Last week I posted the first three parts of VICE News‘s important feature about the Islamic State. VICE has now released the entire 42 minute video. Please take the time to watch it here.

 

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Dreams

August 19, 2014 — 2 Comments

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I haven’t posted here in the last couple of days because I have been working on a project that’s been on my mind for a long long time. In fact, it’s  the dream that I keep putting off pursuing. No more putting it off. I’ve taken on a “Just Do It” attitude.

The truth is, fear has held me back and kept me from actively pursuing some dreams my whole life. I’m sure that’s true for most people. That fear of failure (AND fear of success) has its strongest grip on us when we approach our biggest dreams – I know that’s true for me.  Continue Reading…

St. Anthony’s

August 15, 2014 — 6 Comments

314749_289578577738088_271587156_nGrowing up in an Air Force family, I had the opportunity to attend a lot of different schools – some good and some bad. After a horrible 5th grade year at a public school in Atwater, California, my parents sent my brother and me to the local Catholic school, St. Anthony’s.  (That was a much better option than the other private school in the area, the cuckoo school Central Valley Christian Academy.)

A 6th grade classmate posted some photos on Facebook today from a field trip we took to the California gold rush town of Columbia. Those photos reminded me about what a special place St. Anthony’s was and how much I miss those days.

My first few days at St. Anthony’s were a bit traumatic. It wasn’t just the normal trauma of a new school, it was the Catholic part that freaked me out the most. I wasn’t Catholic, and I had no idea what was going on! Sit, stand, kneel, bow, saints, statues, holy water, nuns and all that stuff was a bit overwhelming, but I adjusted soon enough. Continue Reading…

First Amendment

August 14, 2014 — 1 Comment

I am as shocked as you at the reports and images coming out of Furguson, Missouri this week. I don’t think any of us have ever seen a situation quite like this one.

Nobody can condone the violence and looting on the part of the protestors, but the reaction of the police has been just appalling. They have completely ignored the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Did they forget about this? -

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The police are running roughshod over the law and denying First Amendment rights to the citizens and the press in Ferguson. Here is an example of what I’m talking about. Watch this raw video of police gassing reporters, then dismantling their equipment. Continue Reading…

Rand is Bi

August 13, 2014 — Leave a comment
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US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) in Iowa (in a rainbow shirt)

Rand Paul has been experimenting with his bi-cultural side a little bit lately. He’s been going both ways in the culture wars. In addition to his recent waffling on his position on a federal marriage amendment, news came earlier today that instead of attending the ultra-extreme, anti-gay Family Leadership Conference in Iowa last weekend, he was at a fancy party in the Hamptons attended by celebrities such as Alec Baldwin.  Continue Reading…

For those of you who aren’t aware of VICE News‘s amazing feature, The Islamic State, I thought I would post the first three parts here. (The fourth and fifth haven’t been released yet.) This is VICE’s description -

With unprecedented and exclusive access, VICE News journalist and filmmaker Medyan Dairieh spent three weeks filming alone inside the self-proclaimed caliphate of the Islamic State (formerly ISIS). Dairieh is the first and only journalist to travel freely behind their front lines across Syria and into Iraq since ISIS made its lightning advance in June.

I can’t tell you how important it is for you to watch this series. It’s powerful and disturbing. This is what we are dealing with, folks.

Part 1 – Spread of the Califphate

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The folks over at Infographic World have created a handy and easy to understand infographic, with good numbers, about the issue of immigration reform. Check it out below.

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Plagiarism

August 7, 2014 — Leave a comment
US Senator John Walsh (D-MT)

US Senator John Walsh (D-MT)

Today, US Senator John Walsh (D-MT) dropped his campaign for the Senate, and the Montana Democratic Party will select a replacement candidate to take his spot on the November ballot. Senator Walsh’s campaign came to an end because of allegations that he plagiarized his master’s thesis at the Army War College. The severity of Walsh’s offense, being relatively recent and dealing with national security, damaged his campaign beyond his ability to recover.

This isn’t the first time a politician has been marred by plagiarism. Vice President Joe Biden’s 1988 presidential campaign was derailed with allegations of plagiarism, and even Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and his staff dealt with the issue just last year. It’s nothing new in politics and it certainly isn’t rare. One thing is for sure, anyone caught doing it doesn’t ever do it again.

I used to drink – a lot. One day a long time ago, I woke up with a killer hangover, and I had an important paper due that day. I did what a lot of irresponsible college kids do and I wrote a crappy paper. I got to the required minimum length by stealing passages from a magazine article on the same subject.   Continue Reading…