Posts Tagged ‘Navy SEAL’

The Barack behind the curtain exposed

During the campaign, Obama’s critics, including yours truly, told you that he was too radical, unqualified, totally inexperienced, untrained for leadership or management, narcissistic, and so on. You can see what I said back then farther down my headline news articles page.

69 million people did not believe us and voted for him on election day.

Now, week by week, those who supported him are turning against him. And those who were already against him are turning more against him than they were in November, 2008.

Not just health care

Why? Not because of health care as the pundits seem to be saying. True, the turn coincides with the health care debate, but it’s more about Obama than about health care. This in spite of his saying, “It’s not about me.”

In fact, with Obama, everything is about Obama. Like most presidential candidate finalists, he is a sociopath. (I strongly urge you to read that Web site definition of sociopath. Now that we know Obama much better, it is chilling to read.) Sociopath-ness is roughly speaking extreme egomania combined with difficulty recognizing that there is more than one person on earth, that the rest of the human race are not merely useful farm animals.

Mystique

I talk in my book Succeeding about the short-lived effect of mystique when others get to know the person who supposedly has it. Mystique is “an air or attitude of mystery and reverence developing around something or someone.”

Obama is not the only person with mystique. Navy SEALs have it. Service academy graduates. Ex P.O.W.s. Ivy Leaguers. FBI agents. And so on.

I have experienced the mystique effect as a result of graduating from West Point, Harvard Business School, Army ranger school, and being a Vietnam veteran and a book author. When a person with some sort of mystique arrives at a new job, he is “The West Point guy” or the “Harvard MBA.” But after I was there for a couple of weeks, I became just Jack, a unique individual with strengths and weaknesses like everyone else.

The Great Black Hope

When he was elected and inaugurated, Barack was “The Great Black Hope.” But, inevitably, in the fish bowl of the White House, he was unable to prevent the public from finally seeing who he really is. He tried, like the Wizard of Oz ranting and raving from behind the curtain. But the microscopic press scrutiny did what Dorothy’s dog Toto did in the Wizard of Oz movie. It pulled back the curtain and revealed Barack Obama for what he really is: a 48-year-old guy with no experience or training in leadership or management. A petulant guy who gets extremely irritated when things don’t go his way. An astonishingly overconfident guy who thinks he can charm the pants off foreign crowds (yes in France and Germany; no in Russia), foreign leaders (name one), Cambridge cops, the American public (falling polls), Congressional Republicans (none voted for a couple of his main bills), and the press (even they are turning against him one by one).

Brazen liar

Obama lied. He lied during the campaign and it didn’t hurt him. As he likes to say, “I won.”

He lied more after the inauguration, and combined it with a bum’s rush telling us we had to enact his laws immediately or the world would come to an end. And he got away with that for a while—about three months.

Apparently, he figured his success at lying meant he could keep on lying and bum’s rushing us for two full terms in the Oval Office. Then he learned what another tall, skinny, Illinois, legislator-lawyer turned president once said.

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. Abraham Lincoln

With his hyperdangerous, extreme overconfidence, Obama figures the rules that apply to ordinary mortals do not apply to him, including that one.

Actually, the rules apply to him, too, including that one.

Now they see the real Barack

The public, including tens of millions of his former supporters, now see him as a dishonest radical who really does not know what he is doing and who is trying to bluff his way through the most difficult job on earth. They now recognize the bum’s rushes for what they were and are now saying “Slow down!”—literally shouting that phrase at some town hall meetings.

They see that the allegations that the stimulus money would hardly get out the door in 2009 as accurate. They are not buying Obama’s claims that his “stimulus” turned the economy around (only $70 billion has been spent, a drop in the bucket considering total U.S. consumer spending is about $9 trillion a year). Americans are horrified by the monstrous current and projected deficits. They recognize that he overpromised when he said the stimulus package would keep unemployment from exceeding 8%. They see his foreign policy as making speeches but accomplishing next to nothing and a more dangerous world than on Inauguration Day with more dying in Afghanistan, renewed violence in Iraq, allies reducing troop strength in Afghanistan and Iraq, Iran openly suppressing its people, North Korea detonating nukes and test firing long-range missiles, an administration at war with our CIA.

It is dawning on the American people, that this man who never crossed the Rio Grande until recently, never served in the military or diplomatic corps, never worked in government except as a state senator and U.S. Senator who was always campaigning for president, and rarely traveled other than to live in Indonesia as a 6- to 10-year old, is not prepared to oversee foreign or defense policy.

It took him 17 meetings and phone calls to approve shooting the Somali pirates. I am not ready to be president, but I did serve in the military and in various managerial positions. When the military requested the second meeting with me on the pirates matter, I would have chewed them out. “Figure it out for chrissake! Haven’t we spent enough training you and paying you?” See my article on the subject.

