Don’t stand where the lightning strikes.

“When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe.”

— Frederic Bastiat, nineteenth century French economist and writer

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

― Reinhold Niebuhr

As expected, our world is misbehaving rather badly. Years happen in days. Black swans abound. Among the big changes is government morphing into various flavors of blob states. What is the “blob”? The “blob” is the “deep state”, the administrative state, the bureaucracy. Faceless. Unaccountable, except to itself. Very bad news – or maybe not?

But first, a blog – not blob – change …

As the world swiftly changes, so must this blog it seems. The recent Worldview structure seems no longer appropriate, with the content having stabilized to at least some degree. What may be needed at this point and going forward is something more dynamic. Yesterday’s world is truly gone.

Most important is to address major changes as they occur. Many vital lessons are appearing – lessons that should remain applicable for at least a few days.

Of particular concern to me are lessons with a rather longer half-life. How to live – to survive and prosper – in such a chaotic and fast-changing world.

This is where I seem to be headed at the moment. I have addressed this in passing many times in prior posts, but these ideas need to become much more focused and operational. So …

#1. Topic of the week

The current topic – Government by the Blob – is an example. I had thought of jumping right into the 2024-Selections mess that got rolling in the prior post, but it seems that the dust has not yet settled enough to draw any possibly-reliable conclusions – lessons. I’ll leave this unpleasantness for this post’s section #3. Other interesting matters of concern.

#2. Case study for application example purposes

Almost as important as addressing current major topics is to attempt to draw some operational – actionable – conclusions potentially applicable to these. I am by nature strongly action-oriented. Concepts are nice since they may at times add to essential understanding, and possibly even to wisdom of a sort, but making them actionable in some manner seems absolutely vital. I’ll tackle this for the present at least in the context of business cases.

#3. Other interesting matters of the moment

Lastly, I cannot help but try to draw attention to events and situations that grab me, speaking technically. A few will be visible to some extent beforehand, while others will be black swans (or grey swans, in current terminology). Serving here as kind of placeholders in case they become something much more profound and vital.

Fate of the Worldviews material

These may be updated as necessary from time to time, but they seem for the moment at least to have stabilized. For this reason, I’ll provide each week a simple back-link to the most recent set:

Worldview 13

And the post’s leading image?

The leading image for the present will remain the one above, an amazing lightning storm over a city. It is my favorite – depicting as best as I can imagine the state of our stormy, chaotic, unpredictable world of today.

Also the image tagline … “Don’t stand where the lightning strikes” – which conveys I hope the essence of what most of my writing tries to do. If you don’t know where the next lightning strike will be, then the best that you can do is to make yourself (group, business, organization) as invulnerable, resistant, resilient, and even as antifragile as possible.

If you never get struck, you will indeed be most fortunate. If you are like virtually everyone else, you will get struck. Count on it. Prepare as best you can for it. That’s my action-orientation.

What is the “it” here? Just “lightning” – figuratively – of some kind. Something very serious. Unpredictable.

And now to begin with the new post format

Government by the blob

Most readers will be quite familiar with the current term “blob”, since it is used today almost everywhere, and in many different contexts. Consequently, it seems important at the outset to define what I mean by “blob”:

What is “The Blob”?
The “Blob” is the “deep state”, the administrative state, the bureaucracy. Faceless. Unaccountable, except to itself. Unelected, but instead appointed.

The blob is people – particular people, doing particular sorts of things. Their own way for the most part. Ignoring to the extent possible what anyone other than blob leaders may want. Rulers unto themselves.

Blobs are created when a group of otherwise normal people gain a significant amount of power. Power over whom? Why, some substantial number of blob followers and involuntary non-blob members (aka subjects).

Blobs are different from rulers and their ruling elites. Rulers in past ruled over states and nations. These routinely went to wars of various kinds with one another, as one of both the perquisites and the requirements of being rulers-and-ruler-wannabes. That was their nature, just what they did.

Blobs are led for the most part by invisible leaders. They are ruled in the background by the most powerful blob members, who gain power in mostly traditional ways rather than by messy hard-to-control things like elections and democracies. We see this machinery almost fully in place nearly everywhere globally today.

Blob examples today

As good as any examples are the nations of the so-called “West” – the U.S., UK, EU, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and assorted followers. Nominally, and to varying degrees historically, these nations were governed by elected officials who were given various degrees of authority and power by any number of internal organizations and interests. Once referred to as “democracies”, they mostly were, and still are, anything but.

What is a “democracy”? From Wikipedia:

“Democracy is a system of government in which state power is vested in the people or the general population of a state. According to the United Nations, democracy ‘provides an environment that respects human rights and fundamental freedoms, and in which the freely expressed will of people is exercised.’”

Umm … I don’t think so – at least in practice.

