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22 February 2010

Doing good by acting right...

Fellow blog readers, yes you two over there. I have a good friend who
is presently deployed. He is a super guy, great piano player and an
Eagle Scout. While working for the Army in Afghanistan, he has started
a seriously great good deed. Read on.


Subject: [NREDJO] Help the Afghan people


Fellow NRED Officers,

I am currently mobilized in Afghanistan and need your help with
something. ISAF has identified certain key areas where the population
can be convinced to support the Government of Islamic Republic of
Afghanistan (GIRoA) with a little focused attention.

There are 3,000 kids in this particular school district. They come back
from winter break in late March for the solar new year and supplies will
be needed. We can purchase school supplies (backpack, notebooks, pens,
pencils, toothpaste, toothbrush, etc.) locally in Afghanistan for about
a tenth the cost in the U.S. and we don't pay shipping costs.

I have partnered with U.S. based NGO PARSA, a 501(c)(3) charity, on this
project. If you would do me the favor of passing on this information to
anyone inclined to donate, the website is:
http://www.afghanistan-parsa.org <http://www.afghanistan-parsa.org>
Two options to donate:
Under the donation button, there's a menu with the choice "school
supplies". The site uses PayPal to take credit card info and pay
online.
Else, you can write a check to "PARSA" with the words "school supplies"
in the memo line and mail the check to their PO Box in Seattle, WA.

Time is critical. By agreement with PARSA's Executive Director, Marnie,
everything collected before March 6th will go toward this important
school district. I also have an ongoing partnership with PARSA as I am
assisting them with several Afghan Scout Troops at two local orphanages.
More on that will be in my next blog posting:
http://majorfoobar.wordpress.com <http://majorfoobar.wordpress.com>

Thanks in advance shipmates, for passing this on to everyone you know.
This is the most efficient way to get aid directly to the areas that
will have the most impact on our efforts to stabilize the environment in
Afghanistan.
All my best,
-Steve Michaels, LCDR, USN
IJC Stability Ops SNE, IDC RC(E) Desk Officer
Kabul, Afghanistan


*********** Damn the torpedoes. Full speed ahead *********

Steve R. Michaels, MSEE, PE
Eagle Scout, B.S.A.
LCDR /USN /1445



<http://geo.yahoo.com/serv?s=97359714/grpId=1877271/grpspId=1705059703/m
sgId=938/stime=1266614382/nc1=5191955/nc2=5733757/nc3=5522124
>

Steve is one of those rare individuals who is a good guy down to his
core. I have had the privilege of serving with him as an Engineering
Duty Officer and consider him a great friend. Stop by the link and
donate.


__,_._,___

08 February 2010

RIP Murtha and Abscam 2010...

Rep. John Murtha, Iraq war critic, dies at 77

I am no fan of Murtha. He represents to me the worst of local interests subverting the needs of the nation. Although the passing of any indivudal is a cause for grief, this may have been his only honorable exit.

03 February 2010

I like Mike...

Well, it seems that ADM Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has
set the bar for DADT. He echoes the ethical position supported by many
of my fellow officers. The issue remains with out civilian authority.
We, as a military, will execute these orders and move forward. It's up
to the President and Congress to do the right thing.


________________________________

From: info114@service.govdelivery.com
[mailto:info114@service.govdelivery.com] On Behalf Of American Forces
Press Service
Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2010 12:24 PM
Subject: Mullen's Blog: My View on 'Don't Ask Don't Tell'

Mullen's Blog: My View on 'Don't Ask Don't Tell'
<http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=57839>
Wed, 03 Feb 2010 10:51:00 -0600

Mullen's Blog: My View on 'Don't Ask Don't Tell'


By Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2010 - "Over these last two months, the Chiefs and I
have reviewed the fundamental premises behind 'Don't Ask Don't Tell,' as
well as its application in practice over the last 16 years. We
understand perfectly the President's desire to see the law repealed and
we owe him our best military advice about the impact this change in
policy would have on the military.

"While the Chiefs and I have not developed our advice, we believe that
any implementation plan for a policy permitting homosexuals to serve
openly in the armed forces must be carefully derived, sufficiently
thorough, and thoughtfully executed. The review group to be headed by
Mr. Jeh Johnson and General Carter Ham will no doubt give us that time
and an even deeper level of understanding.

"My personal belief is that allowing homosexuals to serve openly would
be the right thing to do. I cannot escape being troubled by the fact
that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie
about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me, it
comes down to integrity -- theirs as individuals and ours as an
institution.

"I also believe the great young men and women of our military can and
would accommodate such a change, but I do not know this for a fact. I
will not deny that during a time of two wars, such a major policy change
will cause some disruption in the force. It also seems plausible that
there will be legal, social, and perhaps even infrastructure changes to
be made. These are some of the issues our review will address.

"But we would do well to remember that this is not an issue for the
military leadership to decide. The current law and policy came from the
American people through their elected officials. We will continue to
obey that law, and we will obey whatever legislative and executive
decisions come out of this debate.

"With Afghanistan, Iraq, and significant security commitments around the
globe, our plate is very full. While I believe this is an important
issue, I also believe we need to be mindful as we move forward of other
pressing needs in the military. What our young men and women and their
families want, what they deserve, is that we listen to them and act in
their best interests.

"Balance and thoughtfulness is required. It's what the President has
promised us, and it's what we ask of Congress as this debate moves
forward."



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01 February 2010

It's a debate again...

Recent continuing revelations about the carefulness, or carelessness, in
which the IPCC has prepared their report on climate change continue to
surface like polar bears with water wings. The latest revelation
indicates that elements of the report were taken wholesale from WWF
publicity pieces. Many of us, myself included, have a LOT of questions
about global climate change.

1 - How are we validating it?
2 - What is the MOST likely cause (natural variability, humanity,
deforestation, etc)
3 - What are the most likely effects for the near term (next 100-200
years)
4 - Can (and should) we do anything about it?

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7113582/
Amazongate-new-evidence-of-the-IPCCs-failures.html


Asking these questions usually gets one branded with a green D, for
denialist, and a midnight visit by a brass knuckle wielding, internet
inventing Al Gore. Alas, the complex science and politics of this issue
have become more and more transparent. It now appears that a lot of
information is simply being submitted with little or no substantiation.

Let me be clear, less pollution and impact to the planet is good. No
amount of action on our part will stop earthquakes, hurricanes, asteroid
strikes or other natural cataclysms. So we need to be sure that we are
working on the right problem.

I want to get back to the debate.

I want answers to my four questions.