inline1The heart of Saint Padre Pio

Two days ago I happened across an article saying that the relics of Saint Padre Pio would be on display at the Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Since I’m only 2 hours south of Boston, it seemed like a golden opportunity, so I packed my oldest kids in the car after school on Friday and made the drive to Boston.

I had never seen Saint relics before in person, so I had no idea what to expect. I actually didn’t even know anything about Padre Pio, so I had to Google him the night before.

abouttoenterAre we REALLY seeing a Saint’s heart?

Despite nasty traffic, we got to the Cathedral around 6 pm. I expected security or some sort of general craziness, as I heard that thousands had come before in previous days. Instead, I found a relatively orderly line forming from the back of the church. So we got in line and walked inside.

openning1I gotta say, Skyrim has nothing on this real life marvel

The cathedral is nothing short of impressive. As our line progressed forward, I calmed myself and said a short prayer for my youngest daughter. She has multiple heart defects, and I asked Padre Pio for an intervention. Since his heart was on display, it seemed like a good time to do so.

suspicious1He’s keeping an eye on you…

As we got close to the front, I put the camera away and picked up my son. As much as I wanted a close up picture, it just didn’t feel right to stand in front and snap away, plus it would have slowed the now-really-long line down. So we all came forward, I kissed the enclosure, my kids did as well, and we stepped to the side.

The “guardian” of the relic seemed really suspicious of anyone with a camera, including an outstanding gentleman like myself.

eyeonyou1Nothing gets past this guy. Not even me.

I mean, really? I’m not Indiana Jones. I don’t even know what you would do with a stolen relic. Is there a black market for these things?

With two little kids and a 2 hour+ drive back, we didn’t stay for Mass, but we did get one last picture.

outside1

Probably the coolest part of this experience was realizing that there are modern Saints and modern miracles. Sadly, the media doesn’t care to focus on these miracles and instead would have us wallow in political discussions. Luckily for us, we have a Church we can go to that can bring these modern miracles to life.


This post solely represents the view of the author and does not represent the official views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other branch of the US government. All of the people in it are real, including the really cute kids pictured above.


If you liked this, you might like reading my blog, and maybe even buy my Kids Book on the Navy.

That’s how we used to deal with traitors…

So the new Snowden movie is out in theaters, and if you couldn’t already guess from the title, I won’t be seeing it. Snowden is a traitor, and the only thing he deserves is a quick stop on a short rope.

“But he’s a hero and exposed the eeeevil NSA!” So the media tells us anyway. Let’s break this down a bit.

First, the NSA isn’t evil. Contrary to what the media would have you believe, the NSA is full of hard working Americans who try and keep our country safe. The organization is constantly scrutinized by Congress. Their budget gets approved every year just like every other Department of Defense organization. They are even run by a military member, currently Admiral Michael Rogers.

The NSA’s job is to support combat operations. While the media running a nice article about supporting the troops is all well and good, the NSA is trying to keep people alive. Breaking our enemy’s networks, processing that information and disseminating it all around the world in a timely fashion is hard. It takes a lot of smart people to do this. It’s certainly harder than writing shallow articles for a failing news organization.

But, let’s say you’re working in the NSA and you find out someone is abusing their position of trust. You can’t just go to the police. Luckily for us, Congress and the Executive branch thought this out and put in place a whole bunch of programs:

  • You could contact the NSA’s Inspector General. They work to maintain the integrity of our system.
  • You can contact your Congressman directly.
  • If you’re in the military, you can communicate directly with your commanding officer.
  • You can contact the criminal investigative service in the Navy, Army or Air Force.

The best part about all of these paths is that every one has cleared personnel, so you don’t risk disclosing classified information.

In case you don’t even agree with that, realize too that Snowden put all our troops in harms way. The terrorists that read his information will likely change how they operate, making it harder for us to prevent them from hurting our troops. The millions we spent on gaining access is now for nothing…your tax dollars up in flames.

Snowden is a traitor hands down. Don’t waste your money at the box office.


This post solely represents the view of the author and does not represent the official views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, National Security Agency, or any other branch of the US government. It also doesn’t put our troops in harms way.


If you liked this and love America, you might like reading my thoughts on Fairness, and maybe even buy my Kids Book on the Navy.

donthinkYou know he’s right…

Confidential. Secret. Top Secret. We hear these terms thrown around concerning Hillary Clinton’s emails. But what do they really mean? If you don’t handle classified information (and most of you don’t), it’s hard to understand the impact of losing classified materials. Worse, most security people aren’t going to comment on it, and aren’t even allowed to visit sites like Wikileaks.

