Chevrolet Impala police package starts at $25,000. Unfortunately, there are no plans to offer the vehicle to the general public...yet.

uh, does this make any sense to anyone? Sorry, but that's a completely average looking police car, even if it is from Australia.

Here's a reminder of the genuine article (Most relevant content is from 4 minutes in to 6 minutes in; however, if you skip the intro, you'll miss the second greatest expository beginning to a movie ever made. BONUS: the trailer, which provides a glimpse of the most affecting non-speaking female character in the history of action movies. Yeah. Old and wrinkled as we are, we still love 'The Road Warrior.')


It's called a supercharger, kids. You have to drive a car like this.
As opposed to what cartoon dudes consider driving (site NSFW).

Apologies for making any sort of point about sense. That's not what this post was supposed to be about.

P.S. Coincidence. This is InstaPunk Post No. 1912.




Monday, October 05, 2009



TruePunk's Obscene Fantasy:

Afghanalypse Now!

"We cannot lose Afghanistan to a future of narco-terrorism... The people of
Afghanistan must know that our commitment to their future is enduring..
because the security of Afghanistan and the United States is shared....
We cannot tolerate a terrorist sanctuary, and as president I will not.

POINTLESS? Everybody else is spinning Afghan War fantasies right now. The U.S. military is pretending that Afghanistan can be made into a functional nation after a thousand or more years of barbarian anarchy. The Obama administration is suddenly pretending that a threat once considered primal and mortal is now manageable by unmanned remote controlled tech toys. Now it's my turn.

My Afghanistan strategy is something I call Vietnam II. Hell, we've all grown up with the glories of heroes like John Kerry, who left Yale to seek fame and high treason in Amerika's colonial wars. Let's do it again! Here's my plan, in three parts.

1. Reinstate the Draft.

Enough with the Red State scum who've been fighting so uncomplainingly in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even Corrupto-Dem Charles Rangel has been lobbying for this reform. Let's do it. Only with a few changes from past practice. Raise the draft age to 20, and while we're at it, let's conscript on the basis of SAT scores and undergraduate GPAs. Isn't it time we really did send our BEST into combat for the defense of American liberty against those who would do us harm? Instead of the marginal losers who've staffed the military services since the onset of the War on Foreign Contingencies, why don't we hurl at them our best and brightest from Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Bryn Mawr, and other members of the oh-so-wonderful multi-tasking iPod and iPhone-intensive Millennial Generation? How about a million-man (and woman) army who all know, going in, what's what on the world stage and how to act accordingly.


So so sad. He attended every Code Pink demonstration
until they insisted he pee sitting down. Then he flipped.

Sure, we'll lose a few of them in basic training when they discover that guns fire real bullets and other draftees might be depending on them to save their lives under fire, but, well, we'll explain the underlying logic later.

2. Reinstate Vietnam Rules of Engagement.

Everybody keeps talking about Vietnam. Does anyone actually remember Vietnam? Seems like the tactics used then might actually work in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Think about it. We had a bunch of political generals who did and said what the president wanted them to do and say, which meant that the troops were more or less on their own in a war where all the reporting had to do not with conquest or territorial control but body counts. In other words, screw the native population and KILL THE ENEMY. In a theater dominated by Taliban and al qaida, it's perfect. Give us dead bodies. And spend our narcissistic, self-absorbed know-it-all bodies to do it. Even if it means that from time to time armed Castro-ites will be at odds with armed Ron Paulists. Can't make an omelet without breaking heads, don't you know. Or CAN you? (eh Peter?)



Send them out on patrols in heavily infested enemy territory with orders to search and destroy. Then, understate your own casualty figures while keeping meticulous count of the number of enemy troops killed, blown up, vaporized, and otherwise erased from combat. Kewl. Why kewl? Because there were almost unlimited numbers of Vietnamese, which nullified the body count appoach in that war. But there are NOT unlimited numbers of Taliban and al qaida. A million Berkeley-Harvard cannon fodder troops thrown recklessly into the fray along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border might actually learn something from the threat. Or not.


He's a Yale Law School student intending to run for the U.S.
Senate. But at the moment he's just a bit rattled. You know.
 
3. Use REAL State-of-the-Art Technology.

Even old technology has its applications. Is anybody else tired of hearing the military and the politicians debate the dilemma of Afghan poppy fields from which the Taliban is deriving enough revenue to keep funding its arms, armies, and other resistance? Should we pay them to grow something else? Should we aks the government very very nicely to create some other incentive? What would the Vietnam answer be? It would be simple. NAPALM.



Let's do it. Wipe those poppy fields off the face of the earth. And let's laugh while we do it. War isn't a game of chess or even checkers. It's WAR.

And btw, where are the B-52s? How about some carpet bombing of the Pashtun provinces? If you have enough political generals (and I'm sure Obama knows how to promote those), you don't ever have to address questions about unintended civilian casualties. You talk about tonnage dropped, things blown up, and other kewl statistics like that. I want WAVES of B-52s dropping "n" times more TNT than was ever dropped on Germany in WW2I. ANNIHILATE the Pashtun provinces. The touching documetaries can come later.



See what I mean?

And Tunnel Rats. We had those in Vietnam. Don't they have those mountain tunnels in Afghanistan? Enough said. Kill them all.

Summary.

The real benefit of this strategy doesn't come from battlefield victories, although these will surely ensue. It comes from reclaiming a Lost Generation of idiot children who will learn that life isn't atually about just sitting there and waiting for your entitlement to kick in. The Red State troops who have been fighting our battles for the past eight years know this already. The opportunity is for the Blue State brats to learn what their less-educated cousins have known since birth. Really believing in something sometimes means dying for it.



That's right. I'm talking about saving the nation. On two fronts. Saving the United States from the military threat in Afghanistan, yes, by a demonstration of overwhelming force. And saving the United States from itself by asking something, finally, from the the massed millions of Millennial Generation morons who are just sitting there at the moment.

52.4 percent of them are unemployed. Did you know that? This is the kindest thing we could do for them. Their lives could actually come to mean something. And their deaths.



If you disagree, convince me of this. Who wouldn't benefit from a new great generation of highly educated youngsters who know what life and death decisions really entail? And who wouldn't applaud the redemption of lefty traitors who've learned the verities at last?


Shammadamma.

So just how crazy am I? Really? Obscene, maybe yes. Crazy? No.




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