January 20, 2021

On the Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden – Live from the Green Zone

Weather report: High in the low 40’s. Partly cloudy.
Winds from the NW at 8mph. Zero precipitation.
High fences topped with concertina wire block
the routes of my normal morning walks. They say
it’s only for a few days. We’ll see. 25,000 National Guard
soldiers were bused in, 21,000 to protect the ceremony,
to keep the people out, to keep politicians in. An impressive
show of force – I guess that’s the new normal.

Lady Gaga is scheduled to sing the National Anthem,
and Jennifer Lopez is doing what she does to entertain
the TV audience at home. I am represented by a flag
on the Mall, a final, fitting resting place for patriots like me.

How did we arrive at this point in the land of the free,
home of the brave? People voted. Dead people voted.
Living people voted multiple times. Black poll workers,
lest we forget, tossed out ballots for the other guy.
And when, despite their best efforts, the other guy
surged ahead, they “paused” the vote count and
trucked in pre-prepared ballots from warehouses
to swing state polling places to make up the difference.

We have the evidence. We have all the receipts.

It will soon be against
the law to talk about it,
but its poetry lives forever.
The election was a psy-op,
the attack on the Capitol,
a live action role play
designed to fake out
the people, the real voters,
and members of Congress.
Regretfully, both worked.

The Library of Congress is sending the National Youth
Poet Laureate to deliver the Inauguration Poem.
Maybe in her youthful innocence some poetic truth
will emerge. But maybe she’ll be a virgin sacrifice
to the gods of political correction. I hope, I pray
for the former. The Hill We Climb. You decide.

Live from the Green Zone.

January 18, 2021

Been sitting on this one since posting these tweets on my Dad’s birthday, January 12. There are only a few more days of Freedom of Expression, though. Come Inauguration Day, the Biden folks are going to squash all first amendment rights under the banner of whatever banner they choose. AOC’s new Ministry of Information plans to “curate” all truth to fit in with her/their idea of propaganda. Biden and Big Tech are on board. Information is dead. Democracy dies in darkness. But you can still buy a lottery ticket. Third highest jackpot ever.

It was a big deal when we got the prep school scholarships back in 1970. My next door neighbor, Mr. Gibbs, was an English teacher who worked part time for the Carolina Peacemaker, a local newspaper, one of two “black” newspapers in Greensboro (the other, The Future Outlook, had its day but moved on in the 70’s). Anyway, they decided to do a big feature article on the four of us who got the scholarships and Mr. Gibbs offered to arrange for me to meet the editor and publisher of the Carolina Peacemaker, John Marshall Kilimanjaro.

Dad drove me and we met Mr. Gibbs at the newspaper office. Of course, Kilimanjaro made us wait – that’s what important people do. At length he came out, looking like he had been asleep, clothes kind of frumpy and wrinkled. But he was friendly. We sat down around a coffee table filled with magazines and old newspapers. I was eager to impress.

Dr. Kilimanjaro said to me, “Son, what do you want to be, what do you want to do with this high falutin’ education you are about to get?” He only had daughters, so calling me “son” was a high honor. I told him, and it was true that week, that I had an interest in history and African American studies, but that I really wanted to be a journalist. He looked at me with that piercing look and said, “Son, you don’t want to be a journalist, journalists can’t pay the rent. You want to be a newspaperman. Layout, design, advertisement, subscriptions, content.” I thought to myself, almost out loud but I managed to suppress it, shouldn’t content be first in that order?

Then he nodded off and was out for about ten minutes. We waited. When he awoke he thanked us for coming by and wished me luck. Narcolepsy, maybe? I don’t know.

It would come full circle years later when, processing a collection, I came across a letter a young John Marshall Stevenson would write to a Howard medical school professor about preparations for med school. He ended up a English and drama professor before going into newspapering. I think his daughters still publish the newspaper in Greensboro.

I have had dreams about returning to Greensboro and running a newspaper. Not sure what the demand is for black newspapers anymore. I’d call my paper The Greensborough Patriot, after a pre-Civil War rag that lasted for a couple of decades. Who knows? It’s never too late, but it might not be feasible in the new Biden information environment.

Before taking the plunge into the subject at hand, we need an environmental scan. High fences topped with barbed wire surround the DC Green Zone in anticipation of the Biden Inauguration. Tens of thousands of soldiers mill about at every intersection in the White House and Capitol vicinity. It was an advantage living close in when I was at State, but today we are caged birds with all the rest. Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote that poem when he worked at the Library of Congress, but Maya Angelou used his lines for one of her seven autobiographies – I know why the caged bird sings, alas.

On Twitter (yes, I am still there, after deactivating Facebook and Instagram accounts) I promised my next blog post would be on the subject of Trump and his supporters as America’s “new nigger.” In fact, an African-American member of the Congressional Black Caucus was quoted as saying words to the effect that “We have to treat these Trump supporters like Negroes.” But it is all too tender in my mind right now and it needs to heal a bit. To cure. Maybe this weekend. There are tweets if you want a preview.

I did not post the tweets to Gab (@dolphinfish) and CloutHub (@rdmaxwell) because I am new there and don’t fully know the terrain. (I’ve received a couple of criticisms about the N word. Sorry. It is a word that accurately describes the situation. I wrote an article in 1972 for my high school newspaper, The Panther’s Claw, entitled “The Student as the New Nigger.” My teachers frowned at me for a week, but my Dad thought it was hilarious.)

January 14, 2021

I am two weeks late on my read-the-Bible-in-one-year program. But I have the schedule and will get caught up. There is a podcast if you want to listen. I have a preference for seeing the words, letting them flow through my eyes and into my brain.

Today I want to chat about a Washington Walk I did yesterday, virtually, on poems related to and associated with inaugurations. Here is a magazine article that provides a preview. Here is a second preview.

The talk started with Robert Frost and the JFK inauguration, though JFK’s wasn’t the first to feature poetry associated with it, just the first to include a poetry recitation as part of the actual ceremony. Frost wrote a poem for the occasion, For John F Kennedy’s Inauguration, but it was so cold and the glare off the snow was so bright that he couldn’t read it (plus he was in his 80’s; give the man a break). So instead, he recited from memory his poem, The Gift Outright. (God I wish I could recite my poems from memory. That may be a worthwhile goal!). Both are great poems, but for my taste, the one he recited is shorter and thus, better (I hate poems that go on and on and on). Memorializing the event unofficially Linda Pastan penned Remembering Frost at Kennedy’s Inauguration, and Galway Kinnell composed For Robert Frost which included some inauguration elements.

The Frost recitation was not the first one associated with a Presidential inauguration. The famed politician and public servant, Herbert Claiborne Pell, Jr., who later, among other things, served as Ambassador to Portugal, composed a poem for the first Franklin Roosevelt inauguration. We are trying to discover if in fact the poem was actually recited as part of the inauguration ceremony. Using my best librarian search skills I have not managed to find it. Checking now with the Library of Congress Ask-a-Librarian.

Went straight to the source, the Washington Walks producers. Here is an excerpt from Verses by Herbert Claiborne Pell, The De La More Press, London, 1941. The poem cannot be reproduced in its entirety as it is not in the public domain.

Robert Lowell wrote a poem, Inauguration Day, January 1953 that was never delivered, commemorating the inauguration of Eisenhower. There is a long story about the poem and its predecessor, perhaps, a biting satire written to a fellow poet in a letter, captured in this New Yorker article.

Skipping ahead, June Jordan wrote a poem to/for her sister, Ethel Ennis, who sang the National Anthem at the second inauguration of Richard Nixon. While not recited at the inauguration, it is worthy of note as it captures so eloquently the temper of the time. Below is a screenshot excerpt of “Poem to my Sister, Ethel Ennis, Who Sang “The Star Spangled Banner” at the Second Inauguration of Richard Milhous Nixon, January 20, 1973.”:

James Dickey, a poet from Georgia, wrote The Strength of Fields for the Jimmy Carter inauguration at his invitation in 1976. Then, no poem accompanied a presidential inauguration for seventeen years (Reagan and Bush presidencies) until Bill Clinton’s in 1993, which featured a Maya Angelou poem, On the Pulse of the Morning. An Arkansas poet, Miller Williams, provided the poem for Clinton’s second inauguration, Of History and Hope. Not to be outdone, however, another Arkansas poet, Fleda Brown, penned, unsolicited, For the Inauguration of William Jefferson Clinton.

George W. Bush, like his father before him, left out poetry for his two terms. But Barack Obama made up for it with Elizabeth Alexander’s Praise Song for the Day in his first term, and Richard Blanco’s One Today for his second term. Both poems have a taste, a whiff of the old man, Walt Whitman in them. While I have been critical of Obama’s post-Presidency, I applaud his presenting the American public with two Whitman-influenced poets.

Not covered by Washington Walks, there are two undelivered poems commemorating Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration. Classical poet Joseph Charles MacKenzie gave us Inaugural Poem for Donald J. Trump, Pibroch of the Domhnall and Paddy Bushe of Ireland penned During Donald Trump’s Inauguration.

Finally, the Library of Congress announced today that Amanda Gorman, the National Youth Poet Laureate, will provide poetry for the Biden planned inauguration. While one may question what a teenager can know to write poetry about, it is said that William Cullen Bryant wrote Thanatopsis as a 17 year old. So there.

postscript. The Jury is still out. The Hill We Climb expressed a certain upbeatness, an optimism, but it also demonstrated adherence to a narrative, which, at its foundation, is yet another American lie. Poetry must always rise above the lie.

Jericho Brown’s Biden Inauguration poem.

Amanda Gorman official poem – excerpt

Amanda Gorman bio

The Hill We Climb

Inauguration of Joe Biden – Live from the Green Zone

January 11, 2021

Open Letter to Members of the Congressional Black Caucus

Dear Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, Dear Brothers and Sisters:

I write to you as a private citizen, though I have met many of you in an official capacity over the years, on CODELS (Congressional delegations) to countries where I have been assigned (London, Cairo, Accra, Baghdad; I was usually the faceless guy handling logistics) and in your DC offices for briefings on issues and visits to countries my offices covered.

I watched from overseas last year as your votes formed a solid wall of support for the first Trump impeachment effort, a flawed attempt based on the flimsiest of evidence, to buttress charges we now know to be, at best, arbitrary and capricious. Everyone of you stood up and parroted the charges, then parroted the evidence supporting those charges. We now know it was all political theater that could not pass muster in the Senate. You all behaved with great discipline, even poise, and I am sure your performance pleased the Speaker of the House.

But you were not elected to please the Speaker of the House. You were elected to represent your constituents in your Congressional districts. As members of the Congressional Black Caucus, you represent the interests of African-Americans in general. Many of you have roots in Southern states. Your grandparents or your great-grandparents moved from the south to the north and west as part of the Great Migration. I have spoken with many of you personally and I was pleased to learn some of you have relatives in my home state of North Carolina and even in my hometown. You represent the inter-generational communities that produced you, the spiritual wombs that bore you, so to speak.

You honor us with your great and noble accomplishments. But you dishonor us when you allow yourselves to get caught up in fakeness and fraud, in sleight-of-hand maneuvers to accomplish political gains that have very little to do with your communities back home. To put a fine point on it, this new impeachment effort is pure political maneuvering, at best a personal rivalry that does not concern you or your constituents.

I urge you to reflect, to think critically, and to ask yourself, what’s in this for the people I represent? I urge you to think and act strategically. I urge you to think twice before selling your precious vote cheaply in the halls of the greatest government ever known to humankind. This is your moment to shine, a moment your ancestors prayed for. Don’t blow it. History is recording your actions.

Respectfully,

Raymond D. Maxwell

January 8, 2021

There is a lot to discuss today. I will try to be brief.

Some of you may recall I wrote a play back in 2019, Seminar, or, Enough Blame to Go Around: Corruption in the Capitol in Late Empire. I posted scenes to this blog as I completed them, then work shopped the completed draft to friends for comments and input. My characters have all since gone about with their lives, but one or two of them keep asking for a re-surfacing, especially the one whose death I faked so she could escape a crazy situation. It wasn’t easy weaving a faked death into the story line, but I did a lot of research on the technique. I think I pulled it off reasonably well. A good resource was a slim volume I found, Backwards and Forwards: A Technical Manual for Reading Plays (David Ball).