The keywords here are the “people” and “general population”, assuming that there is some operational difference between these. Wikipedia goes on to state that:

“… In a direct democracy, the people have the direct authority to deliberate and decide legislation. In a representative democracy, the people choose governing officials through elections to do so. Who is considered part of ‘the people’ and how authority is shared among or delegated by the people has changed over time and at different rates in different countries. Features of democracy oftentimes include freedom of assembly, association, personal property, freedom of religion and speech, citizenship, consent of the governed, voting rights, freedom from unwarranted governmental deprivation of the right to life and liberty, and minority rights.”

“The notion of democracy has evolved over time considerably. Throughout history, one can find evidence of direct democracy, in which communities make decisions through popular assembly. Today, the dominant form of democracy is representative democracy, where citizens elect government officials to govern on their behalf such as in a parliamentary or presidential democracy. Most democracies apply in most cases majority rule, but in some cases plurality rule, supermajority rule (e.g. constitution) or consensus rule (e.g. Switzerland) are applied. They serve the crucial purpose of inclusiveness and broader legitimacy on sensitive issues—counterbalancing majoritarianism—and therefore mostly take precedence on a constitutional level. In the common variant of liberal democracy, the powers of the majority are exercised within the framework of a representative democracy, but a constitution and supreme court limit the majority and protect the minority—usually through securing the enjoyment by all of certain individual rights, such as freedom of speech or freedom of association.”

“The term appeared in the 5th century BC in Greek city-states, notably Classical Athens, to mean ‘rule of the people’, in contrast to aristocracy … meaning ‘rule of an elite’. Western democracy, as distinct from that which existed in antiquity, is generally considered to have originated in city-states such as those in Classical Athens and the Roman Republic, where various degrees of enfranchisement of the free male population were observed.”

The key to any such definition is of course which “we-the-people” actually hold the most power.

We-the-people is nearly always we-the-elite

That the “elite” of any group tends to have the most power is little more than a statement about human nature. The “elite” may be selected by tribal elders, or the “elite” may be self-chosen through aggressiveness, ruthlessness, and violence. The “people” in such cases are nothing more than the “ruled”.

As states evolved, typically through wars or the equivalent, the working definition of the ruling “elites” changed. While purely authoritative rulers have been around forever or longer, the growing population of the “ruled” has literally exploded over the past 12,000 years, and especially over the most recent 2,000 years.

From what was mostly “tribal” has evolved into states, nations (groups of states), and civilizations (groups of nations). With such growth came complexity. Huge complexity. And huge groups of people needing to be led.

We are still, in essence, herd-people

People are for the most part complacent, willing and needing to be led.  They are, in effect, herds of human animals, critters.

This seems to be the base layer of our human nature. Our critter nature, perhaps. What truly makes us “human”, above the base critter level, is a set of very special attributes, or capabilities.

I had a look at this thought a while back in “Human Nature Never Changes. But What Is Human Nature?”. We are in reality much more than human critters, despite so much evidence seemingly to the contrary. Glimmers and shining examples of this super-critter nature can be found in the full scope of human existence. Rembrandt. Shakespeare. Augustine. Mozart. …

Super-critters? Or maybe something very special and different that has evolved or been attached to the big-brain critter base or foundation. Perhaps the big-brain machinery was an essential precursor to what has evolved into our truly non-critter, upper-level, human nature. Who we truly are.

Civilization seems to have evolved rather rapidly in recent eons of human critter development. I had a look at this in a fairly recent post: “Our Veneer of Civilization Has Become Frightening Thin”. Civilizations, although behaving in very uncivilized ways quite often, are a rather late stage of human-critter existence. Maybe from around 12,000 or so years ago?

My favorite world population curve below seems to suggest exactly this. To my mind, at least.

Of course, our evolution into super-critters has not proceeded uniformly. It exists in a spectrum from the base-critter foundation to the truly amazing thought, creativeness, and skill leaders of our relatively recent history.

This recent history, in turn, seems to have organizationally evolved from herds and tribes to huge cities, nation states, and even the global states currently envisioned by our powers-that-be-and-wannabe.

Such recent evolution seems to have resulted in leadership changes from tribal chiefs to local, regional, national, and global leaders. Organizations, meanwhile, have evolved (if this is the right term) from tribal leaders to governments of every size and shape.

Governments that direct billions of the governed have further evolved into ruling groups and parties that appear to have increasingly taken the place of rulers – individuals. Today, we have “deep states”, administrative states, and bureaucracies providing a kind of leadership. The our-way-or-else kind.

Complexity of our world at present seems to have exceeded the abilities of rulers and other individual leaders. Embedded groups have taken their place in so many cases. Leadership exists more as herd-directing than anything truly inspiring.

