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Above: Lake Geneva, Switzerland. At Montreux.

Fodderize v.t. 1. To break down individual components; to make fungible; to disregard difference; to render one easily substituted for another 2. To impose sub-quality goods or services upon, with little recourse 3. To cap role choices, hinder access to resources regardless of merit, and so avoid competition 4. To manage perception by propaganda-spin techniques, while concealing dispositive facts 5. To manipulate, lure, exploit, deceive


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Podium 101: RequireCourses for Candidacy. Bipartisan Call to Wake Up the Speech-Dozers

Democracy University Catalogue
Course: Podium 101
Goal: To improve candidate or potential appointee speech skills
Podium 101, Now Available Online

This is not an elective and must be completed prior to other vetting

Podium 101 Course Graduate

 I. Introductory letter

Dear Potential Appointee or Candidate:

You will be subject to hearings, debates, heavy questioning and delvings before reaching the promised land of an election or actual appointment. These courses are offered through a variety of institutions for your betterment in surviving, yea, even gleaming through such hardships. If you request a waiver based on existing superior skills, such will be given but only after rigorous scrutiny. If a similar course is offered at an institution near you, we also will consider such as meeting the requirements herein.

You must attend singly, without Joe Blow to support you or run interference. See see ://; ://; :// see ://; ://;

(signed) The faculty


II.  Institutions or Motivational Seminars Offering Equivalents of Podium 101A.
Pre-Approved, and with liberties taken in quasi-summaries herein:

A. Columbia College, Chicago.

"Oral Persuasion and Public Speaking for Managers," at :// This course helps develop the "ability to speak confidently and effectively in a variety of public speaking situations." The student will prepare and present speeches before large and small audiences trained in technique and style analysis. "Particular attention is paid to style, persuasion and credibility in public speaking."

B. Leaders Institute.

Drop your fears and become persuasive "literally over night." See://

C. Dale Carnegie (1888-1955).

"Public Speaking Mastery," see :// For information about Mr. Carnegie himself, see :// Mr. Carnegie died in 1955.

The Public Speaking effectiveness courses that continue through the Dale Carnegie methodology particularly appeal to those candidates born between 1928 and 1938, that is, within the ten years before the the invention of the ball-point pen in 1938. The ball-point pen was invented at that time by Laszlo and George Biro, but after a period of pre-development by others, see :// Special classes offered do not require that students be proficient in communications, research or data analysis skills beyond those required by the scrivener's miracle, the ball-point pen. Yellow pads are provided.
Carnegie, as well as other courses following traditions established when technology was the cursive, does not discriminate against progress-insulated persons. In your situation, however, voters familiar with and even addicted to the joys and persuasion opportunities of internet and computer, may witness your blotty jots with furrowed brows.

D. Wellesley College, Wellesley MA. Both courses listed here are required.

D.1 Wellesley's Rhetoric Course, Aristotle, 350 B.C.

This ancient and still relevant art of persuasion course is included in Classical Studies at :// Demands at this institution are rigorous. Leave ball-point pens at home. For down-time, look into the Spoonholders.

The Parthenon, Athens

D.2 Wellesley Propaganda Course. This course is offered through the Sociology Department. Knowledge of the history and techniques of sales by words and acts are invaluable to anyone seeking to persuade others of his or her position.

See ://

You can enroll as a male at this female institution for certain courses, semesters, etc, with certain restrictions. You are already well acquainted with one of Wellesley's graduates, and she, we are confident, can assist you in filling out the forms. She can be reached through her Senate office.

