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Memorial Day Quote

May 30, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

May 30, 1868 marked the first Memorial Day. A quote from President James Garfield at Arlington National Cemetery on that date:

“We do not know one promise these men made, one pledge they gave, one word they spoke; but we do know they summed up and perfected, by one supreme act, the highest virtues of men and citizens. For love of country they accepted death, and thus resolved all doubts, and made immortal their patriotism and their virtue.”

 


Frederick the Great

May 06, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

From the recently-published book, "The Recruiter" by career CIA case manager Douglas London:

“And Frederick the Great’s caution, to defend everything means to defend nothing…. Of course [he] didn’t have to worry about social media and constant opinion polls. This worry accounts perhaps for why, when it comes to fighting terrorism, our leaders choose to defend everything, albeit at significant costs, both materially and to our American way of life.”


Dark Sky Week

April 25, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

International Dark Sky week is in full swing! Don't let a couple big tech firms take the night. It belongs to everyone, and should not be stolen. Here is a link to the excellent but scary presentation from Dr. Paul Daniels, President of the Federation of Astronomical Societies, U.K. earlier this month to the Amateur Astronomers Association of Princeton about the looming devastation to night sky observing with the impending barrage of new satellites. By the way, he discusses NOT ONLY the observing implications--which may or may not pertain to you--but the ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS of 500-700 satellites falling out of the sky EVERY MONTH. Check it out, share it, comment, tweet, whatever...do something to create awareness. Thanks, everyone.  AAAP YouTube Video  
 


International Dark Skies Week

April 21, 2022  •  Leave a Comment
International Dark Skies week starts tomorrow (4/22-4/30)!!! No one should own the night. This goes beyond giving your kids a chance to see the Milky Way--although I think they have the right to enjoy the night. Rampant light pollution is BAD for human health, and DEVASTATES wildlife. Poorly-designed, excessive lighting is proven to be MORE DANGEROUS and not safer for humans. The evidence is found here at the website of the International Dark-Sky Association, whose research is often referenced. They also provide excellent information on how to improve (safer, and cheaper) lighting in your home and community: IDA Dark Skies
 
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Perishable

April 14, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

For much of my professional life, my work involved analysis. I remember many debates with colleagues and team members about this very topic, but I could never explain my point of view as effectively as this quote does. I would reach a decision point and want to move forward and make "the call" while others wanted more time, more research. I have come to realize how I am wired, and I believe a lot of it can be traced back to my Navy experience. 

The word that stands out to me is "perishable." 

“Now often in the hands of analysts, operational decision-making began to reflect a more lengthy deliberation process.  This was consistent with their training and culture, but anathema to operations pace and risk management. Slowing the process had an intellectual appeal. Analysts seek an exhaustive review of data so as to make the most informed decision. In operations, you never have the complete picture. Perfect becomes the enemy of the good. You must act before perishable time lapses that closes windows of opportunity and heighten risk. No decision, therefore, is actually a choice, and is one that can come at great cost. While perhaps counterintuitive intellectually, in espionage, risk aversion increases danger to our operations and people.”

from the 2021 book, The Recruiter, by Douglas London,

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