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58 Comments

    • Steve T
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 7:40 am
    • Permalink

    While while this is still ‘remember Ted Kennedy month’, and his grand, life-time accomplishments are still being remembered, notice that Devon is establishing herself in another one of Captain Oldsmobile’s accomplishments – BIG government,…very ‘diverse’, very lesbian-gay-cross dressing-transsexual (add or chop-off a dictomy),…and coming soon, new diversity standards for those poor, misunderstood, discriminated folks who want to marry and copulate with their German Shepards, or their Chihuahua’s (Yhipe-!).

    Is not “non-discrimination” great-?!?

  1. Good job of putting into perspective this whole “corporations are bloated empires” bit

  2. Thanks Steve for that creative tying together of this cartoon with Ted Kennedy Remembrance Month. It may be difficult to see, but way, way in the background I have included an Oldsmobile by way of tribute.

    • Jake
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 7:52 am
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    Yes, a relationship between consenting adults is exactly like having sex with a dog. I can definitely see how granting rights to people who are capable of legally consenting to an act would lead to extending the same rights to animals who are not recognized to have legal agency. Your accurate slippery slope argument has opened my eyes.

    • Steve T
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 7:59 am
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    Thanks Jake-!
    You managed a reply without your typical obscenities, or pre-teenage attempts at be offensive.
    Maybe you are ‘progressing’… to where, I’d rather not guess-!

    Now, for this posting, please try to leave poor Donna C off your ‘butcher block’, and instead, you can pick on ME-!

  3. Shouldn’t that big building lean more to the left?

    • Jake
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 8:56 am
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    “You managed a reply without your typical obscenities, or pre-teenage attempts at be offensive.”

    If you examine my comments outside of the thread in which Waffles lowered the level of discourse, you’ll find that I avoid using obscenities in my posts. You can thank Waffles and his middle school level antics for that thread.

  4. vegas art guy:

    In your jokey metaphor, the big building should have big corrupt inefficient wings built and leaning to the right and when a foreman comes in and goes “maybe we should try to fix this” the previous foremans go NO TEAR IT ALL DOWN IT’S REALLY BAD and then when they get to take over the worksite again continue to reap the windfalls while decrying the whole project.

    That’s a less concise metaphor, I understand.

  5. You can always count on someone in a thread to invoke the “slippery slope” counter argument. Usually that person doesn’t have formal training in life experiences. (ie: a know-nothing.) I believe we’ve found that guy in Jake. The slippery slope maintains that a will lead to b, b to c, c to d, and so on, until it leads to z.
    It’s not a slippery slope argument when you’re already at x.
    Jake also does not realize, because I suspect he is a lefty, that progressivism needs to discount the existence of the slippery slope because that is precisely how progressivism operates. The thin edge of the wedge is the modus operandi. In fact, Obama has stated as much in regards to Healthcare reform. Out of one side of his mouth he states that he is not for single payer, out of the other he has already stated that to get to single payer it will take a decade or longer, in small steps. That’s the thin edge of the wedge in action.
    But, Jake’s college professor told him it doesn’t exist and he lapped it up in awe. Now he likes to parrot what he’s learned, from another lefty who needs to deny the slippery slope, and repeats with impunity.lol
    Way to comment on Zack’s brilliant smashing of the “coorporate monster” meme.

    • Jake
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 9:36 am
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    “It’s not a slippery slope argument when you’re already at x.”

    We are already at the point at which people can legally marry pets? That’s news to me. Then again, I vaguely suspect that you are Waffles in disguise, you seem to be equally inept.

    “Way to comment on Zack’s brilliant smashing of the “coorporate monster” meme.”

    Steve brought it up, go bother him.

  6. Chris that didn’t even make sense. Besides Bush is no longer in power, your side has control of both houses of Congress and the White House. Obama is now responsible for what happens that’s why he lives at 1600 Penn. Ave.

    • Jiakk
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 11:20 am
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    ummm… x is not the last letter in the alphabet.

    Way to refute my assertion that the progressives utilize the thin edge of the wedge as part of their modus operandi.

    • Jake
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 11:26 am
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    If it looks like a terrible post, and it sounds like a terrible post, it must be Waffles.

