Sunday, January 31, 2010

The NIH Syndrome

In a previous life, I was the manufacturing manager of a new product.

The company I worked for was a medical device manufacturer. As many companies do, they expanded their offerings by buying a small company in California with a product they wanted.

After a couple of years, the company decided it was time to bring out an updated versions of the product. The R&D group was heavily into the NIH syndrome (not invented here). They were intent on developing the product so that it was completely different from the one the California company had originally created.

As the manufacturing manager I got to see the problems this caused. The R&D group refused to listen and learn from what the California company had learned bringing out the first product. We were forced to learn it all over again, the hard way (cost overruns, quality problems, and excessive scrap).

Most vivid to me was the day we all met for an all day meeting. At lunch I went out with the people from the California company. The regaled me with stories about how crazy the R&D people were. The line I remember best was at the end of lunch they told me not to listen to JH because "He doesn't know his *ss from a hole in the ground."

At the end of the day, I went out for drinks with the R&D people. They proceeded to tell me how crazy the California people were ended their tirade with the warning, "Don't listen to them, they don't know their *ss from a hole in the ground."

Watching the Obama Administration regarding the War on Terror you have a similar situation going on. We see the Obama Administration making moves in the War on Terror which seems to be motivated by the desire not to do anything the Bush Administration did. Close down Guantonomo. Absolutely. Close down the military tribunals and mirandize KSM? Of course. When you capture new terrorists, put them into the American Juriprudence system which keeps you from questioning them and getting what could be vital information to stop future terrorist attacks. As President Obama said, we don't have to sacrifice our principles for security.

The problem as I see it from this approach is while it cost the company I worked for a lot of money and marketshare, it didn't kill anyone. I'm not sure that we will be that lucky in this regard.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Alice in Democratland

The more I hear from the Obama Administration, the more I feel like Alice when she found herself in Wonderland. It's a place where nothing seems normal.

The Obama Administration, after a year of protests, of anger from the populace, finally admits they were wrong. They promised change and "they just didn't do it fast enough."

  • Somehow they take the lost of three major offices (two governorships and a Senate seat) as a sign the people really liked what they were doing, but they thought they were just taking too long to do it.

  • Somehow electing a Senator who campaigned against the President's healthcare reform calling himself number 41, was a "double secret message" sent by the voters that they really wanted that reform, only they wanted it done faster!

  • Somehow, this administration has taken a clear sign that people were unhappy with the direction and the cost of going in that direction as a message of people being unhappy with the amount of time it was taking to get there.

This isn't simply a question of people rationalizing things to themselves. This is a case of a political party in fundamental denial.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

A New Tone?

Barack Obama the candidate promised a new tone in Washington. Last night we saw him criticize the Supreme Court for a decision they made regarding the First Amendment which seemed to egg the Democrats in congress to jeer the court. It seems President Obama's definition of a new tone isn't the same as candidate Obama's definition of a new tone was and again seems to indicate Obama is tone deaf.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What we need

After watching the State of the Union address, I was reminded of an old story I'd heard.

There was a two men who were trying to start up a business. They had a pick up truck so they went into the countryside and bought fresh strawberries from the farmers for 40 cents a pound and then took them into the city and sold them for 40 cents a pound.

After doing this for a couple of weeks, the one man said to his partner, "We've been doing this for a while and we haven't made much money. Do you have any ideas what we can do to make more money?"

The second man thought for a few minutes and then responded, "I think we need a bigger truck."

Today we saw the President of the United States tell us all we need a bigger truck for his agenda. He didn't come up with anything new. He did tell us how we were going to be successful when we got a bigger truck. He just told us keep on truckin.

If I were a Democrat, I think I might be looking for a little better strategy than what I heard here tonight.


When I was in the service, my wife and I were stationed in the Philippines and traveled throughout the Far East. On one trip we traveled to Japan and spent a night in Nikko.

Now Nikko is famous as the spot where the "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" monkeys are located. With tonight's SOTU address by BHO, I am reminded of these monkeys who placed their hands over their eyes, their ears and their mouth.

For the past year, the Obama Administration has emulated these monkeys. Moving ahead with his agenda, it made no difference what Americans were thinking or saying, because Obama and the congressional democrats were not listening.

At first, they relied on the MSM to belittle those who disagreed with the direction the Democrats were trying to take us. Later, the hands seem to slip off the mouth and high level Democrats from both the House and Senate began to insult the protesters. Finally, after encountering them at their townhall meetings, they simply made a point of ducking them. They were doing everything they could not to listen to anyone who disagreed with the mandate they felt they had.

Well after the November elections in New Jersey and Virginia and the January special election in Massachusetts it is apparent that the American people have dug in their heels and said, "No more."

It will be interesting to see if the monkey's hands have slipped off their ears.