The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy..Can the election be postponed.....?

  " You know that FEMA is running point on this storm and not the FEC..."

“Whether the election can be postponed or not is a legal black hole,” said Adam Winkler, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles. “There’s very little precedent for such an act.”
Federal law requires presidential elections to be held on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, but it also provides that if a state “has failed to make a choice on the day prescribed by law, the electors may be appointed on a subsequent day in such a manner as the legislature of such State may direct.”

Read more: Here

H.M.S. Bounty sinks due to Sandy

H.M.S. Bounty...SInks due to Sandy

This is a shame, From what I have heard, the ship was moored at port and they were trying to get away from the storm, but a square rigger don't have the speed of a modern ship.  At sea she would have had a chance to survive.   If a ship is moored, the chances of damage and destruction is much more.   I always had an affinity for the sailing ships.  A thrill I had was taking my son to the U.S.S. Constitution in Boston harbor. 

In this July 7, 2010 file photo, the tall ship HMS Bounty sails on Lake Erie off Cleveland. The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued 14 members of the crew forced to abandon the HMS Bounty caught in Hurricane

In this July 7, 2010 file photo, the tall ship HMS Bounty sails on Lake Erie off Cleveland. The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued 14 members of the crew forced to abandon the HMS Bounty caught in Hurricane Sandy off North Carolina. The Coast Guard is searching for two other crew members. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan, File)

This photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard shows the HMS Bounty, a 180-foot sailboat, submerged in the Atlantic Ocean during Hurricane Sandy approximately 90 miles southeast of Hatteras, N.C., Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. The Coast Guard rescued 14 of the 16 crew members by helicopter. Hours later, rescuers found one of the missing crew members, but she was unresponsive. They are still searching for the captain. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Petty Officer 2nd Class Tim Kuklewski)

This information is by Tallshipsorg
The Bounty was built in 1960 for MGM studios' Mutiny on the Bounty with Marlon Brando. Since then, the new Bounty has starred in several feature-length films and dozens of TV shows and historical documentaries.
The studios commissioned the ship from the shipwrights of Smith and Ruhland in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia to commission a new Bounty to be built from scratch. Completely seaworthy and built just the way it would have been 200 years before, the new Bounty was constructed from the original ship's drawings still on file in the British admiralty archives.
After filming and a worldwide promotional tour, MGM berthed the ship in St. Petersburg as a permanent tourist attraction - where she stayed until the mid-1980s. In 1986 Ted Turner acquired the MGM film library and the Bounty with it. He used it to promote his enterprises, and filmed Treasure Island with Charlton Heston in 1989.
In 1993, Turner donated the ship to the Fall River Chamber Foundation, which established the Tall Ship Bounty Foundation to operate the ship as an educational venture.
In February of 2001 H.M.S. Bounty was purchased from the Foundation by HMS Bounty Organization LLC. She was in dyer need for repairs at the time. It was decided to take her to Boothbay Harbor Maine "Samples Shipyard" Later to be known as Boothbay Harbor Shipyard. When we were ready for the final refit it was only fitting to bring her "home." where Bounty was "on the rails" once again preparing for "A Round The World Voyage" - her first stop would be the United Kingdom.
The HMS Bounty Organization LLC is dedicated to keeping the ship sailing and using her as a vehicle for teaching the nearly lost arts of square rigged sailing and seamanship.
The Organization operates a variety of programs on board including sail training programs for the general public, group leadership and teamwork training, a Sail Away Summer Camp program, and dockside educational programs for elementary and secondary school children.

Picking Losers...Andrew Klaven Strikes again

So…  I recently made a satirical political video under the auspices of my favorite think tank. I was supposed to release it weeks ago, but the think tank objected to what it saw as my overly harsh and personal attacks on President Obama. I was unwilling to change it so now, with the think tank’s permission, I hereby release the video in conjunction with my pals at Madison McQueen but with the think tank’s name removed. What do you think? Too nasty?

                         --ANDREW KLAVEN

Monday, October 29, 2012


The more I hear about Obungler and Benghazi, the more pissed I get.   This is the first time that I can recall an American President sacrificing Americans for political expediency....Bastard


Tomb Guards will remain on Duty...

Sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington, VA. (U.S. Army Photo)
WASHINGTON—Hurricane Sandy is expected to slam the East Coast and the federal government is shut down—but the U.S. servicemen who guard the outdoor Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery will remain on duty.
"They will not abandon their post," an employee who answered the Arlington Cemetery's phone confirmed to Yahoo News. He identified himself as "George," but was not authorized to speak on the record to the media.
The tomb, located just outside Washington, D.C., holds the remains of unidentified soldiers from World War I, World War II and Korea.

