Tom Magstadt's Blog

Tom Magstadt

Tom Magstadt
Ridgway, Colorado, USA
July 23
Dr. (not physician; more like metaphysics)
self-employed freelance writer
There's a charming old stone cottage at the end of a lane in a sleepy village called Utery ("Tuesday") in the former Sudetenland (West Bohemia). I miss it. Worst job: farm hand. Best job: teaching at the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base. Worst good job: CIA intelligence analyst. Favorite profession I didn't choose: journalism.


FEBRUARY 4, 2015 2:37PM

Super Bowl Sickness

Thank goodness it's over. The Super Bowl, that is. How to explain it?

Sick is the word that springs to mind. A national sickness. An epidemic that causes its victims to go temporarily insane in the first month of every year.  And so soon after another/… Read full post »


Yesterday's headline news conveys more evidence of the impending collapse of the American republic. The focus of the latest red alert is the threat of a hostile takeover directed at the only remainin… Read full post »

JANUARY 25, 2015 11:38AM

Is It Too Late To Save the Planet?


 1. Physics – a thermodynamic quantity representing the unavailability of a system's thermal energy for conversion into mechanical work, often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system.

2. lack of order or predictability; gradual decline into diRead full post »



It's that time of year again. A time to take stock and ask whet… Read full post »


Fans of Andy Borowitz know that he has a particular genius for skewering pompous politicians who lie for a living.  His recent pieceRead full post »

NOVEMBER 22, 2014 3:12PM

Carbondale (Or, Poetic Justice)


Some say megabanks,  

            Are too big to fail – by far

But I say –

            The bloody hell they are!

Multitudes foreclosed

    Read full post »

NOVEMBER 12, 2014 12:46PM

America: Toward A One-Party State?


Here's an excerpt from Jill Lepore's post mortem  on the 2014 midterm elections (The New Yorker, "Democrats Flunk Their Midterms"): 


Liberals’ grasp on American political culture and on the operation of American politics has been weakening for decades, not lea… Read full post »

Are Jews who criticize Israel for its conduct of the war in Gaza crossing the line?  Are high-profile pubic figures here in the United States who are moved to question the military necessity, political prudence, or moral justification behind a strategy that targets densely populated neighborhood… Read full post »

An Open Letter to CEO Mark Tercek

The Nature Conservancy has been a champion of conservation, wildlife, and the environment for more than six decades.  You count a million members and proudly proclaim that you have protected 119 million acres of land in all 50 US states and 35 countries. Read full post »


Image: Sergei Grits/AP


Our army is nothing, our police are nothing…Yanukovych was worse than nothing…But if Russia crosses the border we'll fight – we have to defend ourselves. 

~Leonid Shvets, Ukrainian journalist/commentator/editor/activist  

Every d… Read full post »

The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from the goose.

 – Anonymous, 17th Century English Folk Poem    

By now everybody has heard or read about the 67-year-old Nevada rancher, C… Read full post »

The Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling (McCutcheon v. FEC) in favor of an Alabama tycoon who sued the federal government because he was not allowed to spend as much as he wanted to elect  Republican candidates in 2012, is a wake-up call.  In America today, government on all levels is on the… Read full post »

                       Kansas, The Free State 

Kansas famously fought for the right to enter the Union as a free state.  To this day, Kansas calls itself the Free State – a fact that makes any assau… Read full post »

                      Mountain scene near Ridgway, Colorado 

"What do you do for a living."  It's a frequently asked question, one some people apparently love to be asked.  I hate it.

     &nbsRead full post »

Much of what we hear about health care is pure propaganda with no basis whatsoever in fact.  The purpose of propaganda is to manipulate, not to enlighten or inform, so it's no surprise that the partisan fight over health care in Congress has generated more heat than light.  The baleful effe… Read full post »


Think of it as a conspiracy against the government.   Not a group of rogue army officers plotting a coup in some Third World country, but rather an extremist faction of the Republican party in the US Congress. 

That’s the true meaning of the government shutdown.  &l… Read full post »

Problems of conservation and population have at least one thing in common – they are often ignored and almost always grossly underestimated as causes of other problems we can't ignore:  traffic congestion, air pollution, deforestation, water issues (availability; quality), and  sundry… Read full post »

On April 25, faculty experts from Colorado State University were in Washington, DC, to give   Congressional staffers a briefing on natural gas extraction and hydraulic fracturing.  Former Governor Bill Ritter, Jr., who is currently the director of the Center for the New Energy EconomyRead full post »

Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death? 

The headline in the February 21, 2013, edition of the Plaindealer, the local paper published here in Ridgway, Colorado, reads, "Four gun safety bills pass state House of Representatives".  It's short enough to speak for itself without editing or ellipsis, but the real story here/… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 14, 2013 4:29PM

How to Fix Washington in Five Easy Steps

President Obama's State of the Union Message was both a call to action and a reminder that we still have a long way to go to create "a more perfect union" envisioned in the Preamble to our tattered Constitution. 

Step 1Abolish the filibuster

Nothing  only can/… Read full post »

We can't afford to go on letting fake liberals who ask for our money and our votes hide behind empty rhetoric while consorting with the same old paymasters and special interests.  They have enabled Tea Party Republicans and it is clear they intend to continue doing so.  That leaves us, vote/… Read full post »

It's the start of a new year.  We can put the old year behind us now.  Forget all about the disappointments of 2012 and start afresh.

Things will be different from now on.

We will be nicer to each other, more considerate of our neighbors, and more

Read full post »

Nelson's been talking to Mother Nature.  Nelson is a close friend fighting a hard battle against a deadly disease.  He's been having a series of very frank conversations with Mother Nature about, well, just about everything, from the origins of the universe to evolution to how and where hom… Read full post »

DECEMBER 14, 2012 12:14PM

Globophobia: America Against the World

By Thomas Magstadt

 December 4, 2012.  Mark this date on your calendar.  The somber day the U.S. Senate voted down the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a treaty designed to extend the same rights disabled Americans already have to the rest of the w

Read full post »
NOVEMBER 12, 2012 12:25PM

The Un-American Business of America

Is the Business of America Still Business?

   The Business of America:  Where Is It Now?


In July 2012, the Center for American Progress published a kind of factsheet on the growing practice of "overseas outsourcing".  The article was prompted by a deeply divisive presidential campaign that, among other thin… Read full post »