Forget Dress For Success. Dress To Express!

When you want to be at your best, dress to express your best. Dress to express your best behavior style characteristics. When you express your best behavior style characteristics, your confidence will shine through.

We are combinations of the four basic behavior styles, with most of us having one main or High behavior style modified by a Secondary High behavior style. (For a better understanding of DISC behavior styles, download S&R Keys.)

Four basic behavior styles means four basic ways of dressing. Have you noticed fashion magazines highlighting the latest trends for each behavior style? Of course not. I don’t know how fashion trends start, but being fashionable means dressing one particular way. If the fashion trend of the moment happens to match your High behavior style, then your confidence will shine right through your fashionable wardrobe.

If you are one of the three behavior styles that the fashion trends ignore, dressing according to fashion will prevent your confidence from shining through. If you dress according to fashion trends that do not give you confidence, you give any competitive advantage you could have to the people who do feel confident when dressing according fashion trends.

Think about your wardrobe. Which outfits make you feel like you can do anything? Those outfits give you confidence. Those outfits are your dress to express clothes.

For example, Hillary Clinton felt able to express herself in comfortable pantsuits. Steve Jobs felt able to express himself in black turtlenecks and jeans.

Keep in mind that situation plays a factor. As Secretary of State, Clinton did have to dress in a professional style. But her pantsuits are professional and she wears a variety of colors. Steve Jobs owned his company so he could set his own fashion. Most of us have to be more like Clinton, finding a way to express ourselves while dressing for the situation. If all you can do to express yourself is to add an accessory that lets your confidence shine through, then do that. Or do what Hillary Clinton does and wear the colors that express you.

I learned the clothing styles of the four basic behavior styles from the man who introduced me to the DISC behavior style theory. Since we are all combinations of the four basic behavior styles, we may need to express different behavior styles in different situations. This would be a second reason we need to dress to express ourselves according to the situation.

Think which behavior styles match your behavior. I am a High I over Secondary High S, so I am both outgoing in some situations and reserved in other situations. I am always looking for ways to connect with people. I know what to wear so I speak confidently in front of a group of people. I know what to wear when I want to stay on the sidelines. I know how to express myself with confidence. With understanding, you can express yourself with confidence, too.

High D — Outgoing, gets things done
Neat, functional clothing

High I — Outgoing, connects with people
Dramatic, unconventional clothing

High S — Reserved, connects with people
Traditional clothing (could be women wearing skirts and men wearing ties)

High C — Reserved, gets things done
Conservative clothing

The late personal stylist and image consultant Annie Brumbaugh of AD Wardrobe Works had tips for creating a wardrobe that could change your life. One of her tips was to buy “what you love, what makes you comfortable, what you feel expresses you.” Even Annie’s obituary includes her wardrobe advice:

“You are the star of your life. Your wardrobe is the costume department.
Are you dressed for the role you want to play?”

Dress to express who you are as the star of your life.


Paula M. Kramer
© 2015 to the present.
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks or months.

Resource Websites

Business Directory

Reputation Management Directory

Negative Stereotypes Behind Bad & Ugly Gossip: Workplaces

See the first post in this series for an introduction to the negative stereotypes behind bad and ugly gossip.

If you use negative stereotypes about people who are different from you, you are inviting everyone who hears you to use negative stereotypes about you. Below are some of the negative stereotypes other people could use about you in your workplace.

Be sure to read the Points to Ponder at the end of this post.





Nice guys

finish last

Successful/career women

less happy with success




less likely to maintain a steady relationship



hide feelings

less feminine

more masculine

less desirable

Women bosses




too aggressive

Successful/career black women






Women who use the title Ms.

more motivated

more masculine

less likable

Women who use the titles Miss or Mrs.

lacking personality characteristics of a successful middle manager



Pregnant workers

overly emotional

often irrational

physically limited

less than committed to the job

don’t perform well

not valuable or dependable as a worker


shell shocked soldiers are neurotically susceptible and infantile

Women are seen as unsuitable for management positions

when their hair is long, curly,  extreme in color, in the face,
fastened with barrettes and ribbons

when they wear extreme amounts and colors of makeup,
soft  or tight sweaters, low necklines, ruffled blouses,
dangling or ostentatious jewelry,  and don’t wear a jacket

when they are attractive

Feminine dressing women

low managerial skills

low interest in work


overemotional in critical decision making

financially responsible


dependent  on the influences of others


flirtatious in social relations

not  assertive

low independence

low self-confidence

Older workers

absent more

lower productivity levels

less flexible in their behavior

unable to learn new skills

prone to job-related accidents

Overweight workers










Construction workers






hound celebrities

interested in human weakness

chew up private lives for entertainment

Clothing designers


Men who work in stereotypical female professions

are seen as taking a step down

receive preferential treatment for hiring and promotion
— a glass escalator

are overly represented in managerial positions

Male nurses

gay (which assumes that being gay is bad)

Male librarians



Male social workers



Male elementary school teachers


failures as men

Male managers



Disabled workers



ineligible for jobs


need to be compensated with huge sums of money to
motivate them to do their jobs well




fast talkers


subverters of justice

look for loopholes



menace on the highway

Low income workers

will not be motivated by higher salaries to do their jobs well
or work harder

will only be motivated by the threat of their jobs being moved

Giving raises, health care, and retirement benefits to workers

will increase inflation

squeeze profit margins

end economic prosperity

Giving stock options, bonuses, and multimillion dollar salaries to CEOs

will lower inflation

increase profit margins

lead to  economic prosperity






loose cannons

dangers to businesses damaging to career of fellow workers

habitual liars


masters of deceit

committed crimes

fudged resumes

In general women workers are stereotyped as

less competent

not good as leaders

incapable of assertiveness

less knowledgeable

having less authority

being deviant for showing competence and assertiveness

being deviant for interrupting a man

too emotional to do important work

In general women’s work is stereotyped as

less important

less authoritative

less convincing

less valuable

needing to be rejected

ignored or unrecognized

inferior to men’s work

Because of the stereotypes, employed women experience

less pay

lower performance evaluations

fewer promotions

fewer opportunities

less power

fewer resources

less autonomy

less approval for efforts and more disapproval of efforts

more pressure

less accommodation

less cooperation

more interruptions

less authority

less respect

less credit for their work

When men succeed on the job, the stereotyped reasons include

the ability and talents of the men

When women succeed on the job, the stereotyped reasons include

unstable or external causes

When men fail on the job, the stereotyped reasons include

lack of effort

a difficult situation

bad luck

When women fail on the job, the stereotyped reasons include

lack of talent and ability

Work-family issues

are concerns for women

Research on the impact of parental work

focuses on the mother having a job or the father losing a job


criminal activity

Points to Ponder about Men in the Workplace

Men in women’s fields enjoy a glass escalator of preferential treatment for hiring and promotion and are over represented in managerial positions. But choosing a career in a traditionally female field means you’ll face stereotypes of failure and criminality.

Points to Ponder about Women in the Workplace

If you are a woman, be careful to never use any of the negative stereotypes about women in the workplace against other women. If you do, you will be giving permission to everyone else to:

Pay you less

Lower your job performance evaluations

Pass you over for promotions

Deny you opportunities

Deny you power

Deny you resources

Deny you autonomy

Denying approval for your efforts while disapproving your
efforts more

Put you under more pressure

Be less accommodating with you

Be less cooperative with you

Interrupt you more

Deny you authority

Deny you respect

Deny you credit for your work

Points to Ponder about Pay & Benefits

Did you notice the following?

Money and benefits supposedly motivate CEOs but not the
workers that keep the company going.

Raises for CEOs supposedly benefit the economy but raises
for ordinary workers supposedly harm the economy?

Secretaries cannot be motivated by raises but are materialistic
while CEOs need big pay raises to be motivated but are not

Perhaps we should ask the CEOs who get the top pay and benefits to explain why programs that give money to the poor have created so many benefits that dozens of countries have those programs.


Critical Thinking Questions

1.  What’s happening?

2.  Why is it important?

3.  What don’t I see?

4.  How do I know?

5.  Who is saying it?

6.  What else? What if?

Stereotype Thinking Questions

1.  What is threatening my beliefs?

2.  How can I make it unimportant?

3.  What can I reject?

4.  What can I laugh at?

5.  How can I attack people who threaten my beliefs?

6.  How can I deflect?

The stereotype thinking questions are mine, based on my observations of stereotype thinkers.


Paula M. Kramer
© 2015 to the present
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks or months.

Gossip Posters

Gossip Proverb

Good, Bad, & Ugly Gossip

Resource Websites

Business Directory

Reputation Management Directory

Want The Satisfaction Of Being A David (Or Davida) To A Goliath?

You are I are the Davids and Davidas. The U.S. Postal Service is the Goliath. David took Goliath down with a sling and a stone. I don’t want to take down the U.S. Postal Service, but I do want stop the postal service from 5 cent stamp increases. I cannot do that alone. We could do it together.