The elite sentinels selected to guard it have kept watch continuously at the site since 1948

This info compliments of Wiki

Tomb of 1921

Tomb as of November 11, 1922. The Tomb of 1931 would occupy this same location.
On March 4, 1921, the United States Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American serviceman from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater. On November 11, 1921, the unknown soldier brought back from France was interred inside a three-level marble tomb. The marble came from a Yule Marble Quarry located near Marble, Colorado. The marble for the Lincoln Memorial and other famous monuments were quarried there.[5] The top two levels are six marble sections each and the bottom at least nine blocks with a rectangular opening in the center of each level through which the unknown remains were placed through the tomb and into the ground below. A stone other than marble covers the rectangular opening.[6][7][8]

Tomb of 1931

The World War I Unknown is below the marble sarcophagus. Other Unknowns are beneath the white slabs on the ground (World War II, right; Korean War, left). A Vietnam War Unknown was under the middle slab until 1998, when he was identified.
Since 1921, the intent was to place a superstructure on top of the Tomb but it was not until July 3, 1926, however, that the Congress authorized the completion of the Tomb and the expenditure of $50,000 (with a completed cost of $48,000). A design competition was held and won by architect Lorimer Rich[nb 1] and sculptor Thomas Hudson Jones. An appropriation from Congress for the work was secured and on December 21, 1929, a contract for completion of the Tomb itself was entered into. The Tomb would consist of seven pieces of marble in four levels (cap, die, base and sub-base) of which the die is the largest block with the sculpting on all four sides.[6][9]
In late January 1931, the 56 ton die of Yule marble (quarried 3.9 miles south of Marble, Colorado by the Vermont Marble Company) was lifted out of the quarry. (Only the die block is addressed for no data is available as to the other three levels). The quarrying involved 75 men working one year. When the block was separated from the mountain inside the quarry it weighed 124 tons. A wire saw was then brought into the quarry to cut the block down to 56 tons. On February 3, the block reached the marble mill site (in the town of Marble) where it was crated, then shipped to Vermont on February 8. The block was sawn to final size in West Rutland, Vermont and fabricated by craftsmen in Proctor, Vermont before it was shipped by train to Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia[10] where it was carved by the Piccirilli Brothers under the direction of the sculptor Thomas Jones.[6][11] (The brothers also carved the Lincoln statue for the Lincoln Memorial). The Tomb was dedicated in April 1932.[12]
The Tomb[nb 2] was placed at the head of the grave of the World War I Unknown. West of this grave are the crypts of Unknowns from World War II (south) and Korea (north). Between the two lies a crypt that once contained an Unknown from Vietnam (middle). His remains were positively identified in 1998 through DNA testing as First Lieutenant Michael Blassie, United States Air Force and were removed. Those three graves are marked with white marble slabs flush with the plaza.
The Tomb has a flat-faced form and is relieved at the corners and along the sides by neo-classical pilasters set into the surface with objects and inscription carved into the sides. The 1931 symbolism[11] of the objects on the north, south and east sides changed over time.[6][9]
North and South panel with 3 wreaths on each side represent (in 1931) "a world of memories" but later the six major battles engaged in by American forces in France; Ardennes, Belleau Wood, Chateau-Thierry, Meusse-Argonne, Oisiu-Eiseu, and Somme. Each wreath has 38 leaves and 12 berries.
East panel that faces Washington, D.C., are three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and "American Manhood" but later "Valor" instead of "American Manhood"
Western panel is inscribed the words (centered on the panel):
Tomb Dimensions[nb 3] as of 2004[13] (xxx)* 1931 die block dimension coming out of the quarry.[10]
Level Length Width Height Cubic Feet Tons
Cap 12'-5.4" 6'-6.7" 1'-3.3" 100.69 8.56
Die 12'-3.0" (14'-0")* 6'-6.4" (7'-4.8")* 5'-2.1" (6"-0")* 385.43 (621.6)* 32.76 (52.84)*
Base 13'-10.0" 7'-11.9" 1'-11.1" 198.64 16.88
Sub-Base 14'-10.4" 9'-0.2" 1'-10.9" 255.81 21.74

The Unknown of World War I

The World War I Unknown arriving at the Washington Navy Yard, 1921 (colorized)
On Memorial Day, 1921, four unknown servicemen were exhumed from four World War I American cemeteries in France. U.S. Army Sgt. Edward F. Younger, who was wounded in combat, highly decorated for valor and received the Distinguished Service Cross in "The Great War" selected the Unknown of World War I from four identical caskets at the city hall in Châlons-en-Champagne, France, on October 24, 1921.[8] Younger selected the World War I Unknown by placing a spray of white roses on one of the caskets. He chose the third casket from the left. The chosen Unknown was transported to the United States aboard the USS Olympia. Those remaining were interred in the Meuse Argonne Cemetery, France.[8]
The World War I Unknown lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda from his arrival in the United States until Armistice Day, 1921. On November 11, 1921, President Warren G. Harding officiated at the interment ceremonies at the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery. During the ceremony, the World War I Unknown was awarded the Victoria Cross by Admiral of the Fleet Lord Beatty, on behalf of King George V of the United Kingdom.[14] (The United Kingdom Victoria Cross was placed with the soldier. Earlier, on March 4, 1921, the British Unknown Warrior was conferred the U.S. Medal of Honor by General of the Armies John Pershing.) In 1928, the Unknown Soldier was presented the Silver Buffalo Award for distinguished service to America's youth by the Boy Scouts of America.[15]

