Carp Diem

They just can’t help themselves:

Michael McFaul was the American Ambassador to Russia under Obama when US-Russian relations collapsed to new lows. According to Wikipedia:

As ambassador he was often controversial, meeting with Russian pro-democracy activists and commenting frequently on Twitter in English and Russian

It doesn’t surprise me this idiot didn’t know the difference between diplomacy and activism. After all, his boss didn’t know the difference between politicking and governance. Nowadays McFaul spends his entire time carping from the sidelines about Trump, being fawningly retweeted by elitist tossers like Oliver Kamm.

The fact is, the ruling classes can’t bear to see Trump even attempt something they failed at, let alone succeed. The BBC ran a headline yesterday calling him “the biggest loser” from the collapse of the talks. The sneering is obscene. Nobody has managed to make any tangible progress on the North Korean problem since 1953, and everyone has either tried and failed or ignored it altogether (e.g. Obama). Trump is at least trying something new and, as Natalie Solent points out over at Samizdata, walking away from a bad deal is not a sign of weakness, let alone something to be sneered at.

That said, I don’t like this at all:


I suspect – and fervently hope – Trump is using flattery as a negotiating tactic to try to achieve a breakthrough, and doesn’t actually believe this. While this may be worthy of criticism, his overall efforts are not. That they are subject to such scorn and contempt from establishment figures says much more about them than Trump.

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Empire State of Mine

This is a revealing statement by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex regarding her campaign to prevent Amazon setting up a headquarters in New York:


On this issue AOC sounds like a celebrity reading a list of raffle prizes she’s not seen, and it’s obvious she’s being fed responses to those querying her plans to spend the $3bn Amazon tax break on other stuff (yes, really). But look at that first line again:

There was little in the fuzzy proposal that guaranteed jobs for actual NYers

So who would have got the jobs, then? Out-of-towners? Foreigners? My guess is unions objected to the fact that Amazon’s 25,000 workers would not be unionised (and maybe not even American). Fine, but why is it okay for foreigners to take American jobs but New York jobs must only be for New Yorkers? It’s funny how parochial these open-borders advocates become when it’s their own interests under threat, isn’t it?

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Homologic

So the Trump administration decides to launch a global campaign to decriminalise homosexuality:

U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, the highest-profile openly gay person in the Trump administration, is leading the effort, which kicks off Tuesday evening in Berlin.

Yes, the notoriously homophobic Trump regime which inspires fake attacks on Jussie Smollett and causes the Canadian actress Ellen Page to complain about the US vice president not approving her lifestyle choice has appointed an openly gay man as ambassador to Germany. Trump really is turning out to be the lamest Hitler ever.

Anyway, here’s how those at Out, a magazine catering to gay folks, reacted:

Rather than actually being about helping queer people around the world, the campaign looks more like another instance of the right using queer people as a pawn to amass power and enact its own agenda.

The plan has reportedly been spearheaded by the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, who is also the administration’s top-ranked gay official, in response to news that a young gay man was hanged in Iran recently. Grenell has had his eyes on Iran for some time and just a week ago, he was trying to get several European nations to pass sanctions on Iran, unrelated to the country’s stance on homosexuality, to no avail.

Thank goodness for those enlightened European nations who defied Trump trying to impose sanctions on a regime which hangs men for being gay!

Homosexuality has been illegal in Iran since the theocratic 1979 Islamic Revolution. By at least one Guardian account, since the exit of president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2013, enforcement of anti-gay laws has softened somewhat. Homosexuality, according to the writer, is an “open secret” and most queer people fear homophobic reaction from fellow citizens more than the authorities.

Didn’t you just say a young gay man was hanged in Iran recently?

The truth is, this is part of an old colonialist handbook.

The conquest of Africa couldn’t have taken place without frantic reports from remote jungle outposts regarding native turd-burglary.

According to the report, the decriminalization campaign is set to begin in Berlin where LGBTQ+ activists from across Europe will meet to hatch a plan that is “mostly concentrated in the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean.”

The American plan for achieving hegemony over Iran features an auxiliary army of European LGBTQ+ activists part of which will head to the Caribbean from an HQ in Berlin?

There are two things happening here: one is a campaign to decriminalise homosexuality and the other is America’s belligerence towards Iran. The author has lumped one in with the other in order to play politics and virtue-signal, which is stupid because he does eventually make a valid point:

That sentence alone should set off several alarm bells. First of all, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean are huge geopolitical entities. Attitudes toward gay people differ greatly among countries and regions within those entities and attempting to gather a room of European activists on how to deal with queer issues in those regions is the definition of paternalism.