    • Donna C
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 11:37 am
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    Awww, thanks Steve T! I appreciate your “having my back”, so to speak. But unlike many other people in this world…and especially here on Zack’s blog of late, it would seem…I can handle anything thrown at me. All the while making valid points with the information to back it up. As I stated elsewhere, were I still on “their side”, they would be applauding my voracity…that same strong, intelligent woman not on their side, not so much. Instead, they label with a sundry of vile words (think Gov. Palin), and go on the attack, with no holds barred. Of course, were the same done to Pelosi, etc, they would be crying foul.

    We’ll see if they choose to try and place you’re neck under the guillotine, or not. I am voting the latter, as courage does not seem to be a character trait they possess.

    • Jake
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 11:41 am
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    “I am voting the latter, as courage does not seem to be a character trait they possess.”

    Yeah, I sure am terrified of the anonymous guy on the Internet. You really got my number there.

    (By the way, no you can’t have my phone number, I don’t like you that way.)

    • GeekNerd
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 11:43 am
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    Notice Jake doesn’t address the original issue that Big Government is bigger and nastier than ant Big Business.

    • Steve T
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 12:27 pm
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    Hey-!
    Allow me to ‘stir the pudding’.
    There is a very, very clear, simple part of the Bill of Rights, the 10th Amendment, and it reads in blunt, simple English:

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
    — Amendment X, U.S. Constitution

    Now – for all you “progressives”, and so-called “independents”, how can numerous parts of the Federal government exist,
    – Dept of Education
    – Dept of Housing Urban Dev.
    – Endowment for the [queer] Arts
    – National Pubic-hair Radio
    – Dept of Agriculture
    – Fed. Welfare, foodstamps
    – Medicade, Medicare
    – Social Security
    – Overall, about 65% of the Federal budget.

    NOT ONE of these are stated, or declared in the Constitution. The phrase “…promote the general welfare” is NOT the same meaning as “provide” anything.

    Our founders were experts in the use of the English language.

    ALL these afore stated departments are totally contrary to the intent of the Constitution.
    IF honest folks existed in the Congress, who wants to argue if these departments would exist-?

    Hint: for several decades, elected Congress-critters and Senators have sold their soul in violation of their oaths of office.
    It is, has been, the status-quo…, how sad our Republic has been sold by those who take from the productive, to win the votes of the less productive, and those who are ignorant, sometimes lazy, and cannot see their way to being self-sufficient.

    Who wants to argue-?

    • Jake
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 12:27 pm
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    It’s not really all that interesting to me. If Steve hadn’t presented an absurd slippery slope argument, I wouldn’t have bother posting anything. All the comic really says is that the government is bigger than a corporation, which is true and not really all that worthy of discussion. The nasty part is not clearly stated in the comic and is a matter of the reader’s interpretation. One could argue that bigger implies nastier, but I am not sure I buy that.

    • Jake
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm
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    My comment immediately preceding this one is directed at Geek, not Steve. His post came while I was writing mine.

    • Steve T
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 12:31 pm
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    That is a common dynamic –

    • Tyrone
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 1:14 pm
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    damn look at dat cracka all enjoyin his job n shit

    • Tyrone
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 1:16 pm
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    yo steve u kno wat else aint in tha constitution

    lettin a black man vote

  7. Yo yo yo Tyrone! Ma man! I’ve been wanting to introduce a black cartoon character into the series, so you’ve stopped by just in time.

    • Tyrone
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 2:09 pm
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    u sayin i aint for rilz son? dont even step

    • Tyrone
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 2:09 pm
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    newayz aint u alredy got dat obambi punk

  8. I love this whole talking point “besides Bush isn’t in charge anymore therefore” like we somehow hit reboot and are a completely different nation and government nine months after he stepped down from power.

    My point is that right wing politicians do not and have not had any problem with big government when they are in charge. They use it to great effect to make themselves and their brethren rich. They generally do a really terrible job of it (see also: Department of the Interior, FEMA, DHS, SEC, no-bid contracts to Halliburton and Blackwater and etc.)

