President Trump Marches for Life

I wrote a fairly long article this morning for On the Pilgrim Road which will come up at 10 this morning central time, I hope you’ll pop over and read it.

I built it around the speech that President Trump gave at the March for Life last Friday, which moved me. I do want to share that speech here, as well.

It’s so nice to have a president who understands the value of every life, isn’t it?

Impeachment and Davos

Senator Cruz pretty much summed up the impeachment effort yesterday when he said (on Twitter)

If you have the facts, you bang the facts.
If you have the law, you bang the law.
If you don’t have either, you bang the table.

Today, we’ve seen a whole lot of table banging. pic.twitter.com/ez6HZtvu7y

In a wide ranging (but mostly economic) speech on Tuesday, at Davos, in what Rush Limbaugh said was one of his finest speeches (I agree), President Trump summed up the first three years of his presidency. Well worth your time, and I note that the audience was doing a very good job of sitting on their hands. Tells you how right the President is. Enjoy

What Do You Want from Cops?

Via Secondcitycop.

It’s time for the American public to decide what we want from law enforcement. Warriors? Counselors? Guardians? Priests? Social workers? Magicians? Do we want the cheapest cops possible? Or, do we want well-trained and well-screened cops who are equipped with every tool needed for every possible eventuality? As long as cops get recruited from the human race, they’re going to be exactly human, with everything that means. Or do we want the beat cop from grandaddy’s hometown, with nothing but a smile, a wheelgun and one set of cuffs?

Really, we want it all. Admit it, we do – and we want it all without paying for any of it.

Every officer needs to be an empathetic, well-spoken, SEAL-trained ninja, with double majors in psychology and social work, who considers the job a calling, and has no bills to pay, no nerves to fray, and enforces the law completely objectively while also using discretion at all times, unless it’s going to result in arresting – or not arresting – the wrong person at the wrong time, for the wrong thing, in the opinion of every member of the public.

If that person existed, he wouldn’t work for you. So we’ve got to deal with what exists, and what exists are humans.

Go read it all A letter to the American public: Why you must decide what you want from cops.

This is so very true, I’m enough of a leader that I can, to an extent, put myself in another’s boots. But I cannot know everything that goes through a cop’s (or a soldier’s) mind. I understand enough to understand that I don’t understand, and this is the real-world basis of Matthew 7, 1 and 2:

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

I can judge electricians and linemen, I know their jobs well enough and have years of experience, but cops, especially street cops in big cities, I can empathize (and I do) but I don’t know what they go through.

The linked article is pretty good, I think, but it is not 5 years in the environment. And this is the problem we see so often where we see someone who had a half-second to decide, judged over hours and days my (mostly) lawyers and managers who at best haven’t done the job in years, sitting in airconditioned offices. They will never know, they simply can’t. Probably not as much as I can.

That doesn’t mean that cops never screw up, they do. You get exactly a human being. Like me, they make mistakes every day, and the higher the stress, the more they make. And if you’re shorthanded and work them until they’re stupid, it’ll get still worse.

Answers are few and far between, the main one being that we the public must decide what we want from cops, just as the article says.

Leadership and Management in America; What’s the Problem Here? Part 1

It’s a slow time, and I’m not really into the best (worst) list of much of anything in 2019, and nothing I’ve got really grabs me this morning. So I’m going to reach clean back to 2012 and a series I did on Leadership and Management, and the differences. We’ll try part 1 and if you like it we’ll try and fit the other parts in. Nothing much has changed really. One note though, the links may or may not work, I haven’t checked them, but the articles are coherent without them. Enjoy. And welcome to “The Roaring Twenties”.

Note that this started out as a post and it grew so long that it has now turned into four. I’m not going to make any excuses for that as I think everything we are writing about here is important. So these will be coming out over the next day. Some may interest you more than others but, they are all pieces of the puzzle that we as a nation, as businesses, and as leaders need to solve.

