Category Archives: punctuation

“Fake News” Is Nothing New. The “Surprise” Attack on Pearl Harbor May Be Fake News.

There has been a lot of media talk recently about fake news.  But this is nothing new.  In fact, fake news has been around for as long as there has been news.

Take the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, December 7, 1941, for example.  Conventional wisdom has it that this was a surprise attack by Imperial Japan on the U.S. Pacific fleet stationed at Pearl Harbor.  But a veritable cottage industry of second guessers has sprung up over the years, books and articles galore, making the argument that President Franklin Roosevelt not only knew about the coming attack ahead of time but did nothing to prevent it so as to form a basis for America to get into World War II.  Roosevelt did this, so the argument goes, to help revive a struggling American economy by putting it on a war footing,  to come to the aid of  America’s allies overseas, notably Great Britain, as well as to protect its own interests worldwide.

Needless to say, the U.S. was swept by anger and outrage over the attack, the prevailing question in effect being, “How could a great country like the United States  have been caught so flat footed?”   Several investigations were conducted into the causes of the lack of U.S. preparedness,  probably the best known being the investigation by a ten-member Congressional subcommittee, five Representatives and five Senators, six Democrats and four Republicans, which began in 1945 and concluded in July, 1946, with the issuance of a 41,000 page report.  The report, signed by eight of the ten subcommittee members, concluded that there had been no dereliction of duty by President Roosevelt,  various cabinet members, or certain members of the Army and Navy, but errors of judgement had been made.  The majority also stated that the Empire of Japan made the attack on its own and had not been tricked or coerced by the U.S. into making it.

However, there was a minority report signed by two Senators which criticized the majority opinion in a scathing, blistering  denunciation.   This dissenting opinion, some seventy-seven pages long, supported chapter, book, and verse, by detailed references to the record before the subcommittee, concluded that Roosevelt and other high officials in Washington were in fact at fault in not being prepared for the attack.  They were also very critical of President Harry Truman, who came into office after Roosevelt died in April, 1945.  They concluded that Truman had obstructed the investigation so that all the facts concerning U.S. preparedness, or lack thereof,  had not come to light.

To this day it appears that all of the facts about the attack have not been made public due to later restrictions on the release of certain government records having been imposed by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

Will all the facts concerning U.S. lack of preparedness ever be known?  Was the attack by the Japanese on December 7, 1941 really a surprise attack?  Did President Roosevelt have advance knowledge of it?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Is all of this managed news?  Was the “surprise” attack fake news to cover up for Roosevelt?  Who knows?  But I think the American people are entitled to know the facts, all the facts.

Incidentally, for those of you interested in reading  the majority subcommittee opinion, read my book, “Prelude to Disaster:  How Imperial Japan’s Diplomatic Treachery Led to America’s Greatest Military Disaster – Pearl Harbor.”  It is essentially based on the subcommittee report.  The book is a true account of Japanese diplomatic deception which led up to the Pearl Harbor attack and provides an inside look at the diplomatic exchanges between U.S. State Department representatives and Japanese diplomats while dark clouds of war loomed in the background.  It puts the reader in a position to be an eyewitness to history.  It is available on Amazon and eBay.

©2017 Arnold G. Regardie.  All rights reserved.

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Elect Hillary? Another Obama? No thanks!

Previous posts to this site have taken the position that Donald Trump is a serious presidential contender, deserving of your support.  Here is more evidence.

As many people now agree, electing Obama was a mistake, a major mistake.  The campaign of Hillary Clinton is clearly dedicated to a continuation of his policies.  Is that what you want, more of the same?  No thank you and let it be repeated for emphasis, no thank you.  Obama’s legacy, which seems to override everything he says and does these days,  can be summed up in one word: worthless.  Obama will go down in history as the most incompetent, the most ineffective president the country has unfortunately ever had.

Here’s the latest evidence, facts, not innuendo, not hyperbole, facts, that Obamacare is proving to be an utter disaster.  In today’s news, the latest blow to the Affordable Care Act is that Aetna Insurance, one of the top-five insurers,  is the latest insurer to withdraw its plans from coverage, citing losses aggregating $400 million since 2014.  This development comes after Humana and UnitedHealthcare have previously withdrawn.  It has also been reported that there have  been double digit premium increases for many of the carriers which will continue to sell through exchanges such as Covered California next year.   Dropping out of Obamacare by the carriers is attributed to too many sick people and not enough young healthy people seeking coverage.

