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Dennis Donovan

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Member since: Wed Oct 15, 2008, 06:29 PM
Number of posts: 10,995

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Researchers find wreckage of two Japanese aircraft carriers sunk during Battle of Midway


Deep sea explorers have found two Japanese aircraft carriers that were sunk in battle in World War Two.

The carriers were among seven ships that went down in the Battle of Midway, an air and sea battle fought between the US and Japan in 1942.

One ship, the Kaga, was discovered last week, while wreckage from another carrier, Akagi, was found on Sunday.

Until now only one other ship sunk in this battle had ever been found - the American vessel USS Yorktown, in 1998.

This month's discoveries came after weeks of searching by crew members based on the research vessel Petrel. The vessel is owned by Vulcan Inc, a company created by the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen.

The crew deployed an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) fitted with sonar, which helped to pinpoint the locations of the Kaga and Akagi. The Petrel also worked with the US Navy, as it is otherwise illegal to disturb underwater sites where the wrecks of US military ships lie.

Both ships were found lying about 18,000 feet (5,490 metres) under water within the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument - the largest marine conservation area in the world.



Both participated in the Pearl Harbor attack, Dec 7, 1941.
Posted by Dennis Donovan | Mon Oct 21, 2019, 07:46 AM (9 replies)

US SpecOps forces jeered in Syria: "America liar! Fuck Turkish! Fuck America!"

Julian Röpcke ✔ @JulianRoepcke

“America liar! Fuck Turkish! Fuck America!”
Great job, @realDonaldTrump.

Rudaw English ✔ @RudawEnglish

#Kurdish residents in the city of Qamishli block the path of the American forces withdrawing from northern #Syria and throw tomatoes at them following President Trump's order for the #US soldiers to retreat from the region - ANHA

Embedded video

5:56 AM - Oct 21, 2019

Malcolm Nance ✔ @MalcolmNance

Here is the video you feared would come. US SOF treated like traitors. #TrumpBetrayedOurAllies

Julian Röpcke ✔ @JulianRoepcke

“America liar! Fuck Turkish! Fuck America!”
Great job, @realDonaldTrump.

6:25 AM - Oct 21, 2019
Posted by Dennis Donovan | Mon Oct 21, 2019, 06:52 AM (42 replies)

Speaker Pelosi: Here are a few moments that stood out:

Nancy Pelosi ✔ @SpeakerPelosi

Last week, we greeted President Sergio Mattarella of Italy and took a stand against President Trump’s disregard for America’s Kurdish allies in Syria.

Here are a few moments that stood out:


Madam Speaker: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the U.S. Speaker of the House (October 14– 19th, 2019)
This week, Speaker Pelosi welcomed President Sergio Mattarella of Italy to the U.S. Capitol and joined Chairman Adam Schiff for a press…

5:07 PM - Oct 20, 2019

Posted by Dennis Donovan | Sun Oct 20, 2019, 05:12 PM (3 replies)

former White House counsel McGahn and Donald Trump Jr. did not testify before the Mueller grand jury

Zoe Tillman ✔ @ZoeTillman

NEW: Per government filing unsealed on judge's order, former White House counsel Don McGahn and Donald Trump Jr. did not testify before the Mueller grand jury https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6502875-10-20-19-Unredacted-Doc-Grand-Jury.html

2:29 PM - Oct 20, 2019
Posted by Dennis Donovan | Sun Oct 20, 2019, 02:52 PM (9 replies)

The ISF in al-Hol camp thwarted an attempt to escape a group of #ISIS mercenaries

Coordination & Military Ops Center - SDF ✔ @cmoc_sdf

NE #Syria: The ISF in al-Hol camp thwarted an attempt to escape a group of #ISIS mercenaries and managed to arrest them and return them to the camp.

2:08 PM - Oct 20, 2019

Posted by Dennis Donovan | Sun Oct 20, 2019, 02:15 PM (0 replies)

Former Baltimore Mayor Thomas 'Young Tommy' D'Alesandro III dies at 90

Source: Baltimore Sun

Former Mayor Tommy D'Alesandro stands at the intersection of Broadway and East Fayette St. where forty years ago he stood as mayor after rioting had destroyed a number of buildings. (Jed Kirschbaum / Baltimore Sun)

Thomas D'Alesandro III, a former Baltimore mayor and member of a storied political family affectionately known as "Young Tommy," died at his North Baltimore home Sunday of stroke complications.

He was 90 years old.

