26 April 2009

Leadership 101

Frankly, despite the fact that I voted for McCain, I couldn't realy stand behind either of those people. I only voted McCain because I didn't have the guts to put down "The guy who plays guitar down by the Manhattan Beach pier at night who goes by the name 'Go'" on the line by "Other." Looking back I wish I had put that.

Truth be told, I think between the two major canditates McCain and Obama, the better choice won. I don't draw this conclusion from his ideals or platform. I draw this conclusion on the mere chance that something good might actually come of these four years. With McCain, that possibility wasn't even presented, not for me at least. He felt like too much of a Bush 2nd. I couldn't really respect him or put my support into his views, his personality, or anything realy about him. I couldn't say much different for Obama as far as I am concerned, I couldn't stand behind either person. But I would say this for Obama, when I was in Los Angeles, people were going arround wearing fancy shirts with Obama's face on it. (I still haven't seen a McCain shirt, [And I am sure because of this comment, someone is going to send me a picture of one]) A lot of the people appeared genuinely in support of him. I figured if he were to actually come out and say to the people that they need to do everything within their power to get off of welfare, that the Companies need to do everything they can to create more Jobs, that the people need to stop thinking so selfishly of themselves, the people would genuinly give a concerted effort to do what is right. I always envisioned that if McCain did the same thing, that the majority would go "Ho hum, huh, did you say something McCain?"

I'm no political Analyist. So my oppinion isn't really a good representation of what would happen. Again, most of my views about Obama and McCain were developed in Manhattan Beach California or in the slums of South Central Los Angeles, along side the fact that I had little to no news media access. But talking to a wide range of people did give me a bit of an idea of what my own political views were and some idea of what others were saying about the presidency in general. A bit of a summary of some of the things I heard.

Before the election I've often heard many people say, "The presidency is more of a figurehead than anything now. The President really doesn't have the power to change the world." Since the Election, Obama has used this meager presidential power to influence quite a lot, wether for good or for bad, be it the fact that he managed to pass enough bills that allowed the government to spend over 1 trillion dollars in the first 2 or 3 weeks of his term (if I remember correctly). He has created a plan to withdraw troops from Iraq. He has managed to so far hold back if not avert the collapse of the economy by keeping some key buisnesses allive on what I call a blood transfusion. He has tried to give the government a greater sense of acountability with it's spendings.

Before the election I heard a lot of people say, "I wish that we had a Presidential Canditate that was able to speak his own mind, but isn't totaly crazy either. I am sort of sick of a president that is so censored and scripted. I want one with some attitude." Since the election, I wouldn't say that Obama has done great in this area. To me, he is still sort of a Ho Hum average politician by standards of attitude. I don't see a man who stands up in any special way for what he believes in. I really am not sure what he believes in. I've never seen him confronted on what he believes in. Likewise I have never seen him stand up for whatever it is he belives in. I think it is entirely possible that I just haven't been looking hard enough for these things. It is possible that this kind of information doesn't make it to the places where I get my news. So forgive me readers for not seeing this side of our president, nor in a number of our past presidents. Personally I don't think we should have to search far to see an uncensored president speaking his true beliefs on any given subject, using whatever language he chooses to use, foul or not.

In my oppinion A leader has to be just that. A Leader. Not a puppet. The Leader needs to be Human, with some of our own weaknesses and difficulties. The Leader need to conquer vice, stand up for whatever is right. The Leader needs to be energetic and motivating. The leader needs to be a people person. The Leader better understand every minute detail they can about whatever they try to manage over. The Leader needs to convey clearly and often their vision, goals, and plans, for the future. They need to communicate frequently with the people they lead, They need to enable their followers through their vision so that all members of their team can cary out that vision without a micromanaging hand over them.

Obama Fulfills some of these. But I realy wish I had a real good leader as the president. Someone I could realy stand behind.

22 April 2009

Symptoms and Sicknesses

Here is a topic that I would like to bring up since I mentioned it in the last post. When I was on the Mission I attended a sunday meeting that taught me a very valuable lesson.

