Sergeant Tony's Blog

Why Does My Phone Have a Camera? — Sgt. Tony Ludlow, blog post for 3/31/2016

Thursday, Mar. 31st 2016 1:49 PM

If a 15 year old boy takes a cell phone photo of his junk (why one would take a picture of their privates is beyond me!) he can be arrested for having child porn on his phone. The law is slow to catch up with technology.

In fact, the history of technology outpacing man’s ability to adapt to it successfully, is full of mankind’s slow response to it. Humans always develop new technologies faster than we can understand them and seamlessly, or usefully absorb them and put them to their maximum use. Weapons and war are full of such examples. Cell phone technology, privacy, and the law are hot button topics. Should Apple help the FBI break into one of their iPhones?

Our “slow to respond” reflex is also true of the Internet. Even though we’ve had it for years, it still feels like the wild wild west. We don’t see the same kind of civility on the Internet that we show in face to face conversations and it must be a treasure trove for every sociologist looking to expand their research. Our sense of propriety hasn’t kept pace with the technology. If anything the internet has degraded it, corrupted it, poisoned it, practically eliminated it.

In no other time in history has there ever been an opportunity for so many to have access to so many. Anyone with a computer and an internet connection can broadcast to the world. Literally. And with that access, with everyone having a megaphone, the yelling and lack of propriety have become common place. Everyone wants to argue and confront one another. Everyone is right. And unfortunately, you don’t have to pass an intelligence exam or an etiquette quiz to own a computer and internet hookup.

There’s an instructive cartoon that shows a stick figure—we’ll call him Bob—sitting at a computer screen and the caption goes something like this: “Here’s Bob. Bob sees something on the Internet he doesn’t like. Bob ignores it and moves on with his life. Bob is smart. Be like Bob.”

I like it. But it’s a little too simplistic and narrow. Sometimes things posted need to be confronted and corrected. Errors in information, misinformation that could be detrimental to someone’s health and safety, hate speech, racism, bigotry, lies … evil. Those things should never go unopposed. But generally speaking, Bob is right!

Differences in genuine political orientation, religion, personal preferences, and opinion aren’t the things you confront on Facebook. You let that stuff go. For example, my friend likes jazz but I think jazz is noise, and he shares a jazz song on Facebook, I either “Like” it or I move on. I don’t comment under that song that jazz sucks. Why in the world would I do that? Recently, Ashley and I saw the new Batman/Superman movie and I posted on Facebook that we liked it. Almost immediately some guy commented, telling me I was wrong, that it was the worst thing he’d ever seen, and that Ben Affleck was a horrible Batman. What??? Seriously, Dude? It’s just an opinion about a movie. It’s like criticizing someone for not liking chocolate ice cream.

A lot of people confuse facts with opinion and vice versa. A few months ago when the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag was at its zenith, I shared some direct quotes from the actual Confederate States Articles of Secession that clearly spells out in plain and unambiguous language that protecting the institution of slavery was at the heart of secession and the formulation of the Confederacy. As a history teacher, I thought history would help in the conversation. It didn’t. I was told by a guy I barely know—and had actually forgotten that he and I were even Facebook friends—that I was wrong and that what I shared was only my “opinion.” No, brother, those are the facts, written by the people themselves in the early 1860s. Facts are pesky things. They aren’t opinion.

If a friend of mine posts something on social media that I think might be in error or something that might be wrong and might need correction or alteration, I’ll send him a private message if I think it’s that important. (The Marine Corps is big on public praise and private correction. So am I.) “Hey, Bob, you posted something on Facebook about eating raw eggs, can you tell me more about that? Can you tell me how you came to this way of thinking?” I might write that in a private message or email. (Stephen Covey’s: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”) I’ve done this a couple of times, rather than post on Bob’s timeline: “Hey, Bob, eating raw eggs is wackadoodle stupid thinking, man! You ain’t Rocky! You’re gonna make yourself sick!” That’s disrespectful to Bob … and probably none of my business! Now, if I genuinely want to understand the whole eating raw eggs thing, I’ll send Bob that private message and ask him about it.