To attempt to demonstrate the damage disclosure can have, let’s use a football analogy. Imagine you’re a college football coach and play against other rival teams in your conference. You are trying to keep your plays and recruiting strategy hidden from the other teams, who are trying to figure these out in order to beat you. By the way, you’re doing your own spying on them as well.

fantasyfootball

Confidential information is classified information that if revealed would cause damage. In our analogy, imagine if a rival coach got ahold of your weekly schedule while you were recruiting. He could see where you were traveling and who you were meeting, which he could use to craft a better deal to try and steal those people away from you. But if he only had a one-week schedule, it might damage your recuriting, but only for a limited time.

weeklycalendar
Recruiting in the south huh….not a chance!

Secret information would cause serious damage if revealed. If one of your players used a hidden video camera to tape a rival teams practice and key plays, that would give you a massive advantage over them. Not only that, but it would take some time for the team to build new plays, practice them and roll them out, which allows your team to pummel them during the season.

footballpracticeTriple option? Nobody uses that!

Top Secret information causes grave damage if revealed, and is often used to protect “sources and means.” In our example, imagine if we had hidden a wireless video camera that was capturing our rival teams every practice. If the rival team discovers that we have a video of one practice, they might not know about the hidden camera, just that someone at some point took a video. They might spend time building higher fences or trying to conduct practice at night, even though none of those actions block our hidden camera, because they only had access to our Secret information.

hiddencamera
Yup, keep building those walls higher…

But, if they discovered the existence of the hidden video camera, that would be really bad. First, it probably took us a lot of time and money to hide the camera, which is now wasted. Worse, what if our rival team is really cagey? They could run a fake practice where their team uses lineups that they know will make it into our hands, only to use different ones during an actual game. Their knowledge of the source of the information makes it Top Secret and gravely damages our ability to win a football game.

There is one more type of classified information called a Special Access Program. SAP is so sensitive that there is a separate access list for who can access the information. In fact, SAP may be so protected that unless the program manager tells you about it, you won’t even know it exists, and not even know its cover name.

specialaccessNext thing you’ll tell me is that it costs millions of dollars…

A football SAP would be if you as coach had a rival player that you were paying off to pass information about that rival team. You wouldn’t risk telling your players about it. If your rival coach figured it out, the player could be banned and you could face expulsion from the conference and get fired. Disclosure would be catastrophic and cost you dearly.

So while the loss of any classified hurts, there is a scale for it. Confidential hurts in the short term, Secret a lot more, and Top Secret and SAP will almost definitely get people killed and cost millions of taxpayer dollars to fix. So when Snowden sells our Top Secret information to the Russians, he is not just a traitor, but he is costing you and every other taxpayer millions of dollars for the intelligence community to try and rebuild new access.

When the breach consists of multiple thousands of emails, containing information ranging all the way up to SAP and was caused by gross negligence, yes, you should be angry.


This post solely represents the view of the author and does not represent the official views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other branch of the US government. It also doesn’t contain any classified information, unlike some people’s emails floating around on the Internet.


If you liked this, you might like reading my thoughts on Darth Vader, and maybe even buy my Kids Book on the Navy.

liberal-tebow-800Yup, sharing this on Facebook totally made you a hero!

Were you angry about Colin Kaepernick not standing for the pledge of allegiance? Plenty of people on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit were.

Guess what? Colin doesn’t care, because he thinks you’re a sucker.

Sadly, he’s probably right. Kaepernick makes his money playing football. Plenty of you reading this will continue to buy NFL tickets, watch NFL on TV, and buy NFL merchandise. But you’ll put your little Facebook rant and say “See, I got him good!”, while Mr. Kaepernick laughs his way to the bank.

Addicts also rationalize this sort of behavior. I’ve watched many Sailors throw away a perfectly good career because they couldn’t stop snorting cocaine or drinking excessively. Every one of them had a “rational” explanation in their head that eventually collided with life’s hard reality.

SJWYeah, I’m like this most days…

So yes, I’m accusing you of addiction. You don’t really care about what Kaepernick says (or doesn’t say), because you’ll continue to fuel his expensive lifestyle. It’s not just the NFL though. How many of you “conservatives” still drink your 75 adjective coffee drinks from Starbucks, despite their support for Planned Parenthood’s continued genocide of innocent children? Is it because you just can’t find another caffeine fix, or do unborn lives not matter?

plannedparenthoodmeme
That caramel macchiato hates unborn and black lives

The truth is that unless you actually stand up for what you believe and change your behavior in real life (and Facebook isn’t real life), every Kaepernick and Starbucks will continue to trample on your beliefs, because your cowardly addiction gives them an unlimited license to do so.

This is the last week for Da Magnifient Prospects if you like RH NG36B share his work and hit DaTipjar and mention him




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and if you want to fight the MSM company store join the Have Fedora Will Travel pledge drive to send me to cover Donald Trump on the road

trump_pointing
This guy wants you to stop whining

I have a concealed carry permit.  I don’t brag about it or bring it up in conversation.  I don’t tell people when I’m carrying a weapon.  I just follow the laws and blend in, and I find most permit holders do the same.

