Framing the Dialogue

Archive for July, 2010

A House divided against itself cannot please constituents

In this series I choose a current news article and you decide via a multiple choice format which terms were used and whether others would have been more accurate…….

It’s hard to imagine what could drive public __________ (disgust, love, approval, opinion) of Congress even lower than it has been this year. But a pending public ethics trial of one of the House’s most senior __________ (Democrats, Republicans, Democrats, Democrats) (and possibly a second) and an angry, prolonged__________ (hissy fit, tirade, weiner session, melt-down) on the House floor that has gone around the cable networks and YouTube just may be the answer.

The Transparency Edge

“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end each of us must work for his own improvement”

Marie Curie

There are a myriad of self improvement books and I often find it helpful to review tips and techniques from these knowledgeable authors.  Originally published in 2004 The Transparency Edge recommends nine behaviors to help you become a better leader.   Authors Barbara Pagano and Elizabeth Pagano use examples from their years of experience working with large and small organizations to help their leaders improve. 

The Rembrandt Affair

Super spy Gabriel Allon is back!  When a not so famous painting by an extremely famous artist (venture to guess who?) is stolen and a man is murdered Allon is called upon by a friend to investigate.  The Rembrandt Affair begins like a typical thriller as Allon enters the world of art theft, murder, and powerful people. 

Author Daniel Silva does not let his hero relax very long as Gabriel Allon and his wife are nearly blown up when they travel to Argentina to talk to a man who may have some information they need.  The Rembrandt Affair digs into deep dark secrets of World War II and those who survived heinous crimes and those who perpetrated them.

Herding Cats

Now with over eighteen months in the White House the Obama Regime is having to come to grips with ruling versus running.  Even though he still seems to be in campaign mode, Obama has to be coming to the realization that being the President of the United States is not anything like community organizing.  He can no longer say anything he wants or make conflicting promises.  He is still doing it, but citizens have expectations that are not being met.

Highway Etiquette

Fresh from my experiences with Waiting Room Etiquette at my wife’s auto dealership I had the pleasure of logging around a thousand miles traveling to visit family over the last ten days.  Unfortunately I had to share this time with many other drivers.  I know that polls show that we all think we are superior drivers and we can do anything we want; the rules should only apply to the other guy.  In my case that is true, but the rest of you need to show some etiquette so that superior drivers like me can get to our destinations unimpeded.

Funeral For A Friend

As I get older I seem to have more and more opportunities to attend funerals.  I never liked funerals; no one LIKES funerals and I avoided them as much as possible, however,  I just returned from a funeral for someone that I never knew or even saw.  It was for my daughter’s friend’s grandmother.  The last time I saw this young lady was only about a month ago as she and my daughter celebrated their sixteenth birthdays at our house with around thirty of their friends.  Quite an emotional contrast.

No Less Than Victory

“Many people have their own definite images of these iconic figures…If I dare to put words into the mouths of any of the historical figures in my books, I had better feel comfortable that those words (and thoughts and emotions) are authentic…Before I write a word, I dig as deeply as I can to find those voices”

Jeff Shaara (To The Reader)

In his third novel in the World War II trilogy Jeff Shaara once again does not disappoint and found those voices.  No Less Than Victory focuses on the war in Europe and those figures (some famous and some not) who fought the battles against the enemy and often their own bureaucracies.   Because of the depth of his research, Shaara often exposes readers to details and personalities that otherwise would have been overlooked.

News Briefs Volume XII – Burgh Style

News briefs are a collection of interesting news stories…

This version is a glimpse into Pittsburgh politics dominated for decades by Democrats. 

Brief 1:  The Port Authority of Allegheny County (home of Pittsburgh) is the government agency tasked with running a transit system.  As you might expect the agency poorly run and constantly running in the red.  Facing another budget deficit the Authority has not threatened to streamline, become efficient, or even look to reduce labor costs their typical threat is to cut service.  That seems to make sense except that this threat is not meant as a way to cut costs, but to enrage the local citizens to pressure politicians for more money.  This tactic only works every time and lame duck Governor Ed Rendell has stepped and has threatened to”flex”[steal would be my term] federal highway money to save mass transit unless lawmakers raise taxes.  Governor Rendell never met a tax he didn’t like.

Brain Rules

Exercise, survival, wiring, attention, short-term memory, long-term memory, sleep, stress, sensory integration, vision, gender, and exploration…These are the twelve principle exposed by author John Medina to keep your brain healthy, wealthy, and wise.  These are fully outlined in Medina’s Brain Rules.

In Medina’s chapter on attention he addressed our spans of attention…generally a full ten minutes.  As an introvert who now enjoys giving presentations that often last longer than that I was interested in his theory.  He doesn’t suggest that you cannot talk for more than ten minutes, you may just have to grab their attention every nine minutes and fifty-nine seconds.

ABRACADABRA

A number of years ago illusionist, David Copperfield, made the Statue of Liberty vanish.  Makine a 300+ feet tall statue that weighs 225 tons made his earlier feats pale in comparison.  Unfortunately for Copperfield and his fellow illusionists one of their kind had a popular television show exposing their secrets.  Obviously Copperfield was not able to make Lady Liberty disappear, however, the main stream media has taken illusion to a whole new level.