15 Feb

Flags, Ships and Awards – the new lowered standards of honor in the US

                                       

If we are to gauge the level of respect and honor in our civil society, we need only look to those we – or our elected representatives – consider deserving of special hero worship. Some of these high honors include the flying of Old Glory at half-staff, the honor of having Naval vessels named for an individual, or perhaps being the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Considering several events of late, I can not help but think that the standards that our society deems iconic have hit some unacceptable lows.

Three examples of late have had me shaking my head in bewilderment, tho I’m quite sure these are not only examples.

Gov. Chris Christie Orders US and State Flags
to fly half-staff for Whitney Houston funeral

The Republican governor has ordered U.S. and state flags flown at half-staff at all state government buildings on Saturday, the day of her funeral.

Christie defends his decision by deeming the singer a “cultural icon” of the state, along the lines of Jersey musicians Frank Sinatra, Count Basie and Bruce Springsteen.

He goes on to say, “Whitney Houston was an important part of the cultural fabric of this state … Her accomplishments in her life were a source of great pride for many people in this state and for this state as a whole. On that basis, I think she’s entitled to have that recognition made for her.”

According to official Flag Code, Gov. Christie has all rights as the Governor of the State to order the Old Glory’s half-mast status to honor whomever he wishes. That is not in question. What may be in question is his judgement in applying such an honor to a woman who can hardly be considered a role model to the young, and ended up abusing her extraordinary gift of song. Or perhaps this is what our society has come to… that our focus, adoration and attentions gravitate to drug addicted entertainers instead of genuine heroes amongst us that do not enjoy national fame.

It’s also embarrassing that this extends even to our 24/7 news outlets, i.e. Greta Van Sustern interrupting an interview with Karl Rove about the new Obama budget for the “breaking news” of the jet, carrying Whitney Houston’s body, hitting the tarmac in New Jersey. You’ve gotta be kidding me…

In a society where few can name the Vice President or Speaker of the House, but can name the past four season’s winners on Dancing with the Stars, I suppose it’s not all that surprising that ratings conscious broadcast entities cater to this mentality. But I do find it disconcerting that arrangement of priorities has reduced our fates, and that of our children and grandchildren, as nothing more than a side note or also ran…. preempted by another pandering opportunity to mourn sundry entertainers – like Houston and Michael Jackson – who also happen to be junkies that ended up engineering their own deaths.

What have we come to when we telegraph to the young that these people are deserving of some of our highest honors?

Obama’s Naval Secretary announces next LCS
to be named for Gabrielle Giffords

I have to admit, as a Navy wife back in the era of Vietnam, the announcement by Obama Naval Secretary appointee, Ray Mabus, to name the latest littoral combat ship off the drydock after former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, really stunned me. While I have nothing against Ms. Giffords personally, and wish her well in her recovery, I find that such an honor bestowed on someone because they were the target of a lunatic falls fall short of our traditional standards for naming naval vessels in the past, as documented by this 2011 CRS report. Generally, the LCS class is named for small and medium sized American cities.

But this is not Mr. Mabus’ first, or only controversial choice of names. In April, 2010, the Naval Secy announced the LPD-26, the 10th ship in the class, would be named for the late Representative John P. Murtha. Needless to say, this was not a decision that was received well by the masses. While Pelosi saw him as a tireless advocate for the troops, more than a few of us instead remembered his 2005 accusation that US Marines killed Iraqis in cold blood…. Marines that were later exonerated of charges.

The proposed LCS Gabrielle Giffords is not only an off tangent honor for that class of ship, but also in the fact that very few ships are named after the living. This places the former House member in the exclusive company of Carl Vinson, Adms Rickover and Burke, John Stennis (weird in itself that a ship is named after a racial segregation Senator…), Bob Hope, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and George Bush the elder. And why? Because she was the unfortunate victim of a shooting?

Mabus comes up with a pretty flimsy reason… as quoted from the Washington Times editorial I linked above.

Mr. Mabus said Mrs. Giffords was a source of “great inspiration” who represents “the Navy and Marine Corps qualities of overcoming, adapting and coming out victorious despite great challenges.”

I’m sorry, but I have to agree with the Times editorial staff… if overcoming, adapting and achieving victory over great challenges is the criteria, one need look no further than Walter Reed Hospital for heroes who willingly took bullets for our nation for that inspiration.

USNS Cesar Chavez

Perhaps the line in the sand has been unmistakeably crossed with Mabus’ late 2011 announcement that a dry cargo and ammunition ship under construction in San Diego is to be named after labor activist, Cesar Chavez.

