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Archive for January, 2020

Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious.  If a human disagrees with you, let him live.  In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.
  —  Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2019 Nothing Is Too Difficult For Me
Patterns Of Caring
2018 And May Never Be
2017 Don’t Forget
2016 I Was A Percentage Man
2015 It Waits Patiently
2014 Unknown
2013 Explaining Love?
2012 Echoes of 1%
2011 Salaam, Egypt!!
Where Do You Learn?

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Determine that the thing can and shall be done, and then we will find the way.
  —  Abraham Lincoln
[It now seems likely that John Bolton’s book (to be released in March) will open up the spillways on what (to now) has been the leaking dam of the corrupt and incompetent Trump Administration.  We are likely to see a continuing death by a thousand cuts throughout the summer and into the election and the cuts will get progressively deeper as #45 continues to lose court cases – particularly about his taxes and finances.
How long until the Senate Republicans give up their fear of #45?  A third of all Senators are up for up for re-election in 2020.  23 are Republicans and 12 are Democrats.  The Democrats must hold ALL of their seats and pick off four of the Republicans to take control of the Senate.  This is a tall order if we have a “normal” election.  It seems to me more likely the Republicans will hold their seats if they dump their dead weight now than if they continue their support and face a massive vote against Trump.  The two questions are:  1) will the voter purge (of likely Democratic voters) be enough to tip the scales to the Republicans in the critical states, and, 2)  will Republicans not show up for #45 (in protest) and / or not show up en masse to protect the down ballot candidates (the sitting Senators).
The lesson of Nixon, Bush (I) and Obama is to cut your losses, take your lumps in the short run and come back strong in Congress before retaking the White House.  Having impeachment witnesses and then convicting and removing #45 will be better for the Republicans than full retribution in November.  If they don’t call witnesses, they lose for cynical hypocrisy.  If they do call witnesses (and documents), the trial drags on until they convince Trump to quit (like Nixon).  If they wait too long, they will not have time to rally around whomever they finally fall back on as their candidate.  Their best chance for November is to lance the boil quickly and as cleanly as possible…     —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 17 Days Until The Next Government Shutdown
2018 Disciplined Models
2017 We Cannot Afford Enemies
2016 Love Is Just A State Of Mind
2015 Waiting?
2014 Big C, Little B (II)
Where God Has Not
2013 Chasing His Dragon
Shaped And Molded
2012 Believe In Yourself
2011 Cultural Equivalence
Why Not?
Books About Books
The Basis For Adult Continuing Education

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Life is no brief candle to me.  It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got a hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
  ―  George Bernard Shaw
[Although I grew up a Warriors and Celtics fan and therefor detested all things “Lakers”,  I have never really been able to “hate on” any of the specific Laker players.  To be honest, except when they were playing my two teams, I usually looked forward to watching the Lakers – from Chamberlain and “the Streak”, through Kareem / Magic and “Showtime”, and on down through Shaq and Kobe.  Due to his competitive nature, I feel Kobe was never able to find rest in this life.  Even before fully retiring from the game he was transitioning his brand and his businesses in order to be “the best” at those, too.  Sometimes that is the price you must pay to be the very best at your profession.  I hope he can find that rest now.  But I bet he’s trying to get a one-on-one going with Wilt…
Thanks for the memories!  R.I.P. Kobe Bryant   —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Looks A Lot Like #45
2018 Trying To Stay Young
2017 Seems Reasonable To Me
2016 We Can Get Through This Together (In Time)
2015 How Long Is A Piece Of String?
2014 Heathen, n.
2013 Wisdom’s Folly
2012 When The Student Is Ready
Disconnected Leadership
2011 The Complex Richness Of Life

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After all, the wrong road always leads somewhere.
  ―  George Bernard Shaw
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On This Day In:
2019 Your Own Blog Posts
The Man With A Code
2018 Choose Goodness
2017 Developing Translations
2016 Think Like A Hero
2015 Reductionism
2014 Gravitation, n.
2013 Ups And Downs
2012 Nerd Heard – And Good-Bye
Your Continuum
2011 Career Tips (Part 2)

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Doing what needs to be done may not make you happy, but it will make you great.
  ―  George Bernard Shaw
[They won’t.  But they should…  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Carry It
2018 Simple
2017 Knowledge Pays
2016 Brief Glimpses And Full Glances
2015 Pursuing Perspective
2014 Wearing Down?
2013 Labouring Under A Curse
2012 Listen To Yourself
2011 Career Tips (Part 1)
No Captain Dunsel

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Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.
  ―  Ralph Waldo Emerson
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On This Day In:
2019 Finishing Work
2018 Diversity
2017 Timely Planning
2016 Just Too Easy To Know Fewer And Fewer
2015 A Fine Balance
2014 Next Rung
2013 Super Bowl Prep
Romantics
A Goal For Zen?
2012 Mutant Powers Of Obsession
2011 Federal Stars
Mud Pie

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No institution can possibly survive if it needs geniuses or supermen to manage it.  It must be organized in such a way as to be able to get along under a leadership composed of average human beings.
  —  Peter Drucker
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On This Day In:
2019 Uncertain Times
And Government Shutdowns, Too
2018 Satisfied
2017 In The Mind
2016 Dreaming
2015 The Best Medicine Is Also Contagious
2014 Eyes Off
2013 The More Things Change…
2012 The Delicate Moment Of Giving
2011 Ready, Shoot, Aim!!

