“The Day the Music Died”

Tears, yes tears, circa 1972. Don McLean was singing his singular contribution, American Pie in London. His performance was recorded by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Many will quickly recall the oft repeated refrain, “The day the music died.” McLean was...

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How Fortunate We Are!

“Heaven and earth never agreed better to frame a place for man’s habitation….”John Smith, 1608 Impressions, dreams – they are the forces of imagination and ultimately ambition. John Smith, an early leader in the European discovery of the Chesapeake Bay,...

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Narrators, Narratives and Bias

In 1978 a group of investors I led bought a radio station in a small Rocky Mountain town, Breckenridge, Colorado. Breckenridge was and remains one of a handful of Western ski capitals. This sounds like a grand beginning underwritten by Wall Street capitalists. It...

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Biden vs. Sanders vs. Trump

Covid-19 is urgently page one news. It has led and continues to lead the alerts and the breaking stories. The choice of a person to preside at the pinnacle of government power from 2021 to 2025 has, as a news story, been secondary. The secondary story’s essence: Joe...

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Silver Bullets

There are no silver bullets. In the next twelve months, or until a vaccine is proved successful, everybody on the planet will be at some risk. What do we do in the meantime? If lockdown persists as the mood and mode, the cure will indeed be worse than the contagion....

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To Bruce, With Love

The article headline in the New York Times was: “How Do Christians Fit Into the Two Party System? They Don’t.” The author, Tim Keller is the founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. I spent dozens of mornings with Tim in a small study group while living in...

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Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, has noted that with infectious diseases you are always behind. Translated, we do not know as individuals the likely trajectory of Covid19 and of...

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Reflections on the Crisis

My mind wanders. Worlds are changed by severe crises. What will our many faceted world look like in 2021? I have a faint recollection of the polio epidemic. And especially Jonas Salk and his invention, the Salk vaccine. It came over 60 years after the first polio...

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Teenagers – Traps and Windows

Perhaps all parents from the lens of the present are thankful their children were raised in an earlier time. Or, maybe not. It is hard to imagine the anguish of a parent hugging their child as he/she goes off to war. But I know that analog parents worry about their...

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What a Mess!

What a mess! The law of unintended consequences (I assume) has consumed the most important selection process we engage, choosing a president. If the United States is the citadel of democracy, the non-authoritarian world is in trouble. Let’s see. In 2020 we will elect...

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The Real Loser

Confucius: “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” The results are in. Michael Bloomberg will not be president. He, the pundits agreed, is a lousy debater and perforce, will be rejected in his campaign to be the nominee of the Democrat party. We’ll see....

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WOKE!

WOKE! The original definition identified a woke person as “conscious to racial discrimination.” Today it has a more expansive meaning as someone being “with it.” At considerable risk, let me suggest a third meaning as in awakened — aware of what is going...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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