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Cooley Hurd

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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 24,022

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Last week, a Blimp. This week, POTUS in my little berg!

Last week, I looked up and saw something I've never seen over Auburn, NY... a blimp!


That was cool, but this is much cooler:


Auburn, NY -- Members of President Barak Obama's advance team are at the Holiday Inn in Auburn, surveying the building as a possible overnight site for Thursday's Obama visit.

Sources say all rooms at the Holiday Inn have been booked for Obama's visit. According to the Holiday Inn website, Auburn Holiday Inn rooms are not available Wednesday or Thursday night, but are available Tuesday and Friday nights.

The Hilton Garden Inn, Auburn's newest hotel, also has rooms fully booked from Wednesday through Friday, according to the Inn's website.


Police agencies have begun discussing security details in Auburn at the Holiday Inn and at the house of Harriet Tubman, the leader of the anti-slavery resistance network known as the Underground Railroad, according to a source.

Obama also could visit the nearby historic home of former U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward, who was a friend to Tubman. The president has made it clear in speeches that Tubman and Seward were key figures in American history that he admires.

Last POTUS to come to town was Harry Truman in 1948 - so this is a very big deal for my little town!!!

Navy concerned about exhumation plans in Hawaii (Pearl Harbor Attack KIA's)

The story is 4 days old, but hadn't seen it posted yet.


The Associated Press
© August 12, 2013

A Hawaii-based military command responsible for finding, recovering and identifying missing-in-action service members is at odds with the U.S. Navy over exhuming unidentified sailors from the USS Oklahoma.

The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command wants to exhume all of the unidentified Dec. 7, 1941 casualties of the USS Oklahoma buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, but the Navy prefers to maintain the "sanctity" of the graves, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday.

It will be up to the Army, which has "next-of-kin" authority over all Punchbowl unknowns.

JPAC Central Identification Laboratory Director John Byrd said the command proposes disinterring comingled remains of more than 330 unidentified Oklahoma crew members buried in more than 50 graves.

"The Navy leadership, secretary of the Navy's office, from what we understand, is against it," Byrd said. The Army is getting the Navy's input as a courtesy, he said.

MetLife Blimp gets shoved around by the wind over my house

It's not everyday you see a blimp over your house. I just drove in my driveway during lunch and heard a buzzing over my head. My first thought was, "Oh shit! A drone!!!"

Seriously, I was a bit concerned at first because it was a very gusty day and it looked to be having trouble maintaining control, but it looks to have flown on without further issue.

Oh, the humanity!

End of the line for the Love Boat: MS ex-Pacific Princess beached at Aliaga for scrapping (UPDATE#2)


The MS Pacific, a cruise ship made famous by its appearance in the popular U.S. 1970s television show “The Love Boat,” has sailed its final voyage to a ship-breaking yard on Turkey’s Aegean Sea coast, a shipping group said.

Called the Pacific Princess when it was on the long-running comedy, the iconic 13,500-tonne, 171-m-long (561-foot-) vessel will be stripped for its metal and parts, said Ersin Çeviker of the Ship Recyclers’ Association of Turkey.

Aaron Spelling’s “The Love Boat,” starring Gavin MacLeod as the ship’s captain, ran on the U.S. television network ABC from 1977 to 1986. The show was set on board the Pacific Princess, which mainly sailed from California to the Mexican Riveria.

Before being beached, she took on a significant list while in transit to Turkey:

Video of the actual beaching:

The ship in much better days:

...and now comes the earworm for the weekend:

Rest in peace, old girl!

UPDATE: Sadly, two scrapyard workers lost their lives shortly after her arrival in Aligia:


The ship, which had just completed its final voyage and was scheduled to be dismantled, was damaged while entering the port of Aliaga in Turkey's Izmir province and began taking on water in a storage area under the main engine.
Crews on Saturday began work to drain the water, deploying electrical pumps. Engine-exhaust buildup led to the toxic exposure, according to Izmir Ship Recycling Co., the firm that recently purchased the ship for 2.5 million euros (about $3.33 million).
Six other people were injured and were released from the hospital after receiving treatment, according to Izmir Ship Recycling.
The Aliaga attorney general's office has launched an investigation, but investigators haven't been unable to reach the accident site. Izmir Ship Recycling has to finish removing water and turn the ship off its side so authorities can continue the probe.

