Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: October 20

Now And Today, October 20, 2020 Promised Land. Promised Time. Outside the gate the fog is gone and the fields are clear. Time for you to run through. Away from rules and strictures, from fences. The air freshens, the light brightens, and the sounds ring just a little bit truer. How great it is. You've gone somewhere or you are somewhere and the pandemic didn't follow in full. Vacation, a … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: October 5

Speed Now And Today, October 5, 2020 The speed is incomprehensible. From nowhere, the virus appears in one, then five, then twenty. In a small space, person to person, contact to contact, the virus spreads in a matter of minutes and shows signs in a matter of hours. One day you see someone you know, the next day you see them behind glass, mask on, isolated and removed. Then they start, the … [Read more...]

TTP: The Pandemic Presidents

POTUS 45 and POTUS 28 They are the Pandemic Presidents, Donald J. Trump and T. Woodrow Wilson. We'll get to that in a minute. First, I'd like you to go back and breathe in the early winter air of late 2016. That's when I got the first whiff, invisible yet detectable. Time tracks forward, in a line from one minute to the next, one day to the next, and on we go. In reality, though, time flows … [Read more...]

A Year Ahead

The fog of the future A pandemic afflicted Americans in 1918. The worst of it was in the fall, especially October. By year's end, the worst was behind them. They looked forward to a new year, the next year, the future in its first frame. We do the same thing in 2020. Ready and eager to leave this year behind us, we anticipate 2021. In a recent speech delivered online, POTUS 45 Donald J. … [Read more...]

TTP: Your Waters Of The Day

Mr. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson Nearly all of POTUS 45's term is past. It is in the past, as in before now. We don't know if the adjective “first” or “one” will precede the word "term." That's not the choice I am asking you to make today. Settle down. Easy does it. I have something else in mind. Clearly, among the fundamental leadership points raised in the experience of POTUS 45 is … [Read more...]

Wave Two: From 2020 To 1918: Tending Haystacks

With thanks to Claude Monet The date of September 28, 1918 has been rolling around in my mind for the past several hours. I think a follow-up to yesterday's entry is in order (that entry is here http://historicalsolutions.com/1918-pandemic/wave-two-from-2020-to-1918-september-28/). That this follow-up is so untypical in my Wave Two series ought to give a you a glimpse into my thinking about its … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 to 1918: September 28

Convergence in the dark Now And Today, September 28, 2020 The last thing you want to do will not stand much of a chance when it's placed alongside the first thing you want to do. The last thing may take control for a while but, over time, the first thing will be back on top. First things are first things for a reason. The dominant sight in your everyday life will not allow itself to be … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 24

Rules and rules-doers Now And Today, September 24, 2020 The rules last until they don't. The rules apply until they can't. The rules matter until life overrides or circumvents them. The next stage after that is a mess with nothing to hold it together—it's just simply next as a state of time. Not all spaces are created equal. The space to be together and learn is not equal to any random … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 22

From July 1918, a few weeks before Dr. Welch arrives, and departs Now And Today, September 22, 2020 The pandemic has pervaded and invaded at the same time. It's in bodies, in places, in customs and habits. It's changed so much of what we typically know to do and how to be. Strangely, the same could be said of the upcoming election. By themselves the pandemic and election are hard enough to … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 21

Now And Today, September 21, 2020 A thread woven into threads. A fiber woven into fibers. A strand woven into strands. So many strands and fibers and threads that you can't tell one from another or this thousand from that thousand. They're a tangled mess. Your time and energy are nearly impossible to allocate into a tangled mess. You know you're expected to do something, yet you have no way … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 18

The doctor with a pen Now And Today, September 18, 2020 The following conversation is occurring all across the United States. Employer to employee. Friend to friend. Family to family. Person to person. Door knock. Or cell ring. Or message ping. Or Zoom call. Can we talk? Sure. My (child, other) is having real problems with (school, college, whatever). Can't concentrate. Isn't … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 17

Near the site of The New Era, Lancaster PA Now And Today, September 17, 2020 It just goes and goes and goes. Our pandemic. Where's the edge? I can't see it. Where's the end? I don't know. Where's the clarity? Good luck finding it. So you continue, the slog continues. You do your day the best you can. More masking, spacing, and limited face-to-facing. If you have anyone in any form of … [Read more...]

If History Rhymes: The Poem Of Warren Biden

Don't freak out. Just give me a minute or two. How it happened no one really knows. Somewhere along the line Mark Twain scooped up the credit as writer and speaker of one of the best quotes ever uttered about the past and history. History may not repeat—Twain is supposed to have said—but it sure does rhyme. Great stuff. And so very true when you think about the passage of time on a scale … [Read more...]

TTP: An Odd Fact Of Three By 2 And Twice

We're neck-deep and head-high in the 2020 presidential campaign. I've got an odd fact from our 45 Presidents Of The United States (POTUS) that might help you navigate the wild waters around us. I'll leave it to you to determine what it means for our current situation. In all of our history of presidential elections, from 1789 down to today, only twice—TWICE—have we had a consecutive string of … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 8

W.E.B. Du Bois Now and Today, September 8, 2020 The numbers of coronavirus are sobering but not awful. They're far more than we'd ever want but slowly going downward, the absolute right direction. Those of us with anyone of a school age—from pre-school to graduate school—can describe the disruptions to daily life and near-term future of a pandemic in Wave Two. That's a feeling and a fact of … [Read more...]

Wave Two–From 2020 To 1918: September 7

Camp Devens Now and Today, September 7, 2020. It's our holiday, Labor Day. In a normal year we take time off from work and school, at least most of us. We say goodbye to Summer and hello to Fall. It feels like the trip to the lake or the beach is the last of the season, even when it's not. And in the usual cycle of every fourth year, the political among us know that the presidential campaign … [Read more...]

TTP Working Paper: 60 Days Out

60 days from now, on November 3, the American presidency will be decided. Or at least that's when most Americans who vote go to the polls, do whatever ritual of choice and choosing in their heads, and cast their ballot. As of this writing, 60 days from now the time of decision begins. Seems like a good time to bring back the yardstick! Yes, I'm referring to the research and analysis I've done … [Read more...]

A Special Session For You: The Tough Month Of October 2020

ANNOUNCEMENT: on Thursday, September 17, 2020 I will be conducting a 2-hour social-distance session on my recent post, “The Tough October Of 2020.” The focus is on providing you, as a leader, with takeaways on how to help yourself and your followers deal with a month that I believe will be the worst of the year. The time is 3pm-5pm, location is The Haverstick, 9191 Haverstick Road, Indianapolis IN … [Read more...]

The Tough October Of 2020

October 2020 will be a bad month. It may be the toughest yet of our pandemic. I say that not because of numbers of cases or counts of the dead. I say that because of our social body, our body politic, and our civic condition. October will be traumatic. Permit me to lay out my reasoning. My approach is different, unconventional. It's not everyone's first way of looking at things. I understand … [Read more...]

Working Paper: Already In Your Home–Wave Two And K-16 Schools

For millions of Americans, Wave Two of the coronavirus pandemic is already here. It's in their homes. I'm referring to education, kindergarten through college-age, and the reality of students Zooming to their craft tables, classrooms, and lecture halls. Wave Two is already here for them and the adults who are part of their lives. Millions and millions of them. Wave Two is now and Zoom is the … [Read more...]

Side-By-Side: Putting The Past Of Wave Two To Work

If you haven't read my post on Wave Two, 2020 and 1918, you'll find it here: http://historicalsolutions.com/1918-pandemic/wave-two-in-2020-a-thought-from-1918/?fbclid=IwAR0kTC3pG_X45WS-T9PS7sXpOZUBJpw0LRrOm7QsK_8mTkLLqk-f1tvJ9NA. I'm emphasizing it because of a point I made near the end of the 4-minute essay. My statement was that Wave Two 2020 will appear in a variety of ways. It was true in … [Read more...]

Wave Two In 2020: A Thought From 1918

We're waiting in 2020 to see if coronavirus has more than one wave. Most major viruses and pandemics in the past have more than one wave, so it's reasonable to expect the same will be true again, will be true for us. But how will Wave Two differ from Wave One? This is where a creative look at the pandemic of 1918-1920 offers part of an answer. I'd like to walk you through my concept of … [Read more...]

2 Minutes With Lincoln

I just had a real moment. It was the experience of an oldest thing in an old thing where I try to do a new thing over and over. Translation: I'm constantly working on improving my communication in writing and speaking. I do that with a conscious awareness of Abraham Lincoln's lifelong experience of self-learning communication. And one of Lincoln's fundamental sources of self-learning was a … [Read more...]

The Hard Truth Of My Own Change–New Sheriff In Town Revised

The Headmaster then... Yes, this was my version of me as the Headmaster of the newly formed Miller In-Home 5th Grade School. That was April 2020 when Covid-19 was new and unknown and we all bonded together in the yes-we-can spirit! Now as then, apologies to Kurt Russell. Fast forward to the Revised version and the updated Hard Truth. It's August 2020 and Miller In-Home 6th Grade School is up … [Read more...]

