Archive for the 'Random Shite' Category

I wrote this just before my wedding. June 12, 2004 at our sister site of Techography.com. I’m republishing it here both for posterity, and because this weekend is my wife and I’s eight year anniversary. I look back now and I can see a visible difference in my writing. I can also see a difference in myself. That’s for another time, however. Bear in mind this was written several years ago so the phrasing is appropriate. I did not post that weekend. I will not be posting this one. Somethings are worth celebrating privately. -BS

Me, Circa 2004 taken by one of my best friend (and best mans) wife during our wedding.

 

History tells us that that June 23, 1865 was the date the last Confederate General Surrendered his command.

I”m afraid its just not so.

The real date is June 12, 2004.

Thats the date I surrender (I”m a former 18th Georgia Infantry Re-enactor) my freedom to a Northern born individual, a former Union Re-enactor for the 155th Irish of Western New York.

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In case you missed somehow, Phase I is located here.

So once the room basics were in place it was time to get serious.

First we had to take the sofa, the fireplace, my humidor and the lamp out of the room.

Then using some left overs from putting in the floor, came the fun part. Fun being used here in total sarcasm.

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So the Domestic 6 and I decided to build a home Library. Its been something of a labour of love.

We’re old fashioned sorts, and I wanted to do something more with a Victorian/Steampunk feel.

We were inspired by some of the old Sherlock Holmes movies with colours and a lot of pictures of old Victorian libraries thanks to Google.

For fun and since I haven’t blogged anything in a coons age I figured I’d post what we did with a few how we did it’s.

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Every year since 1962, the Chicago River has been dyed green to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. Nowadays, both the dyeing and a big parade take place the Saturday before the 17th. (Next year, they’ll coincide when the 17th falls on a Saturday.) It’s a uniquely Chicago tradition that tips its hat to the central role the Irish have played in the city’s history.

For a few hours every year, the architectural landmarks that line the Chicago River acquire an aquatic front yard that’s as vibrant as the neon green relish of a genuine Chicago hot dog.

Dying the river

Dying the river

 

The actual dye is orange. It turns green when it’s churned into the water. The discovery of this phenomenom was made by members of Chicago’s pipefitters union back in 1962, and the union has been dyeing the river for St. Pat’s ever since.

The natural green of the river can be seen to the right, awaiting its transformation into the hypergreen to the left.

stpatdayafter

 

1962, over 100 pounds of dye were dumped into the river, leaving it green for days. Now, only 40 pounds are dispersed, but because the river was reversed to run backwards away from the lake, even one day later, the entire river for many blocks to the west remains a single shamrock-colored fairway.

daleyhancock

Chicago’s mania for St. Patrick’s green is pervasive. Above is the fountain in Daley Plaza.

v00d3W

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Most folks know I like Cold War stories here on the blog.

I’ve written quite a few and they are frankly probably the most popular pieces on the site.

I’ve written a couple about the SR-71. Actually, written is rather a strong word. I have republished stories, that have been written or told by the actual men who flew these ridiculously powerful machines. Mostly because I see them floating in cyberspace but never find a good single collection of them. So I enjoy doing it.

I enjoy them, as I have a child like affection for the black metal monster that borders on obsession. My first model was a Blackbird for instance.

So when I came across this story about the SR-71, I couldn’t help but add it to the slowly growing collection here.

Enjoy.

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I wrote this in March of 2012 once it had finally settled in to my brain on the passing of Neptunus Lex. Brother in Arms, Brothers in Ink, Milblogger, and a man I’d like to consider a friend. I think it needs to be reposted as its that time of the year again.

It is Ireland’s sacred duty to send over, every few years, a playwright to save the English theatre from inarticulate glumness.
Kenneth Tynan, Observer, 27 May 1956

We didn’t send him to England. But really, for an Irishman there really isn’t much difference between death and Ireland.

For me, it didn’t really click until this morning.I had an eval with my current employer, I sat in front of my laptop at 4 o clock this morning with my coffee, and on impulse clicked Lex’s blog link from my bookmarks. My nerves akimbo. I wanted some peace.