Although the authority to choose naval vessel’s names has been the Secretary of Navy’s privilege since the late 1800s, this does not eliminate Congressional interest, and influence, when controversial suggestions arise. Incidents where Congress and the POTUS have interceded are documented as examples from the CRS background report:

For example, one source states that “[the aircraft carriers] CVN 72 and CVN 73 were named prior to their start [of construction], in part to preempt potential congressional pressure to name one of those ships for Admiral H.G. Rickover ([instead,] the [attack submarine] SSN 709 was named for the admiral).”20 Another example was
a rivalry of sorts in Congress between those who supported naming the aircraft carrier CVN-76 for President Truman and those who supported naming it for President Reagan; the issue was effectively resolved by a decision announced by President Clinton in February 1995 to name one carrier (CVN-75) for Truman and another (CVN-76) for Reagan.21 One press report suggests that the decision to name CVN-77 for President George H.W. Bush may have been influenced by a congressional suggestion.22 Section 1012 of the FY2007 defense authorization act (H.R. 5122/P.L. 109-364 of October 17, 2006), expressed the sense of the Congress that the aircraft carrier CVN-78 should be named for President Gerald R. Ford, and the Navy announced on January 16, 2007, that CVN-78 would be so named.

And apparently this discernible trend by Obama’s Naval Secretary appointee has begun to raise Congressional eyebrows. So this past December, “…a clause in the Dec. 12 congressional report accompanying the defense authorization bill calls on the defense secretary to review the policy for naming vessels.” This is not exactly a vote of confidence in the trend of name choices and defining the acts which are deserving of this honor.

This was done prior to the announcement of the USS Gabrielle Giffords. And I honestly believe that few Congress members would have the fortitude to stand up and say that one of their own is not worthy of this honor for fear of public repercussions. But I will. And frankly, I do believe that not only should Ray Mabus.. who served two years in the Navy in the 70s… be bounced out with nothing but skivvies in hand, but that his choice of names should be reviewed and reversed before the paint is dry on the hull.

The last example of the decline of US moral society, as reflected in “honors”?

Obama awards Warren Buffett a Presidential Medal of Freedom

By gum, there’s not much to say about this abomination of choice. Why did Obama feel Buffett, a close crony to his admin, was worthy of such an honor?

Obama said Buffett “uses his stature as a leader to press others of great means to do the same.” “

Apparently, this POTUS believes that if one of wealth decides to gift their inheritance to those they don’t know instead of relatives, it’s an example of leadership.

