Thursday, December 31, 2020

USS Yorktown: The Hangar Deck, Like Gaul

Is divided into three parts.  

The hangar deck has enormous blast doors dividing the deck into three separate sections.  This protects the hangar deck and stores located inside from damage during battle. Originally there were three aircraft elevators to move the planes to and form the flight deck from the hangar deck.  Later modifications removed one of the elevators.

It's a very large  space, crammed with interesting exhibits, history and many artifacts of the Yorktown, and a special exhibit about her sister carrier the USS Franklin and how it survived crippling damage from an air attack in March 1945 due to the heroism and effort of her crew.  The attack had killed 800 of its crew, yet the ship was saved and returned to service after incredible damage.

A 40mm gun mount from the Franklin is on display  on the hangar deck, with some damage from the attack still visible.

 There's also a very good movie shown in by the memorial about the Franklin to the left of the gun mount that is well worth watching.

There's plenty of aircraft on display as well:

A Stearman biplane navy training aircraft:


The many types of aircraft that the Yorktown operated are on display:

The F4F Wildcat -

 The initial main American naval fighter of the war.  While inferior to the Zero, it was made famous in the hands of aces like O'Hare and Thatch, and proved to be able to meet the Zero on its own terms when the right tactics were used.

The F6F Hellcat - The US Navy's highest scoring aircraft of World War 2 and successor to the Wildcat:


The F4U Corsair:


The Douglas A-1 Skyraider


The Grumman Avenger TBM torpedo bomber:


The SBD Dauntless dive bomber:

 The F9F Cougar - bringing the Yorktown into the jet age.  Subsequent Navy jets quickly began to become too heavy to operate off the Yorktown.

Yorktown recovered the astronauts of Apollo 8, after their historic flight around the Moon in December 1968; so there are some space related exhibits, including a mock Apollo capsule:

And a mock up of the Friendship 7, the Mercury spacecraft piloted by John Glenn.

The hangar deck makes for an impressive display of the history of American naval air power.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Fox Has Investigated The Affair At The Michigan Henhouse, And Announced Nothing Untoward Had Occured

Surprising no one, our Democrat AG Nessel has "investigated" the act of our Democrat Governor in having one of her Democrat campaign contributors and part of her reelection apparatus given a no-bid contract for contact tracing earlier this year and has announced nothing criminal had occurred.  This, even after the governor was caught lying about having any knowledge of the contract.

The Detroit News: Nessel's office finds no evidence of criminal conduct in contact-tracing controversy

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said her office found "no evidence of criminal conduct" after investigating a state contract for tracking the spread of COVID-19 that involved a Democratic political consultant.

Nessel released a 29-page report Wednesday on her staff's inquiry into the agreement with Great Lakes Community Engagement, which is tied to Democratic consultant Michael Kolehouse.

However, the report noted that the Attorney General's Office was unable to interview three "critical individuals," including a central figure in the arrangement, Andrea Taverna, the Department of Health and Human Services' senior adviser on opioid strategy.

Taverna was in charge of developing the contact tracing program. Also, Lynn Sutfin, spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and Sarah Lyon-Callo, the state's top epidemiologist, didn't agree to interviews, according to the report.

Rather interesting how "critical individuals" can avoid being interviewed regarding their conduct, thereby forestalling the investigation. Why, it's almost as if the investigators don't really want to interview them at all. That must be nice, and rather convenient, too.

Maneuvers With Murphy's Law - To Patriot's Point

One of the cunning reasons that Murphy's Law had come along, in addition to the fact that he's a great guy and friend, was that he and I could go forth and do some guy things while the ladies went off to do their things.

To put it another way, the family was not about to have me traipse them all over, up, down, and around the Aircraft Carrier, Destroyer and other features of Patriot's Point.  They sadly just lack appreciation and the attention span for studying our nation's military history in sufficient detail.

Now with Murph, traipsing everywhere at Patriot's Point where we were allowed to go, and, ahem, some places we weren't, was just what was in store.

