The Watering Hole: March 27 – Naval Act of 1794

After letting the US Navy virtually disappear as a national force, Congress enacted the Naval Act of 1794 on this very date. Six frigates were contracted in order to establish the new nation as a naval power in direct response to raids off of the Barbary Coast of Africa, one, the USS Constitution acquired the nick name of  “Old Ironsides” after surviving numerous exchanges with British warships with seeming impunity, In the end, the use of soft green Maine pine in the construction of these ships made them less vulnerable to cannon shot than the sturdy oak vessels used by the Brits which threatened the crew before their opponents.

The USS Constitution is the nation’s oldest commissioned naval vessel. It is also the world’s oldest military vessel that is still afloat.

This is our open thread. Please feel free to offer your own comments on this or any other topic.

44 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: March 27 – Naval Act of 1794

  1. Palin was a blatantly desperate pick for McCain in 2008 national election.
    What does it say about him now when he has to rely on Palin to help him get re-elected in his own constituency?

  2. I guess McCain is better than Hayworth, until the general.

    Israeli tanks roll into Gaza

    The fighting comes after a resurgence in rocket fire from Gaza, which has been claimed by an al-Qaeda-linked group that views Hamas as too moderate.

    According to MSNBC this morning, the Israeli forces are withdrawing. Is this meant to warn Obama that things can always get worse for the Palestinians, no matter what the US does?

  3. I’m not wasting what hearing is left listening to those two. I’ll find a transcript.

    Neither one of them has common sense. Palin has given a most beautiful state a very bad reputation.

    Watching herds of caribou; bald eagles flying overhead; whistling swans on the water.
    Geological beauty!
    Watching a tidal bore at Cook Inlet is quite a sight.

  4. How do I kill my sound card?

    Keep clicking on Palin audio links? So it commits suicide?

    Don’t kill your sound card Zooey, or else Music Night will suck!

  5. house,

    well, the Israelis intransigence on the illegal settlements gives the Hamas militants an excuse to send over some rockets as US/Israel negotiations have done nothing except to show that Netanyahu is a dick and a bastard and that the US is still too chicken to impose real sanctions on the Israeli Govt.

    (The IAF ‘bought’ three C-130J Super-Hercules on Thursday, $70 million each).

    If there is an Al Qaeda connection well they of course have an interest in provoking Israel, and tough titties on the ordinary Gazans who will suffer the consequences.

    I don’t say any special timing in the latest Israeli incursion/counter insurgent operation; it looks like business as usual.
    But with the US’s more critical stance towards Israel resulting in no obvious change the US is going to have to push harder or else look even more impotent than usual.

  6. 2ebbandflow,

    Discovery is touting the new ‘Life’ documentary series, so maybe Sarah’s show should be titled ‘Death’ ?

    (BTW it pisses me off that Discovery claims ‘Life’ is their show and that this week was its debut, when of course they had nothing to do with it and it debut 3 years ago on BBC, because it is of course a BBC production).

    Other possible titles for Sarah’s show:

    The Real American Housewife of Alaska?

    Half-Baked Alaska?

    The Noprah Whiney Show?

    Wacky and Bullwinkle?

    Ice Road Suckers?

    Wasilla, Queen of the Intellectual Desert?

    noseeum, et al says: Petticoat Disfunction

    pete says: Pride and Prejudice

  7. Zooey,

    With that statement, General Conway proved he’s unfit to serve: his inability to grasp the fact that straight Marines already serve with gay marines without any special arrangements indicates that satisfying his prejudices is more important to him than assessing the facts and arriving at a sound reasoned judgment. That makes him a danger to those under his command.

  8. 5th I’ve not had cable for nearly eight years and don’t miss it.

    I thoroughly enjoy reading your views of the Catholic church. You expound most articulately than I ever could, but speak to what is on my mind.
    Why, in this day and age, is the church seen to have such political pull? That I can’t fathom.

  9. 2ebbandflow: “Why, in this day and age, is the church seen to have such political pull? That I can’t fathom

    It think it’s because of laziness and cowardice by secular politicians and the ordinary public that identify themselves as Catholics (and those that just call themselves Christians) .

    American Catholics don’t follow the edicts of the Church, they have sex before marriage, they use contraception, most of them don’t oppose abortion, they get divorces, and most say they are shocked and appalled with the Church’ abuses each and every time—and yet they still maintain they are Catholics.
    That maintenance of identification allows the Catholic Church to claim an influence over its congregants that simply doesn’t exist.

    I think the most ‘attractive’ thing about the Catholic Church is it’s policy of forgiveness and it’s system of punishment: as long as the sinner admits the sin and accepts the authority of the Church to condemn or forgive—what do you know? Three hail Mary’s and you’re good with God again, not matter WHAT you did, or how often you did it!

    The important thing is that they keep calling themselves Catholics so the Church can keep claiming it;s relevant to people’s lives and thus to politics.

    • A lot of people I know who self-identify as Catholic do so out of habit, I think. Or so their Granny, who goes to Mass every morning, won’t have a heart attack or something.