The Unknowns of World War II and Korea

The Korean War Unknown joins the two candidates from World War II aboard the USS Canberra
On August 3, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill to select and pay tribute to the Unknowns of World War II and the Korean War. The selection ceremonies and the interment of these Unknowns took place in 1958. The World War II Unknown was selected from remains exhumed from cemeteries in Europe, Africa, Hawaii, and the Philippines.[16]
Two Unknowns from World War II, one from the European Theater and one from the Pacific Theater, were placed in identical caskets and taken aboard the USS Canberra, a guided-missile cruiser resting off the Virginia Capes. Navy Hospital Corpsman 1st Class William R. Charette, then the U.S. Navy's only active-duty Medal of Honor recipient, selected the World War II Unknown. The remaining casket received a solemn burial at sea.[16]
Four unknown Americans who died in the Korean War were disinterred from the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii. Army Master Sergeant Ned Lyle made the final selection.[16]
Both caskets arrived in Washington on May 28, 1958, where they lay in the Capitol Rotunda until the morning of May 30, when they were carried on caissons to Arlington National Cemetery. President Eisenhower awarded each the Medal of Honor, and the Unknowns of World War II and the Korean War were interred in the plaza beside their World War I comrade.[16]

The Unknown of Vietnam

The designation of the Vietnam Unknown has proven to be difficult. With improvements in DNA testing it is possible, though unlikely, that the recovered remains for every unknown soldier killed in the Vietnam War will be identified.
The Vietnam Unknown service member was designated by Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Allan Jay Kellogg, Jr., during a ceremony at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, May 17, 1984.
The Vietnam Unknown was transported aboard USS Brewton to Alameda Naval Base, California. The remains were then sent to Travis Air Force Base, California, May 24. The Vietnam Unknown arrived at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, the next day.
The Tomb guards stood at death watch for the entire day as thousands of people braved the dreary weather to pay their respects.
The presidential wreath was brought forward toward President Reagan during the interment ceremony for the Unknown Serviceman of the Vietnam Era at the Tomb of the Unknowns on May 28, 1984.
Many Vietnam veterans and President Ronald Reagan and Mrs. Nancy Reagan visited the Vietnam Unknown in the U.S. Capitol. An Army caisson carried the Vietnam Unknown from the Capitol to the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 28, 1984.
President Reagan presided over the funeral, and presented the Medal of Honor to the Vietnam Unknown, and also acted as next of kin by accepting the interment flag at the end of the ceremony. The interment flags of all Unknowns at the Tomb of the Unknowns are on view in the Memorial Display Room.

Identification of the Unknown

In 1994, Ted Sampley, a POW/MIA activist, determined that the remains of the Vietnam Unknown were likely those of Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie, who was shot down near An Loc, Vietnam, in 1972. Sampley published an article in his newsletter and contacted Blassie's family, who attempted to pursue the case with the Air Force's casualty office without result. In January 1998 CBS News broadcast a report based on Sampley's investigation which brought political pressure to support the identification of the remains.[17] The body was exhumed on May 14, 1998. Based on mitochondrial DNA testing, Department of Defense scientists confirmed the remains were those of Blassie. The identification was announced on June 30, 1998, and on July 10, Blassie's remains arrived home to his family in St. Louis, Missouri; he was re interred at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery on July 11.[18][nb 4]

Redesignation of the crypt

The crypt that once held the remains of the Vietnam Unknown has been replaced. The original inscription of "Vietnam" and the dates of the conflict has been changed to "Honoring and Keeping Faith with America's Missing Servicemen." as a reminder of the commitment of the Armed Forces to fullest possible accounting of missing service members.

Tomb Guards

Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns in 2011.
It is considered one of the highest honors to serve as a Sentinel at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Fewer than 20 percent of all volunteers are accepted for training and of those only a fraction pass training to become full-fledged Tomb Guards. This attrition rate has made the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Guard Identification Badge the second least-awarded decoration of the United States Military (the first being the Army Astronaut Badge).[19]
The soldier "walking the mat" does not wear rank insignia, so as not to outrank the Unknowns, whatever their ranks may have been. Non-commissioned officers (usually the Relief Commander and Assistant Relief Commanders), do wear insignia of their rank when changing the guard only. They have a separate uniform (without rank) that is worn when they actually guard the Unknowns or are "Posted".
The duties of the sentinels are not purely ceremonial. The sentinels will confront people who cross the barriers at the tomb, or are disrespectful or loud.[20][21][22]


Over the years there have been several different types of weapons used by the Tomb Guards. The changes in weapons reflect the changes in the Army, including M1903 Springfield rifle, M1 Garand and M14 rifles, M1911 .45 ACP and M9 9mm Beretta pistols. Tomb Guards currently carry M14 rifles, which are unloaded and affixed to ceremonial rifle stocks (hand-made by Tomb Guards). These rifles are cleaned daily and kept ready for use at all times.[23]