Lashing out irrationally at opponents

Obama’s reaction to his declining poll numbers and flagging health care support has been to accuse opponents of being Nazis, being a rent-a mob paid by insurance companies. He says the criticisms of his health care plan are lies in spite of video clips of his saying the opposite being played over and over on radio and TV shows. He sometimes contradicts himself in the same speech. He often says stuff that is the opposite of what he said on prior audio or video tapes. He never admits his lies or mistakes.

In contrast, while governor of California, Ronald Reagan once said his “feet were set in concrete” on a particular issue. Later, he recognized he was not going to win and joked, “The sound you hear is the concrete around my feet breaking.”

Obama is utterly incapable of such honesty or character.

Tangled web

Another rule Obama thinks does not apply to him was articulated by Sir Walter Scott,

Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive

Actually, that rule applies to him, too.

Who is angrier at him?

It is a toss up who is angrier at him: the liberals to whom he lied, or the conservatives. He figured he was so charming he could get away with the most brazen lies no matter whether they were directed at his supporters or his opponents. Air America, a leftist radio net work recently called him a “charming liar.” Leftists also called him Cheney, a fascist, a sell-out to the drug companies, They play clips of him over and over promising, during the campaign, not to do precisely that which he subsequently did. His promises of transparency, bills being posted for at least five days on his Web site, not taking non-federal campaign contributions, no earmarks, etc., etc. All promises broken without the slightest apology or explanation.

The anti-war crowd gave him a key Iowa primary victory early in his campaign. Now he is surging in Afghanistan. All he has given them on the wars is changing the terminology and a promised future shut down of Guantanamo (with no plan as to where to put the detainees). They thought they were voting for a pull-out guy. Instead, they re-elected a total Bush clone with regard to war policy.

Ann Dunham’s weasely boy Barry

The American people welcomed Barack the “historic” black president for change. Now they are starting to recognize they got scammed. He may have a black father, but he is not a symbol. He is just a man, a brazenly dishonest man, a “charming liar” who is not charming enough to get away with his lies, a suicidally overconfident con man, a man whose instincts when he encounters opposition are self-destructive, a radical leftist, and an incompetent. His half black DNA, it turns out, is irrevelant. The salient fact is that he is an inept liar and every bit as dangerous to the nation as if he were 100% white.

How long will it take for blacks to start worrying whether they chose the wrong guy for first black president and that this guy will ultimately set their cause back by his incompetence and dishonesty? Blacks helped put a black sociopath in the Oval Office. About the only racial advance that represents is informing non-blacks that there are black sociopaths, too.

The great savior Barack Obama has been inevitably revealed to be just Ann Dunham’s weasely boy Barry—the bullshit artist whose picture is now in the dictionary next to the definition of a “legend in his own mind.”

‘Content of his character’

In his famous “I have a Dream” speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. said he dreamed of “a day when his four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

On election day, 2008 and Inauguration Day 2009, Barack Oama was judged by the color of his skin. Now, not the inauguration, is the real realization of King’s dream. Barack Obama is finally, in the late summer of 2009, being judged by the content of his character, not the color of his skin. It turns out the color of his skin was concealing the fact that he has no character.

Leadership lessons for the military from ‘Deadliest Catch’ reality series

Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch TV series

Deadliest Catch, not to be confused with Ocean’s Deadliest, the series that was filming when Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray, is a weekly TV reality series about Alaskan opilio crab fishermen now in its third season.

It began as a single documentary about what they described as the most dangerous job in America. It is about eight crabbing boats and their crews fishing for opilio crab in the freezing waters and harsh weather north of the Aleutian Islands near the Bering Strait.

What the military claims to be

The Deadliest Catch crews are what the U.S. military claims to be, but generally is not. They are competent men, plus some rookies whose competence is yet to be learned and demonstrated. They face extreme danger for weeks at a time. Men die and get what the military calls “wounded” and disabled. They work extremely hard and are bone weary from doing so. It is mostly physical work. They must work as a team. They have a couple of leaders: the boat captain and the guy in charge of the deck operations.

See my other articles on:

whether there is any such thing as military expertise

• so-called ‘elite’ military units like the rangers or airborne

military medals

process- versus results oriented managers

famed on-time, under-budget contractor C.C.Myers

our recent wars should be run by lieutenants and captains

is military integrity a contradiction in terms?

the U.S. military’s marathon, 30-year, single-elimination, suck-up tournament OR How America selects its generals

is the U.S. military as good at producing leaders as it claims?

