Attitude Over Policies

Mark Steyn’s astute observation is applicable to much more than foreign affairs:

Increasingly, the Western world has attitudes rather than policies. It’s one thing to talk as a means to an end. But these days, for most midlevel powers, talks are the end, talks without end. Because that’s what civilized nations like doing — chit-chatting, shooting the breeze, having tea and crumpets, talking talking talking. Uncivilized nations like torturing dissidents, killing civilians, bombing villages, doing doing doing. It’s easier to get the doers to pass themselves off as talkers then to get the talkers to rouse themselves to do anything. And, as the Iranians understand, talks provide a splendid cover for getting on with anything you want to do. If, say, you want to get on with your nuclear program relatively undisturbed, the easiest way to do it is to enter years of endless talks with the Europeans over said nuclear program. That’s why that Hamas honcho endorsed Obama: They know he’s their best shot at getting a European foreign minister installed as president of the United States.

One gets the sense that, for too many Westerners, the important thing isn’t so much to solve problems or to make good things happen as it is to feel the right feelings and think the right thoughts. And if vanity is the target, then self-expression — talking — is the medium via which to hit it.

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George Elbow
George Elbow
16 years ago

This issue applies right here in RI.
Ask a politician what they are going to do about the pending $400+ million pending budget deficit and you’ll get a response telling you that they are “studying the issues” or “everything is on the table” or “we should look at ABC” …but NEVER any definitive tangible action.
We’ve got a $5B Pension deficit. We’ve known it’s a problem for years and we know what needs to be done to fix it. The template has already been created by the Private sector.
Yet, we are still “studying the issue”. We put together commisions comprised primarily of Pension Beneficiaries to “study the issue”. Meanwhile, we continue to bleed red ink.
When ever someone has the opportunity to speak to an elected official, they need to ask what specifically they are going to do …what tangible actions are they going to take. We can not let our elected officials get away with do nothing responses such as “everything is on the table” and “we are studying it”.
We’ve had enough “studying” and “talking”, it is time for tangible action.

16 years ago

Dammit, George, you stole my comment! I’m suing.
(Well said.)

George Elbow
George Elbow
16 years ago

This is RI, so you have recourse.
You need to first “file a grievance”.
Then, as you have been posting on this blog for far longer than I have (i.e. you have “tenure” / “seniority”), you should be able to “bump” me.
If AR management does not accomodate your demands, you should “work to rule” and do the absolute minimum in terms of your job until you get what you want, creating a culture of mediocrity within the ranks of Anchor Rising.
And to complete the process, you shoud demand “arbitration” in order to obtain compensation for your “troubles”.
If you need any help with this, just call Bob Walsh, as he is an expert in these matters.
When it comes to these things, Mr. Waslh is not only a “talker”, he’s a “doer”.
And there lies the problem. The Unions are “doers” when it comes to destroying the State and our Politicians are “talkers” when it comes to repairing it.

16 years ago

Wait George E – Monique’s not finished. Next she’s got to break a nail or sprain her wrist while gardening, but claim it happened on the job. Then she’ll go out on disability, finish all her garden projects and take a nice vacation. Then she’ll try to get her leave extended. When forced back to work, she’ll claim stress and go back out on a stress-related disability. Whether she remains out on disability or not, for the rest of her “career” she will expend more effort on obtaining permanent disability than she will on her actual job.
(…with appolgies to Monique for taking so much liberty at her expense to continue the point…)

George Elbow
George Elbow
16 years ago

Be honest, did work under Bob Walsh or Paul Doughty in the past? You clearly have been Union trained, else you got your hands on one of the Union’s “how to” books.
Well done,sir!

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