Archives for posts with tag: Negotiating

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The Philosopher


Lead from Power or Lead by Negotiating Ver. 1.0.1

The Top Gun National Crises Troubleshooter, Retired

The laws of Physics and Politics

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” This is attributed to Winston Churchill, but originally to George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”i But perhaps Churchill’s best remark on the subject was this: “When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand we apply too late the remedies which then might have affected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the sibylline books. It falls into that long, dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong–these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.” ii

Newton’s third law of motion states that, “When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.”iii Jack’s third law of politics states that, “For every use of power there will be an equal and opposite use of power”. iv

The Laws of Birth Order and the Only Child

The recent release of the documentary on on the USA Civil War by Ken Burns illustrated some very interested similarities in the leadership (President) during this time, of Civil War, in the 19th century, and the leadership (President) of our current time, in this 21st century involved with a conflict with ISIS.

Aside from both of them being tall skinny lawyers, neither had in their family of origin a sibling with whom they needed to negotiate a workable compromise. This seems to be a skill lacking in their respective skill packages. They both dealt with the situation at hand with the use of power, which was met with and equal and opposite use of power. Since they had no siblings to compete with, they got what they wanted uncontested and brought this style of getting what they wanted to the White House with them. Being the only offspring left in the family, or raised as an only offspring, they received a full load of confidence from their family and a “Can Do” spirit. They both knew they were right even if they were not. v

The Workable Compromise vs Power

The USA Civil War could have been avoided by negotiating a workable compromise with the dissenting states. The slave issue was a political football to put an international bent on the conflict to keep the English and French from supporting the Southern States. The nucleus of ISIS (Sunni Muslims) was dispossessed of their homeland by the USA puppet regime in Iraq (Shiite Muslims). A window of opportunity to negotiate a homeland for the disposed Sunni Muslims existed; instead, a use of power by the present administration was taken in an attempt to form a coalition to wipe ISIS from this Earth. This choice was met by an equal and opposite use of force by ISIS. This situation with ISIS could have been resolved through the use of a workable compromise. It seems that neither the leadership during the USA Civil war or the present administration was concerned with the human cost of getting what they wanted.

A New Election is Upon Us

The choice seems to be clear: Do we want to replace the present administration with a leader who is prone on solving issues with power, or do we want to replace the present administration with someone who has developed the skill of negotiating workable compromises. We are going to elect them to the post of Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces – the most powerful on the planet. The temptation to use power to solve our national and world crises will be tempting for this new President and pressure to use power from the Military-Industrial Complex as described by President Eisenhower. vi.

Birth order and the New President

We have historically elected several firstborn (in their families of origin) to the office of president: J. Adams, Madison, Monroe, Polk, Grant, Harding, Coolidge, Truman, L. B. Johnson, Carter, and G.W. Bush. We have elected several firstborn males: Jefferson, J. Q. Adams, Van Buren, Fillmore, Buchanan, Arthur and Wilson. We have elected a couple functional oldest males: G Washington, J.F. Kennedy. We have elected several functional only children: Jackson, Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Hoover, F. D. Roosevelt, Ford, Clinton and Obama. The middle born is a natural negotiator.vii We have elected these middleborns to the presidency: Tyler, Taylor, Pierce, Cleveland, Harrison, B. Harrison, McKinley, Taft, Eisenhower and G H.W. Bush. The lastborn bring their special skill package to the office of president; we have elected these lastborns to this office: W. H. Harrison, A. Johnson, Hayes, Garfield and Reagan. viii