Results-oriented entrepreneurs

The crab fishermen are also what I hold up as the iconic, best examples of competent men:

• entrepreneurs, not government bureaucrats

• results oriented—they get paid by the crab, not for punching a clock or looking the part or talking a good game

• well led by men who all have different personalities and leadership styles

• brave, but not awarding or wearing any medals

• judged entirely by their performance, not but their degrees, appearance, or what tickets they’ve gotten punched

Not winning recent wars

It is the military’s job to win our wars. They have not won one since 1945 other than Desert Storm where the enemy behaved in a way that our enemies have not behaved since Korea—sat in easily visible trenches out in the open wearing uniforms—and are not likely to do again. Our military has not figured out how to win wars where the bad guys rely on hit-and-run type operations and either pretend to be innocent civilians or hide in the jungle. Consequently, that’s about the only kind of war we will have to fight in the foreseeable future.

It is the crab fishermen’s job to catch crabs. They get the job done. They have to. They only get paid if they do. They only keep their jobs if they perform well enough for the team to succeed. The boat owners only keep their boats and businesses if they choose and lead their teams and operate their equipment effectively.

Look at what they do NOT do

You learn the leadership lessons from Deadliest Catch best if you focus on the things that the military does that the Alaskan crab fishermen do not. They crab guys do not:

• wear uniforms

• salute the captain or deck boss

• call the captain or deck boss “sir”

• award or wear medals

• march in parades

• get trained in special schools

• look the part other than by coincidence

• use leaders or men assigned to them by some bureaucrat thousands of miles away from the crab fishing areas

• get paid by the hour

• keep their opinions that are contrary to the captains’s secret from him

• kiss ass

• get free medical care for life

• get a pension

• fill out forms in quintuplicate

• say “it’s not my job” when something needs to be done and is not happening

• wear badges or any other indicators of rank

• get paid and retained for decades in spite of doing a lousy job

• get paid and allowed to keep their boat and business if they don’t catch crabs

• allow their equipment to deteriorate to “deadlined” condition

• get promoted on the basis of efficiency reports or the current theories of far-away promotion board members

• have a bottomless pit of taxpayers’ money to endlessly spend in spite of not catching many crabs year after year

• routinely sign false documents or lie to each other

• get transferred to another state or continent or sent to yet another school on average once a year during their careers

If the Navy fished for crab

And if the catching of crab in the Bering Sea were done by the U.S. military, they almost certainly would do something like the following:

• require 80 ships instead of 8

• use ships that were at least three times as big

• use ships that cost 20 times as much—partly because they were built with components from every Congressional district, especially the districts of senior Senators who were on the Armed Forces Committee or senior Congressmen who were on the Armed Services Committee

• use crews that were three times as big and whose main activity was going on sick call

• have new captains who had never been on a crab boat before every year or so on each ship

• hardly catch any crabs

• give daily briefings on how much progress they were making toward catching crabs in the future

• and Alaskan crab would cost $200 a pound at your local grocery

If anyone in the U.S. Navy doubts this, I have a suggestion for them. Pick your best eight guys or whatever it takes to staff a crab boat. Rent a boat and put them on it for a season of the Deadliest Catch, which is a contest to see who can catch the most crab for the season. I’ll bet they come in last and make fools of themselves. What’s worse, I’ll bet that many of the actual Alaskan crab fisherman are military veterans. The problem is not the raw human material coming into the Navy compared to the raw human material coming into the crab fishing business, it is the incentives, or lack thereof, in the Navy, not the people. Although the longer a person stays in the military, the more he turns into a bureaucrat. I doubt long-term career military people could succeed on a crab boat. Whatever work ethic and results orientation they originally had would have been washed out of them by the years in the bureaucracy.

See my Web article on process-oriented people (bureaucrats) and results-oriented people like the Alaskan crab fishermen.

Study the leadership and teamwork, but mostly the incentives

They should be studying the videos of Deadliest Catch at the service academies and elsewhere in the U.S. military. But more importantly, those who are at the top of the civilian leadership of the military should look at the incentives and organizational structure of the crab fishing industry and mimic that in the military. The details of how the crab boats are configured and the personnel and teamwork and the rest all follow from the combination of the incentives and human nature. The same is true of the military. Their chronic ineptness and sloth follow from their incentives and human nature. And now, from 50 years of the same, from their habits.

Former Navy SEAL

On one episode of Deadliest Catch, their “greenhorn” (new guy) was a former “elite” Navy SEAL. He was unable or unwilling to work for much of the trip—on a boat where they have no spare employees, so the others had to do his job when he could not or would not. The crew did not like him at all and he was fired or quit during or at the end of the trip. He is not necessarily representative of all SEALs, but as far as I know no other SEALs have appeared in the Deadliest Catch series, so they are stuck with him as their only representative.

I am a West Point graduate and Vietnam veteran. My brief military bio is at my military home page, http://www.johntreed.com/military.html.