Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Home Security Basics

Home Security Basics



Home security is where you can begin to protect yourself. The following are inexpensive ways to enhance your home security.

Get help.

Call your local police department's crime prevention unit. For no cost they will do a security assessment of your home and property. The assessment is a great way to have someone with experience give you tricks and tips you can put into practice right away. Best of all it is free.

Evaluate your home by looking at it from the outside.

What can you see from the street? Many times we love letting the sun in, but what can others see from the street?

Don't stop at the street. Move in closer to determine how close someone needs to get to check out your home.

Think like a criminal. How would a criminal sneak up on your home? Where could they hide to ambush you? Your local police can really help in this area.

Do these checks for both day and night.

Did you know you can buy and install window treatments that will let light in, allow you to see out, but stops someone outside from seeing in?

Clean it up.

Bushes, flags, banners, and walls are all great for their beauty, but the also hide what an intruder is up to.

Lock it up.

What type of locks do you have on your doors and windows? How can someone defeat these locks? The police assessment will address these issues. If the officer doesn't ask him. Intruders can be stopped or at least delayed if these locks are not easily defeated. Did you know that many homes can be entered by just using a knife?

Look before you go.

A quick look out windows can give you an idea if someone is there. There are many peep holes you can buy for doors that will allow you a wide range of view. You can even buy and install cameras for under $200 that will give you both day and night vision in those areas you can't see.

Alarm it.

You do not need to purchase a service to protect your home. There are many alarm systems you can buy that will emit loud alarms that will scare off many intruders, and alert you and your neighbors. Most can be installed by you.

Arm up.

If you decide to buy a firearm, spend some extra on how to use it effectively and keep it safely in your home. If you decide to skip a firearm purchase pepper spray, or other non-lethal devices.

Talk to your family.

Discuss with your family what to do if they suspect an intruder. Come up with a safe word that every family member knows. This will keep them from accidentally shooting, or spraying you. Discuss every scenario you can think of and come up with plans. Make it fun, and test these from time to time.

Security by Obscurity.

Don't tell anyone what you are doing in terms of security. Loose lips sink ships. Be aware of who you let into your house. Those of you with kids this will be difficult, but many break ins and home invasions are committed by people who have actually visited the home.

Summary


These are just a few of the things you can actively do to add to your protection. The police are an excellent source of information, so do not hesitate to call them to help you.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Facebook Pictures.

FaceBook Pictures
A Down and Dirty Way.

What you will need.

    A Picture
    An Editor


Step 1.  Get an editor.

    For this step we will use PicMonkey a free online Picture Editor.
    Go to www.picmonkey.com and click on Edit A Photo.
    The Editor will open.

Step 2. Select a Picture to Edit.

    
    Click Open  or Click on the Down Arrow.

    You can pick a picture from your computer, facebook, or instagram

    Now you will Resize the picture based on what you want to do.
   
    The avatar (that is the picture that shows up when you make a post) must be no more that 180px by 180px.  So...lets do that.



  Click on RESIZE

  Type in 180 and then click on Apply.

Click on Save


Make sure you give the file a new name. Really important..this will keep you from accidentally overwriting the original picture.

Select Pierce.  That will give you the best quality and right file size.

Now Click Save to My Computer.

All Done. 

What if you want to put an overlay...like a flag on the image?  Follow these steps.

1. Open the image you want to be the First Image.

2. Now Select Overlay.  It is the Butterfly. 

    


    3. Now make sure you have downloaded a picture that you want to use as the overlay.  I am using a French flag.  

    4. Click on Your Own.
    5. Select the image you want to use as the overlay.  Click Open.
    6. The new image will show up with 5 circles on the corners and top.
    

     7. Click and drag the circles to arrange the overlay the way you want it.  Don't worry if you cant see your original image...we will fix that next.

    8.  Once you have the overlay like you want it...adjust the fade to the level you want.



    9. Move the Fade Slider to where you want it.

    10. Click Save and you are all done.


Other image sizes for Facebook.

Cover Photo

815x351

Pictures you upload to facebook should be 600x600 for best results.



Saturday, November 14, 2015

Organizing Your News

Organizing Your News

**Disclaimer**  I am not connected to any company or compensated for these evaluations.



What is an RSS Reader?

RSS stands for Rich Site Syndication. It allows you to view information such as news and blogs that are constantly changing without having to visit each site individually. It also gives you a measure of security since you do not need to sign up for their email based updates. This also reduces clutter to your email. Another benefit to RSS is that certain blog sites have gone to extreme advertising. This results in slow loading and annoying ads. RSS only gives you the title of the articles no ads, no pop-ups. This article will evaluate one of the RSS Readers available for free.

Evaluation of Feed Reader Browser.


Feed Reader is a free online RSS Reader.
Feed Reader is browser based so it will work on nearly any platform. I have tested it with Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox and Safari, and it works equally well on each. Since it is browser based it does not take up space on your phone.

It is flexible. You can arrange it to your taste. You can categorize your news feeds using terms you understand.