The Glass Between Words

Two statements. Heard across time. Staring across time. A glass in between. "..repeatedly try to undermine & create public distrust in Dr. Birx." That's the statement from Alyssa Farah, the Director of Strategic Communications for POTUS 45. She's responding to remarks made by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi criticizing Dr. Deborah Birx, a key member of POTUS 45's … [Read more...]

Time In A Bucket And Time In A Bottle

The amount of time we have for our big project, our big switch, our big change. We thought it was a bunch of time between now and then. Enough to fill the big green bucket. A large amount of time. Oodles. Turns out we were wrong. Life got a vote, life made the choice for us, and life said it's not a big bucket but a tiny bottle instead. We have no where near the time we assumed for planning, … [Read more...]

A Lot Into A Little: Your Likely Experience In The First Wave

2 years into 2 months. 12 months into 2 weeks. The fear of being "too unknown to try" becomes the challenge of "too much of a crisis not to try." These are the realities of millions of leaders and followers dealing with change thus far in the pandemic of 2020. For a long time—months or quarters or years—they had argued and debated over changes that were important and controversial. Stalemate, … [Read more...]

Change Brought A Clash

2020 has brought you confusion and dissension from the pandemic, the social unrest, and the ongoing political whirlwinds. The year has also brought to the forefront some of the features of change you might not have expected as we stand here in mid-summer. I wonder if any of these four features—four subtle clashes, if you will—are familiar to you in this moment. First. People want to get back … [Read more...]

Why Bother With 1918?

In 1918, influenza was a pandemic killing millions world-wide. 600,000 Americans died. It was 102 years ago. So what? With a pandemic of our own in 2020, why bother with 1918? Because, freakishly, a startling number of things that are striking us in 2020 happened also in 1918. For that reason it pays to know about 1918's pandemic and how Americans dealt with crisis, tragedy, and … [Read more...]

The Lost Holidays Of 1918 And 2020

Erased, wiped out, altered to a great extent. Our tradition and celebration of two holidays have been deeply affected by the pandemic. It's a shame. These words describe the influenza pandemic of 1918 and the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. Let's take a closer look at the two pairs of days that usually help track our year. The holidays 1918: Halloween and Thanksgiving 2020: Memorial Day … [Read more...]

Today In 1918: Working Paper, Month Three Of The Influenza Pandemic

THE THIRD MONTH – TODAY IN 1918 Week 9 (Days 59-67, Nov 5-13, 1918) In Philadelphia, celebrating war's end As of the first week in November, influenza barely, ever so barely, inches below its awful highest point of death and destruction in October. Then, it—or rather, they—happened. The happenings were public events, the occasion when people pushed beyond the rules and regulations made to … [Read more...]

TTP: A 9 POTUS Checklist for the 2020 Election: Part III, Just The Numbers

The past illuminates the relationship between today and the future. Our present is on a course, maybe a crash-course it sometimes feels, with a specific date in the future. I'm referring to Tuesday, November 3, the date of the 2020 presidential election. I've researched the past of the American presidency using a three-part criteria. Here it is: 1) presidents have won election to a first-term; … [Read more...]

When Our City Started A New Era: The Unforgettable Summer Night Of Benjamin Harrison

It's June 25, 1888. Benjamin Harrison is in his adopted hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. He learns that, shockingly, his political party has nominated him to be their candidate for the Presidency. He'll be the Republican nominee for the White House. But a bigger thing is at work, a larger meaning is in play. The reaction of the people--Democrat and Republican, white and black, old and young, men … [Read more...]

Learning From the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 90

By early December 1918, more than 360,000 Americans have died since early September. That's more than 100,000 every month, every thirty days, as of December 4, 1918, the 90th day since influenza broke out of Fort Devens, Massachusetts. Thankfully, as of now on the 90th day, though the sickness has not completely stopped, it has certainly declined. The lowering scale of death is … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 85

Hero When does a hero know? The thing they've done that made them a hero, well, maybe they know that. Especially after the fact. But when does a hero know that he or she is in trouble and life has taken a turn in a bad direction? Do they know that today is different, that today I have to pay attention to myself and not to others, that today, maybe, the future comes calling. A door is … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 83

An American woman, Thanksgiving Eve Get yourself behind me, influenza. Americans are united in wanting the rest of their lives. We have things to do, issues and decisions and actions that are vital in the here and now. Some we've known about, others are a surprise or a shock, regardless, we want to do them. Do them now and not do influenza anymore. We know how bad it's been, but it's time to … [Read more...]

You Might Need Reminding

The weeks have more in them--the days have more in them--than we can keep up with. Sometimes the rush of events and actions overwhelm us. So, I thought you might need reminding, a gentle reminding, of a post I wrote back in early 2019. Well over a year later and the list I compiled needs to be remembered now more than ever. Of particular interest are the 4th and 6th bullet points. Without further … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 77

San Francisco family, before and after the siren A siren has a sound all its own. It fills, pierces, and overwhelms all at once. The sound enters your ears and holds in place beside your brain. Open your mouth and it will enter there, too. Your nose is next. Hear it? A siren cannot be escaped until the sound starts its steady winding-down. Less. Fading. Stopped. Silent. Now … [Read more...]

Learning From the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 76

Brevig Village, Alaska, modern view of the grave site November 20, 1918. The 76th day of the worst wave of influenza. "Damn this ground is hard." The men with pick-axes, shovels, and explosives must have said it a lot. A dozen times. That's the reaction when you're trying to dig into the frozen earth. Six feet down into ice and dirt. Maybe a hundred times is more like. A slice of ground … [Read more...]

The Graduation Of A Lifetime

My Saturday last is a lesson for all of us. The small moments of May 23rd have a larger meaning in the midst of Covid-19. I've got a feeling about the truth of this. I invite you to stay with me for a few minutes. I began the day with some dread, to be honest. High school graduation. My fear was that the Covid-revised ceremony would encapsulate our overall feeling of a sad end to our oldest … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 70

St. Paul, Minnesota, 1918 Making a hash of things. An old phrase, it means you take something and cut it into smaller bits. A thing once together is now jumbled and unorganized. Influenza has made all of life an unending hash. The question is left—how do you unhash a hash? November 15, 1918, Day 70 after influenza broke loose from Fort Devens in Massachusetts. It's a make-it-hash … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 68

Downtown Tucson They all seem plausible. They all seem understandable. But they all seem straining toward different directions. A shared point, a common bond, is absent and without it, it's hard to know where to go except farther down a single lane of reality, of life. The junction is empty and open and not yet joined. Five paths pull against the center. Day 68, November 14, 1918. One. … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 67

The Mississippi River, Grand Rapids, Minnesota In the far north, along a ribbon called the Mississippi River, eagles perch on the branches of the gray pine trees. At their choosing, they'll launch and fly downward at a long angle, eyes fixed and legs tucked. Gliding and gaining speed, they cruise at top speed parallel to the water. At coordinates measured in quarter-inches, they slowly drop a … [Read more...]

The Bottom Of The River

The River, bottom and top This morning, over coffee, a sort of sun beam broke through the clouds. My wife had just read the Day 59 installment of my "Today In 1918" series. We talked about the story. In listening to her, I had a bit of an epiphany, as I mentioned, a sort of sun beam. The clouds, which if you've been around me you already know, symbolize my usual state of mind. The … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 61

So who do you believe? The media or a group of students? A fair question but when you dig a little, you find it's not completely fair, you find a deeper understanding. Day 61, November 7, 1918. Here is what happens. Newspaper around the US publish in blazing, black, and thick-block print the following headline on the front page: THE WAR IS OVER! Uh. Nope. Turns out it was a false … [Read more...]

Working Paper: The Second Month, Weeks 5-8, Today In 1918

lung samples, 1918 Week 5 (Days 29-36, Oct 6-13, 1918) From bad to worse. There is always a worse, and there is always a worst. The worse you feel in real time, in the present, and the worst is best known in hindsight, looking back. No matter, the worse and worst is the stage with the most extreme point of trouble, problems, and difficulties. The bad comes with the worse. For 1918's … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 59

Later in life, little Charlie Long A river has a surface. That is its highest level. A river also has a bottom. The surface water runs along it, above it, over it. The water at the top and the water at the bottom are almost two different worlds. One man rides the river's surface. In the darkness below two families struggle along the river's bottom. This is a Day 59 like no other. The 59th … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 57

Dr. Roy Flannagan, shown right An eight-year old girl with dark, round eyes thought she heard some good news. Finally. Her parents seem excited. They are very political, active and full of opinions. That's OK in peacetime but here...sometimes politics can kill you. The young girl stares at her parents and brother and sister. She's searching for any sign that today's news will, in fact, prove … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 56

A tough place for a decision Perched on the fence with a strong wind blowing. That's what Day 56 feels like, the second day of November 1918. The fence is the issue of re-opening or not, the perch is the indecision over which to do, to stay closed or to end closures, and the wind is the trend of most American communities to stop quarantines, stop the bans on all sorts of public … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 55

Eagle River, Colorado Next time you're by a river, take a minute to stand and watch. Watch closely. The current has currents. Water is on top of water with different depths, bottoms, and barriers. The grade, the banks, the wind, each affects the shape and leaves a mark. There's a lot going on in every river. So, take a minute. Stand. Watch. Closely. There's a lot going on in the River of … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 54

Costumes, 1918 Violet Harris, 15 years old, copes with influenza in her home town of Seattle, Washington, as best she can. While the illness has devastated much of the city, so far no one in her family has died. The Harris family has tried to do their part, to follow the rules, the orders, the laws that seem to pop up day by day to fight the sickness. For Violet, a few of the changes are even … [Read more...]