Walking the Mat

There is a meticulous routine which the guard follows when watching over the graves:[24]
  1. The soldier walks 21 steps across the Tomb. This alludes to the twenty-one gun salute,[25] which is the highest honor given to any military or foreign dignitary in America. His weapon is always on the shoulder opposite the Tomb (i.e., on the side of the gallery watching the ritual).
  2. On the 21st step, the soldier turns and faces the Tomb for 21 seconds.
  3. The soldier then turns to face the other way across the Tomb and changes his weapon to the outside shoulder.
  4. After 21 seconds, the first step is repeated.
This is repeated until the soldier is relieved of duty at the Changing of the Guard.
The mat is usually replaced twice per year: before Memorial Day and before Veterans Day. This is required because of the wear on the rubber mat by the special shoes worn by Tomb Guards. The sentinels have metal plates built into the soles and inner parts of their shoes to allow for a more rugged sole and to give the signature click of the heel during maneuvers. The sentinels wear sunglasses because of the bright reflection from the marble surrounding the Tomb and the Memorial Amphitheater.
On the ground not covered by the mat, a wear pattern in the tile can be seen that corresponds to the precise steps taken during the changing of the guard. On the mat itself, footprints worn in by standing guard are also visible.

Changing of the Guard

Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Assistant Relief Commander at left, Guard passing orders in center, and Guard receiving orders at right. The tomb is behind the Assistant Relief Commander.
A Tomb Guard in full uniform in August 2006
During the day in summer months from April 1 to September 30, the guard is changed every half hour. During the winter months, from October 1 to March 31, the guard is changed every hour. After the cemetery closes to the public (7 p.m. to 8 a.m. April through September, and 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. October through March), the guard is changed every 2 hours. The ceremony can be witnessed by the public whenever Arlington National Cemetery is open.[26][27]
The guard change is very symbolic, but also conducted in accordance with Army regulations. The relief commander or assistant relief commander, along with the oncoming guard, are both required for a guard change to take place. The guard being relieved will say to the oncoming guard, "Post and orders remain as directed." The oncoming guard's response is always, "Orders acknowledged."


A civilian guard was first posted at the Tomb on November 17, 1925 to prevent, among other things, families from picnicking on the flat marble slab with views of the city. A military guard was first posted on March 25, 1926. The first 24-hour guard was posted on midnight, July 2, 1937. The Tomb of the Unknowns has been guarded continuously, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, since that time[28] . Inclement weather,[29] [30] terrorist attacks,[31] et cetera, do not cause the watch to cease.[32]
The Tomb Guards, a special platoon within the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) work on a team rotation of 24 hours on, 24 hours off, for five days, taking the following four days off. A guard takes an average of six hours to prepare his uniform – heavy wool, regardless of the time of year – for the next day's work. In addition to preparing the uniform, guards also conduct physical training, Tomb Guard training, participate in field exercises, cut their hair before the next work day, and at times are involved in regimental functions as well. Tomb Guards are required to memorize 16 pages of information about Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, including the locations of nearly 300 graves and who is buried in each one.[33]
A special Army decoration, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Guard Identification Badge is authorized for wear after passing a detailed test of 100 questions (from a pool of more than 300), a uniform test with two gigs (errors) or fewer (measured to the 1/64"), and a test on the guard changing sequence. After serving honorably for a period of nine months, and having passed the sequence of tests, a Tomb Guard is permanently awarded the Badge. Since the first award on February 7, 1958, fewer than 600 soldiers have completed training and been awarded this Badge, including three women. A small number of Tomb Guard Identification Badges have also been retroactively awarded to soldiers who served as Guards before 1959. Those numbers make the Badge the second rarest award currently issued in the United States Army; only the Army Astronaut Badge is rarer.[nb 5]
The badge was designed in 1956 and first issued to members of the Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns on February 7, 1958. The badge was first issued only as a temporary wear item, meaning the soldiers could only wear the badge during their tenure as members of the Honor Guard. Upon leaving the duty, the badge was returned and reissued to incoming soldiers. In 1963, a regulation was enacted that allowed the badge to be worn as a permanent part of the military uniform, even after the soldier's completion of duty at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Damage and repair to the Tomb Monument

