Updates and news.

Another week gone by, another update.

I admit, I’ve taken a slight break from writing Crimson Sands. In its stead, I’ve begun work on a new short story that I wanted to work on. With a Work-In-Progress title of, “Gunslingers of Asgards,” I’ll leave it up to you exactly what that seems like.

Last night, I had a great time joining the Hangout that veteran writer Matt Forbeck hosted over on Google+. Topics ranging from writing and football to drinks and conventions were discussed, and it seemed a good number of us enjoyed ourselves. Link to the archive is right … here.

I’m also trying to work on ways to improve my productivity when it comes to the writing. The pace just hasn’t been good, and I’m becoming too easily distracted. I need to find a way to buckle down, get focused, and make the magic happen. Hopefully I can make this happen before NaNoWriMo comes up, otherwise I’m screwed.

Then we get to the news stands of today.

For those that don’t know, a film was produced that mocked Muhammad, a prophet of the Islamic faith. In reaction to this, organizers began massive riots and protests against American embassies all over Africa and the Middle East. These riots have damage property, set fires to buildings and cars, and claimed the lives of not only protesters but also American officials in Libya.

Ambassador J Christopher Stevens, Information Management Officer Sean Smith, and former Navy SEAL operators Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. These are the names of the four American personnel that were killed during the initial assault on the embassy in Libya. These are the people who thought they could make a difference in Libya, one for the better.

Now, because of some ass who made a video and the people’s own misplaced outrage, they are four lives cut too short.

Ambassador Stevens, from what I’ve seen, was a great man. Prior to being a member of the United States Foreign Services, he was a international trade lawyer. In addition to this, he taught English as a member of the Peace Corps in Morocco.

He tried his best to bring peace and freedom to Libya, trying to help the people  and the country as a whole. Few people would dream of doing something as he seemed to, and fewer yet would go so far as to make it their reality.

Sean Smith, a man some know better as Vile Rat in EVE Online, seemed to be a man of great character. As a fellow EVE pilot, though admittedly one much younger and less capable, I will gladly admit that I came to the game after hearing about the exploits of GoonSwarm in their wars with various other alliances.

Sean “Vile Rat” Smith was one of the key people behind the scenes that helped influence not only GoonSwarm’s wars, but even the game itself by being a member of the elected community teams. These accomplishments also stand alongside his real life accomplishments of being a married father of two, along with being a veteran in the United States Air Force.

Last, but certainly by no means least, Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. Former members of one of the – if not the most – talented and skilled armed services in the world, the U.S. Navy SEALS. Woods provided security for diplomats in foreign countries, even after serving multiple tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan, along with being a registered nurse and certified paramedic. Doherty, in Libya to search for shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles, was on the advisory board for the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

These accomplishments for both of these men are only a portion of their achievements, however, since their contributions during their service are likely great, but will always remain undisclosed.

These men, all of them, were people who gave their lives trying to make the world a better place in one way or another. In the end, however, their time came too soon.

Let me state this bluntly: I do not condone what the video is said to show, nor would I condone it if it were against any other faith. At the same time, the violent response to it is beyond abhorrent and inexcusable. One does not protest something by setting fires to embassies, assaulting foreign sovereignty, and killing diplomatic personnel. I do not care how offensive the depiction is to one’s sensibilities or faith, the deaths and destruction that has followed in it’s wake can not be excused under any circumstances.

Ever.

May these great men rest in peace, and may we find some way to end this situation as quickly and peacefully as we can. Don’t let these men be forgotten, but let’s not also lose sight of the goals they sought to live – and even die – for.

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