Advance work for the Wellesley program: Read about Aristotle and his treatise on the persuasion arts, at :// .  Ms. Clinton may be able to lend you her books.
  • Book I, see ://; and index to Book I at ://
  • Book II, see ://; and index to Book II at ://
  • Book III at ://; and index to Book III ://


Extra Credit: 

The committee notes that the Age of Denial (AD) is well over, during which hearers ignored or were kept unaware of the lack of substance and dependable factual background in persuasion. Blockades were implemented by the higher-ups against the lower-downs, in institutional religion, politics, consumer and environmental protection, etc.  Fact avoidance is a favorite tool:

Choose an activity of action from the following list:

  • Read this orientation, New World fact setting, "The Emperor's New Clothes," see :// In that reading,, the committee suggests you substitute "facts" for "clothes." We, as a committee, do not want it said of any of our students, "But his garble has no facts!"
    Pay particular attention to the role of swindlers in that tale.
  • Organize a referendum in your community to fund the teaching of propaganda-identification in the schools and in adult education programs, including from classical Rhetoric sources (Aristotle. See Wellesley College course offerings above). Add it to No Child Left Behind legislation. Practice identifying injurious propaganda, persuasion aimed at your constituency by the placed unanswered question, the suggestion, the subtle invitation to agree with a point without examination. Discuss your findings.
  • Housewives and househusbands: We commend you for your law school education, your intellectual record, your use of your talents while raising a family, and demonstrated skill in fundraising for public school matters and otherwise serving the public good. Now, go for the big stage.
    • Smaller groups appreciate that staying out of the limelight can be a commendable setting of priorities.  
    • However, at this point, perhaps some brushing up in the art of schmoozing in larger groups including those including reporters would be useful, as your handlers have whisked you away from those kinds of contacts. See schmooze at ://

II.  Individual request for waivers and personal comments
Handling Adversity

Podium 101A is designed to enable students to

a) enlist broad support in even antagonistic settings, and so

b) effectively manage the behaviors of those who seek to undermine the common good.  This requires practice in elocution, sentence structure and tonation. There are indeed those who will not wish you well.

There are always those who do not wish a candidate well

Podium 101, is addressed to all new candidate or Senate appointee-hopefuls, and reminds you of the requirement for you to complete Podium 101 before further vetting for the position you seek. 
  • Example: Mr McCain complied earlier this year.  Thank you for your letter of appreciation, Mr. McCain. We are pleased that you completed our course, and regret that it was not enough to bring the result you wanted.  Still, there was improvement among the speech-dozers in your audiences. There is also ongoing fear of outburst, leading this institution to tread lightly around thee. Those who have experienced heightened and prolonged stress, actual and acted upon threat to survival, and complete loss of control; sometimes bust out when those experiences threaten beloved ideology or status, is that so?
  • To those whose requests were denied, the committee decides on a case-by-case basis which course(s) are required of which candidates. The committee reviewed thoroughly your request for waivers. You requested a general waiver, and that is denied. Um, because, well, you know. Umm,  mm. Umm. You know.

Further decisions as to specific components of our course:

Successful Graduate, Public Speaker Holding Attention 

III. Progress Markers; Other topics

A. Individual Student Assessment Status. Counting speech-dozers.

The committee reviews submitted audios and videos, and those of audience reaction, and measures candidate media skills. Of these, audience reaction is given great weight. If persons that the speaker seeks to persuade, doze, the speaker loses - as does the Cause.

Speech Dozers: Podium 101 Counts and Watches

This clump of dedicated speech-dozers is not a good sign. Mr. McCain managed to improve his score, but not by much, except in belligerence. The committee has noted the polls and finds that the nation seeks appointees or winners who can SPEAK.


Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to working with you toward mastery of basic Podium skills.


Chair, Course Requirement Committee, America

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Conscience Rule and Conscientious Objector Status. From Easy to Hard.

Conflicting Standards, Similar Issue:
When Are You Required to Do Unto Others
  • Why should a simple personal statement of "objection" enable avoidance of civilian employment in providing medical services.
  • In military duty, release from service as conscientious objector means interviews, substantiation, exploration, before highly skeptical entities; and often - a court.
I. The conscience rule.

A. How it works.

This proposed new rule means that, in employment, an employee or primary care provider now can anticipate avoiding doing acts unilaterally deemed against the employee's conscience, regardless of the impact on the person seeking the lawful service. See "Controversy over new 'conscience' rule," at ://

It sets up a bus for public services where people who want certain of those services have to sit in the back. Or give up their seats and stand. Or are asked to get off the bus entirely. Go walk. Get out.

