About Mike and Skip

(Photo taken at Dead Horse Point, Canyonlands, Utah, 11/09)

Skip Christensen (right) and Mike Harrison (left) met for the first time in 1952 when they joined the same Cub Scouts Pack.  They were second graders in the small town of Brookings, South Dakota, where they both lived through their high school years.  When they joined the high school debate team as freshmen, their lives were about to change forever.

Together throughout high school they won numerous tournaments in debate, oratory and extemporaneous speaking.  In the summer of 1961, they attended Northwestern University’s public speaking institute for high school students.  In their senior year, they won the state debate championship, then reached the quarter-finals at the National High School Debate Tournament in Missoula, Montana, losing in a split decision to the eventual national champions.

Competitive debating provided them with valuable life skills.  Debaters must find the most logical support and best evidence for both sides of any assigned proposition, and be prepared to argue whichever side is assigned in a given debate.  Practiced debaters thus learn to be open-minded, critical, logical, analytical, and persuasive. Skip and Mike got the most out of their debating experience, learning lessons and skills they would use throughout their lives.

After graduation, coincidentally, both of their families moved east, where Skip went to college in Illinois and Mike in Ohio.  They were reunited again in the fall of 1967 in Michigan, where they roomed together in their first year of law school.  Skip was drafted into the Army after his first year, Mike graduated in 1970, and Skip returned after his military service to finish law school in 1972.

Skip married an Ohio girl and went west to join a law firm in Spokane, Washington.  He later joined a firm in Tucson, Arizona.  Mike moved east to New York, working as an attorney first in Armonk and New York City, and then moving to Albany, New York, where he married a Massachusetts girl and settled into a career as an attorney and administrative law judge with New York State.

Four decades later and several years into retirement Skip still lives in Tucson, and Mike remains in New York’s Capital District.  They stay in touch, and they have found that they have not lost the curiosity and intense analytical drive that motivated them fifty years ago as high school debaters.

Now they have joined forces as debate partners again, bringing more than a century’s worth of combined experience into play.  Together, they will conduct civil, but unflinchingly honest and thorough, analyses of major issues affecting America and its future.

7 Responses to About Mike and Skip

  1. Bill Frederick says:

    Excellent site, and you have boiled things down concisely. Our government is not functioning properly, and has not for some time. Special interest groups drive our political system, and the people we elect to represent US, instead represent those who contribute the most to their re-election campaigns. Most big money supports Republican Candidates, however, there are Democrats as well who allow their votes and opinions to be bought rather than respect the wishes of their constituents. This will NOT change, no matter how much noise WE make, until the election laws and influence peddling ceases to exist.
    Right now we are letting the foxes guard the proverbial hen house.
    I am retired school teacher who used to think I was part of the Middle Class. I have a four year college degree and a post graduate degree. It sickens me to see the tax breaks the wealthy and the large corporations receive while my real income has diminished to the point that I now consider myself to be among the poorest segment of the Lower Middle Class.
    Thank you and keep up the good work.

  2. Thomas Boyd says:

    Finally, a thoughtful and engaging site for grown-ups. I look forward to reading, reacting, suggesting and sharing.

  3. b c says:

    I like the site, but your sourcing for charts and graphs needs improvement. Blogs like Seeking Alpha aren’t a solid source. You should go to the real source of the data and just add a line to credit that. Thank you

  4. I really like the site. Good info without having to listen to all the commentary included with the news on the regular media sites and channels. Many people like to have their information fed to them without having to think about it, I guess. Being retired, I have more time to do the research and I know the true story is not being told.
    Keep the majority constantly busy trying to make a living for their families and they won’t have time to find out what is going on until it is too late to counteract it.

  5. Nawal Ahmed says:

    HI Guys, Love the site , blogs and most importantly, the spirit : ” to reveal the truth”. I wonder if there is room for a study in to the effects of the growth in public and private borrowing ( including leverage in futures, options and margin trading) and the resulting (perhaps) inequality of income and the growing need to incur more taxes. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Nawal. Much thanks. You bet, public and private debt are at the heart of the inequality issue: I’m working hard (off-line) on relating inequality, aggregate demand, growth and taxation. Public debt effectively financed much of the inequality growth, as wealth floated to the top over the years. I’ll post up hopefully intelligible conclusions once I have them.

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