Author Archives: Jim

Visit to a bird farm

I enjoyed watching the commissioning ceremony for the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78) on TV over the weekend. The news media consensus is… it’s big. Really BIG. President Trump’s commissioning speech showed uncharacteristic restraint by not calling the ship yuge. One … Continue reading

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My stuttering family reunion

Last week I spent four days reconnecting with an extended family of 700 people at the annual conference of the National Stuttering Association. This is the world’s largest organization for people who stutter with about 150 local support groups, educational … Continue reading

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Confessions of a Civil War addict

A couple of weeks ago I spent a few hours hiking around the Civil War site of the Battle of Glorieta Pass, which ended an ill-conceived Confederate invasion of New Mexico in 1862. Last year I attended a Civil War … Continue reading

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Freedom of the press is alive and well

We’re hearing solemn pronouncements from prominent journalists that the freedom of the press is under siege. I’m not concerned – yet – because all I’m seeing so far is mutual sniping between a partisan press and a new administration responding … Continue reading

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Keeping up the brightwork at Great Lakes

Another story from my Navy days that is still mostly true. Every so often the military personnel system puts a round peg in a round hole almost by accident. The Navy urgently needed a speechwriter at the Great Lakes Naval … Continue reading

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The old neighborhood

Note to readers: This exploration of my family history is primarily for my kids and kinfolk. I’m posting it in my blog because I’m too cheap to set up a separate website. If you are not among my relatives you … Continue reading

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Being a savvy news consumer

We’re a nation of smart consumers. We kick the tires on a used car, check restaurant and hotel reviews on TripAdvisor and read food labels. Now we need to wear our consumer hats to follow the news. That’s because the … Continue reading

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How to drain the swamp

What’s most appealing about Donald Trump’s victory (with apologies to my friends who believe he’s the incarnation of evil) is the prospect of long-overdue government reform. His “drain the swamp” campaign pledge resonated because 75% of Americans believe there’s widespread … Continue reading

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Family stories: They met in the bargain basement

Note to readers: This exploration of my family history is primarily for my kids and kinfolk. I’m posting it in my blog because I’m too cheap to set up a separate website. If you are not among my relatives you … Continue reading

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The national civics lesson

Americans may be deeply divided by the 2016 presidential election, but we’re getting one helluva civics lesson. Until this year, most of us gave little thought to the Electoral College,  the Federalist Papers or even the Constitution. Now we’re getting … Continue reading

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