This allows the worker or doctor in control of treatment to impose his or her religious belief on others, and refuse treatment.

It prioritizes religious belief and imposes it: that the worker believes that his certain religious-moral viewpoint is

a) divinely "inspired;" and therefore
b) the seeker of treatment is wrong in the seeking and
c) won't get it here.

It is my inspired founder in my religious system over your inspired one.

B. How to obtain this conscientious objector status in the civilian healthcare field?

What does it take to succeed in forcing this moral area conviction, in what is inspired and what is not, on others?

All it takes is a simple, "No, I am morally opposed." Even if the person took the job knowing the kinds of services it entailed, a last minute duck-out is fine, leaving whoever unfortunately is on the gurney.
C. Why does the arbitrary duck-out violate other people's civil rights. Equal protection. You name it.

It is arbitrary. No standards. No notice. Invasion of privacy of the seeker who may have to explain the circumstances so the counter troll can decide if the counter troll thinks the situation, which is none of his business, passes muster and will fill the prescription.

Unfairly prejudicial to the seeker of the service who just happened to be at the counter of the Self-Proclaimed Inspired Objector, rather than at the counter of the other chain across the street, and now it is closed.

If an establishment is open to the public, the public is there to be served. No discrimination.

There must be someone else on duty who will do it immediately without others around even knowing the switch has been made, or else the troll is imposing his religious views on others. If there is immediate recourse in the particular emergency room or drug store or whatever, and no prejudice to the seeker who could care less who gives over the substance, there is no imposition. Does that make sense?

Meanwhile: post big signs in the window until this issue of discrimination against the public in places open to the public is decided.
Abandon Individual Responsibility, All Ye Who Enter Here. Self-Proclaimed Moral Superiority Objector Trolls Lurk Behind the Counters and May Impose Their Views On You and Your Doctor In This Establishment.
II. Conscientious Objector Status: The Military.

A. How it works.

Military applicants or employees can seek discharge from service on honorable grounds by claiming and substantiating moral or religious objection to the actions required by the military, the proofs to accord with statutory and case law parameters. There is formal application, formal affirmative proof.

When employed by the government in the military, or where service is sought, a potential employee-soldier-medic-other has no such easy course traditionally.

B. How to obtain this conscientious objector status in the military service field?

An applicant must leap multiple hurdles to prove affirmatively that he or she "conscientiously objects" to the service on particular grounds as laid out by the military employer.

See criteria and definitions at, "Who Is A Conscientious Objector," at // That site refers to Section 6(j) of the Military Selective Service Act, shown as 50 USC (United States Code) 456(j).
Go there.
  • Surprise. Find it "omitted." Is there no longer a conscientious objection proision at 50 USC 456? Go to :// and search for 50 for Title, and 456 for section, and find zip. Omitted it says.
But there are ongoing examples, so until we find the newest statute in the US Code, here is what is happening. In these sites and cases, the Army says no, the status is denied. The person goes to court and the court says yes. Why are all these on one side? How many are simply accepted by the Army? We have no access to that information. It does appear, however, that the process is a difficult one.

C. Why does the formal process protect other people's civil rights. Equal protection. You name it.

There are checks and balances. Other soldiers remain ready to serve. The Army does not easily approve applications, based on internet research to date. There is notice, opportunity for hearing, findings to test sincerity or whim. Most cases we found involved awakenings.

A. Rekindled faith. The Boston Globe reports that a federal appeals court upheld a doctor's request for conscientious objector status, as one who experienced a "rekindled" faith, in her Coptic Christian faith. This reprieve was only after an extensive inquiry into her sincerity and the timing of the request, and the matter even had to go to court even though the doctor offered to repay the government for training received. See ://
B. May occur while in service. NPR has an article dated 12/19/2008 on someone claiming conscientious objector status while on furlough from Iraq, see Slate's Explainer at ://

C. Religious awakening. A religious awakening can also be the basis for conscientious objector status, even for a soldier while in Iraq. See :// But that also came only after the army first denied the request, and the soldier had to go to court. The army's claim of "insincerity" had no basis in fact, said the judge.

