Closing Thoughts on 2021

Friends and Family Many of us have seen friendships and even family relations fracture due to political differences. As David French pointed out in a recent commentary, we have very little influence on what happens in national politics. Our one vote or even active...

read more

Count-Up: 227>300>412

The baseline, 227 parts per million was pre-industrial; the ascent tracks the industrial and agricultural revolutions. The content: carbon dioxide (CO2) in the earth’s atmosphere. The trap: “CO2 and other greenhouse gases act like a blanket, absorbing infrared...

read more

The Deep Places

The Deep Places, a book by Ross Douthat, might take you deeper than you want to go. Douthat tells a painful story and he tells it in candid and rapid moving detail. He takes the reader to deep places. Douthat is a relatively conservative columnist for the New...

read more

Washington College: Culture Leads Leaders Follow

This column is adapted from a recent talk at Washington College’s Institute for Religion, Politics and Culture. Culture Leads Leaders Follow, a book I wrote, was published in 2015. This is an excerpt from the Foreword written by Chelsea Horvath who was then a...

read more

What’s in a Name?

The name Winsome took me back quite a few decades to those magic moments when my wife, Marty, was pregnant. Driving trips in particular were absorbed in discussions about naming. And this was a time, before ultrasounds, when the sex had not been revealed. This made...

read more

Criminal or Not? Beneficial or Not?

My wife and I recently came back from a road trip in Missouri to visit friends and family. As much as I like back roads we did travel some on Interstates 44 and 70 and that is where this column began. We saw billboard sign after sign promoting medical marijuana...

read more

Glenn Youngkin, Virginia’s Governor-Elect

The case against Glenn Youngkin, the Governor-Elect of Virginia: he didn’t denounce Trump. The case for: he didn’t denounce Trump. I would make the latter case. Perhaps a strange position for me; I certainly didn’t support Donald J Trump. Candidates for the future...

read more

Climate: Risks, Rewards, and Nonsense

As a child I built little dams along ditches that channeled runoff from rain and then watched as the water built up behind my sticks and stones until it pushed through. Later I became aware of impervious levees along the Mississippi River—home water. The water flow...

read more

Is It the Trump Party?

After a recent talk I was asked questions about the future of the Republican Party. The ultimate question seemed to be: is its future in the hands of Donald Trump? My answer was a qualified no. The Republican Party in the 20th Century was global, fiscally...

read more

5th Column

Several weeks ago tweets were sent out before President Biden arrived at Dover Air Force Base to honor the thirteen soldiers who were killed at the Afghan airport. The tweets said Biden had failed to show and CNN said they were sent by conservatives. Perhaps, but who...

read more

Right Here in River City

Recently I watched a very impressive Border Collie quickly herd what appeared to be a hundred or so sheep into a pen. A hundred sheep, one dog—compliant behavior dramatized.  In the Congress the Border Collie is called a Whip. His/her job is to whip colleagues to...

read more

Humint

Inquiries and their processes are often bone dry. While in the abstract we might agree that detail is important, most of us aren’t that interested. And when it comes down to politics, as expressed through government action, we are most often tribal and regardless of...

read more

A Tragic Goodbye

As Afghanistan fell, I was fly fishing on the Yellowstone River. Distracted from the swirl of currents and the prospects of feeding trout, I asked the guide about Afghanistan’s fall. He said he had been too busy working to really know what was going on. I suspect the...

read more

Death or Passing

As we get older we experience death in an entirely different way. I can recall the deaths of my grandparents and certainly my parents. I can recall the wrenching loss of a young friend while in my late teens, but those were different. Statistically, I was far from...

read more

Dependency

“Never let a good crisis go to waste” was a pithy point in Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Much later Rahm Emanuel, then Chief-of- Staff to President Barack Obama, in the context of the “Great Recession” reprised Alinsky and said, “Never allow a good...

read more

Kayfabe: “Never Break Character”

Back in the day I thought professional wrestlers fought to win but then my Dad burst my bubble. While I don’t recall his exact words, “Son, they follow a script” will suffice. I was taken back to that faint recollection by an article sub-titled, “America’s favorite...

read more

Fools Rush In

“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread” – Johnny Mercer I wonder when the faceless will say, “enough”? When those who calculate in millions and billions and even understand trillions will say, “No more–no more, unless I get better terms.”  One of my early...

read more

Join the Conversation!

FOLLOW AL SIKES

SocialMediaIcons_FBNewGooglePlusLogo2SocialMediaIcons_TwitterSocialMediaIcons_Wiki

Linked In

kindlelogo amazonlogo