I‘ve had snail mail problems since 1988, for as long as I’ve lived in my house. I live in a village that usually has less than 200 residents. Therefore, the postmaster for any year knows everyone in the village.

As the problems continued I reduced my use of snail mail to a bare minimum. Since the postal service decided to raise the cost of stamps by 5 cents in a single increase, it seems likely that other people are making the same choice to use the U.S. Postal Service less. I decided to conduct polls on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to discover how widespread the problems are. I hope to get responses from 1000 Davids and Davidas. With 1000 Davids and Davidas making similar complaints, maybe we can make enough noise to get the Postmaster General to pay attention. Maybe we can get the U.S. Postal Service to fix its problems instead of raising its prices.

This blog post provides detailed explanations for all of the problems I list in #PaulaPolls1. I plan more #PaulaPolls on other topics.

Many postal workers do their jobs well. They are productive postal workers. Others are pussyfooting postal workers. They pussyfoot around actually doing the work required by their jobs. Another group is probably a mixture of productive and pussyfooting. Postal workers undoubtedly pussyfoot around doing their jobs for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they don’t like the work. Perhaps they are lazy. Perhaps they feel overwhelmed by required procedures. I’m certain that the problems come from both postal service procedures and pussyfooting postal workers.

Which Of These Problems Have You Had?

Slower General Delivery

It now takes three days for first class mail to travel between my village and another village three miles away. The mail travels the equivalent of one mile per day.

Months Late Delivery

A friend who lived 18 miles away mailed a thank you card to me in June. I received it in September.

Take A Detour Delivery

I ordered plants. The plants went from southeastern Wisconsin to the Minneapolis area of Minnesota before arriving at my post office in central Wisconsin. Most of the plants were dead on arrival.

Disappearing Incoming Mail

I took an advertising class in college. For one advertising project, I contacted a cereal company and asked for information I could use in my project. When the material did not arrive, I called and talked to the same woman. She said she had sent out the 9×12 brown envelope soon after I called. She sent me another 9×12 brown envelope full of information. When that envelope didn’t arrive either, I asked her to send the information to a friend in a nearby small city. That envelope arrived. I believe the woman did send me all three envelopes because my class project was free advertising for her company’s cereal.

Other mail has disappeared from the village three miles away and from the small city 15 miles away. I know the mail disappeared because it was mail we expected but didn’t get until we had it sent again. Three notices in a row from my bank in the three-miles-away village disappeared.

Disappearing Outgoing Mail

I started paying most bills online after two checks to my utility company disappeared in consecutive months.

I’ve also started calling local businesses when I mail them a check, asking them to let me know when my check arrives. One business told me that other people make the same request.

Mixed Up Incoming Mail

At times, people in my village receive mail meant for village neighbors. We leave mixed up mail on a table for the addressees to find.

Revolving Door Wrong Mail

I twice received mail from different counties that kept revolving back to my P.O. box. The only similarity between my address and the other two addresses was the P.O. box number. The names of the addressees were different (one addressee was a business). The towns were different. The zip codes were different. But in both cases the mail revolved back to my box twice more after I put the mail in the outgoing box. I had to write notes on the envelopes to get the mail to stop revolving back to my box.

Hungry Postal Machines

The last time I had a parking ticket was decades ago. I mailed a check to the police department within the prescribed time. I was unhappy to receive a second notice about the ticket with an added fine. I took my checkbook to the police department to show that I had written a check within the prescribed time. The woman at the desk said, “The machine probably ate it.” Her statement means she had previous experiences with postal machines eating mail. How hungry are the postal machines? We’ll never know.

Partial Procedure Postal Workers

I placed an order that meant parcel post delivery. When my parcel should have arrived, nothing was in my post office box indicating a parcel had arrived. The company insisted the parcel had been delivered. The postal worker insisted she had not received the parcel. After two weeks of my asking about my parcel, the postal worker decided to look through the bigger post office boxes where she put parcels. She found my parcel. My parcel had arrived on time. She had put the parcel in a bigger box, but then failed to place a key to that box in my post office box.

Picky Perfection Postal Workers

For several years, we had a postmaster who refused to deliver mail when the address was not absolutely perfect. One big business owner in the village got into trouble with the state because the postmaster refused to deliver something about taxes. The part time post office employee working with this picky perfection postmaster told me every village resident would be horrified to learn what the picky perfection postmaster did with our mail.

When I was on a jury duty list, I called the county clerk in charge to say that the picky perfection postmaster did not deliver all of our mail and would she please call me when she sent me mail. She told me about a picky perfection postmaster in another village who also refused to deliver mail that was not addressed perfectly. One of the potential jurors lived across the street from that other post office, but the picky perfection postmaster refused to deliver the mail because some little detail in the address was wrong.

Pity Party Postal Workers

Even on one job I had to cope with poor mail service. Decades ago, I did customer service for a company that did its biggest business during the Christmas season. One customer called to complain that her post office had decided to return all parcel post boxes to the companies instead of delivering them to their customers. Yes, you read that correctly. The post office decided to return all parcel post packages to the companies instead of delivering them to customers for Christmas. Apparently, the idea of doing the work of their jobs was just too much for those postal workers. How many Chrismas parties and Christmas mornings did that post office pity party ruin?

Twin Post Office Pity Parties?

Many years ago, I was standing in line at the post office in the village three miles away when I heard an incredible complaint. A woman had delivered postcard invitations for a big wedding anniversary party to that village post office. Half of the postcards never arrived. The half that did arrive had the postmark from the small city 15 miles away. The only way for those postcards to get from the village post office to the small city post office was for a village postal worker to deliver the postcards to the small city post office. Pity party! Did the small city postal workers have a twin pity party and decide to toss half of the postcards? Did twin post office pity parties ruin a big wedding anniversary party?

Models For Postal Delivery From
Iceland & New Zealand

Contrast pussyfooting U.S. postal workers with productive postal workers in Iceland and New Zealand.

A letter sent to a post office in Iceland included a map and these explanations:

Country: Iceland. City: Búðardalur. Name: A horse farm with
an Icelandic/Danish couple and three kids and a lot of sheep!
The Danish woman works in a supermarket in Búðardalur.

Productive Icelandic postal workers successfully delivered the letter to the correct address.

“Letter Sent to Iceland with Hand-Drawn Map Instead of Address Actually Arrives at Destination”
Cammie Finch
My Modern Met
September 1, 2016


A letter sent to a post office in New Zealand had this address:

2 Kay + Phillip
On a farm near
situated up a long
drive with cows,
opposite cust
pub or there abouts

The productive New Zealand postal workers put the address on Facebook and found the recipients.

“How a package to ‘a farm situated up a long drive with cows’ got to its destination”
CBC Radio
March 20, 2018

The U.S. Postal Service Could Get It Right

I have a hint for the U.S. Postal Service. They should use the technique the late Ken Hendricks (ABC Supply) used to become a billionaire. When Hendricks considered buying a business, he spent as little time as possible listening to the executives. This was Hendricks advice:

“Walk in the back room and talk to the warehouse guy or the forklift operator and say, ‘If you were running this business, what would you do differently?” says Hendricks. “I guarantee if you fixed what they tell you, 95 percent of the time that would be a successful business. These guys hit it on the head all the time. But management never asks them.”

Is the Postmaster General going to be as smart as billionaire Ken Hendricks?

“How To Buy A Business”
Inc Magazine Staff
December 1, 2006

Your Turn To Speak Up

Please join me as Davids and Davidas in holding the U.S. Postal Service accountable for both its problems and its prices. Go to one of the links below to give your responses to #PaulaPolls1. I will keep reposting #PaulaPolls1 on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter until I get a combined 1000 David and Davida responses. Once we get the U.S. Postal Service listening to us, you could have the satisfaction of telling people you know that you were a David or Davida who helped change the procedures of a Goliath.

Thank you.





Paula M. Kramer
Transformation Tactician
Resource Rock Star

Copyright 2019
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

Resource Websites

The Little County That Can & Does: World, National, & State Firsts

Portage County, Wisconsin (population a little more than 70,000) is The Little County That Can & Does because it is lucky and smart. Portage County is lucky because it grew up with everything it needed to create success. Many Portage County residents are smart because they use their luck to create a variety of successes. Today, Portage County is a hotbed of spectacular success. The book From Pyramids to Circles: Shaping Groups to Succeed will include chapters about both Portage County and Wood County in Wisconsin.

Wood County was not as lucky as its neighbor Portage County because it did not grow up with everything it needed to create spectacular success. However, the residents of South Wood County are learning to shape their county to create the kinds of success that can lead to spectacular success.

From Pyramids To Circles is currently in revision. Blog posts about Portage County and Wood County will be listed in the book as further reading.

Because Portage County residents are both lucky and smart, the county is also a hotbed of world firsts, national firsts, state firsts, and models of effectiveness.

