A Nickel’s Worth of Free Business Advice*

Businesses today have some practices that make me scratch my head.

Let’s start with pharmaceuticals. When a drug’s patent allows for generics to be manufactured and sold, chemists try to reverse engineer the name-brand drug. They then try to formulate a generic drug that is sorta kinda like the original. They then test the drug for safety using young, healthy individuals.

But who will actually need the product? Old people with chronic illnesses. Unless the young test participants start dropping like flies, the generic drug is presumed safe for the intended customers. If it doesn’t work for older patients . . . . well, that’s the way it goes.

Incidentally, who can afford name-brand drugs once there’s a generic available? I’m not sure, but you could probably fit them all into a single phone booth–if we still had phone booths.

On a similar note, I bought a new alarm clock. My adult children don’t use alarm clocks–they use their cell phones. They don’t wear wristwatches because they use their cell phones. They don’t use Daytimers because–you know where I’m going with this.

On the other hand, I use my cell phone to make telephone calls, text messages, and to check the Internet. I know, it’s weird, but it’s common among those of us who are old enough to no longer worry about having a date for Saturday night.

Since I don’t use my cellphone as a clock, I need a clock-clock to wake me up in the morning.

The clock I picked out has a number of nice features. It sets the time automatically using WWVB signals from the National Bureau of Standards in Fort Collins, Colorado. I can place my cell phone, which I don’t use as an alarm clock, on the top to charge it. The display is muted but visible.

However, there are a few steps to set it up for the first time. There is an instruction booklet that came with the clock. There are just two problems:

  • The directions are written in that ubiquitous hybrid of Chinese and English that is a bit confusing for those of us who grew up with English as a primary language.
  • The directions are also printed in a teeny-tiny font for which I need both reading glasses and a Super Trouper theatrical spotlight to see.

The free advice? Think about who will use your product when you manufacture and package it.

*With apologies to Back to the Future‘s Mr. Strickland.

It’s Up to YOU!

Donald Trump asked his supporters to help him pay for an election recount. Unbeknown to many who donated, the form had a box pre-checked for the donation to be repeated.

Matt Gaetz has been accused of possible improprieties with an underage girl. He’s asking his supporters to send money to pay for his defense.

I confess. I, too, have transgressions and need your help.

I’m mortified, but it’s true.

In third grade the dog didn’t eat my geography project. Actually, the dog had died earlier that year and we had not yet picked a replacement, so there wasn’t a dog even remotely available, much yet involved. I made it all up because I had totally forgotten that the project had been assigned three weeks earlier, but it’s not my fault. What third grade boy can remember anything for three weeks?

Therefore, I’m asking everyone to fund my therapy to help me move on. I’ve been carrying this guilt around with me for over 60 years, so the psychological damage to my self image is immense.

Please leave your donation in a brown paper bag in non-sequentially numbered small denomination bills on my front porch.

Remember when you had to sell band candy or girl scout cookies? You asked everybody you knew to help out. Now’s the time to go and ask them again. My therapist says I need to go to the Bebe Rebozo Clinic in Bimini for extended therapy.

It’s YOUR responsibility–don’t let me down.

Picture Imperfect

I’ve commented before on the internet and how people today can be devastated if they don’t meet the standards of physical perfection that they see posted by others, especially celebrities.

I was right—it’s all phony. The supposedly ultra-attractive celebrities don’t look good enough, either.

Note this article by Mark Gray:

Kardashians threaten legal action over unedited bikini pic of Khloe: Report [1]

What could this image possibly show to create such an uproar? Was she committing a felony? Maybe she’s a werewolf and was in the midst of changing. Maybe she’s a he (well it does run in the family). I’ll let the author of the article explain:    

“The Kardashian family reportedly called in their lawyers after a private photo of Khloe Kardashian started floating around the Internet over the weekend. Soon, the photo began disappearing from the web and social media.

“The image, supposedly posted to Khloe’s grandmother’s Instagram, showed the reality TV star in an animal-print bikini. Gone, however, was the heavy editing and filters that the Kardashians are believed to often use before posting photos of themselves to social media.

“Page Six reported that the Kardashian family threatened legal action if the image wasn’t taken down. “

So, even the infamous Khardashians are not picture perfect without computerized magic—and this is after a professional makeup artist and a lighting expert had already done their thing to make her look as good as possible.


