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Lincoln (and Liberty), Captive

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Abraham Lincoln died 150 years ago this morning here in Washington, D.C., as he lay propped sideways on a too small bed, unconscious and insensible. His costly triumph was the saving of the Union. In modern consciousness he not only freed the slaves but is a civil rights super hero, too. Busy man. Lincoln famously suspended the […]

Remembering Glenn

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I want us to recall his way with humor. In this blur of grief we can forget that Glenn was very funny– mostly in person when his subtle and quick facial expressions were fully “deployed” in the best firefighting sense. He was a master of the sidelong glance, often paired with a quick rolling of the […]

NRA/GOP: Over the Cliff

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Why Unions Matter Billionaires like the Koch brothers and others despise unions simply because they are an organized voice seeking to protect the economic interests of regular working Americans. Workers band together so that they can have a say in elections and in government where economic policy affecting our well-being is made and enforced. Republican […]

Safety and Firefighting: Of Romance and Religion

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Kentland’s Messianic Zeal The news is awash this morning with photos of Prince George’s County, Maryland’s Kentland Volunteer fire rig, itself afire, during a working incident. Kentland (FS 33) is an all volunteer fire department in an urban county with a population of 900,000, an oddity in itself. On their website they trumpet: “100% volunteer […]

Bob Does Booty Duty

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Always Ready to Serve Democrat Robert Menendez, US Senator from New Jersey, was indicted this week on federal charges related to his relationship with Sal Melgen, a Florida eye doctor who apparently knows a deal when he sees one. Sal gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions, flew Bob around on a private […]

IAFF Ethical Crisis: Shrouded in Secrecy

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Bigoted and Racist Actions? A  senior IAFF official was recently charged with bigoted, offensive behavior by another top-level leader. The allegations, apparently related to hiring, are specific and the term “racist” was employed. Such reputed behavior would be serious in any setting but is especially so in an organization with a history of retarded racial […]

Politics: Cruz and His Racist Tea-Baggers

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Big Week for the Jesse Helms Fan Club Fresh on the heels of appearing at the International Association of Fire Fighter’s Legislative Conference, Texas Senator Ted Cruz announced his campaign for the presidency among a group of college students required to attend the event. I wonder if “knee-grows” were allowed? Maybe in the very back […]

Safety Gaps: Learning from Columbia

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STS-107 On February 1, 2003, space shuttle Columbia experienced a loss-of-control and catastrophic break-up at about 180,000 feet altitude during re-entry at hyper-sonic speeds. All crew members were killed as the orbiter rapidly depressurized. Years after the original investigation, a followup study closely examined crew survivability. The NASA  study touches on every aspect of safety from […]

Ethics: The Secretary Out for a Walk

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Laundry Time I headed out from my apartment on California Street in Washington, D.C., a little while ago on the way to an appointment. As I approached Connecticut Avenue on this chilly March morning I spied Jack Lew, Treasury Secretary of the United States, with a member of his security detail in tow, walking south […]

Interview with the Devil

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2015 is the 70th anniversary of the liberation by allied troops of Nazi extermination camps at Sobibor, Treblinka, Auschwitz and other locations. Many of the architects and perpetrators of the mass killing were eventually rounded up and imprisoned for trial and punishment. In 1946, American psychiatrist Leon Goldensohn (G) interviewed dozens of these prisoners at […]

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