Posted by Dave Mark on Jun 15, 2009 in Politics
Very interesting developments in Iran’s just completed election. As is widely known, the result of the election is disputed, fraud suspected. Iran’s internet connectivity has been significantly compromised both before and after the election. Social sites such as Facebook and Twitter have been blocked, supposedly by the government.
Yet, somehow, communication lives on. I’ve been following a number of Twitter users who’ve managed to communicate about the protests, riots, and alleged police brutality, all working around the blockages. I will not list Twitter names here, to protect those folks who are living in Iran and subject to retribution, but it is not hard to find them.
This article talks about the process and results. Worth reading. This is a travesty and a tragedy and makes me appreciate how lucky I am to be able to write these words without worrying about reprisals. Nuff said…
Posted by Dave Mark on Jun 4, 2009 in Politics
A great pic, passed along by Woz. This boy was visiting the white house and wanted to feel the President’s hair to see if it felt like his own. Almost as if to ask, “Can I do this too?”
Posted by Dave Mark on May 25, 2009 in Politics
OK, this just seems too crazy to be true. But I looked on Google and on snopes.com and couldn’t find anything to refute this. Seems http://www.somalicruises.com is offering cruises off the coast Somalia in boats loaded with automatic weapons, with a goal of attracting and then hunting pirates.
From the web site, here’s some testimonials:
“I got three confirmed kills on my last trip. I’ll never hunt big game in Africa again. I felt like the Komandant in Schindlers list!” — Lars , Hamburg Germany
“Six attacks in 4 days was more than I expected. I bagged three pirates and my 12yr old son sank two rowboats with the minigun. PIRATES: 0 – PASSENGERS: 32! Well worth the trip. Just make sure your spotter speaks English” — Donald, Salt Lake city Utah USA
“I haven’t had this much fun since flying choppers in NAM . Don’t worry about getting shot by pirates as they never even got close to the ship with those weapons they use and their shitty aim–reminds me of a drunken’juicer’ door gunner we picked up from the motor pool back in Nam” — ‘chopper’ Dan, Toledo USA.
“Like ducks in a barrel. They turned the ship around and we saw them cry in the water like little girls. Saw one wounded pirate eaten by sharks–what a laugh riot! This is a must do.” — Zeke, Springs Kentucky USA
Hey, I’m not judging, just sharing the stuff that catches my eyes…
Posted by Dave Mark on May 14, 2009 in Politics
Don’t know the background of this story, but an interesting read, shared by my cousin Allen. Self proclaimed anarchist Shane Becker used his iPhone to take a photo of some guards emptying an ATM. Read this post to find out what happened next…
Posted by Dave Mark on May 7, 2009 in Economy
President Obama gave a speech at Georgetown University, 45 minutes, walking through his sense of the current economic status and his plans to get us where we need to be as a nation. This article, from the Wall Street Journal, talks about the story behind the speech. You can read the full text of the speech here.
Posted by Dave Mark on Apr 22, 2009 in Military
From Woz: Definitely worth a look. If this piques your interest, here’s a link to a hi-res PDF version…
Posted by Dave Mark on Apr 14, 2009 in Politics
I am so disappointed. Just when it looked like Al Franken was finally going to be named the junior Senator from Minnesota, Norm Coleman has filed an appeal with the Minnesota Supreme Court, seeking to force a partial recount from last November’s election.
Gee, thanks Norm, way to put the needs of your constituents before your own. Thanks to you, Minnesota continues to be denied complete and proper representation.
Posted by Dave Mark on Mar 28, 2009 in News
The diary entry below is from a Project Manager at Hitt Contracting who was working inside the Pentagon when the plane hit it on 9/11.
Brought up incredibly powerful emotions for me. Deneen was on her way to work that morning, driving on the bridge that passed very near the Pentagon. We were on the phone, talking about the planes hitting the tower, I was relaying the news being passed along on CNN. Deneen says, “I just heard this big boom and now there’s smoke everywhere” and then the phone call was cut off. Just like that. I was panicked. I called and called, nothing on the news, could not get Deneen back, had no idea what was going on.
After about half an hour, CNN breaks the news about the plane hitting the Pentagon. It would be two-and-a-half more hours before I heard from Deneen. Worst time of my life.
