Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Today in History and Some Rambling

Let's start today's blog with some historical events that you probably did not know (and likely didn't need or care to know). Events like today is Albert Einstein's and Billy Crystal's birthday. Also on this day in 1863 Admiral Farragut fought his way up the Mississippi River to support General Grants long and bloody siege of Vicksburg.

Also in Naval history in 1915, the British ships Kent and Glasgow corner the German light cruiser Dresden in Cumberland Bay, off the coast of Chile. After raising the white flag, the Dresden's crew abandoned and scuttled the ship, which sank with its German ensign flying. Dresden, a 3,600-ton light cruiser, was one of the fastest ships in the German Imperial Navy, capable of traveling at speeds of up to 24.5 knots. The sister ship of the Emden, it was one of the first German ships to be built with modern steam-turbine engines. The British navy possessed faster ships, but luckily for Dresden, it had never had to face one. In continuous service since its introduction in 1909, Dresden traveled over 21,000 miles between August 1, 1914 and March 1915, more than any other German cruiser in action during the early months of World War I.

Yeah, OK, enough history. What else is happening? Well, there is an interesting article in Reuters that says a representative of the Afghan government has traveled to Guantanamo and gotten the approval of 5 Taliban detainees there to be transferred to Qatar. Wow, isn't that nice? The prisoners have been asked where they would like to be imprisoned. You just can't make this stuff up. To give you the whole picture, we (the US) are trying to get the Taliban into peace talks so we can have a smoother withdrawal from Afghanistan and Karzi thinks this transfer will make the Taliban more likely to come to the negotiation table (without their suicide vests). Now understand, I want our troops home and do not think we should waste one more life or one more dime in a conflict that we are not resolved to win outright -but, the thought of dealing with the Taliban gives me hives. It's like teaching a wolf how to open the Chicken Coop gate so he can guard it while you're gone. Just not a real bright idea.

One kind of sad note, the Big E (USS Enterprise) has departed for deployment in the Persian Gulf (or is that the Arabian Sea? As you know, I so try to be politically correct). It will be the carriers final deployment before decommissioning. The Big E is our first nuclear powered aircraft carrier. As a young snot-nosed, brand new Sea Cadet recruit, I took my first cruise to sea on her. I have managed to get back on board a few times over the years and have very fond memories of her. By-the-way, did you know that the United States has 11 aircraft carriers in service -more than the rest of the world's navies combined. No? I didn't think so. Well now you have learned something and can justify spending all this time reading today's blog....

Have a great day.

Live Long and Prosper....

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