Learning From the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 53

The French Lick Hotel, 1918 Blurred, mixed, and ragged. Most of the time you're dealing with lesser evils and shifting boundaries. Sound familiar? Then you're right at home with influenza on Day 53, October 30, 1918. There are places where things are getting worse. The leading newspaper in Idaho informs readers that "stricter rules may be needed to curb influenza." Nearby, the health … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 50

A World War event, Grant Park, Chicago No river runs straight all of the time. The question is the bend—how big, how sharp, how different once the turn is made. You only know by going round. On top of Carter's Mountain in North Carolina, you hear the sound of a hammer hitting a nail. A man makes a coffin. A stack of lumber is nearby, ready material for the second one to be made. Wha-ping. … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 49

Sharp Street Church, near the burial site Influenza, the heartbreak of today. One day before his first wedding anniversary, 20-year old Henry Kulp is buried in Souderton, Pennsylvania. The president of the University of North Carolina, Edward Kidder Graham, dies. It was his dream job as a 1894 grad of the school and its first journalism professor. Two Catholic priests die in Baltimore, … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 48

You get stuck. The things you see around you; the tilt and trend down to now and your memory of the past weeks; the things you're looking to see in the day, days, and week after today; those fixed events already set or expected several weeks or a few months ahead. You're somewhere between all of these states of time, states of being, and states of mind. With so much floating and swirling, you feel … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 47

In Ohio, a temporary hospital. The trends are bad, no matter what they tell you, but that's not the whole story. More to tell, more to know. Day 47, October 24, 1918. Today, people are jumping in, taking action, making a difference in the circles around them. Water on the rock—though pressures from influenza do wear us down, at the same time they reveal beauty, worth, and essence. As tidal … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 46

Camp Custer, October 1918 The future is like the sun. Stare at it and your eyes go bad. Now well into the sixth week, Day 46, and Americans are looking forward, sizing up the shapes and objects ahead. They hope to see an edge sharpen to an end and a line drawn for a beginning. But it's hard to really see much. The only thing visible is a blinding light. And looking longer doesn't help. In … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 45

A truckload of coffins for influenza fatalities Through the gray cloud of influenza a flash of light is seen on October 22, 1918, Day 45 of the pandemic. Dr. Edward Rosenow is 43 years old and has for some time been regarded as brilliant in his field of medical research, a producer of "monumental work" as one person put it. A few weeks before influenza's outbreak at Fort Devens, … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 44

Sanitation workers, Chicago Climb the ladder, from bottom to top. Influenza waits at every rung. From one family. A Polish family lives in Winona, Minnesota. A doctor visits their home and is shocked at the sight—both parents and all ten of their children suffer from influenza today. The doctor looks around the house and sees next to nothing of anything. Little food, few household goods, … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 43

Joseph Fuccy belonged to this team All sorts of horse races were up in the air on the forty-third day since hell bolted free at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. There was the natural kind. The horses expected to run at Pimlico Race Track near Baltimore, Maryland were still in their stalls. Race officials in Maryland and at Pimlico were going back-and-forth about holding races. For now, they had … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 42

Dr. White's workplace When can it become just too much? One of the too-much times can be when a bad thing you didn't expect joins the bad thing you're already coping with. And the more sudden, the more jolting the second bad thing is...well, it can be very hard to absorb. That's the start of Day 42 in the home called Place. He is Homer. She is Bertha. They're the Places, Mr and Mrs … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 41

Navy Building, Washington DC In their locations, they were a half-mile apart at most. In their hierarchies of work, they were a universe apart at least. Nonetheless, on the 41st day since influenza began to rip apart Fort Devens, Massachusetts, they were joined in a life of pandemic whether they knew it or not. October 18, 1918. The Native American typist named Lutiant Van Wert or Luciant … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 40

Through The Looking Glass A hand held a pen. Ink on the tip. A few dashing strokes crossed out a word here, inserted a word there. The writer stared at the sheet, then stopped for the day. Almost ready as a book, almost finished as a story, almost born as a warning that, sadly, will never need to die. "I'll believe in you, if you'll believe in me. Is that a bargain?" In 1871 so said the … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 39

Mail carrier In New York City, on the 39th day since the outbreak at Fort Devens, Massachusetts, begins October 16, 1918. A mail carrier walks down the street with a mask on his face. An office worker sits at her desk, typing a letter and wearing a mask on her face. Across the city, if the reports are accurate, more than 400 people die today of influenza or a related illness. And the hard … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 38

On Day 38, October 15, 1918, the heat turns up. Inside the pot, steam rises, water boils, and something turns over and over. At the town of Verdun on the banks of the Meuse River, a group of boys-boiled-men follows Captain Harry Truman back into combat. They've been away from the fighting Germans for a bit. Their enemy for some days was the sickness, influenza, that is killing as many as the … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 36

Fatalaties per 100,000 due to influenza, Minneapolis and St. Paul, to October 13, 1918 Far north. Far south. A young couple in love and a couple of perspectives on the day. Let's take them in turn and a few others in between. Day 36, October 13, 1918. Minneapolis and St. Paul are side-by-side in Minnesota. Together, today, the two cities reel from the misery of influenza. It's the … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 35

Young influenza patients in an Oklahoma City Hospital, 1918 Is it normal? Hell no. Is it abnormal? Way beyond that. Well, then, what is it? I don't really know other than to say it's massive. Truer words were never spoken, written, thought, or felt. Day 35, October 12, 1918. You can't really know. That's the reality in Philadelphia when 837 people die today. Or when the city of … [Read more...]

Working Paper: Today In 1918, First Month

Influenza Epidemic 1918 - Policemen in Seattle, Washington, wearing masks made by the Seattle Chapter of the Red Cross, during the influenza epidemic. (National Archives) This is your summary of the first 28 days of my Today In 1918 series. I offer it as a higher-level look with closing thoughts on ramifications for you. Estimated reading time: 20-40 minutes. Contact me if you wish to discuss … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 33

"Entire Country In Grip Of Flu and Pneumonia." That's the headline in a newspaper in an American city on Day 33. Dead accurate, you might say. Everywhere you look things are upside down on October 10, 1918. Illness, suffering, decline, recovery, death, and sometimes none of these. Fears, doubts. And you're not supposed to meet in groups, not supposed to shop, not supposed to spit, not supposed … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 32

Madam CJ Walker 32 days. It's generally thought that it takes 32 days to form a habit. From pronouncement to reality, 32 days have to tick by before you can say a New Year's Resolution is now part of your daily living. It took something else 32 days to make a change. 32 days since influenza slipped into Fort Devens, Massachusetts and the daily life of the American nation is numbingly … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 31

High above the prairie, storm clouds fly in the night. Blown by air unusually warm for the second week of October, dark forms race through the sky. Rain is in the black air. It is a witching hour, well before the tilt and turn of the earth brings another dawn. On the prairie is a camp. Hundreds of buildings are silent and dark. Barns, barracks, quarters, and storehouses, not a person stirs … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 29

Hoarding, 1918-style Crisis comes and goes at different times for different people. You have a sense that often tells you when it has arrived or departed. You can know it. The arrival of crisis is known today in Cincinnati, Ohio. It's Day 29, October 6, 1918, and the city shuts down. Just about everything closes until someone in a position of authority decides otherwise. People across … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 28

Seattle Mayor Ole Hanson, 1918 Change is a constant but not all constants change overnight. Only some surge, or plunge, to that level. Today, on Day 28, overnight is now and lasts for a full twenty-four hours on October 5, 1918. Overnight, a ban on all indoor public gatherings begins in Seattle, Washington. Mayor Ole Hanson declares that the only public gatherings allowed will be those … [Read more...]

The Shadow Of Late Winter

On January 24 I wrote my first post to a closed group of Alumni about Covid-19 and its likely importance for your personal leadership. On March 5 I found lessons from 1918 and shared them in the post below (which I've reproduced here). It was for my followers on LinkedIn. It seems to me that it hit and still hits the mark. So, I'll ask you now, standing a few days ahead of Easter and spring all … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 27

The crater of October 4 Life never stops, not in its variety or surprises or challenges. Today, Day 27, October 4, 1918, the earth shudders around the town of Morgan, New Jersey. Martial law is declared. People fear for their lives and safety. Survival is the question, and no one knows for certain. Life gets a vote. One of the largest non-nuclear explosions in American history rips … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 26

Telegraph machine, a better Twitter This guy has the perfect name for Day 26, that's for sure. Dr. Benjamin Franklin Royer sits in his office in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The sign on his desk reads: "Pennsylvania State Health Commissioner." During a fast-flowing 26th Day of influenza, Dr. Royer directs his assistant to type a message. In a few minutes the message will be converted into a … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 25

An Ohio newspaper, October 2, 1918 October 2, 1918, the 25th day of influenza after its appearance at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. There is a feeling that the worst is here and that the worst is headed somewhere. Deaths and cases roll into new areas across the nation—in Camp Gordon, Atlanta, Georgia; Red Cloud, Nebraska; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and the Naval Training Station at the … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 24

American flag, 1918 500 young men raise their hands and look up into the sky. Their focus is a flagpole standing in the center of the young men. Atop the pole is the 48-star American flag. An Army officer and a Union College official read aloud, in full speaking voice, the words from of a sheet of paper. At this ceremony in Schenectady, New York, the incoming class of Students' Army Training … [Read more...]

