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Patricia H. Kushlis
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Is there a reason that Bill Fitzgibbons - the apparent Hotline Coordinator in the office of the State Department’s Inspector General - e-mailed Joan Wadelton on July 3, 2014 at 2:07 in the afternoon just as the US government was shutting down for the July 4 holiday weekend to notify her that the IG’s office had decided to close its investigation of her case against the Department’s Bureau of Human Resources for lack of additional evidence? And then on Friday July 18 at 11:59 pm (one minute before midnight) responded to her request for supporting documents (see e-mail exchange in post) with what one could only consider the most cursory brush-off again via an OIG Hotline e-mail? Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at WhirledView
How does State fare in OMB’s annual reports and with the EEOC, which also keeps gender and ethnicity statistics on the federal agencies? Well, it’s hard to be precise because State, uniquely it seems among federal agencies, does not allow the general public access to its gender/ethnic promotion statistics, classifying them as SBU and hiding them behind the department’s intranet wall. Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2014 at WhirledView
Nevertheless nearly 50 years later, a “female-proof” glass ceiling remains in the stodgiest of our federal bureaucracies to the extent that the State Department refuses to make public its latest promotion statistics for both women and minorities. To ensure the statistics won’t become public the Department has classified them this year – the first time they've been classified as far as I can remember. Continue reading
Posted Jun 23, 2014 at WhirledView
Justin - please. Give me a break. I really don't care what Putin said or what he didn't re Crimea. Try reading the region's history before you believe this piece of Russian propaganda. The Crimean peninsula was a pretty late addition to the Russian Empire (taken by force from the Ottoman Empire). Furthermore, I don't know where you're getting your information but I really doubt that either Soros or Nuland made the comment you attribute to them. Moreover your reference to Nuland is distorted and taken from a cell phone conversation several months ago that was secretly recorded and then released publicly by Moscow as a part of its anti-American propaganda campaign. Furthermore, the issue was Ukraine's decision to sign an association agreement with the EU (did not relate to the IMF) - and then Yanukovich's abrupt refusal to do so as a result of heavy Kremlin pressure. Seems to me you need to read a bit more history yourself.
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Why shouldn't America's diplomats also be honored by the US government in its official Memorial Day ceremonies - along with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. Maybe if they were and the public had a chance to learn their stories Americans would come one small step forward towards understanding that its diplomats are every bit as important as its military in the making and implementing of US foreign policy by keeping and restoring the peace. Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at WhirledView
But taking a different tack, I wonder why no one seems to be asking the question as to who’s in charge in the Kremlin. Yes, I know Putin’s popularity ratings among Russians based on his playing the “uber-nationalist” card in Ukraine are at an all-time high. But why has he promised to remove the Russian troops from the border multiple times – yet those troops have not budged? Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2014 at WhirledView
The problem is, however, that as much as I support the Fulbright program, one that I defended and administered in the US and overseas throughout my 27 plus year Foreign Service career – particularly since Fulbright is a real exchange (not just a one way program for foreigners to come to the US and spend a few weeks touring the country and meeting their counterparts) - there are other factors that need to be considered and questions that need to be asked and answered in the context of the international exchanges budget in the bureau as a whole. Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2014 at WhirledView
A propaganda/disinformation blitz is only as effective as the lack of knowledge and gullibility of the intended recipients. The most effective antidotes are clear, rapid and credible refutation of whatever the content might be and a simple telling of the truth. Over and over and over again. Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2014 at WhirledView
Talking with the Enemy, Cultivating Friends: Diplomacy Revisited A two-day Santa Fe World Affairs Forum Symposium April 28-29, 2014 At St. John’s College, Santa Fe, New Mexico Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2014 at WhirledView
The good news about Shambaugh’s book is that although it is now a year old, China Goes Global is still as relevant today as it was when published. That’s because it is based on thorough and careful research over a span of several decades by a major American analyst and scholar of Chinese politics. It is well written, organized and concise (as such books are) thus accessible and relevant to the non-specialist as well as the China hand. Continue reading
Posted Apr 7, 2014 at WhirledView
Analyzing the Crimean crisis is not an easy task, particularly because the situation changes almost daily. Some conclusions can be made, however. It is clear that Russia has violated both international law and many treaties it had earlier concluded. In addition to the UN Charter and the principles of the OSCE, Russia has violated the treaty according to which Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons left on her territory after the end of the Cold War. Ukraine was then promised that after that no military force will be used against it. However, this is precisely what has happened. In spite of that, the crisis has in many cases been portrayed as if the responsibility of the situation should be divided equally between Russia and Ukraine. Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2014 at WhirledView
Anne - I removed the link (which I now couldn't get to work) and added the article in jpeg format at the end of this post. This works for me. Let me know if you have problems. Thanks, Pat
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To a large extent the real issue for the Kremlin is the revanchism that stems from wounded Russian nationalism. It’s as much about obtaining support from a nationalistic populace whose standard of living is likely to decline as the international price of oil and gas drops as a result of increased supplies and dropping demand from the fracking of shale oil. . . .So what is Putin’s greatest nightmare? Most likely the expansion of the NATO alliance onto his southwest doorstep. But if the Russians push the Ukrainian government into a corner through continued application of the KGB Playbook it might just happen. Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2014 at WhirledView
Hi Melinda - thank you. That helps explain it. I think it went viral on various FB pages so Ruth must have lots of friends and friends of friends. I think many of the comments are terrific - so many different stories that I had never heard.
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Hugh - I just turned "Nice Girl or Pushy Bitch" into a MS Word Document and have linked to it in the above post so people should be able to print it out directly from the link from now on. Pat
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Bill - thanks MHS classmate and for contributing yourself. What kind of cosmetics did Marion Davies buy? I've received a lot of fascinating stories on this post but never before by anyone I went to school with from K-12. For some mysterious reason this post has been appearing on numerous facebook pages over the past couple of days. Any idea why? Pat
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Hugh - just sent a jpeg copy to you via e-mail. Please confirm receipt. Nice assignment. Thanks. Pat
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if this president believes what he said in his most recent State of the Union address - that “America must move off a permanent war footing. . . . in a world of complex threats," and that "our security and leadership depends on all elements of our power – including strong and principled diplomacy" then it also behooves him to ensure that this country has the best qualified diplomats his administration can find. It’s can’t be all that hard. White House please give it a try. Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2014 at WhirledView
This time around, high level US officials are again absent from the Olympics in Russia – likely for a variety of reasons - but the large Team USA is there and competing against the best of them. That, after all, is what the Olympics are for. It’s when sports, sportsmanship and fair play don’t take precedence over everything else that problems arise. And that’s the difficulty with having such high profile contests take place in countries that insist upon making them about their “rightful place in the world” – and to glorify their leaders – not about the athletes themselves. Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2014 at WhirledView
People in the USA who follow Greek political violence may wonder how Christodoulos Xiros, a man sentenced to six life terms as a member of a deadly terrorist group, “Revolutionary Organization 17 November” (17N), was allowed out of prison on furlough, not once but seven times. Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2014 at WhirledView
I am now entering my tenth year of a legal dispute with the Department of State's Bureau of Human Resources (HR). A complete account of my case can be found at The Troubled State of State: A System Run Amok. In this article I want to go on the record with my own thoughts about how to correct the systemic failings that I have encountered over the last 10 years in the Bureau of Human Resources, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Office of the Legal Adviser. Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2014 at WhirledView
My advice: if this a trip to Sochi for the Olympics is something you plan to undertake, print the State Department Travel Advisory out before you head off, take a copy with you, heed its contents, and watch the website for updates. The information will have been coordinated with the US Embassy Consular Section in Moscow. And a special unit from the US Consular Section (tough but likely busy duty?) will be at the Games to help American citizens in distress. Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at WhirledView
Alan - thank you - and Happy New Year too!
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2014 on A Post Russian Christmas Story at WhirledView
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T’was the week before the West's Christmas. Vladimir Putin and his KGB elves were busily stuffing stockings with selective political prisoner pardons presumably designed to forestall untoward foreign protesters from marring the upcoming Sochi Olympic Games and thereby further tarnishing Russia’s image abroad. Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2014 at WhirledView
Although Moscow plays internal Ukrainian fissures to its own advantage, neither Putin nor Yanukovych likes each other but Yanukovych is all Moscow has and likely the best Moscow can get. Both, it has been said, are thugs. Both also need each other’s support: Moscow to retain if not increase power over Ukraine and deepen its influence throughout the former Soviet space; Yanukovych to remain in office and retain the perks to which he has become accustomed. Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2013 at WhirledView