Thursday, January 23, 2020

The In-Between Week

I decided to take a break from writing about the Impeachment Trial and write about football.

Welcome to the in-between week. Since the NFL Pre-Season began during August, we have had a steady diet of football--until this week. This week the only game on tap is the Pro Bowl and that just does not generate a lot of interest. I may watch it because there are a lot of Ravens playing in the game who would rather be playing in the Super Bowl, but alas, the fortunes of football did not shine kindly on them during their last game of the season against the Titans. 

Next week, the Super Bowl hype will begin in earnest as the ramp-up to the big game begins. But this week--there is a void of football reporting and most sports reporting for that matter. I did read that Derek Jeter and Larry Walker were selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. 

It is, however, generally quiet on the sports front and, hence, the Impeachment Trial seems to be the biggest news around. 

But to get out there and back to the Super Bowl, I am picking the Kansas City Chiefs to defeat the San Francisco 49ers and win their first Super Bowl in 50 years! And I am an ole time Chiefs fan as I was cheering for Kansas City 50 years ago when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 23-7 even though the Vikings were 13 point favorites! It was the Chief's second Super Bowl--they lost to Green Bay in the first Super Bowl which was not called the Super Bowl when they played the game. 

Super Bowl Fact: Super Bowl IV, won by the Chiefs was the last Super Bowl played between the AFL and the NFL. After that season the AFL merged into the NFL to become the NFL that we have today.

And so the in-between week continues. And now, back to the Impeachment Trial.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

As the Senate Churns

Day 1 of the Senate Impeachment Trial of the President is complete. I have to admit, I found it fascinating to watch the strategic dance being performed by the donkey and the elephant. The party lines, the rampant partisanship is so firmly entrenched in the Congress that despite rational and compelling arguments, the Senate can produce nothing other than a 53-47 vote. 

I fear for the future of our Republic if we can not overcome the partisanship that has so profoundly gripped our government. Because of the partisanship, the Senate is abrogating its responsibility to find the truth and conduct a trial. And we will hear of this later today as the President likely will trumpet from his Twitter throne that not one Republican has broken ranks!

The truth is out there--but we are afraid to find it.

The trial, it seems, is not about truth, but rather it is about having the elephant crush the donkey regardless of the cost to the country, our reputation, our integrity. 

Has the presidency become a monarchy? Is the president above the law? After Day 1, apparently so.

Day 2 is on tap--I wonder what new revelations will be uncovered today.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Dryer Repair - Complete

LG Dryer with the Top and Electronics Removed
The holiday project was replacing parts on the 10-year old dryer to get the heat back up to temperature and shorten the drying cycle. 

LG Dryer
Disassembled Including the Tub
The parts replacement required the complete disassembly of the dryer. Thank goodness that there was an incredibly helpful video to get me through it. While disassembling the dryer Chris and I were amazed at the amount of spare change that we found and the amount of lint that accumulated since the dryer was placed in service. Disassembling the dryer allowed us to do a thorough cleaning which will assist in helping the air flow through the heating unit. 

The actual parts replacement was fairly straightforward after the disassembly was complete. It only took three tools to complete the entire project: Philips screwdriver, straight blade screwdriver, and needle nose pliers. The video did not indicate the needle nose pliers were required, but I needed them to help pop-in the tabs on two of the parts I was replacing.

I am calling the project a qualified success--we have not actually dried a load of clothes in it yet, but when I conducted the test run the heat was hotter that before. I feel confident that it will work properly now. If not, there are two other parts that can be replaced, but in my reading of the symptoms and suggested repair they were not indicated as the problem. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, January 20, 2020

Monday Musings - January 20, 2019

1. It is Martin Luther King Jr Day. A federal holiday. It is the third Monday of 2020. I have almost gotten used to writing 2020 as the date. I'm enjoying the day off to recover from an upper respiratory bug that has claimed my voice. 

2. Ever notice how some drivers are possessive of the lane they are in on the road? I like this image. 

3. We were supposed to get a terrible storm on Saturday. We received rain with occasional ice. I wish the weather forecasters would actually forecast the weather with more accuracy.