All of which brings to mind  what Nancy Pelosi famously said in so many words back around 2009, i.e., “We have to pass this bill [Obamacare] to find out what’s in  it.”  This comment is undoubtedly the most irresponsible statement ever uttered by a member of Congress.  Well Nancy, now you know.  Read it and weep.

But Obama’s election was urged by the liberal media saying in effect, the country simply has to elect a man of color, a minority member, as the first minority president, to prove it’s a true democracy.  And Obama, an eloquent speaker, was elected, in large part by lying to the American people.  But that’s another story which we’ll save for another day.  Well, now they’re saying it again, i.e., the country has to elect a woman, Hillary, as the first woman president.

Remember that old saw, fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.  Well, lets not make the same mistake again.  Hillary as president would be calamitous for the country, not to mention the free world.  She is grossly incompetent, lacks judgment, temperament, leadership skills and experience, is also corrupt and a world-class liar.  She has no business running for any public office, much less the presidency.  But the liberal media is backing her largely because she’s a woman, as it backed Obama largely because he was a minority member.

Donald Trump has promised repeal of Obamacare as part of his presidency, one of the many reforms he has promised, all of which deserve serious consideration.   This is yet another of  long list of reasons why Trump deserves to be elected.

Arnold G. Regardie©2016.  All rights reserved.

 

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To Develop Confidence In Your Writing, You Must Overcome Self doubt.

With the ongoing explosion in global communications in this age of high technology, writing has become more important than ever before. In January, 2012, in one of my first blogs, I addressed the problem of overcoming self doubt in writing. This is such a an important topic that it deserves a repeat look.

Many people don’t write well because they don’t believe they can. They have no confidence in their writing. “I’m not a good writer!” is an all too often heard personal lament. For those of you who believe they fit into that category, i.e., those who don’t believe they are good writers but want to be, my book, “The Art of Clear Writing,” (available on amazon.com and in print), can help. It provides an organized guide to clear writing fundamentals and sets forth down-to-earth, well-established writing guidelines and techniques that have worked well for others, not hard and fast rules that must be committed to memory and followed at all costs.

As mentioned in the introduction, the underlying proposition of this book is that clear writing is an art form – it can be learned. Anybody can write well – but you need the desire and dedication to do it. If you’re willing to put in the time and learn the skills, the satisfaction and rewards will come. These guidelines and techniques are capable of being learned through application and practice, and should result in a marked improvement in your writing. Even if writing is not your strong suit, you can still improve your writing dramatically by following the guidelines and techniques explained in my book.

Also bear in mind that writing, any writing, is a form of salesmanship, i.e., you are selling yourself. It is a basic sales truism that people will buy from you if they trust you. That truism applies to writing as well. Whatever your purpose in writing may be, whether you’re applying for a job, selling a product or service, writing personal or business letters, writing a company manual, or even preparing something as basic as an interoffice memo, the reader must trust you for your writing to be successful. Achieving this trust will depend on the respect and credibility emanating from your writing. If the reader believes you to be a credible writer and trusts you, you’ve gone a long way toward accomplishing your primary writing goal of selling the reader on whatever you’re writing about. Attracting that trust can be achieved only if you dedicate yourself to improving your writing skills.

Where do you start? Begin with a positive attitude toward what you’re doing, whether writing or speaking. John Adams, one of our Founding Fathers and a prominent lawyer by trade, successfully argued to the jury during the Boston Massacre trial of 1770 that “facts are stubborn things” and cannot be changed no matter how strong are your passions. Adams strongly believed in the rule of law and that the British soldiers he defended (successfully, it should be added), who were accused of murder when they fired their muskets into an angry mob, were innocent.

Thoughts are also things according to Napoleon Hill, author of the influential and best selling personal achievement book, “Think and Grow Rich.” Hill postulated that thoughts can be very powerful things when mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire for success.

I’m also reminded of Tim Gallwey’s best seller, “The Inner Game of Tennis”, which is largely about developing the ability to focus your attention on the task at hand. It is more about solving life’s problems by learning the art of relaxed focus and attention to achieve peak mental performance, i.e., getting into a “zone”, than playing tennis.

