I’m an Army Airborne veteran, college grad, mechanic, seaman, hunter, and outdoor adventurer.
Since April, 2002, I’ve been writing 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 in recent elections; Wisconsin is a state teetering on the edges of the supposed red/blue divide). I’ve been paid exactly the same (uncorrected for inflation) that Sam Clemens was paid 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 make a difference 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, except 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. Often (not always) my point of view is altered or established during my research for the article.
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 of neutrality. 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 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.
Click on a title in the Table of Contents, or on a Category that interests you. 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. Check out my “Conversations with Sid D. Complex”, or my technical Paddlesports series. 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 found time to read. “Social Engineering for Wealth” and my pair of two-part 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.