Over the years the people I have known via websites have waxed and waned. When I first started writing on line back in 1995, there was one other site I visited with regularity. In 2000, there was eight. In 2002 twenty two. In 2007 almost 52.

Now? 17…and of those fully half are inactive links. Its a testament to my love for Lex’s work that I kept him on my book mark list. The others I liked and I keep hoping that they will update. I have been reluctant to remove the inactive ones from my bookmarks for this reason.

As I clicked his link, and the page loaded the hot coffee turned cool against my lips as I was reminded by whisper…he’s gone. His words will not grace us any longer, save for works in days gone by. His thoughts of previous days left to haunt us in the present.

I set my cup down and wondered. This digital snap shots in to our lives. Where will they go? What will happen to them. For many, when the costs come due our families will shut them down, turn off the lights, and our words will vanish in to the ether at some point.

Our words left unread by those in the future whom may read them. It is one advantage our print and media brethren have over us. Our archives are only around as long as someone wishes to pay for it. There are no libraries whom receive our subscriptions, no history scribes whom will hallmark our work and words. It is up to us to find ways to back up these works, save them, and distribute them in some fashion for others to hold dear.

Our children may not come of age knowing our works, or what motivated us without these very lines I type. How we thought and the people we sought to be, in the end are portrayed here, in black and white and sent to you in hi definition on 1,024 x 768 pixels through a OC48 pipe from one coast to another.

Lex is gone. That much is final. His words may one day slip in to obscurity. Like my other blog friend triticale whom we lost in 2007, or Acidman whom we lost in 2006, their websites stand testament to their sentiments, themselves, and their values. Digital monuments.

But one day those digital monuments can and will fail. Companies get sold, servers crash, people move on, costs become exorbitant. For me a culmination of almost two decades of writing belong on two websites…the thought crosses my mind…what will happen if? I have no regular blog partner with keys. My wife has no interest in these things, and no interest in voicing her own ideals. It will simply become like my coffee, cold, and one day to vanish in to the electronic ether.

Maybe I am bleak because a little light has left this world. Because one who continued, with others fell to the way side, to provide us with measured, rational doses of words, wisdom and work. Who shared with us his day to day experiences, struggles and life.

Maybe I am bleak because how many of us, in that former profession, had those narrow misses? Those brief glances in to our future? that feeling that all we knew and had was about to change in a single instance….and once he was past that point he chose to go back to it, willingly, knowing the costs at stake? Only to be snatched at the last possible instance mere feet from safety?

It seems incomprehensible really. But the Banshee does not care about prose, wit, or talent and at some point when she calls to us to warn of us of An Bás, the time to prepare will be over.

I prefer not to think that those engines final whine were the cry of the Banshee for Lex, although fitting it may be.

When An Bás came calling, I choose to think that someone, up there….just wanted a good debriefing on how life is down here these days. And to keep it interesting he picked the best writer we had.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam
May he rest on peace

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With The Armorer finally going dark there aren’t too many folks from the heydey of blogging still around.

 

So whose left?

Well John DuMond of Nobody Move is still writing, and doing so with much more regularity than myself. I’m a frequent lurker there and rarely comment but I still like his work, especially his true crime pieces.

Harvey too, is also still running over at Bad Example. Again I lurk but do not comment often. Mostly because I have a hard time finding time to do much more than quickly read any more with work and school.

Laughing Wolf has been much more creative than I posting quite regularly.

Stephen Sherman aka The Commissar still runs his Ace Pilots page, but his Politburo Diktat is long gone.

Teresa and Technicalities is still alive and kicking

Doc at DocInTheBox also posts occasionally.

T1G of Drunken Wisdom is another sporadic like myself.

EricSWG of StraightWhiteGuy also writes sporadically, and well as always when he does.

The Conservative UAW guy last posted in May.

Nidonemo is still active thankfully.

The Ministry of Minor Perfidy is another who has not posted since May

Slobokan has been silent since April

All of the Northwest Arkansas Bloggers are gone save for myself.

