Featured Posts

Trump/Covid-19 Timeline

June 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

The year 2020 will become known as the year of the Covid-19 pandemic.  It will also mark Donald Trump’s worst year as president–the year he ignored the warnings, failed to listen to experts, dismissed and downplayed a deadly contagion until it was too late, and then tried to ignore it as the economy tumbled and […]

A Letter to the West Point Class of 2020

June 11, 2020 | 0 Comments

I am a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Class of 1969.  A group of my fellow graduates published the following letter on June 11, 2020.  It is intended for the 2020 graduating class at West Point, but the sentiments expressed are relevant to all Americans, particularly those who have been […]

The Spring of Our Discontent

June 7, 2020 | 0 Comments

The three most indelible images of the spring of 2020 will be shuttered stores, socially distanced Americans wearing masks, and a white cop murdering an unarmed, handcuffed black man by kneeling on his neck.  As I write this, protests over the death of George Floyd are continuing across the country and beyond.  Most of the […]


Enough Is Enough! Images of Protest

June 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

During the week of nationwide protests following the murder of George Floyd under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, photographer Robert Greenberg and his wife Maxine joined a peaceful protest in Bethesda, Maryland.  These images capture something remarkable:  the diverse makeup of the crowd expressing outrage at the death of an unarmed, handcuffed African-American […]

Pandemic Life by Robert Greenberg

April 27, 2020 | 0 Comments

Photographer Robert Greenberg, who lives outside Washington, D.C., has captured some haunting black and white shots of life during the Covid-19 pandemic.  We all seen the masks, the covered faces, the looks of resignation and wariness in the eyes, the slumped shoulders, and safe distance between people.  Bob’s photographs put a partially concealed human face […]

Carol Salomon’s India: A Human Photo Odyssey

March 15, 2020 | 1 Comment

Carol Salomon and Norman Broad had a long and extraordinary trip through India in 2018.  In this photographic odyssey, I am exhibiting some of the best of her photos, focusing not on the well-known tourist sites, which they visited, but on the people of India in everyday settings.  Her people are the heart and soul […]

Robert Greenberg’s Landscapes

March 2, 2020 | 1 Comment

In his travels around the world, photographer Robert Greenberg has captured some stunning land and cityscapes.  Here is a selection of some of my favorites from his global photo safaris. Artists Drive is an alluvial fan carved into the Black Mountains in Death Valley.  The hikers waving at the photographer offer scale in this vast […]

Antarctic Odyssey by Debra Parmenter

January 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

Photographer Debra Parmenter shot nearly five thousand images while on a three-week excursion in the South Atlantic and Antarctica. This photo odyssey presents an eclectic mix of some of her favorite images.  For Debra, photography is more than an avocation; it is a compulsion.  The camera is an extension of her soul, of the beauty […]

Antarctic Journal November 2018

November 13, 2018 | 0 Comments

In November 2018 we undertook an expedition to Antarctica that began in Chile, proceeded to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia Island, and Antarctic. This article is a running journal of that expedition.


Hitler and Trump

June 17, 2019 | 4 Comments

By Jon Blake May 3, 2019 As I was packing three weeks ago for what has become my annual trip back to Oxford for the International Media Law Moot Court Championships in the second week of April, I scanned the overflowing bookshelves beside my bed to look for a book I could read in the […]

Nationalism and Its Malcontents

March 24, 2020 | 0 Comments

The cold wind of intolerance, authoritarianism, and nationalism is blowing across America and Europe. The unexpected rise of Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee in the United States and the recent political stirrings in Europe are oddly built of the same cloth. Intolerance of non-citizens, the belief that present governments have subordinated their countries best […]

How Donald Trump Wins

June 14, 2018 | 2 Comments

He is a deeply flawed leader–a vain, narcissistic self-promoter; an exemplar of moral turpitude; an absurdly uninformed, undisciplined and inarticulate thinker; a grandiose misfit who can’t tolerate criticism and lashes out at every slight, deriding opponents with schoolyard taunts and blatant misrepresentations.  He is scandalously hostile or indifferent to our closest allies but embraces dictators and tyrants like new-found best friends.  And he lies, so shamelessly and so often that truth is obscured in the chaos of the noise and confusion he creates. He is our president. How he wins is a case study in the art and practice of manipulation.

