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Columns

  • November election was good and bad

    It’s been a month since the 2014 elections, and the post-mortems have been written ad infinitum. I promise to be brief with regard to it.

  • Assisted suicide a contentious battle

    “Death, be not proud, though some have called thee

    Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so,

    For, those whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow

    Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.”

    — John Donne, “Holy Sonnets: Number 10”

    “I am not suicidal,” wrote Brittany Maynard. “If I were, I would have consumed that medication long ago. I do not want to die. But I am dying. And I want to die on my own terms.”

  • Reflecting on not-so-glorious history

    For the past several months, the world has been confronted with the horror of psychopaths beheading hostages. Decent men and women have decried the subhuman behavior by ISIS, the Islamic State. President Obama condemned the latest of five-to-date executions as “an act of pure evil by a terrorist group.”

    One-hundred-fifty years ago on Nov. 29, 1864, American “soldiers” engaged in a similar atrocity, an act of barbarism that has become known as the Sand Creek Massacre.

  • It’s becoming an ennui time of year

    Ennui: I have loved the word since my 11th-grade English class with Mr. Laurence. He was a stickler for vocabulary and was one of the teachers who stirred my imagination most when it comes to language.
    I notice now, especially while doing crossword puzzles, my vocabulary recall slipping. Old age? Or perhaps lack of use? Perhaps both, but for some reason, ennui remains fresh.

  • Elect pragmatic leaders to office

    If you’ve been reading my columns over the past several weeks, you might’ve noted one consistent refrain or mantra: “principled, pragmatic, problem-solving leadership.” One might call it the 3PRs.
    3PR is a philosophical approach to dealing with our societal great issues: economic, environmental, social justice, et al.

  • Udall works tirelessly for Colorado

    The 2014 election is shaping up as a referendum on the Colorado electorate: Do we mean what we say when we claim we want pragmatic, principled, problem-solving leadership or are we just paying lip-service to that notion?

  • Gardner is a political chameleon

    Ploy. Ruse. Each, particularly when advanced by a public servant, indicates conniving underhandedness unworthy of serious consideration and provides the observer insight into the true character of the individual.

    Describe it as one will, the latest proposal put forth by Senate candidate Cory Gardner to allow over-the-counter birth-control pills is hardly an expression of genuine concern for women’s health and for protection of their right to privacy by controlling their reproductive systems.

  • Testing hurts innovation, creativity

    In last week’s column, I wrote about the need for parents to embrace their role as their child’s primary teacher. An essential truth is that for a child to live up to and meet his/her academic potential, education must be valued in the home by parents and reinforced each day through modeling — reading, reviewing their child’s homework, doing their own homework — for in the end, teachers are not miracle workers.

  • Parents should embrace educator role

    In my book, Neil Zeron was one of the greats. As a rookie teacher struggling to hold my head above water in a sea of 13-year-olds whose last desire was to sit in an eighth-grade American history class, Neil was a font of wisdom. He became my mentor, a trusted guide into and through the byzantine labyrinth of teaching.
    During one conversation at happy hour, which became our debriefing sessions, I reflectively mused what it would be like to see how “my kids” turned out later in their lives.

  • Blaming victims, victimizing blameless

    Behind every personal and/or group interaction, what Herman Melville calls the “living act, the undoubted deed,” is a message intended to communicate a psychological construct or emotion ranging from caring and compassion to contempt and anger.