Tuesday, May 31, 2011

About Time!

A couple of years ago....from 1998-99....I worked in the Pentagon.  Part of my responsibilities included working cyber law issues.  It was a challenging, but a lot of fun.  The issues were all fairly new, so there wasn't a lot of "hard & fast" legal precedent on which to base a legal opinion.  The whole time I worked cyber law questions, I advocated for a standard that set a virtual "red line" around critical computer systems or databases, such that if anyone not authorized to access that system or database did so, it constituted an act of war.  It's an act of war for a nation-state or terrorist organization to penetrate our borders and cause havoc; the act of penetrating a critical computer system or database should be categorized the same way.   Of course, there were practical problems that needed to be identified and worked out; but the main idea was that there are certain systems or databases that are so essential to the functioning of our goverment, our defense, or our society that any interference with those systems would cause a major disruption equivalent to an attack on the homeland and those systems needed protection.

At the time, during the Clinton Administration, there were certain elements within the Department of Justice that heavily resisted calling any computer intrusion an act of war.  They wanted to categorize any intrusion into a computer system or database, critical or not, as a criminal act.  The problem with this approach was that criminal acts need to be investigated; applying all the "standard" investigatory rules, such as the requirement for probable cause prior to issuing a search warrant. 

I've been out of the cyber law arena for some time, but it looks like someone with some sense finally saw the light.  According to FoxNews, the Pentagon has finally concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country could be considered an act of war.  All I can say is, "about time." 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Memorial Day

A memorial is a thing that helps us remember.  Memorial Day should be a day that we take time to remember, to recall, and to honor.  We "celebrate" Memorial Day as the official start of Summer and all the joys that Summer brings; but we should also take the time to remember those who have passed on....particularly those who have passed on too soon while serving and protecting our great Country and the ideals she represents.  Don't let the "memorial" part of Memorial Day pass without taking some time to remember.....our fallen heroes deserve it.  May the Lord bless and keep them close and may He comfort their families on this day of remembrance. 

Blogs as History......

Greyhawk, a blogger writing on the Mudville Gazette, has re-posted a great post from November 2010 on the impact of blogs (particularly military blogs) and how the writings in these blogs should be preserved as a part of our history.  Check out the blog post here.  It's a great idea!  These blogs, whether written by those serving in a war zone or those of us at home, are wonderful primary sources for thoughts, ideas, reactions and issues of the time.  They need to be preserved!!!!   If the government can spend money studying shrimp on a treadmill or jello wrestling in Antartica; there should be funds available to preserve important writings on important topics.  The biggest practical problem would be deciding which blogs and which posts should be preserved.  Editorial questions are always the hardest.....aren't they?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Graduation Day & Friends

So it's Graduation Day here in Flyover Country.  We went to a Middle School Graduation this morning, and will attend the High School Graduation this afternoon.  Living in an "ultra-small town" like we do, we've come to know most of the kids who are graduating, so helping them mark a "life achievement" is pretty cool; especially the middle school class. 

Made me think, though.  There are 36 kids in this class.  The majority of them have been together since kindergarten, or before; and most of them will graduate from High School together in 2015.  It's something that my little military-brat-heart doesn't really comprehend.  Between First grade and High School Graduation, I went to seven different schools, most of them in different states.  I had to make new friends and find new activities at each new school.  Moving into a new school was both exciting and scary.  You could be whomever and whatever you wanted to be in a new school.  It's different for these kids.  These kids know each other.  They know who wet their pants in kindergarten and cried for their moms in First grade.  They know who got in trouble shooting the spitballs at the teacher in Fourth grade.  They know who kissed whom first.    Having someone who knows me (and the history of my foibles) that well would terrify me.   Maybe that's why I have some difficulties letting people get close to me.

My kids are also military-brats.  They've each had to move at critical stages in their lives.  I tried, as much as I could, to minimize the impact that moving could cause; but you can't eliminate it.  It's just not possible.  But I look at my kids and their ability to bond with friends and I'm envious.  My eldest collects friends.  She has a very eclectic collection of good friends from all over the world.  I admire her for that ability at the same time that I wonder how she does it.  My middle child and my son have firm-fast-friends from High School; and have newer, but still close, friends that they've made as a young adults.  Although I'm still in touch with some friends from High School, as well as friends from my active-duty days, it's mainly the at-arm's-length-social-media-contacts that seem to happen these days.  

I don't know.  Maybe my kids have the ability to keep friends close because, unlike my generation, they can  send emails and text messages. They're able to stay in touch, no matter how far away they move.   But then again, maybe it's just the difference in our experiences and our personalities.  What I do know, is that here in Flyover Country, I'm making friends I intend to let into my life and keep close.....no matter who wet their pants in Kindergarten or who put fake dog poop in the teacher's chair.  I've discovered that good friends are worth the risk. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

OK...So I've Been Bad About Blogging

I've been a big, bad, blogger.  Despite good intentions, I haven't blogged at all since New Year's day.  I've got all kinds of excuses....studying for a bar exam, taking a bar exam 27 years after I took my first bar exam, starting a new non-profit organization....you know, doing the stuff that life is made of....I'm sorry.  Life intrudes.  I'll try to do better. 

I started this blog to join in the 'blog-o-sphere conversation."  I had started to follow a number of blogs, primarily military-blogs, and found myself wanting to make longer comments on the topics covered in the blogs.  So I started this blog to put my thoughts and ideas "out there."  I guess I needed an outlet of some type.   I still have the thoughts and ideas, I just haven't been good about sharing them here.  I'm not sure why, other than a lack of time; and that's not a great reason.  I don't know, maybe there's a "deeper" reason, maybe not.  I do know that once you are cautious about sharing your thoughts, it's hard to start up again. 

Anyway, life moves on....and I want to use this post to highlight another blog.  Link on over to Chronicles of the Fabulous.  They have some fantastic stuff to gander through!  Love to both those girls and their Fabulousness!!!