Category: Pem Schaeffer

Alexa, what are you doing in my room?


Highlights from the Echo product page include these:

  • Echo connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service, to play music; make calls; set alarms and timers; ask questions; check your calendar, weather, traffic, and sports scores; manage to-do and shopping lists; control smart home devices; and more – instantly.
  • Just ask Alexa to control your compatible smart lights, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and more.  Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new features and skills.  Just ask Alexa to control your TV, request an Uber, order a pizza, and more.

Fifty years ago, as a Ph.D. candidate in USC’s new Computer Sciences Department, I took courses in  emerging A.I. theory.  A.I. consisted of nothing more than algorithms readily implemented with digital computers and related programs.  That is still the case, but the power, density, speed, and cost factors in the hardware domain have facilitated previously unthinkable processing tasks with brute computational force. 

A.I. has not broken through the mysteries of innate human intelligence.  Instead, techniques have evolved for applying massive computational power to simulate various human capabilities.  Prominent examples include interactive systems in the newest automobiles.  They recognize voice input, speak back in response, and perform various tasks at our behest.  All use inexpensive digital hardware running highly evolved computer programs.  The irony is that while their performance seems dazzling, they are in fact doing what they do through an extremely fast series of the simplest acts.

The obvious difference here is Alexa’s seeming humanity, as opposed to the more technical domain of a laptop or smartphone, where operating systems, applications, security, user interfaces, and other technical details are the coin of the realm.  Alexa is always there waiting to “help.”  She’s an unobtrusive addition to any setting, available in a variety of designer fabric coverings.  With a soothing, maternal voice, she is Big Brother reimagined as a benevolent family member.

A recent Wall Street Journal article on technology includes these passages:

“Everybody’s trying to get into everybody else’s space because what they’re really fighting for is somebody’ else’s time,” said Mr. Wolf, a former Yahoo Inc. board member in an interview before his presentation.  The most fertile ground is the digital voice assistant found in smart speakers and smart-phones.”


… “[T]he internet giants are rushing to make more advanced products that could prove crucial to controlling consumers’ searches, their homes and habits[.]”

Echo, where Alexa lives, while complex in one sense, is remarkably simple at the human interface level.  It has speakers for talking to you (with Dolby performance, no less), a microphone for listening to you (with similar high-performance specs), and a wireless interface to the internet via your home network.  Newer versions include a video camera to watch you even in the dimmest of ambients.  All versions are noticeably absent display screens and other interactive devices like a touch panel, keyboard, or mouse.

Pretty simple and non-threatening, though stuffed full of proprietary hardware and firmware.  Don’t worry if these terms are unfamiliar; that’s part of Alexa’s allure.  She can quickly become your roommate or, more correctly, a digital friend.  Ask Alexa to do anything you desire; if she can’t, she’ll tell you so or suggest an alternate way to proceed, all while chatting with you in familiar, courteous tones.

So far, so good.  The immense power of Echo and Alexa lies not in voice recognition and voice synthesis capabilities, but in the connection to the internet.  Voice recognition simply digitizes inputs to the microphone and analyzes them for language content.  Voice synthesis is the reverse of this process – creating spoken words from series of ones and zeros.

The magic of digital technology is that it reduces everything to elementary operations, executed by incredibly fast, inexpensive, and nearly error-proof electronic building blocks suggestive of basic LEGO pieces.  That the A.I. technology is primitive is not as relevant as the very fact that humans are investing billions in it…but for what purpose?

Now consider the Global Digital Infrastructure (GDI), a term I use to describe the sum of all interconnected digital resources in the world, regardless of whether interconnected by the internet, the cellular system, or other means.  The GDI consists primarily of electronic hardware and computer programs and is a living thing, growing by leaps and bounds on a daily basis.  It includes all the related resources of governments friendly and hostile.

The main point here is that simple as the Echo device may seem, once you connect it via the internet to the GDI, it is accessible to any other processing element of that global structure.  Anyone who listens to and speaks to Alexa opens himself up to monitoring by and voice prompting from a vast universe of digital resources operated by unknowable entities in unknowable locations.  And without realizing it, he willingly provides input to “big data” archives.

This is what “the cloud” means.  Instead of being connected to your neighbor’s laptop, or Amazon’s server bank in Timbuktu, you’re interacting with a vast, unstructured, indeterminate array of digital resources in the ether.

