The US Concentric Circles Are Breaking Up

One Circle is Now Spinning Away and Jamming Up the Works. Let It Go.


Let’s acknowledge something up front. This blog is about to provide some simplified analysis. Bear with me; the sin should be worth making this short and readable. I hope.

America has been at its best, has worked best, when we recognize we all live in concentric circles. That is to say, we have our core groups and tribes that most express our beliefs and desires. But we have also found ground wherein those circles chose to overlap, to work together.

Can We Save Recycling — By Recycling the Idea?

A good idea has gotten lost in the execution details. Let’s simplify and do better

I like recycling. I bet you do, too. What’s not to like? It is good for the environment. It allows us to participate in a good thing as citizens. It can create jobs and new technology. It’s the right thing to do. And yet…

The hodge-podge of recycling protocols has made it difficult to figure out if we are “doing it right.” Every community, every business has their own definitions and criteria. On an average day, I can expect to have half a dozen opportunities to recycle at different locations.

What did we learn from The Week That Was?

Last week we saw the spectacles of a NATO meeting in London and the summit in Helsinki. These two events told us a lot – about Trump, and the Republican party and about the rest of us.

I am not an historian, but I am confident in saying we have not anything in our foreign policy like this past week. A sampling of the headlines pretty well sums it up for most people:

          “This sad, embarrassing wreck of a man”

          “What does Putin have on Trump?”

           “If Putin wanted a US.

A Serious (sort of) Discussion About the Funnies

I suspect what we like about the funnies, the comics in daily newspapers, says something about each of us.

This is a conversation that may be obsolete in short order. The topic at hand is the comics in most daily newspapers. These little funnies are available online as well. But this conversation is about comics in a newspaper. Many people reading this may not be able to recall reading an actual newspaper. Still fewer subscribe to one. That is a sad and problematic thing, but that would also be the topic of another blog post. Today,

In Business? Those Footsteps Behind You are Closing In

The Lesson of Toys R Us, Blockbuster, et. al.

Our local Sears closed its doors this month, as are so many around the country. Speculation is that the corporation may not make it to the end of the year. That got me thinking.

I spent most of my adult life in government service, as an Army officer. I was in the nonprofit sector for 5 years. Between those two adventures, I spent more than a decade in the private sector. My time in the corporate world gave me an education for which I am most grateful.

The Congressional Circus was in Town Last Thursday

Welcome to Benghazi II. The sequel was as bad as the original, maybe worse. One thing about this one definitely was worse.

In case you somehow missed it, there was a circus in town last week. The combined House Judiciary and Oversight Committees conducted a “hearing” (or something…). Much was written while the hearing went on, into the early evening, and much immediately after. I decided to let things marinate a bit and see what I thought about all this with a little time for reflection.

To be fair, I did not watch gavel to gavel coverage.

It’s Friday! Let’s Have a Drink

Reflections on one of humanity’s finest inventions -wine.

My friends will tell you, I enjoy wine. I like everything about it. I like the taste, the processes involved in production, storage, presentation, and consumption. I like the history and how it can change a meal or a meeting into something special.

At one time I had a 400+ bottle cellar. These days, I am at around 80 bottles at any one time. When one downsizes, everything takes a cut.

I like it all. And yet – I will observe that many of us make too big a deal of wine and make it too intimidating for others.

The Unforeseen Consequences and Untapped Potential of Drones

Part of our Hey! Look at That! Technology series

Drones (or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – UAVs) are a prime example of what often happens with developing technologies.

  • First, the new technology appears, and the possibilities seem unlimited. Everyone gets excited, money gets invested, manufacturing begins –
  • Then, the new toy on the block fails to deliver. A lot of people involved at this point get disgusted (or go broke) and drop out.
  • Not much later, the kinks get worked out. The technology takes off further than anyone anticipated.

There are exceptions of course.

The Pruitt Syndrome – What Do You Value?

Scott Pruitt is gone, finally. A lot of people lost bets on this one, figuring about 10 ethics investigations would be his end.It took half again as many. This might be a good time to think about what – or in whom- we invest our support.

There are people who support the policies that Pruitt & Company purveyed. Fair enough; people can argue policy with passion and substance. Challenge reasoning and call out  facts from opinions. Anything less would be downright Un-American.

Some also defend Pruitt and others whose conduct or performance fall short.

We Stand With Four Rivers All Around Us – Sink or Swim, America?

In every period of history, people living at that time feel “We have never had so many challenges.” We are no different today – many of us have that exact feeling right now.

We have had great divisions in our past (we did have a civil war, after all). Still, one could make the case that critical factors are now coming to bear in dangerous ways.

It feels as though we as a nation are standing on a piece of ground surrounded by four mighty “rivers.” Rivers are powerful and full of potential to nourish, clean,