The US Navy joins ClownWorld!

Summary: COVID-19 shows that America has fallen into ClownWorld. All levels have become dysfunctional. This is the first of a series of vignettes about it. Unless we repair ourselves, world leadership will pass into more competent hands. Our wealth and power mean little if we cannot see clearly and act effectively.

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By Paul, AdobeStock – 209434712.

Firing the Captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt

What a wonderful display of how our key institutions work in ClownWorld America! In this case, the US Navy. It has it all. Finger-pointing, lies, panic, fast emotional irrational decisions, and ignoring the chain of command.

Above all, we see the now-standard refusal of Americans to take responsibility for their own decisions. Personally, if I were president after reading this I’d fire SecNavy Thomas Moby and put Captain Brett Crozier in his chair (after he recovers). From a column by the WaPo’s David Ignatius quoting Moby.

“’I didn’t want to get into a decision where the president would feel that he had to intervene because the Navy couldn’t be decisive. ….If I were president, and I saw a commanding officer of a ship exercising such poor judgment, I would be asking why the leadership of the Navy wasn’t taking action itself.'”

Note that the Military Times and others “misstate” Ignatius by saying that he reported that Moby said that Trump ordered the firing (never assume the ClownWorld press can report even simple things correctly).

For more accounts of this pitiful incident, devastating to the Navy’s morale and public image, see …

The chain of command is sacred …

…and must be obeyed!  How many levels are there between SecNav and a carrier captain? Trick question! The captain reports to the admiral commanding Carrier Strike Group 9, who reports to the admiral commanding the Pacific Fleet, who reports to the commander of Indo-Pacific Command, who reports to the Sec of Defense. The Sec Navy is not in the chain of command.

Also, note the number of levels in the Navy. Despite the Sec Navy’s boasting, nothing with so many levels of command is “agile.” This refers to the SecNavy’s “Vector #16” memo of March 20. As the epidemic hit America, Navy personal and their families wanted to know how the Navy planned to protect them on its crowded ships and bases – and what they might be asked to do in this crisis. Instead, he boasted about the Navy’s “agility” – musing about organizational theory as COVID-19 spread unseen through the Navy.

Now we see the result.

A note from the past

“As a descendant of the namesake of Captain Crozier’s former command, I often wonder, in situations like this, what Theodore Roosevelt would have done. In this case, though, I know exactly what he would have done. In 1898, he found himself in almost the exact same position.”
— From “Captain Crozier Is a Hero” by Tweed Roosevelt – “My great-grandfather, would agree.”

The master explanation

There is an easy explanation for this. It is the master explanation for almost everything these days. It’s ClownWorld. Expecting rational behavior of anyone in America shows a drastic misunderstanding of our situation.

For More Information

Ideas! See my recommended books and films at Amazon. Also, see a powerful and disturbing story about “Birth of a Man of Steel …for the Soviet Union.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about reforming America: steps to political change, and especially these…

  1. ImportantA 4th of July reminder that America is ours to keep – or to lose!
  2. Our institutions are hollow because we don’t love them.
  3. Sources of inspiration to survive the coming bad times – We’ll have to make hard decisions in the coming hard times.
  4. We have forgotten who we are. Let’s remember, and win.
  5. We must understand our peril: A new, dark picture of America’s future.
  6. America’s giant corporations are decaying.
  7. Welcome to ClownWorld, the final meme for America.
  8. Sources of inspiration to survive the coming bad times.

We are living in the crazy years

America’s politics and society are changing at an incredible rate. We feel anxiety about these changes and their mysterious and many causes. RussiaGate gives us clear enemies to blame: Putin and Trump. It gives us heroes to cheer: the intel agencies and The Resistance. Ditto for the Climate Emergency.

The Past through Tomorrow: Future History Stories
Available at Amazon.

We are changing the world at an incredible rate. Strange chemicals pour into the environment. We are reshaping the biosphere, casually and thoughtlessly. More ugly changes lie ahead as Earth’s population grows to ten or twelve billion. The Climate Emergency compresses this complexity into a simple story (ignoring all the key details) and gives us demons to blame: the deniers.

Similarly, we conduct bold experiments on our society, massive without precedents, molding our children into experimental personalities.

Our politics become crusades for virtue that anyone can join by adopting the right politics. Unfortunately, these are irrationality given form, making rational government impossible. This chaos was predicted long ago by science fiction author Robert Heinlein. His date for the madness was 50 years early, but nailed the details. Let’s hope that he as accurately predicted it to have a happy conclusion.

Robert Heinlein used this as the foundation for the timeline of his future history stories, first published in Astounding Science Fiction, May 1940. This series was published as The Past through Tomorrow.

“The Crazy Years:  Considerable technical advance during this period, accompanied by a gradual deterioration of mores, orientation, and social institutions, terminating in mass psychoses in the sixth decade, and the interregnum.”

18 thoughts on “The US Navy joins ClownWorld!”

  1. Chickenshit! The captain’s act was selfish and cowardly. Is your son an a carrier? Obviously not. Mommas reacted in defense of their children and the captain. Dads who have been there and done that know the captain was wrong, flat wrong.