4. I had a very scary thing happen while driving to work the other morning. While merging onto a lack highway, the driver in the lane nicely signaled and mover over to let me merge onto the highway. But, just as I began my maneuver a speed-crazed driver dashed through the newly opened lane. Had I not checked as I was beginning my merge, it would have been a very bad day and I likely would have been involved in a very serious accident.

5. Big project for the holiday. I have repairs to do on our clothes dryer. The parts arrived on Saturday and that is how I will be spending the day off.

Lucas and Friends
Main Event, Columbia,, MD
January 18, 2020
6. Along with a couple of his friends, the family gathered to wish Lucas a happy 10th birthday on Saturday at the Main Event. It was an enjoyable afternoon of bowling, laser tag, pizza, and birthday cake. A great way to celebrate the beginning of his next decade. All of the grandsons are now in double digit ages.

7. Today in History - 1981. Iranian Hostage Crisis Ends. Minutes after Ronald Reagan’s inauguration as the 40th president of the United States, the 52 U.S. captives held at the U.S. embassy in Teheran, Iran, are released, ending the 444-day Iran Hostage Crisis.
On November 4, 1979, the crisis began when militant Iranian students, outraged that the U.S. government had allowed the ousted shah of Iran to travel to New York City for medical treatment, seized the U.S. embassy in Teheran. The Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s political and religious leader, took over the hostage situation, refusing all appeals to release the hostages, even after the U.N. Security Council demanded an end to the crisis in an unanimous vote. However, two weeks after the storming of the embassy, the Ayatollah began to release all non-U.S. captives, and all female and minority Americans, citing these groups as among the people oppressed by the government of the United States. The remaining 52 captives remained at the mercy of the Ayatollah for the next 14 months.


The Secretive Company That Might End Privacy as We Know It - The New York Times

Harry and Meghan’s Hard Exit - The New York Times

Massacred at Home, in Misery Abroad, 730,000 Rohingya Are Mired in Hopelessness - The New York Times

China confirms 139 new cases of pneumonia over weekend, virus spreads to new cities - Reuters

SpaceX says 'picture perfect' test paves way for human mission  - Reuters

China trade deal was pitched as a boon for the working class, but Trump celebrated with Wall Street titans - The Washington Post

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Today, America does remember Dr. King as a drum major for justice, as a giant whose life was far from being in vain. In a sermon on the eve of his assassination, he surely described his own mission when he asked, ``Who is it that is supposed to articulate the longings and aspirations of the people more than the preacher? Somehow the preacher must be an Amos, and say, `Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.''' Martin Luther King, Jr., did exactly that. He gave eloquent voice and powerful leadership to the long-cherished hopes of millions as he headed a crusade to end bigotry, segregation, and discrimination in our land; to foster equal opportunity; and to make universal America's promise of liberty and justice for all.

  Proclamation 5927 -- Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, 1989, December 23, 1988

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Dangerous Times in Virginia

Welcome to the holiday weekend where we take time to reflect upon and to celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. and his call for equality under the law. 

How I wish we, as a society, could get to a place where equality and justice were fully realized by all people living in our country. But, it seems that every day new obstacles appear in the path to true equality and "justice for all."

The gun rally in Richmond is but one example. 

Thousands expected to head to Richmond for gun rights rally on Monday

I am good with the gun rights rally, everyone, under the Constitution, has the right of free speech and the right to rally for what they believe. The concern that 2nd Amendment Rights are being abridged in Virginia is very real and requires rational people to discuss and determine a way forward. But what concerns me are the arrests during the week of the White Supremacists heading for this particular rally which resulted in the Governor restricting the rights of the people attending the rally to hopefully ensure the safety of those rallying.

The whole idea of militias among us, as described in the news item, concerns me because invariably these militias are not dedicated to preserving the fullness of the Constitution, but rather devoted to depriving someone of their rights under the Constitution.

We live in tumultuous times. We must keep our eyes wide open to the events occurring around us and consider the implications of the actions and reactions to those who are professing a splinter ideologies which will impact our rights, our freedoms, and life in America. 