    Then when they’re no longer in charge and cannot profit from running big bloated government into the ground, they look up from the trough, wipe their mouth and go HOW DARE WE HAVE SUCH A LARGE GOVERNMENT?

    At least Democrats do not have (exclusively) evil motives for expanding government.

    • ikabod
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm
    • Permalink

    “One could argue that bigger implies nastier, but I am not sure I buy that.” that is to protect your love of big government. Government caused the meltdown of last year, you can blame Bush all you want yet when he explained in his last few months of office “I have abandoned the free market principles in order to save it” he was absolutely wrong. Obama is doing the same thing. Abandoning the free market principles, that made this country the envy of the world. The problem has never been that there is not enough regulation, or greed infecting the system. Companies should be allowed to fail, sell of their assets. Another more stable company buys them and makes them work better. Somehow the last few months there is the idea that only the government can only solve our economic problems. We are looking at the worst economic crisis EVER. If your Grand Parents thought the great depression was bad, that will be a walk in the park compared to what’s coming. Yet like all good collectivist, Obama is doing exactly what he learned from FDR that extended the depression longer than it needed to be.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/6147211/Barack-Obama-accused-of-making-Depression-mistakes.html

    Today if any company is doing well its DESPITE the government help not because of it.

  9. I was simply making a point that you cannot continue to blame someone for something once they leave office. Yes, Bush and the GOP spent money like drunken sailors and we reacted by kicking most of their fannies out of office in 2006 and 2008, which is why the Democrats have control of both houses of Congress and the White House.

    And I am SO glad you pointed out all those governmental failures for me because they are the reason why we want the government to stay the hell out of health care. You could have added in AMTRAK and the USPS to that list.

    Then difference between us is that you don’t mind big government and I do.

    Much better reply this time Chris BTW. You made valid points and they were in a logical sequence as well.

    • Steve T
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 3:34 pm
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    Tyrone-
    Guess what-?
    REGARDLESS of color/race, the Constitution gives NO reference or mention of who can, or cannot vote-!

    This includes millions of white / brown / black / Eskimo / Korean,… folks who are in prison.

    Wow,… What a big issue-!!

  10. Tyrone: Mobami was a temporary character that Diversity and Jayson had to deal with in summer camp (and were lucky to survive). He will not be one of ma reg’lar characters, no-how… what I’s be needin’ is a neighbor-character, and I’s gots my eye on YOUR badass cartoon self.

    Thanks Chuck, I appreciate that; believe me it was no labor of love, having to spend time rendering The Government… I felt dirty somehow, afterwards…

    “Yes, a relationship between consenting adults is exactly like having sex with a dog.” –I gotta admit that was a pretty damn funny summary of Steve T’s comment, Jake. I like you when you’re being witheringly sarcastic. By the way there are already people interested in legally marrying their pets (albeit for nonsexual relationships, I believe); I’ve read of a case in (surprise!) Europe fairly recently. They’re so progressive…

    “Shouldn’t that big building lean more to the left?”
    –Good call again, Vegas; though artistically the more-or-less centered [non left-leaning] building makes for a niftier composition. Hell, to follow that line of thought this whole series should be drawn with my left hand and where would that leave us?

    Jiakk: (Love the name; Sumerian in origin, isn’t it?) “…But, Jake’s college professor told him it doesn’t exist and he lapped it up in awe…” Delightful imaginary glimpse into the young left-life of Jake. I really need to start using my commentators for material… anyway, welcome to our group nightmare.

    Right you are, Donna: the Left, while ostensibly worshipping at the altar of Feminism, despise strong intelligent women with the wrong political views.

    GeekNerd– wow! A double-threat! (the name) You must have been the kid too nerdy even to sit with the library klatsch. I too was wondering when Jake would address the substance of the cartoon. Good to see that he’s made a go of it since your comment.

