Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Who The Pirates Are

Somali pirates have struck again in the Gulf of Aden,seizing two more merchant vessels and taking 45 crew hostage.That brings this year's total to 324 attacks on 37 ships with 8639 hostages.Warships from more than 12 countries,including the U.S.,U.K.,France,Netherlands,Russia,China and India have had sporadic success combating the pirates,but for the most part have only pushed them out into the far reaches of the Indian Ocean to ply their trade.
There are an estimated 1200 Somali pirates.Among them are many ex-fishermen and warlord militiamen,lending useful expertise to their criminal enterprise.The Somali government wants the millions spent on naval patrols to be spent on inland poverty as well,which they think is the root of the problem.The pirates are reaping millions of dollars in ransom with their dangerous escapades at sea.Once monsoon season lets up,they are able to begin another cycle of plunder in their small boats.Their latest victims are the British chemical tanker St.James Park and a Panamanian cargo ship.

Nature's Cost

Many jurisdictions have already exhausted their snow removal budgets for all of 2010.Another winter storm is sweeping across the country.This leaves officials scratching their heads.Winter has only just started,and there is all this frosty activity already.This morning saw temperatures in many areas dipping below normal.Yesterday was brutally cold in the Mid-Atlantic region.Federal aid may be necessary to sustain civilization this winter as local coffers have little left in them but icicles.Wildlife,however,maintains its customary good cheer.Everything they need is free of charge,if humans allow it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Warships Strike Training Camps

The government of Yemen allowed U.S. Navy warships to fire missiles at suspected al-Qaida training camps last Thursday.A person familiar with the situation said President Barack Obama issued the order for the strikes in the north of the country.The Yemeni authorities said they had attacked al-Qaida training camps in the south the same day,killing 34 militants.Locals disputed the account,saying more than 60 were killed,mostly innocent civilians.There were no training camps there,these people say.It was an area close to a road and an army base.
The U.S. has been concerned about Yemen since al-Qaida attacked the USS Cole(DDG67) there in 2000,killing 17 U.S. service members.Al-Qaida fighters from the Iraq and Afghan wars are believed to find refuge among disillusioned tribes,especially in northeast Yemen,which borders U.S. ally Saudi Arabia.Al-Qaida militants have been crossing into Saudi Arabia to conduct raids,attempting to assassinate the Saudi deputy interior minister on one occasion earlier in the year.

Christmas Visit

As I stood in the garage,a white-throated sparrow landed on the driveway and pecked at something,coming within a meter of me.It may have been seed I spilled yesterday.It could also have been grit that broke off while I was shoveling snow.Seed-eaters need to ingest grit,as it helps them digest seed.This migrant came from as far north as Hudson Bay.They winter as far south as northern Mexico.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Afghan War Surge Begins

Admiral Michael Mullen,Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,traveled to Southwest Asia this week to prepare the way for thousands more U.S. troops.A battalion of U.S. Marines was close behind him,initiating the surge President Barack Obama ordered recently.Admiral Mullen said he is concerned about the growing level of collusion between the Taliban,al-Qaida and other extremist groups in Pakistan.The Taliban are dominant in one third of the 34 Afghan provinces.
Some 16,000 U.S. troops have received deployment orders so far,part of a 30,000 troop surge that will be complemented by at least 7,000 troops from 25 other countries.Among them will be 1200 British,1140 Italian,120 Australian and 920 Georgian soldiers.France and Germany will decide on their contribution at a summit in January.Some of the surge forces could be tasked with finding Osama bin Laden.
Admiral Mullen warned that tough fighting lay ahead for the U.S. forces.Many more casualties are to be expected.The admiral was accompanied by USO entertainers for the morale of the soldiers already in the region.

Artificial Christmas Trees

If you have an artificial Christmas tree,you can make it more natural by putting pine cones on it.You can make the tree your own by decorating it with lights of your choice.You don't have to stick to the pre-installed set.Artificial trees used to be silver tinsel.That's the kind of tree Charlie Brown didn't like.By adding some touches to an artificial tree,it turns into something that belongs in your home.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Game Show Salutes Military

"Wheel of Fortune" recently completed an Armed Forces Week observance.Military personnel were the contestants for the week.One of them,a U.S. Marine Staff Sargent,won 50,000 dollars in cash and prizes,including a trip to Mexico.The personnel were enthusiastic competitors,but in a brotherly spirit,congratulating each other.You couldn't help but be proud of their comportment.They knew what the stakes were,that they were representing their service and their nation.
In between games on the last show of the week,TV personality Vanna White walked along a Navy pier-presumably San Diego.Ms.White is the assistant of WOF host Pat Sajak.Mr.Sajak said he was a U.S. Army veteran himself.
The WOF tribute was quite a success,bringing the U.S. military into a lot of living rooms that had little knowledge of it.Besides Mr.Sajak,other celebrity veterans are Montel Williams and Ernest Borgnine,U.S. Navy;Alan Alda,U.S. Army Reserves;Chuck Norris,U.S. Air Force;Jack Klugman and Jim Lehrer,U.S. Marine Corps.

A Difficult Forecast

Forecasting winter weather is very inexact.As an example,consider yesterday.In the morning,there was a winter weather advisory.By supper,it had been canceled.At nightfall,with heavy snow falling,it was re-instituted.The takeaway is,judge by what you see,not what you hear,in this surprising season.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Predator B Surveys Maritime

The Predator B unmanned aircraft is currently serving the U.S. Navy on various missions,and will soon be helping the U.S. Coast Guard as well.A rare piece of video footage aired recently shows a silvery Predator streaking through a blue Southwest Asia sky.The Predator B flies long-endurance maritime surveillance and reconnaissance missions.It detects,identifies and tracks surface contacts,streaming real-time images to any location worldwide.The aircraft features a 360-degree multi-mode maritime radar,Automatic Identification System and high-resolution Electro-Optic/Infrared system.It is produced by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.GA-ASI is based in San Diego,California.

Meteorological Winter

December 1 marks the start of meteorological winter.Looking back at the autumn just past,we find that it was warmer than last autumn.According to my gas supplier,it was five degrees warmer on average.This is borne out by plant behavior.A petunia on the deck is still in bloom.A chrysanthemum near it is also still blooming a little.This morning was wintry,however,dawning with a heavy frost.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How Pirates Evade Warships

Somali pirates are having little trouble evading the warships of the world.Their piracy is at an all-time high;it already exceeds the level for all 2008.Just how are they managing to persist in the face of the world's navies?One Dutch naval officer pointed out that piracy could be a problem as long as Somalia remains unstable.The pirates are aided by the vast areas involved.No amount of warships can cover that much ocean.Then there is western countries' concern for due process.They just can't blow the civilian pirates out of the water.Often,when pirates see the warships coming,they dump their weapons overboard.As well,the warships are afraid of harming the pirates' hostages,the Dutch officer indicated.Within the shipping community,there are mixed views of arming merchant vessels.Some ships are now carrying armed guards;others remain opposed to this,as does the U.N.For all these reasons,military presence alone will not resolve the piracy issue.
Among U.S. vessels on anti-piracy patrol have been the USS Gettysburg(CG64)and the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Boutwell.Both ships arrested suspected pirates.