But I see it every day. Rude, cruel, disrespectful, unsolicited criticism and negative commentary written for the world to see, some of it coming from complete strangers cowering behind the safety of a keyboard hundreds of miles away, some distant friend of a friend of a friend, saying unnecessary things they think will have no consequence, no repercussion. It’s reprehensible and cowardly, at best. And damaging and hurtful to others at worse.

Unfortunately it’s not always strangers miles away. Sometimes it’s a former co-worker, a distant relative, or even some long ago friend or classmate. But what they all have in common is that their unwanted commentary is also unsolicited.

Here’s an analogy for social media that I think is worthy of consideration. Imagine that Facebook is like a nice restaurant. The people at my table (my friends) are the people I’m going to share with and with whom I’m going to interact. If I overhear a conversation in the booth behind me that I don’t agree with, I won’t interject myself into their conversation, even if one of my friends at my table knows someone at that other table (friends of my friends). I don’t correct those people at that other table, I don’t make fun of them, I don’t chastise them, I don’t even engage them. Nor do they come over to my table and do those things. Their conversation is none of my business, even if I overhear them say things I don’t agree with. If they all think jazz is great and all of them are eating raw eggs, that’s none of my business.

What if we see people in the booth next to us start eating without saying a prayer first, would it be okay to interrupt them and tell them how wrong they were for not praying before they eat, that they’re eating unsanctified food? If my Facebook friend, whom I know to hold theological views different from mine, posts some religious belief that I disagree with, it’s not okay for me to post a comment expressing my objections, or my disappointment, or my alternative beliefs. That’s none of my business.

Or try this example. Imagine that you’ve got a political sign in your front yard indicating your support for a certain politician. Now imagine people knocking on your door at all hours of the day and night, shouting at you, or telling you how wrong you are. Perfect strangers showing up on your front door to tell you that you’re not a patriot. Or others driving by your house honking their horns and yelling their objections to your support of that candidate.

The online world may seem artificial, but the damage that can be done to relationships in the real world isn’t. Those are quite real.

So here are my rules for Internet etiquette, with particular application to Facebook.

Should I Make a Comment, Or Move On?

1. Were you asked for your opinion or commentary? If “NO,” move on.
2. Were you tagged in the post? If “NO,” move on.
3. Were you mentioned by name in the post? If “NO,” move on.
4. Will your life be negatively impacted if you don’t say something? If “NO,” move on.
5. Can you “Like” that post and write something positive and helpful? If “NO,” move on.
6. Have you had interaction with this person in the past few months? If “NO,” move on.
7. Are you an expert in the subject that’s being discussed? If “NO,” move on.
8. Is the thing you’re going to write something you’d say to this person face to face? If “NO,” move on.
9. Is the thing you’re going to write true, respectful, useful, encouraging? If “NO,” move on.
10. Would you welcome that person writing the same thing on your wall, timeline, post, etc.? If “NO,” move on.

Here’s another tip: if you’ve not interacted with a person on Facebook when they celebrated a birthday, or when they experienced the death of a loved one or beloved pet, or when they got a promotion, or took that long awaited vacation, or got into the college of their dreams, or started raising chickens, or bought an old classic car, or ran a race they’d trained for, or had a new baby, etc., etc., then don’t blindside them with some negative or confrontational comment that will literally come out of left field from their perspective. This has happened to me more times than I can remember. Some person I had completely forgotten was a Facebook friend comes out of the woodwork to tell me that I’m wrong about my love of Captain Crunch.

Common courtesy, like common sense, isn’t that common. And if someone treats you online in a way they wouldn’t treat you in person, it’s probably a safe bet they don’t deserve to be on your list of online “friends” anyhow.

I draw a distinction between respectful discussion when discussion has been requested. The other day I posted a question about barefoot running and asked for those who run barefoot, or have tried barefoot running, to discuss the topic and give me their thoughts. And for the most part, that’s who commented. The discussion was interesting and insightful.

I hope this list goes viral. I hope you’ll share the heck out of it. And if it can keep at least one ill-written post from being shared and one relationship from being irreparably damaged by it, then it would be worth it!

Treat others as you want to be treated. Build one another up. Encourage one another. And if you can’t, remember what Mom said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” And I like what the New Testament says: “And be ye kind, one to another, tenderhearted …” Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)

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If you’d like to pay using VENMO, you may! I’m Tony Ludlow on VENMO!

