Diplomacy, Machiavelli, and the Art of the Deal

Per EThompson’s recommendation in the comments to my last post, I will share James Day Hodgdon’s verse on Machiavellianism and diplomacy from American Senryu:

Cynics first dictum:
For persuasion to succeed,
Conceal the intent.

Hodgson explains:

“Polls show that the title ‘diplomat’ draws a reaction of great respect among the public. How puzzling! From the time of Machiavelli through Metternich and beyond, diplomacy has been associated with duplicity. Can it be that the triumph of the diplomat lies in his ability to use tools associated with duplicity to fashion a humane result? Possibly.”

Like Ronald Reagan with the fall of the Soviet Bloc a generation earlier, Donald Trump has made great progress toward a goal once thought impossible: peace on the Korean Peninsula.  Trump’s success is a direct result of spurning the conventional wisdom and hidebound ideologies of both the left and right.

That observation is just as applicable on the domestic front.  Buckleyite conservatism is the political equivalent of prevent defense in American football: ceding ground to the opponent for the purpose of achieving victory.  Such an approach has not worked and will never work. One cannot win by continuously retreating.  Any ideology that advocates such must be rejected outright.

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She Only Talks That Way To The Cat

Like Mark Steyn, I love cats and am not afraid to admit it.

In my life, I’ve had three: a Japanese bobtail named Woody, a calico American shorthair named Lindy (named after Green Bay Packers head coach Lindy Infante), and a Maine Coon named Dusty.

Sadly, they all passed to their eternal reward years ago, but their memories live on. I know my life would have been poorer without them.

So, what pets bring or have brought joy to my fellow Ratburghers’ lives?


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The Green Jacket

I’m a little wistful this afternoon missing the glory days of Tiger Woods (dysfunctional personal life aside). He was fun, he was young, and I loved the Tiger Fist Pumps  …

However, congratulations to a fine young American today for this:

The Clinching Putt: 2018 Masters Champion Patrick Reed 

It’s hard enough to earn the right to even play on this course let alone win on it!!


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George, Stick to Baseball

I just read this from one of my former favorite writers. He used to never disappoint. Things change. I am talking about George Will.

Here is the article.
https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/02/billy-graham-legacy-neither-prophet-nor-theologian/

What I found so confusing is Will not understanding the different “positions” in the “game”. It was like saying “Hank Aaron neither pitcher nor coach” as if that meant something. Billy Graham was what he was. He wasn’t a prophet. He wasn’t a college professor teaching theology. And he wasn’t a pastor. He didn’t “play” those “positions”.

I still enjoy when George Will writes about baseball.


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Assault rifles age limit helps Christmas shoppers

I saw a bunch of articles in the past few days that mentioned one initiative proposed to help forestall future mass shootings by mentally troubled youths.  The proposal is to raise the age limit required for a youngster to attain before he is allowed to purchase an “assault rifle” on his own.

In their rush to press forward any and all limitations on guns, eager beaver journalists rushed to state capitols all around to get soundbite quotes from politicians.  In red states they tried to buttonhole Republicans, looking for quotes that could be used during electioneering later this year.   In my state, they raced around the Tennessee capitol and got a number of GOP officials to opine on some proposals that they might be willing to consider or at least permit debate on.  I was amused, sort of, by some of the Surrender Caucus saying their usual weaselly things.

I laughed out loud, though, at one passage.  This is from an article in the dead tree pulp edition of the Memphis Commercial Appeal that soiled my driveway this morning.   I did not check, but since it is probably behind their paywall, I transcribed by favorite section below.  The article has a byline by Joel Ebert of the USA Today Network.

House Speaker Beth Harwell said she was unfamiliar with the issue regarding bump stocks and wanted to study it further before reaching a decision.   “I’m certainly, with the President of the United States supporting it, it certainly makes it high profile and gives it credibility.  I’d have to study the issue a little bit more” she said.

Harwell declined to answer a question about raising the age to buy assault weapons, noting that she recently purchased one for her son.   “When that’s the only thing he wants for Christmas, what do you do, right?” she rhetorically asked.

Har har har har, hoo hoo hoo.   Journalists want to raise the age for her son to purchase the weapon she just gave him for Christmas.   Of course; this is a great answer.   It is already really hard to find good Christmas gifts for teenage sons, so, if they cannot buy the assault rifle they want, it simply goes under the Christmas tree.  Win-win!

Representative Harwell is running for governor of Tennessee.  This just makes me even more inclined favorably to her candidacy than before.   I don’t know her sons’ ages, but I have no doubt that Tennessee is a more safe place because they are armed.

 

He Rocked It!

Images for shaun white winning gold in 2018

Short blurb here on my favorite Winter Olympics sport- snowboarding.

White at age 31 (Geritol user compared to his competitors) really pulled it off after his disaster in Sochi in 2014.

I really admire that young man; he is positively fearless and the hardest working maniacal risk-taker out there. He represents the very best of the U.S.A.


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Men of Faith

“. . . And then, Pederson said: “We are going to party!” But they didn’t.

They knelt, every man jack of them, the able-bodied and the broken. They ignored denomination and belief, and they bowed their heads, and they recited the Lord’s Prayer. “

From : http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/eagles/doug-pederson-postgame-speech-super-bowl-championship-locker-room-20180205.html

These men of faith will be held up and celebrated for the next year, and that’s a very good thing!


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