Rich and (In)Famous

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This is a story about wealth and power. Word emerged this week that Denise Rich, songwriter and former wife of  well, uber-rich, Mark Rich, had renounced her American citizenship to become Austrian, in order “to be closer to her family.”  Rueters reports that Ms. Rich could save “tens of millions of dollars or more in US taxes”. […]

How the US Military Proves FDNY Wrong

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“A Social Experiment” President Harry Truman’s grandparents owned slaves and historians have said that he was raised and conditioned to be a racist.  Yet, just 100 days before the 1948 elections and despite 82% of Americans disagreeing with his position, he issued Executive Orders 9980 and 9981 ordering the racial integration of the US military. […]

DC Cats: The Quiz (Win $20 at Starbucks)

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 Washington, DC is a veritable jungle with lions and tigers all around.  Be the first to correctly identify these and win a $20 Starbucks card.  Just send in a comment (below) with your answers.  (Most correct list wins.) Good Luck!            

40,000 Years

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I don’t know my eons from my eras and the very sound of the words reminds me of rocks, dinosaurs and natural history and I start to get very sleepy. And while forty thousand years is a long time, it is just barely imaginable.  I once earned that much in dollars so I have a […]

On Holding Forth

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The end of the “regular” DC guiding season is (thankfully) upon us as students complete the school year and head out for their summer adventures. I spent this final week  with fifty Midwestern 8th-graders who were smart and well mannered which is a nice though somewhat rare combination. Tuesday evening we walked some of the […]

U.F.O.

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Yesterday I made the weekly pilgrimage to Whole Foods (a.k.a. Whole Paycheck) in order to make just about my only purchase there:  fresh fruit. It’s embarrassingly expensive but also very good.   I wandered the produce aisles worth a late model Mercedes, made my selections and headed up to the checkout area reminiscent of food […]

Demise of the Wandering Mind

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No Gettysburgh Tweet I always thought that slaves in America were confined to a never-ending existence of unrelieved dawn-to-dusk forced labor.  Turns out I was mistaken, at least in part. Many 18th century slaves in the south worked in a task-based system. When they finished their task, usually hoeing a quarter-acre plot, they were done […]

T. A. and the Bet

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Some readers here will know that my vocation of late is as a DC tour guide.  I work for a company that assigns me to incoming groups who are here to see the sights.  I have not enjoyed working this much since I was a firefighter.  Curiously, the jobs have much in common.  I am […]

That Rolling Thunder

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Easy Rider Meets Easy Company   It’s Memorial Day here in the Nation’s Capital and the motorcycles have once again arrived to remind us of something.  Just exactly what remains unclear. Tens-of-thousands of doo-rag wearing white-haired Vietnam era Veterans and their legions of followers careen hither and yon in the costume and style of motorcycle […]

The Deutsche Bank Fire and J’accuse? Not So Fast.

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Yesterday’s blog post at IAFF online by Rich Duffy trumpets a “must read” article in a “prestigious, professional online magazine” by author John Steadman concerning the fatal fire at the former Deutsche Bank building which was under demolition at the time of the incident. First, employing “J’accuse”, a reference to the 19th century Dreyfuss affair in […]

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