Saturday, March 31, 2007
Today we started out at 8ish and realized that we were going through Cleavland, and with our 15 year old classic rock fan along, I decided that we would take a look at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. LOTs of guitars, the ZZ Top Eliminator car, a TON of "rock outfits", lots of historical Buddy Holly and Beatles stuff. It would have been a "miss" in my book, but the young rock fan is really into the groups, the history, you name it, so it was a "win" for him and that counts for something. I'm sure he may think we have spent just a tiny bit too much time at the few of the rest of the sites we see on the trip.
We drove the tollway over to US 30, and came through some beautiful mountains via Chambersburg. I've been reading "Gettysburg" by Steven W Sears in my times not driving and in the evenings. An excellent book that is a very readable tale that shows you what is happening on both sides. In many ways of course, the times are quite different, but in others, not so much. One of the big reasons that Lee was on the attack was to help the Democrats gain power by turning public opinion against the war. If he could have been successful at Gettysburg, there is every reason to believe that public opinion would have moved even more against the war, and the Democrats would have been able to make "a political deal" with the South on the issue of slavery. Nothing familiar with today on that front I guess.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Unlike what an atheist might assume however, seeking a higher focus actually increases interest in understanding what kind of general mechanisms drive the daily minutia. One example is a connection of a small fact studied about the Korean War and the MSM story today.
In the Korean War, US POWs suffered the highest casualty rate in our history (38%), yet they were not physically tortured, starved or directly abused. The North Koreans used the tactics of:
- Breaking loyalty to leadership and country
- Withholding all positive emotional support
- The "Bush lied" ... either in the case of the Niger yellowcake, the Plame affair or the WMD. Hearings and legal proceedings have been held on all of the above showing there to be no "lies", but the constant claiming as to lying has had an affect on all, and has convinced most.
- Katrina - Local authorities react horribly, leaving 500 buses standing to be flooded rather than using for evacuation. The Governor refuses to allow Federal troops to come in and Bush courageously makes the greatest ACTUAL breech of the Constitution of his Presidency by putting them in there without a request from the Governor. Katrina was the turning point; the MSM realizes that they can successfully create what they want if they act in the proper concert with Democrats.
- Bush makes the greatest easily avoidable self-inflicted mistake of his Presidency in the Meyers appointment. Democrats have no fixed values or principles, so they still mostly supported Clinton when he did NAFTA and Welfare Reform, even though were they to be principled, they woudl be against them. Conversely, Bush lost a lot of Conservatives when he did Perscription Drug and cost himself a huge amount of political capital with all conservatives. He gained nothing from Democrats since politics count for more than actual help for people that they claim to want help for. Miers was a critical point where Bush lost a huge amount of credibility. It was a political miscalculation that could really not be recovered.
- The Libby / Wilson / Plame fabrication. The Democrats and MSM manufacture a story that has no content. The tie in of Bob Woodward of Watergate fame makes one wonder about "currents in the force". Repetition is the KEY, and over the long haul, the basic makeup of humanity tends to make 60-80% of people somewhat susceptible.
- Iraq, the economy, gas prices, surveillance fears, ... etc. NEVER allow positive stories for more than a moment so that it can be said "oh, we reported it". Build a constant view of mistrust of everything possible except Democrats. John Murtha being a spokesman against the war when he is ON TAPE from the early '80s clearly considering taking a $50K bribe, and not ruling it out, while the MSM keeps it completely quiet. It ONLY shows up as the incoming speaker of the House nominates him for Majority Leader, and it is COMPLETELY forgotten the second that he fails to get that role. Fortunately having a guy with a history of interest in bribes and another caught with $90K in bribes in his freezer is NOT a "culture of corruption". (to the MSM, D's don't have that)
The nasty thing about democracy is that we are assumed to be self-governing. The number of "great leaders" is very limited, and every great leader comes with the potential for danger as well as the potential for blessing. The BEST approach is if we can look beyond the manufactured MSM view and react to reality--where although the facts may be brutal, we can ALWAYS have faith in the ultimate outcome.
