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Nicholas Johnson Material by Source

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Master Bibliography

Books (e.g., How to Talk Back to Your Television Set)

Chapters in Others’ Books

Legal Writing (Social Science Research Network (SSRN) sampling; FCC opinions; law school, students, teaching)

Magazine Articles

Published Columns (General, 2022-2013; The Gazette, 2022-2013; Proposed Iowa Rain Forest, 2001-2006; K-12 education, 1998-2001; “Communications Watch,” 1982-1986; additional material in “Earlier Publications List (July 11, 1996-April 13, 2016),” immediately below)

Earlier Publications List (July 11, 1996-April 13, 2016) (articles, columns, speech texts)

Blog Posts: FromDC2Iowa.blogspot.com; Blog Index Excel File Download (This link will download an Excel file of chronological limited list of links to 1000+ entries: those posted between June 23, 2006, and April 8, 2016)

Speeches (texts, transcripts, Power Point slides, audio, video; 1962-2006; 2006-2017)

Audio and Video: KICI-FM interviews (2021-2022); Other Audio and Video; Video and Audio on YouTube [see also CSPAN page]

Autobiographical Material

Memorials by Nicholas Johnson


Nicholas Johnson’s Books

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(To preview or purchase any book, click on the Amazon, B&N, or Lulu links below)

Nicholas Johnson’s Amazon Author Central Page

Nicholas Johnson’s Barnes & Noble Nook Page (includes books by other Nicholas Johnsons)

Nicholas Johnson’s Lulu Press Page

Catfish Solution (1st edition, 2019; Lulu; 269 pp.) Lulu; Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Columns of Democracy (1st edition, 2018; Lulu; 230 pp.) Lulu; Amazon; Barnes & Noble

Test Pattern for Living (2nd edition, 2013; Lulu; 189 pp.) Lulu; Amazon

How to Talk Back to Your Television Set (3rd edition, 2013; Lulu; 230 pp.) Lulu; Amazon

How to Talk Back to Your Television Set (4th edition, 2013; Amazon Kindle) Amazon

From D.C. to Iowa: 2012 (2012; Lulu; 360 pp.) Lulu; Amazon

From D.C. to Iowa: 2012 (2012; Amazon Kindle) Amazon

Predicting Our Future Cyberlife 1970-2040 (2012; Lulu; 107 pp. (with 15 Iowa law students)) Lulu; Amazon

Virtualosity: Eight Students in Search of Cyberlaw (2009; Lulu; 207 pp.) Lulu; Amazon

What Do You Mean and How Do You Know: An Antidote for the Language That Does Our Thinking for Us (2009; Lulu; 185 pp.) Lulu; Amazon

Are We There Yet? Reflections on Politics in America (2008; Lulu; 255 pp.) Lulu; Amazon

Are We There Yet? Reflections on Politics in America (2008; Amazon Kindle) Amazon

Your Second Priority: A Former FCC Commissioner Speaks Out (2007; Lulu; 223 pp.) Lulu; Amazon


Nicholas Johnson’s Published Columns: General, 2022-2013

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(plus some articles and contributions to books)

See below for General Columns from 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013; and see also “Recent Publications” (1996-July 24, 2016); and the FromDC2Iowa blog essays for additional writing.

2022

Selling Toothpaste and Presidents,” The Gazette, September 22, 2022, p. A4 [embedded in “Selling Toothpaste and Presidents,” September 22, 2022]

Civics Can Save Us,” The Gazette, September 7, 2022, p. A5 [embedded in “Civics Can Save Us,” September 7, 2022]

Laboring for American Workers,” The Gazette, August 31, 2022, p A5 [embedded in “Laboring for American Workers,” August 31, 2022]

Libraries Essential to Democracy,” The Gazette, August 24, 2022, p. A6 [embedded in “Live Through All Time or Die,” August 24, 2022]

A Global Warming Win-Win-Win,” The Gazette, August 16, 2022, p. A5 [embedded in “A Global Warming Win-Win-Win,” August 16, 2022]

Which Side Are You On?,” The Gazette, July 26, 2022, p. A6 [embedded in “FromDC2Iowa: Which Side Are You On?,” July 26, 2022]

Listening to Washington and McLean,” The Gazette, June 22, 2022, p. A6 [embedded in “FromDC2Iowa: The Day Democracy Died,” June 22, 2022]

Candidates Are Fundraisers Not Legislators,” The Gazette, June 2, 2022, p. A4 [embedded in “Candidates Are Fundraisers Not Legislators,” June 2, 2022]

Franken Experienced in D.C. Government,” The Gazette, May 29, 2022, p. C2 [embedded in “Why Iowa Dems Should Back Franken,” May 19, 2022]

Mike Franken is a Democrat with Statewide Appeal,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, May 18, 2022, p. A7 [embedded in “Why Iowa Dems Should Back Franken,” May 19, 2022]

Breaking the Arc Towards Justice,” The Gazette, May 10, 2022, p. A5 [embedded in “Breaking the Arc Towards Justice,” May 10, 2022]

What’s Up With Rising Inflation?” The Gazette, April 26, 2022, p. A5 [embedded in “What’s Up With Rising Inflation?” April 26, 2022]

Public Radio: Use It or Lose It,” The Gazette, April 9, 2022, p. 5A [embedded in “Use It Or Lose It,” April 9, 2022]

American Needs to Start Studying War,” The Gazette, March 17, 2022, p. A4 [embedded in “Studying War,” March 17, 2022]

High Court Mystique is Shattered,” The Gazette, February 16, 2022, p. A7 [embedded in “The Supreme Court, Constitution and Democracy,” February 16, 2022]