“Hacking” on a growing scale regularly makes news, and a troubling collection of malevolent actors are breaking into our digital homes.  Some do it for amusement or to impress their friends.  Some do it to enrich themselves.  Others do it to subvert governmental, societal, or political stability.

Hacking is only one danger inherent to the GDI.  Online retailers work to shape our buying habits, and others work in more subtle ways to control our thoughts and inclinations.  Orwell’s 1984 is no longer a fictional contrivance.

Most of this takes place through daily use of laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other digital devices in our personal and professional lives, when we’re conscious of our interaction with the GDI.  Establishing a personal, oral connection between yourself and the GDI through an innocuous-seeming techno-tchotchke, on the other hand, is an entirely new form of human-GDI interaction.  Siri, Alexa, and others are exploiting this domain, with aggregate intellect and innovation beyond imagining.  Adding a video camera into the mix multiplies the possibilities by orders of magnitude.

The net result is product capability directly in conflict with the right to privacy we consider fundamental to our freedom – and unwitting exposure, literally and figuratively, to the vast predatory instincts that find expression through the GDI and the access it grants everything connected to it.

Can you imagine exposing a child to this risk, as if the device were a talking doll of decades ago?  No assurances or parental controls provided by the maker can provide ironclad security while offering the wonders of the GDI at the mere uttering of words.

I hope you can fathom the serious risks involved in these devices and their underlying technology.  Appreciating the dangers they represent to our children and grandchildren is the first step in recognizing the security vulnerabilities they impose upon us all.  This isn’t about technology; it’s about generational technology naïveté conflated with human willingness to corrupt and control through the most innocent of means.  It is about natural impulses to abuse. 

These devices are a modern-day version of illegal search and seizure.  Combined with the leftist-driven breakdown of societal values, we face a future where we all become cattle to powerful elites.  The only question is how willingly we do so.

I’ve reflected a considerable amount on the subject of this column, motivated primarily by concerns that one of these devices could end up in a grandchild’s room – yours, mine, or someone else’s.  Much more needs to be written on the subject, but for now, I leave you with these thoughts:

Schaeffer’s First Law of the Digital Age:

The Global Digital Infrastructure (GDI) connects all human life on the planet into a single, giant, metastasizing organism throbbing with incredible potential for advancing human good, expanding knowledge exponentially, invading our lives with unimaginable malice and evil, and transforming unsuspecting users into helpless and obedient cyborgs.

Schaeffer’s Second Law of the Digital Age:

Each breakthrough in utility deriving from advances in the Global Digital Domain is accompanied by equal or greater vulnerabilities and potential detriments to quality of life.  Anything that can do amazingly great things for you can almost always do terribly awful things to you as well.

Schaeffer’s Third Law of the Digital Age:

It’s impossible to make or enforce laws to guard the people against the dangers of global digital power and impossible to prevent exponential growth in this power.  The Zuckerbergs and Bezoses and Googles of the world may propose to use their power benevolently, but they plan to use it and grow it without limit.  They claim they’ll be good masters, but they mean to be masters.

Pem Schaeffer is a retired business development executive, and blogger.  Survey his efforts at http://othersideofbrunswick.blogspot.com.

How much would you pay someone to invade the privacy of your home?  Or to search your premises continuously, breaching your barrier against tyranny?  Similarly, would you pay to have your home wiretapped?  And your life tapped?

Now consider Alexa, the personal assistant residing in Amazon’s Echo products.  These are available at prices beginning under $50.  In today’s red-hot technology domain, such devices are seen as exemplars of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) technology.

Highlights from the Echo product page include these:

  • Echo connects to Alexa, a cloud-based voice service, to play music; make calls; set alarms and timers; ask questions; check your calendar, weather, traffic, and sports scores; manage to-do and shopping lists; control smart home devices; and more – instantly.
  • Just ask Alexa to control your compatible smart lights, thermostats, garage doors, sprinklers, and more.  Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new features and skills.  Just ask Alexa to control your TV, request an Uber, order a pizza, and more.

Fifty years ago, as a Ph.D. candidate in USC’s new Computer Sciences Department, I took courses in  emerging A.I. theory.  A.I. consisted of nothing more than algorithms readily implemented with digital computers and related programs.  That is still the case, but the power, density, speed, and cost factors in the hardware domain have facilitated previously unthinkable processing tasks with brute computational force. 

