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, August 26, 2013

A Submariner Looks At Fifty

"Once you're over the hill, you start to pick up speed" has always been one of my favorite pithy greeting card sayings. As I turn 50, I realize I have no problem with this birthday, as I also had no problem with turning 40. (It was 30 that really got me, when I realized I wasn't a kid anymore.) I figure a half-century on earth is a good time to look back, take stock, and charge into the future.

Back when I turned 30, I was just finishing up my JO tour on USS Topeka. (My 29th birthday is discussed here.) I'd been a hard-charging JO, putting career ahead of family, doing what I needed to do to get command of a submarine some day. As I evaluated where my life was heading, and looked into my childrens' eyes, I realized that my priorities were wrong -- I needed family to rank above job. I still did a good job at work, but stopped doing the extra "after work" socializing that I figured was useful for making contacts but took away from family time.

I did a good enough job as NEWCON Eng on Connecticut that NR invited me back for a bonus NEWCON tour on Jimmy Carter (sandwiched around a Battle Group SLO job that got me another deployment), and I was doing OK career-wise (screened for XO third look), but it was clear I was never going to make Admiral, even though my NR Technical Score was probably high enough to get me at least an overhaul command. And I was OK with that. I had orders to be XO on USS Hartford when my asthma (which I had successfully kept out of my medical records until then) got bad enough that I wasn't able to pass the swim anymore on the PRT. I got medically disqual'd from subs, failed to select for O-5, and prepared to transition to civilian life.

(Regarding the Hartford, she ended up grounding off La Madd during what would have been my XO tour. I still don't know if I would have been able to prevent it had I been in Control. Had I not, that would have ended my career anyway, no matter how much schmoozing with Captains I'd done earlier in my career.)

During my twilight tour, I did an IA at CENTCOM (discussed here). There, I learned some important things about how the world worked outside of the Navy. I'd always assumed that the higher-ups in government and business really knew what they were doing if we'd just trust them. What I actually learned is that the big bosses might be idiots, but there are always just enough pockets of competence to keep things moving along, and the big bosses, even if they're morons, have gotten where they are because they've learned to identify and exploit those pockets.

So what have I learned in 50 years? I've learned that one's worldview depends on one entering argument -- whether or not one believes that they have a soul. As we've seen the rise in atheism and agnosticism in Europe start to spread to the U.S., I'm predicting that America will start to divide along the lines of atheists vs. religious people. Personally, I fully fall into the camp that believes I do have a soul. I know it can't be proven (in the same was that the existence of gravitons can't be proven experimentally, and I believe they exist), but that's the way metaphysics works. There are things that happen inside my head that I can't explain with biochemistry, and I choose to explain it by the existence of a soul that exists outside of four dimensional space-time. Since a soul offers no evolutionary advantage, it must have been created by God. When America is divided into camps that can't even agree on this entering argument, it will be difficult to reach common ground on many issues, but I have faith that the genius of the American system will allow us to survive and thrive.

Politically, I've learned that extremism is considered extreme because it just wouldn't work in the real world. While Libertarianism sounds good, with its "everyone should live by the Golden Rule" philosophy, world history has shown that it just won't work -- it would only take 1 or 2% of the population that wants to control other people to make the system crash to the ground. Likewise, I can see where progressives of good intent can think "the people of Scandinavia seem to be happy with their Social Democracy, so it should work in America too", but I realize that it actually wouldn't work here -- our multiculturalism would work against it, and, let's face it, the only reason it works in northern Europe is that we're subsidizing their defense and medical research and education costs. If we revert to benevolent socialism, we'd have to stop that subsidy, and it would collapse over there. I've come to believe that we need to continue steering a course between the extremes in order to continue to grow into the future -- realizing that compromise is not a dirty word in public policy, that it is NOT a legitimate function of government to go out of its way to humiliate citizens who are going through a rough patch, and continuing the consensus of the last half of the 20th century that we need to keep conflict away from our shores by killing the people who need to be killed in other countries. You think that's not nice? Please point out any lessons from world history wherein a large, non-mountainous country can survive just by being nice to everyone (without having treaty protection from "mean" countries).