Jeebus... she's not going without a fight.

UPDATE #2: She's turning turtle - in danger of rolling on her side:


Selim San reports that ACIF (ex SEA VENTURE, PACIFIC PRINCESS, PACIFIC) is now in danger of capsizing as the ship continues to hemorrhage at a scrapyard in Aliaga, Turkey.

She is giving up. She simply wants to roll over and sleep forever.

Something that makes me feel proud to be an American:

I still believe, despite recent revelations. I hate to be proven wrong, Mr President.

90 years ago today: Warren G Harding dies suddenly of "a stroke of Apoplexy"


President Harding Dies Suddenly; Stroke of Apoplexy at 7:30 P.M.; Calvin Coolidge Is President


Mrs. Harding Was Reading to Her Husband When First Sign Appeared -- She Ran for Doctor


News of Tragic End Shocks Everybody, Coming After Day Said to Have Been the Best Since His Illness Began a Week Ago

President's Death Shocks Capital, Which Had Expected Recovery: News Telephoned to Executive Clerk From San Francisco -- Effort Made to Reach Coolidge in Vermont -- Only Two Members of Cabinet in Washington

San Francisco, Aug. 2 -- President Harding died at 7:30 o'clock tonight of a stroke of apoplexy.

The end came suddenly while Mrs. Harding was reading to him from the evening newspaper, and after what had been called the best day he had had since the beginning of his illness exactly one week ago.

A shudder ran through the President's frame and he collapsed.

Mrs. Harding and the two nurses in the sick room knew the end had come, and Mrs. Harding rushed out of the room and asked for Dr. Boone and the others to "come quick."

Dr. Boone and Brig. Gen. Sawyer reached the President before he passed away, but were not able to avert the inevitable.

Then came the Teapot Dome Scandal...

Sen Harry F. Byrd, Jr. (D-VA) Dead at 98


Harry Flood Byrd, Jr. (December 20, 1914 – July 30, 2013) was an American politician. He represented Virginia in the United States Senate from 1965 to 1983. He is most notable for leaving the Democratic Party in 1970 and becoming an Independent, although he continued to caucus with the Democrats. He was the son of Harry F. Byrd, Sr., whom he replaced as senator. On October 20, 2009, with the death of retired U.S. Senator Clifford P. Hansen, a Wyoming Republican, Byrd became the oldest living former senator.


WINCHESTER — Harry F. Byrd Jr., who made history with his Independent run to the U.S. Senate in 1970, died this morning at his home in Winchester. He was 98.

His name may have preceded him into the Senate, but it was his declaration of independence and two successful elections as an Independent candidate that made his own name in that chamber.

Harry Byrd Jr. was the first Independent to win election to the U.S. Senate with a majority of the vote despite facing a challenge from both major parties.

Byrd was already a newspaper publisher, World War II lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, and 18-year Virginia state senator when he joined the U.S. Senate in November 1965. He came to the Capitol to fill the seat his retiring father and namesake had held the previous 32 years.

In 1970, the final statewide office holder of Virginia’s dominant political family of the 20th century made the country take notice.

Byrd broke from the Democratic Party when he refused to sign an oath to support the Democratic nominee for president in 1972, without knowing who would be selected. He ran as an independent.

Cross gently, Senator.

MOH Recipient (and rabid right winger) Bud Day dead at 88.


