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Hal BidlackHal BidlackJune 15, 20186min1820

When France’s King Louis XIV uttered the famous words “I am the State,” he was stating what he saw as obviously true — that as the absolute monarch, chosen (at least in his mind) by God, he was above any law made by mortal man. He asserted that he held all political and governmental authority. Scary.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackJune 1, 20186min389

I was carrying a large brown envelop when I made my first visit to the office of Congressman Doug Lamborn. It was in the summer of 2008, and I was the Democratic candidate running against the Congressman. I had received the mysterious envelop in the mail the day before. It had no return address. Upon opening it, I found a CD and an unsigned note that said the disk contained the “private strategy of Doug Lamborn’s campaign.” That was unexpected. But regardless, I knew there was only one honorable thing to do, which is how I ended up in Mr. Lamborn’s office the following day.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackMay 29, 20186min578

Readers of a certain age will recall that in 1976, then California Governor Ronald Reagan did what many in politics thought was both foolish and disloyal – he ran a campaign for president against the sitting Republican, Gerald Ford. It was a bitter battle, with acrimony and insults all around. Many political thinkers believe that Mr. Reagan’s challenge cost Mr. Ford victory, and put Jimmy Carter in the White House. Mr. Reagan made it there a short four years later, so for him, it worked out, I guess. But I ask that you recall another figure from that time, Pennsylvania Senator Richard Schweiker.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackMay 25, 20186min240

Monday is Memorial Day. For many Americans, it is an extra day off work, and no doubt you’ll hear local news anchors talk about how Memorial Day marks the first “official day of summer.” There will be barbeques and trips to the pool. There will be baseball games and the Stanley Cup Finals will (finally) get under way. There will be hot dogs cooked and beers consumed. And all that is just fine. But I urge my fellow Americans to pause, even if briefly, to recall to memory those who went before, and ensured your freedom to enjoy such all-American activities. I ask that you stop to remember Murro McCracken. I ask that you remember the almost cliché  but profoundly true idea that freedom isn’t free.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackMay 22, 20186min530

I hate the fact that I am less horrified than I was in April of 1999. On the 19thof that month, I spent the evening watching a Rockies game with fellow members of my academic department at the Air Force Academy. It was our yearly outing, and I was the guy in charge of setting things up. As I recall, there were a couple of big home runs, and the Rockies beat the Expos 11 to 10 in an excitingly close game. As I drove south on I-25 to Colorado Springs, I passed only a few miles from Columbine High School, where the next day the nation would be stunned, saddened, and horrified by a school shooting that would leave 13 dead, plus the shooters.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackMay 18, 20186min236

Yesterday, May 17, was a special day in my family. My late mother, Melva Sparks Bidlack, was born on that day, a century ago. We lost her to cancer in the 1990s, but like most dutiful sons, I still miss her, and I find it almost hard to believe that she’d be 100 today. She was born on a farm in remote Clio, Iowa. That long-ago May would also see the birth of perhaps America’s greatest mind, physicist Richard Feynman. The year would end with great hope, when the War to End All Wars concluded on Nov. 11.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackMay 15, 20187min284

Some important things in Washington are double plus un-good. You may recall that term from your high school English class, when you were forced to read George Orwell’s classic cautionary tale 1984. In that book, a new and “more efficient” language was developed by the all-powerful government to make things easier to control. Something really bad? Well, double plus un-good, to be sure. In Orwell’s hellish future, all kinds of governmental actions were now normal. Lies, when told boldly enough, became truth, and questioning the leadership of the nation was a “thought crime” and deeply unpatriotic. Truly double plus un-good.