The most important thing I've learned, as I alluded to before, is that Family is the most important thing on which we can concentrate. Young parents out there may think that all they need to do is get their children safely to adulthood, and they've done their job. My wife and I have done that, and our hearts are still filled with worry for our kids -- did we give them the right tools to make it through life? The worries, though, are completely outweighed by the joy that our children bring to us. If I could give any advice to my children, it would be "Find a partner to travel through life together, and pass on what you've learned to your children. Realize that the only way a marriage can truly work is if both people are willing to subvert their own selfish desires to the needs of the family. That way leads not to restrictions in your life, but the unbridled Joy of the most fulfilling life possible."

89 Comments:

Blogger Mike Golch said...

at 50 you are still a youngin in my book.Come January 22 I will hit 62 years on this earth.

8/26/2013 10:38 AM

 
Anonymous frannycat said...

My values, my views, are you sure you are not me

8/26/2013 10:56 AM

 
Anonymous frannycat said...

And forgot to add to earlier comment, I love how the very first word you use to describe yourself is "MARRIED". Shows how much you too believe in family, which is all you can really be blessed with, money and things will come and go, all that matters is my loved ones. Chliche-ish, maybe. But God how true.

8/26/2013 11:09 AM

 
Blogger Curt said...

Good Post, Shipmate!

8/26/2013 11:10 AM

 
Blogger Darron Jennings said...

Must be something in the water coming from the evaps. Can't agree more.

8/26/2013 12:31 PM

 
Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

Wow, I like you...

8/26/2013 12:53 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Amen" on all accounts, Joel. Nicely put. Welcome to the club.

On the Atheist topic: IMHO, they're just not paying attention to the 'little' details and events in their lives. Some people are numb. Doesn't (necessarily) mean they're dumb.

If they truly are dumb, and particularly if the current Atheist infection in our federal government gets much more out of hand, things could get unsettling.

8/26/2013 2:11 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I've come to believe that we need to continue steering a course between the extremes in order to continue to grow into the future..."
- BH

The rudder of state has been stuck to port by an unsavory alliance of the media with leftist pols. The primary reasons for this have not so much been the wisdom of your philosophy, with which I agree, but with the growing dominance of lawyers we elect and the larcenous (but legal) opportunities it gives them to squander our taxes for their own benefits.

The rudder needs shifting and extremists are no more fit for that job than the current crowd. The quickest way to put us back on a safe course is to stop electing people with law degrees, regardless of party.

How does Obama's 2-year law degree sound when there are already lawyers out of work? It is a set-up
to empower more of the same.

In his July 27th interview with the NYT, the president said, "But ultimately, I’m not concerned about their opinions -- very few of them, by the way, are lawyers, much less constitutional lawyers." Imagine playing the board game Monopoly if only the lawyer you were playing with could interpret the rules.

8/26/2013 2:48 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Off topic, but perhaps worth its own post:

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2013/08/women-and-military-discipline.html

"I once asked a friend who is a retired Army command sergeant major how they disciplined the women. He replied, “You can’t. If you try, they charge you with sexual harassment.” I said, “Then how do you get them to do what you need them to do?” He said, “We don’t. We just let them do whatever they want.”"

8/26/2013 2:48 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

History has shown libertarianism doesn't work? Where has it been tried?

8/26/2013 3:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my husband was on the Hartford when when she grounded.. not fun for anyone..

8/26/2013 3:18 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Full libertarianism would not work because rampant exploitation would take place. Most intelligent libertarians understand that the government does have to provide laws to ensure that everyone plays fair, but that involvement should be minimized where possible.

A libertarian is the 21st century analog to a person who strongly believed in states' rights in the 19th century.

8/26/2013 5:06 PM

 
Blogger David Keleshian said...

"The rudder of state has been stuck to port by an unsavory alliance of the media with leftist pols. "

The rudder may be stuck to port but there are hurricane force winds coming over the port bow. The storm is so large that it will take years to hit the eye of the storm.

