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Lent

For Lent (maybe longer), I’ll be rather scarce on FB.  I will likely check-in periodically, to keep up with a couple things, but I won’t be participating in the festivities.

Instead, I’ll be spending much more time working on me.  Brushing up on some foreign language skills, praying, reflecting, and working on some other, much more important projects.  In fact, that will likely be my M.O. going forward.

I’m going to use Lent as an excuse to distance myself from the disordered world of FB and social media generally.  There are too many other important things I need to focus on other than the daily outrage and piling on (no matter how recreational), and that’s what I’m going to do.

There will likely be a subsidiary blog going up in the next couple weeks focused on real world action as opposed to the social media re-action that seems so prevalent.  It’s a project i’ve been working on in one way or another for some time that folks can actively participate in or simply support financially or otherwise.  But, again, it will be focused on action.  Not idle talk.

So… that’s what’s happening.  Less talk.  More doing.

May you all have a blessed Lenten season.

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Leadership by Committee is BS

The article below was originally published at americanthinker.com.  It’s a good article on the face of it but, I’m going to add some commentary first…

What Weissberg describes, I have experienced also.  Politicians aren’t leaders.  And, leaders are not politicians.

This is one of the reasons that former soldiers rarely make good mid-level managers.  Despite the misconception that corporate ownership thinks they want leaders in midlevel positions, and despite the fact that leaders are needed in those positions for an organization to be successful, being a leader at that level is made impossible.

CEOs, like politicians, are concerned with perceptions.  Leaders at the operations level are concerned with results.  Perceptions are massaged by naratives and make people feel good.  Results are driven by leadership that often leaves feelings as casualties in their wake.

In today’s thin-skinned, easily offended world and workplace, leadership suffers.  Sandwiched between the whiny and the milquetoast.  I’ve watched more company than one feel really good about themselves as they were going out of business.  On the other hand, what is missing from corporate calculus is that if you let a good, hard-nosed leader drive the bus for a while, the troops will complain and bitch and moan (a complaining soldier is a happy soldier) but, the esprit de corps and sense of self worth that is generated by working hard and accoplishing something is long lasting and self-perpetuating.  That environment will serve any organization far longer than the troops being fat, stupid, and happy on the way to bankruptcy.

The world, government, and industry needs more leaders and fewer politicians.

– Yeoman

What Makes Trump Run

By Robert Weissberg

It is an understatement to say that many Americans, particularly mass-media pundits, are baffled by President Trump’s “polarizing” behavior. There has never been any public figure quite like him: a president who speaks his mind so forcefully, often impolitely, while acting impetuously.

Let me suggest that Trump’s behavior is perfectly understandable if viewed in the context of his business background. As the Obama administration reflected governance by an egalitarian community activist, the current administration is rule by a hotel magnate.

This observation reflects my first-hand experience. Beginning in the late 1950s until the mid-1970s my father owned multiple large hotels (most with bars and restaurants) in New York City, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Palm Beach, Fl, Puerto Rico, New Orleans, and elsewhere. Unlike Trump, he had stockholders but, very much like Trump, he exercised power as an unchallenged boss, able to fire anybody in an instant for whatever reason no matter how flimsy.

Overseeing a hotel empire is comparable to managing a fire or police department in a Detroit-like city. Hotels operate 24/7, 365 days a year and exist in near perpetual crisis. I grew up hearing about electricity or hot water suddenly going kaput, reservation systems gone awry, unions threating picket lines, or health inspectors warning about closing restaurants while an awaiting mass transit strike meant that hotel workers could not show up for their jobs. Meanwhile, banks might threaten receivership unless a half-million mortgage payment was made by next Monday, but the money did not yet exist.

Then there are endless lawsuits, real and fake, along with employees filing grievance claims on everything from wrongful termination to racial discrimination. There were periodic missives from government taxing agencies and multiple other regulators concerning such things as reporting employee tips and overtime. No doubt, my father’s hotel empire helped dozens of lawyers pay their children’s college tuition and finance nice suburban homes. And to top it off, big-city hotels are incredibly multicultural with polyglot staffs whose cultures can conflict.