Great leaders are gone for the most part, subsumed into the various sorts of deep states. Our “leaders” today seem mostly to be followers of the ruling groups and states. Such leaders are in effect increasingly among the dominated. Think Biden, Trump, … leaders only in the cheerleader sense.

Another example: the UK’s blob

Ruling blobs are everywhere today. One former world empire has skillfully acquired (devolved into) blob-status:

“… In her book Ten Years to Save the West (Regnery), Mrs. Truss ably sets out just what has gone wrong for Britain and its most successful political party. She does so by explaining the difficulties she encountered at every stage in her Ministerial career, both from within the party and among the civil service advisers who were supposed to be working for her. “

“In the education department, her attempts at small reforms around childcare were opposed at every step by what her then-boss, Michael Gove, called ‘the blob.’ (Mr. Gove does not come out of this book without criticism, it has to be said.) The blob consists of a variety of civil service officials, charitable sector workers, journalists, and members of QUANGOs (‘quasi-autonomous non-governmental organizations’) who represent the institutional status quo. The book demonstrates that there are blobs for each area of government policy, perhaps all sub-blobs of one enormous plasmid that represents the latest form of the famous British establishment.”

“… It is worth noting, as Truss does on several occasions, that the blob is a relatively recent invention. When I worked in the British civil service in the 1990s, it was seen as a matter of principle that the civil servant did the Minister’s bidding without fear or favor, even if the Minister chose to reject the servant’s advice (the clue is in the name). Yet during the Blair/Brown governments the civil service became politicized and — more importantly — vast powers were given to QUANGOs in the name of depoliticizing an issue. Thus, monetary policy was given over to the Bank of England and the naming of judges was entrusted to the Judicial Appointments Commission. At the same time, the charitable sector became more and more dependent on government grants. So did the blob feed and grow.”

“… In American terms, it was the ‘deep state’ that won. Yet, that administrative state is far more powerful in Britain than it is over here. It’s the reason so little works in Britain anymore, and the complete failure to do anything about it by Rishi Sunak, Mrs. Truss’ successor, is the underlying reason why his party is facing electoral oblivion. Yet, in its anger at the Conservatives, the British public looks likely to give the Labour Party, the party that created this monstrosity in the first place, a thumping majority.”

“… The American edition of her memoir is therefore a warning Liz Truss extends to Americans — don’t let the administrative state get out of control and do your level best to reduce the powers it already has. She also warns against trying to use its power for ‘conservative ends’ — the administrative state is deeply anti-conservative and will corrupt any who try to do so.”

Umm … don’t let the administrative state get out of control? What if it is already extensively out of control? And just who is going to reduce its powers?

My best guess at this point is nobody can or will. What will happen is that the various blobs will self-destruct, as has happened reliably throughout recorded history. The trick here of course is to survive the period of such self-destruction.

Helping a few of us survive and even prosper is the goal of this blog. For more on this, see “How Can You Fix a Broken System? You Can’t. It Fixes Itself.”.

“Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.”

— Edward Bernays, pioneer of public relations and propaganda

“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an Invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul this unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of today.”

— Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, US President

“The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt, US President

My intent here, as noted earlier, is to provide an example of how one might go about dealing with our world today. I have found over many years that stories can be highly effective ways to do this. Probably some sort of residual from our fundamental heritage as tribal members.

No matter … this action-oriented section seems extremely important as a way to place some general concepts into a reasonably real-life context – such as in this situation, a business (group, organization) case. Principles being applied helps make them both more understandable and more practical. The prior several posts featured MedTechNorth (MTN) and its struggles with planning proactively to reduce its vulnerabilities to impacts from any cause, including black swans.

Responding to an unknown event or situation of a black swan nature proactively, which by definition and reality, cannot be foreseen in nature, magnitude, or timing?

The idea here was to quickly identify any major vulnerabilities in MTN and act to eliminate or mitigate them. Making MTN much less likely to be damaged by impacts from whatever cause was the planning team’s primary goal.

So, herewith begins this new case …

NextGen Core Analytics (NGCA)

NGCA was founded by Naomi Nichols, a brilliant young scientist turned entrepreneur. After earning her biochemistry doctorate in molecular genetics and genetic engineering, she was hired by a major biochemical company to help them lay out a long-term growth plan.

This effort led her into the emerging field of analytics, a field of computer science that uses math, statistics, and machine learning to find meaningful patterns in data. Analytics (data analytics) involves sifting through massive data sets to discover, interpret, and share new insights and knowledge.

Within a few short years, she was a VP, leading a staff of 50 that had become a vital in-house expert data analytics resource. Her quiet creativeness and leadership skills attracted a large venture capital firm who asked her to take over as CEO a struggling startup in their portfolio. This fledgling business, with only a dozen employees, was directionless after three years and burning substantial amounts of capital.

