Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Fall Campaign


The President of the United States straightened his tie, smoothed his lapel, and at the signal strode smoothly down the aisle to the podium to face the assembled houses of Congress, to deliver the State of the Union Address. Polls showed President Bush's approval rating at an all-time high between 92 and 93 percent approval, and the packed chamber roared with applause and cheers as the various Senators and Representatives vied to prove that they were among the closest to the nation's champion.

But a year and a half later, President G.H.W. Bush barely cleared 37% of the Popular Vote, losing his bid for re-election to a dishonest con man from Arkansas. If there is any doubt about the sheer foolishness of connecting Job Approval of a moment to election results, that piece of history should slap you awake. Job Approval numbers are nothing more than a barometer of the moment, and not of the man. Anyone who believes that low Job Approval numbers, polled from people who in many cases are not even asked if they are registered to vote, are somehow indicative of the President's qualifications and credibility, is either someone who has been lied to or who wants to perpetuate that fraud. George Walker Bush is not running for another term anyway, so whatever you think of the Job Approval numbers, you are wrong to pay them any more attention than you do a single day's hockey scores.

The MSM is playing up the story of the low numbers, of course. Not much else they can really use against the President, actually. If a reporter was honest, they'd have to let go of trying to paint President Bush with every blunder by a local or state official, or the continuing soap opera which is Congress. And on the most important issues - Iraq, Terrorism, Taxes, Judges - Bush has done very well indeed, something no MSM reporter wants to have anyone notice. This is because, no surprise, the MSM is still working hard to get the Democrats back in power, and the Democrats know the secret to that is to get the President cut off from his party. This was one of the secrets to FDR's success; he argued with Congress on many issues, but never deserted his party, and he made sure his party never deserted him. This created the sense of the Democratic Party as the governing party during his terms, and left the Republican Party as the outside. When Harry Truman became President, the Democrats no longer felt bound to support him, and he nearly lost in 1948, and did lose support to such a degree that he chose not to run in 1952. The defection of Democrats from Truman took a little while to have their effect, but it led to the loss of the White House and Congress to the Republicans. Only because the Republicans also failed to stand with President Eisenhower, did the door open for the Democrats to reclaim both prizes.

But the Democrats did not learn the lesson at that time. By 1968, the Democratic Party was a fractious mess, with no allegiance by leading Donks to anyone but themselves. A bold opportunity through the Civil Rights Act, had instead set North Democrat against South Democrat, and Vietnam set East against West, Old against Young. Richard Nixon was able to claim the White House in 1968 with just 43% of the Popular Vote, in some part because the Democrats refused to unify at any cost. Nixon won a thorough landslide in 1972, yet by 1973 his party had already cast him aside, some for being too conservative, others for being not conservative enough, and when the Democrats laid Watergate at his door, no defense was made for him. We may argue in another place whether he should have been defended, but it should be understood that many abandoned him not on principle, but on politics.

Having found themselves content to build little fiefdoms instead of a national party, the Republicans were hopelessly divided by 1976, and many refused to support President Ford's campaign, preferring to see the Democrat win than a Republican they could not dictate terms to. Then as now, when the Carter Administration began to erode the military, make a mockery of our international doctrines, and corrode the foundation of our economic functions, these stalwarts refused to accept the responsibility their defection had caused, and instead tried to place the blame on those in the Republican Party who had tried to do the right thing; cowardice is the hallmark of the fanatic. And these same self-pronounced rulers of the Republican Party tried to do the same thing to Reagan in 1986, when they became unhappy with practical proposals and decided they'd rather derail the President and get no loaf but keep their own bitter pride, than get half a loaf and have to live in the real world. This not only weakened the Republican power in government, but diluted confidence in the Republican Party, which made Democrats look more attractive to most Americans.

