Renaming our U.S. naval vessels

June 17, 2016
T. Keith Gurnee

T. Keith Gurnee


With the recent aggressive sorties flown by Russian jets just 120 feet over the USS Cook in the Baltic Sea against all treaty protocols just a few months ago, it looks like our reaction has been to do what we have done for the last 31/2 years: observe and do nothing. What a message that we are sending the world when international respect for us has hit an all-time low!

In recognition of our less than bold foreign policy, perhaps it’s time to consider renaming our naval vessels to reflect the true and sorry state of our reputation around the world these days. Until now, we have named our military vessels after our past Presidents (the Ronald Reagan, the Dwight Eisenhower, etc.), nautical sea life (the Thresher, the Nautilus, etc.), stinging insects (the Wasp, the Hornet), or states (the Missouri, the Iowa, etc.). But perhaps it’s time to name our military ships in recognition of the reality of what we have become—a wet paper tiger. How about these names:

·         The USS Prevaricator, stationed off the coast of Libya, aptly named for Hillary Clinton’s lies and lack of reaction to the calls for help from our embassy in Benghazi.

·         The USS Congress, a posh cruise liner, constantly traveling in circles in Chesapeake Bay, whose passengers voraciously consume taxpayer dollars while complaining about everything and doing absolutely nothing about it.

·         The USS Untrump to be stationed in the Sea of Japan assigned to observing South Korea and Japan to see what they do with the nuclear weapons Donald Trump wants to give them.

·         The USS Pelosi, a frigate armed with unguided missiles with instructions for their use that are impossible to comprehend. Written by Congressional Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, the first page of the instructions reads “When needing to use missiles, just press the red button and read the rest of the instructions later.”

·         The USS Bushwhacker plying the seas off Iraq, named for President George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq in the belief that “weapons of mass destruction” were there when they weren’t and for his failure to understand the consequences of that invasion.

·         The USS Stalemate, also stationed off the coast of Iraq, named for President Barack Obama’s premature withdrawal from Iraq, leaving the country in a constant state of a no-win war.

·         The USS Appeasement, cruising off the coast of Iran and named for Secretary of State John Kerry’s negotiation of a one-sided deal for Islamic terrorism against the best wishes of our foremost ally, Israel.

·         The USS Hollow Threat stationed off Syria, named for Obama’s allowing the Syrians to cross “the red line” of using chemical weapons on its own people which subsequently led to the birth and growth of ISIS.

·         The USS Timidity cruising the Baltic Sea, named for meekly tolerating a violation of an international treaty by Russian jets over the USS Cook, thereby demonstrating our willingness to be shamed without recourse.

·         The USS Avoidance situated in the Black Sea, in recognition of our merely watching as Russia invaded the Crimea and the Ukraine when it should be a NATO member.

·         The USS Jihad, a transport ship, named for ferrying a steady stream of Muslim immigrants infiltrated by terrorists from the Middle East across the Atlantic to the United States.

·         The USS Sieve, a rivercraft gunboat that lost its guns when the US government sold them to the Mexican drug cartels. This vessel would patrol the Mexican border along the Rio Grande to ensure that illegal immigrants are able to get across the river to the United States safely and find a way to register as Democrats.

·         The USS Handwringer cruising the Sea of Japan, named for our hands-off policy on North Korea’s manufacture of nuclear weapons and missiles capable of delivering those weapons to the United States.

·          The USS Stand Down, cautiously plying the South China Sea while watching as China builds and militarizes new islands in international waters.

·         The USS 2nd Amendment, mothballed former troop transport being used as political target practice off the coast of Norfolk, Virginia. Despite taking heavy fire from the left, it simply refuses to sink.

·         The USS Nonresponsive, a hospital ship managed by the Department of Veteran Affairs that travels the globe at three speeds: slow, slower, and slowest while rarely responding to the healthcare needs of our veterans.

·         The USS Koskinen, a duck boat that travels on both land and sea named for IRS Commissioner John Koskinen. This vehicle is dedicated to roaming the country and hunting down and auditing any Americans who disagree with the policies of the Obama administration and the would be Clinton administration while laying down a smokescreen to obfuscate any congressional investigations into IRS wrongdoing.

These names are not intended to demean our brave men and women of our military who serve us so well in the Navy. They deserve better. Instead, these names reflect the sorry state of affairs our nation is in under our present state of affairs in Washington. Will our next President take a different approach to our foreign-policy while rebuilding our respect in the eyes of world and ensuring our allies that we have their backs? With the choices we are being given, it’s hard to see how.

