Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 30, 2016

Previous Week   July 25, 2016 - July 31, 2016   Next Week

Armistice ends the Korean Waron July 27, 1953

Armistice ends the Korean War on July 27, 1953

Armistice ends the Korean War: After three years of a bloody and frustrating war, the United States, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, and South Korea agree to an armistice, bringing the Korean War to an end. The armistice ended America’s first experiment with the Cold War concept of “limited war ”.

The Korean War began on June 25, 1950, when communist North Korea invaded South Korea. Almost immediately, the United States secured a resolution from the United Nations calling for the military defense of South Korea against the North Korean aggression. In a matter of days, U.S. land, air, and sea forces had joined the battle. The U.S. intervention turned the tide of the war, and soon the U.S. and South Korean forces were pushing into North Korea and toward that nation’s border with China. In November and December 1951, hundreds of thousands of troops from the People’s Republic of China began heavy assaults against the American and South Korea forces.

The war eventually bogged down into a battle of attrition. In the U.S. presidential election of 1952, Republican candidate Dwight D. Eisenhower strongly criticized President Harry S. Truman’s handling of the war. After his victory, Eisenhower adhered to his promise to “go to Korea.” His trip convinced him that something new was needed to break the diplomatic logjam at the peace talks that had begun in July 1951. Eisenhower began to publicly hint that the United States might make use of its nuclear arsenal to break the military stalemate in Korea. He allowed the Nationalist Chinese government on Taiwan to begin harassing air raids on mainland China. The president also put pressure on his South Korean ally to drop some of its demands in order to speed the peace process.

Whether or not Eisenhower’s threats of nuclear attacks helped, by July 1953 all sides involved in the conflict were ready to sign an agreement ending the bloodshed. The armistice, signed on July 27, established a committee of representatives from neutral countries to decide the fate of the thousands of prisoners of war on both sides. It was eventually decided that the POWs could choose their own fate–stay where they were or return to their homelands.

A new border between North and South Korea was drawn, which gave South Korea some additional territory and demilitarized the zone between the two nations. The war cost the lives of millions of Koreans and Chinese, as well as over 50,000 Americans. It had been a frustrating war for Americans, who were used to forcing the unconditional surrender of their enemies. Many also could not understand why the United States had not expanded the war into China or used its nuclear arsenal. As government officials were well aware, however, such actions would likely have prompted World War III. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / National Archives / Korean War.org video

Understanding Military Terminology

Understanding Military Terminology - Multinational Force Commander

(DOD) A general term applied to a commander who exercises command authority over a military force composed of elements from two or more nations. Also called MNFC. Joint Publications JP 3-16 (Multinational Operations)

“Sea Dreams”

The Old Salt’s Corner

“Sea Dreams” (Part I)

A city clerk, but gently born and bred;

His wife, an unknown artist's orphan child -

One babe was theirs, a Margaret, three years old:

They, thinking that her clear germander eye

Droopt in the giant-factoried city-gloom,

Came, with a month's leave given them, to the sea:

For which his gains were dock'd, however small:

Small were his gains, and hard his work; besides,

Their slender household fortunes (for the man

Had risk'd his little) like the little thrift,

Trembled in perilous places o'er a deep:

And oft, when sitting all alone, his face

Would darken, as he cursed his credulousness,

And that one unctuous mount which lured him, rogue,

To buy strange shares in some Peruvian mine.

Now seaward-bound for health they gain'd a coast,

All sand and cliff and deep-inrunning cave,

At close of day; slept, woke, and went the next,

The Sabbath, pious variers from the church,

To chapel; where a heated pulpiteer,

Not preaching simple Christ to simple men,

Announced the coming doom, and fulminated

Against the scarlet woman and her creed:

For sideways up he swung his arms, and shriek'd

“Thus, thus with violence”, ev'n as if he held

The Apocalyptic millstone, and himself

Were that great Angel; “Thus with violence

Shall Babylon be cast into the sea;

Then comes the close.”

The gentle-hearted wife

Sat shuddering at the ruin of a world;

He at his own: but when the wordy storm

Had ended, forth they came and paced the shore,

Ran in and out the long sea-framing caves,

Drank the large air, and saw, but scarce believed

(The sootflake of so many a summer still

Clung to their fancies) that they saw, the sea.

