On Honoring Our Fallen

Note: I often go on little rants on Twitter when the mood strikes instead of writing things here. As such, I’ve decided to go back and pull the threads and change them into blog posts, if only so this blog doesn’t sit completely fallow between times when I decide to post things. Plus, it will allow me to finish some thoughts that might not have been complete due to character limits on Twitter. Check out the tag “Twitter Rants” for all the posts like this. They will be posted on the date that I initially did the thread.

In the latest adventures of “Donald Trump is a Horrible President” this week, there was some controversy regarding the contacting of families of some fallen Soldiers that had died nearly two weeks ago during operations in Niger. Not only did he not acknowledge their deaths when they were announced – instead tweeting about the NFL or going golfing – but he also accused past presidents of never calling the families of Service Members that had died. This, as is most of what Trump says these days, was patently false, but it only snowballed from there. When reports surfaced of the phone call he had with one of the new Gold Star widows – basically stating to her in her moment of grief that her husband “knew what he had signed up for,” he reached a new low in his presidency.

I retweeted some threads about why his word usage probably wasn’t the best, but then I decided to write my own thread based on my experiences with dealing with funeral details from when I worked for the Army. The actual Twitter thread is below, but after that, I went back and expanded further on what I wrote now that I’ve had some time to think some more.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>THREAD (of my own): When I worked for the Army, I never had the honor of escorting a hero home, or even meeting them at the airport</p>&mdash; Robert 4 Clinton (@GuruEbby) <a href=”https://twitter.com/GuruEbby/status/920500061808746496?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 18, 2017</a></blockquote>

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When I worked for the Army, I personally never had the honor of escorting a hero home, or even meeting them at the airport. I was a junior rank, in the Reserves, and it just wasn’t in the mission of our organization to do so. However, for a brief time during the “surge” – 2005-2008 or so, maybe a little later – the AGRs (full-time Reservists) that I worked with had to be ready for “funeral detail.” Continue reading

Term Limits and Fighting the Status Quo

Note: I often go on little rants on Twitter when the mood strikes instead of writing things here. As such, I’ve decided to go back and pull the threads and change them into blog posts, if only so this blog doesn’t sit completely fallow between times when I decide to post things. Plus, it will allow me to finish some thoughts that might not have been complete due to character limits on Twitter. Check out the tag “Twitter Rants” for all the posts like this. They will be posted on the date that I initially did the thread.

Ro Khanna (D), Representative for California’s 17th congressional district, tweeted the following thing:

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>I might be the first member of Congress to say this: Bernie should absolutely run again in 2020! <a href=”https://t.co/B6u1vOX8Rb”>https://t.co/B6u1vOX8Rb</a></p>&mdash; Ro Khanna (@RoKhanna) <a href=”https://twitter.com/RoKhanna/status/874293110624440321″>June 12, 2017</a></blockquote>

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This tweet prompted the following thread on Twitter:

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Huge fan of Bernie, he made a lot of folks care about politics for the first time in their lives, but he is not the solution in 2020 <a href=”https://t.co/Qa2BTOTDsF”>https://t.co/Qa2BTOTDsF</a></p>&mdash; Robert Eberhard (@GuruEbby) <a href=”https://twitter.com/GuruEbby/status/874294609911975936″>June 12, 2017</a></blockquote>

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You can read it there, but I’m going to expand on some of the things I said below in a format that might be a little easier to read: Continue reading

The Way Forward

As we enter February, the shortest month of the year, I figured it would be a good day to try and get back into this writing thing. So my plan this month will be to write something daily about whatever strikes me as important, and with all the craziness in our world right now, I don’t anticipate running short of topics, but expect me to touch on a variety of things that aren’t all about what is happening in Washington, DC.

Election Day seems like a lifetime ago, but it was only less than four months ago. Even Inauguration Day seems like it happened in another year, let alone 12 days ago. Every day, millions of gallons of digital ink are spilled trying to keep up with the latest crazy thing that the new President has done. I may reflect directly on some of things in the coming weeks, but I’m not a super policy wonk or really tied into the inner workings of government to really give you a different perspective than you can get from some of those experts.

I want to use this first piece to tackle something that I pop up on Facebook this morning. A friend of a friend questioned why Hillary Clinton wasn’t out front leading the charge against Trump as the Voice of the Democrats. My friend made some very salient points that I agree with, though I’m not going to replicate them here. But the main gist is that it is time to move on from Clinton-era Democrats and find some new blood. This is something that I agree with wholeheartedly, and I think some of the more vocal leaders of the current Democratic Party — Senator Elizabeth Warren is but one example — are great people to lead the fight right now. But as much as I like Senator Warren, I don’t think she is the answer for Democrats in 2020. And I also don’t think that we know right now who that answer might be. I have my favorites, and maybe I’ll share them a bit later, but the progressive movement in this country should not be led into the future by a certain Independent Senator from Vermont. Leadership needs to come from elsewhere. Continue reading

My Dad’s Republican Party

A question from my wife prompted some reflection last week. It has been something that has been in the back of my mind for quite some time, the part of my mind I don’t often go to because it still has the power to make me sad. Even though we were on completely different sides of the political spectrum, my dad and I would often have lively discussions about the political theme of the day, mostly prompted by my parents near constant listening of Fox News Radio or my dad’s viewing of Fox News.

My father was a good, hardworking, card-carrying member of the Republican Party. He went caucused when appropriate. He met Orrin Hatch and got a fancy picture with him. He even briefly flirted with running for the statehouse prior to landing his job at the post office. Ronald Reagan was the man, the near saint that many Republicans of my father’s generation hold in high esteem. If their was a Republican policy point, my dad usually fell right in line, though during the George W. Bush years, he may have voted Libertarian on at least one occasion. Continue reading