Learning From the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 23

Hospital at Fort Benjamin Harrison, outside Indianapolis, Indiana, 1918 A young nurse leans over a sick soldier, wipes his forehead, and gives him a drink of water. She smiles and speaks softly. He opens his eyes, the color of his face is pale but not blue. Not yet, thank heaven. She moves away and leans over the next soldier on a cot, and the next, and the next. Twenty-five in all. This is Day … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 22

The first influenza case arrives at Camp Custer, Battle Creek, Michigan on Day 22 Do you know that thing you're doing? That sacrifice and extra effort? Well, you better get yourself ready to do more. Today, Day 22, September 29, 1918, doing more than expected is how life goes. At Fort Devens, Massachusetts the medical facility was meant for 1200 patients. No longer—6000 sick men were there. … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 21

Take a quick breath to take stock. Three weeks ago. Day 1, influenza begins at Fort Devens, Massachusetts. It's back after an outbreak some three months before, in the spring, a seasonal thing. Now, on Day 21, Saturday, September 28, 1918... ...a helluva day. At 1am this morning Major Ernest Gibson and his military comrades were ordered into line and told to start marching from their … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 20

Looking north, across the Ohio River, from Newport, Kentucky, early 20th century He's "one of the most robust men in Newport, Kentucky," his hometown on the Ohio. That's the general view of Joseph Schulkin. Yesterday, he got influenza. Today, he's dead. The water flowing by when he became ill is now, at his death, a few miles closer to joining the Mississippi at Cairo, Illinois. The river rolls … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 19

Artillery fire, Meuse-Argonne Offensive At 5:30 in the morning, September 26, it begins. And this is what it's supposed to be all about. This is what we're focused on. The work, the effort, the strain, the sacrifice. Day 1 in that world, while it's Day 19 everywhere else. Boom. Orange fire and a dark object screams across the sky. Seconds later, almost four miles away, an … [Read more...]

April Trials

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Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 18

A Jackie Band near Winnekta, Illinois, 1918 News large and important. Printed in newspapers, transcribed on telegrams, written in letters. Read by thousands, read by dozens, read by one. Word is spreading about life in a world that is—like it or not, choose it or not, know it or not—abruptly new. Day 18, September 25, 1918. For the thousands... A leading newspaper in Charlotte, North … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 17

September 24, 1918 Camp Dix, New Jersey, the shadows of a sunny day Warm and sunny, one of those great fall days. You're in line. One by one, they line up. You're stepping forward, a few feet at a time. You normally train for war but today, you're doing something else. Into the wooden shed you go. They hand you a cup of warm, salted water. They bark at you: go outside, tilt your head back, … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 16

An American worker, 1918 A guy named Wiley Eastwood is a good stand-in for hundreds of thousands of Americans today, Day 16, September 23, 1918. A hard-worker, Eastwood goes to his job—earns his pay, like always—but in the late morning starts feeling weak, fevered, coughing. Lunchtime comes and goes and he's worse. Finally, he just can't keep going. It's time to talk with the boss. Eastwood … [Read more...]

Learning From the 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 15

Dr. William Welch, 1918 You turn the corner and there it is. A sudden shock. The look and feel of an unknown that is total, that is capable of swallowing up everything you are and everything you're ready to do. Beyond your experience, your expectations. Beyond all there is in you. You turn the corner and there it is. On this fifteenth day, September 22, 1918, a young mother and her two young … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 14

Crouse-Irving Hospital in Syracuse, New York Two weeks on, September 21, 1918, and the remedies started flowing in. Some folks say don't let your feet get wet and watch out for signs of blocked bowels. Others assert that chewing food well and drinking lots of water is the answer. Eating onions, drinking sour milk, the list grows of what people hope will be the cure, the trick, that keeps them … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 13

Lt. Hugh Coughlin of Escanaba, Michigan It was a day of youth. 21-year old Hugh Coughlin is with his parents at their home in Escanaba, Michigan. His mother touches his forehead. He's hot with fever. His father hears him cough. A deep and rattling thickness. Mom and Dad together exchange a worried look at seeing their son. He suffers in pain. Of course, they're thrilled to have him home; the … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 12

Dr. John Hurty The phone rings at an office in the state capital of Indiana. The ringing is heard at the wooden desk of Indiana's Secretary of the State Board of Health. Dr. John Hurty. Holding up the heavy black phone to his ear with one hand, Hurty hears US Surgeon General Rupert Blue on the other end of the line. Hurty listens for a few moments, asks a question or two, and then thanks Blue … [Read more...]

The Puzzle Of 1968

A lab technician in 1968 helping with response to influenza. I don't want to be misinterpreted here. But the more I write, the thinner the ice beneath me. A crack, I just heard a crack. Heck with it. I'm going forward, slowly. I'll have to depend on your judgment and willingness to offer me the benefit of the doubt. Yes, I fully support the current understanding of Covid-19 and … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 11

A Cincinnati barbershop, fall 1918 Just the "Grippe." Only the grippe. Don't freak out over the standard seasonal cough, fever, and aches that everyone calls "the grippe." Newspaper editors and writers are telling lots of readers today that the illness everyone's talking about is simply another outbreak of seasonal flu. They say it in Cincinnati today when one of the city's newspapers … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 10

From Boston, 1918 Among the vast reality of Day 10 come these two moments on the same day from nearly the same place in Massachusetts. In Cambridge, Massachusetts a telegraph operator tapped out a message. Seconds later, the transmission sped like a flash to South Dakota where another telegraph operator recorded the signals and wrote a note. Within an hour or so, Mrs. Arthur Neilson of Hot … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 9

John Dill Robertson He's known as "Dill Pickle" by some in his department, by some of his followers. He is Dr. John Dill Robertson, public health director for the city of Chicago, Illinois. On this day, Day 9 of the Influenza Pandemic (September 16, 1918), Dr. Robertson announces to the people of Chicago that influenza is now a reportable disease. Big deal? Honestly, yes, it is for the folks in … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 8

Blinding speed. Bewildering speed. You just can't even hope to understand the cosmic swiftness of this speed. Welcome to reality on the eighth day of influenza, September 15, 1918. Outbreaks are occurring across the world and throughout the US. Nearly all are related to war and war-making. Camp Lee in Virginia, Camp Dix in New Jersey, Camp Dodge in Iowa, and the port of Los Angeles where the … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 7

The past has a voice. https://youtu.be/7k20VFZeLKY Having received the list of influenza symptoms from the US Surgeon General, more newspaper editors approve the publishing of articles about the illness. The Philadephia Evening Bulletin reports: "Spanish Influenza Here" while smaller-town publications like the Daily Star in Marion, Ohio describe how illness has appeared in various East … [Read more...]

A New Sheriff In Town–the lunchroom edition

OK, not me. But as headmaster of the newly opened Miller In-Home Girls School (MIHGS) that has opened at our house since the onset of Covid-19, this photo captures my persona, title, and overall self-image, to say nothing of ego. Two students, daughters age 18 and 10. Want to see the new world they're living in? Let's go into the MIHGS lunchroom, formerly known as our kitchen and nonstop … [Read more...]

Learning From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic: Day 6

On this sixth day a team of public health specialists works at Fort Devens in Massachusetts. They study conditions at Devens following the prior day's report of an influenza outbreak. But before they had arrived, a group of US soldiers had left Devens, bound for Fort Upton on Long Island, New York. Carrying the sickness unknowingly with them, the soldiers prepare at Long Island to leave for France … [Read more...]

Learning From the 1918 Pandemic: Day 5

1918 Influenza Pandemic Day 5 (first entry) The first case of influenza appears at Fort Devens in Massachusetts five days ago, regarded (for our purposes on this blog) as Day 1. Similar outbreaks are occurring across the Atlantic in Europe. The Fort Devens case is the first US case inland from naval facilities in Boston. A team of experts plans to travel to Devens to examine conditions. The … [Read more...]

1918: First Entry Tomorrow

Tomorrow, St. Patrick's Day, Tuesday, March 17, 2020 I will begin my new exploration of the 1918 pandemic and its application for Covid 19 in 2020. … [Read more...]

I Now Equal Six

I now equal six. A month or so ago it was five. I'm adding one to make six. This is the number of events that have affected me deeply over my lifetime. Like me, you have a number. For me, three of them are personal and individual. A tornado in the mid-1970s, a baptism in the mid-1990s, and a set of moments made by my wife and two daughters over the past couple of decades. … [Read more...]

