The Traveling Terabyte Project – Helping those who protect us

ttb_dogtags

Though some people differ on what exactly a “hacker” is, there is one thing that can be said for certain – this global community of tinkerers, experimenters, and hobbyists we belong to is one of big hearts. Through our various projects and tutorials, we lead by example – sharing knowledge and offering help whenever we can. You would be hard pressed to find something that could exemplify this more than the Traveling Terabyte Project.

Started in the summer of 2006 by [Deviant Ollam], the goal of the project was to provide informational content from DefCon 14 to those friends and acquaintances who were deployed overseas in the service of the U.S. Armed Forces and their associates. This was originally done by outfitting durable cases with large portable hard drives stuffed with movies, music, and publications in order help those stationed far from their friends and family enjoy their down time a little bit more.

The project has grown by leaps and bounds while the storage mediums have shrunk accordingly. The project has recently entered a new phase, where they are migrating over to flash drives instead of hard drives, which should help spread the distribution of media immensely.

The Traveling Terabyte Project did not approach us soliciting money or publicity in any way, so by no means should you feel obligated to support the project. Regardless of our individual political leanings and views on war, we believe that helping out people who are subject to extreme amounts of stress while stationed far away from their home, friends, and family is a noble cause.

[Thanks, RenderMan]

Comments

  1. Whatnot says:

    All good and well, but count me as one that does NOT support US troops.

    I’m not sure it’s appropriate to come with political crap let alone war and murder and kidnapping and torture and such nastiness on this site, I rather would have you keep it clean, TIA.

  2. Gary says:

    It’s supporting the troops, NOT supporting the war.

  3. Lucas Boucher says:

    I support our troops completely. This is an awesome thing to share on HackaDay.

    The only reason Whatnot is allowed to say that in this country is the many lives of soldiers that fought for his right to do so.

  4. raidscsi says:

    Its a novel idea, but members of the armed forces intentionally signed up, their need for a care package of ripped DVDs is less than those still displaced in Haiti from the earthquake, or Australia from the flooding. Those people didn’t sign up to become homeless.

    Also see today’s XKCD, relevant to this post and my reply.

  5. fartface says:

    YOu must hate poor people then, because 99% of all American troops are the poor. They do what they are told, they dont go out as roaming thugs Unlike the Muslims in Egypt or the middle east.

    The American troops are the poor who are doing what they are told to do. “murder and kidnapping and torture” are being done by the president, the generals, the admirals, and everyone on down the line who gives the orders.

    But then we are fighting the most uncivilized people on the planet. They are ok with killing women and children for any reason. War sucks when you are fighting savages.

  6. oSPANNERo says:

    I can understand what you are saying Whatnot but please keep in mind that synonymizing the US Soldier/Sailor/Airman/Marine with “war and murder and kidnapping and torture and such nastiness” is a mistake we made during and after Vietnam.

    The important differentiation here is that the Soldier/Sailor/Airman/Marine doesn’t choose to go to war, her or she it told to go and they say “Yes Sir.”

    Now I am not saying there aren’t bad apples out there but in most cases the average GI is just some guy/gal in his 20’s – 30’s who is standing watch for 12-18 hours a day and hoping to hell nothing bad happens so they can come home to their families. And packages like the one above make a hell of a difference at the end of that day when you are missing home, family, safety, and control of your life.

    And while I respect your opinion, your request to “keep it clean”, and your right to express those things, my mother taught me something a long time ago that I would rather have respected in this thread:

    “If you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all.”

  7. Whatnot says:

    @Lucas Boucher: we aren’t all in the US you know, and this kind of thing not only polarizes between pro-US force and not-so-pro and the american reader and the non american one.

    Also the one making the freedom possible are all in care homes or dead, the current crop doesn’t do shit for freedom of speech.

  8. arfink says:

    “Also the one making the freedom possible are all in care homes or dead, the current crop doesn’t do shit for freedom of speech.”

    That’s true, because they are routinely silenced themselves. I imagine it’s little different in other country’s armies. Oh, and if this project makes you see red, start one for your home troops. After all, US citizens kinda have no way to send such care packages to people “on the other side.” It’s just not possible.