We seem to be having moral and morale problems in American society, both business and military today. I have been seeing a lot of stuff coming in in the last few weeks, and I’ll be referring to a number of them here.

First, I’m going to tell you a bit about my background, Most of you know that I am a Lineman, an Electrician, and now an operations manager. In a few days I’ll celebrate 41st Anniversary of my certification as a journeyman lineman. It was a few years later that I wired my first house as an independent electrical contractor. So, I’ve been around and seen a lot.

I think I’ve written before about how I came up. My dad was the General Manager of an REA electric coop, before that he was a lineman and a project superintendent. One of the anomalies in my life is that my parents were in their forties when I was born, and that is reflected in me. Essentially, It was almost like most of my generation being raised by their grandparents. I’m not complaining, what I missed in playing catch and football was more than made up for in life lessons.

Dad taught, without I think even realizing it, how things had been done in my industry even before the Depression. For instance, I know how to set a pole with the biggest piece of equipment being a man. Do I wish to ever do it again that way? No, it’s damned hard work, takes at least 5 men and a couple hours but, a lot of your power lines were built that way. Same thing with climbing poles. Dad’s knees gave out sometime around 1950 when he was a bit over 40. In fact, he told me one time that if he had known what was coming, he would have stuck it out without taking the manager’s job, I didn’t then, and don’t now, completely believe that, knowing how he detested dealing with fools overeducated superiors but, there you are.

Incidentally, if you are one of those people with your whole Love Me Wall covered with diplomas, degree, certificates, and pictures of you with political celebrities you might be interested in what people like me think when we see it. We think you’re a fool, and probably incompetent, too. Why? Because if you haven’t done it for real, you haven’t done it. At best you’re a crony capitalist. That is not meant to diminish real accomplishments, like engineering degrees from Purdue or MIT, J.D. Diplomas (if you’re an attorney), the shadow box containing your military ribbons, although remember a lot of us recognize them, the one for no cavities won’t buy much respect

The thing is, in an REA Coop, like anybody else where there is a lender providing the money, there are rules pertaining to almost anything and how you do it. Somebody described it, I think Herman Wouk in The Caine Mutiny, as a system designed by geniuses for execution by idiots. Add to that the rigid safety rules for working on power lines and suddenly you have a system that is stagnant, where nothing ever changes. Or do you?

It all depends, whether you have a leader, or a manager. In dad’s case, when he went in to the office, lines were worked dead, pretty much always, beyond changing an insulator. This was mostly because you either climbed the pole on hooks or a ladder. It was possible to change a pole hot but, it was a big deal, almost never done on distribution lines.

But, the times they were a changing, foresters, were having trouble climbing trees, that’s even more dangerous than climbing poles, and something new appeared on the scene. It was called a SkyworkerTM and it was a revelation. It was the first bucket truck, there had been platforms, towers, they called them, that went straight up from the truck, and self supporting ladders mounted on trucks, since about the war but, the bucket truck was insulated like a hot stick, so that you could literally bare hand a power line, and it could reach out to the sides of the truck, so you didn’t always have to park right under the line.

As in all industries that deal with things that can kill you quick, acceptance took a while. As it happens, in 1955, dad convinced his board to buy one, actually a demo unit. Talk about a difference, not only did you not have to climb the pole but, you could lift the energized wire out of the way. Now what had taken half a day could be done in a couple of hours. This made it feasible to replace anything up to poles without interrupting service. The replacement of the A-frame derrick with the hydraulic digger derrick a couple of years later made similar improvements. When I was working for a contractor, if we had a competent crew (usually we did) we could change a pole routinely in 15-30 minutes energized, with three men. Again, dad was one of the first. Why?

  1. He knew the job, he had been a lineman since the ’20s and had seen almost everything.

  2. He had been promoted to the position of authority where he could recommend the purchase and help in defining the role of the new equipment, while making sure that safety was not compromised. This included the new rescue procedures needed.

