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Text Box: Introduction to this Online Edition 
	There was a time, not very long ago, when opportunities for persons of modest means and reputations had few opportunities to record thoughts of their own for broad and future audiences.  These brief letters and columns are one of my efforts to “live” more widely, and beyond the years of my physical existence.

	I am deeply moved that the Dot-Com Revolution, and my son-in-law Ray Hinkle’s skills in it, are now making me one inhabitant of a forest more vast, but perhaps better mapped, than the ones that my ancestors faced as they transformed the earthly wilderness.

Ivan Parkins, 6/23/12
Text Box: Acknowledgements
	Nearly all of the columns reproduced here, plus many of the letters, appeared first in newspapers of Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.  The ownership, names, and editors of those publications changed several times.  But, I owe special thanks to James Wojcik and David Schock for their initial consideration and acceptance of my submissions.
	To Amy Redman, also, I am indebted.  She transformed most of this from a variety of formats, and from photocopies of faded clippings, into a readable manuscript.
	The remaining irregularities of style, as well as the substantive errors, can be attributed to me.  In most instances, they reflect that of the original printings.  For instance, I have made no effort to reconcile with the preferences of various editors the cases which are applied, to either the nominative or the adjective forms of the federal government’s major branches.
Text Box: Preface
	In the mid-1960’s, I began work on a manuscript Perspectives for a Great Society.  I believed at that time that the trends which I observed regarding American beliefs and values were likely to undermine recent advances in social policies and to damage America, generally.  I completed the manuscript in 1969, but failed to get any encouraging response from the several publishers to whom I submitted it.
	Anxious to counter anti-Viet Nam War propaganda, I approached the editor of the local daily newspaper and was invited to submit columns.  In all I published about 300 columns, separated by a period in which I again attempted to publish a book.  I have since published Perspectives for American Society, Vantage Press, 2000.  It contains several of my early columns and letters, reproduced here as well.
	A preliminary point: I did my doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago under the chairmanship of David Easton.  In his The Political System, 1953, Easton contended that power has to do with how authoritative values are established. I may have gotten my ideas regarding powers partially from his course that I took in 1948.  Both of us made acknowledgments to John Dewey about whose concept of freedom, I did my dissertation.
	My own formula, as I offered it to students in my introductory survey of social sciences in 1951 and later, was:

	I believe in ____ism.
	I accept “X” as interpreter of ____ism.
	I follow “X”.

	“X”, I added, might be a person, party, or institution.  And, in order to escape authoritarianism, each person should be aware of the basis for his own beliefs.

I.W. Parkins

       Introduction

       Acknowledgements

       Preface

       Contents: Click on the topic link below.

        -       America’s Culture War

        -       Warfare and the West

        -       Liberty, the Constitution and the Supreme Court

        -       The Political Branches

        -       The Role of the Media

Links to Contents

 

           America’s Culture War……………………………………………………Page 5

 

           Warfare and the West……………………………………………………...Page 73

 

           Liberty, the Constitution, and the Supreme Court…………………………Page 119

 

           The Political Branches……………………………………………………..Page 165

 

           The Role of the Media……………………………………………………..Page 233