[1] https://www.msn.com/en-us/tv/celebrity/kardashians-threaten-legal-action-over-unedited-bikini-pic-of-khloe-report/ar-BB1fkADM?li=BBnb7Kz

Holy Thursday

I may not express my thoughts today very well–they’re beyond my ability to understand or describe.

Holy Thursday, when Jesus shared supper with His apostles. Jesus asked Peter, James, and John to pray with him, but Jesus ended up praying alone. Judas betrayed Jesus. His friends were not there when He needed them.

Some prefer to call today Maundy Thursday, which refers to Jesus’ washing the apostles’ feet and the Gospel according to John focuses on this rather than Jesus’ blessing of the bread and wine. It was a monumental expression of love. No one, not even a slave, could be compelled to wash anothers’ feet, yet Jesus did–showing humility even though He was the very Son of God.

I have to love and identify with good old Peter. He first refused to let Jesus wash his feet, but when Jesus’ explained its importance, asked to be washed all over. Jesus had to explain why that was not necessary or appropriate. Peter, the bull in the china shop, echoes my shortcomings and inspires me to have faith. His clumsiness was always due to his overwhelming love for Jesus.

This day reminds us that we do not and cannot understand the mind of God. Knowing that God is inexplicable is comforting to me. My God is the one, living, and true God–incomprehensible and more powerful than I could ever imagine and so loving that He sent His only begotten Son for me and you.

Scriptural Thoughts

Bizarro - Buddha and Jesus | History cartoon, Art history ...
Piraro–Bizarro

Telling others what scripture means is a great way to start an argument. Nevertheless, it’s been debated since time immemorial and I’m going to keep the discussion going by adding my own thoughts. First, know that I see scripture–the Bible–as the way to go to Heaven, not how the Heavens go.

Over the years, I’ve read and studied various interpretations or versions of the Bible; I focus on what the message is, not on memorizing chapter and verse, particularly since the numbering varies a bit from version to version.

Some things to think about:

  • Jesus was Jewish.
  • Jesus’ skin was probably dark–like most who live in the Levant.
  • Jesus’ did not have blonde hair and blue eyes.
  • Jesus did not speak in Olde English. He never addressed people as “thee” or “thou” nor did he say “giveth or taketh away.”
  • Jesus probably spoke Aramaic with possibly some Greek or Latin.

The Bible has been through a number of Euro-Asian languages before it came to us, with each interpretation adding the potential for confusion. Not only has interpretation from one language to another caused problems. All languages change over time and English is no exception.

Perhaps the best example of the confusion of scriptural interpretation I can offer is Matthew 19:14 (yes, I had to look up the chapter and verse), But Jesus said, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

As a youngster, I was horrified with this. I knew that Jesus would not want children to suffer, but there it was in black and white. Now, of course, As an adult, I know that Jesus’ comment was for the benefit of the disciples, telling them to not stop the children. He didn’t want the children to suffer, he wanted them close to Him.

Just something to think about during Holy Week and Passover.

Revenge on the Young!

Just a quick note today.

If your kids sit glued to the television, for hours, watching shows in which the kids are talented, smart, and very attractive and adults are dimwitted dolts, take hope.

Disney, among others who churn out these shows expect to keep running and rerunning these for years, if not eons. (Don’t believe me? How long ago was Gilligan’s Island filmed?)

Sooner or later, our kids will not be able to avoid these shows after they become adults and see themselves portrayed as dimwitted.

Even better, the child actors who starred in these will have to watch their past selves.

Salut!

Today’s kerfuffle concerns Vice President Harris’s failure to return the salute of the Marines as she boarded Air Force Two. There’s a reason for that, she’s not in the chain of command. Not only is she not required to salute, but by the letter of the law, she is not entitled to salute.

Ronald Reagan started the Presidential saluting tradition. The President is the Commander-In-Chief of the US Military because the military is subordinate to civilian leadership. The President is a civilian, but he is in–and at the top of–the chain of command. The Vice-President, on the other hand, is not in any way in the chain of command.

Saluting has an interesting history. It is believed that it was originally to indicate that the person saluting was no threat. Some believe it was to show an open hand without a weapon, while others believe it was to raise the visor on a knight’s helmet, making the knight’s identity known. It probably has elements of each.

