Republicans in Congress: This is what you asked for

To the Republicans in Congress, This is what you asked for. Four years of enabling an autocratic, anti-democratic, narcissistic and deranged man has now led to where we are now. On January 6th, you and Vice President Pence were huddled in secure locations inside the US Capitol as a horde of Trump loyalists broke throughContinue reading “Republicans in Congress: This is what you asked for”

The eerily relevant comparison between Donald Trump and the Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Their name accurately depicts what they are–pizza-eating, somewhat immature, overgrown turtles with incredible fighting abilities. With their master Splinter, an overgrown rat with ninja skills, they fight the Shredder and his Foot Clam as they terrorize New York as a dangerous criminal syndicate. In the first ninja turtles movie, theContinue reading “The eerily relevant comparison between Donald Trump and the Shredder from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”

Counterproductive pride: The story of how the US Army refused to adjust, ending the careers of two top brass

In September 2011, I was at the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq and we were in the middle of negotiating with the Iraqi government about extending the US military presence there. Brett McGurk, who negotiated the 2008 status of forces agreement, was back in the country as a senior adviser to Ambassador Jim Jeffrey andContinue reading “Counterproductive pride: The story of how the US Army refused to adjust, ending the careers of two top brass”

Surprise! Yes, for two years, I was a Washington Nationals Racing President

It is true. For the 2018 and 2019 baseball seasons, I was a member of the Washington Nationals entertainment staff, specifically one of the people who wore the famous Racing Presidents costumes. I am no longer on the staff, so I felt I could share my story of how and why I joined the RacingContinue reading “Surprise! Yes, for two years, I was a Washington Nationals Racing President”

The Oddities of a Bar Mitzvah

It’s the Jewish rite of passage that is thousands of years old. It’s the entrance into adulthood. It’s the time when, biblically speaking, when a boy would rise up and (figuratively) say, “I am man! Hear me roar!” And thousands of years ago, when life expectancy probably was around 40 years old, that made aContinue reading “The Oddities of a Bar Mitzvah”

Two days with Mad Dog: My short yet memorable time with General Jim Mattis in Iraq

As former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis recently released a scathing article about President Donald Trump, there has been much back-and-forth about Mattis from political pundits, and the president, who wrote on Twitter, that Mattis is “the world’s most overrated General.” In the summer of 2012, General Jim Mattis was the head of US CentralContinue reading “Two days with Mad Dog: My short yet memorable time with General Jim Mattis in Iraq”

Yes, Robert E. Lee’s statue should be taken down for the racist he was (and two others reasons)

On June 4, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam publicly stated that the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, found on Monument Avenue in Richmond, would be taken down in response to the protests against the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. “It’s time,” he said. ““In Virginia, we no longer practice aContinue reading “Yes, Robert E. Lee’s statue should be taken down for the racist he was (and two others reasons)”

I showed my brother how to use a tourniquet because I fear for his life at the protests

When I was posted to the US Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq from 2011-2012, I was part of the embassy’s Trauma Response Team, a group of non-medical staff who received extra medical training to help triage casualties in the event of a large attack. We learned CPR, how to insert an IV, and how to applyContinue reading “I showed my brother how to use a tourniquet because I fear for his life at the protests”

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”