Happy Thanksgiving

A special greeting to our military men and women,many of whom cannot be home for the holiday.Thank you for serving,and we are thankful for every one of you,our defenders.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Shipbuilder Upgraded

A Credit Suisse analyst has upgraded General Dynamics from neutral to outperform.The analyst,Robert Spingarn,raised its price target from 70.00 to 74.00.Mr.Spingarn feels the market has yet to factor in the stability of GD's defense programs in 2011-12,coupled with potential strong recovery growth in aerospace in that time frame.Besides building submarines and utility ships for the Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force and Military Sealift Command,as well as littoral combat ships,GD produces the Gulfstream line of business jets,which are widely used by governments and corporations.The company is headquartered in Falls Church,Virginia.It was founded in 1952.

Kinglet Guest

A ruby-crowned kinglet,one of the smallest of birds,stopped to feed on the property.Headed to points south,it found some insects for sustenance on its migratory journey.Flitting about from branch to branch,it felt the mild afternoon was a benefit in itself,easing the drain on the bird's resources.A cold day would have added to the struggle of the migrant's getting safely to its winter home,using up precious energy for warmth.It could be wintering nearby,or as far south as Guatemala,having come from as far north as Ontario.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Secretary Clinton Attends Commissioning

Hillary Rodham Clinton,the 67th Secretary of State,was the keynote speaker on Saturday at the commissioning of the USS New York(LPD21)in New York City.She described the ceremony as being exciting and meaningful.We salute your service to our nation,she told the crew.There are many New Yorkers on board.Our thoughts and prayers will be with you.
The first New York fought on Lake Champlain in the Revolutionary War,Secretary Clinton recalled.Then the battleship New York won three battle stars in World War II,seeing action at Iwo Jima.Once again the USS New York is serving our country.She includes 7.5 tons of steel from Ground Zero,a rivet from the battleship New York and sand from Iwo Jima in her keel.None of us will ever forget the image of twisted girders and shattered beams at Ground Zero.Today the steel serves as memorials across America.The New York's motto is "Strength forged through sacrifice:never forget."
Sometimes we truly are stronger in the broken parts,Hillary Clinton reflected.The crew will join the fight against terrorism and violent extremism that threatens the freedom of peoples across the world.The strongest steel of New York has always been in the spines of its people.We wish you godspeed and we wish you blessings on this ship and on the nation it serves.God bless you all,Secretary Clinton concluded,wearing a black overcoat and white scarf,speaking in a strong and solemn tone.
The USS New York,an amphibious transport dock ship,will be homeported in Norfolk,Virginia.Northrop Grumman was the prime contractor.A native New Yorker,Commander Curt Jones,is her first commanding officer.

Veterans Day

We take pride in you who have served in the armed forces.Thank you for making our great land possible.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Midair Collision Claims Nine

Seven U.S. Coast Guardsmen and two U.S. Marines died near San Clemente Island,which is near San Diego,California,when a Coast Guard C-130 search plane collided with a Marine Corps AH-1W Super Cobra helicopter.San Clemente is a training range for maritime forces,and the military air traffic can be heavy at times.The Coast Guard plane was searching for 50-year old David Jines of San Catalina Island,who went missing in a 12-foot motorized skiff,and the Marines were flying in a training formation.
The collision occurred at 1910 hours Pacific.A flotilla of Navy ships and Coast Guard Cutters,as well as helicopters,mounted a search and rescue mission for the nine servicemen.A debris field was located in the water 50 miles from San Diego.
The Coast Guard has been struggling to maintain or purchase enough ships and aircraft,so the loss of even one is very significant to the service,besides any loss of personnel.It is the smallest of the armed forces,but is tasked with perhaps the broadest range of missions,from homeland security to Iraq War deployments.

Little Cutting

This morning I intended to cut some trees back rather heavily.That isn't what happened.When I took an objective look,they didn't need that.They were pretty well-balanced.A heavy pruning would have made them look worse.I hardly cut them back at all.When I was finished,there was only a small pile of branches.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Stealth Fighter Coming Along

The Navy's F-35C Lightning II stealth fighter was rolled out on 28 July in Fort Worth,Texas.A period of comprehensive testing of the aircraft is underway.It has all-weather precision strike capability,plus next generation fused avionics and mission systems.Once it achieves operational status-projected to be in 2015-the fighter will blend in with the Navy's existing Super Hornet aircraft for a number of years until it assumes the central role.Its simplified,low-cost maintenance will lead to higher sortie rates.The Air Force and Marine Corps have their own versions of the Lightning.There is a high degree of commonality among the versions:avionics,engine and software.An internal weapons bay will also characterize all the Lightning versions.Lockheed Martin is lead contractor for the project.

Snowbirds Return

The snowbirds,the northern juncos,arrived about a week ago.They will stay in their Mid-Atlantic wintering grounds till May.At higher elevations,they may stay year-round.With all the wet conditions we've been having,the winter could be a snowy and icy one for these cool-weather birds,if the weather pattern persists.It is said we haven't had a big winter since 1996.That means there are a lot of drivers who don't know how to handle one-not to mention homeowners who may have feet of snow,instead of inches,to contend with.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Oddball Destroyers

The three Zumwalt class destroyers were once believed to be the follow-on to the Arleigh Burke class.Instead,their role is now focused on support for land forces from near-shore positions.The very expensive ships are thus among the oddball hardware of military history.Remember the Air Force's XB-70 bomber?Frankly,they are something of a mistake,but that doesn't mean they won't be put to good use.They are a Marine Corps sort of ship,in the same league as amphibious assault and amphibious dock ships.These destroyers can support the Marines and be testbeds for advanced naval technology such as open architecture.They will also sustain the shipyard workers who build and maintain them for Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics.

First Frost

The first frost occurred on October 17.It was a light frost,not a killer.Now the temperatures are on the upswing,giving us Indian summer.The honeybees will continue to visit the old field aster on the property,and wasps will use the Canada goldenrod.Letting these wildflowers grow,supporting the pollinators,is one of the most important actions a land manager can take.Without the pollinators,we are nothing.The full range of plant life,the basis of the food chain,cannot subsist without them.Wildlife and human alike are short-changed then.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Green Ship Awaits Commissioning

On 24 October,the USS Makin Island(LHD 8),an amphibious assault ship,will be commissioned at her homeport,San Diego.The Makin Island is characterized by operational upgrades and environmentally-conscious features.The ship will run on 28,000 dollars less worth of fuel than previous LHDs.She has a gas turbine electric propulsion system which is the equivalent of a hybrid car engine.Above a speed of 12 knots,she will run on gas;below 12 knots,she will run on electricity.There are no boilers or steam systems.Everything is electric,which is safer and improves operational readiness.The gas turbine engine can reach full power in five minutes;a steam plant takes up to a day to do that.
On the Makin Island,there is no steam-to-water process.Instead,water is chlorinated with salt.She has the most advanced machinery control system.The engineering plant is pretty much completely automated.She is truly a leaner and greener warship.
The commanding officer,Captain Robert Kopas,says that,by using these efficient,environmentally-conscious systems,it's not only going to help our nation,but the world as a whole.Northrop Grumman built the new warship.

