Mark Green, The Oklahoman’s national editorial writer gave us a blog last Wednesday entitled "He Said What?" (best to read the title aloud in a angry Rikki Lake guest-voice) that points out how the new Chairman of GM knows nothing about cars. Here is the blog in full:
I do not have a big problem with Green pointing these things out. I just wish he would point these things out when people his paper support do the same kind of things.
Note that Green does point out Whitacre was good at what he did in the business world, and those who support the appointment of Whitacre say the same things. Here are a couple of those supporter's quotes from a recent article on the matter in The Huffingon Post:
A bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and record in shaping a "monolithic" AT&T into a diversified enterprise make Whitacre "a good choice," said Jim Hall, principal of 2953 Analytics auto-consulting firm in Birmingham, Michigan.
"He was one of the guys who helped create a new AT&T that wasn't so dependent on land-line phone service," said Hall, a former GM engineer. "There's a parallel with General Motors. GM is not now about just making cars. It's about re-creating itself as a 21st-century car company. They have to have somebody at the top that understands they have to make a new GM."
Now let me point out someone Green and the entire Oklahoman Editorial Staff completley ignored during the Bush years. And this is one of countless examples.
John Agresto also saw a silver lining as he watched the looting of Baghdad on TV. He envisioned his job - "a never-to-be-repeated adventure" - as the remaking of Iraq's system of higher education from scratch. In that context, the stripping of the universities and the education ministry was, he explained, "the opportunity for a clean start," a chance to give Iraq's schools "the best modern equipment". If the mission was "nation creating," as so many clearly believed it to be, then everything that remained of the old country was only going to get in the way. Agresto was the former president of St John's College in New Mexico, which specialises in a Great Books curriculum [which emphasises an education based on broad reading]. He explained that although he knew nothing of Iraq, he had refrained from reading books about the country before making the trip so that he would arrive "with as open a mind as I could have". Like Iraq's colleges, Agresto would be a blank slate.
If Agresto had read a book or two, he might have thought twice about the need to erase everything and start all over again. He could have learned, for instance, that before the sanctions strangled the country, Iraq had the best education system in the region, with the highest literacy rates in the Arab world - in 1985, 89% of Iraqis were literate. By contrast, in Agresto's home state of New Mexico, 46% of the population is functionally illiterate, and 20% are unable do "basic math[s] to determine the total on a sales receipt". Yet Agresto was so convinced of the superiority of American systems that he seemed unable to entertain the possibility that Iraqis might want to salvage and protect their own culture and that they might feel its destruction as a wrenching loss.
*(footnote) When agresto failed miserably at his job of rebuilding Iraq's university system, leaving the country with the job undone, he revised his early enthusiasm for looting, describing himself as "a neoconservative who's been mugged by reality."
It was not until September 18, 2007 that The Oklahoman even mentioned Agresto's name. Three years and three months after he left Iraq. They did so by giving a blurb from this column by Thomas Sowell.
Oh yah, if you get bored..look up a guy named Gary Heldreth!