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John Kelly and Honor

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When a Fifth-Grader Gets It Retired Marine General and Trump chief-of-staff John Kelly said recently that, Confederate General Robert E. Lee was  “an honorable man who gave up his country to fight for his state.” Kelly’s statement tells us much about how he personally views the concept of honor. The idea of honor is anchored […]

JFK Files: October Surprise?

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Kennedy Dies President John Kennedy was riding in an open limousine through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963, when he suffered a fatal gunshot wound. Kennedy was shot twice, the first round struck him in the upper back and exited near the adam’s apple while the second was a devastating head wound […]

Leadership: Gold Star Madness

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Trump, Right and Wrong U.S. Army Sergeant La David Johnson was killed in action in Niger, one of four soldiers who died in an apparent ambush. The exact circumstances of his death remain in dispute as does the manner in which President Trump attempted to console his family including his wife Myeshia Johnson, and mother […]

Ford’s: A Salesman

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Of Willy and Bernie Thanks to knowing the “right” people, for once in my life, I was able to attend the dress rehearsal for Arthur Miller’s legendary play, Death of a Salesman, at Ford’s theater this past week. Set mostly in New York City in 1948, there is precious little difference between Willy Loman’s world […]

War: Afghanistan/Chicagoland

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A Picture Worth a Thousand Words Those dark splotches on the map, looking a little like coffee stains, outline the areas of Afghanistan under the control of either the Taliban (light gray) or ISIS (darker gray). They are mostly non-contiguous, floating zones where these groups have exerted enough muscle or influence to drive out government […]

Hidden DC: An Aqueduct Bridge

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Watering Washington Montgomery Cunningham Meigs, Quartermaster General of the Union Army during the Civil War, was the brains and driving force behind the creation of the 12-mile long Washington Aqueduct system which supplies water to the city to this day. The 9-foot diameter brick and mortar conduit begins near Great Falls on the Potomac river […]

Leadership: Bullying

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Not a Winning Formula While we digest Trump’s recent Phoenix rant where he viciously attacked the First Amendment, we should also keep our eyes on what is happening in the Senate. “In a series of tweets this month, Mr. Trump criticized Mr. McConnell publicly, and berated him in a phone call that quickly devolved into […]

Jerry Lewis, My Brush With Fame

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When I was still working at the IAFF, and during my last convention, in 2008, my job was to “bird-dog” the schedule and keep things running smoothly. The meeting began at about 9AM and was mostly a series of speakers and work on IAFF business, usually attended by about 1,500-2,000 union officers. Jerry Lewis, the […]

Words: N*gg*r in the Woodpile

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Anne Marie Morris, British MP: Clueless or Worse Her gentle-ladyship was discussing the exit of Britain from the European Union when she said: “Now I’m sure there will be many people who’ll challenge that, but my response and my request is look at the detail, it isn’t all doom and gloom. Now we get to […]

What Would George Think?

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How About a Little Self-Control? George Washington, President Number One, is known to have been a man of few words. Historians point to his rather humble beginnings and his lack of a formal education as reasons for his relative silence. He was also in the company of intellectual big dogs, Adams, Jefferson and others, who […]

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