Affirmative Action And The Managerial State

Misunderstandings and neglect create more confusion in this world than trickery and malice. At any rate, the last two are certainly much less frequent.


It is our nature, whenever we are examining the failings of our enemies, to assume the absolute worst motives and purposes. We want our enemies to be evil, so all of their mistakes and failures are proof of their villainy. This is particularly true in politics, where there is no benefit to acting honorably. In fact, the normal virtues are vices when it comes to jockeying for power in an organization. The truth is, though, our enemies are rarely evil and their mistakes are usually due to stupidity.

That is worth thinking about as we rocket into the custodial state, ruled over by layers of management. The people in charge are rarely in their positions due to merit. They are there because of serendipity, rumbswabbery or maybe they ticked the right boxes to satisfy the diversity engineers. Spend anytime around the Imperial Capital and you figure out that management teams are usually built for the team photo. The corporate partners of the state are suffering the same problem.

That is a good thing to keep in mind when following the Pakistani IT scandal. The latest is about the chief of staff to Yvette Clarke, a Congressman from New York. According to this story in the Daily Caller, her chief of staff casually signed off on what appears to be a theft ring operating inside the Democrat Congressional Caucus. The facts thus far suggest the Awan gang was running the oldest of scams. They would sell computer gear out the back door and claim it was stolen. F

Mx. Clarke is not the sharpest knife in the drawer, so it is reasonable to assume that her staff is not working math problems in their free time. Outwitting them is a challenge to no one. These are people that, in a better age, would be pulling a cart on a farm somewhere or unloading ships at the docks. They also believe that by ticking the right boxes, they are exempt from the rules that apply to the blue-eyed devil. That means they do not spend much time learning about those rules or complying with them.

That is the feature of this story thus far. Everyone on all sides of this thing can tick one of the correct boxes. There are no white men implicated in this scandal. Based on the news accounts alone, it is hard to imagine the Awan brothers getting extremely far with this fraud in the private sector. They were not particularly good at their work and they made salary demands no one would meet. Even small companies do rudimentary background checks on new employees and contractors. The Democrats never bothered to do any of it.

Now, there could be a nefarious motive behind all of this. The Paki IT people reportedly gained access to all of the Democrat’s data, including e-mail. That means they had lots of embarrassing material on their bosses. It also means their bosses were scurrying around looking for a way to cover their asses for having let these guys gain access to their systems and data. It is not unrealistic to think that blackmail and extortion were at the heart of this thing. No one wants to private correspondence made public, especially Democrats.

The willingness to sign off on theft of this magnitude is also a red flag. It is hard to say you did not notice what was happening when your name is on it and the theft amounts to ten percent of the budget. Throw in the extraordinary efforts made at the highest levels to protect the Awan gang from investigators and a skeptical man will start to think there is more here. It has all the contours of an extortion racket. At the minimum, the Democrats may have been trying to hide gross negligence and the mishandling of information.

Still, the way to bet here is that the people involved were morons. Even the Awan gang operated like a comedy act from old movies. Their car dealership scam was so clownish and amateurish it is a miracle they did not get bagged for that. The thumbless way they ran their scams makes it hard to believe they were expertly shaking down professional shake down artists like Wasserman-Schultz and Yvette Clarke. Politicians are rarely smart, but they are ruthlessly shrewd and they know how to work a con.

When you put this story into the mosaic of recent news stories, the pattern that emerges is one where stupidity is the primary feature of our betters. The foolish way Google handled their trouble should make everyone think twice about letting them manufacture driverless cars or protect your personal data. The reckless actions of PayPal, slamming shut accounts of dissidents, without any thought of the consequences, suggests the people making these decisions are dangerously stupid.

Of course, the recent shipwrecks by the Navy have a similar feature. These were easy to avoid errors, engineered by people who checked the right boxes. Maybe that’s unfair, but patterns are often unfair on the individual basis. The facts of life are unfair. A military that is hell bent on having trannies on submarines and refuses to acknowledge the pregnancy problem aboard ship, is not going to worry about social promotion and the consequences that arise from it. After all, diversity is not just their strength, it’s their reason to exist.