With the exception of a few holdouts such as Blackfive, Grims Hall, This Aint Hell and Murdoc Online most of the old groups are gone.

Since I started writing online back in 1997 I have seen the web undergo a lot of social changes. From mIRC to OTC sites such as Tripod and Geocities, to the MySpace and Blog Heydeys.

All the folks I have listed above, for the vast majority I interact with via Facebook with regularity. They get tired of the spammers, the Chinese hackers, the internet drama, and the “Take this down or we’ll sue you!” crowd.

Its hard to blame them. I’ve been threatened with at least 4 lawsuits in over 15 years of writing on line. I’ve gotten more hate mail than I can shake a stick at. Its one reason I have rarely if ever used my real name online: the fact is there are just some plain old fashion sick people out there.

But I have also met some fabulous people, made great connections. Been introduced to some legends, and people who I consider friends today.

Blogs may be going to the way side, and one day it is entirely possible that this site too may go dark (though I have no immediate plans to do so) but until that time its much like digital cave drawings. People have evolved, maybe not for the better, but their digital social culture has definitely swung towards the instant gratification world of Facebook and G+. Even I use them.

But I can’t put down my keyboard, not entirely. I feel like if I do, a little piece of me might die with it.

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I’ve been going hunting again.

I have not been in years. Up until about 1999 I was an avid hunter. But traveling as much as I did after that point made hunting a logistical nightmare and practically a impossibility.

So I quit and just did fishing instead.

I do some walking, and and some deer stand work. Nothing fancy. I’m not in to outdoor channels nor do I drool when the next camo pattern shows up in stores. I usually wear jeans when I hunt. Its more about being quiet, good and the creature not smelling you. Everything else falls in to place after that.

However truly I don’t care about the hunting.  I prefer the peace.

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I made some folks who I think highly of, and respect pretty angry today on Facebook.

I’m not happy about it. I’m hoping they’ll forgive me. Or at least understand where I am coming from. I mean no ill will.

I respect their position. They are just one of the countless folks who are directly suffering from the government shut down. The one that the rest of the population, myself included, are unaffected by.

I know that folks are out of work. I know that they don’t want to lose their homes or not pay their bills. I also know that the rest of the country doesn’t care.

Make no mistake, I do care.

But I also know that until the rest of the population is affected, until the people who make the policy are affected, then those folks who are going without a check will continue to be used as political pawns in a game that none of us have skin in.

I know that the American people have become, well, simply put, lazy. Our government knows this. They won a Presidential election on it. The American motto should be “What handout can I get today?” John F Kennedy had it all wrong. “Ask what your country can do for you!” He obviously had a teleprompter foul up. 

I don’t want my friends to lose their home. I truly don’t.

Hell, I don’t want to lose my own home.

But neither do I want the status quo to continue. Earlier today I wrote

“Let me clarify my position on this. Until it hurts, and I mean truly hurts everyone involved, these types of political games will continue. Until the “ruling class” is affected because the populace refuses to fund a government that is nonoperational, until the “ruling class” doesn’t receive a check, until the streets stop being paved, and the system teeters on collapse these types of grandstands will continue to occur and interrupt our lives. Because, from my view, they want us dependent upon them. They want us to need them. They want us unable to get by without feeding it, the machine, the bureaucracy. So I want it to hurt. I want a black flag policy. Jackson once said “If the general government should persist in the measures now threatened, there must be war. It is painful enough to discover with what unconcern they speak of war and threaten it. They do not know its horrors. I have seen enough of it to make me look upon it as the sum of all evils” referring to the Civil War. This is really no different from my point of view. The government threatens, it soothes, it shakes its fist, but it has no impact on the makers of the policy. Until those policy makers feel the pain, until they stop being served their coffee, stop having the Secret Service to protect them, and stop having their world catered to them on our dime, then the status quo will never change. And I mean never.”

That’s pretty much my thought in a nutshell.

