hearts and minds

About the essayist

I’ve been an Army Airborne veteran, college graduate, mechanic, seaman, hunter, and outdoor adventurer.

From early 2002 through 2008  I wrote an op-ed column in a general readership local newspaper that circulates in Ozaukee County, Wisconsin, where my ancestors, in 1848, established the farm where my wife and I now live. (Ozaukee County has voted about 2/3 Republican, 1/3 Democratic in recent elections; Wisconsin is a state teetering on the edges of the supposed red/blue divide). I was paid exactly the same (uncorrected for inflation) that Sam Clemens was paid ($25) for a newspaper column he penned in 1867 – (before he wrote a book and became better known as Mark Twain). I’m doing it in the 21st Century to provide a different perspective here, and for no other reason. Writing for a general readership newspaper keeps me in close contact with truth and with people. My essays do not assume readers all start out with my perspective, but they do assume a willingness to think, and not simply react.

I don’t pretend to have no point of view, or to have no dog in the fight. I make no effort to conceal my acquired bias. And I make no pretense that it doesn’t affect my writing or reporting. However, my point of view is often (not always) altered or established during my research for the article.  I always learn from my research, and I strive to always do careful research, and to cite my sources.

The reader knows where I am coming from, and in my opinion, that is better than for the reader to be blind-sided by a pretense, a sham of neutrality. I only write about subjects that I personally care a lot about, and if I care strongly about something, I probably also have strong preconceived opinions about it. And I suspect that is true about most other people – including writers and commentators.  But I know that you don’t care what my opinion is. We all have opinions. What we all need (and what is so hard to get from our talk show hosts, our mass media, corporate PR spokespersons, and our elected officials) is accurate and concise information. I have high personal standards of factual reporting, and of accuracy. Please tell me if you find a mistake or a misleading statement or analysis. Any comments (especially including critical ones) are welcome and valued.

I post and reply to all comments unless you request that I not do so, or unless your return email address is bogus. I include only your first name and last initial with your comment. Your request for anonymity will be honored. You may post a link to a non-commercial site. I may excise from your posted comment portions which are strictly personal in nature, and not pertinent to the writing, or which address an unrelated topic.

Since the newspaper publisher did not archive my essays on its website, or make them available to people who are concerned about the issues and use their internet browser to search for material, I started my “Hearts and Minds” blog to archive these historical essays, and to try to make them available to concerned and inquiring minds as I research and write them.  I have continued writing essays after my newspaper column was summarily canceled by the publisher for reasons which he did not care to divulge to me.

Click on a Category that interests you.  Or just scan the titles and brief introductions posted in reverse chronological order on the home page.  If you don’t feel quite right about the legal dogma that a corporation has the Constitutional status, and therefore the Constitutional rights of a “person”, or if you are concerned about the fate of democracy in the USA in the 21st century, do not ignore, do not miss my series of essays examining that issue.  Go back to 2002 and read “The Madness Must End”, published six months prior to the invasion of Iraq. And then read “A History Lesson Learned the Easy Way”, published three years later. Study my carefully researched series of essays in the /health-care-crisis/ category, or read (if you dare) “The Ultimate Universal Invasive Species is Bound for Planet B“. Check out my “Conversations with Sid D. Complex”, or my technical Paddlesports series dispelling the mystery and the myths that make canoeing and kayaking terrifying – or at least more difficult than they need to be.  I think you’ll find enjoyable writing and useful information in a concise form that perhaps you’ll want to share with others. They have all been fact-checked and are well-researched.

Some of my essays are easy reading stories. Some focus on local manifestations of hot national topics, like racial injustice and proposals for a marriage amendment and the death penalty. Some are tightly organized summaries of important best-sellers that you haven’t the time to read, but really should – like “The Spirit Level” for instance.  “Social Engineering for Wealth” and my ongoing series on the health care crisis and the threat to Social Security in America are worthy examples. (A well executed condensation provides a valuable service to readers with limited time and a need to know.) Some are human interest snapshots, like “Courage in the Storm” or “The Appearance of A Rock”. Several environmental issues are addressed in other essays.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep on truckin’.
See comments from others, and make your own below, and at the end of each posted essay.