What personality and skill package to we want to move us in a positive direction and resolve conflict with negotiating skills rather than power? This skill package will depend mostly on the skills they learned in their family of origin. The natural negotiators are the middle born children, especially those with close older and younger same sex siblings, fewer than five years difference in ages. More than five years difference in ages would result in a functional firstborn, which is not a carbon copy of a firstborn as they were raised with more experienced parents. Who are the options for a good negotiator for the presidency? D. Trump is a middle born but also a functional firstborn, but has he developed negotiating skills? Carly Fiorina is a middle born who seems to have developed negotiating skills. Jeb Bush is a middle born with enough distance from his older brother to be a functional firstborn, but does he have a track record of negotiating workable compromises as the Governor of Florida? H. Clinton is a firstborn, but has she developed negotiating skills as the Secretary of State? Chris Christie is a firstborn and former prosecutor, but is he a negotiator or power seeker? Jim Gilmore, birth order unknown, is a former governor; what is his track record – power or negotiator? John Kasich, birth order unknown, is a governor; what is his track record – power or negotiator? Bobby Jindal, birth order unknown, is a governor; what is his track record – power or negotiator? Lindsey Graham, birth order unknown, is a hawk on foreign affairs and a probable user of power. George Pataki, birth order unknown, is a governor; what is his track record – power or negotiator? Rick Santorum, birth order unknown, is a former senator; what is his track record – power or negotiator? Mike Huckabee, birth order unknown, is a former governor and ordained preacher, and could be a liability in dealing with ISIS which is a Muslim movement. What is his track record – power or negotiator? Ben Carson is the younger of two brothers, which puts him as a last born with special circumstances; he was raised by his mother as an equal firstborn. He would be a mix of a natural firstborn leader and lastborn innovator. What would be his style in solving national problems? Would he use power or negotiate? Marco Rubio’s rhetoric is that of a firstborn; as a state politician, he should have developed some skill in negotiating workable compromises. Is he prone to use power or negotiations to solve national problems? Rand Paul has the demeanor and skills of a firstborn and an experienced politician, but has he learned the skill of negotiating workable compromises or does he prefer power and getting what he wants? As for Ted Cruz, God seems to give the loudest voices to those least likely to put it to good use. His birth order is unknown, but he does not come across as a firstborn. He looks to be hawkist and prone to use of power vs negotiating. Does he have a track record that could predict his future use of power or negotiating? Joe Biden’s demeanor indicates he is the younger of two brothers, as he seems to be very social, which is a characteristic of lastborns. This characteristic could prove useful in international affairs. This, along with his position as a senior citizen, should help him garner respect in the world’s view. He seems more prone to negotiating than the use of power. How does he fit in with the use of power to solve international problems by his president? Lawrence Lessig has that firstborn look about him and seems more concerned with national structure than international affairs; he does not look like a hawk and has no demonstrable preference to the use of power or negotiations. Jim Webb has the firstborn look but looks to seek alternatives to military action. Lincoln Chafee has that firstborn natural leadership look with much experience in the political arena and looks to use other than military means to accomplish USA goals. He does not have much of a fan base. Martin O’Malley, birth order unknown, is a former governor and mayor, so he should have a track record of the use of force or the use of negotiations to solve political issues. Bernie Sanders has that firstborn demeanor a natural leader and with both House and Senate experience, he should have developed the skill of negotiating workable compromises. What is his track record? Does he get what he wants or does he negotiate a compromise? Elizabeth Warren has that firstborn drive from Oklahoma to Harvard Law School to Senator. She is a complete unknown as to her skill in negotiating workable compromises and at this point is not in the running for president. ix

Our Choice of President

The choice is clear. Do we want a hawk or a dove? Do we want the use of power or the use of negotiating workable compromises? More information is clearly needed about these candidates. Can past performance indicate future performance? Can birth order give us a heads up on future performance and the use of power or negotiating?


ii Ibid, House of Commons, 2 May 1935, after the Stresa Conference, in which Britain, France and Italy agreed—futilely—to maintain the independence of Austria/
v Dr. Kevin Leman, “the First Born Advantage”, Revell, 2008, p69

We Got Trouble, Trouble, Trouble, Right here in the USA, it starts with ‘R’ and that stands for “Rats” Ver. 1.0.1