So now on sand they walk'd, and now on cliff,

Lingering about the thymy promontories,

Till all the sails were darken'd in the west,

And rosed in the east: then homeward and to bed:

Where she, who kept a tender Christian hope

Haunting a holy text, and still to that

Returning, as the bird returns, at night,

“Let not the sun go down upon your wrath,”

Said, “Love, forgive him:” but he did not speak;

And silenced by that silence lay the wife,

Remembering her dear Lord who died for all,

And musing on the little lives of men,

And how they mar this little by their feuds.

But while the two were sleeping, a full tide

Rose with ground-swell, which, on the foremost rocks

Touching, upjetted in spirts of wild sea-smoke,

And scaled in sheets of wasteful foam, and fell

In vast sea-cataracts--ever and anon

Dead claps of thunder from within the cliffs

Heard thro' the living roar.

At this the babe,

Their Margaret cradled near them, wail'd and woke

The mother, and the father suddenly cried,

“A wreck, a wreck!” then turn'd, and groaning said,

~ Alfred, Lord Tennyson (Part I of VI)

Full Poem

“I’m Just Sayin”

“I’m Just Sayin”

“The economic value of computation increases with the square root of the increase in speed; that is, to do a calculation 10 times as cheaply you must do it 100 times as fast.”

~ Grosch's law

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Take only memories, Leave only footprints.”

~ Chief Seattle

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“Do everything you ask of those you command.”

~ George S. Patton

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Top Pentagon Official Charged With Stealing License Plates

Top Pentagon Official Charged With Stealing License Plates

Bryan Whitman, the Pentagon's top public affairs official, has entered an agreement with prosecutors to keep him out of jail after he was charged with stealing license plates from a neighborhood car, according to court documents.

The charges will be dismissed next year if Whitman pays restitution, completes about a week of community service and doesn't run afoul of the law in any other way, according to the agreement.

The nanny's employers reported the theft and replaced the missing plates. They did it again a week later when her rear license plate was stolen again, The Washington Post reported.

On on or about April 20, the camera hit paydirt. It recorded Whitman repeatedly walking around and crouching behind the car before getting in his own car and driving away. NBC News (06/01/2016)

How Does Someone Become a Superdelegate?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: How Does Someone Become a Superdelegate?

By the time Hillary Clinton emerged as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, the former Secretary of State had won a majority of pledged delegates, the states that had held primaries, and the popular vote. Adding to that lead: an outsized chunk of superdelegates she had managed to bring over to her side.

Superdelegates are the wild card in the Democratic party’s nominating contest: Unlike regular delegates, the superdelegates, totaling about 712, are “unbound”, meaning they aren’t required to vote for the candidate who won their state and can switch allegiances right up to the convention. It’s an extremely powerful position. But how does one actually land the gig?

According to the Democratic Call for the 2016 Convention, the spots are reserved for Democratic power players. That includes:

• The Democratic president, Democratic vice president, and all former Democratic presidents and vice presidents (so, yes, President Obama and Bill Clinton are superdelegates who have—spoiler alert!—said they’ll vote for Hillary Clinton).

• All current Democratic U.S. senators and representatives (that includes Bernie Sanders, who, despite being an independent, won the designation when he decided to run for the Democratic nomination; but not Clinton herself, who is no longer a senator).

• Current Democratic governors (including territories such as American Samoa, and the mayor of Washington, D.C.).

• All former majority and minority leaders of the U.S. Senate.

• All former Speakers and minority leaders of the House of Representatives.

• Democratic National Committee officials, such as the chair and vice chair of each state’s Democratic party, along with members elected to represent each state at the convention (but if one person fulfills multiple roles, they still only get one vote. For instance, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is both Chair of the DNC and a representative from Florida, but she only gets one vote).

• All former DNC chairs.

So, what about the Republicans? Superdelegates are primarily an invention of the Democratic party. The GOP’s version, which only constitutes about 7 percent of the total delegates on the Republican side, is comprised of three members from each state’s national party committee. And, unlike Democratic superdelegates, they’re required to vote for whoever won their state’s primary or caucus—giving them far less power than their peers on the other side of the aisle.

Overall, the system is a relatively recent construct. After the 1968 election, when Hubert Humphrey won the nomination without winning a single primary, the Democratic party sought to change its nomination process so it could be more inclusive. George McGovern, a senator from South Dakota, chaired the commission, which replaced the status quo—nomination by party bosses—in favor of more democratic processes, allowing more proportional representation in pledged delegates.

Democrats used that system in 1972 and (with some minor tweaks) in 1976 without much general election success. To their chagrin, party elites soon realized that they’d been effectively cut off from helping select the nominee. In turn, the party ended up with nominees who weren’t as strong against Republican rivals: McGovern, who lost to Richard Nixon in 1972, and Jimmy Carter, who failed to win re-election.

