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Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

No one has the right to sit down and feel hopeless.  There’s too much to do.
   —   Dorothy Day
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On This Day In:
2019 A Big “IF”
2018 Committed To Thinking
2017 More Pictures From My (Family) Retirement Party
A Fondness For Sins
2016 Are You Waiting?
2015 The Future Myth
2014 Hands
2013 Because You Have Lived
2012 47%
2011 Conservative Values: Low And Lax
2010 A Non-Zero Sum Game
What If “c” Isn’t A Constant?
2009 Pictures from UCLA trip…

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Failsafe” — movie review
Today’s movie review is for the 1964 military / political thriller “Failsafe“.  The plot revolves around a falsely identified aircraft entering U.S. airspace and the nuclear destruction which follows.  The premise is that both men and machines can fail when humanity trains specifically for world-wide destruction.
Henry Fonda stars as the (un-named) President of the U.S., a young Larry Hagman of “Dallas” and “I Dream of Jeannie” fame is the translator working for the President, Ed (Edward) Binns is the flight commander attacking Moscow, Frank Overton plays General Bogan (in command of the Strategic Air Command (SAC)), Fritz Weaver plays Colonel Cascio who believes the Soviets are actually attacking and tries to mutiny against Bogan and the President, Walter Matthau plays Dr. Groeteschele, an academic / Pentagon consultant who wants to use the “mistake” to initiate an all-out attack / war against “the Communists”, and Dan O’Herlihy plays General Black (“Blackie”) a college friend of the President who is called upon to bomb New York City to compensate for Moscow and to prevent a full-scale nuclear exchange.
To “understand” the movie, a little historical perspective is required…  In the previous year (1963), the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. faced off in what would come to be known as the “Cuban Missile Crisis”.  As far as we know, this is the closest humanity has ever come to nuclear annihilation. Earlier in the year (1964), another movie of a similar vein (“Dr. Strangelove“), but more of a political / military satire was also released.  Both involved a rogue aircraft destroying a Soviet city.  However, in the first movie, the Soviets have a world destroyer which is activated.  In this movie, the President acts to placate the Soviets and save humanity from destruction.
So, is this movie any good?  Is it realistic?  Is it entertaining?  Yes!  Yes!  And, yes!  The film is an interesting throw-back to the days of the black and white drama.  This role and Fonda’s role in “12 Angry Men” are the two signature roles which I remember Fonda for.  “The Grapes of Wrath” and “On Golden Pond” are both equally memorable, but the former was before my time / interest and the latter was at the very end of his long career (he appeared in over 60 films).  And, of course, in my day, EVERYONE was compelled to view “The Ox-Bow Incident” in high school.  For me, the title is more memorable than the film – of which I have almost no recollection.  (Just sayin’.)
Is “Failsafe” realistic?  Yes, particularly compared to “Strangelove“.  Aside from the B&W filming, the technology was “advanced” for its time and quite well done.  The acting was tense and there were a lot of close, sweaty shots which brought the tenseness which real participants would have felt if we were approaching nuclear war.  An interesting side note:  the Air Force did not want to promote the idea such an event (“mistake”) was possible and therefore refused to participate in production.  The film uses stock footage of planes to depict a fictional bomber and a mixture of other aircraft to represent U.S. and Soviet fighters.
Entertaining?  Yes!  I haven’t seen this film in over 40 years and I could still feel the “moment” of the film.  The number of times you see actors with shaky hands and sweaty forearms really high-lights the nervous energy which the movie conveys with virtually no music score to “artificially” build emotional impact.
Final recommendation:  Very Highly Recommended!  This is a movie which should be viewed widely in America.  In 2020, the world is racing to a different type of annihilation (climate change), but it is important to remember there are multiple nuclear powers in the world and any one of them could initiate the end of humanity through either human or technical failure.  The moral of the story is one of personal responsibility and taking action to ensure nothing like this film portrays ever happens in real life.
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On This Day In:
2019 Is #45 Warning Alabama Again?
Day 11: 49ers Win
2018 Worry (x2)
2017 Still Working
Gold In The Morning Sun
2016 Power Inside
2015 Sometimes I Feel Small
2014 It Slipped Away
2013 Corollary
2012 Working Retired
2011 The Web Is Not Authoritative! (Really?)

