Sunday, February 19, 2017

Corporate innocence meets democracy

     Let me get this straight, Donald Trump who has access to perhaps the largest intelligence-gathering organization in the world, blames Fox news for his gaffe about a terrorist attack in Sweden? 
     Meanwhile down the street the new Secretary of State wants  his briefing statements limited to two pages. And over at Education the secretary there is whining about all the criticism.
     What's so sad is they think they can get away with that, like something unusual is going on.
There are calls for psychiatric evaluations of the president and questions raised about his sanity.           It's unlikely that they are necessary or highlight a serious problem. The problem is more obvious than that and easier to battle.
     Keep in mind these people have been heads of huge money-making corporations, organizations where what they say goes as long as they keep the bottom line growing and the stockholders happy. They have ultimate control and are used to having people carry out their orders without question and without outside interference.
     They are not used to being questioned, they are not used to being challenged, they are not used to being held up to public scrutiny, and most of all they are not used to being told "no." And most likely they think they don't have to deal with those things and resent the fact that they do. They thought they were going to walk into the office and tell everyone what to do and that would get it done. That bureaucracy we love to hate may thwart them and their agendas better than anything else we've come up with so far.
   If Tillerson says Exxon is going to drill in Central Park there's no question, his minions go about figuring out how they can drill in Central Park. There's an old joke about Exxon that says if they go to work and haven't been sued by quitting time, it's been a good business day. Tillerson is the guy who pushed fracking in areas threatening drinking water all over the country but when someone wanted to do it near his house he sued.
     Trump says build a hotel and his minions go about getting that done, not flooding him with disagreement or challenging him to make a reasonable case for such a project and the outside world knows nothing about it until ground has been broken and by then it's too late.
    Who knows what DeVos does but apparently it doesn't take an education to run her company either, just hand down edicts from on high;
   It's obvious these people have never had their statements or decisions challenged, at least not in public and now they are placed in a position where every move is exposed, analyzed and depending on what it is, lauded, criticized or outright ridiculed and they can't handle it. Remember one of Trump's appointments quit even before he had to face a world like that.
     For all the promises made about how a good businessman could set the government in order, it turns out the business model just doesn't work. Think how it would work if they didn't have a majority in Congress like President Obama faced at least in his last few years.
    The head of a large corporation is about half a high-rise office floor short of a dictator. But that model doesn't work in what is supposed to be a democracy. These people are not used to being questioned, let alone being criticized or even worse ridiculed, or gasp held accountable for their actions in public.
    Now they are in public leadership  positions and reality is smacking them right between the eyes and they can't handle it. Trump refuses to attend intelligence briefings, Tillerson wants the Twitter version of State Department analyses, DeVos says all teachers need is someone to tell them what to do.
    Well, Madame Secretary, maybe you and your colleagues need a good lesson on what you are supposed to do and what qualifications are needed to do it. If you don't have the qualifications find a group of advisors who do have the expertise. And, be prepared for opposition. Government is built on compromise not edicts and everything is subject to public exposure.
     It's obvious already the dictatorial corporate business model doesn't work in government and the people who come from it don't have a clear view of what they are supposed do, let alone to carry out what they intended to do and that is their failure, not the psychiatry of the situation even if correcting that sounds easier and flashier.

Frack this NIMBY – Rex Tillerson and Exxon on fracturing
A coterie of cartoon autocrats – Miami Herald

1 comment:

  1. So happy to have NOT gone back into teaching when offered a lucrative proposition about eight years ago. Education was—and is—a political football, as is always evidenced by the number of people who don't know anything about education, but think they are qualified to pass judgment on teachers, and lead students. Sorry for the kids, but knock yourself out, DeVos.


Interesting quotations

· " “Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.” — Ernest Hemingway

When I write, I feel like an armless, legless man with a crayon in his mouth. Kurt Vonnegut

“If you wrote something for which someone sent you a cheque, if you cashed the cheque and it didn't bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.” Stephen King

The thing about ignornance is, you don't have to remain ignorant. — me again"

Never debate with someone who gets ink by the barrel" — George Hayes, former Alaska Attorney General who died recently

My dear Mr. Frost: two roads never diverge in a yellow wood. Three roads meet there. — @Shakespeareon Twitter

"The mark of a great shiphandler is never getting into situations that require great shiphandling," Adm. Ernest King, USN

Me: Does the restaurant have cute waitresses?

My friend Gail: All waitresses are cute when you're hungry.

I'm not a writer, but sometimes I push around words to see what happens. – Scott Berry

“The rivers of Alaska are strewn with the bones of men who made but one mistake” - Fred McGarry, a Nushagak Trapper

Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stared at walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing. – Meg Chittenden

A non-writing writer is a monster courting insanity. – Franz Kafka

We are all immortal until the one day we are not. – me again

If the muse is late, start without her – Peter S. Beagle

Substitute ‘damn’ every time you’re inclined to write ‘very;’ your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be. ~Mark Twain Actually you could do the same thing with the word "really" as in "really cold."

If you are looking for an experience that will temper your vanity, this is it. There's no one to impress when you're alone on the trap line. – Michael Carey quoting his father's journal

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. – Benjamin Franklin

It’s nervous work. The state you need to write in is the state that others are paying large sums of money to get rid of. – Shirley Hazzard

So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence -- Bertrand Russell

You know that I always just wanted to have a small ship to take stuff from a place that had a lot of that stuff to a place that did not have a lot of that stuff and so prosper.—Jackie Faber, “The Wake of the Lorelei Lee”

If you attack the arguer instead of the argument, you lose both

If an insurance company won’t pay for damages caused by an “act of God,” shouldn’t it then have to prove the existence of God? – I said that

I used to think getting old was about vanity—but actually it’s about losing people you love. Getting wrinkles is trivial. – Eugene O’Neill

German General to Swiss General: “You have only 500,000 men in your army; what would you do if I invaded with 1 million men?”

