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Posts Tagged ‘John Kerry’

The Heck You Say!

February 20th, 2014 No comments

link One in four Americans do not know the Earth circles the Sun – Telegraph.

To be fair, judging from the rampant narcissism that’s taken hold of much of American culture, many in the survey, which I suspect included Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, were amazed to find that the earth did not circle around them. 

It’s the greatest of ironies that at a time in history when the tide of information available has never been higher,  somehow the level of the informed is at the opposite low ebb.  It’s as if people were dying of hunger while sitting in a Red Lobster.

The biggest factor in this existing information/misinformed paradox is the acceptance of the widely adopted teaching philosophy propogated by liberal educators of “there is no wrong answer, only different interpretations.”  This ensures that children are not traumatized by giving a wrong answer to a question in school.  Kids are allowed to progress through their formative years without having to endure the shame of being wrong but instead gently consoled that there is an alternate ‘better’ answer.  We know that letter grades have even been eliminated since that would be discriminatory and hurtful to the young egos.  If the kids feel educated, that’s enough.  And spelling doesn’t count.

There is the old chestnut that the reason that little Johnny thinks 2 plus 2 equals 4 is not because of arithmetic logic but rather because the teacher told him it was.  If kids aren’t taught basics at a young age, they default to parroting their teachers for their ‘facts’.

Fast forward to their post teen years when the biggest information sources are their peers, TV and of course the Internet.  Peers may be an iffy source of knowledge, but TV and the Internet are inviolable.  If it’s viewed on YouTube a million times, “liked” on Facebook, tweeted on Twitter or depicted on Saturday Night Live, then it must be true.

Of course it doesn’t help that high profile personalities are spouting bumper sticker science as hard facts. If for example, Eva Longoria, noted scientist and part time actress says that climate change is real, then it must be real.  If Sean Penn, noted historian, philosopher and part time actor dishes on the virtues of communism and socialism, then it must be true.  If John Kerry, noted doppelganger for Lurch of the Addams family fame tells us that Global warming is a bigger threat to mankind than a nuclear Iran, terrorism, disease epidemics and poverty, then it must be.

If people don’t believe the facts as presented by those that are “experts” in their field, they run the risk of being sued, such as the tactic employed by a Penn State University climate scientist in an attempt to silence his critics. It may well turn out that what’s acceptably true as fact is determined not by science but by lawyers.  Whether the rumor that the earth revolves around the sun is true or not is the least of our problems.

 

 

The Buck Stopped Way Back There

December 23rd, 2012 No comments

link Review board raps State Department for poor security in Benghazi – Washington Times.

Boy have times changed.  Used to be (and not that long ago) that the guy occupying the White House had enormous influence in many and varied areas of western society.  It was in fact an American President, Harry Truman who famously coined the phrase, “the buck stops here”.  In any organization, the ultimate responsibility for success or failure resides with the guy at the top.  That’s why they pay him so much versus the line worker.  He has control and he has responsibility.  In a few nations, they take this very seriously.  In Japan for instance, if the Prime Minister fails in his promises, he resigns.  Luckily for him, this is a lesser penalty for failure than his samurai ancestors would have demanded.  Sadly, this custom is not observed in most modern political arenas.  Standard operating procedure now requires that scapegoats and excuses are found for any failures and to prevent the buck from ever reaching the top.

As an example, the most recent ex President, George W. Bush, is still given credit/responsibility/blame for a looseleaf binder full of things, even though he’s been out of office now for over 4 years.

In no particular order, the most publicized ones were:

The Economy

Climate change

911 attacks on the world trade center

Katrina Hurricane

high gas prices

border security and illegal immigration

woes of the car industry

the war in Iraq

troop casualties

poverty in the world

aids

gun violence

woeful state of education

racism

It’s amazing the guy had time to do all of these things during the few waking hours of every day.  He must have really been a remarkable guy. It’s a pity they only allow 2 terms in office.  Compare this to the present incumbent who seems to be a non factor in almost everything that he’s supposed to be in charge of.

