Saturday, January 23, 2010

Comment on the Belmont Club:
"Magic"


repeating the mistake with greater emphasis isn’t necessarily a solution

In the American military when in doubt there are simple priorities to guide an officer. In ascending order they are (with focus naval departments);
1. logistics and repair (Supply & Engineering)
2. train and prepare (Admin & Combat Systems)
3. observe and communicate (Operations)
4. engage, move to the sound of the guns.
Naturally all Departments are constantly partaking of all of these and the last is a focused effort by the entire Command.

In WW-II the motto of NavAir was, "When in danger or in doubt, turn in circles, scream and shout." That meant that the lost airplane, no radar then, would gain altitude and broadcast and hope that the carrier would hear them, turn to close the distance to them, and break radio silence to guide them in. That showed, as the Task Force moved to recover the lost pilot, step 4 in operation with elements of 3, and was based on 1 and 2 having been done right. It also showed America's cultural values at work as the Admiral would make the hardest decision of whether to break radio silence to rescue his lost lamb, knowing that to do so risks endangering his Command.

In the old Soviet military there was always a simpler guide to remember. When in doubt an officer was expected to, and often ordered to, demonstrate more "activity." They were not judged in the narrow sense on results, although the price of failure could be severe.

The point behind this quaint comparison is that Obama is not acting like an American here but like someone who has been indoctrinated in an alien culture. When faced with a problem he divides it into two parts, threats to the society (including its institutions, traditions, culture and economy) and threats to his own authority. He focuses all his efforts on the latter. His response to economic catastrophe, enemy aggression, and public repudiation is not to correct the threats to the society but to produce more political theater, that is more "activity."

To some extent all politicians do this and the commons have to spend a lot of time and energy reminding them about the community that pays to keep them in the castle on the hill. Religious prayers are reminders to God that he really does love and care for us poor folks down here. They may have developed as safe reminders to the secular lord that he also had better ensure that threats to the well being of the community need to be addressed as well as threats to himself. Obama, who may think that the peasants prayers are being addressed to him personally has personalized and politicized all issues to an extent unseen since Woodrow Wilson.

He expects Magic. He will summon monsters from the vasty deep.
But will they come? (see 9:00 on)


Someone should have taught young Barry Soetero to tell truth and shame the devil. Now it is to late.

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Dan D,
(who compared Obama's work habits unfavorably to Bill Clinton's)
Obama had a reputation as one of the laziest and least prepared Senators. Given the competition that says something. He was almost always late to a hearing and never made a meaningful contribution, resorting only to boiler plate polemics. At the University where he taught other faculty said that he was a distant presence not engaged in the life of the academic community.

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Geoffrey Britain
there’s more to life than politics and current events

Some obsess on policy, some on money or sex. Some obsess on work.
It happens to both Republicans and Democrats.
Can we talk about something other than Hollywood for a change? We are all educated people.
1:55 on, Robert Altman's The Player


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james wilson,
Perhaps the Democrats will find ways to make him disappear

13 hours ago I blogged on Obama's poll numbers and the options for the Dems.
http://tinyurl.com/yefueb9
What would a Grand Bargain look like? Biden gets the White House and no lynch mobs but Satomayor is off the Supreme Court and all other appointments will be reexamined by a committee chaired by Senator McCain sounds like a start to me.

Kinuachdrach,
My guess is that Al Queda will choose patience

Evidence is that al-Qeada has chosen to move sooner. How many self identified aQ attacks in this country have we had so far? Is it 4 or 5, plus the interceptions and the panic in London?

someone,
the ultimate gatekeepers, the people failed

1. Please buy a better nick.
2. The People are not supposed to take personal charge of examining the fitness of every candidate. That is the point behind having a Constitutional Republic. Ultimate sovereignty resides with the people and they express it by directly electing Representatives and State Legislatures. That is why the country is a Democracy, sorry Habu. However it is not a Direct Democracy. The original intent was to have the State legislatures select worthy and experienced leaders who would meet and examine the qualifications and fitness of candidates for President. Some horse trading among local interests was to be expected but real clunkers should be filtered out in the same way that a parliamentary system usually weeds out the flagrantly incompetent or morally degenerate before they get to the top. After all experienced politicians and community leaders know each others flaws, even if they are hidden from the public. Remember how the Senate shocked everyone by rejecting John Tower when he was nominated by Bush '41 for SecDef? Largely that was a partisan attack and partly it was an elitist blow at the only former enlisted man in the Senate but it was argued that as his former colleagues they knew that he was a drunk and unfit for the office. If the President was selected by a conclave of civic leaders, as intended, who would be selected by legislatures elected from small local constituencies, originally an annual election, then both the Democratic and Republican elements of the Constitution would be at work. Under such a system a man like Barack Obama would not be elected.

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zhombre,
(who linked to "Richard Epstein discusses Barack Obama" on the Easy Opinions blog)

Thank you, I was looking for that.
We have 3 practicing psychiatrists that I know of who post on, and maybe more who follow, the Belmont Club. Epstein's description of the great stone face obsessed by control cries out for discussion.

Can we put up a billboard? "In your guts you know he's nuts."

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