  11. Chris: All reasonable conservatives, and certainly every one such that I know and every pundit or columnist I respect on the right, deplored and hated Bush’s spending and growth of government. My drawing addresses the overarching ideals involved [liberal reverence of Big Gov’t versus conservative mistrust of it], not the occasional rogue Republican who loses touch with the sacrosanct conservative tenet of small government. And Jake, to your point that “all the comic really says is that the government is bigger than a corporation, which is true and not really all that worthy of discussion,” well– not quite. Extend that point a bit and you should run into the question: if I as a liberal deeply mistrust Big Business, by what logic should I then put my trust into Big Government– an infinitely larger species of Big Business, replete with all of Big Business’s human failings and dangers?

    Nice summary, Ikabod. But FDR is one of the Gods of the Pantheon, somewhere in the celestial heights between Betty Friedan and Che. Deride him at your own risk.

  12. If I may offer an aside to the current back-and-forth, may I just say that I love this one. Irony is one of the key devices of this strip, and this particular cartoon makes particularly effective use of it.

    The only way I could see it being better would be to see Devon in an endless line of similar drones, perhaps evoking Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.

    Another one well done!

  13. Zack (or whoever has admin on the Diversity Lane WP account) should be able to match up IP addresses to see that Steve T and “Steve T” do not match up, and if “Steve T” matches any other poster, if it’s a ‘regular’ impersonating him.

    • Steve T
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 6:26 pm
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    Thanks Chris-!

    Now that my blood pressure is a bit lower – I should not be surprised that certain folks have to hide behind phony names, lie, subvert,… for their cowardly reasons.

    • Melek
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 6:42 pm
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    Excellent Zack!

    Of course! Devon would not want to give up her government job these days … After all under the “OCTO-POTUS” the Federal government’s tentacles have reached into the banking, mortgage, auto industries. It has become the largest shareholder in automakers General Motors and Chrysler and has fired the CEOs and determining executive compensations, without the approval of the board of directors or share holders. Under the “OCTO-POTUS”, the federal government has sought powers to seize key companies whose purported failures could jeopardize the financial system, as solely determined by the federal government. Obama has proposed a new regulatory agency to control loans, credit cards, mortgage-backed securities, and other financial products offered to the public… and let’s not forget that all these changes are taking place under the advise of the never-ending list of WH appointed Czars … 😦

    … Make no mistake … when our president mentions that he’s for the working people, that’s code for labor unions … the way things look we may all be working for the government soon … and Devon, with her Labor-Union mentality, must want to keep her “seniority” … LOL 😉

    I wish you well 🙂 Melek

    “Every government interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some men at the expense of others.” ~ Ayn Rand

    • Steve T
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 6:53 pm
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    Test-

  14. I’ve marked the phoney as spam, real Steve T. See my private email to you.

  15. We’re in luck, real Steve T. Your test worked. Thanks.

    • Donna C
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 7:28 pm
    • Permalink

    See what I get for doing laundry, cooking diner, etc?! I missed all the fun! =oP

  16. Donna: Just think of KoolAid Man, drunk and doing a very brief impression of Steve T. as a racist, and you got the jist of it.

    Hope dinner turned out well.

    Thanks Chris for the tip. I had known how to rid our scene of the mischiefmaker, but your words may have helped lower Steve T.’s blood pressure a few points.

    It’s true, Melek, the czars are proliferating like ants at a picnic. I may have to introduce one into my series– a “czartoon,” if you will.

    • Jake
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 9:00 pm
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    “Delightful imaginary glimpse into the young left-life of Jake.”

    I grew up in the rural south an went to a university in which the number of students associated with the College Republicans greatly exceeded the number of Young Democrats. Not all liberals grew up in Massachusetts. It is quite possible to live in an area steeped in conservative beliefs and still reject their ideology. I caught a lot of flak from “Christians” and Republicans growing up, but my independence prevailed.

    • Mark
    • Posted September 7, 2009 at 9:36 pm
    • Permalink

    Great cartoon Zack – I love the way the government building is so big you miss it unless you look beyond one level. It amuses me how people don’t think the government is a business and open to corruption when it deals with huge amounts of money and power and lacks fundamental forms of accountability. Sounds like a formula for a good efficient organization to me… /sarcasm.

