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 […]

Bukhara: People

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First, the weather report. At two in the afternoon it’s 113 in the shade. I rolled out at 5AM this morning to see the city at the verge of dawn and to escape the heat. No surprise, it was still and cool with only the sounds of doves cooing. People were walking or biking to […]

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 […]

Road Trip: Welcome to the ‘Stans

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Central Asia Ten hours to Istanbul and another four put me in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, yesterday in the middle of a sultry night. The plan is to see some of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and go trekking for ten days in Tajikistan before returning. These places are the crossroads of the world, famous and ancient trading routes […]

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 […]

IAFF: Only Ourselves to Blame

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The Supreme Court and Right to Work The Time’s reports it:  “The Supreme Court dealt a major blow on Wednesday to organized labor. By a 5-to-4 vote, with the more conservative justices in the majority, the court ruled that government workers who choose not to join unions may not be required to help pay for […]

White Supremacy: The Taking of Children

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An American Tradition The separation of families is rightly being seen as an act of white supremacy where those in power summarily strip children from parents under the guise of protecting America. It has a long history in our country connected to the chattel slavery of blacks. Slave owners, speculators and, of course, the Klan, […]

Fairfax: The Willie Bailey Effect

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So Much For Political Credibility IAFF Local 2068 President Ron Kuley’s Stanley Cup fire engine joy ride is mostly noted for who was with him and who wasn’t. But the real issue is where the engine was supposed to be that day. Kuley had promised it to Willie Bailey, a member of the Alexandria City […]

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