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Rule #1

Posted by Michael Dolan on January 20, 2014 in Uncategorized |

The first rule in George Orwell’s rules for writing is “Never use a combination of words you are used to seeing in print.” Always be fresh. Drop these clichés: Unbeknownst Boggles the mind State of the Art Third rail Cutting edge Methinks Aforementioned Or lack thereof       Z78XQDCWVEQP  

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Stafford of Life

Posted by Michael Dolan on January 19, 2014 in Uncategorized |

All over the world this year, people are celebrating of the 100th anniversary of the birth of poet William Stafford (January 17, 1914 – August 28, 1993) because nobody else can do this:   One Evening On a frozen pond a mile north of Liberal almost sixty years ago I skated wild circles while a […]

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Certainly Sounds Lovely

Posted by Michael Dolan on January 17, 2014 in Uncategorized |

It’s too easy to criticize a totalitarian regime for suppressing a free press.  But it’s informative to hear officials rationalize their actions. “We manage the media according to the law.  The important thing is that the media, whether it’s foreign or Chinese, they have to fall in the law of China and they have to […]

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“And You Kids Stay Off My Lawn!”

Posted by Michael Dolan on January 17, 2014 in Uncategorized |

The list of “banished” words for 2014 looks as if it were heavily influenced by cranky old people. Compiled annually by Lake Superior State University, it leads off with “selfie,” “twerk,” and “twittersphere.” Humor is apparently lost on the people who nominate.  “Selfie” is self parody by the young people who use the word and […]

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Locking Liberty Away

Posted by Michael Dolan on January 16, 2014 in Uncategorized |

You are not smart enough to understand how your government works, and providing you with more information will only confuse you.  Important decisions are best made by elite people in secret. That is the message U.S. District Court Judge John Bates wrote in a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee — in private.  The committee […]

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Going Everywhere but Away

Posted by Michael Dolan on January 11, 2014 in Uncategorized |

We were intrigued by the book’s title for obvious reasons: “Words Will Break Cement.”  It’s an account of the punk band Pussy Riot, whose members were sentenced to jail after a performance that mocked Russian president Putin.  Author is Masha Gessen, Russian born writer now living in New York. It’s a little bit easy to kick Russian […]

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Language Does not Listen. it Speaks

Posted by Michael Dolan on January 6, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Most of us think of language as a kind of intellectual map.  There is a thing or idea out there.  A word labels the thing or idea for us so we can find it and use it. But one author argues language does not represent anything.  Rather it shapes how we understand and thing about […]

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