Feed Reader is free. Of course you have heard that before only to find tons of ads thrown in your face. Feed Reader, as of 14 November 2015 is totally free. No ads, no trials.

Getting Started with Feed Reader.

Go to www.feedreader.com and set up an account.

When Feedreader opens you will be greeted by a dialogue box asking you to enter your first feed. Lets start by adding mine. Where it asks “Enter a website or feed url” just type in www.captblackeagle.blogspot.com. Where is asks for the “Category” click on Create New Category and call it whatever you want. Finally click Add the feed. All done.

Some sites make finding the RSS feed difficult. For this you may need to look around. However, in most cases this is pretty easy. Blogger for instance makes the RSS easy. Just type in the address. Most wordpress blogs are the same way.


If you are having problems finding the feeds you are looking for just put the feed you are looking for in the comments of this article.  

Friday, October 23, 2015

Remember When? Part 2 Road to the Constitution

Remember When?
Part 2
Road to the Constitution

My political curiosity, exclusive of my anxious solicitude for the public welfare, leads me to ask who authorized them (the framers of the Constitution) to speak the language of ‘We, the People,’ instead of ‘We, the States’?”
Patrick Henry




After the first shots were fired in the American Revolution, the Continental Congress met to draw up the contract between the states and the new government. Thirteen articles were written to form a confederacy of the thirteen colonies.

These Articles of Confederation named the country and defined how the states would operate with each other, and the central government. It is important to understand how the Articles of Confederation envisioned how government would work.

Congress would act as the final word on all disputes. It would pay for debts by taxes paid by each state. Only Congress could enter into treaties, negotiate with foreign countries, declare war, or place embargoes.

The states were free to make their own laws, were charged with raising a militia for the defense of their state, provide troops for national defense, and providing representatives to Congress.

To change the Articles of Confederation required that all 13 states pass the change. All other decisions made by Congress required a 3/4ths majority.

The Articles of Confederation is a study in good intentions gone wrong.

Not ratified until 1781, the Articles of Confederation were the basis of the Continental Congress throughout the American Revolution. If you recall, George Washington had a hard time getting funds to pay the Army. This was a warning to some of the founding fathers, Washington among them, that the Articles of Confederation would not serve a growing country.

At the end of the Revolution in 1783, the new nation had war debts. It was attempting to make treaties for trade, and there were still British forts in the colonies. The real failure of the Articles of Confederation became all too clear.

Congress could take loans, but had no way to pay them back. The 695-man Army was charged with overseeing the withdrawal of the British from the forts. The army was not being paid and threats of mutiny were in the air. Several states were not paying their taxes. Legislators in New York were negotiating with Canada. Georgia was at war with local native tribes. South Carolina and New York were in violation of the Treaty of Paris by trying and seizing the property of loyalists. And Congress could do nothing about it.

One reason for this was the requirement to pass amendments or make decisions. Each state was required to send at least 3 representatives. If a state only sent one representative, their vote did not count. If there were two representatives with one voting yes and the other no, their voted did not count. With all votes requiring at least nine states to pass, nothing was being done. It would make today's Congress look very effective.

The idea of a respectable government in which the people were sovereign was quickly fading. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Rufus King called for a convention to write a new constitution that would reflect the values of liberty.

In February of 1787, Congress called for all the states to gather to draft a new constitution. There were no limits on what could be discussed, but the goal was to create a Government that could preserve the union.

As a stop gap measure, the Articles of Confederation did give the new nation a name. The United States of America promised a new form of Government based on individual liberty, responsibility, and laws. It was from this document that the enduring power of the United States Constitution was born.



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Remember When? Part 1

Remember When?

United States History.

Revolt is the right of the people” 
John Locke


The history of the United States has become a source of some confusion. This confusion is in part a political attempt by everyone with a political bent. My goal here is to remove the politics of our history, and leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions.

To pick a starting point can be difficult. There is no doubt that the history of the United States is connected to the ideas of Greece and Rome. But that also pertains to the history of many other nations as well. There were other influences that were more contemporary and recent in the knowledge of the founders.

Dare to think for yourself.” 
Voltaire

The ideas that eventually led to the creation of the United States were born during the Scientific Revolution of the 1600's. The Scientific Revolution revolved around free thinking. This meant that the primary thinkers of the time rejected the limitations placed on free thinking by Government. It was this idea of free thinking that led to ideas incorporated into the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. The founding of the United States involved men who were well read, and fully aware of the writings during the Scientific Revolution. They were also part of the Enlightenment.

God has, in fact, written two books, not just one. Of course, we are all familiar with the first book he wrote, namely Scripture. But he has written a second book called creation.” 
Francis Bacon

There is no doubt that the United States was founded on Judaeo-Christian values. However, the founders realized that for a society to live in peace there must be religious tolerance. This religious tolerance is the key to individual liberty. The idea of individual liberty is a key concept in Judaeo-Christian thinking. Free will is the gift God gave man. Everything in our Constitution is to protect the free will of society from the encroachment of Government.

Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.” 
John Locke

When Thomas Jefferson was writing the Declaration of Independence there is no doubt that the significance of what he was doing was foremost in his mind. He was taking a theory and putting his life, and the life of his fellow Americans in jeopardy. Even though the details of how to make a government in which the people were the sovereign power had not been worked out, he had faith that the people could create a free nation. This notion created not just a firestorm in America, but also throughout the world.

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...”
Declaration of Independence

This is the basis of America. The cause of everything beautiful, and ugly about our society. There are no perfect societies, but of all the ones I have been exposed to, the United States is a much more perfect society. A society where you are free to be who you want to be.

Of course nothing is that simple. The second post of this series will delve into the complexities of forming a Government around a theory.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Building A Community

Building A Community


Most of us recognize a city, or town. They have an established government, services, shopping, and entertainment. A city or town is incorporated, they are a business. Communities are much like cities and towns.

Many communities have governments in the form of Home Owners Associations. They provide services, shopping and entertainment. But they are not incorporated, and normally much smaller in population. There are other types of communities.

These communities are built around common beliefs and goals. Communities of this type are a give and take proposition. Every person joins these communities to get something, and through participation give something to the community. These communities may be highly structured, or have very little structure at all. The level of structure is based on the need in the community.

In times of the past community was limited by geographic location. I recently attended a training program in which the speaker still claimed that communities are limited by geography. The claim was that online communities are not communities at all. I take exception to this claim. The digital world changed the definition of community.

As early as the late 70's communities began to form through digital communications. At first they were limited to a very few technically skilled people, but within 10 years had grown to include people from all walks of life. By the late 80's, America Online was connecting thousands of people from all over the world. These Information Age communities were the same as real world communities, with the exception that geographic location no longer mattered. The relationships built in those communities were real.

Today, the number of ways you can connect and participate in communities has grown as technology has improved, but the main factors in community remains the same. All communities form around beliefs, interests, and goals. Every person in a community is there to achieve or get something. The challenge for those who wish to form a community is to target these needs.

To research how groups do this, I joined a large number of diverse groups. I compared the interactions of these Digital Communities with the interactions within geographically located groups. The major difference is interpersonal relationship skills.

For instance, in a geographically located community if someone offends you, you can walk away. In a Digital Community people tend to stay engaged for longer than they should. In a Digital Community you can block those that have angered you and still participate in the community. In a geographically located community, you either have to learn to ignore the offender, or leave the community. Human nature is not changed by the type of community.

How do you build an online community free of drama. You don't. Drama will be there, how you react to the drama will determine if the community will survive, or go the way of thousands of other communities. A ghost town in the real and digital world.

Make sure that you, as the community founder, can be flexible. Your community, though founded on certain principles will begin to mutate shortly after the first person joins. You must think ahead and deal with these changes based on how strict, or how flexible you want the group to be. Keep your sense of humor.

You must stay engaged. Even if it looks like no one else is. Keep posting articles, stories, information that pertains to the group.

Make those in the community feel safe. This does not mean you hold back on the Ban Hammer. But you must be consistent with its use.

As your group grows it is tempting to add others that have the ability to moderate the group. You must exercise extreme caution. A moderator that does not understand the rules of the group, or how strict these rules are, can destroy the community faster than any rogue member can.

Join other like communities and invite those people you interact with that meet the criteria for your community to join.

Keep in mind people join a community to give and take. Give them the opportunity to do that. People are much more likely to interact when they are rewarded for doing so. They joined your community for a reason, it is up to you to determine what that reason is.

If it is not fun for you, then it is probably not fun for the members.

Finally, don't count the numbers. I have seen groups with ten's of thousands of members that have maybe three members that participate. In contrast I have seen groups with a dozen members and they all participate.

These are my suggestions for growing your community. If you have others please comment. Thanks


Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Power Of Three

The Power Of Three

There are certain numbers that show up in our life that are said to be powerful. The number seven is lucky, 21 can make you a black jack winner, and in the game of craps seven or eleven are considered “Naturals.” One of the most powerful numbers is three.



In Christianity, the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Ghost). In music there are triads and triplets. A circle is defined by three terms (Radius, Diameter, and Circumference). A triangle has three sides, and three points. The average person can only remember three things at one time. It is human memory that makes three a powerful number when trying to set goals and impart knowledge.



There is a mantra in public speaking.

  1. Tell them what you are going to say
  2. Say it
  3. Sit Down


If you are like me, you have been to one of those classes that seemed to drone on forever. When it was all over you had to fight to remember anything significant. Why? Because the theory of three was ignored.

As an example, lets take the Tea Party Movement. They originally listed three issues. These were Free Markets, Constitutionally Limited Government, and Fiscal Responsibility. Three things that are easy to remember. However, they have since added over a dozen other issues. Who can remember all of that?


May the power of the three be with you.