At the close of the I Have a Dream speech, Martin Luther King Jr. gave us his vision for America as a land of equality and freedom.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God’s children (Yes, Yeah) will be able to sing with new meaning: “My country, ‘tis of thee (Yeah, Yes), sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. (Oh yes) Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride (Yeah), from every mountainside, let freedom ring!” (Yeah)
And if America is to be a great nation (Yes), this must become true. So let freedom ring (Yes, Amen) from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. (Uh-huh) Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. (Yes, all right) Let freedom ring (Yes) from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. (Well) Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. (Yes) But not only that: (No) Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. [cheering] (Yeah, Oh yes, Lord) Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. (Yes) Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. (Yes) From every mountainside (Yeah) [sustained applause], let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” 

-- Martin Luther King Jr, I Have a Dream Speech, August 28, 1963, Washington, DC

How could this be a bad thing?

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Saturday before the Senate Trial

This three-day holiday weekend is the calm before the constitutional storm. 

Next week the third impeachment trial in the history of these United States will convene. 

What I observe:

1. I am tired of people using the phrase that something related to the impeachment has never happened before in the history of the U.S. The fact is that an impeachment trial has only happened twice in our history; hence, there really is no historical precedent upon which to base what is normal. The entire proceeding is not normal. 

2. What the founding fathers thought, said, or meant as they wrote the Constitution is difficult to interpret and apparently there are few immutable truths. I have heard opinions on issues being interpreted to support whatever partisan politics demands.

3. While designed to get to the bedrock truths, I doubt that such a truth is available. We will all be left with a bad taste in our mouths when everything is concluded, although the subject is not nearly so distasteful as the Clinton impeachment. Bottom line is that there are no winners and we are all losers in some manner. 

4. The impeachment is an historic event. Every American should watch the proceedings and resolve to determine for themselves, based upon an examination of the evidence and the explanations of the constitution, their opinion about the impeachment. 

Finally, I implore everyone to remain calm and somewhat detached and unemotional. We need to be civilized and able to discuss what we see and believe without feeling the necessity to forcibly change another person's opinion. Apparently, there is no right or wrong answer because there is no absolute truth. Everything is relative.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, January 17, 2020

Interesting Turn of Events

Yesterday was an historic and tragically sad day for our Republic. Articles of Impeachment were delivered to the Senate to begin the next chapter in a saga that has been distracting our lawmakers for the past several months. The delivery of the articles begins, hopefully, the final chapter in the process.

It should be an interesting event next week as the Senate meets for only the third time in history to determine whether to convict and remove a President from office. Of course given the partisan nature of the Congress, the outcome is likely assured, however, the case and the evidence to support the charges is the most interesting and fascinating part of this exercise. 

I have also been interested in seeing how some members of the Senate have changed since the last impeachment. It seems they have short memories because some of what they are saying now to defend their position is polar opposite to the arguments used in the Clinton impeachment proceedings. 

The bombshell yesterday was the finding by the GAO that yes, the President did break the law. All along the Republicans have been saying that this impeachment is the first in history, of course there were only two others so there isn't a lot of precedent, where the president was not charged with a crime. Although everyone quickly dismissed the GAO finding of yesterday, that statement may no longer be true. 

Here is the headline from the New York Times:

G.A.O. Report Says Trump Administration Broke Law in Withholding Ukraine Aid

Well, that is potentially a game changer, no, wait--it is being discarded as irrelevant because it is convenient to do so. 

And so the Congress lurches on! 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Wake Up To Politics

The arrival of 2020 brings with it the recognition that we will be electing a President this year. The campaigns have been underway for quite some time on both sides and I am already tiring of the constant assault upon my intelligence. The recent spat between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren was really beneath everyone. 

There is a small, independent political reporter that I discovered a few years ago. He is Gabe Fleisher,  a 17-year old high school student from Missouri, and writes a newsletter titled, Wake Up To Politics. The newsletter is posted nearly every day when he is in school. I find his reporting to be refreshing and non-partisan. Truly. He has been writing this newsletter for a few years and he was credentialed as a news reporter for Tuesday night's debate in Iowa. His reporting provides some interesting insights on the debate as seen through the eyes of a young person. 

I am growing weary of the professional media with their slanted inputs designed to sell biased-opinions as news and so I find his insights and reporting to be fresh and mostly un-biased. We can all identify the left-leaning and right-leaning news networks and so it is nice to find someone mostly reporting news without a political axe to grind. 

The All Sides Media Bias Center ranks Wake Up to Politics as being in the center. 

