O’er the Ramparts

Today we raised the flag. Not just any flag, but the Star Spangled Banner. Today we raised the Star Spangled Banner over Fort McHenry. The breeze set in motion the 15 bands and 15 stars against a perfect blue sky. A perfect morning to raise the flag and relive the moment of Francis Scott Key's inspiration. O … Continue reading O’er the Ramparts

Advertisements

Fly America… Call the Philippines

When your official government travel orders authorize advanced seating to guarantee a seat beside your child during an international move---old home packed, new home empty... ...but the airline won't confirm your seat more than 23 hours before you fly... ...and you spend hours on the phone... ...talking to the travel agent... ...and talking to the … Continue reading Fly America… Call the Philippines

Diplomatic Training

Sixteen years ago I spent ten months at the Foreign Service Institute training for my first diplomatic assignment to Saudi Arabia. This week I returned to campus with my sons, eight and ten, so they could begin their own indoctrination to the diplomatic life. They were enrolled in a course called Young Diplomats Overseas Preparation. … Continue reading Diplomatic Training

Derek Jeter vs Rudy Giuliani

After three long weeks of high profile media appearances, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani received this warm welcome from his hometown crowd. https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/1001216940365430784 He sought cover from the public rebuke by saying of New Yorkers, 'They boo you when they love you,' logic that doesn't quite square with this round of boisterous huzzahs … Continue reading Derek Jeter vs Rudy Giuliani

48 Stars for Memorial Day

Thousands of bikers will roar into DC this weekend, rolling thunder to commemorate the service and sacrifice of those who, for one reason and another, participated in the aggression we call the Vietnam War. Little notice will herald the sacrifice of those whose land was destroyed by that aggression, whose lives irrevocably changed—but anti-war thoughts … Continue reading 48 Stars for Memorial Day

Answer Coming Soon

When I feel ornery about the state of world affairs, I turn to Dan Whitman for a cure. Because he gifted me a large stack of his books, he doesn’t always know this. Whitman’s essays reflect on wide-ranging issues for the foreign affairs professional. They cut across decades (mostly post World War II) and continents … Continue reading Answer Coming Soon

The Impact of Public Diplomacy

Reflecting on U.S. Diplomacy. An excerpt: The next-to-last time I saw Mohamed---11:15 a.m., December 6, 2004---a blast-resistant window separated us. The day’s final applicant, he was alone in the waiting room when the high-low alarm started wailing. An Afghan male taking refuge in Saudi Arabia from the time of the Soviet invasion of his country, … Continue reading The Impact of Public Diplomacy

All Steeple, No Church

Does this structure look like a steeple with no church? My son thought so. Driving to the Nation's capital on a beautiful spring morning, I pointed it out from the distant heights across the Potomac on the George Washington Parkway. This white symbol of the Republic can be seen for miles. The seven-year-old meant little … Continue reading All Steeple, No Church

Take Your Child to Work Day

My favorite work day of the year. The cafeteria never seems so alive. The visitor hall buzzes with energy. At State our children take the same oath of service---to uphold the constitution---that we took when we came on board. “I stachername, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United … Continue reading Take Your Child to Work Day

A List of People Who Also Should Be Armed

Amid all the fury and debate over whether or not to arm high school teachers in order to prevent the next deadly shooting spree, several relevant employment categories are being overlooked. A review of other recent abuses of heavy firepower in public places suggests the United States can only protect itself from itself by requiring itchy … Continue reading A List of People Who Also Should Be Armed