  3. He had the experience to reassure the field people that he was going to keep them safe and that this revolution wasn’t going to cost them their jobs. (Although it may have slowed down new hiring some).

  4. Most of all, he had the vision, foresight, and leadership to see how this would benefit the company, the employees, and most of all the client, the customer.

This is one major reason why companies should promote from within, or at least their own industry. The revolution I’ve outlined above would not have happened without the vision provided by men like dad, he was hardly the only one, but I knew him better. It’s been said before but, I’m going to say it again, If you are an operations company; it needs to be run by operators, everything else is support.

A lot of the trouble I see in American industry today is companies that do various things, meat packing, manufacturing, retailing, logistics, whatever, being run by accounting. That’s bass ackwards. If your company builds widgets, it should be run by people that know how to build widgets, the job of accounting is to keep score, the job of HR is to find the proper people. The job of neither, if your going to effectively build widgets for a profit, is to run the company. They are a support function, and a cost center, not a profit center. Most of them don’t understand this and think they know more than the operators.

Then there is this in my career.

We have been trying since the sixties to make life safe for 3 year olds or idiots, take your pick. The National Electric Code runs on a three year cycle. In 1968 it began requiring grounded outlets, which was a very good thing, when something went wrong with an appliance the current had a safe path to ground and would blow the fuse. That’s all well and good. In about 1975 the requirement became that the equipment grounding conductor become the same size, which if you understand the theory, it should have been from the beginning.

Then was developed in the 1980’s the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, which was designed to measure the current on the wires and if it wasn’t equal turn off the circuit. It’s a pretty good idea. It will protect you when you forget to unplug the toaster before rinsing it out in the sink.

Now we have Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters which detect arcs in your wiring and appliances. In fact, if you drive a metal staple too tight when you’re wiring a house, the AFCI will trip. It’s an OK device in many ways, and has probably stopped some fires from occurring.

We are also mandated now to use tamper resistant receptacles which prevent you from putting a bobby pin in an outlet.

All of these things will make your house safer when properly installed. But there is a downside. The circuit that feeds your bedroom costs about thirty dollars in material on the 1977 specification (current dollars). That same circuit wired to 2011 Code will cost about a hundred dollars in material, labor is roughly the same. Safety has a price, and so does regulation.

The most common example, of course, is your car. My first car was a 1963 Bel Air. It had headlights, taillights, parking lights, backup lights, a horn, bumpers, and lap belts which were optional.

In 1968, the government required side lights, and a locking and collapsible steering column, as well as a padded dashboard, in 1974 emission standards kicked in (killing mileage and power) as well as bumpers that would withstand a 5 mph impact. Now we have harnesses, child safety seats, air bags, and I don’t know what all. Why? To protect us from incompetents, why wouldn’t it have made more sense to teach people to drive effectively enough so they didn’t hit things?

Oh, that Bel Air, It cost less than $3,000, maybe less than $2000, new. What’s a new car worth now?

And that is one of our problems, we are protecting the incompetent at the expense of the productive. Apparently we have forgotten that life is dangerous, so dangerous in fact, that no one gets out of it alive. What would an American car be like if we hadn’t squandered all that engineering talent in protecting the incompetent? Nobody knows.

Anglo-American Duopoly

This is in large measure a follow on to yesterday’s post, Anglo Saxon Resurgence, although it can stand on its own, they should be taken together.

Fritz Pettyjohn writing in American Thinker notes that for at least 28 years the American people have allowed ourselves to be played for suckers. Few of us minded the self-sacrifice while the Soviet Union’s baleful gaze overlooked Europe, but why now.

Globalization was the path to world peace, according to deep thinkers like the Bushes, the Clintons, and Obama. The welfare of the American worker was sacrificed for this higher cause.

The election of Donald Trump changed all that. The global project was out, and America First was in. The world took notice, quickly.

Have you noticed what happened? Trade deals with South Korea, USMCA, Japan, and even talks with China making some progress, as China realizes that Russia is pretty much an NPC in this world.

