Blog Traditions:

I normally post IRA war tunes on St. Patrick’s Day, and for equal coverage, post videos of the Orange March as the Red Hand of Ulster is paraded down Shankhill Road in Belfast on July 12. The Orange walk marks and commemorates Prince William of Orange’s (King Billy) victory over King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

The Broad Black Brimmer

The Boys of the Old Brigade

Come out ye Black and Tans

Riot Scene from “In the Name of the Father

I was there in those days. 1974-77 were lively times. And of course, I was younger then than I am today. My daughter and son-in-law (whose family is Boston Irish) attended a wedding there two years ago and brought back reports of how things changed from my time in Northern Ireland. It’s like two different worlds.  And that’s a good thing – but not so lively.

Today they sell souvenirs at the “Free Derry” wall at the corner of Lecky Road and Fahan Street in the Bogside. The slogan was first painted in January 1969 the Royal Ulster Constabulary raided across the national border. The authority of the RUC ended at the border with Ireland. Back then the whole matter was serious business.

There are a lot of photos of Saracens (6 wheel armored cars) parked here and there, but in my time the Pigs (one-ton Humber armored cars – below) were far more prevalent.

I thought about going back on vacation, after all this time, and touring the area. I guess that there aren’t professional “friskers” that pat you down before you enter stores anymore.

Civil wars are always very messy.


Meanwhile, in the USA


Littoral Combat Ship Woes Continue

USS Sioux City

The littoral combat ship Sioux City is laid up after air was found in the ship’s lube oil, which could affect engine cooling and raise the risk of overheating, Naval Surface Force Atlantic officials confirmed this week.

The problem was discovered Jan. 12 during routine maintenance aboard the ship, which was commissioned less than three years ago in November 2018.

Initially, the repairs were only expected to take a few days, but officials now say they don’t have a timeline for when Sioux City will once again be good to go.

When the LCS designs were on the drawing board, there was a lot of crowing about how the SEALs could use them for SPECOPS. The Navy wanted to build small ships and casted about for missions. The SEALs wanted nothing to do with them because the ship is acoustically LOUD. I opined that they could be used as decoys. Sail a few of them around to get sunk while the SEALs made egress by other means. Those comments were deemed to be ‘unhelpful’. As it turns out, I was/am right. They were a waste of metal and national treasure. A number of them are being retired early because they’re junk. (which gives a bad name to Chinese junks)

In the photo (below), the Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Thomas Hudner (DDG 116), left, the Italian Navy Carlo Bergamini class frigate ITS Virginio Fasan (F 591), the Hellenic Navy Hydra class frigate HS Psara (F 494) and the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), right, sail in formation, March 11, 2021.

There is no LCS in the photo. They would have a difficult time keeping up and at any speed at all, they need to UNREP almost daily to keep from running out of fuel.


The Oscars

It seems that fewer and fewer people watch progressively correct award shows anymore. Plague aside, the trash that Hollywood trots out is not worth watching. Low budget slasher films, woke homosexual themed films, etc. dominate Hollywood. Now, Hollywood is preparing everyone for lower than low ratings for the Academy Award Show.

I will not be watching the mean-spirited, partisan, egotistical show. I have no interest in being lectured by a bunch of low-talent, amoral, virtue signaling hacks – which is what the big show has become. I’m sure Jo/Ho will watch.


  1. I always thought the Saracen would make a great daily driver, but the DMV said I couldn’t keep the MG, so what’s the point?

    The Lock-Mart LCS seem to have some really bad engineering design flaws. The Austals, though less popular than the Lock-Marts (when working) seem to have far fewer catastrophic mobility casualties. Of course, both suffer from the same design philosophy problems, as you state.


    • They didn’t use the machine guns in Northern Ireland that I recall. They just had the turret. So you can use it as a daily driver without the mg and it will still be authentic.

      The LCS is a waste of time and treasure.

    • Reading Clanlands (written by two of the guys from Outlander)…about half finished. They go through a lot of interesting history in their funny travels around Scotland, curious where they end up with the history.

