Liberal Noise

Ironically enough, the following Letter to the Editor appeared in The Kansas City Star on May 23 under the title “Conservative Noise”.

Why would any intelligent, fair-minded liberal or conservative listen to the putrid garbage spewed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck? It just boggles the mind to think that anyone thinks that these two promote our Constitution. They do nothing but promote hate, denigrate our president and hope for his failure, and consequently, the failure of our country.

It’s too bad that both of these “patriots” didn’t keep their promise to leave the country if health care reform passed. Now that would not only be a great good riddance but would truly promote our Constitution.

Delores Mair

When I come across folks like Delores, I challenge them to get a piece of paper and a pen and listen or watch an hour of their shows and write down the points they made that they disagree with or support their claims and then come back and we’ll talk, otherwise you’re just creating noise.

Chris Stigall Holds KC Mayor Accountable

I recommend listening to the Friday’s With Funk podcast from the May 28Chris Stigall Show on KCMO 710 AM in Kansas City.  Since Mark Funkhouser became mayor of Kansas City, Chris has had him on his show on Fridays for a Q&A session.

Yesterday, the Mayor and Kansas City’s City Council voted to reprimand Arizona’s immigration law.  In the podcast, Chris holds the Mayor accountable.  You don’t often hear radio like this. Typically hosts treat their guests well to keep them coming back.  Guests don’t like hostile environments.  Chris lets the Mayor have it.

The biggest shocker of the segment is that the Mayor has not even read Arizona’s law.

I agree with Chris’s point.  Whatever you think of the Arizona law, it should be a non-issue for the elected officials of Kansas City.  That’s Arizona’s business.  Funk tries to make the point that a similar law could be in Missouri.  But, it’s not now.

This was a clear waste of city government official’s time.  They were not elected to pass judgment on laws of other states.  They were elected to pass laws for the City and run the City services.  If they want to use their personal time to write opinion pieces about what they think of Arizona’s law, fine.  It’s a free country.

But misusing their elected positions to convey the opinion is ludicrous.  It shows how out of touch and elitists politicians have become.  Most don’t know their job description.

LOST

Lost is over.  Here’s an interesting post from Tyler Cowen about the final episode.

Here’s the comment I posted on his blog:

It’s a TV show. I enjoyed, I liked it. I’m glad it’s over so non-Losties in my vicinity won’t think ill of me for talking about smoke monsters, frozen donkey wheels, pockets of energy anymore.

I don’t believe Lucas knew Darth Vader would pop when the first Star Wars came out. DV did pop and I believe that helped Lucas focus the story around that moral equivalent flunkie. But it worked. People love that story and how it was told. I enjoy watching the Clone Wars (with my son, of course!) thinking it’s pretty cool that I first heard about the Clone Wars decades ago as something that happened “long ago”, and now here I am watching those stories unfold decades later with my kid.

The thing that bugs me about the ending of Lost is that they didn’t attempt to explain any of the stuff that was popping. Perhaps like the Clone Wars, we’ll be watching a cartoon series in a couple of decades about what the Island is.

I struggled with figuring out what David’s character was. Ultimately, I think he was a decoy to make the obvious a little less obvious.

I also interpreted the ending shot as – they died in the crash – but thought that was in direct conflict with Christian’s, Hugo’s and Kate’s lines, as others pointed out. I believe it was just a final set shot of “where it all started”, outside the fiction of the show and showing that it’s not active now as they all get ready to go onto what’s next for them.

I am thankful that Lost got me to explore some books. I recommend “The Third Policeman” by Flann O’Brien. It contains variations of many elements that made it into the show, even perhaps into the final show. It’s a quick read and it’s funny.

Questions for a Manager

I’d like to know how you behave when you don’t understand something.  Can you give me an example where you didn’t follow what was being discussed in a meeting and what behaviors you used to catch up?  Can you give me an example where you thought you understood something, but didn’t, and you came to realize that and the behavior you used to understand it?

I believe effective managers — whether they’re managing a professional sports team, a big company or a small plumbing shop — are good at understanding what’s going on around them.

Ineffective managers are good at pretending to know.  I’ve seen these managers use intimidating, bullying tactics as a defense mechanism to keep others from recognizing that the manager doesn’t understand.  These managers seek leadership roles to satisfy their own ego and can wreck a place because they rarely get good answers.   Sometimes they Continue reading

Wise Words from Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is correct in this paragraph from his column today, Justice and Injustice.

The pretense of having solutions can be more dangerous than the problem. Yet there are whole armies of shrinks and social workers, whose jobs depend on pretending that they have answers, even when no one has answers.

The same can be said about any number of experts in almost any field.  Many experts pretend to have answers.  They often even believe themselves.  But, in truth their livelihood depends on their con skills.  All too often we disengage our common sense and listen to these boneheads to our own peril.

Next time you hear an expert pushing their solution, take a moment and ask yourself how he or she knows.

Good Reason to be libertarian

Thomas Sowell hits on a very good reason to be libertarian in his column, “Enough Money”.

Once you buy the argument that some segment of the citizenry should lose their rights, just because they are envied or resented, you are putting your own rights in jeopardy– quite aside from undermining any moral basis for respecting anybody’s rights. You are opening the floodgates to arbitrary power. And once you open the floodgates, you can’t tell the water where to go.

New Threads – Questions for Politicians and Questions for Managers

I’ve seen enough clueless elected officials and business managers in my day to make me wonder what questions were asked of these people before they got their jobs.  I thought it would be a good idea to add categories to this blog to list questions to ask political candidates and managers along with answers that I would like to see.  Hopefully some reporters or board members will find these questions valuable and ask them.

Here’s an example of how these categories will work.

Question for Political Candidate for President

If elected President you will take an oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.  Can you briefly explain what that means to you?

An acceptable answer for me to this question would be something like:

The Constitution of the United States defines the powers of each branch of government to maintain checks and balances on power.    The authors of the Constitution were concerned about government power becoming concentrated at the expense of the liberty of our citizens.  As colonists, they saw firsthand the ill effects on liberty of unchecked power by the arbitrary decisions made by the King of England.

To me, protecting and defending the Constitution means ensuring that the powers I exercise as President are those that are specifically defined in Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution and I will use those powers to ensure that other branches of government only exercise authority in which they are empowered by the respective sections of the Constitution.

Protecting and defending the Constitution means that when my replacement assumes power through the peaceful election process, as defined in the Constitution, that the source of the power of government will still be the consent of the governed and nothing else.