COOL!

Some years ago I had a major project that I was involved in and we were looking for a team building event. So, we took the entire team off to see Star Wars Episode 2 when it was first released, then all migrated over for various other team building events after wards.

The following week some of the guys got together and associated characters from the movie to my team. It was kind of arbitratily done. The guys wouldn’t tell me who the selected for me though, I had to drag it out of them. It’s the same now through this quiz as it was then. AND IT IS STILL JUST AS COOL!!!

Which Revenge of the Sith Character are you?
created with QuizFarm.com

Swamped

Haven’t posted in a bit.  I’ve been swamped with work and travel.  More frequent posts to come.

July 4th

Excerpted from the Decleration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

…We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

These words, and others, have formed the foundation of our nation since July 4, 1776. For 231 years our democracy has existed and played a role in events around the world, based on the beliefs and principles put forth in the Declaration of Independence. During this time, our nation has seen highs and lows. While in comparison to the nations and cultures of Europe and Asia, our history is very limited today the United States is recognized on the global stage as a “superpower” both economically, and militarily.

Today our nation is embroiled in a conflict that has raged hot and cold throughout the ages. From a time before our nation existed, to today the conflict has existed. In 1787, our young nation was vying for it’s economic life. Establishing trade routes throughout the world, without being able to provide military protection to the trade fleet. During the course of these events, America ran afoul of the Caliphates of the Ottoman Empire and had our first taste of Islam, and many of the tenants set forth in Koran. In areas of the world today our troops are engaged with an enemy that has embraced the more extreme tenants set forth by the Koran. This is the same enemy that tried to strangle our nation in the 1780’s through piracy, and kidnapping.

Today, while we find ourselves facing an old enemy we also find ourselves in a more dangerous world. The enemy that is 21rst century Islamic radicalism hides within the cultures around the world, they are hard to target and even harder to conduct a dialog with. With the notable exception of Iran, they do not have the structure or face of a national government. Our foe has tools, tactics, and weapons (NBC) that did not exist in the 18th century and they bring them to bear on not only US interests but on the interests or other nations as well.

Our nation of 2007 is embroiled in a great debate. Should we withdraw from our conflict with radical Islam and essentially withdraw from being a superpower and the world stage? Or do we continue to embrace the principles laid forth in the Declaration of Independence? The principles that have set forth the greatness of the people of the United States throughout history? Our history, and our culture is one that has been that of tolerance, and acceptance to a point. Throughout the time as a nation, I believe, that we have diluted much of that history and become allowed our tolerance and acceptance levels to push the bounds of reasonableness. As a result, the current debates that we see over immigration and foreign policy (as examples) receive much more credibility than they are due.

We are a nation of laws. There should be no debate on whether to, or how to enforce those laws. The priority is enforcement of the current laws. If those laws are no longer viable in the context of today’s society then the law maybe changed. All of these mechanics are laid out in the Constitution.

We are a nation founded on the principles laid forth in the Declaration of Independence. By extension of those principles, we believe that the principles extend to all of mankind. We have not historically actively sought out armed conflicts that would extend those rights to the citizens of other nations.

Today is the 231rst anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America. During the course of the day, take a few minutes to reflect on the reason that we celebrate today. Take a few more minutes to think about those times that we have had to engage in armed conflict to support the principles on which this nation was founded. Find it in yourself to embrace those principles.

If you need another kind of reminder… read this post

Enjoy your holiday celebrations, be safe.

Semper Fi!

I know my readership is light right now but feel free to discuss this topic amongst yourselves.

Independence Day 2007

Excerpted from the Declaration of Independence:

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…

…We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

These words, and others, have formed the foundation of our nation since July 4, 1776. For 231 years our democracy has existed and played a role in events around the world, based on the beliefs and principles put forth in the Declaration of Independence. During this time, our nation has seen highs and lows. While in comparison to the nations and cultures of Europe and Asia, our history is very limited today the United States is recognized on the global stage as a “superpower” both economically, and militarily.