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Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality.  No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him.  By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized.  Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities.  By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.
   ―     Viktor E. Frankl
From his book:  “Man’s Search for Meaning
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On This Day In:
2019 Duration Unknown
Day 6: Almost There
2018 Just Trying To Be Me
Day 39: Half This Game Is 90% Mental
2017 A Letter To 45
Some Small Place
2016 REDs
2015 Cities
2014 Still
2013 Dare = Hope
2012 Check My Math
2011 Just Asking

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When we consider the founders of our nation: Jefferson, Washington, Samuel and John Adams, Madison and Monroe, Benjamin Franklin, Tom Paine and many others; we have before us a list of at least ten and maybe even dozens of great political leaders.  They were well educated.  Products of the European Enlightenment, they were students of history.  They knew human fallibility and weakness and corruptibility.  They were fluent in the English language.  They wrote their own speeches.  They were realistic and practical, and at the same time motivated by high principles.  They were not checking the pollsters on what to think this week.  They knew what to think.  They were comfortable with long-term thinking, planning even further ahead than the next election.  They were self-sufficient, not requiring careers as politicians or lobbyists to make a living.  They were able to bring out the best in us.  They were interested in and, at least two of them, fluent in science.  They attempted to set a course for the United States into the far future — not so much by establishing laws as by setting limits on what kinds of laws could be passed.  The Constitution and its Bill of Rights have done remarkably well, constituting, despite human weaknesses, a machine able, more often than not, to correct its own trajectory.  At that time, there were only about two and a half million citizens of the United States.  Today there are about a hundred times more.  So if there were ten people of the caliber of Thomas Jefferson then, there ought to be 10 x 100 = 1,000 Thomas Jefferson’s today.  Where are they?
  —   Carl Sagan
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On This Day In:
2019 My Last Must Be My Best
2018 Making Friends
Day 28: A Normal Loss And A Headache
2017 Sea Worthy
2016 Rising Integration
2015 No Worries
2014 Devouring The Present
2013 But So Far…
Twice Moved
2012 Just Like Bubbles
2011 Caring and Driving
Achieve Greatly
2010 Unwise To Trust
Attitude
If The Mind Is Not Tired
Irrationally Crazy
2nd Pair – Shoe Review
Ahnu – Gesundheit!
2009 As for me…
Health Care Reform Now!!

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Yes, in this country we have freedom, we have rights, but our rights end when they infringe on the health and safety of others.
We have rights, but we also have responsibilities.  When did we forget the responsibility side of the equation?
Our love of freedom causes us to make wise choices to keep each other safe.
Our freedom engenders concern and compassion.  Our freedom gives us strength, not weakness.  Our freedom makes us bold.  Our freedom gives us dignity.  Our freedom causes us to protect the most vulnerable among us.  Our freedom generates in us the desire to do the right thing.
Our freedom prompts us to wear a mask.
From the site:   Meditations in Motion
Located at:  https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/
The specific post is at:  https://meditationsinmotion.wordpress.com/2020/08/16/wearing-the-masks-of-freedom-and-love/
[Please visit the original site if you have a spare moment.   —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Define Your Life…
2018 It Is No Secret
Day 25: When 4 or 5 equals 2
2017 Cowardly Defamation
2016 With No Allowance For Chance?
2015 Details
2014 Here’s One…
2013 Non-Fungible Commodities
2012 Hope And Tears
2011 Just Long Enough
Meaningful Thoughts

 

