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Goodnight, Marshall Dillon: Gunsmoke actor dies at 88

Like most boys in the early 1960s I loved westerns. And, oh by the way, at age 52, I still do. But in days gone by my affection for the genre was rather intense. I was very proud of my toy six shooter and its accompanying Winchester rifle. I wore my cowboy hat everywhere and I had a host of “Johnny West” action figures. I was hooked and fortunately the major television networks were ready to comply. In 1965, while Peyton Place may have brought in record audiences, it was the TV western that dominated network programming. And at the top of the list, as something of the jewel of the TV westerns of the era, there was Gunsmoke.

It starred a strong-willed, straight-talking sheriff named Matt Dillon, his love interest, but not quite love interest, Kitty, the always wise “Doc,” and of

Read more: Goodnight, Marshall Dillon: Gunsmoke actor dies at 88

Medicare deserves a bi-partisan solution

During the debate over health care reform, one of the cries from its opponents, and at times, from its supporters, was that we simply couldn’t have a direct payer system. Words like un-American, anti-free enterprise, and oh yes, dangerous, were repeatedly tossed about. But many Americans are often surprised to know that America has had a classic, almost European style direct payer system for 46 years. It’s Medicare and it’s the primary source of medical coverage for Americans over the age of 65.

It’s a complicated system, and I don’t begin to fully understand it. Most recipients, as I have found, don’t understand it either. And doctors are only a

Read more: Medicare deserves a bi-partisan solution

Election 2012: The GOP’s Presidential Parade of Pygmies

The Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries, separated by only a couple of weeks, are less than eight months away. Both of these critical events set the stage for who is going to be the nominee of the major parties. This year, the Democratic choice is already settled. Barack Obama will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. However, what’s truly disconcerting, and seems to be breaking the mold on all the conventional wisdom, is the run up to the Republican nomination. So, far, it’s a race, that well, is barely a race at all.

By this same point in 2008, Hillary Clinton was already engaged in what would turn out to be an epic contest with Barack Obama. Their campaigns were fully staffed, each was already stumping Iowa, New Hampshire, and a host

Read more: Election 2012: The GOP’s Presidential Parade of Pygmies

You can run, but you can’t hide

The death of Osama Bin Laden has been talked about, studied, rehashed, and dissected so many times that coming to any new conclusions or insights is almost impossible to do. What we do know, at least so far, is that a resolute US Navy SEAL team staged one of the most daring raids in history. They found the architect of 9/11, not to mention a half dozen other mass murders, and dispatched him.

Sadly, few men have impacted the world like Osama Bin Laden. Thanks to this evil man our entire view of the world has changed. As a nation we are far more nervous about the threat of attack than we were ten years ago. We’ve made massive investments in security,

Read more: You can run, but you can’t hide

American business is the envy of the world

The scope and character of the American Free Enterprise System is hard to capture in a few hundred words. But there are businessmen everywhere. Doctors are a good example. We rarely think of them as businessmen. Of course, they’re healers, but they’re also in business. My doctor, a truly gifted healer, is a businesswoman. Navigating a labyrinth of insurance companies, Medicare and Medicaid forms, and old fashioned cash payments, she has to make enough money to cover the cost of her practice, make a profit, and still fulfill her calling, which is taking care of patients like me.

Businesses of all kinds define the American landscape and give us a standard of living that’s the envy of the world. Some don’t seem that profound,

Read more: American business is the envy of the world

Up early, with a cup of tea, to watch the Royal Wedding

If you read my column regularly, this won’t come as a big surprise. However, just to make sure you know from the start, I am what is called an “Anglophile.” That’s not a word I like that much. It makes me sound as if I have some sort of untreatable, even rather ominous sounding psychological disorder. Which, in spite of what you may think of my column, I don’t.

Rather, it means I like things that are British. That’s a function of several factors. I enjoy English literature, always have. I read British history and my family has strong British connections. I also had a very

Read more: Up early, with a cup of tea, to watch the Royal Wedding

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