Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘american idol’ Category

Guest Writer Ron Williams again… Attorney, Businessman and Citizen

It is clear to even the most casual observer that the sole political agenda of the Republican Party is to prevent the reelection of Pres. Barack Obama. It is equally clear that it is the absolute, single-minded focus of the Far Right of the Republican Party to prevent the reelection of a Black Man, any black, as President of the United States.

Thus, for nearly two years, as the President negotiated health-care with the Republican Party, those negotiations were futile, because no matter what would have been offered by this President the answer from this Republican Party would have been “no”. It is clear that no matter what initiative this President put forward, the Republican Party answer would always have been “no.”

And today, we see the Republican Party, and in particular the Far Right portion of that party, deciding to attach items on their political agenda to the debt ceiling bill as a means to further weaken the president and as a means to move their political agenda forward. As a political strategy, the move is almost brilliant. They were able to attack Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security (three programs that the Republican Party has been attempting to repeal sent each of them were first adopted) while at the same time further demonstrating the weakness of this President.

The mistake President Obama continues to make is to attempt to negotiate substantive programs with a group of people whose agenda is not to negotiate on those programs, but to attack the man himself. They will never negotiate to yes until they have used the so-called negotiations to attack the President (demonstrating his weakness) and until they have also gotten what concessions they otherwise wanted.

I predicted when this whole debt limit “crisis” began that the Republican Party would string this out until the end of July, after they had extracted significant concessions from the President and the Democratic Party, that is they had gotten as much as they could based on the time limit left. I am being somewhat facetious when I suggest that if these negotiations continued much longer, President Obama would eventually have negotiated away the entire Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs.

It is telling that the Republican Party started these negotiations stating that there could be no revenue increasing tax changes that would affect the wealthy. And that exactly where they ended. How can you have negotiations when one side gives up nothing in the other side makes all the concessions? That because their whole purpose of the Republican Party was to use the debt ceiling issue as a means of moving their political agenda forward with demonstrating their basic weakness of President Obama. And the Democratic Party and this President let them.

What Barack Obama should have said to the first overture from the Far Right that they would not agree to raise the debt ceiling unless there were major cuts to the various social programs, was “no.” He should have simply stated that he would veto any legislation that came across his desk that did anything other than simply raise the debt ceiling. And then stopped negotiating. Whenever they said “well let’s talk about this,” his response should have been “there is nothing to talk about.”

The President should have said, “I’ve told you my position. Congress, you do what you feel you need to do. If you want to pass legislation that has provisions other than raising the national debt attached to it, do so. I will veto it. And if you choose to then put the full faith and credit of the United States government at risk because you want to attach non-relevant politically motivated subject matter on what should be otherwise routine legislation, do so, but I will not be a party to this game-playing”.

If he had said that from day one, and then stuck to his guns,, this so-called crisis would’ve gone way. Then should he want to discuss modification of Medicare, Medicaid and/or Social Security that could have been done in conversation along with tax code changes.

The president has got to learn to stand up. If he doesn’t he will be a one term president. As it is, he is losing his base and maybe a one term president in any event. It may already be too late.

Read Full Post »

It has been suggested by urban myth and scientific pundits that we do not come close to tapping the resources of —or actualizing—our potential.  Dah!

What is a resource and what is actualized or not are subjective matters as is the meaning and the implications of ‘potential.’  Tiger Woods is a good example of how this can be all framed; that is, ‘resources,’ ‘actualized skills’ and the meaning of ‘potential.’  Based on the rules sets used for evaluation, he did well in the golf game part but less well on the husband, communicator, father, business analyst, family member or friend parts.  However, if you are using the idea that is some throwback to an underdeveloped person with unmet interests, he did alright.  It all depends on the frame of reference.

Still others would suggest that intelligence, in some operational way, is made up of the skills we develop. Tiger wasn’t very intelligent in some areas as he was in others; all relative to the rules used to assess his behavior.  Clearly, to keep a stable of secrets that substantive for that long so as not to be discovered or distracted from his game was an act of deliberation and intelligence.

