Saturday, September 26, 2009

Comment on The Belmont Club
"Ultimatum est"

Oh no! Not the dreaded "increased pressure and isolation, and deny opportunity to their own people."

Obama is still emitting Green gases. He sounds like a High School Class President boasting of his appearance at a Model UN meeting. This is sad, pathetic even. Instead of leading with Iran he runs through the embarrassing laundry list of self congratulation over nothing first. The warning to Iran is therefor all the more obviously empty. As I said on the last thread, my expectation is that we will eventually find evidence that the administration was working with Iran to conceal the evidence of their secret program. Obama panicked and ran to Brown and Sarkozy for cover when the press in Vienna got wind of what he had already known for months.

he’s using a different dictionary

Everyone uses a slightly unique dictionary based on their family, education and occupation. The wonder is that there is sufficient commonality that most of the time we can communicate. When you cannot understand someone or get it wildly wrong then there are things to check. First, is are they using a special dictionary shared with their group (understandable) or are they only talking to themselves (possible insanity)? Secondly, is the miscommunication accidental or deliberate?

For the Democrats their dictionaries are drawn from their core support groups. Two of their biggest sources of support are lawyers and creative media. For lawyers negotiations translate as "billable hours." They happen after an event has already created damages, or to create a contract for a mutually agreed upon goal. The suggestion that they must be brought to a resolution because something bad might happen in the future does not translate for them. For the media conflict and negotiation are plot devices to be sustained. I can see them sitting around a table brainstorming a show called "The Ultimate Ultimatum."

massaging the message

You are getting warm. For some people in the Process profession having the different parties using incompatible dictionaries is a feature and not a bug. They define success as having everyone leave the 5 star hotel happy with a beautiful piece of paper. They do not worry about thise same people getting angry when they discover that others do not think the agreement means what they do. In the opinion of the professional cynic the other parties are going to find something to be unhappy about later anyway so it really doesn't matter what they get upset about. If they are happy on the day you need them for a photo shoot then that will do.

The same attitude can be seen in school administrators who just want the parent happy on graduation day and who really don't care about what anyone will think in the future about the student's lack of education. For a different job I had a boss who told me to do something wrong, copyright infringement in a University of Chicago duplicating office I managed, because it would make some faculty happy and by the time anyone important complained, "We would both be gone." I left first.

What I fear about Mr. Obama is that we have the worst of all worlds–an incompetent scoundrel.

That raises an interesting question. Should we prefer that our scoundrels be competent or not?

There is an old joke in which a businessman is describing the government as stupid, slothful, ignorant, corrupt and incompetent at doing any of the things it claims it intends to do. His partner listens and then pats him on the shoulder, "Harry, thank God for that."

Anny Mouse,
(who asked for Bugs Bunny daring Yosemite Sam to "Cross that line")
Here you go.

For the last thread I was looking for the clip from Die Hard with the sap Ellis "negotiating" with Gruber as McClane tries to warn him.
A lesson in a can.

erc rodson,
That was Fredrick the Great's management paradigm. There was an article about it in Naval Institute Proceedings many years ago.

Most troops were lazy slugs in Fred's opinion but that was OK if they feared his officers. The officers should be the smart and ambitious ones. Every organization can have one guy who wants to be lazy and dull. In F the G's modest opinion that was Fred only he had to stay up late working hard worrying about the ambitious stupid guy. In modern naval parlance that is the Petty Officer 2nd class who tries to fix the nuclear power plant on his own just to impress the Chief. That is the guy who kills people.

I am not putting Christianity into a position analogous to Islam. That is part of my point, they are completely different. Christianity arose among practicing Jews as one of many variants. After a period in excess of a hundred years people began to understand that it was a new religion. Islam was created by a man who had met some Jewish merchants and decided that they did not know their own religion. The Ethiopian Falasha are interesting. While there are differences between their practices and those of other Jews, such as the Yemenite community, and I am sure their history is fascinating, I would consider them Jews. They are certainly closer to mainstream Judaism than the Samaritans are. My point was that the official Jewish view of the Samaritans cast them in a light similar to Islam but that I suspect that to be unfair.

Mark B,
(who noted that I maligned the professionalism of naval nuclear techs)
Pax. Everything about nukes, power or specweaps, is very tightly controlled. I remember when we did a movement and I was the PRP Courier. The Marines looked happy. They had been told that if an officer stepped over the invisible line they could shoot him. Never wanted to be a Nuke myself. Takes a special type to live in a sewer pipe. OK already I'll stop. Nukes are more highly selected and their community benefits from not having to deal with the personnel problems and frictions faced by the rest of the service.

Subotai Bahdur,
(who reviewed post Revolutionary War treatment of Tories)
While I am uncomfortable with your TWANLOC designation I do find your general argument about the nature of the problem thoughtful. There is an issue with drawing lines between those who are part of the democratic community and those who aren't. Who gets to decide? The unfortunate record seems to be that the deciders get corrupted and drive wedges within the presumptively loyal members of the polis.

Sep 28, 2009 - 12:29 pm

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