The Overton Window is an interesting – and timely – idea. It defines the acceptable limits of public discourse. For example, in an election campaign like the one already picking up momentum for 2020, politicians will be pushed – so the theory goes – to stay within Overton’s “window,” the permissible domain of conversation. Ideas…

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In this most consumption-drenched season of all – what the west and, particularly, America – has made of a day commemorating the birth of Christ, it may not be too terrible a crime to remember some of those little gifts that have a way of lingering in the mind long after the day itself and…

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(I will be posting some speculative pieces over the next few months. They’ll be titled “Musings” to set them apart from my other posts. Hope you enjoy!) One of the hardest things for anyone to do is to step outside of their normal frame of reference. We get used to seeing the world the way…

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The picture in my mind’s eye now is of a summer evening when the trees were full of leaves and the sun was still high at seven o’clock but at an angle that threw shadows and tinted the light in a way that made it seem golden and streaked with some darker, richer hue. It…

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History is made by the best of us and the worst of us over the heads of the rest of us. Philosopher longshoreman, Eric Hoffer, was the author of the above quote, which struck me the first time I read it. It does seem that that is the way the world truly works. Good people…

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Sometimes a really bad idea can gain a foothold in a large population and spread like a virus. Over the centuries, there have been many: the eerie threat of witchcraft, the deep danger of religious heresy, the revealed presence of secret Communists in the U.S. State Department. These widely shared psychoses are dangerous and often…

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September 16, 2018

Rugby Memories: The 60’s

We were a rag-tag group of athletes on an all-male campus without a football team and thirsting for contact… of multiple kinds. Rugby proved to be part of the answer. Our beloved Coach, Dr. John Kenyon, was the major inspiration for the program. He was a wild and wooly Scotsman who taught Experimental Psychology and…

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September 9, 2018

A Game Played Between Our Ears

  Shakespeare said, somewhere in there among the zillion good and incisive things he wrote that: “nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so.” It occurs to me upon reflection that a significant portion of our “troubles” as humans come not from actual events, but to our flawed reactions to them. Sometimes, we…

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August 20, 2018

The Loss Of History?

I am immersed in a 27 year-old book, the memoirs of Clark Clifford entitled Counsel To The President. Clifford was a Washington power broker for 40+ years between the 1940’s and the 1980’s and served many Presidents during some truly historic times…not all of them pleasurable. At the same time that I’m reading Clifford’s book,…

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As a lifelong reader, I am long past the discovery that the simple act of reading can produce sustained pleasure of surprising power. Right now, I’m alternating some weekend business work with the final chapters in Stephen Kotkin’s terrific book, “Waiting For Hitler”, about the machinations and challenges surrounding Joseph Stalin in the years leading…

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