Now while I would like to see homosexuality decriminalised everywhere, I think this campaign is stupid and counterproductive: a bunch of ultra-woke activists turning up in foreign to lecture the locals is going to harden attitudes, not soften them. Such changes need to occur organically and domestically, but there is a large and lucrative industry in which European and American NGOs and supranational agencies based in Geneva go to places like Africa and demand society be turned on its head in order to accommodate trendy western ideas on issues such as female empowerment, environmentalism, and homosexuality. The author is quite right to call this paternalistic and liken it to colonialism. The trouble is, I can’t tell if he’s genuinely against this campaign or he’s pretending to be because the Trump administration is now involved.

The other problem is he’s downplaying the situation gay men face in Iran in order to bash Trump. There were many valid reasons to oppose the Iraq War, but a lot of lefties instead chose to whitewash the brutality of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Since Trump took office, people have been doing the same with Iran. Criticising Trump’s sanctions on Iran ought not to entail defending a regime for publicly hanging men for the crime of being gay. That a gay magazine should do so speaks volumes about where the priorities of contemporary activists lie. Quite rightly, the article and its author are being monstered on Twitter this morning.

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Gangsta Rat

Even back when I was a student I didn’t know who half the contemporary music stars were; nowadays I barely know any of them. For instance:

Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine appears on the verge of receiving a prison sentence that is significantly less than the minimum term he would have received after pleading guilty to a litany of crimes, though he may need witness protection.

The singer signed a plea deal with federal prosecutors in Manhattan whereby he admitted to various crimes, including racketeering, conspiracy, weapons possession, drug trafficking, and others.

He sounds a little more full-on than S Club 7.

In 2015, he was sentenced to probation for appearing in a video in which a 13-year-old girl performed a sex act on another man.

Appearing in child porn videos doesn’t seem to harm your career if you’re a rapper.

Federal prosecutors say that the information Tekashi has given them may require that he be placed under witness protection since he is believed to have implicated individuals involved in extremely violent crimes.

Witness protection? So they’re gonna send this guy to Buttfuxville, Nebraska (Pop. 1,357) and expect him to blend in.Maybe he can get a job in a nursing home?

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Nigerian Male Scam

Well, it seems the two white supremacist who tried to lynch Jussie Smollett have been caught:

The two Nigerian brothers arrested over the Jussie Smollett attack are actors Abimbola ‘Abel’ and Olabinjo ‘Ola’ Osundairo, DailyMail.com can exclusively reveal.

The pair were picked up by police at Chicago O’Hare Airport on Wednesday as they arrived back in America after visiting family in Nigeria to be questioned over the January 29 attack involving the star.

Here’s the pic of them that’s doing the rounds.

I suppose it’s taken the police two weeks to capture them because they first had to rule out all the white white supremacists on their books before sifting through the black white supremacists. Of course, Smollett could have saved police a lot of time by telling them he not only knew the two brothers, but paid them to fill him in:

Jussie Smollett paid two brothers to stage an attack against him, directed them to buy items used in the alleged assault and actually rehearsed it with them, sources say.

Sources say at least one of the brothers bought the rope used in the incident at Smollett’s request. The sources also say the “Empire” actor paid for the rope, which was purchased at the Crafty Beaver Hardware Store in the Ravenswood neighborhood the weekend of Jan. 25.

The crafty what?

Sources said one of the brothers held the rope and poured bleach while the other wore a plain red hat and yelled slurs at Smollett.

The sources say the red hat was bought at an Uptown beauty supply store and that the attack was supposed to happen before Jan. 29.

So pervasive is MAGA culture the conspirators couldn’t find a single MAGA hat in the whole of Chicago.

Smollett claims two men attacked him in Streeterville early Jan. 29 as he was heading to his apartment. He said they yelled racial and homophobic slurs at him, poured a chemical on him and put a rope around his neck.

American police might be many things, but they’re probably not stupid. They will see real crimes 24/7 and hear so many witness statements they probably know how a story ends before it’s even begun. My guess is if you go in with a cock-and-bull story they’ll spot it immediately. I expect they investigated it as normal even if they knew where it was heading.

