See you next week!
*My gratitude is extended to this soldier for her sacrifice on behalf of our nation.
Jehu, an Old Testament king of Israel, demanded a bloody gift. The heads of seventy royal princes were delivered in baskets to the city of Jezreel. The lineage of Ahab was decimated and the future of Jehu secured.
Years later, the prophet Ezekiel is moved by the Spirit of God to bring a new standard regarding vengeance. This moving oration is found in Ezekial chapter 18, and is one of my favorite benchmarks of Old Testament law. Each individual is judged for his own actions and the punishment for misdeeds falls squarely on his own head. There is no place for slaughter of a family unit to avenge a death.
Within the tribal belts of the Middle East the code of honor and laws of retribution are much different than what we find acceptable in the West. The right of retaliation against murder is a strongly held belief. But the jurisprudential tradition of "Diyah" or blood money can be found in al-Baqarah 178, which presents a law of equality where the near (male) relative of a murder victim may accept blood money as opposed to meting out death to avenge the family honor.
These laws of retribution and expiation within Shar'iah are very complex and vary a bit within the jurisprudential schools. The right of retaliation extends to bodily harm and loss of limbs, an eye, testes, etc. Whether in gold or in camels, the blood price is set. This right of retaliation can be renounced in favor of Diyah, but it is up to the near relative to determine a course of vengeance or one of mercy.
But what about the little girls who were brutally murdered in Iraq? One of the jurisprudential schools has this to say:
"The blood money for a woman is half that of a man, both regarding her life and her limbs."
(Reference available on request)Article Link
The political process in Washington is in a state of decay and must be revitalized to serve the Will of the People as envisioned by our forefathers.
The incumbency must be relieved of their positions and sense of entitlement. Read me lips. All of them, across political persuasions. The system is embedded with the tools of corruption under the auspices of the law. A little yeast, leavens the whole loaf.
The ousted incumbents must be monitored by the electorate. A statistically significant number of them will continue business as usual taking jobs as lobbyists for the special interest groups which sustained them in Congress. The removed incumbents must become persona non grata at Capitol Hill functions and within the hallways of our government. If they are on the calender of a new member of Congress as a lobbyist there should be an accounting for the nature of their visit. A secondary visit by representatives of the electorate should follow, to show distaste for the soft corruption which plagues our officials. Their job is to serve as stewards of the public trust, not as lackeys for profiteers.
The electorate should demand that the Congressional member and their staff work for the good of the people of the state they represent.
The electorate should seek to bring legislation at the state level to strengthen state rights and negate the encroachment of the federal branch into issues best resolved in regional manner. Smaller is better, when it comes to government.
Americans must go to the polls in droves with one purpose. That purpose is not abortion, tax reform, gun rights or any other issue. Our purpose is to revitalize the political process and reclaim the scaffolding of governance. It is accomplished with removal of the powerful incumbent base in Washington. We should be disgusted at this point with the highly scripted "Woodsy" apologies for the miserable state of affairs in Washington.
After we clean the House and the Senate we may then proceed to tackle the issues near to our hearts. But our focus should be on revitalization of process, not hot-button items of political interest.
NMCB-22, Kandahar, Afghanistan
February 18, 2010
A memorial service was held in Kuwait on February 18 for Sean Leach Caughman, an Information Systems Technician (Seabee Combat Warfare) Petty Officer First Class with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Twenty Two, who died of natural causes on February 16, 2010. Among those in attendance were Lt. Gen. William G. Webster, Jr., Commander of Army Central Command, as well as many other United States Navy, Marine, Army and Air Force officers and enlisted personnel.
A Navy Reservist, IT1 Caughman was deployed to the Battalion’s Kuwait Detachment in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom, performing many critical functions within the Information Technology and Communications Department. In his primary function as the Detachment’s computer expert, he aided in the resolution of the computer and telephone network trouble calls, allowing the Detachment to perform its mission successfully. He also held positions as an Electronic Key Management System custodian, responsible for communications equipment.
He also was the Detachment Navy Career Counselor assisting the Detachment’s 100 personnel in making informed decisions about their Navy careers. While performing his duties, he was always willing to interrupt his work to help others. He was a good listener and always offered sound advice. He never let his emotions get the best of him and was always calm and collected under pressure.
After a short period in the Air Force, Petty Officer Caughman joined the Navy in April of 2000 as an IT2 through the Advance Paygrade (APG) program. His first duty assignment was the USS Frank Cable (AS-40), a submarine tender. Transferring to NMCB 22 in March of 2005, he served in the Communications Department for the last 5 years, quickly becoming a Subject Matter Expert in both Radio Communications and Computer Networks.
He has deployed twice with NMCB 22, the first of these was in 2005. He earned the Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist Designator in February of 2006 and attained status as a Navy Career Counselor in June of 2007. His awards included the Navy Achievement Medal, the National Defense Medal, both the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Naval Reserve Meritorious Service Medal (2), and the Expert Pistol Medal. In 2008 he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from LeTourneau University.