????

~~~

So what do we have here? Flags at half-staff for junkies, ships named for labor leaders, and Congressional members who either accused and disgraced our military, or simply were a victim of a loon, and the celebration of any-one-but-family charitable giving. Is our society in such moral decline that this is an acceptable trend by our elected leaders?

Or have our thresholds gotten so low that one really knows, or cares, what constitutes a hero/heroine, worthy of honor anymore?

About MataHarley

Vietnam era Navy wife, indy/conservative, and an official California escapee now residing as a red speck in the sea of Oregon blue.
This entry was posted in Culture, True Heroes, WtF?. Bookmark the permalink. Wednesday, February 15th, 2012 at 12:56 pm
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41 Responses to Flags, Ships and Awards – the new lowered standards of honor in the US

  1. Wm T Sherman says: 1

    Shot dead by Loughner and ignored by our Democrat overlords:

    1. Christina-Taylor Green, 9, of Tucson. Green was accompanied to the meeting by neighbor Susan Hileman Because her date of birth was September 11, 2001, she had appeared in the book Faces of Hope: Babies Born on 9/11 (page 41). She was the granddaughter of former Major League Baseball player and manager Dallas Green.

    2. Dorothy “Dot” Morris, 76, a retired secretary from Oro Valley; wife of George, who was wounded.

    3. John Roll, 63, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for Arizona, named to the federal bench by President George H. W. Bush in 1991.

    4. Phyllis Schneck, 79, homemaker from Tucson.

    5. Dorwan Stoddard, 76, retired construction worker, died from a gunshot wound to the head; his wife Mavy was wounded.

    6. Gabriel “Gabe” Zimmerman, 30, community outreach director for Giffords, and a member of Giffords’ staff since 2006. Zimmerman was the first Congressional staffer killed in the line of duty.

    Wonded by Loughner and ignored by our Democrat overlords:

    — Susan Hileman, 58

    — Mavanell Stoddard, 75

    — Pamela Simon, 63

    — Ronald Barber, 65

    — James Tucker, 58

    — Kenneth Veeder, 75

    — George Morris, 76

    — James Fuller, 63

    — Randy Gardner, 60

    — Mary Reed, 52

    — Kenneth Dorushka, 63

    — Bill Badger, 74

    Wounded by Loughner and made into a plaster saint by our Democrat overlords:

    — Gabrielle Giffords, 40

    They really do see us as nothing but expendable chess pieces, don’t they?

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  2. johngalt says: 2

    I believe your last sentence says it the best, Mata. Our standards in society have sunk that low. And it’s probably due to the ignorance of people regarding what actually constitutes a hero.

    Just looking at the different definitions at different dictionary sites can show you how differently people believe regarding the term ‘hero’. For example, Merriam-Webster has as one of their definitions, “An object of extreme admiration and devotion; Idol. Dictionary.com lists no such definition, instead concentrating on the more classical definitions.

    To me, a hero is someone that I look up to for various reasons and want to emulate in attitude and honor, heavy emphasis on the honor part. And while I do look up to some cult or contemporary figures, they all have that honor thing that separates them from the rest of their “equals”.

    The true heroes, and heroines, of contemporary society are being short-changed, in my opinion, by this idolized worship of people who show no honor whatsoever. Buffet is the perfect example of this, as the man is a tax cheat, not because of his tax rate compared to his secretary but due to actual non-payment of taxes due, yet, he continually and consistently misrepresents the factual data regarding taxation in this country. No HONOR.

    As for Whitney Houston, while her singing was great, arguably amongst the best ever, her personal life had no redeeming qualities that people can point to and truly claim admiration for. I don’t know, nor care to, involve myself in an argument on whether she was a victim of life. Even if that was true, that is not an admirable quality.

    Gabrielle Giffords is simply a victim of a terrible crime against society. And while I can admire her for her tenacity and will to live after being shot like she was, that is not something that is uncommon today, and certainly should not raise her to “saint hood” status by naming a US Naval ship after her. One simply has to ask themselves, if this was a GOP woman, say, like Sarah Palin that this happened to, would the Naval Secretary have even entertained the idea in the first place? Call me cynical, but I seriously doubt that he would have.

    Murtha is another entity entirely. Namely, one without any HONOR at all. He used an incident to further a political agenda, smearing the names of good marines in the process. Whether or not he knew the true account of the incident is quite beside the point. He publicly condemned those men without any regard to “innocent until proven guilty”. It is no small wonder that marines in general claim that there is only ONE ex-marine and that his name is John Murtha.

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  3. Budvarakbar says: 3

    What a giant suck — actually the Gabriel Giffords naming is a twofer for the demo-bolshevikRATS — actually they are honoring the shooter – one OF THEIR OWN — and setting up a continual twist of the knife in Sarah Palin’s back — and helping set up Gabbie G as the next Christopher Reeves — they will be trotting her out every election cycle as long as she lives.

    There is an additional thing at work here and that is the INTENTIONAL demoralizing of our armed forces — there have been several MOH winners from Iraq nad Afghanistan — where are their ships — mark my words — these basturds are getting eztremely desperate and beginning that the O’bastard’s regime may be their last chance for a generation to take down the US.

    The rest of this post is just a clear illustration of the bolshevik tactics that are being implemented by the demo’s and friggin gutless RINO’s.

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  4. Budvarakbar says: 4

    My previous post – edited

    What a giant suck — actually the Gabriel Giffords naming is a twofer for the demo-bolshevikRATS. Actually they are honoring the shooter — one OF THEIR OWN — and setting up a continual twist of the knife in Sarah Palin’s back and helping set up Gabbie G as the next Christopher Reeves — they will be trotting her out every election cycle as long as she lives.

