A Teaching Moment, Squandered

Give 30 minutes to walk out and return, then give an hour to study of these basic tenets of being a citizen in the US, their history, the difficulties of conflicts between rights and safety, how bills become law, and how protests change (or don't change) law, how courts decide conflicts. Basic civics education.

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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.

“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... Continue Reading →

“I meant to do that.”

This chaos, this havoc, this loss of reliability and stability proves the foregone conclusion: that government doesn't work, cannot work. So chaos, incompetence, corruption, havoc all play into driving this message. So all of this havoc, all of this chaos, all of this pain may be "proving" that government isn't needed at all. This has all been part of a well-crafted plan, then?

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.... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

I Don’t Care What You Say

Nothing should be more effective in stopping an argument than these words: I don't care what you say... There are other variations -- "no matter what you say", "you can't tell me", "I know for a fact". These are STOP signs in any conversation. The person who injects these phrases is telling you that any further... Continue Reading →

I’m Sorry You’re So Dumb

How often have we had to listen to the "you're so dumb" apology? We heard it today from Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives Brian Bosma who said: I extended my apology to [Greg Louganis], not for actions taken, but for messages received. And I extend that same apology to anyone who received that same message.... Continue Reading →

Words To Replace “Ummm”

When you listen to interviewers and interviewees on the radio or television, count the number of times you hear words that replace "ummm" and "uhhh" -- words that allow the speaker to stall until they can think of what to say. Here's one that makes me cringe: It's interesting. I hear this from questioners and respondents alike:... Continue Reading →

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