New England Aster Blooming

New England aster has been blooming along hedgerows and roadsides,as well as in meadows and woodlot clearings.The purple flowers are found from southern Canada to the Carolina hills.They are a favorite source of nectar for migrating monarch butterflies.The closely-related New York aster occurs in wet meadows and along the shore.Both plants are among the most-admired wildflowers in the Middle Atlantic region,and there are many cultivars of them.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Blair Reveals Intelligence Scope

Admiral Dennis C. Blair,U.S. Navy retired,Director of National Intelligence,revealed the scope of U.S. intelligence operations to journalists recently.Mr.Blair was going over his four year blueprint for national intelligence when he disclosed that the U.S. activity is a 200,000 person,75 billion dollar operation.About half of the personnel are in the civilian intelligence agencies,and half in the military,according to previously disclosed figures,and the civilian budget was 47.5 billion in fiscal 2008.That would make the military intelligence budget about 27.5 billion dollars.Admiral Blair refused to give further details,such as how many personnel are in each of the many agencies or what the money was spent on.He just wanted to give a rough idea of how much was involved,the retired sailor said.
Raytheon is a prominent contractor in the intelligence field.It claims that its technology forms the eyes,ears and brains of intelligence,surveillance and reconnaissance systems.

Color Surprise

Red maples have started turning in the Pennsylvania woodlot.Poison ivy has been brilliant red for some time.The autumn foliage of this common vine belies the suffering it causes many if they happen to touch it.It is the first of the plants to turn here.Probably few laymen realize that the color they've been admiring is poison ivy climbing up the trunks of all those trees.The fall display is the flip side of this native plant's existence in civilization.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Change 2.0

There is no doubt now about what season it is.Canadian air has started to flow into the Mid-Atlantic region.Though it isn't bone-chilling,it's cool enough for a sweater or light jacket-at least in the mornings.Hopefully the mosquitoes are done for now.We've all had quite enough of those vicious critters.Some furnaces have been turned on,and thoughts are turning to buying a pumpkin for the porch,if you haven't grown one yourself.

Gold Star Families Honored

The White House Commission on Remembrance hosted its fourth annual salute to Gold Star families-those who have lost a member to war-on the west lawn of the Capitol Saturday.About 2,000 families whose members died in Iraq and Afghanistan were honored.Attending were Admiral Michael Mullen,Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,and General George W. Casey,Jr.,Army Chief of Staff and himself a Gold Star family member,his father having been killed in the Vietnam war.Each motherless or fatherless child received a gold medallion on a ribbon lanyard.Many of them were under 10 years old.The Armed Forces Color Guard paraded the 50 state flags,and Admiral Mullen,a frequent visitor to graves at Arlington National Cemetery,shook hands and spoke with the Gold Star sons and daughters.They have become so special to their nation in these historic times.

Goldman Sachs Upgrades Refiners

Goldman Sachs has upgraded the oil refining sector.Oil will go up to 85 dollars a barrel by the end of the year,Goldman estimates.Oil demand will recover through the end of 2010.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cosmetics Executive Honored

Leonard Lauder was honored Tuesday at the U.S. Navy Memorial's 2009 Lone Sailor Awards Dinner in Washington,D.C.Mr.Lauder,Chairman Emeritus of the Estee Lauder Companies,was recognized for his service to country and community.A graduate of the Wharton School and Columbia University,Mr.Lauder was a Navy officer in the Supply Corps,receiving the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Mr.Lauder said he believed in the U.S. Navy, and he believed in this nation.In the Navy,he met people who were dedicated to this nation.They were all smart.They were better than he was,and he learned from them,Mr.Lauder recalled.He served aboard an aircraft carrier,the USS Leyte(CVS32),and the destroyer USS Charles R Ware(DDH65).One of the greatest lessons he learned in the Navy is,you can take people from all walks of life,train them properly,and make them to be experts in their field.He brought this into his business experience.
Mr.Lauder feels that the Navy was the greatest experience in his life.The best advice he can give anyone about the military:join the Navy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Special Edition:Cyber Security

Brian Burns,Deputy Chief Information Officer at the Navy Department,addressed the Government 2.0 Best Practices Symposium sponsored by The Potomac Forum.Mr.Burns pointed out the need for social media privacy controls education.Personnel need to be educated about the real threats of sharing personal information online;how to manage the footprint of federal employees;how to apportion information between colleagues and friends;white-listing codes;setting up defaults that need to be more restricted.Draw the line between external and internal,and clear things appropriately with the public affairs office.Use trust zones and virtualization technologies,such as health trust zones and criminal investigations.Tie the objects with the humans who want to use that data.Ascertain what is the content of the data,the context,the security level.Use new technologies to verify the source and users.Consider the endpoint protection of the host and multi-factor ID.

Start with the information.We need to transfer the data.ID the user.Consider the protection of the data and the behavior of the users,looking at them in the context of the tools.The security lags behind the new tool sets.What are the business rules of the community,and how do we put that information out?What are those partitions or layers that are gonna come out as we use those tools?Mr.Burns asked.These aspects of government leadership and technology were as complex as the assembly found them compelling.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Afghan War Startegy

Senior officers have been discussing the Afghan War strategy.Admiral Michael Mullen,Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,says there is a sense of urgency.Time is not on our side.I believe we understand that,and I believe we're gonna regain the initiative.General Stanley McChrystal,theater commander,intends to use the forces under his command to protect the Afghan people.Congress will respond as they see fit.I'm very well aware of the debate.From a military perspective,we have a mission we are doing the very best we can to carry out.

For his part,General McChrystal said the situation is serious,but victory is achievable with the right strategy.Villages can't just be taken;they have to be taken and held.The Afghan government needs to inspire the people and take the lead,General McChrystal added.Yesterday,four U.S. Marines under his command were ambushed and killed while on patrol in eastern Afghanistan.

Early Edition:Triple Upgrade

Danaher has been upgraded by Deutsche Bank;Freidman,Billings and Ramsey;and Bernstein.The industrial conglomerate is based in Washington,D.C.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Poseidon Airborne

The Navy's P8A Poseidon aircraft has begun flight testing.The Boeing product will replace the P3C Orion on long range anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions.Based on the commercial 787-800 airframe,it has a crew of nine,a ceiling of 41,000 feet and a speed of 490 knots.The Poseidon will be operational in fiscal 2013.It is armed with torpedoes,mines,bombs and cruise missiles.

Barclays Upgrade

Barclays Capital has upgraded credit card companies American Express,Discover Financial Services and Capital One Financial.They will have 3-5 years of steadily improving earnings and lower default rates,Barclays thinks.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mullen Responds to Concern

The situation in Afghanistan is serious and deteriorating,said Admiral Michael Mullen,Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.He is concerned about eroding public support for the U.S. and NATO mission.The President's strategy is a work in progress as more U.S. troops are put in place.The U.S. is on the way to 68,000 troops in the country by year's end.The situation needs to be reversed in the next 12-18 months.Admiral Mullen,a Vietnam veteran,wouldn't say if more U.S. troops would be needed.A large number of civilian experts are also needed to stabilize the Afghan government and economy.
I recognize we've been there over eight years,the Chairman stated.But this is the first time we've really resourced a strategy on both the civilian and military sides.So in certain ways,we're starting anew.We're just getting the pieces in place from the President's new strategy on the ground now.I don't see this as a mission of endless drift.I think we know what to do.Certainly the numbers are of concern,but this is the war we're in,Admiral Mullen remarked.