Everyone knows that even a committee of really smart people is never the sum of its parts. People in STEM fields will make this point about work teams. Start adding in stupid people with conflicting agendas and the team’s effectiveness will rapidly degrade. The smart people are suddenly burdened with the additional task of mitigating the damage done by the stupid members. Start scaling this up to custodial state size organizations and the same Smart Fraction issues faced by Detroit come into play with managerialism.

In the early stages of the custodial state, we may be seeing a fatal flaw. That is the pseudo-meritocracy, a mix of affirmative action and credentialism, may have internal contradictions that make the system unworkable. If you want to have a massive custodial state, you better select for the best and brightest, regardless of diversity. Alternatively, you can have diversity, but you better not give them too much power or empower too many of them.

In other words, you can diversity or managerialism, but not both.

81 thoughts on “Affirmative Action And The Managerial State

  1. Z: Here is a libertarian true to your description, or warnings rather, he was harassed and fired because he was scheduled to speak at that free speech rally, but then he went to a counter protest and befriended his doxers:

    “Well, this was bound to happen. Brandon Navom of Software Engineers for Liberty was fired from his job for planning to take part in a free speech rally that had nothing to do with anything other than free speech. Hysterics tweeted at his employer that Navom was a Nazi and got him fired with no severance. He is an ordinary libertarian with no unusual views to speak of.”

    Ordinary libertarian or real life cuck.

    • “My chief complaint against libertarianism is that it is a convenient hiding place for people unwilling to take on the Left. If you reject central planning of the national economy, but are afraid to be called bad things by the local lunatics. In the culture war, libertarians will never go over the top and will, once in a while, turn their weapons on their comrades. You just can’t trust them to fight. When pressed, they will always fall in line with the Left.” – Z Man

      This Brandon Navom guy is a real life example.
      He was marching for the other side within 24h!

      • Seems like that is the true ulterior purpose of the public protest. Ideological entrapment. Get people slandered and pillared by showing up for what they thought was a good cause. As Admiral Ackabar said “It’s a trap!”. This is why I think public protests are worse than useless. If public debate, voting, letter and phone calls didn’t work, what makes anyone think screaming in the streets will?

    • Once upon a time (in ancient ancestral times), men with no backbone died young and childless, as evolution intended.

  2. It’s time to sit back and enjoy watching the left get eaten alive by the monster it birthed. Good times.

  3. There is a bit of a conflict in all this….somewhere in the last few days I read a theory that the point of AA is to bleed off the brighter percentage to forestall any organized revolution. In other words, you get cornel west bloviating in the faculty lounge instead of demagoging on a street corner. The problem is, with the collapse in standards, and the increase in AA hiring, that percentage isn’t all that bright. Our meritocracy ain’t so much anymore. When it all collapses and we stop being an empire, can we go back to being a republic? Silly question, I know.

  4. That is why one of the prime demands of protestors is more positions in victim’s studies classes, that guarantees jobs for at least a few drones.

  5. Much of your bureaucracy is not simply incompetent, but also shrewdly ethnocentric and undeniably powerful in their enforcement of “diversity.” Never attribute to incompetence that which is repeatedly undertaken and directly beneficial to an ethnic cabal.

  6. There actually 4 incidents the Navy had with it’s destroyers or cruisers doing something stupid.

    In case one ship ran aground and spilled a couple thousand gallons of oil.

    In another a destroyer sunk a fishing boat it didn’t see.

    Then of course these last two incidents.

    All point to a complete failure of authority and the bridge crew either not on watch or simply too incompetent to do their job.

    Three ships are now going to be in dry dock.

    There is no way in hell that our navy is capable fighting either the Chinese or Russian if their crews can’t even notice a 1000 ft super tanker or cargo ship.

    • Perhaps no one is taking charge of looking at the big picture, the “situational awareness” thing. I would assume that is the job of the highest ranking person on the bridge at any given moment.

      Sort of like the legends about the drivers following the Garmin trip mapping instructions right into the lake.

      Which means that, on some levels, it is an easy fix. Maybe designing some redundancy in that task, with multiple people given the responsibility at any given time.

      AI looks like it is great for the small picture detail stuff, and serving as the ultimate font of useless knowledge which can be shared on Jeopardy, but the big picture stuff is still a complex human brain function that is difficult to replicate. Which is why self-driving cars is such a challenge.