    There is an additional thing at work here and that is the INTENTIONAL demoralizing of our armed forces — there have been several MOH winners from Iraq and Afghanistan — where are their ships — mark my words — these basturds are getting extremely desperate and they seem to sense that the O’bastard’s regime may be their last chance for a generation to take down the US.

    The rest of this post is just a clear illustration of the bolshevik tactics that are being implemented by the demo’s and their friggin gutless RINO enablers.

    And a PS to gag us all — two bits says that the next democrat admin will name a ship after Obie — that even may be during Obie’s next admin — we will not have seen the end of this SOB after next January – and he will paint the navy ships white

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  5. Hard Right says: 5

    It’s mostly self aggrandizment by raising up somone they are associated with. Some of it is political pandering.

    We saw something similar here in AZ. Napolitano ignored all the rules for renaming a mountain and a freeway. Squaw Peak became Piestewa Peak. If not for the way and the real reasons she did it, that may have been fine. But then she named a freeway Piestewa freeway. It became clear it was all about Janet and her ego instead of one of our soldiers that had been killed. She could have re-named Squaw Peak and then re-named the freeway Veterans Freeway to honor veterans. But no. It was all about Janet. Just sickening.

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  6. FAITH7 says: 6

    Yes, for the most part we are a Sports driven Society, I get that…. but ….. [And] Sorry, to all you Sports fans, but, I never ever in my lifetime saw a [ ticker tape parade] down the “Canyon of Heroes on Broadway” for our Veterans on Veterans Day, yet alone on Memorial Day ……. I never saw or heard the cheering for our Veteran’s nor as LARGE A CROWD as the Giant’s/[throw Macy’s in there too] parade….. I looked on you tube for both parades 10 videos were uploaded for the Veterans Day 2011 Parade while 36 were uploaded for the Giants parade. Both of these parades are (were) held during the week…. and the “crowd” was vastly different in many ways…

    It makes me very sad… “who” we “honor” in our society today…. as opposed to “who we really should honor” with such a parade [ticker tape] – many Americans including our Politicians should feel ashamed, but, sadly they don’t…

    NY Giants Parade 2012
    The New York Giants are celebrating their Super Bowl win with a ticker-tape parade in the Canyon of Heroes on Broadway, where the city has honored …
    HD by mishagl33 | 1 week ago | 11,718 views

    GOD BLESS OUR VETERANS AND GOD BLESS AMERICA…

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  7. mmercier says: 7

    I used to buy cocaine from one of NJ’s cultural icons.
    he got deportd back to the D.R. after serving a decade for… non drug related… things.

    his cousin says he is working his way back here through Italy.

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  8. THE SOOTHSAYER says: 8

    There are thousands of cities and towns across this country which have supplied manpower to the armed forces that have never been named with a USS to the sten of a naval or Coast Guard vessel. Instead of using Murtha how about the USS Williamsport named for the home of the global Little League World Series giving a plack in the ships company mess mentioning John Murtha. Likewise, there could be a USS TUSCON or a ship designating the town where Cesar Chavez grew up, went to school or got his first civil rights job. Diefication by Democrats of Democrats will just come back to sink them.

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  9. malize says: 9

    Ship naming conventions have gone down hill since the Stennis (a reward for his tireless lobbying)

    The Navy I was in had some sense of tradition…the whole trend of naming carriers carries a certain ugly smell. The names that went with the high point of US Naval power in WW2…Lexington, Wasp, Hornet, et al. find themselves not on the ships they should be celebrated with…the super carriers that they are the great-grandfathers of…but instead on glorified amphibs.

    As much as I appreciate seeing a USS Ronald Reagan…it is just wrong for these politicians names to be plastered on the most visible ships possible…that *IS NOT* what we are about, or at least it wasn’t at one time.

    There are just some ship names that should always be associated with certain kinds of warships…for example the Enterprise should always be on a fleet carrier…there should always be a destroyer in the fleet named Roberts, Blue, Hoel, and Herrmann…and American sailors should know why these names carry more weight than others if the general public does not.

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  10. mmercier says: 10

    agree.

    my brother works these boats. at least the submarine fleet maintains a semblance of order in Protocol. they have to be more focused for a reason.

    I’m my opinion, I would not to sail on a ship named after s female who failed to dodge a bullet._

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  11. mmercier says: 11

    THE SOOTHSAYER

    The town of Ipswitch Massachusetts lost more of their progeny to war over the years than most States.

    They desreve a heavy cruiser at the least in the name USS Ipswich.

    not that we build such lately…

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  12. Marine72 says: 12

    @johngalt: Absolutely well said. In fact we have evidence that Murtha was actually an officer in the NVA.

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  13. johngalt says: 13

    @Marine72:

    I don’t take credit for the “Murtha being an ex-marine” part of my post. That was relayed to me by my older brother, a retired Marine Major as of 2009. Needless to say, my brother was extremely angry at what Murtha did to those soldiers.

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  14. THE SOOTHSAYER says: 14

    @mmercier:

    The USS CHICAGO, my hometown, lost all hands is at the bottom of Iron Bottom Sound off Gualelcanal.

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  15. Michael Henkins says: 15

    One of the best post I have read in a while. That includes the replies. Nothing I could say would add any merit. Just delude its truth. Well done.

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  16. malize says: 16

    @mmercier:

    subs are not as much “in demand” because they are not highly visible like surface ships of any stripe…submarines go stealthily to unknown places and rarely “show the flag” as it were.

    The carriers are the most egregious violations…they not only are the “pride of the fleet”/”show the flag” quality, they by lend their moniker by extension to a whole battlegroup during public consumption (i.e. “the Abraham Lincoln carrier battlegroup”, etc.) That name will always be in the forefront.