Rather than this incident being indicative of escalating racism in Trump’s America, I see it more a confirmation of how spectacularly dumb actors are. Why did he need to hire two Nigerians, stage an attack, and go to the police? The lefty media will believe anything, he could just as easily have headbutted a door frame and gone wailing to CNN about Nazis without tangling himself up with the Chicago PD. This is the chap who many high-profile Democrats thought was a role model. Which I suppose he is, if you vote Democrat.

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Lynch Spin

A couple of weeks ago, a young black celebrity actor/songwriter named Jussie Smollett was walking down the street at 2am in a dodgy part of Chicago when he was set upon by two honkies wearing MAGA hats and carrying a noose and a jug of bleach. Apparently his assailants knew he was gay and wanted to lynch him, but he fought them off and returned home, the Subway sandwich he was carrying at the time miraculously unscathed. The response from blue checkmark Twitter and seemingly the entire Democrat party was to immediately declare the incident a premeditated, racist, homophobic attack of the sort which is now commonplace in Trump’s America, and that the MAGA hat is no different from a Klan hood. If there was a lesson to be learned from the Covington Catholic school debacle which happened only a few days before, the media, politicians, and NeverTrumpers chose not to apply it.

Meanwhile, deplorables were casting doubt on Smollett’s story. Not just because it was full of inconsistencies, but also because any story which has noose-bearing white supremacists wandering around Chicago at 2am in winter sounds more like something from a Coen brothers film than a police report. There’s also the small problem that near enough 100% of these high-profile hate incidents – slogans drawn on Air Force lockers, swastikas on walls, homophobic messages carved in flesh – have proven to be fake, carried out by provocateurs to reinforce the narrative that the US has reverted to the 1950s. Compounding this are the UVA rape hoax, mattress girl, the Duke Lacrosse scandal, and other false claims which the media and politicians lapped up then doubled-down on. And sure enough:

Chicago police are pushing back on media reports that said the alleged attack on “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett was a hoax and say the reports are “unconfirmed by case detectives.”

Two Chicago media outlets reported Thursday that multiple sources told them that investigators believe the attack was staged.

Police spent much of Thursday interviewing two persons of interest in the case, who are believed to have been seen on surveillance images on the night of the attack.

Charlie De Mar, a reporter at CBS Chicago, spoke on Thursday with family members of the two men who were being questioned. They told De Mar that the men are brothers from Nigeria. They left for Nigeria on the day of the attack, De Mar reported. De Mar posted a search warrant receipt, showing that investigators had found a laptop, shoes, and bleach at the home.

CBS Chicago also quoted Gloria Schmidt, an attorney for the two men, who confirmed that they know Smollett.

“They do know Jussie,” she told the station. “They have worked with him on ‘Empire.’ My preliminary investigations show that on set it’s very tight. They’re all very cordial with each other, so they’re baffled why they are people of interest.”

I expect over the next few days the official narrative on this story will unravel faster than a middle-aged feminist’s dating plans. The media will bury the story, and those who reacted will simply switch to slandering three-quarters of their nation via some other incident of manufactured outrage. The problem is, these people want the story to be true. They’re so invested in the narrative that America is full of hate-filled white supremacist homophobic rapists that they’re positively begging for someone to be violently assaulted or killed in order to validate it, and are almost disappointed to find their worst fears unfounded. There’s something seriously wrong in the head of America’s elites, and I’m not sure there’s any fixing them.

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Brown Girl in the Wringer

Regarding Jeff Bezo’s recent run-in with publishers who have pictures of his tackle, The Zman had this to say:

He broke the cardinal rule of super villains. Never write when you can speak. Never speak when you can nod. Most important, never send pics of you wiener to people. He was cavalier about being recorded and now is the world’s silliest super villain.

Donald Trump talks a lot of nonsense and tweets an awful lot more, but he’s not stupid enough to put it in a document and circulate it. This gives him ample room to backtrack, shift the goalposts, or simply state “No, I never said that.” Like many businessmen and politicians, he’s smart enough not to commit to anything he may be held to.

Over the past month or so several people – notably Scott Adams – have been praising Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for her political savvy, and likening her powers of persuasion and reframing the conversation to those of Donald Trump. I agree she does have appeal and is good on social media, but she’s already made her first blunder. As I wrote the other day, she issued this Green New Deal which seems to have been inspired by episodes of The Flintstones. Before the ink was dry, the front-running Democrat presidential hopefuls – Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Brooker, and Kirtsten Gillibrand – had endorsed it. But within hours anyone to the right of Bernie Sanders was having a merry old time tearing it to pieces and hooting with laughter.