  1. Hi Clyde — Just wanted to let you know that I had a chance to review your blog today — pretty impressive pile of good information!! Congratulations.

    Comment by Lois W — October 8, 2006 @ 7:19 am | Reply

  2. hello there – finally am able to look up your “stuff”. good to know that you are still alive, and we are also – if living in sevier county tennessee can be considered alive. most interesting thoughts from you.

    Comment by Diana B — October 13, 2006 @ 12:11 pm | Reply

  3. Clyde, did you go to (name of some school) ? You sure sound like a maniac I knew there.

    Comment by Lester S — November 4, 2006 @ 1:43 pm | Reply

  4. Clyde: I just read your response to the Stibbe editorial (Proportion in Sentencing). Thanks for bringing some sanity and common sense into the discourse within our county.

    Comment by Ken W — December 20, 2006 @ 12:47 am | Reply

  5. Hi Clyde, your blog looks great.

    Comment by Cory — January 28, 2007 @ 8:55 pm | Reply

  6. I have your blog tucked in place with my frequent reading bookmarks. This is very cool and will keep me on track! Take care, stay warm, and keep on writing.

    Comment by Marjie T — February 11, 2007 @ 12:36 pm | Reply

  7. Clyde, that’s great that you’re doing this writing, at the community paper level. I know from my own experience that community papers often have the most devoted readerships.

    Comment by Sam — February 16, 2007 @ 4:51 pm | Reply

  8. I’ve kept the columns you sent me prior to me getting email, and printed those you’ve sent via email since. I’ve reproduced columns and passed them to friends/acquaintances that I felt would benefit from your insights – with good feedback. These are not necessarily the usual suspects. I’m thinking that maybe I’m not the only one doing this, so perhaps your readership is broader than you’d imagine. So, yes, do continue to produce your excellent column. I always look forward to it.

    For a world without greedy parasites,

    Comment by Gerry G — February 16, 2007 @ 6:22 pm | Reply

  9. I love your essays. I think it’s a productive method of encouraging people to think — Hopefully, people read and reconsider their positions, but that may be asking for more than is reasonable. After all, how often do you and I read papers produced by those who think differently than we do?

    But, assuredly, your articles are read by folks like me, with similar views — and we are sometimes inclined and inspired to share with friends, so the message is heard by others. Even those of us that are on the same page today need a boost from time to time, to recognize that we have support, to be inspired to keep on keeping on with whatever thoughts and actions we can muster to try to reclaim what’s supposed to be our democracy, to try to make the USA a country we can be proud to be a part of. Your articles remind me that I’m not alone out there — and that’s vital to keeping the spirit of agitation alive.

    Comment by Lois W — February 16, 2007 @ 6:28 pm | Reply

  10. I … am pleased to learn that in addition to our common values, we share parachuting experience. One of the choices I made as a CO in W.W. II was smokejumping—fire-fighting in Montana and Idaho. It was probably more for the adventure, but also to prove to certain others that I wasn’t afraid to risk my neck.

    Barb and I appreciate your essays, so keep up the good work. Your blogspot and link to the Peace Seekers web page makes them easily accessible.


    Comment by Dale L — February 16, 2007 @ 6:44 pm | Reply

  11. Thanks … I enjoy all your articles.

    Comment by Dorothy B — February 16, 2007 @ 6:47 pm | Reply

  12. Bravo, Clyde, on your new blog! It is very tastefully done.

    Comment by Laurel K — February 16, 2007 @ 8:07 pm | Reply

  13. A pleasure to make your acquaintance Clyde.

    Comment by Mark P — March 27, 2007 @ 9:39 am | Reply

  14. Sam Clemens, please, I knew Sam Clemens, and sir you are no Sam Clemens. You have been going at this the wrong way. You have been talking about getting out of writing, please stop wasting your time. If anyone ever gets to know you – that is if you let them in and tell the real truth, they would see you for who you are – Sam Sheppard – the actor would be closer to Mark Twain if you want to compare all the crap you spew out in this biography. Mark Twain would call it sh**

    Comment by Doug M — June 5, 2007 @ 2:30 pm | Reply

  15. Great posts on health care and great blog overall.

    Comment by Tim R — August 14, 2007 @ 11:55 am | Reply

  16. I have always enjoyed your columns especially as they pertain to this war and numerous social issues. I was all for getting out of Iraq; “cut and run”, if you will. Enough have died there already for no good reason.

