Ever get lost in a discussion?
Ever end up disagreeing with someone when you thought you were on the same side?
Ever get caught helping someone to achieve something you really didn’t want to help them with?
Sure you have, we all have.
Usually, it’s because we didn’t really start out understanding the basics of the situation we were in. We get into the details and lose the overview.
So let’s start with the basics.
You may be familiar with the goal/strategy/tactic model in business, or in the military. You use the same structure with everything you do, you just haven’t thought about it formally.
Something you DO is a tactic. Whydo you do it?
To accomplish some part of your strategy. Whydid you formulate that strategy?
To achieve a goal.
Something you WANT is a goal. Howdo you get it?
Formulate a strategyto achieve that goal. Howdo you accomplish the strategic objective?
By executing the tacticsyou defined as part of the strategy.

Same Tactic, Different Strategy, VERY Different Goals

Two people can agree on a tactic, even though they have different strategies, and different ultimate goals. This is where co-opetition happens, This is where politics makes strange bedfellows.
Leftist and Anarchists work together to create Occupy Wall Street – raising awareness, getting media attention, making “the system” of capitalism out to be the enemy. They shared the same tactics. Anarchists’ ultimate goal is NO government, the leftists’ goal is top down big central government. They’ll separate at some point, but they worked together quite well. Note that even though they had different GOALS, they actually shared the same STRATEGY in addition to common tactic. The strategy of defeating the right is one they share.

Same Goal, Different Strategy, Different Tactics.

Two people can have the same goal, but be executing completely different tactics, and not need to know anything about what the other person is doing. This is how two people on the same side can work at what may seem to be cross purposes, or, more common, neither know nor care particularly what the other group is doing.
Pro-lifers don’t need to know who Objectvists are. If they took the time to talk they’d realize they agree, but given time constraints, they don’t really need to even be aware of the existence of each other. If both groups keep executing their tactical plans, they’ll accomplish their strategic objectives, which would be more closely related, and then they’ll reach the goal, which they share.

How is This Insight Helpful?

Awareness of this structure, and the questions that provide the movement and direction (how and why) really will help you understand where you are, where you’re going, who can help you, and who is hurting you.
It can keep you from wasting time on unimportant things. It can keep you focused.

Most of us assumed this would be a tough week simply because of the remembrances of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks. 

We expected moving ceremonies, reminders of those lost, and the necessary “politicization” of the issues surrounding it being injected into our current political campaigns. We may get scolded for “politicizing” the event, but since I’m more interested in the politician’s plans, actions and goals than their feelings, I’ve never been at all disturbed by it.

Since the conventions had concluded, and the Presidential Campaigns were set to begin in earnest, it was going to be a busy week no matter what.

The Obama camp declared that they were changing course (again) and going to put forth Obama as the Foreign Policy President, touting his many successes and his wonderful global leadership, painting Romney as not ready, not fit to lead.

The week didn’t turn out the way they wanted. SO many things happened, any one of which would have been THE story for several weeks. As it is, just collecting everything up this morning, I had intended to provide all sorts of informative links, but it’s kind of overwhelming and most of you are aware enough that you don’t need your hands held. Just…look at all this:

Teachers on Strike
The Chicago Teachers Union went on strike Monday. First time in many years. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel failed to get an agreement with them, and so in a bankrupt city with a huge crime problem, the teachers threw a tantrum and dumped the kids out on the mean streets. Chicago – Obama’s town, his political home. This is where Obama learned how to BE a politician.

Islamists on Rampage
Tuesday the Islamists executed coordinated attacks on our embassies and consulates. It only got worse throughout the week.

Libya – protests covering up a coordinated terrorist attack on the consulate. Ambassador and 3 others murdered. We are learning that the security plans determined by the State Department were so inadequate as to be the result of childish naivete.

Egypt - the protests that happen on a regular basis were worse on the 11th. Egyptian security somehow couldn’t hold them off, and the American flag was torn down, desecrated, and replaced with the flag of AlQaeda flying over the US Embassy in Egypt.

By the end of the week, the map of “hot zones” with protests and dead people and burning buildings was absolutely overwhelming.


  • Bibi will be in NY, wants to meet with Obama, sorry, he just didn’t have the time
  • Scheduled a meeting with Morsi, actually invited him, long ago

Federal Government Response

  • MANY hours after the attack in Libya begins, Obama reads a statement. Takes no questions
  • Sec of State makes a few statements, takes no questions
  • Statement from Egyptian embassy made before the attack, reiterated after the attack, then denounced by Pres and SecState, but their own statements echoed the sentiment nearly exactly. Exposes a completely muddled, disconnected group, scrambling to respond, unprepared.