A clear example of how My-Way-Only Republicans could poison their own well was the Administration of G.H.W. Bush. Elected in 1988, he chose to press forward with policies very much like those of Reagan. But because they were not 100% hard-line, certain leaders and spokesman for the Right refused to support him, and the party fractured. Good governance was abandoned, because the President attempted to build agreement rather than play personal destruction. By the spring of 1992, Republicans had allowed a good economy to be falsely portrayed as a weak one, a mild recession to be compared to the Great Depression, and no major Republican stood with the President at any time on any issue, even though a good number of them had depended on G.H.W. Bush for their own political success in years before. Even Ronald Reagan could not sway the rabid radicals to do the right thing, and in the fall they preferred insolence to meeting their responsibility to vote. The result was eight years of Clintons, with military, moral, and judicial decay on a scale which should have been anticipated, but which again the radicals refused to acknowledge as the bitter harvest of their own spite.

Here in 2006, the utter stupidity of the Rabies wing of the Republican Party is more pronounced than ever. The repeated tactics of the Left are no different than before, yet again these fools prefer to blame their leader instead of the enemy. They again refuse to point out the success which Republican leadership has brought, because it might cast some honor on a man who deserves it, but they will not abide by their duty. They refuse to highlight the scale of our victories in the Middle East, preferring to let the enemy's lies stand than make Dubya look good. They refuse to work on functional solutions, preferring to do nothing and blame the President for their own failure. Nothing, to them, is the fault of Congress; nothing is the fault of their deliberate insult of a man two-thirds of a hundred million people chose as the leader of the party and the nation; nothing is their responsibility. They openly talk about how giving power to the Democrats might somehow be desirable. A little strychnine for the country, a bullet in the head, no problem they say. Such talk is treasonous, but all too common.

I used to wonder why the Republican Party was not the majority party in America. We are the party of reform, or cutting taxes, of defending Americans and our doctrines of liberty. We are the party which stands for all races, both sexes, all ages and places, and we do not need token spokesmen to cast a fake image for us. But I see that whenever a Republican President accomplishes something and the party gains from his work, many in the party are made jealous and covetous, and they would rather diminish the party and sully the nation itself than give up the chance to steal away power for their own right. We see, all too often, men like Trent Lott and John McCain, men capable of doing the right thing only when they see a large bonus for themselves in it, but who cannot find it within themselves to support a leader, no matter how right he may be on a matter. We see men like Dennis Hastert and Bill Frist, well-meaning as they seem, who will run from a fight rather than stand by a bold leader, no matter how true his voice. Until the majority of us make plain to Congressmen and Senators that our President speaks with authority, and that the GOP must follow their leaders instead of aiming knives for his back; we will not countenance mutiny, especially on such puerile inspiration as we see in the most recent examples.

The most recent fools on the Right are fools indeed. George W. Bush is not running for office again; I suspect he is already looking forward to his retirement in Crawford with some enthusiasm. He is working to finish what he started and for the good of America, as he always has, but if his own party refuses to back him up when he asks, they are only putting the knife to their own throat. As biased as the current polls are, those which examine the matter in broad context always, without exception, show that the public's approval of President Bush is far greater than their approval of Congress, especially the Senate. And the last three elections should remind these narcissists, that they need the help of the President a great deal; indeed, many of them would not be in office at all except for the efforts of George W. Bush. Strange how poor their memory is on that point, to say nothing of how they repay that debt. President Bush, distinctly better in character and honor than his enemies can hope to claim, wants the Republican Party to make gains in this fall's elections, because he loves the GOP and he knows that Democrats as they are presently composed, would not serve the nation's interests well at all. But in the end, it all depends on those fools who claim to speak for the Conservative cause but who will not back the leader who has done the most for them, to wake up and stop attacking their own Commander.