    • but we have closed the Tranny Gap! it will be a long time before China and Russia will be able to out-tranny the USN.

    • Rod;
      Seriously, what about enemy action_? You know the old Bond villain (Goldfinger, IIRC) quote: ‘Once is chance, twice may be coincidence, three times is enemy action.’ A concept not at all false merely on account of a sordid origin.

      I understand that the ships were all based in Japan and part of the ‘contain a potential Chinese attack’ mission. The last two were rammed near dead center (just like in Ben Her) by a vastly larger ship. This is *not* an ordinary sounding collision (no glancing blows). Hard to see this as coincidence or merely ordinary incompetence.

      I have little knowledge of the important details of sea service but I recall my contemporaries in those occupations in the Vietnam War era attached extraordinary importance to ‘who had the con’. The ‘con’ being the instant responsibility for steering the ship in question. It had to be officially passed off and accepted, maybe even entered in the ship’s log.

      The sadly plausible ‘incompetence’ explanation depends on AA officers ‘having the con’ on the night shift (don’t know the salty expression for this). Or maybe they were doing sex, drugs and rock & roll. Otherwise enemy action, I’d say.

  7. AA is really about letting incompetent people take over organizations; i.e the intentional politicization of an organization. Look at all the dumb ass white kids allowed to enroll in “colleges”. It was never (really) about helping negroes…

  8. The company that I work has an unwritten policy of “management isn’t always right, however they are never wrong”. This policy and the Peter Principle has resulted in there being a great many people that have absolutely no idea of what the company does. If one were to fire the incompetent it would be an admission they were wrong in hiring the person. There was a time when the useless were shuffled around to keep them from doing too much damage. Unfortunately, the amount has reached a number that can no longer be shuffled. The company ultimately created departments that have no real connection to the company’s actual purpose filled with the useless. One of these is safety department. Thirty years ago, safety was a reminder to keep one’s body out of moving equipment and stay alert to what is going on. Now it’s pages and pages of reciting like one would envision in the Gulag. The safety issue was solved years ago. The only reason that the stuff keeps emanating from safety is so these people can justify their purpose for being there.

  9. Well done! I agree the whole case looks like Keystone Kops. Another dimension is the Awans were foreign with a family back home. If things got dicey they clearly had an “escape” route. So, the plan became “pop over to the US, plunder what you can, and hop back as needed.”

  10. My prediction is that Google will not succeed with any of its “moonshot” projects, including the driver-less car. They have already sold off Boston Dynamics to a Japanese company. The rest of the “moonshot” projects will go away in the next tech downturn. “Deep learning” AI will become common in machine vision applications, but the hype surrounding AI will disappear.

    • I think you’re wrong(about AI). Someone will figure out an algorithm that will use neural nets and the computer will teach itself. It won’t be designed wholly designed by humans. Mother nature made Men and it was random. Then of course the AI will kill us all.

      • Not gonna happen. AI is still far, far off. Until we actually understand consciousness, we will never get there.

  11. Yes, stupidity is a real and growing problem, but the Awan caper is about extreme (e.g. treasonous) corruption in government and not some bumbling scam artists. The FBI (at the highest levels) abetted these crimes and enabled the escape of one of the participants. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’ husband is a high level prosecutor at DOJ and has been working behind the scenes to bury this prosecution as solely a petty fraud issue. And Sessions is letting this happen without intervention or consequence. The rot is deep and boundless, and they are now arrogantly flaunting this complicity because the Uniparty is all powerful. Do not underestimate them, this is not run-of-the-mill crime.

    • TomA: agree wholeheartedly with everything you say, with one exception – it’s her brother, Steven Wasserman, who is Asst US Atty for District of Columbia. Her husband,also named Steve, is a retired banker, and prides himself on being Mister Mom to their 3 kids. It frees Debbie up to be the outstanding public servant she has shown herself to be. Hiring the Paki Awan clan for IT work (none of whom have known accredited IT skills) and turning them loose on sensitive House systems is appalling. Her actions since the arrest of Imran Awan have been all over the board and borderline hysterical.
      No, this is definitely not run-of-the-mill crime. This is national security treasonous waters, and the Dems know it. They are desperate to keep the news focus far from the Awans, and on more pressing matters like Confederate statues.

