political satirist

Mark Russell- “Retirement Was Boring.”

by Bernie Swain
As an American political satirist, Mark Russell is best known for his parody music. He wears his signature bowtie and incorporates political happenings into his music. ______________________________________________________ When people ask me how I got my start, I tell them I was born on August 23, 1932, which means that on the previous Thanksgiving my parents jumped into bed to get warm. It makes sense – they lived in Buffalo, New York. My given name is Marcus Joseph Ruslander, Jr. My … Continue reading "Mark Russell- “Retirement Was Boring.”"

public service

Leon Panetta – “Dodging Nuts and Greatest Influences”

by Bernie Swain
As an American statesman, Leon Panetta has served in various public service roles—Secretary of Defense, Director of the CIA and White House Chief of Staff to name a few. Here he explains how his Italian immigrant parents, and a few other factors, had an everlasting influence on his life. I’m the son of Italian immigrants who, like millions of others, made their way to the United States in the early 1930s. My parents, who came from Calabria, Italy. They spoke … Continue reading "Leon Panetta – “Dodging Nuts and Greatest Influences”"


George Will – “That’s what I call progress.”

by Bernie Swain
The Wall Street Journal once called him "perhaps the most powerful journalist in America." George Will is a Pulitzer-Prize winning political commentator that has had long running syndicated articles in a myriad of publications. Here he reflects on his father and his 40-year career. I believe that the family is the primary transmitter of social capital, and I had the inestimable good fortune to be raised by parents who discussed, argued, and read voraciously, providing me with a childhood in … Continue reading "George Will – “That’s what I call progress.”"


Charles Plumb – Vietnam POW

by Bernie Swain
The Vietnam War was a divisive war in many ways and characterized by large protests and violent riots. I remember walking out of my room as a student at George Washington University in Washington D.C. and seeing cars turned over and on fire and the National Guard standing 4 deep three blocks away ready sweep the campus and arrest anyone standing out in the open. It was not a war fought by the 1% as wars are today. The draft … Continue reading "Charles Plumb – Vietnam POW"


Dot Richardson – Girls Can’t Play Ball

by Bernie Swain
I knew as a young child that God had given me the gift of athletic ability. Whether I was throwing a ball, racing around on my bike, or climbing a tree, I felt completely alive, filled with a spirit that was larger than myself. In school, girls weren’t allowed to try out for the teams, but I played pickup games of baseball, basketball, and kickball after school. Sports just came naturally to me, and I felt the Lord’s pleasure when … Continue reading "Dot Richardson – Girls Can’t Play Ball"