[I happened to catch a fragment of a BBC report on psychopathic bosses reproduced below — as many as 50% may be such! These types are very smooth and charming, interview well, but turn out to be disasters when in place — for the enterprise they are running as well as for their employees. The horrendous thought occurred to me that Bush may be precisely one of these. His history has been that of charming people into supporting him for ‘boss’ roles. All he did at Yale, apart from mustering a C average, was to win the presidency of the principal jock fraternity there (DKE) by the same glad-handing techniques one sees in his press conferences — nicknames for all and joshing conversation in place of serious responses.

I first became appalled with Bush as governor of Texas in that he never paused to consider capital punishment cases for clemency — particularly with Karla Faye Tucker, he was reported to have mocked her plea with an interviewer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karla_Faye_Tucker

Bush presided over half the executions in the nation one year (37 of 74), including one African American teen about whose case there were serious identification questions.

It seems to have been a short jump from letting people die in Texas to launching an illegal war against Iraq, killing ‘terrorists’ (and thousands of ‘collateral’ victims in the Middle East), sanctioning torture at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and in covert renditions.

This guy is obviously not bothered at all by giving orders to kill people or by the vast suffering that his commands have been inflicting upon people randomly hit from on high or face to face. And how sincere is his concern for our killed and wounded veterans? They (or their survivors) have been left to battle on their own for veterans’ benefits that should not have been blocked by Bush administration operatives!

As a business school student Bush boasted his hope of revoking the New Deal and has manifestly set out to do his best to do so — reducing taxes of the superrich, undermining Social Security, protecting profitmaking corporate health operations, blocking affordable housing, basic health research (stem cell), whatever his uncaring hands can veto. We shall see what the next two years will bring. The current escalation in Iraq looks to be the lead into the next disastrous phase of his presidency. Brace yourself for what comes next — nuking the axis of evil — Iraq, Iran, Korea, whatever!

If this is not the profile of a failing psychopathic boss as outlined by the British research study outlined below, I don’t know what is!

Ed Kent]

………………………….

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3392233.stm

Is your boss a ‘corporate psycho’?
Robert Maxwell
Could Robert Maxwell have survived the “B-Scan”?

Millions of harassed workers could have their worst fears confirmed about their bosses thanks to a new test to weed out the ‘corporate psycho’.

You may already suspect that your boss’s smooth, charming exterior masks a sadistic control freak with a penchant for violence.

But help is at hand to stop mad, megalomaniac managers going completely bananas and scampering off with the company pension fund.

Two of the world’s leading experts on psychopathy have developed a new 107-point questionnaire to identify which desks those smooth-talking “snakes in suits” might be hiding behind.

Psycho scanner

The “B-Scan”, which stands for Business Scan, has been designed by Professor Robert Hare and Dr Paul Babiak, both experts in psychopathic disorders.

It follows on from the “P-Scan” which is now considered to be the standard test for detecting criminals with psychopathic leanings.

Professor Hare estimates that 1% of the general population in North America are psychopaths.

The professor believes that psychopath’s cold-blooded ability to manipulate others without remorse, coupled with a veneer of charm and high energy can make them extremely successful in many walks of life.

They could be perfectly qualified for top posts in the military, politics or in huge multi-national companies as history has already shown in one notorious case.

Former Daily Mirror tycoon Robert Maxwell, who made off with the newspaper’s pension fund, was named as a classic example of a man in a powerful position who might very well have displayed psychopathic traits.

Telltale signals

BBC Five Live asked Dr Paul Babiak, one of the two psychologists who devised the B-scan, how to spot if a boss has psychopathic tendencies.

“I’m not going to tell you that it’s easy,” Dr Babiak cautioned.

“Like many people in business they have strong egos, high energy and are somewhat narcissistic…all these things are valued in business.”

David Brent from TV’s The Office
Is he just embarrassing, or could he be dangerous as well?

“But the psychopath has a darker side behind that almost like a Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde effect”

Traits to look out for amongst your colleagues in the workplace are “glimpses of insincerity, arrogance, manipulative behaviour, lack of guilt or remorse”, he said.

These are characteristics that a lot of us display at some time, but according to Dr Babiak the psychopath exhibits these tendencies throughout every aspect of their lives.

Stuck like glue

Once they have their talons dug into a company they may be too well connected politically to shift, hiding their dangerous natures behind a network of influence and manipulation.

However, Professor Hare stressed that some organisations would highly value these traits.

“Used car salesmen, for example, need to be cut-throat,” he pointed out.

“The major problem is that psychopaths get into organisations very well as they interview well and can convince people they are right for the job.

“But as soon as the person is hired, all sorts of problems start.”

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]
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