    Frankly, if you’re a politician and you haven’t been in the ground for at least half a century, your name shouldn’t be on a warship, IMO. On top of that: unless after that time you are considered of the caliber of freaking George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, your name shouldn’t be on a damn super carrier. It ABSOLUTELY shouldn’t be handed out for simply being elected to the office of POTUS, the US Navy should have higher standards than the Nobel Peace Prize committee.

    Finally — if you are a politician that isn’t a Geo. Washington/Abe Lincoln caliber…your name goes to the bottom of the list behind traditional names that celebrate the storied history of the US Navy, you don’t get a damned super carrier in other words. In fact you should get the next fleet logistics ship that comes out…because that represents what pols are: support, not war fighters.

    Think it’s time to take this particular privilege away from the SECNAV and place it with people who have more respect for the honor and tradition of the US Navy (what’s next, we going to change the 82nd Airborne into the Gabriel Giffords Division? freaking idiot politician tools are going to be the death of this country, you mark my words.)

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  17. mmercier says: 17

    I appreciate your detailed post here. Read every word twice.

    You are well aware that every carrier group includes one boomer and several LA or Virginia class boats…

    Most people do not understand that one boomer accompanying a carrier group will end the frigging world in a matter of hours if their ship gets taken out. These peoples do not play games.

    most don’t even know the difference between a boat, ship, or boomer.

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  18. MataHarley says: 18

    @mmercier, I confess that I, personally, am a dummy as to what any US “carrier group” may be comprised of with classes of ships. And I’m still not sure of your definition. Tho I especially thank you for making me dig further into specifics just for a learning experience.

    What I do know is that the “US carrier group” that is currently stationed in Bahrain, as well as in the Straits of Hormuz are currently a mix of destroyers and two carriers… the Carl Vinson and Abraham Lincoln… at least for public consumption. Of course I would believe that there are support vessels and other unnamed classes of combat vessels not disclosed.

    The USS Abraham Lincoln sailed has sailed thru the Strait, and has been shadowed by Iran’s lesser naval vessels. They say this is standard practice, of course… this non engaging tag team of tests.

    I didn’t know of the “boomers”, or the Ballistic Missile Subs, prior to you mentioning this. Tho my ex hubby was stationed on the Finback (fast attack Sturgeon class) early 70s era, just newly commissioned, and I wasn’t astute to the plethora of nuke powered subs. Tho I was ever cognizant of the Thresher’s fate a few years before. I always find it interesting that when they speak of “carrier groups”, they never mention those stealth underwater guys. Well, not until some press guy gets a hold of it and decides to telegraph to the enemy just who of our guys are out there anyway. And non disclosure of everyone is fine by me. What they don’t see, or don’t know about, falls into that don’t “need to know” category.

    My thanks to all, BTW, for your input on the ship naming especially. Truth be told, I thought I was probably being extremely difficult about the USS Gabby bit… you know, politically incorrect? The Cesar Chavez is easier to blow steam about publicly, of course. But I can’t help but feel that Mabus and his CiC seriously need to beat feet, or get a grip on who is worthy of such an honor as having a naval vessel bear their name.

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  19. anticsrocks says: 19

    Excellent post Mata. I could only say that were I in Gabrielle Giffords’ shoes (God forbid), I would not want a ship named after me, and I would publicly state such.

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  20. Budvarakbar says: 20

    @malize: If I remember correctly this crap started when they named a carrier USS FDR – practically before he was cold

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  21. mmercier says: 21

    MataHarley

    the number of boats (submarines) on deployment at any given moment is nondetrminable… classified.

    the surface speed of a USS aircraft carrier is still… classified.

    no man or woman knows the exact location of the boomers… some speculate the numbers of functional units is… nondeterminable…

    one carrier group could eliminate the Iranian navy in an afternoon.

    the Lincoln has more flight ready units then the Iranian airforce.

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  22. mmercier says: 22

    than, then… all fun and games until someone shoots a tomahawk at you…

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  23. mmercier says: 23

    malize

    your words are marked. the term dead man walking comes to fore.

    it is possible to suffer a fatal wound and walk for miles before you recognize that you have already died.

    the bitch is the fact that you never see the one that takes you out.

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  24. Smorgasbord says: 24

    We know that the Nobel Peace prize can be bought when Al Gore and Obama purchased theirs. Obama got his after only 10-11 days in office.

    I too was surprise by the lowering of the state flag for Whitney Houston. Christie had better do it for equal or higher status people in his state. Wasn’t New Jersey trying to lure the movie industry to film there a while back. Could this be one reason for the honor? Just wondering.

    Imagine the sailors on the USS Murtha who know that Murtha called Marines murderers before they were even tried. There was a big drive to stop it from being called that name. Is it still on? I let my feelings known.

    Mr. Mabus said Mrs. Giffords was a source of “great inspiration” who represents “the Navy and Marine Corps qualities of overcoming, adapting and coming out victorious despite great challenges.”

    I don’t know much about Giffords, but if she goes along with a ship being named after her, I will have no respect for her at all.

    The Joint Chiefs of Staff should be in charge of naming military equipment, bases, etc.

    Or have our thresholds gotten so low that one really knows, or cares, what constitutes a hero/heroine, worthy of honor anymore?