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Rioting is not a movement.  It is not an act of civil disobedience.  I think it is a mistake for people to consider disorganized action, mayhem, and attacks on other people and property as an extension of any kind of movement.  It is not.  It is simply an explosion of emotion.  That’s all.  There is nothing constructive about it.  It is destructive.
  ―    John Robert Lewis
From his book:  “Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement
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On This Day In:
2019 And #IncompetentTrump Is A Failure At Both
2018 To Excel At Your Craft
Day 12: Waiting
2017 Like When You Can Order Others To Fight For You
2016 Holding Fast
2015 Alms Or Balms
2014 A Day At The Beach
2013 Pillows
Steppin’
2012 Invincible Summer
2011 Being Objective
2010 First Things First…
Northwest Passages – Intro
Northwest Passages – Day One
Northwest Passages – Poetry
Northwest Passages – Evening One
Northwest Passages – Morning Two

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Humility leads to strength and not weakness.  It is the highest form of self-respect to admit mistakes and to make amends for them.
   —   John J. McCloy
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On This Day In:
2019 Little Things…
2018 Have Thee Paid Yet?
Day 9: Fingertips
2017 Hopefully, I’m Good Company
2016 Maybe Not Most
2015 Differences That Matter
2014 But Sometimes It Takes A Village
2013 Laughter > Grief
2012 Pioneers
2011 It Is Free

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As a scientist, the thing you must always do is to be humble enough to know that when you get additional information, even information that might conflict what was felt earlier on, you then change your viewpoint and you change your recommendations based on the data.  That’s what science is all about.  Science is a learning process.
  —    Dr. Anthony Fauci
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
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On This Day In:
2019 Another Thought On #45’s Poor Education
2018 As Long As You Survive Each Experience
WordPress to Facebook Test…
Day 7: Oh, Yeah!
2017 A Good Habit
2016 The Minds Of Trumpism
2015 Expressing Nonsense
2014 A Real Fight
2013 Unravelling
2012 I Resolve
2011 Practice, Practice, Practice
2009 Phoenix Trip (July ’09)

