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Guiding: Wet But Still Wonderful

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Like many parts of the nation, we have had our share of rain (and more) the past few weeks. There was a nine-day stretch where the sun seemed on vacation from the skies. We can echo that from the standpoint of rain it’s been one of the wettest ever. Because the Potomac River bisects the […]

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” […]

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 […]

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 […]

Guiding: Mac and Cheese and Drain the Swamp.

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It’s June already and we are in the throes of the D.C. guiding season. It’s that time when you can barely remember one group from the next nor what you said or to whom you said it. This is my ninth year and and for the first time, I have had eighth-graders inform me with […]

Stillness

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Last evening, the beginning of Memorial Day weekend, I found myself at Arlington National Cemetery touring with 8th-graders from Ohio. It was 6pm sharp, we were at the Tomb of the Unknowns, and the changing of the guard was underway. It being the day that it was, a sentinel was in charge rather than a […]

Fairfax: Boy’s Club Wake-Up Call

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Hernandez Settles and Fairfax Pays In January, the U.S. Fourth District Court of Appeals issued a withering and decisive opinion regarding Fairfax County’s appalling handling of the Magaly Hernandez complaint. Hernandez alleged a hostile work environment with sexual harassment and retaliation, the Court agreed that a jury could well conclude the same. From the Fourth […]

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