After looking carefully at the startup, Naomi proposed a buyout in which a few key employees would move into her own startup, NGCA. The VC firm quickly agreed and offered $20 million in seed capital for a one-third share. Her former employer also invested to retain special access to Naomi’s expertise.

NGCA quickly signed up over a dozen clients, but fundamental problems surfaced almost immediately. Clients wanted NGCA to develop proprietary software specifically for their needs and use. NGCA could not sell this software or its designs to other NGCA clients.

This situation led the ever-resourceful Naomi to convert NGCA to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider that sold a platform for analytics purposes. Clients, now “customers”, could utilize this platform for their own specific purposes in a proprietary manner. NGCA provided the functionality foundation common to all users.

NGCA ran into serious problems with customers trying to copy the NGCA platform functionality and gradually move away from NGCA’s very costly services. This greatly distressed NGCA’s VC backers, who were trying to turn NGCA into a saleable entity so they could exit at a substantial profit.

The NGCA business case

The case setting is a VC-backed small SaaS firm based in Cambridge, MA. It has 30 employees, virtually all highly technical. The VC partner in charge, Victor Morgan, was a very successful investor, but one who demanded deep involvement in his portfolio companies. Naomi increasingly resisted both his management “interference” and his aggressive efforts to make NGCA saleable at the earliest opportunity.

In response, Naomi brought in a consultant-coach, Terry Morris, who happened to be her stepfather. Morris, who had deep experience with venture capital and startups, immediately challenged Victor Morgan’s excessive involvement.

As so often happens in startups, people relationships become important. Naomi was born in Shanghai, China, but raised in Singapore. Her affluent mother moved with Naomi to the U.S. where Naomi was educated. In the process, her mother met and married Terry Morris, both divorced. This resulted in Naomi gained a stepsister, Anya Liu, from Terry’s former marriage to a Chinese-born, naturalized American.

We begin in late 2023, when NGCA and Naomi are struggling greatly with customer demands, VC demands, and product-service complexity. Also demanding were the continuing huge and growing costs of computing resources.

Victor had begun trying to push Naomi aside and to bring in a VC-backed CEO. Naomi’s dominant stockholder position in NGCA effectively made this effort extremely difficult. He was not happy, even to the extent of becoming an opposing force via his Board chairman position.

NGCA’s management team

Typical of many small technical businesses, NGCA’s senior staff were all highly technically trained and deeply involved in the technical side of the business. Management process was informal and secondary. The effective management team:

  • Naomi Nichols, Founder and CEO
  • Maya Williams, Sales & Marketing VP
  • Anya Liu, Facilitator
  • Terry Morris, CEO’s Stepfather
  • Timothy Singer, CFO (VC hire)
  • Victor Morgan, VC Rep
  • Don Boyd, HR & VP
  • Carl Mehta, CTO & VP
  • Clarise Sheffield, Systems Supervisor
  • Alexis Westman, Senior Test Engineer

Note: Small businesses are very different in terms of relationships among senior staff and management positions. Personalities weigh heavily in most. Effective management teams function differently for each organization. For many if not most purposes, the individual people are what really counts. Positions matter comparatively little.

NGCA's key people.

Because of Naomi’s connections in the biochemical industry, NGCA was designated as “essential” and the local COVID-19 machinations had virtually no impact.

Victor and his in-house minder CFO Timothy were effectively arrayed against Naomi, Maya, Carl, and Don. Interactions were becoming increasingly fractious and distracting. Naomi, somewhat in desperation, turned to her stepfather Terry for advice.

Terry, despite his apparently gentle and kindly demeanor, was a fierce, combative person in business actions. Because of his relationship to Naomi, however, he decided to move very cautiously while he gained familiarity with NGCA and its dynamics. Terry was introduced as Naomi’s executive coach.

Victor and Timothy tried to resist and to insert a coach of their own choosing, but Naomi stood firm with Terry. This resulted in a somewhat unpleasant standoff.

Terry, meanwhile, got to know all about NGCA through both his own sessions with the key people (management team in effect), and separately with Victor and Timothy. The latter quickly realized that they were dealing with a very strong experienced pro and that the balance of power had shifted appreciably.

Based on long conversations with Naomi, Terry recommended that Naomi set up a formal planning activity involving the key players (above). In addition, and much to Naomi’s surprise, Terry asked his daughter-by-marriage (and Naomi’s stepsister) Anya to facilitate the planning meetings.

Anya Liu, planning facilitator

Although very young-appearing, Anya had already earned both a Master’s degree in clinical psychology and an MBA from Harvard. She had a special insight into people and a mostly gentle manner of interaction. She was at the moment considering pursuing a doctorate in psychology.