In this “hold-your-nose” election for President between two power-hungry egotists–one an inveterate liar and the other a bellicose bully—we are being given a “Sophie’s Choice”. If Hillary gets elected, she may be the first President to pardon herself while packing the Supreme Court with Justices who will protect her. If it’s Trump, we may be governed by tantrum rather than rationality. Who knows what the outcome of this election holds for our country? But regardless of which one of them wins, one thing is  certain: never before will our constitutional system of checks and balances be more important than during the next 4 years.

T. Keith Gurnee is a retired urban designer and a former member of the San Luis Obispo City Council.


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KEITH GURNEE QUOTE: “With the recent aggressive sorties flown by Russian jets just 120 feet over the USS Cook in the Baltic Sea against all treaty protocols just a few months ago, it looks like our reaction has been to do what we have done for the last 31/2 years: observe and do nothing. What a message that we are sending the world when international respect for us has hit an all-time low!”

The ignorance of some people like Keith Gurnee has no bounds regarding his notion that we’re to have a male anatomy contest with the Russians relative to some flyovers. Yes, the flyovers are provocative, but with actual FACTS beforehand, they don’t amount as a threat, but just showboating by Russian pilots. (Albeit, we do the same)

FACT: We are not at war with Russia. If the Navy ship has a visual identification of the approaching aircraft in question, and can determine it isn’t carrying weapons, and didn’t detect any electronic painting in suggesting there was a missile lock on the our navel ships, then there’s nothing to be done, period. Wave at the pilots and smile.

The Navy rules of engagement allow the CO to take defensive action if they feel their ship is in danger, of which the recent flyovers did NOT give them this situation. You do not get to kill Russian pilots just because they’re annoying, where these alleged acts of confrontation are completely not related to the conditions that are happening between these nations onshore!

As many articles about this situation state: if it was a civilian aircraft the CO would have been more on guard for a potential suicide mission, especially if in Iranian waters. Conversely, if they were Iranian fighter jets and we were in their waters, these flyovers would have been more of a concern. The likelihood of a few rogue Russian pilots taking a shot at an American ship and then trying to fly home through the airspace of multiple NATO partners is not a logical act, nor would it be accepted by the Russian government unless we’re at war. 2+2=4.

For the most part, seemingly these flyovers are showboating and done for propaganda for the home front, where the citizenship of Russia can say that they’re screwing around with the US, but subsequently, if we did the same to Russian ships, they have the same protocols of engagement and treaties relative to any threats.

Keith, old white men like you got us into the Viet Nam war under almost the same guise as you’re stating here, and we’re done with getting into fraudulent wars like Nam, and like George W. Bush got us into in Iraq at the expense many innocent lives lost and the subsequent Mid East being in turmoil.

Mr. Gurnee, I suggest that you quit watching “Top Gun” for your references where only in this movie does confrontation between two nations suddenly break out between a few fighter jets posturing to one another.

Remember, we are NOT at war with Russia, nor should we possibly start a war over a few flyovers. Get it? Put your male anatomy back into your pants for the sake of human lives, instead of your perceived vanity for the USA and what they should do in response!

Wait! I want to name the next US Aircraft Carrier! Yes, I know, it’s a long name, but the hulls of these ships are long to accommodate a lengthy name.

The name is to be;

“President George W. Bush signed a Status of Forces Agreement on Dec. 14, 2008, that explicitly said that all the United States Forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory no later than December 31, 2011”

Whew, I pity the naval ship painter in putting this long name on an aircraft carrier.

Remember when the equally dumbfounded brother, “Jebby,” forgot to mention this explicit fact when promoting his brother for president of the United States? Whereas he blamed president Obama for causing the rise of Isis by fully leaving Iraq, whereas Obama was just following “W’s” “Status of Forces Agreement” that George W, Bush had signed with Maliki in good faith? Can you say HYPOCRITICAL AND LYING REPUBLICANS? Sure you can.

Anyway, did others see how disheveled and out of place “W” looked on the campaign trail for his brother Jebby? Maybe his drastically WRONG decision to invade Iraq on a fraudulent basis is getting to him. How sad, NOT!

And exactly what he your excuse for Libya, Syria, etc… and the whole ISIA situation, aka as the JV Team by our current President, which you forget to mention since this all belongs to our Democratic President Barrack Hussein Obama II… and now you know the whole story!


Is your blatant red herring relative to the fact that you can’t accept that George W. Bush’s FRAUDULENT war was the impetus of a domino effect where the Arab Spring in Syria, Lybia, ISIS, etc was able to take over? Is that your problem by trying in vain to blame Obama and Hillary? Historicity proves you wrong.

What shuts the mouth of your kind is that if we had an armed services draft system like we had in the sixties for Nam, and then one equal for the Iraqi war, you would be kissing Obama’s feet when he followed George’s “Status of Forces Agreement” by getting out of Iraq! You were saved an eventful letter arriving in your mail box, paraphrasing: “Report to your local US Armed Forces Draft Station, you’re next to be used as cannon fodder for yet another useless war.”

