My message to police officers after the death of George Floyd

In response to the actions by the Minneapolis police officer that led to the death of George Floyd, I say this: the actions of that police officer were horrific and abhorrent, and yes, I think he should be charged with second-degree murder. As has been said by others, if I did that to anyone else,Continue reading “My message to police officers after the death of George Floyd”

“Heritage, not hatred” – The puzzling motto behind southern pride

With my dog, I used to run the two-mile trail that looped the Union and Confederate trenches of the Battle of the Wilderness, fought in May 1864. The two armies met in skirmishes along Plank Road, and in an effort to outflank one another, made their way further from the road into the forest untilContinue reading ““Heritage, not hatred” – The puzzling motto behind southern pride”

The crazy story of the night I almost ended up stuck in downtown Naples, Italy

In January 2012, I had the opportunity to travel to Naples, Italy for four days. It wasn’t a personal vacation, rather a work-related trip. The best part about it was that I was stationed at the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, and any excuse to get out was a welcome one. As the embassy’s leadContinue reading “The crazy story of the night I almost ended up stuck in downtown Naples, Italy”

A Decade of the Witch: My story of a band with which I fell in and out of love

I don’t remember the exact year or time, but it was probably around 2008 or 2009, when I was introduced to a thrash/death metal band called Skeletonwitch on XM radio. They had such a great sound, and I was so impressed with the music that I bought all of the band’s albums I could. ThenContinue reading “A Decade of the Witch: My story of a band with which I fell in and out of love”

Watching Hunters on Amazon reminded me of my visit to Auschwitz

The train tracks just ended. They entered the plaza underneath a brick archway and then just stopped. I had never seen train tracks just end before, as every time I had ridden a train, usually with my grandfather, they always continued on somewhere else. Not these. And they didn’t need to go anywhere. Their purposeContinue reading “Watching Hunters on Amazon reminded me of my visit to Auschwitz”

I almost got stuck in Europe because I didn’t know this rule about air travel

Almost five years ago to the day, in early 2015, I attended a wedding in Poland. My friend, the groom, was marrying a first-generation Polish-American and they thought it would be incredible to have a wedding in Poland, so all of the bride’s family could attend, as they were older and had less money andContinue reading “I almost got stuck in Europe because I didn’t know this rule about air travel”

Fox News commentator Marie Harf still owes me $40…and has since 2008

The following is a true story. The quotes I include maybe not be exact, but they are close enough to what I remember happening… In July 2007, I started working at the CIA as a military analyst on Middle East issues (as the CIA’s review board allows me to say). I worked on the sixthContinue reading “Fox News commentator Marie Harf still owes me $40…and has since 2008”

I feel strange about the Thunderbirds flyover

Along with thousands of others, I witnessed today’s flyover of the Air Force Thunderbirds and (I presume) the Navy’s Blue Angels. I didn’t leave my apartment; I could see it just fine from the view from my sunroom that overlooks Fort Myer. As the planes approached from the northeast and turned to the north alongContinue reading “I feel strange about the Thunderbirds flyover”