The Fall Elections: Not Your Normal Election

american chess

Robert Letcher: Sweet-sounding campaign promises and sugar-coated talking points—normal electioneering—will only dig us all deeper into the mire we’re already stuck in.

Do You Have Ideas, or Do Ideas Have You?

neil postman

Charles Hayes: What could be more disturbing than to discover that your life’s goals and ambitions are the result of an ideology about which you remain unaware?

An Old Fart’s Admonition: Please, Don’t Let Yourself Get Disillusioned

the doors

Bob Letcher: NPR reported that many of the first-time voters in 2008, whose votes provided Obama his winning margin, might stay home in the upcoming elections. To them I say, please vote.

Campaigning For and Being President As Two-Way Learning: A Benchmark

Robert Letcher: It’s not that I expected Obama to communicate with me about his policy positions, although I certainly hoped he would – even though I don’t wait around for him to call. Instead, it just seemed to me that his campaign – our campaign – would likely improve his prospects for winning if he were somehow to really communicate with this me and all the other me’s whose support he needs in order to be elected and govern successfully.

Visioning Exercises: Popular, and Often Misleading

lady gaga

Bob Letcher: am reluctant to go in for visioning exercises, because in my own experience such exercises almost always proceed on the basis of (to borrow my favorite of George W Bush’s malapropisms) “misunderestimating” the capacity of the opposition, and particularly those elements of the opposition who always already possess systematically asymmetric advantages in access to power and resources.

Obama’s Nobel Speech Comes Up Short

Nobel-Pull

Pardon me if I can’t join in the fawning praise for President Obama’s Nobel address. “It was, as ever, a bravura performance,” one newspaper said editorially. That it was, but I can’t agree with those, including some people with whom I’m usually in agreement, that it was a “good” speech. It wasn’t good at all. [...]

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