Friday, May 13, 2005

Black Friday

Ross Executed, Sub Base on Closure List

What a terrible day.

For the first time in more than forty years, a New England state has executed a man. He was a horrible, wretched man. I don't think I'm sorry he's dead. I am sorry that it was Connecticut who killed him. Those on the left here (and even those in the center) tend to think that we're superior to other parts of the country, that we don't let our baser instincts rule us quite so much. Well, maybe that isn't as true as we'd like.

Worse news is that the Groton Sub Base is on the BRAC's list of bases to be closed. The Air Guard Center in Windsor Locks and the Army Reserve Center in New Haven will also be closed, but Groton... that hurts.

I went to college in New London. My dorm window overlooked the Thames River. One of the most incredible sights I could see was a submarine slowly crawling up or down the river. When they came home, all the men would stand out on the deck. Once, on a fishing boat out of Niantic, a submarine passed within a couple hundred yards of us. I can't tell you how awe-inspiring they are unless you've seen one yourself, out there on the water.

For this place, for Groton and New London for all the surrounding towns and, indeed, for all of Connecticut, the sub base is a matter of pride. David Bushnell of Saybrook invented the first submarine--the Turtle, which he used to attack warships in New York harbor during the Revolutionary War. Subs have always been built here. The Nautilus, the first nuclear-powered submarine, is anchored at Groton. My dad took me to see it when I was a kid--it made a big impression on me. Groton bills itself as the Submarine Capital of the World, and up until now that claim has stood up pretty well.

I don't need to tell you about the economic impact. Of course it will be devestating. The emotional impact of seeing the base shut its doors may very well be worse.

I can't say it's unexpected. This has been in the works for years. But, like Lieberman said this morning, it's like a punch in the gut all the same.


Indian2Nighthawk said...

There is nothing more scary than seeing trouble on the horizon, unless of course it's seeing trouble on the horizon and seeing our leadership do nothing.

Gov. Rell had a responsibility to Connecticut to stand up for us. Instead she did nothing, claiming to set a good example by not impeding on her own travel ban. Now see where we are.

Being the chief executive of the state requires that good judgement be used, that thought is put into each decision. If the Governor truely thought about the consequences of not traveling to DC to lobby for Connecticut - to save Marine One, to Save Groton and the other bases - and she still came to the conclusion that following her travel ban was the right decision well that's fine. She shows poor decision making and should be thrown out of office for it, but that's fine. I can live with that.

But more than likely, I think that the Governor didn't think about the consequences of her actions. She did what was easy and that was nothing. To me that is unacceptable! Making bad choices comes with the job. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you get it wrong. But with the Governor, I don't think it was a matter of making a bad choice, I think it was a matter of making no choice at all and ignoring the danger of the horizon.

Governing - leadership - is about making the choices for the people. And Governor, you have failed all of us!

dumbruss said...

The point about Rell is very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Rowing up and down the Thames in the summer time, I too know the awesome thing that is the sight of a sub heading out to sea. And I know what an important role the shipyard plays on the local economy. This is really, really bad.

ctkeith said...

Both Rell and lieberman used the word "SHOCKED".I thought shock was caused by something unexpected.

This was obviously coming.The sub base was on the same list in 93 and the fact that Clinton needed Dodd,Lieberman and DeLauro firmly in his corner was the only reason the base wasn't closed back then.

The closing is gonna hurt bad but for Rell and Lieberman to feign SHOCK is total bullshit.Hopefully both of them and Simmons will be on a list of losers in the 06 election.

Great Santini said...

I think the governor and the CT Congressional delegation did all they could to save the SUBBASE. I spoke to the governor's staff six months ago to give them my perspective from working on BRAC '95. As far as I could tell, they were doing all the right things. Bottom line is that SUBBASE NEW LONDON is expensive, not needed, a difficult area for Navy personnel to own a home and a harsh area on the equipment. These are difficult hurdles for CT to overcome.

Plus add in the fact that CT and New England are not exactly friendly environments for military personnel and the odds are stacked against the base. Case in point: when a nuke is launched/commissioned at SUBBASE NEW LONDON, the whole base goes on high alert because anti war/anti military/garden variety anarchists will show up and protest or get violent. This doesn't happen in Norfolk or Kings Bay.

ctkeith said...

Great point Santini,
Those pesky 'mericans really shouldn't take that first amendment so seriously.They've learned that lesson well in them there red states.

Anonymous said...

The truth is that most of the Submariners on SUBBASE would be more than happy to move to GA. I even know several that are lobbying FOR base closure. It seems to me that this area loves the Navy, but hates the Sailors. This is one of the very few places in the US where wearing my dress uniform is more likely to get me insulted or assaulted than thanked for the service I perform. Most Sailors are willing to give ANYTHING so their detailers do not assign them here, just due to reputation alone. Many sacrifice by extending at sea, to leave this area once here. I've even heard just the town name used as the answer to "Why don't you want to reenlist?" Face it, as long as Sailors are unhappy with their environment, they are going to fight for change.

Genghis Conn said...

Huh. That's pretty awful, Anonymous. I'm sorry you got treated that way.

For what it's worth, thanks for your service, sailor, and I wish my state had been better to you.

Anonymous said...

"Those pesky 'mericans really shouldn't take that first amendment so seriously."

There are other ways to protest without acting like a drooling idiot who lacks any critical thinking.