Team Ocasio-Cortez sprang into action to say, variously: the document was fake, it was the wrong one, it was only a draft, and it was issued by mistake.


It probably wasn’t lost on most Americans that the person who wants to radically transform the entire socio-economic system from the top down can’t even manage to release a simple policy document without making a pig’s ear of it. And to make matters worse:


The Republicans hold the senate and the deal is non-binding anyway, so there’s little risk in holding the vote from their side. But for the Democrats, they will have to decide whether they go on record backing a document a child may well have drawn up or denounce what their leading presidential candidates have publicly endorsed. I expect they’ll be a lot of abstentions, which will send their own message. Mitch McConnell has played a blinder here, and even more amusing are Democrat attempts to avert this catastrophe:


This is a complete own-goal by the Democrats, and boils down to the fact the half-sensible party leadership hasn’t got a grip on hotheaded dimwits like Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. I found these two tweets explained a lot:


This is the kind of thing you’d expect from schoolgirls under 11, not congresswomen. Aren’t we always being told how girls mature much faster than boys, who never really grow up? It seems modern feminism, consistent with pressing women to adopt the worst behaviours of men, encourages them to remain in perpetual adolescence. I was stunned to discover Ilhan Omar is 37 years old; I had her down for about 25. We keep being told it’s important for the future of society that grey-haired white men make way for multicoloured young women. Okay, but is it too much to expect they behave like adults and show at least some degree of competence beyond that which makes you popular in an American high school? I suppose this is what happens when you go straight into politics without having run so much as a whelk stall. Say what you like about Trump’s outbursts on Twitter, he does have skyscrapers in Manhattan with his name on. Until this week, the only think with AOC’s name on it was a tip jar in a bar somewhere in the Bronx. Now her name is on a hand-grenade rolling around the floor of Democrat HQ with the pin nowhere in sight. Political savvy, indeed.

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Cryin’ Lyin’ Zion

I see the Somali woman who has somehow become a US Congresswoman is once again fending off accusations of antisemitism following a series of tweets which suggested American politicians defend Israel because lobbyists pay them to.

This prompted a Twitter thread by a British contributor to The Economist on the practice of disguising antisemitism as anti-Zionism, and the similarities between its adoption by hard-left American politicians and what we’ve seen in the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn. It’s actually not a bad thread, but here’s how it ends:


It seems a lot of Jews in the media are incapable of speaking about antisemitism without an obligatory swipe at Trump and other right wing politicians who hold unapproved views. I’ve written about this before; it’s a common phenomenon. Trump is the most pro-Jewish president America has ever had; he had absolutely no problem with his daughter converting to Judaism and marrying her Jewish boyfriend, who Trump fully embraced. He’s also the most pro-Israeli American president for a long time, motivated by such concerns as security and sovereignty. This ought to have Jews on both sides of the Atlantic turning cartwheels in celebration, but it appears their concerns over antisemitism are outweighed by a desire to remain popular in left wing, liberal circles and keep those dinner party invites flowing.

Trump is racist only by the insane definition of metropolitan newsrooms and western academia. What Orban is supposed to have done that is not part of Israel’s founding policy I don’t know. And I bet this Pfeffer chap took his views on Bolsonaro from an article some know-nothing, idiot journalist wrote from an office in London. Hell, it was probably a colleague at The Economist with a pencil neck and an English degree from Oxford hanging over his desk. Ilhan Omar, on the other hand, really is racist and the same goes for a good portion of those allowed to settle in the UK under successive governments. If the likes of Pfeffer can’t bring himself to differentiate between them and Trump, is the problem as grave as he makes out? Personally I think it is, but if Jewish journalists aren’t going to take it seriously, why should I? He should be looking to recruit allies and build bridges with those (like me) who have no skin in the game. Ordinarily I’d side with British and American Jews over racist Somalis, but if their spokesmen are going to spend time bashing Hungarian and Brazilian politicians and virtue-signalling about how much they despise Trump, maybe I’ll just sit on the sidelines and say nothing. What’s my incentive to get involved?

I’ve written recently about how American Jews are going to have to decide whether they want to join the ranks of white deplorables or continue to stoke the fires of identity politics which enable those who truly detest them. British Jews are similarly going to have to decide whether they want to enlist the help of ordinary, decent people in opposing antisemitism or continue to paint themselves into a corner because maintaining their social status is more important than ensuring their safety.