      Strife is in every culture, but most of it anymore is narrative driven. Look at what the Left has been doing for the past 10 years alone, culminating at the Chauvin hangman trial that is intended/designed to be the spark to ignite the nation into civil war (includes Covid falseness). Jason Whitlock and Curtis Scoons discuss it at length — two smart black men discussing the purposeful fomenting of racism and discord in our country. Long but worthwhile (some language for affect but drills into the heart of the matter):

      Thanks for what you do LL…

      May the road rise up to meet you.
      May the wind be always at your back.
      May the sun shine warm upon your face;
      the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
      may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

  2. Are those incredible partisan/militant murals still up? I thought they were very impressive. I watched children in school uniforms walk past them on a January morning in 1999. Quite a vision, it was.

    Those armored cars are lacking the skirt around the lower part of the vehicle that prevented rolling a bomb under them. I thought those were de rigueur.

    • I don’t think that they were there in the 1970’s when I roamed the area. The British would have torn them down or painted over them.

      The saracens were not mine-resistant (MRAP). I recall one incident when the IRA packed a culvert under a road with an ANFO (ammonium nitrate and fuel oil) bomb and command detonated it when a saracen crossed. It threw the saracen through the air about 60 feet and it landed in a field upside down. But the 1970’s were a long time ago. In a city, they needed dismounted infantry to protect them. They were fine in more open terrain.

      The Pigs (one-ton Humber armored cars) would operate in concert with each other and were smaller and lighter. Also more vulnerable.

      I told the story once here on the blog, I think. I was running, being chased down a street that intersected with Shankhill Road. 62 Commando was waiting for me in a Pig. I leaped into the back of the Pig and landed in the lap of a young Royal Marine. Fast forward thirty years. I ran into that same guy, who had immigrated to the USA and was a sergeant at the Santa Ana, CA Police Department. We were working together on a case and he said, “you look familiar”, we got talking. I had some 62 commando stuff at home and gave it to him.

      Lively times.

  3. The last worthwhile film, IMHO, to be nominated for best picture was Hell Or High Water back in ’17. It lost to another that featured a gay POC. Of course. There’s little class in Hollywood anymore.

  4. The ‘Troubles” were very interesting. My late ex-wife to whom I was married from 1980 to 1992 was from Northern Ireland. Her father was a Church of Ireland (Anglican) priest. I learned a lot about what was going on. By the 1990’s the Provos (Provisional IRA) and Protestant Militias were no more than criminal organizations. I have a couple of stories I can tell of life in Ireland.

    The interesting thing about the “Troubles” is that they were another Leftist manufactured problem. The “Catholics” (religion was more of a political designation) were definitely being suppressed by the power structure in the North. Bringing in troops was actually requested by the “Catholics” of the North because they were demonstrating against the power structure (prodded on by the Provos) and having violent clashes with the “Prods” (Protestants). That was the late 1960’s. The Provos then attacked the British Troops or provoked the Troops to go after the Provos with bombings and assassinations. It does appear a lot calmer these days.

    I do have another stake in Ireland; my great-great grandfather and wife were from the far south of Ireland. They immigrated to the U.S. due to the Potato Famine in 1842.

    • A lot of that war was a scam (war is a racket). Ian Paisley stirred people up to get money from the Protestants. Bernadette Devlin stirred up the Catholics for money. The money machine did spend money on the causes, but there was a HEAVY skim going on. Trust me, I know. The IRA were hoodlums and so was the UVF. I don’t think that there was ever a “clean cause” but there seldom is where so much money is being tossed around.

      I enjoyed the IRA portions of “The Peaky Blinders” (Netflix), and that’s set before WW2. It wasn’t all that different in the 1970’s.

  5. My Irish ancestors were Protestant, but not Anglican, which earned them enmity from all sides. I have an aunt who can talk, at length, about it. Since it was five to six generations back, who really knows? There is a family legend emigration was to escape the gallows. Seems certain secular activities were not appreciated by the authorities.

    The day has a much darker personal meaning for me. My youngest son died two years ago during the night of 17/18.

  6. And then they all went to France to drink wine!

    I can’t get involved with this first issue, what with me being an English chick;)

    I don’t care for these Hollywood trophy shows either. Just make a decent film for us to watch and sod off. I think I might watch it if Tommy and Arthur Shelby went there and performed in character. Now that’d be good.

    • It would be good if Tommy and Arthur took over the club/award show in character the way they did in Season 3, I think 3. Beat everyone up.

    • It would make a statement in Hillsboro if St. Mary’s adopted a saracen. Some of the detractors would have more respect.