Friday, May 12, 2006


Over on, one of the readers, an active-duty soldier, took great offense when I told him he was “deserting” the President at a time when President Bush was under fire. Looking back at it later, I agreed that the word was badly chosen, and apologized. But I apologized for using ‘desertion’ in connection to an active-duty soldier, not because his actions and capricious lack of loyalty were tolerable. In fact, while ‘desertion’ is a word too loaded with emotion to be properly used in a debate about Politics, it is difficult to find a more appropriate word to describe the so-called Conservatives and Republicans who find it so easy to forget everything which President George W. Bush has done for them in his time as President, all because they are not getting everything they want on a secondary issue. It really seems to me to be dishonorable, this loyalty which only lasts as long as they feel like standing with the President.

As an official, I have seen this happen in sports. Players stop listening to their coach, and the whole team falls into a slump, while the team which sticks by their coach often exceeds expectations. As terrible a leader as Howard Dean is, and as bad for the nation as their platform is, the Democrats certainly can take over control of Congress, if the Republicans give up and let it happen. And the stakes in the Capitol are much, much higher than any sports competition. It’s no better than dishonest to pretend that if the Democrats control either chamber, that they won’t be worse than ever at obstructing reform or the appointment of any competent judges. And they will protect their advantage the way they did in the 1970s and 1980s, by changing rules to make it harder for the Republicans to throw them out. It’s no better than stupid to assume that a loss in 2006 will be made up in 2008, or 2010, or any time in particular. Especially since the MSM can be counted on to spin things all the more in the Democrat’s favor.

This also brings up the behavior of Republicans. Hard-head Conservatives wrongly believe that if they “sacrifice” a few Republicans, the rest will understand they need to be more Conservative and move to the Right. But in the actual historical record, whenever the number of Republicans in a chamber goes down, the remaining members tend to move AWAY from the “extreme”, which is to say they tend to play along with the Liberals. The ONLY conditions under which Republicans become more Conservative as a whole, are when they are increasing their representation and control. Therefore, RINO or not, the only Conservative position in a General Election is to make sure every Republican candidate wins.

I have not mentioned what will happen in the event the Democrats take both the House and Senate. If that happens, President Bush will certainly be impeached, never mind that there is no valid basis for it, and he may well be convicted; remember what I said about weaker Republicans making nice with the Liberals. The best case scenario in such a circumstance may be described as a disaster,and there is no silver lining.

So why does it matter if Bush has support nor not? After all, he’s not running for anything, right? The thing is, people tend to see a political party by its leader, which is why John Kerry has been hidden by the Democrats ever since November 2004, and Al Gore only shows up at Democrat gatherings like a grotesque caricature of a gothic clown. If Republicans do not support the President, the twice-elected leader of the United States of America, then by extension the entire GOP appears broken and in chaos. And that only helps the Democrats. After all, think about it and you will realize that people form memories of political ages by the President of the day. The ‘90s were the Clinton Era, the ‘80s were the Reagan Age, and so on. Republicans who will not stand by President Bush are screaming “DO NOT ELECT ME”, no matter what they intend to say. And Republicans who blame the President without giving him his due, are simply playing ‘Hail to the Chief’ in the key of Donkey.

No, they are not "deserting" the President. They're simply forgetting their debts of honor, and refusing to support him when their nation and party will be damaged by such a course. Call it what you will, it's not honorable.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Stating The Obvious


George W. Bush is honest and consistent. Every Conservative knows it. I said before that the same man who thought Harriet Miers would be good as a SCOTUS Justice, was the same guy who picked Alito and Roberts. In each case he picked who he thought was best. If that sounds gonzo to you, Reagan was honest and consistent too, and he thought Sandra Day O’Connor would be good for the Supreme Court. And it’s the same in every other decision Bush has made. No, he hasn’t always been perfect, but frankly no one is. It sounds easy to be wise and make the right choice every time, when there’s no pressure on you and you only see the information that the public sees. I’m not apologizing for Dubya, but I’m also pointing out that the same things about him which drive people crazy sometimes, are the same things he does and says which make all the difference. When 9/11 happened, Bush was the best possible man to have in the White House at that time, and when people cool down they will remember that. When he stared down China in April 2001 without any Americans getting killed, it was the same determination that he showed in facing down the Taliban and Saddam. And again, it’s not as if we would have gotten rid of Saddam and changed two Middle East regimes to democratic republics under anyone else.