Thursday, September 17, 2015

CNN Republican Debate 2015; Analysis

CNN Republican Debate 2015
Analysis


  CNN held the second Republican debate at the Reagan Presidential Library on Wednesday 16 September, 2015. As with all political debates the idea is to give the American people a chance to hear what the candidates have to say. Although they are not meant to be sparring matches, that is what they often become. This debate was no different.

  Many people view the debate like they do a sporting event. They pull for their guy and lose sight of the bigger picture. What was said that actually fits my ideology? What was said that actually presents a plan?

  I can't speak for you to answer these questions, but I can discuss what I saw based on my beliefs. I strongly believe that our country must have a strong military, backed by a strong economy, and supported by strong moral character.

  A strong military not only protects us from outside attacks, but it supports our goals in the international community. This gives our diplomatic efforts a punch to back up our words. A strong military goes beyond bombs and guns. It also includes supporting those that have put their lives in harms way. Veterans issues are a very important part of a strong military.

  A prosperous nation is a secure nation. The economy allows us to build prosperous people, and a strong military. The issues that affect the economy ranges from jobs to the environment. On its own the economy can be a tangled web of theories.

  A nation with a weak moral character is a not a nation. Where you draw your morals from does matter. Our Constitution is a framework of what the United States stands for. It is drawn from Natural Law and the Christian/Judaeo belief. “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” is the very foundation of freewill that was endowed by my creator.

  Armed with these beliefs I evaluated each of the candidates in the debate. To help me with this I created a spreadsheet that allowed me to give a score (1-10) for each candidate. The score given reflected not just someone pointing out a problem that I agreed with, but how well they articulated their plan. This methodology allowed me to come to a final score based on the number of engagements each candidate had, and how that engagement met my beliefs.

  Time for each candidate made no difference. Some of the candidates could have spoken for an hour and said nothing. This is the beauty of these types of debates. Substance of the engagement is worth much more than the length of the engagement.

  As an example lets say that speaker A spoke 10 times, and I gave them a total score of 100 for all the engagements. The formula for their final score would be 100/10 for a final score of 10.

  The issue is to be honest with yourself when giving out individual scores. As the debate was taking place I would listen to each response by the candidates, and assign the score based on how it matched my beliefs, and how well they articulated it. Everyone was given 1 point just for engaging in the question. The candidates could get a negative score for speaking, but not saying anything. Some call this a dodge. The dodge is what a politician does when he has nothing to say.

  CNN asked a total of 33 questions that fell into 6 Categories. The following are the main categories and sub-categories.

-Foreign Relations
  -Russia
  -China
  -Syria
  -Enemies
  -ISIS

-Social
  -LGBT vs Faith
  -Abortion
  -Women
  -Vaccines

-Economy
  -Taxes
  -Minimum Wage
  -Social Security

-Government
  -Supreme Court Justices
  -Pot
  -Second Amendment
  -Global Warming

-Individual Candidates
  -Trump
  -Carson
  -Bush
  -Fiorina

  An overall analysis of these categories would by sheer weight of the questions posed make this the Donald Trump debate. Trump had 20 engagements with the next closest being Fiorina (16) followed by Bush (15). Given the number of engagements Trump had the greatest opportunity to score points. However, the raw scores tell a different story. Trump Scored 12 points, Fiorina with 63 points, and Bush with 40 points. When measured by the score to engagement ratio Trump had a 0.6, Fiorina 3.9, and Bush 2.6. As you can see, making the most of your engagements far outweighs the number of chances you are given.

  With this in mind I ranked the candidates in the following order (from highest to least).

-Rubio 4.08
-Fiorina 3.9
-Bush 2.6
-Christie 2.5
-Carson 2.18
-Walker 2.1
-Cruz and Huckabee 1.85
-Paul 0.75
-Trump 0.6
-Kasich 0.5

  Did these results surprise me? Yes and no. I have felt from the beginning that Marco Rubio most closely matched my beliefs (this is my bias). However, I was surprised by the knowledge Carly Fiorina displayed on military and veteran issues. Bush and Christie also surprised me by out performing Carson in military, economic, and social issues. Prior to this debate Carson was my third choice for president. However Carson seemed afraid to engage other opponents.

  It is still early in this contest, and things can easily change. I do look forward to the next debate to see how these front runners do. If they flush out their knowledge of the issues I am most interested in, the rankings could change.

**NOTE**

If you have questions or comments about my methodology they are certainly welcome.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

CNN Republican Debate 2015; The Moderators

CNN Republican Debate 2015
The Moderators


In the spirit of full disclosure it is important that you realize I am a conservative. I will be voting for a conservative that closely matches my beliefs. I support Marco Rubio for President, because Marco closely matches my beliefs.

The upcoming CNN Republican Debate is another stepping stone for all of the candidates. Although many people, mostly lefties, criticize the large number of Republican Candidates, I for one see this as the greatest opportunity for Conservatism to display our varied views on the problems facing the nation.
The Fox News Debates although good for a first debate, also demonstrated the trap journalists can fall into. The moderators spent far too much time asking their questions, and not enough time allowing the candidates to answer. In the end we, the viewers were robbed of a chance for the candidates to introduce who they were, and their positions on critical issues.

