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Abortion & Life by Jennifer Baumgardner Selected Quotes Photographs by Tara Todras-Whitehill

September 6, 2010 | By | No Comments

I had an abortion.

I_had_an_abortion_baumgardner_abortion_and_life_2010.jpg

Abortion & Life

Jennifer Baumgardner, pregnant on Left

Gillian Aldrich, producer/creator of I Had an Abortion

“By creating a T-shirt so many would see as offensive, the pro-choice movement has intentionally sought to outrage the Christian Right.” p. 174.*

Front: I had an abortion.

Abortion & Life by Jennifer Baumgardner, a pro-abortion feminist, was written in 2008 and published by Akashic Books.

The book begins with a pull quote from Loretta Ross,

The defensiveness that the pro-choice movement has is well-earned. We’ve been shot at, picketed, fought every step. But I’m very glad that the conversation is changing.

Image and imaging are important. The coat hanger “doesn’t evoke memories of barriers that women faced.” P. 10

The book is presented as an even handed “conversation” but devolved by page 10 to ad hominem argument, of, “The fleshy pink faces of Senator Jesse Helms and Representative Henry Hyde…”

The “current symbol of reproductive freedom…?” Could be, “Angels’ wings, to indicate the thousands of women who have abortions and yet believe that a fetus has a soul and is watching over them?” p. 10. Baumgardner is suggesting that the unborn baby might be an eternal being ushered from this world into the next by the “choice” of the mother. This fits with Candace C. Crandall‘s assertion that “The Fetus, Beat Us,”* where pro-aborts had to deal with the pain and loss of the “baby.” This is, of course, merely a tactic to remove or deflect the ‘harm to women’ argument advanced by the pro-lifers.

The author lists “after-abortion counseling groups like Backline and Exhale…the zine Our Truths/Nuestra Verdades to the films Silent Choices and The Abortion Diaries?” p. 11. Baumgardner could have added Racheal’s Vineyard and Silent No More to pro-life counseling services of women who suffer from the trauma of abortion.

“I’ve visited abortion clinics around the country and observed what happens to the remains of eight-week, twelve-week, and fourteen-week aborted fetuses.” P. 12 Baumgardner is silent as to what was seen. Were the remains stuffed down a garbage disposal? Treated as medical waste? Or given a decent burial?

Baumgardner asks herself, “How do women experience abortion?…Why aren’t there more after-abortion resources? And: If you admit you are sad about your abortion, does that mean abortion is wrong?” p. 13. The author asks but does not fully answer the question: If a women feels remorse after an abortion, is it possible the woman now understands that there was a living baby involved? And that the mother regrets her abortion? Polling suggests that women are concerned. Rasmussen reports that 58 per cent of women feel abortion is immoral.

“The number [of abortions] has gone down slightly in recent years…possibly linked to the virginity-abstinence movement…Lack of access and affordability have also been factors.” p. 19. This is confirmed by academic research. Abortion has an elastic demand, where the demand for a product or service is directly tied to a variable: price, 24-hour waiting periods, proximity, viewing a sonogram. (See Michael New, 2010.)

“Although it’s shortsighted, when faced with a slim deadline to raise money and make this decision, some women simply miss the window in which they can have an abortion. P. Baumgardner’s wording is misleading. A woman in the USA can have an abortion at any time even when she goes into labor. She can have an abortion with her child’s feet out of her body with only her child’s head not visible; the child can still be “terminated.” P. 19.

“Abortion is the U.S. is safe. The death rate at all stages is 0.6 per 100,000 abortions…and [is] nearly ten times as safe as carrying a pregnancy to full term.” p. 20.

“Sherri Finkbine, a young mother and television star…host of Romper Room…wanted to warn other women about the dangers of thalidomide to their pregnancies…Finkbine [traveled] to Sweden for her [abortion] procedure. P. 23 Baumgardner is silent on whether the drug thalidomide was a greater danger to pregnancy [re: baby] than abortion.

“My friend got the abortionist to agree to (re)do the procedure–this time for an additional price above his regular price, which was agreeing to his f$cking my friend right after the abortion was performed on her sister.” P. 24. Bumgardner seems to settle the debate that abortion harms women: The mother gets rid of her baby by pimping out her sister-prostitute to the abortionist. All three are without honor and, as a result, there is one less baby in the world. Ramesh Ponnura first wrote of the ‘character’ of the type of person that does the actual abortion baby-removal, “What mother rejoices in proclaiming to the world, loudly, proudly announcing, “Meet my son, The Abortionist!”…?

“The Supreme Court upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act…except to save the life of the mother. This marked the first time any medical procedure was banned, as well as the first time an exception for a woman’s health had been overruled.” P. 34. Baumgardner fails to note that there is no medical justification for a Partial-Birth Abortion, as C. Everett Koop, MD, has written.

“Restrictions [cause] women [to] rarely change their minds about having procedures just because they are forced to jump through hoops.” P. 34. This has been superseded by peer reviewed studies demonstrating that commonsense abortion regulation such as waiting periods reduces the numbers of abortions, suggesting that women, in fact do change their minds. (Michael New, 2010.)

“There is not a link [between having an abortion and breast cancer] at least not according to the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, or major research universities.” P. 37

“Nada L. Stotland, MD, president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association [writes] that “meticulous research shows that there is no causal relationship between abortion and mental illnesses.” P. 37.

“I started allowing myself to understand what is true for me: that I think of pregnancy as “life” but this doesn’t have to mean abortion is murder.” P. 47. This is a non sequitur and reveals the twisted backwards logic pro-abortion-choice advocates must fabricate to justify the taking of innocent human life. Indeed, the killing of a baby by the mother. Note Bumgardner’s odd use of ‘truth.’ Truth to her is not transcendent but dependent on her personal interpretation or perhaps her feelings at the moment…

“[A woman who had an abortion] realized that she…actually needed some help with the aftermath of what had turned out to be a profound experience. She began looking for after-abortion resources…All she could find to offer support were thinly disguised antiabortion groups. As a feminist, she says, “I didn’t see anything that reflected my experience” of having and sad feelings around her abortion, but not wanting to make abortion illegal.” P. 50. It is not disclosed if this woman contacted Rachel’s Vineyard or not. This group does non-judgmental post-abortion counseling.

“[A woman who had an abortion] interned at NARAL Pro-Choice California…But when she raised the issue of the lack of emotional resources for women, she was confronted with blank faces. It was, she says, as if admitting that she was struggling with her feelings meant that she wasn’t really pro-choice.” P. 50.

“Aspen Baker…in 2000…created Exhale, a nonjudgmental post-abortion talkline. In 2007, Exhale created a series of Hallmark-like e-cards that people could send to loved ones who’d had abortions–not to celebrate the abortion, but to acknowledge it and offer comfort.” P. 51.

“This shift in focus in the national conversation from “Keep your laws off my body!” to “Let’s talk about feelings and whether fetal life has value” has bee tough for the pro-choice movement…” p. 51

“Peg Johnston…operating Southern Tier Women’s Services, an independent abortion clinic [would] sit in a counseling session with a woman who’d say, “I feel like I’m killing my baby.” Johnston believes that women were genuinely struggling with the value of life and how to do the right thing and be a good person…using words like “loss” and “baby” and “killing”…” p. 53.

Baumgardner asks but does not answer, “What do you do if a patient wants to baptize the remains?” p. 54, emphasis in original.