Right or wrong. Lambast me. Hate me. The fact is I have little hope for America anymore. I don’t believe we will ever see a populace rising to meet the challenges of our future the way we have seen in the past. I see our rights being stricken what seems like daily. I see our dependency on our government quadrupling almost daily.

So no, I don’t want anyone to lose their home. But neither do I want our world, our country to continue the way it is. I can’t pick a position and win in this gambit. A wise man would keep his mouth shut, and probably I should. I’m royally sick of seeing folks like my friends being used as Yo-Yo’s in political strategy however. I’ve never been happier to be out of the US of military until these last few years, and I could never dream of a day saying that prior to this.

Will this shutdown change anything? Probably not. It never has before.

Most likely before the week is out they’ll have a budget passed, the Healthcare program will be included, no one will lose their home, and this chance to make a notable change will vanish in to thin air. Folks will rant and rave about Obamacare and post angry pictures on Facebook deriding our current government, President and their ilk. None of it will change.

Because the ones who make the policy don’t care. The ones who argue and write the policy don’t care. The ones who make the red-tape don’t go through it. They will  just generate another few thousand dollar per plate fundraisers and get reelected on misinformation and political lies like they did the last time.  So until their lives are interrupted, until their lives are affected, none of this matters. Until Amendment 28 is ratified and passed, this is all just parlor games. A New Orleans street card vendor trick.

They just want to show us, what happens when they don’t get their way.

Over at The Armorer’s place they are celebrating their Anniversary of have their web doors open.

Over 10 years, and frankly given how many website’s I have seen come and go that’s pretty impressive.

Calimus and I started blogging back about 1995 under the heading of Techography.com. We had a major database crash in 2005 roughly, and we split the sites by opening this one in 2008 due to a change in focus of my own and what I blog versus the content at Techo.

We’re limping along, but much as The Armorer says, I’m not looking to do anything phenomenal, not that I ever did online. It’s been a hobby for me, and a study in social as I watch how the technological world changes from m-IRC, to forums, to websites, to blogs, to Facebook and Twitter. Watching as the people move from one system to another.

In any event having a website for 10 years is a pretty big deal and should be celebrated accordingly.

Go drop him an “Atta Boy!” will ya?

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A long time ago my grandfather gave me a piece of advice regarding the world. I have kept it near and dear, and recited it often.  I have referred to it regularly and I find it on my mind a lot as of late.

There are folks out there who will take advantage of the kindness of others. To be clear this isn’t any group I am currently involved in, as I am involved in several, but rather an interpretation of our worlds state of affairs.

While a youngster in school I asked my grandfather about buying stuff for my school fundraiser. He refused and explained at the time”

“Offer sweat when required of you, blood when demanded, and money never.”

He later explained what each meant. You can volunteer your time, you can work hard and sweat to benefit society. Sweat is free. It’s easily generated. It’s your time.  Blood is for wars, and defense of the things you believe in. Money however is reserved for the safety and well being of your family, and your families future.  Money can be earned by those in need. Money should never be freely given. He explained it with wild life.

If you make it to easy for animals to get food, they come to expect it. Like bears raiding garbage cans.  One day when they don’t find it, they’ll come demanding it from it’s source.

We’ve been pushed pretty hard here at An Dun.  Critter under went surgery and that set us back on what little savings we had after doing a tremendous amount of work here at the house. In fact we don’t have any, now.  My truck required some repairs to have it meet the state inspection standards, and my wife’s vehicle has another 4k in repairs I have to do to it. But I simply don’t have it.

This isn’t a beg. Or asking for money.  Just me rambling some thoughts in my mind to clear my head.

I know no one currently who is not in hard times. I find myself focusing on seasons, concentrating on getting our house and land ready for winter, preparing to build a woodshed, and chop firewood. I see myself slipping back somewhat to my youth in watching the tree’s ,the skies and the land for changes of season. It’s not a unpleasant feeling. But it is a sobering one.

We have offered our time and our blood to a number of affairs over the years. It’s been enjoyable. We feel we have made a difference. But it is harder and harder to recognize that difference as more and more people come from the wood work needing assistance through the various charities we have done work in.  I find myself growing disgusted with people in general.

