Mar 092012

If you don’t already know, Stratfor is a private company, founded by George Friedman, that gathers international intelligence and creates reports which they sell to individual subscribers, businesses, and governments. They have been in the news recently because their data and email were seriously hacked. This is very interesting and sensitive stuff. WikiLeaks is publishing excerpts, and it is a big deal. Stratfor is being straightforward about the event, fixing the problem with a vengeance, and offering their clients extra value. I subscribe to their free newsletter and love it. I also love Friedman’s recent books including “The Next Decade” and “The Next 100 Years.”

I picked up my copy of the Fort Dodge Messenger this morning (Friday, March 9, 2012) and flipped to the editorials on page four. They are often more entertaining than the comics. Rachel Marsden’s column “The new WikiLeaks stash” jumped right out and grabbed me. Sure enough, it was a critical (if not gloating) diatribe [yes, I admit to taking an emotionally-charged swing at some things myself] against Stratfor. The topic seemed out of place in Fort Dodge, Iowa. [Admittedly, I’m kinda out of place too. If there is anyone else around here who takes an interest in Stratfor or issues of global geopolitical existentialism, please introduce yourself; we probably ought to meet.]

First, if you don’t already know, Rachel Marsden describes herself as a: “political/geopolitical and communications strategist/analyst, Radio/TV presenter, internationally syndicated columnist with (Chicago) Tribune Company, author, and speaker.” Whew. I’ve read that she is Canadian and lives in Paris (France, not Texas). Rachel has been compared to Ann Coulter and has done work for Fox News, Spectator Magazine, The O’Reilly Factor, the New York Post, Washington Times, and conservative politicians.

Ms. Marsden also has a new book called American Bombshell, which  prominently [The entire cover, actually] displays her attractive face and flowing dark tresses with the title information plastered across her chest. I’m not suggesting that there is something wrong with any of this, and I haven’t read the book. I suspect that the book addresses serious explosive national and international issues, and that the subliminal implication that Rachel is an “American Bombshell” is entirely unintentional. But, I’m drifting into Rush Limbaugh territory here, so let’s backpedal real fast and move on.

In today’s column, Rachel reviews recent Stratfor events and then begins to pick at the fatty pieces [I visualize a vulture ripping at road kill]. Her second paragraph leads with a statement about the CIA using private intelligence firms for “black ops” in a way that seems to imply that Stratfor is involved in killing people for hire. Does she really think that or is she just shredding a victim? Not nice, smarty pants.

My favorite rant (a real beaut) is buried in the middle of the piece:

  • “Do you know how a lot of these outfits in the thriving private intelligence sector operate? The company CEO, usually a former agency employee who has maintained UMBRA or “Top Secret” clearance, meets with a private or state client to pitch his outfit’s services, then passes off the analysis work to some book-smart/sidewalk-stupid naif who has just been dragged kicking and screaming into the real-world workforce after frittering away a good decade or so ringing up a party tour of Ivy League schools on mommy and daddy’s AmEx black card.”

You know, I just somehow doubt the objectivity at work here. Smarty pants may even have her pants on fire. It’s an impressively mind-numbing run-on sentence that runs you over and sets your hair on fire. For another thing, it sounds a lot like a liberal’s take on George W. Bush’s early years. But, that’s another story.

How do you answer a statement like that? How about: “Um, what are your sources for that and how did you come to that conclusion?”

I also want to ask, “As an advocate for conservative causes, such as private business contracts to replace big government control of the means of serving public interests, aren’t you eating one of your own sacred cows?”

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Oct 282011

By David Satterlee

Published in the Dayton Review, September 28, 2011 – Front page, above the fold, with pictures

[Larry and Jerry Sharer in picture at right]

The weather was dreary but the spirits were high. “This was what they wanted to do and where they wanted to be. They seemed completely at ease. They were comfortable with the weather. They were comfortable with each other and their mounts. They were comfortable with the mud and manure.”

Read the entire article at:

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Feb 152010

Source: “Authentic Happiness,” Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D., Chapter 6


Permanence and is about time. Permanence reflects thinking in terms of “always” or “never.” Believing that the causes of bad events are permanent may cause one to give up too easily and give in to feelings of helplessness. Believing that the causes of good events are permanent contributes to optimism.


