Mann to Man

The American Condition Politically, Culturally, Economically

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Location: Williamsburg, VA, United States

Raised in rural Greenbrier Co. WV, BS Chemistry WVU, PhD Chemistry, GA Tech,Chemistry Faculty, GA Tech, 1965-1969, Dir R&D BASF Fibers 1969-1982,Sr.Exec. R&D, Burlington Industries, 1982-1986,Owner/CEO Mann Industries (formerly BASF fibers)1988-1995, CEO/Owner The Mann Group Consultants, 1987-2009, wife Carol, daughters Leigh, Susan

Sunday, September 29, 2013


  • On the ACA Misnamed "Obamacare," when he was only the salesman for it...and a very bad one at that. A friend in our "policy network' asked us to call our senators and Harry Reid. Well our senators happen to be Timmy Kaine, who was a community organizer in Nicarauga while Obama was same in Chicago -- joined at the heart. The other is Mark Warner who masquerades as a centrist but has been a sure vote for Harry Reid, which I told him he'd be when he came to Carol and Me for an endorsement -- refused, of course. My response to the current ACA debacle"

    We can call Senators and others, but my reasoning is that nothing will help bring sense to this issue. The D's will force a shutdown if only for hours just to blame Republicans......all for 2014. I remember a discussion over breakfast with my publisher friend when we agreed the ACA would be a "forever mistake" as I was writing about at the time. Already it was shaping up to be a huge boondoggle, and we agreed that Republicans would litigate it forever just as foolishly as they have Roe v Wade for 40 years -- fighting every aspect of the law with the same focus, emphasis and fervor (as some fought, even the after-sex pill). And, so it is and will be. Segmenting the law is the only hope for some resolution but I don't see that happening. R's won't do it and D's wouldn't permit it anyway. The media and other Dem shills, acolytes and sycophants have their forces out on the battle field. I suddenly remember my unmatchable football coach who would tell us when we fumbled or just messed up that "you look like bear cubs playing with themselves (my word, his was, well another word) with boxing gloves on."
    Sorry I can't muster some optimism, but our "leaders" continue to fumble, stumble and split like amoebas...or southern Baptists. Take your pick.

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Look to the Syrian debacle for an answer.

Who among us remembers the scandals that dominated much of the news and was the major subject for discussion by pundits for many weeks? Murders in Benghazi, an act of war, the IRS's abuse of office/power, the monitoring of AP reporters internal correspondence, the targeting of James Rosen, Fox News reporter, the improper taking of the 5th amendment by Lois Lerner, IRS senior officer....and oh yes, fast and furious gun running and more are of no interest.

I almost forgot, President Obama declared these to be "phony scandals,"  so they must be so..

Or, has the president's focus on Syria coincidentally taken the heat off the scandals? Perhaps coincidentally and serendipitously are synonymous. Or, even deliberate may be the same. Just thinking on paper.

More on Syria later today. The most mismanaged affair I've ever witnessed from a CEO, aka president.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013





This week I've seen the most egregious example of management incompetence that I've witnessed in a lifetime of managing and consulting others to do the same. President Obama declared he'd attack Syria without consent of congress.  He then sent Sec. of State, Kerry, out Friday last to tell America and the world that he (Obama) had taken the decision to strike on Syria....going it alone. He went to play a round of golf. Then Obama "took a 45-minute walk around the WH grounds with his chief of staff" and decided he'd reverse course and consult congress after all.


Obama consulted no others, not even his security council, and didn't even tell Kerry whom he had put on the post for all to hear and see.... to mislead Americans and the world. Crisis management??? The worst!

I first published the article below on May 27, 2013. It fits so perfectly with the issues at hand today that I am presenting it again. 


Since he was first elected president with no accountable job performance, no notable qualifications and with much of his background unknown, many have speculated that Mr. Obama is an operative for others, a “Manchurian candidate” or a “Charley McCarthy” to one or more Edgar Bergen's. While evidence can be sighted to lend credence to such theory, his ineffective job performance and management style make it compelling to conclude that he is simply not qualified for the top job in the world. 
In managing any enterprise, it's a huge mistake to promote a person to a level of management beyond his qualifications. That person invariably continues doing what he or she was doing at the lower level and normally tries simply to do more of it. He does what he understands and stays in his comfort zone. Obama was a "community organizer" requiring mainly persuasive skills. His job would have been to persuade the lower socioeconomic class to go against the "higher ups.” To do so, he convinced them that they were victims of those who "controlled" them. Those who were employed he convinced to organize unions. Those who were unemployed, his job would have been to get them on the public dole. This he has done as president. The only attributes needed for that job are persuasive communication and an integrity deficit. He has both and is doing now what he did then....speaking to those who are non-thinking, non-discerning, those looking for benefits, and even the ignorant. Not all are ignorant, but he depends on them following him reflexively with loyalty to the "D," and to his celebrity status. And they do!