The upshot is that turning a profit requires a hard-headed “unpresidential” sometimes frantic management approach quite different from the style embraced by our political elites. Key decisions often had to be made on the spot, not shoved off for “further study.” Can you imagine President Obama personally overseeing a large downtown Chicago hotel with 250 poorly educated employees all the while trying to put 500 heads in beds 365 days a year against competitors fighting for the same clientele? He wouldn’t last a week.

Hotels are not a business for delicate egos and soft rhetoric.  Indeed, the willingness to take huge financial risks and successfully browbeat tough opponents is a recipe for creating an industry dominated by super-sized egos or, to use Spanish slang, people with cojones. Nice guys harboring self-doubts or who are unwilling to stage temper-tantrums fall by the wayside. It’s all Darwinian.

Leadership by necessity is highly personal. You cannot appoint a committee to investigate when a desperate 9 P.M. call from the front desk tells you that there’s no hot water and hundreds of guests are threatening to check out and are refusing to pay. You telephone the chief engineer and you command him, no ifs, ands, or buts, to haul his ass down to the boiler room and fix the problem. If he explains that he’s on vacation, or that the problem is not fixable, you fire him and contract his assistant and make him an offer he cannot refuse — “fix the f…king water problem or join the unemployment line.”  If that doesn’t work, find somebody who can solve the mess and don’t worry about being offensive.

This is a harsh decision-making style that requires zero justification and thus outwardly looks flippant or chaotic. One commands, not persuades. There are no benefits for a boss able to carefully articulate policy to enlighten curious outsiders. These explanations add nothing to the solution, waste time and only confuse employees accustomed to just taking orders. “Do it, since I said so, and I’m the boss” is enough. The metric for success is the outcome, not some long-winded public reasoning that assures the press corps that the boss knows what he is doing.

This brutal style requires cutting corners, perhaps edging toward illegality. If the hotel’s bar is being excessively singled out for serving underage patrons, call a city official who has benefited from past campaign contributions and don’t mince words. Why else would you donate to everyone? As a youngster I recall my father having politically connected “friends” and lawyers on retainer who specialized in dicey situations. A cash bribe would often suffice and was judged a normal business practice. Local cops were always treated well since their cooperation was often required for awkward jobs; for example, clearing the hotel lobby of aggressive hookers.

Few private businesses can afford to drink the PC Kool-Aid of identity politics. There are rarely any Assistant Managers for Diversity and Inclusion to tell the boss to hire a more heterogeneous accounting staff. Businesses, unlike universities and government, operate with real money, so employees are hired for their ability, not according to race, gender, sexual identity etc., and stereotypes — largely based on past experience — are commonplace. My father, for example, relying on decades of experience, loved Hispanics — hard workers who always showed up!! Nobody in the industry was embarrassed by awkward realities — they knew from experience that job applicants of a certain stripe were disproportionately prone to sloth and often would happily admit it.

A larger political issue resides here beyond explaining President Trump’s “unpresidential” behavior. Fewer and fewer business people now enter politics either as candidates for office or as top administrators, a huge loss of talent. What company CEO wants to be grilled by senators, all of whom lack private sector experience, about the multiple lawsuits, accusations of discrimination, fights with the IRS, rumors of bribery and why, to be hypothetical, 10 years ago he evicted an impoverished disabled elderly lady of color with a dozen cats from her hotel room? Recall how Mitt Romney was excoriated for his association with Bain Capital for destroying jobs and widening the wealth gap? Being a white male is bad enough; being a white male businessman is truly toxic.

We’ve come a long way from the 1950s when the Eisenhower cabinet was described as “Nine Millionaires and a Plumber.”  Indeed, it was once commonplace, especially during war years, for successful businessmen to enter government and get paid a symbolic “dollar a year.”