Who Pays for the Losses from Our ‘Freedom’?,” The Gazette, January 27, 2022, p. A4 [embedded in “Who Pays,” January 27, 2022]

Doing Well By Addressing The Poor,” The Gazette, January 18, 2022, p. A6 [embedded in “Doing Well By Doing Good,” January 18, 2022]

2021

Science and Stories are Different,” The Gazette, December 8, 2021, p. A6 [embedded in “Science and Stories,” December 8, 2021]

Don’t Start A Discussion With Tax Cuts,” The Gazette, November 10, 2021, p. A6 [embedded in “Taxes,” November 10, 2021]

“School Board Members Must Speak Out,” The Gazette, October 6, 2021, p. A6 [embedded in “School Board Governance,” October 6, 2021]

“Defending Wilderness Parks,” The Gazette, September 12, 2021, p. D2 [embedded in, “Defending Wilderness Parks,” September 12, 2021]

“Questions We Should Have Asked Before Invading Afghanistan,” The Gazette, August 18, 2021, p. A6 [embedded in “Starting and Ending Wars,” August 18, 2021]

“Lawsuits Aren’t Limited to Humans,” The Gazette, July 24, 2021, p. 5A [embedded in “Who Can Sue?” July 24, 2021]

“What to Believe or How to Think?” The Gazette, July 7, 2021, p. 6 [embedded in “How Do You Know?” July 7, 2021]

“Ask Your Doctor About Big Pharma Ads; Another Example of Americans Paying Corporations to Join Their Sales Force,” The Gazette, June 8, 2021, p. 6A [embedded in “Ask Your Doctor,” June 8, 2021]

“We Are Responsible for Saving Democracy,” The Gazette, May 17, 2021, p. 5A [embedded in “Freedom Has Responsibilities,” May 17, 2021]

“Rethinking The Rush Toward Electric Vehicles,” The Gazette, April 11, 2021, p. D3 [embedded in “Rethinking Electric Vehicles,” April 11, 2021]

“Will Our Democracy Survive?” The Gazette, March 17, 2021, p. 6A [embedded in “Protecting Democracy,” March 17, 2021]

“Struggling Democrats Must Build More Bridges,” The Gazette, Feb. 10, 2021, p. A6 [embedded in “Democrats’ ‘Bridge Too Far,’” February 10, 2021]

“Democracy Is Not a Spectator Sport,” The Gazette, January 13, 2021, p. A6 [embedded in “Democracy Is Not a Spectator Sport,” January 13, 2021]

[Return to Columns by Year]

2020

“The Vaccines Are Coming, Eventually,” The Gazette, December 16, 2020, p. A6 [embedded in “The Vaccines Are Coming!” December 16, 2020]

“Eradicating COVID-19 Should Be Goal,” The Gazette, November 10, 2020, p. A6 [embedded in “Eradicating COVID-19,” November 10, 2020]

“Treat College Football Like Big Business,” The Gazette, October 17, 2020, p. A6 [embedded in “Reimagining College Football,” October 17, 2020]

“A Nation Can Do Well By Doing Good,” The Gazette, September 12, 2020, p. A6 [embedded in “A Post-Pandemic Proposal,” September 12, 2020]

“How to Eliminate Police Shootings,” Iowa City Press-Citizen (online), July 4, 2020, p. A6 [embedded in “How to Eliminate Police Shootings,” July 4, 2020]

“A Response to Racism in America,” The Gazette, June 8, 2020, p. A6 [embedded in “A Response to Racism,” June 8, 2020]

“January 20: Another Date in Infamy,” The Gazette, April 26, 2020, p. D2 [embedded in “January 20: Another Date Living in Infamy and COVID-19: The Essays Collection,” April 30, 2020]

“How to Eliminate COVID-19,” The Gazette, April 4, 2020, p. A6 [embedded in “How to Eliminate COVID-19,” April 4, 2020]

“Find Your Household Thermometer,” The Gazette, March 22, 2020, p. D2 [embedded in “COVID-19: Home Test Kits & Other Thoughts,” March 22, 2020]

“Case for Iowa’s Caucuses,” The Gazette, March 1, 2020, p. D3 [embedded in “Case for Iowa’s Caucuses,” March 1, 2020]

“Soleimani More Dangerous in Death,” The Gazette, January 12, 2020, p. D2 [embedded in “Soleimani More Dangerous Dead Than Alive,” January 11, 2020]

[Return to Columns by Year]

2019

“Asking the Right Questions About Interstate 380 Expansion,” The Gazette, December 1, 2019, p. D3; “Asking the Right I-380 Question,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, December 4, 2019, p. A7 [embedded in “Asking the Right I-380 Question,” November 26, 2019]

“What Is A Newspaper?” The Gazette, October 21, 2019, p. A5 [embedded in “What Is A Newspaper?” October 21, 2019]

“Considering Bullock’s Presidential Qualities,” The Gazette, September 18, 2019, p. A6 [embedded in “Presidential Qualities,” September 20, 2019]

“The Sub-Government,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, August 21, 2019, p. A7 [embedded in “The Sub-government,” August 21, 2019]

“Trump Won’t Be Beat With Plans Alone,” The Gazette, August 17, 2019, p. A5 [embedded in “Marianne Williamson’s Questions and Answers,” August 17, 2019]

“Everybody Gets an Office,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 26, 2019, p. A7 [embedded in “Everybody Gets an Office,” June 26, 2019]

