So This is Christmas…


Welcome back to the Scuttlebutt, get something to drink, you’re going to need it.

I’ve got a whole parade of WTF to talk about today, let’s start with Newark NJ.


Now Newark isn’t the first municipality to pull this shit, but they’re the most recent so they’re going to be the first one tied to the mast for lashes. (the source for this was the NYT and several other places running articles on this, like  ) 


It seems that this started before Thanksgiving.  Newark sent an Email out to churches and relief organizations stating that it was going to prohibit the feeding of homeless people in public places.  Dwell on that for a second, go up and re-read that sentence.


Well, the NYT (I have to give that rag credit when it deserves it, because I sure give them grief when they’re idiots, IE most of the time) got wind of this and sent a “What the fuck are you doing?” letter. 


The city backed up SLIGHTLY and said, “well, what we really mean is that we’re going to require a permit…”  “The ordinance the city is working on will prohibit agencies and individuals without a permit from feeding residents without addresses,” a spokesman for Mayor Ras Barka stated in an email. “All violators will be ticketed and fined.”


WOW.  OK, I’m not a Christian (I’ve never made any secret of that) but just about any religion known to man has some sort of Holy Day or days about now, and just about any religion, or for that matter secular group, recognizes that we should show charity to our fellow man, especially during this time of year, when cold, dark, and loneliness can be at its height. 


It looks like this is an exercise in gentrification.  Seems that there’s a bunch of developers that want to “improve” the neighborhoods, and “well, bums make the place look bad to our clients.”


OK, living as near to “Freeattle” as I do, (well known as one of the best places to be a bum homeless American, because of the number of places that give out free food, let you pitch your tent wherever, and so on.) I get their issue. Really. 


But DAMN, there’s a line, gentlemen.


I don’t support the state taking care of anyone that feels like dropping out of society, but this IS the rightful place for charities of all sorts to perform their acts. Anyone that wants to help these folks, whether they are homeless through fault, (drug addiction, refusal to take help when offered etc…) or through no fault of their own, (tossed out of their home because it’s being sold, victim of a bad divorce, or abusive spouse, mental health issues that they CAN’T get help for…) Should be allowed to do so without the city or state trying to shut them down. 


Have you no shame sir? I award you four Scrooges and a swift kick in the balls.


Ironically, while this is going on, the State of Florida, and the Federal Government, are going to be spending a significant amount of time and money giving free food to the manatees of the Indian River Lagoon area.  Seems a butt-ton of this particular group of manatees (one of 4 major populations in FL.) starved to death last year, due to the unseasonably cold waters in the area… How did cold water cause them to starve? Well see Indian River is the discharge point for one of Florida’s nuclear power plants, which means the water there is warmer than the sea (like five degrees warmer or more) so when it’s cold they go there.  


Too many manatees, plus extra plankton blooms from all the nutrients washing out to sea from all the fertilizer folks use to keep their lawn pretty, equals no seagrass left, which is what the manatees eat.  In a normal year, they’re scattered all over the area, and the plankton blooms aren’t so thick that no sunlight gets down to the seagrass… 


So we’re going to spend a few tens of millions to keep these critters alive.  I don’t mind it much, we do the same here in WA to the Elk in winter, to keep them from eating all the winter crops… but when we do that for animals and tell people to starve???  


Hey, still: Three candy canes to these guys for taking care of the critters, especially since it’s sort of our fault that they are clumping up there. 


On the subject of no shame, Democrats telling Kentucky that ‘well, that’s what you deserve, for electing Republicans who are against spending more money on global warming.’ And along with that, Jamelle Bouie who wrote an editorial in the NYT on “this is what happens when workers don’t control their own lives” who seems to think that the tornado was caused by the workers not being in a union… WOW, I realize that politicians in general and Democrats in particular have made a fine art of standing on coffins to push a political agenda, but DAMN, normally they wait for the bodies to be FOUND before doing so. 


Five Scrooges, and may you someday desperately need help, only to be told NO.  I would award you a kick in the balls, but I don’t think you have any.


Next, we have Alan Rappeport (also an NYT article ) who is all upset that Republican Governors are actually using the money that they told the federal government not to spend… Well idiot, I didn’t think the “federal stimulus” dollars were a good idea either, but when the check showed up, they money was already spent by the government, the inflation was already on its way.  At this point, locking the barn door just keeps the firemen out. Not only have the horses already escaped, but the place is on fire!  Now faulting a governor that fought against this giant spendapolusa for complaining that the government didn’t give them more… OK that I can see, though I doubt that there would have been any complaints if the bill had just died.  See the thing is, once that bill is law, the damage is done.  The economy is going to take the hit.  If someone rigged the bill to try and weigh your state’s compliance with federal dictates as punishment, well that seems like a legit bitch.


Of course, the problem with Federal money is that it always comes with federal control… And much like feeding the bears, it engenders a dependence that is frankly a bad idea.  


I’m not going to award this article any Scrooges, but I will award it three wooden tops, for the amount of spin and editorial selectivity in an article alleged to be news, not op-ed. (look, I make it clear.  This piece IS opinion.  NYT and their ilk all too often put out as NEWS stuff that belongs in the opinion section. See the next piece…)


Fox News Christmas Tree Catches Fire

By The Associated Press and Storyful

Says the NYT… Folks, this is a fine example of how to lie with the truth.  The media is a past master of this, and occasionally I feel the need to call it out. When you dive into the article, what they meant to say was “Arsonist & Felon burns 50 foot tall Christmas Tree in front of Fox News main offices” ah but you see, it’s never the bad guy’s fault, unless he’s a conservative. 


Two more wooden tops to you!