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The following is an opinion piece / editorial appearing on “The Washington Post” web site (https://www.washingtonpost.com/).
It was written by: Lt. Col. (Ret.) Alexander Vindman and is titled: “Coming forward ended my career. I still believe doing what’s right matters.
The specific link to the editorial is:   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/01/alexander-vindman-retiring-oped/
No ownership by me or this site is claimed, implied or intended.
After 21 years, six months and 10 days of active military service, I am now a civilian.  I made the difficult decision to retire because a campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation by President Trump and his allies forever limited the progression of my military career.
This experience has been painful, but I am not alone in this ignominious fate.  The circumstances of my departure might have been more public, yet they are little different from those of dozens of other lifelong public servants who have left this administration with their integrity intact but their careers irreparably harmed.
A year ago, having served the nation in uniform in positions of critical importance, I was on the cusp of a career-topping promotion to colonel.  A year ago, unknown to me, my concerns over the president’s conduct and the president’s efforts to undermine the very foundations of our democracy were precipitating tremors that would ultimately shake loose the facade of good governance and publicly expose the corruption of the Trump administration.
At no point in my career or life have I felt our nation’s values under greater threat and in more peril than at this moment.  Our national government during the past few years has been more reminiscent of the authoritarian regime my family fled more than 40 years ago than the country I have devoted my life to serving.
Our citizens are being subjected to the same kinds of attacks tyrants launch against their critics and political opponents.  Those who choose loyalty to American values and allegiance to the Constitution over devotion to a mendacious president and his enablers are punished.  The president recklessly downplayed the threat of the pandemic even as it swept through our country.  The economic collapse that followed highlighted the growing income disparities in our society.  Millions are grieving the loss of loved ones and many more have lost their livelihoods while the president publicly bemoans his approval ratings.
There is another way.
During my testimony in the House impeachment inquiry, I reassured my father, who experienced Soviet authoritarianism firsthand, saying, “Do not worry, I will be fine for telling the truth.”  Despite Trump’s retaliation, I stand by that conviction.  Even as I experience the low of ending my military career, I have also experienced the loving support of tens of thousands of Americans.  Theirs is a chorus of hope that drowns out the spurious attacks of a disreputable man and his sycophants.
Since the struggle for our nation’s independence, America has been a union of purpose: a union born from the belief that although each individual is the pilot of their own destiny, when we come together, we change the world.  We are stronger as a woven rope than as unbound threads.
America has thrived because citizens have been willing to contribute their voices and shed their blood to challenge injustice and protect the nation.  It is in keeping with that history of service that, at this moment, I feel the burden to advocate for my values and an enormous urgency to act.
Despite some personal turmoil, I remain hopeful for the future for both my family and for our nation.  Impeachment exposed Trump’s corruption, but the confluence of a pandemic, a financial crisis and the stoking of societal divisions has roused the soul of the American people.  A groundswell is building that will issue a mandate to reject hate and bigotry and a return to the ideals that set the United States apart from the rest of the world.  I look forward to contributing to that effort.
In retirement from the Army, I will continue to defend my nation.  I will demand accountability of our leadership and call for leaders of moral courage and public servants of integrity.  I will speak about the attacks on our national security.  I will advocate for policies and strategies that will keep our nation safe and strong against internal and external threats.  I will promote public service and exalt the contribution that service brings to all areas of society.
The 23-year-old me who was commissioned in December 1998 could never have imagined the opportunities and experiences I have had.  I joined the military to serve the country that sheltered my family’s escape from authoritarianism, and yet the privilege has been all mine.
When I was asked why I had the confidence to tell my father not to worry about my testimony, my response was, “Congressman, because this is America.  This is the country I have served and defended, that all my brothers have served, and here, right matters.”
To this day, despite everything that has happened, I continue to believe in the American Dream.  I believe that in America, right matters.  I want to help ensure that right matters for all Americans.
  —    Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman (Ret.)
Lt. Col. Vindman was a career U.S. Army officer who served on the National Security Council as the director for Eastern European, Caucasus and Russian affairs, as the Russia political-military affairs officer for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and as a military attaché in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
The above opinion piece / editorial is titled: “Coming forward ended my career.  I still believe doing what’s right matters.
It appears at “The Washington Post” web site (https://www.washingtonpost.com/).
The specific link to the editorial is:   https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/01/alexander-vindman-retiring-oped/
This reprint appears without the knowledge or consent of the Washington Post for purely public information purposes.  No ownership by me or this site is claimed, implied or intended.
If you are financially able to subscribe or support the Washington Post or any local or national news media, please do so.  A free press is one of the few things left protecting our democracy and freedoms.
[I personally consider Lt. Col. Vindman to be a genuine American hero and I am grateful to “The Washington Post” for sharing this important viewpoint with Americans and with the world.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Never Used Up
2018 The Stumbling Block, Too
Day 5: Breezin’
2017 Duty
2016 Still Gaining
2015 Filling Gaps
2014 Even In Our Sleep
2013 Passion Is Always Personal
2012 And You Are?
2011 Innate Talent

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The toughest thing about the power of trust is that it’s very difficult to build and very easy to destroy.  The essence of trust building is to emphasize the similarities between you and the customer.
  —   Thomas J. Watson
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On This Day In:
2019 What Is True For War Is Also True For Elections
2018 Start By Trying
Day 4: Difficult Day
2017 Outlasting Division
2016 Said The Man Who Trained To Fight For A Living
2015 Tripping On Treasure
2014 The Flower Of Light
2013 Eye Catching
2012 The Holstee Manifesto
2011 Three Crooners For The Shower
The Soldier’s Faith
Vacation, Books And Lots Of Movies

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day 1, 99 to go.

there may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.

  —   elie wiesel
[The text / quote above is a portion of a post which as been copied from one of the sites I follow:  I didn’t have my glasses on….
This specific post was titled:  “Peaceful.” and the specific link to the post is:  https://ididnthavemyglasseson.com/2020/07/27/peace-for-all/
The site is mostly about family and life in and around Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (And occasionally about politics.)  I encourage any of my readers with a spare moment to visit the site.  I think you’ll find it time well spent.  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Speak Up / Call Out
2018 Does Smiling Count?
2017 Giving Much
2016 Sounds Like Class
2015 Inert Ideas
2014 Worth Anything?
2013 Bruises Before Bed (Or Why You Didn’t Answer)
Revealed Riches
2012 Extra Gears
2011 Say What?
2010 Hello Frogs…