  9. oSPANNERo says:

    @raidscsi

    You make an interesting point when you compare/contrast a US Service Member to a Haitian or Australian displaced person. However, we could extense that argument to compare a Haitian displaced person and a child with cancer… or any other comparison of which of two bad situations is worse.

    In the end, when I received care packages, it was less about “charity” and more about “Thank You”. The letters and cards and pictures were all a theme around thanking a Service Member for making the conscious sacrifice of their safety and comfort to, at least in theory, protect the other 91% of the US population. (http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html)

    However, as you pointed out the XKCD from today, I feel like this is a discretionary and personal choice for each individual and they should not be criticized for their choice of how they “donate” or if they do at all.

  10. Lucas Boucher says:

    @Whatnot
    Yep realized i misread that after I posted. Happy to continue your hateful characterization of Americans.

  11. Aero says:

    Stop giving turds like Whatnot attention.

  12. anon says:

    With all the due respect for troops of any country, I do not support any war or other forms of murder.

  13. Thank you to Hack-A-Day for expressing support for the project. (And thank you to renderman and all others who have helped spread the word so that the TTB can try to touch more lives.)

    It’s a shame to see the comments thread so littered with political nonsense (so much of it is very childish bluster and the most hollow of regurgitated talking points, from both sides) but i hope that those who truly support the project as well as those in uniform will rise above it and ignore all this cable-news-style yammering.

  14. Lucas Boucher says:

    Your right, hate breads hate.

    I am sitting hear thinking about what I would think about a program like this supporting the troops of other nations, even ones that are really bad. Iran, N. Korea, etc… I can honestly say I wouldn’t think one way or the other about it, definitly no hate. Its a human thing to do, to support your countrymen.

    One thing that does make US troops/military stand out though, is the shear mass by which they can mobilize to help in disasters, aka Haiti. Maybe we didn’t rebuild the country brick for brick, but we definitly did the most.

    So i will leave with this, Even if you don’t support the current wars, remember that the typical US troop is ready to help when a natural disaster happens anywhere in the world. So at least look on this as citizens supporting troops whom are ready to help the world.(Anybody hear how we have offered any help we can give to Japan today…)

  15. Whatnot says:

    See, now we have hate and politics on a tech site, good job all around huh.

    And to answer some remarks: The US army is voluntary, they joined – and most of them joined when it was abundantly clear what BS the politicians were up to.

  16. Joe Bonasses says:

    I’ve never understood that whole “you can support the troops even if you don’t support the war” argument. I get enraged when I see people in uniform, actually. If you don’t want to murder people, don’t join the military, it’s really quite simple. And my right to speak my mind on this issue has nothing to do with vestiges of the post cold war defense industrial complex trying in vain to sustain themselves.

  17. Dannyoats says:

    In defence of whatnot…

    >”The important differentiation here is that the Soldier/Sailor/Airman/Marine doesn’t choose to go to war.””

    Beg to differ. They choose to join up and after well over 10 years of various permanent semi-legal wars they know exactly what joining up entails.

    “>The only reason Whatnot is allowed to say that in this country is the many lives of soldiers that fought for his right to do so. ”

    You have to go back a long way to find anyone that died and fought for our freedom. The current batch of wars certainly arent about protecting our freedom.

    I stopped supporting ‘poppy day’ (veterans day? a fund raising exercise for ex soliders) simply because they’ve rebranded as supporting the iraqi/afghan troops. It used to be about supporting the (aging) conscripted guys that risked life actively protecting us in two world wars. These days its aboutsupporting guys that made an active decision to join mostly illegal wars that have little to do with protecting our freedom.

  18. bones says:

    I’ve been lucky enough to receive the travelling terabyte project come to me! I was extremely grateful since the location I was in was such a sh*thole in afghanistan it helped pass the time and actually proved people back home DID support the troops!

    It’s about supporting the troops not the war!

  19. cliff says:

    @Joe Bonasses, really you can’t figure out that you appreciate that there is someone out there that say tomorrow crap really does hit the fan big time (and there is allot of crap that can hit the fan) is willing to not only to fight the enemy, whomever that is, but also die for you. Wars are started by politicians, wars are fought by soldiers. If you don’t like the war, don’t hate the warrior hate the politician. While for some reason it has been popular to personify soldiers as stupid, or poor that had no other choice, I have met very few that that is actually true for. Most just have a incredible sense of civic duty. Also don’t forget that the military isn’t just for fighting wars. After Haiti, we had boots on the ground 8 hours after it occurred. We provided security for the people that were being killed in the streets for no reason than they looked like they had food. We coordinated the supply aircraft that were backed up because the ATC personnel there had no experience running an operation that size. We stepped in and took over because it was falling apart. Then handed it back when it was (sorta) stable again.