Clear writing thus depends to a large extent on the power of belief, belief that comes from having confidence in your writing. When you have that confidence, it will show – the reader can see it. To obtain confidence you must master what can best be described as the “inner game” of writing, overcoming mental blocks to clear writing. As with other challenges in life, you must develop the right mental attitude. In other words, you can’t write clearly if you are nagged by anxiety and self doubt about your writing. Persistence and determination to write well are omnipotent.

Following the guidelines and techniques set forth in this book is a good start to improving your writing. But it’s also definitely helpful to read self-help books on salesmanship and self esteem in conjunction with your writing development. Good salesmanship depends in large part on having confidence in yourself. Acclaimed lecturer and author Jeffrey Gitomer writes in his “Little Red Book of Selling,” (p.193), that the theme of your success is to believe that you can achieve whatever you set your mind to. His book is an excellent place to start. And keep one of his favorite axioms in mind, “hard work makes luck,” (p.36).

Here’s the bottom line. Whether playing tennis or writing, you must develop confidence in your ability. The best way to gain confidence in your writing ability is by working at it. Practice your writing continuously. Refine it as you go. Study the style and technique of other writers. The more you read and write, the more your writing will improve, which should increase your confidence.

Copyright © Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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Income Inequality Is For The Marketplace To Cure

Last Sunday night, January 12, on John Stoessel’s program (Fox News), income inequality was discussed. Bob Beckel, a liberal, was one of the panelists. He wants the minimum wage raised to $15 per hour. Here is my take on the topic.

First, I believe in a free marketplace. Free enterprise is now, always has been, and will remain the growth engine for the American economy. It’s the ticket; the less government intervention the better. There are too many people who look for government to help them get along in life instead of trying to do it themselves.

Income inequality is a byproduct of the free marketplace. The market places a value on your services. It rewards those whose services are deemed to be more valuable, who persevere and have a commitment to improve themselves. There are CEOs of companies who command large salaries in comparison with company workers who command much less. Many people complain that this is not fair. But the shareholders of the companies, who own them, elect the directors who set the salaries of the officers who run the company, and if the company is going in the right direction and is profitable, the directors have the right to compensate those who are responsible. Conversely, if the company is not profitable, the directors have the right to make changes in the company officers. Decisions by the directors are approved or disapproved as the case may be by the shareholders. This is the way it works in a capitalistic, free enterprise economy.

I have attended many business opportunity meetings where people from all backgrounds have provided information as to their successes. People from all races, religions, ethnic backgrounds, and both sexes have testified as to their commitment to success. These folks make huge amounts of income but they got there by perseverance and dogged determination.

Bob Beckel argued that raising the minimum wage is the answer to income inequality. But I suspect that he has never run a business. It has been reported that 92 million people are out of work today, an historic high. How many more people would lose their jobs if the minimum wage was raised? How many employers would decide that cutting payroll is the only answer to rising labor costs, or that part time workers would be less expensive than full time? How many businesses would fail because costs of operation are too high? How many prospective new businesses would be thwarted because of increased labor costs? Increasing the minimum wage when so many people are out of work is not going to put them back to work. Increasing healthcare costs for businesses is not the answer either; this will only add to the current economic woes.

This is not to say that some government intervention in the economy is not necessary. Business can grow too big making some government regulation appropriate. Monopolies in restraint of trade are not in the best interest of economic growth. Neither is abuse of workers. Moderation is the key.

The current economic malaise is the result of an incompetent and inexperienced administration in Washington. A strong and growing economy with a vibrant work force would put more people to work and result of a better living standard for everyone. I think that’s the best answer. There may not be complete elimination of income inequality but I don’t think that’s possible under any system except communism. And if you think those folks living under communism are happy, take a look at conditions in North Korea and Cuba. Ask those folks what they think of their standard of living.

As I have emphasized before, work to improve your writing skills. Clear writing skills will go a long way to increase your earning ability, lessen income inequality, and improve the skill set of the work force. More skilled workers in the workforce will help improve the economy, so improvement of your writing skills will benefit yourself as well as the country. As President Kennedy said at his inauguration in 1961, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

All of the clear writing techniques and guidelines discussed on this blog are available in one place in my book, “The Art of Clear Writing,” available on amazon.com/kindle and in print.

Copyright © 2014. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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Chris Christie Tips the Scale (No Pun Intended) In His Favor

Republican Governor Chris Christie’s recent overwhelming victory as Governor in New Jersey, one of the bluest of blue states, is a truly welcome event to behold. In trouncing his democratic challenger Barbara Buono by some thirty-odd points, Christie proved that he is a force to be reckoned with in the 2016 presidential sweepstakes.

