Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Leverage and Traction in Political Leadership

It’s a bit disarming to see President Obama chided by Europeans: He’s taking their own game too far. Ah, youth, “one upping” each other, as they do. Meanwhile Hillary attempts diplomacy with Russia, leading to a chiding from Putin on another continent. All we need is one more stooge to keep the comedy act alive.
The President may be bursting a balloon that has been kept afloat to obfuscate for class reasons; what’s really going on in the big picture, as it were. The Europeans have historically chided Americans who they consider “boorish”* when it comes to finesse. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin were tenuously respected because they understood diplomacy in Europe, while John Adams suffered from his directness, dispensing with finesse, driven by haste and impatient with the charade of the French courtesans. Consider that the members of the UN will have a good debate and call it a day, while Americans live in the world of action. But, now, Marie Antoinette’s, “Let them eat cake!” has never felt so close to our lives. As events unfold there’s a tendency to believe the possibility that freedom to protest is largely for theatre to keep the populace feeling influential while in reality they are focused on an eddy and dispersed from essential matters underway as our leaders pursue the power of an Oligarchy**? Please, history, prove me wrong!

* boorish - ill-mannered and coarse and contemptible in behavior or appearance; "was boorish and insensitive"; "the loutish manners of a bully"; "her stupid oafish husband"; "aristocratic contempt for the swinish multitude"
** Oligarchy- A form of government in which the supreme power is placed inthe hands of a few persons; also, those who form the ruling few.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Does The Emperor Have Any Clothes?

Any writer wants to be a lightening rod for his readers and avoid alienating them lest they pigeonhole too quickly and marginalize the message.  No one can be everything for everybody.  If a writer wants to capture a large readership, casting a wide net will certainly alienate a certain few.  Any viewpoint risks distrust especially now when we are all trying to make sense and recover from the financial meltdown.
These are challenging times and we find our lives, even the world in a state of flux rarely seen.  We have little confidence that rationality will rule as America rides the rough economy out.  We hope that our leadership will continue to be just and respected by free thinkers throughout the world.  Billions have been lost by investors as former University professors with no particular interest in finance are at the helm of our futures.  Dare I say, in this world of political correctness, that liberals, proud in their tradition of compassion have shown themselves to be like the emperor with no clothes as they delve into the rational world of finance.  Were this a screenplay, I'd insert a reference that some feathers would have been ruffled, "Ah, he's one of those," would smirk a scholarly type, deferential that those he considers his equals would surely be in agreement that the "less informed" live in the world of commerce.  All the arrogance and posturing are now merely window dressing to ACT II.  There is a real need to resolve issues that have real consequences.  No one welcomes such a challenge, but victory will be sweet.  I fear mere debate of Collegiate U.N. politics that resembles Chicago politics is functioning in our great nation as our president drops back to punt.  Will President Obama adapt to changing circumstances?  Will the fears of left wing pundits be realized that he has no intention of saving the financial world from ruin?  
Unfortunately, this is not a Saturday morning TV show on SciFi.  This is your life!  Even under a severe conservative belt tightening measured recovery, we're looking at 5-7 years before we reaccess.  Certainly a healthy financial world exists in a delicate balance as we saw whan the house of cards fell.  We will probably make lifestyle choices that will affect our outlooks well into the future abandoning our consumptive habits.  We must recognize indications of rapid recovery as bubbles, always under construction to serve a few.  We are still lucky to have the best conditions known to man under which to weather the storm.  We will see if President Obama does truly want a healthy future for his daughters rather than the effects of a grand experiment that history has shown to be a waste, potentially bringing suffering to the spirit of a free world.  Does the emperor have clothes?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Great Jimi Hendrix Live