Campaigning – Obama

  • Heads to Vegas after his Libya statement, campaign rally
  • Interview with Telemundo
  • Hypes, sells tickets for, fundraiser with Beyonce
  • Schedules time with Letterman
  • Other rallies

The economy
  • Fed announces QE3, supersized and unending! This is “necessary” because the government’s actions have been ineffective and counterproductive. Wall Street will be happy. Main Street is screwed, but who cares.
  • The US Dollar drops in value, inflation is here and getting worse. Interest rates will remain low. This means that people who borrow more than they should will be protected, and those who live within their means will be harmed. But again, the stock market will rise and for many people, they think that just means good things, so they will cheer.
  • America’s credit rating is downgraded again. Second time in history. Both on Obama’s watch.
The Constitution
The State Department, and the President, are casting blame for the Islamist uprisings on a California filmmaker. As a result, the following completely outrageous insults to free speech have happened:
  • The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s top military officer, telephoned an obscure Florida preacher and asked him to withdraw support for a film. The MILITARY putting pressure on a RELIGIOUS man, to stifle his SPEECH. 
  • The Feds have questioned and are investigating a filmmaker in California. Whatever the pretext, the impression that they are giving the rest of the world is that the Feds control speech
  • The Media is camped out at this man’s home. He is at risk of attack by crazed Islamists, and I’m sure his children are frightened. 
  • The signal clearly sent is one of CHILLING of free speech – and the media doesn’t stand up for the preacher or the filmmaker.

The Press
Desperately trying to convince us that the most important story of the week is Mitt Romney’s statement Tuesday night, and some bizarre question about the propriety of it. They have destroyed their own credibility.
Barack Obama came by my house today!
I also took some photos driving around town this morning, other places Obama has visited.
Obama visits a Donut Shop, they go out of business
Obama visits a Dry Cleaner, they go out of business
Obama visits a Grocery Store, they go out of business
If you’d like to participate in #emptychairday : take a photo of an empty chair in your yard, in front of a closed business, anywhere Obama is visiting.
Post the photo to the Google Plus event
Post it to your twitter account, your blog, your facebook page,
Send it to Prof Jacobson at Legal Insurrection
Tag everything with #emptychairday!

This article in the WSJ discusses the all-too-familiar phenomenon of GOP campaign consultants and advisers criticizing the Ryan pick and predicting disaster. Rather than be irritated or upset by it, just learn and move on. There are many things to be concerned about, this kind of thing is not one of the them.

To continue the “wartime” analogy…

GOP consultant and campaign aides are like the suppliers and contractors to the military officers. They’re not soldiers. Just like the private companies that provide all of the stuff that our Army buys, they probably prefer one side to the other, but their main goal is their income. They will help a particular candidate if they are paid to do so, and they should always be considered to be marketing their services so that they can get their next job.

It is not at all a bad thing, their services are necessary. But just as you wouldn’t be excessively angry at some Lockheed Martin Sales Rep for saying that some General had made some questionable decision, neither should you waste time and energy being irritated at a campaign consultant claiming Ryan is a bad VP choice.

Muslim Brotherhood – they are playing a LONG game
We are quite accustomed to companies making and changing plans once a quarter. We are accustomed to politicians making and changing plans every two years. We are accustomed to “election year” being a time of chaos and short term strategic moves, and every other year is an election year.

We forget that there are large groups out there that have 50 or 100 year plans, 20 year plans, and they make small, easily ignored moves bit by bit. Some of us try to…

Egypt: Goodbye Camp David Accords
Despite assurances that Egypt would continue to respect all standing international treaties they have signed, today Egypt Independent is reporting Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi wishes to amend the …

View or comment on Leslie P’s post »

Yesterday, Obama issued an Executive Order to effectively provide Amnesty and Work Permits to a very large class of illegal aliens. That’s a significant overstepping of his authority. He simply is not allowed by the Constitution to do this.

The danger for us in discussing this is that we will be tempted to discuss the substance of his order, to be dragged down into a discussion of immigration policy. Don’t do it. It’s a trap.

The right loses arguments that it should win with an alarming frequency. There are lots of reasons for that, one is that the left’s appeal to emotion is tempting, and it’s human nature to want to defend against attack.

