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Rumilluminations Now
By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Fri, December 02 2016 - 12:06 pm

December 5, 2016 
Madison IN

I have finally figured out what is going on in the U.S. with the "team" thing.

When my children were in school I started noticing that they were doing projects as teams. My second, at least, had the experience of frustration when her teammates wouldn't do their fair share of the work. Everyone on the team would get the same grade, so if she wanted a good grade she had to work harder (if only at persuasion.)

I didn't like it. In my day, I thought, everyone was responsible only for their own work. I did not envy my children.

There was no reason to go to the school and complain, though. For one thing, I felt chronically powerless and knew that my complaints would not really be heard. (Maybe I was wrong, but that was my assumption.)

Another reason I didn't complain was that I thought, well, it might be a good thing to have to learn how to work closely with others. It might teach my children leadership skills that I definitely did not have.

A decade or two later I started hearing about "cross-training" and teams in relation to office staff. This was new to me. Of course it made sense. If someone didn't show up for work it would be helpful if there were someone else around who knew how to do her job.

Someone sick or irresponsible? No big deal. Someone else could be twice as responsible. After all, the individual didn't matter so much as the team.

Except - minor detail - it was already a challenge to get your own job done. The more you accomplished, the more work was piled on to you until you, too got sick.

Fast forward to The Apprentice. I only saw one or two cycles of hiring and firing. There was a big emphasis on teamwork, but in the end only one person was left standing, as I recall. I remember one episode in which one team member was railing against another who refused to do any work. I could totally relate to the complainer. You could see her obnoxious attitude in every line of her tall, statuesque, indolent body.

At a later date I found out she had won. At least that's the way I remember it. (Well, turns out I was wrong. According to an article about her more likely to be correct than I, Trump fired her three times on three seasons of The Apprentice. Whew, many more parts of her life are available if you just Google.!)

Fast forward another couple of decades and there is Omarosa on Trump's campaign team. Wow, she had a career! She was well rewarded - for what?

Admittedly I wasn't there. It sure looks, though, as if someone who was good at manipulating circumstances and other people, perhaps, was the one who got the good out of "team" work. The ones who bitch and whine about the users end up being the losers.

Well, duh. Those guys who helped Zuckerman build Facebook sure aren't of the top five richest guys in the world now, are they?

So beware, members of a team. You may be equal now, but there just might be a nasty game beyond your honest, above-board ken going on.

What set this rant off?

Seeing the hated Omarosa on the right hand of the despised President-elect Trump is what set this rant off.

My lecture really does have a larger purpose, though, than expressing anger at losing elections.

It's a cautionary tale.

December 4, 2016
Madison IN

A while back I mentioned a Georgia Elector who had said he would not vote for Trump. According to the Wikipedia listing, he has resigned.

This does not bode well for an Electoral revolt. I guess the Republicans are just so glad to be back in power that they don't care who represents them.

Still, I will not resign myself to a Trump presidency until I have to. After that I don't know what I will do. I would like to think I would just turn my back on the world and go live in a place where no TV, autos or Internet exist.

I live with someone else, though, who just might have an opinion or two on the subject.

Also, I confess, even I possess a human weakness for the experience known as horrid fascination.

December 3, 2016
Madison IN

Yesterday I saw a list of presidential electors for 2016 on Wikipedia. There are way more than I thought, and I had misunderstood that each party had a completely different set of electors all their own. No wonder people seem so sure that there won't be an electoral upset!

Since the founding fathers did not intend for there to be political parties they obviously were not intending that the Electoral College would work the way it is working (or not working) now. Why bother?

There are both men and women on the list, presumably of all different ages, but who knows? It's just a list of names, except there is a note that one is the name of the youngest Elector - a nineteen-year-old.

No further statistical demographical detail is given except states represented.

New Mexico and North Dakota have no Electors listed. I don't know why.

I still have hope that the Electors will do what I consider is their job to save us from the lesser numbers (if not worse) half of ourselves, especially considering the massive conflicts of interest Donald Trump would have as President. It has been judged that he has already profited hugely by becoming President-elect. If he doesn't use his businesses as a good opportunity to bow out, the Electoral College would certainly have good reason to rule his Presidency potentially too problematical be supportable. I still have trouble believing that he really wants to do the job. (Some maintain Pence will be the de facto President.)

Last word I heard was that Philadelphia is planning a voluntary recount. The Wisconsin results are still out, I guess.

My, what an exciting election year this is!

Suspenseful - like a horror movie. Donald's specialty.

December 2, 2016
Madison IN

I'm hearing less and less talk about the Electoral College. (By this, of course, I mean talk on the TV and written words on Facebook. In real life I hear no talk at all about the Electoral College.)

Are the Electors really so unimportant? Are they really such political or human nonentities that their votes this month are unimportant and assumed?

Who are these people?

In attempting to find out the demographics of the members of the Electoral College, I googled the subject and the first three or so responses (supposedly the most right on relevant) were just about the popular electorate.

I will try again but I just want to put out this question to professional researchers and reporters: who are these people who have so much power that they seem so likely not to exercise?

How much education do they have, in what fields of expertise? How wealthy are they? How many children have they? What are their predominant interests in life? Sure, I could spend hours researching this stuff but there must be someone out there who either knows it or knows how to get it more easily than I.

Before the election I read about a couple of electors who had no intention of voting along party lines - at least not for a particular candidate. How many more feel that way now?

What do they think they owe the country? Are they responding to the current situation with a "Why me? Why did this have to happen to me?"

Or are they just going with the flow, wondering if it will snow and what they are getting their wives (yeah, are they all men? Probably not. I hope.) or husbands for Christmas? Or Hanukkah?

Yeah, it's freaking me out. I keep imagining we the people are going to be saved by a "College" of people who are, in my mind, absolutely faceless.

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