8/26/2013 5:53 PM

 
Anonymous Michael Broughton said...

Well said shipmate. A true inspiration. Thank you.

8/26/2013 6:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Former Army Officer (and author) Tom Kratman looked at the issue of women in the military as well:

http://www.baen.com/amazonsrightbreast.asp

8/26/2013 6:18 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"On the Atheist topic: IMHO, they're just not paying attention to the 'little' details and events in their lives. Some people are numb. Doesn't (necessarily) mean they're dumb.

If they truly are dumb, and particularly if the current Atheist infection in our federal government gets much more out of hand, things could get unsettling."

Atheists might be dumb but anyone who still believes in the god myth is a total and complete fucking idiot. No might, or maybe, about it.

Anom @ 248pm - you're as big a fucking idiot as the guy that posted above you.

8/26/2013 6:37 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the Atheist topic: IMHO, they're just not paying attention to the 'little' details and events in their lives. Some people are numb. Doesn't (necessarily) mean they're dumb.

If they truly are dumb, and particularly if the current Atheist infection in our federal government gets much more out of hand, things could get unsettling.


Do you realize how offensive and religiously intolerant your post is?

I'm agnostic. I'd prefer you not refer to people like me, who don't ascribe to belief in Jesus as the son of God or Mohammed the profit, as an 'infection.'

Whenever I hear politicians start to talk about religion, I actually get scared. That's because they're using religion as an ad hominem attack to get everyone to agree to a new wave of legislation telling me what is appropriate for me to watch, what I can believe, how I can speak, and what I can do in my spare time all in the name of the "good book" is on its way.

Examples: What do you mean you don't want to outlaw Hustler (circa 1980s), online poker (circa mid 2000s), or gay marriage (present)...aren't you a good Christian? Good Christians don't watch porn, gamble, or support gay rights...

I would rather my elected officials stick to the issues at hand rather than using Christianity as a shield to imply that disagreeing with a policy makes one worthy of sentencing to a lifetime in hell.

If that makes me dumb, so be it.

8/26/2013 6:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Taliban think they have all the answers too, religiously speaking. I support our twice-elected President.

8/26/2013 7:39 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see anyone declaring that they have all the answers here except the Atheists.

If hearing politicians talk about religion is "scary" to you, suggest you avoid the Declaration of Independence...and looking at the back of the bills in your wallet (>In God We Trust).

Have a better one.

8/26/2013 8:07 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anom [sic] @ 248pm - you're as big a fucking idiot as the guy that posted above you." - Anon @ 6:37 PM

When and if you sober up, you may just want to specify which "Anom" @ 248pm you were addressing, (there were two in case you did not notice!

More than likely you never noticed. Still, A.D.D. types are always welcomed here. Do the best you are able, but kindly refrain from giving others your advice.

8/26/2013 8:08 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Mohammed the profit" - anon @ 6:51 PM

Very nicely put. Mohammed lived by the other golen rule: "He who has the gold makes the rules; join Islam or die!"

8/26/2013 8:22 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If hearing politicians talk about religion is "scary" to you, suggest you avoid the Declaration of Independence...and looking at the back of the bills in your wallet (>In God We Trust).

1) The Declaration of Independence is a document, not a politician. Currency is paper, also not a politician.

2) The Declaration of Independence was written by a Deist, and he used the phrase "Nature's God" once in the introduction. After that he used the word "Creator" partly because he didn't believe in the Protestant concept of God, and mostly because he was appealing to the philosophy of natural rights.

3) The politicans who framed the country ensured that the first amendment was in the bill of rights because they were from different religions who were discriminated against in England.

4) Absolutely none of this is relevant to politicians in 2013 talking about religion in speeches.

I have never witnessed a modern politician appeal to religion to protect what they thought were natural rights. In fact, they do the opposite and appeal to religion to control social behavior, which many of them don't even follow themselves because they are in a different class of people who don't have to play by the same rules as common folks.

8/26/2013 8:42 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^Willing to take the bet that the above writer is an engineer. What is it about those guys and their resistance to getting a well-rounded education? Sheesh.