Women who had abortions would write, “Don’t think of it as losing a baby, but as gaining a guardian angel. These were women who clearly felt relationships to their pregnancies as children, not as masses of cells.” p. 55 Italics in original.

“Emily Barklow [a college student] “struggled with feelings of deviance, selfishness, and loss [after her abortion]…Four years, lots of counseling [led her to] preparing a presentation about her experience [at a NARAL event]…I was disappointed with the lack of depth in the other presentations–all recycled coat hangers and We’ll never go back signs. I would cite this experience as my first real disconnect from the mainstream abortion rights movement.” p. 59.

“Perhaps younger women, in their own entitlement, will begin to make blasphemous statements even more loudly. The most profane is this: Why are feminists so obsessed with abortion? Some of this lingering fascination is [that] we focus on this right because it is fundamental; having the right to control our bodies is directly associated with the right to control our lives.” p. 59.

The author Baumgardner was five months pregnancy and giving a speech at Barnard College’s Students for Choice when she referred to the contents of her uterus as a “baby” instead of “fetus.” “If I said “baby” [referring to her unborn baby] that meant i wasn’t pro-choice, or with the program, or knowledgeable.” p. 60.

“Hillary Clinton…asserted her belief in [Roe v Wade] but also admitted that abortion can be “tragic” for some women…NARAL President Nancy Keenan confessed that “our community tends to run away every time somebody talks about the many emotions that come with this choice” and “we have not done enough to make people who are ‘pro-choice but struggling’ feel like they are part of this community.” p. 60.

“In March of 2007 Aspen Baker…wanted to celebrate the fact that Exhale was sending out 2,500 e-cards every month.” p. 61. Charmaine and Baker debated on CNN; pull quotes here.

“[Democrats for Life] executive director Kristen Day cites a December 2003 Zogby poll finding that forty-three percent of Democrats oppose abortion except in the case of rape or incest or to save the live of the mother…” p. 64.

“The need for abortion will never be totally eradicated, according to health activist Barbara Seaman, unless society commits to giving vasectomies to all boys after freezing their sperm, and only allowing procreation through in vitro fertilization after demonstrating sufficient income and maturity to support a child for eighteen years.” p. 65. The Alert Student would be tempted to dismiss Baumgardner for including this passage. But Seaman’s concept was advanced by Margaret Sanger who suggested, without humor, that licenses to marry and procreate be awarded to only those deemed “fit” by your local Planned Parenthood affiliate. The late Barbara Seaman is little known outside academic women’s studies programs and should remain so.

“Norma McCorvey [Roe in Roe v Wade] never actually had an abortion…” p. 70.

Baumgardner is concerned about forced adoptions, “I cried for the many women who were conned into relinquishing their children…

I cried remembering how intense it was to be pregnant and to give birth–how hormones and pain and extreme physical duress combined into what felt like a near-death experience [for her as mother-no mention of an aborted baby]. I recalled how I really understood–in my loosened pelvis, my stretched-out ribs, and the kicks to my cervix from tiny limbs–the sensitive factory that is our bodies, arduously creating another human. p. 70.

Baumgardner is lamenting the “choice” women endure when giving up a child for adoption but come precariously close to advancing a pro-life argument. This defines the schizophrenia of the abortion movement: The baby is human, the baby is a person-and the mother can terminate on a whim.

“So, can you be a feminist and pro-life? The answer is a resounding “yes.”” p. 71.

“With many of the women…giving birth seemed to preclude an investment in their own lives; it meant saying goodbye to a fellowship, to a career of their choosing, or being forced to stay in a relationship they didn’t want with the baby’s father.” P. 74. One could wonder that terminating a baby could indeed terminate a relationship: between mother and child(ren) and father(s).

“Gloria Steinem, born March 25, 1934, [could] not see any way that I could possibly give birth to someone else and also give birth to myself.” P. 79. In Steinem’s search for self, “someone else” — her baby — was sacrificed. To advance women.

Baumgardner quotes Barbara Ehrenreich, “Women do use abortion as backup nowadays, but they often don’t acknowledge it. I’m referring to women who get pregnant purposefully, for instance, but assume that legal abortion will be available as a backup should the child they’re carrying have Down’s syndrome or another abnormality they decide they can’t handle.” p. 87

Baumgardner quotes a Marion Banzhaf, a lesbian (Why do I need to know this? Why does she need to tell me?), “[After the abortion] I was thrilled…I was so happy to see the blood. I felt like my life was beginning over again…I saw a little baby in a carriage and a mom and I thought, Oh, I’m so glad that’s not me…I felt like I had control over what I was going to do with the rest of my life.” P. 90. Italics in original, bold emphasis mine.

Baumgardner quotes Giliian Aldrich, “I called my mom and said, “How could you have done that? I could have had this older brother or sister and you killed them…” p. 98. She later decided she was pro-abortion-choice.

At age 30 Gillian Aldrich was pregnant, “I had zero sentimentality, and didn’t want to even open that door [of keeping the baby]. I thought: If there is a baby in here, It’s not staying. I knew it would destroy our relationship [even though boyfriend wanted the child]. p. 99. Italics in original.

“We went to this…[abortion] clinic…The place was kind of a factory. The counseling session was a joke. I thought that there would be more of an emotional support system in the clinic itself, but there wasn’t.” p. 99.

“That Sylvia Ann Hewlett book came out [Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children]…There was something retrograde about her attitude, but her facts [demonstrating fertility declines precipitously throughout your thirties] were correct…” p. 100.

Baumgardner quotes Amy Richards, “I was…pregnant with triplets…and made the decision to have a selective reduction…a stand-alone fetus…would continue to term…[the] identical twins were aborted…instant death. After I went through the procedure, my boyfriend Peter was much more traumatized than I was, even though hospital policy didn’t allow him to witness the procedure.” p. 104 The Alert Reader might wonder, What’s to be traumatized about? It’s not a baby. It’s not human. It’s not a person. Or is it?

Richards continues, “I…speak at colleges…I meet so many girls who are trying to make sense of abortion. They really want to support abortion rights…but at the end of the day [they] just can’t say, “I’m pro-choice,” or, “I support abortion,” p. 105.

Men quoted in this book are as ambivalent about abortion as the women. A George is quoted, “For me, I think the abortion [with my girlfriend] will stand as a symbol that I thought of myself as this open, loving guy, but I wasn’t.” p. 110. Emphasis mind.

Baumgardner quotes Ani Difranco, “I want to tell women and men, “You are an animal and it is a beautiful thing.” p. 113. The pro-abortion-choice argument is revealing: human personhood is not transcendent from lower animals. Most religions hold that only humans are eternal beings with a soul. It appears that the human with the religion of feminism (where abortion is a sacrament) would have no soul.

Where do pro-abortion-choice women find these men: “He was an activist and a poet…he was having sex with me, and sometimes choking me. It was horrible.” p. 117. I am sure that the choking was terrible, I guess. But begs the question: How many times did the pro-abortion-choice poet choke you? Sometimes? Just a few times?

Baumgardner quotes a Robin Ringleka, “The doctor was very rushed and didn’t have much of a bedside manner. I was pretty terrified and I began to cry when he entered the room. This seemed to piss him off and he demanded to know why I was crying…[later] The one-year anniversary of my abortion was approaching and I was having bad dreams.” p. 125. Why do these pro-abortion-choice women have bad dreams? Why do they remember the dates of the abortion and “birthday” of the baby terminated? Can a clump of cells, a mere fetus cause so much anguish? Or is the death of a baby painful even to a woman in denial?