I want to find them, shake them, and demand them: Find Work. McDonald’s pay sucks but it is work. A job is a job is a job. Take responsibility for yourself. Stop blaming the world. Handle your life. Raise yourself, and your family. At age 32 when I first moved to Arkansas versus being on unemployment, and after being a Project Manager for one of the largest telecom firms of the last decade I took a job cutting grass at a marina for barely more than minimum wage. Because it was a job, and I had a responsibility, and I had no time for the foolishness of saying a job was beneath me.

I’m currently examining taking a second job, possibly even teaching. Most likely online given my work schedule and load. But I can’t pursue it until I graduate. Thus time is not on my side at current.

Now Critter is experiencing adversity in her school. I have a very different interpretation of the intent by the staff. We offer our sweat, our time, and our efforts. But we don’t participate in sending money or fundraisers. We already spend  a large sum for tuition. We pay our school taxes on top of that.  Maybe it’s my families raising but asking for more just seems greedy. My interpretation of the adversity she is experiencing I feel is a direct result of our lack of spending.  I see no other basis. I confess to being a sarcastic cynic as well, however. My wife disagrees but has no other theory to offer. However, that is why she is at the parent teacher conference this morning and I am home playing Nurse Dad. I am known to be….abrasive…when riled…and make no mistake, when it comes to my daughter I will rile easily.

In short it has been hectic around An Dun these days, and my grandfathers words have been tested. In good news, we fixed the leaks, replaced all the doors but one, repaired the foundation and have made a lot of headway. Now I fear my daughters birthday and supplying a Christmas.

They are first world problems. I do not argue this.  I always keep in mind the places I have been. The things I have seen. There are others who are much worse off than us. Who would trade what little they had to be us in an instant.

But it does not make it an easy thing, just the same. In a little more than 6 months I will graduate with my Masters degree. I don’t know that I be fiscally able to continue with my current employer, and that bothers me as well. I have not shown loyalty to a single employer since my time with the Army, it could be said I have commitment issues. But I like my job, I like the company, I like the people. I just don’t know that I will be able to continue in such vein by the time my first student loan payment comes due.

As in all things, time will tell. And in that time the leaves will change, the snows will come, and the wind will blow. But in that I will be ready. The wood will be cut, the house will be warm, the roof solid. My grandfather taught me well.

The man who survived World War II, who survived the Great Depression, who lived off the land, who ate not from a store but from the woods, and drank from streams who did his best to pass on to us how to be the best people we could be, and showed us how to speak and act with intent, and integrity.  It often leaves me confused in my interactions often around others who speak from the side of their mouths as to why they feel the need to do such things.

In her adversity, I try to teach Critter what was passed to me, and how to watch the seasons, the land, the leaves, and prepare.  People who demand money will always be there. Vehicles always need fixing. Adversity at school is a constant. But one’s home is one sanctuary, and one’s family is a responsibility that can not be denied.

And in that, it can be said that no matter how technology driven our society becomes, how professional I may be seen to be, or business oriented,  I learned my lessons from my very Appalachian oriented family well: My grandfather taught me well.

We will persevere.

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So why aren’t I blogging more?

Well, honestly I’m fed up. I’m tired. I’m worn out.

With the knowledge that the Federal government is looking to do the largest land grab regulation since the aquisition of Alaska, I’m forced to ask some hard questions. Especially since it directly affects me

Is this the Union for which five generations of my family including myself, went to the Army for?

The answer is decidedly no.

The country we joined the service for did not use drones or spy on its citizens, and certainly not for profit.  Something that the British citizenry are rapidly begining to dislike in their own country.

The country we served, did not lambast religious education systems of any form, especially while its own education system is continually outperformed by that same criticized system daily.

The country we served did not violate the rights of a land owner….something that I thought we straightened out in 1776, but apparently some folks have forgotten.

The country we served, encouraged people to earn their way, to make something of themselves, and to work for success not create a leach class that sucks the financial ability from all of the others.  You earn it.

