Puppy Training

Why the Mackinac Center decided to weigh in this way is somewhat of a mystery, but we learned from them ...

Mr Lehman, (with whom I have had little argument in the past) premises a decision made to be based on politics, though policy is really their game.

Gratuitous picture of Dave Agema to 'prove' he is not an insensitive Racist

Gratuitous picture of Dave Agema with ‘black’ tea folk

He makes a brief statement, which essentially claims that fact, and then implies clearly that (We cancelled our sponsorship of the Pow wow because we don’t like Dave Agema) The reason the Mackinac Center withdrew from the event was Mr. Agema’s prominent role there” And stopping there. Fair enough.  Its not my money, resources, or political ties to the Snyder administration that is going to stop them.

OK, taking a page from the book of Mackinac, I figured it would be appropriate to deal with disagreements in policy or politics in the way they have previously suggested.  For this exercise, I have located two articles from the Mackinac Center.

The first article was written by a guy who once worked for MCPP, and now spends his time stalking a particular retired Air Force Captain hoping to find SOMETHING that can be used to further defame the many time honored veteran.   Ken Braun during his time at the Mackinac Center wrote:  (I have made critical edits to update)

Almost everyone loves puppies, at least until they start making messes on the carpet.  With every puppy comes the responsibility of training it to become “man’s best friend.” The same can be said about legislators Policy advocates.  While they are, of course, not dogs, they do need to be trained in order to be turned in to a voter’s best friend. While most go to Lansing or Washington to do the right thing, many will end up making messes that result in less liberty.

Training legislators Policy advocates, as with training puppies, must be done with care and common sense. An external system of rewards and punishments is used to guide the puppy toward doing the right thing.

There’s a lesson in this for tea party groups who seek to communicate their concerns to politicians Policy Advocates. You don’t need to explain the principles or speak their language to get your point across. Indeed, this is often the last thing that will work.

While trying to speak their language can take many forms, the most common one is the misconception that activist citizens outside the legislative process can – in real-time – easily influence lawmakers policy advocates during the heat of a legislative poorly understood battle tree marking process.

In most cases, you got the word too late. Your lawmaker policy advocate may have already made up his or her mind ‘Screwed the pooch’.

The brutal fact of representative government  blind uninformed decision making, is that policy heads citizens not on the floor of the legislature not paying attention are suffering a massive information deficit that is usually fatal regarding their ability to change the mind of a politician during a legislative battle avoid a really bad trap.

Like the trained puppy, your lawmakers policy advocate will follow the training that has been driven into them beforehand. Trying to teach these at the last minute is ineffective.  Representative democracy, like puppy training, means you teach the big idea well in advance and then trust the politician or the puppy to do the right thing with the specific details when the big moment arrives.

Counter-intuitively, this means that you can often make the biggest difference well after the vote is over. Afterward, you can find out what your lawmaker policy advocate knew at the time, and judge whether they made the right decision or not. If they barked smartly and did their business outside where it belongs, a tea party group can send a big important message by effusively praising them for it. But if they chewed your slippers, they should face swift consequences.

With this past experience in mind, a politician will learn what is expected of them the NEXT time an important vote comes up. Whether the issue is taxes, spending, regulations or what not blindly condemning good people inappropriately, a message has been sent to the politician regarding the type of conduct is acceptable – and what is not. Either way, they learn that praise or punishment from a tea party is a real consequence of their future actions.

Astute readers of Michigan Capitol Confidential will notice that this understanding of the process informs much of our work when we report to you about legislation. We don’t attempt to give you a blow-by-blow, up to the minute, accounting of what is happening. We do indeed hear a lot of rumors, and a lot of informed speculation, as bills are moving through the process. We certainly could pass all this along to you … and then spend a lot of time backtracking, and changing the story as circumstances warrant. Every word we wrote would only be as good as the next committee hearing or amendment. The result would be frustration for both us and our audience, and not a whole lot of useful advice about bringing about changes.

.. As with the puppy, you should deliberately seek out opportunities to praise politicians who bark when they are supposed to and don’t make a mess.


Then a year later by golly, the theme continues with the woman who was once merely ‘a colleague’ of the (at the time married?) puppy-meister Braun while at the MCPP, and is now his blushing bride?  Quite original thought during a speaking series I suppose, and being ‘kittenish’ she said “be a cat” (but still puppy train – oh yeah and don’t be a doggie). She wrote:

” I’d like to go one better. As Ken said, you need to treat politicians like puppies. But while you treat them like dogs, you need to act like a CAT. Even if you’re a dog person, and don’t like cats.

Here’s why. (And anyone familiar with either of these animals knows exactly what I’m talking about.)