  10. Over riding 1,500 years of indoctrination is not easy. Especially when the current, more powerful manipulators are willing to use old saws to cut new wood.

    • ralph put up a link to James Wolcott’s thoughts regrading Palin’s speech in Nevada today (I’m posting the whole thing because it’s short):

      Idiot Wind

      Taking a break from diamond-cutting my latest Vanity Fair column so that each gleaming sentence is worthy of being worn on one of Elizabeth Taylor’s illustrious fingers, I turned on the TV and there’s Sarah Palin, keynote speaker at an outdoor Tea Party rally in Nevada, shouting into a wind so strong her words seem to be whipping back at her. Everything’s flapping: the flags, the script pages in front of her, the hinges of her mind like a shithouse in a gale, to borrow a phrase from somebody, I know not whom. It’s a pep talk Palin must have written herself because no outside party could put together such a staccato barrage of folksy locutions and plucky banalities that sends logic and coherence running screaming from the room. It’s really quite patronizing, the low-rent quality of pre-fab rhetoric she fobs off on her followers as she rakes in money from the “mainstream media” she pretends to upbraid, but her marks clearly don’t mind, so let them be pawns in her game, serving as crowd extras in the movie Robert Altman didn’t live to make.


  11. Zooey….

    Palin got full attention from CNN in Nevada—no cutaways to find out what “the panel thinks”, which is what they usually do with Obama.
    She was of course spewing the same old word salad with dog-whistle rhetoric. .

  12. Well, lets start. It’s sort of like who killed JR. And is this the real Easter Bunny or is this a Republican trick? Is that bunny a leftist plant?

    Why are the eggs empty?

  13. Zooey – that’s a good piece. So Palin is batshit crazy. And her worshipers, I mean followers, are even crazier. They are willing to hand over money and their own thoughts to this mindless wonder named Sarah Palin.

  14. Cats,

    left a comment at your blog 😀

    I just saw Palin/McCain. on CNN in Arizona.
    Cindy. then Sarah then McCain, so that was about 25 minutes–NO commercials!

    CNN has been following Sarah all day ( Nevada earlier) and given her uninterrupted coverage (but I didn’t see any wide shots of the size of the crowds, though I didn’t see either all the way from the start).

    Sarah got the most enthusiasm from the crowd but after she’s garbled on for about 8 minutes and paused for a reaction to something she’d said, a group started chanting “John McCain, John McCain, John McCain!, waving red handkerchiefs ( why?).

    There appeared to be about 20 of them at most, Palin shut up to let the chant build in participation and volume—which it didn’t, so it was about 20 seconds of lameness and embarrassment.for all. She spent another 2-3 minutes bitching about the media and then intro’d McCain.

    McCain’s reception was more enthused than the pathetic chant effort suggested it would be, but still noticeably less than Palin’s.

    McCain got pig-biting mad about Obama NEVER showing the HCR process on C-SPAN (?!) and righteously thrombotic about a few other ‘facts’ he’d recently invented, and then he tried the “we’re not the party of no , but the party of Hell-no!” to leave on a high note.

    It was a flat note and in the wrong key. .

    McCain needed Palin to put on an energetic show.

    One loser depending on another loser (and quitter) who is still regarded by her cult followers as a winner. And then he tried to copy her–what a maverick!

    It was like the Hindenburg, if the Hinderburg had been filled with old-man farts instead of hydrogen. Oh the humanity, ladies and gentlemen!

  15. Oh and one other thing,

    the calamity closed with with a WhiteSnake song

    “I don’t know where I’m going
    But, I sure know where I’ve been
    Hanging on the promises
    In songs of yesterday
    An I’ve made up my mind,
    I ain’t wasting no more time
    But, here I go again
    Here I go again

    Though I keep searching for an answer,
    I never seem to find what I’m looking for
    Oh lord, I pray
    You give me strength to carry on,
    ‘cos I know what it means
    To walk along the lonely street of dreams

    And here I go again on my own….”

  16. In case anyone wonders, the Navy and the Marines have projected US power longer than any other national military force. The Army was restricted to our nation’s boundaries until 1795. The Navy’s origins go back to 1776 (And even 1770.). Look up John Paul Jones for details.

  17. Walt,

    Of course that makes perfect sense. The early American colonial economy (and politics) depended on sea trade and once the revolution began a functioning American Navy was surely critical for success.
    I’m just guessing but I imagine the nascent Navy was tasked mostly with intelligence gathering and communications, and the ships would have been armed really for defense, not power projection, initially I mean .

    It’s remarkable that the USS Constitution has been preserved, but that’s still seaworthy and kept seaworthy is exceptional.

    Of course The Royal Navy’s origins predate the British Army, which is why it’s called “The Senior Service”.

  18. There was a clue on one of the threads, but I don’t recall if it was from today, or an extension of one from yesterday. I’ll have go look now.

    Laughing so damn hard – out loud even. The sock puppets are getting restless at the attention!

  19. Zooey
    March 27, 2010 at 7:32 pm
    No idea, ebb. I thought it was dbadass at first, but not so much now.

    Hey Zooey:
    You know that I have rules that rule out pretending!

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