CNN has tapped Jake Trapper and Hugh Hewitt for the CNN Republican Debate. They are now in the hot seat. We all remember the Candy Crowley debacle where she became the third debater. The question now is can Trapper and Hewitt control some very strong personalities and keep themselves out of the debate?

Jake Trapper started his career in 1992 as press secretary for Democrat Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, and later served as her congressional press secretary. He later wrote an article about his date with Monica Lewinsky. He has written for the very liberal Salon.com . You can read more about Jake at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jake_Tapper

Hugh Hewitt is unabashedly conservative. His credentials include Director of the Richard M. Nixon Library, Lawyer in the Reagan administration, and host of the Hugh Hewitt show. He is a tough interviewer. He also is a professor of Constitutional Law. Read more about Hugh at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Hewitt


With interviewers as such polar opposites this will be a proving ground for the Republican Candidates and show what they have in terms of dealing with a diverse audience. If the candidates can rise within this arena they will prove their worth. In all likelihood this will end someones campaign.  

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Let There Be Light

LET THERE BE LIGHT

Scientists theorize that during the Big Bang creation of the Universe, the Universe went from the size of a golf ball to the size of Earth in 10^-36 seconds. For those of you who are rusty on scientific notation that is much faster than the speed of light. You might remember from high school science class that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. You will hear many theories from scientists of how that could happen. But those are just that, theories, they have yet to be proven. Eventually we might have a concrete answer.

God said, “let there be light” and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:3-4)

For the record, I am a born again believer in Jesus Christ. Jesus is the Son of God, who died on the cross for my sins. What exactly does that mean?

I will begin by telling what it doesn't mean. It does not mean that because I am a believer I am better than you. I am still a sinner, and will always commit sin. God is fully aware of this. I grow within the body of Christ. Which means I ask for the strength to not only not sin, but to be made aware of sins I commit.

It is because of the personal relationship I have with God, that I am not attracted to a particular Christian Denomination. I do not need the idolatry, pageantry, or some other human to intervene on my behalf. I communicate directly to God and the most unnerving thing is, he communicates back. Not with the typical voices in my head, but by showing me the way. Choosing the way is up to me.

This is the beauty of God. He gave us freewill. We can willingly accept not only his existence, but the reality of our own sin, and the boundlessness of God's love. Of course we can reject all of that and live alone.

It is a struggle to go through the world alone, with no hope of something better and that results in bitter and lost people. I still struggle, but I have a guide that is bigger than I am, and God has always shown me the way. I just have to recognize it. God has given me the courage to act on his guidance. He has never let me down.

I remember one of the relatives from the Charleston shooting said, “I am a work in progress.” That is the perfect description of what being Saved means. Born again believers in the saving grace of Jesus Christ are a work in progress. We progress in our thinking and find peace in knowing we are not alone in this journey.


Peace.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Angry People Don't Float.

Angry People Don't Float.

A rich man bought a boat.  Not just any boat, but the best boat money could buy.  He had hired the best crew that had ever sailed the seas.  He left nothing to chance and was personally involved in every aspect of building the boat and fitting it for a journey around the world. 

When the ship left port it was a glorious day, fair winds, and clear skies. Shortly after the ship had cleared the dock the man noticed that one of the crewmen was standing on the bow playing with a rope.  He yelled down at the crewman to stop playing with that rope and get to work.  The crewman looked up for a moment, then continued to play with the rope.

When one of the porters passed by, the man told him to tell that crewman to stop playing with that rope and get to work.  He watched as the porter spoke to the crewman.  The crewman appeared to ignore the porter and continued playing with the rope.

The man thought to himself, "Doesn't this crewman know that I am the owner of this boat?" 

Again he called the porter up and told him to fetch the captain.  After a long wait the porter returned and told him the captain said, "Tell him I am busy, but I will see him as soon as I can."

The man could not believe this.  He had spent millions on the boat, and millions more on what was supposed to be the best crew ever to sail.  The man grew more outraged the more he thought about it.

His anger grew to the point that he marched down to the bow and took the rope away from the crewman and tossed it into the sea.  The crewman tried to protest, but the man was so angry he would not listen to anything the crewman said.  It was his boat, they were his crew!

The yelling between the crewman and the man became so loud that the captain tried to intervene, but the man would not listen. 

Suddenly, there was a loud bang!  The ship came to a very abrupt halt and the man was thrown over the front of the boat into the sea.  He sank like a stone and was never seen again.

At the inquest the captain explained that he had stationed a crewman at the bow of the ship to take depth soundings.  Since the area was full of uncharted sandbars, and obstacles beneath the water it was important that the crewman take regular measurements and concentrate. 