    This is all part of the democrat’s plan to take military heroes away from us. They want to reduce the military, and the less attention they can give to ACTUAL heroes, the easier it is to accomplish this.

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  25. Poppa_T says: 25

    An excellent post Mata, I have always thought that when naming Naval Vessels, Politicians should be excluded, to me that honor should be reserved to actual hero’s who have served. But putting aside my personnel feelings as far as I know this is the first time a Naval vessel has been named after someone who’s claim to fame is based on being a victim. I personally don’t see how the causes that led up to, or the after affects of the shooting of Congresswoman Gifford as being inspirational to the men and women who will eventually serve aboard her. But I could be wrong.

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  26. mmercier says: 26

    utube submarine jet underwater launch. my person can not provide direct link. there are rules and whatnot. plus I am bored and lazy this iteration.

    this is the old stuf thatlt is now new, with purpose.

    the true new stuf would blow your mind…

    it too shall be old, later this after.

    we do… things… fabulous things…

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  27. Smorgasbord says: 27

    @FAITH7: #6

    I never ever in my lifetime saw a [ ticker tape parade] down the “Canyon of Heroes on Broadway” for our Veterans on Veterans Day, yet alone on Memorial Day.

    One reason I don’t use ANY Google products is because they decorated their logo on their home page for every holiday, EXCEPT for Labor Day and Memorial Day until the conservative blogs complained about it. There are other reasons, but this is one of the best for me not to help them promote their liberal agenda. There are a lot of search engines out there to choose from. I used my freedom of choice and chose another one.

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  28. malize says: 28

    @mmercier:

    I’m sorry, is this some kind of personal threat? Because it sure as hell sounds like it.

    I’ve got more actual Navy combat time than you’ve got going to the head, so save your attitude.

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  29. malize says: 29

    @MataHarley:

    Mata,
    Carrier Battlegroups are the carrier itself, a handful of supporting cruiser and destroyers, and usually have an attack submarine lurking around (but not reported)

    When you see two carriers in the same place during routine deployments they are usually handing off (i.e., one group is going home, the other arriving)

    There are normally one or two logistics force ships attached to a battlegroup, but are not a fixed part of the group (you see the battlegroups are a fixed squadron of ships, so by example the Carrier Strike Group One is also known as the Carl Vinson Strike Group and is comprised of the Vinson, Destroyer Squadron 1, and the cruiser Bunker Hill) … DESRON 1 is currently (Stockdale, Higgins, Rentz, Gridley, and McClusky…although only a couple would be sent in support of the carrier — the odds are it will often be the same ships because of the downtime/deployment schedules matching the carriers)

    The logistics ships would be assigned according to availability, forward deployed logistics ships will often support multiple battle groups in a year. The logistics ships are the achilles heel to the long term deployment of the carrier battlegroup system because there are relatively few of them and they often travel independently of the battlegroup without escort. In any case there will be one or two of them depending on which classes of support vessels are available.

    As far as the Iranians and Hormuz…the transit has always been done at a modified state of General Quarters (Condition I) as long as I can recall at least. This is a long evolution since it takes several hours to transit, and it is fairly common to have Republican Guard speedboats or other craft come take a look.

    You may be interested in Operation Praying Mantis, this was where we suckered the aggressive minded Iranian revolutionaries out in their fancy nicer ships and beat the hell out of them. They quieted down some after that :)

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  30. johngalt says: 30

    While in the Navy, I served aboard the USS Enterprise. Personally, I wish that the naming would get back to using some of the great names of the past, such as Constitution, America, Constellation, Essex, Intrepid, etc. Even some of the British ships of old had some very good names, such as the Golden Hind, Invincible, and Bounty.

    As for the Enterprise itself, it is scheduled to be decommissioned soon, the first American nuclear powered carrier to be such. If they name the next carrier built, after the CVN-65 version is decommissioned, anything BUT the Enterprise, I will be truly angry. There has been an Enterprise in the US Navy for virtually the entire existence of the United States, going back to an eight gun schooner that originally held a letter of marque from Maryland before being purchased by the Continental Congress for their naval use on December 20, 1776. In my opinion, there should ALWAYS be an Enterprise associated with the US Navy, and it should be one of the marquee ships in the fleet.

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  31. MataHarley says: 31

    @Poppa_T, thank you for the kind words.

    @johngalt, the CRS study I linked in the post shows there is… was… a general pattern to the names based on the class of vessel.

    Naming Rules for Ship Types

    Rules for giving certain types of names to certain types of Navy ships have evolved over time. Attack submarines, for example, were once named for fish, then later for cities, and most recently for states, while cruisers were once named for cities, then later for states, and most recently for battles. The Navy states that while it “has attempted to be systematic in naming its ships, like all institutions it has been subject to evolutionary change, and the name sources of the Navy’s ships have not been immune to this change.”5

    There have been numerous exceptions to the Navy’s ship-naming rules, particularly for the purpose of naming a ship for a person when the rule for that type of ship would have called for it to be named for something else.6 Some observers in recent years have perceived a breakdown in, or corruption of, the rules for naming Navy ships.7 For example, the three-ship Seawolf (SSN-21) class of attack submarines—Seawolf (SSN-21), Connecticut (SSN-22), and Jimmy Carter (SSN- 23)—were named for a fish, a state, and a president, respectively, reflecting no apparent rule.

