Push Polling and ISIS

voting door

 

Public opinion can turn on a dime. Moreover, the way the question is asked affects the polling results. When this is carried to an extreme, it is known as “push polling,” an effort to affect public opinion by asking questions.

The preface to the heart of the question, “If our military commanders feel ground troops are necessary …” skews the results of the poll …

One example of push polling was illustrated last night on the nightly news and opinion shows such as Hardball with Chris Matthews. The influential question was phrased like this: If our military commanders feel ground troops are necessary to beat ISIS, would you be in favor of sending them?

The preface to the heart of the question, “If our military commanders feel ground troops are necessary …” skews the results of the poll and provides very different results from solely asking “Are you for or against the use of ground troops against ISIS?

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Process for Pitching Prospects

serving of pasta

 

Pitching prospects is the most critical skill for business success as without any clients, you have no revenue, and your business will founder. However, it is very difficult to find an easy-to-follow process for undertaking this essential task so I have encapsulated my procedure honed over more than 10 years of running a successful organization.

…if a prospect does not have time to have lunch with you, then he is probably considering many other applicants for the position, and your chances are greatly reduced anyway.

My first and most critical step involves taking the prospect to lunch. This should be the very first meeting you have with the prospect as initial impressions are critical, and they are more likely to be favorable when you are sitting down to a meal. Moreover, if a prospect does not have time to have lunch with you, then he is probably considering many other applicants for the position, and your chances are greatly reduced anyway. In other words, the “lunch test” pre-qualifies your prospect as a good chance of getting the account.

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Fudging Congress and International Law

aircraft carrier

 

Most of the Republicans’ criticisms of the President are political in nature and merely express their obstructionism and refusal to accept an African-American in the White House. That said, their muted criticism of the President’s use of outdated authorizations to attack Al Qaeda and Iraq represent an outright surrender to step up to their Congressional mandated role as the sole institution with the power to declare war.

It is understandable they are nervous about taking a controversial vote before the mid-term elections, but the world does not run on their political schedule.

It is understandable they are nervous about taking a controversial vote before the mid-term elections, but the world does not run on their political schedule. Both the Democratic leadership in the Senate and the Republican leadership in the House are to blame for this egregious dereliction of duty.

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Grantwriting Structure

money bills

 

The grantwriting field can be split into two disciplines: grants for government and grants for private foundations. Government grants can become very complex and are usually inaccessible for anyone except professionals specializing in this field. Grantwriting for foundations can be learned by copywriters, public relations pros and others.

People evaluating your grant proposal will recognize you have followed the above structure, and it will put you one step ahead of your competitors.

Grantwriting for foundations follows a specific structure: there should be a one-page executive summary in the beginning, a two-page statement of need (divided into need and opportunity), a three-page project description, a one-page budget, a one-page section with organizational information and a two-paragraph conclusion. Anything else belongs in the appendix.

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A Machiavellian Foreign Policy?

danger sign
 

A Machiavellian foreign policy, overlooking abuses by autocratic rulers for the sole sake of national security, inevitably puts the United States in an untenable situation where we are forced to support rulers we detest.

Our main problem, as many have observed, including former Secretary of State Clinton, involves the lack of an organizing principle for entanglements around the globe.

The United States finds itself in such a situation in the Middle East today, where our foreign policy has supported ruthless regimes. Our emphasis on beating back the Islamic State creates an unholy alliance with Iran who shares the same goal. Moreover, we are indirectly supporting Hafez al Assad, the ruler of Syria who has gassed his own people to put down a rebellion of which ISIS remains an integral part.

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Social Media and ISIS

barbed wire

 

Everyone complains about how ISIS is so proficient with social media, how they are creating slickly produced videos, and the power of their propaganda. Social media, however, offers a different form of media, and the media itself, the technology, is neutral.

The technology of social media is value-neutral; only the postings and habits of its users imbue it with meaning.

Just as the civilized world is protesting against the way ISIS is using social media, it hailed the use of media in spreading the Arab spring, in helping people resist tyrants around the world. Government agencies, more known for their sluggish response to change, are struggling to keep up, both with the good and bad uses of social media.

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Pricing for Entrepreneurs

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One of the most difficult tasks for entrepreneurs involves pricing and how to structure your services. If you do not sell a specific product, you cannot start off with how much it cost you and add, say, 10 percent.

To begin with, you need to know how much established companies in your field charge for their services. If you have interned or served as an employee for a related organization, this task should facilitate your pricing decisions greatly. Obviously, you need to deduct a certain amount because either you are working alone, or you have not accumulated the years of experience necessary to charge full price.

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Drawing the Line with ISIS

soldiers

 

While President Obama may not be using the words “red lines” anymore — he got burned badly with the phrase regarding Syria’s chemical weapons — there is all sorts of line drawing going on in the battle against ISIS.

It now seems that “forward-deployed” advisers in the midst of the battle can call in air strikes and somehow not be involved in the combat going on all around them.

One of the first lines drawn involved the very fundamental nature of the conflict itself. As we are conducting military strikes against a nation with distinct boundaries, and we have called the action essential to our national security, the word “war” seems to be the most efficient way to describe the conflict.

But presidential aides, military personnel and even the Vice President at first refused to classify the conflict as such. One possible reason why may involve the triggering of the War Powers Act which gives Congress the ultimate authority to initiate a war.

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The Wonders of Circloscope

circle

 

Circloscope is an excellent tool for increasing the number of people who circle you in Google Plus. The principle is similar to increasing your followers on Twitter. You just find a list of followers (Google Plus’ers) from a person you respect and then follow, follow, follow. Some of them will reciprocate and follow you back and voila, your following goes.

You find the profile of powerful Google Plus’ers, and then use the options on Circloscope to add the people in their circles to your circles.

Circloscope applies this approach en masse for Google Plus. You find the profile of powerful Google Plus’ers, and then use the options on Circloscope to add the people in their circles to your circles.

The step-by-step approach works as follows: install the Circloscope program using your Google Plus URL as the home option, find powerful Google Plus’ers and copy their URLs. Then, click on dashboard and select “profiles” from the pull-down menu.

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ISIS vs. ISIL

rose

 

What’s in a word? A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet …

Yes, ISIS sounds more powerful than ISIL; it’s got that Greek god sound to it; even Bob Dylan wrote a song called Isis. But are we really so scared of this terrorist group and its propaganda war?

Maybe, but official Washington has adopted a rather silly wordplay in calling the terrorist group ISIS ISIL instead. It’s a rather contrived attempt that makes us look weaker than we really are.

Yes, ISIS sounds more powerful than ISIL; it’s got that Greek god sound to it; even Bob Dylan wrote a song called Isis. But are we really so scared of this terrorist group and its propaganda war that we can’t even call the organization by its proper name?

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