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Life Blog

Our Man in Hong Kong-the Coronavirus Threat

February 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

Our Man in Hong Kong is Tim Wiseman, an American, a professional man who works for a multinational company.  Two years ago, after happily living and working in Colorado Springs for years, he accepted an overseas assignment with his firm in Asia.  A self-described Bumpkin, he began writing an email journal of his experiences, exploits, […]

Covid-19 Bulletin #5

March 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

Covid-19 By now, the coronavirus pandemic is firmly embedded in our national consciousness.  The pandemic has infected well over 150,000 people globally, including–at last count–3,000 Americans and around 60 deaths.  The numbers keep climbing dramatically, and no one knows how many people are actually infected because our country lacks adequate testing.  Trump and his administration […]

Covid-19 Bulletin #4

March 7, 2020 | 0 Comments

This is Covid-19 Bulletin #4 from Dr. Sheila Sund.  Covid-19, which is the proper name for the coronavirus that is currently spreading around the world, is a far more dangerous virus than the flu (twenty times more lethal than the flu), and it is likely that the rate of infection is much greater than what […]

Covid 19 (Coronoavirus) Bulletin #1

March 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

This is Covid 19 Bulletin #1 from Dr. Sheila Sund.  Covid 19, which is the proper name for the coronavirus that is currently spreading around the world, is a far more dangerous virus than the flu.  Despite what Donald Trump said on television several days ago, Covid 19 is twenty times more lethal than the […]

On the Inevitability of Social Liberalism

May 20, 2018 | 3 Comments

The progress toward social liberalism may have been impeded since Trump took office, but it is inevitable, despite those who oppose it.  Had Rush Limbaugh had been on the radio in 1918, we can imagine him loudly denouncing the women’s suffrage movement.  “Women should not be allowed to vote,” he might have argued, “because their role is in the home.  The fairer sex is concerned with children and local issues.  They don’t understand the loftier matters of state, government, war, or politics, nor should we ask them to.”  He would have been joined in his opposition by Sean Hannity, Tucker Carlson, Steve Bannon, Laura Ingraham, and other firebrand conservatives who would use their media platforms to impede social progress.

Covid-19 Bulletin #3

March 4, 2020 | 0 Comments

This is Covid-19 Bulletin #3 from Dr. Sheila Sund.  Covid-19, which is the proper name for the coronavirus that is currently spreading around the world, is a far more dangerous virus than the flu (twenty times more lethal than the flu), and it is likely that the rate of infection is much greater than what […]

Covid-19 Bulletin #2

March 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

This is Covid-19 Bulletin #2 from Dr. Sheila Sund.  Covid-19, which is the proper name for the coronavirus that is currently spreading around the world, is a far more dangerous virus than the flu (twenty times more lethal than the flu), and it is likely that the rate of infection is much greater than what […]


Ocean Plastic Pollution

March 5, 2020 | 0 Comments

We are polluting our oceans with plastic at an unprecedented rate.  An already alarming situation is becoming worse every year. Click in for some facts about ocean plastic pollution and suggestions for what you can do about it. Failing to take action is not an option. At the rate we’re polluting the world’s oceans, our grandchildren will live with an unsustainable level of pollution and severe impacts on the world’s fisheries.


POSTPONED: Taimane Gardner is Coming to Durango

March 15, 2020 | 0 Comments

NOTE TO READERS:  Since posting the following article about Taimane Gardner, Covid-19 has shut down our world.  Music in the Mountains has decided to postpone its 2020 summer festival, so Taimane will not be appearing this summer.  Hopefully, her concert will be delayed by no more than a year, but we don’t know yet when […]

Review of Seizing Success by Dr. Mary Key

March 6, 2020 | 0 Comments

Mary Key’s Seizing Success is a rare volume on leadership for women that combines the right foundations for success with research-based, practical tips on how to develop the attitudes, confidence, and skills necessary to become a transformational leader. The book opens with chapters on the bedrock fundamentals of self-development:  self-confidence, self-understanding, and resilience, what the […]


Can Science Be Trusted?

