240 Years


Happy Birthday, to all that have earned the title.

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Beruit 1983

October 23rd, 1983.  A Sunday if I remember correctly was not a good day.

The Beirut Barracks Bombings (October 23, 1983, in Beirut, Lebanon) occurred during the Lebanese Civil War when two truck bombs struck separate buildings housing United States and French military forces—members of the Multinational Force (MNF) in Lebanon—killing 299 American and French servicemen. An obscure group calling itself ‘Islamic Jihad‘ claimed responsibility for the bombings.[2]

The chain of command likely ran from Tehran, to Iran’s Ambassador to Syria, Ali Akbar Mohtashamipur in Damascus, to IRGC commander Hossein Dehghan, in Beirut, as the Iranians drew on assets in Lebanon.[3] Hezbollah, Iran and Syria have continued to deny any involvement in any of the bombings; even though, in 2004, the Iranian government erected a monument in Tehran to commemorate the 1983 bombings and its “martyrs”.[4]

Suicide bombers detonated each of the truck bombs. In the attack on the building serving as a barracks for the 1st Battalion 8th Marines (Battalion Landing Team – BLT 1/8), the death toll was 241 American servicemen: 220 Marines, 18 sailors, and three soldiers, making this incident the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Marine Corps since World War II‘s Battle of Iwo Jima, the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States military since the first day of the Vietnam War‘s Tet Offensive, and the deadliest single attack on Americans overseas since World War II.[5] Another 128 Americans were wounded in the blast. Thirteen later died of their injuries, and they are numbered among the total number who died.[6] An elderly Lebanese man, a custodian/vendor who was known to work and sleep in his concession stand next to the building, was also killed in the first blast.[7][8][9] The explosives used were later estimated to be equivalent to as much as 9,525 kg (21,000 pounds) of TNT

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In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry for Lions

This is a really good op-ed piece from the NYTimes.  It shines a light of reality on the issue.  We live in a Republic that is blessed by it’s structure and the foresight of the founding fathers.  However, it seems to me that we are now at a point where our prosperity has lost touch with reality, and our morality has put on a set of blinders that only allows us to see (and act) about what we want to see.


Do Americans who are upset about Cecil even realize how terrifying animals can be?

Source: In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry for Lions

Why does a single trophy hunter generate all this attention and hatred from Americans when he is cheered by the residents of the country in which the lion was harvested?  Yet the same, vocal individuals turn a blind eye to the actions of Planned Parenthood?  They turn a blind eye to the actions of governmental leaders in relation to Benghazi?

As a culture how can we pull our heads out of the sand, and our “reality” TV and recognize what is happening around us, and take substantive corrective action?  If there is one issue that should be addressed in the upcoming Presidential Campaign (and it won’t be) I think that is it, and it encompasses foriegn policy, domestic welfare, economic programs, tort reform, tax reform, environmental policies, everything.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

An Interesting Google Benefit

An interesting snippet about Google employee benefits.

Source: Did You Know That When A Google Employee Dies… | Things You Didn’t Know

So let’s think about this for a minute.  If you have an employee that is making 120K, and you have to pay out on this benefit.  That is 60K a year for 10 years, or 600K.  A nice benefit.

What does it cost Google.  In the greater scheme of the company finances…. pretty much nothing.  If Google has to pay this benefit 20 times per year I would be surprised.  So let’s for a moment assume that Google pays this benefit 50 times a year.  By extension they could have 500 concurrent payments taking place.  Continuing with the 60K per year example as an average, the annual cost to Google is 30 Million dollars.  Google’s Q1CY15 gross revenue was 17.2 BILLION.

The cost to Google of this benefit is negligible.  The value of the benefit to employee loyalty, that is where it makes a lot of sense.  For a company with 55,000 employees in a very competitive technology sector, attrition can be a killer.  If this benefit helps to stem the turnover of employees the company benefits more than the cost of administering the program.

It is a great strategy from Google, and it is very beneficial for their employees.  While no one wants to have to collect or payout on the benefit, the fact that it is there…. (to use a cliche) priceless.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Blackhawks Win!

And so the 2014-2015 season comes to an end.  It ends with the Hawks shutting out the Lightning for a game six win.

There are a lot of good stories out there about the game, and the individual stories surrounding the series, the season, and the game.  Short version, the Blackhawks came to win last night, and it showed.  Every playoff series is a battle and the Lightning played to win, they just didn’t get the right bounce of the puck and just weren’t able to capitalize on their opportunities.

There are a lot of important things to point out about the game but, I think ESPN has done a good job documenting those stories.  But the thing that stands out in my mind (aside from the hockey) is that no one decided to host a Stanley Cup Riot in the city last night.  How long has it been since we had a Championship win in major sports that was not used as an excuse to burn a few cars, and loot a few buildings?

Posted in Culture, Current Events | 2 Comments

No, you are not ‘running late’, you are rude and selfish | Creative Staffing Agency

Awesome rant.  It all boils down to manners, and selfishness.  Love the dentist story.

No, you are not ‘running late’, you are rude and selfish | Creative Staffing Agency.

Posted in Culture | 1 Comment

Changing ITAR Regulations

Hmmm….  It seems the State Department is changing the way information is classified under current.  There is a great deal of hoopla from various entities around these “clarifications” and “definitions”.  Some of it maybe very well placed.

Looking at some of the broader changes, this looks like a significant overreach into the definition of public domain.

Gravest Threat to First and Second Amendments Yet Seen | Shall Not Be Questioned.

Posted in Government, Gun Control | 1 Comment

Goodbye Sweden | THE SWEDEN REPORT

Interesting opinions from someone with boots on the ground.  Do you see any similarities to North America?

Goodbye Sweden | THE SWEDEN REPORT.

Posted in Government, Politics | 1 Comment


How many mistakes can a campaign make and still have the candidate considered as a front runner 2016 elections?  I would enjoy the comedy of it all if it weren’t for the fact that she is still being considered as a viable candidate to win.  Craziness

Hillary Clinton’s big rally manages to boot long planned children’s event out of park « Hot Air.

Posted in Presidential Politics | 1 Comment

Don’t Let The Wookiee Kill An Open Society

Excellent piece by Varad Mehta over at The Federalist.

Don’t Let The Wookiee Kill An Open Society.

Prepare to spend more than a couple of minutes on this one, and put on your critical thinking hats.  He makes some great points, and does a good job using popular cultural examples to illustrate and drive home his point.

Go read it!

Posted in Culture, Current Events, Politics | 1 Comment