    If you don’t like wars, don’t vote politicians in that want to go to war. But don’t demonize the soldier for wanting to serve his countrymen.

  20. James says:

    “If you don’t like wars, don’t vote politicians in that want to go to war. But don’t demonize the soldier for wanting to serve his countrymen.”

    Oh yeah, the soldiers that have the completely blind faith that when they join they’ll be sent on only good and just missions… curious. I’m not exactly against the current war situations, but I certainly don’t think that the soldiers out there chose that career with no incling of what they may be asked to do and are all somehow now aghast at the missions they’re given, all just saying “well we have to follow orders…”

  21. MRC says:

    oh boy. a political crapfest on hackaday.

    if you hate war, complain to Congress and the Senate. they are the ones holding the leash.

    do you blame the sword, or the hand that wields it?

  22. Joe Bonasses says:

    @Cliff – You’re certainly not “dieing” for me. Maybe for G.E., Honeywell, Northrop Grumman, a dozen other multi-trillion dollar firms, and their shareholders. P.S. Please try harder not to kill civilians, thanks….

  23. Ranger Joe says:

    Speaking from experience, serving in the US Army for 13 years as a Drill Sgt/Grunt/Infantryman. Serving your country is not about taking up arms to kill, torture, or rape someone. That is not what we are about. Armys that support such tactics eventually collapse from the inside out and that behavior is never tollerated in the US. I have no problems taking orders or killing someone that is attempting to take my life, that is war. At the same time once the battle is over I can show compassion to my enemy, and hope one day I can call him a friend. You are a fool if you make a judgement without being in the trenches personally. I’ve been there I’ve seen the blood, I’ve lived in the dirt with the roaches. I wish good will to those forces who oppose me. In fact I often think about their wives and family’s and hold every life sacred. The military is for grown-ups, you are given an order and you follow it. If it is un-ethical you have the right to refuse to follow the order. Only fools make assumptions about a few bad apples. I encourage you to support your community who have the misfortune of having to fight in a war. No one wants to have to kill another person even if you are good at it. It is unsettling to onese sole. At the same time to oppose war you might as well just live on the street because that is where you’d be if your country suddenly said no more wars, here come take my land. Get a brain whatnot, maybe the great OZ will provide you with one.

  24. DrAltaica says:

    > The important differentiation here is that the Soldier/Sailor/Airman/Marine doesn’t choose to go to war, her or she it told to go and they say “Yes Sir.”

    First thing: (“Befehl ist Befehl”, literally “orders are orders”) this is a legal defense that essentially states that the defendant was “only following orders” and is therefore not responsible for his or her crimes.
    One of the most noted uses of this plea, or “defense,” was by the accused in the 1945–46 Nuremberg Trials, such that it is also called the “Nuremberg Defense.” The Nuremberg Trials were a series of military tribunals, held by the main victorious Allied forces of World War II, most notable for the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, and economic leadership of the defeated Nazi Germany. It was during these trials, under the London Charter of the International Military Tribunal which set them up, that the defense of “Superior Orders” was no longer considered enough to escape punishment; but merely enough to lessen punishment.

    Second thing: US doesn’t use Conscription. so US troops did decide to go war.

    Third thing: “we believe that helping out people who are subject to extreme amounts of stress while stationed far away from their home, friends, and family is a noble cause.”

    So you are for getting the Traveling Terabyte to Hans Thomas Reiser?