A.I. has not broken through the mysteries of innate human intelligence.  Instead, techniques have evolved for applying massive computational power to simulate various human capabilities.  Prominent examples include interactive systems in the newest automobiles.  They recognize voice input, speak back in response, and perform various tasks at our behest.  All use inexpensive digital hardware running highly evolved computer programs.  The irony is that while their performance seems dazzling, they are in fact doing what they do through an extremely fast series of the simplest acts.

The obvious difference here is Alexa’s seeming humanity, as opposed to the more technical domain of a laptop or smartphone, where operating systems, applications, security, user interfaces, and other technical details are the coin of the realm.  Alexa is always there waiting to “help.”  She’s an unobtrusive addition to any setting, available in a variety of designer fabric coverings.  With a soothing, maternal voice, she is Big Brother reimagined as a benevolent family member.

A recent Wall Street Journal article on technology includes these passages:

“Everybody’s trying to get into everybody else’s space because what they’re really fighting for is somebody’ else’s time,” said Mr. Wolf, a former Yahoo Inc. board member in an interview before his presentation.  The most fertile ground is the digital voice assistant found in smart speakers and smart-phones.”


… “[T]he internet giants are rushing to make more advanced products that could prove crucial to controlling consumers’ searches, their homes and habits[.]”

Echo, where Alexa lives, while complex in one sense, is remarkably simple at the human interface level.  It has speakers for talking to you (with Dolby performance, no less), a microphone for listening to you (with similar high-performance specs), and a wireless interface to the internet via your home network.  Newer versions include a video camera to watch you even in the dimmest of ambients.  All versions are noticeably absent display screens and other interactive devices like a touch panel, keyboard, or mouse.

Pretty simple and non-threatening, though stuffed full of proprietary hardware and firmware.  Don’t worry if these terms are unfamiliar; that’s part of Alexa’s allure.  She can quickly become your roommate or, more correctly, a digital friend.  Ask Alexa to do anything you desire; if she can’t, she’ll tell you so or suggest an alternate way to proceed, all while chatting with you in familiar, courteous tones.

So far, so good.  The immense power of Echo and Alexa lies not in voice recognition and voice synthesis capabilities, but in the connection to the internet.  Voice recognition simply digitizes inputs to the microphone and analyzes them for language content.  Voice synthesis is the reverse of this process – creating spoken words from series of ones and zeros.

The magic of digital technology is that it reduces everything to elementary operations, executed by incredibly fast, inexpensive, and nearly error-proof electronic building blocks suggestive of basic LEGO pieces.  That the A.I. technology is primitive is not as relevant as the very fact that humans are investing billions in it…but for what purpose?

Now consider the Global Digital Infrastructure (GDI), a term I use to describe the sum of all interconnected digital resources in the world, regardless of whether interconnected by the internet, the cellular system, or other means.  The GDI consists primarily of electronic hardware and computer programs and is a living thing, growing by leaps and bounds on a daily basis.  It includes all the related resources of governments friendly and hostile.

The main point here is that simple as the Echo device may seem, once you connect it via the internet to the GDI, it is accessible to any other processing element of that global structure.  Anyone who listens to and speaks to Alexa opens himself up to monitoring by and voice prompting from a vast universe of digital resources operated by unknowable entities in unknowable locations.  And without realizing it, he willingly provides input to “big data” archives.

This is what “the cloud” means.  Instead of being connected to your neighbor’s laptop, or Amazon’s server bank in Timbuktu, you’re interacting with a vast, unstructured, indeterminate array of digital resources in the ether.

“Hacking” on a growing scale regularly makes news, and a troubling collection of malevolent actors are breaking into our digital homes.  Some do it for amusement or to impress their friends.  Some do it to enrich themselves.  Others do it to subvert governmental, societal, or political stability.

Hacking is only one danger inherent to the GDI.  Online retailers work to shape our buying habits, and others work in more subtle ways to control our thoughts and inclinations.  Orwell’s 1984 is no longer a fictional contrivance.

Most of this takes place through daily use of laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other digital devices in our personal and professional lives, when we’re conscious of our interaction with the GDI.  Establishing a personal, oral connection between yourself and the GDI through an innocuous-seeming techno-tchotchke, on the other hand, is an entirely new form of human-GDI interaction.  Siri, Alexa, and others are exploiting this domain, with aggregate intellect and innovation beyond imagining.  Adding a video camera into the mix multiplies the possibilities by orders of magnitude.

