Monday, August 15, 2011

If You're Not Lucky, We Can't Use You - UPDATE

One of my favorite expressions from my years in the submarine force was "If you're not lucky, we can't use you." My first Commanding Officer was Dick Raaz, who was, according to legend, the inspiration Gene Hackman used for his Crimson Tide character Capt Ramsey. Raaz explained that the perils of our profession required more than a bit of luck for success, so he was looking for lucky officers. (You can see Raaz on YouTube, skip to 3:45.) Although the subject expression may sound cruel, it underpins a certain truth which isn't about luck, per se. We know in our hearts that luck is often the result of courage, tenacity, daring, boldness or some combination that works in ways we can't see but sense, so we call it luck. There is even a Latin phrase for it "audentes fortuna juvat," or "fortune favors the bold."

This was especially important to the submarine force of World War II, where the expression originated, as 375 officers and 3,131 enlisted men were lost along with 52 submarines. Since most submarines were lost with all hands on board, having a lucky shipmate would be fortunate indeed. From a senate resolution on the subject "the submarine force destroyed 1,314 enemy ships in World War II (weighing a cumulative 5,300,000 tons), which accounts for 55 percent of all enemy ships lost in World War II," in spite of these heavy casualties. (And I don't think they counted the train they "sank.")

Which brings us to the President, sort of. In a speech in Iowa yesterday, Obama opined and whined:
"We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again," Obama told a crowd in Decorah, Iowa. "But over the last six months we've had a run of bad luck." Obama listed three events overseas -- the Arab Spring uprisings, the tsunami in Japan, and the European debt crises -- which set the economy back.
Without debating the truth of whether the recession was ever really reversed, one has to ask, do you really want four more years of an unlucky President? These are perilous times; having someone lucky at the helm of the ship of state sounds attractive. Peggy Noonan commented on Obama over a year ago in this vein, calling him "snakebit."
But Mr. Obama is starting to look unlucky, and–file this under Mysteries of Leadership–that is dangerous for him because Americans get nervous when they have a snakebit president. They want presidents on whom the sun shines.
Her article was in response to his handling of the Gulf Oil spill, remember that? But Obama hasn't looked any luckier since, taking a shellacking in mid-term elections, a steady drip of bad reviews about Obamacare, an economy that won't mend and record deficits that have the country nervous. The only bright spot was killing bin Laden, and even that seems a bit tarnished with the death of some of the same Seals who completed that mission. By Obama's own admission, he has been unlucky. But the steady reports of misfortune cause us to wonder whether the Bard had it right when he had Cassius declaim "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

This is why I can' t help but like Rick Perry and frankly, could never bring myself to hate Bill Clinton. They both seem to be very lucky men whom fortune has favored. Its also why I don't think Obama will be re-elected.


I can't believe I forgot to include the other widely used submariner phrase that would apply to Obama's economic policies, "The stupid shall be punished."


  1. Eh, I'd take principled and conservative over lucky.

    GWB was lucky.


  3. I thought Tim Kalemkarian was a 55-year-old loser who lives with his parents in Simi Valley.

    Is there a different Tim Kalemkarian?

  4. damn you people are losers. Clinton Drug Kingpin with Bush during the iran/contra days along with every clinton body gaurd mysteriously died in 'accidents' along with commerce secretary Roy Brown found with 2 bullet holes in his head but ruled died from plane accident in Turkey. Clinto Psychopath.

    You people know nothing of the history of these psychopaths.

    Obama CIA in Pakistan/afghanistan helping Brezinski setup mujhadeen/al queda. Brezinski layed out the plan for middle east domination using a "pearl Harbor like event" as told in his 1997 book The Grand Chess board. Perry admitted bilderberger and executive order signing murderer. Bush family funder of Hitler and profitted from slave labor from auschwitz with his german steel company, GHWB drug kingpin and drug money launderer using his Carlysle group banks/skulland bones brotherhood and Bush family planner and Executor of 911 through skull and bones carslyse group and Stratesec Security company. Welcome to American History the story of ignorant people who think they are intelligent and vote in psychopaths at any chance they can get. LOSERS!

  5. Having the Commander-in-Chief whine about bad luck is about as unbecoming as it gets.

    He's a loser.

    Sell. Sell. Sell.