Jim Lehrer, Life as a Standard

“I am not in the entertainment business.” Jim Lehrer, formerly of the Lehr NewsHour.  Jim Lehrer died a week ago. The obligatory obituaries have been published. The next obituary was written seconds after the one about Jim Lehrer. Life is like that. His death...

Tall Cotton

Is there a top? There has to be if there is an “over the top.” If there is an “over”, what is its definition? The dictionary says “excessive.” At the risk of abstraction, let me push this inquiry a bit further. My Dad used the phrase “tall cotton”. He meant better...

Harm and Probability

Rising sea levels—resulting inundations. Extinctions—a serious blow to bio-diversity. Artic ice melting releasing more carbon dioxide. And on and on.  It is important to keep in mind that these are not ideological theories but scientific ones supported by the...

What Do We Comprehend?

One of my obligatory visits after becoming Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission was to Alaskan villages that were being transformed by communications technology. I can remember going into a very remote village store and seeing videocassette movies...

Too Often, Blinded By Inertia

Human re-shaping of our natural infrastructure has confronted us with existential issues. This column is one in a series that began with, The Issue of Our Time. September 11, 2001, remains a searing event in my memory. My wife and I were living in Manhattan on that...