Ringleka continues, “I have come to believe that having an abortion can be a very motherly decision.” p. 125. Except for, maybe, her baby.

Baumgardner quotes, Jenny Egan, “I went with my boyfriend…to Planned Parenthood…I had assumed that I …would finally be able to tell someone or talk to someone about how freaked out I was, but I didn’t get to…My boyfriend started the breaking-up process the day after the abortion. He said he wanted to date other people.” p. 127.

Baumgardner wonders, “I recognize that is serious [an unborn baby might be a person], but my own life is too important to sacrifice for an unplanned pregnancy.” p. 133. This is understood to not be an act of selfishness to the pro-abortion-choice supporters.

“[A father] describes, bluntly, how a recent abortion felt “more like murder”…” p. 113.

“Inga Muscio, the author of the contempory feminist classic C@unt: A Declaration of Independence (1998) [available at bookstores everywhere]…said the surgical solution…”sucked.” After Muscio discovered herself pregnant a third time, she vowed not to go back to the clinic and “waltz with the abhorrent machine.”” p. 142.

“Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, Kansas…says: “Abortion is not a cerebral or a reproductive issue. Abortion is a matter of the heart…[U]ntil one understands the heart of a woman, nothing else about abortion makes any sense at all.” p.143. Indeed, abortion follows the emotion of the woman’s heart. The logic of the brain, less so.

Baumgardner closes Abortion & Life with a profound and profane quote from,

popular musician and activist Ani DiFranco, who has a strong appreciation of the taboos surrounding abortion, wrote a song lyric that refers to the single cell that is an egg: “To split yourself in two is just the most radical thing you can do.” Life begins in that split–transformative energy is released into the aperture. The Ani adds: “So girl if that sh!t ain’t up to you, then you simply are not free. p. 144. So there.

“By creating a T-shirt so many would see as offensive, the pro-choice movement has intentionally sought to outrage the Christian Right.” p. 174.

One wag suggested a tag line on the reverse of the t-shirt to Baumgardner,

Front: I had an abortion.

Back: Roe v. Wade–Eliminating Future Democrats One Choice at a Time. p. 174.

***

Baumgardner is not happy about restrictions that help make abortion rare, “Planning a Pro-Choice Event…is…one way to fight the gloom…make the Roe anniversary powerful–a day of consciousness-raising and fundraising.” p. 148. She seems unaware that hundreds of thousands from the pro-life community march in Washington, DC on the Roe anniversary, January 22, each year.

Baumgardner wants the reader to celebrate and to mark your calendars that “the National Day of Appreciation for Abortion Providers is March 10.” p. 149.

Baumgardner refers to the Reproductive Health Blog: www.rhrealitycheck.org/blog

###

Be sure to follow Your Business Blogger(R) and Charmaine on Twitter: @JackYoest and @CharmaineYoest

Jack and Charmaine also blog at Reasoned Audacity and at Management Training of DC, LLC.

Thank you (foot)notes,

*Baumgardner’s opening quote is from Rebecca Hyman’s essay Full Frontal Offense: Taking Abortion Rights To The Tees.

*”The fetus beat us” has been incorrectly attributed to Naomi Wolf. She writes us in an email, “I never said The fetus, beat us. I think it is an awful phrase, would never have said something so brutal and trivializing about this issue…Thank you! Take care, Naomi wolf.”

The book was funded by pro-abortion-choice individuals and groups, Amy Ray, Merle Hoffman and the Diana Foundation, Gloria Browning, Karen Burgum and the F-M Area Foundation Women’s Fund and Roberta Schneiderman…” preface page

Gillian Aldrich directed the documentary “I Had an Abortion”… preface page

Charmaine on CNN: Abortion Mourn or Celebrate?

See The Fetal Hand Grasp on Charmaine Debates Abortion on CNN.

The Wonder Crew, by Susan Saint Sing; Selected Quotes

June 15, 2010 | By | No Comments

wonder_crew.jpgThe Wonder Crew, The Untold Story of a Coach, Navy Rowing, and Olympic Immortality, written by Susan Saint Sing published in 2008 is the story of Coach Richard Glendon at the Naval Academy winning the Olympic Gold Medal in 1920 in crew.

The tale is set, “In a time when when admirals thanked rowing coaches for helping to win world wars.” p. 6.

Sing quotes Admiral Cyde Whitlock King, 1920 Navy stroke man,

Of all sports, I think rowing is the greatest…because it is a man’s game in every sense of the word.” p. 21

Rowing is the oldest intercollegiate sport in the USA as well as the oldest international collegiate sport in the world. It uses an eight-oared shell that is some 58′ long, weights 200 pounds, with a top speed of 18 knots. To power the small boat, Coach Glendon, “Was in pursuit of the ancient, elusive arete, the ancient Greek pinnacle of perfection, strength in grace of physical, mental and spiritual balance.” p. 22.

Glendon was building team, not nine individuals,

It wasn’t just a matter of who among them was the best. The individuals were less important than the whole – the [Naval Academy] brigade was the focus, not any one standout. No war was ever won with only one man. Though a brigade would follow the leader of one, that one needed a brigade to follow him. So, too, in rowing. The fundamental question was always “How did the crew look? And the crew was not just each man in seat; it was eight men rowing as one. The boat and the crew at large were a unit, the gestalt was the final equation, not the individual parts. In rowing truly the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Author Sing further explains rowing and Coach Glendon’s philosophy,

A good man on a rowing machine, in training on land or in a weight room, might not help a boat go fast. p. 26

The rowers respected Coach Glendon, “He was the orderer of their chaos.” p. 26.

Appearances matter. Sing quotes Glendon, “You can tell a good oarsman sometimes just by the way he sits up straight in the shell.” p. 82.

A crew will pull some 200 strokes over a 2,000 meter course. “The shell capable of accelerating to 18 knots generates the most horsepower of any human-powered watercraft.” p. 88.

Sing quotes Brad Brinegar, from Dartmouth, p. 115,

The oarsman is not a man alone. If his crew is to suceed he must become perfectly synchronized with the other men in the boat. Sometimes, for thirty or forty strokes–more if the crew is really good and well matched–all men in the boat will move together. Every move the stroke makes will be mirrored by the men behind him. all the catches will hit hard and clean…when that happens the boat begins the lift up off the water, air bubbles running under the bow, and there is an exhileration like nothing else I have ever experienced…literally like flying.

The personalities of each seat position are reviewed,

Bow should be neat and easy with his movements, above all a good waterman.

Two [seat] is ditto, but slightly heavier and stronger.

Three, four, and five the most powerful available.

Six seat should be a cleaver oarsman as well as being powerful, and of course…reliable.

Seven should be the most finished oar in the boat.

Stroke (eight) is the most difficult man to find, as he must combine so many qualities, but first and foremost he must be a man of the right personality, a real leader who will not be discouraged by adversity. His weight is immaterial. p. 162.

“A clean boat is a fast boat!” p. 187.

The 1920 USA Men’s Olympic crew was a barrier breaking performance, “Akin to what philosopher Michael Novak describes as the power of athletic achievement in revealing moments of perfect form.” p. 218.