One Young Woman–Covid 19, 1918, And Your Leadership

Thank you for seeking out more information from the experience of an unknown leader, 32-year old Edna Fletcher. Pictured above, she was a significant healthcare leader at Methodist Hospital (now Indiana University Health Methodist) in Indianapolis, Indiana. Below are brief points from her experience. I believe they can help you in your leadership right now and the days ahead. (Contact me at … [Read more...]

TTP: A 9 POTUS Checklist for the 2020 Presidential Election, Part II

So, from Part I of my series, you now know that 9 POTUSes won and completed a first presidential term, won their party's nomination for re-election, but lost in the election for a second term in the White House. Also, you have the six-item checklist to use in gauging whether or not we'll add the 10th POTUS to the group in November 2020. To refresh your recall of Part I, CLICK HERE. For you … [Read more...]

TTP: FuturePast

I happen to believe that the South Carolina Republican primary in early 2016 will one day be seen as the point at which Donald Trump's nomination reached a critical mass. After it, Trump's nomination became increasingly probable. The ability to turn in a different direction narrowed with each passing week. Here's why. South Carolina in early 2016 was a place with public opinion apparently … [Read more...]

TTP: A 9 POTUS Checklist for the 2020 Presidential Election, Part I

I'd like to offer you a free gift before the 2020 presidential election hits you in full force. No, not steak knives or diet food or some type of weird enhancement. I'm referring to a tool of sorts. You're going to need it because the media coverage between now and November will be unlike anything you've experienced before. You'll be reaching for ear plugs, sleep masks, and anything else that will … [Read more...]

Up In The Sky

Our youngest daughter and I waited in our car for her school to open. Typical start, typical day. Then we looked out and saw this. Miles above us, a passenger jet carried folks to their next destination as Ava and I sat in our car. But it's the contrail that captivated me. A thought dawned and my photo, shot through a smudgy windshield, resulted. Here is my thought: the trailing … [Read more...]

TTP: Measuring From The Past–Four Stories And The Trump Presidency

With history, you gain perspective. You gain a sense of what's truly near you, what's far away, and how one thing flows from another. That's why, in my talk entitled "Measuring From The American Past—Four Stories And The Trump Presidency", I share a set of brief insights from American history to help us know how to fit the Presidency of Donald Trump into 2020 and beyond. These stories speak to … [Read more...]

Abraham Lincoln, Ariana Grande, and the Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

Ariana and Abraham. Grande and Lincoln. A warm June night in Manchester, England, UK. A cold November day in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, USA. Three hours in 2017 and three minutes in 1863. A universe apart. Across such a span, is there anything they can say to one another? I've thought about this question for more than a year. I've searched the span and I think the answer is yes. They can speak … [Read more...]

The List That Can Save Your Sanity

The televised impeachment hearings of POTUS 45 are officially open. You'll be inundated with news, quasi-news, fake news, yuk news, and more. Much more. By all means, pay attention. But you don't need me to say that. My best role, my best advice, is to provide you with the list below and remind you of what it means. Consider, a century ago, in the twelve months and fifty-two weeks of 1919: … [Read more...]

Filling Shoes

A storm of sorts ripped through my town a couple of weeks ago. Not your typical storm, it was calm and quiet. It was off the radar, too, with no TV meteorologists waving their arms in front of moving colors. But I still call it a storm and I think you should know it struck. You see, this storm was death and in a 24-hour span death stole some of the future of my town. I'd wager that never in my … [Read more...]

Have We Started Yet?

The beginning, the start. As a leader, do you know when it is? Often you do. A project, a budgetary cycle, a strategic initiative, a team's creation, a grand opening, all of them have a specific point in time when they get underway. You're further encouraged to be confident in starting and beginning by so many things around you. A work week, a school year, a season, a movie, a meal, an athletic … [Read more...]

Beneath The Surface

Something happened the other day and it bothered me. I'd like to share it with you to see what you think. It's only a couple of minutes' reading. Here we go. On Twitter I follow a person who sends out a daily tweet on "this date in the American Revolution." Whatever today is, the guy tweets about some event that happened on that same day back in the American Revolutionary War, 1775-1783. It … [Read more...]

Four Decisions, Two Hours, and One Day

Benedict Arnold Saratoga Battlefield, Saratoga, New York Benedict Arnold. If you know the name you know why. He betrayed the American cause in the Revolutionary War. Switched his loyalty to the British in exchange for money and status. In America, his name is synonymous with treason, back-stabbing, the worst kind of sell-out. I still want you to know something different about him as a … [Read more...]

The Dot Perspective

When you're busy, one of the first things that gets ignored is perspective. Chucked in the bin, out with the trash. You don't have time for it. In the minutes taken to find perspective, something else has gone wrong, something else has gone bad. Perspective is a luxury afforded to those rich with time. That's not you. Stop. Take the time. Make the time. Perspective will reward you. It pays for … [Read more...]

The Reason For Tears

Why was I nearly crying? After a lot of soul-searching, I think I know. But let me set the stage for you. In the end, you may want to give it a try for yourself. Our family decided that this year's Independence Day celebration would be a day early, on July 3rd. As we often do, we planned to attend an outdoor concert, held at Conner Prairie, a living history site north of Indianapolis. The 1812 … [Read more...]

TTP: Measuring Shadows

The magic number is 9. That's how many US Presidents have won a first-term in the White House, secured their party's nomination for a second-term, but failed to win re-election. To refresh your memory, here are the 9, starting with the most recent and moving backward: George HW Bush; Jimmy Carter; Herbert Hoover; William Taft; Benjamin Harrison; Grover Cleveland; Martin Van Buren; John Quincy … [Read more...]

Page 11

Today's Wall Street Journal, the first section, the 11th page. There were two articles. I read them both and in an instant I thought of 1914. Here's why. The current reporting pertained to the tensions between the United States and Iran. Officials from Iran and 118 other nations are meeting in Russia. That's where Iranian representatives are making their case to the crowd that they should build … [Read more...]

The Facial Tic

Think of one of your defining experiences. It stays with you year after year, a visible thumbprint on who you are as a leader. Chances are good that whenever you face Major Change your mind turns to that defining experience. It molds your response. Let me introduce you to the man on the horse in the photo. George Marshall. He's riding at the front of President Franklin Roosevelt's inaugural … [Read more...]

Black Saturday

Black Saturday is the most human day of Christian Holy Week. If you're a Christian or spiritually curious, you'll want to read on. If not, you're still welcome to continue reading but I'd understand if you choose to move on with your day at this point. I just wanted to offer a thought or two about these 24 hours. Friday is done. The event is over. We believed in the man, up to various points … [Read more...]

With The Smoke And Ash: A Few Thoughts On The Burning Of Notre Dame

>> The venerable church stood as the Black Death raged, the anti-religious terror of the French Revolution exploded, the crowds of the Paris Commune rioted, and two world wars rained violence. But it is the incompetence and carelessness of poor renovation that did the damage. >>It's been a tough year for France. A vital organ has been bruised. >>Watching people crying at … [Read more...]

TTP: The Moment Never Dies

One moment, one event, can live a long, long time. And if it happens on a public stage or in the public eye, the staying power can take on even greater magnitude. Once more, we have a shared point between POTUS 7 and POTUS 45. Well before any action they took in the White House, this moment had, in the public's mind or at least the collective minds of their followers, made Andrew Jackson and … [Read more...]

Grassroots To Symbol To Monument

In late 1961, Martin Luther King Jr sat down for an interview in England. He told his questioner that he had become a symbol. King knew he symbolized the movement he was leading. He was now the public face of nonviolent protest on behalf of equal rights for African-Americans. I found this story for part of a Creative Conversation (my leadership coaching service) that I'm doing with a client. … [Read more...]

Beyond The Noise And Beneath The Fog

By the time you read this, President Donald Trump's summit meeting with Kim Jong-Un in Vietnam will be a fading memory. Two days from now it will be buried in dust and dirt. In a month, the event will be fossilizing under forty other layers of dead news cycles. Before we reach that point, I'd like to invoke William Shakespeare. You see, it was Shakespeare who, at least for me, wrote … [Read more...]

Answer On A Cold Walk

Yesterday, I had lunch with eight interesting people. The facilitator, whom I'll name below, asked a question toward the end of our meal. Most of the people answered. I did not. One thing I've learned over the years is that I'm better off not saying anything if I don't have anything clear or real to say. Then,this morning on a hiking trail through the woods, it hit me. Clarity. Realness. My … [Read more...]

Of Two Cents and Bush One

Here's my two cents, as they used to say, on the memory of George H.W. Bush, or "Bush One." Before I begin my brief story, let me say that the elder Bush always struck me as a good and decent man. He was a public servant of immense experience and exposure. He will be missed and should be remembered. Now, come with me and get a beer, a "Pound" as it was called in Nick's English Hut in … [Read more...]