Anya’s business experience was almost zero, so she was counting on her greatly-admired stepfather’s guidance. Terry, in turn, was gaining a serious respect for Anya’s abilities and intelligence.

The planning battleground

Terry announced the formal planning process with a rather brief email to NGCA’s management team and the VC contingent. It contained just the meeting time, duration, and location. Topic: Getting organized.

The VC guys were not amused by Terry’s brevity and lack of detail. The going-in antagonism was almost palpable.

Terry explained to Anya and Naomi his reasons for doing so, and his ground rules:

  1. Naomi was in charge, the boss. The email went out in her name.
  2. The “getting organized” topic might have been construed as a criticism of Naomi, but Terry was in fact challenging the VC meddling.
  3. The planning meetings would be productive by Terry’s standards no matter who objected or felt offended. These were to be business, not personal.

The battleground was set.

The first planning meeting

After the obligatory introductions, Anya took charge. She described her role as “process facilitator”, not business expert. Despite her MBA, she would be relying on participants to provide the necessary business expertise.

And, concerning her stepfather Terry’s presence, Anya said simply that both she and Naomi had asked him to attend as their coach.

No comments from participants. Stony looks from VC guys.

Anya: “Would anyone care to get us started – such as what NGCA might be facing near- and medium-term of importance. Silence.

“Victor, would you like to help me out here? I understand that you have an extensive and deep experience in dealing with this sort of thing.”

Victor: [with hesitation and discomfort] “Well, I’m delighted that Anya could help us work through a few pretty knotty problems of late. Her fresh viewpoint may turn out to be very helpful. Anya … you are a clinical psychologist, I understand. How long have you been in practice, and who are your typical clients, or patients?”

Anya: “Thank you for asking, Victor. My clients were those I worked with in my four-years of studies [Note: the standard degree time is five years]. Probably several hundred, I’d estimate. All kinds of people with all kinds of problems. Normal folks in other words, much like us.”

“I’m thinking of continuing to get a doctorate, and then to teaching and research. But for sure having a real clinical practice aimed at businesspeople. Businesspeople, as you know, can have some very interesting and challenging problems. “

Dead silence and glares from her obvious targets.

Anya: “To continue, I understand that NGCA is at somewhat of a crossroads. In one direction is joining – being acquired by – a major medical industry firm. In the other direction, building NGCA independently into a sizable and prominent provider of specialized SaaS services. Do I have this anywhere close to being correct? Timothy? ”

Timothy [not “Tim”]: “Yes, I think that you have summarized at least one of our issues. There are several more, of course. Have you been briefed on any of these? No? I thought not. Tell me, exactly what does a facilitator do in these situations? ”

Anya: “I hope that you are not seeing my role in any respect as an expert in your business. This table has all of the experts we need, I’m sure. My role is simply to help guide the discussions in productive ways, particularly when there are strong differences of views and opinions. Which may even show up here, as it does in most group settings. You all would not be here otherwise, yes? “

Naomi: “Anya, may I step in here for a moment? I think we all need to be very clear on our goals and situation. NGCA seems to be nearing stall-mode. I have done everything that I can think of to get this remedied, but without much luck. It may well be due to my obvious limitations, but it may equally well be due to an unfortunate but necessary difference of goals among us. “

“I have asked Terry, who as you are all aware is my stepfather, to be my coach and help me address some of my limitations as CEO. Terry has deep experience both as an executive coach and as a business coach. Plus substantial experience as a businessman. ”

“Terry, would you like to say a few words by way of introduction? “

Terry: “Thanks, Naomi. I would indeed. NGCA is not at a stall-point in my view, but it is at a critical decision point – as Anya has pointed out. Two primary directions seem to be available. Both are legitimate goals. How you deal with this critical decision will affect how you can deal with any other vital issue. Tim, just to get us started, would you be willing to give us your views on this decision? … ”

Timothy [not “Tim”]: “I’d be more than happy to, since they are hugely different from financial considerations. And it’s completely obvious why one – preparing to be acquired – is the only way to go. Continuing to stumble along as a tiny SaaS provider is a sure path the eventual disaster. I … [Anya interrupts]”

Anya: “Please forgive me for interrupting, but I don’t understand why the acquisition route is so much better. Could you explain for us non-financial folks? “

Timothy [not “Tim”]: “I’d be happy to explain it in the most-simple terms. All NGCA has right now is potential. It will take a great deal of new money for it to realize that potential. NGCA has proven unable to do what is needed here. A big acquirer could handle this critical growth need without any trouble. Our job is to present this potential as attractively and quickly as possible to several likely acquisition candidates. NGCA on its own may not survive much longer, especially the way things are going in the world economically. “

Terry: “Tim, let me take serious issue with what you just stated. Naomi and her team have done some pretty wonderful things with NGCA in a few short years. They are indeed burning a great deal of cash, but they are also generating nearly the same amount. Contrary to your opinion, I see NGCA as being on threshold of major growth and success. ”

