Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
Jarrett’s actual record as an “adviser,” or whatever you want to call it, is marred with blunders. In 2009 she boasted about how “delighted” she was to have recruited Van Jones for the position of White House “green czar.” Jones served only a few months before resigning amid allegations that he had dabbled in 9/11 Trutherism. She reportedly urged President Obama to personally address the International Olympic Committee in Switzerland on behalf of Chicago’s bid for the 2012 Summer Games, which was swiftly rejected. Jarrett also met with chief Solyndra investor George Kaiser at the White House, and despite warnings about the solar company’s failing financial health, signed off on a scheduled appearance by the president at Solyndra’s headquarters in California.
Many have questioned, in particular, the president’s decision to make Jarrett his official ambassador to the business community, which has had an uneasy relationship with the White House since Obama took office. In 2011, Jarrett took offense when Ivan Seidenberg, then CEO of Verizon and chair of the President’s Business Roundtable, remarked that he thought “the president has shown a willingness to learn,” intending it as a compliment. Jarrett slammed the “offensive” remarks in an e-mail to Motorola CEO Greg Brown and reportedly reached out to other members of the roundtable to make clear that Seidenberg had insulted the president.
Larry Summers, former head of the National Economic Council, thought having Jarrett represent the White House was a mistake. Business leaders “felt patronized and offended by Valerie,” Summers told Woodward, largely due to her tendency to insist that she spoke for the president, and an approach to problem-solving that involved little more than scheduling multiple lunch meetings. One CEO complained to Alter that “when we go to the White House, we talk to people we wouldn’t hire.” Alter himself has likened Jarrett’s role in the White House to “the CEO putting his sister in charge of marketing.”
I’ve long had a fascination with this, since even before reading Atlas Shrugged: The non-producers telling the producers how to do their producing. Actually it isn’t quite so much their willingness to tell others what to do that fascinates me; it is the willingness of others to put them in positions where they can. It’s one of those decisions that, once spelled out for exactly what it is, along with the best- and worst-case consequences of it, nobody in his right mind would defend. And yet it has lately become, somehow, increasingly popular. The non-producers are supposed to tell the producers to jump, and the producers ask “how high?”
And, since the laws of physics amount to nothing more than a trifling inconvenience: “Is it okay for me to come back down again now?”
Who thinks it is a good idea for non-producers to control production? Who fails to see that this is steering in the direction of no longer producing things? It seems so obvious. It’s embarrassing to have to take time to point it out. Is this one of those things where there is a division between the malevolent and the ignorant, between the active and the passive? As in: Valerie Jarrett wants to tell people who know far better than her, how to make something, so let’s put her in a position where she gets to do that…meh, okay, alright, can’t see a reason not to. I suppose that’s why Obama is where He is. His fans don’t claim to understand the particulars of cellular phone technology, or health insurance, or any other kind of business. They claim the opposite. I’ve spoken to them. Obama’s just fun to watch. Gives great speeches. Is it all like that?
Or is it more like: There is no division. Everyone gets in on the effort to elevate some mediocre numbskull, pretend s/he is qualified for a job just so demonstrably beyond what they could do on their very best day…rationalizes, rationalizes, rationalizes some more, muttering a bunch of useless bromides about “his enthusiasm” or “she’s worked really hard” and so forth — in hopes that, some day in the near future, the whole Jenga tower will topple, and rearrange, and everyone else who circled the wagons has his own shot at the top spot? Lately, my beliefs have subtly shifted more toward this. Everyone, besides the top-guy, is jockeying for the top-guy’s spot and pretending to support someone else. But, in truth, is hoping for that jumble. Not hoping for a plum job at the next higher level, or a promotion or payback or just a favor; everyone involved is looking to become the new pharaoh, the apex of the pyramid. Emperor of the Universe. The one guy who gets to say “fuck you” to everybody else. Lately, I’m thinking: In that one sense, they all disagree with one another, but for the time being they’ll pretend to be in complete agreement, each individual acting in service to his own ambitions to be the grand high mighty fuck-you guy. Just scrapping and clawing and grabbing to get to the top of the anthill, trying to look like something other than what he is, doing something other than what he’s really doing.
Either way, it’s a bad idea to put Jarrett in charge, just as it’s a bad idea to put Obama in charge — and as far as the why & how come of that, “we talk to people we wouldn’t hire” summarizes it perfectly.
I remember one of the things that made me disappointed with the Star Wars prequels was that, as far as Darth Vader’s very high position within the sprawling Galactic Empire, I thought there would be an interesting story behind that. Some daring exploit that put Anakin Skywalker above & ahead of the quadrillions of officers and slaves and life forms in the hierarchy, but just beneath Grand Moff Tarkin. I thought there’d be an event explaining all that. Something that at least suggested a qualification. Turns out, Vader’s high rank, whatever it was, was nothing more or less than: “Emperor Palpatine said so.” And, the Emperor said so because of some kind of scheming. Well…that’s unsatisfying. But, as we see with Barack Obama along with countless other dictators from throughout human history, it’s quite realistic.
Political figures achieve their high position, within politics, because of…politics. Period. We forget this out of convenience. But we forget it at an extraordinary cost to ourselves, and to the things we claim are important to us.
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