While researching a previous post, I found such interesting formerly unavailable footage on uTube that I was inspired to write another.
I came across this live Hendrix. This was filmed around the same time I saw Jimi up in Bern, Switzerland at a fantastic concert just prior to Monterey Pop of 1967. Cream was supposed to be at the concert in Bern, but Ginger Baker was under the weather, so Eric Clapton played with John Mayall instead, since he'd been with Mayall's band previously. Johnny Almond was also featured in the band, since Mayall was a conduit for many of the greats. I was a bit disappointed that Clapton didn't mention his appearance in Bern in his book, but he did mention being blown away with Hendrix while in London. Clapton's book is excellent and a great window into a life of a truly gifted musician. Traffic during their suitar period, Move and Anselmo Trend ( a local Swiss band) rounded out the evening. Blind Faith emerged a few years afterwards.
My friends and I saw John Mayall, a good sport, playing in a pub in the old part of town as we made our way to the concert hall. The air was electric with the anticipation of what we were to see. We'd taken the train up from Geneva as we were students at Ecolint (International School of Geneva). My own music evolved through the years through the paths of rock, blues, jazz, fusion, flamenco and folk.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Doing Due Diligence.

A few emotionally depleted days ago in joking with a friend, I quiped, " The stimulus package passed today.  I need to tell Michelle Obama that I’m gravely disappointed in my country today."   Yesterday, we found out that Daschle’s plan (part of Hillary’s plan for socialized medicine) was hidden within the stimulus package, found by Republicans doing due diligence, not by Democratic forthrightness. In fact, Dems told their party members that sliding the bill through with something else would be the only way to introduce it, much the same way as Obama told family members of those who died on The USS Cole disaster that he’d released the mastermind of the attack the day before. Heartlessness? Welcome to the Democratic version ‘change.’”
A couple of days ago, Obama told us not to worry about minor fluctuations in the stock market as it drops like a hydrodynamic rock into a black abyss. He misrepresented the “price/earnings ratio” for the “profit/earnings ratio” showing in one fell swoop that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about....as the stock market crashes.
The USA will recover, but it will happen in spite of our current leadership.
Dennis Miller and David Dryer are keeping me on life support….thanks, guys!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Obama May Be Lost In His Own Experiment

Both Obama and Hillary were avid students to the ideas of Saul Alinski; Obama through his mother's boyfriends with romantic formulative links to his roots. I hope I'm just wrong, but Obama may need to follow his idealized feelings of socialism through to conclusion, thereby destroying our lives, in order to prove to himself that he can make it work any better than the failed attempts throughout history. He is protected now from the effects of what may be his experiment because his future is assured, as president. Perhaps we can forgive Saul Alinski his support of socialism as he refers to Dostoevski, who was writing about the Bolshevik Revolution, the people’s revolt against monarchy; a period analyzed by pensive writers and history books. Saul Alinski did not have the advantage of having seen USSR fail and the wall between East and West Germany fall as it tore itself apart under it’s own weight with the catalyst of Ronald Reagan’s leadership. In light of our recent history, Obama’s and Hillary’s interests in Mr. Alinski send shivers down the spine.

In Rules for Radicals, Alinsky outlines his strategy in organizing, writing in the prologue,

"There's another reason for working inside the system. Dostoevski said that taking a new step is what people fear most. Any revolutionary change must be preceded by a passive, affirmative, non-challenging attitude toward change among the mass of our people. They must feel so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and change the future. This acceptance is the reformation essential to any revolution. To bring on this reformation requires that the organizer work inside the system, among not only the middle class but the 40 per cent of American families - more than seventy million people - whose income range from $5,000 to $10,000 a year [in 1971]. They cannot be dismissed by labeling them blue collar or hard hat. They will not continue to be relatively passive and slightly challenging. If we fail to communicate with them, if we don't encourage them to form alliances with us, they will move to the right. Maybe they will anyway, but let's not let it happen by default."[4]

Alinsky codified and wrote a clear set of rules[5] for community organizing. His rules for radicals are now used as key tactics to learn in the training of new community organizers and were the tactics used by then candidate Barack Obama to win the 2008 election. If Obama has given in to following principles set forth by Alinski and is following the path in honor of his mother’s boyfriend, has he allowed wiggle room in case things don’t work out? I think it’s entirely possible he’s willing to experiment to the end with our futures. We may find out too late if his legacy and experiment are more important to him than our former way of life, because, after all, he and his pals are imune from our future, since high ranking officials have their own medical and retirements futures and are not limited by the laws they create for the rest of us.