    It’s only recently that I understood this and formed a simple example which may help: If a company produces 100 products but one of them is no good, then the market will ‘vote’ on that product and the company is forced to adjust otherwise it will suffer the business consequences – possibly for a long time, even if the other products are still very good. In other words that company is held accountable for each specific decision. Every. day. it. is. in. business.
    But if a politician makes 100 decisions and one of them is no good, how do you hold him/her accountable for that? You get one general vote every few years and you have to decide whether or not that one decision matters enough to you to assess the overall. And if they do considerably worse than just one bad decision and get voted out of office, do they fully suffer the consequences of ‘going out of business’, so to speak? No, they get a nice package and a wave goodbye. And much of the bureaucratic administration remains anyway which has no real motivation to be efficient – ie. what scenario exists to render them failures at their jobs or puts the ‘company’ (government) at risk of going out of business?
    Most sportspeople will tell you that the fear of failure can be a useful motivator. But how high will you jump if you are guaranteed a medal? (ie. everybody gets one)

    Big government is never the answer if you value freedom. Very well done, Zack, keep it up.

  17. Thanks for the positive feedback Joseph, and cool idea about the background of Devon-like drones.

    That robot-woman in “Metropolis”– even she seems more human than Devon.

    • ikabod
    • Posted September 8, 2009 at 2:19 am
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    Let us not forget the robot-woman in “Metropolis” is so much more sassy! I would even say……. Empowered?

    • Never Mind
    • Posted September 8, 2009 at 5:28 am
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    The word ‘liberal’ is misused a lot on this blog. Actually, if you bothered to do some research on classical liberalism, you’d find that liberalism has much more in common with conservatism than left-wing politics. Please do look it up guys, you’re hurting the real liberals.

    What is today commonly referred to as neoliberalism or modern liberalism has nothing to do with the original liberal principles, sometimes even going in the exact opposite direction.

    Thanks!

    • Anon
    • Posted September 8, 2009 at 9:55 am
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    So, Steve T, I see you talk down to people who think differently to you and threaten people over the internet. Way to buck the stereotype.

  18. Thanks Mark for the good word, and really appreciated your analogy too. I think I like congressional officeholders as a class even less now than I did before reading your comment, and that’s a sad state of affairs.

  19. Mark: your analogy is cute but it doesn’t hold up beyond being a cute analogy.

    Is there an alternate form of government you think would be more equitable? Direct vote by the entire voting population on every question? How do you think Congress could be more like the business you describe in your analogy, which is a business model I am not even sure exists in the real world?

    • Jake
    • Posted September 8, 2009 at 11:59 pm
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    “No, they get a nice package and a wave goodbye.”

    I seem to recall hearing about CEOs of companies on the verge of collapse getting exactly this.

    I guess if you want to more easily punish those who do a few things you disagree with, you might want to look at supporting third parties. As it stands now, the choice is often between someone you agree with 60% of the time and someone else you agree with 20% of the time. In this situation, 2 out of every 5 decisions a politician makes could be something you find reprehensible, and yet you will still find yourself rewarding him with your vote because you really hate the other party. The current two party system limits choice too much and creates an “accountability buffer.”

    • Mark
    • Posted September 9, 2009 at 12:02 am
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    Chris,

    I’m not even slightly bothered by your criticism. I think it was CS Lewis who wrote that every analogy is basically flawed, they are just imperfect devices to help people understand something new. In fact, I anticipated one of the trollish ilk here to make your exact comment. You don’t want to hear anything different that challenges your beliefs, so you think that pointing out that an illustration is different from the real thing is a good argument. Actually, it’s obvious and I’m already aware of it. So what?

    As to suggesting an alternate form of government in terms of accountability, I don’t know – I am not a political science expert. I have certainly considered the question and it is definitely something I want to get into studying in the future. I have no doubt others who are experts in the field have considered the question. Certainly there is no denying that politicians generally do not have enough accountability. It is a big problem, for 3 or 4 years (depending on where you live) is a long time to able to make mistakes that others have to pay for. A business certainly doesn’t have that luxury.

    So your comment is trivial at best. It is not adequate for stopping me from being critical of the expansion of government as effectively an attack on freedom.

    And Jake, what you don’t seem to realize is that your comment underscores what I, and Zack, and many others here are saying – that limiting government is a good thing. Thanks for agreeing.