The instant that you move the discussion of Obama’s malfeasance into a discussion of immigration policy, you have lost. Think back to the discussions of Bill Clinton’s perjury. Did anyone ever win an argument about the President’s sex life? No. Despite our protestations that perjury was the issue and the reason for impeachment, history tells children that he was impeached for getting a blow job. We lost that argument.

Don’t lose this one.

There are many good sources with the information about the illegality and impropriety of this move by Obama. NRO, HotAir, and Ace of Spades tend to be my favorites. They too get bogged down in discussions about the DREAM Act and how much compassion we should have and what number of people will be affected, etc. Don’t do it.

It is ok to NOT respond to an attack. It is OK to ignore someone and not answer. It is OK to not agree with them when they ask “Don’t you think they deserve a chance” or whatever thing they will do.

Here’s an example:

Maintain Focus
Me: Obama doesn’t have the authority to grant amnesty and create a work permit process for illegals.

Lib: So you want to just round them all up and deport them?

Me:The executive may of course prioritize deportations. It is reasonable to invest more resources in deporting a narcotics cartel foot soldier than in chasing down high-school seniors who have been in the country for 99 percent of their lives. (Never mind, for the moment, the question of whether Homeland Security lacks sufficient resources to enforce the law across the board; if it did, the answer would be more resources for enforcement, something that the administration has not pursued with any vigor despite congressional solicitousness.) Prioritization is one thing; what the president does not have the power to do is to mandate across-the-board legal status for those low-priority illegals. We could, if we so chose, establish an amnesty process for legalizing those illegals we deem worthy of clemency, but to do so would require Congress to propose and enact legislation. In fact, several proposals have come up in Congress to do just that, and they have been uniformly rejected.

Result: Your argument is focused on the issue – the President’s lack of authority to do what he did. The substance of his order is NOT the question. You deflect any accusations of hatred of the brown people or hatred of Obama, you can keep talking about Presidents and Congress and who does what in this Constitutional Republic.

Lose Focus
Me: Obama doesn’t have the authority to grant amnesty and create a work permit process for illegals.

Lib: So you want to just round them all up and deport them?

Me: Of course I don’t want to round up and deport them all, that would be unworkable. I’d rather see rapid deportation of the violent offenders, and perhaps a fine for others who happen to get caught in a traffic stop or something. I do agree with much of the DREAM Act, and think once we get the borders under control we should then maybe have some sort of amnesty for some folks and at least let some of them work, blah blah whatever…

Result: Now you’re talking about immigration policy, and this will go on forever. You and the lib will toss facts and figures back and forth, both feeling quite intelligent. The problem is that you are both primarily arguing feelings and you’ve already lost. In essence you have chosen to defend your own PERSONAL non-racist feelings, and demonstrate to the lib that you PERSONALLY are clever and have thought this through.

Why do we keep losing?
That second argument is easier. You can respond to the lib’s personal attack “off the top of your head” which is not smart, it’s emotional. You’ll have a very lengthy comment thread, you’ll pull in lots of other people to talk about it. Everyone has feelings about immigration, or cheating, or religion, or abortion, or whatever the underlying issue is. Everyone feels confident enough to express their opinion. That’s fine, if that’s what you want to do, we all need to do that sometimes. But it’s not an effective battle plan. You are not being a warrior for our side when you do it. You’re fighting the wrong battle. And losing.

But hey, you probably impressed the lib with your intelligence and style, so that’s nice. Just don’t delude yourself into thinking it was about anyone but you.

I do not post everything public because I do not want to force my every thought into the stream of every person who follows me.

In the real world, you speak to people and groups about the things you know interest them. You don’t bother them with stuff you know they don’t care about.

In the real world, an individual is considered “worth listening to” if most of the stuff they say is of interest to you. If they have a high “signal-to-noise” ratio, you’ll pay attention, you’ll follow, you’ll like.

In G+, my choices are to post to a circle, or public. Each choice is seriously flawed, and does not reflect real life quite well enough. Perhaps there’s a solution, that would more closely resemble real life: post to circles, and choose open or closed.