I’ve always said, if you wanted to end the FRAUDULENT war enacted in Iraq by “W” subsequent to 911, then we should have enacted the Draft beforehand, then you would see at age males and females run for their parents protection, or learn the insidious FRAUDULENT facts of the Iraqi war and take to the streets in great numbers in protest to stop it! This is the reason the Vietnam war ended.

Anyone remember when Mr. Gurnee was a City of SLO Councilman back in the 70’s. He actually did a pretty good job! He was a Cal Poly student at the time in the field of planning and urban design. He went on to have a successful career in preserving waterfronts, open spaces and working with both private and public entities.

Just a reminder for everyone that this is an “Opinion Section” and any one of you has the same privilege to write your opinion piece and submit if you care about an issue. But remember, someone will always disagree with you! This is the new American way…

“With the recent aggressive sorties flown by Russian jets just 120 feet over the USS Cook in the Baltic Sea”

The USS Cook was in the Baltic Sea, and somehow it is the victim of an aggressive flyover? So if the Russians put an aircraft carrier in the Gulf of Mexico, would a flyover by our jets be referred to as aggressive or defensive? Your logic is flawed.

So if you order stuff and you don’t pay for it matters where you are?

No but it matters who you ordered it from. For example, if you order it from yourself, then obviously it’s not a crime. And if you fly over an aircraft carrier that’s floating in a sea that borders your country, and that boat is from a country halfway around the world, that’s not aggressive, that’s defensive posturing.

The USA would receive far more respect from the rest of the world if the Republicans hadn’t plotted and schemed, starting on the day of the inaguration in 2009, to intentionally weaken and disrupt government operations so as to make Obama look bad.

This heinous treason weakened the USA immensely, and continues to do so to this day.

The fact that this idiot could write this article, and have it published as though it contained useful content, is beyond ridiculous.

I have lost a great deal of respect for Cal Coast News.

Mr Dude, without a doubt the Bushes were idiots and evil. Both desert excursions cost lives, not just Americans but many more “locals”. I agree, the disgusting Republicans discredited our standing in the world. But don’t you dare only blame the GOP. Please tell me who was the political party in charge for WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia? That’s right the Democrats, it doesn’t matter who’s in office, our soldiers DIE!!!!

Our foreign policy sucks, I have friend’s names on a wall in D.C., I know the cost of these fools that get elected. If you haven’t contributed you also have issues, just like Gurnee….

Years ago when the hot issue in the slo county stupidvisor’s(sic) election was the proposed development of Hollister Peak, i was perplexed… I looked at the gorgeous scene of Hollister Peak and could not fathom how anyone could look at it and visualize a hotel and convention center sprawling over it. What kind of person could that be? Answer: Developers and their minions are kind of alien; they just don;t think like regular people. They just see pavement and dollars everywhere.

Do us a favor, T. Gurnee, and just go back to your gravel pit and continue planning to pave over every square inch of our county….

Mr Gurnee is a man with too much time on his hands. I quit reading half way through.

lol…was it W.C. that said never trust a man with an initial for a first name?

Must be a Democrat short attention span and memory.

At least he is willing to do something. After all what did Bluebird, tomsquawk and TWEEKSBALMER do today, other than complain about someones free speech?

Feel free to list below and add your real name while you are at it.

I would propose a naval vessel named after T. Gurnee himself: USS Windbag

In other words we’re screwed…

What does it say on you DD-214 as Rank?

Or your childs?

Or your Grandchilds.

We’ve bombed an innocent country. Has that made us safer? No, the Crazy chicken hawks say “Well, we didn’t bomb them enough” so we bombed them some more and now what do we have here?

A coward that mocks us because we didn’t send someone elses children to go attack someone.

If someone drives by you and almost hits you, do you chase them down?

Watch the last 10 minutes of

Mr. Daho, E-3, drafted in ’71. Father, Phillipines in first wave on Leyte, brother ’66, Marine, Nam. Father-in-law, Okinawa and Iwo. Do we really need to get historical? ALL WARS are bad, some worse than others. National defense is the cornerstone of the constitution, in fact we took oaths to protect our country, from enemies both foreign and DOMESTIC! Please learn the difference.

I don’t know Mr. Gurnee, but I do agree that our foreign policy stinks. It stunk under both Bushes, Clinton was disaster, Reagan, Ford, Carter, Nixon real a__holes. Our foreign involvement has been a terrible cost for the soldiers and the country. Stupid people elect stupid leaders, get involved and make a difference, fight back. Don’t just call names and point fingers, do better…..

bitter about something

ewe tube is truth & god