“Trump Will Lose? Don’t Be So Sure,” The Gazette, May 29, 2019, p. A6 [embedded in “Why Trump May Win,” May 29, 2019]

“Democrats in 2020 Should Value Experienced Candidate,” The Gazette, April 28, 2019, p. D3 [embedded in “Presidential Experience,” April 28, 2019]

“Iowa’s Judiciary Must Remain Independent,” The Gazette, March 13, 2013, p. A6 [embedded in “Iowa’s Judiciary and Hamilton’s Warning,” March 13, 2019]

“Instead of a Wall, Focus on the Cause” The Gazette, January 20, 2019, p. D3 [embedded in: “The Wall,” January 20, 2019]

[Return to Columns by Year]

2018

“The Media Under Siege,” The Gazette, July 8, 2018, p. D3 [embedded in: “Media Under Siege,” July 8, 2018]

“Doing the Wrong Thing Better,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 30, 2018, p. A6 [embedded in: “Doing the Wrong Thing Better,” June 30, 2018]

“Democrats Should Choose Norris,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, May 23, 2018, p. A7 [embedded in: “Democrats Should Choose Norris,” May 24, 2018]

“Sinclair TV Defies Originalism,” The Gazette, April 14, 2018, p. A6 [embedded in: “Sinclair TV Defies Originalism,” April 14, 2018]

“‘Never Happen Again’ Is Not Enough,” The Gazette, February 28, 2018, p. A6 [embedded in “‘Never Happen Again’ Is Not Emough,” February 28, 2018]

“Decisions Must Come Before Taxes,” The Gazette, January 3, 2018, p. A5; and “Taxes Are Last Step, Not the First, to Making U.S. Great,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, January 27, 2018, p. A6 [embedded in “Taxes Are Last Step Not First,” December 24, 2017]

[Return to Columns by Year]

2017

“Defending Democracy,” The Gazette, December 3, 2017, p. C4 [embedded in “Defending Democracy,” December 3, 2017]

“City is Putting Lipstick on TIFs,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, December 2, 2017, p. A6 [embedded in “Lipstick on TIFs,” December 2, 2017]

“Can Biz Leaders Save Education?” The Gazette, Insight, August 22, 2017, p. A6 [embedded in “Business Leaders: Make Legislators Fund Educated Workforce,” August 23, 2017]

“Health Care, Housing Rights?” The Gazette, Insight Guest Opinion, August 1, 2017, p. A5 [embedded in “Acceptable, Available, Affordable Housing,” July 22, 2017]

“Is Superintendent Criticism ‘Defamation’?” Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 28, 2017, p. 7A [embedded in “Not All Criticism is Defamation,” July 4, 2017]

“Why Net Neutrality is Our Friend,” “Insight,” The Gazette, June 2, 2017, p. A6 [embedded in “Why Net Neutrality is Your Friend,” May 22, 2017

“Spending on Military Always Comes at a Cost,” “Insight & Books,” The Gazette, April 9, 2017, p. D5 [embedded in “Of Missiles and Teachers,” April 7, 2017]

“Saving Higher Ed; Step1: Listen to What Iowans Want,” Nicholas Johnson, “Insight & Books,” The Gazette, March 19, 2017, p. D1, and “Solutions for Iowa Higher Ed’s Woes,” Nicholas Johnson, Iowa City Press-Citizen, April 12, 2017, p. A7 [embedded in “How to Save Higher Ed,” March 19, 2017]

“Focus on Our Common Values,” The Gazette, January 1, 2017, p. D2 [embedded in Eastern Iowa’s Declaration of Human Rights,” January 5, 2017]

[Return to Columns by Year]

2016

“Republicans Need To Get Their Party Back From Trump,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, October 20, 2016, p. A7 [embedded in Republicans Need To Get Their Party Back From Trump,” October 20, 2016]

“Trump Might Not Be Blundering in Race,” Iowa City Press Citizen, September 9, 2016, p.  A7 [embedded in “Trump Might Not Be Blundering in Race,” September 9, 2016]

“Should Sports Allow Drugs That Enhance Performance?” The Gazette, August 17, 2016, p. A5 [embedded in “The Doping Dilemma,” August 17, 2016]

“Include People in Process,” The Gazette, July 24, 2016, p. D3 [embedded in “Include People in Process,” July 24, 2016]

“Cancer: ‘Of Course; But Maybe,'” The Gazette, July 17, 2016, p. 6A [embedded in “Cancer: ‘Of Course; But Maybe,'” July 17, 2016]

“Focus on Muslims Misplaced After Shooting,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 17, 2016, p. A5 [embedded in “Focus on Muslims Misplaced After Shooting,” June 17, 2016]

“What Putin Can Teach Rastetter,” The Daily Iowan, May 6, 2016, p. 4 [embedded in “What Putin Can Teach Rastetter,” May 9, 2016]

“Senate Ignoring the People’s Voice,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, April 8, 2016, p. A5; “Examining the ‘People’s Voice,'” The Gazette, April 10, 2016, p. A5; and “Constitution, Supreme Court, and People’s Voice,” The Daily Iowan, April 15, 2016, p. 4 [embedded in “The Constitution, Supreme Court, and People’s Voice,” April 8, 2016]

“Some Basic Facts About Water,” The Gazette, February 29, 2016, p. A6 [embedded in “Water,” February 29, 2016]

“Design Communities to Support Communication, Interaction and Learning,” The Gazette, February 7, 2016, p. C4 [embedded in “Our Communities’ Second Priority,”February 7, 2016]

“Why Support Sanders,” The Daily Iowan, January 28, 2016, p. A4 [embedded in “Caucus With Your Heart and Head — for Bernie,” January 28, 2016]