The net result is product capability directly in conflict with the right to privacy we consider fundamental to our freedom – and unwitting exposure, literally and figuratively, to the vast predatory instincts that find expression through the GDI and the access it grants everything connected to it.

Can you imagine exposing a child to this risk, as if the device were a talking doll of decades ago?  No assurances or parental controls provided by the maker can provide ironclad security while offering the wonders of the GDI at the mere uttering of words.

I hope you can fathom the serious risks involved in these devices and their underlying technology.  Appreciating the dangers they represent to our children and grandchildren is the first step in recognizing the security vulnerabilities they impose upon us all.  This isn’t about technology; it’s about generational technology naïveté conflated with human willingness to corrupt and control through the most innocent of means.  It is about natural impulses to abuse. 

These devices are a modern-day version of illegal search and seizure.  Combined with the leftist-driven breakdown of societal values, we face a future where we all become cattle to powerful elites.  The only question is how willingly we do so.

I’ve reflected a considerable amount on the subject of this column, motivated primarily by concerns that one of these devices could end up in a grandchild’s room – yours, mine, or someone else’s.  Much more needs to be written on the subject, but for now, I leave you with these thoughts:

Schaeffer’s First Law of the Digital Age:

The Global Digital Infrastructure (GDI) connects all human life on the planet into a single, giant, metastasizing organism throbbing with incredible potential for advancing human good, expanding knowledge exponentially, invading our lives with unimaginable malice and evil, and transforming unsuspecting users into helpless and obedient cyborgs.

Schaeffer’s Second Law of the Digital Age:

Each breakthrough in utility deriving from advances in the Global Digital Domain is accompanied by equal or greater vulnerabilities and potential detriments to quality of life.  Anything that can do amazingly great things for you can almost always do terribly awful things to you as well.

Schaeffer’s Third Law of the Digital Age:

It’s impossible to make or enforce laws to guard the people against the dangers of global digital power and impossible to prevent exponential growth in this power.  The Zuckerbergs and Bezoses and Googles of the world may propose to use their power benevolently, but they plan to use it and grow it without limit.  They claim they’ll be good masters, but they mean to be masters.

Pem Schaeffer is a retired business development executive, and blogger.  Survey his efforts at http://othersideofbrunswick.blogspot.com.



Source link

Is There a Cure for Spinal Frailty in Republicans?


Pundits and commoners often repeat Michael Savage’s thesis that “liberalism is a mental disorder.”  Born Liberal, Raised Right by Reb Bradley argues (paraphrased from the cover) that infants enter this world with the behavioral trademark of liberalism: an exalted view of their own self-importance.  This default condition survives and prospers into adulthood unless overcome by rearing that emphasizes the keystones of maturity: self-control and self-discipline. 

Various aphorisms address adult liberal behavior, especially that of elected governing elites of the left.

  • When Democrats have the majority, they rule; when Republicans have it, they hold office.
  • You can govern or you can spend.  Wow – ponder that!
  • Liberals lust after power to impose their coercive utopia upon the masses and to indulge their favored identity groups.
  • Republicans would like to have power; they’re just not sure why, or what to do with it.
  • Democrats play offense; Republicans play defense…and have a miserable record in the red zone.
  • Liberals accuse conservatives of preaching gloom and doom; the latter are too polite to cite the former’s penchant for flim and flam.
  • Conservatives have been accused of voodoo economics since the days of Reagan, while liberals have promoted boo-hoo economics since forever.

More than 30 years ago, Lady Thatcher spoke bluntly to this stark difference in behaviors when she told  a fellow M.P., “The trouble with you John, is that your spine does not reach your brain.”  This could be a vital clue to why most, if not all conservatives are unable to summon up the will to fight for the principles they claim to hold sacred.

We’ve begun to suspect that the underlying cause may be Advanced Hormonal Deficiency Disorder (AHDD.)  A prominent physician and statesman has helped shape our thinking on this.

Former representative and senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma recently spoke at a banquet held by the Maine Heritage Policy Center, a free-market, limited-government think-tank.  His appearance caused me to re-examine his book Breach of Trust.  It describes his and fellow newcomers’ experiences as incoming House members of the Gingrich class of 1994.

Remember the eight-point Contract With America that so energized conservatives?  Coburn’s experiences, sadly, took my breath away, describing how Newt, Dick Armey, and the rest of the established Republican apparatus demonstrated they were not up to the task of leading from their majority perch.  This demoralized the newcomers, who had arrived with enthusiastic plans for a new era, but Gingrich and team were no match for Bill Clinton’s wiliness.