“Rowing is not a game, it is much more akin to riding, skating, or dancing, or any other form of locomotion developed into an art.” Gilbert C. Bourne, A Textbook on Oarsmanship, p. 71

***

Chester Nimitz was the Fleet Admiral of the American Navy in the Pacific in WWII. He commanded over two million men, 5,000 ships and 20,000 aircraft. p. 23. Nimitz had said, “Dick Glendon, by what he put into successive generations of Navy midshipmen, undoubtedly helped us win the naval battles of World War I and World War II.” p. 242

Susan Saint Sing includes among the photographs a picture that hung in Coach Richard Glendon’s house. It shows Admiral Chester Nimitz signing the Japanese surrender documents on the deck of the USS Missouri ending WWII. It is inscribed, “To Dick Glendon with best wishes and warmest regards.”

The photograph is signed, “Nimitz–Fleet Admiral, stroke 1905.” It is not clear of which Nimitz might be more proud: ‘Admiral’ or ‘stroke.’

Haiti Relief; The Political Backstory

February 2, 2010 | By | No Comments

John Howland from USNA-At-Large, sends this along. It deserves a wide audience.

TJ Hanley and Bob Marsh send; further below Dick Nelson comments –

From a Retired Special Forces Sgt Major:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I served in the SOG (Special Operations Group) in Vietnam with Brockhausen and Hebler, they have both been involved with various disaster relief programs for the last several years to include Hurricane Katrina.

They have both always been straight shooters and known to call a spade a spade, as well as sometimes using very “colorful” language which had to be cleaned up a bit. So I have no doubts as to the truthfulness of what he’s saying.

News back from Nick Brockhausen.

He and Dennis Hebler made it back somewhat safe and sound.

To All,

I just returned from Haiti with Hebler. We flew in at 3 AM Sunday to the scene of such incredible destruction on one side, and enormous ineptitude and criminal neglect on the other.

Port o Prince is in ruins. The rest of the country is fairly intact.

Our team was a rescue team and we carried special equipment that locates people buried under the rubble.

There are easily 200,000 dead, the city smells like a charnal house. The bloody UN was there for 5 years doing apparently nothing but wasting US Taxpayers money. The ones I ran into were either incompetents or outright anti American.

Most are French or french speakers, worthless every d*** one of them.

While 1800 rescuers were ready willing and able to leave the airport and go do our jobs, the UN and USAID (another organization full of little Obamites and communists that openly speak against America) These two organizations exemplar their parochialism by:

USAID, when in control of all inbound flights, had food and water flights stacked up all the way to Miami, yet allowed Geraldo Rivera, Anderson Cooper and a host of other left wing news puppies to land.

Pulled all the security off the rescue teams so that Bill Clinton and his wife could have the grand tour, while we sat unable to get to people trapped in the rubble.

Stacked enough food and water for the relief over at the side of the airfield then put a guard on it while we dehydrated and wouldn’t release a drop of it to the rescuers.

No shower facilities to decontaminate after digging or moving corpses all day, except for the FEMA teams who brought their own shower and decon equipment, as well as air conditioned tents.

No latrine facilities, less digging a hole, if you set up a S****** everyone was trying to use it.

I watched a 25 year old Obamite with the USAID shrieking hysterically, berate a full bird colonel in the Air Force, because he countermanded her orders, while trying to unscrew the air pattern. ” You don’t know what your president wants! The military isn’t in charge here, we are!”

If any of you are thinking of giving money to the Haitian relief, or to the UN don’t waste your money. It will only go to further the goals of the French and the Liberal left.

If we are a fair and even society, why is it that only white couples are adopting Haitian orphans. Where the h*** is that vocal minority that is always screaming about the injustice of American society.

Bad place, bad situation, but a perfect look at the new world order in action. New Orleans magnified a thousand times. Haiti doesn’t need democracy, what Haiti needs is Papa Doc. That’s not just my opinion , that is what virtually every Haitian we talked with said. The French run the UN and treat us the same as when we were a colony, at least Papa Doc ran the country.

Oh, and as a last slap in the face the last four of us had to take US AIRWAY’s home from Phoenix. They slapped me with a 590 dollar baggage charge for the four of us. The girl at the counter was almost in tears because she couldn’t give us a discount or she would lose her job. Pass that on to the flying public.

Nick

===============================================

I worked as a political asylum officer for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (the old INS) in Miami, after retiring from my law firm. About one third of our “clientele” came from Haiti, and we were required to learn a lot of information about Haiti’s history, culture, language—and its violent ways. What I am going to say is not a racial statement, it is a cultural statement. Bottom line: an influx of Haitians into the U.S. would be a disaster. The Haitian culture and history are founded on violence, and plenty of it.

There are exceptions, as always, but a mass immigration of Haitians as “refugees” would yield a new population that is largely uneducated, non-English speaking, and which would exist for years on two sources of income: crime and public welfare.

Because the Haitians are now located within their country of nationality, they do not qualify as “refugees” under current law. However, they do have a possibility of using the Asylum laws to get into the U.S, which are administered by USCIS. From that agency’s web site, here is how you qualify for political asylum:

“How Does The Asylum Officer or Immigration Judge Determine If I Am Eligible for Asylum?

The Asylum Officer or Immigration Judge will determine if you are eligible by evaluating whether you meet the definition of a refugee. The definition, which can be found in section 101(a)(42)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), states that a refugee is someone who is unable or unwilling to return to and avail himself or herself of the protection of his or her home country or, if stateless, country of last habitual residence because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. The determination of whether you meet the definition of a refugee will be based on information you provide on your application and during an interview with an Asylum Officer or at a hearing before an Immigration Judge.”

Unfortunately, it is ridiculously easy to qualify, on the basis of a 90 minute interview. If the applicant has been coached, and is willing to lie, he/she can say the right things and the asylum officer is required to accept that testimony, unless the officer has contrary evidence. You will not have much evidence on the applicant, because you are not allowed to contact their country of origin—that might cause “more persecution.” Once they are in, they get permanent work status (“green card”) and often qualify for public benefits. In effect, they are permanent legal immigrants. If they are convicted of a crime, their status can be revoked. However, there is no data link between law enforcement and USCIS, so the feds will never know, in actual practice.

Aside from that, I now worry about our 10,000 troops that will be on the ground in Haiti to maintain order. What rules of engagement will they have, to quell the ubiquitous Haitian street violence? This is a “country” where gangs run the streets, often with the sharp edge of machete. Inevitably, our troops will be placed in a position where they must use lethal force to protect themselves, property, or innocent people. It is simply a matter of time.

When that occurs, and a soldier or Marine takes out a bad guy, are we going to have a turbo-charged version of the Haditha mess or the current SEAL case? I believe we should stay completely out of Haiti, and leave it to the United Nations, who are in business (theoretically) to keep the peace. We should remember that Bill Clinton tried to fix that place for eight years, and could not make a dent.

Dick Nelson ’64

10 Years Later, What We Learned from Y2K: Technology vs. Political Management

December 30, 2009 | By | No Comments

Y2K_bug_credit_Hannah_Yoest.png

The Y2K Bug

Credit: Hannah YoestThe world was coming to an end at midnight 31 December, 1999.

We had planned for it for years. It was, as one techno-wag said, “a disaster with a deadline.”

The Year 2000 roll-over was going to be big; world wide. No escape.

We knew this would be no mere technology challenge to be solved with exceptional American ingenuity. Y2K was problematic with unknown unknowns.

The internet would crash. Cell phones dead. The power grid dark.

Armageddon.