“Why I’m Caucusing for Sanders,” The Gazette, January 26, 2016, p. A8 [embedded in “Caucus With Your Heart and Head — for Bernie,” January 28, 2016]

“Sanders the Right Democrat for Caucus,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, January 22, 2016, p. A7 [embedded in “Why I’m Caucusing for Sanders and You Should Too,” January 22, 2016]

“Foreword: Censorship Its Causes and Cures,” Mickey Huff, Andy Lee Roth and Project Censored, Censored 2016: Media Freedom on the Line, The Top Censored Stories and Media Analysis of 2014-15 (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2016), pp. 11-19

[Return to Columns by Year]

2015

“Understanding Terrorist Thugs,” The Daily Iowan, December 3, 2015, p. 4, and “What Motivates ‘Terrorist Thugs’?” The Gazette, December 20, 2015, p. C4 [embedded in “Understanding Terrorist Thugs,” December 3, 2015]

“Sober Risk Assessment Needed to Respond to Terror,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, November 28, 2015, p. A11 [embedded in “Syria, Terrorism, Craziness and Common Sense,”November 28, 2015]

“Let’s Seize Our Opportunity, Take Responsibility Seriously,” The Gazette, Gazette Writers Circle, November 22, 2015, p. C3 [embedded in “Anyone for Democracy?”November 22, 2015]

“Parallels Between School Systems Are Staggering,” Iowa City Press-Citizen,” November 10, 2015, p. A5; and “Tim Wolfe Resignation: When Money Talks in Higher Education,” The Gazette (online), November 9, 2015, 4:09 p.m. [embedded in blog, “UI and Higher Education in Context,” November 9, 2015]

“Syria’s Refugees: Job One and Job Two,” The Gazette, November 1, 2015, p. C4 [embedded in blog, “Syria’s Refugees: Job One and Job Two,” November 1, 2015]

“Throgmorton is City Treasure,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, October 28, 2015, p. A13 [embedded in blog, “Throgmorton Is City Treasure,” October 28, 2015]

“Better Ways to Pick a New UI President,” The Gazette, Gazette Writers Circle, September 27, 2015, p. C5 [embedded in blog,  “Seven Steps for Transitioning Universities,”September 27, 2015]

Brief of Amici Curiae Reed Hundt, Michael Copps, Nicholas Johnson, and Susan Crawford in Support of Respondents, On Petition for Review of an Order of the Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Telecom Ass’n v. FCC, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, September 21, 2015, David T. Goldberg and J. Carl Cecere, attorneys (this link goes to a pdf file)

“Create a Caring Community,” The Gazette, September 13, 2015, p. C3 [embedded in blog, “Three Steps to Creating a Caring Community,” September 13, 2015]

“Recognizing and Reducing Racism,” The Gazette, Gazette Writers Circle, August 9, 2015, p. C2 [embedded in blog, “Recognizing and Reducing Racism,” August 9, 2015]

“The Militarization of America,” The Gazette, Gazette Writers Circle, July 5, 2015, p. C3 [embedded in blog, “The Militarization of America,” July 5, 2015]

“Building Consensus on Iowa City’s Vision, Future,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 30, 2015, p. A9 [embedded in blog, “Coming to ‘Yes’ on New Buildings and Demolition,”June 30, 2015]

“Curbing Waste: Bad News, Good News,” The Gazette, June 7, 2015, p. C1 [embedded in blog, “The Price of Our Freedom to Waste,” June 7, 2015]

“Enhancing Everyone’s Experience at Kinnick,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, April 29, 2015, p. A13 [embedded in “Football: Enhancing Everyone’s Game Day Experience,” April 29, 2015]

“Plenty to Enjoy About ‘Troll Music,'” Iowa City Press-Citizen, March 27, 2015, p. A7 [embedded in “Tonight, Tomorrow Last Chance for ‘Troll Music,'” March 27, 2015]

“NFL Football: It’s Only Television,” The Gazette, January 18, 2015, p. C2 [embedded in “NFL: Just Another Rigged TV Show?” January 2, 2015]

“Will Germany’s Economic Formula Work for Iowa?” Iowa City Press-Citizen, January 16, 2015, p. A7 [embedded in “Free College Education for Iowans?” January 16, 2015]

[Return to Columns by Year]

2014

“Foreword,” Richard L. DeGowin, House of Moffitt: The First 20 Years — A Memoir (2014), pp. 13-20

“Sycamore TIF Unnecessary,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, November 23, 2014, p. A5 [embedded in blog essay, “Lucky’s Gets Lucky: $1.7 Million of Taxpayers’ Money,”November 23, 2014]

Vanessa Miller, “UI professor and former FCC commissioner sides with Obama on net neutrality; Johnson: ‘The Internet holds so much promise for everybody,'” The Gazette, November 12, 2014, p. A9 [drawn from an interview with Nicholas Johnson, and embedded in “Net Neutrality: An Interview,” November 13, 2014]

“Six Step Program for Avoiding War in Iraq,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, November 11, 2014, p. A7 [embedded in blog essay, “Six Step Program for Avoiding War,” November 11, 2014]

“Residents Deserve Courthouse Annex,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, October 28, 2014, p. A7 [embedded in blog essay, “Taxpayers’ Money: Government Projects, Yes; Private Giveaways, No,” October 28, 2014]

“On the Local Option Sales Tax, Think Before You Vote,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, October 8, 2014, p. A11 [embedded in blog essay, “Think Before Taxing Poor Additional 17%,” October 8, 2014]