Victor: “Terry, I have to agree with Timothy on this. We know the financial markets in great detail. This as I understand is not your specialty or background. It is mine, and Timothy’s. We are your experts on this matter. I … [Terry interrupting] ”

Terry: “If you folks are the experts, then prove your case to us. I have been involved with literally dozens of acquisition plans – schemes, all too often. Arm-waving is not an argument in my book. Let’s see the facts and numbers. You have these handy, yes? ”

Victor: “Of course we don’t right now, but we can certainty put together a set for you in a few days. The arguments as you will see are overwhelming in favor of being acquired. I’ll get my people on this today. Does this pretty much wrap up things here for now? I have three other meetings to attend. ”

Anya: “Might I ask a non-expert question before you must leave us to continue on our own? Have you considered what the people who have struggled mightily to build NGCA into what it is today might want to do? Naomi may not want to go back to work for a big firm. Maya [Sales VP] I know does not. Do people matter at all in your world, Victor? “

Victor: “That is a very stupid question, young lady, and I must move on to other more serious matters. This is a complete waste of my time. And Timothy’s. Timothy, please walk out with me as I have some private information for you [and walks out].

Anya: “My goodness, I hope I haven’t said anything too contentious or out of place. Some businesses I have worked with in my studies cared a great deal for their people and their interests. In fact, many put people before dollars – if you can imagine such a thing. Terry, would you agree? ”

Terry: “Agree definitely. People always come first, except maybe to a few hardened financial types. This meeting however has been a great success, in case some of you haven’t noticed. We have the fundamental issue of acquisition vs. internal growth smacked square on the table. There appear to be several other issues. For the next planning meeting, could each of you make a list of your top three issues? Anya?”

Anya: “Thanks Terry for rescuing me. I had a strong hunch that there was a big roadblock to deal with and now we know just what it is. If you all agree, I’ll contact Victor and Timothy directly to get them to bring their facts and figures to us, preferably before we meet again. Naomi? ”

Naomi: “This whole situation has turned out so much differently – and constructively – than I could ever have imagined. You make a great tag-team, Terry and Anya. Thank you so much. I can’t wait to start on my list of top issues. But only three? That will be very tough.”

And with much good cheer and smiles, the first planning meeting concluded. Without Victor and Timothy [not Tim].

People matter most

This point is of utmost importance. Particularly today, with so much chaos and uncertainty about – not to mention a few black swans.

All you can really count on is your people. Events and situations are mostly unpredictable.

Reading people accurately is a vital skill in such situations. This is something that many people can’t do, or do well at least. They tend to deal preferentially with words, and not people. People – personalities and relationships – can get quite messy to deal with at times, but they are nearly always central.

How might you readers assess each of these players by looking solely at their faces? My bet is that each of us will see something a bit differently, but that there would be a reasonable consensus around two clear, opposing, camps.

Do people in small companies actually behave this way? In my experience with dozens of such businesses and organizations, yes. In too many cases, even much worse. Formalities typically don’t matter. People matter.

In the next case session, we will see the initially quiet members of the “management team” join actively and individually. Some of these quiet people can often make amazing contributions. Believe me – I have seen it so often, to my joy and respect. People really do matter.

The 2024 Election (aka Selection)

Interesting is hardly the right description for what has happened over the past week election-wise. The incredibly strange July 29th “debate” seems to have kicked off a tsunami of consequences.

Is Biden out, or will he hang in? Is Biden there at all? Trump appears almost irrelevant in all of this chaos. Probably a good thing. Does any of this really matter in the grand scheme of things?  Has it all been scripted, and will proceed accordingly?

My sense at the moment is that nothing much will change regardless of who gets elected or selected. The Uniparty will continue to do its thing under direction of the deep state and kin.

What may be interesting, in a rather macabre way, are the current machinations of the Uniparty’s Democrat Department (UDD). Joe, who demonstrated conclusively that he is neither here nor going anywhere, seems to have become a political football among the UDD’s battling factions.

At one extreme are the UDD folks who want Joe gone ASAP or sooner, officially, since he is already gone in most other respects. Then there are those that want Joe to hang in there and hope that Trump will somehow self-destruct. To add to the mess are those like Michigan Gov. Whitmer who is aggressively pushing to replace the man who isn’t there. What to make of all of this?

Well, here are a few of the many possibilities:

“As the left scrambles to figure out what to do with Joe Biden now that his mental decline has been exposed, one law professor from George Washington University is claiming he has a perfect fix.”

“The professor thinks the Democrats should simply replace Kamala Harris with Barack Obama as Biden’s 2024 running mate.”

