Answer On A Cold Walk

Yesterday, I had lunch with eight interesting people. The facilitator, whom I'll name below, asked a question toward the end of our meal. Most of the people answered. I did not. One thing I've learned over the years is that I'm better off not saying anything if I don't have anything clear or real to say. Then,this morning on a hiking trail through the woods, it hit me. Clarity. Realness. My … [Read more...]

Learning From 56 Years Ago

Heading into Monday's presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I recommend a look back at the only other televised presidential debate to rival this one in importance and impact--I'm referring to 1960 and the Nixon-Kennedy debate. There is something to learn here that affects your viewing on Monday night. First, like now, there was a powerful sense of old and new. These … [Read more...]

Polio Doesn’t Strike Franklin Roosevelt

What if polio doesn't strike Franklin Roosevelt? On August 10, 1921, Franklin Roosevelt awakens with his legs no different than the day before. He can walk. He can run. He can kick. He can jump. And over the weeks and months and years ahead, nothing changes about his legs. No massage therapy. No warm water treatments. No metal braces. No polio. So how might his life have different? … [Read more...]

The Mexican-American War

The Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. Have you ever bothered to read anything about it? Ever heard about it? Perhaps a more basic question should be posed: ever heard of it? This event has a long shadow in the American experience. Here's how. (Winfield Scott and his US force near Mexico City) The Iraq War, or Gulf War II as I call it, wasn't the first conflict that produced internal … [Read more...]

New Post on Lincoln

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The Flight of the Intellectuals by Paul Berman

War divides. In American history the division caused by war is not just between one side and the other on the battlefield. It's also between those who support in and believe in the war and its waging, and those who do not. In this sense, the two wars that flowed out of 9-11—Afghanistan and the Second Gulf War—were no different than any other war in American history. They divided. Paul Berman … [Read more...]

9-11 and 10 Years On: Your Leadership and History

9-11 and 10 Years On: Reflections on Leadership and History First, let’s do a couple of points from popular culture. Top hit song from 1951: Too Young by Nat King Cole. 2001: Hanging by a Moment by Lighthouse. Top movie from 1951: A Streetcar Named Desire. 2001: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Fad from 1951: Gilbert's Chemistry Sets. 2001: Bratz Dolls. I mentioned having looked at … [Read more...]

A Surprising Sight From My Jeep

Sitting in my Jeep outside a community college, I was early to my meeting yesterday. I had about 20-30 minutes before my meeting, so I picked up a book that I’ve been keeping in the car for just such occasions. While reading, I noticed something about the people—the students—who were slowly arriving in their vehicles and walking into the class building. Woman; woman; woman; woman; and woman; and … [Read more...]

Message Lamented

In the past week I have received emails from two organizations that strike me as truly lamentable. Maybe you've gotten some of your own. I'm referring to the reaction of governmentally funded entities amid the rising dispute over federal spending. As far as I'm concerned, this is almost a nonpartisan issue--the hard math suggests that governmental spending, especially on the federal or national … [Read more...]

When The Classified Seals Come Off

One of the most consistent aspects of foreign policy and national security in the Obama Administration is drone warfare. As recently as a week ago, another round of drone strikes occurred, this time in Yemen. By my last reading, more than thirty people were killed. There are no reports of civilian casualties, so we must assume that terrorists, or irregular soldiers in my lexicon, were the … [Read more...]