***

In the late 1990′s one-half of the world’s internet traffic passed through the Commonwealth of Virginia, thanks to America On Line — AOL.com. And maybe another Northern Virginia entity in Arlington: the Pentagon. I think that was a secret.

Your Business Blogger(R) had the Y2K responsibility for Health and Human Resources, a $5 billion enterprise in the Virginia government. The boss, governor Jim Gilmore, a former military intelligence officer, knew what we could and couldn’t do to combat the Y2K Bug.

There was a lot we couldn’t do. And it wasn’t all technology.

***

It was a condition of continued employment that there were to be no interruptions or adverse incidents to the citizens of the Commonwealth and the rest of the World.

(We worker-bees could not get it wrong. The world ends AND get a bad employee appraisal. A sub-par job performance would not be a simple career-ending/world-ending mistake. Going out with a bang, so to say.)

Business literature notes the adrenaline rush of the “peak experience.” The Governor of Virginia had this as he had The Whole World In His Hands.

The web had to run for the wide world and more: Virginia’s hospital doors had to remain open; the prison doors closed. Fresh water and waste water valves had to direct flow in the correct and desired directions.

Local first responders had to be able to coordinate communications across jurisdictional silos. Governor Gilmore was among the first to realize the importance of seamless radio traffic between Fed-State-Local law enforcement. (It still wouldn’t be fixed years later. Re: 9.11).

Lots of challenges beyond government resources. So Gilmore hired the biggest IT consulting firms on the planet and bought their solutions packages. In my weekly staff meetings I had a dozen of the smartest experts in the business. I was not one of them.

They let me think I was in control at the head of the table. And maybe so. But these consultants wouldn’t let me, a mere bureaucrat, make a mistake.

But there were some mistakes the professional tech-gurus could not save me from.

***

One of the first steps was to inventory hardware, software for both the public sector and those private vendors who supplied the government. Every computer and bit of software that touched the government had to be inspected and brought into a procedure for standardized compliance. Verified with a form. With signatures. Every laptop. Everywhere.

I started by reviewing the vendors for the $400 million Department of Health. It had over 11,000 suppliers.

—Easy MBA 101 stuff—

So I directed the staff to report on the number of vendors that did most of the business with us, say 80-90% of the dollar volume.

—More smarty-pants MBA inquiries—

To no one’s shock and awe, save mine, we learned that 900 vendors did 90% of the business with that government agency.

I addressed the staff. “You mean,” says I, “We have to manage over 10,000 vendors to deliver 10% of our purchase orders?” My chin thrust with smug disbelief.

“So?” the staff asked as one man.

—Shortly, know-it-all MBA would meet political realities—

I strongly suggested that we should look to consolidate some vendors and look at ways to reduce the number of transactions and paper work. Time and motion studies demonstrated that processing each purchase order cost $150. I would fix this! The efficiency of Frederick Taylor.

The staff left the room. Slowly. They knew something I did not.

But they got on the job and the machinery of government began to move. I so pride myself on getting completed staff work.

The staff saw the wisdom of my directives. The efficiency! The simplicity! The savings!

I leaned back in chair pleased with the MBA-intellect the governor hired.

The Governor would have done better to hire a politician.

***

In mere hours the calls came in. No, not from disgruntled vendors, but from locally elected officials representing the disgruntled vendors who were about to be shut out of government business.

No one was happy that rice bowls were going to be broken.

And the fact that this all took less than a day alerted me that back channels were working at the speed of light.

The vendors and the politicians were aided and abetted by an army of helpful bureaucrats who pushed all that paper around.

The populace clamors for efficient government as long as suppliers and jobs are cut in someone else’s backyard.

I didn’t have a chance. Nor did the citizens’ tax dollars.

This was my first rude lesson in ‘multiple points of accountability.’ In government a civil servant answers to his boss, of course. But he also must be mindful of other politicians, the press, the public, the unions, the lobbyists and peers making a grab for his budget.

The supply chain efficiency fight wasn’t worth the political capital necessary to win. There are real reasons why governments seem to be so inefficient.

My lesson learned, I quickly moved on to other battles where I had half a chance.

***

Virginia spent $215 million and nothing happened here or the rest of the world. There were some problems in Nigeria. We now think it was some kind of scam.

Nothing crashed. Except for that super-secret three-letter-agency satellite…and some defibrillators. Not my fault. No one died.

The lesson learned was that managing technology was the easy part. The real challenge was in managing people.

It always is.

###

Jack Yoest is an adjunct professor at the Northern Virginia Community College. He teaches management, sales, marketing and new media.

Thank you (foot)notes:

Be sure to follow Your Business Blogger(R) and Charmaine on Twitter: @JackYoest and @CharmaineYoest

Jack and Charmaine also blog at Reasoned Audacity and at Management Training of DC, LLC.

Career Tips for Leadership for Military Officers

December 5, 2009 | By | No Comments

John Howland from USNA-At-Large@yahoogroups.com posted this career advice. It deserves a wide audience.

Career Tips:

How to get ahead the “smart” and ethical way and avoid running your career aground—

My point of view

by Dick Nelson ’64

1. Always remember and apply the basic leadership trilogy: “Know your Stuff; take care of your people; and be true to yourself.” This one says it all.

2. Keep your head on a swivel. Threats come at you from 360 degrees, especially when you least expect it. Why do you think the Japanese picked a Sunday to attack Pearl Harbor? Review the Japanese and U.S. tactics in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, which demonstrate—on both sides—how easy it is to be caught napping by making the wrong assumptions. Remember what happened to USS Stark, USS Cole [Good Plebe questions!] and the World Trade Center. When you stand a watch, the welfare of the ship and the crew (or the Marine unit) has been entrusted to you. That’s why you get the “big bucks.” Don’t let them down.

3. Trust your subordinates, but verify their performance. Corollary: Trust your superiors, but quietly back them up by cross-checking their assumptions, especially in matters of navigation. Cliché: Watch my back, and I’ll watch yours!

Continue reading at the jump.

###

Thank you (foot)notes:

Be sure to follow Your Business Blogger(R) and Charmaine on Twitter: @JackYoest and @CharmaineYoest

Jack and Charmaine also blog at Reasoned Audacity and at Management Training of DC, LLC.

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Politics and Management

November 5, 2009 | By | No Comments

Alert Reader Stan H sends this along, circulating on the ‘net:

Dear Employees:

As the CEO of this organization, I have resigned myself to the fact that Barrack Obama is our President and that our taxes and government fees will increase in a BIG way. To compensate for these increases, our prices would have to increase by about 10%.

But since we cannot increase our prices right now due to the dismal state of the economy, we will have to lay off sixty of our employees instead. This has really been bothering me since I believe we are family here and I didn’t know how to choose who would have to go.

So, this is what I did. I walked through our parking lots and found sixty ‘Obama’ bumper stickers on our employees’ cars and have decided these folks will be the ones to let go. I can’t think of a more fair way to approach this problem.

They voted for change…… I gave it to them.

I will see the rest of you at the annual company picnic.

THE BOSS

Are all managers really like this? Or is this boss simply more honest?

A Business Case Study for Business 200, Northern Virginia Community College

October 23, 2009 | By | No Comments

The Business Case Study Method permits the student or researcher to conduct a critical analysis to solve a problem or to exploit an opportunity. Or to answer a hypothetical “what if?” scenario. (In contrast to politics where hypothetical questions should never be addressed.)

There are a number of outstanding formats and templates (see below or at the jump) for organizing.

