Dropping “America” before Election Day

Changing my name seemed like a good idea a few weeks ago.

Following Budweiser’s lead when it rebranded as America, I tried to have a little fun emulating one of the dumber marketing gimmicks ever. I changed my Twitter name to B.J. America and my blog to “The America (formerly Smith) Compound.”

My wife never really embraced the notion of being Mrs. America, or Ms. America, but I thought it was worth a try.

My intent was to change back to Smith after Election Day 2016. That’s when America beer will go back to being Budweiser, after what the foreign-owned company’s spokesman predicted would be “the most patriotic summer that this generation has ever seen.”

How a summer can be patriotic was never really explained.

The thing is, I couldn’t wait until November. I’m not exactly proud of the way America is acting lately.

The name has become too much of an embarrassment. Our discourse, if we can even call it that, has gotten too ugly.

Some elements have gone well beyond ugly. The words toxic and unhinged come to mind.

Candidate Trump is a dangerous GOP mistake who spreads lies and bigotry and plays on the fears and prejudices of millions of Americans to further his incoherent political agenda. Congress continues to do nothing to confront our national addiction to gun violence. We are complicit by accepting their inaction.

That’s not my America.

Back to The Smith Compound.

Friends don’t let friends #movetoCanada as #TrumpRefugees

This is my country, dammit, and I’m staying put either way. I won’t even joke about leaving because some loud-mouth bully con artist might be elected president.

Sure, even if we’re dumb enough to elect him, hardly anybody will actually wimp out completely and move to Canada. Still, reassure the fraidycats that we’re not gonna let it happen, then step up and support* someone who is actually qualified to be president.

* That means back up your tweets and posts of outrage with $$ donations and working to get out the vote.

Whither American greatness?

We create magical devices — manufactured elsewhere — that sit in our palms and can tell us there is good pizza around the corner, but we can’t get our hands around a version of our future that unpacks the mysteries of the great beyond.

via American Greatness 2.0 — Press Play — Medium.

Are the children refugees or illegal immigrants?

Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a Republican Gang of Four complained that President Obama wouldn’t visit our porous border with Mexico, they simultaneously accused him of “lawlessness”—get this, for enforcing a 2008 law that had overwhelming bipartisan support.

To these callous conservatives, children in search of safety are “illegal immigrants” when in fact many of them arguably meet this dictionary definition* if not the United Nations definition of “refugee”:

one that flees; especially :  a person who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution.

They play politics with words, as usual, while they should be helping find solutions of substance. So much for the idea of lifting a lamp by the golden door.


 

* “Refugee.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 11 July 2014. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/refugee.

Paul Ryan’s Irish Amnesia – NYTimes.com

A great debate raged in London: Would it be wrong to feed the starving Irish with free food, thereby setting up a “culture of dependency”?

via Paul Ryan’s Irish Amnesia – NYTimes.com.

Beware your comfort zone, leadership expert says

3D Team Leadership Arrow Concept

The term “comfort zone” can evoke some nice, cozy feelings of safety and security.

Beware your comfort zone, however. As Colorado leadership and motivation expert Jim McLaughlin explains in a series of blog posts, it robs people of their potential. It can take yours.

This presents a special challenge for leaders, who must move other people beyond where they are comfortable to reach ever higher levels of achievement.

The three-part series is adapted from Jim’s book, The Six Things: Leading People to Outstanding Achievement. It is available in paperback and in ebook format for Kindle and other readers.

As the book’s editor, I have a pretty good idea of what’s coming in Parts 2 and 3 of the “comfort zone” series. You may be surprised to learn how a comfort zone changes over time. I certainly was.

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