A Weird, Early Ritual

A weird ritual starts my day. A few minutes after 5am I pour a cup of coffee and say a prayer of thanks for one more day. Coffee mug in hand, I head out the side door of our garage. I walk a short distance around the side of the house and into the driveway. This is the end of the preliminary part of the ritual. In the dark, I stoop down at the edge of the driveway, like a catcher in … [Read more...]

A YARDSTICK FOR NUMBER TEN: LESSONS FROM NINE ONE- TERM US PRESIDENTS

Nine Presidents. In all of the American past, nine US Presidents have attempted to win re- election and lost after having secured their party's nomination. Nine people in the White House who sought a second term but failed. Nine. Are you and I living in the midst of Number Ten? Let's use history in a creative way to find the answer. I invite you to join me in an energetic and … [Read more...]

From 1833-1834 To 2019: Jackson, Trump, And Quasi-Impeachment.

Because of chaos around the White House, 2019 is going to be a difficult year. The political climate in the US will be awful, worse than 2018. If you're a leader—if you have followers—that climate will affect them. Let me help you help them. I invite you to participate in my upcoming Talkshop, "From The 1833-1834 To 2019: Jackson, Trump, And Quasi-Impeachment." I'll be guiding you through the true … [Read more...]

The Number 133

133. Keep that number in mind the next time someone shrieks that "we're on the verge of another Civil War!!" I thought of this today as I read an interesting column in the Wall Street Journal. It was about the Democrats in the House of Representatives and the potential selection of Nancy Pelosi as the next Speaker. The column, written by Karl Rove, highlighted all the Democratic representatives … [Read more...]

TTP: The Role of Ratings

There is a particular aspect of Donald Trump's approach to the presidency that may have been overlooked. Television ratings. Before 2016, Trump was steeped in the world of television ratings nearly as much as he was in real estate and commercial development. Television ratings form a key part of his way of separating success from failure, of what to do from what not to … [Read more...]

The Remarkable Speech of William Lough Jr.

(The posting below is for the use of my participants in the Cowles-Fogg book club. However, if you're a random visitor to my website, I certainly invite you to read this post. For the book club members, though, I'd ask you to consider whether or not Lough's comments would have been persuasive if you'd been sitting in the audience back in 1907. Would you have gone out the next day and changed your … [Read more...]

Of Z And Thee

A setback slammed into you on a Friday. It was unexpected. It was on a large scale. It was quickly told to other people. By Monday, if not sooner, you're trying to recover. We've just summarized the recent past of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. Over the course of a day, his company lost $123 billion, more than the gross domestic product of Kuwait and the largest single business loss ever. We … [Read more...]

The Framed Photograph

                        The framed photo of General George S. Patton's grave marker had these words scribbled across a corner: "Dear Donald, let's remember our common history." And so, on July 25, 2018, one President handed a gift to another President. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker gave the present to American President Donald Trump. The written remarks were from … [Read more...]

The Gap Made By A Pen

Doing the right thing can mean doing the fair thing. I want to do the right and fair thing in pointing to today's column by conservative commentator, George Will. Earlier in 2018, I wrote a post criticizing Will. He had just penned an article about the death of Billy Graham, the famous Christian evangelist. The article was scathing. I expressed disagreement with the writing and disapppointment … [Read more...]

TTP: Stronger Stuff In The Glasses

"The Trump Rule" was a creation of mine back in December 2016. Over a tasty lunchtime fare of chicken and salad, I shared with workshop participants three stories from the American past to help them understand the emerging Trump Presidency. After each story and as the cookie tray was passed around the table, I offered a takeaway. The Trump Rule was one of my takeaways. I told folks that the … [Read more...]

A Good Three

All in all, a pretty good few days for me. That's how I judge it when I can honestly tell you that since the weekend, three clear insights have settled into my life. Three good things. One was from a book review written by Daniel Richter, published in the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal. Richter reviewed two books written about war in seventeen century colonial America. Those books … [Read more...]

TTP: An Open Letter To The Four Horsemen Of The Trumpocalypse

      I'm a big fan of them. For today I'll dub John Podhoretz, Abe Greenwald, Noah Rothman, and Sohrab Ahmari as the Four Horsemen of the Trumpocalypse. They're the commentators of Commentary, a magazine devoted to, as Podhoretz dutifully recounts in every podcast, "intellectual analysis, political probity, and cultural criticism from a conservative perspective." They are also fair-minded … [Read more...]

The Virtue Of The Desk Drawer

Flat-out angry and boiling mad. That was Abraham Lincoln as he sat behind his desk. He wielded the pen in his hand like a knife, writing words and sentences that sliced into the person meant to receive this harshly-drawn letter. It was mid-July, 1863. Lincoln was furious at US General George Meade. Lincoln believed Meade had allowed the enemy of the United States, the rebel army led by … [Read more...]

Words Under The Ocean

They were deep under water for less than a minute. 8000 words, broken down into roughly 32 pages. Into a cable like the one shown above. Tap. Tap-tap-tap. Tap-tap.... Today, February 22, 1946, an American diplomat in Moscow, George Kennan, finished this extraordinary document. Having written it over the course of several days, Kennan used the document to report his views on the Soviet Union … [Read more...]

The River: The First Weekend In February

Seven days ago I waited for a busy weekend, the first weekend in February. On Friday we hosted a neighboring family for dinner at our house. On Sunday we hosted a group of friends for a Super Bowl party. Seven days later and all of it is in the past. Now, in writing of it to you, I'm turning last weekend into a piece of history. I'm remembering it intentionally. Both events were wonderfully … [Read more...]

The Union Of The Tablecloth

"The tablecloth between them has been cut." This was the comment by business analyst Roger Entner, quoted in an article ran in today's edition of the Wall Street Journal. Entner's remark pertained to the previously warm and longstanding relationship between two top CEOs in the wireless phone industry. Like a quote from Warren Buffett the day prior, this statement included an image of great … [Read more...]

Tapeworms And Leadership

Yep, gross as it is, there's a connection. Let's turn to Warren Buffett and an announcement he made this morning: "The booming costs of healthcare act as a hungry tapeworm on the American economy." This vivid statement was part of Buffett's unveiling of a three-partner effort (Chase, Berkshire Hathaway, and Amazon) to respond to healthcare costs. The connection I want to make between the … [Read more...]

TTP: Thoughts Over Wine Tonight–The 1832 Election And The 2020 Election

Tonight I have the blessed privilege to enjoy a glass of wine with some very good folks. I'll be talking briefly with the members of the Westfield (IN) GOP Club at Wolfies in Westfield. My topic is as savory as the pinot noir--the lessons of 1832 for 2020. You see, I've maintained that Andrew Jackson was the first quasi-Donald Trump. So, it's natural for me to suggest that we can gain a lot of … [Read more...]

TTP: Taking A Pick-Axe To Nine American Presidents

A vein of resources lies buried in the past. With my pick-axe in hand, I mined for answers to a particular question: What does the past say about POTUS 45, Donald J. Trump, winning re-election as president in 2020? I explored the stories of nine American presidents. Each of them sought re-election to a second consecutive term in the White House. Each won their party's nomination but lost on … [Read more...]

TTP: Reaching Across Time: Four Thoughts on Steve Bannon and Duff Green

Permit me a few additional remarks on the commonalities between Donald Trump (the second Jackson) and Steve Bannon in 2108 and Andrew Jackson (the first Trump) and Duff Green in 1831. As you'll know from my recent posts, I regard Green as Bannon-like. Green was the moving force behind the United States Telegraph, a new kind of political newspaper in the 1820s and 1830s, one that featured scandal, … [Read more...]

TTP: Steve Bannon As Duff Green

I've spoken and written often about the connection between Donald Trump and his leadership forebear, Andrew Jackson. Jackson, in my view, is the first Donald Trump. I don't say that to go on a tangent that is specifically pro-Trump or anti-Trump, pro-Jackson or anti-Jackson. I simply maintain this position because I think it works, it helps illuminate the present and future. The new break … [Read more...]

The First Thing You Say

George Marshall, US Army Chief of Staff, walked into the War Department (shown in the photo) on December 7, 1941 and said this: "We are now in the fog of war."  That was his chosen first statement to his immediate followers at the War Department after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Take a moment and let that 8-word statement sink in. Try to imagine sitting in a nondescript office … [Read more...]

The Builder-Leader

Say hello to another type of leader and leadership--the Builder-Leader. I'm working with a private client in my Creative Conversations service. The client came to me with a particular situation. They were in charge of an organization with an impending physical expansion. It would be a major new physical space. My client asked me to think of a historical leader we could follow "Down River", as I … [Read more...]

Why These Three Are Thought Leaders

I posted yesterday about Thought Leadership. I referenced three leaders I've used with clients as examples of Thought Leadership. Today, I realize I should give you a fast explanation as to why William Sherman, Theodore Roosevelt, and Martin Luther King Jr are, in my view, examples of Thought Leaders. Read on--this will just take a moment--it's possible you'll see them in a rather different light … [Read more...]

Thought Leadership

Thought Leader. Are you a Thought Leader? Permit me to help you answer the question. A Thought Leader is someone whose leadership includes thinking about new ways to do things. He or she does the things that leaders do—dealing with followers through the vision, goals, planning, communication, problem-solving, inspiration, and more. In addition to these, however, a Thought Leader takes on the … [Read more...]