We are now governed by likes of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, who have spent their entire lives on the government payroll with zero firsthand private sector experience. Congress might pass detailed anti-discrimination laws, but how many legislators have personally tried to fire dishonest workers willing to file endless bogus claims of discrimination? Do they know what it’s like to complete all the mind-numbing paperwork necessary to get a small bank loan? Trump knows all about this wealth-killing nitty-gritty and much more but, alas, he may well be the last business person ever to be elected to high office. Experience at making money in business has become far less important than skin color or sex.

 

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The Notorious RBG under the knife

Originally published by npr.org.

We’ll see if the Trumpster gets his 3rd nominee…

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Undergoes Surgery For Lung Cancer

Nina Totenberg Facebook Twitter

This is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s third bout with cancer. In 1999, she was treated for colorectal cancer; in 2009, it was pancreatic cancer. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Alex Wong/Getty Images

This is Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s third bout with cancer. In 1999, she was treated for colorectal cancer; in 2009, it was pancreatic cancer.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent surgery Friday for early stage lung cancer, a Supreme Court spokesperson tells NPR. Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in New York performed a lobectomy, removing one of the five lobes of the lung.

Short of complications in recovery, doctors say prospects look good for a full recovery for Ginsburg, 85. She hopes to be back on the court for the start of the next argument session in early January.

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The cancer was discovered after Ginsburg fell, fracturing several ribs in November. In taking CT scans of her ribs, doctors noticed an abnormality in one lobe of the lung. Subsequent biopsies and other initial tests revealed two non-small cell cancerous lesions, with no lymph node involvement detectable.

According to a press release from the Supreme Court:

“According to the thoracic surgeon Valerie Rusch, both nodules removed during surgery were found to be malignant on initial pathology evaluation. Post-surgery, there was no evidence of any remaining disease. Scans performed before surgery indicated no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body. Currently, no further treatment is planned. Justice Ginsburg is resting comfortably and is expected to remain in the hospital for a few days.”

Dr. Douglas Mathisen, chairman of thoracic surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, said that recovery from such an operation typically ranges from two to four days in the hospital, with the patient able to go home, do desk work and make calls within a week. That assumes that the operation goes smoothly and that there are no complications.

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Mathisen said, “These days we are seeing more and more patients in their 70s and 80s make relatively quick recoveries, because we are detecting so many more lung cancers at early stages” when treatment is far more effective and successful.

Removal of a lobe is considered “the gold standard” in treatment, and while it means a loss of 15 to 20 percent of the lung, it “can recover,” he said, with the other four lobes taking over some of the lost function.

Mathisen and other thoracic surgeons said Justice Ginsburg’s prognosis ultimately will depend on the pathology findings, which will not be available until days after the surgery. If there is no lymph node involvement, surgeons contacted by NPR said the prognosis for being cancer-free at five years out is 80 percent.

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Lymph node involvement would drop those odds down to 50 to 55 percent, Mathisen said. Dr. Cameron Wright, also a Massachusetts General thoracic surgeon and a Harvard Medical School professor of surgery, put the odds lower, at 40 percent, if there is lymph node involvement.

Rusch, who performed the surgery at Sloan Kettering, is a world-renowned lung surgeon. The American College of Surgeons this year selected her for its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Rusch uses a robot and video cameras to perform operations.

This and other new methods of thoracic surgery are minimally invasive and use only small incisions. But serious complications from the surgery range from 5 to 10 percent, Wright said. And the mortality rate of the surgery is 1 in 100.

Third bout with cancer

This is Justice Ginsburg’s third bout with cancer. In 1999, she was treated for colorectal cancer; in 2009, it was pancreatic cancer and, now, lung cancer. During her 25 years on the court, though, she has never missed a day of oral argument.

The next argument day is Jan. 7, and Mathisen said it is possible that she will be able to keep her record intact, but he warned that overdoing things can ultimately slow a patient down, meaning “one step forward and five steps back.”

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News of Ginsburg’s latest bout with cancer is yet another blow to the Supreme Court’s liberals, now outnumbered 5-4 on the nation’s highest court.

Ginsburg has become something of a feminist cultural icon and defies the image of the angry feminist. She is both decorous and determined and makes it a point not to “waste energy” on emotional reactions.