When appropriate, firsts appear in more than one category.

The wide range of firsts indicates what is possible when the situational factors necessary for spectacular success are present in one place.

Contact paula at speakingfromtriumph dot com with additions and corrections. Both are welcome.

Embarrassing Firsts

As of November 2017, I added an embarrassing Portage County state first. No one is perfect. Embarrassing Portage County firsts are at the bottom of this post.

Portage County, Wisconsin Volunteers

The spectacular successes are possible because of the people who volunteer to make events successful. I am now interviewing Portage County volunteers, asking these five questions.

1. Have you always lived in Portage County? If yes, skip to #4.

2. How long have you lived in Portage County?

3. How is Portage County different from the other places you’ve lived?

4. What do you enjoy about living in Portage County?

5. How does your volunteer work benefit your life in Portage County?

If you are a Portage County, Wisconsin volunteer and would like to participate in the research for my book, please send your answers to the email address above.

Thank you.
Paula Kramer


Educational First

Becoming an Outdoors-Woman
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Educational First

Aber Suzuki Center & American Suzuki Institute
Originally known only as American Suzuki Institute, the Aber Suzuki Center is the first Suzuki Institute in the world outside of Japan.

Business Firsts

Women In Trucking Association
The Women In Trucking Association is the first association for women truckers in the world. Men can be members as well. The Women In Trucking Association has members in North America, Australia, and Europe.

The Women In Trucking Association initiated an event for Girl Scouts to earn a Transportation Patch. Working with the Greater Chicago/Northern Indiana regional office, the Women In Trucking Association developed the curriculum and patch. The event has been repeated in the United States and Canada (Girl Guides in Canada).


Trivia Contest
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point radio station, WWSP 90fm

Renewable Energy Fair
Midwest Renewable Energy Association

Student Operated Paper Machine
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Paper Science and Engineering


Educational Firsts

Cottage at Stevens Point Normal School
For students to learn how to run a household

Conservation Education Major
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Student/Faculty Television
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Communication Program
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Student Chapter of the American Water Resources Association
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Wellness Program in University Life
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Computer Information System Major
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
early 1980s

Paper Machine Designed for Teaching
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Suzuki Voice Training

First American to Fulfill Voice Requirements of the European Suzuki Association
Suzuki Singing Books 1 through 4
Mary Hofer

Undergraduate Health Promotion and Wellness Programs
National Wellness Institute

Wellness Academic Accreditation Program Institute
National Wellness Institute

Student Government Association’s Environmental and Sustainability Issues
Director and Committee
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Athletic Training Research Using Virtual Reality Hockey Technology

Business First

Restaurant Salad Bar
Sky Club

Media Firsts

Radio Broadcasting Station at a Teachers College

Student/Faculty Television
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Health Firsts

Wellness Symposiums, Now National Wellness Conference

Six Dimensions of Wellness Model
Dr. Bill Hettler
(National wellness founder along with Dennis Elsenrath and Fred Leafgren)
Intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, occupational, and physical wellness

First Institute with Wellness as its Mission
National Wellness Institute
(Originally launched as Institute for Lifestyle Improvement by the
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Foundation)

Environmental Firsts

Conservation Education Major
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Student Chapter of the American Water Resources Association
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Green Circle That Forms a Physical Circle Around a Community

Artistic Firsts

Bachelor of Music Degree
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Suzuki Voice Training

First American to Fulfill Voice Requirements of the European Suzuki Association
Suzuki Singing Books 1 through 4
Mary Hofer

Award Firsts

First Recipient of Friends of Lulu’s “Women of Distinction” Award
Maggie Thompson
(Friends of Lulu existed from 1994 to 2011)
National organization promoting women as readers and participants in the comic book industry

First Recipient of the Transportation Innovators Champion of Change Award
Ellen Voie, President & CEO
Women In Trucking Association
Presented by the Barack Obama White House

Models Of Effectiveness

CAP Services
Community action against poverty
(Asked where Portage County gets its volunteers, the late CAP President
Karl Pnazek replied, “I pick them off the sidewalk. They just grow here.”)

Central Rivers Farmshed
Events, programs, workshops, and resources that support a local food economy

Community Care of Portage County
Long term care for the elderly and disabled
(Until the state of Wisconsin changed home healthcare in Wisconsin)

Teaching Partners
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
College of Professional Studies
Pairing faculty and teaching academic staff for discussions about teaching and learning

Wisconsin Lake Leaders Institute
Management of lakes and working with state and local governments

Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas
Peer to peer partnership

Writing Lab (now Tutoring-Learning Center)
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Horticultural Only

“Hans Aanrud” Triumph Tulips
Named for Hans Aanrud, Norwegian writer, drama critic.
Great uncle of Portage County resident Ruth Aanrud.
Ruth has kept the tulips growing in her garden since the 2010s.


Educational First

Student Organization to Work with North Central Conservancy Trust
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Land Conservation Society

Environmental Firsts

Renewable Energy Fair
Midwest Renewable Energy Association

First Publicly Owned Project to Earn LEED Platinum
George W. Mead Wildlife Area Education & Visitor Center
Architect Thomas Brown, Stevens Point
Mead Wildlife Area encompasses land in Marathon, Portage, and Wood Counties.

First Solar Transpired Wall
Stevens Point Airport

Green Tier Status
Central Waters Brewing Company

Student Organization to Work with North Central Conservancy Trust
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
Land Conservation Society

UW Campus with 100% Electricity from Renewable Sources
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

We Are Still In Declaration
The “We Are Still In” declaration was released June 5, 2017. Leaders across the United States are signing the declaration, committing their organizations to the Paris Agreement on combating climate change. University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Chancellor Bernie Patterson was the first chancellor in the University of Wisconsin system to sign the declaration.

First University Of Wisconsin School Named To The Princeton Review Green College Honor Roll
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

First University Of Wisconsin School To Achieve 100 Percent Renewable Electricity
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point

Agricultural First

Anaerobic Digester
Gordondale Farms

Artistic First

First Sculpture Park Owned by a Municipality
Stevens Point Sculpture Park

Investment First

Investment in Healthy Food Enterprises
Incredible Edibles Investment Club, LLC
One member lives in Wood County

Religion First

Call to Common Mission
In 2000, the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America came to an agreement known as The Call to Common Mission. The agreement allows the two denominations to share worship, clergy, evangelism, and outreach. The Stevens Point congregations of the Intercession Episcopal Church and the Redeemer Lutheran Church are the first in Wisconsin to partner by sharing not only a building, but also a clergy person for the two churches. Together they are the Beloved Community of the Episcopal Church of the Intercession and Redeemer Lutheran Churches.

Premier/Largest Midwest Events

Portage County Cultural Festival
A day of fun, food, and learning organized 100% by volunteers.

Riverfront Jazz Festival
Local, regional, and internationally renowned jazz musicians coming together with the funds going to the UW-Stevens Point Jazz Studies program.

Walk Wisconsin
Noncompetitive yearly event for people of all ages and abilities on routes including all or parts of Portage County’s Green Circle.

State Embarrassments

Criminal First

Double Lynching
In October 1875, brothers Isiah and Amos Courtwright shot and killed Sheriff Joseph Baker. Stevens Point residents removed the the Courtwrights from the jail and lynched them from a large jack pine tree. This was the first and only double lynching in Wisconsin.

Binge Drinking Highest (Shared)

Portage and Iron counties share the highest binge drinking rate in the state, 29%. For a county that creates spectacular success by working with others and satisfying others, this is an embarrassment. For a county that is a hotbed of world, national, and state firsts, this is an embarrassment. For a county that is a model of effectiveness, this is an embarrassment.

“The Burden of Binge Drinking in Wisconsin”
Sarah Linnan, MA
Jason Paltzer, PhD, MPH
Erin Skalitzky, MPH
University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute
October 14, 2019


Paula M. Kramer
Copyright 2019
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks or months.

Standards For Success Posters

Working With Others & Satisfying Others

Resource Websites

Business Directory

Reputation Management Directory

Torture Or Not Torture: Proof In Experience

Originally published January 23, 2015.

Revised and republished January 20, 2016 after a web host transfer.

Do an Internet search with the words “not torture” and you will find several claims that the CIA’s “enhanced interrogation” techniques do not constitute torture.

I will believe that those techniques are not torture when all the people using the phrase “not torture” give me proof in experience. I want them to prove from their own experience that those techniques are not torture. To do this, they have to experience the techniques themselves and report back to me that they did not feel tortured.

I did not read or listen to any details about the techniques because just knowing about them sickens me. However, I do know some details about the situation.

The standards for proof in experience in this situation mean that all supporters of the “not torture” enhanced interrogations must agree to be…

…taken from their own lives without notice.

…taken to a destination away from their lives.

…prevented from seeing or contacting anyone in their lives.

…softened up for interrogation sessions.