      • Thank you for the corrections and clarification. My analysis partially relies upon media reporting, which is frequently opaque. The part about FBI and DOJ complicity is, however, well grounded. It is scary to think that no is minding the store in DC anymore, but sadly that is the case.

  12. Were it not for government & bureaucracies, where else could the “C” college graduates, corrupt & obtuse hide & find employment in the modern world? There’s always a bright side, hehe.

  13. Great post and thread.

    One of the things that sunk the Reds was their need to hire based on “social origin.” The “engineer” whose dad was a poor peasant farmer always got the job over the guy whose father was a shopkeeper.

    One of the keys to getting a Tiger Team to work is finding people who are brilliant, aggressive, but not territorial. It’s more like recruiting unicorns than tigers.

    Burroughs was a brilliant guy. Subtract the addictions, and you have someone who could have conquered anything he set out to do.

    Finally, who knew Hanlon’s razor is really Goethe’s razor. Or is until someone else is discovered who said pretty much the same thing.

    • Yeah, but the thought of eggheads being “sent down to the country” to do “shock work” with the hoi polloi always warms my cold black Hobbesian heart. All those mid-level Bolsheviks who were so sure they’d be in charge of Utopia, getting gulaged because their parents were bourgeois… say what you will about Stalin and Mao, but they had at least one good idea between ’em.

      • What did they call the ones Stalin sent out during Collectivization? The 25,000ers or something like that.

        I was thinking of those cats the other day. It’s hard to imagine our tender SJWs taking up the cudgel, but I could see them managing a detachment of thugs to enforce our new orthodoxy.

  14. Dare this be mentioned…people of color, committing crimes, and blaming white people…eventually, something has to snap.

  15. Severian,

    As much as I would like to agree with you that all this organizational bloat amounts to little substantively, I see too much evidence of the contrary. The “Mohammed Factor” terrorist incident analogue of the naval accidents will be whether we ever learn the identities of those on the bridges of the various ships at the times of the ramming.

    Why can’t we build nuclear power plants any more? How did these newer, simpler designs become even more prone to delays and cost overruns than were genuinely innovative designs in the 1970s and ’80s?

    What can’t we build and maintain roads and bridges anymore (thanks, VDH)?

    How could anyone whose purpose was actually educating children sign off on Common Core? As the commies say, “the issue is never The Issue, The Issue is The Revolution.”

    I worked for years in an industry (energy) with an obsessive commitment to safety. What we see increasingly in American organizations such as the navy is what I saw as foreign state-owned oil companies took over production responsibility rather than just drawing a share of the swag from their production areas. Corruption, incompetence, nepotism. Even in HQ they had safety hazards – imagine how such people handle flammable liquids and gases under pressure. Al du nord, most of your scams showed up in my sights as well, and I wasn’t even in financial auditing (Hmmmm, they sent out 20,000 tonnes of LPG and only managed to account for sales of 15,000 tonnes, something about “boil off”, I believe).


    Your tale reminds me: A few years ago I had to do some work on natural gas pricing in a country that had a “soft” approach to accounting and measurement. You could pretty much tell who the crooks were by their attitudes about whether the volumes of gas moving in and out of high pressure transmission or storage or across national borders actually needed to be measured (hard to measure = easy to steal). As in your case the crooks did not like seeing a recommendation that they take the very simple and inexpensive step of installing a lot more meters to track the product flows.

    • Want to know why you can’t build bridges? Because they require studies. If you are replacing a bridge in the same spot, you still need an environmental study. And a cultural impact study. And many more. All good opportunities for graft.

      WA state now requires an environmental study if you want to drill a well. Doesn’t affect folks in the cities, of course. Counties don’t have to implement it if they don’t have the resources. But it has shut down development in a lot of the eastern part of the state.

      • HDT,
        That’s kind of my point. As much as one would like to ignore the 300k ladies, it is not possible. They can delay anything you want to accomplish because some box is not checked or staffing does not fit the new guidelines or whatever. During my career these people have moved from the REMFs that can be easily ignored to the gatekeepers who control anyone’s ability to get things done.