Today our nation is embroiled in a conflict that has raged hot and cold throughout the ages. From a time before our nation existed, to today the conflict has existed. In 1787, our young nation was vying for it’s economic life. Establishing trade routes throughout the world, without being able to provide military protection to the trade fleet. During the course of these events, America ran afoul of the Caliphates of the Ottoman Empire and had our first taste of Islam, and many of the tenants set forth in Koran. In areas of the world today our troops are engaged with an enemy that has embraced the more extreme tenants set forth by the Koran. This is the same enemy that tried to strangle our nation in the 1780’s through piracy, and kidnapping.

Today, while we find ourselves facing an old enemy we also find ourselves in a more dangerous world. The enemy that is 21rst century Islamic radicalism hides within the cultures around the world, they are hard to target and even harder to conduct a dialog with. With the notable exception of Iran, they do not have the structure or face of a national government. Our foe has tools, tactics, and weapons (NBC) that did not exist in the 18th century and they bring them to bear on not only US interests but on the interests or other nations as well.

Our nation of 2007 is embroiled in a great debate. Should we withdraw from our conflict with radical Islam and essentially withdraw from being a superpower and the world stage? Or do we continue to embrace the principles laid forth in the Declaration of Independence? The principles that have set forth the greatness of the people of the United States throughout history? Our history, and our culture is one that has been that of tolerance, and acceptance to a point. Throughout the time as a nation, I believe, that we have diluted much of that history and become allowed our tolerance and acceptance levels to push the bounds of reasonableness. As a result, the current debates that we see over immigration and foreign policy (as examples) receive much more credibility than they are due.

We are a nation of laws. There should be no debate on whether to, or how to enforce those laws. The priority is enforcement of the current laws. If those laws are no longer viable in the context of today’s society then the law maybe changed. All of these mechanics are laid out in the Constitution.

We are a nation founded on the principles laid forth in the Declaration of Independence. By extension of those principles, we believe that the principles extend to all of mankind. We have not historically actively sought out armed conflicts that would extend those rights to the citizens of other nations.

Today is the 231rst anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America. During the course of the day, take a few minutes to reflect on the reason that we celebrate today. Take a few more minutes to think about those times that we have had to engage in armed conflict to support the principles on which this nation was founded. Find it in yourself to embrace those principles.

If you need another kind of reminder… read this post

Enjoy your holiday celebrations, be safe.

Semper Fi!

I know my readership is light right now but feel free to discuss this topic amongst yourselves.

Baqubah – Our Enemy Revealed

As I have said before, there are others that manage to be much more eloquent than I.  Steve Schippert over at threatswatch lays out an opinion that I share, and expresses it much better than I can. 

 

It is therefor sadly understandable that when the words in our National Anthem include “the rockets’ red glare,” many will associate that with beautiful displays of entertaining fireworks. When, in fact, those “rockets’ red glare” written about so eloquently were the trails of destruction, seeking their targets and bringing death and carnage to those who were defending something worth fighting for in the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Yet for many, little today seems to be worth fighting for at all.

 

Go take a look, Fireworks or Fortitude

The Reality and “The Horror”

Over the past few years we as Americans have learned a lot more than we ever wanted to about al Qaeda. From the Reagan years through the present we have learned more and more about the capability and morals of these people and their organization. The attacks on US soil on September 11th, while horrible struck a very different nerve in me than what is being uncovered today in Iraq. My response then was very simply:

1.) Is my family safe? How do I make them safe?

2.) Am I safe (I was working on the top floors, of a sky scraper at the time)? How do I make sure that both I and my team members are safe?

3.) Where are my employees (we all travel and have projects around the globe)? Are they all accounted for? As a company we lost several both in the WTC, and on Flight 93.

4.) Am I eligible for reenlistment? Where do I sign up? What can I do to strike back? Needless to say, being in my late forties, overweight, and out of shape there younger generations that are carrying on the traditions of my corps. 

In the press reports of 2007, we often hear that our combat teams have discovered an AQI torture house, or found a weapons cache. We often hear or read that AQI is taking over villages and implementing their own form of government, and sharia law. These reports, are generally just words, they don’t covey the reality of the situation, or the impact that being there would have on you.

In one short essay, Michael Yon corrects all of that. This is an important post that hammers home the reality of Iraq today, and presents a vision of the future for Iraqis if we disengage from this conflict prematurely. This dispatch has an emotional and visceral impact, much like the news of 9/11 did. This hits in a different way though, and helps to put the GWOT in perspective. Please go read his current dispatch, here.