Dream of the Dragon

Month: July, 2010

Maximum Accountability

by Justin

The post title is misleading – what I’m talking about is misdirected cruelty masquerading as extreme accountability.

In the thick of the financial crisis many people demanded the sacking of Goldman Sachs executives that oversaw the exploitation of its investors. Again, throughout the Gulf spill disaster concerned citizens called for the firings of BP and Transocean leaders as a show that things would change. In giant corporations this may very well have amounted to just that: a show. But sometimes that’s all anyone wants – a little drama in place of substantial reform. Well, North Korea went to the extreme of misguided theatrics, hoping that an execution would overshadow the endemic flaws in its system.

This ran in the Guardian yesterday, a brief account of the execution by firing squad of former North Korean cabinet official Kwon Ho Ung. Read the rest of this entry »

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David Foster Wallace on Reagan, Kennedy, and Leadership

by Justin

In response to yesterday’s ramble about Obama’s shortcomings and what he stands to learn from the skills of Reagan, a friend (and dedicated opponent of all things Reagan) sent me some selections from David Foster Wallace.

The catch here is that I’m madly in love with most everything he writes, reluctant to disagree with his opinions in the way the parishoners are with their priest. Not at all that extreme, actually, but I have great faith in his ability to think deeply and with great devotion to truth. So I’m inclined to set my prejudice aside and let his thoughts work on me. Miss E. Leas sent this selection to me, out-of-control capitalization her own:

“SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT PRESIDENT RONALD W. REAGAN (1981-89) WAS OUR LAST REAL LEADER. BUT NOT MANY OF THEM ARE YOUNG VOTERS. EVEN IN THE 80S, MOST YOUNGER AMERICANS, WHO COULD SMELL A MARKETER A MILE AWAY, KNEW THAT WHAT REAGAN REALLY WAS WAS A GREAT SALESMAN. Read the rest of this entry »

Obama should study Reagan

by Justin

Change and hope. Those words, the ones Americans so desperately wanted to hear in the oblivion of Bush’s second term, dominated Obama’s nearly immaculate campaign and became symbols of a new era. The timing of Obama’s ascendancy couldn’t have been better, really. The old guard had failed miserably at leading, American’s were disenchanted with the GOP and wanted a radical shift. By and large, you know. Democrats and liberals were, of course, going to dodge any Republican candidate. But Obama tapped into the independents and the more moderate republicans. Running a black candidate was a serious gamble, but that was the moment. And Obama seized the hell out of it. Then what happened?

Okay, so we go into his presidency with impossible expectations. Absolutely unrealistic. I wrote about this before, about the inevitable meeting of his idealism and the labyrinth of politics – how liberals should have seen it coming and should take his stumbles and compromises with a grain of salt. Read the rest of this entry »