    P.S. Forth thing, because I know someone will being it up: Bhai Kanhaiya

    http://www.sikhiwiki.org/index.php/Bhai_Kanhaiya

    During the frequent sallies and skirmishes between the Sikhs and the enemy around Anandpur, Bhai Kanhaiya was often seen carrying a mashak (a goatskin water pouch), serving water to anyone who was thirsty, quenching the thirst of the dying and wounded soldiers. He did this sewa (selfless service) with love and affection without any discrimination, giving water to both friends and foe. His acts of compassion stirred up stern criticism amongst his fellow Sikhs, who complained to Guru Gobind Singh Ji, pointing out that Bhai Kanhaiya Ji was even serving the fallen Hindu and Mughal attackers. They were especially annoyed because the city had been surrounded, stopping the supply of food and water, and here was Bhai Kanhaiya sharing what little water they had. They had tried to stop him many a time, but he would not pay them any heed.
    Bhai Kanhaiya’s benevolent actions eventually led to a summons by Guru Ji who explained that he had received a complaint about his actions on the battlefield.

    Guruji said, “These brave Sikhs are saying that you go and feed water to the enemy and they recover to fight them again – Is this true?”

    Bhai Kanhaiya Ji replied “Yes, my Guru, what they say is true. But Maharaj, I saw no Mughal or Sikh on the battlefield. I only saw human beings. And, … Guru Ji, .. they all have the same God’s Spirit? – Guru Ji, have you not taught us to treat all God’s people as the same?”

    The Guru was very pleased with the reply. Bhai Kanhaiya Ji had understood the deep message of Gurbani correctly. Guru ji smiled and blessed Bhai Kanhaiya. Guru Ji said, “Bhai Kanhaiya Ji, you are right, you have understood the true message of Gurbani”. He then told the Sikhs who had complained that Bhai Kanhaiya had understood the deeper message of the Gurus’ teachings correctly and that they all would have to strive to learn lessons from the priceless words of Gurbani.

    Guru also gave Bhai Kanhaiya Ji some medical balm and said, “From now on, You should also put this balm on the wounds of all who need it”’

  25. Whatnot says:

    Even though I do not support US troops, nor want to, I do think that there are a number of them that naïvely (my words) join and earnestly think they are doing good.
    But still, that does not mean you need to get a tech site involved since we know it’s polarizing.
    You can just as easily ask people to support the republican or democratic party, and then argue that some people in the party you picked are filled with nothing but good intentions, but you did then create a rift between the visitors, and a tired political discussion when you do that and it’s just better to avoid it IMHO.
    And what rubs me a bit in this article is that it seems to force a view that “no matter what you must support the wonderful (US) troops” and that’s why I posted my statement that I do not, and yeah I threw up some loaded remarks to go with it, but damn it I didn’t start it it was pulled out of me by that in my eyes disgustingly blind patriotism.
    And I might point out that in the US patriotism is generally seen as a virtue, but there are other views on the matter, every damn enemy the US fought in the WW’s was also patriotic, the germans were, the japanese were. (And the soviets were too.) It’s not a virtue to be blindly patriotic in my and many non-american’s eyes. ( note the word blindly.)

  26. Squirrel says:

    one of my favorite opinion comics was one that said something along the lines of “If america is the ‘home of the brave’, then why are the brave homeless”

    I’m an American citizen who is for our troops but against our wars. Don’t hate on the troops, hate on the politicians who got them where they are now…

  27. Seamus Ruah says:

    How about supporting the troops by bringing them home?

    Nah too simple, and it wouldn’t stimulate the earnings of defense contractors.

  28. smizzmar says:

    @Hackaday

    Thanks for posting this. You’re correct that politics has no bearing on the fact that men and women in uniform willingly endure hardships that many (most?) others would not.

    It is evident from the messages your posting has prompted, who among your readers lives in the adult world and who still lives in their parents’ basement.

    To the latter, I suggest the purchase of a calendar. It’s not 1967 any more.

  29. Whatnot says:

    You ask “don’t hate on the troops” but the point was that we are asked to “love on the troops” and how do you argue that? We can love who we please surely.
    Also once again, people join voluntarily and politicians are chosen.

    @Ranger Joe you are chuckfull of BS, you don’t engage an enemy thinking ‘oh I hope he’s alright and his family is alright’ soldiers think – and shout – ‘fuck you motherfucker’.
    If you actually are or ever have been in the army (and I doubt it) you must have been on drugs, but perhaps you can consult your colleagues to find out about reality.

    And when was the last time somebody even for a sec had the vaguest notion of taking american land? As I said – chuckfull of it.