She has become the leading liberal voice on the Supreme Court, and even if she recovers fully from this latest bout with cancer, she likely will be “playing hurt” for a while. That is something she has done for years, powering through even the death of her beloved husband of 56 years in 2010. But she is 85, and there is no way of sugarcoating that fact — even though her mind remains sharp as a tack.

No, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Does Not Intend To Retire Anytime Soon

Indeed, last week, even as she was secretly undergoing a series of tests and consulting an array of doctors, she made multiple public appearances and was interviewed in front of audiences three times, at one point reciting from memory the words of several arias from an opera about her famous friendship and legal dueling with the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia.

Should Ginsburg’s health falter further, President Trump could see a third opportunity to fill a seat on the Supreme Court.

Ginsburg And Scalia: 'Best Buddies'

After Justice Anthony Kennedy, a centrist conservative, announced his retirement earlier this year, Trump picked conservative Brett Kavanaugh to replace Kennedy. After two contentious sets of hearings, including one involving charges of sexual assault that Kavanaugh denied, he was confirmed on a close vote.

In early 2017, the GOP-controlled Senate changed the rules to allow a simple majority to confirm a Supreme Court justice, which paved the way for Trump’s first pick to the court, conservative Neil Gorsuch.

A year prior, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took the unprecedented step of blocking President Barack Obama’s nominee to the court, Merrick Garland, for nearly a year after conservative Scalia died in February 2016.

O'Connor, Rehnquist And A Supreme Marriage Proposal

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Recorded for Posterity

The below article was originally published at strategic-culture.org on 11.11.16.

Amid concerns that it (and other references to the Soros/Clinton “Purple Revolution) were being scrubbed from the net by the purveyors of the Goolag, I decided to re-publish it here for reference by certain, friendly parties.

 

Enjoy.

The Clintons and Soros Launch America’s Purple Revolution


The Clintons and Soros Launch America’s Purple Revolution

Defeated Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton is not about to «go quietly into that good night». On the morning after her surprising and unanticipated defeat at the hands of Republican Party upstart Donald Trump, Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, entered the ball room of the art-deco New Yorker hotel in midtown Manhattan and were both adorned in purple attire. The press immediately noticed the color and asked what it represented. Clinton spokespeople claimed it was to represent the coming together of Democratic «Blue America» and Republican «Red America» into a united purple blend. This statement was a complete ruse as is known by citizens of countries targeted in the past by the vile political operations of international hedge fund tycoon George Soros.

The Clintons, who both have received millions of dollars in campaign contributions and Clinton Foundation donations from Soros, were, in fact, helping to launch Soros’s «Purple Revolution» in America. The Purple Revolution will resist all efforts by the Trump administration to push back against the globalist policies of the Clintons and soon-to-be ex-President Barack Obama. The Purple Revolution will also seek to make the Trump administration a short one through Soros-style street protests and political disruption.

It is doubtful that President Trump’s aides will advise the new president to carry out a diversionary criminal investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s private email servers and other issues related to the activities of the Clinton Foundation, especially when the nation faces so many other pressing issues, including jobs, immigration, and health care. However, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz said he will continue hearings in the Republican-controlled Congress on Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and Mrs. Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin. President Trump should not allow himself to be distracted by these efforts. Chaffetz was not one of Trump’s most loyal supporters.

America’s globalists and interventionists are already pushing the meme that because so many establishment and entrenched national security and military «experts» opposed Trump’s candidacy, Trump is «required» to call on them to join his administration because there are not enough such «experts» among Trump’s inner circle of advisers. Discredited neo-conservatives from George W. Bush’s White House, such as Iraq war co-conspirator Stephen Hadley, are being mentioned as someone Trump should have join his National Security Council and other senior positions. George H. W. Bush’s Secretary of State James Baker, a die-hard Bush loyalist, is also being proffered as a member of Trump’s White House team. There is absolutely no reason for Trump to seek the advice from old Republican fossils like Baker, Hadley, former Secretaries of State Rice and Powell, the lunatic former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, and others. There are plenty of Trump supporters who have a wealth of experience in foreign and national security matters, including those of African, Haitian, Hispanic, and Arab descent and who are not neocons, who can fill Trump’s senior- and middle-level positions.

Trump must distance himself from sudden well-wishing neocons, adventurists, militarists, and interventionists and not permit them to infest his administration. If Mrs. Clinton had won the presidency, an article on the incoming administration would have read as follows:

«Based on the militarism and foreign adventurism of her term as Secretary of State and her husband Bill Clinton’s two terms as president, the world is in store for major American military aggression on multiple fronts around the world. President-elect Hillary Clinton has made no secret of her desire to confront Russia militarily, diplomatically, and economically in the Middle East, on Russia’s very doorstep in eastern Europe, and even within the borders of the Russian Federation. Mrs. Clinton has dusted off the long-discredited ‘containment’ policy ushered into effect by Professor George F. Kennan in the aftermath of World War. Mrs. Clinton’s administration will likely promote the most strident neo-Cold Warriors of the Barack Obama administration, including Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland, a personal favorite of Clinton».

President-elect Trump cannot afford to permit those who are in the same web as Nuland, Hadley, Bolton, and others to join his administration where they would metastasize like an aggressive form of cancer. These individuals would not carry out Trump’s policies but seek to continue to damage America’s relations with Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, and other nations.

Not only must Trump have to deal with Republican neocons trying to worm their way into his administration, but he must deal with the attempt by Soros to disrupt his presidency and the United States with a Purple Revolution

No sooner had Trump been declared the 45th president of the United States, Soros-funded political operations launched their activities to disrupt Trump during Obama’s lame-duck period and thereafter. The swiftness of the Purple Revolution is reminiscent of the speed at which protesters hit the streets of Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, in two Orange Revolutions sponsored by Soros, one in 2004 and the other, ten years later, in 2014.

As the Clintons were embracing purple in New York, street demonstrations, some violent, all coordinated by the Soros-funded Moveon.org and «Black Lives Matter», broke out in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Oakland, Nashville, Cleveland, Washington, Austin, Seattle, Philadelphia, Richmond, St. Paul, Kansas City, Omaha, San Francisco, and some 200 other cities across the United States.

The Soros-financed Russian singing group «Pussy Riot» released on YouTube an anti-Trump music video titled «Make America Great Again». The video went «viral» on the Internet. The video, which is profane and filled with violent acts, portrays a dystopian Trump presidency. Following the George Soros/Gene Sharp script to a tee, Pussy Riot member Nadya Tolokonnikova called for anti-Trump Americans to turn their anger into art, particularly music and visual art. The use of political graffiti is a popular Sharp tactic. The street protests and anti-Trump music and art were the first phase of Soros’s Purple Revolution in America.

President-elect Trump is facing a two-pronged attack by his opponents. One, led by entrenched neo-con bureaucrats, including former Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency director Michael Hayden, former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, and Bush family loyalists are seeking to call the shots on who Trump appoints to senior national security, intelligence, foreign policy, and defense positions in his administration. These neo-Cold Warriors are trying to convince Trump that he must maintain the Obama aggressiveness and militancy toward Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, and other countries. The second front arrayed against Trump is from Soros-funded political groups and media. This second line of attack is a propaganda war, utilizing hundreds of anti-Trump newspapers, web sites, and broadcasters, that will seek to undermine public confidence in the Trump administration from its outset.

One of Trump’s political advertisements, released just prior to Election Day, stated that George Soros, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, and Goldman Sachs chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein, are all part of «a global power structure that is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities». Soros and his minions immediately and ridiculously attacked the ad as «anti-Semitic». President Trump should be on guard against those who his campaign called out in the ad and their colleagues. Soros’s son, Alexander Soros, called on Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, and her husband Jared Kushner, to publicly disavow Trump. Soros’s tactics not only seek to split apart nations but also families. Trump must be on guard against the current and future machinations of George Soros, including his Purple Revolution.

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