I was just reminded about a copyright transgression made by Google against a website I used to publish.

In her On Tech column in the New York Times, “What’s the deal with Google now?”, Shira Ovide discusses the legal cloud growing over Google, resulting from its monopolistic tendencies. Among the several infractions that she cites, Google has for some time scraped information from websites and published it on its search results page, often delivering what the user is looking for and saving that user time and another twitch of her clicker muscle. Good for the user, bad for that other…


Photo by Andrew Calhoun on Unsplash

The promise of American democracy is that all people are equal in our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is the bond that propelled 13 colonies to make war against the greatest military of the day and that pitted brother against brother in the Civil War. It is the social contract that has compelled generation after generation, through one challenge after another, to seek ways to better fulfill our commitments to Justice, domestic Tranquility, the common Defense, the general Welfare, and the blessings of Liberty.

That’s why every voice not only must be counted, it must…


Photo by Adam Jang on Unsplash

“At SXSW we stand with the black community and will continue to amplify the voices and ideas that will lead us to a more equitable society.”

That statement in an email from SXSW today triggered something in me that rebels against the constant dividing of Americans into often marginalized subgroups even when it’s intended to communicate solidarity.

I understand why the murder of George Floyd is seen as an attack on the black community — I think few would say he would have been asphyxiated had he been a white man of European descent. …


My sister has, at different times in our lives, been an honest and constructive critic of my writing. In fact, though she would not know this, she has been a major influence on how I think about writing. So when she emailed to tell me that, among other things, my last post was biased in some places, I could not deny it.

In fact, I responded that the entire post was biased and that, perhaps, the areas that she perceived as biased might be the areas where she thought differently from me. It turns out, though, that she was just…


There’s nothing like an immediate worldwide crisis to focus the attention and resources of an entire society on figuring out how to solve this common problem. That’s what the coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, have done. News consumption is up as people try to make sense of this strange, new, and frightening world we now live in. And for the first time in years, we are seeing rapid, bipartisan legislation passed to help American workers and businesses, and to support the science needed to hasten our return to our old normal.

Big government at its best, boldest, and…


Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

On Election Day in 2019, I launched (with a lot of help) The American Leader, a news and knowledge center that tackles the systemic problem of misinformation by offering a new journalistic approach to seeing the world. Using our guiding principles on bias, common purpose, problem-solving, priority setting, accountability, and the search for truth as our framework, we have set out to become a go-to resource for casual news consumers who lack the time or energy to consult multiple resources for the answers to their questions, and for purpose-minded citizens who are looking for inspiration on how they can get…


Today, I needed a pen and reached for a very specific one from the box on my desk. I wanted to experience the same joy in manually creating the words on paper as I had the last time.

That last time I needed a pen, to write a check, was about a month ago. By sheer good fortune, I picked out an old Pilot G-2 instead of one of the many Bic ballpoints I have somehow collected. As soon as I put that Pilot to paper, I felt a little thrill of a long-ago memory of ink flowing smoothly onto…


A perspective on renewing trust in America

Photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash

Why do Americans have so little trust in the news media and the government it covers?

That’s a question loaded with so many generalizations that we need to parse it first before answering. First, references like this to “news media” generally refer to mainstream sources of news in print, on tv, and on the net. Second, discussion of trust in media tends to focus on national news, not local news. …


Photo by Peter Forster on Unsplash

Democracy as a marketplace of ideas is under attack, and the news media as a primary source of ideas in the market is at the center of the battle. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a spike in awareness and activity relating to political misinformation and disinformation in media, and in particular, online media. …


And what still makes it great?

Photo by Anthony Garand on Unsplash

Andrew Cuomo’s comment, reported in the NY Times, that America “was never that great” was both unfortunate and thought provoking. His intent in uttering it was to counter the President’s slogan, “Make America Great Again”, but it seems to have backfired on him. But it has made me wonder what made America great in the first place?

According to Cuomo, America can only be great “when every American is fully engaged”. I think I understand what he was trying to say, but he needed to say more. The inevitable backpedaling that followed from Cuomo and his staff used the word…

George Linzer

Launched The American Leader, a public information center focused on systemic problems, the leaders who are solving them, and the progress they are making.

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