        Have you noticed, for example, how it is no longer possible to simply ignore their stupid missives, especially production of data?

        • I see what you’re saying, but in a college setting — and this ONLY applies to college at present– the Dean’s Select Diversity Committee on the Promotion of Equality in Diversity Awareness is kept far away from the business end. A college president who knows his stuff — and trust me, they all know full well what a scam it is — will never let the Diversity ladies anywhere near the engineering building. Problem is, the Diverse Office of Diversity Outreach Coordinators takes up 60% of the budget. Football and its Title IX analogues take up another 35%, so that leaves the real academic departments with… well, I’m not in math, but it’s not much. Thank God Pfizer has deep pockets.

  16. “There will be no more Stalins, no more Hitlers.

    The rulers of this most insecure of all worlds are rulers by accident. Inept, frightened pilots at the controls of a vast machine they cannot understand, calling in experts to tell them which buttons to push.”

    – W S Burroughs

  17. I once did a hitch at a yuuuge financial services firm. Just after I started, they caught a guy skimming loose change off brokers’ commissions (like in “Office Space”). How did they catch him? Genius showed up to his entry-level job in a brand new Lamborghini. That was the most fun I’ve ever had in an office.

  18. Every diversity hire is a gift of sorts. An unearned gift, on some levels. The recipient, perhaps unconsciously, knows that. The recipient of unearned gifts, deep down, doesn’t quite know how to process it, accept it, or fit it into the noble portrait each of us paints for ourselves. A career is an important part of one’s survival and success. Important unearned gifts create significant dissonances. The diversity recipient runs with that new career, but always is looking over his shoulder to make sure he is OK. So he builds a little fortress around his place in the system.

    • @Dutch “The recipient, perhaps unconsciously, knows that [he has received An unearned gift, on some levels.”

      I doubt that is true. The recipients of Affirmative Action usually believe that they are deserving of the grant and have no end in Chutzpah. Watch the video below of Naima Lowe, a typical Black Professor of no obvious intelligence or skill, ranting at Evergreen State this last school year:

      Dan Kurt

      • At the conscious level, I think you are entirely correct. At the subconscious level, she is desperately protecting a sinecure that her set of capabilities may not warrant (ignoring for a moment exactly what capabilities certain professorial jobs require or ask for). At least that is what my amateur psychology is telling me.

        My take is that people will much more desperately fight for something that they have now but cannot otherwise earn back if lost. A person comfortable in his capabilities will let the gig go without a cat fight, and know that he can find another, better one if circumstances change. He is not quite so quick to double down on things. The public displays of passion and fury are part of that fortress building exercise.

      • I was going to day Dutch is fortunate to have never encountered an AA hire “in full bloom”.

        • Oh, they know. at some important level they know. That is why they are always searching for signs that you know as well–er, are racist. It is no different from a boxer who brags incessantly before a fight. He believes himself in the moment, but…….. low intelligence lives within the borders of the day, but even the day is too long. Jung–The unconscious mind of man sees correctly even when conscious reason is blind or impotent.

        • I am a little minion that can close my door and only deal with the people I want to. My “eight bosses” wish they were so lucky. That’s why they get the big bucks.

          I also have been witness to a few HR fiascos in my presence that have been smoothed over. I and the closest HR contacts all let the sleeping dogs lie and avoid mutual assured destruction.

      • Not to go too long, Dan, but your video brings up another angle. Ever been in a situation where you are the least smart/least capable one in the room? I have, usually with Asians. Little condescentions and appeasements to your level of sophistication jump out all over the place, if you let them. Sort of like everyone in the room is in some sort of secret club, but you are not in it. Also, people despise being told they are wrong, especially in front of others.

        Now imagine if you have lived your whole life enduring those condescentions and appeasements, and feeling “outside of the club”. Not saying that all of this is real, but saying that you feel it.

        What do you do when you finally have a good gig, backed up by your own “club”, you feel like you have been condescended to and told you are wrong your whole life, you finally have a chance to unload it all on someone in one go, and get away with it in a “safe space”?