Since then, two similar episodes have confirmed this innate tendency and make it nearly impossible to have strong faith in conservative candidates seeking our ardent support.  Here in Maine, after 35 years of single-party rule by Democrats, Republican Paul LePage, against all odds, won the governorship in 2010.  Even better, his coattails brought newfound majority status in both the House and Senate.

A determined, no-BS non-politician, LePage knew what had to be done to reverse Maine’s economic and demographic demise.  Sadly, House and Senate members, steeped in the ways of the minority, were unable to follow his lead and forward his agenda.  Two years later, the majorities were lost, making things far worse.  Still, against even longer odds, LePage was re-elected in 2014 and given a slim Senate majority in 2016.  That majority is more feckless than that of 2010. 

LePage likes to say he “was Trump before Trump became Trump,” and it’s largely true.  Both of them are populists with a clear agenda and no careerist aspirations, and the entrenched governing elites just can’t cope with the lack of deference to their own sluggish, procedure-bound way of doing things – not to mention their faux collegiality.

Twenty-sixteen gave us a more astonishing winner in President Trump, backed with majority status in both the House and Senate.  Yet here we are with a gang that can’t shoot straight or, even worse, find and agree on the target.  The Maine and Washington of today cause grave concern to anyone who holds out for a conservative rebirth.  Ending the progressive plunge into unsustainable governance and restoration of founding principles that underlay a free and civil society are ever more fragile goals.

Hence our belief in an AHDD epidemic that handicaps our would-be heroes of the right, robbing them of the inner grit to fully pursue their convictions.  The most telling symptoms of AHDD include:

  • Criticism from the Senate majority leader to the effect that “the president hasn’t been in this business very long.”  Yeah, that’s the point, Mitch!  He doesn’t have the low expectations and endemic lack of drive indicative of someone who has been in this business too long.
  • Statements from the speaker of the House that go something like “Have you seen them?  Which way did they go?  I’ve got to find them; I am their leader!”

No foolproof treatment has been discovered to date.  However, knowledgeable sources recommend the following to strengthen spinal reconnection with the brain:

  • Lead, follow, or get out of the way.  Above all, exercise the leadership entrusted in you to the very best of your abilities.  Timing is everything, and the time is now.
  • Focus on the policy agenda, which doesn’t include guaranteed re-election.  If you aren’t willing to lose your seat for a higher cause, you really shouldn’t be there.
  • You can’t govern without power, but you can’t retain power without governing successfully – and fulfilling the promises made to those who elected you.
  • Run toward the fire, not away from it.  Seek inspiration in the ethos of our first responders and the code of our fighting forces.
  • Both you, Speaker Ryan, and you, Leader McConnell, have to be the leaders of the moment you never thought you could be.  Be generous in dispensing hormonal boosters to your troops.

Those of us too old and too ordinary to take the fight to the front lines of the Capitol and the White House are counting on you, and we sent you a president who may not shine his shoes, trim his hair, and sip his tea to the time-tested standards of Congress, but his will to succeed is unquestioned.  You would do well to aspire to that same goal.

Pem Schaeffer is a retired business development executive and blogger.  Survey his efforts at http://othersideofbrunswick.blogspot.com.

Pundits and commoners often repeat Michael Savage’s thesis that “liberalism is a mental disorder.”  Born Liberal, Raised Right by Reb Bradley argues (paraphrased from the cover) that infants enter this world with the behavioral trademark of liberalism: an exalted view of their own self-importance.  This default condition survives and prospers into adulthood unless overcome by rearing that emphasizes the keystones of maturity: self-control and self-discipline. 

Various aphorisms address adult liberal behavior, especially that of elected governing elites of the left.

  • When Democrats have the majority, they rule; when Republicans have it, they hold office.
  • You can govern or you can spend.  Wow – ponder that!
  • Liberals lust after power to impose their coercive utopia upon the masses and to indulge their favored identity groups.
  • Republicans would like to have power; they’re just not sure why, or what to do with it.
  • Democrats play offense; Republicans play defense…and have a miserable record in the red zone.
  • Liberals accuse conservatives of preaching gloom and doom; the latter are too polite to cite the former’s penchant for flim and flam.
  • Conservatives have been accused of voodoo economics since the days of Reagan, while liberals have promoted boo-hoo economics since forever.

