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Jeffrey Neil Jackson

Jeffrey Neil Jackson has 46 articles published.

The Mortality of the Meritocracy Mentality

in The Money Slant by

*Who is the luckiest person you have ever met or known? Were they all wealthy, or did they have some other sources of satisfaction with their lives, be it love, family, religion, other than being filthy rich?

Clifton Mark, in an article on the website Aeon, closed a disappointing essay on meritocracy with the following:  “Despite the moral assurance and personal flattery that meritocracy offers to the successful, it ought to be abandoned both as a belief about how the world works and as a general social ideal. It’s false, and believing in it encourages selfishness, discrimination and indifference to the plight of the unfortunate.”

My first question would be: Don’t those people who were born into wealth, sent to expensive private schools (fully stocked with legacies), and who then take positions in organizations where legacies are the rule and not the exception, also have a considerable amount of selfishness, discrimination and indifference to the plight of the unfortunate? Why stop with meritocracy? Aristocrats have a long history of a callus disregard for those less fortunate than themselves.

The prevalence of the term “privileged” used to epitomize a generation that regards hard work as pointless is approaching its maximum; Mr. Mark is preaching to the choir of the privileged generation, who are dyspathetic to hard work of any kind. Keep Reading

China Goes Viral

in The Life Slant/The Political Slant by
China goes viral

*The global economy has suffered and enormous punch to the gut, and the economies of many nations are coughing and wheezing while dozens of their citizens perish. The culprit in this calamity is the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. The origin of this pandemic (empowered by the global economy) has been traced to the city of Wuhan, in Hubei province, China, where it emerged in December of 2019.

Actually, according to Helen Davidson of “The Guardian,” COVID-19 was first detected on November 17 of 2019, and by March 13, 2020, had killed 4,702 people. The Chinese government only admitted that there was human-to-human contact on January 21 of 2020. Doctor Ai Fen of the Wuhan Central hospital lost four of her fellow doctors to the virus and is guilty of “criticizing hospital authorities for suppressing early warnings of the outbreak.” To further add to the global mayhem, Dr. Fen and whistleblower ophthalmologist Li Wenliang were risking their jobs as well as detention to reveal to the public about the conditions in Wuhan. The global economy advances (and kills) everyone equally, if not for the preparations by their nation. Keep Reading

President Trump: Excessive Examination and the Expected Exoneration

in The Political Slant by

*On Tuesday, February 4, 2020 The Senate of the United States announced the acquittal of President Donald J. Trump.  Only the third president in history to be impeached, and just as the other two, (William Clinton and Andrew Johnson) he was not removed by the Senate. Richard Nixon would have been removed, but he resigned before that could have happened.

First, it was the Russian Investigation that was going to provide all of the charges to get Trump impeached. Instead, it simply drew attention to a Justice department that was taking the side of the Democrats, and F.B.I. managers who were willing to disregard the law in the interests of Democrats. The law was being ignored and testimony was doctored, with evidence (or lack of evidence) that was tilted towards a $24 million investigation that yielded very little. Keep Reading

Qassem Soleimani: Ravaging, Revolutionizing, and Retribution

in The Political Slant by
killing of soleimani

*Richard M. Nixon’s book The Real War has a list of rules for the presidency. Rule number six is: “Never let your adversary underestimate what you would do in response to a challenge. Never tell him in advance what you would not do.”

Just so you understand, invading the embassy of a sovereign nation is the same as invading that nation. The embassy is the soil of that nation. Period. This is why citizens of a foreign nation can seek refuge in an embassy, because wherever that embassy is, whatever nation the embassy resides in, it cannot be violated by the hosting nation. Not that terrorists care anything about international law or have any respect for sovereign nations, mind you.

killing of Soleimani

Iran violated the aforementioned internationally recognized precept on November 4, 1979, lasting until January 20, 1981. Keep Reading