Hot discussion today by Democrat politicians about invoking the 25th Amendment or pushing through a “snap impeachment” now that we are less than two weeks from inauguration. Silly people. First of all, the 25th Amendment is for when the President has been incapacitated. He has not. Secondly, senior officials in Congress evince a poor understanding of the Constitution and its impeachment provision with this silly talk. By definition, an impeachment is a deliberative process, requiring discovery, finding of fact, and providing a defense against alleged charges. The fake one they did in 2019-2020, as improper as it was, took a couple of months from start to finish. Now they think they can get one done in twelve days? Useless, stupid, pointless and absurd saber rattling. Write them and tell them I said so. They have better things to do with their time, and I certainly have better things to do with mine. But those who elected them should really pay attention and remember at the next election. Of course, silly me, if China-owned Dominion voting machines are used, the will of the voters will not matter. The votes line up with the implanted algorithm, an Arabic word, by the way.

Events of Wednesday, January 6, 2019. There was a big crowd, hundreds of thousands, at the White House Ellipse Wednesday morning, exercising their First Amendment right peaceably to assemble. A small group of them proceeded to the Capitol, getting mixed in, obviously, with more radical types, whom we now know to be Antifa and BLM (Black Lives Matter), as they approached the Capitol. Reporting is that they forcefully entered the Capitol (though there is actual footage of Capitol Police waving them on and permitting their entry), interrupting a joint meeting of the House and the Senate, who were gathered to count the electoral votes for the Presidency. Glass was broken, a melee ensued, shots were fired by armed guards, protestors were shot and killed, and laptops were stolen from the office of the Speaker of the House. Democrat members now are decrying the violence, all are decrying the violence, though the same members praised and encouraged the violence of Antifa and BLM protestors in Washington earlier in the year when they destroyed property and burned down business. OK, Democrats, and Republicans. Granted it was the Capitol, you cannot have it both ways. It cannot be that violence is justifiable when you consider it against the existing political establishment, but deplorable when you can create a narrative that it somehow was incited by the President. So which one is it? Take your time answering. I’ll wait.

This blog can’t go on forever, so let me wind it down. In my more formative years, I took a college course in Islamic Theology. A lot of the material escapes me now, 40 years later, but I remember the instructor telling us that a special thing about the Islamic holy book, the Holy Qur’an, was that it used storytelling to divide people into three broad groups or personality types and that had never been done before the 7th century when the book was revealed. All people, all mankind (human beings) are divided in the Holy Qur’an into the following three groups: believers; disbelievers; and hypocrites. It stuck with me, and I often find myself judging my own actions by those three classifications. This is perhaps an oversimplification, but while the believers experience hardships, they eventually reach happy outcomes. The disbelievers may succeed or fail in this life, but their end is unhappy. For the hypocrites there is the fire of hell, in this world and the next. All I can say is, please number me among the believers.

On that note, it is Friday, Yaum al-Jumaah, and monumental things happen on Friday since there is the whole weekend to get over them and get back to normal in time for Monday. Let’s hope this Friday is non-eventful.

Closing out (finally) with a Facebook status update inspired by watching the 2019 impeachment proceedings from overseas, and some choice lines from Chaucer —

Dec 24, 2019, 12:54 PM

For better or for worse, social media is shaping up as the battle space for the 21st century equivalent of information civil war upon which we are about to embark. The population of believers is about evenly divided, each side believing they are commissioned by a higher power to defend and expand their share of the battle space. The goal? To win the hearts and minds of the people. The weapon? Words and logical (and illogical) constructions designed to convince and persuade.

Neither side is preaching to the choir, as it were, and, actually, neither side is preaching to their opposing side. Those convinced of the moral righteousness of their cause …. are already convinced. No, we hold these public conversations to attempt to sway the uncommitted, the marginalized, those who are yet to have made up their minds. And that silent majority has considerable power so don’t play them cheap and don’t play them too close.

There is no victory or defeat on a given day, or even on a given subject. Just the other day I told two friends that they could have the final word, because, in essence, all that matters is saving up the resources to fight in the information battle space another day.

Government itself is divided. Actors on the stage are even divided within their own selves. Let that sink in. Many groups, caucuses that once had considerable power are silently approaching obsolescence. Here today, gone tomorrow. Keep that in mind as you make your choices.

To be continued.

Dec 23, 2019, 3:24 AM

Lifted straight from Chaucer.

“Not years enough, in life so short,
to learn a craft so long,** (Ars longa, vita brevis)
whose effort’s hard, whose winning hurts,
whose painful joys slide snakily off –
by all this I mean Love, whose working
wonderful astonishes my senses,
so painful indeed, that when I think on it,
I know not whether I float, or fall.”

January 6, 2021

Big things happened today. Let’s chat.