Becky Lentz and Bill Kirkpatrick, “Wanted: Public Interest Mavericks at the FCC” (an interview with Nicholas Johnson), International Journal of Communication, vol. 8, Sept. 2014

“Is War the Best Answer?” Iowa City Press-Citizen, September 12, 2014, p. A7 [embedded in blog essay, “Whatever the Question, Is War the Best Answer?” September 10 &12, 2014]

“Let’s Stop Making Players Pretend to Be Students,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, August 27, 2014, p. A11 [drawn from and embedded in “Curing a Cancer on the Academy,”August 20, 2014]

“Blogfeed: From DC2 Iowa,” The Gazette, July 20, 2014, p. A10 (The Gazette’s “Blogfeed” was a hard copy feature (unavailable online) that ran edited versions of online blog essays.) [This one was drawn from “From Earmarks (D.C.) to TIFs (I.C.): America’s Fascist Economy; TIFs — Therrre Back!!” July 15, 2014]

“When Believing Is Seeing,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, July 14, 2014, p., A5 [embedded in blog essay, “When Believing is Seeing,” July 14, 2014]

“Is Texting the Problem, or Just Part of the Problem?” Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 16, 2014, p. A5 [embedded in blog essay, “DWI, DWT, DWD: Keeping Our Eyes On The Road,” June 13, 2014]

“Re-elect Rettig for Supe, She Knows What She’s Doing” (Mary Vasey and Nicholas Johnson), Iowa City Press-Citizen, May 17, 2014, p. A7 [embedded in blog essay, “Re-Elect Johnson County Supervisor Janelle Rettig,” December 29, 2014 [sic]]

“What Is It With the Iowa State Board of Regents?!” Iowa City Press-Citizen, May 16, 2014, p. A7 [embedded in blog essay, “Iowa’s Economic Foundation? Graduate Education & Research,” May 5, 2014]

“Blogfeed: From DC2 Iowa,” “Iowa’s Economic Foundation? Graduate Education & Research,” May 5, 2014 (The Gazette’s Blogfeed is a hard copy feature (unavailable online) that runs edited versions of online blog essays. This one was published by The Gazette, May 11, 2014, p. A10.)

“Talking TIF: Costs Outweigh Possible Benefits,” The Gazette, April 13, 2014, pp. A9, A12 [embedded in blog essay, “Tussling Over TIFs: Pros and Cons; Tough TIF Talk,”April 30, 2014]

“Too Many Negatives, Too Little Upside to TIFs,” The Gazette, March 25, 2014, p. A6 [embedded in blog essay, “TIFs: Too Many Negatives,” March 25, 2014]

“TIF: If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Insist on More Transparency,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, March 18, 2014, p. A7 [embedded in blog essay “TIF Apology,” March 18, 2014; with supporting, “TIFs: Links to Blog Essays,” March 16, 2014]

“Public Comments About Public Comments Guidelines,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, February 15, 2014, p. A9 [embedded in blog essay, “Open Mikes at Open Meetings?”February 12, 2014]

[Return to Columns by Year]

2013

“Think Long and Hard Before Diluting the Gasoline Tax,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, Dec. 5, 2013, p. A7 [embedded in “Gasoline Tax Is Our Friend,” December 5, 2013]

“Bars, Students Should Be Thankful,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, November 3, 2013, p. A8 [embedded in “Bars, Students Should Be Thankful,” March 5, 2018]

“Re: 21-Ordinance is Human-Rights Violation,” The Daily Iowan, October 17, 2013, p. 4A [embedded in “Underage Drinking As Human Right? I Don’t Think So; Why Bar Owners, Students Should Embrace Iowa City’s 21 Law,” October 16, 2013]

“Working Our Way Through the McGinness Kerfluffle,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, September 20, 2013, p. A7 [embedded in “Is ‘Moderately Honest’ Enough? When Is an Elected Official’s Behavior Disqualifying?” September 20, 2013]

“A Win-Win Advisory Board for District,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, September 5, 2013, p. A7 [embedded in “School Board Election: Whom to Vote For? Nine Candidates, Three Positions; How Can We Benefit From All?” September 9, 2013]

“Is Boston Bomber’s Photo Worth 11,000 Words?” Iowa City Press-Citizen, July 20, 2013, p. A10 [embedded in “The Picture Worth Destroying 11,000 Words; Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Photo: Celebrity or Monster?” July 20, 2013 (includes list of other papers carrying column, such as “Magazine Cover Not Whole Story,” Des Moines Register, July 20, 2013, p. A19)]

“Dorman Enlightens on Law Process,” The Gazette, June 29, 2013, p. A8 [embedded in “Dorman Enlightens on Law Process,” March 5, 2018 (sic), which includes original Todd Dorman column]

“Regents Multi-Million-Dollar Unused Asset,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, June 8, 2013 [embedded in “Advising Iowa’s Regents,” June 20, 2013]

“Still Many More Options for Jail,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, May 6, 2013, p. A7 [embedded in “The Morning After,” May 8, 2013]

“Getting to ‘Yes’ By Voting ‘No’ on Justice Center,” The Daily Iowan, April 30, 2013, p. 4 [embedded in “There Are Alternatives,” April 30, 2013]

“Vote ‘No’ on Justice Center, But ‘Yes’ for Courthouse,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, April 12, 2013, p. A7 [embedded in the blog essay, “Vote ‘No’ on Justice Center; ‘Yes” for Courthouse, Detached Criminal Facility,” April 12, 2013]