An unqualified manager will always hire people who are like him or her, or even of lesser skills. They will be as incompetent as he. They'll be subservient, they won't upstage him and reveal his inadequacies. They will support him for their own benefit (job, prestige, money). Obama's appointees are largely of this ilk. 

His economic advisers epitomize this – the worst in my lifetime and possibly in history. None understands business and they give no consideration to the structural problems in the economy. They are all Keynesian theorists trying to stimulate the economy as if it suffers an imbalance in supply and demand. Totally wrong-headed!

The EPA has had an incompetent director who has run EPA as a radical environmental activist, not as a responsible manager. She's had no hesitancy to destroy much of the economy, especially coal and oil. She's leaving – her damage done. The will of Obama? Of course!

The Department of Energy under radical unqualified academician, Steven Chu, typifies incompetence – management by prejudicial ideology. His goal was to have gasoline prices “equal to Europe”, $7-9/gal. The president's actions on energy prove he has a similar mind-set. His expenditures on “green energy” defy the management principle that “an enterprise is reinvented or reformed when it's at peak performance and affordable.” Obama's energy policies are antithetical to this. Then there is the unavoidable issue of corruption in awarding billions of dollars, most of it lost, to solar and wind energy companies as well as to electric vehicle manufacturers. 
Directors of the Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services seem to compete with each other for inexplicable management decisions – Sec. Napolitano on immigration and Sec. Sebelius for dealing with Obamacare as examples. And, DHS's stockpiling of billions of rounds of ammunition lends some credence to conspiracy theorists. But, there's not enough information to make this conclusion. A positive explanation is difficult to come to.

Then there is Eric Holder at DOJ. No doubt he makes prejudicial decisions as he did with the New Black Panthers' voter intimidation in 2008. His prosecution of terrorists is highly questionable. The intervention in questioning the surviving terrorist in the Boston murders is suspicious, to say the least. How about “Fast and Furious” guns to Mexico or the Benghazi cover-up...and more? With Holder, I see deliberate malpractice along with probable incompetence.

And now, we have Chuck Hagel as Sec. Of Defense. His qualifications were questionable. His performance thus far suggests incompetence. To expect improvement would be naïve. 
In the corporate world, it normally takes some time for the incompetent manager to be dealt with. CEOs and boards of directors are reluctant to admit a mistake and may try to "work it out." Turnover is ignored with the explanation that the manager is "cleaning house" of incompetence – opposite from reality. Poor financial performance or personnel problems finally get attention. And, the person is fired after much damage has been done to the enterprise.

In the world of the elected and appointed, non-thinking, non-discerning, prejudiced and even ignorant voters are even more unlikely to remove an incompetent president. They vote for celebrity and for benefits and simply for the party label. So it is with Obama. 
If the person is narcissistic, it is even more difficult to identify the defects and expose his inadequacies. He will obfuscate, he will corral the least among his people to give him strength. President Obama does this in spades. He speaks persuasively on every issue, with acolytes and sycophants shielding him, to those who don't question him. That's his skill set.

If the person intends subversion, he will go to any length to effect it. Obama may be in this category. I have not wanted to think so but it is now imprudent to ignore it. Until I have more proof, I choose the explanation of his ineffectiveness as herein described. 
However, it is now fairly clear that Obama's election to the presidency has assured the loss of traditional America. He is transforming America as he promised in 2008. Non-thinking voters are helping him. 

Is his goal to destroy her? It seems possible. Reluctantly, I will be vigilant in looking for proof hoping not to find it. Unfortunately, my sense now is that I may find proof.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013



I've experienced many seemingly insurmountable situations in my life -- disappointment, frustration, personal fear, fear for my loved ones, some level of despair and more as all people have. But, this morning I have the most hopeless feeling of utter despair that I have ever had. I've always been able to see a probable solution to the problems. Not now! On Syria! As I've watched another bit of utterly empty commentary from president Obama, a dismal performance from Congresswoman Pelosi, Congressman John Boehner's fecklessness in capitulating to Obama, and remembering that I've never heard meaningful or inspirational commentary from Sen. Harry Reid -- THE HARSH REALITY STRUCK ME. THESE PEOPLE ARE "LEADING" OUR NATION. THE EPITOME OF INEPTITUDE. And, Americans continue to lean toward the most ineffective leader of my lifetime. It's a huge problem. Can there be a solution when people are deluged with misinformation and, frankly, are content and willfully ignorant? As a problem solver, I don't see it. Harsh? Yes, but true.