…interrogated in anyway the interrogators choose to
interrogate them for the length of time interrogators

…kept away from their lives and families for an indefinite
period of time, subject to enhanced interrogation
techniques at any time.

If supporters of the “not torture” enhanced interrogation techniques come back from these experiences and tell me they were not tortured, then I will have to believe them.

I do already have proof in experience from the other side of the situation at Abu Ghraib. Eric Fair is an Army veteran who was a contract interrogator in Iraq at Abu Ghraib in 2004. These are Eric Fair’s words about himself:

“I was an interrogator at Abu Ghraib. I tortured.”

These are Eric Fair’s words about the Senate’s torture report:

“I assure you there is more; much remains redacted.”


To delete or remove (private or sensitive information)
from a document in preparation for publication

The British Psychological Society reported on a study showing that  “regular people” supported torture “…on a desire for payback, not intelligence.”

Support for torture depends on whether people “are told that torture is likely to be ineffective”, of if they are told the suspect is a terrorist, or if they are told that the suspect had actually planted a bomb.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence found that:

Not once between late 2001 and early 2009 did the CIA’s use
of torture result in intelligence that helped to foil a terrorist
plot. All of the most useful information came from standard,
non-violent interrogation approaches. Furthermore, tortured
detainees frequently made up things in an attempt to get
their torturers to stop.

Even support for a “ticking time bomb scenario”

depends on a ‘highly idealised’ and ‘highly unrealistic’ set of
assumptions being met. Moreover, their finding that people’s
support for torture is influenced by the identity and the
culpability of the suspect shows that the practice is often
endorsed as a form of punishment, not as a way to extract

The Middle East Research and Information Project found that refusing to use torture creates more security.

…torture is ineffective in enhancing security; on the contrary,
states that do not torture (or extra-judicially execute)
prisoners experience substantially less terrorism, and their
counter-terrorism efforts are more effective.

If you want to feel secure from terrorism, then you should insist you’re your government uses effective interrogation techniques. It turns out that the most effective interrogation techniques are humane.

Disclosure was 14 times more likely to occur early in an
interrogation when a rapport-building approach was used.
Confessions were four times more likely when interrogators
struck a neutral and respectful stance. Rates of detainee
disclosure were also higher when they were interrogated in
comfortable physical settings.

If you want to inflict pain on other people, come right out and say it. Just don’t expect the person in pain to give you the information you need to feel secure. When you approve torture, you make it easier for others to harm you because you create less security for yourself.

Your choice is payback or security:

Choosing payback will bring you less security.

Choosing security will bring you less terrorism.

Basing your choice on your feelings suggests unresolved feelings that need to be addressed. Exposing yourself to more terrorism might not be the best way to satisfy the needs behind those feelings.

I’m waiting for the “not torture” volunteers to give me proof in experience.

“American Torture: The Price Paid, the Lessons Learned”
Lisa Hajjar
Middle East Research and Information Project
Summer 2009, Volume 39

“Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program”
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence
Approved December 13, 2012
Updated for Release April 3, 2014
Declassification Revisions December 3, 2014

“The Humane Interrogation Technique That Works Much Better Than Torture”
Olga Khazan
The Atlantic
December 14, 2014

“I Can’t Be Forgiven for Abu Ghraib”
Eric Fair
The New York Times
December 9, 2014

“Interviewing High Value Detainees: Securing Cooperation and Disclosures”
Jane Goodman-Delahunty, Natalie Martschuk, and Mandeep K. Dhami
Applied Cognitive Psychology
October 17, 2014

“People’s support for torture in “ticking time bomb scenarios” is influenced by their desire for retribution”
Research Digest
British Psychological Society

“Rapport-building interrogation is more effective than torture”
Research Digest
British Psychological Society

“The Ticking Time Bomb: When the Use of Torture Is and Is Not Endorsed”
Joseph Spino and Denise Dellarosa CumminsReview of Philosophy and Psychology
August 16, 2014

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)

Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

Resource Rock Star Details

6 Nitty Gritty Questions To Ask Sarah Palin

Originally published December 4, 2013.

Revised and republished January 19, 2016

The current dissatisfaction with political professionals (politicians, pundits, speechmakers, etc.) stems in part from the failure of ordinary citizens to set standards of effectiveness for them. Ordinary citizens live the nitty gritty details of life. One standard we could set is the expectation that political professionals talk about nitty gritty details and answer 6 questions about nitty gritty details. Former Alaskan Governor, former Republican vice presidential candidate, and former Fox News Channel contributor Sarah Palin is so bad at talking about nitty gritty details that she is my example for setting a standard of effectiveness for political professionals.

As Republican vice presidential candidate in 2008, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin did an interview with Katie Couric. During that campaign, the worst financial crisis in decades had disrupted world financial markets and the U.S. government had decided to spend $700 billion bailing out the financial system. Couric asked:

“Why isn’t it better, Governor Palin, to spend $700 billion helping middle-class families struggling with health care, housing, gas and
groceries? … Instead of helping these big financial institutions that
played a role in creating this mess?”

In 151 words, Palin talked about:


“healthcare reform” (twice)

“job creation” (twice, including “umbrella of job creating”)

“shoring up our economy”

“reducing taxes”

“reining in spending”

“tax reductions”

“tax relief”

“trade as opportunity”

“trade sector”

The words “middle-class families” never came out of Palin’s mouth. Political professionals would be effective if they answered the 6 nitty gritty questions of any issue: who, what, where, when, how, and why.

An effective answer from Palin would have focused on


Middle class families and big financial institutions


What the bailout money was for


The schedule for releasing the money and the
estimated time for financial recovery


“Main Street” versus “Wall Street”


How the government could ensure “Wall Street”
spent the money on helping “Main Street” instead
of on self-congratulating celebration trips, as AIG
and Wells Fargo wanted to.


The reasoning behind and/or past examples of
bailing out “Wall Street” rather than “Main Street”
or behind “Wall Street only” rather than “Main
Street, too”

Vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin came nowhere near the nitty gritty details. If citizens of the United States insisted that political professionals include the nitty gritty who, what, when, where, how, and why when they talk about issues, interviewers like Couric might start using the same standards for effectiveness in their interviews.

It is always possible that political professionals will not know part of an answer. In that case, they should say they will find out the information and post it on their website with their answers to all of the other nitty gritty questions so their response is complete.

Every topic a political professional addresses would have its own 6 nitty gritty questions. Below are two more topics Palin has spoken about.

Sarah Palin compared paying off the federal debt to slavery. Some nitty gritty questions for Palin on this issue include:


Who was the first president to borrow money from
a foreign country?


What activities will American taxpayer slaves be
prevented from doing, since slave owners take
freedom of choice away from slaves?


When will American taxpayer slaves be forcibly
taken from their families?


Where will American taxpayer slaves be put up
for sale?

(Who will taxpayer slaves be sold to?)


How do you decide which debts mean slavery
and which debts do not? Do homeowners
become slaves when mortgage holders sell
mortgage notes to a new “master that is not
of your choosing”?


Why didn’t you complain about taxpayers
becoming slaves in 2010 when House
Republicans chose “Prince of Pork” Hal Rogers
to Chair the House Appropriations Committee?

Sarah Palin visited Wausau, Wisconsin in late 2013 because of a controversy over religious music during school Christmas concerts. Some nitty gritty questions for Palin on this issue include:


Who thinks the war on Christmas is an


What are your proposals for protecting the “heart”
of all religious holidays celebrated by nonChristian


When will you talk about the effective way Wausau
community members came together to discuss the
controversy and create a solution before you arrived
in Wausau?


Where is your anger when people “diminish” the
“true meaning” of religious holidays celebrated by
nonChristian Americans?


How will you protect the religious celebrations of
nonChristian Americans from Scrooges?


Why did you think Wausau residents would need
to buy your book to follow your steps
“to combat the Scrooges” when the Wausau
community had already settled  the issue?

If people keep asking political professionals like Sarah Palin the 6 nitty gritty questions, they will have to start responding with at least some nitty gritty answers.

“Palin: ’What The Bailout Does Is Help Those Who Are Concerned About Health Care Reform’”
Ryan Powers
Think Progress
September 25, 2008

“400 line up for Sarah Palin book promotion at Rib Mountain”
Lydia Mulvany
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
November 14, 2013

“Bailed-Out Bank Nixes Lavish Vegas Junket”
February 3, 2009

“Conservatives Peeved After GOP Taps ‘Prince of Pork’ to Lead Spending Committee”
Fox News
December 10, 2010

“Sarah Palin coming to Wausau area”
Dan Griffin
WAOW Television
November 6, 2013

“Sarah Palin invokes slavery, inappropriately of course”
Jonathan Capehart
The Washington Post
November 15, 2013

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)

Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

Resource Rock Star Details

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz Has Left The Room

Originally published June 4, 2014.

Revised and republished January 11, 2016 after a web host transfer.

