Posts Tagged ‘Tea Party’

Merry Christmas! 2012 will be an Interesting Year!

December 26, 2011

I’ll also say, “Happy Holidays!”, but, you know, I just prefer “Merry Christmas!” It is what has rolled off my tongue since I was a child. I sincerely hope everyone I know has a really great 2012 – and for that matter, I hope that everyone I Don’t know has a great year, too. I think that 2012 will be a very interesting year to watch pass.

I haven’t blogged for several months – just realized that my last post was in October – SHAME on ME…

I still have my nose pressed against the TV watching the politics parade pass us. This is theatre. President Obama has cleverly let frustrations fester among the voters – he couldn’t point at an ineffective Congress for 24 months, or he would  sound tired, and his message would be lost at election time. He has timed his attention to the problems at hand to suit the short attention span of average voters, and he will not only point to an ineffective Congress throughout 2012, but he will prove that they are ineffective when they accomplish nothing of note in the months leading up to the election. This may be a very effective strategy – perhaps the only effective strategy for him in his reelection campaign.

In the Republican “tent” of this circus, we still have a side show worth watching as the Republicans point to the “obvious” failures of the Democrats, though I don’t see it in the same light. Gingrich isn’t registered for the Virginia primary? What were his people doing? Perry, too? My forecast is that Perry will drop from sight, and Gingrich will find some wily way to climb back into the Virginia primaries. Just you watch! Mr. Paul doesn’t mince words, and he sticks honorably to his principles – he is still refreshing, but his views are much too far from the main stream for any affect. In this right wing of the circus tent, I still like Mr. Huntsman, but I am afraid that his cause is ultimately lost. My money is still on Mr. Romney to survive the primaries contest – he has nice hair.

Just the political fro of the Presidential elections will make 2012 an interesting year. And Congressional contenders have yet to make a peep… I’m listening…

Zakaria’s Christmas day program segment on CNN about leaders with an interesting Pulitzer price author raised a few ponderous thoughts in my mind and a friend’s in Palo Alto:

1) Four years is a long time to suffer a bad leader when the rest of the world spins so fast around us – do we need a Lack of Confidence vote mechanism like Canada and many other democracies in the world have?

2) Congress and much of the rest of the Federal government struggles to assure a failure and not a success as the parties fight each other (Boehner said he “fought the good fight”) for influence and affect. A leader would find a significant common cause worthy of all of Congress passionately fighting for a success.

3) The value of human life and the role of the United States in the world has changed wildly over the centuries since the founding fathers wrote the Constitution, and that makes the Tea Party’s call to return to the values of the founding fathers highly questionable and naively ill thought. We wonder what the Tea Partiers talk about over dinner (the days before the Modet T?)…

4) Law is “additive” – Congress creates new law continuously – that seems to be their present day mission, and Congress does not easily or often abolish law – and every law has a price or a burden, and the total burden of our laws is mounting! Should every law expire?

Not much leadership is required to “sail the present course”, but a leader of exceptional quality is required to change course and transition society to avoid a crisis or respond to one.  Zakariah’s commentary on leadership said that History has a kinder view, and that is quite correct, but he didn’t address the recognition of or solution to poor leadership in the present. That’s the problem of the average voter, and I am reminded of an old saying I have:

“The average person is very average.”

Well, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! 2012 will be an interesting year, indeed. I sincerely hope we all have a great year!

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Scapegoats, Lies, Misdirected Retaliation

October 30, 2010

Warning – this is a political post of sorts – I am violating my own posting rules, and I won’t be accepting comments. I have license, after all, and Tuesday’s elections are just around the corner…

Let me Set the Stage…

At Rockwell, and later at Alcatel, I managed network management products – largely software, mostly misunderstood, and greatly unappreciated products. These products were very complex and somewhat “cantankerous”.  They overtaxed the computational resources of the time and required terrific amounts of RAM. One of my network management products required 2GB of ram, and in that day (the very late’80s), it was the largest amount of RAM that HP had ever installed in a computer. I think that RAM cost us upwards of $20,000 per CPU. RAM is much cheaper, now!

Wrestling for company resources was a brutal experience – it was nasty politics at times. When a sales opportunity for transport products fell through, the excuse was a lack of the right network management product in the product line in one instance. When a transport product release was late, one excuse ventured was distraction and insufficient resources in the development groups due in part to a focus on interfacing with “unnecessary network management products”. When budgets were cut, the first target was the network management product line that “contributed nothing” to the bottom line – “nothing but headaches…”. Not true – none of those claims were true, but that was the persuasive opinion posed by people who were competing for scarce resources. It required a lot of time and energy to defend my own resources and propel my products forward. I was successful only through the consistent and continuous presentation of facts.

Yup – nasty politics – but, that’s reality. Politics is embedded in some way in every decision – in the household, the community, the company and the country. The levers of National politics are the same as corporate politics.  When times are good, “the facts speak for themselves” – sometimes a bit too gloriously and sometimes a bit embellished – and no one notices the inaccuracies. When times are bad, it seems that accurate facts don’t matter at all, and the search for a scapegoat commences – or a distraction surfaces – or falsehoods are “a dime a dozen”. What is most distressing is that  in good times and bad, facts simply don’t seem to matter today – emotions and persuasively posed opinions easily take the center stage, scapegoating becomes a common defense tactic, and misdirected retaliation satisfies the masses. Falsehoods are readily swallowed by those who “like what they hear” and who are either too busy or too lazy to dig just a little bit deeper to check the facts for themselves. Sometimes, I think I am watching a bunch of children run the world!

My Point: Where are the Facts in this Election?

I get nervous when I look for facts to support decisions and don’t find them. I get really anxious when debate is opinion-focused and not fact-focused.  And I swear that the sky is falling when all I see and hear are diversionary tactics such as scapegoating, lies and misdirected retaliation galore. Well, the sky is falling…

The National politics today is rich in scapegoats, lies and misdirected retaliation – “Muslim terrorists”, illegal immigrants (anti-any immigrants for that matter), the Chinese, the immoral perverts who prey on our children. Dribble. I was incensed when a news reporter recently quipped that, “we were attacked by Muslims on 9/11”, and that was why there shouldn’t be a Mosque near old World Trade Center. My Goodness – we were attacked by a group of extremists, and extremist groups come in every stripe and color. I guess that we were attacked by Christians in Oklahoma City (try an “extremist group”).

What is happening here is that fear is being “farmed” – fed and harvested and transformed into anger. The Nazis were skillful at doing this, and it is beginning to happen right here and right now. Look at the emerging Tea Party – a movement of anger fueled by fear that seeks (through individual voices not well unified, yet) to eliminate the Fed, shred the IRS, halt immigration, abolish the 14th Amendment, withdraw from the World economic community (the Group of 20), and perhaps even pull out of the U.N. And when angry groups are motivated by fear, things get dangerous as reckless and irrational people grab power to make shortsighted changes with a huge potential for dramatic and calamitous unintended consequences.

I like the smell of chocolate chip cookies, fresh baked bread – and Facts.

I fear that as the economy continues to stutter and the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, I will like less and less what I “smell” as politics become more urgent and desperate and polarized and irrational with scapegoating, lies and misdirected retaliation at every turn – and more and more opinions will trump cold hard facts…

Who is dedicated to presenting the facts? Too few people.

(I like the smell of cookies – I like the smell of cookies – I like the smell of cookies)