Military career

Following his service in World War II, Day joined the Army Reserve and received a direct commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Iowa Air National Guard in 1950, and was called to active duty in 1951 for Undergraduate Pilot Training in the U.S. Air Force. He served two tours as a fighter-bomber pilot during the Korean War flying the Republic F-84 Thunderjet. Promoted to captain, he decided to make the Air Force a career and was augmented into the Regular Air Force. He then transitioned to the F-100 Super Sabre in 1957 while stationed at RAF Wethersfield in the United Kingdom.

Anticipating retirement in 1968 and now a major, Day volunteered for a tour in Vietnam and was assigned to the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing at Tuy Hoa Air Base in April 1967. At that time, he had more than 5,000 flying hours, with 4,500 of them in fighters. On June 25, 1967, with extensive previous service flying two tours in F-100s, Major Day was made the first commander of Detachment 1, 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 37th Tactical Fighter Wing based at Phu Cat Air Base. Under the project name "Commando Sabre", twin-seat USAF F-100Fs were evaluated as a Fast Forward Air Control ("Fast FAC") aircraft in high threat areas, given that F-4 Phantom II aircraft were in high demand for strike and Combat Air Patrol (CAP) roles. Using the call sign Misty, the name of Day's favorite song, his detachment of four two-seat F-100Fs and 16 pilots became pioneer "Fast FACs" (Forward Air Controllers) over Laos and North Vietnam. All Misty FAC crews were volunteers with at least 100 combat missions in Vietnam and 1,000 minimum flight hours. Tours in Commando Sabre were temporary and normally limited to four months or about 50-60 missions.

Prisoner of war

On August 26, 1967, Major Day was flying F-100F-15-NA, AF Serial No. 56-3954, call sign "Misty 01", on his 26th Fast FAC sortie, directing a flight of F-105 Thunderchiefs in an air strike against a surface-to-air missile (SAM) site north of Thon Cam Son and west of Dong Hoi, 20 mi (32 km) north of the DMZ in North Vietnam. Day was on his 65th mission into North Vietnam and acting as check pilot for Captain Corwin M. "Kipp" Kippenhan, who was upgrading to aircraft commander. 37 mm antiaircraft fire crippled the aircraft, forcing the crew to eject. In the ejection, Day's right arm was broken in three places when he struck the side of the cockpit, and he also experienced eye and back injuries.

Kippenhan was rescued by a USAF HH-3E, but Day was unable to contact the rescue helicopter by survival radio and was quickly captured by North Vietnamese local militia. On his fifth night, when he was still within 20 mi (32 km) of the DMZ, Day escaped from his initial captors despite his serious injuries. Although stripped of both his boots and flight suit, Day crossed the Demilitarized Zone back into South Vietnam, becoming the only U.S. prisoner of war to escape from North Vietnam. Within 2 mi (3 km) of the U.S. Marine firebase at Con Thien and after 12–15 days of evading, he was captured again, this time by a Viet Cong patrol that wounded him in the leg and hand with gunfire.

Taken back to his original camp, Day was tortured for escaping, breaking his right arm again. He then was moved to several prison camps near Hanoi, where he was periodically beaten, starved, and tortured. In December 1967, Day shared a cell with Navy Lieutenant Commander and future Senator and presidential candidate John McCain. Air Force Major Norris Overly nursed both back to health, and McCain later devised a makeshift splint of bamboo and rags that helped heal Day's seriously atrophied arm.

On March 14, 1973, Day was released after five years and seven months as a North Vietnamese prisoner. Within three days Day was reunited with his wife, Doris Sorensen Day, and four children at March Air Force Base, California. On March 4, 1976, President Gerald Ford awarded Day the Medal of Honor for his personal bravery while a captive in North Vietnam.

Day had been promoted to Colonel while a prisoner, and decided to remain in the Air Force in hopes of being promoted to Brigadier General. Although initially too weak to resume operational flying, he spent a year in physical rehabilitation and with 13 separate medical waivers, was returned to active flying status. He underwent conversion training to the F-4 Phantom II and was appointed vice commander of the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.


After being passed over for nomination to brigadier general, Day retired from active duty in 1977 to resume practicing law in Florida. At his retirement he had nearly 8,000 total flying hours, 4,900 in single engine jets, and had flown the F-80 Shooting Star, F-84 Thunderjet, F-100 Super Sabre, F-101 Voodoo, F-104 Starfighter, F-105 Thunderchief, F-106 Delta Dart, F-4 Phantom II, A-4 Skyhawk, A-7 Corsair II, CF-5 Tiger and F-15 Eagle jet fighters.

Following his retirement, Day wrote an autobiographical account of his experiences as a prisoner of war, Return with Honor, followed by Duty, Honor, Country, which updated his autobiography to include his post-Air Force years. Among other endeavors, in 1996 Day filed a class action lawsuit for breach of contract against the United States government on behalf of military retirees who were stripped of their military medical care benefits at age 65 and told to apply for Medicare. Although winning the case in the district court in 2001, the judgment against the U.S. was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2002. The U.S. Congress later redressed this situation by establishing the "TRICARE For Life" (TFL) program, which restored TRICARE military medical benefits for career military retirees over the age of 65, making the retirees eligible for both programs with Medicare as the primary payer and TRICARE as the secondary payer.

Political activity and controversy

Day was an active member of the Florida Republican Party, was involved in the 527 group Swift Vets and POWs for Truth, and campaigned with John McCain in 2000 and 2008. In the months leading up to the 2004 U.S. presidential election, Day appeared in television advertisements—along with other members of the 527 group Swift Vets and POWs for Truth—decrying John Kerry's anti-war activities following his military service during the Vietnam War and declaring him "unfit" for service and of a "dishonest" disposition for comments and actions made by Kerry after the Vietnam War, including his testimony before Congress in Washington, D.C. During a 2008 teleconference with reporters from the Miami Herald, Day made comments regarding John McCain's stance on the Iraq War, stating that "I don't intend to kneel, and I don't advocate to anybody that we kneel, and John doesn't advocate to anybody that we kneel." Also during this interview he sparked controversy by making a broad generalization about what some saw as an ideological divide between Islam and America: "the Muslims have said either we kneel, or they're going to kill us." In the same interview when questioned about the role of 527 organizations in contemporary American politics, particularly his work for the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, Day stated "the bottom line is this: 527 groups can do very effective, truthful things, and the Swift Boat attack was totally truthful."

A hero who was intellectually dishonest towards the end. What a complicated legacy...

Tappan Zee boat accident - two missing


PIERMONT — Four people were injured late Friday and two others were missing after a boat struck a barge in the Hudson River just south of the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Rescue workers searched almost three hours for the two missing boaters, one woman and one man, using boats and helicopters between Piermont and the Tappan Zee Bridge. The search was called off shortly before 1:30 a.m. today.

The crash, involving a 21-foot Stingray powerboat, was reported at 10:40 p.m., said Ali Flockerzi, a U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman. The vessel struck a barge. There are numerous barges moored north and south of the bridge – some holding cranes and others holding equipment – as work on the new Tappan Zee bridge ramps up.

Authorities said the crash occurred about a half-mile from the bridge, on the Rockland side of the river.

Having captained my own 30-footer thru these waters, it's incomprehensible how this could happen, unless alcohol was involved.

George Zimmerman Emerged From Hiding for Truck Crash Rescue (not a joke)


George Zimmerman, who has been in hiding since he was acquitted of murder in the death of Trayvon Martin, emerged to help rescue someone who was trapped in an overturned truck, police said today.

Sanford Police Department Capt. Jim McAuliffe told ABC News that Zimmerman "pulled an individual from a truck that had rolled over" at the intersection of a Florida highway last week. Florida Highway Patrol is now handling the case, McAuliffe said.

The crash occurred at the intersection of I-4 and route 417, police said.

It's the first known sighting of Zimmerman since he left the courtroom following his acquittal last week on murder charges for the death of Martin. Zimmerman, 29, shot and killed Martin, 17, in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26, 2012. The jury determined that Zimmerman shot Martin in self-defense.

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