Again, people will remember this later on, but for now they get worked up and forget all the good. they forget the tax cuts, they forget Dubya tried to fix Social Security, they forget his work against child slavery in Africa and Asia, they ignore his work to reform the bureaucracy at the CIA and to take effective steps to protect both the nation and our rights. Later people might remember, but for Dubya, he’s just doing the job. Just as he always has.

Do yourself a favor. Re-look at the issues with the understanding that whether or not he has it all figured right, the President is serious, competent, and honest on his position, and that should help you see a clearer picture.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Blog Edits


Back in the 1990s, I was a Football official and Baseball umpire for Texas high school sports. I also officiated in Wrestling and some Volleyball, but mostly it was Football and Baseball. And the events of this week remind me a bit of my time wearing the Blue.

It can be intimidating, working as an umpire, especially behind the plate. You make a lot of calls, and often the fans, to say nothing of the coaches and players, get the idea that you aren’t getting the calls right, even though you are usually the only person on the field who fully understands the strike zone and who watches the pitch all the way into the glove without bias. And then there are the judgment calls, especially when your partner did not get a good look from his position, and points for you to make the safe/out call.

Coaches can often spot a new official, and they tend to give new umps a hard time to see if they can get inside their skin to influence calls. This is actually a pretty stupid thing to do, because once the umpire understands what the coach is trying to do, this sort of stunt is more likely to prejudice the umpire against that coach instead of for him, but it happens anyway. This leads to some confrontations, which the umpire needs to learn about and prepare for, anyway, since it’s the nature of the job to have arguments.

Anyway, during my rookie season, one of the veteran umps I was working a JV game with took the time to mention a very important observation to me. He reminded me that no matter what a coach or player or fan said, ultimately it was my call, and what I decided would stand, popular or not.

That applies to blogging, as well . I appreciate comments, and the emails are often well-written and thoughtful. Those which are not, get all the attention due them. But when I write my columns, I do so with a sense of responsibility and for a purpose. There are literally millions of blogs out there, and if somehow that doesn’t find one to suit you, you are always welcome to start your own up. But I laugh at the people who waste time thinking I am going to change one word of my posts to suit them. If I was doing it for money or for some notion of fame, some people might persuade me. But I am my own voice, and speak my own mind. Whatever you think of me, what I post is the real deal, and that will never change.

What The President REALLY Said About Immigration Reform


You know what really bugs me the most about all the attacks on President Bush? It’s the way every vicious rumor trotted out by a Democrat, RINO, or fluffy-haired overpaid yakking piehole gets treated as if it’s what the President supports or said, when in fact nothing of the kind is true. For over a decade now, George W. Bush has been saying what he means and following through on his promises to the best of his ability. Strange how so very little of that gets remembered, even by the vipers attacking him from behind, while assuring their audience that they, though unelected, have a better right to lead this country than the man twice elected to do so. ‘Contempt’ is hardly a strong enough word for my opinion of such cowards and thugs.

To properly discuss the President’s actual plan for Immigration Reform, you first have to get away from all the gossip and rumors and sort out what he actually proposed, and how he means to make it work. It’s hardly kept secret. The President’s words and plans on the matter of Immigration have been posted on the White House site all along, for anyone honest enough to bother checking out the facts for themselves.

Let’s understand right away, that this is a multi-dimensional problem. Congress has to pass laws for the reform, but we know from history that some very solid laws just are not being enforced. That means that we need to make the existing laws viable, with enough enforcement power to do more than make speeches. Critics do not mention that Bush has budgeted more money for border security than any other President in history, and has increased the staffing for Border Patrol significantly.

