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Vanity

It may easily come to pass that a vain man may become proud and imagine himself pleasing to all when he is in reality a universal nuisance. 

                                  – Baruch Spinoza

I had a better post in my head yesterday but I got busy at work and it evaporated. 

So much has happened in the last week that it’s almost too much to keep track of. It’s just one outrage after another. That’s likely by design. 

But what if we looked at the result of all these changes with a cool, rational eye?   

The change that impressed me the most this past week was the resignations of career State Department employees. The reason that caught my eye is because it meant the loss of institutional knowledge acquired after decades in some cases. One of those career diplomats was an acknowledged expert in nuclear non-proliferation. The resignations were requested suddenly and without any transition. The result is going to be gaping holes in our diplomatic leadership. 

This follows a freeze on civil service cost of living increases and undermining the department of energy, the EPA, the national park service. How much of our scientific research capacity is going to be privatized? 

Bit by bit, the foundations of the system are being destroyed. Whether this is due to the incompetence of a vain man or by design thru his advisors who champion “creative destruction”. 

Creative destruction reminds me of passive aggression. There’s no such thing as passive aggression. It’s all just aggression. Any creative destruction is best when it’s done by a performance artist at MoMA. 

The federal government of the United States is a complex system. It can’t withstand too many shocks before it starts to veer off course. We in the middle and the lower end of the socioeconomic strata will feel it first. What will this new administration demand of us then?

In the meantime, the vain man wants the love and adulation of his adoring supporters. But when the support goes south, as it inevitably will, he’ll turn on them for being weak and lazy. There will be no pleasing them.

4 Responses

  1. Love Baruch Spinoza’s quote…so apropos.

  2. Asking for “resignations” from State Dept. officials a few days before today’s conversation with Putin… what do you think about that, RD? That connection in time is nagging at me.

    • There’s a mystery at the heart of the Putin thing. I wish I knew what it was. It could be as simple as Dwight Eisenhower’s final speech coming true.

  3. I believe Putin has the goods on Trump and part of the bargain for helping Trump win the election, will be the lifting of sanctions on Russia, so that Exxon and Russia can drill for that 500 BILLION dollars of oil in the Arctic. That is the only thing that makes sense with the Tillerson pick for SOS and Trump’s love of Putin.

    Also, it is becoming increasingly obvious that Bannon is running the show with some of the executive orders to come out, especially the immigration order and the change in the makeup of the National Security Council. The white nationalist party is running our country. Facism is taking hold.

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