Party leaders saw the need for a system to check the will of the people, or what Politico has called “an ‘emergency brake,’ a last chance to avoid disaster.” They also saw a need for a unifying force within the party after Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy challenged incumbent President Carter for the nomination in 1980. That gambit left the party in chaos, divided amongst itself. In response, the Hunt Commission was tasked with reforming the process yet again. That’s when they landed on the idea of superdelegates.

Geraldine Ferraro, the Democratic candidate for vice president in 1984 and member of that commission, wrote about the party’s goals with the superdelegate system in The New York Times in 2008:

“Democrats had to figure out a way to unify our party. What better way, we reasoned, than to get elected officials involved in writing the platform, sitting on the credentials committee, and helping to write the rules that the party would play by?”

Since the system’s inception in the 1980s, left-wing members of the party have argued that having superdelegates is undemocratic because this system gives party elites disproportionate influence over the nomination process. That argument picked up steam in the 2016 election when Bernie Sanders lambasted superdelegates voting for Clinton, tried to bring them over to his side, and eventually called for their demise.

But although they constitute about 15 percent of the 4763 Democratic delegates, no candidate who has lost the popular vote has won the nomination thanks to an abundance of superdelegate votes. The closest they came to deciding a nomination was in the 1980s. While political scientists still debate whether former Vice President Walter Mondale’s victory in 1984 was down to superdelegates, or if he secured the win thanks to other means with the superdelegates as cushioning, it was the closest superdelegates have ever come to deciding a race.

So, while Sanders has declared that his strategy to win the nomination will be to convince Clinton’s superdelegates to come over to his side before the convention, in the end, it may not matter.

Mental FlossThe New York TimesPoliticoPolitifactWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing:”  Meaning: A small amount of knowledge can mislead people into thinking that they are more expert than they really are.

Origin: “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing” and “A little learning is a dangerous thing” have been used synonymously since the 18th century.

The version “a little learning” is widely attributed to Alexander Pope (1688 - 1744). It is found in An Essay on Criticism, 1709, and I can find no earlier example of the expression in print:

“A little learning is a dangerous thing;

drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:

there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,

and drinking largely sobers us again.”

The precise wording of the expression comes just a little later, in Dr. John Bridges' Defence of the Government of the Church of England, 1587:

“If they pay a penie or two pence more for the reddinesse of them..let them

looke to that, a foole and his money is soone parted.”

The similarity of the two phrases is demonstrated by what appears to be an impromptu coining of “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing” in a piece in The monthly miscellany; or Gentleman and Lady's Complete Magazine, Vol II, 1774, in which the writer misquoted Pope:

Mr. Pope says, very truly, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”

Both Pope's original verse and the misquotation of it were predated by an anonymous author, signing himself “A B”, in the collection of letters published in 1698 as The mystery of phanaticism:

“Twas well observed by my Lord Bacon, That a little knowledge is apt to puff up, and make men giddy, but a greater share of it will set them right, and bring them to low and humble thoughts of themselves.”

Again, there is a degree of misquotation here; what “my Lord Bacon”, the English politician and philosopher Francis Bacon, Viscount St Alban, actually said, in The Essays: Of Atheism, 1601, was:

“A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.”

So, who coined the phrase? It appears to have been a group effort. Bacon can be credited with the idea, Pope with the “learning” version and the mysterious “A B” with the “knowledge” version.


NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy America's Navy - A Global Force For Good

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Leading Airman/Seaman/Fireman: “Honorary” title for an individual who cannot seem to make PO3 within the first six years of his enlistment.

Leave: Vacation time.

LES: Leave and Earning Statement. A monthly review print-out of one's pay record, time-in-service, amount of leave on the books, and other important record keeping information.

LHO: Large Heavy Object. Useless piece of machinery.

Just for MARINES - U.S. Marines Marines - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

LT: Abbreviation for lieutenant, inappropriate to address as such verbally.

LWH: Abbreviation for LightWeight Helmet.

LZ: Abbreviation for Landing Zone,, a clearing designated as the place where a helicopter (or other VTOL aircraft) can land.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HSC-85 - Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron EIGHTY FIVE: “Fire Hawks”
Naval Station San Diego, California / Coronado, California

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

9 of the most expensive things people have accidentally thrown away before realising their huge mistake

9 of the most expensive things people have accidentally thrown away before realising their huge mistake

The saying goes “one man's trash is another man's treasure” and in some cases, this has proven to be painfully true.