The Problem:

  • Post everything to public? Every post shows up in the stream of everyone that follows you. Even when I KNOW that Ted hates cat pictures, he’s going to see them in his stream. He’ll eventually “turn me down”, stop reading my posts, and is much less likely to see my one, awesome, dog picture a week. But at least anyone searching for cat pictures will see me. I’ll get a huge following of cat people, and eventually be a one topic person. If I want to have a big following of dog people, I’ll create a different profile I guess.
  • Post to circles? Cat people get my cat posts, dog people get my dog posts, both groups consider me to be always interesting, so I’m in their “must read” circles. None of them really reshare my stuff, because it’s shared “privately”, they get a warning and can not reshare publicly even if they want to, so they hesitate – there’s the impression that I’m speaking semi privately. I don’t show up in searches, so new people can’t discover me all that easily. When I circle a new person, there’s nothing on my public page, so I seem inactive and they can’t really tell what I’m all about, so they don’t know whether to follow me back or not. Google+ looks like a ghosttown.

The Solution – Post to Circles, open or closed

ScreenClip [1]
Each post can be open or closed, it remembers the previous choice
  • Post to circle, closed. Works just like today’s post to circles. The post goes to the stream of the folks in that circle. They can reshare only up to the extended circles point. It’s only visible to people in that circle, ever, for searches.
  • Post to circle, open. Post goes to the stream of folks in the circle. It is effectively public for them. They can reshare freely. The post shows up in searches, it shows up on my Profile page

With post to circle, open, you are allowing me to be both public AND polite.

Say I post 10 times a day about cats, and once a week about dogs. With the new Post to Circles-OPEN option, I could keep a good signal-to-noise ratio for all of my friends, and still be public enough for new people to find me!

  Post all to Public Post To Circles – CLOSED Post To Circles – OPEN
Dog Circle 1 in 71? No thanks, UNCIRCLE Once a week? Yes Once a week? Yes
Cat Circle 70 in 71? Yes 10 times a day? Yes 10 times a day? Yes
The public, strangers 71 posts to search and find Inactive User 71 posts to search and find
Does this make sense? How could it be better illustrated so that Google could see the sense in this?
Science is NOT policy or morality or law. Our personal morality, and the law we create as a reflection of our collective expression of morality is informed by science, and has over time changed quite drastically as a result of scientific discoveries, but it is important to recognize the difference between the science and morality. 
In the abortion debate, it seems that many people either deny the science, or don’t understand it very well, and that lack of understanding continues to confuse, derail, and complicate many discussions. This is my attempt to simplify the science.
A living human organism has many many cells, and they are customized to perform specific tasks. A brain cell is different from a liver cell or muscle cell. For sexual reproduction, a human makes a germ cell, called a gamete. In men that’s a sperm, in women it’s an egg. Each one of those contains only half of the genetic material of the parent organism, and those cells “belong” to the parent organism, they are a part of the parent organism just like a skin cell.

When two gametes fuse, in fertilization, they make a zygote. Two cells fuse into one cell. Since each of the original cells only had half of the genetic material, this combination cell has a full complement of genetic material for the species, human (1/2 + 1/2 = 1). Most people know that people have 46 chromosomes in their DNA. The egg cell has 23, the sperm cell has 23, when those cells fuse they make a zygote that has 46. If that zygote survives, it will divide and we will call it an embryo. This 46-chromosome containing embryo is human, living, and a distinct organism separate from the man and woman whose gametes created it. Most of the time, that zygote implants in the uterine wall, grows through the stages of embryo, fetus, baby, toddler, child, adolescent, teen, adult, then senior.
Technology has advanced to the point where we can extract egg and sperm from people, make fertilization happen in a lab, and see the zygote form and divide all in a lab. That’s a human organism. At some point, the physical needs of the embryo exceed technology’s ability to provide, and that embryo needs to be implanted in a human uterus in order to remain alive. At some point later in development, the now-fetus can survive outside of a human uterus and the process of “being born” happens. We then start calling it a baby.
None of the names we use to describe the organism change the fact that it is a human organism, separate and distinct from any other human organism.
Neither the environmental requirements nor the location change the fact that it is a human organism, separate and distinct from any other human organism.
That is the science. It really is settled, and not open to debate.
What IS open for debate, the only thing open for debate, is at what point we, as a society, choose to extend the definition of personhood to that human organism, and then what rights that person would have, what obligations society would accept for that person, what society’s responsibilities would be to that person, etc. Those are questions of personal morality, and the extension of personal morality into societal values, which then become law.

In Part 1, I decided that Obama has to be defeated. So, the number 1 characteristic for candidate is that he be a Republican candidate, that is enough, at the end, to get me to support him. Since there are 4 of those currently in the running, let’s see if we can figure out some helpful characteristics.

After the election, what kind of person do we need to have in the White House? Other than Supreme Court and Foreign Policy, what does the President have responsibility for?

