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The Golden Verses Of The Stoic

Seneca and Epictetus refer to the Golden Verses of Pythagoras , which happens to provide a good framework for developing a daily routine, bookended by morning and evening contemplative practices. Zeno of Citium , who founded Stoicism in 301 BC, expressed his doctrines in notoriously terse arguments and concise maxims.  However, Chrysippus, the third head of the Stoic school, wrote over 700 books fleshing these ideas out and adding complex arguments to support them. 

Some thoughts on Political Details

Details, they say, are the dwellings of devils.

I'm always a little amazed at the "vital" particle -- and its slight stature compared to the body of work it brings to life. I have spent days in furious and obsessive search for that "detail" -- which once turned out to be a date:
It was 1987 when Eric discovered the nation was insane. 

and once, a flowering herb:
"Hemlock water dropwort" (Oenanthe crocata) the plant responsible for producing the sardonic grin. The candidate for the "sardonic herb," a neurotoxic plant used for the ritual killing of elderly people in pre-Roman Sardinia. When these people were unable to support themselves, the herb was given to them as an intoxicant and once in the grip of the poison, they were dropped from a high rock or beaten to death. It was also said to cause rictus laughter from the victim before death.
-- that was such a cool find though.

Details. It is so little we need, but what we need is absolute.

Drafting a political speech is a painstaking task. Every word is integrated by the author -- or in most cases authors. I have been told that political speech writing is more demanding than marketing copy. I have to take their word for it, because I've never written a political speech before.

As a baseline against my other research I have been using last years (Jan 2014) State of the Nation speech, looking for signs of Aggressive Persuasion. I haven't found any, but I have discovered that our President is unlikely to utilize such things.
But what I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class, and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class.  Some require Congressional action, and I'm eager to work with all of you.  But America does not stand still, and neither will I.  So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do. 
His language is too severe and direct. There are two modes of 'voice' you'll find vacant of propaganda or even utilized for marketing -- one is like Obama's (this direct and severe tone), and the other is the snarky, sarcastic, often snide-disjointed style most of my articles are composed in -- used when I'm demonstrating or explaining a type of propaganda.  -- Yes, I do that on purpose -- for both of us.
We'll need Congress to protect more than three million jobs by finishing transportation and waterways bills this summer.  But I will act on my own to slash bureaucracy and streamline the permitting process for key projects, so we can get more construction workers on the job as fast as possible.
His speech is also void of "Glitter Words", which is more than a little odd. Glitter Words is a method of propaganda -- though more of a guideline really. Typically Glitter Words is a vocabulary list of words, which are to be used in public situations. Here is an old list from the Republican Party. I haven't filtered out a list for this year yet.

These lists are usually created or helped by linguistic psychologists, and then approved by the Party, or the Corporation (corporations seem to use them more today than politicians).

Psycholinguistics has roots in education and philosophy, and in 2013 began the additional use of "cognitive processes" marking a new shift into conceptualizing how "meaning" is generated out of vocabulary and grammatical structures, and how the processes of "understanding" and "comprehension" is accomplished. Understanding and comprehension are vastly different and should never be confused with each other.

We want so much to be understood, yet
we rarely comprehend what that means
Glitter words are also a thermometer for ascertaining political and social health. When the words on the list become empty, and meaningless, we're in trouble. When the list is short and words are repeated -- like slogans -- we are in need of urgent care and an eye should be kept on the comedians and artists. Comedians are the true bellwether. When Jon Stewart ceases to direct his attention at the White House and Congress, and instead confines his humor to fart jokes, its time to get the family and get out of the country.

But we aren't close to that yet. Most of those words still have meaning, though their direction is unfortunate.
Coercion
Collapse
Consequences
Corruption
Crisis
Decay
Deeper
Destroy
Destructive

These words do not indicate progress, future or even answers, but the vocabulary of indecisiveness, lack of direction and diminutive returns.

I'm sure you've noticed the theme of the quotes I chose to use as examples -- I'm interested quantifying how many times Obama -- using clear and firm language -- expressed to Congress during 2014 that if they didn't get off their asses and take care of things, he was going to use every ounce of power he had to do it himself.

My interest is from the awareness that most of the time we don't "hear" clear language, and are then shocked by the actions when they manifest -- is directly proportionate to our ability to understand the world outside of our own heads. I've been forced several times to the realization that Congress -- Democrat and Republican and all others -- have no clue what is going on in this country.

Directly to/of Congress Jan 2014 State of the Nation
Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans: Today in America, a teacher spent extra time with a student who needed it,
Last month, thanks to the work of Democrats and Republicans, this Congress finally produced a budget that undoes some of last years severe cuts to priorities like education.
We'll need Congress to protect more than three million jobs by finishing transportation and waterways bills this summer.
That's why Congress should undo the damage done by last year's cuts to basic research
and this Congress can help by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to American natural gas.
And if Congress wants to help, you can concentrate funding on proven programs that connect more ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be filled jobs.
But first, this Congress needs to restore the unemployment insurance you just let expire for 1. 6 million people.
Please give us this chance. 'Congress, give these hardworking, responsible Americans that chance. They need our help,
I asked this Congress to help states make high-quality pre-K available to every four year-old.
And as Congress decides what it's going to do, I'm going to pull together a coalition of elected officials, business leaders,
and I want to work with Congress to see how we can help even more Americans who feel trapped by student loan debt.
This year, let's all come together 'Congress, the White House, and businesses from Wall street to Main street 'to give every woman the opportunity she deserves.
In the year since I asked this Congress to raise the minimum wage, five states have passed laws to raise theirs.
you don't have to wait for Congress to act; Americans will support you if you take this on.
Congress needs to get on board. Today, the federal minimum wage is worth about twenty percent less than it was
And if this Congress wants to help, work with me to fix an upside-down tax code that gives big tax breaks to help the wealthy save,
I intend to keep trying, with or without Congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent Americans in our movie theaters, shopping malls,
That's why, working with this Congress, I will reform our surveillance programs ' because the vital work of our intelligence community depends on public confidence, here and abroad,
And with the Afghan war ending, this needs to be the year Congress lifts the remaining restrictions on detainee transfers
if this Congress sends me a new sanctions bill now that threatens to derail these talks,
Vice President, Members of Congress, my fellow Americans: We are 15 years into this new century.
I will send this Congress a budget filled with ideas that are practical, not partisan.
That's why this Congress still needs to pass a law that makes sure a woman is paid the same as a man for doing the same work.
And to everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this:
And that's why I'm sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college to zero.
And I want to work with this Congress to make sure those already burdened with student loans can reduce their monthly payments
And tonight I call on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against IsIL.
And this year, Congress should begin the work of ending the embargo. As His Holiness Pope Francis has said,
But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails:
And tonight I urge this Congress to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber attacks, combat identity theft,
and I thank this Congress for your bipartisan support of their efforts. But the job is done not yet,
And that's why I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts.

Details: The abode of devils.