  30. Mark429 says:

    please don’t lump all soldiers into one big group of rapist murdering rednecks… There are ALL kinds of different people in the armed forces. Most of them are decent hard working people who care about the well being of the world around them and are willing to put their ass on the line to do the hard jobs most average people would scoff at. I won’t go into how they protect your freedom and all that but let’s just say I sleep alot better at night knowing that they are out there trying to make the world a safer place. If you don’t support the troops that’s fine, don’t contribute. but would you please shut the ^&* up and let the rest of us know about this cause so if we feel inclined we may participate and bring a little bit of home & joy to people who most assuredly are having a worse &*&*ing day/week/month/year than you. Go Army Hooah

  31. Joe Bonasses says:

    @Mark429 – I actually sleep a lot worse at night knowing that our soldiers are out there making new enemies that will we have to spend billions on to kill in the future. Now, do these soldiers get paid to do all this killing? Are they there involuntarily, I thought they signed up for this? Do you think many of them regret enlisting? You are aware that more soldiers have taken their own lives than died at the hands of the enemy, right? Please, do enlighten me on how they are “protecting my freedom”?

  32. grelfod says:

    So much of this conversation reminds me of when I was a kid. back in the ‘duck and cover’ cold war days. We were lead to believe that the Russians were going to kill us and take our stuff. I was in one of the first ‘laboratory schools’ we were one of the first to have exchange students. One kid was from Poland (then part of USSR) and being kids we just asked…
    His reply – My folks don’t have time to come and kill you and take your stuff, they have to work so we can afford bread and toilet paper.
    OMG we thought so do our folks!!
    The realization that we had been lead to believe something that was not accurate (being 7 – 9 years old) made us wonder what else the 5 o’clock news was propaganda? but this is America not USSR we wouldn’t do that right?
    At that moment a small group of kids could see clearly that it must happen everywhere. you are told what ‘they’ (the people in power) want you to believe. We would never believe at the 5 o’clock propaganda *news* again.
    The same has been for the Vietnam war era – the guys I knew who were there had totally different version that the evening news.
    The sheeple just blindly believe what they are told. Stop being sheeple, look for hard the truth and end the hate!

  33. andar_b says:

    Unfortunately, Joe, I have to agree that the “protecting our freedom” line is a fallacy that many soldiers MUST convince themselves of in order to survive out there.

    A good friend of mine served in Iraq, he endured months on the streets with his peers because headquarters couldn’t decide where his unit was supposed to be stationed. He calls himself a murderer, because he accidentally shot a little girl while trying to take out a gunman shooting at their camp. He hates to be thanked for anything, because he came home to the thanks of many supportive people in his town, who later were the very same ones shooting at the soldiers when water rationing wasn’t to their liking.

  34. Volfram says:

    @Whatnot:

    “See, now we have hate and politics on a tech site, good job all around huh.”

    Yes. Thank YOU very much. You don’t get moral high-ground for condemning an argument you started.

    @Joe Bonassas:

    If you hate soldiers so much, why don’t you quit being a ball-less coward moping about it on the ‘net like an emo middle-schooler and go tell THEM that to their face. If you really want to get the point across, you oughtta start throwing punches as well as words.

    Or are you just another mindless coward?

    @Mike Nathan:

    I like Hack-A-Day and you’ve got some pretty good write-ups under your belt, but I think the comments on this one make it pretty clear you were dead-wrong about the hacking community having a big heart. We’re just as foul as the rest of humanity, but those of us who do have a generous streak at least seem to have it a mile wide.

  35. anti-fanboi says:

    I do wonder what percentage of people who advocate this “unquestioning support for the troops” are athiest?

    I also wonder how the (ex)serviceman comes to terms with the reality of their actions being in direct conflict with their stated ideals?

    The US military seems to be able to anything it wants. Since Binladen is still at large, is he in fact Golstein(1984)?

  36. Harvie says:

    Don’t forget to add shitloads of PORN!!!

  37. 1000100 1000001 1010110 1000101 says:

    Hooah

  38. Joe Bonasses says:

    @Volfram – Cheney would be so proud of you. I’m actually quite active in my local community in my opposition to the war. As far as advocating violence, this is one of the things I’m opposed to in my opposition to the war and individuals who take money in exchange for killing people under the guise of “protecting freedom”. Exactly how does my opposition to death and human suffering make me small-hearted?