A fast note here on Our Disaster in Chief, President Biden.  In an interview with CBS (See, BS) he recently stated that he’s willing to lose his presidency over how he handled Afghanistan. Claiming that “there was no way out of there without people getting hurt.” As justification for the number of Americans he abandoned to the Taliban’s gentle mercies. Well, I’m glad you’re willing, because that’s an anchor that you tied yourself around your slack jawed neck, and, Gods willing, it will take you just as far down below the sea as the Iranian hostage crisis sunk Carter.


Lumps of Coal for you sir.


Boy I’ve got a lot of other targets I could take a swing at, but in the interest of the secular holiday of Christmas, and the spirit of Jule, I’ll leave them for another time, and leave with one final bit I worked on earlier this week.


So, on Quora, 

(If you don’t know what Quora is, be grateful. One of my fellow authors siced me on that trainwreck. {Thanks ever so much Col. Kratman, he says, dripping sarcasm.} It’s a horrible time sink, and mostly a waste of time.  Most of the questions are either things that a 5 second web search could find you, or they’re veiled propaganda pieces from our friends the Chicoms, every once in a while you find some real gems, but OY the signal to noise ratio is HORRIBLE.)


Someone asked me: “Is there any private individual in the USA or another country that owns warships sophisticated enough to challenge the official Navy’s warships?”


Ignore the grammatical weirdness, you see that a lot on Quora, it’s required that you ask the questions in English, and many of the folks on there are ESL or English as a third, fourth, or fifth language.


Well, my answer to that was such that I thought it would make a good addition to this column. And here it is:


If you’re asking “can someone else build a ship that can take on an American Naval ship, one on one and win?” The answer is, “Of course.”  There are some fine ship designs outside the USN.  A couple of them I wish we would buy.  


The trouble is, that just like when YOU interface with a law enforcement officer, you’re not really talking to just him… You might be a badass who can take down that older, overweight cop in front of you, who’s also carrying 20 pounds of extra gear around his middle, and in the form of body armor… But if you take him out, the next set of officers you see will be the SWAT team (or whatever you call the police shock troops in your country), in overwhelming numbers, with blood in their eyes. 


Likewise, you might be able to take out an LCS, which is an Official Navy warship, as you put it.  Frankly, they’re pieces of shit, that were some bright boys who never took a ship to sea’s brainchildren.  They looked good on paper, and under Clinton (who was in office when the concept was floated), the idea of building cheap-ass “do everything based on what plug and play module you insert” warship, sounded GREAT. The mission statement for the LCS according to the US Navy website is: 


“The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a fast, agile, mission-focused platform designed to operate in near-shore environments, winning against 21st-century coastal threats. The LCS is capable of supporting forward presence, maritime security, sea control, and deterrence.


“The Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) is a class of Small Surface Combatants armed with capabilities focused on defeating global challenges in the littorals. LCS is designed to provide joint force access in the littorals. LCS can operate independently or in high-threat environments as part of a networked battle force that includes larger, multi-mission surface combatants.”


(YEAH, in some political admiral’s PAO’s wet dream…)


See, we had and have a congressionally mandated minimum number of Naval Vessels.  Ships are EXPENSIVE.  They are not just expensive to buy, they’re brutally expensive to maintain.  The idea that we could buy small, cheap ships to replace the big, expensive ships, and then use the extra money we saved as part of the “peace dividend” to build more welfare and social programs to buy votes, was a real winner. Then we get into the concept of “sunk costs.” 


We spent a LOT of money on these things, and at every turn, there were politically powerful people that needed to see them succeed because they had spent so much political capital on bringing them into being. 


For fun, go look at where the various parts for that vessel are made, and look at who is a senator or congressman for that area… Then ask yourself, was this a ship built to fight, or to bribe congressmen?


No one wanted these vessels to fail, for political reasons.  As a result, we built, or are building a total of 35 of these pigs, and we finally, in the last three years admitted that they never lived up to the design promise.  


But to get back to your question, are there ships out there that can take on and beat one of these?  


Absolutely, you could beat them like a redheaded stepchild with any of a number of destroyers or frigates in any of the serious navies in the world today:  The Akizuki class from Japan, or the Kongos that they are repacing, The Luyang II class from China, The Type 45 Daring class from G.B., The Horizon common Frigate (French and Italian), The Kolkata class from India, The Hobarts from Australia, The Kunmings (China again), the Atagos (Japan again) and the “King Sejong The Great” class from South Korea.  Any one of those could eat an LCS for breakfast.  Many of them could give a single Burke class US destroyer a run for their money, in the right conditions…


BUT (and this is the biggest but in the world)


Sink one of those LCS pieces of shit, and you suddenly have the airwing of a Nimitz or Ford-class CVN knocking on your door, a half dozen Virginia class or 688I class Submarines sinking everything with your flag on it, and more hostile ships of every class in the USN than you EVER wanted to see, showing up to ask for explanations. 


So, to answer the spirit of your question, “could anyone get away with sinking a US Navy Vessel” No, not unless we have a demented, spineless, drooling idiot running the show… (oh, wait, shit…) 


This seemed to be a popular response…  

Hey, stay safe out there, and if you find someone busking (playing music on the street with their hat out) toss ‘em a buck if you can spare it, in the spirit of the season!


Until next time I remain,

Yours in service.

William Lehman.



  1. You’d think that after the switch-blade Edsel that they would have LEARNED.
    But then I remember that democrats NEVER learn. Same for way too many republicans.

    The should really save money and build the remaining LCS ships out of wood. Or fiberglass, or whatever is cheapest. Seeing as they’re going to have to scrap all of them anyways.

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