    However, recently I have had a complete change of mind. I think it is better that we stay bogged down in Iraq for a long time. Otherwise, the neo-cons who have hijacked our government, especially the congress, will push for wars with Iran and Syria. This would be even more devastating for us and the world.

    Sad to say but a humiliating defeat in Iraq may be the only way to bring this country to it’s senses. Hopefully, an aroused public will then drive the neo-cons out of government and sanity will be restored..

    Comment by Mitchell T — September 13, 2007 @ 3:23 pm | Reply

  17. Clyde– Writing here is David A, of yore, just to say hello. … I read a few of your blog postings, and it was a pleasure to re-experience your voice. We still have a letter you sent from Alaska long ago, with a fish hook enclosed.

    Comment by David A — November 12, 2007 @ 6:21 pm | Reply

  18. Pleasure meeting you today, Clyde. I’ve already added your blog to my bookmarks!

    Comment by Eric B — June 28, 2008 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

  19. Clyde,I met you the other night when you stopped by and discussed with my sister and I your upcoming venture into politics. I’ve read some of your blog and the information you left with us. I find your view both interesting and refreshing. I don’t necessarily agree with all of your views about healthcare; I’ve been involved in the healthcare industry in one aspect or another for over 30 years now and I see things from a slightly different perspective. I also have firsthand knowledge of what it is like to have medical issues and go from having complete medical coverage through Medical College of Wisconsin to being totally without any type of medical coverage or assistance from anyone. Costs for everything from office visits, medical tests, prescription medication and even over the counter meds have become almost inconceivable. Yes, something needs to be done about our healthcare system in general, I just don’t see it’s cause as coming from where you do. Thank you for stopping by, your presence generated discussion about issues people just don’t normally talk about in todays busy world. Something must be done and I truly appreciate your efforts; thank you. I wish you continued success.

    Comment by Christina S — August 24, 2008 @ 1:00 pm | Reply

  20. Feedback on hearts and minds

    I visited your blog, hearts and minds located at https://clydewinter.wordpress.com/ recently. I must say, I’m quite impressed by the blog’s content. In particular, I really liked https://clydewinter.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/support-the-troops-gungho-means-work-together/.

    Good job!

    I’d like to know if you’d be interested in having me as a guest writer for your blog. I am a features writer working with MiracleFruitPlus.com. I’d like to write a free 300 to 400 word blog entry for you. I have a few years experience and would really enjoy writing one or two guest blog entries for your blog.

    If you’d like to take me up on my offer, please send me a topic and a quick outline of what you’d like the article to say. Please give me as much detail as possible so I can make the blog entry meet your specifications as much as possible.

    In exchange for this free blog entry, I would like to request a linkback to MiracleFruitPlus in the body of the blog entry somewhere using the title tag “miracle fruit.”

    I look forward to your response

    Best Regards,

    Mike Burlingame

    Comment by Mike Burlingame — January 12, 2009 @ 8:56 am | Reply

  21. Terrific blog! I’ll be stopping by regularly (and not just because we have some important things in common). A question: Would you consider adding my blog to your blog list? I’m a Wisconsin progressive blogging a progressive news round up. Check it out here: http://filterednews.wordpress.com/

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Comment by Russell King — November 12, 2009 @ 10:08 am | Reply

  22. Hello Clyde-
    Stumbled/ onto your blog. Glad to see there are a few people in this country thinking about more serious things than sports. Marx was wrong when he said religion was the opiate of the masses! In our country it is sports. What the sports teams do is far more important to the average adult American than the other more serious issues we face as a nation. Keep it up! We need more thinkers with voices.