  39. Volfram says:

    @Joe Bonasses:

    “I can save ten lives by taking one.”

    Diplomacy is a good way to solve problems. When it works, it is the best way.

    Diplomacy doesn’t always work, though. And when it doesn’t, I am never opposed to using violence when necessary. Calm and measured when possible, swift and decisive at all times, merciless when necessary. Contrary to popular opinion, sometimes genocide is the answer.

    What kind of alternative do you offer?

  40. Deuterous says:

    I have several friends from Iraq and Iran.

    The Iraqis were tortured and had family members killed by being boiled alive in a large vat of oil Saddam kept for that purpose.
    The Iranians fled because they were Christian and persecuted.

    In the 1980’s I worked for the CDC in a lab that kept samples of deadly viruses for vaccine research. Under international agreement we were required to provide samples to legitimate researchers. A sample of live smallpox virus was delivered to Iraq.

    Smallpox is 99% contagious and 90% deadly, if you don’t die you are disfigured for life. It’s airborn and has a short incubation period and a long contagious period. In my opinion it’s the single most lethal thing on the planet. It ravaged the world repeatedly until wiped out by a worldwide effort led by the United states to eradicate it by universal vaccination.

    Todays population is NOT immune has NOT been immunized and lacks the protection provided by large numbers of people who have already been exposed. There are no stockpiles of vaccine. With modern transportation this virus could explode across the world and kill millions perhaps Billions Before we could even start to immunize the population.

    The Smallpox sample was never recovered.

    For those outside the USA there was a broadcast interview of “Dr. Germ” the woman who headed Iraq’s Biological weapons program. She proudly and unapologetically stated that she was in charge of developing Biological weapons including anthrax and you guessed it Smallpox.

    A vial smaller than your pinky finger has the potential of ending human civilization the chances of finding it in Iraq are less than winning the lottery then being eaten by a polar bare while scuba diving in Hawaii

    I was loudly opposed to the War in Iraq, Not because Saddam wasn’t a brutal dictator who posed a danger to the world, but because of the chances of an accidental or deliberate release of Smallpox by Iraq well known Biological weapons program.

    The thought still gives me nightmares.

    A little first hand information to cut through the BS.

  41. Hacksaw says:

    @ Whatnot…Sir you are a jackass. @ Joe Bonehead fuck you.

  42. barry99705 says:

    @all the haters

    The world is a fucked up place at the moment. It is the US’s fault, maybe some of it, would it be worse if we just pulled out of every host country we currently have troops in? Most definitely. Yea, the Middle East is a fucked up situation, made worse by the fact that the people who attacked us are too cowardly to wear a uniform. Makes it awful damn hard to determine friend or foe when they all look the same, at least until they gun down the guy standing beside you, or send a 5 year old up to your platoon with 10 pounds of explosives and nails in their backpack. When was the last time you read in the paper “US car bomb kills 30 stock traders, injures 20 more”? We’re not the ones blowing up our own citizens! Yea, our soldiers are killing people, but 99% of the time those people shot first. Personally I’d love to pull our troops home. All of them. Then we could watch the Mid East tear itself apart trying to figure out who’s god’s dick is bigger. We might even get to see that crazy fuck in charge of North Korea pop a nuke off somewhere, that would be cool. Then you’ve got the crazies in Africa chopping people’s heads off, or the dudes in dingies who have seen a few too many Johnny Depp movies taking over cargo freighters, and private sail boats. Lets not forget about the drug cartels in Mexico, Central, and South America. Those guys aren’t handing out puppy dogs and candy bars either.

  43. Volfram says:

    barry, I am in 100% agreement. I think part of the reason the world is in as bad a shape as it’s in is because US foreign aid has been holding it together like duct tape on a rotten house.

    I think we should pull everyone home, close the borders, and watch as the rest of the world destroys itself financially and tears itself apart with wars. Most of them don’t want our help anymore anyway, why should we give it to them?

    Do a real number on the deficit, too, given how much tax money is spent on foreign aid.

  44. XBMC^N says:

    Wow. Quite the thread.

    I respect the intentions of anyone who is willing to selflessly offer themselves in service of others. I’m sure this applies to the initiators of the Traveling Terabyte project, as well as to many of the people who have placed themselves in harm’s way in the armed forces.

