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Intended Unintended Messages


In Alexandria, VA, Christ Church was once the where George Washington himself worshiped. Today the Church still stands and has a plaque marking the pew where Washington and his family once sat to hear sermons about G-d’s love and mercy.

This week, the church has – more than two centuries after Washington’s death – decided to remove the plaque, as the church says that the plaque “makes some feel unsafe or unwelcome” in the church. The church says that it believes that some visitors get “an unintended message” from the plaques located throughout the church. Of course, there is both outrage and even mockery.

But the real problem here is that the church is making the worst mistake that anyone can make when looking at history, and getting exactly what they intended to get…


It was one of those iconic moments. If the Astros go on to win the World Series, it will be in part because of Yuli Gurriel’s home run. It will also go down as one of the moments that remind us if two indisputable truths. First, that racism and racist behavior will never be fully eradicated. Second, that EVERYONE is a least a little bit racist…

Meanwhile Bruce Maxwell, the one-time Stockton Port’s player and current Oakland A’s catcher, was arrested over the weekend for assault with a deadly weapon after allegedly pulling a gun on a pizza delivery girl. This is the same Bruce Maxwell who last week was screeching about another waiter in Alabama refusing to serve him because he “was that guy who knelt and I am a Trump supporter.”

That story fell apart as quickly as a late lead in the wildcard Game for the A’s, when it was shown that nothing like that came close to happening. My question is simply, what happened to a kid who worked his rear end off to go from a Division III School to the Major Leagues? Did something really change? Or was this what he intended all along?


The use of the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force continues to be the basis for getting US troops into nearly every corner of the world. In the past few days, we’ve seen the death of more American Soldiers in a faraway place that most Americans had no idea even existed, let along how to pronounce. As some have noted, sixteen years is a long time. Most of us don’t really even think about it anymore. And with the all-volunteer military, the sense of all-out American sacrifice to gain the ultimate goal of victory and peace isn’t the primary focus.

Then again, we are so consumed, as a society, with the micro-aggression’s and who identifies as what, that how can we focus on something as important as an actual war?

Doesn’t it feel like that is what the powers-that-be intended for us all along?


The Apotheosis of Washington

One of the things that I believe we (corporately, not you specifically) have lost connection with in our history, is that our Framers and Founders were people, not demigods (Thomas Jefferson notwithstanding). In 1865, George Washington will be featured in a painting that is hung in the dome of the US Capitol, visible through the oculus of the dome. The painting portrays Washington being elevated to the status of a deity. The idea of portraying Washington as a god, really does not offend most Americans. 

On occasion, it’s worth our time to talk about and recall the realities of these men and women. They lived, they loved, they got mad, they had joys. They traveled and they discussed. They argued and they liked and disliked each other. They wrote copious letters to each other in flowery language that both complemented and occasionally berated each other. They saw things differently. Some favored one way, others favored another.

On March 30, 1788, six of the necessary nine States have ratified the Constitution. Debate is leaning towards Ratification in Maryland, and in South Carolina the resistance of the country folk is being dealt with. In New Hampshire, the efforts to manipulate things by the Federalists are being indefatigably resisted by the anti-Federalists in Convention. New York has not gathered in convention as yet, but already more than seventy letters have been published as “The Federalist Papers” arguing for the ratification. Likewise, dozens of anti-ratification letters have been published. The debate, while hopeful, is still in doubt. There are many who believe that there will be a new United States that will not have all of the original States as a part.

In Bath, England, Abigail Adams begins her trip home to The United States after three years in Paris and London. 

Over the past six months, a couple from Alexandria, John and Elizabeth O’Conner, have been corresponding and even in early February, visiting the Washington’s. Mr. O’Conner is a “barrister,” from Ireland, who plans to write a topographical and geographical description of The United States. Elizabeth has opened a small school for girls in Alexandria.

At Mt. Vernon, George Washington sends a letter to Mr. O’Conner, thanking him for his kind words and invitation to a speech. A presentation on eloquence by Mr. O’Conner which Washington clearly had no intention of attending. Probably because he knows what the O’Conner’s are really (probably) up to…

Fahrenheit 451

So many errands to run today… I may need to re-evaluate my priorities. I no longer live my life by schedules, except for two things – Ben has to be at school at 0900 and be picked up at 1520. But if I am going to let my mood for the whole day be decided by whether or not I am done writing the blog at 0845, I need to seriously think about things.

Today is the celebration of so many things. First it’s NAVY DAY. First celebrated in 1922 to honor former President Theodore Roosevelt (who was big on the Navy, including “The Great White Fleet,” something no President would even consider today) on the anniversary of his birthday. After WWII, it sort of faded with the mothballing of the Navy. When Admiral Zumwalt came to the CNO’s office in the 70’s he tried to reignite it with mixed success. Now that the DDG-1000 has been commissioned Navy Day today recalls the great days of yore, and the leadership and innovations of Admiral Zumwalt.

January 1982

January 1982

Seven years ago today, I was in Los Angeles, at Cedar-Sinai Hospital, fully expecting my baby sister, Deanna, to die. She pulled through thanks to the great care there and today we celebrate her 43rd birthday. Once upon a time we were told that she wouldn’t survive that first week. The day she was born I threw the best block of my football career and sprang Tucker for a touchdown that beat our rivals. A few hours later we learned Deanna had been born, and on the day which marked the very first time I ever saw my father cry, we heard that we might lose her. Forty-three years later, we celebrate an amazing life filled with joy and pain.

Today, by the by, is Christmas! It is the birthday of my good friend, Jesus. Un muy feliz cumpleaños, amigo!

As far as the World Series goes, I am naturally inclined, as a National League guy, to pull for the Cubs. On the other hand, the Indians are almost an equally attractive team, and I do love the way they are using the pitching staff. But here’s the thing, when teams have had a long drought of championships and then the finally win one, they tend to become…. well… jerks. Read the rest of this entry

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