Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The perfect holiday gift. Seriously.

I'm not a fan of this time of year, mostly due to the holidays and, more specifically, the Christmas music that stores begin playing as early as November.  However, most people feel otherwise, so I might as well try to take advantage of the "general mood."  When you're buying holiday gifts this year, consider stuffing the stockings with a copy of my second book, Tried and Convicted: How Police, Prosecutors, and Judges Destroy Our Constitutional Rights (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2012).  But don't buy it on my recommendation; I'm somewhat biased.  Instead, listen to Robert Worley at the International Criminal Justice Review, who recently wrote: "Throughout this book, Cicchini argues that Americans should have a healthy distrust of the criminal justice system. . . . I strongly recommend this book.  Once I opened it, I literally could not stop reading."  That is sweet music to an author's ears (or eyes).  Now, buy the book and give it to loved ones so they can learn what really goes on in "the system," starting with the police investigation and moving all the way through trial and even appeal.

Oh, and happy holidays.   

Friday, November 22, 2013

Obama-Care: The worst branding effort in history?

Several years ago, legislators signed off on the Patriot Act in knee-jerk fashion, and many of them hadn’t even read the document.  The reason?  Well, first, the nation was in a state of fear, so obviously some piece of legislation had to be passed immediately—that’s just what lawmakers do.  And second, it was named the Patriot Act.  You would have to be unpatriotic not to get on board, right?  Anyway, that was a case of great branding.  Had it been named the Government Spying Act, or the Invasion of Privacy Act, fewer people would have supported it (although, I think it still would have passed).  And now, this same branding phenomenon is playing out, only in reverse, with Obama-Care, a/k/a the Affordable Care Act.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sex and Religion

I stole the title of this post from an album by the world’s greatest guitarist, but the idea behind the post came from a recent essay on Minding the Campus, titled The Hyped Campus Rape that Wasn’t