Walk-About

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Just Drop It Off On the way to the Natural History Museum yesterday I walked down 12th St., NW, passing beside the former “Old” Post Office which is now the new Trump International Hotel. Besides mostly being surrounded by barricades and security guards, I noted, as you can see from the image, that the Internal […]

Pensions: Bank Holiday in Dallas

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Bully for the Mayor Don’t you just hate it when someone starts off an article by defining a word? Sorry, here goes. pen·sion (penSHÉ™n/): a regular payment made during a person’s retirement from an investment fund to which that person or their employer has contributed during their working life. They have entirely forgotten that in […]

Leadership: The Day After the Day (Of Infamy)

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December 8, 1941 The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on the 7th of December was a rude wake-up call for Admiral Husband Kimmel and General Walter Short, the Navy and Army commanding officers there. Both had been individually and repeatedly warned of the imminent danger of war. Yet, they did little to prepare and seldom […]

Drain the Swamp: Bob Dole

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Old Men, Old Tricks President-elect Trump’s recent kerfuffle-making call to the president of Taiwan wasn’t such a newbie gaffe after all. Turns out that former US senator and failed presidential candidate turned lobbyist Bob Dole was behind the call in his role as a once and former power-broker. Dole receives $25,000 a month to lead […]

Fire Survival: Oakland, Dead Right There

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The “Ghost Ship” The death toll in this weekend’s fire at an Oakland, CA, warehouse being used as an entertainment venue is at 33 and may rise higher still. Ten of the 20 deadliest fires in US history have occurred in similar venues. In the aftermath it’s commonplace to dwell on the poorly maintained building […]

Response Times: Canada

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IAFF vs CUPE The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) is none too happy with the Ontario Professional Firefighters Association’s move to begin providing fire-based EMS first response. According to the CBC, Jeff Van Pelt, chair of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), which represents more than 6,000 paramedics in Ontario, said, “The move […]

Pensions: A Texas Haircut

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Rookies Get the Shaft As previously reported, the pension fund for Dallas firefighters is lurching towards insolvency because of bad decisions by the trustees, but they have a fix for that. For those of us wishing to learn from their disaster, it’s crucial to note that a greedy and ethically unsupportable deferred retirement option plan […]

Pensions: Disaster in Dallas

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That Firefighter Brotherly Love? The Dallas Police and Fire Pension Fund needs a $1.1 billion dollar bailout from the city in order to avoid insolvency as a result of a combination of actions all rooted in fiduciary recklessness over a 23-year period. From a guaranteed 8.5% annual interest rate on DROP accounts to pie-in-the-sky investment […]

“America’s Most Alarming Story”

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The Bear Interferes The Washington Post has an opinion piece by Eric Chenoweth,  co-director of the Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe, upbraiding us collectively for our failure to be appropriately outraged at Putin’s supposed meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Chenoweth suggests we should have mouths agape at “the successful effort by a hostile foreign […]

Boots on the Ground: Senior Chief Petty Officer Scott Cooper Dayton

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Killed on Thanksgiving Chief Scott Dayton was killed on Thanksgiving Day as part of US Special Forces fighting ISIS in Syria. The Times reports that he died in “Ayn Issa, a town halfway between Raqqa and the Turkish border.” Dayton is the first publicly disclosed US casualty in Syria. Special Forces are training and preparing […]

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