        Not saying any of what these people are feeling is true, or what they are doing is right. I am saying this is what is happening, and the educational environment, the diversity industry, and the left are stoking these “feels” and perceptions of hurt or discrimination, for their own purposes. This is how these people say and do these things with a straight face and with some sort of perceived moral justification for doing them.

        Understand where your enemy is coming from.

        • @Dutch “Ever been in a situation where you are the least smart/least capable one in the room? I have, usually with Asians. etc.”

          Follows possibly an on topic anecdote:

          My son was in a cohort group of 7 working toward a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at a top 20 in the world University. Of the seven he was the only White the rest were North Asians from Asia. During the comprehensives he was the only one who passed the written exams. ( A day of math, morning and afternoon, and a day of mech. engineering where one selected two written tests of four: Design, Thermo, Mechanics of Materials, and Dynamics.) He also passed his oral the next week. Note: NONE of the Asians passed on this first go. One failed out and left the program and the rest had to take extra course work before repeating the exam the next year. They had to essentially lose a year as a consequence.

          A week or so after the comprehensives the six Chinese (one from Taiwan and five from Red China) asked to talk with my son as a group. He had at this time finished his course work and was spending his time at a lab down a steep hill from the mechanical engineering building so he rarely was there. My son agreed and met the group later that week. He told me he was surprised by their questions. They badgered him that he must not be an American and had to be a German educated in Europe because their experience with American undergrads demonstrated to them he could not have his dramatic math skills as American students were universally deficient. He did his best to tell them he was educated in the USA but given their questioning and body language they did not believe him.

          What the Asians actually telegraphed was that they could not believe that any non-Asian could be actually smarter than they. It bothered him enough to discuss it with his advisor who was a Swede and the professor told my son that Asians have a superiority complex that blinds them to reality.

          One more thing. My son got only one less than an A grade during his M.S. and Ph.D. career. It came from an Asian professor who gave the grade in spite. My son took the professor’s second course of a two part course without taking the first part. My son read the first part’s course text book and didn’t want to waste the time taking the first course. He just took part two. He made the mistake of answering truthfully when the professor asked him why he did not take the first session. Looking back my son realized that the Asian professor took his action as an insult.

          Dan Kurt

          • I hope your son took the whole thing on the comprehensives as a compliment (and “bravo” to him). He should. The Swedish adviser telegraphed that to your son as well, it appears.

            The experience with the professor was a lesson in managing situations in which the contra party holds your fate in his hands.

            As to the Asian thing, which is your overarching point, I guess we all need to remember that survival has always been about our brains discriminating threats from background noise. That we apply those skills to other areas of our lives is hardly surprising, as our brains are built to categorize and make orderly broad assumptions (to “discriminate” under the other definition) out of disorderly and incomplete information.

          • I worked as a student assistant (not a physics major) to a chaired physics professor at a top research facility. He refused to allow almost all Chinese into his grad student cohort because of their propensity to cheat and plagiarize.

            He was partial to Eastern Europeans, which I took as racist until I attended an MBA program where almost all the ChiComs in my macroecon class got busted for turning in exact replicas of a take home test. Then I understood…

          • I had a prof make me repeat a course in med school for skipping one of his lectures. I tried to appeal it to no avail. The next semester I found out why. He was made dean. I repeated the course and got an A. The supervising doc said I was one of the top three students he had ever taught and gave me residency recommendations.

  19. In Brave New World they had the good sense to make only the most super-brilliant people world managers. Christ, the elites are in possession of a goddamned blueprint for a workable dystopia, but instead of soma we get fentanyl, instead of Mustafa Mond we get Barack Obama. Stupid really is much worse than evil.

  20. There’s a developing problem within our pseudo-meritocracy. The managerial state lost the will to define excellence. There was just a story yesterday that California is dumbing down the bar exam to allow more minorities to pass. Schools are handing out A’s at an alarming rate. We now have a much larger portion hitting the top, making it more difficult for business (or anyone) to isolate excellence.

  21. I had to laugh, this is so true. I worked in a high hazard environment for 30 years, and you can especially see this when the diversity door knobs become part of the health and safety group. They always came up with the damndest safety scenarios, and I always wondered why. They were projecting, of course they would have done the most stupid thing on the job.

