How our leaders responded to events of this week

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Yesterday I told you that our leaders’ responses to events of Baton Rouge; Falcon Heights, Minnesota; and Dallas would tell us a lot about them and the years to come. Today, I rate those responses. President Obama and Hillary Clinton rate well; the other candidates rate poorly. I didn’t have high hopes; this is an … Continued

A moment for leadership

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Like any thinking person, I am heartsick about the events of the last few days. Police are killing black men and people are killing police in the nation I love. I want to believe our nation is better than this. And, perhaps in vain, I seek answers and inspiration from our leaders. While these events tear … Continued

After Alton Sterling shooting, candidates’ vacuous platitudes

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Two Baton Rouge, Louisiana police officers tackled Alton Sterling, a black man, and shot him while pinning him down, all of which was caught on a graphic video. The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating. The candidates’ responses are revealing — Gary Johnson and Bernie Sanders made short, substantive statements, while Hillary Clinton’s longer release is 87% platitudes. Because candidates want … Continued

FBI Director James Comey statement: Hillary Clinton was sloppy

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Yesterday, FBI Director James Comey issued his final statement about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal email server. While he characterized her behavior around classified information as “extremely careless,” he will not recommend prosecution. Democrats and Republicans are spinning his decisions relentlessly today. The overwhelming impression I get from Comey’s statement is of a diligent … Continued

Learning, teaching, and knowing

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When you learn things, you know them. Then, if you try to teach someone else, you realize you don’t know them, and you learn them at a deeper level. I recently tried to teach my teenager to parallel park. I’ve been successfully parallel parking for many decades, of course, but we needed to practice together to … Continued

Views from an 88-mile ride through Massachusetts

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Yesterday I rode my bike from Arlington to Falmouth, Massachusetts, to support my nonprofit. I’m very sore, of course, but I wanted to share some of what I saw. Bicycling is a unique way to experience the countryside — you see, hear, and smell things at a pace that allows you to drink in the … Continued

Never use an exclamation point! (And other rhetorical no-nos)

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If you want to sound like an immature, unprofessional idiot, fill your prose with exclamation points, emojis, superlatives, adverbs, and profanity. Today I’ll explain why people use these rhetorical techniques and how they undermine your meaning. There are no absolute rules about business writing. You are welcome to use any of the elements I describe here. … Continued

Answers to your questions on social media, empathy, and more (Ask Dr. Wobs)

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From southern courtesy to corporate bullshit, you had lots of questions after last week’s webinar for Higher Logic. I’ve answered them here. (Questions edited for length and clarity; some questions are from multiple listeners.) Q. Isn’t this all things that we should have learned from “Elements of Style” by Strunk & White?  How is this different? Strunk … Continued