Categories
Elections Good Government Words

Message-Making: The Biden Speech

The speech is a lesson in the tactics, large and small, that hold a message together and burn your ideas into your audience’s consciousness. Repetition. Litanies. Framing. Promoting your Values, naming the Villain, holding out a Vision.

Categories
Words

Re: Fake email replies

It plays on your sense of guilt that you missed an email, that you rudely ignored an email, that the sender is really interested in helping you – when, in fact, this email is just a pretense.

Categories
Daily Life Elections Words Writing

THEIR own self-interest? Or ours?

I think people always operate in their own self-interest. Always.

And I think we rarely know what someone else sees as their own self-interest. Instead, we impose on them what we believe they should be interested in.

Categories
Daily Life Words

There’s 7 New People Born

Into this world came this song. It certainly wasn’t on the radio, but I had bought the album – my second Dylan album – and listened to it, late at night, in the living room, on the hi-fi console, with my headphones on, in stereo.

When I first heard it, it was just “the next track” on the album. But halfway through, I stopped and moved the needle back to the beginning. I listened. Then played it again. And again. And again.

I learned, in 5 minutes, about poverty. Farming. South Dakota. Pain. Helplessness. Desperation. Terror. Loss.

Categories
Artists Lifeline Daily Life Good Government Words

“You Get What You Measure”

You get what you measure. That’s another well-known truth in business organizations. When you want a particular kind of outcome (say, increased customer base for a lagging product), you require your workers to measure that outcome and report the results. The effect is that workers focus on improving their measurements – sometimes to the detriment […]

Categories
Artists Lifeline Daily Life Words Writing

Common But Not Normal

In the wake of the most recent mass shooting – this time, in a Florida school – many commentators are noting, sadly, that tragedies like this have become the “new normal.” I disagree – tragedies like this have become “all too common“, but I reject the notion that this is “normal“, whether new or old. […]

Categories
Good Government Words

“Fear was a big part of it”

Listen to what we are being told:

Fear those who cross our country’s border from Mexico – the are rapists and murderers and drug lords.

Fear those who cross our country’s border from Mexico – the are rapists and murderers and drug lords.

Fear those who cross our country’s border from Mexico – they are rapists and murderers and drug lords.

Fear those who run from brutality and death in Syria – they are terrorists who hate our freedom.

Categories
Good Government Words

Can You Lie About The Future?

Can you lie about future events? Here’s a comparison of two statements, both cast as “lies”: OBAMA: “no matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. If you like your health care plan, you will be able to […]

Categories
Good Government Words

Words, Not Just Tone, Matter

In the “heated argument” between Kellyanne Conway and Jennifer Palmieri at Harvard last week, the press attention focused on the seemingly angry tones between these two. The audio reflects that tone, both speakers (and others) talking over the others in incomplete sentences, neither side making a coherent argument. What should have been an instructive and […]

Categories
Daily Life Good Government Words Writing

Mental Illness, Candidates, Guns

There it is again — this time, “serious people” are talking on TV about the mental health of Donald Trump. Is he unbalanced? Unstable? Psychopathic? How else can you explain his very bizarre behavior? And — not to be outdone (or, in the now-common “oh yeah? well, so’s your old man!” debating style) — Trump […]