Your Business Blogger(R) as Your Business Professor prefers a simpler, story telling formula: Problem, Solution, Result. (The use of such PSRs as narrative outline are also most helpful in job interviews.)

A Problem defined is half solved. It is useful to state the problem as an inquiry (think the game show Jeopardy or Larry King or Dr. Laura, “What’s your question?”).

The subject for the content on Business Case Studies is one of my former companies. The Alert Student will also select a company where s/he worked, is working or wishes to work. Students who have first-hand knowledge or a compelling interest deliver the best case studies. Let’s start with the backgrounder.

Menlo Care, Inc. was a medical device start-up manufacturer and direct seller with an outside sales team of 35 experienced, senior, account managers in the 1980′s and 90′s. The company had a proprietary process to manufacture a new intravenous catheter. The venture was funded with $500k in seed money from Raychem Corporation where the technology was developed and spun off. The product is based on a material science of a polymer that was as rigid as Teflon when dry but became as soft and flexible as silicone when wet.

The polymer-plastic was extruded or formed into an intravenous catheter for insertion into the venous blood system.

The new technology improved patient care in a cost-effective manner. However, the new IV catheters had two major marketing concerns:

1) They were 100 times the price of the existing, nearest competitive substitute.

2) The Menlo Care products required advanced one-on-one inservice training to insert or to pass” the I.V. catheters.

At the time, Menlo Care was still operating on venture capital investment and had significant negative cash flow typical of early stage start-ups entering the marketplace.

The high “burn rate” of capital would not allow the hiring of the estimated 35 full-time instructional nurses; one teacher for each sales territory.

Nurses prefer to be taught by their peers – other nurses, not necessarily company sales representatives. Sales teams have the time intensive responsibility to peddle the product and to manage the territory logistics.

The question: How can a manufacturer teach and sell new medicine across the USA within 90 days?

The issue is an extension of the classic challenge of marketing with no money or no budget and the need for an intensive face-to-face sales process.

Menlo_Care_midline_IV_catheter_yoest095.jpg A Solution was developed from a number of options and recommendations. The final sales-education idea was an innovative combination of well-known teaching-marketing strategies reconfigured into a unique delivery process.

The answer to the problem would involve having per diem or part-time nurse clinicians conduct training classes. Each of the 35 sales representatives would identify, recruit, train, motivate and manage the advance practice nurses who were the thought and opinion leaders in the medical community (e.g., presidents of local chapters of oncology nurses, certified I.V. nurses’ associations and leaders in the home health care business). These nurses would come from the small cadre of existing users of the Menlo Care catheters. The solution was simply to hire the customers to teach.

Key nurses from a local area would be invited in for a day-long training program. The area account manager/sales representative would host the event and act as the “master of ceremonies” where the class of nurses would be taught about the new medical devices.

The hook for attendance would be the concern and the warning that local hospitals might start to see the new Menlo Care I.V. catheters on those patients who might be admitted into emergency rooms. Clinicians need to know what products are being used on patients using IV therapy in case the patient has an emergency. Especially of concern were those being treated as out-patients in the home health care market.

The attending nurses who received training and inserted a catheter on a patient became credentialed as a “Landmark Nurse” and were awarded a framed certificate and lapel pin to recognize their expertise and achievement.

(A credential can be done by private associations in contrast to a certification which is awarded by a state licensing authority. Common certifications are MD, LPN and RN.)

The Results were immediate and measurable. Sales increased from near zero to over $12 million on a yearly run rate. The product line and technology commanded such attention that a number of major medical device manufactures expressed interest.

Menlo Care, Inc, was sold in 1994 to a division of Johnson & Johnson satisfying investors and stockholders.

###

Also see marketing with no budget in 10 steps.

Refer to the syllabus for length and style.

Read More

Burial at Sea

September 28, 2009 | By | No Comments

Alert Readers know that Your Business Blogger(R) served as a Survivor Assistance Officer in the Army. This is real work. Duty and Honor.

The death of every service member is a public event.

John Howland, editor of USNA-AT-Large sends this article — it deserves a wide audience.

“Burial at Sea” by LtCol George Goodson, USMC (Ret)

In my 76th year, the events of my life appear to me, from time to time, as a series of vignettes. Some were significant; most were trivial.

War is the seminal event in the life of everyone that has endured it. Though I fought in Korea and the Dominican Republic and was wounded there, Vietnam was my war.

Now 37 years have passed and, thankfully, I rarely think of those days in Cambodia, Laos, and the panhandle of North Vietnam where small teams of Americans and Montangards fought much larger elements of the North Vietnamese Army.

Instead I see vignettes: some exotic, some mundane:

*The smell of Nuc Mam.

*The heat, dust, and humidity.

*The blue exhaust of cycles clogging the streets.

*Elephants moving silently through the tall grass.

*Hard eyes behind the servile smiles of the villagers.

*Standing on a mountain in Laos and hearing a tiger roar.

*A young girl squeezing my hand as my medic delivered her baby.

*The flowing Ao Dais of the young women biking down Tran Hung Dao.

*My two years as Casualty Notification Officer in North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland.

It was late 1967. I had just returned after eighteen months in Vietnam. Casualties were increasing. I moved my family from Indianapolis to Norfolk, rented a house, enrolled my children in their fifth or sixth new school, and bought a second car.

A week later, I put on my uniform and drove ten miles to Little Creek, Virginia. I hesitated before entering my new office. Appearance is important to career Marines. I was no longer, if ever, a poster Marine. I had returned from my third tour in Vietnam only 30 days before. At 5’9″, I now weighed 128 pounds – 37 pounds below my normal weight. My uniforms fit ludicrously, my skin was yellow from malaria medication, and I think I had a twitch or two.

I straightened my shoulders, walked into the office, looked at the nameplate on a Staff Sergeant’s desk and said, “Sergeant Jolly, I’m Lieutenant Colonel Goodson. Here are my orders and my Qualification Jacket.”

Sergeant Jolly stood, looked carefully at me, took my orders, stuck out his hand; we shook and he asked, “How long were you there, Colonel?” I replied “18 months this time.” Jolly breathed, “Jesus, you must be a slow learner Colonel.” I smiled.

Jolly said, “Colonel, I’ll show you to your office and bring in the Sergeant Major. I said, “No, let’s just go straight to his office.”

Jolly nodded, hesitated, and lowered his voice, “Colonel, the Sergeant Major. He’s been in this G*dd@mn job two years. He’s packed pretty tight. I’m worried about him.” I nodded.

Jolly escorted me into the Sergeant Major’s office. “Sergeant Major, this is Colonel Goodson, the new Commanding Office. The Sergeant Major stood, extended his hand and said, “Good to see you again, Colonel.”

I responded, “Hello Walt, how are you?” Jolly looked at me, raised an eyebrow, walked out, and closed the door.

I sat down with the Sergeant Major. We had the obligatory cup of coffee and talked about mutual acquaintances. Walt’s stress was palpable.

Finally, I said, “Walt, what’s the hell’s wrong?” He turned his chair, looked out the window and said, “George, you’re going to wish you were back in Nam before you leave here. I’ve been in the Marine Corps since 1939. I was in the Pacific 36 months, Korea for 14 months, and Vietnam for 12 months.

Now I come here to bury these kids. I’m putting my letter in. I can’t take it anymore.” I said, “OK Walt. If that’s what you want, I’ll endorse your request for retirement and do what I can to push it through Headquarters Marine Corps.”