8/26/2013 8:49 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean what is it about us that allows us to have intelligent based on logic, reason, and facts instead of insults, ridiculous analogies, and appeals to emotion?

8/26/2013 9:41 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ intelligent discourse*. This site needs an edit function.

8/26/2013 9:41 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post, but quick education (at least for me) on Scandinavian countries being subsidized by the USA for defense & education: How so? Other than being part of NATO, how does the US subsidize Finland & Sweden's defense and education?

Personally, I think the better argument against modeling European countries is that these countries are MUCH smaller than the US, so a system that works for a small, geographically 'concise' country may not apply to a MUCH larger, spread-out, culturally & geographically diverse country.

The more fundamental difference is: do you believe people are inherently good, and deserve help when they're down, or do you believe people are inherently bad, and are gaming the system to be lazy? I believe in the first, and therefore socialism, while inherently flawed to protect against ALL lazy system gamers, also protects the truly needy.

TO stir the pot a little further, why are Christians (stereotypically perhaps) so opposed to socialism? Socialism, in my opinion, is about taking care of the vast majority of people: the strong (who earn more) take care of the weak (who earn less, can't take care of themselves, etc). This is exactly what I learned over 20 yrs in the church, Sunday school, charities, etc.

8/26/2013 11:07 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel, live long and fester, forget the fools posting above. May the big guy bless you.
Remember the ancient A'gang acronym for FUN? A smile upon you Sir.



hagar

8/27/2013 1:48 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A nuke at prototype in New York made on to the news!
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/27/us-navy-sailor-charged-with-robbing-new-york-pharmacy/

8/27/2013 7:12 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With apologies to Samuel Johnson:

A degreed-engineer writing about theology and spirituality is like a dog walking on its hind legs.

"It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."

8/27/2013 7:49 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The comments on this post are sad. Like I always say about the submarine force.........most of the guys in it have ego problems!

8/27/2013 7:50 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Then again...Einstein firmly believed in God. What does that say about engineer-boy?

8/27/2013 7:51 AM

 
Anonymous RidX said...

Wow, this post is all over the place.

Anon@1107:

Re: Socialism.

1) It's not about lazy system-gamers. Its about what is good and bad for the economy, as economic prosperity has been responsible for raising the standard of living for the poor (long term) more than charity or welfare ever will. Redistributive taxes are very punishing to overall economic output, but it takes some education in economics to understand why. Look up "deadweight loss".

2) It is also about liberty, a concept that is kind of important to Americans. Charity is a wonderful thing, but I have no right to coerce you to donate a percentage of what you have earned, even if I personally don't think its fair that you earned it. It is simply not mine. I can circumvent your individual right to that wealth by working through the government to get it, but it is no less an infringement on your individual liberty.

I hope I have made an intelligent argument. Maybe someone will accuse me of being an engineer.

8/27/2013 8:41 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Charity is a wonderful thing, but I have no right to coerce you to donate a percentage of what you have earned, even if I personally don't think its fair that you earned it. It is simply not mine..."

And what is yours...that God hasn't given you?

8/27/2013 8:55 AM

 
Blogger wtfdnucsailor said...

Joel - It is amazing that a post on life's lessons would degenerate to a discussion of religion and politics. I am impressed with your initial post, not so much some of the comments above. But then I am considered a lefty who believes in God and salvation and the basic good of the human race. Happy Birthday

8/27/2013 10:43 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An engineer can probably have a better philosophical or theological discussion than vice versa....

8/27/2013 11:12 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with any religion (atheism included), its only people using religion as an excuse for pushing their own morals or for "plunder."

The crusades, Muslim jihad, anti pornography, restrictions on head scarves, public prayer, the pledge of allegiance, gay rights.

Letting other people do what they want shouldn't bother you or yours. Social Libertarianism can work.

Anyways, thanks for your thoughts Joel, they were insightful and uplifting. Happy birthday.

cria

8/27/2013 11:57 AM

 
Blogger Gerry said...