The oldest brother of U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D'Alesandro was mayor for one tumultuous term, from 1967 to 1971, which was marked by the 1968 riots, racial strife and strikes by city laborers, bus drivers and even symphony musicians.

But it was also a time of rebuilding what even then was an aging city, and one that was losing both residents and political power to the growing suburbs. As Baltimore's 42nd mayor, he opened new schools, built a new police headquarters and pushed for open housing. D'Alesandro got Baltimoreans to approve an $80 million bond issue to build schools. He devised summer recreation programs -- mobile pools, day camps -- for city youth. And he laid legislative groundwork for the Inner Harbor development.

D'Alesandro, who took office vowing to "root out every cause or vestige of discrimination," remained proud throughout his life of his progressive record on civil rights. As City Council president, he worked with Mayor Theodore McKeldin, a liberal Republican, to eliminate racial barriers in employment, education and other areas. As mayor, he appointed multiple African-Americans to his administration, some of them, such as George Russell, Jr., the city solicitor and member of the Board of Estimates, the first African Americans to hold those positions.

Read more: https://www.baltimoresun.com/obituaries/bs-md-ob-tommy-dalesandro-20191020-dzzetsbbi5cehdiqupcp5slwca-story.html

My condolences to the Pelosi and D'Alesandro families.

Speaker Pelosi's tweet:
[div class"excerpt"]https://twitter.com/SpeakerPelosi/status/1185975613959626760
Nancy Pelosi ✔ @SpeakerPelosi

My brother Tommy was the finest public servant I have ever known. All his life, Tommy worked on the side of the angels. Now, he is with them.

Pelosi Statement on the Passing of Thomas D'Alesandro III
My husband Paul and our entire family are devastated by the loss of our patriarch, my beloved brother, Thomas D'Alesandro III.

1:46 PM - Oct 20, 2019
Posted by Dennis Donovan | Sun Oct 20, 2019, 01:09 PM (14 replies)

MTP: Brett McGurk: Future of Syria to be determined by anti-US actors

Meet the Press ✔ @MeetThePress

WATCH: @brett_mcgurk says President Trump threw all of American leverage in the Middle East "out the window" with his phone call. #MTP #IfItsSunday

"I'm afraid that now the future of Syria will be determined by actors who are quite hostile to our interests."

10:22 AM - Oct 20, 2019

Posted by Dennis Donovan | Sun Oct 20, 2019, 10:27 AM (1 replies)

The Liberation of Mitt Romney


The newly rebellious senator has become an outspoken dissident in Trump’s Republican Party, just in time for the president’s impeachment trial.


Mitt Romney is leaning forward in his chair, his eyes flashing, his voice sharp.

It’s a strange look for the 72-year-old senator, who typically affects a measured, somber tone when discussing Donald Trump’s various moral deficiencies. But after weeks of escalating combat with the president—over Ukraine, and China, and Syria, and impeachment—the gentleman from Utah suddenly appears ready to unload.

What set him off was my recitation of an argument I’ve heard some Republicans deploy lately to excuse Trump’s behavior. Electing a president, the argument goes, is like hiring a plumber—you don’t care about his character, you just want him to get the job done. Sitting in his Senate office, Romney is indignant. “Are you worried that your plumber overcharges you?” he asks. “Are you worried that the plumber’s going to scream at your kids? Are you worried that the plumber is going to squeal out of your driveway?” I am playing devil’s advocate; he is attempting an exorcism.

To Romney, Trump’s performance as president is inextricably tangled up in his character. “Berating another person, or calling them names, or demeaning a class of people, not telling the truth—those are not private things,” he says, adding: “If during the campaign you pay a porn star $130,000, that now comes into the public domain.”

At this, Romney glances over at two of his aides watching silently from the other end of the room, and grins. “They’re going, Oh gosh, shut up.”

I’ve spent the past several months in an ongoing conversation with Romney as he’s navigated a Washington that grows more hostile by the day. Before arriving in the Senate, Romney nurtured a pleasant delusion that he could somehow avoid being defined by his relationship with Trump. He had his own policy agenda to advance, his own vision for the future of the Republican Party. He would use his platform to take a stand against Trumpism, while largely ignoring Trump himself. When I would speak with his friends and allies in Utah during last year’s campaign, there was often a certain dilettantish quality in the future Senator Romney they envisioned—a venerable elder statesman dabbling in legislation the way a retiree takes up tennis.

