There is no such thing as 'natural rights and freedoms', and democracy is not 'the best form of government'; these are, rather -and 'the human phenomenon and all things human' too, mere artifacts of thus-far human evolution as 'a warm-blooded cerebrating vertebrate and the pecking order and neonate ignorance that so far attach it'. -We are, in other words, still 'only bumbling into the future' and the sooner we get on with 'inevitable dirigiste heurism', the better.
(re: below:
'[my bracketed red rant] on yellow-highlighted material')


July 20, 2007 All Things Considered, National public radio
Polling the People on Qualities of a Good Leader

The 2008 presidential campaign season is under way. An open field of candidates is vying for their parties' nominations. What sorts of qualities and traits are people looking for in the next leader of the United States?
   To find out, Robert Siegel traveled to Ohio ó a critical state on the electoral map ó to talk [below] with leaders and constituents in the state capital of Columbus about what they say are key attributes of a great leader.
   Included in the polling are Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland, Republican U.S. Rep. Deborah Pryce, college football great Archie Griffin and Nationwide CEO Jerry Jurgensen.
   They said the list of attributes should include courage, imagination, sincerity, credibility, honesty and integrity. And leaders should care about the people they lead, and should inspire others to do good things.
[general descriptors thruout without respect to the validity of substance/material -inapplicable, meaningless general opinion in other words]

July 20, 2007 from All Things Considered
Polling the People on Qualities of a Good Leader

ROBERT SIEGEL, host: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Iím Robert Siegel.
   And in this part of the program, some thoughts on leadership. Weíre at the start of a long process of selecting a president, so what qualities do we associate with a good leader?

Governor TED STRICKLAND (Democrat, Ohio): Courage, imagination Ö

Representative DEBORAH PRYCE (Republican, Ohio): One who inspires others to do good things.

Mr. ARCHIE GRIFFIN (President and CEO, Ohio State University Alumni Association): Sincere. I think they need to be credible on what they say. They need to care about the people they are leading [don't they all?].

Mr. JERRY JURGENSEN (CEO, Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company): Most importantly is honesty, integrity.

SIEGEL: Last week, I went to talk about leadership with people that live somewhere thatís often decisive in choosing our leaders.

Ms. ZENIA PELEZ (phone) (Tour Guide, Columbus, Ohio Visitors Bureau): Welcome, Robert, to the great state of Ohio and the great city of Columbus.
['speechifying boosterism', but keep reading -more below]

SIEGEL: Thatís Zenia Pelez of the Columbus, Ohio Visitors Bureau, our tour guide. Ohio has been closely contested in recent presidential elections. Itís a state that is part Appalachian, part northeastern, part Midwestern. Columbus is its white-collar boomtown.

Ms. PELEZ: Itís a very big city.

SIEGEL: Itís the most populous city in Ohio nowadays?

Ms. PELEZ: Yes, it is, much to the chagrin of Cleveland and Cincinnati as well.

SIEGEL: We start out at the center of Columbus, the Statehouse. This is the capital of Ohio and the Statehouse is where the legislature sits.

Ms. PELEZ: So weíre walking into the crypt, which is the basement Ė for all practical purposes Ė of the Statehouse.

SIEGEL: We dropped in on a new occupant of the Statehouse, who was elected last fall.

Gov. STRICKLAND: This is Ted Strickland. I am the governor of Ohio.

SIEGEL: And for this former Democratic congressman, leadership meansÖ

Gov. STRICKLAND: I think it means that a person is willing to make decisions even if it causes themselves, and people they deeply care about, some pain.
[completely open-ended with thus-far human intellectual evolution]

SIEGEL: For example, saying no to a long-time supporter in the making of a budget. One thing Strickland has done to try to lead more effectively was move out of a 30th-floor office nearby and into the governorís old and seldom used ceremonial office in the Statehouse. Now, heís in there with the legislators.
[keep reading]

Gov. STRICKLAND: It puts me sort of in the middle of things.

SIEGEL: Not the Wizard of Oz anymore up in theÖ

Gov. STRICKLAND: Not the Wizard of Oz, and Iíve had Republican legislators say to me, I have spent more time with you than I spent with the previous governor over the last four or six years. In large part, because of where Iím physically located.

SIEGEL: Governor Strickland believes in leadership by deed as well as word. As a congressman, he paid for his own health insurance rather than take a good government benefit when other Americans donít get their health insurance paid for. And heís carried on that practice as governor.

Gov. STRICKLAND: And Iím doing that, not because Iím a goody-two-shoes kind of guy or sanctimonious or think that I am more righteous than others, I do it as a way of self-discipline and of making sure that I never lack an awareness of how much health care cost. And Iím glad Iíve done that.

SIEGEL: So far, Stricklandís ideas about leadership seem to be working. He got a state budget passed unanimously in a season when other governors were at loggerheads with legislators. Of course, the state capitol is only the second biggest attraction on our tour of Columbus, Ohio, with Zenia Pelez.

