Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Helene - What An Interesting Career! Allen West Advises! The Mass Media and Donald - The Learning Curve Has Begun.

Our oldest daughter's sister-in-law is one of the oldest (tenure) and most experienced of all NBC's camera persons.  I have begged her to write a book entitled "Behind The Camera" about her decades of being there while the major players on the world scene were being interviewed and televised.  Perhaps one day she will relent.

Her stories are fascinating, her experiences are varied and insightful.  Her brother, our son-in-law, was here this past week and just sent this to me.

One might think Helene's work is glamorous and, at times, it is.  Mainly it is a lot of hard work, schlepping heavy equipment and doing an awful lot of travel, often alone, covering extensive distances.

Some of NBC's top television personalities only want her doing their camera work.
I met Allen West, almost three years ago and since that time we have become good friends and stay in touch through e mail. From time to time, I post what Allen writes because he is very insightful and his judgement is solid.

I do not believe he will be asked by the incoming administration to join them but they should ask him because he would be great addition.

His article is about the darkness of transition. (See 1 below.)

Currently the mass media are going bananas over the "delay" in Trump's appointment pace.  I am sure if he moved faster they would criticize him for being precipitous.

Now they are on his case for going to "21," without inviting them to ruin a peaceful meal with his family.  I understand their petty angst but I also understand his desire to "diss" those who have dissed him.  It will be a learning curve for Trump to realize every time he goes to the "john" the press believes they must know and report.   After all, minutiae is grist for their mill and they believe he owes them openness because Obama starved them having first said his would be the most open of administrations.

Poor Donald, he is in for more than he ever bargained for and it will be interesting to observe how much the mass media change him and how much he changes them.

One thing is for sure, nothing he does to accommodate them will sate their appetite and I hope and pray he remains feisty and does not hesitate to give back because they will find fault no matter what!

Stay tuned, the loop de loop ride is just beginning. Mayor de Blasio is the first pompous ass poor Donald had to deal with today.  Bless his soul!

The Gray Lady has given herself a black eye! (See  1a below.)
This was prepared specifically to address concerned  Jews but I believe it is worth listening to for anyone who claims to be objective.
Have a great weekend and if you see students crying comfort them.
1) The Dark Uncertainty of Transitions 
By Allen West

My time in the military and studying military history and operations has taught me that transitions are always a vulnerable period. It is vital to have a solid team that is looking not just at the time before them, but is strategically focused on the future. One of my favorite passages in the Bible comes from the Book of Joshua, my favorite biblical leader. As God told him, early on in Chapter One, “Moses my servant is dead.” In other words, Joshua was it. And the Lord commanded him three times to “be strong and courageous,” and God laid out His guidance as to how Joshua would be successful and find prosperity wherever he went.

I remember taking command, first as a young captain in the First Infantry Division of an artillery battery with 131 soldiers and then later as a lieutenant colonel in the 4th Infantry Division of an artillery battalion with nearly 500 soldiers. It is in those early days of the transition where a leader is most challenged. The most important aspect in that transition is to lead by example, not to issue out directives and edicts for which you do not hold yourself accountable. The Army used to have a simple leadership philosophy of “Be, Know, Do,” which I found to be both insightful and useful.

You MUST evidence that you are the leader, but do so with humility. It is important that you seek the counsel of those around you, but recognize when to stop soliciting ideas and act. And then you must make the decision, but be willing to incorporate the thoughts, perspectives, and ideas of others if valid, and consistent with your vision. That is why a good leader issues their vision, intent, and guidance early and with ample specificity, but not to the degree of micromanagement. And trust me, you do not want people who must constantly come back seeking your approval for every little step or decision. What a good leader seeks out is what we called “fire and forget” individuals, kind of like was detailed in the short study called “message to Garcia.”

It is easy to follow a leader who is not confused that they are the leader…not a dictator, who drones about having a “pen and a phone.”

Secondly, what can aid in the dark uncertainty of transitions is a leader with a clear direction. In the Army we had what was called “Commander’s Intent” and it had three components – purpose, method (key tasks), and end state. Anything a good military commander did in conveying his vision was expressed in those terms, and therefore easily understood. It is said that the great Napoleon had a corporal to whom he would give all of his orders first. His belief was that if the corporal understood him, then the generals would have no excuse. Directives must be simple to comprehend. When you are president, you must be clear so the American people can grasp your directives. That was the power of Ronald Reagan – simple, effective communications. Reagan basically had two objectives in his tenure; restore the American economic engine and defeat the Soviet Union. And he explained his policy goals in such a way that this nation clearly understood and felt the results of each.

I always say, no one follows a dummy in a firefight. People gain confidence in a leader who is competent and knows how to lead. Such a quality reduces the dark uncertainty of transitions.