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Deindustrial Revolution

Yesterday Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unveiled the Green New Deal, her plan to transform America by combining technologies not yet invented with those of Iron Age man, leaving out everything in the middle. If implemented it will make the USA look like the Soviet Union, only run by the sort of people who shop in organic food stores and collect their own stools to spread on the rhubarb.

The FAQ which accompanied the main document reads as though a child has written it:

Totally overhaul transportation by massively expanding electric vehicle manufacturing, build charging stations everywhere, build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary, create affordable public transit available to all, with goal to replace every combustion-engine vehicle.

Charging stations everywhere, including on top of Mount Rainer. It also intends to:

transition off of nuclear and all fossil fuels as soon as possible.

A free handsaw will be issued to every household for the purpose of gathering firewood.

we think we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America

Every building? That’s in the order of 120 million. Although to be fair it’s a 10-year plan, so that’s only 230,000 buildings a week. Where the materials for this will come from is anyone’s guess. And who will pay for it? Pfffffft:

At the end of the day, this is an investment in our economy that should grow our wealth as a nation, so the question isn’t how will we pay for it, but what will we do with our new shared prosperity.

Better order your yacht now folks, before the manufacturers get too busy. And you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy it because the plan provides:

Economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.

Count me in!

This plan is probably what you’d expect from Ocasio-Cortez, who has burst onto the political scene with more energy and zeal than the rest of Congress put together but unburdened with intelligence or a sense of how the world functions outside of Queens. Some are saying this shifts the Overton window, but these ideas have been commonplace in the corridors of academia and in environmentalist manifestos for years; nobody’s reading anything new here. What’s happening is more akin to a lunatic Green party member suddenly becoming kingmaker in one of those dysfunctional coalition systems they use on the continent, and all the attention switches to them. AOC doesn’t hold a vital swing vote, but she’s holding everyone’s attention and many are eager to capitalise on her popularity:


This came hot on the heels of:


The Democrat party is out of control, lurching leftwards past the likes of Bernie Sanders to where the buses don’t run, stoked by hotheads like AOC. Once again, the parallels between what’s happening to them and what Momentum did to the British Labour party are obvious. I’ve said it several times recently, but AOC is turning into a real problem for the Democrats. She’s stealing all their airtime and using it to promote swivel-eyed lunacy which has the party name stamped right on it. When she pauses for breath the cameras switch to the scarcely more sane Kamala Harris, or Elizabeth Warren who is fast being chucked under the bus but still insists she did nothing wrong by calling herself a red Indian. What the Democrats are screaming out for is someone who is halfway smart and not nuts, and they’re coming up short. This is telling:

Nancy Pelosi isn’t all that impressed. Asked about the “Green New Deal” in an interview with Politico on Wednesday, Pelosi dropped this amazing bit of shade on it:
“It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive. The green dream, or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?”

Nancy Pelosi may be several things, but she’s not stupid and she’s been around a long time. She knows exactly how this sort of plan will go down outside New York city and coastal California, not to mention those who underwrite American politics. You don’t get to be worth $29m on a $223k lawmaker’s salary by annoying corporate America and promoting insane socialist policies. But I have a feeling her biggest challenge is going to be putting a leash on the likes of AOC and Harris, and somehow finding somebody who isn’t a lunatic or an idiot to represent the party going forward. Any idea who that might be?

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Projection of Power(skirts)

A few commenters on here have raised the question as to whether the US Navy’s infatuation with diversity and political correctness might be behind their recent spate of warship collisions. Via Twitter Kevin Michael Grace I came across this very long article detailing the circumstances around the 2017 collision between the destroyer USS Fitzgerald and a large cargo ship. Not that I wish to extrapolate too much from this, but it makes for grim reading:

Sarah Coppock, lieutenant junior grade, was the officer of the deck, responsible for the safety and navigation of the ship while Benson slept.

Coppock did not trust some of her team that night.

Still, Coppock, naturally self-assured, took the bridge undeterred.

Her conning officer was Eric Uhden. Like Woodley, he was an experienced sailor who served years at sea as an enlisted man before becoming an officer.

Uhden alerted Coppock to the potential danger. At first, she dismissed his concern. But a moment later, Uhden said that Coppock seemed to realize her miscalculation.

Uhden memorialized the incident in an understated note scribbled in his private journal: “Fishing vessel got close on watch.” But nobody else knew about it. Coppock never told the captain, as she was supposed to do.

