So it’s Veteran’s Day, a chance to have a Federal Holiday, get a free meal from local restaurant, and then go about my day. Sadly, that’s how I spend most Veteran’s Days. What I should be doing is talking to more people about what it means to be a Veteran, and try to dispel the myths that surround us. Most people are real weird about talking to me in uniform, almost like I’m some mythical unicorn demi-god creature that you should worship at a distance.

Trust me, I’m not.

I encourage everyone reading this to find a veteran and talk to them. Whether it’s the young kid in uniform in the airport or an older lady in a VA hospital, please, go and speak to your veterans. To give you a hand, here are the best questions I can think of for you to ask:

Continue reading “Please talk to your Veteran today”

Nuclear power is a pretty dangerous thing. Even if you can’t see radiation, acute radiation poisoning can kill you very quickly. The nuclear Navy that I grew up in had a whole set of rules that safeguarded you from radiation poisoning and contamination. Not all of them made sense the first time you heard them, but over time you quickly realized that they worked and kept you safe.

This bears a striking similarity to the Catholic Catechism. The rules were built over a long period of learning in the Church, and they helped keep people from getting hurt. Simple things like saving sex for marriage and receiving the Sacraments regularly kept people’s physical and mental health safe.

But hey, we had to screw it up. Timed perfectly before Halloween, there were a variety of stories about how the incoming generation was ditching Christianity for paganism. Two particular pieces stuck out to me. The first was from Quartz:

Continue reading “Throwing out the rules”

Today was Scouting for Food, where the local scouts pass out plastic bags to be gathered the next week, hopefully filled with food donations to help feed the hungry. Instead of spending my morning catching up on the latest news on my phone, I spent most of the morning putting miles on the pavement with another dad and our two Scouts, putting bags on over 100 homes.

That time was fun. The 4G connection in our neighborhood is poor, so while I took some photos of the Scouts putting up bags, I spent the rest of the time engaged in conversation, some of which was quite comical:

Continue reading “Locality trumps online”

Imagine walking to work in the morning. Someone walks up to you with their hand in their pocket and says “I have a gun, give me your money.” You could debate whether the gun is real or not, but most likely you’d hand over your wallet, not willing to risk getting shot.

Now let’s say this starts to happen every day. Especially if you’re used to normally walking to work and not getting mugged, this would likely cause you to change your behavior. Either you’d start bringing a friend to ward off the attacker, putting a small amount of cash in your pocket as “mugger’s money” (so that the thief doesn’t get the whole wallet), or arming yourself and shooting back, you would change your behavior in some way.

Continue reading “Drop the norms and punch back in cyber”

Well, the end is near: the Boy Scouts are soon accepting girls. I’m the Cubmaster for our local Pack, and unfortunately neither I nor my district executive was notified in advance (thanks for nothing BSA!). I’m still fielding questions from parents with little information to act on.

What I do know is that I wasn’t terribly surprised. The move has nothing to do with social justice, which seems to be Fox/CNN/every other news agency’s focus. New flash: if everyone is saying the same thing…you might want to look elsewhere for the answer.

Continue reading “It’s all about the local Pack”

Everyone is imposing on everyone. You’d think that reading the headlines. Today’s latest is Jeff Sessions imposing religious beliefs on people:

“Freedom of religion is one of our nation’s most fundamental values, which is why it is already strongly protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution,” Isaacs said. “But the freedom of religion does not give people the right to impose their beliefs on others, to harm others, or to discriminate.”

Hmm, let’s break this down. So Sessions says that religious organizations can be exempt from providing abortion care, and Rebecca Isaacs says that’s imposing Christianity on someone. Did Sessions say you have to believe abortion is wrong? Did he ban abortion? Did he say insurance providers aren’t allowed to cover abortion?

Nope, not at all.

Continue reading “Don’t impose on me bro!”

America never deserved Puerto Rico

Nearly Half of Americans Don’t Know Puerto Ricans Are Fellow Citizens

With headlines like these, who needs enemies? You’d think the continental US has hung Puerto Rico out to dry.

Except…what’s that in the background?

https://www.dvidshub.net/video/554074/uss-kearsarge-puerto-rico-relief-efforts-b-roll-1

It’s the USS KEARSARGE, unloading supplies and Sailors onto Puerto Rico!

Continue reading “Real Sailors and real news about Puerto Rico”

Yesterday one of my more inquisitive petty officers asked me why China backed off on its promise to cut all banking ties with North Korea. Specifically, he asked me why China would support a regime that murders and brutalizes its own people.

“Easy,” I told him. “They aren’t Chinese, so China doesn’t really care.”

Continue reading “Because they aren’t like us”

Photo courtesy of US Navy, http://www.doncio.navy.mil/uploads/0412GDD49863.jpg

The U.S. military is well known throughout the world for being the best trained military force on the planet. But recent events are eroding that, and it should cause worry for the average American.

Continue reading “Are we building a conscript military?”

When I purchased my first home, I intended to use a VA loan. I thought that the VA loan was one of those awesome military benefits, but my realtor talked me out of it, saying it would take too long. I thought it was odd at the time, but I went ahead and pursued a conventional loan.

Years later, I’m finally getting ready to close on a new construction house, and I chose to use my VA loan. Unfortunately, everything that realtor said about VA loans came true.

Continue reading “All those VA “Benefits””