Sergeant Major Walt Xxxxx retired 12 weeks later. He had been a good Marine for 28 years, but he had seen too much death and too much suffering. He was used up.

Over the next 16 months, I made 28 death notifications, conducted 28 military funerals, and made 30 notifications to the families of Marines that were severely wounded or missing in action. Most of the details of those casualty notifications have now, thankfully, faded from memory. Four, however, remain.

MY FIRST NOTIFICATION

My third or fourth day in Norfolk, I was notified of the death of a 19 year old Marine. This notification came by telephone from Headquarters Marine Corps. The information detailed:

*Name, rank, and serial number.

*Name, address, and phone number of next of kin.

*Date of and limited details about the Marine’s death.

*Approximate date the body would arrive at the Norfolk Naval Air Station.

*A strong recommendation on whether the casket should be opened or closed.

The boy’s family lived over the border in North Carolina, about 60 miles away. I drove there in a Marine Corps staff car. Crossing the state line into North Carolina, I stopped at a small country store / service station / Post Office. I went in to ask directions.

Three people were in the store. A man and woman approached the small Post Office window. The man held a package. The Storeowner walked up and addressed them by name, “Hello John. Good morning Mrs. Cooper.”

I was stunned. My casualty’s next-of-kin’s name was John Cooper!

I hesitated, then stepped forward and said, “I beg your pardon. Are you Mr. and Mrs. John Copper of (address.)

The father looked at me-I was in uniform – and then, shaking, bent at the waist, he vomited. His wife looked horrified at him and then at me. Understanding came into her eyes and she collapsed in slow motion. I think I caught her before she hit the floor.

The owner took a bottle of whiskey out of a drawer and handed it to Mr. Cooper who drank. I answered their questions for a few minutes. Then I drove them home in my staff car. The storeowner locked the store and followed in their truck. We stayed an hour or so until the family began arriving.

I returned the storeowner to his business. He thanked me and said, “Mister, I wouldn’t have your job for a million dollars.” I shook his hand and said; “Neither would I.”

I vaguely remember the drive back to Norfolk. Violating about five Marine Corps regulations, I drove the staff car straight to my house. I sat with my family while they ate dinner, went into the den, closed the door, and sat there all night, alone.

My Marines steered clear of me for days. I had made my first death notification.

THE FUNERALS

Weeks passed with more notifications and more funerals.. I borrowed Marines from the local Marine Corps Reserve and taught them to conduct a military funeral: how to carry a casket, how to fire the volleys and how

to fold the flag.

When I presented the flag to the mother, wife, or father, I always said, “All Marines share in your grief.” I had been instructed to say, “On behalf of a grateful nation.” I didn’t think the nation was grateful, so I didn’t say that.

Sometimes, my emotions got the best of me and I couldn’t speak. When that happened, I just handed them the flag and touched a shoulder. They would look at me and nod. Once a mother said to me, “I’m so sorry you have this terrible job.” My eyes filled with tears and I leaned over and kissed her.

ANOTHER NOTIFICATION

Six weeks after my first notification, I had another. This was a young PFC. I drove to his mother’s house. As always, I was in uniform and driving a Marine Corps staff car. I parked in front of the house, took a deep breath, and walked towards the house. Suddenlythe door flew open, a middle-aged woman rushed out. She looked at me and ran across the yard, screaming “NO! NO! NO! NO!”

I hesitated. Neighbors came out. I ran to her, grabbed her, and whispered stupid things to reassure her. She collapsed. I picked her up and carried her into the house. Eight or nine neighbors followed. Ten or fifteen later, the father came in followed by ambulance personnel. I have no recollection of leaving.

The funeral took place about two weeks later. We went through the drill. The mother never looked at me. The father looked at me once and shook his head sadly.

ANOTHER NOTIFICATION

One morning, as I walked in the office, the phone was ringing. Sergeant Jolly held the phone up and said, “You’ve got another one, Colonel.” I nodded, walked into my office, picked up the phone, took notes, thanked the officer making the call, I have no idea why, and hung up. Jolly, who had listened, came in with a special Telephone Directory that translates telephone numbers into the person’s address and place of employment.

The father of this casualty was a Longshoreman. He lived a mile from my office. I called the Longshoreman’s Union Office and asked for the Business Manager. He answered the phone, I told him who I was, and asked for the father’s schedule.

The Business Manager asked, “Is it his son?” I said nothing. After a moment, he said, in a low voice, “Tom is at home today.” I said, “Don’t call him. I’ll take care of that.” The Business Manager said, “Aye, Aye Sir,” and then explained, “Tom and I were Marines in WWII.”

I got in my staff car and drove to the house. I was in uniform. I knocked and a woman in her early forties answered the door. I saw instantly that she was clueless. I asked, “Is Mr. Smith home?” She smiled pleasantly and responded, “Yes, but he’s eating breakfast now. Can you come back later?” I said, “I’m sorry. It’s important, I need to see him now.”

She nodded, stepped back into the beach house and said, “Tom, it’s for you.”

A moment later, a ruddy man in his late forties, appeared at the door. He looked at me, turned absolutely pale, steadied himself, and said, “Jesus Christ man, he’s only been there 3 weeks!”

Months passed. More notifications and more funerals. Then one day while I was running, Sergeant Jolly stepped outside the building and gave a loud whistle, two fingers in his mouth… I never could do that… and held an imaginary phone to his ear.

Another call from Headquarters Marine Corps. I took notes, said, “Got it.” and hung up. I had stopped saying “Thank You” long ago.

Jolly, “Where?”

Me, “Eastern Shore of Maryland. The father is a retired Chief Petty Officer. His brother will accompany the body back from Vietnam.”

Jolly shook his head slowly, straightened, and then said, “This time of day, it’ll take three hours to get there and back. I’ll call the Naval Air Station and borrow a helicopter. And I’ll have Captain Tolliver get one of his men to meet you and drive you to the Chief’s home.”

He did, and 40 minutes later, I was knocking on the father’s door. He opened the door, looked at me, then looked at the Marine standing at parade rest beside the car, and asked, “Which one of my boys was it,

Colonel?”

I stayed a couple of hours, gave him all the information, my office and home phone number and told him to call me, anytime.

He called me that evening about 2300 (11:00PM). “I’ve gone through my boy’s papers and found his will. He asked to be buried at sea. Can you make that happen?” I said, “Yes I can, Chief. I can and I will.”

My wife who had been listening said, “Can you do that?” I told her, “I have no idea. But I’m going to break my @ss trying.”

I called Lieutenant General Alpha Bowser, Commanding General, Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, at home about 2330, explained the situation, and asked, “General, can you get me a quick appointment with the Admiral at Atlantic Fleet Headquarters?” General Bowser said,” George, you be there tomorrow at 0900. He will see you.

I was and the Admiral did. He said coldly, “How can the Navy help the Marine Corps, Colonel.” I told him the story. He turned to his Chief of Staff and said, “Which is the sharpest destroyer in port?” The Chief of Staff responded with a name.

The Admiral called the ship, “Captain, you’re going to do a burial at sea. You’ll report to a Marine Lieutenant Colonel Goodson until this mission is completed.”

He hung up, looked at me, and said, “The next time you need a ship, Colonel, call me. You don’t have to sic Al Bowser on my @ss.” I responded, “Aye Aye, Sir” and got the h-ll out of his office.

