Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Blame Game

In today’s world economy, we as a Nation should act like a unified body. It is like teamwork in any organized body. Teamwork brings synergy. We become more than just the sum of our parts.

But, in order to be a team the first thing that must go is “finger pointing.” These acts are by far the most destructive force to synergy and to existence known to man.

If we allow ourselves to be defeated from within, we will loose our great protections of freedom that this proud nation has been famous for.

A very good management consultant named Tom Peters studied the synergy of the Japanese team concept. While we in the U.S. will put one or two engineers on a single component of a project, the Japanese tend to put a team of up to a dozen or more on a single component.

But Tom said the attitude of teamwork in the Japanese culture was never more prevalent than in the way they solve problems. He said:

“Great managers and great team members look to fix the problem, while poor managers and poor team members look to fix the blame.”

This is the attitude of the Japanese teams. They have learned the destructive nature of "finger Pointing" and do not do it.

I may be paraphrasing a little as I don’t recall the exact quote, but you get the idea.

Any way let us examine some of the ridiculous cases of the Blame Game:

1. It is God’s fault – This one is really over the top. God does often put his hand in nature to bring about his works, but that would make it a “challenge”, not a “fault.” We are often put in a situation as a person or as a Country because of our needs to grow, or our need to be reminded of how we have taken our blessings for granted, and how we have been slow to “bend our knee” in prayer enough. Sometimes we are given challenges because we need them to grow and a person's true character can only really be displayed in a crisis.

2. It is Bush’s fault –"That government is best which
governs least.” – Thomas Jefferson. This quote shows that the closer to home we are to the problems, the better equipped we are to solve them. It is clear that the main item that was not taken care of that would have made this disaster much more manageable is the lack of attention to the levy. Had the levy been built to withstand this type of Hurricane, we would not have lost a city. And that was something the local governments should have handled, not the Federal Government.

Let’s don’t look for whom to blame for the lack of attention to the levy, but instead let’s “look to fix the problem” instead of the blame.


At 2:25 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

I agree with you for the most part. Two points though. First, whether we like it or not, it is the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that is responsible for the levees and Bush cut their budget. Whether they would have fixed the levees had they had more money remains, and will always be, an open question. But the fact that it was a federal responsibility is not in dispute.

Second, you say that we should figure out how to fix the problem rather than assign blame, but the fact is N.O. is not fix-able. The levees are shot, figuring out how to rebuild them isn't going to undo the horrors and there are now thousands of refugees within the United States.

With the southern U.S. looking like a third world country, it's fair to ask why.

At 5:26 PM, Blogger pappy said...

The 2005 budget was 272 miliion for the New Orlewans District,343.5 mil the year before that and the year before that. Sounds like no amount of money could have saved the levees.
Maybe an acoounting is in order.

At 5:56 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Wasn't the Corps of Engineers in place long before Bush came into office?

The Corps began in 1775 and has had the Levy responsibility since way before 1972 when we had the "clean water act."

In most organizations, the people at the head of Departments plead their case for what they percieve to be needed most...a prioritized budget. The levy should have been the top priority for them Decades ago. Fair Enough?

FEMA is Welfare, plain and simple.

Bush is most responsible for defending the Constitution from foreign and domestic enemies.

Fixing the problem, lies in us realizing that the Mayor and Govenour should have disaster plans in place that first takes into account local funds before seeking any additional funds from D.C.

I live near a large Dam. I take the most responsibility for that choice. I will not blame the Government if the Dam brakes or is blown up by some crazies. I am a big boy and should shoulder the responsibilities for my choices.


At 10:00 PM, Blogger Tex said...

I know on a state level, at least in Texas, it is illegal to build on a flood plain. That's for obvious reasons, and N.O. is a good example. Building a levee to block out the incoming flood silt that originally kept the city above sea level does not sound like sound planning.

At 11:53 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Tex is right in that it should have been illegal to build anywhere in that area. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that building a city below sea level is a recipe for disaster.

FEMA is definitely welfare. No arguments here.

So is the tax code, farm subsidies and the new energy bill. So, if Exxon and Shell get welfare, why shouldn't people who just suffered a horrid tragedy get something? As long as our behemoth government is feeling generous with MY money, I would rather see it go to someone to re-build a destroyed life.

If Bush is responsible for defending the Constitution against foreign and domestic enemies, he is doing a piss poor job at it. Domestic enemies of the Constitution, such as all those who support the PATRIOT Act, have gained much success with Bush in office.


At 10:54 AM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...


Let's fix the tax code, not give more welfare instead.

Local athorities are first and then the Corps of Engineeers. I hope you agree the Corps of Engineeers were responsible long before Bush came into office?

I too am fearful of a few items in the Patriot Act, but have not been able to find any examples of the abuse yet. Do you have any examples?

Judge Napolitano on Fox News wrote a book about it's dangers and he is a hard right conservative like me.

I agree with about 95% of what it attempts to do, but I feel there is no time that we should suspend any "Rights" in the Constitution.


At 1:02 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Of course the Corps were responsible long before Bush came to office. He has been in office for a while now though.

Examples of the abuse of the Act are hard to come by because the DOJ refuses to produce documents on the grounds of national security. For example, in answering questions posed by the House Judiciary Committee, Ashcroft classified information that should not have been classified, including information that would have shown how often the FBI is spying on people based on their exercise of First Amendment rights. The little information there is suggests that the FBI is abusing its powers.
For example, a survey conducted by the University of Illinois suggested that, by December 2001, the FBI had already approached 85 out of some 1500 libraries.

In any event, the Act itself is an abuse. Any abuse of the Act only adds insult to injury.

Essentially, the Bush Administration has insulted itself from scrutiny under the vague notion of national security. Lack of transparency is the sign of a corrupt government. Our system of checks and balances was meant to protect this republic from tyranny by dictators and Bush and his religious warlords are attacking every check there is.

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Free Agency Rules said...

Who goes to the library these days?

And if they do, they normally check out books that no one should care if they are made public.

Who cares if I check out a book on say "The Communist Manifesto?" I could be checking it out to see what it is all about as a Conservative or a Commie? Who knows?

With Computers and the Internet I have yet to see anyone complain about abuse of the Patriot Act against someone. Wouldn't you think "someone" would complain?

Not that I am not concerned.

I don't see the right making inroads anywhere, but I see the ACLU taking away things that have been around for decades.

Making Atheism the national religion is a big concern of mine.

By taking God out of our policies, we are becoming Atheistic.


At 9:37 PM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...

Regardless of the topic of your reading, it is frightening that the government wants to intrude on such minute details of peoples' lives. If you believe in freedom, that is scary regardless of how inocuous your books are.

What has the ACLU taken away? The Constitution mandates the separation of church and state. Even Jesus said give unto Caesar what is of Caesar and give to God what is of God. What's the problem?

Atheism is not the national religion and never will be. The reich wing is being alarmist about that issue for no reason. Each person has the right to practice whatever faith floats his boat and neither the ACLU nor the liberals have done anything to take that away.

In any event, since when has America lived by a Christian ethos? When it put small pox in the blankets? When it enslaved people on the basis of race? When it legally mandated segregation of the races? When it put the Japanese in concentration camps?

It seems to me that there is no glorious Christian history of America that needs to be rescued. This country didn't develop a shred of moral decency until at least the 60's.

The government should stay out of welfare just as it should stay out of religion.

At 11:34 AM, Blogger Intellectual Insurgent said...


My post today is about this issue and I mention you and Alan Manning. I look forward to your response.


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