• Fred's Blog

    Sisters: A Christmas Story

    Listen to “Sisters: A Christmas Story” by Fred Smith   I’ve been reading this week about the disaster of Sumner Redstone’s family. While Sumner built great business ventures in CBS and Viacom, his personal life and that of his entire family is a tale filled with betrayals of trust, conflicts of interest, lawsuits against each other, theft, shady ethics, deceit and greed that steadily consumed them. It is a dismal story played out in families from the beginning of time. It’s not Cain’s spontaneous and raging murder of his brother, Abel. It is the slow and measured killing of love over time. It is the story of sisters Rachel and…

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  • Fred's Blog

    Haters

    Listen to “Haters” By Fred Smith   Facebook is not the place for subtlety and we all know that.  Yet, this week I posted a spoof from the Babylon Bee and several good friends took it seriously. I know I should file disclaimers, but I don’t. It was the one telling us that scores of Trump supporters were abandoning him because he preferred McDonald’s over Chick-fil-A. I thought it was funny and said more about the fickleness of supporters than the animus of his detractors. However, one of my friends made a comment about evangelicals who are “Trump haters” and ignore the fact that God has used imperfect leaders and…

  • Fred's Blog

    Place and Power

    Listen to “Place and Power” by Fred Smith   If you want well-written insight into the work of speechwriters and their behind-the-scenes influence, I would suggest Barton Swaim’s book, “The Speechwriter.” Its soul-searching honesty about the conflicts, challenges and moments of both praise and despair are good reading. Some of our finest pundits, commentators, and authors have served as speechwriters. I am thinking of Michael Gerson (for George W. Bush), Peggy Noonan (for Ronald Reagan), and Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. (for John F. Kennedy). Standing somewhere between press secretaries, diarists and fiction writers, they all wrestled with finding words for individuals who were often not, with some exceptions, gifted with language.…