I’m a Construction Project Manager for HITT Contracting in VA. and have 3 projects ongoing in the Pentagon. Our company has a Term Contract w/ the Pentagon and has numerous people running different projects in the building all the time. At 9:00am Tuesday I watched the World Trade Center news coverage in our on-site trailers but had to leave for a 9:30 meeting in the Pentagon. While the meeting was starting up (1 wedge away from the actual point of impact) all were concerned about what was going on in NYC & I started feeling uneasy about being in the Pentagon. Suddenly we all heard a faint boom and a shake of the building. We all went silent and stared at each other waiting to see if anything else was going to happen. Nothing did, we weren’t sure what had just happened. We all knew it very well could have been a bomb somewhere in the building, but, being very close to the loading bays, it could have been a forklift or truck backing into something and our imaginations were just running wild. Then all of a sudden the Fire Alarm Speaker made a crackling noise and someone tried to make an announcement but the speaker went dead. Then someone burst into the room and said to evacuate immediately. We still weren’t sure what to make of it because we’ve gone
through premature evacuations before in the last few months. But as we walked down the exit corridor, guards were talking about things they heard – a bomb?, a plane?, a fire? perhaps at the loading dock? We were heading for the loading dock! One of the female guards was crying hysterically, with others trying to comfort her. Then as I exited the building, still nothing unusual could be seen. then as we walked away from the building, one by one people got far enough away to look back over their shoulders above the roof to see thick black smoke pouring from the building. The slight wind made it seem to come up from the entire building. As soon I saw that I was horrified. I seemed like the whole building could have been bombed. Then the parking/loading area we were in was sealed off and we weren’t allowed to leave the area which was right up against the north side of the building. Nobody’s cell phones were working and nobody including the guards knew what was going on. After about 15 minutes someone we know came up to the locked fence from the outside and said he saw the plane crash right into the building. Rumors started spreading fast as I walked around the crowd I heard: car bombs were exploding in the other parking lots (not true), another building downtown was just bombed (not true), there were flames coming from the WHITE HOUSE (NOT TRUE), and the scariest, there is another hijacked plane circling Dulles and they think it might be the 2nd headed for the Pentagon just like the 2 that hit the WTC (also not true). These were
enough to make a few of us not care too much about what the rent-a-cops had to say about staying put, we grabbed a ladder put it up to the 10′ wall and climbed over. As I ran across Boundary Channel drive back to our Trailers, someone sitting outside their car told me that the WTC#1 just collapsed, I couldn’t believe it. I was still watching the sky more than I was where I was going, scanning for other incoming planes. By now there were fire trucks, police cars, ambulances and helicopters all over the place and even a fighter plane circling right over my head. I remember feeling for the first time what it was like to actually be in the middle of a war zone and instantly felt tremendous sorrow for the millions of unfortunate people in the world that have that fear every day. I checked in w/ the Trailer, all eour men were accounted for. The guards were now ordering us to evac the trailer and they didn’t need to tell me twice. I drove home listen to the radio in disbelief, my hands still shaking.
David M. Rubando
PSU ‘96 – Structural Design & Const. Engineering Tech.
HITT Contracting Inc.
Posted by Dave Mark on Feb 25, 2009 in Politics
I am a big fan of “smart guys with integrity” in government. Clinton is clearly brilliant, but his integrity has certainly been questioned. To me, Obama brings both smart and integrity to the table. I am a fan.
I have always thought that Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, brought both to the table as well. That’s why I was so disappointed when I heard his response to President Obama’s speech before congress. To me, Jindal came across as condescending, as if he was giving a speech to schoolchildren. In addition, his message felt crafted for him, as opposed to “from the heart”.
One thing that appeals to me about Obama is that he seems genuine to me, that he really wants to do the right thing. If someone from the Democratic Party asked him to play along in a strategy of Republican-bashing, I sense that he’d question that strategy and find his own way forward.
Jindal did just the opposite. To me, he came across as a follower, not a leader. He did not make a fiery speech leading the way to the future, determined to work with the folks in office to make the best possible moves to address the problems we face as a nation. Instead, he repeated the strategy of painting his opposing party as bad guys who don’t get it and who will lead us down the road to disaster, completely ignoring the fact that his party had its kick at the can for 8 years and brought us to the precipice on which we find ourselves.
Just to be clear, I want to win. If a Republican gives us the best chance to do that, fine with me. I had high hopes for Bobby Jindal. I was disappointed last night.
Posted by Dave Mark on Feb 13, 2009 in Politics
From Woz: Just watch…