    For ship types now being procured for the Navy, current naming practices can be summarized as follows:

    • Eleven of the 12 most recently named aircraft carriers (those with hull numbers 67 through 79) have been named for U.S. presidents (9 ships) and Members of Congress (2 ships). The most recent carrier that was not named for a president or Member of Congress was the second of these 12 carriers, Nimitz (CVN-68), which was procured in FY1967.8

    • Virginia (SSN-774) class attack submarines are being named for states. An exception occurred on January 8, 2009, when then-Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter announced that SSN-785, the 12th ship in the class, would be named for former Senator John Warner.9

    • Destroyers are traditionally named for U.S. naval leaders and heroes. The Navy is currently procuring Arleigh Burke (DDG-51) class destroyers. The Navy in FY2007-FY2009 also procured three DDG-1000 class destroyers.

    • Littoral Combat Ships (LCSs) are being named for small and medium-sized cities. The Navy named LCS-1 and LCS-2 Freedom and Independence, respectively, after multiple U.S. cities with these names. Exceptions to the class naming rule arguably have occurred with LCS-3, LCS-5, and LCS-7, which the
    Navy named for the relatively large cities of Fort Worth, TX; Milwaukee, WS; and Detroit, MI, respectively.10 The Navy named LCS-4, LCS-6, and LCS-8 for Coronado, CA; Jackson, MS; and Montgomery, AL, respectively.

    • San Antonio (LPD-17) class amphibious ships are being named for U.S. cities. An exception occurred on April 23, 2010, when the Secretary of the Navy announced that LPD-26, the 10th ship in the class, would be named for the late Representative John P. Murtha.11 The Navy in late February or early March 2011 reportedly reaffirmed the Secretary’s decision.12

    • The Navy announced on June 27, 2008, that the first LHA-6 class amphibious assault ship would be named America, a name previously used for an aircraft carrier (CV-66) that served in the Navy from 1965 to 1996. The previous eight Wasp (LHD-1) class big deck amphibious assault ships were named for World War II-era Navy aircraft carriers and earlier Navy ships.

    • Lewis and Clark (TAKE-1) class cargo and ammunition ships are being named for noted explorers and pioneers of various kinds. The Navy announced on October 9, 2009, that the 13th ship in the class would be named for the civil rights activist Medgar Evers.13

    • Joint High Speed Vessels (JHSVs), which are being procured for both the Navy and Army, are being named for American traits and values.14 On July 16, 2009, the Secretary of the Navy and the Secretary of the Army announced that the first three JHSVs had been named Fortitude (JHSV-1), Vigilant (JHSV-2), and Spearhead (JHSV-3). JHSVs 1 and 3 was procured by the Army; JHSV-2 was procured by the Navy.15 An exception to the naming rule for this class has occurred with JHSV-4, the second JHSV procured by the Navy, which the Secretary of the Navy announced on March 25, 2010, was being named Fall River.16 Fall River is a city in Massachusetts that is the location of Battleship Cove, a maritime museum and war memorial with several deactivated warships, including a post-World War II cruiser named Fall River.

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  32. johngalt says: 32

    @MataHarley:

    Several of the “First of class” ships were named while I was in the Navy, including the Arleigh Burke and Seawolf. I truly had no reservations about such naming, as destroyers were typically, and traditionally, named for US Naval heroes and leaders. The first two carriers named while I was in, the Lincoln and Washington, were celebrated by the Navy in general because of the historical significance of those two figures. The third, the Stennis, was a complete blindside to the Navy as far as the name went. Most had no clue who the guy was, and those who did have some idea weren’t all that happy about it. At the time, there was quite a lot of talk of it being named the newest America, or even the United States.

    I happened to be in the shipyard, on the Enterprise during it’s early 90’s refueling, when the keel was laid and during the christening of the Stennis. Even the yard workers, all of them union members, weren’t terribly excited about the naming of that ship. An informal shipyard poll vote was done and most of them voted for United States, although there was a decent percentage who voted for such names as Martin Luther King(an intriguing name, and acceptable even by most sailors I knew) and Constitution(which was truly my favorite at the time). Ask most people on the street who John C. Stennis was and my guess is that 99.9999% of them wouldn’t have a clue. Yet, they guy is the namesake for one of America’s greatest warships.

    The naming of US warships, to me, should be one of a true honoring of the past, particularly when it comes to using a person’s name. I have no problem naming a ship after a naval hero or leader, or truly important US historical figures like Lincoln, and even Vinson. I do, however, have a problem when they name ships after people who, essentially, have done nothing of significance regarding the US Navy or it’s operations. I will have lost total respect the day a USS Jesse Jackson or USS Margaret Sanger is christened.

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  33. openid.aol.com/runnswim says: 33

    Credit where credit was due, Mata. A very high quality, thought-provoking, original op-ed.

    There’s an unfortunate trend in American society — we have transitioned from the cold, cruel world model of parenting to everyone is above average to everyone is a star. We want to honor everyone — at least for something.

    It starts in grade school. If you can’t be a “star student,” you are at minimum a “super citizen.” You get a trophy and playing time in youth sports — in my day, I absolutely stunk in baseball and I rode the pine in Little League and got cut from my Jr HS (grades 7-8-9) baseball team three years running (it was a valuable lesson; I learned that I wasn’t any good at hand/eye coordination sports, but I had a modest talent for how-much-pain-can-you-endure endurance sports). An “average” grade was a C and an “average” GPA was 2.0 or so. Below average was a D. Failure was an F. A B was a great grade. Proud parents would say “my son got all As and Bs.” Today, a B is average and no proud, college educated parent would brag about his kid getting Bs.

    SAT scores were famously inflated, a couple of decades ago, because the kids didn’t/don’t do as well on math and verbal tests was did we ostensibly over-indulged Baby Boomers.

    And we have all these awards, at the grown up level. For everything.