Google Added

Goldman Sachs has added Google to its conviction buy list.Google's price target was raised from 510 to 560 dollars.Goldman sees potential for Google revenue growth.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Navy Department Honors

The 2nd Battalion,3rd Marine Regiment,3rd Marine Division,3rd Marine Expeditionary Force,sustained a number of losses in Afghanistan in early August.Killed in action in Farah Province were Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony C. Garcia,21,of Panama City,Florida,a Navy hospital corpsman who died on 5 August;Lance Corporal Travis T. Babine,20,of San Antonio,Texas;Lance Corporal James D. Argentine,22,of Farmingdale,New York;and Sargent Jay M. Hoskins,24,of Paris,Texas-all of whom died on 6 August.The 2nd Battalion,3rd Marine Regiment is based in Kaneohe Bay,Hawaii.
As of last Thursday,776 Defense Department personnel,including one civilian,had died in the Afghan War,536 of them in combat.

Economist Sees Protracted Recovery

Ken Rogoff,a Harvard University economist,sees five years of much slower growth.Depressed home prices,rising taxes and an absent consumer will cause this.The unemployment rate will go over 10%,and it may be seven years before housing prices come back.
I don't think it's gonna be the same,Ken Rogoff said.We're gonna have to have more exports,and rely more on government aid-meaning higher taxes.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Russian Subs Follow Coast

Russia engaged in a Cold War-type submarine patrol in recent weeks,sending two Akula nuclear submarines to scout international waters some 200 miles,or 321.86 kilometers,off the U.S. east coast.The Akula has a 3,000 kilometer range and is armed with nuclear cruise missiles.The attack sub has a complement of 62.
Some say the Russians were trying to impress India with the submarines' performance,as India is considering purchasing the Akula.Others hold that Russia was posturing,showing that it is still a strong military power.Of course,it may have been doing both.In any event,the Pentagon wasn't very concerned,noting that Russia has the right to exercise in international waters.

The Recovery Scenario

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has laid out his vision of economic recovery.First,growth will turn positive.Then job loss will slow.Finally,there will be job growth early next year.Indeed,there was already a slowdown in job loss in July,but it must be sustained.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Marine Hero Honored

Corporal Jason Dunham,who posthumously received the Medal of Honor for his heroism in Iraq,was honored by the U.S. Navy on Saturday,when the USS Jason Dunham(DDG109) was christened by his mother,Deb Dunham,at Bath Iron Works in Maine.Several of his comrades from Kilo Company,3rd Battalion,7th Marines were also there,including two whose lives he saved by smothering a grenade,sacrificing himself in the process.Corporal Dunham died on 22 April,2004,eight days after a militant attacked him as the Marines were searching vehicles.
President George W. Bush had presented the Medal of Honor at the White House,and Corporal Dunham was also remembered when the National Museum of the Marine Corps was dedicated in Virginia.The USS Jason Dunham is an Arleigh Burke class destroyer with a complement of 314,and is powered by four GE gas turbines.

A Chief Economist's Forecast

Nigel Gault,Chief Economist with IHS Global Insight,notes that it's quite clear that GDP will start moving up in Q3-4,a rather modest recovery.The biggest concern is the strength of the consumer.It's hard to see the consumer being the engine as in the past.
Keep a close eye on where the main cyclicals are moving,Mr.Gault advises.I don't see Gross Domestic Product getting above 2.5% until 2011,he said.I do see substantial growth in housing and autos next year.Inventories are going to be a big plus going forward,Mr.Gault added.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Squadron Leader Succumbs

Captain George E. Ford,U.S. Navy Retired,who was awarded the Navy Cross in World War II,has died at 90 years old.Captain Ford was a dive bomber squadron leader in the Pacific theater.He received the Navy Cross for his extraordinary heroism in the battle of Leyte Gulf,the Philippine's.
After the war,Captain Ford was Commander,Naval Air Station Point Mugu,California.He retired from the Navy in 1971 and began a career in real estate,home building and marketing,becoming Vice President of Marketing at the Wills and Van Metre Company.
Captain Ford is survived by his wife Patricia,as well as three children,eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren.He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

Grinding Our Way

Tobias Levkovich,Chief U.S. Equity Strategist at Citigroup,says the biggest discussion now is,the earnings are all cost-driven.We're also at a point where re-stocking must occur,driving increased production.We're gonna grind higher.We surveyed our clients,and cash positions have gone up from 12-16% by institutions,as of two weeks ago,despite the stock market run-up.CEOs will be very pedantic,cautious.When CEOs lack confidence,you should buy stocks.There's a great inverse relationship.
We're talking about de-stocking at a slower pace,as in cars,Mr.Levkovich noted.It will moderate,and probably eliminate,job losses.We think the industrial/commodity/energy complex will be leading,along with big financials and insurance,Mr.Levkovich revealed.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Navy Department Honors

Several Navy Department personnel have died serving in the Afghanistan war recently.On 20 June,a senior Navy non-commissioned officer,Command Master Chief Jeffrey Garber,died aboard the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower(CVN69) of noncombat causes.The Eisenhower,a Nimitz class aircraft carrier,was sailing in the Arabian Sea.Chief Garber,of Hemingford,Nebraska,was 43 years old.Lance Corporal Charles S. Sharp,U.S. Marine Corps,died in combat on 2 July in Helmand Province,Afghanistan.A member of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force,based at Camp Lejeune,North Carolina,he was 20 years old, and hailed from Adairsville,Georgia.An individual augmentee,Petty Officer 2nd Class Tony Michael Randolph,was killed in action on 6 July in northern Afghanistan.He was serving with the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan.A son of Henryetta,Oklahoma,he was 22 years old.
At least 727 Defense Department personnel,including one civilian,have died serving in the Afghanistan war.

A Douglas Lane View

Sarat Sethi,Portfolio Manager at Douglas Lane and Associates,says he would stay with the necessities.Colgate Palmolive pays a good dividend,and 82% of its business is overseas.You're just in the second or third innings of stimulus.Companies are looking ahead.Over the next 2-3 years,there will be money made.Commodity prices are down,so companies have an opportunity to grow.Procter and Gamble is one of them.Look at the balance sheets and overseas exposure,Mr.Sethi advises.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Clearing Militants Not Enough

Helmand Province,Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the south,a base for militant operations.Brigadier General Lawrence D. Nicholson,Assistant Division Commander,2d Marine Division,says speed is of the essence in Helmand.Soon after clearing Taliban militants from the villages,the Marines will have have to improve the villagers' lives.They will offer work such as cleaning the irrigation canals that water the Afghani farms.A U.S. program to provide seed and equipment to 125,000 farmers is also part of the plan.
General Nicholson had served in Anbar province,Iraq,which he regards as similar to Helmand.As in Iraq,there is a great need to involve as many locals as possible in the Helmand security effort.They know the lay of the land better,and the Afghan people are less likely to be offended by their own.So far,though,General Nicholson is having trouble finding enough Afghan troops to help him.He would like to have Afghans serving alongside Marines on every patrol,and at every checkpoint.It looks like another long slog in the desert for the general,a survivor of a rocket attack on his former base near Fallujah,Iraq.


Jefferies has upgraded SAP to a buy from hold.The International Monetary Fund has raised its 2010 global growth forecast to 2.5%.Credit Suisse has upgraded KB Home to outperform,citing valuation and solid order trends for Q3-4.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

British General KIA

Lieutenant General Rupert Thornlow,Commander of the Welsh Guards,was killed in Afghanistan when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in Helmand Province.He is the most senior British officer to die in combat in 27 years.The general was participating in operations being carried out by 4,000 U.S. Marines,650 Afghan troops and 9,000 British soldiers in the Helmand River valley.Helmand is the stronghold of the Taliban militants.The Marines and Afghans,supported by 50 aircraft,stormed villages south of the Helmand River,while the British covered the area north of the river.The Marines met sporadic but fierce resistance.
About 20,000 Marines are headed to Helmand,the largest province in Afghanistan and known for its many poppy fields.The British troops were supported by Danish tank fire in their heavily mined area.Fighting in high temperatures,there were British and Danish deaths and injuries.Several U.S. Marines were also killed and wounded.One Marine Brigadier General described it as a hell of a fight.

Farr Sees Much Risk

Michael Farr of Farr,Miller and Washington says he doesn't see how the financial sector leadership can continue.There's a lot of risk and red flags out there.The increasing unemployment and consolidating consumer are examples.I'm kind of bothered by this urgency toward optimism,he complained.The economic data don't show us that it's over.The economic decline hasn't stopped,but it's slowing.Mr.Farr likes Clorox,Procter and Gamble and Johnson and Johnson.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Freighter Turns Back

A North Korean freighter suspected of carrying illegal weapons,the Kang Nam,has turned back toward its home port.The freighter went as far as the coast of Vietnam before turning around.As of this morning,it was about 250 miles-or 402.32 kilometers-south of Taiwan,heading north.It was believed to have been headed for Myanmar,or Burma.It has been monitored by the Arleigh Burke class destroyer USS John S McCain(DDG56).The U.S. Navy intends to restart production of the Arleigh Burke class,after deciding that the new Zumwalt class of destroyers is too costly,and not as well-suited to today's challenges.Only three Zumwalt class destroyers will be built.

Steady Dividend Stocks

RBC Capital Markets likes these stocks for the sanctity of their dividends:Procter and Gamble,Conoco Phillips,PepsiCo,AT and T,Johnson and Johnson.They also like the limited partnership Kinder Morgan Energy Partners.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Destroyer Follows Freighter

The USS John S McCain(DDG56),an Arleigh Burke class destroyer,is shadowing a North Korean freighter,the Kang Nam,on an odyssey through East Asian waters.The freighter is suspected of carrying illegal weapons to Myanmar,or Burma.Although the McCain could legally stop the freighter,it probably will not do so,in order to avoid setting off the volatile North Korean regime.It will likely just focus the international spotlight on the activity,showing the world's disapproval and vigilance.
Meanwhile,special radar equipment has been positioned in the Pacific to protect Hawaii,which North Korea is threatening with a missile test in early July.The destroyer McCain is named for the father and grandfather of U.S. Senator John McCain,R-Arizona,both of whom were Navy admirals.It can sail at more than 30 knots.

A Goldman Outlook

For Abby Joseph Cohen,President of Goldman Sachs' Global Market Institute,preventing financial crises is a question of better and more effective regulation,as well as enhancing financial literacy.Our feeling is that the worst of the economic news is over,Ms.Cohen stated.Gross Domestic Product for Q2 will be -3,and barely positive for Q3-Q4.We're not expecting another spike in price,but a 900-950 S and P trading range.The time frame in investors' minds is getting longer.Those categories with some exposure to the global economy would be appropriate,Ms.Cohen said.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

First In,First Out

Almost all U.S. Marines will be out of Iraq by next spring,said General James T. Conway,Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps.The Marines have already begun moving equipment out of Anbar Province,the center of Marine operations in Iraq.Once national elections are held in December,the withdrawal will begin in earnest.
Around 30 Marines will remain to assist with oil platform security near Basra,helping the Iraqi Marine Corps,General Conway informed the National Press Club in Washington,D.C.In Anbar,the Marines struggled with foreign fighters pouring over the border with Syria.President Barack Obama has ordered all U.S. forces out of Iraq by December,2011.

Why Tech

David Kelly,of JP Morgan Asset Management,says it looks like we are turning a corner in the labor market.The key thing is to make sure you have enough exposure in equities.We've had the Armegeddon-aversion rally.There is plenty of opportunity there.Tech has a lot of opportunity,with plenty of cash on the books,Mr.Kelly believes.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

France Opens Navy Base

A French navy base near Abu Dhabi,the capital of the United Arab Emirates,has been opened by the President of France,Nicolas Sarkozy.The base will allow the French navy to project power in the Persian Gulf,protecting the oil and liquified natural gas shipments that transit the Gulf,as well as in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean,where Somali pirates have beeen attacking merchant vessels.It is France's first military installation outside of Africa,and the first new foreign base since the 1960s.
Preseident Sarkozy is a close friend of U.S. President Barack Obama,and has reintegrated the French military into the NATO alliance.The French and U.S. navies are involved in a number of personnel exchanges,especially in the naval aviation field.The two navies participate in extensive joint training and operations.

Price Targets Raised

Citigroup has raised its price target for Google from 450 dollars to 580.Goldman Sachs says oil will climb to 85.00 a barrel by year's end,and to 95.00 by 2010.Credit Suisse has raised its target for JP Morgan Chase from 35.00 to 42.00.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Marine for NASA

Major General Charles F. Bolden,Jr.,U.S. Marine Corps Retired,has been selected by President Barack Obama to head NASA.General Bolden was himself an astronaut,having flown on four space shuttle missions-commanding two of them.His last mission was in 2004.Before his space career,which also included stints as a NASA administrator,General Bolden was a Marine aviator,flying more than 1000 sorties in the Vietnam War.He served in the Persian Gulf as well.The U.S. Naval Academy graduate was praised by fellow astronaut Senator Bill Nelson(D-Florida) for being a patriot,a leader and a visionary.General Bolden would be charged with conducting a review of all of NASA's programs,retiring the shuttle and guiding the follow-on Orion program,if he wins U.S. Senate approval.He would be the first African American to direct NASA.

Schaeffer's Analysis

Bernie Schaeffer,Chairman of Schaeffer's Investment Research,has been analyzing the recent rally.The rally is based on a very powerful oversold buy signal,Mr.Schaeffer said.Typically,this goes much further than a bear market rally.Hedge funds are moving away from deleveraging and starting to get involved here.Bonds are also very oversold,in Mr.Schaeffer's view.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Distinguished Aviator Dies

Captain Allard Guy Russell,U.S. Navy Retired,88,an aviator whose encyclopedic career spanned more than 40 years,has died in Sarasota,Florida.He joined the Navy in 1940 after studying at the University of Washington.Captain Russell flew combat missions off of carriers in World War II and Korea.He flew a dive-bomber in support of the First Marine Division on Guadalcanal.When the USS Saratoga was torpedoed,he flew missions from a Guadalcanal airstrip,living among the Marines.He always considered himself a Marine,as well as Navy,after that experience.
After the wars,Captain Russell became a Navy test pilot,flying 125 different aircraft.He specialized in night flight operations,racking up about 6500 total hours of military flight time.A pioneer in computer-aided carrier landing in all-weather,Captain Russell also accepted exchange assignments with the Royal Navy.He received two Distinguished Flying Crosses,five Air Medals and a Presidential Unit Citation.
After retiring,Captain Russell worked as an administrator for Bell Aircraft,Hughes Aircraft and Boeing.He flew many mercy missions in his later years.A father of four,he was married to Edith Russell for more than 67 years.He was a member of the Navy League and the 1st Marine Division Association of SW Florida.