The crack can be seen underneath the words "An American" and above the word "Soldier."
President George W. Bush lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on Memorial Day.
Cracking and erosion are causing concerns for the long-term preservation of the Tomb Monument. A November 1963 report first recorded horizontal cracking of the monument's marble die block. Though this was the first time that the damage was documented, the report made it clear that the cracks had become visible some time before that date.[34]
In 1963–1964, there were two cracks—referred to as "primary" and "secondary"—extending approximately 34 feet around the die block. By 1974, they had extended to 40 feet. They grew another 4.6 feet over the next 15 years. Inspection has determined that the cracks have increased horizontally since 1990. Analysis also indicates that the cracks are not surficial but extend partially through the block and will eventually extend all the way through.[34]
The 1990 report documented deterioration of the marble's surface. As much as 2.85 mm of the marble surface has been lost through weathering. The study projected that before 2010, the Tomb Monument will have been eroded enough to have a negative effect on the experience of the visitors and concludes the only solutions are to enclose or replace the monument.[34]
Several options have been considered to deal with the damage. Officials at Arlington National Cemetery determined that proper repair can return the Tomb Monument to an acceptable appearance. However, because the cracks will continue to lengthen and widen, continuous grouting, regrouting, touch-up, monitoring, and maintenance would be required. Therefore, a report commissioned by Arlington National Cemetery and published in June 2006 confirmed the Cemetery's conclusion that "replacement of the three pieces of the Tomb Monument is the preferred alternative". A final decision was scheduled to be made on September 30, 2007.[34]
The National Trust for Historic Preservation objects to the plan to replace the authentic Tomb Monument. The Trust expressed concern that Arlington National Cemetery seeks to replace the existing monument with marble from the original quarry, which experts agree is likely eventually to crack.[35]
The Trust has observed that the Cemetery’s own 1990 report recommended that the monument be repaired and that the Cemetery, in fact, commissioned Oehrlein Architects to repair the stone. In 2007, Mary Oehrlein informed Congressional staff members that: "The existing monument can easily be repaired, as was done 17 years ago, using conventional conservation methods to re-grout the cracks. Once repaired, the fault lines would be virtually invisible from the public viewing areas."[36][37]
On September 26, 2007, U.S. Senator Daniel Akaka announced that an amendment crafted together with Senator Jim Webb will be added to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R. 1585) that would require a report on the plans of the Secretary of the Army and the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to replace the monument at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The secretaries would be required to advise Congress on the current efforts to maintain and preserve the monument. Additionally, they would have to provide an assessment on the feasibility and advisability of repairing rather than replacing the Tomb Monument. Finally, if the secretaries choose replacement, they would have to report those plans and detail how they intend to dispose of the current monument. Once the report is provided, the secretaries are prevented from taking action to replace the monument for at least 180 days. The Akaka-Webb amendment was included in the bill by unanimous consent of the Senate.[38] An amendment to the Fiscal Year 2008 Defense Authorization Bill authorized a review of the monument's condition. The bill also authorized repair, but not replacement, of the monument.[39] Final passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for 2008 (H.R. 4986) was signed by President Bush on January 28, 2008.
October 21, 2011: Completed repair of the cracks in the Tomb.
In 2003, retired Glenwood Springs, Colorado, car dealer John Haines donated a large slab of marble to the Arlington National Cemetery to replace the existing marble. Haines paid $31,000 for the marble slab.[40] The block though was not removed from the quarry because imperfections were found and was rejected. The heart of the block was used for a statue of President George H.W. Bush.[41] In 2005, a flawless replacement was quarried and brought down to the area where quarried blocks are kept awaiting transport to the customer. However, the marble has sat unused. "It's not doable. A citizen can't just give us any piece of marble and say, 'This is what we'll use to replace the tomb'", said Thurman Higginbotham, deputy superintendent of Arlington.[40] Haines's marble was cut from the same Yule Quarry where the original gold-veined marble for the Tomb of the Unknowns was mined nearly 80 years ago. The tomb replacement piece was cut after a nearly five-year search for an unflawed piece that would look like the original.[40] Arlington officials estimate the cost of replacing the tomb's marble at $2.2 million: $80,000 of that for seeking bids, $90,000 for buying and transporting the marble and the remainder for sculpting. Haines's donated marble includes free shipping that he arranged himself.[40]
In June 2009 Arlington National Cemetery and The Army Corps of Engineers announced that the monument was to be repaired, not replaced.[42] In 2010, the cracks were filled but the repairs lasted only a few months.[43] As of June 2011, the cemetery was struggling to repair the cracks in the monument, one of which measured 28.4 feet long, with another at 16.2 feet.[44] In September 2011, the cracks were filled again[43] and an October 21, 2011, inspection by the Army Corps of Engineers and other experts pronounced the repairs a success.[45]

Changing of the guard sequences

Sequence 1

Changing of the Guard Sequence.jpg

Sequence 2

Changing of the Guard Sequence 2.jpg

See also

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pocket litter

Compliments of Stratfor,

    I got this article and it raised certain personal security concerns.


By Scott Stewart
On Oct. 12, a pregnant medical doctor from Guadalajara, Mexico, attempted to enter the United States through the San Ysidro border crossing. The woman reportedly wanted to give birth in the United States so that her child would be a U.S. citizen. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers arrested the woman, who has since been charged with visa fraud in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California.
Ordinarily, the arrest of a Mexican national for document fraud at a border crossing would hardly be newsworthy. However, this case may be anything but ordinary: Authorities have identified the woman as Alejandrina Gisselle Guzman Salazar, who reportedly is the daughter of Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, one of the world's most wanted men.
If Guzman is indeed the daughter of El Chapo, the arrest could provide much-needed intelligence to those pursuing the fugitive drug lord. Aside from the intelligence gathered during her interrogation, investigators could also learn much from the information she may have been inadvertently carrying on her person. In law enforcement and intelligence circles, the items of miscellaneous information an individual carries are called "pocket litter" and are carefully reviewed for intelligence value. But the concept of combing through pocket litter for critical information also carries with it some important implications for people who are not criminals.