I enjoyed one of Gabe's observations of Tuesday's debate:

For the first time in the cycle, discussions of foreign policy took center stage on Tuesday, as the candidates discussed their views on war powers amid President Donald Trump's killing of a top Iranian commander earlier this month. 

I found that comment very interesting.

Personal bias: I consider foreign policy to be a critical issue and that is one of the issues upon which I will base my vote. 

I recommend checking out Wake Up To Politics off yourself. It is political news without the bias.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Most Productive Day of the Week

Going to work during darkness and coming home with the sun setting is getting old! As the winter deepens, my longing for sunshine is increasing. The gray skies of the past couple of days is definitely not helping the situation. I needed something to bring some excitement into the dark and bleary days. 

A coworker told me as I walked into work yesterday that Tuesday was the most productive day of the workweek. I wonder if that is true, but it seemed to be the case yesterday. I did find this article form 2014 which seems confirm that Tuesday is the most productive day of the week. Who knew? 

I enjoyed the article because I have always felt similarly about Tuesday. It is the lost day in between Monday and Wednesday. Now its true character comes out. 

There discussion of Tuesday leads me to theorize that Friday is the least productive day of the week. 

Time will, of course, tell.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, M

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

The National Championship

I sat last evening and watched the beginning of the National Championship Game 2020 between the two teams known as Tigers. I have to admit that I was awed by the energy and the excitement. It has been a long college football season and it comes down to this finally final game. 

I must confess that I really didn't care which team won the game. I was just happy that Alabama and Ohio State were not in the championship game as it seems that those two teams tend to dominate such affairs. Although Clemson, as the defending champion, is beginning to start a dynasty of its own having played in 3 of the past 4 national championship games with this being its 4th appearance in the past 5 years. They had two championships and were going for the third. 

The game began with fireworks--but no scores during the first two drives for each team. Clemson finally drew first blood on their third possession with a touchdown. From there there game was on!

As I was playing racquetball at 5:30 AM this morning, I did not to watch too much of the game and opted to get some much needed rest. 

Congratulations to LSU, the National Champions and owners of the college football bragging rights for 2020. LSU defeated Clemson 42-25.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, January 13, 2020

Monday Musings - January 13, 2020

1. It is now the second Monday of January and of 2020. I have no idea how many times I have inadvertently written 2019 instead of 2020--but I am sure it is quite a few. 

2. It was a disappointing football weekend with the Ravens losing. I am defaulting to cheer on my childhood favorite football team the Kansas City Chiefs--who won a very exciting game this weekend, for the remainder of the playoffs and Super Bowl.

3. We hosted friends this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed the company and excitement that two small children can add to a house. 

4. How could one not appreciate two 70 degree days in a row in January AND on a weekend? Wow! It was a great foretaste of the Springtime yearning to start.

5. Baseball season is on the horizon! Orioles pitchers and catchers report to camp in 29 days and in 45 days I will be in Sarasota watching Spring Training games!

6. It should be a quieter news week this week than last--let's hope so.

7. Today in History. On January 13, 1128, Pope Honorius II grants a papal sanction to the military order known as the Knights Templar, declaring it to be an army of God. Led by the Frenchman Hughes de Payens, the Knights Templar organization was founded in 1118. Its self-imposed mission was to protect Christian pilgrims on their way to and from the Holy Land during the Crusades, the series of military expeditions aimed at defeating Muslims in Palestine. For a while, the Templars had only nine members, mostly due to their rigid rules. In addition to having noble birth, the knights were required to take strict vows of poverty, obedience and chastity. In 1127, new promotional efforts convinced many more noblemen to join the order, gradually increasing its size and influence.


Iran Cracks Down as Protests Over Downing of Airliner Grow - The New York Times

Defense Secretary Says He Didn’t See Specific Evidence of Plans for Embassy Attacks- The New York Times

'Our enemy is here': Iran protesters demand that leaders quit after plane downed - Reuters

White House says U.S. has asked North Korea to resume talks: Axios - Reuters

Philippine financial markets shut after volcano spews ash over Manila - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

“I hope we once again have reminded people that man is not free unless government is limited. There's a clear cause and effect here that is as neat and predictable as a law of physics: As government expands, liberty contracts.” 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Sunday, January 12, 2020

January Weather Respite

I did not see yesterday coming. 

