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.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

An Update To The Kinky Dolphin Saga

I just put in an update to my earlier post on Texas independent candidate for Governor "Kinky" Friedman wearing dolphins he didn't earn, and decided the update deserved a post of its own. Here it is (with some additions):

Kinky's people respond:
About Kinky's pins:
The "Jump Wings" were given to Kinky by his father, who was a proud veteran of WWII. Kinky is proud of him too, and wears this as requested.
A very close friend of Kinky's who recently passed away gave the "Dolphins" to him to wear before he died. Kinky is proud of his friend, and was abliged to uphold this wish.
On Kinky's right lapel is a badge that a fan made him in the style of the Texas Ranger's "badge" that instead says "Governor of Texas."
You are free to use this information as you like, and have a great day!
A poster at Rontini's BBS got a similar response (with the same mis-spelling of "obliged"). Kinky himself addresses the issue in this article; his explanation is quite different from the E-mail that "Team Kinky" sent out:
He says the dolphins were given to him by a submarine widow.
Hoff asks: "And, she wanted you to wear it?"
Friedman says: "Absolutely, she's been working very hard for our campaign in East Texas."
Some guy with a blog in Texas is claiming Texas submariner Ray is trying to "Swift Boat" Friedman. The guy's clearly an asshat (the blogger, not Ray). "Swift Boat" implies an attack on the specifics of someone's military record; the question Ray brought up is about someone who was never in the military wearing a qualification pin he didn't earn. (Ray, as near as I can tell from some quick Googling, is the Base Commander of the Austin Capitol Base of USVVI, rather than as he's described in some of the links.)

Any Texas (or other) submariners feel like getting Ray's back?

Update 2339 10 Oct: Snapshot, Tube One, Sierra "Hammer of Truth".

Update 2357 10 Oct: I just watched the video accompanying the news story I linked above, and realized that both the reporter and Mr. Friedman called the Dolphins a "medal".

16 Comments:

Anonymous Nicholas Sarwark said...

Dear Sir,
I'm the "asshat" who posted on Hammer of Truth. For clarification, neither I, nor the blog, is "in Texas."

I understand the jealousy with which members of elite services guard their honors, and I fully support the right of those members to call out people who are representing themselves as having earned those honors.

That said, Kinky isn't and wasn't holding himself out as a submariner and attacking him for wearing the pin was and is uncalled for.

Perhaps there is something more worth your time than pestering Jewish cowboys and calling people names. Or is that what the silent service is all about?

10/12/2006 8:32 AM

 
Blogger The Clinging Vine said...

As the mother of a new sailor on a sub, I'd prefer the dolphins only be worn by those who have earned the right to them.

Charles, who is ON a sub, cannot yet wear them, but Kinky CAN? You don't see a problem with this?

Anne Ivy
FORT WORTH, TEXAS (i.e. a real, honest-to-goodness Texas voter)

10/12/2006 9:16 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I qualified submarines in 1986. I don't have a problem with anyone wearing Dolphins who didn't earn them under two considerations. 1. They do it out of respect for the service and the people who served and 2. They don't make a false claim to BE a submariner when they weren't.
Let's face it, submarines can use all the support and publicity we get!

10/12/2006 11:35 AM

 
Blogger The Clinging Vine said...

So you're looking at a non-submariner wearing the dolphin pin as being akin to a football fan wearing a jersey with the name and number of their favorite player on their favorite team?

I can see where a case could be made for such an analogy, but I'm still not nuts about the idea.

However, I'll willingly declare my certainty Mr. Friedman intended no disrespect whatsoever.

It would seem, though, that once aware some submariners (and their family members) are displeased with anyone wearing a dolphin pin who didn't actually earn it, it'd be the kindest, and most politically prudent, course of action to refrain from wearing it in future.

Anne in Fort Worth

10/12/2006 5:17 PM

 
Blogger SonarMan said...

Nicholas, you say you understand the "jealousy in which we guard our honors", yet you excuse Kinky's disrespecting that very same thing. I don't get it. Perhaps you could explain this contradiction of thought.

And it doesn't really matter to me why Kinky is wearing the Dolphins, he doesn't rate them, he didn't earn them, he doesn't get to wear them. I dare him put on a green beret and then go to Fort Brag, NC, and walk around. Military insignia is not eye candy or jewelry, and by wearing it disrespects those who earned it by their hard work. If you want to honor you military supporters then you need to take the insignia they give you and put it in a shadowbox.

And yes, calling people names does happen to be a part of what the Submarine Force is about. While it may seem sophomoric and juvenile to outsiders, it's our way of determining who we can trust and who we can't. In other branches of the military, you can run away from the battlefield, dodge the bullets (hopefully), jump overboard from a sinking ship (hopefully), and punch out of a stricken aircraft (again, hopefully). On a submarine, there's nowhere to run, there is no "hopefully". In fact, you have to run AT the danger, or EVERYBODY dies. Get it? If one goes down, we all go down. And if guy standing next to us can't take being called a few names, then how can we trust his mettle when the shit really hits the fan?

Thank you, Ms. Ivy, for showing proper respect for the Submarine Dolphins, and those who have served aboard submarines. I appreciate your support of this issue, coming from a civilian perspective.

10/12/2006 8:20 PM

 
Blogger ICman said...

Well put sonarman. How does Kinky, plan to lead the Texas National Guard if, and if is a mighty big word for two letters even in Texas, he gets elected. Yeah, disrespecting others military service and achievements is a great way to start!