Instead, Romney has emerged as an outspoken dissident in Trump’s Republican Party. In just the past few weeks, he has denounced the president’s attempts to solicit dirt on political rivals from foreign governments as “wrong and appalling”; suggested that his fellow Republicans are looking the other way out of a desire for power; and condemned Trump’s troop withdrawal in Syria as a “bloodstain on the annals of American history.”


No offense, Mittens, but you'd better come out MUCH more strongly than that. What you've said so far is milquetoast...
Posted by Dennis Donovan | Sun Oct 20, 2019, 10:12 AM (11 replies)

Richard Engel: Moving troops from Syria to Western Iraq creates chaos-ISIS will regroup

Richard Engel ✔ @RichardEngel

Since defense secretary says US troops aren't going home from Syria - where they’ve been EFFECTIVELY fighting ISIS - but moving next door to Iraq to fight ISIS from there, the only results are: 1 creating chaos which helps ISIS regroup & 2 leaving US allies, the Kurds, to die.

9:46 AM - Oct 20, 2019
Posted by Dennis Donovan | Sun Oct 20, 2019, 09:53 AM (6 replies)

42 Years Ago Today; Plane crash claims lives of Ronnie Van Zant, Steve & Cassie Gaines


On October 20, 1977, a Convair CV-240 passenger aircraft ran out of fuel and crashed in a wooded area near Gillsburg, Mississippi. Chartered by the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd from L&J Company of Addison, Texas, it was near the end of its flight from Greenville, South Carolina, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Lead vocalist/founding member Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist and vocalist Steve Gaines, backing vocalist Cassie Gaines (Steve's older sister), assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and co-pilot William Gray all died as a result of the crash; 20 others survived.

On October 20, 1977, three days after releasing their album Street Survivors, Lynyrd Skynyrd performed at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium in Greenville, South Carolina, and boarded a Convair CV-240 airplane to take them to Baton Rouge, where they were to perform at Louisiana State University. The plane ran out of fuel near the end of the flight.

Upon realizing that the plane had insufficient fuel, the pilots attempted to navigate to McComb Airport, about 10 miles northeast of the eventual crash site, but soon realized that the plane wouldn't make it. As a last resort, they attempted an emergency landing in an open field about 300 yards from where the plane eventually went down. Despite their efforts, at approximately 6:47 PM the plane skimmed about 100 yards along the top of the tree line before smashing into a large tree and splitting into pieces near Gillsburg, Mississippi.

Early in the flight, witnesses recall that vocalist Ronnie Van Zant was lying on the floor with a pillow as he nursed a mild hangover. Several other passengers passed the time by playing cards. At some point the passengers became aware that something was wrong, and drummer Artimus Pyle recalls entering the cabin and being told by a terrified pilot Walter McCreary to go back and strap himself in. With the gravity of the situation clear, the band sat in silence. Guitarist Gary Rossington recalls hearing what sounded like hundreds of baseball bats hitting the plane's fuselage as it began striking trees. The sound got louder and louder until Rossington was knocked unconscious; he awoke some time later on the ground with the plane's door on top of him. Lead singer/founding member Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines, backing vocalist Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary, and copilot William Gray all died in the crash. Most of the survivors had been seated toward the back of the plane. The survivors, all of whom were seriously injured, were transported to different hospitals for treatment and were not immediately aware of the fatalities. Days later, Rossington was informed in hospital by his mother that Van Zant had been killed.

Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1977

Cassie Gaines had been so fearful of flying in the Convair that she had preferred to travel in the band's cramped equipment truck instead, but Van Zant convinced her to board the plane on October 20. Keyboard player Billy Powell's nose was nearly torn off as he suffered severe facial lacerations and deep lacerations to his right leg. Decades later, Powell gave an account of the flight's final moments on a VH1 Behind The Music special. He said Van Zant, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown violently from his seat and died immediately when his head impacted a tree as the plane broke apart. Some elements of Powell's version of the events, however, have been disputed by both drummer Artimus Pyle and Van Zant's widow Judy Van Zant Jenness, who posted the autopsy reports on the band's web site in early 1998, while confirming other aspects of Powell's account. Pyle suffered broken ribs but managed to leave the crash site and notify a nearby resident.

Another member of the band's trio of back-up singers (collectively known as the "Honkettes", JoJo Billingsley, was not on the plane; she was home sick and planned to join the tour in Little Rock, Arkansas, on October 23. Billingsley said that she had dreamed of the plane crash and begged guitarist and founding member Allen Collins by telephone not to continue using the Convair. The band's ex-guitarist Ed King said later that he "always knew it wasn't gonna end well" for Lynyrd Skynyrd due to their penchant for drinking and brawling, but he could never have envisioned it ending the way it did, and recalls being overcome with sadness upon learning of the crash.

