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Hal BidlackHal BidlackApril 20, 20186min1320

I’ve written before on bias in the media, and how polarized our country has become. Readers may recall that I compared the current political unpleasantness to our nation in roughly 1850, when the notion that disagreement also meant disloyalty and likely enemy status. I also wrote on what I called bold hypocrisy, wherein some national leaders, our current President in particular, tell falsehoods at a record pace, denying demonstrably true “facts” (remember when they said there was nomeeting in Trump Tower? Then there wasa meeting, but it was about Russian adoption? And then it was about…oh shut up!) And if you are a Trump supporter, admit it – when you read that last bit, you thought to yourself, “oh yeah? Well, the liberal-mainstream-dishonest media is the one telling the lies.” Right?


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackApril 17, 20186min4230

Today is Tax Day, the day when the great reckoning arrives for millions of Americans. For some, it is a day of relief, when they finally sit down and crank the numbers for 2017 and find to their delight that they are getting a refund. Others, having delayed until the last possible moment, find that they owe Uncle Sam a chunk of change, or a wad of bills, or whatever your painful metaphor is for owing. Tax Day is a day that many greet with trepidation or even fear. Some argue that even the conceptof taxation is evil, and that taxation is theft. Many others argue that taxation is a necessary evil, but argue vociferously that taxes are too high and are unfairly collected. Only the most foolish would argue that Tax Day is actually a day for celebration.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackApril 13, 20187min1530

One of the great good fortunes of my life was that I had the honor to be a friend of one of Colorado’s favorite sons, John Denver. I got to know John from the environmental side of things and ended up on the Board of Directors of his Windstar Foundation for a while. I loved his music when I first heard it in the 1970s and continue to love both it and John’s message and vision, to this day. I felt very grateful in 1985, when the Air Force decided I could teach at the Air Force Academy and thus come to Colorado to live. I moved here in 1987 and stayed on after my retirement from active duty, because, well, Colorado!


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackApril 10, 20186min2410

I recently got an email from a dear friend, expressing great sorrow at the current state of our government and especially about the state of discourse today. Let’s call him Bob. Bob is worried, from his perspective somewhat left of center, but not way out there, that there is little to be hopeful about nationally. He wondered if he was excessively gloomy, and if not, is there light at the end of whatever length of tunnel we are currently in.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackApril 6, 20186min159

On the 30thof this month, we’ll be exactly 229 years distant from George Washington taking the oath of office as our first president, and for all practical purposes, the real beginning of our country. Recently, I marked my own milestone, turning 60. And at three-score years, I’ve been around for roughly one quarter of our entire history as a nation – we are a young country to be sure. And so it is not surprising that, especially in the early years, we saw a great many things done for the first time by an American. As the years have passed, we’ve seen fewer “firsts,” which makes sense. But one troubling trend that continues is how often we hear the phrase “first American woman to…”


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackApril 3, 20186min187

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. And if you are one of a very special group of nine folks in Washington D.C., you are entitled to a legal opinion. Such opinions, from the nice men and women in the black robes in that big marble building with the “Supreme Court” sign out front, effectively carry the power of law, as they interpret the Constitution in the 21st Century.  One thing we all agree on is that we like the court’s rulings when we agree with them, and we are unhappy with these jurists when we disagree.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackMarch 30, 20186min172

We may be in the throes of a constitutional crisis. Not in Washington (well, maybe a little, stay tuned) but here in Colorado. This week, a federal judge blocked parts of the measure, approved by voters in 2016, that made it harder to amend our lovely state’s constitution. Specifically, the Judge ruled that provision that required at least 2% of the signatures gathered to put a proposed new constitutional amendment on the ballot be collected in each of the 35 state senate districts. This was a direct effort to undo the ability of a ballot-measure supporter to gather all needed signatures along the Front Range, where lots of people live, while ignoring those who live in the less well-populated regions of Colorado.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackMarch 23, 20186min167

Did you know that Colorado is a nuclear power? OK, that may be overstating it a bit, but did you at least know that it is home to a number of intercontinental ballistic missiles? It’s not a secret, it’s the 321st Strategic Missile Squadron, based out of F.E. Warren Air Force Base up the road in Cheyenne, Wyoming. How do I know, besides a Wikipedia search? I was there. My Air Force career began as an ICBM launch officer at Warren, back in the early 1980s. During my days pulling alerts, I visited Colorado often, as several of the Squadron’s ICBM control sites are just inside the Colorado border.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackMarch 20, 20186min175

One of the challenges to a twice-weekly column is that my editor, the long-suffering Dan, has ordered me to limit my missives to no more than 750 words. (Dan: yes, that is correct) I tend to be a bit more, shall we say, long winded? For some reason, Dan the editor has declined my essays when they approach book length (Dan: also correct) Happily, since these words are not substantive, they don’t count toward my word count for this essay. (Dan: yes, they do).