Everyone Has Been Writing About Police Reform – There is A Reason I Waited

Sometimes Your First Reaction is Not Your Best Choice

Ours is a country in some turmoil today. The time around the 4th of July is, it seems to me, a most excellent time to remind ourselves that this country is less about what it is than about what it could be. We should be mature enough to admit our shortfalls, hopeful enough to believe in our promise.

Let’s talk about how we police in the USA. This issue has been a lightning rod for commentary, much of it loose on the Left and the Right Things are getting sorted out enough at this point that I think we can have a productive discussion.

What was Old is New Again

The Isolation of the Pandemic has Given a New Life to Some Old Connectors


Miss Everyone?

As we move towards our sixth, and certainly NOT our last month, of varying degrees of isolation, people are reaching out to find connections.  For some, this is more important than to others. A good friend said to me awhile back, “We are huggers. This is killing us!” Some of us, myself included, do miss people, but its manageable. In my heart of hearts, I think I was always one of those old-style forest rangers who spent weeks alone in a fire tower.


In Case You Missed Them, a Few Indications This Week That Our Species Has a Bell Curve

What a Week That Was

I generally have the next 2-3 blogs outlined a few days ahead of time. On occasion, events cause me to bump the order of things, but for the most part, the system allows me to give some time and thought to what shows up in your inbox. That was the plan for today.

I have indeed given much thought to this posting, but it is not the one I started with originally.

About Those Monuments (and Streets, and Entryways, and Schools…)

The Drive to Correct Old Wrongs is Exactly Right – But Expect Problems

Will We, at Last, Do the Right Thing?

It seems that most, if not almost all, confederate monuments are coming down. Most by formal governmental action, almost all by citizen demand, some by mob action. More on that last category in a moment.

The discussion of why these things need to come down has taken root. The most recent poll shows that a majority of Americans (52%) agree they should come down. That percentage will continue to grow. In my own home area,

In the End, It’s All About the Air

How Managing the Air We Breathe is the Pandemic End Game

We are all, logically, concentrating these days on social distancing, proper wearing of masks, and testing. We hope that not too much further down the road there will be a vaccination, even though that will take some time to be fully distributed.

But at the end of it all, public confidence, and our ability to manage not only this pandemic but the next one (and there will be a next one) will depend on how well the air we breathe can be cleaned in a wide variety of settings.

Yes, I Hear What You are Saying, But…

There are Difficult but Promising Conversations Going on Now. Here, Some Help in Having Them

I have been fascinated, and often encouraged, by the conversations going on right now in our country about who we are and who we want to be as a nation. Some of these are really tough and awkward. Some of the toughest ones are in our own heads. People are asking themselves if they are as open minded as they thought. Am I as unbiased as I think I am? I sympathize with others, but have I really been listening? Do I have any grasp of what others are living and thinking?


For the First Time in this Blog I am Linking a Single Document – Read It

I Have Something for You

Regular readers know that I often make reference to other articles, documents, and videos, encouraging you to read them to learn more about the topic at hand. Today we take that a step further.

I am going to say very little about this document, except to say that I think it is extraordinary and well worth your time to peruse.  We are in a time of great turmoil and challenge in our country.

The Movement for Racial Justice is at a Crossroads – Which Model Will It Chose?

This is a Singular Moment – Two Earlier Movements Offer Encouragement and Risk


We Have Been Here Before – or Have We?

As Condoleezza Rice recently noted,

“In the wake of Floyd’s death, Americans and people around the world are experiencing shock, grief, outrage — a set of emotions that too often are repeated. If the past is a guide, these feelings will fade, and we will return to our lives. But something tells me — not this time. Floyd’s horrific death should be enough to finally move us to positive action.”


This is a Blog Post I Never Thought I Would Have to Make

And I Hate Doing It


What It Means to Be an American Military Officer

I spent much of my adult life in the US Army. It is an institution I love and respect, and by extension, I feel the same about all the armed services and the civilians that support them. One of the things that has always been most meaningful to me is that every member of every armed force, no matter their rank, takes the same oath of allegiance. It is to the constitution. Not to the government, certainly not to the president,

The Problem with Policing Is Even Worse Than You Think

If We Cannot Make Progress on This, Much Else Will Never Get Right



Here We Are

Once again, we sit in front of our TVs and watch our nation burn. We have been here before, and surely will again. This time has some important differences, as well as some timeless evil.

That there are racial disparities in the dispensing of law enforcement and justice should not be a surprise to anyone by now. Although some resisted the terminology and the messaging, the Black Lives Matter movement has done much to educate the rest of us in preparation for this moment.