Review of ‘The Federalist Papers’

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Every American politician, judge, government official and practicing lawyer should be required to read The Federalist Papers. In fact, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for every American to read these 85 essays, written by Founding Fathers Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay in 1787-88 to persuade the American public to ratify the Constitution to replace the weak and ineffective Articles of Confederation. Addressing various aspects of governance, and how they would be dealt with under the new Constitution, even more than two centuries later, they contain a lot of wisdom and food for thought–particularly in our current political climate.

It’s been many years since I read these, so when I received a free copy of this Amazon Classic, it seemed like a good opportunity to refresh my knowledge of the subject. Though written in the infancy of this country, many of the issues they address are appropriate today.

I give this outstanding course in U.S. constitutional history five stars.

Photography: Chautauqua Institution

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The Clock Tower at Chautauqua.
The Clock Tower at Chautauqua.
Athenaeum Hotel
Hagen-Wensley Guest Lodge
Palestine Park
Bestor Plaza
Clock Tower and Ferry House

046 047 048 049 050 051 052 054 056 063 065 067 021 023 025 026 027 028 029 031 032 035 040I had my first opportunity to visit historic Chautauqua Institution, on the shore of Chautauqua Lake in western New York state from August 4 to 8. Following are some of my photos from what turned out to be a visit to the biggest and best summer camp in the world.

Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor speaks to the CLSC 2013 graduates.
Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor speaks to the CLSC 2013 graduates.
CLSC coordinator Jeff Miller presents my 2012 CLSC certificate.
Posing with Sharon Hudson Dean, my public affairs counselor when I was ambassador to Zimbabwe, and a Chautauqua alum.


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Foreign Service Veterans Seek to Dispel the Myths

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Capitol Hill, Washington DC
Capitol Hill, Washington DC (Photo credit: KP Tripathi)

Excellent article in ‘Government Executive‘ Magazine about visit of FSOs to Capitol Hill.


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Angels of Mercy: But, You Don’t Want to Mess With ‘Em

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The Arizona desert terrain where Angel Thunder is conducted
The Arizona desert terrain where Angel Thunder is conducted    


In October 2011, I got a chance to participate in the US Air Force‘s Angel Thunder Exercise. This was my second visit to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson, Arizona to ‘play’ in this huge search and rescue exercise that includes many US Government agencies, local authorities, and participants from different nations. Below are some of the photos I took during my week there. The Air Force pararescue jumpers, or PJs, are often called Guardian Angels for their role in rescuing d0wned pilots or other people who are in distress, but these are angels with claws that you definitely don’t want to get on the wrong side of.

Air Force rescue chopper over Arizona lake.
Air Force rescue chopper over Arizona lake.
Air Force PJs establish position on the ground before searching for missing.
PJs take rescued person to area for pickup
Swedish search dog team.


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