The country we served, did not allow others to determine thehealth care one got. It was up to the individual. You got what you could pay for. It wasn’t given. You earn it. Like everything else.

The country we served allowed anyone to go to college, provided you earned it. Not cut funding for college for soldiers who have been fighting, dying and getting injured to earn their degree versus sneaking across a border, illegally at night.

The country we served did not reward criminals, or those who knowingly broke the law.

In short I don’t know this country any more.

And I’m not sure I like it anymore either.

But sadly until folks decide to do more than “Like” a silly status on Facebook, it’s all just words.

The American people have become lazy. Sloven even. With no desire to change anything. The antipathy is a cancerous disease of self preservation that prevents any action by anybody. Instead we stand like lemmings in the room each staring at the other wondering who will make the first move.

Meanwhile the bulldozer just keeps coming.

The fact is, we embarass our forefather. We have shamed them. We are willing to let everything go, just so we can have our highspeed internet and high definition television programming. We are willing to subjugate, so that we can get a government check, a government benefit, a government handout because of all the things we could fear, the country that put a man on the moon….suddenly fears work.

Sadly, I fear this ideaology may be right….at least to some poor bastard.

 

We have politically corrected ourself in to oblivion. We can’t accept an apology and move on with our lives. We have to have blood for some social injustice while our government trashed our other social rights behind our backs.

We have become a nation of television, sound byte fed attention defecit children with no desire or care for the larger picture if it doesn’t meet some latest fad thats been identified as Good for the Children ™.

And frankly, it all makes me want to vomit.

So will I be blogging with any regularity?

Possibly. Maybe. Doubtful.

But I moved into the boondocks for peace and quiet.

I don’t intend to be spied on by a government that I once worked for under some silly notion of “Greater Good.”

Do your damn job more effeciently and stop passing laws to make it  harder to put the bad guys behind bars or in the ground. Novel concept. The fact that Nidal Hasan is still breathing air in the same time zone I am is proof enough that this country has lost its marbles, and its balls.

But thats too hard. Its much easier to pass the buck than it is to be responsible. Everyones worried about some bullshit legacy or history book consideration. Everyone ants to be a star.

And nobody wants to do their fucking job.

 

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After E-mail Direct Song, they sent me another kindly worded but useless E-mail.

We have just received a new shipment from the manufacturer and is now awaiting a signing session by the composer. Your order is near the top of the priority list so should be sent out on this shipment. Please keep a look out in your email for a confirmation and Tracking number

It sounds really important and special.

Except that same morning I received my CD.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy I got my disks, and I’m happy too that my wife enjoys the music.

But the customer service was, as demonstrated, beyond out of touch and horrific. So much so that they might as well not be engaged at all. Were my own company to employ such a method of customer service it would be on CNN by tomorrow morning.

I won’t be doing business with them again, but at least its good to know that I didn’t send my money to some mad Nigerian General by accident.

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They really should have their own fairy tale, because their customer service has obviously been asleep as long as the original.

Back in November of 2012 I ordered my Bride a copy of the Skyrim game music. We both like orchestration, and the music was good. DirectSong.com is the only place you can get it, as the company is owned by none other than the composer, and his brother.

It’s now April. And I still have not received  the CD’s.

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So we finally heard from the USO

TSO over at This Ain’t Hell spearheaded the way, and enough cant be said for what he did from my point of view, frankly. Milblogging isn’t what it used to be so the fact the he was on the tip of the spear proves the brotherhood, both militarily and internet linked, still exists.  A big thanks nonetheless to everyone who stood up and added a voice. Sure it may be from behind a laptop, but then look at how many folks said nothing. Point made I think.

He got a hold of key individuals at the USO, and found out that it was simply a communication breakdown.

So stand down the war dogs, all is well. I’m glad that this came to a happy conclusion for The Sniper. I always liked his work and have had him on my blog list for a number of years. I just wish I had more time to blog as I used to. Maybe once I finish graduate school I’ll have more of my life back.