“Congress’ First Step in Long Journey,” The Gazette, April 4, 2013, p. A5 [embedded in “First Step to Reducing National Debt,” April 4, 2013]

“Public Universities Not Using Radio Well,” The Gazette, March 28, 2013, p. A5 [embedded in “Are the Iowa Universities’ Stations No Longer ‘Educational’?” April 2, 2013]

Like Death and Taxes, TIFs and TIFing Seem Here to Stay,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, February 3, 2013, p. A7 [embedded in “Tough TIF Talk,” February 3, 2013]

[Return to Columns by Year]


Nicholas Johnson Speeches, 2006-2018

Click for Top of Portal Page

2018

“The Media, Under Siege: And What KHOI Can Do About It,” KHOI-FM 89.1 Fundraiser: An Evening with Nicholas Johnson, Ames, Iowa, November 16, 2018
“The Futility of War and the Path to Peace,” Remarks on Armistice Day, Veterans for Peace, Chapter 161, Pentacrest and Old Brick, Iowa City, Iowa, November 11, 2018, 11:00 a.m.

2017

“The Vast Waistline & Other Challenges to Education as We Knew It,” 4CAST – Campus Academic Strategies and Technology Conference, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, January 12, 2017 (with full footnotes and link to audio of presentation) [embedded in “Educating In and For a Digital Age,” January 14, 2017]

2016

“Harnessing Progressive Reform to 21st Century Media,” Ralph Nader’s “Breaking Through Power Conference,” Washington, D.C., May 23-26, 2016; Day 2, “Breaking Through the Media,” May 24, 2016 [together with links to a video of the presentation, full videos of each of the four days, along with Conference and Ralph Nader Web pages; embedded in “Breaking Through Power: The Media,” May 29, 2016]

“The State of the Media,” Sunday Speaker Series, League of Women Voters of Johnson County, Iowa, Iowa City Public Library, February 28, 2016 [embedded in “The State of the Media,” February 29, 2016]“CIVIC’s Gift to Iowa City,” remarks on the occasion of the presentation of the 2015 Citizen Diplomat Award from the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities, Vetro Hotel, Iowa City, Iowa, January 27, 2016

2015

“Rockin’ the Bern,” remarks on the occasion of a gathering of Bernie lovers, music lovers, speakers and musicians, at The Mill, Iowa City, Iowa, December 6, 2015 [embedded in “Feeling the Bern at The Mill,” December 9, 2015]

“The Origins and Future of Radio,” document prepared in preparation for, and from which excerpts were used, in remarks on the occasion of KOHI-FM’s third anniversary, Ames, Iowa, August 23, 2015. Audio of that talk is available here, and transcripts of some excerpts, along with additional information is embedded in “Local, Non-Profit Radio’s Future,” August 29, 2015

“Statement of Nicholas Johnson Regarding TIF Funding of the Chauncey Building,” City of Iowa City City Council, Iowa City, Iowa, June 8, 2015 [embedded in blog, “Chauncey’s TIF,” June 13, 2015]

“Nicholas Johnson Remarks,” John P. Craven Memorial Service, Central Union Church, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 9, 2015 [linked from blog, “John Piña Craven, American Treasure,” February 15, 2015]

“Why You Can’t Win, Break Even, or Get Out of the Game: Watching the Digital Demolition of Our Fourth Amendment Privacy,” University of Iowa College of Business, Ideas & Intersections Program, Digital Privacy, Iowa City, Iowa, April 7, 2015 (plus Power Point slides; both are downloads)

2014

Nicholas Johnson, “Communications Evolution, Revolution and the Role of the Academy,” Keynote Address, Dirty Sexy Policy Conference, Carsey-Wolf Center, University of California Santa Barbara, February 20, 2014

Nicholas Johnson, “Justice Hugo L. Black: A Former Law Clerk Remembers,” Federal Bar Association, Federal Building, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, May 22, 2014

2013

“The Future of Surveilance and How to Stop It,” Text of Nicholas Johnson’s Remarks, “1984 Day: Restore the Fourth’s Nationwide Action Against the NSA’s Unconstitutional Surveillance,” Ped Mall, Iowa City, Iowa, August 4, 2013, 12:00-2:00 p.m. (scroll down)

2012

“From Precinct to President,” On the Occasion of Being Inducted Into the Johnson County (Iowa) Democrats Hall of Fame, Marriott Hotel, Coralville, Iowa, May 5, 2012

2011

2010

“Net Neutrality ,” The Michele Tafoya Show, WCCO-AM 830, December 21, 2010, 4:15-4:25 p.m.

“Was It Something I Said? General Semantics, the Outspoken Seven, and the Unacceptable Remark,” Presentation via Skype, Institute for General Semantics, New York City, October 30, 2010 (with links to Power Point slides, draft of unpublished paper with 66 footnotes from which speech was drawn, and links to additional blog posts on this subject)

In early July of 2010 Johnson made a series of presentations to Japanese academic audiences. Texts are linked below.  Following that trip during a trip to Japan, these thoughts were expanded in a paper, “The DPJ’s FCC: Letter from America,” also linked below.

