IT techies, banks and The Tea Party make the perfect ménage-a-trois of nincompoops.
Now that the “Bickering Bickersons” – otherwise known as the Republican members of Congress – have taken their openly self-destructive squabbling that shut down the government back into the shadows of Congressional caucuses, the media has been freed to concentrate on the really important world issues.
But even in the darkness, you can almost “see” beleaguered Republican leader John Boehner as the bumbling civics teacher standing before a classroomful of out-of-control hooligans, attempting to teach something about Modern Government. The “students” are hurling spitballs and paper airplanes, yelling, laughing and breaking up into groups as Boehner tearfully pleads with the unruly mass, “Come on now. Settle down. This is serious.”
As what does the media now identify as serious? Is it the continuing deadly civil war in Syria? Is it the brutal military dictatorship again being imposed on the people of Egypt? Is it the rapidly expanding anarchy in Libya? No, of course not. As far as the media is concerned (at the moment) the number one threat to the future of this country is the thoroughly discombobulated rollout of the web site supporting the launch of Obamacare.
This is supposed to be a great shock? You think there has never been a flawed IT rollout before this fiasco? Of course, the Republicans and the Tea Party primates jump on this web site confusion as if it is a clear message from their God that Obamacare is a bad plan. Obamacare may be a bad plan (but remember, the majority believed that Social Security and Medicare were socialist-inspired acts of the Devil when they were introduced). Still, it is false logic to suggest that a bungled IT system proves the point. It’s a little like buying a fancy new car but when you attempt to drive it off the lot, it won’t start because someone forgot to put gas in the tank. Then claiming the car is defective and asking the dealer to take it back and give you a refund.
If you don’t know that IT rollouts always get mucked up, you don’t know IT.
The problems the Obamacare rollout encountered are not the fault of the health care system, they are the fault of IT systems. Anyone who has spent any amount of time in business working with the geniuses of IT development and systems knows that never – I mean never – in the history of the world has a rollout of a new IT system been without problems. Think about it: How many times have you received a message on your computer, tablet, or smartphone alerting you to “fixes” that needed to be downloaded for your software or Apps? Remember Apple’s rollout of its “turn-by-turn” Maps app to compete with Google Maps? The one that, among other a jillion other glitches, led drivers onto a taxiway at Fairbanks International Airport in Alaska. A rollout so bad it prompted CEO Tim Cook to offer a rare public apology to users for its poor debut performance?
It makes no difference if the change is a simple upgrade, a full-blown “conversion” or a new system; they never initially work as promised. No matter how detailed the plans had been, no matter how much “testing” was completed, or how many “beta groups” worked with the new program, when it is rolled-out for real, it NEVER works as the user anticipated.
But don’t think for one minute that this happens because IT techies are dumb. On the contrary, it is part of their carefully planned and calculated modus operandi. The IT gurus like to think they are smarter than most of us and for the most part they are right. What many fail to recognize is that this is all part of a sinister plan the IT techies have to take over and dominate the world.
It has been my long-held belief that the moguls of IT have always been more of a threat to the peace, security and freedom in the world than the Communist menace ever was. And now we know it is true: The Communists are gone, but the IT people are still here, and stronger, more dominating than ever. The Obamacare muck-up is just another example of their master plan to control all that happens and to allow nothing to happen without their approval. A sub-set of their plan is also to assure perpetual job-security for all their munchkin followers.
You think their plan is not working? Just look how the web site rollout of Obamacare has crippled it and imagine how many millions and millions of dollars (ransom) that will now have to be paid out to “fix” the system. Take note my friends: The problems we are witnessing are not about Obamacare; they are about IT controlling the world.
Just Follow the Money
Bankers have some of the same objectives as IT people. Since they control the money, it’s their belief they can control the world too, but they are not nearly as smart as IT techies and therefore can’t be quite as devious in their actions. This lack of intellectual capability (I have coconuts in my backyard that are smarter than most bankers) forces bankers to be much more clumsy and blatant in their efforts. In addition, bankers have the individuality and leadership traits of drugged sheep; where one goes, they all follow.
Just this past week we were presented with two more examples of the length and depth bankers will go to achieve personal gain by ripping off customers. First, JPMorgan Chase, without so much as a blink of the eye or an insincere mea culpa, agreed to pay a fine of $13 billion to make government charges of bilking investors go away. You remember that JPMorgan was caught selling-short the very mortgage investments they were pitching to investors. Can you imagine how much money the bank made off these investments if it was willing to pony up $13 billion (only of which $4 billion is expected to go back to investors) in order to make this problem go away?
But that isn’t the most galling aspect of this issue. What is unconscionable – what is deserving of a rant – is that the individuals and executives at the bank who were responsible for these abuses – earning big salaries and even larger bonuses – get off scot-free. Think about it: The executives who perpetrated this fraud on investors suffered no accountability or recrimination at all. How just is that? How much incentive is this lack of accountability going to have in preventing the same type of anti-consumer activity in the future?
In the same week the J P Morgan story broke, a jury determined that Bank of America was liable for fraud related to defective mortgages sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in a program described as little more than a “hustle” perpetrated on unsuspecting customers. It is not known how much Bank of America (really its shareholders) will end up paying out to settle this fraud, but one thing certain is that the executives who benefited from the scam will not be held accountable or required to pay back of a dime of their bonuses.
As to the final subject – the Tea Party – it is bordering on iniquitous to rant against the group. After all, since there is no rational defense for their irrational strategies and tactics, to mock the group would be analogous to bullying; picking on those who have no way to defend themselves. To be fair, it’s difficult to disagree with some of what they call their “non-negotiable core beliefs.” Who can argue with the desire for less government, reduced government debt, lower taxes and more freedom for everyone? (There are a number of other fanatical fringe core beliefs that not many would agree with, but we won’t deal with them here.) What makes the Tea Party such an irrelevant group of nincompoops is not so much the goals they seek but the strategy and tactics being employed to achieve them. The Tea Party attitude harkens back to the oath of the John Birch Society in the fight against Communism in the 1950s – “I’d rather be dead than red.”
For the Tea Party it is “all or nothing.” As proudly and prominently displayed in Tea Party propaganda, their demands are “non-negotiable.” Anyone seen as the least bit willing to compromise on any tenant of the Tea Party is a traitor. It’s an attitude that cries out: Do anything that can be done to cure the disease, even if it means killing the patient. What this effete corps of imprudent snobs who characterize themselves as the intellectuals of political purity forget is that the very document to which they pay homage – the American Constitution – was possible only because of compromise.
We really should not be surprised by the attitude and obstinate rigidity of the Tea Party. You can tell a lot about an organization by looking at its heroes. What type of organization do you think will emerge when the likes of Michele Bachman, Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz are put up as the intellectual and inspirational role models for the group? It is like worshiping a holy trinity made up of two lethally ignorant dingbats and a foreign-born, ego-maniacal poseur. This brings to mind the old 1970s NBC TV program “The Gong Show” hosted by Chuck Barris. The show is best remembered for the idiots with no talent but a strong desire for the limelight who would happily make fools of themselves on national television. When you look at the antics of the Tea Party and also take into account their three heroic spiritual leaders, a better title for the group would be “The Gong Party.”
And the Moral of the Story …
So many potential rants and so little time. What is one to do? There are a lot of stupid, unjust and unfair things that go on the world today that we can’t do much about, but it does help to once in a while rant about them. It reminds me of what author Jarod Kintz once wrote, “Instead of a Lemonade Stand, I should open up a “You know what I can’t stand” Stand. I’ll sell rants in small, medium and large.”