Managing the Conversation for Change


There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.—Niccolo MachiavelliIf national elections in the United States are about one thing, that thing is change. We change from liberal to conservative, from… Continue reading Managing the Conversation for Change

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Shadowy Perspectives in the Time of Politics


The Relative Importance of Past ElectionsThere is a sense now that this could be the most important presidential election ever for our country. You hear it from this side of the aisle all the time. It is an important time for change, so vote because this election will be the one that changes our path.… Continue reading Shadowy Perspectives in the Time of Politics

An Undigested Bit of Beef: Fear, Reality and Scrooge


" '...You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There's more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!' "Scrooge was not much in the habit of cracking jokes, nor did he feel, in his heart, by any means waggish… Continue reading An Undigested Bit of Beef: Fear, Reality and Scrooge

Dimples and Craters: Acheiving MAXIMUM IMPACT


"I shot an arrow into the air,It fell to earth, I knew not where..."From "The Arrow and the Song"by Henry Wadsworth LongfellowI find the term "meteoric rise" to be somewhat oxymoronic. After all, meteors don't rise. Well in space they might, if there is an "up" up there.The term references a brilliant, streaking light in… Continue reading Dimples and Craters: Acheiving MAXIMUM IMPACT

Behind the Curtain


Pay No Attention to the Politician Behind the CurtainThere is a shadow play going on behind the shroud, and like the characters in an old cartoon, the shaded shapes creep in apparent self awareness, while we cheer and jeer the performances of those who cast them. The hidden machinations of the players bear little resemblance… Continue reading Behind the Curtain

Taking a Train to Dachau


Timeless Messages of the PastIt has recently been reported that, according to scientists, time travel into the past is probably not possible. So we are stuck with the tried and true ways of touching history: a book, a movie, a play, and travel.Sometimes, some coins in a slot is all you need. They buy you… Continue reading Taking a Train to Dachau

Get Off the Surge; Go Off On the Contractors


Posturing is not governing. It's like a farmer wearing an expensive Italian suit to plant potatoes - you can only stand there looking good for so long before your customers wonder why you aren't bending down and getting dirty so you can fill their orders.Look, I'm all for Congress resolutely standing against the President's surge… Continue reading Get Off the Surge; Go Off On the Contractors

Mis-state of the Union: President Projector


"For the terrorists, life since 9/11 has never been the same."With those words, President Bush began the portion of his speech Tuesday night that was yet another justification for taking on Iraq, for turning it into a terrorist haven and a killing field. I am not comforted by his assurances, and not because I fear… Continue reading Mis-state of the Union: President Projector

Nothing Fails Like Success


So the Baker-Hamilton Commission decided, among other things, that we must engage in direct talks with Iran and Syria. As loyal readers of this column may remember, we called for the Iraq Study Group to make just such a recommendation (Shaking Hands with Extremists: An Exit Strategy , 22 October, 2006). Since the report's release… Continue reading Nothing Fails Like Success