Pervasiveness is about space. Pervasiveness reflects the degree to which good or bad events affect unrelated aspects of life. Pervasiveness distinguishes between universal and specific explanations.


Hope is associated with permanent and universal explanations of good events as well as temporary and specific explanations for misfortunes. Hopeful people recover from troubles more rapidly and are better able to sustain successes.

Increasing optimism and hope

Most people never hesitate to accept negative self talk. To build optimism and hope one must recognize and then dispute pessimistic thoughts.

Martin Seligman uses the ABCDE model of disputing pessimistic thoughts. A – Adversity is the event that stimulates negative self talk. B – Belief is the set of established assumptions that contribute to negativity. C – Consequences… D – Disputation… E – Energization…

Learning to Argue with Yourself
  • Evidence – A negative belief may disappear if you consider it analytically and demand supporting evidence from yourself.
  • Alternatives – Consider alternative causes. These may indicate different meanings to an even that what you previously assigned. Especially seek alternatives that are changeable, specific, and nonpersonal.
  • Implications – Realistically, how bad are the implications? What would have been the worst possible outcome? It could have been worse. Decatastrophize the event.
  • Usefulness – Is this belief useful? Does it produce good? Am I expecting something that is unlikely? What factors of the event are under my control?
Disputation record

During future adverse events, keep a record of your mental steps. Pay attention to your thoughts, consider alternative beliefs and meanings, observe possible consequences of various beliefs, and observe the energy of choosing alternatives to negativity.

Feb 082010

The concept of savoring is not so much “stopping to smell the roses” or making time once a day to appreciate something and log the exceptional event. Savoring should be the usual experience of pleasure that comes from a meaningful life lived in mindfulness and gratitude – an ongoing positive subjective experience.

Seligman’s research into character strengths includes “Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence,” which is important to obtaining the most satisfaction from opportunities for savoring. Although “living in the moment” (being mindful of now and savoring current experience) it seems likely that past savoring can set the stage for, and enhance, present appreciations in a self-reinforcing spiral of positivity and sense of well-being and rightfulness. I doubt that holding positive memories or positive expectations prevents our living in the moment; it would be only dwelling negatively on past regrets or future fears that is damaging.

Fred Bryant in “Savoring” points out that savoring can be enjoyed in three temporal forms. We can anticipate the future, enjoy the present moment, and reminisce over past satisfactions. I first noticed this principal while growing up in my parents’ home. My father married late and struggled with an 8th grade education and a learning disability. Nonetheless, he was a skilled craftsman at his work and sacrificed himself at hard labor into his late 60’s to support his family. Dad’s indulgence was to take a long driving vacation into the Rocky Mountains every two years. He would regularly put aside small amounts into a vacation fund for those two years. He would spend a full year planning and anticipating the next trip, indulge himself (and us with him) in whitewater rafting, remote camping, and excursion rides and, after returning home, spend the next year pulling out pictures and telling friends about the trip.

Feb 072010

Source: “Authentic Happiness,” Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D., Chapter 6

Satisfying Life Experiences

The most satisfying life experiences tend to be those involving self-respect, accomplishment and social relatedness. They notably did not include exercising power influence or acquiring material or physical gratification. Cultures that emphasize community responsibility are less likely to identify self-directed activities as producing happiness. The classic elements of the “American Dream” have a dark side: “materialism is toxic for happiness. ”

Self assessment exercise.

  1. In most ways my life is close to my ideal.
  2. The conditions of my life are excellent.
  3. I am satisfied with my life.
  4. So far I have gotten the important things I want in life.
  5. If I could live my life over, I would change almost nothing.

Flow, total involvement in a challenge, is an altered state of consciousness that produces genuine satisfaction with experiences. It is very enjoyable to be fully absorbed and engaged in such an activity. It does not arise from passivity but from active engagement with life. The specific activity is not so important as the way in which it is performed.

Interpreting life events

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln

One’s interpretation of an event may differ from person to person. While some remain chronically unhappy others are capable of seeing a silver lining in the events of their lives.

Maximization and Regret

Orientation poured goals may be characterized as satisfying or maximizing. A satisfier is content to meet expectations. A maximizer tries to achieve the best result in every situation; they plan were carefully, set higher standards, but may suffer negative emotions when the results do not satisfy their expectations. They are more prone to experiencing regret, unfavorable comparison to others, and reduced life satisfaction. Maximizers also strive to keep their options open, often been less satisfied with the outcome.