Advisor Sceptical

Derwood Chase of Chase Investment Counsel is sceptical of the recent rally.He says we haven't seen the exhaustion of selling you usually see for a bull market to begin.Stick to good quality defensive stocks.Technically,I think the market is very likely to test the March lows.We consider it a high risk market,Mr.Chase warns.He likes TJX,Wal-Mart and Schlumberger.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Admiral To Command NATO

President Barack Obama has appointed Admiral James G. Stavridis,U.S. Navy,to be the next Supreme Allied Commander Europe.He will replace General Bantz J. Craddock,U.S. Army,on 2 July.Admiral Stavridis will be the first naval officer to serve as SACEUR.The post is traditionally filled by an American,while the NATO Secretary General,a civilian, is a European.The NATO alliance is currently fighting in Afghanistan,peacekeeping in Kosovo,and searching for pirates off the coast of Somalia.Admiral Stavridis is presently serving as Commander,U.S. Southern Command.

Berkshire Adjustments

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has been adjusting its portfolio.It increased its stake in Johnson and Johnson by 3.9 million shares;lowered its stake in United Healthcare by about 2 million shares;added 500,000 more shares of Union Pacific;and also added to its holdings in Burlington Northern,Wells Fargo,U.S. Bancorp and Nalco Holdings.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Big Op Underway

At U.S. urging,the Pakistani army has launched a major attack on the 4,000 Taliban extremists in the Swat Valley of Pakistan.Operation Black Thunder is an all-out assault on the militants,with U.S. troops fighting on the Afghan side of the border.The Pakistanis have killed at least 700 Taliban,and hundreds of thopusands of refugees are fleeing the battlefield.The operation is an air-ground assault.
The U.S. commander in Afghanistan,U.S. Army General David McKiernan,is being replaced by Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal,U.S. Army.Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Michael Mullen,Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,made the announcement.General McKiernan will stay on until Lt.General McChrystal is confirmed by the U.S. Senate.The U.S. authorities wanted a fresh set of eyes for the new AfPak strategy,which is similar to the Iraq tactics of General David Petraeus.Lt.General McChrystal is a special operations expert,having served as Commander,Special Operations Command.He is said to understand all aspects of the operation:diplomacy and aid,as well as unconventional warfare.General McKiernan has a more conventional background.Former Vice-President Dick Cheney praised the choice of McChrystal,saying you couldn't find a better replacement.

Conviction Buys

Goldman Sachs has added a number of stocks to its Conviction Buy list.Massey Energy has been added,with the coal sector being raised to attractive from neutral.Liz Claiborne was also put on the list,as was Research In Motion.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Anbar Casualties

Iraq remains a hostile environment for U.S. troops,despite their imminent drawdown.Two Marines and a sailor were killed in action in Anbar province at the end of April.They were among the 18 U.S. servicemembers killed in Iraq in April,the bloodiest month of 2009 so far.Thousands of Marines have served in Anbar,which is known for attracting foreign fighters who entered the province from Syria.No change in the drawdown plans has been announced because of the April toll.

Dividend Increases

IBM has raised its dividend by 10% to 0.55 a share.Other firms who have raised theirs are 3M,Wal-Mart,Johnson and Johnson,and Exxon Mobil.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chinese Navy Celebrates

The Chinese navy has been marking its 60th anniversary.To celebrate,it held a parade of warships for hundreds of onlookers,including foreign dignitaries.Included in the parade were nuclear submarines,destroyers,frigates and support vessels,as well as navy jets.It was a considerable show of might,but most of the activity took place some distance from shore.The flotilla was a signal to the world that China can now project power internationally,not just near the homeland.The Chinese economy is still growing,providing the wherewithal to sustain deep water operations.This is a growing concern for both the U.S. Navy and China's neighbors.

Rating News

JP Morgan Chase has raised Shaw Group to overweight from neutral because of increasing favor toward nuclear power,and Shaw builds nuclear plants.Citigroup has upgraded Amazon to a buy rating,while RBC Capital Markets has repeated an outperform rating on Amazon.Standard and Poors has repeated a strong buy on eBay.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

China Builds Navy Base

China is building a navy base on its southern island of Hainan,according to a Pentagon assessment.The base appears large enough to accommodate a mix of attack and ballistic missile submarines,as well as advanced surface combatant ships,the report states.It goes on to say that the port has underground facilities and would provide the Chinese navy with direct access to vital international sea lanes,and offers the potential for stealthy deployment of the submarines into the deep waters of the South China Sea.China is working toward building its first aircraft carrier,and is augmenting its fleet of attack submarines.China is also building up its stock of highly accurate cruise missiles.This military expansion is regarded as curious,since no one is directly threatening China at the moment.Just what these programs are for remains a puzzle to the Defense Department analysts.

Exxon Displaces Wal-Mart

Exxon Mobil displaced Wal-Mart as the number one earner on the Fortune 500 list.Exxon earned 443 billion dollars in 2008,while Wal-Mart brought home 405 billion.Microsoft was third on the list.Overall,the 500 firms posted an earnings decline of 85%-the worst in the list's 55-year history.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Frigate Participates

An Oliver Hazard Perry class frigate,the USS Halyburton(FFG40),participated in the anti-pirate operation off the coast of Somalia that freed Captain Richard Phillips,the merchant mariner who commanded the Maersk Alabama at the time it was attacked by the pirates.A replacement crew has since boarded the freighter in Mombasa,Kenya.The Perry class frigates are armed with a 76mm/62 caliber gun,as well as a Phalanx Close-In Weapon System and six torpedo tubes.They can sail at 29 knots and have a complement of 209.The Halyburton was built by Todd Pacific Shipyards,Seattle.She is homeported in Mayport,Florida.Frigates are among the smaller warships in service today.They are relied on for escort and patrol missions by many navies.The U.S. Navy has 30 of the frigates,keeping eight of them for reserve use.


Microsoft has been raised to outperform at RBC Capital Markets,with a price target of 27.00.Credit Suisse raised Pacific Gas and Electric to outperform,considering it the best regulated utility.FBR initiated coverage of Qualcomm as an outperform,with a price target of 50.00.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Gates Unveils 2010 Budget

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has released his 2010 defense budget proposal.Mr.Gates says he is just trying to get the irregular warfare guys to have a seat at the table.He is shifting the emphasis to less costly systems that are appropriate to today's low intensity conflicts,not tomorrow's wars.Mr.Gates dismissed the "exquisite" weapons that characterized Pentagon thought in recent times.He is also rolling back the number of contracts from 39% of defense work to the pre-9-11 figure of 26%,as defense projects are moved in house.The 2010 proposal calls for 31 new F/A-18 fighter jets for the Navy;increasing special operations forces by 2800;increasing the Marine Corps by 27,000;halting the DDG 1000 Zumwalt destroyer at three ships,while returning to the Arleigh Burke class destroyer;canceling the new light armored vehicles in favor of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles;adding two billion more for surveillance systems;accelerating the production of F-35 fighters to 30 in 2010,up from 14 in 2009;and increasing the number of helicopter maintenance crews and pilots for Afghanistan service.The budget is for 534 billion dollars,an increase of 20 billion over 2009.