Ms. PELEZ: Weíre at the Ohio State University. Looking to the west is the famous oval, where Ė talk about some history. If you were here in the Ď60s, all the demonstrations, the sit-ins, everything was happening right there.

SIEGEL: And if you were here in the Ď70s, you probably got to see this man.

Mr. GRIFFIN: Iím Archie Griffin, president and CEO of the Ohio State University Alumni Association. I attended Ohio State University. I played football here, had some success, ended up winning a couple Heisman trophies. And Iím back and delighted to be here.
[pecking order and 'bragging rights' -more still-primitive and warping 'human failing']

SIEGEL: Now just to underscore the point, no one else has ever won a couple of Heisman trophies as the best college football player in the country. No one has done it twice. Whatís leadership to Archie Griffin?

Mr. GRIFFIN: Ability to listen. Ability to motivate, inspire and guide. But most importantly [sic] is honesty and integrity.
[[all, meaningless 'abilities' in the absence of science-based knowledge and sophistication]

SIEGEL: Griffin grew up in Columbus, raised by hardworking parents who put eight kids through college. His father worked three jobs. When he talks about qualities of leadership, he speaks of his father, of his coach at Ohio State, Woody Hayes, of Martin Luther King, and of the one contemporary figure whose name tends to come up in these conversations.
[role models -per above: a piss-poor criterion]

Mr. GRIFFIN: I think Colin Powell is a great leader. And one of the quotes that he had in his book Ė I wrote down Ė he says that the day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help them or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leadership. And to me, Colin Powell recognizes what leadership is.
[this whole, the 'baaa' of led sheep]

SIEGEL: Ohio State is also a major employer in Columbus. We brought together a group of union shop stewards for the Communications Workers of America. Some of whom work for the university, like Kevin Key (ph) and Theresa Hardgrove (ph). What do they think a leader has to possess?

Mr. KEVIN KEY (Shop Steward, Communications Workers of America): He needs to have a vision thatís for everybody, and a vision that includes the everyday common man.
[['speechifying' -might as well be 'PR' -running for office]

Ms. THERESA HARDGROVE (Shop Steward, Communications Workers of America): I think that they have to listen, too, listen to the people.
[[the common man speaks -democracy in action]

SIEGEL: Serve the people, they said, and that includes people in need of food and medicine
[['some more equal than others' -overpopulation, sustainability not issues?]
Linda Farnsworth (ph), who works for AT&T raised the same cautions as her fellow shop stewards. When considering who might make a good leader as president, she says, forget about campaign speeches, forget about the media and advertising, just check the track record.
   But how do you judge people whom you only get to glimpse through the mass media, which you donít trust?

Ms. LINDA FARNSWORTH (Employee, AT&T): Now, I got to be honest. Sometimes, it just comes down to your gut. And I know thatís not a very eloquent answer. But sometimes, for me at least, itís just how I feel about it personally.
[democracy in action -vote your ignorance and right to be manipulated]

SIEGEL: So youíre checking your gut to see as unforeseen challenges arise over the next few years, is this president going to be thinking whatís best for me somehow? Youíve got to somehow make that decision about somebody in a very imperfect world.
[the reader is reminded of The Inevitable Transcendency of Science]

Ms. FARNSWORTH: Yeah, sometimes itís an imperfect decision.
[sometimes? -democracy in action]

SIEGEL: We met with the communications workers at a union hall thatís a converted firehouse. Itís not far from a Columbus neighborhood that Zenia Pelez of the Visitors Bureau took us to. Itís an upcoming area for 20 and 30 somethings.

Ms. PELEZ: Weíre standing in the Short North. Great arts district, a lot young people live here.

SIEGEL: And this is a project for the city to keep young people here.

Ms. PELEZ: As a matter of fact, we have over 100,000 students in the greater Columbus area. And so we want to be able to keep some of that brain thrust here.

SIEGEL: People like three members of the Young Professional Group, all of them just around age 30, who told me what they think leadership entails. There was freelance designer Bryce Bonner (ph).

Mr. BRYCE BONNER (Freelance Designer): I think confidence is a large one. Obviously, integrity.
[what about the propriety of such 'confidence' -and the substance of such integrity?].

SIEGEL: And a CPA, Scott Mustrik (ph).

Mr. SCOTT MUSTRIK (Member, Young Professionals Group): You have to be a great communicator. You have to stick to [sic] their core beliefs and make decisions [like Dubya?]. It may not always be the popular decision, but make the right decision thatís really best for the long term.
[absolutely meaningless prattle thruout]

SIEGEL: And Christopher Cheung who works for the state of Ohio.