Not high gas prices

Not the economy

Not the conflicts in the middle east

Not the Fast and Furious gun scandal

Not ballooning bureaucracy

Not global warming, because he calms the oceans

Not racism

Not border security and illegal immigration

Not troop casualties

On this last item, an on-going review of the tragedy that befell the four Americans at the embassy in Benghazi recently concluded that it was the State Department that was to blame for the deaths at that compound.  In response to these findings, about 4 staffers were recently fired from their jobs.  It’s not clear what these 4 individuals did specifically that merited them being axed, but apparently this absolves their boss, Hilary Clinton and her boss, the Prez, of culpability in the tragedy.  Again, the President was apparently of no influence in this event and he never even saw the buck, much less stop it.

What is now obvious is that the White House has incompetent staff.  They are like the New York Jets.  Like the Jets, the present administration has fumbled on virtually every major play.  It’s always easy to lay the blame at the feet of player A or player B, but when the ongoing disasters keep piling up, eventually the blame has to find its way to coaching and management.

Like the New York Jets, the Democrats have no bench.  They have Hilary, Joe and now possibly John Kerry, all well past their intellectual and effective sell-by dates.  Their records on handling policy are about as stellar as Mark Sanchez handling a snap from center, which is to say fumbly.  These are people who may have been relevant 20 years ago, but they are hardly the voices of new ideas and in most cases, even rational thinking.  In the last election, they even dusted off Bill Clinton to rev up the base as if he was a circus act.  The Jets tried the same thing with Tim Tebow. The Democrats’ version of this of course was Susan Rice.  It’s amusing how the narrative has been that the conservatives are the old guy party.  On the contrary, they have a pretty solid, young and vibrant bench.  They’ve been building their team from the ground up with younger people such as Marco Rubio, Nikki Haley and Paul Ryan.

So with the ongoing disasters that are befalling the Jets over the past few seasons, even loyal Jets fans are booing their home-team.  They may think that what they need are new players, but what they really need is new competent management.  Like their political counterparts in D.C., eventually even the die-hards will need the proverbial buck to reach the top.

 

Maybe Hold A Telethon

March 2nd, 2011 No comments

link AFP: US senator calls for aid to Arab democracy.

And speaking of fantasy world,  John Kerry is making the case now to send U.S. financial aid to help the strife ridden Arab economies in order to build democracy.  !!!  There are few representatives more removed from reality save perhaps the other 52 Democratic senators and 193 members of Congress.  Kerry is the guy who, like his buddies, exhorts the little guy to pay more taxes but who parks his yacht in another state to avoid… taxes.  If he was a contestant on Jeopardy, his answer to the query, ‘taxes’ , would be ‘what other people pay’.

Unfortunately, all the time spent on the yacht precluded him from being able to keep up with the news affecting the U.S. economy, the main story being that the government, aka the people, are out of money.  I’m not sure how he reads the polls, but my guess is that if you asked the average Joe to shovel more money to the middle east to support nationhood, it may get a some push-back.  Heck, when you balance paying the mortgage against  paying taxes to support the middle east, the decision could be tough.

Recently, another guy, by the name of Bush,  spent a few billion with the hope of  building nations and spreading democracy in that part of the world too.  That didn’t go very well as he was roundly excoriated for his ‘imperialist’ and meddling efforts.  Ironically, Iraq is now the only nationstate there besides Israel that can be considered a democracy.   In fact, Kerry was one of the leading critics of that effort.  He is now officially against nation building before he is now in favor of it.

The other fact that has become evident with the ouster of despots in that part of the world is that the leaders have somehow managed to squirrel away some rainy day money during their time in office.  From accounts of the amount of money involved, it looks like there’s enough to sustain these guys for about 200 years of rain.  Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, 5 billion.  Egyptian Hosni Mubarek, rumored to be up to 70 billion.   This guy Gaddaffi, some large amount, yet to be counted, but rumored to be in the mid ’B”s.  Assuming that this money wasn’t made from the hourly rate of being in the state leader business, perhaps it would be wise to re-funnel that money back into the respective states!   Even Bernie Madoff gave back his ill-gotten loot.

Finally, it may only seem illogical to the rest of the rational world that the middle east, the greatest source of natural resource wealth in the world today, should be the recipient of financial aid from a nation that is essentially running on financial fumes.  This however is logical when all your life, you’ve only dealt with other people’s money.  In the case of Kerry, maybe he thinks that if you put a bit of ketchup on it, people will swallow anything no matter how distasteful.