The Daily Dose/May 9, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy
Two years ago the guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a civilian container ship off the coast of Japan. Seven sailors were killed and the damage was so extensive Fitzgerald left dry dock only this week, and it is still not close to being seaworthy.
Recently, the Navy announced the two remaining officers facing criminal charges, the commanding officer, Commander Bryce Benson and Lieutenant Natalie Combs, will have those charges dismissed, which means no one will stand trial for the incident, though others charged avoided trial by accepting a plea deal. The decision came after defense attorneys accused the Chief of Naval Operations and other senior Navy leaders of what is known as unlawful command influence, which is military-speak for opening your yap when it would have been better to keep it closed.
Benson was originally charged with negligent homicide, a charge the Navy later dropped, and he and Lt Combs were charged with dereliction in the performance of duties through negligence resulting in death and improper hazarding of a vessel. Both received letters of censure from the Secretary of the Navy that carry no legal sanction but will ultimately end their naval careers. Not only was Benson relieved of duty, but so were his executive officer and senior enlisted man and shit rolled uphill, too, as both the squadron and task force commanders were fired as well and the commanders of the 7th and Pacific fleets were allowed to retire ahead of schedule.
Like you might have, we’ve read both the Secretary of the Navy’s censure and Commander Benson’s rebuttal and we feel the Navy investigation that showed a tired and improperly trained crew obliged to work with equipment that was not functioning properly was probably closer to the truth than Benson’s rebuttal. We’ve navigated naval vessels in our younger days and our experience is that properly trained crews that are not exhausted do not crash into other vessels.
It’s too bad Benson is not facing trial for this; he deserves this as much as we do, whether he was or was not criminally negligent. You and me – we the people – and the sailors who died under Benson’s command were entitled to see what came out at the trial.
Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody: It’s a busy day for Sparrow. Today’s Diary.
Other than that, it was dead slow at the VSO today…No one…No appointments and no walk-ins, either…Not vet walk-ins…The Wife came to visit because she had some business at DMV, also in the courthouse, and a gent from a service club came by to chat about their veteran assistance fund…Still tho, it’s a good thing I’m not a commissioned salesman, I’d’ve had to start cold calling veterans asking if they had any claims to file.
It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.
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On This Date
In 1092 – The Lincoln Cathedral in Lincoln, England is consecrated 20 years after construction had begun. Though damaged over the centuries by fire and earthquake, the cathedral still serves parishioners and is also known for housing a nest of peregrine falcons in its bell tower the past decade or so, which has helped save the bird from extinction. It was the tallest building in the world from 1311-1549, replacing the Great Pyramid of Giza and being replaced by St Mary’s Church in Stralsund, Germany.
In 1984 – The Chicago White Sox defeat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-6 in 25 innings, completing a game that had started the previous day and suspended after 17 innings earlier that morning because of an American League curfew. The games was tied 3-3 at the end of nine innings and both teams scored three runs in the 21st inning and Harold Baines hit a home run in the bottom of the 25th to win it for the White Sox. At 8 hours and 6 minutes, it is the longest game by time in major league history and at 25 innings it remains the longest game in American League history and the longest major league game played to a decision.
In 1953 – Willie Mae ‘Big Mama’ Thornton is at #1 on Billboard’s soul chart – then known as the Race Record Best Sellers chart – for the fourth of seven consecutive weeks with Hound Dog. It was Thornton’s only appearance on a Billboard singles chart, though her album Stronger Than Dirt spent two weeks on Billboard’s album chart in 1968. Hound Dog, done by Elvis Presley, would later – along with Don’t Be Cruel – spend eleven weeks at #1 on Billboard’s Best Sellers in Stores chart as a double-sided single. Elvis also topped the country and soul charts with Hound Dog, the first of four songs to top all three major Billboard charts.
I had found what I was looking for- a man like myself, but one who in his search for meaning had discovered a worthwhile object for his life; who had paid every price and not counted it a sacrifice; who was paying it still and would pay it till he died; who cared nothing for compromise, nothing for his pride, nothing for ourselves or the opinion of others; who had reduced his life to the one thing that mattered to him, and was free.
The Secret Pilgrim
Answer To The Last Trivia Question
The Elegants were the first group to go to #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 with their first single and never hit the Hot 100 again. Little Star spent one week at #1 in 1958.
What three other songs have also topped Billboard’s pop, soul and country chart? – Answer next time!