Danger for Criminals

When law enforcement officers arrest someone, they conduct a thorough search of the suspect and his or her immediate possessions. This is referred to as a "search incident to arrest," and items discovered during this search are considered admissible as evidence in U.S. courts (and the courts of many other countries). During the search, officers are looking for items of evidentiary value to the case in question and for items that could endanger the officers -- weapons and handcuff keys, for example. But in addition to these items, a search incident to arrest also gives law enforcement officers an excellent chance to gather intelligence that could be used to identify other individuals involved in the criminal activity.
Of course, items found in pockets, purses or wallets -- business cards, slips of paper containing names, telephone numbers, addresses and email addresses, to name a few -- can provide intelligence leads. But even less obvious items, such as receipts and airline boarding passes, are likewise valuable. In narcotics cases, pocket litter frequently helps identify drug suppliers, and in cases of document fraud, pocket litter helps identify the document vendor.
Once these items of potential intelligence are collected, they are processed. This means determining who corresponds to a particular phone number, address or email account and then running them through local, state or federal law enforcement databases. Public records, the Internet and social media can also be searched for relevant information. Often this process will produce additional leads that can later be investigated.
In addition to its uses in fighting street crime, pocket litter is also important in counterterrorism and counterintelligence cases. It can help identify associates, weapons or explosives components purchases, the location of storage lockers used to house such materials, bombmaking recipes, fund transfers and information pertaining to targets the subject has surveilled.
Since the October 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, the U.S. military has turned the collection and processing of pocket litter into a highly sophisticated and productive exercise. When the military captures a militant on the battlefield, or when special operations forces seize or kill a high-value target, his body and the surrounding area are immediately searched for pocket litter, which is then collected, categorized and sent to the appropriate intelligence unit for processing.
Document exploitation teams operating in Afghanistan (and later Iraq) created huge searchable databases containing data from militants. In many cases, these teams proved more successful in satisfying intelligence taskings than did interrogation teams working with captured individuals.
Notably, what we refer to as pocket litter has changed as technology has evolved. Originally denoting physical items like slips of paper, the term now includes electronic devices, such as iPods, smartphones, tablets and laptop computers, from which vast amounts of intelligence can be gleaned. These devices can contain photographs, Internet search histories, voice mails, call logs and text message archives. Many phones also have features that, if activated, can provide historical GPS data on their owners' locations.
How far a search incident to arrest can go in cases involving cellphones currently is a controversial subject in the United States because cellphones can contain vast amounts of information regarding their owners. Conflicting rulings in different U.S. circuit courts make it likely that the topic will be brought to the U.S. Supreme Court at some point. The fact that judges must often compare cellphones to diaries or locked containers while looking for comparable case law illustrates the challenges the new technology has presented to the judicial system.

Danger for Civilians

Pocket litter has been exploited as long as there have been criminals, law enforcement, pockets and writing. Yet despite hundreds of years of this practice, criminals continue to carry incriminating evidence on their persons. The reason for this is quite simple: human nature has not changed. Most people do not trust their memories, and they consider it safer and easier to jot down the information on a slip of paper and place it in a wallet or purse, or in modern times, store it in a cellphone or computer. The number of items jotted down or otherwise stored in this manner can become quite substantial as this practice continues over time.
But these shortcomings exemplified by criminals also pertain to law-abiding citizens. Most people walk around with significant amounts of information on their person, and many cannot account for all their belongings. Some people are completely unaware of the treasure trove of information they carry in their cellphones, tablets and laptop computers. For most civilians, it is not intelligence exploitation by the government that is a concern, but exploitation by cunning criminals, who can use pocket litter to commit credit card, bank or identity fraud.
Therefore, it is imperative that people examine and carefully consider their pocket litter and attempt to reduce that litter to only those items that are absolutely necessary. This is especially true of people traveling in areas with high crime or intelligence threats, but the concept is universal. One can have a wallet, purse or cellphone stolen at a place of worship, the supermarket or the gym. It is also important to remember that pocket litter inadvertently tossed into the trash can be recovered and exploited by criminals.
Recovering from the theft of a purse or cellphone is difficult enough under the best of circumstances, but it is much more difficult if one does not know what information was compromised or if one unnecessarily exposed documents and information to theft. For example, many people needlessly carry their original social security cards or write their social security numbers and ATM pin numbers down rather than memorizing them. People should maintain a list of the credit cards they carry with them, along with contact numbers for those card companies in a separate place.
While there are many vulnerabilities associated with smartphones, locking them with passwords and using encrypted files for storing information such as account numbers and passwords are steps in the right direction. These measures may not save a terrorist suspect from the computing power of the U.S. National Security Agency, but they will likely prevent most thieves from accessing your important information.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Charge of the light Brigade

I was surfing my blogroll and Stormbringers blog had a positing about the charge of the light brigade.  I remembered reciting the poem to my 11 grade English class back in 1983.  I still know the words even now.  They speak of duty in the face of certain death.  They knew that their charge was suicidal, but they went anyway.   They went down in history and became immortal.