  7. My simpathy and prayers go to WSF for his loss.

    And I love that Humber, myself. I travelled to belfast for work at the turn of the century, and realized my customers were protestant when I noticed they drove in Protestant neighbourhoods exclusively.

    The Bergamini is the parent to the USN’s Constellation class. The Constellations will get an extra 300 tons of steel to take them to DDG levels of protection. Also, the twin hangars are larger than the Burke’s, and can play host to one NH-90 and one EH-101. In USN terms, one SH-60 and lots of drones. And no issues with keeping up with a CVN, in any weather: flying ops ensure the escorts need to manoeuver fast to keep up; Bergaminis / Constellations are fast, and have LONG endurance.

    As to the LCS, I must hang my head in shame: Fincantieri, of Constellation fame, builds that sad class…

    • It’s always safer to travel on your own turf when there’s a civil war going on. I don’t know how things are in N. Ireland now, I heard they calmed down.

      The LCS was a USN wet dream. Fincantieri just built them to spec. I don’t blame the Italians. The Zoomie was too. Same morons, same goofy ideas. DRJIM was right in that a tech demonstrator one-off like the old USS Long Beach (cruiser) makes sense even if it costs more. You don’t order 100 of them until you know that they work. And when the first one is a lemon – you move on and take your lumps.

  8. My idiot mother-in-law went to visit one of my idiot brothers-in-law who was living in Londonderry with his idiot wife, him living there on an expired visa, yada yada. Pack of idiots all.

    So, late at night, IMIL hears noise in the street outside. So she, being an idiot, slowly draws the curtain partially aside so as to take a photo of the soldiers doing a sweep down the street.

    Bastard English! They didn’t immediately waste the window, curtain, room behind the window/curtain and my IMIL. Bastards. Made me have to put up with her idiotness for another 30 years. Bastards.

    She also took photos, during the day, of all the soldiers and police, thinking they were ‘interesting.’ And she was shocked, shocked I say, to find out that the police seized and destroyed her photos and negatives. Again, I call the English bastards for not wasting her stupid arse. Bastards.

    As to the money-scam, it was so well-known that even an episode of ‘Columbo’ dealt with it. Also the US citizens funding communists and terrorists. Not a very bright moment of US history.

    The LCSessessssss would have been far more useful and powerful if, instead of those stupid waterjets, a tunnel drive prop system (where, instead of a propeller below or to the aft of the ship, there is actually an indent, like a transmission hump, that the prop sits in. Allows for a shallower draft as the props are almost up inside the hull) was used.

    Oh well.

    • If the clock could be turned back, and I knew you back then, I’m sure that I could have convinced one of the 62 Commando snipers to take the shot on your IMIL. They weren’t supposed to shoot Americans, though. Somebody would have gotten their ass chewed. Usually they blamed “bad shots” on the IRA. The IRA wasn’t supposed to shoot Americans either and blamed bad shots on the Royal Army. Americans were like sacred cows. You just had to wear a flag or something so they knew…

      Actually, the IRA knew. They had EXCELLENT intelligence on the ground. And they didn’t shoot me, or stab me or blow me up.

  9. Interesting times is right… And re the LCS, Vern Clark’s folly continues. They were the ‘brainchild’ of his when he came in as CNO to ‘revolutionize’ near shore warfare… Sigh… NONE of his ideas have worked/stood the test of time. Lot of money down the drain that could have been better spent on FFX or more DDGs…

    • The Ohio Class boats need to be replaced and the SSG conversions will be leaving the fleet soon. There is a lot of focus that should be placed on submarines at the moment. The LCS problem is an unpleasant distraction. And while they’re not even in the ballpark with an SSN in terms of cost – the money spent on them was/is completely wasted.

  10. With all the money spent on LCS, I wonder if an old battleship could be made battle worthy today, though how we would use it I don’t know.

    We could always use more destroyers, aircraft carriers and frigates, I expect.

  11. Regan was right!

    I just didn’t think it would happen this fast.

    The LCS is a disgrace. “Air in the lube oil”….where? Being fed to the bearings of whatever engines power these? Every big lube system I’ve worked on had a reservoir designed purposely to remove the air. Is the lube oil pump sucking air? We’ll probably never know….

    Haven’t watched the “awards” shows in decades. I have no plans to start now….

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