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By TheophileEscargot (Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 10:15:25 AM EST) Readin, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "End of the Road". Links

What I'm Reading
End of the Road by Chris Brady, Andrew Lorenz. An account of the ill-fated takeover of Rover by BMW Plenty of things went wrong, but they identify several main factors. At first BMW were too hands-off, making few changes. When things kept going wrong and their leadership changed, they then lurched in the opposite direction, putting their own managers in charge, losing knowledge. But the biggest factor was the strength of the pound, which rose sharply crippling Rover's ability to export. BMW leaders reckon that they might have dealt with either factor alone, but not together.

Another possibility that might have saved Rover was moving BMW production, possibly of a new and smaller model, to Longbridge, but they were reluctant.

By this account, the BMW executives come across as over-sensitive: if anything worrying too much about UK public opinion about laying off staff. The unions also come out of it well. However the book's very critical of Peter Mandelson and Stephen Byers as industry secretaries, portraying them as out of touch, badly informed, and sending the wrong signals.

The book also strongly implies that the initially proposed deal with the "Alchemy" finance company might well have proven better in the long run: they planned to greatly scale back production but still keep building and selling MGs. The government however backed the "Phoenix" consortium, with a somewhat implausible plan to keep large-scale production going without major layoffs.

The book ends in 2001, but as they hinted the Phoenix plan failed and the company collapsed entirely.

The book's adequately written in a, well, businesslike manner. Fairly interesting.

Going to visit the parents for a few days from Saturday, may not be posting much.

Pics. X ray flowers. Painted snail shells. Safety booklet: It's great to be alive. Clown egg register. London 1560 map (see the Spital Fields). Converted planes.

Socioeconomics. Women's 'double shift' of work and domestic duties a myth (Long PDF). Overweight adolescents and risky sexual behaviour. German brands: Aldi, Fanta.

Random. Colour flip.

Audio. Free audiobook of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations (via). Noel Coward: I don't want to go to Rehab.

Sci/Tech. Google's biggest failures. Digital natives?

Politics. Good news on rights: Extreme porn case fails, Giant child database switched off. Media loses it over 11-year-old "on the Pill" (via Priestess).

Articles. Long fascinating article on South African prison gangs (via). How to be like Tarzan. US Politics: The Pseudo-conservative revolt (via).

< on some stuff | The dreams about fellow Husites have returned. >
No Never No More | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden)
trolling for Rogerborg? by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 10:29:44 AM EST

(Comment Deleted) by aggressive cyclist (4.00 / 1) #2 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 10:42:11 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by aggressive cyclist

Result! by Breaker (4.00 / 3) #3 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 11:07:17 AM EST
You've achieved your childhood dream!

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by aggressive cyclist (4.00 / 1) #4 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 11:19:08 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by aggressive cyclist

[ Parent ]
PIE! by Breaker (4.00 / 4) #6 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 12:04:11 PM EST
With BEER!

[ Parent ]
Google failures by duxup (4.00 / 1) #5 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 11:53:43 AM EST

The Google failures article lead to this article about Google's failed attempt to get into radio adverts.  Kind of halarious how Google tried to take the web advertising mold and cram radio advertising into it.  One of the best lines about culture clash:

"DMarc and Google employees didn't see eye-to-eye on strategy. The dMarc team advocated blasting the market with salespeople to push the auction concept, but also negotiating fixed-price packages and discounts that are more typical of how radio spots are usually sold. DMarc asked for 50 new employees and submitted a long list of prospects, according to people familiar with the matter.

Google favored hiring seven or so new salespeople, and told the Steelbergs their candidates weren't qualified, these people say. Google tends to hire only from the most selective colleges; many of the Steelbergs' candidates hadn't gone to college. A spokeswoman for the Steelbergs declined to comment."


The Pseudo-Conservative Revolt by duxup (4.00 / 1) #7 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 12:09:27 PM EST
Certainly reminds me of the Tea Party, and The Onion article Area Man Passionate Defender Of What He Imagines Constitution To Be.