In short, this was a win-win scenario.

First, I must declare that if you are traveling in the Charleston area of South Carolina, Patriot's Point is not to be missed. 

As you approach the dock, you see the DD-724, USS Laffey

Behind the USS Laffey, and much more on this historic ship later, sits the mighty USS Yorktown, CV-10. Named for the carrier Yorktown sunk at the Battle of Midway, this Yorktown was to blaze its own path in the history books in World War 2 and beyond.

We decided to explore the Yorktown first.  We also signed up for the special guided tour, which was well worth it.

You begin to get an appreciation for the sheer size of the Yorktown as you walk up to it, and it's about a third of the size of today's supercarriers.

Up those stairs you enter the Yorktown and see the ships' bell and the Presidential Unit Citation Awarded to the ship:

Quite a proud service record, and the Yorktown was surely in the thick of the fighting in the Pacific.

Then we walked into the ship and began to explore the hangar deck.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Back From A Week's Respite

We left the snow and cold of Michigan last week to head to Charleston. South Carolina.

On the first leg, we drove to Cleveland and stopped to check out Case Western Reserve University as a potential university choice for the eldest daughter. This was on a Sunday and the place was rather deserted and pretty locked up and locked down.  The grey bleak weather didn't help much, and Cleveland seemed rather deserted.  However, the open Insomnia Cookie store helped, as did a nice Chinese restaurant that was open for table service, which was a nice change as Michigan does not allow such at the moment and has not for quite some time.

The next day we departed Cleveland and headed south.  The weather began to  improve the farther south we got on Highway 77.

We reached Charleston late Monday night and checked into our condo on Folly Island that we had rented for the week, and then I went and picked up Murphy's Law at the entrance to the complex. We got settled in and then headed out for a light meal and some drinks.

The next day offered a beautiful clear sky, highs in the 60s and the promise of adventure that awaited - and no need for winter jackets.


Saturday, December 26, 2020

Yom Dim Sum and WW84

Yesterday was not only Christmas Day, it's the unofficial and unrecognized holiday of Yom Dim Sum, where Jews eat Chinese Food and take in a movie.

So Chinese Food was had and the family and I watched WW1984. This movie was chosen since Wonder Woman is one of the kid's favorite movies and, of course, Gal Gadot is Gal Gadot, and the ladies got to see Chris Pine again.

Unfortunately, WW1984 just doesn't live up to Wonder Woman.  At two and a half hours there was a lot that could be trimmed from the script or at least used to drive the story so much better - and the script writers Patty Jenkins (who also directs), Geoff Johns, and David Callaham should be taken out and beaten long and hard with a rubber chicken for writing such a crappy script and throwing away so much potential.  The only problem is they might enjoy that.

Hollywood deems the 1980s to be the decade of greed and the film plays on that theme, with he story being one of internal struggle against wanting what your heart desires, and over-plays on that, plus a little poke at a stand in for Ronald Reagan, of course.

The actors did their best with what they had, but the story lacked heart, substance, and any real compelling plot, and for all its length lacked a coherent flow and serious external adversary for Wonder Woman.

On the upside, we get the origin story of how Wonder Woman's invisible jet became invisible, but with a really implausible take off, so to speak.

The end, after the credits have rolled, so keep watching, has a proper salute, homage, and cameo to someone, that also ties up a minor plot point in the movie most satisfactorily.

But other than that homage, there's just very little of the weight, substance, conflict, and just plain fun from the first Gadot Wonder Woman movie that made it fantastic.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas To My Christian Friends And Readers!

May Christmas 2020 bring you peace, joy, and happiness.

May it do so in this both strange and difficult year. 

Most especially may it do so if you are unable to celebrate together with your family as you usually would do.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Dear AG Nessel: You're A Shanda Fur Die Goyim

The Yiddish term A shanda fur die goyim is one rich in European and American Jewish History,

The polite modern translation is:  Dear Jewish idiot, you're making Jews look bad in front of non-Jews, cut it out you moron.