But occasionally, some items slip through the net. Maybe it was an aluminium can , or a letter you mistook for a piece of junkmail.

Whatever it was, it (hopefully!) wasn't a life-changing, valuable and important object which you binned - never to be found again!

And if it was, take heart, according to LitterBins, there are others who have probably spent the rest of their lives kicking themselves over the rare treasure / huge some of money they have quite literally thrown away.

Mirror (06/21/2016)

© CEASAR CHOPPY by cartoonist Marty Gavin - archives Ceasar Choppy's Navy! “© CEASAR CHOPPY” by Marty Gavin


“Everybody's Talkin'” - Nilsson 1969

“Everybody's Talkin'” - Nilsson
Album: Aeriel Ballet
Released 1969 video

This was featured in Midnight Cowboy, a 1969 movie about a male prostitute in New York City starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight (Angelina Jolie's dad). Although it is the most memorable and popular song from the film, the film's actual title song is “Midnight Cowboy Theme”, which is a haunting instrumental written by prolific song writer John Barry, who has done numerous soundtracks. You will recognize the theme by the lonely harmonica which serves as the main instrument. There are lyrics, though the song has rarely been recorded as a vocal.

Midnight Cowboyis the only movie rated X or NC-17 to win an Oscar for Best Picture.

Bob Dylan's “Lay Lady Layvideo was written for Midnight Cowboy, but this was used instead.

The folk singer Fred Neil wrote this song and released it video on his 1967 self-titled album, which was the first one where he used electric instruments. Neil was a very influential singer who made a name for himself playing Greenwich Village clubs with people like John Sebastian, David Crosby, and Stephen Stills. He pretty much disappeared around 1971, resurfacing every now and then for various events. He had a small, but dedicated group of fans and looked like he was on his way to stardom, but apparently that was never his goal. Neil died in his Florida home in 2001.

This song won Nilsson the Grammy award for Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Male.

Nilsson originally issued this song as a single in 1968, but it was pulled and released a year later when the movie came out.

Fred Neil released his version of the song as a single in 1968, but it didn't do very well. Shortly after Midnight Cowboy came out, Neil's version was re-released along with the album.

In the 1994 movie Forrest Gump, when Lt. Dan says, “I'm walking here!” to the cab that almost hits him, this song is playing in the background. It's a nod to a similar scene in Midnight Cowboy.

Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock on the TV series Star Trek, did a very interesting cover version for his 1970 album “The New World Of Leonard Nimoyvideo.

This was one of the first songs Phil Ramone engineered at the 7th Avenue studio in New York City that he purchased from Columbia Records. He would later record Billy Joel, Dionne Warwick, Paul Simon and many others there.

The album title was inspired by the aerial ballet act performed by Nilsson's Swedish grandparents, who were circus performers and dancers.

This was featured in the 2006 comedy Borat, starring Sacha Baron Cohen, and in the 2013 comedy The Hangover Part III, starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis.

Dustin Hoffman would go on to narrate Nilsson's animated film The Point!, featuring the hit “Me And My Arrowvideo, in its original telecast on ABC in 1971.

Harry Nilsson official site / All Music / Billboard / Song Facts / Rolling Stone Magazine / Wikipedia

Image: “Aerial Ballet‎ (album)” by Harry Nilsson



● What is the basic, general difference between libel and slander? LIBEL IS WRITTEN OR PRINTED OR BROADCAST / SLANDER IS ONLY SPOKEN

● On June 17, 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that students in public schools may not be required School Prayer, Bible Verses, Recite the Lord's Prayer...

● Doctor Michael Savage recently vowed to sue British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, after she placed his name on the list of the 16 “least wanted” visitors to Britain. (She banned Savage from entering the country, due to “hate speech”.)

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Mr. and Mrs. Brown had two sons. One was named Mind Your Own Business & the other was named Trouble. One day the two boys decided to play hide and seek. Trouble hid while Mind Your Own Business counted to one hundred. Mind Your Own Business began looking for his brother behind garbage cans and bushes.

Then he started looking in and under cars until a police man approached him and asked, “What are you doing?”

“Playing a game,” the boy replied.

“What is your name?” the officer questioned

“Mind Your Own Business.”

Furious the policeman inquired, “Are you looking for trouble?!”

The boy replied, “Why, yes.”

Pun of the Day

Some people are on seefood diets: they see food ... they eat it.