Kinky is just another member of the general public who has no concept whatsoever, what people in the military go through to earn the shiny pins and ribbons they wear. To them all the military awards are just decorations. To those who have been there, done that the Dolphins are a badge of honor.

10/13/2006 3:54 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since Kinky is obiously wearing them out of respect for our community, maybe we should welcome him as an honorable bubblehead and tack on his dolphins at every opportunity (as a sign of respect).
RM1/SS

10/13/2006 7:00 AM

 
Blogger SonarMan said...

Since when have we ever given an actual set of dolphins to someone we honored as an honorary submarine sailor, who didn't actually earn them?

All I've ever seen in my 20 years of service is a certificate and maybe a ship's ball cap.

Sorry RM1/SS, you're wrong on this. I disagree.

As my dad said to me once, "Dolphins are almost sacred. Where's your respect?"

10/13/2006 9:33 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My point was that since he's already wearing them, a few friendly taps from the big MM's back aft might do him some good.

RM1/SS

10/13/2006 11:53 AM

 
Anonymous Subvet said...

I don't see the big deal. This guy is a "character" and everyone down here in Texas knows it.

I'm a retired A-ganger with 22 years service, one of my collateral duties was running the ship's qual program. Believe me, I'd have fallen like a ton of brick on any nonqual wearing "fish" when he didn't earn 'em. But this is entirely different. Getting our panties wadded up our butts over Kinky wearing dolphins just proves we take ourselves too seriously.

Hell, if nothing else his wearing the insignia gives our community more publicity. Anyone here remember when "Hunt For Red October" hit the big screen? How many like myself suddenly found we were compared favorably to the Tom Cruise character in "Top Gun"? A little publicity never hurts.

10/13/2006 11:27 PM

 
Anonymous Jim Howard said...

I lost all respect for Friedman over this issue of the military "pins" (barf).

While it's true to say that Kinky isn't running around claming to be an Airborne qualified submariner, I can't help but notice that he wears the "pins" everywhere he goes.

He knows he offending great numbers of veterans.

Oh, and they are not "pins".

Kinky was in the Peace Corps. If he wants to have flair on his costume, he should wear a peace symbol.

The man makes me want to puke.

10/15/2006 8:31 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like him or hate him, his stated intentions are good. I don't know one way or another about the man, but wearing them in honor of a departed friend is an honorable reason.

I don't see this as any different than certain associate members of the sub community who never served, but wear dolphins at various occasions in honor of fathers or grandfathers. Its not common, but when done, I've seen a dark blue or black ribbon worn with it as an indication. I saw a set of altered dophins, with a plate welded below it that said "worn in honor of ..."

Personally - I would prefer to see an official "in honor of" pin adopted by the Navy and the submarine community in general for this kind of wear. I don't have much hope of it happening, but its what I'd like to see.

10/25/2006 8:28 AM

 
Blogger STS1(SS) said...

I worked hard to qualify on submarines and maybe Kinky is working just as hard for the state of Texas. I don’t know that my vote will be swayed one way or another over this issue as we do have serious political issues to respond to with our Texas votes.

I’m very proud of my achievement and know I’ll never work with a better, more “Qualified”, team the rest of my life. It was not my intension to be a submarine sailor when I joined the Navy, it just somehow happened in boot camp. The one thing that did impress me was how the Navy mysteriously identified and led certain personality types onto the boats. I was lucky that the Navy identified me and helped me into the submarine service as I probably would not have been as successful in the real (skimmer) Navy.
I reported to the boat as an E-4 and was promptly given an E-3 Sea Daddy to try to keep me in line and out of harms way. I severed proudly with Weird Webber, Chuck (looked like Charlie Brown with his patrol buzz cut), Pink (last name Floyd, I have no idea what his real first name was), Bug and Snorkel. With a name like Kinky, Mr. Friedman might have been an outstanding crew member or an Officer that would have driven Hymi and Squadron up the mast.
I consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity to earn my dolphins. Not everyone understands the opportunity, risks and sacrifices of earning your dolphins. I’m proud of my service and understand the anger some are exhibiting but if you don’t see some humor in this guy, you’ve been off the boat too long.

10/26/2006 6:09 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get Real People!
You you really think he's disrespecting our service by wearing symbols of a Jewish-Cowboy-Paratrooper Submariner-Texas Ranger? He's Kinky. He's not wearing a qualification on a uniform that he's not entitled to wear. All he's doing is honouring us. Our CO gave dolphins to the barmaid at the Holy Loch O'Club, the proprieters of his favourite restaurant, and a few others. He even pinned them on Cecilia's dress!
I'm from Texas and I qualified for both silver and gold dolphins and I thought it was pretty cool to see Kinky wearing silver dolphins.

10/28/2006 11:12 AM

 
Anonymous SailorJ said...

I remember that some 3rd classes were wearing dolphins (on civilian attire) they bought at the exchange before they ever got to a submarine. They were promptly stopped and admonished. That's to put it lightly.

It's one thing to wear a hat. But let me say this. If I wore a legitimate Texas Rangers badge on my shirt or belt, many people would believe that I was in fact a Texas Ranger.

There is "Fan" material and then there is the real deal. In his case, you just can't tell the difference.

8/25/2011 8:33 PM

 
Anonymous Priscilla said...

I absolutely tie in with anything you've presented us.

9/05/2012 5:46 AM

 

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