Technical Corner

Market technician Carter Worth of Oppenheimer has sells on United Parcel Service,Lowes and Coca-Cola.He has buys on Nvidia,Goldcorp and Pacific Gas and Electric.Mr.Worth is overweight tech and semiconductors,and is moving into Chubb and Morgan Stanley.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Destroyers on Station

Two U.S. Navy destroyers,USS John S. McCain(DDG56) and USS Chafee(DDG90),are believed to be sailing near North Korea in order to monitor a supposed satellite launch by the dictatorship.The destroyers joined warships from South Korea and Japan on similar missions.All the ships are able to track and shoot down ballistic missiles.U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the U.S. has no plans to intercept the North Korean launch,which is expected between 4 and 8 April,unless the missile goes off course and threatens Hawaii or something like that.Japan said it will fire at the missile only if it appears debris will hit Japan.The McCain and Chafee left the port of Busan,South Korea,where they had berthed following exercises with the South Korean navy.A U.S. Navy spokesman declined to reveal their destination.Both destroyers were built by General Dynamics.

New Price Targets

UBS has raised PepsiCo to a buy from neutral,with a 60.00 price target.Canacord Adams raised Google to a buy from a hold,with a 450.00 price target on stronger search results.RBC Capital Markets has initiated coverage of Hewlett Packard with a buy rating and a 40.00 price target.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lockheed Team To Build

The Lockheed Martin industry team has been awarded a contract to build the third littoral combat ship.It will be the team's second LCS.They also built the USS Freedom(LCS1),while General Dynamics and Austal USA built the Independence(LCS2).The Navy may acquire up to 55 of the ships.The LCS is designed for missions in shallower water such as anti-mine,anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare,as well as maritime interdiction,intelligence-gathering and anti-terrorism.The next contract will be for three more ships,and is to be awarded in 2010.The lowest bid will win.Both versions of the LCS can sail at speeds of more than 40 knots.They have a basic complement of 40,with berthing for 75.Other members of the Lockheed team are Marinette Marine Corporation and Bollinger Shipyard.

No Need To Rush

The low is a fruitless discussion,according to Rich Bernstein of Bank of America Securities/Merrill Lynch.It's best to invest six months after the trough.If this is a real bull,there will be years of returns.If you miss several weeks or months,it doesn't make much difference.People shouldn't be looking at every 500 point move.If you're that worried,perhaps you shouldn't be in the market.Eighty percent of the time,waiting is better than trying to time the market,Mr.Bernstein said.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Target Practice

The following Navy ships were sunk as targets during the RIMPAC 2008 exercises:David R. Ray(DD971) ON 12 July;Home(CG30) on 14 July;Cushing(DD985),also on 14 July;and Fletcher(DD992) on 16 July.On a brighter note,Dolphin(AGSS555) was transferred to the Maritime Museum of San Diego on 18 September,2008.

Kiplingers' Alternative

Kiplingers magazine has published a model non-stock portfolio:5% gold;10% high-yield corporate bonds;15% municipal bonds;15% blue chip corporate bonds;15% REITs preferred;15% energy ETFs;25% cash(CDs,money market funds,Treasury bonds).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

U.S. Ship Harassed

The USNS Impeccable,a Special Missions ship,was challenged by five Chinese boats in the South China Sea.The Chinese came dangerously close to the Impeccable;one of their boats got within 25 feet,or 7.62 meters,of her.The Chinese also strewed debris in the path of the U.S. ship and blocked her in,surrounding her.China accused the Impeccable of engaging in illegal activity.China considers most of the South China Sea to be its territorial waters,but the U.S. and many other countries dispute this.The USNS Impeccable has a merchant mariner crew,plus military personnel to carry out its special mission of ocean surveillance.The Impeccable tows sensor arrays and maps the ocean floor with the data they collect.The mapping is used for submarine navigation and antisubmarine warfare.The Impeccable is unarmed.She is part of the Military Sealift Command,an organization that provides utility ships for a wide array of government needs.The MSC is under a Navy admiral.

Ratings Report

Oppenheimer has maintained its outperform rating on Microsoft.Goldman Sachs has added chemical company Celanese to its conviction buy list.UBS has upgraded AT and T to a buy,with a price target of 31.00.It has also added Pfizer to its conviction buy list on valuation.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Successful Basketball Season

Navy achieved some basketball success this year,finishing the season with a 15-14 overall record.The Midshipmen crushed Colgate 67-35 in their final regular season game.That gave Navy an 8-6 Patriot League record,landing them in third place.They scored 6 out of 17 three-point shots against Colgate,while Colgate scored 5 out of 21.The Midshipmen made 33 rebounds and 8 assists,and Colgate made 26 and 6,respectively.The game was played at Colgate University.Colgate is located in Hamilton,New York,which is between Utica and Syracuse.It was founded in 1813,while the U.S. Naval Academy was founded in 1845.

The Bryn Mawr View

Eric Thorne of Bryn Mawr Trust,which has about 120 years of money management experience,says they still think that equities have a place in portfolios.Dividend stocks are a good place to be.See if they have any top line growth and good cash flow.We think there's quite a bit of value in tech stocks such as IBM and Hewlett Packard.These are companies that have an amazing track record,that people will go to when they ramp up.We're just gonna bide our time and then up our position,Mr.Thorne said.We don't think that bonds will outperform stocks as they did in 2008,he added.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Admiral's Suggestions

President Obama ordered the study of the prison camps on Guantanamo Bay on 22 January.Admiral Walsh made some suggestions for improvement,along with certifying that the camps were humane.He called for more socialization for the prisoners.He would like to see more recreation opportunities for the prisoners together,as well as intellectual stimulation and group prayer.The mental dimension needs to be part of the dialogue of what it means to be humane,Admiral Walsh commented.

Admiral Examines Prison Camps

Admiral Patrick Walsh,Vice-Chief of Naval Operations,has been surveying the situation at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.The seven prison camps there hold enemy combatants from the Global War on Terror.With his Defense Department team,the admiral found that the camps currently meet all standards of humane treatment.They are in compliance with Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war.Over more than 13 days,Admiral Walsh and the team conducted more than 100 interviews,as well as announced and unannounced inspections.They talked to a number of detainees.Admiral Walsh said the chain of command consistently seeks to go beyond the minimum standards of Article 3.There are still about 245 detainees in the camps,which President Obama has ordered closed within a year.

Strong on Tech

Greg Merino of Ameriway Financial Services advises dollar-costing into the market;don't go in with both feet.Overweight large cap tech such as IBM,Google and Apple.Ken Fisher of Fisher Investments says tech will be one of the sectors to recover first,since it was one of those that deteriorated last.