Joel - Well said! Happy birthday! I'm in your baffles at 48, and couldn't agree more with your post.

MT2/SS

8/27/2013 12:32 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"An engineer can probably have a better philosophical or theological discussion than vice versa..."

Good point. I don't recall ever seeing a philosophical or theological discussion have an engineer...

YMMV.

8/27/2013 12:59 PM

 
Blogger Rich said...

I don't know you personally, Joel, but I enjoy your posts both here and on Facebook. I thank you for your service and admire your personal courage fighting cancer. I hope you had a happy birthday. Be well!

8/27/2013 3:18 PM

 
Blogger chorse said...

Joel, enjoyed your post and agree with most of what you said but think that your assumption that a "soul offers no evolutionary advantage" may be in error. Congrats on surviving your cancer and learning that family is the most important aspect of life. And thanks for serving. from a USMC Vietnam Vet who has a retired submariner brother, Army Artillery Vet brother, and a Naval officer/doctor daughter. Life is not always easy but for me it has been pretty darn good.

8/27/2013 8:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The stupid were born that way, they can be forgiven and they can evolve. It is the ignorant that should be punished.

8/27/2013 9:09 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it was Victor Hugo who said "Forty is the old age of youth, fifty is the youth of old age."

Welcome to the club!

8/28/2013 12:30 PM

 
Anonymous LT L said...

@Anonymous 8/27/2013 7:51 AM

>Then again...Einstein firmly believed in God. What does that say about engineer-boy?

Nope: On 22 March 1954 Einstein received a letter from Joseph Dispentiere, an Italian immigrant who had worked as an experimental machinist in New Jersey. Dispentiere had declared himself an atheist and was disappointed by a news report which had cast Einstein as conventionally religious. Einstein replied on 24 March 1954:

"It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it."

ref: Dukas, Helen (1981). Albert Einstein the Human Side. Princeton: Princeton University Press, p. 43.

— LT L

8/28/2013 3:06 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Albert_Einstein

8/28/2013 3:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_views_of_Albert_Einstein

8/28/2013 3:59 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Your question [about God] is the most difficult in the world. It is not a question I can answer simply with yes or no. I am not an Atheist. I do not know if I can define myself as a Pantheist. The problem involved is too vast for our limited minds.

"May I not reply with a parable? The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects.

"That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza's Pantheism. I admire even more his contributions to modern thought. Spinoza is the greatest of modern philosophers, because he is the first philosopher who deals with the soul and the body as one, not as two separate things."

-- Albert Einstein in an interview published in 1930 in G. S. Viereck's book Glimpses of the Great

8/28/2013 4:04 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog has become pathetic

8/28/2013 4:53 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...from Middle French pathétique "moving, stirring, affecting."

8/28/2013 6:27 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Max Planck was 10 times the physicist that Albert Einstein was, and Planck believed in God.

8/29/2013 3:40 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blame creeping atheism on the inability of organized religion to adapt to the needs of the people. As scientific advances and general knowledge increase the myths of organized religion just don't ring true to the average person. Remember faith and religion are not the same. And BTW what difference does it make if someone believes in a higher power or doesn't? Who are you to judge the merit or intelligence of a person based on that one trivial trait?

8/29/2013 4:21 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smart people believe dumb things all the time; they're just better at articulating a defense...

8/29/2013 5:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been shown that higher education correlates to less religon.

And for you bible thumpers, explain the story given how there were no black people on the Ark with Moses. Where did they come from? We'll start with this softball question and go from there.

Oh boy, don't get me started.

8/29/2013 6:08 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^You're not a submariner, are you? They're smarter than that.

8/29/2013 8:45 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:45, every bit the bubblehead.

Now go back to praying to the "God" that doesn't exist.

If I didn't "exist" before I was born they why would I "exist" when I die?

My goodness you religious freaks will never understand that you don't need religon to have morality. That's probably the biggest down fall you have actually.

Now let's talk about "God". As soon as you pick/born/ascribe to any one religion you are then denouncing the existing of "Gods" from other's religons.