  20. Mark,

    All analogies are flawed, but some are more flawed than others.

    To say that you think abstractly that businesses are more accountable than politicians is a nice thing to say if you want to lionize business and demonize the government.

    I have no idea why you continue to label me a troll and close-minded as you refuse to actually examine your own beliefs by, you know, articulating and justifying them. I’m perfectly willing to do that. I would not be reading and posting on message boards that don’t share my opinion if I didn’t.

    I think your analogy is useless because it doesn’t offer any solution — it merely complains about the notion of lack of accountability of politicians. Let’s say you (as an individual voter) really dislike your representative. You think it’s frustrating that all you can do (as an individual voter) to reflect this dislike is tp not vote for him/her at the next election.

    Let’s say you (as an individual consumer) are not happy with one of a business’s policies or service. What empowering things can you do? How will they have a bigger effect? Do you vote by refusing to patronize any facet of that business, in the same all-or-nothing gambit as politics? It’s all well and good when you can vote with your wallet a la “I will buy Products A/B/C from you, but not Product D!” and your ‘vote’ might count for something, just like your ‘vote’ for/against a politican might.

    But what if you don’t agree with the policies of the CEO of Disney? Do you stop going to Disneyworld, even though no one who works or directly supervises Disneyworld did anything to you? Do you stop watching any of the television networks that are owned by Disney? If you do these things, how long do you think it takes for them to notice?

    In any sufficiently large system, there will be a big disconnect between the end users and the leadership. I don’t disagree that it’s troubling, and I don’t know the solution either.

    But I don’t understand what you believe the difference between a large business infrastructure and a large government infrastructure is, strictly speaking in the terms of responsiveness and accountability.

    I’d appreciate it if you didn’t respond with a non-answer and shallow claims about me being close-minded and a troll, but perhaps I’m being too optimistic.

    • Jake
    • Posted September 9, 2009 at 1:01 am
    • Permalink

    “that limiting government is a good thing.”

    I’m not really sure how promoting third parties encourages limited federal government. I am not advocating reductions in campaign finance laws. I am just suggesting that people should look to third parties. These parties may or may not advocate reducing government programs. For example, I don’t really think you would see the rise of the Green Party as a force in American politics as a means to “limit government” in the right-wing sense.

    The right-wing concept of limited government, as espoused by the Republican party, seems to involve increased military spending and government intrusion into your family life, especially marriage. So, there is still room for growth in right-wing “limited government.”

    • Mark
    • Posted September 9, 2009 at 2:45 pm
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    Chris,

    My point is really quite simple – a business is usually more accountable than a government and it’s relatively easy to see why.

    Even in a very large company, it still has to count (effectively) real ‘votes’ regularly on most decisions they make. Government just doesn’t have to do that to anywhere near the same extent. It’s just not my problem if you can’t understand that; my analogy simplified it enough. And I could care less if it doesn’t offer a solution (in the short term). It doesn’t even attempt to – and I admitted that! But that doesn’t make it “useless”. It’s simply an attempt to clarify a problem that many people seem to overlook regularly. I suspect some will find it helpful when considering how much control they want to give a government.

    Sometimes the first step to a solution is to understand the problem better. For that reason, I think your criticism is invalid.

  21. A business is accountable for its profits, not the general welfare or the satisfaction of the population at large.

    A government is, one should hope, accountable for the general welfare of the people it governs.

    This is why your analogy is flawed, and why it does not illustrate the problem, even as a first step.

    • Mark
    • Posted September 9, 2009 at 11:43 pm
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    Ah, well, sorry, Chris, but you’ve just betrayed a fundamental misunderstanding – the accountability I am talking about is the personal motivating force that keeps individuals or ‘committees’ in business or government making the best decisions within their job descriptions, not their job description themselves.

    You are confusing two different things. Your criticism is still invalid.

  22. What was it you were saying recently about moving goalposts?

    • Mark
    • Posted September 9, 2009 at 11:54 pm
    • Permalink

    Look in the mirror, Chris. It’s not my problem if you don’t understand the original example.

  23. I understand the original example, it’s just, to use your phrase, “invalid”.


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