Please Note

Because of an appointment,I may not be publishing next Wednesday.In that event,I will try to publish next Friday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

More Marines Ship Out

President Obama has just ordered 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan.They include a frontline force of 8,000 U.S. Marines and 4,000 Army,as well as 5,000 support troops.The President hopes this will inspire other NATO countries to send more troops as well.He is visiting Canada this week and will no doubt discuss the matter with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.Canadian forces have served with distinction in Afghanistan,despite their limited combat experience since World War II.Meanwhile,Pakistan has reached the latest in a series of agreements with militants in its Northwest frontier.All of the previous ones have been violated.The militants have continued to use the region as a base for attacking NATO and Afghan forces,as well as Pakistan itself.U.S. commanders in Afghanistan had requested 30,000 more troops,on top of the 33,000 who are already there.

Icahn Adjusts

Billionaire Carl Icahn has been adjusting his portfolios.His company,Icahn Capital,has sold all of its shares of Time Warner,all of its Citigroup and all of its Advanced Micro Devices,halved its Anadarko Petroleum shares,while incresing its Yahoo shares.Personally,Mr.Icahn has increased his Yahoo,Lions Gate and Gauranty Financial holdings.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Submarines Commissioned

The following Virginia class attack submarines were commissioned in 2008:USS North Carolina(SSN 777)on 3 May at Wilmington,North Carolina;USS New Hampshire(SSN 778)was christened on 21 June and commissioned on 25 October at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery,Maine.The USS New Mexico(SSN 779)was christened on 13 December at Newport News,Virginia.The submarines can travel at more than 25 knots submerged.They are built by General Dynamics' Electric Boat and Northrop Grumman Newport News.

What To Look For

Optimism's rather fragile in this market right now,observes Michael Farr of Farr,Miller and Company.We're hearing constant strains from CEOs about how difficult things are.Corporate management are anticipating a continued slowdown.It's really important to do your homework.Look for strong balance sheets and good management.I am buying the dips,but I don't see a great deal of urgency still,Mr.Farr noted.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Defense Contractor Achieves Gain

General Dynamics,one of the largest U.S. defense contractors,has delivered a good report for Q4.GD's net income rose 18.7%,to 2.46 billion dollars from 2.07 year over year.Its order backlog rose by 13.6 billion.Higher gains in its Gulfstream business jet unit,as well as its shipbuilding division,bumped its profit up about 6% to 612 million.On the minus side,its combat systems unit,which builds armored vehicles for the Army and Marine Corps,saw a drop in sales as its contract for the Iraq war wound down with the war itself.GD's overall sales rose 4.5% to 7.85 billion.It is headquartered in Falls Church,Virginia.

John Manley's Outlook

John Manley of Citi-Smith Barney says the news we're seeing is trailing indicators.Are you looking ahead or are you looking back?You don't want to be entirely hiding out.You want to be looking toward the long term future.I like some of the medical and retail stocks that have been beaten up very badly.Tech is still the leading edge.When things get better,tech will get better to a greater degree than most things get better,Mr.Manley forecasted.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Pacific Fleet Today

The U.S. Pacific Fleet epitomizes the Navy's combat power.Its 180 ships and their aircraft patrol more than half of the planet.Admiral Robert F. Willard is Commander of the Fleet's more than 125,000 personnel,including sailors,Marines and civilians,who make it one of the most exceptional military groups in the world.The Pacific Fleet is based at Pearl Harbor,Hawaii,even as it was during World War II.Now as then,USPACFLT is a shield for democracy and its free markets.San Diego,California and Sasebo,Japan are also centers of the Fleet's operations.Admiral Timothy J. Keating is Commander,U.S. Pacific Command,one of the unified combatant commands,which oversees all U.S. forces in the vast region.

Biotech Firm Praised

RBC Capital Markets has an outperform rating on Genentech(DNA).Its price target for the stock is 100 dollars.Lazard Capital Markets says Genentech is best in class,producing lifesaving drugs for double digit earnings.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Please Note

In the event of inclement weather,publication schedules are subject to change without notice.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Honors:Afghan War Toll

As of Sunday,634 U.S. personnel had died serving in Operation Enduring Freedom.One of them was a Department of Defense civilian.Among the military deaths recently were two Marines.Lance Cpl.Alberto Francesconi of the Bronx,New York was killed in action on 1 January in Helmand Province.He was 21.On 11 January,Lance Cpl.Daniel R. Bennett of Clifton,Virginia also died in Helmand Province,but of non-combat causes at age 23.Both Marines were members of 3rd Battalion,8th Marine Regiment,2nd Marine Division,2nd Marine Expeditionary Force,out of Camp Lejeune,North Carolina.Besides Afghanistan itself,Operation Enduring Freedom is supported from Ethiopia,Jordan,Yemen and at least 12 other countries,where some of the deaths have occurred.

Recent Upgrades

Merrill Lynch has upgraded Kimberly Clark(KMB)from an underperform to a buy.Microsoft(MSFT)is the top large cap pick at Oppenheimer,which has given it an outperform rating.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Please Note

Because of the Inauguration next Tuesday,publication may be pushed back to later in the week.

Navy Photos Show Cargo

U.S. Navy photos depict a cargo of what is apparently three million dollars in ransom,dropping by parachute onto a Saudi oil tanker that pirates have held since 15 November,2008.A negotiator told The Associated Press the Somali pirates had released the ship in exchange for the money.The pirates had originally demanded 25 million for the ship and its two million barrels of oil,which was worth about 100 million dollars.The tanker had been taken more than 500 miles,or 804.65 km,out to sea in the Indian Ocean.This was despite the patrols of warships in the region.Although the security effort has been stepped up,with ships from the U.S.,U.K.,Germany,France,India and China now participating,it is unlikely maritime patrols alone can stop all,or even most,of the pirates.There are too many pirates with too many weapons for that.Only a stable Somalia with good economic prospects can ultimately solve the problem,and those conditions are nowhere in sight.

Farr's Recommendations

Michael Farr of Farr,Miller and Company likes the following stocks:CVS Caremark(CVS),Colgate Palmolive(CL),Microsoft(MSFT),Johnson and Johnson(JNJ),Cisco Systems(CSCO),Medtronic(MDT),Staples(SPLS),Danaher(DHR) and JP Morgan Chase(JPM).

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Three-War Marine Dies

Lt.General Victor H. Krulak,who led U.S. Marines through three major conflicts,has died in San Diego.In poor health for some time,he was 95.General Krulak won the Navy Cross for his actions in World War II.Leading a diversionary raid in the Pacific theater to mask the Bougainville invasion,he declined evacuation despite being badly wounded.In Korea,he was chief of staff to the 1st Marine Division.During the Vietnam War,he was commander of Fleet Marine Force Pacific,championing the cause of small unit tactics to win hearts and minds.He could thus be seen as a precursor to General David Petraeus,whose surge approach bases troops in Iraqi neighborhoods.His son,General Charles Krulak,served as Commandant of the Marine Corps from 1995-99.Lt.General Krulak's book "First to Fight" is considered a classic of Marine Corps literature.

An Economist's View

Jan Hatzius,Chief Economist of Goldman Sachs,says 2009 is still going to be a tough year.We do have a stabilization in the second half,but unemployment will rise into the first half of 2010.We've got 10% positive growth in the second half of 2009.I am absolutely in favor of an activist approach,both from the Federal Reserve and a very aggressive stimulus from the new administration.My biggest concern for 2009 is that the feedback effect,the harm that can be done by the reining in of spending,will be more dramatic than people are anticipating,Mr.Hatzius cautioned.