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Hal BidlackHal BidlackAugust 14, 20186min383

Back in the early 1970s, my older brother wore a button that simply said, “Keep Nixon Healthy.” He said people often commented on it, usually thinking he was supportive of Mr. Nixon, and wanted him to be well. But for my brother, as a liberal, the button had a very different, if somewhat droll and ironic meaning. Readers of a certain age will recall that Mr. Nixon’s vice president was a rather undistinguished (and later indicted) gentleman with the unlikely name of Spiro Agnew. Mr. Agnew was the former governor of Maryland and was not considered…how shall I put this… the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree? Not the sharpest knife in the drawer? Kind of dumb?


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackAugust 10, 20186min319

One of the great good fortunes in my life was the opportunity to meet and ultimately become a friend of the late John Denver. John was a remarkable man and a gifted songwriter and singer. He sold millions of records and was a kind and gentle soul. It was his music, way back when I was still in High School in Michigan, that first called me to Colorado. The Air Force was kind enough to send me to the American west, first to Cheyenne to serve as a “finger on the button” ICBM launch officer, and then to Colorado Springs to join the faculty at the Air Force Academy. From that day until today, there has never been a time I drove onto the Academy, looked at the majesty of the Rocky Mountain high in front of me, and was not touched by the wonder of the mountains, the beauty, the majesty of Colorado.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackAugust 7, 20186min260

A recent article in Colorado Politics told of Colorado’s Education Leadership Council and their work, ordered by Gov. Hickenlooper in 2017, to explore what Colorado’s kids need to learn in school in order to be well positioned for success in life in the 21stCentury. The Council has even set up an on-line survey for Coloradans to let the Council know what regular folks think should be taught in schools. It’s an interesting survey, and I urge you to take a look.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackAugust 3, 20187min286

The future — or was it the past? — of the Republican Party visited Colorado Springs this week. As reported in Colorado Politics, the famously rich and politically active Koch brothers visited Colorado, hosting their twice-yearly rich guy donors meeting at the swanky Broadmoor Hotel. The Kochs, David and Charles, hosted a gathering of some 500 or so very wealthy folks, each of whom has pledged to donate at least $100,000 per year to achieve their political ends. As CP reports, “the (Koch brothers') conservative network remains one of the nation’s most influential political forces.”


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackJuly 31, 20187min205

George Washington didn’t use the internet. In the era the Constitution was written, information and opinions could travel no faster than a galloping horse or a ship at sea. And in that slower time, a remarkable group of intellectuals crafted what has become the longest lasting written constitution in world history. Pretty impressive, to be sure, but again, they didn’t have the internet.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackJuly 27, 20186min267

You may have heard that we in El Paso and Teller Counties had a spot of rain a few days ago. A spot of rain in that there was a massive storm that dumped lots and lots of water, as well as inches of hail in some places. And there was damage after the rain and hail stopped, to be sure, but not nearly as much damage as one might expect from such a colossal weather event.  But back to that in a moment…


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackJuly 24, 20186min394

I stood in a very deep hole a few years ago, when I was a staffer working veterans issues for Colorado U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet. I had been given my very simple marching orders – make Colorado the best state for veterans – by the boss. Which is how I ended up in that hole. It was the excavation for one of the new buildings that make up the new U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital complex. It was a massive project and, as I said, a really big hole.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackJuly 20, 20187min241

A recent Colorado Politics article told of Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s climate action plan. The mayor reported, as part of his State of the City address, that his plan would move Colorado’s largest city to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030. Now, I should admit right up front that I’m fairly committed to combatting climate change. I am a senior research fellow at a couple of DC-based environmental policy/national security policy think tanks and have been looking at climate change for many years.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackJuly 17, 20186min260

Way back in the last century, I was a young captain fresh into an assignment teaching political science at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. It was a great assignment to be sure – smart students, wonderful colleagues, and a few perks. Among these perks was the opportunity to attend a conference every year that would enhance one’s intellectual development and skills as a teacher. Which is how I found myself in D.C., at the annual meeting of the Federalist Society.