    Whitney Houston — half mast? For drowning in a bathtub?

    I gotta think about Giffords. We had long had a tradition of honoring politicians for getting shot. Giffords wouldn’t have gotten shot had she not been serving the USA and, literally, putting her safety on the line. No one on this blog (practically no one) signs his/her own name. It’s because you all fear something. From physical violence to property damage to getting in trouble at work. Giffords got half of her cerebral cortex blown away, in the process of protecting and defending the US Constitution. I understand the point of view that her sacrifice was on the same order as a wounded serviceman in Afghanistan, who gets barely a mention in his local paper. Still, it’s hard for me to feel any outrage about the ship naming, and I’d feel the same way about a very conservative GOP congressman, in a similar situation.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

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  34. malize says: 34

    Constitution is still “kinda” held by the original, USS Constitution (IX-21) — some claim that it’s not, but since the ship is manned by US Navy sailors still I’d think tradition would keep her name safely to herself.

    RE: Fall River variance:

    Mabus wanted to do something to honor Massachusetts, where he lived for some time, he said. Talking to Patrick, the governor suggested Fall River. �This was not a hard sell,� Mabus said.

    Read more: http://www.tauntongazette.com/news/x1336919111/Navy-names-ship-after-Fall-River-in-honor-of-city-s-service#ixzz1mZyLiIvy

    Side note – the Vigilant is now the Choctaw County, not a new name to the USN but does deviate from the naming convention.

    Actually there is a symmetry to the naming of the submarines Jimmy Carter and Connecticut…Carter being a former sub man would probably rather have his name on a sub anyway, and Connecticut is where they keep those goofy sailors that don’t know ships shouldn’t sink on purpose. Seawolf of course is carried over from a name that has been applied to USN subs since 1913. While the Carter and Connecticut names don’t exactly jive with what I’d prefer, they are at *least* logically associated with the type of vessel.

    Like I said before, the whole naming of carriers for recent Presidents is horse-pucky.

    Overall I understand there are “evolutionary changes” that occur in ship naming…but there are certain names that go on certain ships as the best way to traditionally honor the singular achievements of those ships…and like before — since naming a ship, especially a carrier, after a person basically deifies as it were, they should be names that are without a doubt historically solid.

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  35. malize says: 35

    @Budvarakbar:

    Well you could say that…but it was actually before then when being SECNAV or lobbying precious between-wars-funds to the Navy as a Congresscritter could get your name on a destroyer, or one of your past namesakes who had some navy connection.

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  36. Smorgasbord says: 36

    @openid.aol.com/runnswim: #33

    Giffords wouldn’t have gotten shot had she not been serving the USA and, literally, putting her safety on the line.

    Using your logic, shouldn’t a lot of police officers who died or were seriously wounded have stuff named after them? Are you seriously putting a politician ahead of the soldiers who came home with one or more arms and legs missing. Shouldn’t a soldier who looses both legs and one arm be put in front of Giffords for a ship or anything else to be named after them?

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  37. anticsrocks says: 37

    @openid.aol.com/runnswim: You said:

    No one on this blog (practically no one) signs his/her own name. It’s because you all fear something.

    I fear nothing. I do however, value my privacy. But the reason I use “anticsrocks” is twofold. It began because I couldn’t think of another screen name waaaay back when I got on the internet. Back before I began blogging politics. At that time I managed a rock band, and had been doing so for quite a while. No one has heard of them, I am sure, but we toured the Midwest, mostly in a 6 state area and had a CD that garnered some airplay and was distributed for a while by Wal-Mart. The other reason that I use “anticsrocks” is that once I had been on the net for a considerable time, it just seemed silly to change things at that point.

    But to your point that politicians put their lives on the line is a tad bit of an overstatement. Not that there have never been politicians injured or worse, even killed; but because there have been vastly more politicians who lived to a ripe old age, unmolested by their electorate.

    I agree with Smorgs, our police and fire fighters are much more worthy of getting a ship named for them.

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  38. mmercier says: 38

    maliz

    scary world. I never intend to threaten anyone for any reason. can not even find whatever post offended your person. I snipe, nothing is personal in the ether.

    words are used for specific effect, directed to a target of my choice. no recollection of you as a target. so it goes.

    I have no idea what you are referencing… apparently something hit somewheres… and my being missed the view. sucks when that happens, but it does. quite frankly, I give not a spit; just explanation of a thing for my conscience and my selfish concern.

    apologia sincerita

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  39. mmercier says: 39

    malize…

    I found my post. it may be inappropriate, but was in no manner a personal threat. it was an extrapolation based on a point you left at some place. can not waste time digging for a particular turd in an ether of sewarge for a friking autopsy…

    the ether is a target rich zone. appreciate your participation.

    Godspeed.

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  40. tfhr says: 40

    Not to be outdone, maybe California will answer New Jersey by “honoring” Michael Jackson by renaming Sacramento as “Jacksonville”. And can the SSN Mary Jo Kopechne be far behind?

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  41. MataHarley says: 41

    It seems that, five days later, American Spectator’s Jed Babbin is also taking notice of Obama’s agenda, as reflected thru the performance of Ray Mabus as Secretary of the Navy.

    Babbin is calling for Mabus’ head, blasting everything from the ship naming to the “greening” of the Navy, chaplains performing gay marriages, women on submarines, etc etc.

    ReplyReply

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