While one can take this book as a "cookbook", it is clear that just because you do all the things here, there is no guarantee you will build a great company ... just as following a recipe doesn't guarantee a great dining experience. These elements are just things that can increase the odds of making that leap. Following these ideas is like buying a lottery ticket to greatness.
The main ideas are:
- CREATE Level 5 Leadership from within - A leader that "blends extreme personal humility with intense professional will" for the team/business, not for themselves. Darwin Smith of Kimberly-Clark paper and the decision to "Sell the Mills", a historical profit center of the business, and take on Procter&Gamble in the consumer paper products industry is a great example. Note; level 5 leadership at the team, area, organization, site, division can make a HUGE difference even without having it at the top, although the top can have a huge influence.
- First Who - Then What - If you have the right people, you can do pretty much anything, and if you have the wrong people, you can do very little but manage the wrong people. The phrase "get the right people on the bus" is brought up a lot. Have a "strong and deep team" rather than a "genius with a thousand helpers model". Put your best people on your best opportunities, not your biggest problems. You want people who will argue and debate furiously, but line up once the decision is made regardless of personal interest (level 5 followership?).
- Confront the Brutal Facts, yet never lose faith -This certainly applies to life as well as work.
The core concept is "The Stockdale Paradox". James Stockwell was the highest ranking US officer imprisoned in North Korea from '65-'73. He said: "I never lost faith in the end of the story. I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining even of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade". He was asked who it was that gave up, and he responded "Oh, that's easy, the optimists". The reason was that they always set some deadline like "we will be out by Christmas", and then "we will be out by Easter", and eventually they died of a broken heart.
"You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end--which you can never afford to lose, with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever that might be."
From Collins:"Life is unfair--sometimes to our advantage, sometimes to our disadvantage. We will all experience disappointments and crushing events somewhere along the way, setbacks for which there is no "reason", no one to blame. It might be disease; it might be injury;it might be an accident;it might be losing a loved one;it might be getting swept away in a political shake-up;it might be getting shot down over Vietnam and thrown into a POW camp for eight years. What separates people, Stockdale taught me, is not te presence or absence of difficulty, but how they deal with the inevitable difficulties of life."
There must be a climate in which there is a DRIVE to get and face the truth the key principals for that listed were.
- Lead with questions, not answers
- Engage in dialog and debate, not coercion
- Conduct autopsies without blame
- Build "red flag mechanisms" to information into information that can't be ignored.
- Hedgehog concept - Foxes pursue many ends at the same time and see the world in all it's complexity. Hedgehogs simplify the complex world into a single, simple organizing idea or principle that guides everything.
- What can we be the best in the world at?
- What drives our economic engine?
- What are we deeply passionate about?
- A Culture of Discipline - "Most companies build their bureaucratic rules to manage the small percentage of the wrong people on the bus". Freedom and Responsibility in a framework -- the example of the air traffic control system and FAA rules, but the ultimate responsibility with the pilot. Start a "stop doing list". "Most of us lead busy but undisciplined lives. We have ever-expanding 'to do' lists, trying to build momentum by doing, doing, doing--and doing more. And it rarely works. Those who built the good-to-great companies, however, made as much use of "stop doing" lists as "to do" lists."
- Technology Accelerators - Only technology that fits with the hedgehog concept is used. Technology by itself is never the cause of either greatness or decline.
- Flywheel and the Doom Loop -- It is the practice that counts, not the big game.
- Level 5 leader steps forward with hedgehog concept that organization buys.
- right people on the bus, wrong people off
- make some key successes ... SUCCEED ... even if it is made up a bit!
- more people line up when they see the results
- REPEAT - REFINE - REPEAT - REFINE ....
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Well, Franken has said that he is going to change "Butt-Boy" to "Lap Dog"; something like what a Democrat does when they are caught red-handed with illegal campaign contributions. Give them back! Well, at least they are consistent on this one--as long as you certify you have no character, Democrat or avowed criminal, then no problem. It is only the religious or the Republicans that need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for whatever kind of charge can be trumped up. Scooter Libby being a great recent example.