Superior talent then, rather than being a rare genetic mutation, is a result of highly concentrated effort.  Malcolm Gladwell gave the world the relative number of hours it takes to ‘get it done’ in some area of concentration. It is the 10,000 hour rule of success in his Outliers book. While the books interpretive value escapes me, 10,000 hours is a nice number to provide where focused expertise in some small area will yield results, perhaps as it has for Mr. Gladwell in writing a tidy book on confirmation bias.

Thus, the thrust of Gladwell’s book and pointedly of this oplog, is that it is not innate genius or talent that creates great achievers, great works or great breakthroughs but seized opportunities on some aspect of life that, with an extraordinary period of time — a minimum of 10,000 hours — will deliver on the promise.

Einstein didn’t read the latest business gurus or attend the power seminars of T. Peters but he happened upon that theory before it was a theory:

“It is not that I’m so smart, but that I stick with problems longer.”

How really different is that from the modern day saw of “The more I practice, the luckier I get!”?  We all have heard it but still look for the magic, the pill, the magic pill, this or some new-age short-cut.  Talk about self-hypnotic entitlement…!

Randy Jackson on American Idol might attempt to grab your attention by extolling you to “Check this out dog!”  In a less hip fashion I am asking you to test the following:  GET SOME LEVERAGE and see how it affects your achievements!

You and your ideas aren’t going to change in any but trivial ways without getting some leverage and that means some risk of failure.   If failure is important to avoid, read no further.

But if you can tolerate some course corrections, stone walls and echoes, “get some leverage” at doing something you must do because you value something, make the NOT doing something so painful and distasteful to you that you can commit to the hours, the rejection, the near misses and the real possibility of lasting failure. You’ll know you’ve got leverage when you know exactly what to do in the AM to keep you up in the PM.

The repeated attempts to reach beyond our present level will produce clearer views to your achievement.  For some, that may mean graduating from high school while living in squalor.  For others it may mean finding a new use for nanotube technology no one wants.  It’s all subjective evaluation but you can make it real.

Is there anything in your life today you would withstand losses again and again if certainty of tomorrow’s success was in the balance?  

If there is, are those really ‘failures’ or losses or just the feedback from your world? 

If not, when you do find that ‘something,’ go about framing it in a way that keeps you in the game and not in the gallery.

May 14. 2010

Read Full Post »

Oy, the pop psychologists and media sociologists are out in full force on the latest pop culture sensation, Susan Boyle.

Read all the theories in those links.

  • don’t judge a book by its cover
  • ordinary people do extraordinary things
  • it’s a disney movie
  • we all have hidden desires for the same thing as Boyle
  • etc.

Blah! Blargh!

Try an experiment.  Only listen to her singing.  Do not listen to the audience or the commentary.  You will not have the same reaction – the crying, the emotion, the anger at the judges…  This is an actual experiment we could do.  Take 2 groups who have not seen the video or know about the story and have them watch different contextual versions of the performance.

We are conditioned by the entire context.  If the audience and judges aren’t laughing at her and giving standing Os, the performance is ordinary and our reaction will likely not be the one that drives a YouTube sensation.  When others around us are laughing, crying, making fun… we get into that action.  When the context then shows surprise and amazement we do too.   This is less about Susan Boyle’s surprise talent than it is about the surprise of the audience.

No doubt she can sing, but millions of people can sing.  No doubt she’s not going to win a beauty contest, millions of people won’t and can still sing.  The situation is not uncommon, nor is our reaction.

Combine the context with our own  behavioral histories… we have been conditioned to have reactions like we do to this (but when others are having the same reaction!).  Cheer for the underdog, laugh at the ugly person and slap her back when she crushes it, gossip about a celebrity’s troubles but cheer her return,  damaged goods done good, hooray!, ugly duckings/swan thang.  This is the most common human story ever told and we tell it to our children from the day they are born.  The thing is, the reaction of that audience is still the key to having our histories ignited.  If the audience sorta half likes it and the judges have poker faces and say “cliche song”, Susan Boyle is still the ugly duckly.   Most everyone needs to see the swan, for it to be a swan to us.

The success of Boyle is not a mystery.  It’s not a phenomenon.  It’s your run of the mill context meets shared histories often makes a wave….

Read Full Post »