Tuesday, September 2, 2008

JYDs & Wastebaskets

I’m enjoying the press (traditional and blog) coverage of Palin. It reminds me of one of only two pieces of direct advice that my father gave to me about business.

My dad was very reserved with his words of advice within the nuclear family. I always suspected – and I could be wrong – that he was more open with other blood and friends. He was a very intelligent man, but very sparse in his words of advice. He lived by example (not always good), but that was his way. His “style” of parenting, if that is the proper word, has become clearer to me as I see it reflected in my own parenting: Change the kid’s course only if he or she is headed for a cliff with a deep ravine; otherwise, just stay out of the way and let them learn life with all the cuts and bruises.

So, that precious bit of advice? I came home from college for Thanksgiving my freshman year. He said, “There’s a meeting and the boss is asking for everyone’s opinion. Do you speak first and command the table, setting the tone for all that follow, or do you wait until later? When would you want to speak?”

What I said was wrong, so I won’t share it. That’s my privilege as the writer here. He relayed, “You speak last. Others have viewpoints different than yours. Listen. You can learn to see through others’ eyes, gather in their perspective – how their mind works. Then you speak. You’d probably say something different – and better – than if you spoke first.”

So I am reading the liberal buzz about Palin: Her thin experience, her most-recent baby with Down’s Syndrome, her teenage daughter’s pregnancy. The libs are going at it like a bunch of junkyard dogs, shouting at every snapped twig or change of wind direction. It isn’t just the vermin at Daily Kos or HuffPo. The NYTs is frothing, too. Just a remarkable wall of cacophony, like Phil Spector building The Long and Winding Road from a pleasant acoustic piece to the Hollywood symphony garbage released as the “A” side to For You Blue (always loved the reference to Elmore James).

As the news cycles mature, the initial wall of sound comes into focus. They had to hit hard and fast against Palin because she was such an excellent choice: She’s normal, with normal problems, with normal interests, and with a normal marriage. Perhaps the only abnormal thing about her is something only viewed as such by libs: She is open about her principles and lives by them. Case in point? Her teenage daughter gets pregnant. Her response? They’re getting married (I wonder but would not be troubled if a shotgun to the boy’s head helped that decision along), and she said that children are a gift from God (as opposed to the “burden” Obama said a child would be to his own daughters if they got pregnant at a young age).

The thin-experience blowgun dart was most humorous. The JY Dogs said, “Well, this neutralizes any claim of a lack of experience in Obama. McCain just lost that card.” Really? I think it underscores it. I think it makes it very clear just what a shill The Dalibama is. A governor does something a senator does not: Govern. The governor of Alaska does something a senator does not: Govern a state with two international borders. I would prefer the international-relations experience of a governor of Alaska any day compared to the field trip The Dalibama took to Europe. C’mon, isn’t it just laughable that the libs say his trip “beefed up his international creditials”? Hunh? It was a series of photo ops and elbow rubs. The depth of his paper-thin thinking became clear when Vladimir the Terrible marched into Georgia like Germany into France: “OK, everyone. Calm down. Let’s talk about this. We need to sit back and relax. Breathe deeply. Exhale. That’s good.” (Paraphrasing, of course.) What he should have said, in so many New York words (as opposed to the Chicago gentile-to-your-face-but-shive-you-when-you-turn-your-back-in-trust way) was this: “Hey, Vlad, smarten the fuck up! Turn your skinny ass around, get the fuck out, and go back to your little red house. I ain’t asking you, son.”

But, no, The Dalibama’s knee-jerk was to seek the United Nations to speak out. Hey, son, the only body in the UN worth anything is not the General Assembly – it’s the Security Council. Russia holds a veto there. Vetoes in the SC cannot be overridden. Russia vetoes, issue closed. You gonna embarrass them into submission? Whew. What a loser. Remember Star Trek – The Next Generation when Data had a card game with Einstein and a few other acknowledged geniuses from history? The Dalibama could have tea and biscuits with Neville Chamberlain, the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, Dr. Zachary Smith from Lost in Space, and Barney Fife.

What about the crack the JYDs had saying that the Down’s kid was really her daughter’s baby? I actually read that someone claimed that her water broke in Texas as a part of an elaborate cover-up, borne out by her flying home instead of “rushing to the hospital.” I laughed my ass off at that one. The problem with socialized medicine and libs is that we would have to pay for all their “Ow! This sliver hurts really bad!” as they soak up the ER resources like John Kerry at the medic with rice poking out of his ass. So when the alleged birth mother turned out to be pregnant now (pretty much obviating any possibility of birthing a few months ago) and pics showed up with Palin pregnant, the libs dropped the faux-pregnancy allegation and went after the premarital sex angle.

That’s pretty funny coming from the God-less, I-am-woman-hear-me-roar crowd. Now they got morals? Oh yeah, The Dalibama supports abortion; Palin says babies are a gift from God. Sorry. Forgot.

Look, I’ve known liberals. I’ve been friends with liberals. They whine. They intellectualize shit like the placement of furniture and call it Feng Shui. They argue about what cheese goes with what wine. They say that pubs that win the White House term after term are stupid. It isn’t just W. Remember how they railed against Reagan? The same words as they use now with W. And after the decades pass, all of a sudden Reagan was great.

Libs are JYDs. It is that simple. I really wish it wasn’t. I wish there was something other than Spector’s Wall of Sound. I enjoy a principled argument. Just can’t find one.

The other piece of advice my dad gave to me concerning business? “Who’s the most important in a company?” he asked. Deep in the midst of my Management by Objectives course, I rattled off shareholders, Board members, President, and Vice Presidents with all their job descriptions and how their actions affected the course of the company. “No. None of them,” he said. “It is the person that empties your wastebasket each night. Without them, the company clogs up and closes down. Don’t ever forget it. They have earned your respect more than a dozen executives.”

I never forgot it.

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