There are a few characteristics about cats that appeal to me. Once you hear these, they may appeal to you as well:

Cats are Curious. They want to know exactly what’s going on in every nook and cranny of their environment, and sniff out trouble when they can.

Cats are hunters. They root out unsavory rodents and rid the world of them.

Cats are survivalists. They always land on their feet.

Cats are independent. They set their own agenda and are bound to no one else’s plans for them.

Yep. Emphasis added.

But cats, like dogs are still stupid.  And short of getting into the trash or becoming completely feral for their survival will STARVE without their benefactor as most domesticated animals do.


Oh yeah..

The picture at the top of the article, is of Agema and Pastor Phil Smith at today’s powwow.  I had first met Smith when he and ‘insensitive’ Agema  spoke at one of our 912 meetings a couple of years ago.  Why post this?  Because anyone who knows the top gun conservative could not possibly mistake a posting he had copied from Colonel Alan West to be intended as anything BUT information for discussion and critique.


You Betcha! (45)Nuh Uh.(4)

  19 comments for “Puppy Training

  1. Nick D
    January 11, 2015 at 6:52 am

    If he wanted to repost what Allen West posted then Agema should have linked to West's website. Instead, he linked directly to a racist website that was void of the supporting commentary from Allen West that Agema claims as his justification. Plus, this is what the third or fourth time Dave Agema has done this and tried claiming he was just reposting. Once is a mistake. Three or four times isn't.

    You Betcha! (3)Nuh Uh.(24)
    • Jason
      January 11, 2015 at 8:41 am

      "He should have" "Would have been better"

      Perhaps, but he did not. West linked to the site and had his reason. But because Agema is white, and is being stalked by Braun it puts him in a different class? How can we have intelligent discussions about such things when anything we do could be potential fuel for a defamation agenda?

      You Betcha! (20)Nuh Uh.(1)
      • JD
        January 11, 2015 at 12:17 pm

        "..How can we have intelligent discussions about such things when anything we do could be potential fuel for a defamation agenda?.."

        I would (nicely) ask anybody whose fuel is feeding said fire to take another role in the movement. I can guarantee that any one of us mere 'peons' would be asked to take one for the team...and it strikes me that KRH explained in the PowWow thread (1st commentary) as to why this is not likely to happen when we sell our souls to consultants.
        Apparently, leadership believes that we put our pants on everyday just a little bit differently.

        You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(3)
  2. Mark
    January 11, 2015 at 7:02 am

    Given the link to the Allen West facebook posting which pretty much satisfies me that Kathy Hoekstra is a serial liar in her Detroit News blogs, other than destroying Agema, what is her agenda?

    You Betcha! (23)Nuh Uh.(1)
    • Jason
      January 11, 2015 at 8:50 am

      That is the question I keep asking. What is the reason for what I see as stalking? Braun may have crossed the line with a facebook comment. (picture below)

      That is actionable IMO.

      You Betcha! (15)Nuh Uh.(3)
      • Corinthian Scales
        January 12, 2015 at 2:16 pm

        You know, it's actually pathetic to see those two in their forties carry on with such mind-numbing display, however, it did serve as inspiration. From this point on, I'm referring to Kenny as Leon's merkin.

        You Betcha! (7)Nuh Uh.(0)
  3. Izzy
    January 11, 2015 at 10:29 am

    Got no dog (or puppy) in this imbroglio, but speaking of policy and politics ... and uber, politically correct sensitivity to racial issues, isn't it a teeny bit ironic that there's a lack of diversity of personnel among the political lineup at MLive http://www.mlive.com/opinion/ as well as at the policy shop at the Mac Center http://www.mackinac.org/Policy_Staff?

    You Betcha! (13)Nuh Uh.(2)
    • JD
      January 11, 2015 at 11:18 am

      Ironic in what sense and diverse in what respect?

      You Betcha! (4)Nuh Uh.(11)
      • Izzy
        January 15, 2015 at 12:53 pm

        Like #OscarsSoWhite = hypocrisy. Get it?

        You Betcha! (5)Nuh Uh.(0)
  4. JD
    January 11, 2015 at 11:41 am

    It perplexes me when a movement cannot recognize what is in its best interests...anymore than a (true) supporter recognizes what is actually best for the movement. I would offer that many on here full well recognize that their (past) speaking of the truth has effectively disqualified themselves from any (public) sponsorship or being a 'spokesperson' for any group seeking to build a successful political platform that actually 'works'.

    If 'we' can recognize this fact and that it doesn't necessarily subtract from our ability to contribute meaningfully to the cause...yet leadership can't...there's obviously something (very) wrong with the latter.

    You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(0)
  5. KG One
    January 11, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    My $0.02 on what I have been able to piece together so far.

    First off, can anyone tell me EXACTLY Dave Agema has said or written to have generated this level of animosity within the Conservative Community?