Swiss General: “Well, I suppose every one of my soldiers would need to fire twice.”

Writing is the only thing that when I do it, I don’t feel I should be doing something else.—Gloria Steinem

Exceed your bandwidth—sign on the wall of the maintenance shop at the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

One thing I do know, if you keep at it, you usually wind up getting something done.—Patricia Monaghan

Do you want to know what kind of person makes the best reporter? I’ll tell you. A borderline sociopath. Someone smart, inquisitive, stubborn, disorganized, chaotic, and in a perpetual state of simmering rage at the failings of the world.—Brett Arends

It is a very simple mind that only knows how to spell a word one way.—Andrew Jackson

3:30 is too late or too early to do anything—Rene Descartes

Everything is okay when it’s 50-below as long as everything is okay. – an Alaskan in Tom Walker’s “The Seventymile Kid”

You can have your own opinion but you can’t have your own science.—commenter arguing on a story about polar bears and global warming

He looks at three ex wives as a good start—TV police drama

Talkeetna: A friendly little drinking town with a climbing problem.—a handmade bumper sticker

“You’re either into the wall or into the show”—Marco Andretti on giving it all to qualify last at the 2011 Indy 500

Makeup is not for the faint of heart—the makeup guerrilla

“I’m going to relax in a very adult manner.”—Danica Patrick after sweating it out and qualifying half an hour before Andretti

“Asking Congress to come back is like asking a mugger to come back because he forgot your wallet.”—a roundtable participant on Fox of all places

As Republicans go further back in the conception process to define when life actually begins, I am beginning to think the eventual definition will be life begins in the beer I was drinking when I met her.—me again

Hunting is a “critical element for the long-term conservation of wood bison.”—a state department of Fish and Game official explaining why the state would not go along with a federal plan to reintroduce wood bison in Alaska because the agreement did not specifically allow hunting

Each day do something that won’t compute – anon

I can’t belive I still have to protest this shit – a sign carriend by an elderly woman at an Occupy demonstration

Life should be a little nuts or else it’s just a bunch of Thursdays strung together—Kevin Costner as Beau Burroughs in “Rumor has it”

You’re just a wanker whipping up fear —Irish President Michael D. Higgins to a tea party radio announcer

Being president doesn’t change who you are; it reveals who you are—Michelle Obama

Things sports announcers say

"… there's a fearlessment about him …"

"He's got to have the lead if he's going to win this race."

"Kansas has always had the ability to score with the basketball."

"NFL to put computer chips in balls." Oh, that's gotta hurt.

"Now that you're in the finals you have to run the race that's going to get you on the podium."

"It's very important for both sides that they stay on their feet."

This is why you get to hate sportscasters. Kansas beats Texas for the first time since 1938. So the pundits open their segment with the question "let's talk about what went wrong." Wrong? Kansas WON a football game! That's what went RIGHT!

"I brought out the thermostat to show you how cold it is here." Points to a thermometer reading zero in Minneapolis.

"It's tough to win on the road when you turn the ball over." Oh, really? Like you can do all right if you turn the ball over playing at home?

Cliches so imbedded in sportscasters' minds they can't help themselves: "Minnesota fell from the ranks of the undefeated today." What ranks? They were the only undefeated team left.

A good one: A 5'10" player went up and caught a pass off a defensive back over six feet tall. The quote? "He's got some hops."

Best homonym of the day so far: "It's all tied. Alabama 34, Kentucky 3." Oh, Tide.

"Steve Hooker commentates on his Olympic pole vault gold medal." When "comments" just won't do.

"He's certainly capable of the top ten, maybe even higher than that."

"Atlanta is capable of doing what they're doing."

"Biyombo, one of seven kids from the Republic of Congo." In the NBA? In America? In his whole country?

"You can't come out and be aggressive but you can't come out and be unaggressive."

"They're gonna be in every game they play!"

"First you have to get two strikes on the hitter before you get the strikeout."

"The game ended in the final seconds." You have to wonder when the others ended or are they still going on?

How is a team down by one touchdown before the half "totally demoralized?"

"If they score runs they will win."

"I think the matchup is what it is"

After a play a Houston defender was on his knees, his head on the ground and his hand underneath him appeared to clutch a very sensitive part of the male anatomy. He rolled onto his back and quickly removed his hand. (Remember the old Cosby routine "you cannot touch certain parts of your body?") Finally they helped the guy to the sideline and then the replay was shown. In it the guy clearly took a hard knee between his thighs. As this was being shown, one of the announcers says, "It looks like he hurt his shoulder." The other agrees and then they both talk about how serious a shoulder injury can be. Were we watching the same game?

"Somebody is going to be the quarterback or we're going to see a new quarterback."

"If you're gonna play running back in the SEC you're gonna take hits."

"That was a playmaker making a play."

Best headlines ever

Sister hits moose on way to visit sister who hit moose.

Man loses his testicles after attempting to smoke weed through a SCUBA tank

Church Mutual Insurance won't cover Church's flood damage because it's 'an act of God'

Homicide victims rarely talk to police

Meerkat Expert Attacked Monkey Handler Over Love Affair With Llama Keeper

GOP congressman opposes gun control because gay marriage leads to bestiality

Owner of killer bear chokes to death on sex toy

Support for legalizing pot hits all-time high

Give me all your money or my penguin will explode

How zombie worms have sex in whale bones

Crocodile steals zoo worker's lawn mower

Woman shot by oven while trying to cook waffles

Nude beach blowjob jet ski fight leads to wife's death

Woman stabs husband with squirrel for not buying beer Christmas Eve