Ok, the expression in Yiddish, a shanda fur die goyim, literally means “a shame before the nations,” describing embarrassing behavior by a Jew where a non-Jew can witness it. 

It's letting the team down, ok?

By either definition, Michigan's Attorney General Dana Nessel qualifies as being a shanda fur die goyim, in spades.

 Daily Wire: Michigan AG Slams People Wishing ‘Merry Christmas’ After Trump Warning

Nessel wrote, “I remember the first time I was at a store with my son and an employee said ‘Merry Christmas’ to us. My son looked devastated as asked ‘Are we the only people who don’t celebrate Christmas?’ I answered ‘No, and we are just as American as everyone else.’ Glad @JoeBiden knows that.

Say what?!?  You actually tweeted such silliness?

I'm sorry, either I'd wager $20 on 'things that didn't really happen', or, Ms. Nessel, if your son really is "devastated" by someone wishing him Merry Christmas, you're doing parenting very, very wrong. 

I'm not sure if she's destroying her son as a man by fighting "toxic masculinity",  and raising him as an emasculated fragile flower, or what.  Quite simply, if a child falls apart when someone wishes them a Merry Christmas, you best toughen them up, a lot, and raise them better.  

Heck, its not like AG Nessel is an observant Jew offended by Merry Christmas. Instead, it's because she's a progressive first and a Jew as a distant second or perhaps even a distant third.

Guess what?  As a Jew I have absolutely no problem wishing Christians a Merry Christmas, I do it all the time. No harm is done by it to me, nor to the recipient of the words.  Indeed, it happens to be a nice thing to say to your Christian friends at Christmas.

Nor do I take offense, nor does any harm occur, when someone happens to say cheerfully Merry Christmas to me.  Such a cheerful departing statement happened today even, a few times no less, and nothing bad happened - at all. After all, this is a majority Christian country and it's not like I'm wearing an f'ing yellow badge to let someone know I'm not Christian -- and it's a good thing that's the case.

Someone saying Merry Christmas to you is quite simply not a cause for offense nor for you to be devastated.  Instead you smile, wish them a Merry Christmas in return, and be on your way.  This is not hard, difficult, nor in any way painful, at all. It's really quite simple.

In short AG Nessel, grow up, teach your son how to grow up, and quit being such a shanda fur die goyim.

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Yet Another Crazy Column On Covid: It's Turtles All The Way Down

The Globe and Mail, a pretty prestigious and major nation-wide Canadian newspaper, ran an op-ed that in more sensible times would have never been published in a major paper.

The real cure for COVID is renewing our fractured relationship with the planet

Now behind a paywall, at least some of the time (your access may vary), it's a fun read by:

James Maskalyk is an emergency physician, associate professor in the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine and author of the forthcoming book Doctor: Heal Thyself.Dave Courchene is the founder of the Turtle Lodge International Centre for Indigenous Education and Wellness and chair of its National Knowledge Keepers’ Council.

Between the title and the description of the authors, you can kinda tell where it is going to go from there, can't you?

If humanity is to endure, the coming months must hold healing, not just of populations across the globe from the coronavirus, but of the Earth herself. As is true of many zoonoses (diseases that jumped from animals), this virus emerged from pressure humans put on a global ecosystem.

Yep, it's the Gaia-worshiping Malthusians to the fore, with their idea that this virus instead of leaking from a Chinese lab in Wuhan is instead caused due to lack of our relationship and healing of the earth.

A lack of healthy, natural habitat weakens the immune systems of animals and the resulting sicknesses pass rapidly through them. Birds, prairie dogs, pigs, bats. With each infection, a chance for a virus to mutate into one that can sicken humans, and sometimes, global livelihoods. As such, a vaccine alone, no matter how effective, will not tip the balance toward health because COVID-19 is not a disease; it is a symptom of an exhausted planet. The renewal of a healthy relationship to our one shared mother, planet Earth, is the cure.