My experience is with the Navy, which has had a few different rules than the other branches, so others may have slightly different experiences. Some of these practices may have changed. Nevertheless, a salute is a gesture shared among those members of the military who are in good standing. If a Sailor is arrested and is a prisoner held in the brig, they are not permitted to salute because they are not in good standing. Enlisted or junior officers salute officers senior to them, but they are honoring the rank, not the individual. (Just for fun, enlisted members have been known to space themselves out when they see an officer so the officer has to return a salute to each of them, rather than a single salute.)

The Navy traditionally only salutes when covered (wearing a uniform hat). They remove their cover indoors, so while other branches salute indoors, the tradition was that Sailors did not. When the others saluted indoors, a Sailor would remain at attention until the salutes were rendered and returned.

Until about ten years ago, one did not salute unless in uniform. At that time, for morning or evening colors (raising the flag in the morning and lowering it in the evening), service members and veterans were permitted to salute even if not in uniform. You may see some veterans on television salute during the National Anthem.

One final bit of Navy saluting trivia–Sailors are permitted to salute with the left hand, “if the right hand is occupied.” In practical terms, this is usually limited to a boatswain mate who is piping an event with his right hand. They then salute with the left.

So, the vice-president did not salute the Marines or return their salutes. She’s not supposed to and she doesn’t.

You Get Over Here Right Now!

I know many politicians are old white guys.

I suspect that most of their mothers are dead and not just because of their advanced age.

Why?

If I were a politician and I said the things that they do, my mother would be on me like spit on a dogbone. I’d hear my name being called–formal first name, full middle name, and last name–a dead giveaway that I was in deep trouble. She would then proceed to tell me how disappointed she was with what I had said and done, how I let her down, how I let my father down, my school, etc. (It would be a long list, including people and organizations I had never heard of before.)

Then she’d let me have it with a verbal barrage that only mothers can unleash.

In the afterlife, I suspect that many mothers will be waiting for their politician sons. The politicians won’t even get near St. Peter until their mothers are finished with them. Talk about an eternity! I won’t guess where their souls end up.

That, of course, assumes they have souls.

Filibuster

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939) - The Movie Crash Course

It’s very easy to unintentionally overdose on the news. Like the drinking water in Flint, Michigan, it seems innocuous, but it c an be deadly. Too often, my best efforts to steer clear are thwarted because the news is ubiquitous although most of what it contains is either sensational or useless. For example, most cable news sources include endless celebrity coverage interspersed with the latest buffoonery from our elected officials.

Likewise, Real Buffoons of Washington, DC, a reality television show, drives me up the wall. Politicians redefine their “facts” as often as I change socks–and yes I change them daily. Yesterday’s up is down today. Although someone may have a video of one of them saying the sky is blue, they swear they’ve always described it as pink.

Filibuster is a word that gets bandied about freely. I know that it is a mechanism for the minority in the Senate to block the majority from successfully advancing a cause. In my opinion (for what that’s worth) I can’t see the filibuster as consistent with the goals of a democratic republic.

On the other hand, filibuster is a strange word and I wondered where the word came from. Was it like gerrymander, a term that grew out of and is strictly relevant to politics? It turns out that filibuster is every bit as interesting as you might expect. Merriam-Webster offers the following:

Definition of filibuster

1 : an irregular military adventurer specifically : an American engaged in fomenting insurrections in Latin America in the mid-19th century

2 : [filibuster entry 2] a : the use of extreme dilatory (see dilatory sense 1) tactics (as by making long speeches) in an attempt to delay or prevent action especially in a legislative assembly
b : an instance of this practice The filibuster delayed the voting on the bill for over a week.

History and Etymology for filibuster

Noun and Verb

Spanish filibustero, literally, freebooter

I admit, I had no idea as to what a freebooter was, so as long as I was in the dictionary, I decided to look it up, too.

Definition of freebooter

: pirate, plunderer

Filibuster refers to an insurrectionist or a pirate? Really! How interesting.

Just to clarify, we’re not talking a Disney pirate like Jack Sparrow. We’re talking ruthless people who would hunt down a ship and take its valuables, possibly including the ship itself. People like Captain Kidd, Calico Jack, and Blackbeard, not to mention those who attack ships, such as the Maersk Alabama, in modern times.

Filibuster provides an interesting etymology, if not an accidental truth.

Start Your Own Business!

Have you ever wanted to start your own business and make a ton of money? I know how!