Below are two reasons I do not donate money when I receive Democratic fundraising emails, even though I am a registered Democrat.

Reason #1

“The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Has Left The Room”

Reason #2

Florida’s Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz sent me a fundraising email saying:

“President Obama sent you an email.

Vice President Biden sent you an email.

Nancy Pelosi sent you an email.

Now I’m sending you an email.

We’re emailing you because this is really important.”

Wasserman Schultz provided no email address for me to respond to her. When I went to her website to send an email, I received this message:

Zip Code Authentication Failed

I called Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz’s Florida office and asked if she or her staff would read a letter from Wisconsin. The staff member who answered the phone told me there was no guarantee because they had to look at mail from Florida first. If Wasserman Schultz is not going to give me a way to respond to her, then she has no business emailing me about anything. I told the staff member I would publish my response to Wasserman Schultz in a blog post with the hope that someone else would read it and say something to her.

Wasserman Schultz insulted me by deciding I was too “intellectually unsophisticated to know what is “really important” without her explaining it to me.

Wasserman Schultz created inequality for me by expecting me to remain silent and passive.

I do not trust politicians who ask for money so they can satisfy their power addiction, as indicated in the emails the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) sends out. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has left the room along with all of those other Democrats.

I see little difference between Republican politicians seeking power for the sake of power and Democratic politicians seeking power for the sake of power. My needs fall outside the focus of power-seeking politicians from both  sides.

It is “really important” that politicians pay attention to my needs. Debbie Wasserman Schultz ignored my needs, treated me as if I were her intellectual inferior, and created inequality for me. Wasserman Schultz expected me to accept this insulting treatment without question and send money.

I refuse to donate money to politicians who will use my money to buy ads that say things I do not want said. I need Democrats and Republicans to speak respectfully about and to each other, to identify commonalities, and to identify ways to work around differences. I need Democrats to respect my needs, to respect my intelligence, and to create equality for me before they ask me for money.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz did none of what I need. She is yet another female politician who treats female constituents as unequal.

Time has proved that other Democratic voters feel that Wasserman Schultz has left the room.

“The Arrogance of Feminist Leaders”

“Demand Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s immediate resignation as DNC chair”
Spirituality for Justice

“It’s Time for Female Politicians to Treat Female Constituents
as Equals”

“What Do Feminist Leaders Have In Common with Outlaw Bikers,
Hierarchical Leaders, Donald Rumsfeld, and the Old Guard of the
Catholic Church?”

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)

Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

Resource Rock Star Details

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Has Left The Room

Originally published April 9, 2014.

Revised and republished January 10, 2016 after a web host transfer.

I am a registered Democrat. For a reason I cannot remember, I gave the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) my email address. I receive frequent emails asking for money. The emails reveal that the DCCC left the room I’m in years ago. In my room, I talk to friends and acquaintances about wanting Democrats and Republicans to work together. I talk about the Republican politicians I like. I want Democratic politicians to speak respectfully about and to Republicans so that Republicans learn they can trust Democrats.

The room the DCCC was in when I wrote this blog post was all about taking down Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner. The emails I received frequently said nasty things about John Boehner. Below are several samples:

“Boehner must be tearing his hair out right now.”

“Boehner just got caught red-handed!”
(This one from Nancy Pelosi herself.)

“Boehner wasn’t expecting this, friend.”
(Another one from Nancy Pelosi. Nancy Pelosi is not my friend.)

“Boehner is already bragging.”
(Nancy Pelosi)

“This news will make Boehner furious!”

“Boehner surely didn’t bargain for this.”

“…a slap in the face to Boehner’s attempt to hold on to his obstructionist Tea Party majority.”
(This is a mischaracterization of John Boehner.)

“…we could really embarrass Speaker Boehner come this fall.”

“You can bet Speaker Boehner and Paul Ryan are high-fiving in the hallways of Congress over their record-breaking haul.”

“Boehner’s going to hate this.”

“…to hand Boehner’s buddies a devastating defeat.”

“…completely demoralize John Boehner…”

“Speaker Boehner was riding high a couple of days ago, but he’s going to have an absolute meltdown…”

“…a major embarrassment for John Boehner.”

I might be a registered Democrat, but my political goal was NEVER to catch John Boehner red-handed, make him tear his hair out, embarrass him, make him furious, slap him in the face, demoralize him, or give him a meltdown. Those words and phrases are NEVER part of my conversations.

My political goal is for all Democrats and all Republicans to learn to work together to make sure all citizens have what we need to create success in our own lives. The ability of individual citizens to be successful does matter. The mortgage crisis would have proved that to politicians who paid attention. When millions of ordinary people could not pay their mortgages, the financial world came tumbling down. But if the entire Democratic party is focused the way the DCCC emails are focused, then my hope for a better life is doomed.

The Republicans might be sending similar emails to registered Republicans, but I don’t know that. I do know that Democrats are losing elections because they keep proving they are in a different room than voters. Democratic voters on or near the political party fence at times decide that an individual Republican candidate sounds closer to the room they’re in than the Democratic candidate.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is one example. In his second election as Governor, nearly a third of Democratic voters chose Republican Christie. Voters in numbers big enough to swing elections want bipartisan politicians who stay in the same room voters are in. Those voters do not want politicians who leave the room and fantasize about what they could do to leaders from the other party. Governor Christie’s lower approval ratings in the years since the George Washington Bridge scandal suggest he isn’t as bipartisan as he appeared.

House Democrats keep demonstrating that they are intent on satisfying their own needs, not mine. They need to take John Boehner down and they think I need to take John Boehner down, too. I don’t. I need Democrats to spend time in my room instead of closing themselves off in a room by themselves. Right now, I have no hope for a better life with Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House for a second time. She offended me the entire four years she was Speaker of the House.

In private, Democrats sound just as bad as Republicans sound in public. Given that sameness, what difference does it make who wins the majority in Congress? If Democrats keep focusing on taking down John Boehner and do win the majority in Congress, they would still be in a different room. Their focus would still be on satisfying their own need to humiliate the other party instead of on satisfying citizen needs for Democrats and Republicans to work together.

Besides writing this blog post, I wrote a letter to my Democratic congressional representative. I included a $3 check. I also sent a copy of this blog post. The letter is below.

Dear Rep. ————-,
Enclosed is a $3 check and a blog post I wrote about the DCCC. Please read the post.

I also sent copies of the post to the DCCC, to Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and to President Obama.

I will send you more money if you do all of the following:

1.  Stop using words and phrases like “howling” and “gang of Republicans”.

2.  Speak respectfully about Republicans both publicly and privately so they have no excuse to speak disrespectfully about you.

3.  Explain what you will do to seek commonalities between Republicans and Democrats.

4.  If you have already identified commonalities, explain what those commonalities are and how you will approach your Republican counterparts to talk about them.

Making those four actions your normal method of representing me will put us back in same room.

I trust you to be creative in finding commonalities, but I’ll give you an example of how I would like you as the politician who represents me to look for commonalities with Republicans.

Many Republicans are pro-life, meaning they support the right of every baby to be born. The most effective way to create a commonality on this issue is to focus on babies. If every baby has a right to be born, then every baby has a right to be born to parents who want him or her. Unfortunately, babies are born everyday to parents who do not want them. Those children endure neglect, abuse, and even murder at the hands of their parents. Focusing on babies turns the discussion with pro-life Republicans to protecting all babies by finding ways to make sure all babies are born to parents who want them.

It will take thought, but I voted for you assuming that you would take the time to think. It will be challenging, but you can challenge any Republican who does not live up to their pro-life claim. Not all Democrats are pro-choice and not all Republicans are pro-life, but I expect you to look for and build on the commonalities.

Paula Kramer

Generally, the emails from my own representative are far better than the emails from the DCCC. However, I get the least partisan and most respectful emails from New Jersey Senator Cory Booker. Senator Booker is willing to work with Republicans and spoke out against both Republican and Democratic campaign attack ads. Booker’s backers have apparently used some attack ads, though. Hard to say what Booker’s involvement was. However, Booker is still more with me in the room I’m in than not with me.



“Boehner Fights Back Against Tea Party, Again”
David Welna
National Public Radio (NPR)
February 14, 2014

“A Brief History of Infanticide”
Dr. Larry S. Milner
The Society for the Prevention of Infanticide

“Cory Booker on ‘Nauseating” Attack Ads & More Sunday Talk (Video)
The Daily Beast
May 20, 2012

“Exit Polls”: N.J. Governor”
The New York Times
Election 2013

“Poll: Christie Approval rating at New Low in N.J.”
Courtney Such
RealClear Politics
June 23, 2015

“Rand Paul, Cory Booker Kindle Festivus Bromance Over Sentencing Reform, Ending War On Drugs”
Matt Sledge
The Huffington Post
December 23, 2013

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)

Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

Resource Rock Star Details

It’s Time For Female Politicians To Treat Female Constituents As Equals

Originally published March 26, 2014.