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The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.
  —  Peter Drucker
[I’ve been watching the impeachment “trial” of our President in the U.S. Senate.  As I anticipated, the “Fix” is in and #IncompetentTrump will not receive a “fair” trial, let alone be removed from office, because the Republicans are more interested in maintaining power than they are in protecting the Constitution (or the country).  It remains to be seen if there will be sufficient turnout in November to overcome the voter exclusion the Republicans will use to try to tip the election in their favor.  Here’s to hoping the future will be different.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Interesting, But Not Fascinating
But Try To Eat The Low-Hanging First
2018 Me, Too
2017 Apt Enough?
2016 Now Or Ever
21, Pause, Restart
2015 I Am Shocked, Sir, Shocked…
Lucy & FSND-2
2014 Less Difficult
2013 The Spirit Of Liberty
2012 The Essential Freedom Of Aloneness
2011 A Problem Of Scale
Fred Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
2010 Another Book, Another Jog…

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Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done.
  —  Peter Drucker
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On This Day In:
2019 Your Only Choice
2018 A Good Definition
2017 Getting It Done
2016 Getting To Know Me
2015 Why I Pay Taxes
2014 Inequality Of Sacrifice
2013 I Never Saw A Moor
2012 Fill In The Blank
Not For Naught
Cliff Notes To Life?
2011 Conference Games Sunday

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Design must reflect the practical and aesthetic in business but above all… good design must primarily serve people.  Good design is good business.
  —  Thomas J. Watson
[I would add:  Good government must serve the 99%, not just the 1%.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Are You Done Watching?
2018 Spineless Capitulation By The Democrats
Woe Is Me…
2017 Sincerely Yours
2016 Only Good To Say
2015 A Series Of Temporary Conditions
2014 Gaps
2013 Duty
2012 Cost Not Price
Superheroes
2011 The Simple Normalcy Of Everyday Life – “Squirrel!”

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The Mask Of Command — book review
Today’s book review is for “The Mask Of Command” (1987©), written by John Keegan.  Sir John Desmond Patrick Keegan OBE (Order of the British Empire) and FRSL (Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature) was an English military historian, lecturer (at Sandhurst – the English equivalent of West Point) and writer.  Keegan is considered (in my opinion) one of the “modern” expert military historians. I understand his basic premise to be that conflict in general and war in specific is cultural and not necessarily an extension of political governance.  This is in contrast with Clausewitz who stated that war is politics by other means.  Keegan is criticized for “disagreement” with Clausewitz.
As a secondary aside, I started reading about military theory (“strategy”) back in my early 20’s when I began reading about generals (mostly Patton) and the works of B. H. Liddell Hart were recommended to me by a roommate.  I read Liddell Hart’s book: “Strategy: The Indirect Approach“, which I must say greatly influenced my life by profoundly changing my view of the world.  My hope was to learn about leadership by studying the great generals.  Instead, what I found was that leadership is not the same thing as strategy and is, instead, founded on the person and the time in history the person lives, whereas strategy tends to be principled and more timeless.
This realization pretty much ties into the basis for this book, which is a study of four “great” commanders / leaders and looks at what made three succeed and one (ultimately) fail terribly.  The three successful commanders are: Alexander the Great, Wellington, and U.S. Grant.  The failure is: Hitler.
Keegan’s proposal in this book is based on “heroic” aspects (“title”) of military leadership: heroic, anti-heroic, non-heroic, and fake heroic.  To do this, Keegan establishes the cultural climate of each commander and then tries to explain it’s (the culture’s) effect on the military leader via their proximity to combat and personal exposure to danger.  Essentially, for most of man’s history, muscle and physical courage were the requirement of military leadership.  As the age of gunpowder emerged, the risk to the commander increased and they were forced to withdrawal from danger and thus “military” leadership changed.  Alexander had to fight hand-to-hand to prove his courage while leading from the front; Wellington could stay within sight of his forces, but had to stay a minimal distance from accurate musket range; Grant could not frequently approach the front lines; and, Hitler never exposed himself to physical danger (with the exception of possible assassination) and used propaganda to convince his forces that he was a soldier battling at their side.
The book has five main chapters (one for each leader / type) and the last is about leadership in the age of nuclear weapons.  I found this the most fascinating (timely?) chapter of the book as it proposes a “new” type of post-heroic military / political leader and attempts to posit President Kennedy as this “ideal” leader.
While I found the book to be an interesting (sometimes fascinating) read, it was not an easy read.  Keegan loves his erudite words and his complicated phrasing of sentences.  The punctuation is “British” (I guess), and I found many times I had to go back and re-read a sentence or paragraph to figure out what the heck he was talking about.  Frequently, his sentences appeared to be declarative, but were, in fact, interrogatory (questions), or vice-versa, and you (“I”) couldn’t tell until you (“I”) hit the question mark or period at the end of the sentence.  Occasionally, even though I was aware of this writing style, Keegan still caught me off guard and I had to go back and try to figure out what he was on about.  Which means I knew it was happening, and anticipating it, but continued to find it distracting.
Other than this (quibble), I found the book to be quite enjoyable.  Keegan has a keen method of describing battles and you can sometimes feel yourself seeing the carnage and tasting the spent gunpowder in the air.  At less than 400 pages, it seems also to be a quick read, but I suggest not rushing head-long through it in one or two sittings as the book is widely considered to be a classic and deserves a bit of contemplation as well as enjoyment.
Final recommendation: highly recommended! This book is a classic for a reason…  The battlefield descriptions are superb and Keegan’s argument is well presented – even if not wholly convincing (to me, anyway).  Still, regardless if you are new to military history or a veteran of any military genre, I think you’ll enjoy this book.  There will, of course, be a few quotes from this book appearing on my blog in the coming weeks / months.
Two final thoughts: 1) I was not (am not) convinced President Kennedy is THE model for the post-heroic commander.  I found Keegan’s reporting on / analysis of the Cuban Missile Crisis a bit simplistic.  And, 2) even if I had read this book on first printing, I doubt it would have influenced my world-view the way Liddell Hart’s book did.  Both are classics for any military reader, just different.  Just sayin’…
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On This Day In:
2019 #ContinueToResist
Except Willful Ignorance And Prideful Stupidity
2018 More Executive Time For #DumbDonald
2017 Watched The Inauguration
Two Geniuses
2016 Come Dance And Laugh With Me
2015 Looks Good To Me
2014 Desire For The Sea
2013 The Fierce Urgency Of NOW
Happy Inauguration Day!
2012 One Path
Sorrow And Joy
The Seven Year View
2011 Emergent Practicality