I probably should make this one of those Have your credit card ready! deals, but, hey, we’re all friends, right?

The quickest way to start a business and get rich is to start an insurance company.

You’ve probably noticed that in addition to AllState, State Farm, and The Crimson Permanent Assurance, every day it seems like another insurance company is bombarding us with ads. There are so many that they’ve run out of good names. There’s the General, Elephant, and Lemonade. Lemonade? What kind of names are those for insurance companies?

The motto, “You’re in good hands,” has given way to an Emu, Flo and friends, and who knows what else–although I confess, I did like the cavemen.

If you add in the thousands of automobile extended warranty companies, it’s possible that YOU are the only person on the planet that does not have their own insurance company.

Primary Confusion

https://www.capellaspace.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/SpaceNet6-Blog_wavelength-spectrum.png

Progress never ceases to confuse me,

When I was in grade school—what we now call primary school—I was taught that the primary colors were red, yellow, and blue.
You could take your Tempura paints and mix them to get other colors:

  • Red + Yellow = Orange
  • Blue + Yellow = Green
  • Red + Blue = Purple

Remember the tree-trunk sized Crayolas we used in first grade? There were eight colors—Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, Orange, Brown, Violet (purple), and Black. I was never sure why they called Purple “Violet,” but they did. If they hadn’t, the next wavelength would be called “Ultrapurple,” which must have been too unscientific sounding or something.*

I accepted Red, Blue, and Yellow as the bona fide primary colors for many years, then I became involved in photography. In printing color pictures from a film negative, the primary colors are Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow, which are subtractive primary colors. In converting a negative to a positive, you subtract to adjust the colors. Today we also use Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow for inkjet and laser color printers. I have no idea what they’re subtracting from.

But wait, as they say, there’s more! If you’re using light emitting diodes (LEDs) such as in color televisions, the primary colors are Red, Blue, and Green. Somehow, with three sets of primary colors, we’re able to get all—or at least most—of the other colors.

So, what are the primary colors? Who knows!

* The portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that includes visible light, and therefore colors, seems to always be expressed in wavelength rather than frequency. Red has a longer wavelength than Violet, so you’d think they’d have called the next wavelengths as Infraviolet and the other end of the spectrum Ultrared rather than Infrared and Ultraviolet.



 

All the Gnus That Fits

Media Malpractice: The ABCs of Media Bias - Accuracy in Media

Dear MSN, CNN, Fox, etc.:

I flipped through today’s headlines. Please be advised that I have absolutely no interest in the following stories:

  • Khloe Kardashian Goes ‘90s Chic in Nothing but Ripped Jeans & High Heels
  • Chris Harrison Shares Plans to Return to Bachelor after Controversy
  • The Sussexes’ Friends Think the Palace’s Response to Bullying Claims Is “Retaliation” for Oprah Tell-All
  • What Life Was Like in the Roaring Twenties
  • William Shatner Fast Facts
  • The Worst Angelina Jolie Movie of All Time, According to Critics
  • Paul Bettany Didn’t Think ‘Kooky’ WandaVision Would Be a Hit: ‘It’s Been Really Extraordinary’
  • Side Effects of Eating Too Many Potatoes
  • Experts Share 11 Ways You Could Be Confusing Your Dog, and How to Stop
  • Pregnant Ashley Tisdale Reunites with Hight School Musical Costar Vanessa Hudgens: “It’s Taken 9 Months.”
  • Lamar on “KUWTK” Ending, Kimye Split Rumors

I realize much of the real news is depressing or frightening, but this human is totally not interested in these human interest stories.

Not that you really care. Thank you.

Minimum Wage

I was never cut out to be an economist. I took undergraduate economics in the early 1970s. When I took economics in graduate school in the late 1980s, many economic theories had swung 180 degrees. Up was down and down was up, but that’s not too surprising since they’re all theories, not facts.

One of the theories of economics is that as the economy improves, it helps everybody–“a rising tide raises all boats.” This would be great if true, but to this non-economist, it does not seem to be so. The current discussion of minimum wage is one such example. It’s complex, since people who work for minimum wage include entry level workers, such as high school students who have a part time, after-school job, as well as adults. When I pick something up at a fast food restaurant I usually see a number of adults. Although I can’t say that they are working at minimum wage, I doubt that they are at the median US income of $68,400.00. Median, as you recall, is a number that reflects the point where half of the population is above that number and half below.

