Monday, October 10, 2005

Some thoughts about President Bush

The learned heads of the TV business are chortling about President Bush's drop in the polls. They point out that he is losing his conservative right support as well as the support of the general public. Well, I have a few comments about this situation. The first is the observation that since 9/11 we have not had a terrorist attack in the continental U.S.. The second is that the job of being a leader is different from winning popularity contests. A leader has to take a position and lead from there, not take a poll and lead in the direction that the prevailing wind blows. Winston Churchill had no easy task leading the British people prior to and during WWII. His opposition was significant and vocal until the bombs rained down. Do we have to receive another attack to ring the bells of Bush's opponents? If the American public has anything it's short memories. We are truly in a war, but this war is different than any other in our history. It involves religious fanatics and fundamentalist zealots using fear and murder to further their objectives. And since this is a religion based action which is driven in large part by "faith" in what they believe, they are not open to compromise.
Which brings me to the issue of Bush's far right supporters. What is the difference between their profoundly held beliefs and the ones carried by the terrorists? Some of the far right have been know to resort to murder and bombing much as some of the Moslems. It would appear to me that if there is a God and we are all brought to trial on the basis of our lives that the issue of abortions are taken care of at that point. So why impose a religious standard that is not accepted by everyone? If standards are so practical why is it that we need judges to decipher their meanings? And preachers to rail about the words of "their" god, as though ownership is possible.
The path through this maze is the moderate path, positions on the far right and left are not tenable except , once again, by fanatics.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Thoughts about the general population

Having a scientific background and training leads me to apply some of my education to the thought processes of the general public. One of my favorite approaches to consider the distribution of intelligence among the public as a whole. I subscribe to the theory that the relative intelligence of all people is described by a bell shaped curve. The far right extreme, which number few, is populated by geniuses and the far left extreme is populated by moronic imbeciles. Dead center of this symmetric shape is the intelligence of the general population. The I.Q. of the central line of symmetry is 100 and it is the average I.Q. for our population. Now consider this: Half of the population has I.Q.'s greater than 100 therefore the other half has I.Q.'s less than 100. Now I know that it is not politically correct to state these facts; because, as we all know, the current trend in education is to call everyone equal and give superior grades to 60% of the class. As I recall from my days in high school and college, if 10% of the class received A's it was quite remarkable. Now, of course, most of the class receives A's because we don't want students to have hard feelings. Which leads me back to my original premise that half of the population has less than average intelligence. Since the bell shaped distribution has never been proven wrong by other than emotional outcry, this leaves us with a quandary. How do we rationalize the significant numbers of summa and magna cum laude graduates with the realities of the bell shaped curve. Well, guess what folks, the great arbitrator of intelligence is the market place. If you can't hack it, then all the "academic honors" are meaningless. Whoops, there is an area that is an exception to this rule and that is in politics. Now we have come full circle because politicians require votes and if they pander to the lower half of the bell shaped distribution and gain a few sycophants from the upper half they are elected.