8/29/2013 9:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^^
"My goodness you religious freaks will never understand that you don't need religon to have morality." Anon

Nor does adoption of religion assure morality --- Only faithfulness to moral precepts above venal opportunism etc. does.

Compare, for instance, the lip-service and care demonstrated for our military and ambassador in Benghazi by the current commander in chief to the actual respect and sanctuary provided by the former.

Would we rather our son/daughter serve under the current or former?

Religious faithfulness is often the only indicator the public may have among such critical choices.

Kasper

8/30/2013 11:16 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel,

Congrats on reaching 50. I kinda remember when I turned 50 too....Nah to far past! Anyway enjoy the day, the year and all the fun of turning 50.

8/30/2013 12:04 PM

 
Blogger Gunner Goz said...

Happy 50'th. I recall that birthday being a big deal 15 years ago. Now I'm just happy to see another one. Meanwhile, my advice is, suck the marrow out of life while you still have the bone!

8/30/2013 3:34 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" Likewise, I can see where progressives of good intent can think "the people of Scandinavia seem to be happy with their Social Democracy, so it should work in America too", but I realize that it actually wouldn't work here -- our multiculturalism would work against it.."

It doesn't work there NOW, after importing a substantial minority of intolerant Arabs.

Liberarianism will work fine as long as the leftists aren't allowed to hijack the rules, which they do routinely. Our Constitution of limited and enumerated powers is strongly Libertarian - but has been completely overturned by politicians who ignore the Constitution and create unconstitutional laws.

8/30/2013 10:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's fascinating that some of our founding fathers thought that the U.S. would be torn apart if we allowed Native Americans to integrate into society, and others thought the country would be torn apart if we let Blacks integrate into society. Not because they weren't capable of it, but because core values in a heterogenious society would be so different that it would cause an irreperable rift in American society.

8/30/2013 11:38 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel,
Love your post and happy b-day. As an atheist, and a member of the military, the fact that other people do not believe as I do does not preoccupy my thoughts. It does bother me, however, when polls show my choice of non-religion is unacceptable next to say, something antithetical to 'your' religion. What Matthew McConnaghy said to Jodie Foster in Contact is true, I do think most of you are delusional. But that's okay. Your delusions don't bother me in the slightest. And from your perspective, mine shouldn't bother you either.

8/31/2013 1:20 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

PS. I post anonymously because while political views won't cause me trouble with my CoC, apparently not believing in god will.

8/31/2013 1:21 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Your delusions don't bother me in the slightest. And from your perspective, mine shouldn't bother you either."

Probably the most intelligent comment on this thread.

8/31/2013 2:34 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Once had a minister who said that atheists don't bother him at all, as: "...at least they don't blame God for their troubles."

His point is well taken. Where I'd not necessarily disagree with him, but at least offer another fair observation: the problem with atheists is that they're often smug, yet uninformed.

8/31/2013 5:18 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Compare, for instance, the lip-service and care demonstrated for our military and ambassador in Benghazi by the current commander in chief to the actual respect and sanctuary provided by the former.

Would we rather our son/daughter serve under the current or former?

I'm no Obama fan but do you really want to compare him to the last guy? Dubya was the stupidest motherfucker to ever be President. How many Americans were killed in Iraq? For what? How many civilians?

Yeah Dubya showed a ton of respect for the military you stupid sonuvabitch.

8/31/2013 6:06 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^By what measurement, instead of just one's opinion? Hard to tell if Dubya was the dumbest, but we know he had better grades at Yale (C+) than John Kerry (Ds his freshman year). And at least Dubya had a Harvard MBA.

What we don't know are Obama's grades...or SAT scores They've been sealed.

Gee. Wonder why...? (Not)

BTW...where'd you go to college? DumbFucks 'Я Us?

Also BTW, unlike yourself I've actually shaken hands and spoken with George W. and sized the man up. He's a frat boy...nothing more, nothing less. And so no, he didn't strike me as being particularly smart in the slightest...but stupid is as stupid does, and Obama takes the cake there.