The leader of the local congregation got up and very tactfully stated that he was going to be addressing a rather touchy subject. To give some background information, the ward was neglecting some of it's duties to take care of other members of the church. Taking care of your neighbor is a basic standard of the church. The leader held up a peice of paper with a boldly painted number on it, 32 I think. He asked "Can anyone Guess what this number represents." One of the observant members of the congregation identified it as the prcentage of families that had been visited by the mens organizations, the ideal being 100%. The leader looked around and stated "This is not the problem. I believe this is a symptom of the problem." He held up annother sign bearing the number 62 on it and repeated the question as to what this represented. It turned out to be the percentage of women who had been visited by the women's organization. "Better than the men, but it still has some room for improvement." He said then repeated "This is not the problem. I believe this is a symptom of the problem." For emphasis he repeated this display annother two times with two other numbers representing the number of new converts in the congregation and the percentage of attendance at the sunday meetings, both of which were rather low by all standards. Each time he repeated "This is not the problem. I believe this is a symptom of the problem" Then he turned the discussion over to the congregation itself and asked "What then is the problem?"

I break from what the group came up with for a moment to relate this to what is happening in this world. How often do we fail to recognize the simple differences between symptoms and disease. How often do we criticize others for their actions when perhaps those outward actions are just manifestations of more deep rooted problems that have not been dealt with. How many of us look for some sort of bandaid solution to sicknesses.

I propose that the problems with society, government and economics that most people see are meerly symptoms of a much greater sickness. The Violence and immorality that is so trademark of our age and generation, are they self existant or are they byproducts of poor parenting and upraising. This is not to say that all criminals are victims of their upbringing, far from it. One can see plainly that in some cases, despite the best upbringing and the most carefull and observed instruction, some people willfully stray from whatever is good into darker paths of destruction. But I do believe that there are many who have been permitted to be led carefully down those paths by neglect of those who were sent to stand guard against such ocourences.

The Economic recession from so many bad decisions. Were the majority of those dicissions, that contributed to the state in which we now live, honest mistakes, or were many of them the byproduct of desires unbound by good judgement, desires blinded by greed and a hollow promise of security at the expense of someone elses livelyhood.

Is the rapid and unchecked spending of the government and it's members a natural thing that cannot be purged, or is it the by product of a people who, through the powers granted them from democracy, put such corrupt individuals in place because their selfish desires aligned with the petty promises of wealth and prosperity that those corrupt individuals presented. The people not knowing that such wealth and prosperity would not come from some government, but could only be bought by the sweat of their brow and the racking of their own intelect. The people uneducated in the matters of what powers govern the taxes they pay and how those funds are spent, what powers institute the laws and the mode of enforcing those laws, which laws often loosen from year to year. Is all the coruption and unfavorable qualities (small as they may be individually but they do stack up) that are in the government perhaps symptoms of the problems of the people who put them there.

I have often said and I will say again, I can not trust the President nor the Government under him any further than I can trust the people who put them in power. I have seen some of the best this nation has to offer and some of the worst. With all my experience in mind I shall say I can't trust the government very far.

Please any who read this, ponder atleast a while on the principle of symptoms and problems. What are some things which are just symptoms, what are the real problems that can be helped.


17 April 2009

The New Normal

A few weeks ago on the radio station KCUR (a station which I love for its very diverse programing) They hosted a short bit about what they have labled "The New Normal" prefacing it with an explaination about how things are changing and that certain normals of life as we know it are going to eventually change too. They wondered what people thought those normals of life were going to eventually be. Many people have sent in their views, and their views are as diverse as can be, some are optamistic and say that people are going to change in good ways. Other people have negative views and say that the depression will never end, finding a job will continue to be a tooth and nail fight, and we will learn how to live without many of todays ameneties such as Ipods or new cars. Hearing all these reports, I wanted to send my own view in but was unable as I had other work to do (and my memory is never good enough to remember which show I was listening to, let alone the link where to submit my idea.)

My idea isn't very specific though, it is more a flexible viewpoint and some observations. Observation #1, We are in the position we are in because the majority of people have acted how they have acted.

Observation # 2 The "New Normals" will be a consequence of how the majority of people change their behaviors.

Observation #3 a lot of people have having the attitude of spending money they don't have (credit) on things they don't need, (to impress people they don't like) but this is not the sole cause of the problem, more or less it is a symptom of greater problems.

Observation #4 There are many who are getting obscene amounts of money, and the common person is putting his money in their pockets. Sometimes it sits a long time in that pocket without buying food for a worker, or improving the community. When we are lucky that pocket has a good brain behind it and the money gets moving quickly for other constructive projects. Again not the sole cause of the problem, and possibly more a symptom.

Observation #5 The Economy is like a big living organism, cash is the blood, Credit is like blood pressure, too much is bad, too little is bad. If the blood stops moving, death. Fear and greed both often put money into possitions where they stop. Greed + credit = Observation #3.

Observation #6 People keep looking for ways to escape the consequences of their actions, but the consequences have to come down on someone.