Lastly, a leader must do. I love the examples of three men, warrior leaders, from ancient military history – Leonidas, Alexander the Great, and Hannibal. And my favorite all time case study in leadership, Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. I admire these men because they “did” as leaders. They did not stand back in the rear; they were there, with the men on the front lines. In the case of Leonidas, he died right there in the gap of Thermopylae. Alexander the Great led his companion cavalry and wore a brilliant white plume upon his helmet in order to be seen on the battlefield by his troops, and the enemy. Hannibal was in the mix at the Battle of Cannae. And it was Chamberlain who stood on Little Round Top and led a bayonet charge at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Now, things are a little different. I am not advocating for each new president to put on a uniform. However, he must express a willingness to do so; to go to the front lines, or at least have someone close in their cabinet who will. The key to a leader “doing” is to show that they will live under the same laws that they are signing. We live in a constitutional Republic, not a constitutional monarchy.

As America peacefully transitions, regardless of what the insidious progressive socialist protesters do, the world is watching. And just the same as with a new military commander, there will always be that one Soldier, Sailor, Airman, or Marine that will seek to undermine, challenge your new position. The unit will be looking to see if the new leader will be the keeper of the standard. And that is why early on, you must crush the challenge and send a clear message.

The new President Donald J. Trump must give clear commander’s intent, and trust his team to execute that guidance. He needs to have a strategic planning group that is not just looking at the first 100 days, but the first two years. He must instill confidence in himself as a leader, knowing that running a private sector business is quite different from governing a nation, being the Head of State of America, and wearing the most important title of Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces. Mr. Trump must anticipate events and trends, and be able to proactively confront impending issues – such as a potential interest rate increase by Federal Reserve Chairman, Janet Yellen. He must recognize that the enemies of America are planning their next attacks and assaults against us, and the very ideal of freedom and liberty.Mr. Trump cannot be an intransigent ideologue, which is what we have had these past eight years. He cannot be wedded to a specific plan but retain flexibility…as we say in the military, “no plan survives first contact.”

But, if I can offer a final thought to President-elect Trump that will enable him to cast aside the dark uncertainty of transitions, it comes from Alexander the Great – “Fortune favors the bold.”

National Center for Policy Analysis Executive Director Allen West was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia in the same neighborhood where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once preached. He is the third of four generations of military servicemen in his family.

1a) Dick:

On Sunday, the publisher and the executive editor of the New York Times published a letter to the paper’s readers, promising to “rededicate” the paper to its “fundamental mission”. That mission, they said, is to “report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you.”

This is as close as the Times is likely to come to apologizing to its readers for a year and a half of unbalanced--and often unhinged--coverage of the presidential race.

I grew up in an era when the New York Times was the greatest newspaper in the world. Throughout my political career, there were plenty of moments when I thought the paper’s coverage had an unfair slant. But I knew it remained America’s most revered newspaper, and that generally its reporters held themselves to the highest standards.

Thus I watched with some regret as all of that went out the window this election cycle. It was sad to see a 165-year-old paper destroy its credibility over one election season. But the Times’s complete abandonment of its old standards was obvious to anyone who read its coverage.

The paper wrote stories that were unrelentingly hostile to Trump and his supporters.
It allowed reporters to include their personal opinions and political analysis in news coverage.

It allowed political reporters to spew their animosity to Trump on social media. (I am old enough to remember when reporters maintained the conceit that they did not have political opinions.)

It published stories about Trump in which it distorted the accounts of interviewees, according to the subjects’ own testimony.

It published front page stories and editorials with headlines that accused Trump of “lying”--but never so characterized any of Hillary Clinton’s well-documented lies.

And now the same publisher and the same editor that oversaw this partisan assault are promising to “rededicate” themselves to reporting “honestly”. Perhaps even the paper’s liberal readership has tired of reporting that increasingly resembles the state-controlled propaganda of totalitarian regimes.

Before readers take the paper at its word, they should ask its leadership some of the following questions:

  • Does the Times have any reporters, editors, or columnists who will say they voted for Trump, and has it hired any new ones?
  • Has it hired any reporters who are even Republicans?
  • Has it changed its policies that allowed journalists to express their opinions about the events and people they covered in their news stories?
  • Will it ask the Pulitzer Prize board to withdraw, and its reporters to return, any prizes that might be awarded for news stories that contained reporters’ personal opinions?
  • Have its editors retracted misleading news headlines that expressed opinions or pure speculation--such as the paper’s coverage of Trump’s tax returns?
  • Has it fired reporters who admitted to writing politically motivated “news” stories and encouraged interview subjects to talk to them so they could stop Trump?
  • Has it retracted its shameful election-eve front-page story “reporting” on Trump’s innermost thoughts and feelings, virtually every sentence of which is filled with reporters’ opinions and speculations--featuring claims like “he is struggling to suppress his bottomless need for attention”?

If the answer to all of these questions is “no”--why would anyone believe that the paper is now “rededicated” to honesty? And why would anyone trust the New York Times to report on American politics?

Your Friend,

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