    1. Lonnie,

      While it is nice that you have an opinion, the crew wildly cheered their captain as he left the ship. Many senior Navy officers disagreed with the Sec Navy’s decision. Many senior members of Congress have also disagreed.

      I’ll go with their verdict, not yours.

    2. Lonnie,

      it is one of the duties of a commanding officer to take care of his men (and women), their health, security, general welfare, morale. It is not only common sense (soldiers or sailors will fight better if they feel they are good taken care of), it is also his legal duty. A commanding officer has liability for his crew. If anything happens to them, either through his direct actions or due to his neglect, he or she may face a court martial. I have known of such a case in the Greek Army, where the commander of an Infantry Battalion was court martialed because two of his soldiers died in a drill (froze to death while biwaking in extreme cold weather with inadequate equipment): He was demoted, which was far too mild a punishment IMO. I am sure the US Navy has similar provisions, so Captain Crozier might have faced similar consequences if members of his crew had died of Covid-19 on his ship.

    3. When the captain walked off the ship and was roundly cheered by a small subset of the non-mask wearing crew, he promptly shook hands with the officer meeting him at the car. Captain Crozier was Covid positive, as no doubt were many of those non-mask wearers crowded on the deck to cheer him off.

      When the captain sent his whimper for assistance through an unsecured channel — panicking family members, alerting enemies of the ship to its weakness and coming vulnerability, and making a not-so-concealed bid for the “captain of the year” award — there was no heroism displayed.

      He showed no leadership and every sign of being a drama queen.

      1. Alvin,

        While it is nice that you have an opinion,it seems that large numbers of active duty and veteran Navy officers (from the most senior down) and enlisted disagree with you.

        So side with them, not your insults.

  2. To Lonnie: Crozier did nothing wrong. He took an action to protect his men. Sometimes situations call for messy and unorthodox actions to rectify them. Do not speak to what he did unless you know for a fact that you could have done better. Otherwise, deal with it.

    To Fabius: Did you get my follow up email from our exchange?

    1. This behavior is typical of a military that has lost every war for the last 75 years.
      America’s military cares nothing for its soldier’s lives, only (as Col. John Boyd noted) for the money flow.

      1. Mclaren,

        “This behavior is typical of a military that has lost every war for the last 75 years.”

        Missing the point. Nobody has won a foreign war against a local insurgency since Mao perfected 4GW.

        “America’s military cares nothing for its soldier’s lives”

        Sad but true, but also missing the key point: firing Crozier was stupid, a blow to the Navy’s morale and a public relations disaster. Which is probably why senior officers advised against it.

    1. Pluto,

      It’s already been “fixed”, in the sense of address the epidemic on the Roosevelt.

      It probably won’t be “fixed” in the sense of repairing the damage to Crozier’s career. Moby’s apology for his stupid remarks means nothing. The Navy almost never admits mistakes in such matters.

      The only likely recourse, imo, would be Congressional action, as they did with Admiral Rickover.

  3. The Man Who Laughs

    All I can add is that Navy has been a troubled institution for some time. The USS Ford is a boondoggle beyond the ability of any fiction writer to imagine, and it’s only the latest and worst of a long series. (The LCS and DDG-1000 come to mind) And they keep running into things at sea. What, reasonably, can we expect of a Navy that flunks seamanship 101?

    We probably shouldn’t expect it to win a seriously contested war at sea.

  4. There is presumably more to this story
    Perhaps the Captain had attempted to get action through channels and was ignored.
    The Navy comments shortly after the firing suggest that there was no sense of urgency, emphasizing that all the people were young and no one was seriously ill.
    So the Crozier decision to go public was deliberate, sacrificing his career to compel the bureaucracy to act.
    The Navy appears about as concerned about their people as Amazon is about its warehouse workers, not a good policy for an institution that expects its people to go in harms way.

  5. Just a minor detail, it is the USS Theodore Roosevelt, not the USS Teddy Roosevelt. The distinction is important to those of us who served on that great warship.

  6. Lonnie E. Schubert

    “Had I known then what I know today, I would not have made that recommendation to reinstate Capt. Crozier. Moreover, if Capt. Crozier were still in command today, I would be relieving him,” Gilday added.

    1. Lonnie,

      Got to love your naive credulity. The military punishes officers who make their seniors look bad; the underlying justice is irrelevant. Certainly so in this case, when the Captain is held responsible for the actions of the Navy’s medical experts (failure to provide guidance) and the base commander at Guam (responsible for preparing facilities for evaluated sailors from the ship).

      That was SOP in 1945, when the Navy court-martialled Captain Charles B. McVay III, commanding the USS Indianapolis – whose crew died in a stunning display of the Navy’s incompetence. The only US Navy captain court-martialed for losing his ship in WWII.

      That was true in 1962 and 1963, when four of the Army’s best and brightest tried to reveal the lies and folly that were our tactics in Vietnam: Colonel Wilbur Wilson of III Corps, Colonel Dan Porter of IV Corps, Lieutenant Colonel John Paul Vann of 7th Division, and Lieutenant Colonel Fred Ladd of 21st Division. All combat veterans of other wars, men who had been specially selected for these slots. Career-ending courage.

      There are a thousand more such stories. It is how our military operates.

      I suggest waiting for an outside review, such as some in Congress are proposing.

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