Yeah, but I think the analysis is contradictory by lm (4.00 / 1) #9 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 05:57:35 PM EST
The key paragraph for me:
One of the most urgent questions we can ask about the United States in our time is the question of where all this sentiment arose. The readiest answer is that the new pseudo-conservatism is simply the old ultra-conservatism and the old isolationism heightened by the extraordinary pressures of the contemporary world. This answer, true though it may be, gives a deceptive sense of familiarity without much deepening our understanding, for the particular patterns of American isolationism and extreme right-wing thinking have themselves not been very satisfactorily explored.

Or, as I would mockingly paraphrase this, So the "pseudo" conservatism is really the old conservatism but some of us don't think the old conservatism has been sufficiently analyzed so admitting that these "pseudo" conservatives are really part of the conservative tradition does nothing to deepen our understanding of authentic conservatism.

But perhaps our understanding would be deepened further if this old strain of conservatism were recognized as one of the many strands that informs the conservative tradition in the US. For example, I think several parallels could be built between the Whiskey Rebellion and the contemporary Tea Party movement that would aid in understanding both.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure where the pseudo came from by duxup (2.00 / 0) #12 Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 05:17:01 PM EST
I'm guessing the "pseudo" part of that came from the fact that he just grants the apparent recent tradition of conservatism the status of real or something.  That or maybe complaints about the contradictions carried with this new group makes him think their ideas are not thought out as well as existing conservatives so they get the "pseudo" label.  Either way yeah it seems a bit arbitrary to toss that label.  I'm no history expert but I doubt political contradictions were any newer then than they are now. 

But that just leads me to my below response to your other post noting how I don't know how anyone is supposed to talk about politics these days.

[ Parent ]
Also, as contradictory as it seems to me by lm (4.00 / 1) #10 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 06:05:25 PM EST
It is pretty uncanny in it's description of the Tea Party movement despite being written in 1965.

But, perhaps, that just goes to show that it is describing an authentic part of the conservative movement rather than a "pseudo" conservative third rail.

And for the record, Ike is my favorite modern president.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
part of the conservative movement by duxup (2.00 / 0) #11 Sat Aug 07, 2010 at 05:10:17 PM EST
I think every political movement has its own built in contradictions.  The GOP and much of the political cloud and people around it seem to IMO have a LOT more apparent and active contradictions.

Just going by some of the basic numbers of recent conservative principals:

No nation building - Iraq, Afghanistan.
Smaller government, less bureaucracy - Dept of Homeland Security.
Support of individual constitutional rights / non invasive federal government - Aside from being able to own a gun... Homeland Security and related acts. 
Fewer entitlement programs - Prescription drug program, before the new heath care plan it was largest expansion of entitlements since the creation of Medicare.
Free Market economics - Bank Bailout (and if anyone looks closely even when they go the deregulation / open markets route it is to the benefit of existing business, not so much to ensure an open market)
Lower federal spending, lower federal deficit - See all above.

I think perhaps there are some extra built in contradictions in the those in the conservative movement with actual political power that from time to time becomes more apparent and their love of American revolutionary, patriotic rhetoric encourages a sort of everyman angry revolution.  Is that group an active subset of the overall movement?  I don't know.

Personally I don't even know how to discuss politics anymore.  I mean do we talk about bullshit he says / he says rhetoric that isn't the least bit examined, tested for truth, or like much of the mass media act like a bunch of political science drop outs who only can sit around and debate what might ring true with the electorate, or more likely what will make the nightly news soundbyte?   Or do we discuss what the heck actually happens in the end in government?

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talking points by garlic (4.00 / 1) #13 Mon Aug 09, 2010 at 03:49:46 PM EST
and making political hay is all bullshit, and maybe fun to talk about but not worth much. What I want to talk about is what the current issues are, and how we might solve them. Still plenty to argue about there, but the pointless is reduced.

[ Parent ]
Eleven? by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #8 Fri Aug 06, 2010 at 01:08:18 PM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

No Never No More | 13 comments (13 topical, 0 hidden)