This is what happens when America fights its corner. I’d posit that the only reason we haven’t left the middle east completely is that Israel is an ally under siege, and we will stand with them. Other than that, it is pretty irrelevant. Remember when Columbus started out back in 1492, he was looking for a route to China that didn’t go through the middle east. Now, thanks to the US Navy, with a little help from American innovation and railroads it exists.

But the changes aren’t over.

With the election of Boris Johnson in the U.K., the tight circle of America’s closest allies will soon be complete. The upcoming trade deal with the United States is Britain’s best, and only, hope for better economic times. The transition will be painful for some sectors of the British economy. But the Brits have no better alternative. They have a special relationship with us, and we’ll give them the best terms we can, consistent with our own interests. They bring things to the table that no one else can — like a navy with two powerful supercarriers.

Add in Australia and New Zealand, and all the maritime nations of the world are comfortably under the American umbrella. Central and South America are included as well, as junior partners. India is a friendly affiliate, along with most of southeast Asia. The Dutch and the Danes will partner up in due time.

This is hard for the British, and we should not belabor the point. Brandon J. Weichert in American Greatness notes that…

Once the British Empire was no more, London was faced with the prospect of being a shrimp among whales. Caught in the dicey interplay between their American allies and their Soviet rivals, London could only attach itself—begrudgingly—to American power. And as that exchange between the British and American admirals showed, there was great humiliation involved for the British, as they not only endured the loss of their hard-won global empire, but also the rise of their former American colonies.

In the EU’s Totalitarian Vice-Grip

Recognizing the truth that a Britain without its empire would forever be consigned to a second-tier status, London hitched its political wagon to the European Union. British policymakers hoped that their involvement in the EU would give Britain the sort of expanded geopolitical influence that it had long enjoyed during its imperial heyday (without relying too much on their American cousins).

By 2015, it was clear that the theory was not working in practice. London had not enhanced its own power or status by joining the EU. Instead, it had hastened its relative decline by subordinating British national sovereignty to the supranational government in Brussels (and to the real power behind the EU, located in Berlin). […]

During the Cold War, British leaders feared that they would witness their nation go from being the head of a globe-spanning empire to being merely an American vassal state (a sort of reverse colony). That wound to pride was nothing, however, compared to the alternative they embraced. Because, unlike Brussels or Berlin, Washington did not and does not desire to override the sovereignty of Britain or the British people.

In short, they chose wrong, but I think we can all understand. The Monroe Doctrine, the very first American foreign policy statement, back in 1823 came about as we know it because the American government did want to appear “as a cock boat in the wake of the British Man-of-War.” Throughout the 19th century, it was enforced by the Royal Navy. Pride matters.

The creation of an Anglo-American duopoly not only would preserve the balance of international power in America’s favor, but it would save British power from being permanently marginalized.

Already, the Royal Navy is in the midst of a massive revitalization campaign. They’ve built two new aircraft supercarriers. More importantly, they’ve designed these behemoths to be integrated in the U.S. Navy’s fleet of supercarrier battle groups. In fact, Britain’s first supercarrier is leading the charge and securing the newly contested Arctic battleground from the Russians.

Meanwhile, the Trump Administration stands ready to enact a new free trade agreement with London that would secure relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom—while ensuring that London’s break with Brussels would be meaningful and real and not at all damaging to Britain.

The EU senses the inherent threat that such an Anglo-American marriage poses to the longevity of its sclerotic superstate. This is why the Eurocrats have refused to negotiate in good faith with the British government over an orderly exit.

Unless I miss my guess, once again the Anglo Saxons, for the third time in a century (roughly), are going to free Europe from German domination, this time without a shot fired.

Sir Walter Raliegh, back at the dawn of the British Empire, only a few years after the original Brexit by Henry VIII, and the modern world it created said it all really:

“Whoever commands the sea, commands the trade; whosoever commands the trade of the world commands the riches of the world, and consequently the world itself.”

