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Hal BidlackHal BidlackAugust 28, 20186min363

Let’s talk about respect. A few months ago, a dear friend asked me a powerful question – how do we respect an office when we have no respect for the occupant therein? What can we say about those who hold public office and fail to live up to the honor and dignity we presume goes along with raising one’s hand and taking the oath? Being an American is all about challenging authority and standing up for what we think is right. But what happens when those in authority are, well, not worthyin our view?


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackAugust 24, 20186min345

I pulled my first alert – as going out to an intercontinental ballistic missile site for a 24-hour tour is called – in the early Fall of 1981. A freshly minted second lieutenant in the United States Air Force, I had finished my “tech school” at Vandenburg Air Force Base in California a few weeks earlier. In that training environment, I was first exposed to the three big elements of being a missile launch officer: weapons system controls, codes, and EWO. Remember, the military loves funny names for things. In plain English, those terms mean the mechanics of operating and controlling the missile systems themselves, while “codes” has to do with how important information is secured within the system, and EWO stands for “emergency war orders,” or more simply put, the top-secret stuff having to do with going to war. Heady stuff to be sure.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackAugust 21, 20186min418

“Water, water, everywhere, so let’s all have a drink!” Thus spoke the great political and social commentator Homer Simpson, when, a few seasons back, he found himself afloat in the middle of a salt-water ocean. As his thirst grew, he recalled what he thought was the lesson of being marooned at sea. Happily, as the Simpson’s is only a silly comedy show, it was all resolved in 28 minutes time, and all was well.


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Hal BidlackHal BidlackAugust 14, 20186min454

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, 20186min365

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, 20186min314

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, 20187min343

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.”