When the ships owner interrupted the crewman, the captain said that both he and the crewman tried to explain what was going on.  But the owner was so angry he just would not listen.  And when the ship hit the reef, the owner was thrown overboard. The rest of the crew was lucky to escape with their lives.



Everyday on social media, television, or on radio we hear about injustice, or something that outrages us.  Although we may engage on social media we soon feel frustrated that no one is listening. That frustration leads to anger. Just like the rich man, we find ourselves doing much more yelling than listening. 

Anger is a motivator, but uncontrolled it will send you to your doom.  Before you start yelling at the crew, take the time to educate yourself on what it takes to drive the boat.

The United States is not built on a model where one person drives its direction.  Politics, especially American politics, is set up to promote a consensus built around compromise.  Compromise by definition means you will not get everything you want, but you can certainly get closer. 

I am not defending politicians, but I am defending the process. As individuals we have the power to vote in those people that best embody our desires.  But you will never do it alone, and you certainly will not do it through uncontrolled unorganized anger.  

As a US Air Force Security Policeman I learned the importance of using small units effectively to defeat larger forces.  This means you need leadership, organization, and education. Turn your anger into mobilization.  Get your friends to take that step into the real world to engage opposition in the field. Join others to organize and educate not just yourself, but our representatives.  For veterans, their families, or just supporters of veterans and the nation you can join Concerned Veterans for America.  If that is not your cup of tea join the American Legion





Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Classified Information for Dummies

Classified
Information
for
Dummies

About the Author

  CaptBlackEagle is a retired United States Air Force Security Specialist who worked with classified information up to and including Top Secret. He was responsible for creating many classified reports, the safekeeping of classified, and teaching others about how to handle classified information.

Introduction

  Information is one of the key factors in a nations power. This includes information they wish to keep from the other nations, and information they seek to obtain from other nations. One example is nuclear weapons design.

Classifications of United States Information.

  Unclassified is not a designation as such, but includes data that is sensitive and not intended for public release. For instance a military base's telephone directory is not classified, but is considered For Official Use Only. Bulletins released by Homeland Security meant specifically for civilian law enforcement is released as Unclassified-Law Enforcement Sensitive. This type of information if released would not pose a danger to the United States.

  Confidential is information that would damage national security if made public. This is the lowest level of classification.

  Secret is information that would cause serious damage to national security.

  Top Secret is information that would cause exceptionally grave damage to national security. This is the highest level of classified information.

  Within the Secret and Top Secret classifications there is also a sub-set of information called Compartmentalized Information (CI). This information is normally associated with nuclear weapons.

  Another control is the NOFORN designation. This means that the information may not be released to foreign nationals.

Access to Classified Information.

  A security clearance is required for access to classified information. In addition, an individual must have a need to know. Just possessing the clearance is not enough to gain access.

Marking Classified Information.

  All classified information is marked by the highest classification of information on the cover sheet. In addition the top and bottom of each page is marked, and each paragraph or graphic is also marked with its classification.

  For instance, a Top Secret document may have paragraphs that are unclassified, or classified as secret.

Creating and Transmitting Classified Information.

  Any means maybe used to create classified information, from a black crayon to a blackberry the information does not change and must be protected according to their classification.

  Transmitting Top Secret information requires a courier, Secret may go by Registered Mail, and Confidential by certified mail.

  The electronic transmission of classified information may only take place through the use of National Security Agency certified cryptosystems.

Summary.

  The protection of classified information is important to the security of the United States. It is not something you take lightly. It is a lifetime commitment. Your knowledge of classified information, and the commitment to protect it does not end when you retire.




Monday, August 17, 2015

Why I Serve

Why I Serve


    Laying on my back looking at the stars the smell of pine drifted on a mild cool breeze. I was amazed by the clearness of the night. Each star a pin prick of light. I noticed one of the stars moving rapidly across the sky. I realized it was a satellite hurtling through space. That brought me back to the reality of where I was, and what I was doing.

    I was lying on the top of a launch lid, beneath it was a Minuteman II nuclear tipped missile. Alpha 5 was the name of the site and it was one of missiles President Kennedy referred to as his “Ace in the Hole” in negotiations during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I thought about the millions of Americans, no, the billions of people all over the world who depended on me to do my job right. I would defend this missile with my life if necessary.


    It was in that moment I knew that I had found the higher calling for my life. I was determined to experience and learn as much as I could about my mission. I began to study the world military situation , the political situation, and how they worked together to achieve peace.

    Politics and the military are like Siamese Twins, inseparable. An undeniable symbiotic relationship. The fact that the United States military is led by civilians is indicative of the melding of military power, and political power. In the words of President Teddy Roosevelt, “Speak softly, but carry a big stick.”

    I have served under Presidents that understood this relationship. They used the power of the military as part of their political plan for peace. Realizing that with a “Big Stick” nations would be careful in how they treated other nations that were protected by the United States.

    Unfortunately I also served under Presidents that not only did not understand the relationship of Military and Political power, but sought to weaken our military. This had the effect of weakening our influence over other nations, especially hostile nations. These failures have led to the deaths of thousands of Americans, many of them innocent civilians.


