News Smorgasbord: A ‘Bathroom Bill’ Challenge, The ‘Holy Grail’ of Shipwrecks, And It Looks Like Iran Is Still Iran

Written by Larry Usoff on July 30, 2018

Some things from my desk

Recently, in the Washington Post, there was a piece about a young “person” and his/her use of the bathrooms. Because the dust-up was over the use of the bathroom by a person not of the sex indicated on the door, it wound its way into the courts. This person, who was nineteen at the time the article was written, had decided to use the bathroom of the opposite sex, as it had been determined at birth. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? The whole idea of there being more than two sexes (male and female) doesn’t quite hit me as logical.

This person had been “assigned” the female gender at birth and went through the early years as a female. By the time she got to high school, however, the girl was now thinking differently about herself. She now thought of herself as a boy and, in line with that thinking, wanted to use the boy’s bathrooms. A court case ensued and a federal judge in Virginia sided with the now-transgender teenager and said he could use the boy’s bathroom. The court said that the school board had violated the teen’s constitutional rights when it said that students were required to use bathrooms that aligned with their biological gender.

Now, he is using the boy’s bathrooms and once the parents learned of this they contacted the school board, which ruled and passed the restriction about the biological gender. Now, one might think that once the school board had made this ruling, and the whole thing being sort of, in my not-so-humble opinion, ridiculous, that would be the end of it. Nope. You see, the federal government gives the school, through Title IX, money, and with that money come “strings”. The government pulls the strings, and the schools do the dance, or the funds are cut off. Once the feds got involved, the Education Department issued “guidance” about what bathrooms could be used by what persons.

All of that took place, as you might have guessed, under the former President’s tenure. The current President, through his Education Secretary, has rescinded that “guidance”.

Turning from the ridiculous to, perhaps, the sublime, there was something else that occurred about that same time. Calling it “the Holy Grail of shipwrecks”, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)
sent REMUS, a tiny submersible robot, which discovered the San Jose. The San Jose was the largest galleon and the flagship of one group of Spanish ships that started exploring in the 16th Century. It was heavily armed and meant to deter or defeat any enemy ships that might challenge it…but, on this occasion it didn’t. June 8, 1708, the San Jose’s gunpowder ignited during a battle with some British ships. The San Jose sank with all aboard losing their lives along with gold, silver and emeralds from mines in Peru. It was valued, in today’s dollars, at about seventeen BILLION dollars!

You might think that, because of maritime law about salvage, that WHOI would own whatever it found …right? Wrong! There is a bitter legal battle going on now to see exactly who owns what because the Spanish have claimed it since it was on a Spanish ship. It was found, as it turned out, in Colombian waters, and they have put a claim on it as well! As a matter of fact, it was reported that the Colombian government plans to build a museum and world-class conservation laboratory to preserve and publicly display the wreck’s contents. WHOI has relinquished whatever stake they might have had in the wreck. Maybe WHOI can recoup the money they spent discovering the wreck. No point in giving anyone a free ride, is there?

Around to the other side of the globe…almost. We’re taking a look at Iran, the largest state-sponsor of terrorism in the world. Back in 2011, there was a large explosion in Iran’s long-range missile research facility. It killed the military scientist who ran it, which was a devastating blow in itself.

Following that explosion, it seems that the entire program of not just the long-range missiles, but also the nuclear weapons as well, disappeared. They didn’t, of course, they simply went underground. Deep underground to the point where it becomes a question of whether or not we, or Israel, have anything that can penetrate the reputed “concrete-ceilings” of these facilities?

This past Spring, Iranian TV ran a program all about the scientist that was killed, General Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam. A team of California weapons researchers watched the program with great interest and think they have discovered a secret, second facility in the remote Iranian desert. The team says that this facility is operating even now. From their observations and piecing together the information they’ve been able to gather, they say that work on the site now appears to focus on advanced rocket engines and rocket fuels, and is almost always conducted under the cover of night, when satellites may not be able to see as well. An analysis of structures, ground markings and activity suggests that Iran is developing the technology for long-range missiles.

Parting shot: We finally have a President who says what he means and means what he says, and that it might be prudent for our enemies, both foreign AND domestic to not upset the applecart. Now I’d like to see CAIR designated as a terrorist organization, which it most assuredly is. Wake up, America!

Image: CCO Creative Commons 4.0;

Larry Usoff
Larry Usoff, US Navy Retired. Articulate. Opinionated. Patriotic. Conservative. Cultured enough so that I can be taken almost anywhere. Makes no excuses for what I say or do, but takes responsibility for them. Duty. Honor. Country. E-mail me at: