Editor’s Note: Crafting a Response

mcmorris rodgers The State of the Union is one of America’s most famous speech giving traditions. The House chamber is bright at speech-time, buzzing with energy. It’s filled to capacity with Members of Congress, military brass, Supreme Court Justices, and top luminaries. For every paragraph the president delivers, there is at least some applause, and usually ovation. Continue reading Editor’s Note: Crafting a Response

“Who will write this ignorant man’s state papers?”

lincoln When Abraham Lincoln won the Republican presidential nomination in 1860, one newspaper editor demanded, “Who will write this ignorant man’s state papers?”

As we prepare to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday on February 12, we 21st century Americans find such a question laughable. But in 1860 there was good reason to look on Lincoln as–if not an ignorant man–at least a man who lacked formal education. Continue reading “Who will write this ignorant man’s state papers?”

Confessions Of An Ex-Hoarder

Fondos_archivo I’ve run out of excuses for hanging on to stuff. No, I haven’t achieved Zen non-attachment to material things, but I’m no longer on the road to “Hoarding: Buried Alive.”

It was easiest to get rid of the piles of unread magazines. Those now get the heave-ho every few months. The fear that had made me their custodian, which I’d confused with the theoretical pleasure I’d have when I’d eventually read them, was the chance I’d miss something important. The reality, it turns out, is that if I do overlook some essential, or just juicy, journalism, I’ll hear about it from a friend, or online, and saving a link to it for reading later, even if later never comes, requires no real estate from my non-virtual life. Continue reading Confessions Of An Ex-Hoarder

The Speech We All Know—Or Do We?

getty Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is the most famous speech in American history. It is a speech that virtually all Americans have heard of, and that more than a few of us know by heart. And yet on this, its 150th anniversary, how well do we really know it? Continue reading The Speech We All Know—Or Do We?

Reverse the PowerPoint Death Spiral to Mediocrity! Now!

PowerPoint Imagine a product that is so successful that many people start hating it, to the point of blaming intellectual decline and other social problems on its very ubiquity. Welcome to PowerPoint.

The expression “Death by PowerPoint” generates about (sic) 4,220,000 results via Google, with myriad links to horrible examples of PowerPoint presentations and surveys that rehearse the damage PowerPoint can cause to thinking minds. “PowerPoint Poisoning” gives nearly 1,000,000 Google results, not bad for a contrived phrase. Who knows, maybe PowerPoint Death Spiral to Mediocrity will now surge up the Google ratings charts. Continue reading Reverse the PowerPoint Death Spiral to Mediocrity! Now!