Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, February 07, 2005

My E-mail to Lt. Raymond Perry, USN (Ret.)

In my entry below, I discuss my continuing displeasure with the articles on the USS San Francisco (SSN-711) grounding by Raymond Perry. Eagle1 had pointed out that Perry may simply be a victim of "simple stupidity coupled by with an overwrought imagination", but an E-mail I got from a San Francisco crew member strengthened my resolve, and encouraged me to try to get Perry's fallacies retracted. Armed with additional information sent in by people who know the truth, I decided to E-mail Perry and invite him to respond to my criticisms. Here's what I wrote:

Mr. Perry,
I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that while I generally enjoy your writing on non-submarine topics, I've been very disappointed in your writing on the USS San Francisco grounding. Your apparent need to tie the root cause back into the recent accidents where there was a senior rider onboard the subs has caused you to lose whatever credibility you might have with me on this subject. Although you mention that "reliable sources" indicate that there was a senior rider on board, going so far as to postulate that RADM Gove may have been that rider, you should have received enough feedback by now to know that this is just plain untrue.
As a professional journalist, you're probably used to getting E-mail from disgruntled readers about your articles, and may just put them in the circular file. However, I write a little submarine-themed blog titled "The Stupid Shall Be Punished" at that your web site,, has actually linked to. I've been getting about 250-300 hits a day since the San Francisco grounding, and those numbers surprisingly aren't going down that much, so I may have a little bit of a continuing readership. Some of my commenters have indicated that they are displeased with your articles, and you may have received E-mail from some of them. In my blog, I have made a couple of entries dissecting your articles, and have offered you the chance to respond. I wouldn't expect that a journalist of your stature would normally stoop to respond to a lowly blogger, but I felt I needed to make the offer. I also wanted to let you know that I am very confident in my sources who say there was no senior rider onboard, and if you continue to print that there was, I will continue to ridicule your assumptions in my little blog. However, if you would like to withdraw your accusation (yes, I know it's phrased as a seemingly innocent "what if" question, but I think we all know where you're going with it) and try to put out the actual truth, which is that we should honor the professionalism and camaraderie of the San Francisco crew in getting their damaged ship back to port, I'll withdraw the juvenile name-calling I've engaged in. There may in fact be lessons learned that the Submarine Force can apply from this grounding regarding operational restrictions in poorly-charted areas. If you are truly interested in the truth, I urge you to focus on these areas, rather than the non-existent link to phantom senior riders.
Joel Kennedy -- "Bubblehead"
Also a retired mustang officer, but with no need to put my rank in my signature line.

Okay, so some of the sentences run on quite a bit, but I've always said I'm not an English major; hopefully my point comes through. We'll see if he responds. I'll keep you updated.

Staying at PD...


Blogger ninme said...

Very well said. I was afraid you'd begin with,

"Mr. Perry,

"Sir, you are an asshat. I think you are an asshat, my readers think you are an asshat, even my teenaged children think you are an asshat."

Good think you reigned yourself in.

2/07/2005 12:21 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

It took all the self-control I had. It'll be interesting to see if he responds -- I doubt he will though. It's much easier to start this fight from my perspective when I go into it knowing that my information is correct, and that he suffers from asshattedness; is guilty of asshattery; displays asshattish behavior; hey, you can use that word for almost anything!

2/07/2005 12:28 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the man is onto something important. We could increase the safety (admittedly already pretty damned good) of the fleet by simply prohibiting senior riders. It would be cheaper than all that boring survey work needed to establish safe transit lanes.

2/07/2005 1:35 PM

Blogger ninme said...

If he doesn't reply, you can follow up with:

"You, sir, are an asshat. You suffer from asshatedness. You are guilty of asshattery. You consistently display asshattish behaviour. Neener neener neener!"

Then, if you wish, you can continue with:

"Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled like elderberries! Now, go away, before I taunt you some more! Asshat!"

Then you, and your readers, will well and truly be grownups.

2/07/2005 1:49 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

Dude, you're right! Actually, we could just keep all the boats from going to sea entirely, and this would fix everything! Perry will be smacking himself that he didn't think of that first!

2/07/2005 1:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to nominate Lt. Perry (USN Ret.) the first annual Golden Flapper award for journalism, anonymously of course. The citation should read:

Mr. Perry with great risk to his journalist credentials pulled the unattended lever of conspiracy and cover-up and let the Sh*t fly in an unintended direction. Back at ya.

Anonymous – Former NavET

2/07/2005 1:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I did recieve a reply and I would not be suprised if you also receive one.

Mr. Perry's responce was as expected:

"You, sir, did not read my article very closely. Of course, I believe you stopped thinking when you saw LT."

Best of luck,

2/07/2005 9:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry for the double post I forgot to sign my last post about Mr Perry's email reply


2/07/2005 9:02 PM

Blogger Bubblehead said...

"Golden Flapper" is pretty good, but I think we may need something more descriptive of the shitstorm that erupts when you open the toilet drain ball valve when the sanitary tanks are pressurized... His response to Henry makes me lose any even slight feelings of camaraderie I may have had for him, unless of course he were to withdraw his baseless accusations of senior rider interference and apologize to Captain Mooney and the crew in print.

2/07/2005 11:12 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of something I saw once (the 5 most dangerous sayins in the Navy):
A Seaman saying, "I learned this in Boot Camp..."
A Petty Officer saying, "Trust me, sir..."
A Lieutenant JG saying, "Based on my experience..."
A Lieutenant saying, "I was just thinking..."
A Chief chuckling, "Watch this sh$t..."

2/08/2005 1:29 AM


Post a Comment

<< Home