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Columns

  • Can anyone really go home?

    “You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood ... back home to the old forms and systems of things, which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time – back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.”
    — “You Can’t Go Home Again” by Thomas Wolfe

    You can pick your friends but you cannot pick your family.  The truth of that maxim depends, though, on how one defines “family.”

  • The importance of empathy for others

     There’s a delightful woman who has been taking ticket stubs at the Denver West theaters for 17 years, she tells me. She happens to be blind or seeing impaired. Another way of saying it is, she has a disability. However one states that factual aspect of her physical being, it does not detract from her ability to see the world from her perspective. She has phenomenal vision and as a result has stories to tell.

  • Can we control our own life’s journey?

     I cannot recall who said or wrote it, but I love the insight about the ultimate form of control is attempting to control the process of letting go of control. 

    Of course, control is a fundamental American virtue. While not directly inculcated, it goes part and parcel with the rest of the American myth — Horatio Alger, you can be anything you want to be — and real men don’t cry.

  • A WWII veteran’s walk down memory lane

     Joe never thought he would make it to Washington, D.C., to see the monuments. He had stopped doing much traveling from his home in Idaho Springs. He saw action during more than two years of service in the Pacific, and now this trip really hit home. 

    He noted how the fingers looked perfect on the statue atop the Marine Corps Monument. He could almost feel the wind in his face and hear the colors flapping, just as those Marines did, while they raised Old Glory on Mount Suribachi high above Iwo Jima.

  • True conservatives need to step up

    “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.”
    So wrote Edmund Burke, whom modern conservative thinkers consider their intellectual godfather, even “patron saint.”
    Burke also wrote, “All government, indeed every human benefit and enjoyment, every virtue, and every prudent act, is founded on compromise and barter.”

  • Freedom’s death will come knocking

    Keep your Uzis and other rapid-fire, mass-loaded weaponry. They’re mere toys. Deadly ones, to be sure, but in the symbolic sense, they’re laughable. Guns and an arsenal-level cache cannot prevent the kind of subtle, inch-by-inch erosion of Americans’, as Ben Franklin called them, “essential liberties.”

    The final surrender will come not in a form of an OK Corral-like showdown, but with a whimper from fear-filled, knee-knocking Americans begging their government to “protect” them. 

  • Criminal justice needs a new focus

    We’re doing something wrong, or perhaps it’s better to say we’re not doing something right. I’m not talking morally or ethically, but pragmatically, although one could present a strong case about the moral and ethical way in which we deal with those members of our society who have for one reason or another gone off the path.  

    Colorado is not being successful in keeping its parolees out of jail. The odds of one staying out of jail are worse than 50/50.  

  • Feeling the rhythms, vibrations of life

    In his quiet work “Seven Thousand Ways to Listen,” Mark Nepo writes about percussionist Evelyn Glennie who is “profoundly deaf.”
    Nepo explains Glennie “lives the rhythms and feels the vibrations of the music, not instead of hearing but as the foundation of all hearing.”
    It is our insistence that feeling and hearing, like the other senses, are distinct functions and not integrated that causes our dissonance.

  • Now liberals have their very own Nixon

    If you took a social studies class in the past 30 years, there’s no way you could avoid knowing chapter and verse about McCarthyism, J. Edgar Hoover’s abuses at the FBI, and President Nixon’s “enemies list.”
     The paranoid abuse of government power in the latter half of the last century led to a healthy skepticism of federal leadership, and justifiably so. While corruption itself is nothing new, it became more visible in the television era. Today we rightfully look at those events as low points in American history.

  • Congress, public to blame for IRS scandal

     I love ironies, especially double ones. Yes, yes, the IRS improperly red-flagged Tea Party applications for nonprofit status, but it is delicious to watch righties now screaming victimhood in the process, given — get this — their activities are not political but fall, instead, under the umbrella of the IRS definition of “social welfare.”