Revised and republished January 10, 2016 after a web host transfer.

Background On Inequality Between Women

Inequality between females is more common than equality between females. Females create inequality for other females through words and actions of betrayal.

In 1988, I watched Oprah Winfrey betray a female guest on her talk show. I couldn’t understand how Oprah could betray another woman. By that time, I already felt regret for the way I had treated a number of girls and women in my life, but I had never asked myself how I could betray another girl or woman. To figure out why Oprah betrayed her female guest, I wrote my masters thesis about women as television talk show hosts. What I learned from writing that thesis is that every girl in this country grows up learning how to betray other girls. As women we just keep doing what we grew up doing, betraying other women. Betrayal between females creates inequality between females.

I watched every talk show hosted by a woman for about five years (starting before I earned my B.A.). Most of the topics discussed on the shows fell into four repeating themes. I now call those themes the cultural themes of betrayal between women:

Women as mothers

Women and their appearance

Women as deviants

Teenage girls as threats to society

For more details about each of these themes, see Girl Grit.

As young girls, we learn to judge other girls according to these cultural themes of betrayal. As women, we continue to judge each other according to these cultural themes of betrayal. Even girls who grow up to become politicians judge and betray other women because that is what they learned to do.

Every time a female betrays another female, she betrays herself as well. Every time a female holds another female back, she holds herself back as well. Every time a female judges another woman according to the cultural themes of betrayal, she invites other females as well as males to judge her by the same cultural themes. It’s time for female politicians to learn to stop judging and betraying other females so they can begin to create equality for both constituent females and themselves.

Once I understood that I judged other females based on these cultural themes of betrayal, I rethought all of my relationships with girls and women. I wanted to find a way for all girls and women to stop betraying each other and start supporting each other. I found the way when I read Dr. Reg Williams’ four steps for new recruits to be more successful in the Navy. I adapted his steps, then added other steps as I realized their significance for females. Together they are the 12 Girl Goodwill Steps to Success & Equality:

1.  Look other girls and women in the eye and say hello. *

2.  Focus on what you have in common with other girls and women. *

3.  Create connections between girls and women to help them
recognize what they have in common.

4.  Ask questions to understand differences when you must
consider them.

5.  Avoid judging other girls and women *

6.  Avoid making assumptions by asking questions to
understand intentions.

7.  Listen to any other side of the story.

8.  Ask other girls and women for help, but avoid expecting
more than they can give. *

9.  Speak words to give other girls and women confidence.

10. Take action to help other girls and women shine.

11. Make room for other girls and women to share in success.

12. Speak what you want to hear because boys and men will
deny equality to girls and women as long as girls and women
deny equality to each other.

*  Adapted from Dr. Reg Williams
Former Professor of Psychiatry and Vietnam veteran

I read Dr. Williams’ advice for Navy recruits in a Good Housekeeping magazine early in the second Iraq war. The article is buried in a box somewhere in my house. I will post the citation when I find the article.

In an effort to spread the word about girl goodwill, I set up a Facebook campaign where girls and women could tell stories about helping other girls and women succeed. I told a few stories from my own life. Thankfully, I had a number of stories to tell, easing my guilt over the far greater number of times I betrayed other females.

One story is about a woman I had been in a class with during college. She became a television reporter. I emailed her to ask if I could use her name in a girl goodwill story about how I purposefully paid her a compliment early in her career to help her feel more confident. She said yes, but  wanted to have a phone conversation before I wrote the story. Before we could have that conversation, the television station let her go, probably because the station managers decided she had gotten too old and/or earned more money than they wanted to pay. I wrote the story without using her name. The former television reporter accepted what I wrote and published on the Girl Goodwill page without requesting any changes.


Unfortunately, Facebook changed my administrative email address attached my original email address to a different page. I do not know the new email address, so I can  no longer administer that page. Facebook has ignored all my requests to give back my ability to administer my Girl Goodwill campaign.

Background On One Female Politician

I had briefly worked with a woman before she decided to go into politics. We talked about the ingredients for spectacular success and she found them useful. After her successful first election, I sent her an email, reminding her of the ingredients for spectacular success. She said she would remember them. Months later I sent her information about dream team formulas and pointed out which formula would be most appropriate for her to use as a politician. This was her response:

“Thank you so much for your kind words and very helpful thoughts on how I can work effectively for the district. I truly appreciate your words of wisdom and can’t wait to get to work!”

After I launched my Girl Goodwill campaign, I emailed the politician, explaining my campaign and asking if I could use her name in a story about giving her information to help her succeed. This is the response I received from her female assistant:

“Unfortunately, Wisconsin State Assembly ethics rules prohibit the use of any legislator’s name for marketing purposes.”

Marketing: the action or business of promoting and selling products or services, including market research and advertising.

I emailed the assistant back, requesting an explanation of how asking women to tell stories about helping other women succeed and telling my own stories about helping other women succeed was marketing. I received no response.

I felt the female assistant had misrepresented me to the politician. If the female assistant was capable of misrepresenting me, the female assistant was capable of misrepresenting other constituents. The politician could lose votes in future elections. I sent an explanatory letter to another female politician. I never received a response. When I ran into the first politician at a public event, she exuded anger at me.

How did this politician go from appreciating my words of wisdom to deciding I was making an unethical request? The cultural themes of betrayal got in the way.

Note: It might be common for women in positions of authority to see unethical intentions in other women to justify judging them as deviant. See Girl Growl Backfire: An Editor gives Herself an Unprofessional Image.

If you are female, you know a female politician is judging you by the cultural themes of betrayal when she makes a decision about you without asking questions to understand differences, without asking questions to understand intentions, without listening to every side of the story. Two female politicians and at least one female assistant judged me without asking any of those questions. All of these women judged me according to the cultural themes of betrayal. If those three women judged me according to the cultural themes of betrayal, they are capable of judging any other female constituent according to the cultural themes of betrayal.

When women judge other women according to the cultural themes of betrayal, they treat them as unequal. When female politicians judge constituent women according to the cultural themes of betrayal, they treat the women they are supposed to be representing as unequal. What sort of equal representation can constituent women expect from female politicians who use stereotypes to judge them as deviant?

If a female politician judges you as deviant, the questions below will help you let the politician know that you expect her to treat you as her equal. They are my questions to the politician who gratefully accepted the information I provided to help her succeed.  I expect her to treat me as her equal.

The questions are based on the six basic questions to ask politicians. Adapt the questions to your situation. You may not need to use all six of the basic questions.

My Questions

What criteria did you use to determine that stories about women helping other women succeed is marketing for profit?

How did you determine the accuracy of your criteria before you used them to judge me?

Why didn’t you ask for more information about the Girl Goodwill campaign?

Why didn’t you visit the Girl Goodwill Facebook page to see what kinds of stories women tell about helping other women succeed?

Why didn’t you ask to read the story I wanted to write about you?

These are the subjects of the current stories on the Girl Goodwill Facebook page:

Speaking four words to a little girl in a laundromat

Introducing upper class women to lower class women in
a way that gets them talking to each other

Letting a businesswoman know that breakfast meetings
attract more potential clients than dinner meetings

An offer of help after sudden bereavement

Preventing young workers from taking credit for an older
female worker’s insights

Giving a television reporter a boost of confidence

Turning an unemployed woman’s life around by answering
her question honestly

Refusing to continue the cultural themes of betrayal by
using girl goodwill with a woman who intentionally betrayed

Giving a woman information to help her succeed in her
new career

Now that you know what the stories are, what product or service does each story market?

What is unethical about my wanting to use your name in a story about giving you information to succeed when the information I gave you is free on my website, with free instructions for how to use it, with more free information about the importance of situational ingredients in creating success?

What am I marketing with free PDF downloads that say nothing about any product or service I offer?

Where will I get equal representation as a voter now that you have judged me as deviant?

How often do you judge female constituents as deviant?

Female Politicians Are Equal Only When Their Constituents Are Equal

When social status changes — including when someone wins their first political election — the new politician’s brain can change. Their social status and wealth grow compared to most of the people they associated with before their election. Their new status and increasing wealth can change their brains. Empathy for the people they saw as equals before the election will disappear if they no longer see those people as equals. Neither female politician felt empathy for my efforts to improve relationships between women. That is evidence that their brains have changed. They do not understand that my equality ensures their equality.

In spite of the judgmental response from the female politician, I told the story on the Girl Goodwill Facebook page anyway. I took out all identifying details. I initiated the action in the story so it is my story to tell. I do not market anything on the Girl Goodwill Facebook page or in my story about giving information to the politician. I told the story because I want girls and women to learn multiple ways of helping other girls and women succeed. Giving step by step information plus real world examples is one way to help other girls and women succeed.

I want the female politician I briefly worked with to succeed. All women should admire her for deciding to make a difference and succeeding on a difficult path. Just as success for any woman makes eventual success for all women more likely, equality for any woman makes eventual equality for all women more likely. The success of the politician makes my success more likely. Her equality in politics makes my equality as a citizen more likely. What all three of the women who judged me fail to understand is that success and equality for me makes success and equality for them more likely. It’s time for all female politicians to create equality for all female constituents, because equality between men and women will follow equality between women.

My Girl Goodwill Advice To Female Politicians With An Invitation For Male Politicians To Pay Attention

All politicians need to be aware of the potential loss of empathy for their constituents. All politicians need to take steps to keep their empathy intact. Follow these steps before making decisions about your constituents, both male and female:

Talk to people before you make decisions about them.

Ask questions to make sure you understand circumstances and intentions.

Investigate other opportunities to gather information about people and/or issues.

Constituents have the power to hire you, which means they also have the power to fire you. Staying hired means making decisions that give your constituents reasons to keep voting for you.

Do you, blog reader, see any marketing in that girl goodwill advice to help female politicians succeed?

“As for Empathy, the Haves Have Not”
Pamela Paul
The New York Times
December 30, 2010

“How Wealth Reduces Compassion”
Scientific American
Daisy Grewal
April 10, 2012

Paula M. Kramer
Resource Rock Star (See websites below.)

Copyright 2015
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks.

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

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Letter To A Crony Clique

This post is an attempt to help you recognize crony cliques, understand their barriers and tactics, and make them answer for their actions.

The Encarta World English Dictionary definition of crony is:

“a close friend, especially one of long standing”

The Encarta World English Dictionary definition of clique is:

“a close group of friends or colleagues having similar interests
and goals, and whom outsiders regard as excluding them”

A crony clique is a group of friends or colleagues that keeps its interests and goals separate from outsiders. Cronies treat outsiders who try to participate in the clique’s interests and goals as trespassers. As a group they use crony tactics to protect themselves from trespassers.

Crony tactics to keep outsiders out include restrictions on membership using a variety of barriers:

Identity barriers

Rule barriers

Physical barriers

If a crony clique is forced to include an outsider, the cronies will treat the outsider as a trespasser and use a variety of tactics to prevent trespassers from participating in their privileges, including:

Double standards for accomplishments

Double standards for behavior

Behind-their-back meetings

Rerouted communication for the purpose of hijacking a decision or process

Ugly gossip about trespassers to hide crony tactics
(Crony clique members hide their own wrongful actions by accusing
the people they harmed of taking wrongful actions.)

If they feel the need, crony cliques will use a combination of barriers and tactics to protect themselves from outsiders and trespassers.

If a crony clique is treating you as an outsider or a trespasser, try sending them a letter asking specific questions. If any individual, group, or organization has a stake in the effectiveness of the crony clique, you could also send a copy of the letter to them. This will put pressure on the crony clique members to explain their actions to the people whose approval they need.

I had a bad experience with a crony clique that was part of the county historical society. After doing research on crony cliques, I decided to send the crony clique a letter and send a copy to the county historical society. You can use my letter as a template for writing your own letter to a crony clique. If you like, send a copy of your letter (with names removed) to paula at Let me know the crony clique’s response, as well as the response of anyone with a stake in the crony clique. I will use all the letters and responses to give my readers more information about coping effectively with crony cliques. Together, we can work to make our communities, states, and country more effective.

My Crony Clique Story

I live near an historical building that belongs to the county historical society. Individuals volunteer to be on the committee that hosts fundraising events for the purpose of maintaining the building. The events include an annual art show as well as music and other events. The woman who had originally organized the art show decided to end her participation after more than a decade. No one stepped in to keep the show going, so one year went by without an art show. The next year, 2006, I discovered that no one was going to organize a show again that year, so I said I would do it. I had volunteered at the art show for years, so I at least had that experience.

I contacted people who had been part of the historical building committee before, inviting them to the first meeting. Since I had never been on the committee before, I mostly coordinated the meetings and provided opportunities for the people with more experience to do what they had done before. I also headed up the art show committee, organizing the artists and volunteers. Through our combined efforts, the show was a rousing success.

In March 2007, I finished making a documentary about the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), host of the longest running and most successful renewable energy fair in the world. I made the documentary to understand the amazing success of the MREA’s annual energy fair. I discovered the ingredients for spectacular success. Every spectacular success around the world uses most if not all of the ingredients for spectacular success. Examples include Habitat for Humanity, the Underground Railroad, Martha Stewart, Solidarity in Poland, Starbucks, Southwest Airlines, the world’s largest trivia contest, and the navy cruise missile destroyer USS Benfold under Captain D. Michael Abrashoff and the commander who followed him.

At a three person art show committee meeting in early 2007, I said I wanted to sell my documentary at the art show. An artist at the meeting immediately told me I would have to ask the full committee for permission.

Artists on the historical building committee sold their art at the art show without ever asking permission to do so, including the artist who told me I had to ask for permission. A singer on the committee regularly scheduled her own group to sing at the historical building without ever asking permission to do so. A business owner whose store is across the street from the historical building used the historical building’s outdoor bulletin board for free advertising without ever asking permission to do so. The owner of a landscaping company donated trees and plants to the historical building and used the donation to advertise her business. A former committee member with a framing business framed old photographs to hang in the historical building and used the donation to advertise her business. A local businessman who did some work on the historical building posted a sign in the parking lot to advertise his business. All of those people found ways to personally profit from their volunteer time for the historical building.

Any community artist who wants to sell their work at the art show merely had to say, “I want to sell my art at the art show.” They wrote their names and addresses on a list. A few months before the show, the head of the art show committee (that would have been me at the time), sent letters to everyone on the list and the first 40 who responded sold their art at the show.

No one had to ask permission to personally profit from the art show.

I sent an email to all of the committee members asking why I was the only person who had to ask for permission to sell their art at the art show. I received no response. The artist had created a rule barrier, but no one could think of a way to justify the rule barrier.

I would like to point out here, as I did to the historical building committee, that very few people would have bought my documentary. Documentaries do not sell well. I watch documentaries all the time, but I have never bought one. I wanted people to see my documentary on a table and pick it up to read the back cover. Then people who had never heard of the MREA would learn about it and possibly look them up on the Internet, visit the fair, or attend a one of the workshops the MREA hosts at other times of the year.

Because my documentary shows the history of an historical event in the county, it seemed to me that it should be included in historical society events. I emailed the president of the county historical society, and he agreed to take copies to sell at historical society events. Any profit would go to the historical society.

I was right to consider my documentary a resource for the county’s history. A former executive director of the MREA later told me that whenever they hired a new employee, she would hand them a copy of my documentary and say, “Here. This is the history of the MREA. Watch it.” A later MREA director used 17 quotes from my documentary in a book about the first 20 years of the energy fair. My documentary was the major source for the book.

As soon as the committee found out that I had contacted the president of the historical society, one of them emailed me to accuse me of going behind their backs.

I was unable to attend the next two meetings — an art show committee meeting and a full committee meeting. After those two meetings I received the following email. I have put the crony clique clues in bold font:

To let you know, we discussed a policy (initially at the
art show mtg and then confirmed at the General Comm.
Mtg) regarding the sales of non-art items at the Art Show
and music events, as well as other items in general. We
decided that we don’t want to be in the business of selling
stuff, or promoting others’ materials. So the policy reads
something to the effect that only items from non-profit
organizations may be displayed or sold (that gives us
discretionary power). We hope it will eliminate complications
such as the (specialty) T-Shirts in which we ended up losing
money because we lost track of the inventory.

This policy would also apply to your DVD’s, Paula. We
hope this isn’t taken as a personal affront. We just want to
avoid the complications of selling other products.”

The singer who used the historical building as her personal performance stage wrote this email to me. Her group no longer performs yearly at the historical building. Perhaps the conflict of interest became to blatant to ignore.

Lets look at the crony clique clues in detail.

“…we discussed a policy (initially at the art show mtg and
then confirmed at the General Comm. Mtg)”

These were behind-my-back meetings.

“non-art items”


“other products”

The art show sells still photographs. One year they sold photographs that had been cut to fit magnets to put on refrigerators. Video is a form of photography. Both still and moving pictures begin with cameras. My documentary includes graphics and music, both of which are considered art.

After receiving that email, I googled “documentary as art” and got 1,100 hits. I googled “Arts and Sciences + documentary” and got 27,400 hits. I googled “documentary artist” and got 10,200 hits. Every year around the world, thousands of film festivals and awards ceremonies recognize and celebrate documentaries as art. The crony clique historical building committee set a double standard for my documentary by deciding it was “non-art” “stuff”.

In the case of video photography, the crony clique historical building committee actually set two double standards. For years, the historical building committee has shown a version of my “stuff” at the historical building. They have a yearly summer movie night. They started out showing movies about people and events in Wisconsin’s history.