    Although I have retired from the military my service has not ended.  
It is due to the clear and present danger posed by internal and external threats that I will continue to promote leaders that seek to keep our nation safe through superior fire power backing political influence.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

National Power


National Power consists of those powers that can be used to provide security and extend its reach to influence other nations. The agreed upon National Powers include Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economy (DIME). When thinking of these powers you must consider that they work with one another to achieve National Objectives.

A nation's objectives are the starting point when determining how its National Powers will be used. An example of a nations objectives is the plan outlined by Adolf Hitler in his book Mien Kampf. Hitler's listed three main objectives.

  1. Destroy the Treaty of Versailles. This was the treaty that ended World War I and had divided the German speaking people of Poland and Czechoslovakia. The treaty also severely limited Germany's ability to build a military force.
  2. Unite all German speaking peoples into a larger Germany.
  3. To expand to the east into Poland and Russia to provide Germany with room to grow.

These objectives are clear and allowed Germany to create a strategic plan for using its national power. Keep in mind at the point Hitler came to power Germany had been stunted by the Treaty of Versailles.

In terms of National Power, Germany's economy is in ruins and it has a woefully small and antiquated military. However, Germany was aware that all of Europe was suffering from the effects of economic hard times, and would not be willing to stress the economy further. He calculated from this information that he could push the limits of the Treaty of Versailles. In 1933 he walked away from the treat conference and the league of nations.

In 1934 Hitler began a series of diplomatic maneuvers intended to hide his true intentions while also giving him popular support for Germany's expansion. In January of 1935 the Saar region, which had been ceded by Germany under the Treaty of Versailles, voted 90% in favor of rejoining Germany. In March Hitler announced he would begin conscription and raise 36 Divisions. This was in direct violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Although Britain, France, and Italy protested they took no action.

Each of Hitler's moves were calculated to gauge international response to his breaking of the Treaty of Versailles. As other nations did nothing to oppose his actions, he was emboldened to push the limits further. In fact, there were many in Britain that believed Germany had been treated harshly at the end of World War I. They were also more worried about Stalin and the Soviet Union.

The factories in Germany used to build up the military also greatly improved the economy. The German people were once again working and life in Germany was better than in that of its neighbors.

Using the National Powers of Diplomacy, Information, Military, and Economy, Hitler now was poised to make a great gamble. The Treaty of Versailles forbade Germany from militarily entering the Rhineland. On 7 March 1936 Hitler announced that he had sent a military force into the Rhineland. Britain and France took no action.

In Britain the government had decided to use a policy called Appeasement. Under this policy as long as Germany's demands were reasonable, Britain would take no action. Britain failed to act on Information that warned of Hitler's future intent. Although at this point Britain's military force was strong enough to eject the German's from the Rhineland and the Saar they chose to stand by and wait. They hoped to avert war.

Today we recognize that the policy of Appeasement failed not only to avert war, but led to the most devastating war in all of History. That history is repeating itself. Today we are told by our Government that we either accept a deal with Iran, or go to war. It is the failure demonstrated by our Government to use Diplomacy, Information, Military and Economic power to our advantage. Allowing an enemy that has vocally called for the destruction of the United States and our allies to fund its military build up will lead to war.



President Obama has empowered our enemies with the Appeasement policy. He and his Secretary of State John Kerry, if they get their way, will guarantee a very bloody war will take place. Following the Hitler formula Iran has pushed the limits and have been rewarded for it. With an election of a new President at hand we need to take heed of the lessons from the past. Denying Iran nuclear weapons will not lead to war, it will prevent it.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Historical Perspective 




History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”
 Maya Angelou


History is a cruel mistress. It often discloses truths we do not want to acknowledge. This is the truth of history. We would rather forget the past that is uncomfortable. We see this in ancient cultures that have attempted to erase all traces of past kings and queens. We see it in the modern day Jihadists as they destroy the monuments of past cultures. It even shows up in social media when groups remove all traces of members they no longer like. It is human nature to destroy those things that oppose our view. Unfortunately, history can not be unlived. As Maya Angelou points out if you face it with courage you can avoid living it again.

Today we see the past of celebrities used to destroy them and their careers. At the same time we see the past of a chosen few ignored. We also see current use of words and symbols excused for some, and condemned of others. The world is showing the real ugly side of humanity in the blink of a Tweet, or Facebook post . Our side can say it because its our side, your side can't say it because its your side. IF you are striving for truth and equality the rules must be the same for both sides.

Some will blame the Great White Satan for slavery, yet ignore the thousands of Blacks who ripped slaves from their homeland and families. Of course they will point to the fact that had it not been for the thirst for slaves this would not have been possible. Slavery is horrible, and whether you are using them or selling them there is no difference. Your hands are not clean.