On this day in 1854 during the Battle of Balaclave, Major General the Earl of Cardigan led 600+ sabre-armed cavalrymen straight into the valley between the Fedyukhin Heights and the Causeway Heights, - famously dubbed the "Valley of Death" by the poet Tennyson - against several well-prepared Russian artillery batteries of over fifty guns with excellent fields of defensive fire. Although they reached the Russian lines under withering direct fire and scattering some of the gunners, the badly mauled brigade was forced to retreat immediately, producing no decisive gains and very high British casualties.

This action - the epitome of military disasters - was brought about by the poor written communication skills of Lord Raglan, overall commander, who intended to send the Light Brigade to pursue and harry a retreating Russian artillery battery near the front line, a task well suited to light cavalry. This in mind, Raglan issued the following order to Cardigan, by courier:

"Lord Raglan wishes the Cavalry to advance rapidly to the front, follow the enemy, and try to prevent the enemy carrying away the guns. Troop Horse Artillery may accompany. French Cavalry is on your left. Immediate."

Timeline of the Charge - from Forgotten Heroes: The Charge of the Light Brigade (2007)

The charge was from left to right, with the Russian batteries at the extreme right.

The Light Brigade set off down the valley with Cardigan out in front leading the charge. Almost at once Nolan was seen to rush across the front, passing in front of Cardigan. It may be that he then realised the charge was aimed at the wrong target and was attempting to stop or turn the brigade, but he was killed by an artillery shell and the cavalry continued on its course.

Cardigan never looked back, did not see what was happening to the troops behind him. He reached the Russian guns, took part in the fight, and then returned alone up the valley without bothering to rally or even find out what had happened to the survivors. He afterwards said all he could think about was his rage against Captain Nolan, who he thought had tried to take over the leadership of the charge from him.

Despite withering fire from three sides that devastated their force on the ride, the Light Brigade was able to engage the Russian forces at the end of the valley and force them back from the redoubt, but it suffered heavy casualties and was soon forced to retire. The surviving Russian artillerymen returned to their guns and opened fire once again, with grape and canister, indiscriminately at the mêlée of friend and foe before them

Cardigan survived the battle. After riding back up the valley, he considered he had done all that he could and then, with considerable sang-froid, left the field and went on board his yacht in Balaclava harbour, where he ate a champagne dinner.

The Charge Of The Light Brigade
by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Memorializing Events in the Battle of Balaclava, October 25, 1854

Half a league half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred:
‘Forward, the Light Brigade!
Charge for the guns’ he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

‘Forward, the Light Brigade!’
Was there a man dismay’d ?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Some one had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do & die,
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d & thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,
Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

The 11th Hussars strike the Russian Battery with the 17th Lancers

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack & Russian
Reel’d from the sabre-stroke,
Shatter’d & sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse & hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death,
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wonder’d.
Honour the charge they made!
Honour the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred!

The Valley of Death, photographed some time after the Battle of Balaclava - cannonballs still litter the battlefield.

The Charge of the Light Brigade has also come to epitomize the valour of warriors in carrying out their orders, even in the face of certain destruction.

"Honor them

Typical Obama Voters

I was driving through the next municipality from where I live,  I actually was pulling out of a Chic-fil-a and I saw this car driving like the shriners do during a parade...basically was clueless and drove like it.  Well I go to the light to make a left turn on the main drag and this same car was in the left lane doing 25 miles an hour and weaving.   Well I got closer and saw the "Obama stickers" all over it and I muttered "No surprise there"  but I grabbed my phone and took a quick pic before the flow of traffic pushed me past this car being a speedbump on the road of progress.....I know...another analogy.....shoot me....  Well I passed this car and looked at the inhabitants, besides having a "cripple" placard on their rear view mirror, they were two very obese people in their 30's if that much, and both appeared to be texting.   I immediately thought of this:

After I passed this car, still noticing the weaving and lack of situational awareness, I saw them zip across several lanes of traffic and head to McDonalds.  I guess to spend some of that SSDI they get.


I got this in an email from my Dad, I really thought it was poignant so I added it to my postings

The more they change...the more they stay the same..

I am a student of history and I keep wondering if this is what the average German saw in the mid 30's as his entire society changed because of the imperial edicts that came from the Reich Chancellors office and the local gauleiter and the party office.