The MSM control is certainly set back on"high". Conservatives are so much more quiet when things aren't going their way. Ann maybe has some "comments", but no screaming, yelling, talking about leaving the country, etc. Prayer tends to be quieter than marching, carrying signs and screaming obscenities I suppose. History often repeats with slightly different flavors. It seems that this is maybe "defeat in Vietnam without Watergate" ... maybe a bit of a "'70s motif"; our friends the Iranians that the Dems say will help us out in Iraq even have some hostages again.
Oh, for those that don't understand the inoculation. By doing a number of nice reasoned stories on Franken's slur, it becomes "old news". All "reasonable people" have been over that ... none of the gays were concerned about Franken, so why would anyone else be? Clearly the only kind of people that would bring this kind of thing up during a campaign are complete partisans, not "interested in the issues".
As long as one keeps their "Ds and Rs straight", these things are easy to follow. 35 year old guard papers? HUGE issue if they apply to a "R" ... need a prime time special. Decorated veterans pointing out that it is odd for a soldier to take a BIG movie camera to Vietnam, and that having 3 purple hearts without spending a night in a hospital is unheard of?
Oh, they are accusing a D, CLEARLY a horrible pack of lies, smear tactic, completely reprehensible. No story at all. They made their OWN commercial? My goodness, what is the world coming to? Ought there not be a LAW against that kind of speech! Why even years later, someone who donated money so they could get their message out at all should be disqualified from serving in the government. (this week in fact)
Watch the Ds and Rs, at least that part is easy. "Free speech" is only "free" if you are a D ... otherwise it is quite expensive and there is no statute of limitations if you are caught speaking or aiding speech by an R.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
The bottom message that can't be stated too often or too well is that the "ultimate decision" is; "Is this all there is"? Meaning: is the material universe all there is, or is there something more? That something more can be named "perfect forms", "spirit", "God", "intellect" or a number of other names, but at the core, it is the "heroic assertion", "wishful thinking", or "prayerful acceptance" that there is truth beyond particles and bits that is the genesis point of departure for the ultimate cleavage of world view.
While Weaver doesn't directly say this (probably because he would find it beneath him to say), when man continued his rebellion against God and Religion in the enlightenment and set science on the throne, he threw "the baby out with the bathwater". Philosophy went out with Religion, and at least western man was left with no "unifying story".
It would be interesting to see how Weaver would see the current Islamic / Western culture clash. Is a bad transcendent idea better than no transcendent idea? My belief is that Weaver might say "yes", but I'm just putting words in his mouth. The decision is one for Theology and Philosophy, and our culture is so lacking in both that the number of minds available to help us answer such questions of ultimate truth are very small. We have also lost the cultural context to even respect the answer, were it to be presented.
I am again awed, and left in somewhat the same state as a primitive that has wandered in the ruins of a great city by this book and others. Thousands of years of thinking on the state of man in the universe has been cast aside and but a tiny remnant of humanity is even interested in discovering concepts like meaning and truth. The vast majority would rather focus on the firing of 8 attorneys under one political party while having had no concern over the firing of 93 others by the opposite political party 14 years earlier. They are perfectly willing to let "truth" be all in context of time and party.
99% of the population is completely unaware of the consequences of making those decisions as to the loss of meaning, direction, value, and understanding created by such a willingness to flee principle and consistency. Our limited reason can only find purchase in the context of consistency against some standard not fluid in time and application. Science provides no meaning, only data. Correlated data relative to physical perception at times, but no values in any sense. So we continue to drift, hoping that "bigger, better, faster, easier, more comfortable" will provide happiness, or at least comfort.