We hear a lot about the White Plantations made possible by their slaves. But, we hear very little about plantation owners like William Ellison Jr. Ellison was a Black Plantation owner who at his death had over 60 slaves. He also provided food and money to the Confederate cause. Ellison was only one of hundreds of Blacks that owned slaves in South Carolina. Of course this is uncomfortable to the narrative.

When I look at a Confederate Battle Flag I see the heritage of my family. I also realize that to others it is a symbol of hate. The latter is only reason I do not publicly fly the flag. If you want to judge me based on my families history that is certainly your right, and your failure.

If we continue to erase the parts of history we do not like, we will revisit them. Do you have the courage to face the truth?






Friday, May 15, 2015

My Family at war. A Work in Progress.

I have been reading. Reading is a gift my parents greatly supported. I do not read fiction, and I'm proud to say the only works of fiction I have read were: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Dick and Jane, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit, and a book by Steven King.  I can't remember the name of the King book.

I am much more interested in History and Technology.  I remember when I was 10 my parents bought me a collection of U.S. history books.  On rainy days I would read and reread this set. Recently I have been researching my family.  Part of that includes researching what life was like for my ancestors.

As a Southerner it galls me to find that some of them landed in Connecticut and New Jersey in the mid to late 1600s.  Thankfully they had the good sense to move southward by way of Pennsylvania and Virginia.

As I researched my family there is a natural curiosity about their participation in historical events. So far I have found no definitive connection to the American Revolution or the wars prior to the Civil War. However, the Civil War has uncovered three relatives that were members of the Confederate Army.

There is often the question of why people choose to go to war.  During my research I have found the answer in the memoir of Sam Watkins, Company H, Maury Grays, First Tennessee Regiment. It is worth noting his points in how the people of both North and South saw their nation.

The following is the full quote from Sam Watkins book "Co. Aytch."


"WE ARE ONE AND UNDIVIDED"

About twenty years ago, I think it was—I won't be certain, though— a man whose name, if I remember correctly, was Wm. L. Yancy—I write only from memory, and this was a long time ago—took a strange and peculiar notion that the sun rose in the east and set in the west, and that the compass pointed north and south. Now, everybody knew at the time that it was but the idiosyncrasy of an unbalanced mind, and that the United States of America had no north, no south, no east, no west. Well, he began to preach the strange doctrine of there being such a thing. He began to have followers. As you know, it matters not how absurd, ridiculous and preposterous doctrines may be preached, there will be some followers. Well, one man by the name of (I think it was) Rhett, said it out loud. He was told to "s-h-e-e." Then another fellow by the name (I remember this one because it sounded like a graveyard) Toombs said so, and he was told to "sh-sh-ee-ee." Then after a while whole heaps of people began to say that they thought that there was a north and a south; and after a while hundreds and thousands and millions said that there was a south. But they were the persons who lived in the direction that the water courses run. Now, the people who lived where the water courses started from came down to see about it, and they said, "Gents, you are very much mistaken. We came over in the Mayflower, and we used to burn witches for saying that the sun rose in the east and set in the west, because the sun neither rises nor sets, the earth simply turns on its axis, and we know, because we are Pure(i)tans." The spokesman of the party was named (I think I remember his name because it always gave me the blues when I heard it) Horrors Greeley; and another person by the name of Charles Sumner, said there ain't any north or south, east or west, and you shan't say so, either. Now, the other people who lived in the direction that the water courses run, just raised their bristles and continued saying that there is a north and there is a south. When those at the head of the water courses come out furiously mad, to coerce those in the direction that water courses run, and to make them take it back. 

Well, they went to gouging and biting, to pulling and scratching at a furious rate. One side elected a captain by the name of Jeff Davis, and known as one-eyed Jeff, and a first lieutenant by the name of Aleck Stephens, commonly styled Smart Aleck. The other side selected as captain a son of Nancy Hanks, of Bowling Green, and a son of old Bob Lincoln, the rail-splitter, and whose name was Abe. Well, after he was elected captain, they elected as first lieutenant an individual of doubtful blood by the name of Hannibal Hamlin, being a descendant of the generation of Ham, the bad son of old Noah, who meant to curse him blue, but overdid the thing, and cursed him black.

Well, as I said before, they went to fighting, but old Abe's side got the best of the argument. But in getting the best of the argument they called in all the people and wise men of other nations of the earth, and they, too, said that America had no cardinal points, and that the sun did not rise in the east and set in the west, and that the compass did not point either north or south.

Well, then, Captain Jeff Davis' side gave it up and quit, and they, too, went to saying that there is no north, no south, no east, no west. Well, "us boys" all took a small part in the fracas, and Shep, the prophet, remarked that the day would come when those who once believed that the American continent had cardinal points would be ashamed to own it. That day has arrived. America has no north, no south, no east, no west; the sun rises over the hills and sets over the mountains, the compass just points up and down, and we can laugh now at the absurd notion of there being a north and a south.

Well, reader, let me whisper in your ear. I was in the row, and the following pages will tell what part I took in the little unpleasant misconception of there being such a thing as a north and south." -Sam Watkins