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Demonizing “Liberal”

Posted by Michael Dolan on October 24, 2015 in Uncategorized |

As the meaning of certain political words evolves, the power dynamics in society often change. David Morris, co-founder of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, discusses some of those changes over the past half century.  His points are thoughtful even if you don’t agree fully. Check out what he has to say about “welfare,” “entitlement” and […]

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“Liberal” Interpretations

Posted by Michael Dolan on August 26, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Poll after poll shows big government projects have lost public trust. Wide skepticism greets the announcement of any new proposed social program. Can you even remember the last time the federal government tried to fix a social program the way it did in the 1960s, 1970s and into the 1980s? What happened to the liberals? […]

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Why This Blog Matters

Posted by Michael Dolan on August 15, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Listen to this: “The disintegration of language is sometimes treated as a curiosity or overlooked. But the danger of this corruption is serious, because language must be stable to ensure the exchange of comprehensible ideas.”   That’s from an essay by F.J. Rocca. I never heard of him either. But the essay is interesting.   Judge […]

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Don’t be Fooled Again.

Posted by Michael Dolan on August 15, 2015 in Uncategorized |

Linguist William Lutz, in preparation for the 2016 elections defines double speak and warns what to look out for. Video. http://aplus.com/a/william-lutz-explains-double-speak

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Word Control

Posted by Michael Dolan on February 12, 2014 in Uncategorized |

With hardly a whimper, the Republican-controlled US House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday to increase the debt limit and avoid default.  The action comes in stark contrast to two previous times in the past when Republicans pushed the government to the edge of default. Why? Two communication analysts say it is because of one […]

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Words: Too Controlled; Too Loose; Hard to Get Just Right

Posted by Michael Dolan on September 20, 2013 in Uncategorized |

Words were routinely twisted for political purposes back in her home country of Romania, says writer and diplomat Carmen Firan.  But as she eventually discovered, words in America are bent in service of the everyday conversation. At home: “The words allowed by the dictatorship would take up only two dictionary pages: empty and precious slogans, […]

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We’re All Exceptional

Posted by Michael Dolan on September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized |

Much is made of American “exceptionalism,” most recently by Vladimir Putin in his recent opinion piece in the New York Times. It’s a bit of a fuzzy term, used variously by different commentators.  It may apply only to our great expanse of natural resources.  Some point to a distinct system of civil liberties and rugged […]

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Your Aim is True or True-ish

Posted by Michael Dolan on March 1, 2013 in Uncategorized |

Pollster Frank Luntz helped invigorate his political party, he says, because he realized words are not fixed points on a map. They exist on shifting ground. A phrase that once carried a punch may grow toxic or just fall limp. “The phraseology determines the context. And the context determines success or failure,” Luntz says, as […]

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Ruthless Truthlessness

Posted by Michael Dolan on September 3, 2012 in Uncategorized |

American political candidates now recognize voters no longer even expect a minimum of fact and have moved on to communicating with other tools. Telling the truth is merely one of many communication approaches available today to American political candidates.  Distrust among the electorate is now so great it’s often too much trouble for too little […]

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He Says What Many Think of the so-called Democratic Party

Posted by Michael Dolan on August 19, 2012 in Uncategorized |

Do we actually have two parties in our “two-party system”?  The Democrats are not doing their job of political articulation, according to NPR host Ira Glass. “Could someone please write a book explaining why the Democratic Party and its allies are so much less effective at crafting a message and having a vision than their […]

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