Why ARE we so fascinated with Anna Nichole? Could it be that she is a bit of a blond "canary in the coal mine"? She seems to be a worthy symbol of the direction of our general culture.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Friday, March 23, 2007
The top 5 are Heart Disease, Cancer, Stroke, Lung Disease, and then accident, with heart killing over 600K, cancer 550K and then dropping down to less than 200k, AIDs wasn't even in the top 15.
In a democracy, the populace has to know what is going on if they are to govern themselves. The coverage of accidents shows the "sell papers" bias of a market driven media, reasonably intelligent people can have the capacity to adjust for that if they are aware. The AIDs reporting shows the political bias. It is reported because the measures taken to combat it promote the lifestyle choices the MSM encourages.
Freedom means stepping back from the media control and using the media as a TOOL. It is ONE WAY to carefully and skeptically gather information. When the information choices, priority, and bias of the MSM is followed without those cautions, we are cut off from reality and unable to govern ourselves.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
- The ice core data shows that carbon dioxide level consistently lags climate change by 800 years or so.
- The human input to the total planetary carbon dioxide is less than 1% ... volcanoes, termites and the oceans are HUGELY greater sources, accounting in aggregate for 99% of the "problem"
- At least one excellent potential cause of climate change on the earth is solar activity, and the show goes into that.
- There have been a number of fluctuations in climate in the last few thousand years that are very similar or even "worse" (warmer) than the current one. In general, the times of more warmth have been very positive times for life, and especially human life.
So why global warming? Basically money and power. Once the USSR lost and in general socialist policies lost with it, then a large number of leftists needed something to do that could get funding and fit into their world view. Capitalism still had to be wrong, so claiming that it was "destroying the world" through global warming rather than just creating too much economic wealth was a decent scam.
Monday, March 19, 2007
An example of the "breath of fresh air" is that they actually admit the obvious fact that the 70's were an economic disaster caused by Keynesian/liberal/government controlled economics. Part of the travesty of the present time is that every rational American is not as aware of the failure of Keynesian economics and the success of free markets as they are of the failure of the model of a flat earth. While the "two crimes" point is more subtle, it is the same--Democracy can't hope to be successful in even the medium term without the general public understanding reality!
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
I understand what message the MSM is TRYING to brainwash me with on the heartless(Bush) government here, but they need to think of consistency if they want to reach this particular sheep. They would ALSO like me to hand complete responsibility for my health care over to that same heartless government!
I guess if she died waiting in line for "universal" healthcare she wouldn't have to hang on for years smoking pot!
The Supreme Court ruled against Raich two years ago, saying that medical marijuana users and their suppliers could be prosecuted for breaching federal drug laws even if they lived in a state such as California where medical pot is legal.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
Was it a story when Clinton did it? Well, of course not! Need we remind, there is a "D" after his name! Since he had a perfect right to fire all 93 in 1993, there was no reason for it to be a story at that time, but of course 8 ought to have been even less of a story now for those few that believe in the fantasy of an "unbiased press".
A Republican "acting reasonably / contrite / nice / etc" is merely blood in the water to the left. If Republicans hold ALL the cards, then they can ALMOST survive ... Bush and company are the main course at a Dem / MSM Bar-B-Q . Even if they circle the wagons and fight as dirty as they can (which would be about 1/10 as dirty as Carvell, Begalla and Hill-Billy during the '90s), they are still turning on a spit with hot hickory underneath and MSM vinegar sauce being liberally applied
The Hubbell Standard
Hillary Clinton knows all about sacking U.S. Attorneys.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT
As everyone once knew but has tried to forget, Mr. Hubbell was a former partner of Mrs. Clinton at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock who later went to jail for mail fraud and tax evasion. He was also Bill and Hillary Clinton's choice as Associate Attorney General in the Justice Department when Janet Reno, his nominal superior, simultaneously fired all 93 U.S. Attorneys in March 1993. Ms. Reno--or Mr. Hubbell--gave them 10 days to move out of their offices.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
The explorers had planned to call in regular updates to school groups by satellite phone, and had planned online posts with photographic evidence of global warming. In contrast to Bancroft's 1986 trek across the Arctic with fellow Minnesota explorer Will Steger, this time she and Arnesen were prepared to don body suits and swim through areas where polar ice has melted.