Amy Chua: Equality, Elitism, Ethics and the New American Elite

in The Political Slant by

*In a June 13, 2019 article in the Financial Times (headquartered in London, England) journalist Edward Luce reported on Amy Chua’s “shrewd string-pulling” to get her daughter a position as a clerk for recently-appointed Supreme Court judge Brett Kavanaugh. To quote Mr. Luce: “This week Sophia Chua-Rubenfeld, Ms. Chua’s daughter, was hired as a Supreme Court clerk by Brett Kavanaugh — the judge for whom her mother vouched during his stormy Senate hearings last autumn. Ms. Chua is a shrewd string-puller. A Supreme Court clerkship sets up a young lawyer for life. Whether she is enjoying the publicity is another matter. Overnight the Chuas have turned into emblems of what Americans distrust about their meritocracy.”Was what Ms. Chua did a “quid quo pro?” And if so, how many quid quo pros are out there? The reality is that many myths and legends exceed their grandiose depictions. Keep Reading

Androgyny’s Abrogation

in The Life Slant/The Political Slant by

*Here’s the call:

Dispatcher: 911 what is your emergency?

Caller: I think we have a heart attack victim.

Dispatcher: OK please tell me the age and sex of the victim.

Caller: I can’t.

Dispatcher: You can’t tell me the age and sex of the victim?

Caller: About 40 years old, I guess, but I don’t know the sex.

Dispatcher: You don’t know the sex?

Caller: They’re androgynous. Keep Reading

Bogus Blaming of Baby Boomers

in The Life Slant/The Political Slant by

*One Lyman Stone, in The Atlantic of June 24, 2019, blames the Baby Boomers for many of the problems in America, in an article titled “The Boomers Ruined Everything.” According to Stone, the younger Americans (Gen X, Millennials) are having a hard time, economically and otherwise, because of the acts and behavior of the Baby Boomers. The Baby Boomers ruined everything about America? Hardly. Stone’s universal generalization is the first key flaw in his argument. But let’s take a look.

To start off with, Stone begins with this gem: “The average U.S. state constitution is more than 100 years old. We are in the third-longest period without a constitutional amendment in American history: The longest such period ended in the Civil War.” What about our treasured Constitution needs to be changed? He offers no suggestions, so allow me to suggest one. Keep Reading

Tumblr’s Tumultuous Tumble

in The Money Slant by

*David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, didn’t invent Tumblr. According to Business Insider: “In March 2005, a 17-year-old German high school student named Chris Neukirchen invented this tumblelog system, specifically for super-short blogging.” Karp is in no way guilty of purloining the software, as demonstrated, again, by Business Insider: “It’s important to point out that Karp didn’t ‘steal’ Tumblr. His format was new and advanced the short-form blogging format in several ways.”

Lots of good ideas are started, and then someone takes the idea to a higher level. Andrew Carnegie didn’t invent steel, Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile, but both became wealthy by capitalizing on an existing idea. Originally, the internet was a way for scientists to communicate with one another. Look where it has gone. Keep Reading

The “Squad’s” Squalid Statements

in The Political Slant by

*Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is offering a lot of people hope. Hope for a new beginning, hope for a new life, hope for peace and prosperity. The U.S. government is supposed to wave its magic wand and grant all of those things to people from other nations who are innocent and only want the aforementioned. The pursuit of these goals is being vociferously advocated by citizens calling themselves “global citizens” a group of Americans who do not understand citizenship.

Did I mention that they themselves are hoping for a great deal number of people who will vote for them?

Keep Reading

Prisons ↑ Crimes ↓ – America 2019

in The Political Slant by

*The crime rate in the U.S. has been going down since 1993. There are several explanations for the decline in crime, some of my favorites being that cell phones and the internet have lowered the crime rate. The folks that suggest that crime is going down have their favorite theories, and tend to insist that crime has gone down because of whatever cause for which they are currently stumping. I would like to consider a few reasons other than cell phones and the internet.

In a more expansive viewpoint, I would suggest that there are several factors that have caused the crime rate of the U.S. to decline. Of course, Chicago and several other cities have yet to witness any decline in crime, so obviously the decline has not touched those places; nonetheless, crime in the U.S. has declined since 1994. Every announcement of the continuing crime wave sweeping over Chicago is met with deep disdain and helplessness, as the futile efforts of the authorities seem unable to lessen the out-of-control violent crime, even for a county with some very strict firearm regulations. Keep Reading

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