Contemporary life often promotes feelings of urgency and the desire to multi task. Conversely, the ability to slow down and savor experience adds richness, vividness, and satisfaction to life. Slowing down to “smell the roses” increases happiness.


Gratitude extends appreciation for positive outcomes from oneself to a wide range of other contributors. This also increases intrinsic self-esteem and perception of social support. People expressing gratitude avoid taking life events for granted; they are less prone to negative emotions, are more empathetic, and less focused on materialistic goals. They feel happier and present themselves to others as happier.

Dec 032009

Source: Integral Institute – Scholars

Beth J. Jowdy is currently an Assistant Professor in the Sport Management Department at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire. Her areas of academic concentration include experiential learning, reflection, and Integral Theory with a special interest in grassroots event management.

Source: Southern New Hampshire University

Sheehan, Elizabeth


Dr. Sheehan teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses. Her courses include: Introduction to Sport Management, Governance and Management of Sport Organizations, Sport Event Sponsorship, Sport Event Marketing & Management, Leadership and Sport Event Management. Specialty areas: experiential learning, reflection, integral theory, leadership and organizational development, and grassroots sport event management.




  The use of experiential activities and reflection as methods to enhance social and emotional learning is commonly accepted in higher education. It is believed that through experience-based courses students deepen and possibly alter presently held assumptions when classroom experiences allow students to practice skills and reflect on behaviors that simulate "real-world" situations. However, how is it that experience-based courses develop the emotional competencies necessary for students to effectively manage themselves and others in the workplace and in life? This study examines the impact of a sport event management course on students’ emotional competency. Specifically, this study answers the question: Can a semester-long experience-based course increase students’ emotional competency when students are not introduced to emotional intelligence theory. The book is addressed to faculty and academic administrators in higher education. Since a popular misconception associated with experiential learning is that the outcomes are subjective and difficult to measure, the results of this study will also be of interest to individuals involved with any form of experiential education.
Nov 222009

Source: Integral Institute – Scholars

Barrett C. BrownBarrett C. Brown contributes to Integral Sustainability studies, which applies Integral Theory to sustainable development issues.

He also represents Kosmos Journal and the Integral framework at the United Nations.

Source: Integral+Life Contributors

Barrett C. Brown. Since 1995, Barrett has worked in nine countries as a consultant and entrepreneur in the areas of leadership, organization development, communications, and sustainability. He has helped launch a dozen organizations, led executive teams through strategic alignment, developed multi-year leadership development programs, delivered leadership initiatives for Fortune 500 executives, and briefed high-level officials at the United Nations Development Programme headquarters and the US State Department. He specializes in the intersection between organization development, leadership development, and global sustainability. A member of Integral Institute since 2002, Barrett is also a senior consultant in the application of the Integral framework. He serves as Co-Director of the Integral Sustainability Center, which leverages the Integral framework to advance sustainable development issues. Barrett represents Kosmos Journal and the Integral framework at the United Nations, holding UN consultative status. He is an advisory board member for: US-based Kosmos Journal, an integrally informed journal on global issues; the Australian-based Shift Foundation, which develops emerging global leaders; and Canadian-based, focusing on urban sustainability issues. In addition to consulting, mentoring, and research, he also regularly contributes articles to AQAL: Journal of Integral Theory and Practice. Barrett has presented and trained widely, including at the United Nations World Summit on Sustainable Development (side event), US State Department, John F. Kennedy University, the School for International Training, the Bioneers conference, and the Spiral Dynamics Integral Conference on Natural Design. Barrett has also used his fluency in Spanish and Portuguese to translate several business books and lecture on leadership. Barrett’s undergraduate studies include English Literature and Mechanical Engineering at the University of California at Santa Cruz and UC Berkeley. He holds an MA in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University, and is currently engaged in doctoral research in Leadership Development for Sustainability through an executive Ph.D. program at Fielding.

Contributions to Integral+Life

How to Communicate Sustainable Initiatives 

Values Based Marketing 

Speaking to Purple and Red Levels 

Speaking to Blue, The Eco-Manager 

Speaking to Orange, The Eco-Strategist 

Speaking to Green, The Eco-Radical