It was later discovered that the very same aircraft had earlier been inspected by members of Aerosmith's flight crew for possible use in their 1977 American tour, but it was rejected because it was felt that neither the plane nor the crew were up to standards. Aerosmith's assistant chief of flight operations, Zunk Buker, told of observing pilots McCreary and Gray sharing a bottle of Jack Daniel's while he and his father inspected the plane. Aerosmith's touring family were quite shaken after receiving word of the crash, as Steven Tyler and Joe Perry had pressured their management into renting that specific plane for use on their tour.

The doomed flight of October 20, 1977 was intended to be the last Lynyrd Skynyrd would make on the Convair CV-240. "We were flying in a plane that looked like it belonged to the Clampett family," said Pyle, and the band had decided that their status as one of the world's top rock acts warranted an upgrade. After arriving in Baton Rouge, the band planned on acquiring a Learjet to replace the 30-year-old plane, which all in the band's circle agreed was well past its prime.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the probable cause of this accident was fuel exhaustion and total loss of power from both engines due to crew inattention to fuel supply. Contributing to the fuel exhaustion were inadequate flight planning and an engine malfunction of undetermined nature in the right engine which resulted in "torching" and higher-than-normal fuel consumption.
—NTSB Accident Report

Rescuers had to cross a 20-foot-wide, waist-deep creek and dig through an overgrown forest, while digging out rescue vehicles that got stuck in the mud. Locals worked with rescue officials and drove victims to the hospital in the back of pick-up trucks. One local resident recalled, "I found someone on the ground alive. When I walked to the other side of the plane, I tripped on another person."

Another resident commended the actions of all those who helped, and highlighted that, "Some of them were out on that highway directing traffic. Some of them went home and got tractors. My wife was home on a CB radio. I'm relaying messages on CB to her, 10 miles away."

Powell, among others, spoke of seeing flames shooting out of the plane's right engine during a flight just days before the crash. The subsequent NTSB report listed "an engine malfunction of undetermined nature" in that same engine as a contributing factor in the crash Pyle told Howard Stern years later in an interview that the fuel gauge in the older-model plane was known to malfunction and the pilots had neglected to manually check the tanks before taking off. In his 2003 book Lynyrd Skynyrd: Remembering the Free Birds of Southern Rock, Gene Odom, a bodyguard for Van Zant who was on board the plane and survived the crash, comes to the conclusion that pilot Gray was potentially impaired and had been observed using cocaine the previous evening; however, toxicology reports from both pilots' autopsies found no traces of alcohol or other drugs. "Crew inattention to fuel supply" was ultimately determined to be responsible for the crash.

After the accident, the NTSB removed, inspected, and tested the right engine's ignition magneto and found it to be operating normally, concluding, "No mechanical or electrical discrepancies were found during the examination of the right magneto." The inspection also determined that, "All of the fuel cross-feed and fuel dump valves were in the closed position."

The accident Report records that the aircraft was both owned and operated by L & J Company, but the lease to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s production company specified that Lynyrd Skynyrd was the operator and therefore was responsible for regulatory compliance (including managing the flight crew). The flight crew were employed by a third party, and the lease period was three weeks. The Report records the FAA as taking legal action against L&J in relation to the operator responsibility, and the Analysis section concludes with a discussion of the safety problem of “how does the system in such a case protect a lessee who is uninformed either by design, by inadvertence, or by his own carelessness”.

The band's record label MCA replaced the album cover of the Street Survivors album as it showed the band surrounded by flames. The site of the crash has turned into a memorial for fans, rescuers and survivors with an oak tree that has been carved with Lynyrd Skynyrd iconography; the site was also the location of a 40th anniversary memorial by survivors and rescuers.

In 2017, surviving members of the band and family of those that died in the crash filed a lawsuit to block production and distribution of a film entitled Street Survivor: The True Story of the Lynyrd Skynyrd Plane Crash. The dispute stemmed from a "blood oath" that was reportedly taken after the crash by survivors to never use the name Lynyrd Skynyrd again in an effort not to capitalize on the tragedy that had befallen the group. The movie was finally released 1 Dec 2017.


Posted by Dennis Donovan | Sun Oct 20, 2019, 09:00 AM (13 replies)
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