I went to the ship and met with the Captain, Executive Officer, and the Senior Chief. Sergeant Jolly and I trained the ship’s crew for four days. Then Jolly raised a question none of us had thought of. He said, “These government caskets are air tight. How do we keep it from floating?”

All the high priced help including me sat there looking dumb. Then the Senior Chief stood and said, “Come on Jolly. I know a bar where the retired guys from World War II hang out.”

They returned a couple of hours later, slightly the worse for wear, and said, “It’s simple; we cut four 12″ holes in the outer shell of the casket on each side and insert 300 lbs of lead in the foot end of the casket. We can handle that, no sweat.”

The day arrived. The ship and the sailors looked razor sharp. General Bowser, the Admiral, a US Senator, and a Navy Band were on board. The sealed casket was brought aboard and taken below for modification. The ship got underway to the 12-fathom depth.

The sun was hot. The ocean flat. The casket was brought aft and placed on a catafalque. The Chaplin spoke. The volleys were fired. The flag was removed, folded, and I gave it to the father. The band played “Eternal Father Strong to Save.” The casket was raised slightly at the head and it slid into the sea.

The heavy casket plunged straight down about six feet. The incoming water collided with the air pockets in the outer shell. The casket stopped abruptly, rose straight out of the water about three feet, stopped, and slowly slipped back into the sea. The air bubbles rising from the sinking casket sparkled in the in the sunlight as the casket disappeared from sight forever.

The next morning I called a personal friend, Lieutenant General Oscar Peatross, at Headquarters Marine Corps and said, “General, get me the f*ck out of here. I can’t take this sh!t anymore.” I was transferred two weeks later.

I was a good Marine but, after 17 years, I had seen too much death and too much suffering. I was used up.

Vacating the house, my family and I drove to the office in a two-car convoy. I said my goodbyes. Sergeant Jolly walked out with me. He waved at my family, looked at me with tears in his eyes, came to attention, saluted, and said, “Well Done, Colonel. Well Done.”

I felt as if I had received the Medal of Honor.

###

USNA-At-Large’s niche is to provide USNA-related news quickly and reliably to Graduates ** and Friends ** of the United States Naval Academy.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/USNA-At-Large/

Then click on “Join This Group.” You will create a Yahoo ID, but you will be able to use your normal email address for delivery of the latest zippy posts. If you have ANY questions with the process, email BlackfinSS322@aol.com

FREE Management Training: The One Minute (Small Business) Manager Meets The Monkey

July 25, 2009 | By | No Comments

You Are Invited to a FREE* Management Seminar.


The Manager’s Formula for Success

The One Minute (Small Business) Manager Meets the Monkey: An Introduction

How to Manage Your Staff and How to Manage Your Manager

Well-run organizations have managers and staff who work to control events, instead of events controlling them. They anticipate the future . . . adapt to the present . . . and learn from the past.

Who: Managers who need to get in control of events or to better influence results

What: An introduction to The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey

1. The Management Equation:

Vocational Time vs. Management Time

2. How Management Really Works:

The Molecule of Management

3. The Who and How of Promotions:

The Freedom Scale

When: Thursday, August 6, 2009, 7:00pm to 8:30pm

Where: Northern Virginia Community College,

Alexandria Campus, campus map

The new Bisdorf Auditorium, room 196

3001 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria, VA 22311 street map

Parking and Directions here.

Why: Improve managerial effectiveness and staff efficiency.

Cost: FREE* Registration is helpful click here. Space is limited.

The class will reference the work of Ken Blanchard and Bill Oncken in their book The One Minute Manager Meets The Monkey.

Also cited will be the Harvard Business Review article, Managing Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey?, published in 1974, by Bill Oncken, Jr.. The article, an edited excerpt of the Managing Management Time™ seminar, has gone on to become one of the two most requested reprints in the history of the Review.

The training summarized in the article is sometimes called the “Monkey Management” seminar.

Jack Yoest, Adjunct Professor of Management and President of Management Training of DC, is a former Armored Cavalry Officer in Combat Arms.

His military leadership training and management experience guides his philosophy at the core of Managing Management Time™. He has managed software, health care and international human resource management companies.

His experience is in Military, Academia, Early-Stage, Non-Profits, Fortune 500 and Government.

Jack also served in the Governor’s Office of the Commonwealth Virginia as Assistant Secretary for Health and Human Resources where he acted as the Chief Technology Officer for the secretariat. He was responsible for the successful Year 2000 (Y2K) conversion for the 16,000-employee unit.

He was also a manager with a medical device start-up and helped move sales from zero to over $12 million, resulting in a buy-out by Johnson & Johnson. Jack has consulted in China and India.

Questions? email JYoest@NVCC.edu or call Jack at 202.215.2434 to save your spot.

Jack Yoest

202.215.2434

Adjunct Professor

Your Business Blogger(R)

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Thank you (foot)notes:

*FREE. The Alert Reader knows well that there is no free lunch. But some products or services can be rendered at NO CHARGE as a component of an organization’s marketing budget. The taxpayers of the Commonwealth of Virginia have provided the compensation for Your Business Professor at NOVA.

Who’s Got The Monkey? from the Harvard Business Review

Following is the PowerPoint for the lecture:

One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey.ppt

Suggested class reading:

Do You Have An Incompetent Manager? From The Washington Post

One Minute YouTube Introduction: The Manager’s Formula For Success.

The six part management training video.

Dawn Eden, Author and Blogger Joins Americans United for Life

June 9, 2009 | By | No Comments

Alert Readers following Your Business Blogger(R) on Twitter know that Charmaine has recently hired some world-class talent.

dawn_eden.jpgWhere does she look for the best people?

The blogosphere.

Dawn Eden Senior Fellow, Publications and New Media Outreach

Start a blog. Follow on Twitter. You might find a job. An employer might find you.

From an AUL press release,

Author and Blogger Dawn Eden Joins Americans United for Life,

Washington, DC — Dawn Eden has joined Americans United for Life (AUL) as Senior Fellow, Publications and New Media Outreach. Her focus will be on writing and research to promote AUL’s legal expertise through both traditional media and “new media” outlets.

Dr. Charmaine Yoest, AUL President & CEO commented: “I am very pleased Dawn is joining our team. As a best-selling author and award-winning journalist, she brings a strong set of skills to the AUL team. With her dedication to the pro-life cause, Dawn will be a key part of our efforts to protect human life.”

Miss Eden said: “It is my honor to join the team at AUL, America’s oldest national pro-life organization. AUL is known for its unparalleled expertise across the spectrum of life issues and for its demonstrated success in motivating the grassroots. My goal as Senior Fellow is to expand the organization’s publications and media presence in ways that will increase the public’s recognition and support of not only AUL, but the entire pro-life movement.”

Miss Eden is author of The Thrill of the Chaste (2006), a guide for young adults on being counterculturally virtuous. Now in its eighth printing, the book has been translated into Spanish, Polish, and Chinese.

A graduate of New York University, Miss Eden began her career as a music journalist in New York City. In 2004, she was awarded the Associated Press’ top award for her work as a copy editor and headline writer for the New York Post.

In February 2002, she became a pro-life blogger (The Dawn Patrol), and has since contributed articles on politics and culture to the Wall Street Journal and National Review Online. In addition, she has been featured on NBC’s “Today” and on EWTN, and has spoken throughout North America, England, Ireland, Poland, and Australia.

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Get a job, start a blog.

Be sure to follow Jack and Charmaine on Twitter; jackyoest; charmaineyoest