Monthly Archives: February 2009

Clarifying Assumptions

All conversations have a set of underlying assumptions that can either deepen or derail a meaningful exchange.  Almost always, these assumptions remain in the background, making magic or doing mischief, until someone decides it’s time to step back for a … Continue reading

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A Crisis of Unintended Consequences

Our current economic crisis is being called ‘a perfect storm’ by some columnists and experts. That’s probably accurate. A crisis this deep and this pervasive cannot be created by just one or two errors in judgment, but requires a series … Continue reading

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Defining a New Role for Government

Recently the ‘invisible hand’ Adam Smith wrote about as the guiding principle of free-market economics has been slapping us around rather than meeting our needs. In his Inaugural Address, President Obama reminded us that the market place is unmatched in … Continue reading

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The Arrogance of Experts

I was watching CNBC sometime last week, and was struck by the amazing gall of the panel of financial experts as they riled at the idea that Congress might actually place some stipulations on the billions of tax-payer dollars they’re … Continue reading

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Critical Thinking Is Unpredictable

One of the priceless moments in recent media history literally took a popular TV program off the air for evading their responsibilities in critical public discourse. On October 15, 2004, Jon Stewart appeared on CNN Crossfire to personally challenge the … Continue reading

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Challenging Ideology

By now I think most of us are familiar with the concept of the ‘housing bubble’…the over-inflation and explosion of housing prices across the country, but most troubling on the coasts. Unfortunately, this bubble leads to another and another and … Continue reading

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Rethinking How We Pay for Public Services

I was re-reading a Paul Krugman Op-Ed from Dec 29 08 today. In this article, he was marginally critical of the Governors of all 50 states…more than marginally for some, including ours in CA. In Krugman’s view, the states should … Continue reading

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New Partners in Southern California

2008 was a watershed year in turmoil and opportunity. Needless to say, we didn’t end 2008 with the same issues and challenges we thought would dominate our conversations. It seems abundantly clear that anyone who wants to make a difference … Continue reading

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Trust People as Partners

  I believe in the American experiment as a democratic republic…but I also believe this experiment can only be sustained by our active participation in public decisions at all levels. Since I have a limited amount of time and energy, … Continue reading

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