Remember, my documentary is about a nonprofit organization within the same county as the historical building. Members of the MREA staff consider my documentary a history of the MREA and its annual fair. It fit the characteristics the committee looked for in the movies they showed.

“others’ materials”

These words created an identity barrier. They clearly identified me as an “other”. The cronies saw me as a trespasser.

“So the policy reads something to the effect that only items
from non-profit organizations may be displayed or sold
(that gives us discretionary power).”

Again, my documentary is about the nonprofit MREA. Selling the documentary at the art show would support the MREA in more than one way. First, my documentary would draw attention to the MREA. Second, the back cover states that 50% of the profits will be donated to the MREA. (Because documentaries do not sell well, I have not yet made a profit.) This rule barrier excluded the nonprofit MREA.

“This policy would also apply to your DVD’s, Paula.”

This is a rule barrier written specifically to prevent me from sharing in the privileges the cronies wanted to protect from trespassers. Obviously, the other members of the historical building committee considered their ability to personally profit from being on the committee a privilege that I did not deserve.

The two meetings I did not attend took place two months before the art show, so they had ample time to wait for me to be present at a meeting to discuss my documentary. They purposefully discussed my documentary behind my back so they could use an identity barrier to create a rule barrier using a double standard for accomplishments. They did this to prevent me from sharing in the personal profit privilege they wanted to keep to themselves.

I resigned from both committees.

I cannot quote any specific instance of ugly gossip. I suspect that the committee member who accused me of going behind their backs has used ugly, blaming gossip to hide her own sabotage. I believe this because of another incident.

I live near a curve in our village. The accusing committee member drives around that curve to get to our post office. When I can see cars coming around the curve, I have 6 to 7 seconds before they reach my driveway — if they are going the speed limit. When cars go faster than the speed limit, I might have 3 to 4 seconds before they reach my driveway. I have looked towards the curve, seen no car, and backed out of my driveway only to find a car on my bumper as soon as I stop to shift gears.

To protect myself, I back slowly to the end of my driveway looking in the other direction where the road is straight. At the end of my driveway I turn to look at the curve before backing out. One day when I was slowly backing down the driveway and looking at the straight side of the road, the accusing committee member came speeding around the curve and honked at me. She obviously had not considered the danger I face every time I back out of my driveway, because she did not slow down to the speed limit. Given that experience, I am certain the accusing committee member would use ugly gossip about me without a second thought.

Years later, the accusing committee member and I left a nearby city at the same time on a four lane highway. She moved into the left lane and quickly disappeared into the distance. I was doing the speed limit. She still speeds past my house. I live next to the park. Children live across the road from me in several houses. The accusing committee member put children at risk to satisfy her need for speed.

Crony Clique Short-Sightedness

Since crony cliques exist for their own personal gain, cronies cannot see beyond the tips their noses to consider:

Big picture

Long term consequences

Personal costs

Big Picture

Not everyone agrees with the thinking or actions of crony cliques. I told several people about how the historical building committee crony clique treated me. These are three of the responses:

“How weird! Of course film is art!”

“It’s their loss.”

“Have the MREA ask them to sell your documentary at the art show.”

In fact, the MREA sold my documentary every year I brought copies to their energy fair.

The historical building committee also ignored my documentary’s discoveries about 26 situational, organizational, financial, emotional, and relationship ingredients for spectacular success. One ingredient focuses on self. Two ingredients focus on task. Nine ingredients focus on working with others. Fourteen ingredients focus on satisfying others. Spectacular success comes from working with others and satisfying others.

Other people are paying attention to the ingredients for spectacular success. One of the people I connected with at the energy fair is now moving into a new career. This person is impressed with my findings about spectacular success. In response to an email, she told me she would remember the ingredients for spectacular success in her new career.

Long Term Consequences

The county we live in is a hotbed of spectacular success. I am revising a book that will include a chapter about this county. The chapter will list this county’s spectacular successes. If the historical building committee had treated me as an equal, working with me and satisfying me, I would have wanted to work with and satisfy them. I write about ordinary people who create success for others. I would have named individual members of the committee to bring them recognition for the success they create for artists at their art show.

But the historical building committee invited me to create failure for them, and I accept their invitation. I am using the historical building committee as an example of a crony clique focused on keeping their personal profit privilege to themselves. I am also offering my letter to the historical building committee crony clique as a template for other people to expose the true purpose of all crony cliques — protecting their privileges from people they see as outsiders and trespassers.

I will also refrain from increasing the committee’s success. As my income grows, I plan to be generous. I have built generosity into every sale from my online store. Using my own methods, I will be generous with people and groups in Portage County. If the historical building committee had treated me as an equal rather than as a trespasser, I would have donated money to the historical building. The committee chose to let me know that my “non-art” “stuff” documentary was far too inferior to include in their art show. Therefore, I will not force my inferior money on them.

Personal Costs

First, some of the people who read this blog post will recognize members of the crony clique. I have used no identifying details in this post, but some readers will know whom I’m writing about.

Second, the determination of the historical building committee to create failure for me is evidence that they create failure for other people, both as a crony clique and as individuals.  Failure begets failure, what I call “full-blown failure”. The crony clique members are living with more failure than what this blog post and letter will create for them. They are unlikely to completely understand the extent of the failures because much full-blown failure is done behind their backs. I am letting them know directly that I am creating failure for them because of the failure they created for me.

With this blog post I hope to make letters to crony cliques a common personal cost to crony clique members. Notice, however, that I am polite throughout my own letter to a crony clique. No name calling, no insults, no threats.

My Letter To A Crony Clique

To the 2007 historical building committee,

Please explain in detail what criteria you used to determine that my documentary is “non-art” “stuff”.

Please explain in detail what criteria you used to decide I was an “other”, as in “others’ materials”.

Please explain in detail how selling a documentary about a nonprofit is not a way of supporting that nonprofit.

Please explain in detail why I was told to ask for permission to sell my art at the historical building when no other artist had to ask for permission to sell their art at the historical building.

Please explain in detail why discussing my documentary at two meetings without my knowledge when you had ample time to include me does not fit the definition of “going behind my back”.

The only reason you could claim that I had gone behind your backs was that you had created a rule specifically to justify denying me the same personal profit privilege you maintained for yourselves. Please explain in detail your justification for creating that rule.

In 2009, the MREA celebrated it’s 20th anniversary. Please explain in detail what was unthinkable about showing my documentary history of the MREA as your summer movie and inviting founding MREA members to answer audience questions. The MREA could have sold copies of its book about its first 20 years. You would have shown support for the MREA by showing my documentary and selling their book. Why was that unthinkable?

If the MREA came to you with copies of my documentary and asked you to sell them so they could get their 50% of the profits promised on the DVD cover, how would you explain to them that my documentary is “non-art” “stuff” that does not support a nonprofit?

My documentary is both a history of the nonprofit MREA and a how to. It shows how ordinary amateurs with passion created spectacular success. The founding members of the MREA were all ordinary people who were amateurs at hosting a renewable energy fair, but they were amateurs with passion. Their amateur passion has created all kinds of successes for people, groups, and organizations in Wisconsin, in the United States, and around the world, including:

Friendships (and maybe romances)

Partnerships (and maybe marriages)

Skills for using renewable energy

New public policy on renewable energy in Wisconsin

Hands on learning for teachers

Workshops for kids

Service projects for community organizations

Economic boosts for local businesses during the annual energy fair

Portage County is a county of spectacular successes including but not limited to Trivia, the Green Circle, the College of Natural Resources, CAP Services, and the Suzuki Institute. Please explain in detail why it would be unthinkable for other Portage County amateurs with passion to learn the how-tos of spectacular success from the founding members of the MREA in my documentary.


Paula Kramer

My Preference

I want to end by saying that I would prefer to write positive stories about the members of this crony clique. I have studied success and failure long enough to understand that my success is dependent on the success of other people. The more successful the members of the crony clique are, the more successful I can be. The crony clique members are intelligent people who have already created a number of successes in their lives. I know they are capable of creating more success than they’ve already created. They just do not understand that creating success for other people opens all kinds of doors to successes they did not know were possible.

I hope every single member of that committee comes to that understanding someday. We all benefit from other people’s success. We deny success for ourselves when we deny success for others. People who focus on one particular kind of success with the belief that achieving it requires excluding others will achieve only that one kind of success. People who exclude others lose out on all the other possible successes that the other people could have created for them.

To understand the possibilities of other kinds of success, read my post “Wrong Age, Wrong Color, Wrong Status, But The Right Person For The Job.” Anyone who has enjoyed the benefits of heart surgery is reaping those benefits because a black male teenage carpenter’s assistant enjoyed enough success in his life to develop the techniques and instruments for heart surgery. He taught those techniques and the use of those instruments to all of the first surgeons who wanted to learn heart surgery. And yes, it all began when he was still a teenager.

Good luck with your crony clique letters.


Paula M. Kramer
© 2015 to the present
All rights reserved.

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