“A Japanese ‘FCC’: A Former U.S. FCC Commissioner’s Perspective,” Japan Society for Studies in Journalism and Mass Communications Workshop, Kansai University, Osaka-Suita, Japan, July 4, 2010 (with embedded handout used on that occasion);

A Japanese ‘FCC’: A Former U.S. FCC Commissioner’s Perspective,” Faculties of Law and American Studies, Center for American Studies, Study Group Number 2: The American Legal System, Doshisha University, July 5, 2010 (with embedded handout used on that occasion);

“Public Access to Media: History, Status and Future,” Ritsumeikan University,” Osaka, Japan, July 6, 2010 (with embedded handout used on that occasion);

“The DPJ’s FCC: Letter from America,” July 27, 2010 (with 75 footnotes) was prepared following the lecture tour for those in the nation’s DPJ Party interested in the possibility of creating an FCC-like institution for Japan

Whatever Happened to the 1934 Communications Act? As Interviewed by Ed Madison on “Media Talk,” Program # 107, May 13, 2010

“Corporate Free Speech” [Citizens United v. Federal Election Comm’n , 558 U.S. 310 (2010)] “Ethical Perspectives on the News,” KCRG-TV9, Taped April 6, 2010; Broadcast April 25, 2010, 10:30-11:00 a.m. (comments of Nicholas Johnson; Moderator: Scott Samuelson, Professor of Philosophy, Kirkwood Community College, Panelists: David Halfpap, Senior Vice President, Aegon USA, Nicholas Johnson, University of Iowa College of Law, Representative Nathan Willems, Iowa House of Representatives; Producer Cedric Lofdahl; Associate Producer Terry Boydenk)

“Broadband Expansion,”“The Exchange,” Iowa Public Radio, April 5, 2010 (host Ben Kieffer interview with Nicholas Johnson)

“The Current State of Radio and Television,” Oaknoll Retirement Community, Iowa City, Iowa, January 28, 2010 (a downloadable MS Word document)

“Media and the Internet: The Ultimate Internationalization,” “Prairie InSight,” Prairie Lights Books, Iowa City, Iowa, January 28, 2010 (comments of Nicholas Johnson; host, Gerhild Krapf, director of external relations for University of IowaI International Programs)

2009

“Your Second Priority,” “The Exchange,” Iowa Public Radio, Ben Kieffer interviews Nicholas Johnson about his book, Your Second Priority, WSUI-AM 910, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, February 24, 2009 (audio, mpg file of program)

“Reforming the Federal Communications Commission,” “Reforming the Federal Communications Commission,” a conference held in Washington, D.C., as a joint project of Public Knowledge [Washington, D.C.] and Silicon Flatirons, a Center for Law, Technology, and Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado, January 5, 2009 (video of the panel’s discussion; a couple examples of Johnson’s contributions can be found at 0:19:53-0:22:30 and 0:39:10-0:41:54)

2008

“Carterfone: My Story; Carterfone and Open Access in the Digital Era,” The High Tech Law Institute and the BroadBand Institute of California, Santa Clara University School of Law, Santa Clara, California, October 17, 2008 (a downloadable MS Word document, with 44 footnotes, from which the address was drawn and that was ultimately expanded into a law review article)

“Benefits from Johnson County’s Greenbelt and Greenways,” A presentation to FAIR’s “After the Flood Program,” September 9, 2008 (the Power Point Slides from which the presentation was made)

“Are We There Yet?” “The Exchange,” Iowa Public Radio, Ben Kieffer interviews Nicholas Johnson about his book, Are We There Yet?, WSUI-AM 910, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, September 2, 2008 (audio, mpg file of program)

“What’s New?” The 2008 Free Speech National Conference for Media Reform: “Past Success and Future Possibilities” Panel, June 7, 2008, 2:30-4:00 p.m. (Power Point slides from which Johnson made his presentation)

2007

From “Recent Publications:” “”Talking Back to Your Television Set 37 Years Later” [The Unitarian-Universalist Society of Iowa City asked Johnson to speak to its “Worthley Club” February 6, 2007. As this was the 37th anniversary of the publication of his book, How to Talk Back to Your Television Set, Johnson chose to review some of the changes — and remaining challenges — in broadcasting during those years. The topics the text addresses include conditions in the 1920s, the impact of cable television and the Internet, the continuing “obligations, and limits, of capitalism,” some proposals, “content, conduit, and the First Amendment,” political broadcasting reforms, ownership limits and diversity of views, and the “adequacy of American journalism.” The text was subsequently distributed by the International Leadership Forum as ‘International Leadership Forum, Commentary 17,’ November 6, 2007.” (This now [April 29, 2017] the only known source, and the link available requires an unknown password: http://groupjazz.gjhost.com/gj/swebsock/0005343/0937445/GJ8/main/viewitem.cml?590+0+247+1428+0+x+x+x++#here.)

“Introducing Governor Bill Richardson,” University of Iowa Memorial Union, Iowa City, Iowa, August 2, 2007

From “Recent Publications:” “Activism: Having a Positive Impact on the World,” Resources for Life Conference, Iowa City, Iowa, July 7, 2007 (no known link to copy of text)

From “Recent Publications;” “Community Media at Risk” [Nicholas Johnson participated with three other guests in a special hour-long edition of Iowa City, Iowa’s, public access cable (PATV) presentation of the “Live & Local” program involving, among other issues, those discussed in his Des Moines Register op ed column from a week earlier. Audio and video excerpts have not yet been uploaded. The program was first broadcast live, April 20, 2007, and repeatedly re-run thereafter (location of audio, video, or transcript unknown)

“Talking Back to Your Television Set 37 Years Later,” The Worthley Club, Unitarian-Universalist Society of Iowa City, February 6, 2007

“Community Problem Solving,” “The Exchange,” Iowa Public Radio, Ben Kieffer interviews Nicholas Johnson and Tim Boyle, WSUI-AM 910, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa, January 4, 2007 (host Ben Kieffer takes Johnson’s call and has exchange of views)

2006

“General Semantics, Terrorism and War,” “The World in Quandaries; Celebrating Two 60th Anniversaries: People in Quandaries and the New York Society for General Semantics” (and the 8th anniversary of the Media Ecology Association), Fordham University, New York City, September 8, 2006

“Internet Neutrality,” “Live and Local,” PATV of Iowa City, June 26, 2006 (Host: Adam Burke; Guests: Ben Anderson, Sam Garchik, Nicholas Johnson)

“Voters Should Boycott Moneyed Candidates,” Johnson’s comment during “Talk of Iowa: Representative Ed Fallon’s Campaign for Governor,” WOI-AM640, Ames, Iowa, May 30, 2006 (Host: Katherine Perkins; Guest: Representative Ed Fallon)

“Standing With Ed Fallon,” The Mill, Iowa City, Iowa, May 2, 2006

“Can’t See the Forest: Lessons from a $180 Million Terrarium,” Environmental Law Society, University of Iowa College of Law, January 27, 2006

 


 

Autobiographical Material

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Introduction

Why autobiographical “material” rather than an “autobiography”? Because there is no autobiography – at least not in the sense of a single volume covering the first 87 years of my life.

There have been the occasional starts of one (with some duplication), and single pieces of some relevance to portions of that life. They are listed below.

— Nicholas Johnson, Iowa City, Iowa, April 25, 2022

# # #

The Catfish Solution Memoir, The last book (as of 2022) was titled Catfish Solution (2019). It focuses on the Washington years, including several selections from FCC dissenting opinions. However, these excerpts also provide material from 1934 to 1974, as the “chapter” headings indicate:
Chapter One: Educating a Dissenter: The Early Years
Chapter Two: The Law: Training and Practice
Chapter Three: At Sea in Washington: The Maritime Administration
Chapter Five: First Impressions: “There Ain’t No New Post Office Building”
(Chapter Four: Where Have All the Taxes Gone? Subgovernments in Washington, though an interesting explanation of how and why Washington works, contains little to no “autobiographical material.”)

Stops Along the Way” (2014) is another start at autobiography, never completed. As with Catfish , the chapter headings will give a sense of the content:
Chapter One: In the Beginning: From Nothing to America, 14 Billion B.C.-1850
Chapter Two: Johnson, Tarnström, Bockwoldt, Watke: Sweden and Germany, 1850-1900
Chapter Three: Mother and Dad From Farm to College: Kansas and Iowa, 100-1934
Chapter Four: Little Nicky Johnson: Iowa City, 1934-1941
Chapter Five: School Days: Iowa City, 1941-1952

You Can Go Home Again” (14 billion B.C. to 2018)
As with “Catfish” and “Stops Along the Way” the chapter headings will give a sense of the content (some of which is duplicated elsewhere):
Introduction: As I Recall, 1
In the Beginning, 5
Predecessors, 9
Mom and Dad, 17
Early Memories, 25
Brown Street, 31
World War II, 42
Experimental Schools, 54
Good Fortune and Serendipity, 66

At Age 17 (1951)
Nick Johnson Autobiography,” 1951 (a 17-year-old’s “autobiography”)

First Home (approximately 1937-1941)
Lawn Mowing,” June 30, 1998. This piece, created in response to a writing assignment in a nonfiction writing program, contains many recollections about life as a three to six-year-old in the 1930s (414 Brown Street, Iowa City). Though technically my second home – the first being a house at 1729 East Court Street (still standing in 2022) – it’s the first for which there are memories.

Melrose Court (approximately 1941-1952; 1989-2022)
The University of Iowa and the Historic Melrose Neighborhood,” May 17, 2004, In 1941 the family moved to 508 Melrose Court. This page provides links to maps (starting with 1854) and aerial photos of the neighborhood, and a 1913 photo of that house.

Willis Weber (approximately 1941-1949)
In Memoriam: Willis Weber,” FromDC2Iowa, Nov. 5, 2006. This blog post is included because the bulk of it is a description of life in the Melrose Court neighborhood during these pre-high school years.

General Semantics (approximately 1941-1957)
General Semantics: The Next Generation,” Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture, November 3, 1995, General Semantics Bulletin, pp. 22-26, including notes 1-40 (of pp. 22-44, notes 1-80). This portion of the article/lecture is included in this list because of the impact general semantics had on my early life, as the son of one of its founders.

University High School (approximately 1948-1952)
The Last Commencement Address: The U High Idea,” June 1, 1972. This speech is included because of the significant and formative years of high school. The school was closed following this talk.

Dr. John Haefner
The Haefner Award,” June 7, 2002. The U High social studies teacher, Dr. John Haefner played a major role in shaping the life I subsequently lived. This webpage provides some insight into that influence.

Influential Adults (approximately 1948-1952)
Everything We Say, Do is a Lesson,” Iowa City Press-Citizen, “Opinion,” July 20, 1999, p. 13A. The first portion of this column contains brief references to adults who helped me along the way.

Washington Years (approximately 1957; 1961-1963; 1964-1966; 1966-1973; 1974-1980)
See, “The Catfish Solution Memoir,” above.

Mike Wallace
CBS’s Mike Wallace was both a significant part of my television viewing experience since the 1950s, and of my professional experience during the 1960s and 1970s — during which at least two interviews have been recalled.

 


 

Memorials by Nicholas Johnson

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William Benton

Evie Chapman

John Craven

Bill Grubbe

Joel Grubbe

Wendell Johnson

Pat Paulsen

Fran Riecken

Margaret Vasey

Steve Vasey

Dave Vernon

Mike Wallace

Willis Weber