Adults at minimum wage may include those without the skills for better employment. However, the pandemic has thrown so many people out of work that those with advanced education or skills may work at a minimum wage job since that is all that’s available.

Below is a chart of non-farm productivity. In the United States, the productivity of nonfarm workers is measured as the output of goods and services per hour worked. Labor productivity is calculated by dividing an index of real output by an index of hours worked of all persons, including employees, proprietors, and unpaid family workers.

United States Nonfarm Labour Productivity

Productivity has obviously increased significantly over the past 10 years, but productivity is measured as a percentage. To find out how much money this reflects, we can look at a different measure. Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a specific time period. (The following chart is in billions of dollars.)

Both charts reflect the same period of time and show an increase in both productivity and GDP, yet for the same period, minimum wage has remained at $7.25 per hour.

To this non-economist it appears that the rising tide missed at least one boat.

Texas Power Repercussions

The Texas electrical power outage can teach us a few lessons. First, the Texas “we don’t want the Federal Government involved” attitude does not interfere with Texas’ expectation for that same Federal Government to bail them out when things go south. In fairness, the emergency assistance is to help the regular folks. I’m sure that the rich and powerful have whole-house generators that automatically switch on when power from the grid is lost–they may not have even noticed.

However, he biggest lesson here is to be aware of the difference between us and the elites. It’s not just Ted Cruz’s Mexican vacation that differentiates the haves versus the have-nots.

If you or I were responsible for 30 deaths and millions of dollars in damages, we’d be held accountable. We’d face a variety of civil and criminal charges and possibly be sitting in jail, waiting for our court date. On the other hand, what is the fate of those who were responsible for the decisions that led to his debacle–the board of directors of the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)?

They resigned.

Wow! What severe consequences! What a sincere penance for them to undertake! Who needs sackcloth and ashes or self-flagellation when resigning your seat on the board of directors is such a major atonement.

So what are they giving up?

Boards tend to meet monthly (what an exhausting schedule!) and are primarily the venue for rich people to get together and chat with other rich people. The board meeting normally starts with a catered meal, often with an open bar, after which the directors sit around a big table and talk about grand ideas. There are lots of boring PowerPoint slides and equally boring handouts. When the oldest member of the board nods off,it’s the signal that the meeting needs to end..

I certainly hope they survive the experience.

Yesteryear

I’m taking a break from the news, so today’s blog is about a long time ago.

Long ago in a grade school far, far away, normally sane people decided that it would be a good thing to educate me. They succeeded in most regards; the one exception was my penmanship. Even though the good Dominican nuns kept me in at recess to spend one-on-one time helping me, it came to naught. Note: as the shortest kid in my grade, not having to go out at recess and be the last one picked for every sport was a minor blessing.

It was a different world in the late 1050s and early 1960s. The desks we used in school had a circular hole in the upper right corner, which was left over from the use of inkwells. The only alphanumeric keyboards were on typewriters, most of which were manual.

We were required to use fountain pens, with allowance for cartridge pens. In any case, it had to have a nib, rather than a ballpoint. We had to turn our papers about 30 degrees counterclockwise so that the characters would be at a slant. The combination of the paper position and the ink meant that the left-handed kids wrapped their arm so that after they wrote a line, their arm dragged across it, sometimes smearing the ink.

In the Palmer Method of cursive writing, many of the letters are quite different than how they look in typeface. The capital “F” looks like a “T” with an extra line. The only place I see the cursive “G” today is in the General Mills logo. The “Q” looks exactly like a “2” to me, and no one will convince me otherwise.

As if that weren’t complicated enough, several lower case letters had different forms. If a word ended in “t,” there was a variation; the character was not crossed, but the last pen stroke looked like an upside down Nike swoop, although Nike did not yet exist. Similarly, there was a lower case “s” that looked more like a cursive “f.” Fortunately, these were optional so no one, except a few of the girls, used them. Girls’ hand muscles mature sooner than boys, so their overall penmanship was already near-perfect, not to mention that most grade-school boys were too impatient and not in the least inspired by cursive.

I could wax poetic about what a wonderful time it was back then–Black and White television, three or four channels, asbestos covered plumbing in the school hallways and restrooms, school uniforms– but I won’t.

