Thomas Jefferson said, “… were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
Though often taken somewhat out of context, as admittedly it is here, the quote nevertheless speaks to the importance of newspapers in our society.
I am excited and honored to become a small part of an important newspaper as a new columnist in the Nevada Appeal.
It is my intent to express my (mostly) liberal views on a wide range of issues with clarity, objectivity, informed opinion and, yes, at times a fair degree of emotion.
The great controversies and issues we face at all levels of society and government today evoke strong emotions, but those emotions can be given vigorous expression without anger, bitterness and personal attack. That will be my golden rule.
I bring to this new venture a background of varied exposures and experiences: growing up in Mississippi in the 1930s and 1940s; service in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War; earning degrees at a fine liberal arts college and a very good, but provincial, law school, both in Mississippi; a brief practice of law in a small Southern town during the turbulent period of the 1960s civil rights struggle; a life-changing move to Washington, D.C., where I was legislative assistant to U.S. Sen. John Stennis and had so many important learning experiences; a collective 20 years representing three major corporations before U.S. regulatory agencies and Congress, as well as Canadian ministries at the provincial and national levels; and 15 years managing start-up ventures, mentoring entrepreneurs in the University of Arizona business incubator and providing other pro bono services to the university.
I am now retired, almost. I still manage a small company and am a CASA volunteer, Sierra Nevada Forums executive committee member and corporate secretary of a Nevada-based Costa Rican wildlife rescue ranch.
I have had the incredible good fortune to travel much of the world and to live in four great cities: Washington, D.C., New York, Toronto and San Francisco. But now the beautiful Carson Valley, where my wife and I moved in 2011, is the place for us to be.
We came here to be close to our three children, four grandchildren and two great-grandsons, and we truly have found a home.
I hope my lifetime of experiences and expanding horizons will enable me to offer columns that will be interesting, informative and thought-provoking.
To help stimulate enlightened community discussion would be a reward beyond all expectation.