A Mountain To Scale

Yesterday, General Electric's stock price fell to its lowest point in the past five years. The cause appeared to be new CEO John Flannery's announcement of slashed dividends and only a limited closure list of the company's far-flung business units. But that's not what struck me about the events of yesterday. Flannery also remarked that as part of his response to the challenge of turning … [Read more...]

A Different View of History and John Kelly–A Reply To Noah Rothman

I'm a big fan of Commentary magazine, a faithful subscriber. My remarks below pertain to one of my favorite Commentary writers, Noah Rothman and his recent article entitled, “General Kelly's Disastrous Interview.” If you haven't read it, click https://www.commentarymagazine.com/american-society/john-kelly-bad-ideas/  before proceeding with my post. I offer my thoughts as a fan might at a football … [Read more...]

General Electric, the Indianapolis Colts, and the Link Between

What's the connection between the Indianapolis Colts of the NFL and General Electric? Reset. That's the term used by John Flannery, the new CEO of General Electric. After recent reports of dismal earnings and forecasts for GE, Flannery announced that this year was a “reset” year. He acknowledged, openly and clearly, that the massive corporation had not only failed to meet expectations, it … [Read more...]

The Historical Site I’ll Never Forget

Eery. Strange. Nothing but evil. These are my descriptions of an historical site, the one site out of the many I've visited over the years that I'll say, with no hesitation, is the most eery, the strangest, and as a place of significance is filled top to bottom with nothing other than pure evil. Not Hitler's vacation hideaway, not the Nazi's model concentration camp at Dachau, not the slave … [Read more...]

The Call

Dr. Deborah Kuhls spoke these two sentences. She's on the medical staff at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Her statement is from today's Wall Street Journal and its coverage of the mass shootings and slaughter. In addition to remembering, honoring, and praying for everyone affected by this tragedy, I'd like for you to think for just a moment about Dr. Kuhls's statement. … [Read more...]

YOUR CHOICE OF MARBLE: ABRAHAM LINCOLN, GETTYSBURG, AND MONUMENTS OF HISTORY

 The man in the circle is Abraham Lincoln. I want you to squeeze in next to him, on that platform, and listen to what he has to say about our controversy in 2017 (and beyond) over historical monuments. He'll share ideas that go directly to the simmering tensions over race, nation, inclusion, and diversity. I want you to sit right there with him in the red circle, reliving Lincoln's day at the … [Read more...]

THE CONDITIONS OF A 1-TERM AMERICAN PRESIDENCY

As elections go, we are half-way between. The past on one side. The future on the other. A year ago was the stunning presidential election of 2016. A year from now is the unknown outcome of the off-year congressional election of 2018. What word stands out in that second sentence above? "Unknown." The outcome of the 2018 election is unknown. The deciding factor of the 2018 election is … [Read more...]

Strong’s Words

A lawyer active and interested in American politics, George Templeton Strong scribbled in his diary one day in 1854. He wrote, "Life and property grow less and less secure. Law, legislation, and judiciary are less respected; skepticism spreads as to the existence anywhere of anybody who will not steal if he has an official opportunity. Our civilization is decaying. We are in our decadence. An … [Read more...]

The Time in Strategy

An executive wanted my service as a coach on strategy and leadership. "Any historical examples come to mind on strategic leadership?" asked the executive. "Sure do," I replied, and off we went down the "River" of Martin Luther King's leadership during the march on Birmingham, Alabama in the first half of 1963. Our first surprising bend in the River pertained to time. Not time management. … [Read more...]

The Bridge From 2000

In the place where I live, out of nowhere, about a million of these little guys showed up this weekend. They are the 17-year locusts and as I write, they are humming their presence in the trees. They went into the ground in the year 2000. So how much has changed between their burial and their birth? You tell me. In 2000 a divisive presidential election split the nation into hostile … [Read more...]

TTP: The Similar Opposite

    TTP: The Similar Opposite Andrew Jackson as the first Donald Trump, Donald Trump as the second Andrew Jackson. As many of you know, I've been among those who have asserted that a link connects these two American Presidents. I also believe a link connects their opponents. The people who opposed Andrew Jackson share quite a lot with those who stand against—or "resist", to use their … [Read more...]

A Story Otherwise Untold

The media's coverage of Donald Trump casts a shadow the size of Mt. Everest. I invite you to walk with me into the sunlight for some news of major importance that you likely didn't see over the weekend. It concerns one of the world's most urgent and alarming problems—North Korea. You'll be relieved to know that news is, on the whole, positive. You might also find the nature of this news … [Read more...]

The FBI Director and Me

"Come back to October 28th with me and stare at this, and tell me—what would you do?" Earnest words. A touch of drama, a dash of urgency. The speaker faces the group. The group listens and considers what next to think, to do, to say. The speaker was FBI Director James Comey. The group was a Senate committee. The scene was yesterday, at the US Capitol, testimony on the director's decisions … [Read more...]

TTP: 75 Days

TTP: 75 Days Last week, on April 6, I spoke with a group of healthcare leaders from Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, and North Carolina. I spoke about my constantly updating presentation, "3 Pieces of the Puzzle: Understanding The Trump Presidency Through Three Stories From American History." During the third story, I shocked the room. See photo above. "75 days," I said. "75 days." That … [Read more...]

TTP: Second Story

We're reading a lot about Donald Trump and Andrew Jackson these days. That's good. We should be. I've been among the several folks writing about it. You've seen that in these pages. However, there is an additional story that you now need to know. It's the second story of three that I've determined are critical to understanding the Presidency of Donald Trump. In a way, you'll see it in the … [Read more...]

TTP: Presidency on the Brink

For anyone who wants to know what it's like in the Trump White House, on the Trump presidential team, I have a book recommendation for you. Season On The Brink, by John Feinstein. It's a look into the world of former Indiana University basketball coach Bob Knight. One season seems to last a lifetime. A few words from Season on the Brink that might apply to Presidency on the Brink: … [Read more...]

TTP: A Pair of Obamas at the Table of Trump

Pretend the past is a card dealer. It just dealt out a pair of potential Obamas at the table of Trump. Without doubt, the Presidency of Donald Trump will be affected by the post-Presidency of Barack Obama. This will be one of the most important and fascinating aspects of the next Stretch of River, the next set of years. Obama is young, healthy, ambitious, and eager to seal a legacy.  The … [Read more...]

73 Years Ago – A Saturday in March

If you don't want to know anything else other than listen to the speech, click https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjx3IqURT6I. If you'd like to take a couple of minutes and, I think, gain more out of it, read below--you'll see another link and can view the speech then. (Whichever you do, thanks for pursuing. All the best, Dan) This is the story. I want you as a leader to absorb it, work through … [Read more...]

The Past of a Winter’s Day

Above is a picture of my hike earlier today. Bitterly cold. Sharp wind. Ice forming along the edges and creeping out across the water. I make this hike two or three times a week. Weather usually doesn't affect it. Today is proof of that. My dog and I weren't the only ones out traipsing around. You can see from the picture that another creature had been there before. Look close. Those are … [Read more...]

3 Sharpened Pieces of the Puzzle

Here is your 2-minute video invitation to a leadership event that is like no other you'll attend in 2017. "3 Pieces of the Puzzle" prepares you to deepen your success as a leader during the Trump years ahead. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2h0rkOVPmig When you attend "3 Sharpened Pieces of the Puzzle," I'll offer you three takeaways for your leadership. I call them Paddles … [Read more...]

A Memory Alive

  Colin Powell is one of the most recognized figures in the American Experience of the late 20th century. Military officer, national security adviser, secretary of state, one-time potential presidential candidate, best-selling author, and more, Powell ranks among high as an influential leader in American life. In this short article, I'd like you to focus on one thing about Colin Powell. I … [Read more...]

TTP: The Presidents & The Judges–The Lessons of a Saturday

TTP: The Presidents and the Judges—The Lessons of a Saturday Today, February 7, a federal court hears the appeal of the government's attorneys on behalf of President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration. You and I can find an important story from a Saturday in early March, 185 years ago. I invite you to stay with me for a few minutes while I provide you with a perspective on this … [Read more...]

Excavating January 30th

The Tet offensive began on January 30, 1968. As an event, it occurred throughout winter and spring of 1968. As a leadership story, it illustrates the powerful clash between facts and perceptions. Take a look at my 4-minute video here for a quick exploration of Tet and your leadership. After you're done, consider these questions for your leadership: Have I had an experience where I've … [Read more...]

TTP: The Trump Rule

TTP: The Trump Rule As promised, and promised, and promised again, henceforth and forever more shall it stand, drum roll, here is the Trump Rule: You must react to Trump's leadership in your own leadership. That's it. Underwhelmed? Don't be! Please remove your finger from that delete button for one minute...let me explain. Some of Trump's presidency is unique. Some isn't. Within the … [Read more...]

