December 5, 2011

FTW!!! (For The Win)

Filed under: Observations — Tags: , , , , , , — sbj @ 5:58 pm

This morning on the radio I heard that the results of one of the congressional public opinion polls showed that the notion of a communist takeover was more popular than our current elected legislature (I’m not making this up… they really said that).


Moving on… one of the refrains I have heard time and time again recently is the well thought out and solutions based answer of “throw the bums out!”


Well, I agree… kind of anyway… although I think my target is a completely different group of “bums.”

So hear it is, without delay… step 1 in my (at least) 1 step plan for “fixing” our country’s political system.

Fire each and every member of the media who has used the word “win” or “lose” (or any derivative word of those words) regarding a political action (special exemption for election results) at any point in their career. No severance if they used it in reference to the governing actions (or inaction’s) of a particular political party (i.e. “passing this legislation is a real win for the ******’s”).

Governance is not a sport or a competition. It is the process of setting the rules, climate, and societal norms under which we live as a nation. It should not be decided on a scoreboard, but rather through thoughtful deliberations by people whose primary concern is the best interests of the nation they serve. How can this be accomplished when the actions of elected officials are constantly being graded out as wins and losses… not for the people they serve, mind you, but for the political party with which they are affiliated.

Describing the governing process as a series of victories and setbacks is divisive at best, grossly negligent at worse, and should not be tolerated from those entrusted to keep the public informed of the goings on in Washington (or state capitals, or counties, or cities, etc.). The only “team” anyone involved in government should be playing for is The United States of America; and the only wins and losses recorded and acknowledged, should be for the nation as a whole.

As for all of those newly out of work political reporters… ESPN must have like 37 channels by now right? Seems right up their alley…

December 1, 2011

Why I wouldn’t invest in the Occupy movement if it were a startup…

Filed under: Observations — Tags: , , , — sbj @ 6:26 pm

As good (or bad) as the Occupy movement is in your mind, it continues to grow, evolve and attempt to shape the future of our nation. I have heard this grass roots movement compared to everything from the Arab Spring, to Kent State to the Tea Party movement. All wrong, in my opinion… but I can see where each of those comparisons was born.

I have gone back and forth on the value of the measures, mission, and message a number of times in trying to figure out my level of support v. my level of criticism, but to date have not really established a definitive position on it.

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However, on my way in to work today I did have a thought that I think I can hold fast to. If the Occupy was a start up company, I do not think I would be willing to invest my money in it.

I could point to things like scope creep, lack of leadership, and embracing “hope” as a strategy… but the crux of my position rests on (the lack of) one simple guiding core tenant of a solid startup. Some sort of viable exit strategy.

I’m fairly convinced that no one (involved in the movement or not) knows where this thing is actually going, and what is going to come if it. There is no quantifiable measure for success, there is just ambiguous action.

Their voices have certainly been heard… so that’s not what they are waiting for.

Many have invoked police action elevating it from a protest to actual civil unrest… so they’re not waiting for that.

They have drummed up support across the country… so that can come off the “to do” list as well.

And yet… there is no real change in the movement, no new goals, no plan for action. And again, perhaps most importantly, there is no path to disengaging. You cannot simply protest forever (well, you can… but you can’t accomplish anything by doing so).

It’s great to be “about” something, and I get that they have a mission and message worth at least considering… but… like that guy in college who could wax philosophical all night long, but didn’t actually do his homework, graduate or get a job… until you do something (other than talk) about the principles you have developed, ultimately, there is no point in having done it.

What would i need to see to change my tune? Something like “we are here until **** changes” or “we are not giving up until **** is repealed.” **** can be a list, I get that the movement is fragmented and diversified… if you really are trying to represent 99% of 307 million people, you’re probably going to have a couple of issues to address.

Maybe what the movement needs is a good CEO. Many startups begin a little ambiguous, with a grand idea and no idea how to close the deal on it. Most of those young companies bring in big time, experienced leadership to help when they start to really grow (and seek money, for example)… maybe that’s the next step for Occupy.

But, until they figure out where, how and when they are going – compelling or not – I just don’t think I could hang my hat on their coat rack…

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