The Bush Plan has three major parts: Border Security, Enforcement Inside Our Borders, and Addressing the Existing Illegal Population. This is not new, it’s just been ignored for months by people more interested in bitching than making the plan work. This was discussed in detail back in March for instance, long before the illegals started marching and the hissy level of the panty-waist Right was at an almost human standard.

President Bush was also talking about Immigration Reform last November when he spoke with ranchers in Arizona. And in actual fact, the work during Bush’s time in office has shown better results than anyone seems willing to acknowledge; more than six million people intercepted trying to enter the country illegally, increased use of detention facilities and significant increase in border enforcement resources, cooperative focus on finding and apprehending violent illegals like the MS-13 gang (prior to Bush, there was no program whatsoever which addressed gangs of illegal aliens committing crime in the United States), and greatly improved enforcement of document forgery laws. It’s one thing that the MSM has paid no attention to this work, but shameful that so many false CINOs (Conservatives In Name Only) refuse to acknowledge it either.

The heart of the controversy is Bush’s proposed plan to create a Temporary Worker Program. Note before anything else is mentioned, that this has always been proposed as a temporary program, not a “path to citizenship” or even permanent residency, not a way to cut in line ahead of legal immigrants. What it is, when people calm down enough to pay attention, is a practical plan for dealing with millions of people who are here now illegally, and who would be difficult to locate and remove under the existing conditions. It should also be recognized, that Bush’s proposal was always meant to be the starting point for Congressional discussions and debate, as is obvious by the broad and general nature of the proposal.

Which brings me to the difference between pie in the sky fantasies and the hard reality. The cruel fact is that up to now enforcement of the existing laws has not worked. We can bicker all we want about why that is, but anyone who is not a moron understands that creating new laws will be very unlikely to work until we understand the cause of why the existing laws are not enforced. That means that while we all understand that a major cause of the problem is the employment of illegals by businesses breaking the law, many people do not accept that the DHS cannot be the principal law enforcement agency on that front; the people aware that this is happening are the local and county law enforcement agencies, and while they regularly round up illegal workers, they do not pursue the owners and contractors who hire them. This is not something President Bush can fix, much as we or he would like. I have ideas about how Congress could address this problem (like a severe tax penalty for hiring illegals, say $20,000 per offense), but in spite of the notion that President Bush could wave a magic wand and just sign an Executive Order, the actual fact is that Congress is where the reform has stalled, over and over again. Blaming Bush for Congress’ failure not only wrongly attacks the President for an action he does not control, but lets the con artists on Capitol Hill shirk their duty.

Which brings me to the Fence. One of the more stupid lies tossed around against President Bush, is that he does not want a fence on the border. This is wrong for several reasons, not the least because there is already a physical fence in many places along the border. And while it makes good sense to improve the length, size, and difficulty of the fence, again it needs to be said that this is a responsibility which Congress has failed miserably to address – has anyone even heard of a proposed committee hearing in the House or Senate to address building a reinforced, contiguous wall? Also, any physical barrier can be penetrated or surmounted, which means you need something else to make it functional. This is why President Bush also noted last November that while there was already “a fence here in the border. You're going to have a virtual fence in the border when we bring technology to bear - infrared, cameras, drones”. Additional resources to detect and apprehend border violations. Not instead of a physical barrier, as some have so dishonestly claimed, but in addition to it. This is very, very different than the image some folks have painted.