If you’re unfamiliar with VENMO, it’s a payment app for your phone (or computer) owned by PayPal and functions like a check. You can LITERALLY make a payment on your phone in less time than it takes to fill out a check!


by Gunnery Sergeant Ashley Holloway, Registered Dietitian, LDN

(A Registered Dietitian has a BS in Food Science, followed by a one year internship through an accredited university, and then with the recommendation of the internship program’s supervisor, a national examination is required. After that, an RD must have continuing education units annually in order to remain active and registered. An RD is an expert, not a hobbyist or a “food enthusiast.”)

The Health Benefits of Oatmeal

1.Boosts Energy- Oatmeal has a good number of carbohydrates, and your body needs carbs to keep its energy levels up. That’s where oatmeal can come in handy. Low fat and relatively low calorie, a single bowl of oatmeal can help to boost your energy levels (very important in the morning) while not loading your body with fat. Pair a small bowl of oatmeal topped with chopped up fresh fruit and nuts with a glass of milk to give your muscles the tools necessary to rebuild while giving your muscles a head start on post-workout muscle recovery.

2. Prevents Diabetes- Oatmeal has a low glycemic index which is beneficial when it comes to reducing the risk of diabetes. A low glycemic index helps the stomach empty its contents slowly, which has a positive effect on our insulin sensitivity. Oatmeal also contains fiber which slows down how quickly the carbohydrates effect blood sugar levels.

3. Helps with Weight Loss- Oatmeal helps decrease your appetite because it is full of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, which delays the emptying of your stomach, keeping you full for longer periods of time. This is very beneficial if you are trying to eat less. Also, cholecystokinin, a hunger-fighting hormone, is increased with the oatmeal compound beta-glucan. A 2009 study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found satiety increased as a result of eating foods that contain beta-glucan, like oatmeal.

4. Fights Colon Cancer- Oatmeal is full of both soluble and insoluble fiber, and a high-fiber diet can be beneficial when it comes to reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. Insoluble fiber has a laxative effect and adds bulk to the stool, which prevents constipation.This fiber attracts water and passes through the digestive tract easily, speeding the passage of food and waste. And according to the American Cancer Association, insoluble fiber helps the body to fight against bile acids, and their toxicity, which helps to lower the risks of cancer and helps to promote good colon health. A 2011 study published in the British Medical Journal found that total fiber intake, was strongly associated with a reduction in colon cancer. For every 10 grams of fiber consumed there was a 10 percent decreased risk in colon cancer. The more fiber people ate, the more risk reduction was found.

5. Boosts Heart Health- Oatmeal’s soluble fiber helps with heart health. The soluble fiber helps to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood stream. The way this works is the soluble fiber sort of gathers the bad cholesterol to itself while traveling through the body, then takes the bad cholesterol with it as it leaves your body. Oatmeal also contains both calcium and potassium, which are known to reduce blood pressure numbers. A 1999 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found whole grain consumption, because of it’s soluble fiber, was associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.



Happily, lazily, carelessly fitness is lost and weight is gained.
The realization that fitness has slipped away isn’t as apparent as weight gain, though.
The tight jeans and snug shirts and jackets, on the other hand, shout: “hey there, fatty.” And remember, 80% of your weight loss and gain has nothing to do with exercise. It’s about the calories. Calories. Calories. Calories.

The loss of fitness is discovered in more subtle ways, though. Getting winded at the top of the stairs, straining to lift the big bag of dog food, wishing you’d checked that luggage instead of carrying it through the airport … those are announcements that you’ve lost strength and stamina.

The numbers at the doctor’s office confirm that your weight gain and your lost fitness are putting you at a growing risk of illness, heart disease, and other health related maladies. Memphis is the fattest city in the country because of those things.

More women die of heart related illness than from all cancers combined. Help a friend get healthy and fit. And if that person who needs to get healthy and fit is you, GET BUSY!

Live your life as fit and as healthy as you can!

“How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.” ~ Proverbs 6: 9-11





What you get out of the workouts is determined by you.

How much do you work? How much effort you put into trying to do all of the repetitions with proper form and how much weight you’re using will determine what you get out of each workout.


It’s time for you to go up in weights … that’s what I’m thinking!



Be ye kind, one to another.

Yours in good health,

Sgt. Tony

USMC Fitness Boot Camp

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