This is a new page established May 29, 2010 for personal comments and information.

March 26, 2012

This entry documents and honors the passing of a friend and Vietnam War colleague, Raymond Mushal.  Ray was the consummate citizen warrior, an individual who joined the Army and served his time as an intelligence officer.  We were stationed together while assigned to the 525th MI Group with duty station Tanh Anh in southern III Corps in Vietnam.  Ray was one of my case officers directly supporting the 3d Brigade, 9th Infantry Division.

After departing the service Ray went back to school to get his law degree.  He served a long and distinguished career in the U. S. Government, specializing in the prosecution of environmental crime.  He was passionate about his work and the environment.  His death at the age of 68 after a battle with cancer deprives us of a warrior in the battle to save the environment.

July 2, 2010

The 2010 World Cup is approaching its final games so I thought it appropriate to acknowledge that two young soccer referees who officiate games for Commonwealth Soccer Officials Association have been in South Africa for some time, have travelled extensively, and have established blogs recounting their experiences.

Their youth and exuberance comes through in their postings.  It goes without saying that 9-11 is never mentioned nor do they appear to have come across any interest during their extensive travels.

Here are links to their blogs.  Readers interested in soccer (OK, football), life in southern Africa, and the adventures of youth will find the narratives useful.

The Africa File

Real Life Adventures

May 29, 2010

I have not written recently because my personal life has intervened.  I have spent most of the last month away from the blogosphere and the issues of 9-11.  What is most interesting is that as I’ve interacted with family, friends, and the public I’ve found little to no interest in the details of 9-11  It is an accepted event in history and the public at large has moved on.  The subject only comes up when I raise it.

Among other activities, I spent a week in California.  I can tell you that I did not witness or see any public interest in the details of 9-11.   Life away from the computer and the web turned out to be a life free of discussion about the events of 9-11.  The only specific conversation I had was one initiated by me.

While waiting to board a United cross-country flight I had the opportunity to ask our Captain about cabin channel 9.  For those not familiar with the capability, United passengers can listen to air traffic control communications on whatever frequency the cockpit is tuned to.  That access has been available for years beginning well before 9-11.  United 175 and AA 11 were on the same frequency when Mohammed Atta made his first two announcements over the air. Marwan al-Shehhi would have been listening if the Captain of UA 175 had allowed the passengers to do so; not a given.

The Captain of my recent flight said there was no company policy and that domestic pilots usually allowed passengers to listen; he always did so.  I asked if he could cut off access and he said he could, it was simply a matter of flicking a switch.

We will never know if al-Shehhi heard Atta, but it is reasonable to assume that Atta knew of the capability.  Hijacker cross-county orientation flights were typically on United Airlines.

My Other Life

I am a long-time youth soccer official and am the Assignor for Commonwealth Soccer Officials Association (CSOA).  CSOA was formed to provide officials for interscholastic soccer in Northern Virginia.  We provide officials to all the large public (spring) and private (fall) schools in a five-county area.

Recently, we were the subject of a Washington Post” article which readers might find interesting.  I include the link for posterity; I was one the people interviewed for the article.

Today, I officiated U11 girls games in The Virginian, a large Memorial weekend tournament of long-standing here in Northern Virginia.  I found it intriguing that one of the teams in my first game today was named “Kaos.”