From Wikipedia – Electoral Count Act of 1887

Close elections in 1880 and 1884 followed, and again raised the possibility that with no formally established counting procedure in place partisans in Congress might use the counting process to force a desired result.[3] After years of discussion, Congress passed the Act in 1887 and has followed the Act’s procedures since then.[4]

The Act aims to minimize Congressional involvement in election disputes, instead placing the primary responsibility to resolve disputes upon the states.[3][4] The Act sets out procedures and deadlines for the states to follow in resolving disputes, certifying results, and sending the results to Congress. If a state follows these “safe harbor” standards and the state’s governor properly submits one set of electoral votes, the Act states that that “final” determination “shall govern.”[5][6] The Act thus relegates Congress to resolving only a narrow class of disputes, such as if a governor has certified two different slates of electors or if a state fails to certify its results under the Act’s procedures.[7] Congress may also reject votes under the Act for other specific defects, such as ministerial error, if an elector or candidate are ineligible for office, or if the electoral college votes were not “regularly given.”[7][8]

The question does come up, why didn’t they just amend the Constitution? The Electoral Count Act of 1887 expounds on the 20th Amendment, the 12th Amendment and Article 2 Section 1 and over time has taken on the “patina” of Constitutionality. Except that it is not. It takes away power originally ceded to Congress in amendments #20 and #12 to resolve election disputes. But it doesn’t really transfer or deposit that power with any entity. The Vice President (and the Supreme Court, in my estimation) misunderstands at most, and provides a weak reading, at least, conveniently, of the actual mechanics of both the 1887 Act and the Constitution.

But again, why didn’t they amend the Constitution in 1887? I heard somewhere that it was too hard to get the required 2/3 vote from both the House and the Senate. So they created a law, and a procedure they could get into law. It was an easy way out at the time. But doesn’t that defeat the intention of the framers?

It does, and on two levels. First, as stated earlier, it lets Congress (and by extension, the Court) off the hook in terms of power and authority assigned for the resolution of future conflicts, without reassigning it. In a classical physics sense that says matter is neither created nor destroyed, the 1887 Act literally destroys matter. Are you following me?

On a second level, when the Supreme Court uses a law that couldn’t pass muster for Amendment to create precedence that gives it an Amendment-like interpretation over time, the provision established by the Founders for amending the Constitution is defeated, or at least, diminished.

As such, one constitutional scholar said the Electoral Count Act is itself unconstitutional. I am not a lawyer. I have never been to law school. But I am inclined to agree with that assertion. Thus, when VP Pence uses it as a cornerstone of his argument for inaction (his), the argument is a weak one.

postscript. I heard from an old, old friend on Facebook today. She “liked” a New Year’s Eve photograph I posted. I’m gonna miss those chance encounters when I ditch Facebook for good, which may be more sooner than later. I guess I could send her a link to my blog, but might that be overkill? I know, I’m just afraid she’ll ramble through and see all those poems I wrote 50 years ago and was too shy to send. O me! O life!

O Me! O Life!

By Walt Whitman

Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

  Answer.
That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.

January 5, 2021

Part 1. The Immaculate Deception – the Navarro Report

Part 2. The Art of the Steal – the Navarro Report

Part 3. Yes, President Trump Won – The Navarro Report

Crowdsourcing Resources for Journalists

Secretary Pompeo’s Speech to VOA – Reclaiming America’s Voice for Freedom https://www.state.gov/reclaiming-americas-voice-for-freedom/

January 3, 2021

First blog post of the New Year!

Also it’s the first Sunday of the first month, which sets all kinds of craziness in motion.

It sounds pretty whack in retrospect but as children it all seemed very normal to us. We went to my mother’s Baptist church for regular service on 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th Sundays. But we went to my father’s Methodist church every 1st Sunday for communion, unless it was the first Sunday of the quarter, when we reverted back to the Baptist church for communion which only happened quarterly. It didn’t take me long to figure it out. Was it a deal they struck?

A song I remember from the Methodist church:

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Which brings us to politics.

We are not at a crossing but a crossroads in the Presidential election. What are the roads that are crossing? I think there is a three-way crossing formed by Article 2 Section 1 Clause 3 of the Constitution, the 12th Amendment, which superseded the aforementioned Article 2 section 1, and the 20th Amendment, which superseded, in part, the 12th Amendment. Here is the part of Amendment #12 that stands:

the President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted; — The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed; and if no person have such majority, then from the persons having the highest numbers not exceeding three on the list of those voted for as President, the House of Representatives shall choose immediately, by ballot, the President.