The flexible conclusion, If people learn what they need to learn, things will get better, they will be smarter with their money, but more open with investing it in trusted and constructive community improving projects. If they don't learn their lesson then as soon as we get out of this depression, people will be right back in the self centered greedy untrusting mindset that spends it's money on fleeting fickle projects that promise only to increase their posessions.

The likely conclusion. From studying history, The majority of people only learn the good lessons long enough to get out of bad situations. And in our case, with so manny oppinions, it is hard for most people to point in one direction and say definitively "hey there is the right lessons, go learn." Sucks huh. But hey, if you learn the right lessons, then you should keep pulling through alright, and on top.


09 April 2009

A phenomenon that escapes my understanding

Has anyone really found out the answer to this?

This morning on my google home page I saw the featured youtube vidios, one of which was a particular video called 1 million subscribers. Anyone familiar with my type of curiosity knows I would click on it just for the title. It turned out to be a young man who runs a show called Fred or something like that on You tube, thanking all the people who subscribed, then it was followed by a short clip of him in character thanking the people again in a really high pitched, somewhat annoying voice set to the personality of a third grader.

How does this phenomenon happen. Things like Twitter, Rotten Tomatoes, Fred, Homestar Runner, Myspace, Face book, Google. I am not talking about the quality of these items, as Google and Facebook are both verry fine companies, I am asking about their popularity. Is it meerly fluke? Or were the creators looking for this kind of booming success and raving fanatic attention?

To me, as I browse among blogs, (which hasn't been verry much) I haven't seen manny with tons and tons of followers, even on face book, you see people with 354 friends but actively 4 or 5 post on their wall. How do people go from 4 and 5 to 1 million, at least online. It boggles me. Maybe if I were to actually be commited to finding an answer I should spend even more of the time I don't have wandering aimlessly looking for "friends" that I don't really know; and I don't know who knows?


06 April 2009

The Fustration Corporation, Be Aware.

Taking a lighter note on life I would like to take a moment to inform you all of the sinister plot of the Fustration Corporation.

The Fustration Corporation is an insidious organization bent on harrassing humanity globaly by making sure that products and organizations of reasonable repute loose all their usefulness. In simple terms, They like to frustrate any good work.

Have you ever wondered why so many of your electric devices like Mp3 players, flash drives, ect... come in packages that are tougher to get into than fort knox and require no less than a high powered jack hammer, or jaws of death to get your product out.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many computer companies that all produce the exact same applications for your computer. and they all try to install their particular version without you noticing till you find out that they all try to load up at the start up and severely destroy your computer's processor capacity.

Have you ever wondered why there are endless verieties of butter, and endless brands of every sort of product, so many of which have virtually the same quality and are of the same substance, and yet you sit there and have to decide if you want the expensive name or not.

Have you ever wondered where the idea of that endlessly annoying stuff called e-mail Spam came from.

Have you ever wondered why noone takes the time to make up to date systems for companies that are horribly out of date in their methods, which cause endless headaches to their associates and customers.

Have you ever wondered why The Government has so much red tape?

Have you ever wondered why some things just don't work.

This and more is all because of the Fustration Corporation. So remember, when things go wrong, or stupid errors happen on your computer, you know exactly who to blame. The Fustration Corporation.

Be on the look out for their sinister plots. Do your best to encourage everyone you know to avoid adopting their ideas and practices. Make things work. Make things work well. Bring ease and efficiency into everything you do.

Yours Truely
~Stealth Blue.

03 April 2009

The bane and the life blood of my life

I went and finally did it. I used the resources at my disposal to finally purchase for myself a laptop. And not just any laptop, a screaming fire breathing dragon of a laptop (by standards which are two years old). What an incredible distraction.

I also started on at a job this week. The job has remained roughly the same but my perception of it has rapidly changed over the last few days. Ive never really done data entry before. The one saving grace about the job is that it pays well. With as much as I am getting paid I could pay my way through all my undergraduate schooling with about 4 or 5 months work. (given that I don't squander the amount I already have saved up, live at home, and continue to use my parents car, which may not work out) it is hard, but I will make a living.

So back to computers. I now have the laptop, but I still need a copy of office so that I can start writing again. While I am at this loss, I don't really feel the urgency to go find the software. My Dad said he would help me out with that. All at the same time I have to keep myself from dithering away all my time playing video games. I have to use the computer as a tool to do what needs to be done not just what I want to do. It has been tremendously comforting to be working on my own computer and to not feel as if I am intruding on someone else's turf.

There always has been that duality about pleasurable things, they are pleasurable but terribly distracting from necessary things if you let them be. Good and evil. Opposition in all things.. gah..