In Texas, that apparently isn’t good enough, as hundreds of people found it appropriate to wear dildos to class.  Concealed carry folks wanted to carry in the classroom to protect students and faculty from mass shooters.  I’m not entirely certain the purpose behind open carrying dildos.

PM9This will protect you from a mass shooter. A dildo…not so much.

But it’s not just gun rights.  Heaven help you if you express conservative views.  At my college, I spoke out against affirmative action, something that the Supreme Court eventually decided was wrong.  No matter.  Rather than a civil discussion, I was harassed.  At the same college, it was OK to openly harass members showing pictures of aborted babies, but harassing someone defending abortion was an attack on women’s rights (despite statistics that many women don’t support abortion).

gallupabortion
Looks like a heck of an even split, although you wouldn’t guess that from news coverage

After enduring that harassment, I’m perfectly OK with liberal heads exploding over Donald Trump.  I don’t agree with all his policies, but he brings a smile to my face when liberals gasp over how crass and rude he can be.  Newsflash: it’s the same rude and crass behavior that you dished out to me and others over the last 15 years that we quietly absorbed.  Stop whining when the quiet kid you picked on suddenly finds a bigger bully.


The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or U.S. Government.


NG36B is a military blogger who regularly blogs at The Navy’s Grade 36 Bureaucrat. If you love your kids and America, you should buy his Kindle book about the Navy and read it to them every night.

And hit Da Tip Jar and mention him so that he can win Da Tech Guys competition!


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JohnnyFive
Meet the future of real estate. From Wikipedia

People buying a home ask questions like “How good is the local school?”, “How safe is the neighborhood?”, and “How high is the electric bill?”.  Having purchased multiple homes, I find that real estate agents don’t know the answers to these questions or are banned by state law from answering. This is quite dangerous. My first neighborhood had two murderers and multiple pimps, but my real estate agent never said anything.

HPIM0618It looked like a great starter home…until the police lights showed up

I think real estate agents are crooked, and robots should replace them.

Some will say “But buying or selling real estate is too complicated for a robot!” I don’t buy it. In fact, I bet my robot real estate agents would provide superior customer service.

I’d name my robot agent Johnny. Johnny would take your desires (price, bedrooms, etc.) and show you homes. His programming would prevent him from pushing a home on you above your budget or without enough bedrooms. While human agents typically scan MLS, Johnny could look through hundreds of databases to find you a home.

mlsEvery real estate agent, ever.

If you asked Johnny about safety, he could pull crime databases and estimate crime rates in your neighborhood. Johnny could reach into your state’s testing database for local school information. He could even find electric and gas bills.

schoolsWhen your local real estate agents laugh about you after work

Worried about a “title search?” Johnny could do that. All you need now is a lawyer for signing forms, but with robot lawyers coming online soon, Johnny might do that too.

I, for one, would welcome our new robot real estate overlords.


The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or U.S. Government.


NG36B is a military blogger who regularly blogs at The Navy’s Grade 36 Bureaucrat. If you love your kids and America, you should buy his Kindle book about the Navy and read it to them every night.

And hit Da Tip Jar and mention him so that he can win Da Tech Guys competition!


This finishes week 4 of our 6 week tryouts for Da Magnificent Prospects You can check out their work Monday evening, Tuesday at Noon, All Day Thursday and Saturday at noon. If you like what you see from them consider hitting DaTipjar in support of them (and please mention their name when you do) as both internet hits and tipjar hits will be part of scoring who stays & who goes.

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Official map of China from the Ministry of Education. To be disseminated to all educational facilities and government offices in the People’s Republic of China. August 26, 2014.

China plans to control Hawaii and Antarctica.

Far-fetched?  Not entirely.  China’s Ministry of Education published a new world map with extensive Pacific Chinese, and is already starting the narrative about discovering Antarctica.

If it seems crazy, it’s not. Just how Donald Trump’s seemingly random declarations mask his master persuasion campaign, China has a deliberate strategy to slowly march over the world:

  1. China declares a territory as “contested” or “disputed,” no matter how dubious.
  2. China begins using non-combatants to challenge territorial sovereignty.
  3. China then stations military units nearby to shift the balance of power.
  4. China will then create a scenario where another nation “provokes” China.
  5. Once provoked, China militarily seizes control and establishes a perimeter.
  6. China normalizes territorial control over time.


Chinese-fishing-vessel-clamsPhilippine Navy photo of Chinese fishermen illegally harvesting giant clam by Scarborough Shoal, from Inquirer.net.

China worked this process with Scarborough Reef, which caused the Philippines to seek a United Nations ruling that recently came back in their favor.

