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The Play’s the … You Know … the Thing

 

Perhaps the Dems are pushing a doddering and forgetful white man with a young female heir because they are trying to tell a story; the party is pathetic and a little crazy as it wanders in the wilderness, cast out by an ungrateful public. It is also ancient, white and white-haired. It will be rescued by the loyal young female who takes the old white guy in but is the actual ruler.

It’s King Lear for millennials and a psychodrama that appeals to people who still love the old white guy and to those who can’t wait to see him leave the stage both because you’ve elected the story to play out in real-time.

Familiarity, Contempt, and All That Jazz

 

I would normally post something like this on PIT 14 or the “What Are You Listening To?” group, but this tune seems suddenly to be everywhere. KJAZ in Long Beach, CA, plays it but, more than that, it is popping up on phone hold queues everywhere.

It’s catchy enough, but I fear I will become as annoyed with it as I am with the Pachelbel Canon in D, another instance of an old tune that was catapulted into ubiquity.

If by some chance you haven’t heard Ramsey Lewis’s Les Fleur, before, enjoy it while you can.

Is there a tune you once loved that has become over-familiar and that you wish you could avoid either forever or for long enough that the absence of it makes your heart grow fond again?

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Piercing the Clouded Veil of Thinking Caused by the Status Quo

 

“A relentless barrage of “why’s” is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo.”– Shigeo Shingo

Shigeo Shingo was a Toyota engineer and the progenitor/guru of “Lean,” or “Sigma Six” business improvement methodology. When my spouse was in the military, Total Quality Management™ was a thing. W. Edward Deming’s TQM had allegedly made Japan an auto tech powerhouse, was doing the same for the Ford Motor Company, and had now come to a USAF base near you! (Though her boss still had a Two-Minute Manager book in her office. So last decade.)

Eventually, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People became the new hotness, and was likely supplanted by several other pop-improvements by now. On the civilian side, where she currently works is so “Lean” that the buildings are in danger of falling over.

Improvement is good stuff, but management fads are huge time and resource sinks and rarely deliver on their promises. Or so I imagine, I’m not seeing it firsthand.

How about anyone else? What’s the best/worst system to invade your workplace?

Do you have stories about implementation failure or success?

Give us the scuttlebutt; this won’t get back to HR.

Six Cops Eighty-Sixed, Starbux Spox Perplexed

 

TEMPE, AZ – Short and not-so-sweet: Six (in some stories five) Tempe police were drinking coffee at a Starbucks before going on shift to police July 4th festivities. An unidentified patron complained of feeling unsafe with the police officers there. The person in charge, who knew at least one of the officers, asked them to either move out of sight of the complainer or leave. Cops left.

The Police Union posted about it on Twitter, adding a ‘Dump Starbucks’ graphic. The Union also ‘reached out’ to Starbucks corporate, apparently as corporate was reaching out to them (I am imagining an accidental collision that looks like a glancing open-handed fist bump) with the kind of verbiage that only dedicated flacks can: “We know this is not a national policy at Starbucks Corporate and we look forward to working collaboratively with them on this important dialogue,” and “We have deep respect for the Tempe Police Department and its service to our community,” said the Starbucks statement. “We have reached out to understand better what may have happened in our store, and to apologize for any misunderstanding or inappropriate behavior that may have taken place.”

I suppose I should be happy about collaborative important dialogue work over inappropriate behavior that in fact did take place, but the whole affair is more confusing than anything else.

Who is training people to say, ‘I don’t feel safe’ and who is training business people to take them seriously when they do say it? Why did the person in charge not just inform the patron that he was probably safer now than he has ever been anywhere else?

Or just tell the patron, “no”.

Attacks vs. Criticism: An Attempt at Clarification

 

Criticism of Trump is fine. It’s good and right from a free citizenry and the associated pundit class. I also enjoyed contempt, mockery, and snark when it is aimed at, for example, a Clinton.

Contempt, mockery, and snark are properly the province of late-night comedy types (including the Trevor Noahs of the world, even if they’re in denial), and also the agents of an opposition.

Contempt, mockery, and snark are not criticism. They are attacks, as are various predictions of doom, claims that the world is laughing at us, and similar Trump is ruining everything! comments.

There is nothing intrinsically wrong with attacking our own guy (Trump is our own guy, btw, and for policy one of the best we’ve had in a long while). But we’ve already got people doing it. The left and their minions; the public school indoctrinators, the clamorous press, the “comedy” faction, and some of the most prolific twittists the world has ever known.

And when they’re right, they’re right. But then again, they’re mostly not right. Even leaving out the rank partisanship and the aforementioned contempt/mockery/snark, these people I would describe as enemies of Trump also lie about him. A lot.

Bernard Meltzer famously said, “Before you speak, ask yourself if what you are going to say is true, is kind, is necessary, is helpful. If the answer is no, maybe what you are about to say should be left unsaid.”

This is the kind of truly good advice that I won’t let get in my way and I certainly don’t expect anyone else to adopt it.

Nevertheless, saying things that are solidly untrue, cruel, irrelevant or damaging about your own guy is, ultimately, self-destructive.

Criticize away. But try to keep the destruction to a minimum.

TBA

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@robtgilsdorf