Subject: Does this sound like a German dictator plan of 70 years ago?
 Homeland Security graduates first Corps of Homeland Youth
October 7, 2012. Vicksburg . The federal government calls them FEMA Corps. But they conjure up memories of the Hitler Youth of 1930’s Germany . Regardless of their name, the Dept of Homeland Security has just graduated its first class of 231 Homeland Youth. Kids, aged 18-24 and recruited from the President’s AmeriCorp volunteers, they represent the first wave of DHS’s youth corps, designed specifically to create a full time, paid, standing army of FEMA Youth across the country.
On September 13, 2012, the Dept of Homeland Security graduated its first class of FEMA Corps youth, aka the Homeland Youth. Image courtesy of DHS.gov.
On September 13, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security graduated its first class of FEMA Corps first-responders. While the idea of having a volunteer force of tens of thousands of volunteers scattered across the country to aid in times of natural disasters sounds great, the details and timing of this new government army is somewhat curious, if not disturbing.

DHS raising an armed army
The first problem one finds with this ‘new army’ is the fact that they are mere children. Yes, 18 is generally the legal age a person can sign a contract, join the military or be tried as an adult. But ask any parent - an 18, 20 or even a 24 year-old is still a naïve, readily-influenced kid.
The second problem with this announcement and program is its timing. Over the past two years, President Obama has signed a number of Executive Orders suspending all civil and Constitutional rights and turning over management of an America under Martial Law to FEMA. Also in that time, domestic federal agencies under DHS, including FEMA, have ordered billions of rounds of ammunition as well as the corresponding firearms. Admittedly, these new weapons and ammunition aren’t to be used in some far-off war or to fight forest fires in California , but right here on the streets of America .
Strange Armored Fighting Vehicles
Individuals around the US have begun reporting the site of strange, new, heavily-armed FEMA fighting vehicles. What would a disaster relief agency like FEMA need with 2,500 brand new GLS armored fighting vehicles? According to the agency’s own mandate, as well as President Obama’s recent Executive Order, the answer is ‘population control’ during a time of Martial Law.
One set of images made available by Rense.com shows trailer after trailer carrying these new DHS and FEMA armored fighting vehicles, complete with machine gun slots. They’re labeled with the usual backward American flag and the title, ‘Homeland Security’. Below that and the DHS logo, it also reads, ‘Immigration & Customs Enforcement’. Joining those markings, the black vehicles with white lettering also display ‘POLICE/RESCUE’ on one side and ‘Special Response Team’ on the other.
DHS & FEMA armed fighting vehicles. Images courtesy of Rense.com.
FEMA Corps
FEMA Deputy Administrator Rich Serino gave the keynote address at the ‘Induction Ceremony’ for the inaugural class of FEMA Corps members. According to the DHS website, ‘Corps members assist with disaster preparedness, response, and recovery activities, providing support in areas ranging from working directly with disaster survivors to supporting disaster recovering centers to sharing valuable disaster preparedness and mitigation information with the public.’

Serino describes what the first FEMA Corps class has accomplished so far, as well as where they’ll be going next:
‘Yesterday, we welcomed 231 energetic members into the first ever FEMA Corps class. The members just finished off their first month of training with our partners at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and are one step closer to working in the field on disaster response and recovery. They will now head to FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness to spend the next two weeks training in their FEMA position-specific roles. Once they complete both the CNCS and FEMA training, these 231 dedicated FEMA Corps members will be qualified to work in one of a variety of disaster related roles, ranging from Community Relations to Disaster Recovery Center support.’
A standing army
Unlike most local disaster response teams who are volunteers, training periodically and only showing up when there’s a disaster, the FEMA Corps will be a paid, full time, standing army of government youth. FEMA Deputy Administrator Sarino goes on to explain, ‘The new members, who range in age from 18-24 years old, will contribute to a dedicated, trained, and reliable disaster workforce by working full-time for ten months on federal disaster response and recovery efforts.’
In closing his announcement of the first graduating class of FEMA Corps Youth, Sarino describes his and the agency’s vision of the future, one where ‘FEMA Corps sets the foundation for a new generation of emergency managers’.
DHS arms itself
As we detailed in the August 28 Whiteout Press article ‘History of DHS Ammunition Purchases’, federal emergency management agencies are looking more and more like a military army every day.
The federal government’s procurement website actually lists DHS’ requests for bids to supply it with ammunition and military weaponry. All of the orders listed in the above article, including the orders for hundreds of millions of rounds of ammunition, are publicly available athttp://www.fbo.gov.
One look at a chart of DHS ammunition purchases over the past decade reveals a drastic spike in orders of bullets recently, totaling in the billions of rounds. Other charts available online show a similar drastic spike in the purchases of accompanying weaponry by the Department of Homeland Security.
What is the US federal government preparing for? And why does it feel it needs an army of brainwashed youth, millions of guns, thousands of armored fighting vehicles and literally billions of rounds of ammunition, just to provide relief to the American people during a natural disaster? Any historian will tell you it sounds more like the arming of the Hitler Youth than an army of first responders fighting forest fires and hurricanes.