Saturday, June 17, 2017

Seven US sailors missing off Japan

Seven US naval personnel are missing & many injured in a major shipping collision that happened in clear & calm weather conditions off Japan at about 2AM local time this morning.

[ Update: the seven Americans were found dead in a flooded segment of the warship. Tragedy; Rest In Peace ]

Collision was 10 nautical miles SE of Shimoda, Japan (vicinity 34 32N, 139 05E) involving United States Navy guided missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (154m / 505ft) vs. ACX Crystal  (222m / 730ft) - an NYK / Nippon Yusen-operated Filipino-flagged container ship traveling between Nagoya & Tokyo. Tonnage reports estimate the USS Fitzgerald at approx. 9000 tons, less than one-quarter the dwt 39,565 ton ACX Crystal.

The USS Fitzgerald, with its highly-advanced navigation, warfare & defense systems valued upward of US$1.5 billion, has a normal complement of 281 naval personnel. The ACX Crystal crew of 20 reportedly escaped injury, and their ship was comparatively lightly damaged.

Top-level liaison is said to be complicated (as the Trump administration hits its half-year mark) by continuing lack of a US Ambassador to Japan, nor is the Secretary of the Navy job finalized. Reports now claim the container ship was 'doing doughnuts' in the hour before the crash. But such a ship turns very slowly due to huge mass and length (730 feet), with limited visibility. Bullshit story? Is it even relevant? 

The USS Fitzgerald was hit in the quadrant termed "the danger zone" where oncoming shipping typically has the right-of-way. (Specifics of this accident, however, remain to be determined).

Cause unknown, but basic seamanship rules don't favor the Fitz.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Lessons? London Broil 2017

This week's Grenfell Tower tragedy was HORRIBLE.

British Prime Minister Theresa May states (video) ... "An investigation will take place into the cause of the fire, and if there are any lessons to be learnt."  Of course there are lessons Madame Prime Minister. For example, reportedly:

- the building required no sprinkler system
- there was only a single stairwell
- new cladding was not fireproof
- cheap cladding nonetheless made the building "look good"

There's no "IF" in the need PM Theresa May learn a few lessons. How about understanding that even with poor safety standards, rich toffs push the limits of minimal investment, unwilling to recognize critical safety requirements protecting poor folk. Midnight London Broil among the working class ... tragic & unnecessary.

©photo by Jeremy Selwyn

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


It's important for every American to know:
Did Russia interfere in the 2016 US Presidential election?
How much interference took place?

These answers are domestically contentious when beneficiaries fear election results could be invalidated. Surely the undermining of democracy, which may be continuing, is far more significant than any individual's limited political life or personal embarrassment; party politics are less important than national sabotage. America's been outmaneuvered by Grandmasters in the global chess game. Enemy strategists rejoice in the USA battling itself.  

© Rob Rogers & Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Toz r Us

People laughed when Trump® talked of draining the Swamp, meaning to clear-out Washington's greasy slimy professional politicos.

But instead he'll cleanse the world of us. We're the swamp community: poor riff-raff swarming & wallowing in places unfit for the sculpted footwear of Melania, the pink fat feet of Barron, and the silk stockings of our Russian masters & Trump's billionaire friends.

Local slippah feet SHAME Trump® -- and he likes crunchin' toz.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Trump - Be Alarmed!

"At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack ... no reason to be alarmed!"
 - US President Donald Trump, June 4

Trump® is an asshole.

(see link here for full details)

Japan Welcome

I'm sad for people suffering from racism - maybe worse when not hate but unemotional exclusion (tough article on racial discrimination by Daisuke Kikuchi in today's Japan Times)

But exclusion is hateful. Worst in Japan is where Japanese people are treated badly because they look different (for example, when one parent came from elsewhere).

Japan is sure to receive much unwelcome attention in anticipation of Tokyo Olympics 2020. Systemic human rights violations will be analyzed & condemned. These include a range of abuses difficult to defend, for example, being banned from beaches, pools and hot springs if you've any tattoo (because some criminals are tattooed). And some people simply refuse to deal with foreigners, businesspeople holding up their hands in an X sign toward foreign devils.

The Japan Times article offers a final quote from Dr. Debito Arudou, a naturalized Japanese citizen: "After all, we shouldn’t allow racist behavior to be normalized through public signage. And if that doesn’t work, of course, I would never advocate that people pull the signs down quietly in the middle of the night. Never ever."

Friday, June 02, 2017

Marketing the EU

We need better EU marketing --
Throughout the EU, rotate a half-dozen national days as holidays each year !

PS- 2nd June is national Republic Day of Italy.    🇮🇹   Viva Italia!