So, if President Bush does not actually want an amnesty and citizenship for illegals, and if he actually does support a physical fence, further enhanced with multiple modes of surveillance, then why are so many people claiming the opposite? Confusion for some, but rank dishonesty for others. People find this issue very uncomfortable, as they should when the security of our borders is concerned, but not everyone is prepared to address the crisis rationally, and the President of the United States has often been the favored target of the press and political demagogues, especially when he is a Conservative and from Texas. The plain fact is, that like Reagan before him Bush was the Governor of a border state before he became President, and he knows the issue far better than many of the Johnny-come-lately’s who think the matter through only to a point, then presume that their knowledge and experience somehow trumps the President’s. Like Reagan, George W. Bush takes on the whole issue, not just what’s on the surface, and he is pursuing a permanent solution, not some temporary paint job to win poll points. And just as Republicans began deserting Reagan in 1986, when their self-serving egos found Reagan’s attention on difficult issues unpalatable to their personal desires, so again politicians and stuffed-shirts are leaving President Bush, specifically because he is talking about the heavy lifting. And because they do not want to be seen for the deserters they are, they go so far as to blame the President for their own cowardice. With the MSM and Democrats already hungry for anything which makes the most prominent Conservative in the world look bad, Dubya is simply an easy target, especially since he is not the sort to return fire with similar lies and slander.

President George W. Bush is a man of his word. That fact was established long ago, and it used to be a common point of pride among Conservatives, that we had a man who did not lie or mislead, a refreshing change after eight years of the Clintons. And the fact of Bush’s honesty was known to his enemies, which is why “Bush Lied” became the ridiculous mantra of the Left; they knew that only if they could tear down his reputation as an upright man, could they hope to destroy him. But Bush has repeatedly shown that he does what he says he will do, even if Saddam Hussein and the vermin of Al Qaeda had hoped otherwise, and on every measure he has been consistent to his word and statement. So it matters to pay attention, not to what somebody else wants to claim he said or some deceitful interpretation which twists his words to claim something he never actually said at all, but to the President himself. He is specific, consistent, and trustworthy. And more than a few people owe him a humble apology. Again.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Mahdi Wanna-Be Ploy Of The Month


Say you’re the psychotic leader of a nation chock full of psychotic fanatics. I mean, your mentor was the Ayatollah Khomeini, a man who looked like he’d want to have people stoned for not praying fervently enough, and the standard lackey in your government is a fedayeen washout. Just shouting “Death to America!” is not going to be enough; you got three year olds doing that already on their way to daycare. And if you want to turn that ‘Mahdi’ jones you have into anything more than a Muslim wet dream, you need to deal with the US. Sure you’re nuts, but you are not stupid enough to think that President George W. Bush is going to let you start beating down other Middle East nations, to say nothing of attacking Israel, so you have to figure out what you’re going to do about the POTUS. Unlike Democrats and more than a few pansy-style Republicans, you understand he’s serious about securing the Middle East from loons like you. So you write a letter. Say, about 18 pages, which ignores the issues between you and the United States but goes on and on about how you see the world situation.

From Ahmadinejad’s point of view, it’s a no-lose situation. Most people see things from a culture-centric perspective, and so they fail to see the attendant objectives to the actions of the Jihadist leader. Dar-al-Islam is the game for these guys, and that focuses on the Middle East. While Ahmadinejad would love to see the world dominated by Islam, he knows he has to first build a regional hegemony, and that means getting ahead of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan on the street. For all its trite hyperbole, the Arab “street” is real and a valid barometer for their political course. Iran, formally called ‘Persia’, has a real Superiority Complex working as a nation historically, and most Middle East nations have a bone or four to pick with Iran, which works against following the lead of Ahmadinejad in a Jihad. For all the hype from Al-Jazeera, most of the Middle East couldn’t give a squirt about whether Israel exists, let along work up the anger to want to destroy the nation that provides a significant chunk of the world’s food, entertainment, and military protection. So Job One is making yourself ‘team captain’ of the Jihad Squad.

