IAFF: 163 Years and Counting

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We Know Him (Much) Better Than You Do Four current and (very) longtime IAFF members who also come from IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger’s home local, number 2068, managed to be in the same place at the same time for lunch this week. Among the four, they represent 163 years of IAFF and union membership. […]

9/11 Eve: In Solemn Solidarity

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The Terms of War “Never Forget” is a maxim which before 2001 was often associated with victims of the Nazi Holocaust; millions murdered initially recklessly, then with surgical-like precision. In the wake of September 11th, it gained renewed relevance, especially in our community, regarding public safety workers, especially firefighters killed at “Ground Zero.” “Ground Zero” […]

Nike and Kaepernick

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The Ad You Will Love or Hate Nike is betting most will love it and there’s the story. Colin Kaepernick is nothing if not polarizing. He is the center of the controversial universe. In many ways he is the last person to choose to represent a product or brand. Unless. Nike has done their homework. […]

MAGA and McCain

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Many people have a “defining moment” and John McCain’s was when he refused an early repatriation offer while confined as a prisoner during the Vietnam war. He was a prisoner of the North Vietnamese for seven years, enduring torture and deprivation. That refusal, when most would have given in, showed an uncommon commitment to a […]

On to Kyrgyzstan

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A Return to Tashkent We came back to Tashkent on the high-speed train and it is much cooler here. As hot as it gets during the day, you can sleep with the windows open at night as it drops into the 60’s and there is no humidity. It’s easy to see why silk road travelers […]

Uzbeks and the Bear

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King Cotton Uzbekistan labored under the yoke of either Czarist or Soviet repression from the mid 19th-century until the fall of the USSR in 1991. Some of that repression is directly tied to the American Civil War when the availability of cotton was interrupted by President Lincoln’s “Anaconda” plan to strangle the Confederate states with […]

Bukhara: People

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First, the weather report. At two in the afternoon it’s 113 in the shade. I rolled out at 5AM this morning to see the city at the verge of dawn and to escape the heat. No surprise, it was still and cool with only the sounds of doves cooing. People were walking or biking to […]

Uzbekistan: On the (Rail)Road to Bukhara

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Fast Train to Bukhara It’s early Saturday morning here in Uzbekistan, hot already, and we are on the high-speed train to Bukhara, one of the ancient and great cities of the Silk Road. “Silk Road” refers to the trading routes stretching from Beijing all the way to Syria which were in use thousands of years […]

Road Trip: Welcome to the ‘Stans

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Central Asia Ten hours to Istanbul and another four put me in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, yesterday in the middle of a sultry night. The plan is to see some of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and go trekking for ten days in Tajikistan before returning. These places are the crossroads of the world, famous and ancient trading routes […]

IAFF: Stolen Valor?

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Mathew Golsteyn, Chief of Operations During my time as an IAFF member, the position now known as “chief of operations” has been populated with low-key civilians or folks with a labor background. IAFF General Secretary-Treasurer Ed Kelly changed all that. He tapped Mathew Golsteyn, a former U.S. Army Major who served with the Special Forces, […]

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