“He even tries to suggest that there are no constitutional issues here, even if something happens to Biden and Obama assumes the role of president.”

“… Paul Bedard reports at the Washington Examiner:”

“’Biden-Obama is ‘Plan C’ ticket.
A Biden-Obama ticket would have a much better chance of beating Trump,’ said legal scholar John Banzhaf, a professor at George Washington University Law School.”

“’Barack Obama is probably one of the few persons whom a majority of Americans would want and trust as president, so Plan C might be the least objectionable of a number of very unpopular and dubious options now open to Biden and the Democratic Party,’ he said on Thursday.”

“… Banzhaf said ‘while this amendment [22nd Amendment] may bar Obama from ‘being elected’ to the office of president again, it obviously and by its clear language doesn’t prohibit him from being elected as vice president, and subsequently becoming president by succession without ever being elected to the office again.’”

Obama? Hasn’t he been running things from his personal White House in DC since 2020 at least? LaChance’s theory may well be the real plan or agenda. It seems to explain a good deal of what has been happening.

“… While the left is panicking, many on the right have embraced the conspiratorial theory that the Democrats set Joe Biden up for this debate performance in a sneaky way to usher him out of the presidential race. To be sure, anything is possible. Our position at the moment is more simple: the Democrats simply screwed up by not getting rid of Biden a year ago, and now they are stuck and are unable (or at least extremely unlikely) to be able to get rid of him. It is difficult for us to appreciate, but many of the Democrat elite actually believe the propaganda of the mainstream media, and out-of-touch donors and the like probably believed the media’s lies, downplaying Biden’s cognitive decline. For once, the Dems may have gotten screwed by their own propaganda machinery!”

“Another reason as to why the Dems didn’t get rid of Biden a year ago was put forth by commentator Scott Greer. Greer’s theory is that the Democrats’ strong performance in the midterms made it politically impossible for there to be a primary challenge to Biden. For a man in rapid cognitive decline, the timeline between the midterms and the debate last night can be an eternity.”

“… We suspect that the reality of how difficult and impractical it would be to remove Biden at this stage will sink in and the left will stop panicking out loud. Of course, nothing is impossible, and we can’t rule out entirely a major effort to push Biden out. With all of the hurdles described above, an effort to forcibly remove Biden is likely to do almost as much harm as good, introducing chaos, uncertainty, and the possibility for all sorts of things to go wrong. There is simply not enough time to do it the right way.”

Umm … what about the LaChance theory above? One of these has to be wrong. Perhaps both. And “… all sorts of things to go wrong”? That seems extremely likely no matter what. It gets even worse, as you knew it would …

“No one anywhere in the American political commentariat has even come close to understanding or describing just how highly consequential the first 2024 POTUS election debate really is.”

“First of all, nothing like that ‘Daffy Debate Debacle’ has ever occurred before in U.S. political history—ANYWHERE IN THE 50 STATES.  This totally crazy stuff just doesn’t happen … … … until now.”

“Which ought to tell every voter in the electorate that things are about to be very, VERY, interesting indeed.  As in totally out-of-control and chaotic in the political space because of the many powerful forces and overwhelming influences at work, many of them furiously working at cross purposes to each other especially on the Left.”

“In other words, the Democrat Party — right now — is undergoing an unparalleled [CONTROLLED] demolition, the likes of which this nation has never witnessed before.  For example:”

“Historically, across all nations and societies, left-wing political parties are always well known for eating their own when the going gets rough.  Well guess what?  The going is about to get very rough for the DEMs the longer the Biden Crime family clings to power.”

“Now there are several key factors which are not well known except by Democrat insiders.  The first is that Biden owns and operates the DNC.  And that’s a very bad thing because the whole family is certifiably insane and unabashedly criminal.”

Another serious umm … Biden “owns and operates the DNC”? I guess that the debate demonstrated pretty conclusively such ownership. Or maybe not? The point of interest here may be just that the DNC, which is my UDD, is falling apart due to factional disputes. Or are these factional disputes merely staged to distract us normal folk from whatever is really going on? Such as LaChance’s theory above.

“Just before the weekend, a political prairie fire raced across a nation buffaloed, blind-sided, and buried deeply in bullshit, and the little critters who inhabit the landscape are still running around with their fur smoldering. What a surprise that ‘Joe Biden,’ the mentally-disabled pretend-president, fell apart in the debate spotlight for all to see [source emphasis], like Captain Queeg in his fateful witness chair, or William Jennings Bryan at the Scopes trial (1925), or the Wizard of Oz when little Toto drew the curtain back — a brutal revelation of stark truth about how things actually are.”