What else will happen from 2013 to 2017?

  • Increased energy demands, requiring increased energy output – all flavors, our energy policy absolutely HAS to be revamped
  • Entitlement programs will be changed or they will collapse
  • Federal spending must be reduced, or inflation will runaway with everything
  • Unions, collectivists, and anarchists will continue their activist ways, demanding giveaways and fomenting class warfare
  • The media and education groups will continue to pursue their progressive agenda, creating a real barrier for conservative messaging

These are areas controlled by the Congress and the People. The Office of the President won’t have much direct control over this stuff. The President’s job with regard to these issues is that of a cheerleader, a general, an advisor, a spine.

We’ll get as many Tea Party folks into Congress as we can, we’ll strengthen the House, maybe take over the Senate. That’s really important, but the Tea Party folks in Congress will still be outnumbered by the old guard. Particularly since there will be so many old hands still in power, there will be a tremendous resistance to change.

Those guys don’t know who we are – they haven’t lived among us for decades.  That’s ok, they don’t need to be my neighbors in order to make decisions that benefit me, but their current lives are far more important to them than my life. They’re accustomed to compromise. They’re accustomed to apologizing for being conservative. Whenever they get on TV, they have to answer the “when did you stop beating your wife” questions. They apologize and compromise as reflex.

We are asking them to craft radical new legislation – that will perhaps close down departments. We’ll ask them to fire government employees in a time of high unemployment. We’ll ask them to write spending bills that spend LESS than in the previous year, not just a lower increase, an actual decrease.

WE are the ones who elect the President. His identity is less important than our activity. Just look at 2008. It was the voters, the enthusiasm, the story they told of their candidate, the impression they gave. They made it more cool to vote for their guy than our guy. They realized that low-info voters don’t pay attention to policy details, or facts really in any significant fashion. It’s what WE do that will get the guy elected, more so than who the guy actually is.

Specific policy positions don’t matter all that much. Congress writes the legislation, everything gets negotiated and modified. Spending any time worrying about specific numbers or percentages of proposals is just a waste of effort. Philosophy matters, general principle matters. What is the candidate’s tendency? When the unknown happens, which way does he lean?

Bottom line:

We must be prepared to work our butts off to get not-Obama elected. We can’t just decide to vote for him, we have to convince others to vote for him as well. This isn’t a sporting event where the player wins or loses on the basis of his own actions, and the crowd just claps along. Our actions will matter, and we must be prepared to suck it up and work hard for whoever it is.

The politician will not be a hero, we will not be his fans, we will not love him, we will not back him without many very serious reservations. We have to suck it up and get him elected anyway.

The nomination process in 2011 and 2012 is crazy-making. It’s been easy to get confused, lost in details, and just end up frustrated at the whole thing. The worst part – I’ve found myself getting mad at other folks, about their arguments for and against politicians. Just not helpful. So…I’m going to take myself on a linear, hopefully logical journey towards a decision on the candidate.

Let’s start at the desired end point and work backwards to today. I think it will be easier to get to a good place if we define what that good place is, and why we want to get there.

What will happen from 2013 to 2017?

  • Two or three Supreme Court justices will be installed
  • China either continues growth, expansion, and domination or they collapse. Either way, it could end up being a flashpoint
  • Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon – all are at risk of blowing up in a big way
  • Israel is at risk from all of those in the previous item
  • The Eurozone is in danger of collapse, where will we end up?
  • Will the dollar remain the global currency standard? If not, how will we survive the transistion?

The President has maximum control over the events. Not 100%, the man isn’t a dictator, but these are the things that Presidents do. So…leaving this up to Obama is not acceptable

What does that mean?

Obama must NOT be re-elected. We conservative, libertarian, moderate folks MUST suck it up and drag whichever distasteful politician wins the nomination over the finish line.

No, you won’t love him. He will be a politician, and politicians are icky.

No, you SHOULDN’T love him. We really don’t want Washington and the President to be the “be all and end all” of our political life. Obama was elected as some big hero, godlike, father figure and that philosophy has GOT to be repudiated.

The Office of the Presidency is an important tool for helping achieve Federal Governance. He is a tool – in really all possible meanings of that word. Sure, sometimes you love the tool, but usually not. You choose the best one for the job, based on whatever factors are most important at the time of purchase, you use it, and then when you are done you put it away.

Leave the emotion out of it, just realize that no matter what, Obama must not be re-elected.