Around the Fire Pit with Friends
Elkridge, MD
January 11, 2019
The high temperature yesterday was officially 72 degrees! The record for the date was 73 degrees! I was outside in my shirt sleeves enjoying the day. We had the windows open and enjoyed having an outside event. By evening, we had the fire pit burning and enjoyed wine in the evening with friends. 

Weather Underground Forecast for BWI Airport
Baltimore, MD
For January, it was a fantastic day. A welcome break from the cold and means that we are one day closer to the beginning of Spring. I am sure that there will be some very cold and weather trying days ahead. Looking at the ten-day forecast, the temperatures are trending down to more seasonable levels--fortunately, right now there is no snow in the forecast. 

The beautiful day did end on a sour note, however. The Ravens were defeated in their playoff game by the Titans. It was not a particularly close game and that means that there will be no AFC Championship nor Super Bowl to celebrate for the Ravens. It was the franchise's best season ever and they had the best record in all of football. It was sad to have the season end in such a defeat--but that is, after all, sports. Neither of the two-best teams in baseball last season, the Dodgers or the Astros, won the World Series.

So today, I think I will just enjoy the expected nice weather with a forecast high of 71 degrees and some sun in the afternoon.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Out the Airport Window - Denver International Airport, January 2020

Out the Denver Airport Window
Denver International Airport, Denver, CO
January 10, 2020
Last evening I was at the Denver Airport waiting to depart on a flight home. Since it was a 6 PM flight, I had a couple hours to wait and, of course, I did enjoy a glass of wine in my favorite wine bar--Vino Volo. 

The sky out the window was clear as the sun was setting behind the almost visible mountains. I was anxious, at this point, to board my flight and to return home. It was the end of the week and the end of the day on Friday. The scene out the window was of activity and preparations for departures. The aircraft to the right of the scene was one which would fly me to Baltimore. The empty jet way to the left is where a flight to Salt Lake City was supposed to have departed already, but the incoming flight was delayed because it had to fly around the terrific storms in the midsection of the country. It arrived a short time later and that flight departed about an hour and a half late. 

It was dark by the time I departed and I remember looking out the cabin window into the darkness as the jet picked up speed rumbling down the runway. My trip was complete and all that remained was getting home and falling into bed--which fortunately happened without incident.

And so the day ended.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Friday, January 10, 2020

Out the Hotel Window - Denver, January 2020, part 2

Out My Hotel Window
Denver, CO
January 9, 2019
As I had hoped, I was able to get an image out of my hotel window yesterday while it was still daylight. The scene is very different in the daylight--very desolate with brown grasses seemingly reaching all the way to the mountains and a gray winter sky overhead. Not an exciting scene, but it is far better than just looking at the building next door--which has been my fate during more than one trip. 

The day was a cool winter day. The overcast skies kept it warmer during the night, but this morning it is 26 degrees outside and the sting of the season will be apparent as I make my way into my job site. Today is both a work day and a travel day. I will be home tonight--but it will be late and I likely will not fall into my bed until just past midnight. I wish I was able to sleep in, but I likely will be awake by 6 AM ready to start the day tomorrow.

And so the day begins. 

-- Bob Doan, writing from Denver, CO

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Out the Hotel Window - Denver, January 2020

Looking Westward at Denver
Denver, CO
January 9, 2019
I arrived at the hotel under the cover of darkness and will depart for work this morning while it is still dark. The view out the hotel window therefore is somber and dark. The world is waking, yet the sun continues its winter slumber. 

Ski Lift Chair
Denver, CO
January 8, 2019
I am looking forward to potentially seeing the scene during the daylight at some point today. 

Occasionally, I stumble across strange things during my travels and last evening was no exception. As I walked out of the hotel, I saw an interesting thing on a trailer. It took me a moment to identify the item, as it is not something that I routinely come across. I finally determined that it was a ski lift chair. I have only one experience with such an object, and it was not a good one. The chair deposited me at the top of a Colorado mountain on my face and as I struggled to gain my footing on my skis, I was being yelled at by the staff to get out of the way. That was just the beginning of the only ski run I have been made n my life and where I believe I saw my life pass before my eyes on three separate occasions. 

