In business, there is the Peter Principle, which states that people in an organization will be promoted until they reach their level of incompetence, after which they will neither be promoted nor demoted. A good clerk, for example, might be promoted to team leader. If successful as a team leader, the next step is supervisor. If less than successful as a supervisor, that former clerk will stay a supervisor. In other words, the cream rises until it sours.
Kings, lords, emperors, and other high personages seem somehow to reach incompetence whether appointed, anointed, or elected without bothering with the intermediate steps. However, the Huns and the Visigoths were interesting, the Borgias intriguing, and the Japanese Shoguns fascinating.
Unfortunately, the current crop seems not to include any exceptional people. No style. No grace. No culture. Almost all of them are cut from the same bolt of cloth.
I can’t adequately describe their approach, but a great philosopher sums it up well:
“I didn’t do it. No one saw me do it. You can’t prove anything.
– Bart Simpson
Since, by virtue of being dead and long gone, I am not impacted by your government’s activities, I can watch them with enjoyment as nothing more than entertainment.
People are being appointed by your president as federal judges who have never engaged in the judicial process to any real level. Have they tried a case? No. Have they deposed witnesses? No. Have they examined or cross-examined a witness? No.
Hey. it’s only a judge. What difference could they possibly make?
Let’s shift professions–if you needed surgery, would you be comfortable if your surgeon:
Had never performed surgery?
Had never decided whether a patient needed surgery?
Had never taken care of a patient after their surgery?
Hey, it’s only a surgeon. What difference could it possibly make?
I like to think that I’m fairly jaded and not much can surprise me, but it still happens. Actually, though, it’s embarrassing to admit it–I mean after the first millennium I’d actually seen pretty much everything. Surprising me should take something like seeing everyone with a supercomputer in their hands or humans on the moon.
I have always valued honesty–even though I admit that my tendency to walk around with a lantern during the daytime was theatrical. However, by valuing honesty, I value facts.
I am amazed that in the twenty-first century so many people vociferously ignore facts. The facts we’re talking about seem fairly concrete–well, actually, concrete is concrete. The intelligence community, which has proven its expertise, has stated unequivocally that Russia was behind the 2016 election interference. Yet, there are those who either outright deny Russia’s involvement or waffle with, “Well, maybe it could have been (Pick one or more: [Ukraine, Peru, Myanmar, Lichtenstein, or Luxembourg])!”
Russia has a well documented history of creating hate and discontent by spreading disinformation. They use this technique in many countries, many of which have established resiliency programs to help their citizens separate truth from fiction. The Finns, and the Swedes (among others) have been very effective. Unfortunately, your United States does not even train their government officials to resist falsehoods.
Your Jesus pointed out that “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” He wasn’t the first to say that, nor did he claim to be. However, Jesus saying that gave it more than a bit of street cred. He didn’t say anything that wasn’t absolutely correct.
As near as I can tell from what has been made public, the the president’s “routine” medical exam was not only unscheduled, but was actually quite a surprise to the staff at Walter Reed Medical Center.
It’s possible that he might have met the catastrophic cap on his medical insurance and wanted to get his physical done without having to pay a copay or a deductible. Many people are frugal like that.
His physician wrote a memo explaining that the exam was not publicized because of “scheduling uncertainties.” In other words, they had to fit the President of the United States in to their schedule.
“I’m sorry, but we’ve got a sprained ankle from a soccer game and a bloody nose to deal with. Tell the President to take two acetaminophen and call us in the morning.”
Coincidentally, the doctor’s memo made no mention of heel spurs.
I admire how, over the millennia, life imitates art. Yes, I stated that correctly–even though there is truth in the inverse as well.
For example, there are literary antagonists, some of whom are quintessential bad boys. In a story, there may not be any link to a real person, but once on the stage or screen, there may be a real person involved. The stereotypical bad boy–as opposed to someone evil–was Eddie Haskell–as played by Ken Osmond–from Leave it to Beaver. Contrary to urban legend, Osmond did not become Alice Cooper or a porn star. Instead, as far as I can tell, after he became typecast and left acting, he married, raised a family, worked as a police officer, and retired.
The character he created lives on as, well, Eddie Haskell.
On the other hand, there are people who portray the character traits of Eddie in real life and I have to wonder why. Why do people seek to be obnoxious, irritating, or just plain mean?
Diogenes lived about 3 centuries before the beginning of our modern calendar. He was a philosopher—one of the founders of cynicism. Apparently he was quite off-putting; he slept in a ceramic vessel, although it may have been a sewer. He’s reported to have traveled through town, during the day, with a lighted lamp, claiming to be “Searching for an honest man,” which was one of his more civilized activities.
A new congresswoman resigned because revenge-porn nude pictures of her spread through the internet.
Compare this to the current president bragging about grabbing women by their genitalia. And his wife du jour has explicit professionally produced nude photos on the internet. In fairness to her, she was a model and many believe the pictures were taken as a way for The Donald to show he has a hot wife (and believes that you don’t).
The congresswoman resigns.
The President digs in as the Republicans draw their wagons into a circle around him.
Will somebody please explain?
The news is abuzz with the latest polls. A word of advice from Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) is appropriate. He told us, “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.”
At best, polls are lumped into statistics, although I believe they are somewhere between “Pipe dream” (as in, “Wow man, I can see it too! Far out!) and “Hallucination.”
Today the polls are not reporting the national standing of the candidates , but instead they are reporting on the first two states that will sorta, kinda have the first sorta, kinda primaries. Let’s put this into perspective.
Iowa has a caucus (February 3, 2020), which is different than a primary. It’s more like a block party than a political event.
New Hampshire, has the first actual primary (February 11, 2020).
The spotlight is tightly focused on these powerhouse states.
Just to put things into perspective–there are 538 votes in the electoral college.
Iowa’s power block? Six.
New Hampshire’s share? Four.
Between these two key states, together they represent not-quite two percent of the votes that actually are counted in a presidential election.
However, focusing on those two states definitely helps to sell television advertisements.