 

 

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It’s one of those headlines that, when you type it, you have to read it a second time to make sure you are not hallucinating.

The short version, from my perspective anyway, is that the wars are over. The general, 30 second attention span populace, can now shove their faux affection for veterans in to a broom closet and go back to being peace time advocates for not giving a damn about anything or saving the #2 pencils from rampant extinction.

If there isn’t a t-shirt sale involved then its not of their concern.

In this case an individual at the USO, whom apparently feels their position is one that does not require actual…you know…communication with others….is asking…no demanding that a MilBlogger shut down his entire website.

This isn’t anything new.  Folks and companies attack bloggers with semi regularity because of something we have written or published. Sometimes they succeed in getting their way…sometimes they don’t. I’d say its about 50/50 split in the legal world today regarding overall, but with the overall general public coming to understand that blogging is as much about free speech as it is journalism. We will write things that folks may not like…but that doesn’t make it any less true from our perspective or interpretation. And Court’s are not very big on slapping people around for interpretation of literary licensing, but I digress.

This particular representative of the USO has managed to not only inflame Stolen Valour advocate, and faux soldier investigator TSO over at This Ain’t Hell who has went on an all out offensive to get to the bottom of the mess, they have also stirred up one time Fox commentator, former embedded blogger and book author Laughing Wolf at Blackfive.

It’s been a long time since I have seen the MilBlogger wheels try to turn, and given so many bloggers and MilBloggers have walked away from their websites and gathered around the instant gratification system known as Facebook I can’t help but wonder…much as the old time websites I use to run and mIRC servers that were predominant in the past…has the blog worlds time passed?

For The Sniper’s sake (whom is the accused party in this muck) I hope not, and as such I’m lending my voice to the others by attempting to spread the word regarding this.  Such a request is unreasonable. The USO representative is not dealing with a 13 year old in his mothers basement who is trying to find old Sara Michelle Gellar pictures online. This is a military veteran, with tours in the recent conflicts under his belt, exercising his right to free speech that he damned well earned.

Agree, or disagree with his position, the fact of the matter is he has a right to say it. No more and no less that Jerry Springer and his ilk have their right to portray people as raving lunatics. No more and no less than CNN. No more and no less that someone with a T shirts stating their position on a particular topic. Offense is not a reason for submission…it’s a catalyst for discussion.

And if the USO has a brain in their head, instead of playing footsie with a couple of military vet bloggers and social media they’ll join a roundtable regarding this and deep dive the root of the problem.

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So its finally March. Usually my favorite time of the year.

As you can see I managed to ensure that the website changed to its typical green hue for the occasion, forests of Ireland a backdrop for something I have done on this website for several years: that of sharing some Irish history, Mythology, lore and my own families history with you.

This year has been crazy, and the last several weeks hectic. Last year our March celebration was marred by the loss of longtime friend and fellow MilBlogger Lex.

I can’t promise you this month will be better. There are things moving in m own life that have me as worried as a long tail cat in a room full of rocking chairs, but I digress.

It’s March. There is still snow on the ground. Spring is coming soon as the last vestiges of winter make their way from our lives for this year.

Smile.

Be Happy.

Be Green!

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The U. S. Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself.
Benjamin Franklin

Let me begin by saying I am not a right wing  extremest. Nor am I planning some foolish course of action of violence. Rather I entice you to think, and beyond that point of your nose.

I believe in a woman’s right to choose. That you should be able to marry whom you please without my interference, if you want to burn yourself out on crack cocaine so be it. You can worship the Flying Spagetti Monster for all I care as long as you don’t perform human sacrifice, slaughter animals, or need virgins for deflowering.

Essentially as long as your choices do not interfere with my own I have no desire to interfere with anyone’s way of life. I guess it could be said I am a individual isolationist, although I prefer the term Constitutionalist, or perhaps American.

However, with all this I understand that a certain number of laws need to be placed in this world. A defining of the social lines and culture that can not be, should not be, crossed. By this a governing body of those laws does indeed need to be in place, with its power limited to those laws that are found just and equal.

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