    Comment by ralph f — December 7, 2009 @ 8:57 pm | Reply

  23. Hi Clyde- I linked to your blog somewhat randomly and find it refreshing. As a professed conservative, I often dismiss “progressive” sites and blogs out of hand. But I find myself tiring of hearing my own perspectives reflected. You present exactly what I, and other thoughtful people of America, really need- a well-considered, factual explanation of your perspective on an issue. Maybe we all need to think, and listen, a little more carefully to a point of view other than our own….

    Comment by Dak — January 12, 2010 @ 6:05 pm | Reply

  24. Hi Clyde: I’ve always enjoyed reading your entries on Hearts and Minds; they are very enlightening. Love your point of view. Haven’t seen anything from you in awhile. I was looking forward to reading your views about the Governor’s race that’s shaping up in Wisconsin. Hope all is well.

    Comment by Christina S — August 13, 2010 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

  25. I couldn’t agree more about your views on corporate interests and their control of the political system.

    I haven’t voted for a major party presidential candidate since 1992. I have given up on the major parties.

    Comment by Bob P — October 13, 2010 @ 4:42 pm | Reply

  26. Hi Clyde,
    … Hope you are well.
    Please keep on blogging!

    Comment by Dale L — February 13, 2011 @ 5:37 pm | Reply

  27. Hi,
    We met briefly after Mr. Nichols spoke at the JCC. I have just read a number of your entries, and the paper you were handing out. I enjoy your writing and agree very much with your point of view. I work with a lot of very conservative men and it has been so depressing to listen to so much bigotry and selfishness all day long. It is nice to know that there are people outside of Madison and over the age of 25 who care about social and economic justice. Keep it up!

    Comment by Ann — June 27, 2011 @ 11:49 pm | Reply

  28. Aloha Clyde. Just read your comments re Occupy Wall Street today in response to Chris Hedges call to action. Will read it this afternoon to the assembled in front of Merrill Lynch here in Hilo town on Hawai’i (the Big) Island. Mahalo nui loa (Big long lotsa thanks). Henry H

    Comment by Henry H — October 3, 2011 @ 3:54 pm | Reply

  29. I know this is a rather late reply to an much earlier article – you wrote a piece about the death of Matthew Sheridan of Mequon by way of asphyxiation using a “spit mask”. Matthew was my cousin, and I still miss him dearly. Thank you for putting that together – you served his memory well, even though you did not know him. Thank you again.

    Comment by Ann S. — August 6, 2013 @ 6:35 pm | Reply

    • To Ann –

      Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comment. More than that, thank you for sharing with me and with anyone who ever reads your comment, that Matthew was a real, live person, with friends and with family that cared about him, and that loved him, and that still mourn his tragic, unjustifiable death, and undoubtedly always will. Thank you for helping us realize that he was not a “perpetrator” or a “suspect” or a police statistic or just an incident of “collateral damage”.

      Matthew was young and vibrant, and he loved life. And he was innocent of doing anything illegal or wrong that day. His only mistake was believing that he had basic civil and human rights, and that the police were bound to respect those rights. Whether his death was gross, collective negligence and incompetence, or whether it was willful, it was a homicide committed by police, of an innocent person, after having been rendered helpless, while in police custody.

      Comment by clydewinter — August 13, 2013 @ 2:46 pm | Reply

  30. Hi Clyde. I hope to peruse your blog from time to time during some of the less active Move to Amend moments this summer, now that the heavy part of petitioning is over (well in our area, already thinking about helping other communities,as you did for the NMMTA!). I am enjoying and learning from your emails, know I will here too. Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by Katie S — June 11, 2014 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

  31. Hi Clyde…I’m so glad you are still blogging! I really enjoy your essays and have always looked forward to reading them. I moved to New Mexico almost a year ago now but the issues are still the same no matter where you live. Thanks again for what you do.

    Comment by Christina Schilder — April 12, 2016 @ 6:02 pm | Reply

  32. Aloha / Greetings…. Sir. I just got a glimpse of your mind(s) eye..”Thank You”.. after reading your Corporations v.Persons I am compelled to inform, “just what the Doctor ordered”. The information within your essays are Paramount to issues we here are facing. Thus, again “Mahalo Ke Akua = Thank You and God Bless You”.

    Comment by Bradley Pai — June 7, 2016 @ 10:12 pm | Reply

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