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Friday, May 25 2018 @ 03:40 am PDT

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Damn the Torpedoes

General NewsOkay, I freely admit that this last month might have been a new low for posting. I think I did better during the A&P mayhem.

I pretty much hate the month of May and perhaps the first week of June. Far too many things have gone wrong in this time period over the years, and if there's neither crisis nor general high anxiety in a particular year, I count myself lucky. This year, it could have been much worse. There's been upheaval but mostly it's been just long, difficult days. I'm exhausted, both emotionally and physically.

And I feel very much out of touch with a lot of what's been going on with my friends (this means you!) and in the world.

Still, I'm disturbed by what I've observed when I've poked my head out of the hole. I'm watching longtime members of the "warrior class" becoming embittered by the disregard of the nation, epitomized by the disdain of their Commander in Chief. I don't want to add fuel to the fire by highlighting the evidence, but I'm genuinely concerned about what is happening amongst the sheepdogs. The sheep have always been nervous about sheepdogs, but the sheep are now making it clear that we're only welcome when it's their wool on the line. Wolves who can dress like sheep, though, are welcome to apply.

It reminds me of the Martin Niemoller quote:

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me. "



I look at where our nation is heading, at the erosion of rights, disregard for the truth and the contempt for the sheepdogs, and I wonder what the future holds for the United States of America. Problem is, we're not well united, we're losing the concept of statehood to a more federalized system, and we're losing sight of the hard-won freedoms that have formed the American identity. First and foremost, I am a Christian, but my love for the United States of America (as it is meant to be) is a logical expression of my view of the God-given worth and identity of mankind.

Thus I am grieved beyond words when the government kowtows to a faith that utterly disregards human worth.

But what I really want to say is this: the future may indeed be dark for the USA. There are periods in history where evil appears to get the upper hand.

That only intensifies our duty.

Whatever the government, whatever the cost, it is our duty to stand up for the rights and freedoms of those to our right and to our left. It is our duty to speak the truth of our faith in love, to protect those in our care, to alleviate suffering whenever we can. Those are individual duties, whatever the government is doing.

May God help us all.

-Cat
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Sunday Scramble

ScramblesBitter, Party of One

One Thing Your Daughter Doesn't Need You to Say

Mom Slams Into Child Abductor's Car After 7 Mile Chase

The Syrian Electronic Army

Missing: Does Anyone Care?

Two Clerics, One Destiny

SEAL Charity Scam Update

Online Porn's Effects, and How to Fight Them

What Charles Ramsey and Amanda Berry Knew

The One Song No Woman Can Afford to Miss "Commit who you will suffer for."

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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis Post Was Suggested By Kathi

Paul Gleason

Paul Gleason

Not everyone who could be considered a hero has fought for their country. Paul Gleason, a retired history teacher, has never worn the uniform but in 1965 he wrote his first letter to a soldier, a student of his that joined the Army, and has since written more than 10,000 letters. He can been seen at Burger King just about everyday writing three letters, 15 handwritten pages, to active duty and veterans.

You can read more about Paul Gleason here and here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis Post Was Suggested By Katie

Lt. Alan Wood
Lt. Alan Wood

90 years old from Sierra Madre, Ca.

May 3, 1922 - April 18, 2013

U.S. Navy

Alan Wood didn't run into a burning building to rescue someone. He isn't credited with charging into the line of fire or piloting a damaged plane to save the crew. But he did play a role in what has become one of the most iconic images of all time. After nearly a month of heavy fighting U.S forces were able to capture the island of Iwo Jima. A flag was raised to seal the victory. When asked is anyone had a larger flag it was Lt. Wood who was able to provide one and a picture that has come to symbolize the sacrifice and heart of the military was taken. On April 18, Alan Wood passed away at the age of 90.

You can read more about Lt. Alan Wood here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero. Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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PJ News

PJ StuffPararescue Chief MSgt Nicholas McCaskill KIA in Afghanistan Remembered in Tucson

(several good links there to memorial photos etc as well)

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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis Post Was Suggested By Michael

Capt. Lance P. Sijan

Capt. Lance P. Sijan

25 years old from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

366th Tactical Fighter Wing, 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron

April 13, 1942 - January 22, 1968

U.S. Air Force

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Captain Lance Peter Sijan, United States Air Force, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron, as a Prisoner of War being held in Laos and North Vietnam. On 9 November 1967, while on a flight over North Vietnam, Captain Sijan ejected from his disabled aircraft and successfully evaded capture for more than six weeks. During this time, he was seriously injured and suffered from shock and extreme weight loss due to lack of food. After being captured by North Vietnamese soldiers, Captain Sijan was taken to a holding point for subsequent transfer to a prisoner of war camp. In his emaciated and crippled condition, he overpowered one of his guards and crawled into the jungle, only to be recaptured after several hours. He was then transferred to another prison camp where he was kept in solitary confinement and interrogated at length. During interrogation, he was severely tortured; however, he did not divulge any information to his captors. Captain Sijan lapsed into delirium and was placed in the care of another prisoner. During his intermittent periods of consciousness until his death, he never complained of his physical condition and, on several occasions, spoke of future escape attempts. Captain Sijan's extraordinary heroism and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty at the cost of his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the United States Armed Forces.

You can read more about Capt. Sijan here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero. Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Catch-up

General NewsWhere to begin???

When I go quiet it's usually for one of three reasons. 1) I'm so busy that I barely get to look at my email, let alone write a blog post. 2) I'm learning life lessons faster than I can write about them. 3) There's stuff going on that's not for public discussion.

These past few weeks, it's been "all of the above."

Odd as it sounds, I'm particularly grateful for my car. I've been spending a lot of time just driving, often with no particular destination, and great gas mileage, horsepower and sport suspension make it much more enjoyable. In my quest to extend drive time, I've done a lot of "memory lane" as I've visited regions where I spent childhood days. It's been bittersweet, particularly because for the first time in many, many years, I now believe that my future is here in Oregon.

Yes, that's right. We're 99.9% sure that our plans to relocate to the East Coast have fallen flat. I won't go into all the details except to say that the process was worse than the conclusion. I feel like I should be more upset about this disruption to nearly 10 years of planning. So many sacrifices for something that didn't happen. But I'm okay. The journey was important in itself. There are some regrets but beyond that, I'm grateful. I'm grateful because we would have missed some amazing moments if we hadn't been traveling in this direction. We're coming at "Plan B" from a very different place now.

Dreams change. I'm learning that that's okay. More than that, they have a way of coming full circle. Twenty years from now may be a very different story. Experience has a way of not being wasted.

Other news...BrotherCat just got himself quite the challenge coin. He won't be buying the drinks too often. I'm proud, of course. A little annoyed, too, just because he has so obviously found his niche when I'm still fighting for mine. Aforementioned peace with "Plan B" isn't without some sighing. But Hooyah BrotherCat!

I have an idea about what I want to pursue in the next few years, but the training is harder to attain than I realized. There's a specific class I want to teach, but I have yet to find local instructor training. Thus the problems moves from "find a babysitter" to several nights away, and that's if the West Coast location offers the class again soon. It appears I'm not eligible for the online training, so I'm going to have to keep watching the schedule for an opportunity when I could actually travel.

Pascha... we Orthodox just celebrated our Easter this past weekend. I missed a lot of it (but huge thanks to those who made the bit I got possible!) and so while it was still a wonderful celebration, I've been feeling very much like an exile. It might be hard to understand if you only attend a Friday and Sunday service for Easter...we have 2 on Thursday, 2 on Friday, 2 on Saturday (crossing into Sunday) and then another Sunday afternoon. It's a lifeline in relationship with God and relationship with others. Missing so much of it this year feels a bit like hiking in high altitude where you just know that something vital is missing. That said, the internal battles I fought last weekend have made me stronger. And I've had several people promise to make next year different.

I owe emails to a lot of you as well, so I'll close this for now. Stay strong...if I've learned anything these past few weeks it's that we're stronger than we realize. I'll leave you with the words of my recent fortune cookie:

"If at first you succeed, try something harder."
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Wednesday Hero

Wednesday Hero BlogrollThis Weeks Post Was Suggested By Michael

Col. Leo K. Thorsness

Col. Leo K. Thorsness

81 years old from Madison, Alabama

357th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 355th Tactical Fighter Wing

U.S. Air Force

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. As pilot of an F-105 aircraft, Lieutenant Colonel Thorsness was on a surface-to-air missile suppression mission over North Vietnam. Lieutenant Colonel Thorsness and his wingman attacked and silenced a surface-to-air missile site with air-to-ground missiles and then destroyed a second surface-to-air missile site with bombs. In the attack on the second missile site, Lieutenant Colonel Thorsness’ wingman was shot down by intensive antiaircraft fire, and the two crewmembers abandoned their aircraft. Lieutenant Colonel Thorsness circled the descending parachutes to keep the crewmembers in sight and relay their position to the Search and Rescue Center. During this maneuver, a MIG-17 was sighted in the area. Lieutenant Colonel Thorsness immediately initiated an attack and destroyed the MIG. Because his aircraft was low on fuel, he was forced to depart the area in search of a tanker. Upon being advised that two helicopters were orbiting over the downed crew’s position and that there were hostile MIGs in the area posing a serious threat to the helicopters, Lieutenant Colonel Thorsness, despite his low fuel condition, decided to return alone through a hostile environment of surface-to-air missile and anti-aircraft defenses to the downed crew’s position. As he approached the area, he spotted four MIG-17 aircraft and immediately initiated an attack on the MIGs, damaging one and driving the others away from the rescue scene. When it became apparent that an aircraft in the area was critically low on fuel and the crew would have to abandon the aircraft unless they could reach a tanker, Lieutenant Colonel Thorsness, although critically short on fuel himself, helped to avert further possible loss of life and a friendly aircraft by recovering at a forward operating base, thus allowing the aircraft in emergency fuel condition to refuel safely. Lieutenant Colonel Thorsness’ extraordinary heroism, self-sacrifice and personal bravery involving conspicuous risk of life were in the highest traditions of the military service, and have reflected great credit upon himself and the U.S. Air Force.

You can read more on Col. Thorsness here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero. Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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More on Benghazi...

General NewsWhistle Blowers Threatened on Benghazi
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Saturday Scramble

ScramblesCongress Slows Military Efforts to Save Money

The Roots of Chechen Rage (incomplete but still interesting)

Support Abducted Syrian Bishops

Bulletproof Whiteboards Installed at Minnesota Schools

Mom Dons Burqua, Rescues Kidnapped Son in Egypt