Monday, August 24, 2015

You can make a difference!

During my travels, I’ve found something that can help our country.  
The US has become more and more polarized, and I've come to the conclusion that Fox ‘News’ is insidiously ruining our country.
Join me in my efforts to restore some balance to news coverage!  

How you can help: When you’re in a coffee shop, standing in line at fast food, or eating a hotel breakfast and they have Fox playing on the TV, ask politely if they would change the channel to CNN, ESPN, PBS, or any network channel that you’d prefer. 

The worst they can say is no, but you’re a customer and they should at least register your request.   

If enough people start asking, they’ll notice.  

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fair and Balanced -- An Outdated Concept?

I’ve noticed in my travels recently (Midwest and Eastern US) that there is a bias toward reactionary thinking, especially in rural areas. 

Here are some symptoms:

  • Bumper sticker on old Buick:  “King had a dream, we had a nightmare”  
  • Confederate flag flying on M-43 in Michigan  
  • Fox ‘News’ blasting in a corner of a restaurant in a small town, also in a fast food chain
  • Fox ‘News’ blasting on a flat screen in a Comfort Inn breakfast area

Are these related?

Maybe… the US has gotten more and more polarized in recent years, and it is a trend that has me worried.  It seems to have slowly gotten worse since the ‘fair and balanced’ rule was eliminated. reference

Would you agree that only stations that agree to report the news without bias should be called ‘news stations’?  Or if we cannot require broadcasters to be balanced, could we let the ones that try to do this add a special designation? 

What do you think?  
Does it both you to be subjected to Fox?  
Please comment and note places where have you seen Fox displayed as the only ‘news’ channel.  



Monday, May 25, 2015

Holidays aren't holidays for everyone.

It's Memorial Day.  I remember it used to be a day most people had off, a day of family picnics and remembering veterans.  Grandpa would show us his medals. There was a parade with bands playing patriotic music.

Not so now.  Across the street, workers are pounding, finishing re-roofing a house.   Down the street, a landscaping crew is planting a row of trees for a homeowner.  People are lined up outside a popular restaurant, waiting to be served.

There are sales everywhere and people working retail and in auto dealerships are putting long hours, not having a picnic.

Switched on the news.  Saw a story about a lady leaving millions to her cat, people upset with this and that.  I would have enjoyed a story about a veteran, or someone that helps veterans.   Or a featured  parade.

Sure, we have a service oriented economy.
Did we take time to value those who have served?
Do we appreciate those who don't have the day off and are serving us in other ways?

What do you think?

Friday, January 16, 2015

They say history repeats itself….


"Absolute nonsense!"  The establishment said.  "No reason to do rash things, like explore new routes, the world is most definitely flat, and that's it."  
"No, I believe it's a bowl.   You can see that when you look at the horizon at the beach."  Said the shrill voices.
"I'm thinking we should be believe the scientists."  Said Chris C.  "I'm willing to stake my reputation and life on that." And he sailed away. 


"Absolute nonsense!"  The establishment said.  "No reason to do rash things, like explore alternative energy or conserve, there is no global warming, and that's that."  
"No, it seems colder than ever this year.  Look at all those freaky snowstorms!"   Said the shrill voices.
"I'm thinking we should be believe the scientists."  They said.  "To save our grandchildren, we're willing to________.

You fill in the blank!  It's your world, too. 

10 Questions Every Climate Activists Hears

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Watering Down Dodd-Frank

In reaction to the news that the  US House of Representatives passed a bill that waters down the Dodd-Frank rules, I post the following quote from a former president.  

 “I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. 
A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit.
Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore,
and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. 

We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated governments in the civilized world. 
No longer a government by free opinion, 
no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority,
but a government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men.”

                                                                                 President Woodrow Wilson: 1916

Think about it.  Constraints are good for creativity, right?  
I think some constraints are very good for financial institutions, especially those that have demonstrated that they cannot govern themselves.   

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Keep control of the room

Do you ever find yourself getting pulled off the subject matter you have prepared to present?
I do --  it seemed to be happening a little too frequently.

In the organization I work in, the culture allows directors and above to interrupt the flow and ask questions whenever they have one or they correct details or point out where a another term would be more appropriate.
This can really ruin the flow of the presentation, and often the point is not really relevant or answer is actually contained later in the slides.

So how to handle this?

Start with a clear outline or agenda of what you will be covering.  If they pay attention, this may help.

Stop and credit the person's knowledge -- "Thank you for that comment, I'll note that."  Then continue -"The point of this slide is ___ -- is that clear?"

Pause and then continue -- this is a good technique if the interruption is especially picky.  Silence can also be powerful, accompanied by a direct look.  (Try not to think 'you jerk' while you are doing it)

Slow down
Make sure you are projecting your voice - a clear voice sounds more confident and interesting

Keep to the content -- use "this" or organization's name, not "I" or "Me"
Example:  The point vs, my point  -- this separates the content from you personally

Don't get upset -- the point is to get to an agreement or conclusion, not to win or be perfect.

Sometimes a derailing question can lead to a better outcome, and in that case, you may have to go with the flow.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Working on it?

My husband and I were dining out.  Angela, our waitress brought our dinners while I was in the middle of my salad, so  I pushed it to the side to make room for the sizzling steak plate she was holding.

Once we both were served, Angela asked me, "Would you like me to take that or are you still working on it?"

"No thank you, I'm still enjoying it." I said.


When did eating become work?  How did this phrase creep into our language?

Please comment if you'd like to replace this phrase with "enjoying it"  or  suggest another phrase.