"COVID-19 is not a disease; it is a symptom of an exhausted planet" - What? remember the first-named author is a physician. I thought modern-day doctors had given up on both the sickness is caused by angry earth spirits and the bad humors school of sickness a long time ago.

But, it appears we are regressing.

The article to goes on about how indigenous peoples are much better stewards of the earth and the cure to Covid is being nice to the earth.  Really.

There is good news. We do not need to wait to determine how, because the answer is already here, and has been known for thousands of years. It is in the wisdom and sacred teachings of Indigenous people across the world. They have the deepest connection to the spirit of the Earth and its history, and from this intimacy, healing can occur. 

Puh-leeze.  The indigenous people's intimacy with the earth didn't help with healing Smallpox, nor Ebola, nor other viruses.  Still doesn't today.  Viruses are indeed a natural occurrence, as is the mosquito.   

I might also note this persistent myth of the noble savage is getting rather tiresome.

At least the authors are not yet advocating for adoption of ancient indigenous intimate practices like human sacrifice to ensure a good harvest, heal the earth,  and fend off Covid.  

At least not yet.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Governor Half-Whit Continues To Punish The Restaurant Industry

The Detroit News: Michigan extends indoor dining ban but allows casinos, cinemas, bowling alleys to reopen

Restaurants will now remain closed through January 15 - and many will never reopen.

As one commenter to the article pointed out:

You see before,  restaurants could be open but theaters and gyms need to be closed because science!!
But now theaters and gyms can be open but restaurants need to be closed because science!!

Exactly so.  There's simply no real scientific basis for this continued closure, even as the Gov flatly declares it to be so without evidence.  This is especially so when you read the article that restaurants accounted for an alleged 4% of outbreaks, but high schools accounted for at least 100 outbreaks (no percentage of the total is given) and they by contrast are allowed to reopen.

This is most likely the last straw and the death knell for many of the small business restaurants in this state.

A lot of this is the governor vindictively sticking the knife into the restaurant industry for their daring and  challenging her closure order in court, and daring to question her proclamations. It also hits a lot of small business owners who likely don't support her, and makes lots of former restaurant employees dependent on government for their welfare now,  so it's a win-win for her.

It's Not Winter Until I Go Sliding Down The Driveway of Doom™

So yes, as you might expect from the title, it is now officially winter. 

Got back from jitsu last night to a very light snowfall.

Didn't look too bad, so I headed up the driveway.

Almost made it.

Turns out that snow was hiding a slick layer of pure ice beneath it, covering the entire driveway

Momentum ran out about 4/5ths of the way up.

Then I started sliding backwards.

No control.

The brakes, they did nothing. I mean nothing.   Acceleration was unchanged.

Turning the steering wheel, it did nothing.   Velocity unchanged.

This was not good.  

This was the most complete out of control slide I've ever done down the driveway.  Normally there's at least some friction from the brakes and turning the tires gives some control.

All the way down I went, rather impressive it was.

Thankfully, I narrowly missed Abby's car on the parking pad at the bottom of the driveway by pure luck.

After a bit of choice language, I parked the car on the parking pad and then made my way up the hill, careful to stay off the iced over driveway.  The ice was not going anywhere with the freezing temperatures, and not until later this morning did it finally melt off in the sunlight and use of ice melter.

So yes, it is now officially Winter.

If You Want To Get Something Done, Sometimes You Gotta Do It Yourself

But you know, not that. Really.

The Jewish News:  Longtime Detroit Fertility Doctor Used Own Sperm to Inseminate Patients, DNA Tests Show

They’d both been conceived via artificial insemination at the Detroit practice of Dr. Philip Peven. Lynn’s sperm donor was an intern at Grace Hospital around the time she was born. And Jaime’s biological father, as suggested by DNA tests, was Dr. Peven himself.  

. . .

Dr. Peven, 104, delivered more than 9,000 babies during his career. But according to his son, Roger Peven, he has not taken a DNA test himself to help verify how many biological children he has.  

Yeah, there are just some things you really shouldn't do yourself.