So then, what is Mad Mad Mahmoud up to? It’s like this: He sends a letter to President Bush, which could be quite literally anything – for all I know he sent 18 pages of doodles from the last time he had a vision from God – and Mahdi boy says he’s asked for discussions with President Bush. If Bush laughs in his face, Mahdi Wanna can claim that he was trying to make peace, and claim a moral advantage. If Bush sends envoys to take up Mahdi Manic on his proposal, even just to present a make-nice image, then Ahmadinejad will present himself as a man that the Americans treat as an equal, something uncommon for your average unstable maniac. It also feeds that capacious ego Ahmadinejad has. We’re talking here about a man who not only believes he’s on a mission from God, he’s clearly been studying Mein Kampf and applying it liberally to his own plans. Blame everything on Israel when he speaks to his own people, and promise its obliteration, check. Tell America all he wants is to be reasonable, check. Prepare ghastly weapons while loudly protesting his innocence, check. He’s even starting to look like the little Corporal when he gives speeches, although even Herr Schicklegruber never went so far as to claim that when he spoke, he had a glowing aura and no one could blink, much less fail to pay attention to his every word.

The question here is what response to the United States should make to this guy? If I were the President , I would immediately release the text of that letter to the public; let them know exactly what is being said. I would respond publicly to Ahmadinejad by way of a televised address to the American people, asking Congress for a policy of regime change on the basis of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, the brutal nature of the Iranian police state and its suppression of protest, and the subsidy by Iran of terrorists entering and operating in Iraq. Like the Regime Change in Iraq declaration passed in 1998, I would leave out specifics at this time, but it would lay the groundwork for whatever future action is necessary, and send a clear shot across the bow to Iran. As for the original letter itself, I would make use of it the next time I needed a toilet, and then send that letter back to Ahmadinejad.

Monday, May 08, 2006

More About Business Schools


Last Saturday, I published my list of the Top 25 Online MBA Schools in the US. I noted at the time, that I was using some pretty general definitions and only one salient criteria. It might make sense for me to explain that criteria in more detail and context.

The nominal lists of top business schools, such as one sees published in Business Week, US News & World Report, or The Wall Street Journal, are based on the expectations of the standard graduate from full-time programs and on the assumption that the student fits into a narrow demographic; essentially the 24-to-28 year old with a Bachelor’s in Business plus an appropriate employment background, a documented success in Undergraduate results by GPA, major, and school of recognized name, as well as a clear track indicating future success, as defined by an exceptional GMAT score, resume, recommendation from employers, or some combination of the three. The assumption further presumes that the student intends to pursue executive positions at high-profile financial firms, or else to pursue a high-capital opening in such venues as Entreprenuership. Frankly, the assumption seems to me to suggest that the top schools are suited to students who wish to work in major cities on the East or West Coast, in Investment Banking, High-Margin Marketing, or similar high-profile positions. The problems include determining what is best for those who wish to live and work in less urban conditions, who prefer operational responsibilities, and those whose personal demographic is less suited to the extrovert and the volatile. Also, it occurs to me that as often happens in high-demand degrees, many of these would-be CEOs are going to find that there are far less openings in their desired niche than graduates with such degrees. So, I find it better to weigh a school on the basis of its overall education, specifically making the student capable to address a range of responsibilities and positions. This not only provides the student with many more choices for his applications following school, but makes him more attractive to companies seeking a broader skill set. This redirection makes the magazine rankings a bit suspect, therefore, since they tend to key on only one aspect of the school as a primary quality. Of course, it is true that the preference of recruiters is valuable when picking a school; knowing your school attracts a lot of companies and job offers is certainly an incentive for selecting that school.

But this all makes clear to me how different the distance MBA is from the nominal full-time school. Ironically, the self-selected ‘experts’ on ranking Business schools tend to think down on distance MBAs these days, but I am convinced that will change over time, if for no other reason than the fact that individuals, not groups, achieve greatness, and the only reason that no top CEO/CFO has come from a distance MBA, is that the distance MBA is too new to have shown its results in great measure; as more and more students earn their MBA through distance programs, more and more of them will succeed at higher levels, the present bias notwithstanding. It will take time, but it will happen.