“Since his hiding-in-the-basement campaign in 2020 ‘Joe Biden’s’ Party of Chaos has pretended that he is fit and alert for the job and now all of sudden they pretend to be shocked to see how far gone in the head he really is [source emphasis]. The bullshit shovelers of the mainstream news media were especially rocked, not by the truth of the situation per se, but at being unmasked as the contemptible, confabulating tools that they’ve become. The New York Times wheeled around on a dime from their servile lionizing of the presidential hologram they helped create to its editorial board abjectly yelling for him to drop out and get gone. They were joined instantly by a long list of other opinion-shapers, campaign donors, political celebs, and Beltway players.”

Right after the debate, First lady Dr. Jill led a cheerleading session before a roomful of partisans that went beyond cringeworthy into uncharted territory of mortification [source emphasis]. (‘You were great, Joe! You answered all the questions!’). By the time the entourage moved to a pre-planned event at a nearby Atlanta Waffle House, ‘JB’ had gone full-on zombie. If all that was intended to be reassuring, the effect was the opposite. Someone handed the blank-faced old grifter a milkshake and they beat it out of there.”

“… Still hanging over the ‘Joe Biden’ crisis — and it is a crisis — is the question as to how somebody no longer capable of leading a party in an election can also be capable of leading the executive branch of the USA as Commander-in-Chief [source emphasis]. That quandary has been shoved aside for the moment but it still lurks ominously in the background.”

Perhaps it’s more than just the entire American Establishment that’s exhausted. How about us poor exhausted voter-wannabes? Or maybe we simply don’t count anymore. Judging from all of the commotion, there are still many out there who are far from exhaustion. Well, we can at least hear from super-guru Tucker Carlson …

Despite his public support for the president, Barack Obama is privately lobbying to get rid of Joe Biden, telling insiders he cannot defeat Trump, according to what Tucker Carlson described as an ‘unusually good source.’ [source emphasis]”

“Biden got completely embarrassed during Thursday night’s debate, spreading panic amongst top Democrats and leading the New York Times to insist that he should step aside.”

Despite the backlash, Obama tweeted his support for Biden [source emphasis], asserting that ‘bad debate nights happen’ and that people should still stick with him.”

However, Obama is reportedly saying very different things in private [source emphasis].

“’From an unusually good source: Obama’s tweet supporting Joe Biden was disingenuous. In private, Obama is telling people Biden can’t win, and he is therefore in favor of an open convention,’ Tucker Carlson posted on X.”

’Obama will not say whom he supports, nor as of yesterday afternoon had he met personally with Biden to deliver the message [source emphasis],’ he added.”

“Carlson made it clear that relations between the Obamas and Bidens have ‘deteriorated further,’ and that Jill Biden is driving her husband’s reckless decision to stay in the presidential race.”

“’In the hours and days after the debate, she kept her husband cloistered away from anyone who might convince him to drop out. Jill Biden is the driving force behind her husband’s reelection campaign [source emphasis], just as she was in 2020, when other members of the family (including Biden’s sister Val) considered him too impaired to run.’”

Obama again? Something must surely be afoot here. Is this a hint that Obama is still running things from behind the curtain? One might reasonably suspect such mischief at this point. And for one last indication that an “agenda” is in play in all of this …

  • The Burning Platform Via Off-Guardian on 7/1/24 suggest to me at least that this whole mess is little more than a distraction from an underlying, very serious, agenda for our future: “Quick Take…Are they going to replace Biden?”:

“Ever since Joe Biden’s senior moments were broadcast nationwide in the first Presidential Debate of 2024, everyone has been talking about replacing him as the Democratic nominee.”

“And I mean everyone.”

“… The difference isn’t that Biden has suddenly gone senile, it’s that – for some reason – the media have decided to (finally) take notice.”

Which means an agenda is in the offing [emphasis added].”

“But why?”

“They don’t need to replace him because he’s senile, as we already established he’s been senile this whole time. They don’t need to replace him to win the election either, because (whoever wins) the election will almost certainly be rigged.”

“The whole thing reeks of a set-up to be honest. They put him up on that stage knowing he could (and probably would) make a fool of himself so they could float replacing him.”

“With in 24 hours of the debate, The FT, the Guardian, Sky News, Politico, the Economist and the Spectator had already published lists of possible replacements.”

A minor point in closing, in case the Constitution of the United States still matters :

“… The person having the greatest number of votes as Vice-President, shall be the Vice-President, if such number be a majority of the whole number of Electors appointed, and if no person have a majority, then from the two highest numbers on the list, the Senate shall choose the Vice-President; a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators, and a majority of the whole number shall be necessary to a choice. But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States [emphasis added].”

Amendment 12 extract.

I guess that we’ll find out what’s going on in reality well after the fact, as usual. But, it probably doesn’t matter in any case since there is almost certainly very little any of us normal folk can do about what’s happening. Political business-as-usual will continue relatively undisturbed and self-directed.