With apologies for any unintended reference to Christie’s weight as an issue (it shouldn’t be), it appears to me that Christie tips the scale in his favor. That is, using the word SCALE as an acronym, he should be chosen as the Republican presidential candidate for 2016. Here’s how it breaks down:
S – strength
C – credibility
A – accomplishments
L – leadership
E – electability

Christie scores points in each category. He has a strong personality and is credible. His accomplishments as governor of New Jersey are manifold. By reaching out across the aisles to broker legislative reforms in the state, he has demonstrated needed leadership skills, lacking in Washington D.C. He is a staunch fiscal conservative, a strong critic of Obamacare, President Obama’s signature healthcare law, and has stood his ground against public employee unions. SCALE clearly shows that he is not only qualified to run for the office of president, but is electable, capable of winning. He has broad charismatic appeal not only to males but to women, blacks, and hispanics. In the recent election, he carried male voters by 63% and female voters by 57%.

Using the same acronym for Hillary Clinton, backed by the liberal media for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, she fails on several counts. Her credibility is lacking in view of her record as having lied when the occasion suits her, a matter of public record. Her accomplishments are questionable. Although having been elected to the U.S. Senate on the strength of the name of her husband, Bill Clinton, an impeached president, there is no record of legislative accomplishments in the Senate she can point to. As Secretary of State under President Obama, four Americans died on her watch in Benghazi, a matter for which there are still many unanswered questions. She lied after the Benghazi attack, as did President Obama, falsely attributing it to anger over a publication criticizing Muslims. In short, she has not shown her ability to govern anyone, and is hardly qualified to lead a country of some 300 million people.

As reported in the media recently, Christie’s election victory also reflects his capacity to appeal to independent voters as well as to those Democrats who are willing to cross party lines. These are the types of voters who are necessary to carry him to a presidential victory in 2016.

The question remains as to whether Republicans can stop quarreling among themselves long enough to back Christie as a moderate candidate who can clearly appeal to a broad swath of voters. Traditional ideological purity on issues such as abortion and gay rights may have to give way among conservative Republican supporters in favor of a more pragmatic approach, an approach that carries with it a path to victory in 2016.

Copyright 2013. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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Help Improve The Economy – Learn To Write Clearly

The ability to communicate clearly is a basic ingredient for success in any endeavor. In today’s world of mass communication, it is essential for anyone who wants to get ahead. Thus, the power of the written word is more important than ever before. It’s your key to the future. Clear writing is a marketable skill, one that employers will gladly pay for. If you write clearly, there may be job openings you can qualify for which would otherwise be unavailable. This skill is very important at any time but even more so in today’s struggling economy. Moreover,as more skilled workers enter the workforce, the stronger our economy will be. So, learning to write clearly will not only benefit you personally but will benefit the country.

Clear written communication skills will also enhance your opportunities for advancement if you are now employed. An employer will recognize you and single you out for greater responsibility (and more pay) once you are proficient with the written word. An employee with clear writing skills will be in a better position to help his/her employer increase sales and profitability, which is always the bottom line in any business.

As has been pointed out in this blog previously, learning to write more clearly begins with the practice of writing itself. Dedicate yourself to writing every day. The more you write, the greater your confidence will grow. And also read regularly. The more you read, the greater your knowledge of good writing habits will become. Expose yourself to experienced writers whenever and wherever you can. Learn from their style. No less an authority on writing than Stephen King, in his book, “On Writing”, clearly emphasizes the importance of reading: “If you don’t have the time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. It’s as simple as that…”

It is also important to make a list of all new words, learn them, and learn how to use them. Become familiar with all punctuation marks and their application. Train your eye to learn good grammar by word association rather than by definition. This should be your homework, so to speak. The more thoroughly you apply yourself, the clearer your writing will be.

There are many writing writing guidelines and techniques discussed in my book, “The Art of Clear Writing,” available on amazon.com/Kindle books and in print. Follow these guidelines and develop these techniques by continuous practice. An important step in thi8s direction is to build your vocabulary so you can find the right word when you need it. Also, be concise in your writing. Use shorter sentences, carefully and thoroughly edit all writing before using it and, most importantly, eliminate all spelling errors. Poor spelling will stamp you as an amateur writer, or worse.