More than 30 years ago, Lady Thatcher spoke bluntly to this stark difference in behaviors when she told  a fellow M.P., “The trouble with you John, is that your spine does not reach your brain.”  This could be a vital clue to why most, if not all conservatives are unable to summon up the will to fight for the principles they claim to hold sacred.

We’ve begun to suspect that the underlying cause may be Advanced Hormonal Deficiency Disorder (AHDD.)  A prominent physician and statesman has helped shape our thinking on this.

Former representative and senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma recently spoke at a banquet held by the Maine Heritage Policy Center, a free-market, limited-government think-tank.  His appearance caused me to re-examine his book Breach of Trust.  It describes his and fellow newcomers’ experiences as incoming House members of the Gingrich class of 1994.

Remember the eight-point Contract With America that so energized conservatives?  Coburn’s experiences, sadly, took my breath away, describing how Newt, Dick Armey, and the rest of the established Republican apparatus demonstrated they were not up to the task of leading from their majority perch.  This demoralized the newcomers, who had arrived with enthusiastic plans for a new era, but Gingrich and team were no match for Bill Clinton’s wiliness.

Since then, two similar episodes have confirmed this innate tendency and make it nearly impossible to have strong faith in conservative candidates seeking our ardent support.  Here in Maine, after 35 years of single-party rule by Democrats, Republican Paul LePage, against all odds, won the governorship in 2010.  Even better, his coattails brought newfound majority status in both the House and Senate.

A determined, no-BS non-politician, LePage knew what had to be done to reverse Maine’s economic and demographic demise.  Sadly, House and Senate members, steeped in the ways of the minority, were unable to follow his lead and forward his agenda.  Two years later, the majorities were lost, making things far worse.  Still, against even longer odds, LePage was re-elected in 2014 and given a slim Senate majority in 2016.  That majority is more feckless than that of 2010. 

LePage likes to say he “was Trump before Trump became Trump,” and it’s largely true.  Both of them are populists with a clear agenda and no careerist aspirations, and the entrenched governing elites just can’t cope with the lack of deference to their own sluggish, procedure-bound way of doing things – not to mention their faux collegiality.

Twenty-sixteen gave us a more astonishing winner in President Trump, backed with majority status in both the House and Senate.  Yet here we are with a gang that can’t shoot straight or, even worse, find and agree on the target.  The Maine and Washington of today cause grave concern to anyone who holds out for a conservative rebirth.  Ending the progressive plunge into unsustainable governance and restoration of founding principles that underlay a free and civil society are ever more fragile goals.

Hence our belief in an AHDD epidemic that handicaps our would-be heroes of the right, robbing them of the inner grit to fully pursue their convictions.  The most telling symptoms of AHDD include:

  • Criticism from the Senate majority leader to the effect that “the president hasn’t been in this business very long.”  Yeah, that’s the point, Mitch!  He doesn’t have the low expectations and endemic lack of drive indicative of someone who has been in this business too long.
  • Statements from the speaker of the House that go something like “Have you seen them?  Which way did they go?  I’ve got to find them; I am their leader!”

No foolproof treatment has been discovered to date.  However, knowledgeable sources recommend the following to strengthen spinal reconnection with the brain:

  • Lead, follow, or get out of the way.  Above all, exercise the leadership entrusted in you to the very best of your abilities.  Timing is everything, and the time is now.
  • Focus on the policy agenda, which doesn’t include guaranteed re-election.  If you aren’t willing to lose your seat for a higher cause, you really shouldn’t be there.
  • You can’t govern without power, but you can’t retain power without governing successfully – and fulfilling the promises made to those who elected you.
  • Run toward the fire, not away from it.  Seek inspiration in the ethos of our first responders and the code of our fighting forces.
  • Both you, Speaker Ryan, and you, Leader McConnell, have to be the leaders of the moment you never thought you could be.  Be generous in dispensing hormonal boosters to your troops.

Those of us too old and too ordinary to take the fight to the front lines of the Capitol and the White House are counting on you, and we sent you a president who may not shine his shoes, trim his hair, and sip his tea to the time-tested standards of Congress, but his will to succeed is unquestioned.  You would do well to aspire to that same goal.

Pem Schaeffer is a retired business development executive and blogger.  Survey his efforts at http://othersideofbrunswick.blogspot.com.



Source link