The Four Freedoms, 75 Years Later

Last Friday was the 75th anniversary of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms Speech. In his Annual Message to Congress (State of the Union Address) on January 6, 1941. They symbolized America’s hope in the following years to a war-wearied people because they knew they were fighting for freedom. Roosevelt declared those freedoms to be:

  1. The freedom of speech
  2. The freedom of worship
  3. The freedom from want
  4. The freedom from fear

The Four Freedoms symbolized America’s hope in the following years to a war-wearied people because they knew they were fighting for freedom. His precent remarks on the threat sot our freedoms set the tone, encouraging citizens to unite against threats to our democracy:

[12] I suppose that every realist knows that the democratic way of life is at this moment being directly assailed in every part of the world–assailed either by arms, or by secret spreading of poisonous propaganda by those who seek to destroy unity and promote discord in nations that are still at peace.

On this past Sunday night, at the Golden Globes, Meryl Streep called on all of us again to be mindful of the changing conditions in our democracy:

…And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modelled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. And when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.

Streep’s remarks are a point on a through-line from 1941, into this time, and into the four years ahead. When persons and governments acts as they both detail, we must to act as citizens against those who will curtail our rights, through formal action or  explicit fear mongering by person in positions of power.


  1. FDR and the Four Freedoms Speech
  2. Four freedoms Speech Text
  3. Read Meryl Streep’s Incredible, Devastating Speech Against Trump

Morningside Center for Teaching Social Responsibility

Stumbled on this today while reading something else. Not necessarily my wheel-house but it might be yours:

Morningside Center works hand in hand with educators to help young people develop the values, personal qualities, and skills they need to thrive and contribute to their communities—from the classroom to the world.

A national leader in the field of social and emotional learning (SEL), Morningside Center has developed a range of research-based programs that improve students’ social and emotional intelligence—and their academic performance.

…and this is how you make something

Tom Waits, discussing his mistrust of then fashionable studio techniques while recording ‘Rain Dogs’ in 1984:

“If I want a sound, I usually feel better if I’ve chased it and killed it, skinned it and cooked it. Most things you can get with a button nowadays. So if I was trying for a certain drum sound, my engineer would say: “Oh, for Christ’s sake, why are we wasting our time? Let’s just hit this little cup with a stick here, sample something (take a drum sound from another record) and make it bigger in the mix, don’t worry about it.” I’d say, “No, I would rather go in the bathroom and hit the door with a piece of two-by-four very hard.”



Win, Win, Win, Win, Win …

IN 2008, Tom Friedman proposed taxing gas to keep the price at $4.00 a gallon 2008 at a time when it was $1.67 at the pump. It still makes a lot of sense:

“The two most important rules about energy innovation are: 1) Price matters — when prices go up people change their habits. 2) You need a systemic approach. It makes no sense for Congress to pump $13.4 billion into bailing out Detroit — and demand that the auto companies use this cash to make more fuel-efficient cars — and then do nothing to shape consumer behavior with a gas tax so more Americans will want to buy those cars. As long as gas is cheap, people will go out and buy used S.U.V.’s and Hummers.”

Reasons to Quit

Why are you doing this?
What problem are you solving?
Will it change behavior?

All good questions to ask at this time of the year when we are talking stock and thinking about what to do next. These questions were asked by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson in their book, “Rework”. Here are a few more: