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Archive for August, 2011

Description: Hurricane Irene track, August 28, 2011

Description: Hurricane Irene track, August 28, 2011

Journalists are driven to beef up stories, make them provocative, hype them, and if possible, manipulate them in such a way that they will remain newsworthy for as long as possible. Viewer ratings are the driving force. So the proverb, “make hay while the sun shines” appropriately describes the behavior of for-profit weather forecasters.

Probabilities that by the time Irene reaches the Northeast it may likely peter out and become a tropical storm is not the kind of story that would be as profitable as if you report Irene a CAT 1, 2, or even better, a CAT 3 hurricane. Creating fear and predicting the worse cataclysmic consequences creates audiences that will be glued to the most recent forecast, and keeping them glued as long as possible will continue to bring in the dough.

Irene came almost six years to the day after Katrina ravaged New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005. Predictions that New York City would be hit by a major hurricane were frightening.

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The I Have a Dream speech was a watershed moment in American history. It was a message of justice and equality, and employment the rallying cry. But is it more important to look backward or to look forward and become that change we want to see.

Circa 1885,  “Doing the slums”: A policeman leading upper class people through the Five Points neighborhood of central lower Manhattan in New York City

Circa 1885, “Doing the slums”: A policeman leading upper class people through the Five Points neighborhood of central lower Manhattan in New York City

Sunday, August 28, marks the forty-eighth anniversary of the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.” It was at that march and rally that Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. The speech was given at the Lincoln Memorial to a gathering of 250,000 concerned Americans, as millions more watched on television.

A dedication ceremony of the King Memorial, the “Stone of Hope,” located on the National Mall was planned for Sunday, now postponed (date to-be-announced later) because of hurricane Irene. The King Memorial honors MLK’s life and the sacrifices he, but also his supporters, so unselfishly made for all Americans. A celebration planned “to honor his national and international contributions to world peace through non-violent social change.”

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Our Founding Fathers did not consider government as inconsequential, but Rick Perry, libertarians and conservatives do. It seems they want to take us back to a place where America was less free and to a place when people lived as colonist.

John Trumbull's painting, Declaration of Independence, depicting the five-man drafting committee of the Declaration of Independence presenting their work to the Congress.

John Trumbull's painting, Declaration of Independence, depicting the five-man drafting committee of the Declaration of Independence presenting their work to the Congress.

Texas Governor Rick Perry, in announcing his campaign for president, said, “I’ll promise you this, I’ll work every day to try to make Washington, DC, as inconsequential in your life as I can.” Boston Globe’s Jeff Jacoby took this quote, thematically threading it through his article, “Making Washington inconsequential.” But “inconsequential,” meaning lacking importance, is not what government should be. America’s founders certainly did not think so and neither should we.

It’s true that “government is best which governs the least,” a Jeffersonian aphorism that Jacoby used to make his case for small government. Of course, small government is simpler to manage, less complicated, easier to understand, and can be kept limited by focusing only on the basics. But the United States of America is a much different country than that of the eighteenth century; it’s more advanced, more populous, more complex than the founders could have ever imagined.

At the time Thomas Jefferson made that adage . . .

Read full article here: Rick Perry’s Promise of Inconsequentiality

 

 

 

 

 

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: Zubayr, Iraq (Mar. 23, 2002) -- Sgt. Jeff Seabaugh, a squad leader with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) moves his Marines to their objective during a mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

: Zubayr, Iraq (Mar. 23, 2002) -- Sgt. Jeff Seabaugh, a squad leader with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) moves his Marines to their objective during a mission in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

In The Essentials of Effective Management and Leadership, I concluded the article with . . . being a successful manager and leader requires setting the best example.

Setting the best example is a primary attribute of effective leadership. Even if one possesses the other qualities of leadership, not setting the best example will make one’s leadership questionable.

The US Army and Marine Corps have established that leaders must exemplify integrity, courage, knowledge, professional competence, personal appearance, and personal conduct, and in doing so, they set personal and professional standards for the organization they represent.

This means having the capability and exhibiting a willingness to do anything that you ask others to do; conducting yourself so that you are not open to criticism; treating others as you would like them to treat you under similar circumstances; exhibiting fidelity and trust in those who work for you and for those for whom you work; always do what you say you will do; and optimistically sharing with those who work for you in any hardship that a contingency may present.

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Michele Bachmann has established a pattern of getting facts wrong , writes Politico on March 14. In Michele Bachmann Said What!? Mother Jones has written a “guide to the Minnesota firebrand’s most outrageous, outlandish, and out-there remarks” But the latter is dated June 6, since then there have been other incidences of Bachmann “playing fast and loose with the facts” as well as gaffes. So, if there ever is a President Bachmann this is the kind of wisdom you can expect.

Now we have Rick Perry who said that man-made global warming is an unproven scientific theory.

You see, Perry does not have faith in scientific theory, but rather prayer is the answer to solving earth’s environmental issues, such as global warming. On April 21, Texas Governor Perry issued a Proclamation for Days of Prayer for Rain in Texas, proclaiming “throughout our history, both as a state and as individuals, Texans have been strengthened, assured and lifted up through prayer; it seems right and fitting that the people of Texas should join together in prayer to humbly seek an end to this devastating drought and these dangerous wildfires.”

The Huffington Post says, “Perry’s opinion runs counter to the view held by an overwhelming majority of scientists that pollution released from the burning of fossil fuels is heating up the planet. Perry’s home state of Texas releases more heat-trapping pollution carbon dioxide – the chief greenhouse gas – than any other state in the country, according to government data.”

Glenn Kessler, writing for the Washington Post provides Rick Perry’s made-up ‘facts’ about climate change.

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Police arrest a man during the Watts Riots, Los Angeles, August 12, 1992.

Police arrest a man during the Watts Riots, Los Angeles, August 12, 1992.

Because root causes have not been appropriately addressed, in many of the globe’s major cities there remains hopelessness, distrust, discontent, and distress felt by those at the lower rungs of the economic ladder that have induced hate and rebellious violence against society and government.

In London and Philadelphia, the accusations are that the rioting and violence have been caused primarily by black young people who have been coddled by “welfare state politicians,” says Thomas Sowell in his three-part piece, Social Degeneration. Sowell says the welfare state has brought “fame, fortune and power to race hustlers in politics, the media and academia” that has given impetus to those who have been rioting.

UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron said, “The sickness starts on welfare-addicted estates where feckless parents let children run wild.”

Philadelphia’s mayor Michael Nutter said, “Pull up your pants and buy a belt ’cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt. If you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you. They don’t hire you ’cause you look like you’re crazy.”

The issues are too complex to think that there is a one-size-fits-all cause or solution. It’s an illogical position to take that rebellion just happens without provocation or reason. Simply being coddled by “welfare state politicians,” is not provocation or a reason to riot; if needs are being met by the welfare state, rebellion does not make sense.

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The belief that trickle-down economics will make us all prosperous is fallacious.  Tax increases on wealthy people do not hinder job creation. Lower tax rates on the wealthy and lower job creation has been the experience of the last ten years

Timeline of Government revenues versus government outlays (or spending) as a percentage of GDP

Timeline of Government revenues versus government outlays (or spending) as a percentage of GDP

The bump in the road to America’s economic recovery lies in the fallacy of “trickle-down economics.” It’s a term derived from supply-side economic theory, which posits that by increases in the wealth of America’s entrepreneurs through tax breaks will “trickle-down” to the lower economic echelons of society and bring them prosperity as well. The theory is all about incentivizing wealthy people with more money to innovate and invest into their enterprises. By doing so, the theory puts forth that they will hire more people. The truth is that the rich are the only ones who benefit at the expense of others.

The theory is at the heart of America’s problem in reaching bipartisan agreement on a balanced approach of spending cuts and increasing revenues in the reduction of debt and deficit. Libertarians such as Ron Paul, the Tea Party folks led by Michele Bachmann, and Republicans led by House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell embrace this theory.  They will support cuts in spending that will egregiously affect the struggling poor and middle-class, while allowing the rich to remain off-the-hook.


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