Mr. CHRISTOPHER CHEUNG (Member, Young Professionals Group): I think empathy [how about validity?], some ability to relate to the people that theyíre representing. I think itís tough to imagine some people on the national stage having been able to relate to a large majority of the population. [actually thinking now]
   I think conviction is important [Dubya? -Osama?], but you also have to be willing to admit when perhaps youíve made a mistake - so flexibility to different perspectives and ideas.
['no one likes to eat shit', but it helps to know the difference between 'shit and shinola', too]

SIEGEL: And Chris Cheung said something about presidential leadership that addresses the mistrust of America that he has encountered in travels abroad.

Mr. CHEUNG: At the end of the day - based just on my own personal experiences - I want someone who exemplifies how great a country I think this is.

SIEGEL: Because it is a great country, he says, and it has lost much in the esteem of the world. All three of these young professionals agreed that something in the way we choose a president doesnít necessarily find the best leader. Chris Cheung said there are no accidental presidents. Meaning, we choose from among people who want it so much that theyíll endure a torturous process.
[The Dubya presidency does not much speak well for the substance of American democracy]
   And to talk with a handful of people whoíve worked with Leadership Columbus, both lawyer Jim Flynn (ph) and Lynne Bowman (ph), who lobbies for gay, lesbian and transgendered Ohioans, both said our political leaders are not our best leaders.
[lobbying -another corruption]

Mr. JIM FLYNN (Lawyer): No way. I think there is absolutely no way that weíre well served in that area. And I use as my reference points for that the notion that Iíve met a number of people in my life who I thought would be excellent leaders and who themselves have said I could do that job, but I would not want to go through what comes with being an elected official. The election process and the campaigning process turns off people that are probably better qualified than the people that we have.
[ignorance and democracy in action]

Ms. LYNNE BOWMAN (Lawyer): Absolutely. I agree with Jim. I think that there are number of folks out there who would be really, really strong national leaders on the political scene. And there are so many things that are unattractive to it that it drives them away. And I think that hurts us as a nation.
[criteria? -prattle]

SIEGEL: So, is the private sector possibly a better source of leadership, when Columbus - the most conspicuous business - has practically developed the downtown neighborhood that Zenia Pelez took us to.

Ms. PELEZ: Weíre standing on what used to be the Columbus penitentiary. And a few years later, weíre in this wonderful new development on the Arena District, thanks to the efforts of Nationwide Insurance Company and some other visionary leaders in this city. And weíve got the Nationwide Arena to my left, where just two weeks ago, we had the NHL draft. It was just a hop and fun town.
[rah! rah!]

SIEGEL: Okay. Zenia Pelez is a professional booster. But the footprint of Nationwide Insurance is so deep and wide in Columbus, we dropped in on the CEO, Jerry Jurgensen, to hear what life in the corporate world has taught him about leadership.

Mr. JURGENSEN: People follow answers. They donít follow diagnoses. So I believe you absolutely have to convey both a sense of realism[???] but also a sense of optimism[???].
[speechifying and pronouncement -more of his 'learning' below]

SIEGEL: And Jerry Jurgensen tells this story about becoming head of the company.

Mr. JURGENSEN: I realize the sort of a month or two into the job when I closed the door one day and said, you know, Iíve spent my whole life trying to get here. And now Iím here, and Iím not sure what Iím supposed to do or how I suppose to do it. But prior to having it, I thought I knew exactly what my boss had to do. And a lot of that is - the higher you go on organizational life, the less it is about you and the more it is about what youíve surrounded yourself with.
   The irony is if you get in a position like that and youíve surrounded yourself with people brighter than you, which should be job one, then not to listen to them is the real insanity of it all.
[the whole: 'democracy (and ignorance) in action']

SIEGEL: Is that scene at the end of the old political Robert Redford movie, ďThe Candidate,Ē when they get elected and then they turn and say, now, what do we do? This rings a bell with you (unintelligible).

Mr. JURGENSEN: Yeah. Absolutely, it does.

SIEGEL: Columbusí representative in Congress, Republican Deborah Pryce, also talks about the importance of listening, and she talks about a way of being. [???]

Rep. PRYCE: I think, for the most part, people just need to be themselves to be good leaders.
[they do, essentially, ergo the problems existing today -'the human condition']

SIEGEL: A leader needs to be authentic then?

Rep. PRYCE: Authentic, absolutely. I think one needs to know themselves, to accept themselves [sic], to be themselves, and then to apply themselves in ways that can bring others to the cause.
[absolutely meaningless, and he's a representative]

SIEGEL: Ask a group of Americans what a leader should do, and they all seem to say a leader should say no. But no one says, say no to me first.
   The folks Iíve met in Columbus attached relatively little importance to specific achievements in the military or business or graduating at the top of the class. Most said that our selection of political leaders is a process rife with fakery and pandering. And as for the presidential campaigning that will produce a leader, nearly everyone said, please, not yet.
[and they have no way of knowledgeably evaluating the situation either]

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