The Ferengi appeared as aliens in several Star Trek iterations. They were the ultimate business people who frequently quoted from their 286 rules of acquisition. I’ve heard they were originally planned as the villains for Star Trek: The Next Generation, but came across as more silly than intimidating.
In my favorite interaction, one Frengi asks, “What if this becomes a war?” The other replies, “Rule 34.”
The first responds “Ahhh, war is good for business. But, but, what if it doesn’t lead to war?” The response is “Rule 35.”
“Ahhh, peace is good for business.”
Today there are real Ferengi; not as exotic looking, but every bit as greedy:
- People pretending to be employees with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are knocking on doors, wearing white lab coats, telling residents that they’re testing for COVID-19. Then they rob them.
- A former White House advisor asked if people staying home to avoid the virus is worth the economic consequences.
- Senators dumped stocks after being briefed on the coronavirus, but before that information was released to the general population.
- All kinds of scammers are selling phony medications or religious talismans.
Oh, wait. Rule 14. “Anything stolen is pure profit.”
Posted in Actor, Business, Communications, Culture, Education, Healthcare, Media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Science, Technology
Tagged Ferengi, Politicians
I try to stay out of political discussions for a variety of reasons; my blood pressure, the effect of stress on other medical problems with my (rapidly) aging body, and the fact that most political stories–once the hyperbole is removed–are not interesting, and definitely not uplifting.
We adopted our dog Louie from the animal shelter about six years ago. We’ve been told that Louie is a “Walker Treeing Coon Hound,” whatever that means. To me it means that he has that distinctive combination of bark and howl that says, “Hound,” and he’s not afraid to use it.
He barks at squirrels, the garbage truck, the UPS truck, everyone walking down the street, and various imaginary threats. The doorbell immediately puts him into DEFCON ONE. He runs to the door, complete with cartoon-like running feet unaccompanied by forward motion.
He spends a lot of time in bed. In fact he has one on the back porch and one in the house just so it’s convenient for him.
He loves to eat, especially “forbidden fruit,” which has resulted in several (expensive) emergency surgeries to remove.
Nirvana, to him, is an open gate or door through which he launches like a rocket. Of course, he expects us to grab the car keys, follow him, and open the car door so that he also gets to go for a ride in the car.
- Louie makes a lot of noise for no good reason.
- When he does move, most of it is for show, not action.
- He spends a lot of time doing nothing.
- He partakes of things that he should not.
- He likes to travel without any particular reason.
- He believes that we should clean up after all his mistakes.
- When caught doing something he shouldn’t, he displays an amazing picture of innocence.
Why would I need to follow politics when I’ve got Louie?
Don’t be fooled by the innocent expression.
Vladimir Putin, according to reports, is wealthier than the next two richest people combined with a net worth of $200 billion. Pretty good for someone who grew up as Communist with enough commitment to work for the KGB.
His career with the KGB was unremarkable (his highest rank was lieutenant colonel), but once he got into politics, he found his niche. Trained as a lawyer, he adopted the Don Corleone business model (“One lawyer with a briefcase can steal more money than 100 men with guns.”–The Godfather). When the Soviet Union fell, various Russians began to acquire wealth. Putin apparently made many of them an offer they couldn’t refuse.
It might be good to keep that in mind before considering doing business with Putin.
Posted in Business, Culture, Government, History, Management, Media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Wealthy
Tagged Oligarchs, Politicians, Putin, Russia, Soviet Union, USSR
A few thoughts now that Congress is back in session:
The skills and capabilities needed to be an effective elected official have nothing in common with the skills needed to get elected.
During the campaign, voters are attracted to a combination rock star and rich uncle,
But a good public servant is closer to a Benedictine Monk (complete with vow of poverty) who is also a Certified Public Accountant.
Our servicemen and women gain our respect because they are willing to die for our nation;
Our politicians, on the other hand, earn our disdain because they are prepared to sell out the rest of the nation to benefit their own congressional district.
*and you put them there.
Posted in Celebrity, Communications, Culture, Government, History, Leadership, Management, Military, People, Philosophy, Politics
Tagged congress, kia, mia, Politicians, Politics, public serrvice
NPR had an interesting piece on “All Things Considered” (<- Click for link) in which they rated presidents in terms of charisma. The last question by the interviewer was, “Could Washington be elected today?” The answer was “I don’t think Washington would have a prayer of being elected president today.”
I accept the fact that it takes a different set of skills to get a job than it takes to actually do that job – perhaps with the exception of accountants and actuaries. Somehow I can’t envision a truly great CPA as being the model of wit and charm in an interview. It’s like hiring a skinny chef – something is wrong with that picture. I’d suspect a charming accountant of cooking the books and stealing from me, and a skinny chef as, well, not really capable of cooking anything.
I guess we are so enamored with style that we have given up on substance in many areas of our life. Roses used to have a distinctively pleasant aroma; in order to have a hardier, more commercially viable flower we essentially bred out the smell. A rose by any other hybrid name, does not, in fact, smell as sweet.
So we weed out Washington and the Jefferson and without a doubt the “obnoxious and disliked” John Adams in our quest for a prettier package.
Be careful of what you wish for, you just might get it.
Posted in Celebrity, Communications, Culture, Government, History, Leadership, Media, People, Philosophy, Politics, Uncategorized
Tagged All Things Considered, John Adams, NPR, Politicians, Thomas Jefferson, Washington