    Respecting intentions is one thing. Respecting results is quite another. These wars fought in the name of “Freedom” and “Protection of the Homeland” have done nothing to advance either one of these goals.

    Operation Iraqi freedom has decimated Iraq. At home, Americans have to be groped or porno-scanned to travel by air, and are constantly bombarded with messages about how unsafe they are.

    Which brings us to the second point – protection of the homeland. Terrorism is not a problem that can be stopped by starting a war. When you kill someone’s family and they have nothing else to live for, they become easy to radicalize. Even if you killed every citizen of a country that supported terrorism, all you’d end up doing is creating such ill will that someone from a different country would rise up and resist you.

    America is less free and less safe due to the war on terror. I get that this is almost an unthinkable fact for people who have gone through hell and who have quite unintentionally made things worse for their country.

    So yeah, sending pirated movies to them seems as good a way to help as any.

  45. anufaq says:

    War/Army aside, i do like the idea of a ‘sneakernet’ style file sharing system. With the isolation, the people are grateful and are far more likely to pass the USBs on, rather than just format it and keep it.

  46. smizzmar says:

    @Joe Bonasses

    So you’re “enraged” when you see a soldier?

    I wonder how you feel about doctors… Since Roe V Wade, they have murdered 52 MILLION naked, unarmed, defenseless “civilians.”

    In order to garner the support of the left, I propose that the U.S. military start characterizing their operations as “ulta-late-term abortions.”

    Most people would celebrate the 216th trimester abortion of Osama Bin Laden.

  47. anufaq says:

    Oh, on a practical note, he could have done this for half the price.

    Pelican cases? just use generic ones 1/3 of the price at most hardware stores.

    Aluminum enclosures? Way pay $30 USD for these ones, just buy laser branded aluminium ones for $10

    DVDs instead. For $10, you can buy a 50pk of blank DVDs, and CD mailing cases are pretty cheap. Make a stamp with the web address on it. Just stamp and post. The troops can pass the dvd around until it gets scratched up and throw it out.

  48. Whatnot says:

    It’s funny how much delusional views are presented here, including projection of views.
    I made some statements, those you can attribute to me and question me on, but to infer the most ridiculous caricatures upon me is just insane.
    I’m not against the concept of having an army to defend yourself for instance, nor do I think all soldiers are raving lunatics, I just think that the US policy is seeking conflict where there is none, and seeking to extend chaos either by some (often hidden) agenda that has nothing to do with defending the US or simply by retarded interpretation of reality, and I think that’s clear and visible before you sign up.

    As for moral highground, that too I do not lay claim on, I never said I was better or more moral, hell I know I’m not, but that does not mean I can’t dislike something else that isn’t.

    And to those that call me jackass, see now that’s fair, you give your view, we know it’s a view, fair enough. And I probably am a jackass in many ways actually :/

    And as for the guy asking the other guy if he would say that to the face of army guys.. well that argument is beyond retarded, did jewish shopkeepers in germany dare to question the armed trained SS to their face? No? So they are wrong and ‘cowards’ eh… Such tripe.
    And you can be the biggest coward in the universe anyway and guess what? You can then still be right about something (even when it’s frustrating to the trained violent armed target of criticism that they can’t ‘argue’ by attacking that person).

  49. strider_mt2k says:

  50. Chuck Simmons says:

    The ability to challenge and question authority has always been the hallmark of a “free” society, and those here and elsewhere that question the validity and purpose of America’s wars are certainly free to do so.

    That being said, I think that some commenters here are forgetting the fact that without American soldiers, they would be living under a totalitarian regime and likely not speaking English. It is important to keep in mind that comments of these types are common from those that have never met a soldier (American or otherwise) and/or who have never served their country in any capacity. Living at Mum’s house while on the dole does not count as “serving your country”.

    I have known numerous American warriors and can attest to the fact that the vast majority are intelligent and do what they do with honor. Yes, there are some “bad apples” but they are largely few and far between.

    The biggest point that opponents of this project are missing is this: those soldiers are sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, and so on. In short, many are people who have opted to be away from their families. Don’t they at least deserve a little taste of home?

    I for one am proud of and grateful for American soldiers. I do not always support their missions or actions, but at least I am intelligent enough to differentiate between the politics and the people.

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