Welcome back to all of the good memories that I have of living in Colorado!

-- Bob Doan, Writing from Denver, Colorado

Wednesday, January 8, 2020


The news is full of the reports about the Iranian counter-attack on two U.S. bases in Iraq. I take exception to the headline in The Washington Post this morning:

Iran strikes Iraq bases housing U.S. troops, escalating conflict

I do not see this as a definite escalation of the conflict, but rather a measured response. Recall back to last year when the Iranians shot down the U.S. drone? That the U.S. did NOT respond with a measured response in that incident, was, in my mind, a major policy failure. 

It appears that Iran has provided a measured response, one which allows them the opportunity to say they have extracted revenge for the killing of Soleimani and also allows for the deescalation of the entire incident. 

It is possible that properly executed, the Iranians have provided the means to end this nasty incident. It is possible, however, that the U.S. will fumble the ball on this opportunity and the situation will further escalate. 

Time will tell which side is better at foreign relations. 

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Act of Terrorism

It is no surprise that the world is reeling from the recent action taken unilaterally by the U.S. against the Iranian general responsible for planning and executing much of Iran's state sponsored terrorism.

But then, in a radical shift--now the tables have been turned. 

Iran's parliament approves bill labelling US army as 'terrorist'

What an interesting turn of events. I have to admit, I did not see that move coming as the problems between the U.S. and Iran ratchet to a new level not seen since the take-over of the U.S. Embassy in Teheran during 1979. The U.S. had listed the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) during April 2019. 

I hope there is an exit strategy hidden in here somewhere.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD

Monday, January 6, 2020

Monday Musings - January 6, 2019

1. Well, it is the first Monday of January and the first of the year 2020. The whole year lies ahead of us. 

2. The Christmas lights are mostly removed for the houses in the neighborhood. It is sad to see them depart and to put a period on the Christmas Season.

Corks Ready for Sale
3. What do you do with over 700 wine bottle corks? Try to sell them on EBay of course. 

4. Family NFL Results. None of the family teams played this weekend. The season is over for the Steelers, Redskins and Cowboys. The Ravens had a first round bye in the playoffs. 

5. Youth basketball has become my main Sunday activity these days. We had two games yesterday which resulted in split results meaning a win and a loss. The important thing is that both boys played strong games with Jax scoring almost as many points as the other team and Ethan dominating the boards with rebounds. Both boys made dramatic three-pointers.

6. Foreign policy cannot be accomplished using a transaction-based approach. Given the frequent change in our governments, it is an area where America has always struggled to find consistency. The latest activity with Iran only serves to highlight the inconsistency and dangerous approach that the U.S. displays in foreign policy execution. 

7. Today in History. On January 6, 1838, Samuel Morse’s telegraph system is demonstrated for the first time at the Speedwell Iron Works in Morristown, New Jersey. The telegraph, a device which used electric impulses to transmit encoded messages over a wire, would eventually revolutionize long-distance communication, reaching the height of its popularity in the 1920s and 1930s.


Iran Pulls Back From Nuclear Deal as Killing of Iranian General Upends Mideast - The New York Times

It’s Not Just Software. Boeing Finds New Potential Risks on 737 Max - The New York Times

At Least 5 Dead and 60 Injured in Pennsylvania Crash, Officials Say - The New York Times

Maduro government stages de facto takeover of Venezuela’s National Assembly - The Washington Post

In fire-ravaged Australia, climate denial goes up in smoke - The Washington Post

Iraq wants foreign troops out after air strike; U.S. urges leaders to reconsider - Reuters

Rain brings brief respite in Australian bushfire crisis - Reuters

Ronald Reagan Quote for the Week

Ladies and gentlemen, during the official departure ceremony in Washington, I said with regret that on this visit I had little chance to see America. I feel, however, that I did understand what is important about the American people, and that is their enormous stock of good will. Let me assure you that Soviet people, too, have an equally great stock of good will. Putting it to good use is the most noble and responsible task of government and political leaders in our two countries. If they could only do that, what is but a dream today could come true - a lasting peace, an end to the arms race, wider ranging trade, cooperation in combating hunger, disease and environmental problems and progress in insuring human rights and resolving other humanitarian issues. May the coming year become an important milestone as we move down that road.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD
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