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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, […]

IAFF: You’ve Got Mail (Not)

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Too Important to be Bothered The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Janus decision, a bit of a win for anti-union forces, is said to be another marker on the road to making unions irrelevant.  That remains to be seen, but one sure way to weaken labor’s importance is to get to the point where leaders no […]

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 […]

Things in Common

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Valor, Patriotism, Honor “The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests—no party’s, no President’s, only Putin’s” Sen. John McCain John McCain served his country including 5 years in a horrifying POW camp where he was repeatedly tortured. Robert Mueller served his country under fire as a combat Infantry Officer […]

Kabul, Sajmir and the FBI

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A few days ago in Kabul, Afghanistan, an ambulance made its way through two checkpoints and when stopped at a third, a massive bomb in the back was detonated by the driver, killing 103 and injuring 235. The Taliban, a religious extremist group, claimed responsibility as they have for other recent and horrific attacks. Afghan […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Trump and the Civil War: He’s Right

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Give the Douche Bag His Due Regarding the Civil War, Trump asked “why it could not have been worked out” and then observed that he “always felt that the South overplayed their hand.” In Trumpian language the deal on the table in 1861 was that President Lincoln, chief negotiator for the Union, was fine with […]

Guiding: The Wall and Ritual

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The Vietnam Veterans Wall, opened in 1982, is a shade under 500 feet long with over 58,000 names of those killed or missing etched into its shiny black panels. While other war memorials also list names, the Wall stands alone for its enveloping design and enormity. The names take center stage, a tidal wave of […]

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