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Rest In Peace:  John R. Lewis
U.S. Representative for Georgia’s 5th congressional district
21 February 1940 – July 17, 2020
You are a light.  You are the light.  Never let anyone — any person or any force — dampen, dim or diminish your light.  Study the path of others to make your way easier and more abundant.  Lean toward the whispers of your own heart, discover the universal truth, and follow its dictates.  […]  Release the need to hate, to harbor division, and the enticement of revenge.  Release all bitterness.  Hold only love, only peace in your heart, knowing that the battle of good to overcome evil is already won.  Choose confrontation wisely, but when it is your time don’t be afraid to stand up, speak up, and speak out against injustice.  And if you follow your truth down the road to peace and the affirmation of love, if you shine like a beacon for all to see, then the poetry of all the great dreamers and philosophers is yours to manifest in a nation, a world community, and a Beloved Community that is finally at peace with itself.
   ―    John Lewis
Take a long, hard look down the road you will have to travel once you have made a commitment to work for change.  Know that this transformation will not happen right away.  Change often takes time. It rarely happens all at once.  In the movement, we didn’t know how history would play itself out.  When we were getting arrested and waiting in jail or standing in unmovable lines on the courthouse steps, we didn’t know what would happen, but we knew it had to happen.
Use the words of the movement to pace yourself. We used to say that ours is not the struggle of one day, one week, or one year.  Ours is not the struggle of one judicial appointment or presidential term.  Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part.  And if we believe in the change we seek, then it is easy to commit to doing all we can, because the responsibility is ours alone to build a better society and a more peaceful world.
  ―    John Lewis
Both quotes are from his book:  “Across That Bridge: A Vision for Change and the Future of America
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On This Day In:
2019 Most Hire
Just The Three Of Us
2018 Sounds Like #45’s White House
2017 Have We Started Winning Yet?
2016 Still Springy
2015 Well Concealed
2014 The History Of Warriors
2013 A Cult Of Ignorance
2012 Counting Valor
Understanding Faith
2011 I Can Hear You Now
2010 Inception

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The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.
  —   John W. Gardner
[Nationwide, we have lost (deaths) over 1,000 medical staff to COVID-19.  With only 4% of the world’s population, we have over 25% of the world’s confirmed cases and over 25% of the COVID-19 deaths.  We are the only major industrialized country in the world without universal health care.   I (for one) put it all down to poor leadership – starting at the top.  Remember how we were promised “better than Obamacare, and it’ll cost less”?  That was before our #IdiotInChief President “discovered” (Feb 2017) how complicated “health care” was to solve / fix.  #IncompetentDonald – November is coming!  —   KMAB]
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On This Day In:
2019 Watching
2018 Even #45 Shall Pass To Sand
2017 Shedding Light
In The Neighborhood
2016 The Responsibility Of Freedom
2015 Face It
Birdfight
2014 Honoring Firefighters
2013 And Never Will
2012 The Human Adventure Continues
2011 Almost Never

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As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.
  ―    Mary Anne Radmacher
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On This Day In:
2019 Begin Now
2018 Do You See Him At The Border
2017 Keep Moving Forward
2016 That Which You Restore
The Best Of Disinfectants
2015 Thousands
2014 What We Can
2013 Mostly Unsound
2012 Malcontent
2011 What Have You Seen Lately?
Just Perspire!

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In a gentle way, you can shake the world.
  —   Mahatma Gandhi
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On This Day In:
2019 Immoral #45
2018 From My Soapbox
2017 The Single Most Effective Thing For Health
2016 A Trumpet Solo
2015 Potential Is A Heavy Burden
2014 Fear Not, Weep Not
2013 Half Way There
2012 Sacrificed Any Lately?
2011 The Value Of One’s Character
2010 Intervals
On Being Human
Non-predictive Emergence
Events
Bodily Functions
Standing Thoughts
Sent Home Is Better Than Fixed

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