In the South China Sea (SCS), China is on step four.  The recent deluge of Chinese propaganda about defending against aggression in the SCS isn’t for show; it’s a setup for step four to have “justification.”  Just wait until a Chinese fisherman collides with a US Navy destroyer and a selectively edited film appears on Chinese TV.


south-china-sea-map-back-page
Notice that Subi, Fiery Cross and Mischief create a triangle that can support branching out against all other outposts. Guess where the most reclamation has been? Image from South China Morning Post.

China even tested this on the mobile drilling platform Haiyang Shiyou 981 in 2014.

And now China is on Step 1 with Hawaii, Micronesia and Antarctica.  And should the United States continue to show weakness, China could keep employing this strategy until it reaches our borders.


The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or U.S. Government.


NG36B is a military blogger who regularly blogs at The Navy’s Grade 36 Bureaucrat. If you love your kids and America, you should buy his Kindle book about the Navy and read it to them every night.

And hit Da Tip Jar and mention him so that he can win Da Tech Guys competition!

A note from DaTechGugy: I hope you enjoyed RH/NG36B’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like his work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it don’t forget to mention RH/NG36B’s post as the reason you did so. His first piece in case you missed was Public Breastfeeding is a Gentleman’s Business his next was Will November bring us a coup.




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YouGovPoll
The real question is…why don’t the numbers add to 100%?

Turkey’s response to the recent coup attempt has been particularly brutal.  Over 200 are dead and 45,000 in jail, and many will likely be executed and buried in traitor cemeteries.  A YouGov poll indicated that a surprising number of people would see themselves supporting a military coup in the United States, due to more trust in military officers than government officials.  With a large professional military and similar government setup, Turkey isn’t unlike the United States.

But a coup is unlikely.  Sorry YouGov pollers.

First, our military doesn’t have the strong sense of personal loyalty to its admirals and generals.  After World War Two, we separated military branches and eventually split our forces into Combatant Commands, which meant the President had multiple four-star generals and admirals reporting to him.  Fragmenting the military means it is unlikely that any particular general will have sway over a majority of forces.

Unified_Combatant_Commands_mapMy Turkish Naval Officer friends don’t understand this setup. Frankly, neither do I.

Plus, our elected officials in Congress keep our officer corps apolitical, first by banning military members from running for office or actively campaigning.  Congress also owns the overwhelming number of nominations to service academies, which ensures that the President cannot build an officer corps loyal only to him.

Most importantly, we lack a domestic distraction.  Turkey can easily blame problems on the Kurds, which you will see more of post-coup attempt.  We don’t have a version of Kurdistan in the United States (although the southern border may feel like that at times).

No matter who wins in November, don’t expect a coup.


The views expressed in this blog post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Navy, Department of Defense, or U.S. Government.


NG36B is a military blogger. If you liked this post, and you like Star Wars, you should check out why Darth Vader is an Operational Genius.

UPDATE DTG: amusing Irony via Instapundit:

When asked whom they would vote for during the 2016 campaign, 78% of servicemembers picked “other.” Nearly all then chose “military coup” from a list of options that also included Joe Biden, Ted Cruz, Jill Stein and “a massive earthquake that wipes out life in North America.”

Yeah parody is fun.

A note from DaTechGugy: I hope you enjoyed RH/NG36B’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like his work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it don’t forget to mention RH/NG36B’s post as the reason you did so. His piece from last week, in case you missed it is here.




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A dirty look.  That’s what I saw flash from an older lady towards a mom of two who had stopped in the mall to breastfeed her youngest child.  I wouldn’t have noticed had my cousin not previously complained on Facebook about how she was asked to cover up for publicly breastfeeding.  Sure enough, the more women I asked, the more stories I received about public breastfeeding shaming.

What we men haven’t recognized is that this is another slight against traditional family values.  Breastfeeding is about the healthiest thing a mother can do, both for her child and for her.  But strangely enough, despite a society devoted to organic, pesticide-free and other labels, we have a large number of people who would rather force our mothers to formula feed.

Somehow this avoids exposing breasts in the mall, even under one of the displayed underwear models.

Gentlemen, if this continues, our wives will be shamed into staying home or making unhealthy choices.  Public breastfeeding is also a gentleman’s fight.  We need to start advocating for our wives and the wives of others.  We can’t say we hold traditional values if other trample on our family rights right in front of us.

My story has a good ending.  I walked past the scowling woman and asked the young mother “Can I help you with anything?”  Sure enough, her older son had dropped a toy.  I retrieved it while her hands were full.  By the time I turned back, the old hag was gone.

NG36B is a husband, father to four kids and an active duty Navy Officer.  He blogs regularly at The Navy’s Grade 36 Bureaucrat.


A note from DaTechGuy: I hope you enjoyed RH/NG36B’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like his work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it don’t forget to mention RH/NG36B’s post as the reason you did so.




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