March 1, 2020 | 0 Comments

Marcus Aurelius was a Stoic philosopher and the last of Rome’s Five Good Emperors.  He reigned from 161 to 180 and is known for his Meditations, a philosophical treatise in which he wrote, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.  Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”  Science as we know […]

Scientists Discover an Earth-like Planet

April 20, 2018 | 0 Comments

I have always been a science geek and lover of science fiction.  In my teenage years, I traveled to many faraway planets in my imagination and was convinced that we are not alone in the universe.  I’m still convinced.  The universe is too vast and Earth is not special enough for this to be the […]

Debra Parmenter Photography

Debra Parmenter is a professional photographer residing in Colorado and Hawaii. A Colorado native, she has spent much of her life surrounded by nature’s beauty. She uses a Canon 5D, a macro lens, and natural light to capture the patterns, textures, and hues of her subjects. Her floral photography highlights the elegance and majesty of nature’s most beautiful creations. Her wildlife and landscape photos—from places as diverse as Scotland, Bhutan, the Serengeti in Tanzania, and the Virunga Mountains in Rwanda—captures the natural beauty of our planet and the fierce beauty of creatures native to it. You can see more of her photography at www.debra.photos or www.debra.photography.

The Power Plant

The Power Plant is about power and influence, a subject I’ve been studying for more than thirty years.   Influence is the art of getting others to take your lead—to believe something you want them to believe, think in a way you want them to think, or do something you want them to do.  And you cannot influence others without a source of power like knowledge or reputation.  Power is the battery, and influence is the engine.  Despots coerce, managers control, but leaders—true leaders—influence.  My books on this subject are showcased below, followed by blogs with articles on power and influence and research reports with interesting highlights.  For more, see www.theelementsofpower.com.

Power and Influence

The Third Law of Influence

May 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

You may not be able to influence people the first time and in the first way you approach them.  Influence is often a process rather than an event. 

The Second Law of Influence

April 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

The Second Law of Influence is that influence is contextual. People will not say yes or be influenced unless the situation and environment are conducive to them saying yes.  Agreement is built on the foundations of latitude, interests, and disposition.  By this, I mean that the person you want to influence must have the latitude to say yes, that your request or direction should not be contrary to the person’s interests and values, and that the person must be disposed to say yes to you.

The First Law of Influence

April 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

The First Law of Influence is that influence attempts may fail for many legitimate reasons. Some books claim that if you follow their principles you can influence anyone to do anything.  According to these authors, you can get anyone to like you, love you, and find you irresistibly attractive.  They assert that you can take control of any situation, win at every competition, and gain the upper hand every time, but this is nonsense.

If You Want to be More Influential, Improve Your Social Skills

April 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

Dale Carnegie got it right when he said that to win more friends and influence more people you need to improve your interpersonal skills.  My thirty years of research on power and influence shows that people with superior social skills are substantially more influential than people with average social skills.  These findings make sense when you realize that influence is not something you have; it’s something other people give you. 

The Power of Networking

April 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

Networking has long been recognized as a powerful tool for business people and professionals.  Knowing more people gives you greater access, facilitates the sharing of information, and makes it easier to influence others for the simple reason that influencing people you know is easier than influencing strangers.  The creators of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter have built their platforms on the presumption that their social networking tools help people build their networks and remain better connected than ever. 


Research Report 79: What the Research Tells Us about Knowledge Power

April 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

People have long recognized that knowledge is power.  In his Meditationes Sacrae (1597), Sir Francis Bacon, inventor of the scientific method, wrote, “ipsa scientia potestas est,” which means “knowledge itself is power.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson, writing in 1870, said, “There is no knowledge that is not power.”  What you know and what you can do—what skills you have—are extraordinary sources of power and enable you to exert considerable influence if your knowledge power is high. 

Research Report 224: Influence Effectiveness and the Strength of Power Sources

April 21, 2018 | 0 Comments

How effectively a person can influence others depends partly on their sources of power.  We compared the scores for overall influence effectiveness with the strength of ten power sources and determined which sources correlate most strongly with influence effectiveness.


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