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Friday, September 02, 2005

Hearts in the right place 

MoveOn has set up a website where people can offer free housing to homeless victims of Hurricane Katrina, and where those homeless can find housing.

Their hearts are in the right place. But do they really think that people are surfing the web from New Orleans right now?

UPDATE: Besides the Interdictor, of course.
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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Gratitude 

I'm pretty much at a loss for words after reading this article from Reuters:

The State Department said offers so far had come from Belgium, Canada, Russia, Japan, France, Germany, Britain, China, Australia, Jamaica, Honduras, Greece, Venezuela, the Organization of American States, NATO, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Greece, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, South Korea, Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Assistance ranged from medical teams, boats, aircraft, tents, blankets, generators and cash donations.
Some of the countries in that list really can't afford to help. Their money is, frankly, best spent at home. My brother has been to two of those countries to help THEM. But wow... whatever they have offered is too much. Such generosity from such poor nations is heartwarming and frankly, has me choking up a little.

Thank you, friends.
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Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Fallen classmate 

Yesterday was July 4th, a day on which Americans paused to celebrate the liberty we hold so dear. When it was proclaimed in 1776, winning our freedom was far from certain, as it would take five more years of fighting to secure. American freedom exists because of men and women who have made great personal sacrifices, endured extreme hardship, and faced our enemies on the field of battle.

Even as a Navy man, I didn't give those things much thought this weekend. The order of the day was fun: A concert on Friday, Fenway on Saturday, party on Sunday... Until I got home last night and read my email.

"Fallen classmate" was the subject of an email from my Naval Academy class president. My heart sank, because this was the news I have been hoping not to hear since last week when a special forces helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan. "Please, nobody I know..." was my silent prayer when I heard about the crash. It's a thought I have every time there's an incident involving Navy or Marine Corps personnel. As if it's one hundredth as bad for me to lose a classmate as it is for someone to lose a child, a spouse, or a parent. It's not, of course, and I hope I never learn firsthand.

In any case, the email identified my fallen classmate as LT Mike McGreevy. My class has lost one of its best, and truthfully, so has the country.

All you need to do is read this article from Mike's hometown paper to see that he excelled in everything he did. You'll also see that he dedicated his life to the service of not just his country, but other people in general. He devoted a considerable amount of time to community service while in Annapolis, which I didn't see in the article.

But as his classmate, what impressed me about Mike was the way he carried himself. He was optimism and confidence personified, but without a trace of cockiness. He was quick to give credit to others. He had a great sense of humor and liked to have a good time, but when it came time to be serious, nobody was more so.

Mike McGreevy, I'm sure, did all in his power to save the other SEALS and the crew of the helicopter, whether that was possible or not. That's just what men like him do, and he died surrounded by men like himself. I only knew Mike (and only a little, at that) but I have no doubt that each man who died with him was cut from the same cloth, and thought only of others at the end.

May God bless and comfort the families of the fallen, including Mike's wife and 16 month old daughter, who will sadly never know her father.

The latin phrase at the top of this page is "Robur per sacrificium." It is our class motto, and it means "Strength through sacrifice." Mike made the ultimate sacrifice so that America might remain free and strong. May our strength continue, and may it come at the absolute minimum of sacrifice. We don't have too many Mike McGreevys to spare.
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Sunday, June 05, 2005

All enemies, foreign and domestic 

I'm convinced that the ACLU is a domestic enemy. I don't say this lightly... Before I became better informed about the group's true nature, I thought that its stated goal, "to conserve America's original civic values - the Constitution and the Bill of Rights" sounded like something everyone should support. I never joined, and it didn't take long to figure out that I had made a wise decision.

I realize the gravity of labeling a liberal opposition group as an enemy when a conservative administration is in office. But I don't know what else to call them when they do things like this:

NEW YORK -- A judge has ordered the government to release four videos from Abu Ghraib prison and dozens of photographs from the same collection as photos that touched off the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal a year ago.

The federal judge issued the order late Wednesday requiring the Army to release the material to the American Civil Liberties Union to comply with the Freedom of Information Act.

The ACLU said the material would show that the abuse was "more than the actions of a few rogue soldiers."
In other words, the ACLU is interested in showing the whole world that the soldiers involved in the abuse weren't "few" or "rogue." They think they'll find evidence that it was widespread and condoned at high levels, and broadcast that "evidence" to the world. (And they'll find what they want to find, trust me. If you don't believe that you don't understand this group's nature.)

In light of the Newsweek debacle, this is recklessly irresponsible, to put it mildly. Muslims the world over will find another reason to be enraged. More people will be driven to hate and ultimately to kill. More people--including Americans--will die as a result of the ACLU's zeal to conserve America's "civic values." If that isn't the ultimate irony, I don't know what is.

And once the ACLU's work is done in this case, what will be the lasting effect? American citizens everywhere will be less secure. They will be less safe from being kidnapped or killed while walking the streets of foreign cities. They will be less safe at establishments known to cater to Americans. American diplomats will be at greater risk in our missions abroad. We'll quite possibly be less safe at home.

My question is: If someone knowingly puts your life at greater risk, and feeds your enemy propaganda that could lead to your death, is he not your enemy as well?
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Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Post removed 

It didn't say anything worth reading, and I've calmed down since posting it. I'm still no fan of the Real ID Act though.
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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Long time no blog 

People have various reasons for blog absences. They get busy with work, with family, with vacation time, etc. In my case I have had other things going on, but I also got fed up with Blogger a while back when every attempt to post became an exercise in frustration. No, make that infuriation.

Check out the Blogger Status page if you're not aware of this system's infamously horrible reliability. It's worth a laugh.

Anyway, I'm going to see if this post goes off without a hitch, and keep checking back with Blogger to see if it's actually usable. If so, I'll probably resume posting in earnest soon.

INSTANT UPDATE: This posted immediately, but the publishing status page got stuck in a "0% Complete" loop that had me thinking otherwise. I guess there are still some wrinkles to iron out. You would think that with the weight of Google behind this platform, it wouldn't be so hard to make it work right most of the time.
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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Does the FAA know about this? 

I've heard of satellites in low-earth orbit, but this seems a bit extreme.

While Great Britain led the way in the mid-'70s, Keefe marks the U.S., Kenya, Pakistan, Singapore and many others as current participants, taking satellite pictures from 10 miles up, sending submarines to hover silently and aiming portable laser devices to pick up conversations inside rooms. (Emphasis mine)
I can't imagine what the heat shielding costs on one of those things.
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