Atwood said there was some irony that a trip to call attention to global warming was scuttled in part by extreme cold temperatures.
"They were experiencing temperatures that weren't expected with global warming," Atwood said. "But one of the things we see with global warming is unpredictability.
All this means is that "Global Warming" is being re-branded as "Climate Change", which is much more flexible, Ann and Liv just need to get with the program.
A theory that explains everything explains nothing (Popper).
Edwards had the following to say.
What parts of American life do you think would most outrage Jesus?
Our selfishness. Our resort to war when it's not necessary. I think that Jesus would be disappointed in our ignoring the plight of those around us who are suffering and our focus on our own selfish short-term needs. I think he would be appalled, actually.
One thing that the right really misses are more cartoonists, they do a great job of getting point across. At least with the web, there are now a few!
Thursday, March 08, 2007
It always shocks me when liberals are surprised when there are serious problems with massive federal programs. You name the program ... veterans, medicare, drug benefits, defense, etc, and they will point out how bad the implementation is. Right after they complain, they will ask for more money for the current failing programs and some new ones to start failing in even nastier ways. Don't I feel sorry for the wounded veterans? Absolutely, they are saddled with government healthcare, EVERYONE ought to be feel sorry for them! Walter Reed is just the latest issue. Horrible treatment of veterans requiring medical care is as old as the VA system. The MSM only tends to complain about it when there is a Republican President, but just like a host of other problems endemic to large bloated bureaucracies with no competition or profit motive, it is always there.
The problem with government health care in a democracy is that there are many more well voters than sick voters, and many more slightly sick voters than really sick voters. Even worse, the very sick ones almost never vote. Markets are like death and gravity--you don't have like them, believe in them, or even acknowledge them and they will still work. Politicians are drawn to buy the most votes that they can for as little as they can in their market. They may not even understand what they are doing, but the ones that win in the market for votes are going to naturally be drawn to buying the most votes as efficiently as they can. Granted, it will be very INefficient, but it is the market that they are in that counts.
Certainly federal health care will be bloated and inefficient since it is a bureaucracy with no profit motive, BUT, what the lefties seem to be able to ignore even when it stares them in the face is that since the sick constituency is so small, the politicians and the bureaucracy itself will be drawn to spend less and less on the sick and more and more on the "essentially healthy", and of course on the bureaucracy itself. In this case that means wounded soldiers with horrible care and rats running around. Sadly, horrible VA conditions are a story as old as the VA itself, and horrible care for the SICK in any kind of government health care program is just as old a story.
However, nearly ALL government health care is wildly popular for the HEALTHY! They don't have high insurance bills, they THINK that they are "fully covered", and they THINK that "someone else is paying". What could be better! Government medicine is a lot like the post office ... it is a good system as long as you aren't mailing anything you care about. If you are, you better hope that there is a UPS or Fedex. Government systems just "re-define zero for a very high cost". It doesn't really take a VA system to have rats chewing on wounded veterans, the VA system just allows 100s of billions of dollars to be spent on the way to the peeling paint, rats and squalor. The "new zero" is just a lot higher priced.
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
In something over 280mi of riding over two days we met less than 10 sleds on the trails. We had lunch Monday at the Bell Street Tavern on Madeline Island, where we enjoyed some REALLY good sweet potato fries that were no doubt no good for the waistline.
Trail conditions were generally excellent, with LOTS of snow. Tuesday we headed south to Drummond and had lunch at the Black Bear. We had thought about heading south to Hayward, but decided that we had enough curves, so got on the railroad bed trail to the east and went NE back to the Tri-County Corridor, the big high speed railroad bed trail that runs from Ashland to parts "somewhere west". All the way to Iron River, which is where we stayed, so far enough for our purposes. We decided we had to run into Ashland to have lattes at the Black Cat ... a place that seems to be "very slightly on the liberal side" based on all the posters on the wall. I don't much care about their politics since their coffee is good.