8/31/2013 6:43 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. If the war in Iraq really went over your head, go look at a map of the Middle East and then tell us what surrounds Iraq.

Dismissed.

8/31/2013 6:45 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Joel, happy fifty.

An all purpose blessing:

May your lives be interesting in all the right places and boring in all the right places.

Want to thank you for revealing that you felt more upset at turning 30 than turning 50, that it was because at age 30 you faced you were not a kid anymore.

I felt exactly the same way. Turned thirty and felt I was no longer a kid, and had no excuses.

Thought I was the only one who felt that way.

8/31/2013 12:56 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

30 didn't quite bother me as much. My thinking: yesterday I was 29...today I'm 30...big deal?

Now 31...that was different. "Yesterday I was 30...today I'm 31...I'm definitely in my 30s."

8/31/2013 1:44 PM

 
Blogger Mike Mulligan said...

I mean honestly, why should it matter one bit if you are a atheist or a believer...

Why should it matter if you favor chocolate or vanilla ice cream...



8/31/2013 2:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^Tell that to your local fascist, militant Islamist, Mikey. See how it works out for you.
As far as the atheists go, they're largely responsible for the anti-religious fascism in the U.S.:

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/07/24/Military-Censors-Christian-Chaplain-Atheists-Call-for-Punishment

And yet more:
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/05/01/Breaking-Pentagon-Confirms-Will-Court-Martial-Soldiers-Who-Share-Christian-Faith

That's why it matters, Mikey.

8/31/2013 4:24 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been awhile since I've seen that level of Duhbya fanboism. The only thing that happened when (and if) you ever shook his hand is that you immediately spunked in your pants.

How did John Kerry get brought into this?

You're as pathetic as you are stupid.

8/31/2013 5:58 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^^Spunk on your mind...? Is there something you'd like to share with all of us...fag-boy?

8/31/2013 6:13 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's only one talent you can be sure that the people that have a star on their collar or their butts parked in the corporate boardroom have and that's getting themselves promoted. Anything beyond that is a crapshoot.

9/09/2013 9:19 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As they say on Duck Dynasty - "Faith, Family, Ducks!"

9/09/2013 10:21 PM

 
Anonymous CDR_Ret said...

Hey, Joel
This post reads like my bio. My XO tour got sidetracked in an overhaul-turned-decomm, just as the the navy began downsizing under Clinton. 180 command-eligible O5s in my yeargroup for less than half that number of CO billets.

But the Lord was in it. I retired just as my two kids entered high school, and it was the best thing for the family. In contrast, the day before we commissioned USS Bremerton during my second JO tour, the CO's daughter committed suicide. Nothing is worth that kind of sacrifice.

Thanks for this viewpoint, Shipmate.

9/10/2013 10:30 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bremerton: launched on 22 July 1978...and commissioned on 28 March 1981 (nearly 3 years later).

Was at EB on another 688 when this went down. As I recall, Bremerton was the one of the boats that took the brunt of the welding snafu, and was pretty much disassembled and rebuilt internally. Did not know about the COs daughter. God bless. Talk about a rough ride.

9/14/2013 6:52 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep...the ol' memory's still working:

"The 1970s would end poorly. While working on 18 contracts for Los Angeles-class submarines EB filed a claim with the Navy for $544 million, which EB attributed to Navy errors and changes in the plans. By 1978 EB threatened to shut down production, and only at the last minute did the Navy agree to a $359 million payment and a $300 million interest-free loan to settle the matter.

"Then, in 1979, production ground to a standstill when problems were found with welds on the Los Angeles-class SSN USS Bremerton, sparking a congressional investigation. Relations with the Navy were near a historic low."

9/14/2013 6:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel, Well Said!
As for those that have issue with recognizing God or not here is some food for thought... Then again that's assuming you are interested in self assessing your opinions...

If I believe in God and carry myself daily to the best of my ability using teachings from the Bible and there ends up not being a God have I lost anything?

On the other hand if you choose not to believe in God and there is one…

Who’s taking the bigger risk?

9/17/2013 7:39 AM

 
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