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Food is celebratory.  People who don’t cook don’t know how much fun they’re missing.
  —  Dr. Leo F. Buscaglia
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On This Day In:
2019 #ContinueToResist
Except Willful Ignorance And Prideful Stupidity
2018 More Executive Time For #DumbDonald
2017 Watched The Inauguration
Two Geniuses
2016 Come Dance And Laugh With Me
2015 Looks Good To Me
2014 Desire For The Sea
2013 The Fierce Urgency Of NOW
Happy Inauguration Day!
2012 One Path
Sorrow And Joy
The Seven Year View
2011 Emergent Practicality

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The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another’s, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.
  —  Dr. Leo F. Buscaglia
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On This Day In:
2019 Border Security – Yes, Border Wall – No
2018 Supporting Survival Values
2017 Inauguration Day 2017 [Sometimes, I hate it when I’m right! — KMAB]
2016 Or A Pot Of Gold After The Storm
2015 One, Two, Three…
2014 Lend Your Hand
2013 Amnesty, n.
2012 Best Resolv’d
The Clock Is Running
2011 Magic

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Image of me in 49er sweat shirt

49ers Going To SB54!!!

Yes!!!   Today, my “local” American Football team, the San Francisco 49ers (who are actually based in the San Jose / Santa Clara area) defeated the Green Bay Packers by the score of 37 to 20 (and it really wasn’t that close) in the NFL National Conference championship game.  Now, on we move on to face the Kansas City Chiefs in two weeks at a neutral location (Miami, Florida) for Superbowl LIV (that’s 54 for those of you who don’t know your Roman numerals).
This is a hard game for me because although I’m a lifetime supporter of the “Niners”, but I was born in Kansas City and, until the 1990’s, supported the Chiefs as my “AFC” (American Football Conference) team.  The 49ers are in the Western Division of the National Football Conference (“NFC”).  So, either way, I can’t “lose” the game, but I sure will be rooting for the Red and GoldGo Niners!!!
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On This Day In:
2019 Are Your Dogs Barking?
Dangerous Waistcoats
2018 And 40+ Years Later?
2017 He Is Alone
2016 Compensation
2015 Charlie Redux
2014 The Crux
2013 Erosion And Rechannelling
Alliance, n.
2012 How Many Thought… (One I Know Of)
Choices And Decisions
2011 Speed Spoils
Simply Intended
2010 A Second 4 Hour Jog

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Those who never rebelled against God or at some point in their lives shaken their fists in the face of heaven, have never encountered God at all.
  —  Catherine Marshall
We cannot bear to regard ourselves simply as playthings of blind chance; we cannot admit to feeling ourselves abandoned.
  —  Ugo Betti
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On This Day In:
2019 Are Your Dogs Barking?
Dangerous Waistcoats
2018 And 40+ Years Later?
2017 He Is Alone
2016 Compensation
2015 Charlie Redux
2014 The Crux
2013 Erosion And Rechannelling
Alliance, n.
2012 How Many Thought… (One I Know Of)
Choices And Decisions
2011 Speed Spoils
Simply Intended
2010 A Second 4 Hour Jog

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