TTP: A Piece Of The Puzzle From 1913: The Trump And Wilson Inaugural Speeches

TTP: A Piece Of The Puzzle From 1913—The Wilson and Trump Inaugural Speeches I know, you're swimming (or seeking dry land) in the coverage of the 2017 inauguration of Donald Trump. And yes, I know I just posted a piece yesterday. I ask for forgiveness and pledge to keep this short. But I want to show you something. I've recently designed and led a seminar on using history to understand a … [Read more...]

TTP: The String-Cutter Escapes Through The Window

TTP: THE STRING CUTTER ESCAPES THROUGH THE WINDOW He was a President unlike any other, his long hair, wispy and unruly, waving in the wind, brushing the collar of his coat. It was after his inauguration-day speech, in the afternoon before the music and dancing of the inaugural balls later in the evening. Andrew Jackson—the first Donald Trump—dismounted from his horse and stepped into the White … [Read more...]

TTP: The Mystery of the Second Time

TTP: THE MYSTERY OF THE SECOND TIME I read today that only twice in the American Experience have we had a string of three two-term American presidents. Credit for this observation goes to George Will, a respected conservative columnist. Place this fact alongside my previous post, my explanation of our first Donald Trump-like president—Andrew Jackson. Do you have a guess as to when the first … [Read more...]

Meet The First President Trump

TTP: MEET THE FIRST PRESIDENT TRUMP I believe we've seen a US president similar to Donald Trump before. Allow me to introduce you to Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the United States. Other commentators have made the point, too. My arrival at this conclusion was done independently, after thinking through the histories of 44 American presidents.  Jackson and Trump share several key … [Read more...]

The Uniqueness of #45

THE UNIQUENESS OF #45 No question that Donald Trump is unique as President of the United States. But let's be sure we know precisely what is unique about him. It's not his home state or birth state. Seven other American presidents were born in the state of New York. It's not his pre-presidential career as a political outsider. If you define outsider as not having been elected to … [Read more...]

Eight Words And Pearl Harbor

What do you think of when the anniversary of Pearl Harbor rolls around every December 7? I'll tell you my image in a moment but let's get yours first. Is is a photo of burning American battleships? Is it a recording of President Franklin Roosevelt's statement about a "day that will live in infamy"? Maybe you've had the good fortune to visit Pearl in Hawaii and have the chilling recollection of … [Read more...]

Your Leadership And The Fog Of War

The fog of war is situational ignorance. The ignorance of conditions and circumstances exist in two frames of time, both the current/present and near-term future. The fog of war also has parts—that which is purely unknown, for one, but also those things that are so partially, hazily, and uncertainly known as to qualify as likely unknowns. Have you been in an event or lived out a story where … [Read more...]

A Client’s Question Out Of Left Field: Happily So

I always listen to my clients. Two weeks ago, a client from Louisville, Kentucky—a team from Humana—asked me if I could think of a way to use the Louisville Slugger Factory in a special leadership module for them. They are in the midst of planning a retreat that includes a tour of the Louisville Slugger Factory & Museum. I happily said, "Yes!" The past is everything and everywhere down … [Read more...]

Monument Making

I'd like to share a few thoughts with you about your leadership and the culture of your followers. But before I do, please take a moment (a total of six minutes and a few seconds) to watch both of my videos. Thank you in advance for doing so. Now, let's talk. Culture is an expression of both history and the past. The things you choose to celebrate, to honor at a particular time … [Read more...]

Hillary Clinton and the Ghost of Russia

Recall for a moment the aftermath of the end of the Cold War. One of the effects of the Soviet Union losing the Cold War was that it killed a longstanding enemy of the United States. I suspect the defeat of Hillary Clinton will act the same way for the Republican Party. The Soviet Union's death removed a unifying element that was a strong reason the US had a broad consensus internally on … [Read more...]

3 Pieces Of The Puzzle–My Upcoming Leadership Now Workshop

Tuesday, November 22, is a day I'm excited about. That's when, running from 11:30am to 1pm, I'll be doing a special Leadership Now Workshop at Capital Grille in Indianapolis. The title is "3 Pieces Of The Puzzle: Using History To Clarify A Trump President And The Impact On Your Leadership." The cost is $75 per person and includes an excellent lunch, meaningful fellowship, and powerful interaction. … [Read more...]

Some of the New Water Ahead

You'd have to be brain-dead not to realize that both the result of the 2016 presidential campaign and the campaign itself have opened a new era in the American experience. Some of you know that I call such things "a new Stretch of River." Part of the new Stretch is the water I'll describe below. Oh, and that's Justin Bieber in the mugshot. See where I'm going? Part of the new Stretch of … [Read more...]

Of Gaps and Horses

Well, the national horse race that is the American presidential election is nearing the finish line. I ask your indulgence on a final few thoughts. I'll start with 1912. When you look at Woodrow Wilson victory in the electoral college, it was a large span of victory. That span masked an underlying point of divergence from appearances--the opposition was deeply split. I think the same thing … [Read more...]

1+2

From strictly a horse-race perspective, here are a few of my near-final thoughts on the 2016 presidential election. First, as with so many other presidential elections, the basic fact that produces an outcome is turn-out. My gut tells me a lower turn-out favors Trump, a higher favors Clinton. But there's another pair of numbers that I think will matter, too. I'm referring to the pairing of … [Read more...]

Post-Election 2016 & Your Leadership

POST-ELECTION 2016 & YOUR LEADERSHIP Regardless of how the US presidential election turns out, we are in for a tumultuous stretch of time moving into 2017-2018. To most of us, it may feel rather like the biker in the photo. Recently, I conducted a special seminar on the 2016 election and an earlier presidential contest that I think offers some clarifying points for the road ahead. I believe … [Read more...]

Killing a New Myth – Wikileaks and Russia

Let's put to rest a myth that has emerged late in the 2016 US presidential election campaign. Wikileaks is said to be the tool of Russia and Vladimir Putin, his evil effort to affect the US elections. Awful! Frightening! Never happened like this! Perhaps, maybe, and wrong. The Russians--including the Soviet Union down to 1991--have engaged in American elections for at least five decades and … [Read more...]

Post As Past

I'm always looking for and thinking about words that pertain to the past. We have thousands of them along with hundreds of phrases and images that depict the movement of time from living to lived. I'll pick one for today—post. Stay with me and let's explore the word just a bit. If you're a sports fan, you may recognize this word immediately. Post-game interview or show. It's the slice of the … [Read more...]

Learning From 56 Years Ago

Heading into Monday's presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, I recommend a look back at the only other televised presidential debate to rival this one in importance and impact--I'm referring to 1960 and the Nixon-Kennedy debate. There is something to learn here that affects your viewing on Monday night. First, like now, there was a powerful sense of old and new. These … [Read more...]

Two Waters of One River

Two cities sit on the same river. Their cultures of water, however, are very different. Louisville, Kentucky and Cincinnati, Ohio reveal contrasting marks from their shared Ohio River. This realization occurred to me as I reflected on research for a Walkshop in Louisville and my frequent visits to Cincinnati to see my wife's family. The Ohio River in Cincinnati is narrow. Perhaps because of its … [Read more...]

As Is

This is a photo of one of the hundreds of landing ships carrying American soldiers into battle with the invasion of Normandy, France, June 1944. They are sitting there as is. They are ready to disembark as is. Their first step on the European continent--and in many cases that will be their last step in life--will be as is. The as-is organization can do remarkable things, just like these brave … [Read more...]

Breaking Update & New Action

Urgent for your attention: by popular demand from my clients and alumni—I have revised and updated my customized workshop on President Donald Trump. History is being made day-by-day and I recommend you, as a leader, make time to participate! You will gain new non-partisan perspectives on events yet to come in the remaining quarters of 2017 and beyond. Breaking Update & New Action: 3 … [Read more...]

Coming Up On Five Months Ago

Nearly five months ago I posted on my blog that I thought the best way to understand Donald Trump's appeal as a political force was to look back to the phenomenon that was Bob Knight as an active college basketball coach. In the midst of what some are calling a "meltdown" of Trump's presidential campaign, I return to that point from early March 2016. I stand by it. I started out as a fan of … [Read more...]

Solutionism and 2016

Solutionism is one reason why Donald Trump is the Republican nominee for US President in 2016. I don't like Trump as a person but I do think that if we step back, we can see a very interesting reality at work. Take a few moments with me to delve into solutionism. I'll define solutionism as the opinion, principle, value, and belief seen in the act of solving. More than solving by itself, … [Read more...]

The Troubles of Dallas

My deepest wish is to be wrong. In looking at things like Dallas, I'm beginning to wonder if we are entering a new phase, a new Stretch of River. I'm referring to the evolution of current tensions within the US. Race, law enforcement, and urban blight are within these tensions. The new phase or Stretch might be likened to the Troubles in Ireland and England. The hardening of conflict and … [Read more...]

The World After Brexit

Seem familiar? No, it's not a strange photo of Donald Trump. It's a picture of Boris Johnson, one of the main leaders of Brexit. Johnson shocked the British political world by announcing that he would not seek the post of Prime Minister. His announcement is the latest moment of upheaval that is measured almost in quarter-hour increments. You can't keep up. I have not written anything here about … [Read more...]