Coppock may not have ensured that the radar on the bridge was properly adjusted to obtain a finer-grained picture. A post-crash reconstruction showed that Coppock lost sight of one of the ships due to clutter on the “improperly adjusted” SPS-73 screen.

But the 5-foot-4-inch Coppock was used to giving what she got in the Ashland’s wardroom, where the ship’s officers gathered to eat and talk. “You could sit there and scream at each other for hours and it was just to get stuff done. We really didn’t care. It wasn’t personal,” she said. “We’d go out and drink afterwards.”

It was a different story on the Fitzgerald.

Coppock stopped dining with her fellow officers in the Fitzgerald’s wardroom. By long Navy tradition, attendance at such meals was considered necessary to forge the esprit de corps needed to run a ship. Not eating with them was akin to snubbing family.

Fellow Fitzgerald sailors noted her absence. To some, Coppock appeared disconnected. Other shipmates went so far as to call her “lazy” or “abrasive and unapproachable.”

Coppock said she stayed away from the officers’ mess because of criticism from fellow junior officers. She blamed their hostility on her singular focus on getting the job done. Mission came first, she said.

Coppock had displayed her skills in the weeks after Benson took command. She and her enlisted assistant, Alexander Vaughan, had stayed up almost 48 hours in the successful pursuit of a Chinese submarine off the coast of Japan. The achievement sealed Coppock’s reputation as a hell of a sailor.

It also boosted her self-assurance. She considered herself one of the better officers on the ship.

Parker alerted Coppock. Coppock told Parker not to worry — she was tracking the ship. She said it would pass 1,500 yards behind the Fitzgerald.

“We gotta slow down,” Parker told Coppock.

No, Coppock told her again. “We can’t slow down because it’ll make the situation worse.” Coppock worried that slowing down might bring her into the path of the ship that was supposed to pass behind them.

Coppock disobeyed Benson’s standing orders. Rather than call Benson for help, she decided to continue on her own. Coppock didn’t call down to the combat room to ask for help, either.

Coppock decided that she was not going to clear the Crystal by going toward the right. Such a turn would put her on a possible collision with the Wan Hai 266.

“Oh shit, I’m so fucked! I’m so fucked!” she screamed.

Instead, Coppock ordered a move that disregarded the very basics of her training.

Coppock did not sound the collision alarm to warn sailors of the impending risk.

“I just got so wrapped up in trying to do anything that I had to just drop the ball on everything else that I needed to do,” she said.

Babbitt was trying to save his sailors. The five crew members trapped in sonar were rescued early on. Womack appeared in a daze. Coppock was inconsolable, sobbing and berating herself.

The Navy’s investigators concluded that sailors bore the primary blame for the collision. Benson, Coppock and the bridge and combat information center watch teams had failed to use basic seamanship skills to escape an “avoidable” accident. They had been “excessively fatigued” and had not taken steps to rest. Coppock had ignored basic rules of the road and the captain’s orders.

To be honest, I don’t think this episode makes the case that women are useless sailors. Under a different regime, women could probably perform very well on a warship. The trouble is, the same politicised, ultra-progressive, bureaucratic, management system which places high value on diversity is also responsible for standards plummeting across the board. The captain was a man named Bryce Benson, and he didn’t seem up to the job either. It’s not difficult to imagine that the behaviours and characteristics which get you recognised and promoted in the modern US Navy (and most modern organisations) are not those which are valuable in a crisis. This snippet is illuminating:

Coppock had displayed her skills in the weeks after Benson took command. She and her enlisted assistant, Alexander Vaughan, had stayed up almost 48 hours in the successful pursuit of a Chinese submarine off the coast of Japan. The achievement sealed Coppock’s reputation as a hell of a sailor.

I expect there were many such instances of Coppock’s reputation soaring as her career progressed, only when it really mattered it was abundantly clear it was undeserved. This is depressingly common: I can’t remember how many times I’ve seen slavish dedication to senior management form the basis of someone’s stellar reputation, even as everything falls apart around them. The outlook’s not too gloomy for her, though:

Coppock was charged with dereliction of duty and pleaded guilty. She remains in the Navy and is expected to be a witness against Benson and Combs in their trials. Navy investigators have praised her candor and cooperation. She has a tattoo on her left wrist with seven shamrocks. It features the coordinates of the crash.

I’m slightly surprised she didn’t get a medal.

(I’d be interested in Jason Lynch’s comments on this story.)

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