D. After years of service. The status can even be proven after years of service. See the whole routine at "Conscientious Objector Application," from 1996-97, by John R. Goldthwaite :// site is in the form of a log, like a diary, with attachments and links to the documents and records. He had served for 12 years before seeking the severance from service on the conscientious objector status.

E. Much persistence needed. Here, a West Point graduate is granted the status, but only after the army refused and the case was pursued with the help of the civil liberties people. See the New York Civil Liberties site at ://

F. The religious belief need not be mainstream. Here, a Navajo marine is granted the status on grounds of being a medicine man, the product of new found tribal beliefs, a "spiritual transformation." See Military Ltd. site at ://

Not many seek the status these days, see article by James Foley in MedIll, but that could result from underreporting or peer pressure not to seek, see ://

What makes a conscientious objector in the military?

No set rule - late conversions, early upbringing, sudden enlightenment, and probably some opportunists among the sincere.

Delve deeper.

Look up Aidan Delgado's book, "The Sutras of Abu Ghraib: Notes of a Conscientious Objector," review at

There, however, arguably the actions ordered were not "legal," wait and see. Still, given the Milgram Studies - the Milgram Experiments finding that people are highly likely to inflict pain on others if they perceive they are ordered to do so by authority, his resistance is commendable and rare. See the studies again in the news at ://

The point is that the conscientious objector status in matters where the person seeks release from doing what is legal and part of the job must be affirmatively proven.

Merely claiming personal opposition on moral grounds is not enough for the military, and should not be in the also important healthcare field where services are not up to the druggist to assess. How can a druggist assess morality in an overall situation based only upon a prescription?

III. Conclusion for both civil and military.

Civil, tighten up. If you, dear druggist assistant, as an individual want to discriminate based on your personal views, find a private drugstore, or private emergency room to work in. Surely a person can choose employment consistent with belief in the first place, and not wait until the gurneys are lined up to say no. This asks for abuses; and sudden deprivations as to people in line. This is like moving next to a kennel and then complaining that dogs bark.

Military, loosen up. Address the moral conflicts, acknowledge the disjoints as part of any military context. Normalize it then be as stringent as military needs for personnel and obedience to orders require. Offer moves to other areas of the military. Don't wait until someone applies for discharge, then pounce.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Barack - Meaning of the Name Barack. Cultural Cross-Pollination.

What is the Meaning of Barack as a Name.
Which Authority?

Cultural Concepts in Naming; Linguistic Roots

I. The name, "Barack," has complex and ancient multicultural roots.

Some other names that look obviously connected in our alphabet, such as "Barak," the OT Hebrew general in Book of Judges, are not connected etymologically, to "Barack" say some. Barack, they say, is from an Arabic root, and traveled with traders and migrations to East Africa, Kenya, Tanzania. But there are other old Semitic roots to the name: BRK for example. Those apparently are etymologically correct. Baruch as a form of the name is related as well. It and other old Arabic Semitic forms, mean "blessing" or "blessed."

The Arabic languages: watch how they spread to East Africa, see "Melting Pot" at ://

The Hebrew (see early definition of Hebrew as "stateless people" at Nationmaster, :// Their language(s) also spread to Egypt and elsewhere. See Moses.

Pharoah, roadside, Poland (interest-sparker for a bar down the way)

Many cultures, cross-pollinating, each naming a child as a blessing. And Benedict? Same blessing, different language. Unwind the twine, common core. People mingling, same roots.

II. Finding roots is a hunt.

A. Baby-namer site: too simplistic

Here, we find two angles on Barack. "Barack" as "African." And meaning "blessed." But what is "African?" My name is "European." That is too broad without the linquistic source. See "Babynames" at ://

The site goes on to say in a note that "Barack" is a Hebrew form of the Hebrew, Baruch. It leaves the issue at that. Mention and run. We would like to know more. There are Hebrew connections to Africa, of course. Mary and Joseph went to Egypt. And earlier - "Cush," the land where one of Eden's rivers flowed, means "Ethiopia."