But with regard to distance MBAs, I do not accept, at all, the notion that distance students are in any way inferior to full-time students. In fact, a case can be made to claim superior credentials for the distance student, since they must address the same material in most schools that the full-time student does, but in addition to a full time job and additional responsibilities which prevent these students from being able to pursue full-time study. In addition, the distance study student tends to be older than the full-time student, so the amount of real-world experience is greater. While full-time purists may prefer the high-gloss resume of a student who has never known floor level employment, such experience adds significant depth to the student of business practices, as he knows directly what works, what has failed, and why. A Ken Lay or Bernard Ebbers comes from a class which has only known silk ties and personal privilege, and while I do not mean to indict all elitist executives with that brush, I do maintain that direct work experience, face to face with customers and the floor staff of a company, is the best foundation for a successful executive. To be blunt, I expect greater results from MBA holders who held a real job for a decade or more before tackling the Masters program; they have a better sense for the bona fides of a company, or they should.

This brings me back to determining the best Online MBA schools. I have to admit that not all online schools are really as good as the traditional ‘brick and mortar’ schools, so as a standard placement I am only considering Business schools which offer an Online MBA, and which are accredited members of the AACSB. When I say they offer an Online MBA, I mean that a regular person with no more than 2 weeks of vacation could plan to meet the requirements of the course; there are a number of schools with unreasonable residency requirements, such as in-state distance courses, work-hours classes only, or excessive residence visits to a campus. So my list began with AACSB-member schools which offer a truly online MBA, either through proctored exams, capstone courses, or some combination which insures effective standards and genuine convenience of schedule and degree planning. After that, the only significant differences would be name recognition and tuition. I admit to an arbitrary screening in terms of name recognition, though I would claim that my entrants are valid. As to price, the information from was very useful, though I would remind the reader, again, that in-state tuition may make some schools a better choice than other schools; I ranked the schools on the basis of out-of-state tuition. Also, the reader should be aware that the state where you wish to work is very important; one reason I am inclined to Texas schools, is not only price but my intention to continue working in Texas, where the Texas schools will enjoy an advantage.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Pride Before The Fall


I remember how I felt in 1979, as the Democrat-controlled Congress, following the course of their Democrat President, allowed the United States to fall further and further into crisis. Oil prices, national defense, respect for Americans, and the future of the Western World through American leadership were all put into grave peril, and I was shocked to see how casually the Left accepted these conditions. One reason so many people came to love Ronald Reagan, was that he not only set a different course, he did so when all seemed on a course to failure. Reagan never accepted doomsayers of course, though he had a few and more to stare down in his time. Certainly he had a rough road to the White House, as so many Republicans feared to support a strong conservative, labeling his policies and programs all sorts of things. But he prevailed, and only failed to succeed more because of the capricious Congress.

The same thing is happening now with George W. Bush. Yes, he allegedly enjoys the backing of a Republican Congress, though you'd have a hard time knowing it from some of their actions. And yes, like Reagan he has a few ideas which have been ridiculed as much by Republicans as by Democrats, though now as then these panty-waists insist that they support the President; their spittle only shows their devotion, somehow, to America. Then as now unelected sorts with bloated egos demand that the twice-elected President kowtow to their wishes, and submit that the Chief Executive has no right to exercise his own discretion or judgment. Then as now these false Conservatives lay land mines against their own party, and when their snares destroy Conservative opportunities and values, these villains will be quick to assure us they are only doing what is best; a bullet in the patient is the best medicine, say these sorts, even though History abundantly proves them wrong again and again.

I remember wondering why Republicans in 1991 would not back President G.H. Bush, forcing him into a situation where he would lose no matter his decision. I wondered why the GOP would abandon a President in favor of a clearly inferior offering like Perot. I remember worrying that allowing a Democrat back in the White House would be like bringing back Carter. The emerging details of the Clinton Administration are proving that such fears were well-founded, yet Republicans are whistling at the risk that they may be, through their petulance, handing the keys to our nation's welfare to the very people least worthy of that trust.

God help us.