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"Tradition?? The only good traditions are food traditions. The rest are repressive."

"There are two ways to think. The first is to trust to your ancestors, your religious leaders, or your charismatic professors. The second is to question, to challenge, to explore history for meanings, and to analyze issues. This latter is called Critical Thinking, and it is this that is the mission of my web site. "

Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman  

June 2020

Pandemic Playbook for Dictators


From the early 20th century until now, leaders of democracies have been confronted with deadly epidemics. The US had Yellow Fever, Cholera, and the 1918 great Spanish Flu. (This is the one that President Trump stubbornly miscalls the 1917 flu.)

Every president took these epidemics seriously, and followed the best advice of health services to mitigate the damage. They cared about human life. That is what leaders do, don?t they?
Today?s pandemic is giving us a differe more...

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Presidential Leadership in History


Historians are giving us a bonanza of books about great leaders in history. This is a great time to read them so that we can understand how lacking in this quality our leadership is today.

An older book about leadership is Doris Kearns Goodman?s Team of Rivals, in which Abraham Lincoln, whose election in 1860, triggered the Civil War (the South knew that their primary industry, slavery, was under attack), selected all of his political rivals to serve on his cabinet. His ri more...

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Filling the Leadership Gap


Without his political rallies to pump up his ego, President Trump has resorted to lengthy daily "Press Briefings" in which he endlessly congratulates himself, while elbowing out the scientists on the podium and butting in when they do speak. The dog-and-pony show on April 13 was a jaw-dropping two-hour rant, angry and spiteful about how unappreciated he was after the New York Times reported his failure of leadership, despite briefings and alerts to the danger of the pandemic. His intelli more...

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The Crisis in Leadership

Human beings are herd animals. We are communal, which is key to our survival. But unlike the majority of other sentient animals, the herd instinct is tempered by our capacity for reason. There are human beings who live alone, but this is rare and hermits depend upon good people looking out for them. Herds require leadership: alpha males or females. Anarchists do not survive for long because they have no leadership.

A recent film documented how a sled-team of Huskies survived aban more...

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