The nineteenth century was mostly peaceful because of the Pax Britannica.

The last half of the twentieth century was mostly peaceful because of the Pax Americana.

The twenty-first century may well be the Anglo American Century, and even more peaceful, as we reset the Westphalian system.

Anglo Saxon Resurgence

Conrad Black wrote in American Greatness last Monday about how after the British elections, we, working together, have a great opportunity to make the Anglosphere great again. Let’s look at it.

The greatest significance in last week’s decisive and seminal British election is the victory it contains for the solidarity of the English-speaking peoples and the strength, coherence, and legitimacy of what Europeans frequently refer to as the Anglo-Saxons. […]

But the substantial detachment of the United Kingdom from an integrated Europe so it may retain the primacy of the political institutions and the legal system it has developed over many centuries, and align itself, implicitly, more closely to its senior Commonwealth associates, Canada and Australia, as well as to its sometime senior partner in the modern world’s greatest crises, the United States, is a geostrategic development of the first importance.

He goes on to compare it with Bismarck’s unification of Germany after the Franco-Prussian War into the most powerful land power in Europe. It’s an apt comparison, and it is also the last time Germany acted in a responsible manner, falling under the spells of Wilhelm II and then Hitler. It had a resurgence as West Germany but essentially has booted it since reunification. Leading to the ramshackle, crumbling EU.

It’s true enough that the US has often encouraged a somewhat loose trade union in Europe, but I don’t think any of us (other than perhaps the left) had the totalitarian empire that we see rising in Europe in mind. In fact, Nixon, Reagan, and Trump have all had (or have) reservations.

The United States, the UK, Canada, and Australia together have a GDP twice as great as China’s and 150 percent of the ramshackle post-British Europe. They are no longer losing economic ground to China. None of the Anglo-Saxon countries has to unwind absurd socialist overindulgence amidst endless strikes and minor mob violence as France is trying to do. As a bloc, it has good economic growth rates and thanks to the Americans, (but the British are pulling their weight), it is armed to the teeth.

In a word, the hackneyed nonsense of recent decades about the post-Reagan-Thatcher decline of the Anglo-Saxons—beloved of the Chinese, French, Russians, Arabs, and Iranians—is shown, yet again in modern history to be bunk. Three of the G-7 are now floating together and the EU has suffered a loss as great as the loss of all the Pacific Coast states would be to America.

One of the things that have fascinated me, as I’ve spoken with Americans and our cousins over the last few years is how we have motivated each other. We cheered on Brexit, seeing in it much the same conflict as led to our revolution. Then we took heart from that victory, and that has something to do with Trump’s victory. And then Trump had some influence last week on Johnson’s victory. Yes, the urban elites hate Trump in England just as they do here, but talk to the British equivalent of the Deplorables and you’ll hear a different story.

The reason goes back to something that David Starkey covers in the video below. The corporatist elite, including the civil servants, are definitionally the anywheres, as are the clients, on benefits, while the workers are somewheres, proud of our countries and our history. And yes, I used the singular history, American history is after all English history until   1776 and right on down to the present they have almost always been intertwined.

Like the dire threats of economic calamity with a Trump victory, Project Fear, a farrago of blood-curdling Jeremiads from treasury and central bank officials about post-Brexit gloom, will prove to be just hot air. As in Elizabethan times (16th-17th centuries), under Walpole and Pitt (18th century) and under Palmerston and Disraeli (19th century), Britain has again chosen immersion in blue water rather than Europe. They are right again and the United States will benefit from it.

Yep. And here is David Starkey giving a very clear explanation

And here is the question and answer session after his lecture, which is outstanding

On his first meeting with a British leader, Theresa May, President Trump said, “a strong and independent Britain is a treasure to the world.” The times and personalities are vastly different but the geopolitical realities are not so much changed: Trump and Johnson should get on as well and benignly as did Roosevelt and Churchill and Reagan and Thatcher.

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