One of those trips where everything went right and all was right with both the snowmobiling world and the trailering / driving world up and back. MUCH nicer to have great snow conditions with a four hour drive rather than an 8 hour drive.
Sunday, March 04, 2007
Naturally, the MSM likes any chance they can get to jump all over Ann, so they ignore the fact that her joke was referencing the case of Isaiah Washington going into rehab, and of course there is NO attempt to indicate that it is a joke ... as opposed to say, John Kerry saying: “You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.” The media was QUICK to point out that "oh, he MEANT Bush" ... yes, he only meant to disparage the commander in chief, not the troops. Nice when the MSM leaps to your defense.
Here is a YouTube that compliments John as being pretty
When he was running in '04, he was widely recognized as a "metrosexual" by MANY media people--a male that is very much more concerned with his appearance than standard. He even remarked about the quality of "hair" that he and John Kerry brought to the race. Ann was making a joke ... and one that isn't even particularly direct. It seems like much like being a muti-millionaire with a giant new mansion and talking about "too much income disparity", Edwards would like to get credit for being pretty without even so much as any ribbing. Of course, the MSM figures that is OK too.
If we step back for a minute, Al Franken is running for the Senate from MN, and he wrote a BOOK with the TITLE "Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot". Is that nice? Well, I guess it is OK, because Rush is certainly conservative, so you can call him ANYTHING. Republicans are commonly called "Fascists" or any form of that slur that can be thought of ... there is a book out now called "American Fascists" on the "religious right", and nobody in the media has any problem when that at all ... I've seen the author, he doesn't mean it as a joke. Calling people "racist" is also pretty much standard, and nobody is going to do any rehab, certainly as long as the person that they are calling names has an "R" somewhere near their name. Yes, calling people names isn't nice and it might be nice if Ann would refrain from it, BUT, why is it that ANN ought to refrain, but the left does it all the time with total impunity?
Michael Moore wins Academy Awards, sat next to Jimmy Carter at the last Democratic Presidential nominating convention. Let's quote a little bit from his "prayer to the comfortable" on page 234 of "Stupid White Men":
"Dear Lord (God/Yahweh/Buddha/Bob/Nobody) ... Rather dear Lord, we ask that You inflict every member of the House of Representatives with horrible, incurable cancers of the brain, penis, and hand (though not necessarily in that order). We ask, Our Loving Father, that every senator from the South be rendered addicted to drugs and find himself locked away for life. We beseech You to make the children of every senator in the Mountain Time Zone gay--REALLY gay. Put the children of the senators from the East in a wheelchair ..."
Is he joking? Probably, just like Franken, he can say whatever he wants, and if it is "inappropriate", it is a joke! Anyone that doesn't "get it" is pretty much an unsophisticated rube! The MSM likes Franken and Moore because they agree with what the MSM thinks. "Freedom of speech" is for people that agree with the MSM. If you don't agree with them, what you generally do is "hate speech", and they would like to criminalize it as soon as possible.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Here we see how CNN presents the House Democrat leadership attempting to move the Congressman that was caught with $90K of "cold cash" bribe money in his FREEZER into a committee chairmanship.
The sheep can read this and go no further. It is ONLY the GOP that is doing this "baffling" thing. You actually have to read the article to understand AT ALL, and even then it would take a full read to really even have much for suspicion that potentially it isn't all that "baffling" why most any person other than a complete partisan would NOT object.
Were the shoe on the other foot, how would the writing be done? Let's sample a couple and see if they ring true"
"GOP to Elevate Cold Cash Congressman"
"Dems Question GOP Ethics: Where is the reform?"
"Cold Cash Congressman to Key Committee?"
"GOP Gives Tainted Congressman Key Committee"
"Dems Demand GOP Ethics Accountability"
"Dems Decry GOP Culture of Corruption"
One could go on and on, and we will, as soon as there is an "R" next to something even 1/10 this corrupt and overt.