Framing the Dialogue

Archive for December, 2008

All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten

I have a poster hanging in my office.  It’s not placed like most folks hang artwork.  You really only can see it from my chair.  This particular poster is for me.  It’s not a fancy picture or a cute cat hanging in there.  It is simple a collection of guidelines from Robert Fulghum’s All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

Mr. Fulghum provides a bounty of short stories/essays to support and illustrate his simple themes.  I could try to paraphrase, but I’d rather use his words from the back cover of the book:

Are Your Lights On?

I was sitting at one of the many meetings that I attend as part of my job.  Few are interesting and fewer are productive.  I was sitting next to Bill.  Bill is unique as he chairs a coalition of environmental groups (one of which he also serves as the president), municipalities, NGOs, and other government agencies.  Bill is an environmentalist that works as a consultant for industry.  He “walks the walk.”

The monthly meetings can be lively and even heated at times, but the coalition has been meeting for many years and has accomplished many things.  A lot of that has to do with Bill’s leadership.  He doesn’t do everything, but he is a great natural facilitator. 

The World Is Flat

You’ve all heard about the global economy, globalization, and how small the world has gotten in the last few decades.  I sell on ebay and have shipped all over the world…from my house.  That’s globalization.  That is not really what this book is about.

Thomas L. Friedman believes that rapid advances in technology and communications has flattened the world.  From the fall of the Berlin Wall to “outsourcing,” The World Is Flat discusses ten forces (political events, innovations, and companies) that flatten the world.  You will be amazed at what some companies are doing.  If you think UPS just ships packages, you will be surprised by what Brown can do for you.

Uncivil Marriage

There has been a lot of discussion about California’s Proposition 8 and gay marriage.  A recent post that I read lamented about the “stupidity” of the majority of Californians who voted for Prop. 8.

I would suggest that folks really look at the issue in a different way.  The people pushing gay marriage seem to want more than just the same rights as married people.  I would guess that if Californians were asked to vote on a proposition worded such that gay couples could have civil unions, it would easily pass.

The Two Second Rule

Update January 30, 2009:  I was driving my daughter to look at laptop computers this evening.  It is around 20 degrees here , the roads were slushy, and there were frequent periods of heavy snow fall.  As we traveled along an Interstate toll road, I had to get into the left lane to pass through single lane EZPass (I love EZPass).  Sure enough a car pulled within two car lengths of my rear.  Due to the weather, I was only traveling at 50 mph.  The unique thing about this fairly common occurrence was that the car tailgating me was a state police car.  As soon as we passed through the lane, I moved to the right lane and was quickly passed by the officer.  We noticed as he passed us that he was on his cell phone.  Remember my comments about the weather.  Sigh.

Hampton and We

You’ve seen lots of family movies showing cute, but spirited dogs.  Beethoven comes to mind as the St. Bernard who lovingly destroyed his family’s home.  And there is the Shaggy Dog where the Father is actually transformed into the dog and has many humorous adventures.  How many of us read Marmaduke or loved Scooby-Do the dynamic Great Danes of cartoon/comic hall of fame. 

New Administration left with little time to curb threat

Route 66 (USA) – When the previous administration took office in a decade ago, the crisis was a modest problem that was easy to ignore. Now it is a ticking time bomb that the new administration cannot avoid.  Time is close to running out, and they know it.

“The time for delay is over; the time for denial is over,” the new executive said on Tuesday after meeting with former officials. “We all believe what the scientists have been telling us for years now that this is a matter of urgency and national security and it has to be dealt with in a serious way.”


“When it comes to arrogance, power, and lack of accountability, journalists are probably the only people on the planet who make lawyers look good.”

                                                                                       Steven Brill

I am not sure that I agree.  Lawyers would be pretty tough to beat, but journalists have a pretty big soapbox. 

Bernie Goldberg spent nearly thirty years working for CBS news.  Bias is an insider’s view of the liberal bias in the traditional media.  This book is not about talk shows, political pundits, or opinion journalists.  Mr. Goldberg provides an inside look at what is supposed to be NEWS and his expose came at a high cost to his career.

The Amityville Horror

Even though I read this book 30 years ago, I still remember lying on my parents living room couch reading The Amityville Horror.  I was probably a junior in high school and was home alone.  The couch was aligned such that it was between their front and back doors.  I could see out the back window as I lay and read that night.  I was really engrossed in the book and the frightful things happening to this family.

Myths, Lies, and Downright Stupidity

John Stossel has a unique and thankless job on ABC.  He is a rare libertarian voice on a very liberal network.  They are not CBS or MSNBC, but they do have The View as a show.  I have enjoyed his pieces on 20/20 and was pleased when he became one of its anchors.  I had the pleasure of attending a talk by Mr. Stossel more than a decade ago.  He is as entertaining in person as he is on TV.