So, let’s tie this all together. First, I didn’t really get the value of my dual black church upbringing (above) until years after I was exiled to a very white Episcopal church setting at boarding school, followed by a headfirst dive into black nationalism/African-American spirituality, followed by tough years at sea where I learned what religion and God was really all about, followed by years of living in African countries and learning what we retained of our original religiosity and spiritualism, what we lost, and what got bastardized by the whole enslavement process. Okay, that’s a mouthful, I know, and you are probably wondering what the heck this has to do with politics. I will tell you.

I made a reference earlier to a political Constitutional crossroads. With over 100 Republican House members ready to challenge the Electoral College vote, and over 12 Senators ready to sign on to those challenges, we are entering an area of the Constitutional unknown. Check out my tweet from earlier today.

Will these challenges succeed or fail? We don’t know. Will these challenges force members of Congress to acknowledge the irregularities and anomalies with voting machines in certain swing states? I think so. Will results in certain states be tossed out, throwing the selection to the House delegations as per the Constitution? We don’t know yet. Much is unknown.

So where does the cross come in? Ah, I thought you’d never ask!

The cross is a standard symbol of Christianity. Jesus “died” on the cross to give us everlasting life. As the refrain to the song above suggests, the cross is a source of enlightenment and discovery. But the cross predates Christianity by a long shot and has complex meanings, to say the least. There is the common origin of the four elements, the cardinal points of a compass, the Ancient Egyptian ankh symbolizing the eternal nature of the human soul. In Yoruba (African) spirituality, the cross represents life’s crossroads, a decision point, a point of no return. The Lord of the Crossroads, Elegua, who shows up in Nigeria, in Angola, in Cuba, in Brazil, and ultimately, in the United States, is considered a trickster, and in some cases a deceiver. In African-American folklore, you can meet “Legba” at the crossroads and sell your soul for worldly achievement, and some say this “Legba” is not just an African deity, but the devil himself. “The Devil went down to Georgia – he was looking for some souls to steal,” is part of African folklore that wove its way into American culture.

That was fun. But back to the discussion at hand.

Not only are we entering an unknown Constitutional landscape, a crossroads where, some may argue, the very soul of the Republic is at stake, but it’s also January, crossing from one year to the next. The month’s namesake, Janus, is the Roman god of doors, gates, and transitions. Janus represented the middle ground between both concrete and abstract dualities such as life/death, beginning/end, youth/adulthood, rural/urban, war/peace, and barbarism/civilization. Janus is always represented as having two faces, looking in opposite directions.

We are in the middle of some heavy shit, y’all. I’d say we need to get this right.

p.s. Legal analysis published in October finds today’s scenario favors Trump victory

Siegel, Electoral Count Act of 1887

Foley, Disputed Presidential Election

Final tweets for 2020

John Lovell, Jr. Appreciating Whitman: A Passage to India

Blog statistics for 2020

First of all, thank you to all the folks who have bothered to check out my “career transition” blog. While I officially “retired” at the end of 2013, the transitions have continued.

In 2020, this blog received 2936 views by 1888 distinct visitors from 79 countries, averaging 1.56 views per visitor. Anything above 1.00 means visitors either made multiple landings over time or visited more than one blog post when they landed. Good stat. I published 75 posts in 2020.

Here are the top ten visited posts for 2020:

  1. Note to a recently separated foreign service officer
  2. 2004-2012. The final eight years – the Islamic Trifecta (memoir draft)
  3. November 27, 2020
  4. December 9, 2020
  5. 2009. Reflections on War and Peace – My Twelve Months in Iraq (memoir draft)
  6. 1981-1982. Navy Memories – USS Hammerhead SSN-663 (memoir draft)
  7. 1992-1993. A-100 and pre-assignment training (memoir draft)
  8. Prologue (memoir draft)
  9. November 1, 2020 (tie with Prologue above)
  10. 2000-2002. Embassy Accra, Ghana (memoir draft)
  11. 1998-2000. Embassy Luanda, Angola (memoir draft)

Happy New Year, everybody! Best wishes in 2021!