An extraordinary individual, he was bright, funny, extremely positive and a huge fan of Star Trek and a lover of sushi. He was also part of the stunt crew during the filming of “The Protector”, a 1999 film starring Lee Majors. He had a bright future in the Navy ahead of him. He died while answering the call of his country and will be sorely missed by all the men and women of Naval Mobile Construction Battalion Twenty Two.
*Bloggers note: Most recent update, the remains of IT1 Caughman will be flown into NAS Fort Worth on Tuesday.
Director Kevin Smith has an obesity problem. From the image provided for the story on his Twitter-Twister against Southwest Airlines it appears he suffers from morbid obesity. Possibly a more realistic Twitter would read thus:
"Dear Fans: I am quite chunky. I am a ticking human bomb. Medical research confirms that the co-morbidities for obesity are heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritic conditions, and high cholesterol. And now, even the propensity for early senile dementia appears to be associated with one too many trips to the trough. Southwest Airlines did me a favor today. They kicked me off the flight. I am now seeking consultation with an internal medicine physician and will undergo a complete physical. I wish to thank the flight crew for issuing forth what was a humiliating wake-up call regarding the physical danger I present to myself. And to the passengers seated next to me who felt my hips flubbering out into their own seat space underneath the jammed down arm rests, my sincere apology."
Director Kevin Smith needs to grow up and take responsibility for his health. Kudos to Southwest Airlines for assuring that each passenger is able to enjoy their flight in comfort without having to squeeze their knees together to make room for an obese client.
And then the billions of flakes of snow descended on our landscape. I attempted a walk at the park yesterday. Beautiful but treacherous! In my mind, it is all worth it for the sake of the children. This is a wonderful treat for the kids. O.K. I admit it. The explosion of beauty across the landscape is worth if for me too. smile The blog will return, with the eventual return of electricity. Meanwhile, coffee with a dear friend. How could life be any better? Smiling.
Last night my spouse and I attended our MOAA chapter dinner at Cafe de France. The attendance was less than usual due to weather and road conditions.
We always have a raffle to maintain a college scholarship fund for worthy cadets in area JROTC programs. Last night we also honored a request from one of our members who is in Iraq. He provided a list of practical items which are needed by the Iraqi troops he is training. He knows they will soon be "on their own" and wishes to leave them with a reminder of the friendship which they have shared.
From a group of less than fifty in attendance, three hundred dollars was given to the scholarship fund and an initial two hundred dollars was raised for the troops in Iraq.
MOAA chapters across the nation continue to provide a strong flank of support for retired, current and future military officers. We also move strongly in volunteerism within our local communities and to meet the needs of our troops abroad and also their requests for assistance to their military counterparts.
MOAA. It is an organization which shows the strength of a nation.
I am a proud member of North DFW MOAA.
LCDR Tammy Swofford, USNR, NC
"This child is destined to cause the rising and falling of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. "
The words of Simeon: Luke 2:34, 35
Jesus Christ. Spit Upon.
Throughout history the spit has been spewed and the insults hurled against this man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. He dined with prostitutes and the IRS. wink He forgave adultery and ran an occasional soup kitchen for the hungry. (loaves and fishes) He was not an insurrectionist and taught that it is right to pay taxes. (render unto Caesar) He loved children and made provision for the care of his mother at the time of his death. But He is hated for what He proclaimed: the need for the redemption of man.
What innate darkness resides within the psyche of a prolific church arsonist? East Texas is reeling under a spate of eight recent church arsons carried out by either an individual or possibly a group of individuals.
The Texas countryside is dotted with small churches, some dating from the days of our pioneering forefathers. They host unusual names such as "Little Hope Baptist Church", which was built in honor of a small girl named Hope who died at tender age. The countryside boasts the nearby cemeteries such as "Baby Head Cemetery". There is a story.... for that one.
Many of these old churches support very small congregations of less than one hundred souls. But more important than the number on the membership rolls is the memory bank which resides within the walls of these buildings. Generations of family weddings, baby dedications and funerals have been commemorated by the community within these small edifices. Adjacent grounds are used for the annual Easter egg hunt or summer church picnic. Some churches host the local Boy Scouts troop. And many a country woman has found the thrill of her life singing the solo to the accompaniment of an organ and small choir. So these small yet important houses of prayer provide a societal anchor for community life, the ebb and flow of the slower-paced days of East Texas.
What kind of an individual is capable of torching church after church without a sense of remorse? It would be the person in need of redemption. Unfortunately, the spittle is already forming on their lips for the next arson attack. May they soon find themselves in the custody of our state. America, allows freedom of worship.
Please read the following blogs in preparation for an analysis of the Palestinian political landscape.
Hamas: The Sequel
The Challenge for Khalid Meshaal
You will see "Swofford Unleashed" on the page next.