The fine art of negotiating from a superior position. Or bullshit and brute force.
I used to use that phrase when describing to rookie cops the stages we pass through in the negotiation process. Now that phrase might seem a little harsh to some lefty that has stumbled in here, but I will make no apologies. Because you see, I didn't invent bullshit and brute force, I simply recognized it early on. In fact, it is practiced everywhere.
Bullshit is a colorful term for politics, diplomacy, circumlocution, or fillibusters. It is politically accurate having been shaped to perfection by government types. Alan Greenspan absolutely mastered the art of bullshit. Obama is in graduate school. I used to know a city clerk that wasn't half bad. The reason people use bullshit is that we like to use it much like a garnish. We throw parsley on a dinner plate for no other reason than it makes a meal look a little more appealing. We use bullshit in the same manner. Some people have mastered this art to such a degree, that when our meal is eventually served, we think that all of that excess parsley must mean we ordered a Caesar salad. Sometimes, we forget.
People bullshit us for a variety of reasons. Very often they do so in an attempt to part us from our money.
The art of bullshit is highly sought after and prized by some institutions. The FED is the Harvard of bullshit. They use terms such as Quantitative Easing instead of more precise terms like "counterfeiting." Our government is good at using bullshit coupled with imprecise and evasive acronyms. Take the Troubled Asset Relief Program or TARP. What exactly is a "troubled asset?" TARP is simply a fancy handle for "conspiracy to commit grand theft." It probably should have been labeled WARP for Worthless Asset Relief Program. Moderate Americans prefer the term bailout. The Transportation and Safety Administration or TSA is an official sounding name for airport "security guards or bouncers." A trip through TSA is very similar to being booked into jail except that they don't give you a blankie.
Politicians are well versed in bullshit. These guys have risen to a level where only eagles soar.
Check out this dunderhead. It reminds me of one of those beauty contestants answering a question, well... without the beauty. This is one of the most profound bullshit answers I have ever heard. You sir, are a champion and master. May your shadow cast down upon me. Second place goes to Connecticut voters.
The problem with spewing all of this bullshit around, is that pretty soon people start mistaking it for the truth. Government is especially vulnerable to this sort of thing. At the federal level- government begins to think that they can do whatever they want. Buy whatever union run company they need to, pass illegal health care laws, ignore legal immigration laws, steal everyone's dough and give it to Goldman Sachs and Warren Buffett. Pretty soon, everybody starts smelling it. That's kind of where we are headed now. When bullshit fails, except in places like Connecticut and California, then the last resort is usually brute force. When it gets to the brute force phase of things, there is a push and a push back. Things escalate. Since the element of surprise is gone, it is usually superior numbers that win the day. That was my observation and experience.
We tried to teach those rookie cops the art of bullshit. Some of them got pretty good at getting drunken sociopaths into the patrol car without anyone getting hurt. Every once in awhile, you'd run into a guy that just didn't respond very well to our bullshit. He'd square off and then it was time to apply the brute force default setting- in the police academy they refer to that as "defensive tactics and arrest techniques." We called it the "police dog pile" complete with curbs and asphalt. I remember a few of those scraps being rather painful. Sometimes that's how these things gotta go.