Hawai’i

Visiting Molokai, Hawaii's forgotten island
Molokai, Hawai’i

I’ve noticed lately that more frequently there’s an additional character in the name of our 50th state. I don’t have any problem with that–not that the Hawai’ians should care about my opinion.

It’s kind of like how, in Spanish, the question is not “What is your name?” but “How do you call yourself?” It just seems civil to defer to the owner of a name as to how it is spelled or pronounced.

However, I’m a curious person and did a little digging. Here’s what I found.

What looks like a single open quote mark is an okina, the 8th consonant of the Hawai’ian alphabet. It indicates a glottal stop, such as what we use when we say “uh-oh.” The Hawai’ians view the addition of the okina as a spelling correction and not a name change. The effort has been going on for years, but seems to be gaining traction of late.

One suggestion, though. It might be wise to update computer spell checkers. That will cause the transition to be much faster.

Random Thoughts

DOGS

Dogs’ sense of smell is 10,000 to 100,000 times better than humans. In a dog’s nose, the air for breathing takes a different route than the air for smelling. Dogs can even smell while exhaling.

The human sense of taste is largely dependent upon smell. In dogs, this is not true. In fact, they have a relatively weak sense of taste–which explains some of the nastier things dogs will eat. It makes me laugh when a dog food company runs a commercial to assure me that dogs will love the taste of their product. My dog basically inhales his food.

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Many unlikely materials are considered hazardous, for example White Out (Thank Heaven that we’ve progressed to computers from typewriters!).

Heavy metals, such as lead, silver, and especially mercury are hazardous. If you go to the mirror and open your mouth, you are likely to see amalgam (metal) fillings in your teeth. These are about 50 percent mercury, along with silver, tin and copper.

If your hobby is making or repairing stained glass windows, you fill the space between the individual pieces of glass with lead. Does this mean you need to have experts ensure your hobby room is decontaminated before you sell your house?

Flat Earth, The Marines, and MRI

https://d.newsweek.com/en/full/1508883/flat-earth-soccor.jpg
How Flat-Earthers Perceive the Planet

From time to time I am exposed to the flat-Earth believers.

I have to wonder. Do these people honestly believe that the Earth is flat? Personaly, I believe that the majority of them are just having fun at the expense of the rest of us, particularly those people who try to convince them that the Earth is a somewhat imperfect globe. Kind of like the Monty Python “I’d like to have an argument” sketch.

I have to believe that whoever started the flat Earth movement, did so after a few drinks at the local bar. There’s nothing wrong with that–the US Marine Corps trace their founding to Tun Tavern (althoughsome historians believe it may have actually been the Conestoga Wagon, another tavern).

In my mind–and without a shred of evidence–I have always imagined that Ray Damadian came up with the idea of the MRI and scanning humans while having a few, particularly since the initial idea, well, sounds crazy. I imagine this.

Ray: “If you could build a hollow magnet big enough to put a person inside and then aim radio waves at them, you could produce an image of their internal organs.”

Bartender: “We’d better take Ray’s keys and call him a cab. Obviously, he’s had too much.”

To my knowledge, Ray Damadian was not a Marine, does not believe the Earth is flat, and did not actually invent the MRI in a bar.

Are You Surprised?

Marilyn Manson Announces New Album 'We Are Chaos,' Shares ...
Marilyn Manson

Evan Rachel Wood has accused Marilyn Manson of abuse.

Three other women have come forward and also accused him of abuse.

I abhor abusers. Likewise with misogynists.

However, weren’t there some clues that might have warned these women?

If Not You, Then Who?

See the source image

There’s a huge difference between identifying a problem and solving it. Sometimes, it’s lack of confidence or fear that keeps people from doing what they know they should. It’s easier to walk away and see it as someone else’s responsibility.

We admire–we need–people who do the right thing when it is seemingly impossible. We call them heroes. That’s why we enjoy hearing about Captain Sullenburger landing the airliner in the Hudson River with no passengers lost. That’s why we cheer for Luke Skywalker or Frodo Baggins.

On the other hand, those who enrich themselves at the expense of others are called villains. The most despised villains are those who, when confronted with their actions, deny or excuse themselves and tell us it wasn’t their fault.

Today we need heroes, but unfortunately, they are apparently an endangered species. More’s the pity.

I read a news item today, entitled, “Senate Republicans say Trump should be held accountable for riot — but not by them.”

Who do they think should hold people accountable?