“The Top Gun National Crises Troubleshooter”, Retired


Rats need a place to live too. We have a tendency to try and exterminate all the rats in the world, but they just seem to proliferate and find places to reside that makes us feel uncomfortable, if not threated. The solution to this “rat problem” is not as complicated as one might think. The solution – as is the solution in most cases – is given in Mathew 5:25 (or Mat 5:52 for the math majors). That message, from The Savior, a.k.a. Jesus, is to “Negotiate a Workable Compromise.” True, he is talking about being taken to court for a debt, but is this not the same as having one’s present situation threatened by an adversary? People do not “Negotiate a Workable Compromise” as long as they think they have total power over the situation at hand. It is only when their present position is threatened to be compromised do they come to the “negotiating table.” This has been true of all USA adversaries in the past and it is still true of our adversaries in this early 21st century.

We have a very mature ivy hedge about seven feet tall and vines up to three inches in diameter. It fills up with dead leaves and debris from surrounding trees and those left behind from trimming the hedge. We also live within a couple blocks of the Arroyo, where wildlife abounds, including but not limited to: rats, skunks and possums. When the winter cold months set in, hitting in the low 20s on occasion, the rats like to find a warmer place to reside. They like this mature hedge, as it is protected from the wind and between two houses is a little warmer, making it a nice place for them to raise their families and stay protected from the roaming cats. My partner insists on removing this matured hedge to get rid of the rats. I need to remind her that the rats are not coming into her apartment, in the attic, under the house, in the garage or into our studio. They have a place and we know where they are living.

The USA has become aware of a new nest of rats. Let’s call them ISIS or ISIL. I think “rats” is a better word than “terrorists,” as our President likes to refer to them. Terrorists have no right to live on this planet, but somehow rats at least do provide a positive function and are at best a nuisance. If we were to think of ISIS or ISIL as rats, than they just need a place to reside where they can raise their families with other rats of the same belief system. If we try to exterminate them, then they will likely proliferate and choose to reside in places that can be a real nuisance to the USA. If both the rats and the USA and its allies believe they have total power of this situation, than there will be no one at the negotiating table.

How did this situation come about in the first place? In a nutshell, the USA has the military might to come to the rescue of other people in the world who appear repressed. We came to the
rescue of the Iraqi people, who were being ruled over by a “Hard-Handed Dictator” of a ruling sect of their religion. The USA did so for our usual reasons – that “it was to protect the interests of the USA.” The USA overthrew and eliminated the Hard-Handed Dictator of the sect in power. We installed our own “Puppet Dictator Prime Minister” of a different sect of their religion. We disassembled the army of the old ruling sect and replaced it with an untrained army of the new sect, only the army of the ruling sect disassembled, bringing their weapons home with them. The Puppet Dictator Prime Minister turned out to be as discriminated as the old Hard-Handed Dictator in regard to his sect and began persecuting those of the old ruling sect, putting their people out of jobs and professions they held during the previous regime. Those of the now displaced sect banded together and formed their own revolution against the Puppet State the USA had created in Iraq.

This new revolution, now known as ISIS or ISIL, has gained control of territory in Syria and Iraq. ISIS and ISIL is no match in military might against the USA or it allies. They began to send messages out that they do not want the USA or its allies to interfere with their revolution against the now oppression regime in Iraq. Their messages are met with outrage in the USA and now in its allied nations, and all are out to exterminate the “rats.” All the rats want is a place to raise their families with other rats of a common belief system, free of persecution from the ruling Puppet Regime.

The label of “terrorists” is preventing the USA from negotiating with these rats, because the USA does not negotiate with terrorists. The USA is on an “Extermination Mission.” The USA has never been on an extermination mission before; our objective has always been to neutralize the adversary, bring them to the negotiating table or eliminate the existing regime and rebuild that adversaries’ nation. In the case of ISIS or ISIL, there is no existing nation to rebuild; the rats do not have a home.

This situation leads to an obvious solution to this the ISIS or ISIL problem. Give the rats a home. Carve out some real-estate, similar to what the UN did with Israel after WWII, and give them a home so they can raise their families and live with other rats of a common belief system. The alternatives will cost the USA greatly in lives and dollars.