Points: 1 of 10, because the at least mention the Old Testament connection to Hebrews, but then they pass it by.

2. Internet Encyclopedia - different sites produce different information .

a. Barack.
  • The given name, Barack, is explored at :// We are told that "Barak" in Hebrew usage is etymologically unrelated. But the very old BRK is related. So it may be that the "blessed" connotation is from the Arabic, the Sufi, in root. But it is related to ancient Semitic Sabean - Semitic - back to Hebrew roots? See the Semitic Museum at Harvard, at ://
  • The name origin - See Wiki Answers at :// This only takes us to Swahili, a/k/a Kiswahili, an African language, where Baraka means, again, "blessing." It also acknowledges roots in Arabic, however, from traders on the East African coast, and that is a common name in Kenya, and Tanzania.
b. Baruch. Baruch was the scribe of OT Jeremiah. Baruch is a Book in itself, included in some versions of the Bible - says this encyclopedia site. See overview of Book of Baruch at Wikipedia - ://

a) the Greek Septuagint (LXX),
b) the Vulgate, and
c) and Theodotion's. What is that?

You can see a process going on, where some books are in and some are kept out of various groups' Bible forms, at Bookrags at :// Listed there are its references, other information.

Here is the text of Baruch, for the curious, at a Google book at ://

c. Barak. That form has more Hebrew roots - it means "lightning" in Hebrew. And Barak is a general at the battle of Megiddo. The name can mean either of these two good things, a) a blessing or b) one that is that blessing that the individual can pass on to others. See also berek and baraka. To kneel, a supplication to bless God, that kind of idea, roughly.

Closer. Closer, but the list of people with the name "Barack" in Wikipedia still does not include Barack Obama. Somebody add it. Score: 7 out of 10.

3. Blog - Juancole

This blog person tracks back to religious sources and puts the "blessing" part of Barack, and puts it

a) back to Eden where God "blessed Adam and Eve," see Genesis 1:22, and that gives the derivation. See "Informed Comment" at :// / and

b) to its uses in the Bible, our version.

The site also provides a click to see all the times that "Barak" is in the western Bible. But if that root word is not connected etymologically, is this relevant. If the "Barak" root is connected, it goes back to Barak, the General who defeated the Canaanites at Megiddo, now symbolizing "Armageddon." See :// Start reading at Judges 4:6.

There were many battles at Megiddo, the battle plain, hill, mountain area, that we now refer to as "Armageddon."

For more on the history, watch out for religious agendas in any religious site, but this one seems straightforward - See "Bible Studies, Battle of Megiddo" at :// Victor in conflict. See the name at "Barak" at :// See also Barak and Deborah (the Judge at the time) and the conflicts intermingling Judges 4- Deborah and Barak, at ://

c) Hussein. Aside to the middle name. This site goes on to Hussein, as an affectionate diminutive for semitic words meaning "handsome," or "good." There is more on the "Hussein" name in different contexts, including families with the name whose ancestors were forced to convert from Islam to Christianity in the Inquisition era, Spain.

See more there, on the name of our General Omar Bradley. Should he have been fired because of the Rubaiyyat of Omar Khayyam.

Do we have it right or not?

Points: 9 of 10 for digging into a new area.

III. Amalgam.

Do we have a blessed (Arabic) general (Hebrew figure), with naming roots in Judaism, People of the Book. Then ask, what is the modern Canaanite in concept today, that "Barak" conquered at Megiddo? See the Canaanites at :// Much mingling. Are we the Canaanites?

IV. So: Summary - Where have we come since the name-busting in the campaigns?

Barack, Barack. The Name They Whack. First Name Attack! Like Bric a Brac,
Or Klik and Klak. Oh, the flack! From Jill and Jack whose wits are lack. There is a knack, so find the crack yhrough which, no slack, we can unpack more yak about the name, Barack. Baruch Barak.

Benedictus. Benedictus? Benedict?

Ecumenism in naming, Benedict. Proof of the many roads. No monopolies.