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?