Writing is no different from any other undertaking in life You have to start at the beginning to master it. But the rewards are enormous and well worth your time. All art is created through the exercise of a craft such as painting, sculpting, etc. Every craft must be taught and learned, including writing. Clear writing is an art form because it can be learned through the craft of writing. Almost everyone can write to some degree, but to write clearly is a goal worthy of achievement. The long hours and hard work it may take to get there are tasks eminently worth the effort. Remember that a clearly written document speaks well of the writer and the purpose it seeks to advance.

Begin with a positive attitude toward writing. Developing the right mental attitude will be a major step toward improvement. This will come from building confidence in your writing which in turn will come with continuous writing experience. So, write every day to expedite your improvement.

Copyright 2013. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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“Common Sense” Revisited In The 21st Century – A Requirement For Presidential Leadership Should Be Written Into The Constitution

It was back in early 1776 that Thomas Paine argued in his pamphlet “Common Sense” for independence by America from the British Crown because it made good sense to do so. The little booklet was a big hit selling 100,000 copies and providing a huge emotional uplift in the run up to the American Revolution.

There is more than enough room for common sense in this time as well. In view of the total and complete lack of experience of President Obama in making decisions and providing the leadership required to properly run the country, it makes good sense to impose an important new qualification for anyone seeking the presidential office, i.e., he/she must have had substantial experience in governance in order to be considered as a candidate. Only by showing that the candidate has leadership abilities, governed people for some quantifiable period of time, made important decisions, and demonstrated the ability to solve problems including fiscal and budgetary problems and, importantly, including the ability to negotiate and compromise when necessary, should the candidate be considered as qualified to run for President.

This approach is eminently sensible. In a country of some 300 million people, it makes no sense to put someone in charge of running the country unless that person has clearly demonstrated the ability to do so. That qualification would exclude a candidate who has merely served in Congress or a state legislature without more, i.e., a demonstrated capacity for leadership. No successful private corporation would allow anyone to become Chairman of the Board unless that person has previously exhibited the ability to make the important decisions to run the company profitably. That individual will inevitably have experience in effectively overseeing a large number of people, have demonstrated the ability to solve problems, possess the ability to negotiate and compromise when necessary, make difficult budgetary decisions, and make decisions about what direction the company should be headed to insure profitability. On the job training is out of the question. The same qualities should be present in anyone seeking to run the country.

As things now stand, American presidential politics is a joke, and the joke is on us. The presidency is no place for amateurs. Nor should it be a popularity contest. The country cannot afford a repeat of the current fiasco, to wit, the election of an unqualified and inexperienced but smooth talking politician with no clearly demonstrated leadership skills. To proceed otherwise makes no sense. Today’s world is vastly more complicated than the world of 1788 when the Constitution was signed. To maintain its position as the world leader, the United States must have a president who can lead, not an inexperienced politician. A constitutional amendment to this effect reflecting the foregoing qualifications as a prerequisite for running for office is clearly justified.

There is no doubt when the Constitution was adopted that the Founding Fathers contemplated presidential candidates of special ability, candidates other than inexperienced politicians. Such qualifications are expressly provided for in The Federalist, a series of eighty-five essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay in 1787-1788, to further the public’s understanding and support of the forthcoming Constitution of the United States. The following words from Federalist No. 68, penned by Alexander Hamilton, clearly envisioned well qualified presidential candidates:

“This process of election [use of electors] affords a moral certainty, that the office of president will seldom fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications. Talents of low intrigue, and the little arts of popularity, may alone suffice to elevate a man to the first honours [sic] of a single state; but it will require other talents, and a different kind of merit, to establish him in the esteem and confidence of the whole union, or of so considerable a portion of it, as would be necessary to make him a successful candidate for the distinguished office of President of the United States. It will not be too strong to say, that there will be a constant probability of seeing the station filled by characters preeminent for ability and virtue…”

With apologies to Thomas Paine, if these are indeed “times that try men’s souls,” then it behooves the country to take all necessary and proper steps to see that these times are not revisited. The country has an obligation not only to itself but to the world at large to make sure that only qualified candidates with well defined leadership skills become President. Otherwise, we are in for more of the same political and fiscal quagmire that pervades Washington today. This situation has attendant dangerous ramifications for all of us in terms of our monetary stability and our national security, i.e., our survival as a nation.

Copyright 2013 Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.

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