“May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.”

"This report is maybe 12-years-old. Parliament buried it, and it stayed buried till River dug it up. This is what they feared she knew. And they were right to fear because there's a whole universe of folk who are gonna know it, too. They're gonna see it. Somebody has to speak for these people. You all got on this boat for different reasons, but you all come to the same place. So now I'm asking more of you than I have before. Maybe all. Sure as I know anything I know this, they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, 10, they'll swing back to the belief that they can make people . . . better. And I do not hold to that. So no more running. I aim to misbehave." ~ Captain Malcom Reynolds

Monday, April 27, 2015


Now, I'm not a lawyer, but if I was a business in Baltimore that was facing disruption, or worse had been burned, looted or otherwise damaged by the current riots, I would be preparing my lawsuit against the mayor right about now:

On Saturday, as protests continued to turn ugly, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake confirmed that the protesters were being given “space” to “destroy.”
“I worked with the police and instructed them to do everything that they could to make sure that the protesters were able to exercise their right to free speech,” the mayor said. "It’s a very delicate balancing act because while we tried to make sure that they were protected from the cars and the other things that were going on, we also gave those who wished to destroy space to do that as well.”

Because right about there you've lined yourself up for all the negligence and culpability you need in a civil suit...

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Kids These Days

Ever since the first hoplite looked at the second and said "You know, it was harder when I joined," (if not earlier) there has been a military tradition of "These days they're soft, don't have to go through what we did," and the like.

Well, this past week I spent teaching a class that was about 80% military bomb techs and 20% civilian side. The youngest military guy was 19 and the oldest was in his thirties - and all of them have been "doing the job" long after I passed any torch I even remotely held on to.

And, I got to watch them closely, share bits of knowledge, evaluate their skills and all of that other stuff.

Ladies and gentlemen - your men and women in uniform are exceptional, and I say that without reservation. Yet again I saw a collection of young professionals who knew their job, who took it seriously, who had great questions, who were motivated to get the job done, and who did nothing but impress me. You can be proud beyond measure of the people who have volunteered to defend your country, and I am honored to have even the slightest role in hopefully helping to make them better. If this represents the caliber of the modern military, particularly with all the budget issues and such, then I am amazed at what they have done.

Thank them and respect them if you get the chance. They've earned it.

Friday, April 17, 2015

How my life has changed

So I'm wrapping up a work trip tonight. Teaching for a .gov agency the past week, out of town with the hotel room, per diem and all that stuff. It's been a productive trip not only in terms of accomplishing the work stuff, but hanging out with guys with a similar experience set, sharing jokes with folks "in the club" and networking for future opportunities. And now it's the last night before heading home.

Which means at one time in the past I'd be spending tonight in a local establishment, socializing and sampling the libations, until I reached a point of "I need to crash now if I'm going to be functional to drive home tomorrow." Hanging out til the single digits with comrades in arms and sharing laughter and tales.

Instead, it's 10:30 in my hotel room, and I'm wondering how soon I feel like crashing. I have my own beer, music, and nothing else. Because I'm at my saturation point for humanity this week, and I can use the time to chill.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

This is why I advocate body cameras for officers

I hate to come in and second guess people, to Monday-morning quarterback the guy on the street as it were.

But this is a bad shoot. There is no other way to describe it.

I wasn't there. I won't presume to guess what was in either man's mind which led him to make the choices which led to that fateful moment. I don't know if it was a matter of race, of power, of poor decision making, or what.

It was absolutely, unequivocally wrong. There is absolutely no way I can look at this as an officer, as a firearms instructor, or as a human, and remotely justify this shooting.

The only remotely decent thing I can see is that the local jurisdiction immediately moved to charge the officer, and that he has been terminated.

Please don't turn this into a referendum on national actions. Please don't paint us all with the man's brush. I don't know why he did what he did, but I cannot in any way excuse his actions, and I am glad he is being held accountable.

And thankfully we are in a society which openly exposes this act, as opposed to hiding it, or worse, condoning it.

A well done approach for warriors in the world

Monday, April 6, 2015

Things I try to keep in mind raising my own children

People like this are the ones who came before us. And it gives me far more hope that my daughter may grow to such strengths in her own ways...