    I need to begin with this because I have not been able to find anything.

    Everything that I have been able to locate has either been grossly taken out of context or just plain flat out misrepresenting what the man actually said. In the circles I travel around in, we call that "lying".

    And speaking before certain "groups"? Look, I've spoke to people within the labor community, local democrats and others who don't exactly fit under the Conservative Banner. It hasn't changed who I am, nor how I view those people. So the argument that you hold the beliefs of those you speak to doesn't hold any water either.

    I am extremely disappointed (although not surprised in the least), by what had transpired this weekend.

    I say not surprised, because this is proving my hypothesis about the blue-bloods within the republican party kakistocracy infiltrating and doing its best to destabilize/destroy the Tea Party Network from within not only in Michigan, but nationally as well.

    Just look at the names. Jason mentions two examples above. If I were so inclined with just some digging, I'm fairly certain that I can unearth a number of others as well. Just for the record: I've been a little ore-occupied this week...and no, I wasn't directly involved in this.

    I'm disappointed in the position the MCPP has taken on several fronts; first they pull out from just "sponsoring a table" because of "posting on Facebook" (without even bothering to including specifically what was posted...something that is very peculiar for an organization which is usually very thorough like the Mackinac Center). Second, an organization that typically allows reader feedback on what they distribute, has blocked comments regarding their "official" version of events.

    So that aspect fails the smell test.

    I am also disappointed in a characters like Ken Braun who have made it is one of his pet causes to go after Agema at every opportunity (and apparently is able to draw a paycheck from it...go figure).

    What he claims that Agema said, which isn't what he really said but was only a comment on a link from Allen West's website, may not be PC, but there is some factual basis to what was written.

    To back this up, I would recommend that Mr. Braun make a visit to the 36th District in Detroit. After going through prisoner processing, sitting in on several days worth of trials in the various courtrooms and to report back what he has observed.

    I'm of the strong opinion that not only would this shatter his rose-colored view of the situation, but it would also put his financial future on shaky ground by writing something that would validate the conclusions from the website in question.

    Which of course, is exactly why Ken Braun won't go through with it.

    You Betcha! (13)Nuh Uh.(0)
    • JD
      January 11, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      I'm not sure that most conservatives have a problem with Agema or wouldn't welcome/appreciate his past, present or future contributions given his breadth of experience. What I would argue is that most seem to be speaking of his "yeah, he could've done better(s).." as if he wasn't who he is or in terms of (realistically not 'fairly') the standard that leadership (today) very frankly demands.

      The above statement isn't a slam against the man or anybody else...it's REALITY in respect to how ammunition is manufactured and used effectively against your opposition. Are most conservatives all fired up about marijuana? No.
      Does welcoming a sponsor who is marijuana-related hurt your cause?

      Thee other side doesn't give a hoot about 'fair' and laughs every single time that we waste our time complaining about it. Often, 'egos' have to be put aside if a movement is to ever succeed and there are a number of leaders who traditionally believe that it is only the 'unwashed' directly beneath them who should ever be asked to check it at the door.

      You Betcha! (1)Nuh Uh.(2)
      • Jason
        January 11, 2015 at 1:56 pm

        FYI Re: Mary-jo-wanna. The NORML addition actually turned out to be relatively innocuous. The 'stage' presentation was about Hemp and hemp products for the most part.

        You Betcha! (9)Nuh Uh.(0)
      • KG One
        January 11, 2015 at 2:02 pm

        I do get the optics thing.

        Yeah, life isn't fair.

        I'm just a little disappointing that the people whom we should be directing our attention towards like Snyder (income tax hike, last-minute gas tax debacle, appalling lack of 2A support) and Boehner (amnesty, Obamacare, out-of-control federal spending) for promoting what are traditionally democratic party core principles and are effectively given a free pass because of the "-r" after their name, yet a man like Dave Agema is given constant grief over social media postings that are twisted around like a pretzel in order to generate bandwidth and ink usage.

        You Betcha! (8)Nuh Uh.(0)
        • Corinthian Scales
          January 11, 2015 at 2:40 pm

          KG, it's a rare occasion but, you got the last part wrong. A man like Dave Agema, is given constant grief over social media postings, which are twisted around like a pretzel by a cabal in order to secure a majority with indistinguishable Democratic Party core principles simply because they have an "-r" after their name like Snyder, Bishop, Trott, Boehner, McConnell, Bush, Romney, Christie, Welday, L. B. Patterson, etc.

          If anyone thinks Dave Agema is the problem within the MI-GOP, then I suggest they go talk to Senator Lynn Land, about that.

          I got things to do. I'll be back to comment on this later.

          You Betcha! (14)Nuh Uh.(1)

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