    • In some of the lesser known facilities in Saudi Arabia, American contractors work in highly secure facilities doing highly secure things. To alleviate the boredom, they are known to play a form of bingo where they bet on which of the locals will accidentally off themselves in a work accident. It is a regular feature of life in some parts of the world.

  22. Z Man;
    Can relate re stupid cons. Back when the earth was still cooling and white men ran things that worked, I was a comptroller for a fortune 50 firm for a time, after which I went on to other fields of endeavor. When the green eyeshades gathered we’d compete for who rolled over the rocks on the stupidest scam recently.

    Thing is, few of them were original. Seemed like very crooked moron thought they were the first one ever to concoct said scheme. I quickly learned the following: “Never say, ‘Nobody would be so stupid as to try _____.’ Somebody’s doing it right now. They just haven’t been caught yet.”

    All the very nearly qualified AA staffer had to do was ask for a copy of the police report before signing off. That’s it.

  23. I’ve been around some very smart people. My experience has been that when you put a bunch of smart people into a room and ask them to handle something what you end up with is more a result of combining all of their flaws into the solution rather than their strengths or perfections.

    Idiocy is more synergistic than genius by a long shot.

  24. Well said. I am old enough to remember when the federal civil service was staffed by old relatively apolitical white guys. Now it’s a jobs program for NAMs.

  25. I used to joke that the elites were all for affirmative action…until they had to go into surgery or get on a plane. Apparently, they really are going all in now and putting us (and them) in jeopardy. Interesting times ahead.

  26. I read a quote somewhere that points out it is not stupidity of incompetence that rules the day. Only, I forget where I read it or who said it. So, I will paraphrase:

    If it was only stupidity and incompetence that guides government representatives and bureaucrats, they would fuck up in our favor occasionally.

    Ever known this to happen, Zman? And, if you know of one, was it continued after they realized they had fucked up in our favor?

  27. Lol, I actually discovered and broke up a theft ring at a Defense contractor my company was subbed out to support. They were building a large control system using a lot of commercial off the shelf gear. The project was massively delayed, and my team and I were brought in to try and save it. About 2 weeks in, I’m reviewing the project integration schedule, and comparing it against the assembled system in the lab, plus the stuff still in crates. Big holes, everywhere. So I started walking around asking, “Hey, where is this piece of equipment?”, and all roads kept leading back to three increasingly panicked looking individuals.

    Turns out, you really can “look guilty” as the three of them started standing outside offices trying to hear what I was reporting up the food chain. Good times.

    At the end of the “get this shit together” phase of the project, we had a fully integrated control system. Of the roughly 200 people assigned, it was ultimately built by two competent “hardware” guys and about six software guys. We did a year of work in a summer.

    The Prime Contractor basically fired me, put their own “expert” in charge, and 2 years later still hadn’t fielded the system. So, they called me back in to beg for help.

    I refused.

    • Years ago I was contracted to do some analysis on a project with a pubic utility. The utility had been undergoing an audit and entertaining a proposal to outsource some of their internal maintenance and repair functions. My job was to build a cost model for these functions, compare to their real costs and to the proposed alternatives. I spent my first week talking to key people who were all super nice and helpful. The next week I went to accounting and got a bunch of purchasing and payroll data for the project.

      The one thing included in my data set, soemthing I had not initially requested, was a fixed asset list. Looking at it, I saw straight away that there were some strange things on it. I decided to take a walk through the repair facilities and take a closer look. I could not find a lot of the assets. These were not small items either. There was a truck that no one had ever seen. There was a small tractor that existed only on the fixed asset run, but nowhere in the facility. It was not hard to see what was happening.

      A couple of weeks later they cancelled my contract, paying me in full plus a termination penalty. They refused to accept any work product from me. It was obvious to me what was happening. I also suspect that the guy who gave me the fixed asset run was trying to blow the whistle, but not do so publicly. I have no idea what happened to him.

      • The university system I used to work for has had a half million bucks worth of surgical equipment stolen in the past month. Not scalpers and hemostats. Big time highly technical stuff. This has not made the news and probably won’t.

      • I landed a sweet overseas job when I was on active duty because the guy I replaced claimed $10,000 of lost computer and other electronics equipment when he PCS’d in-country. The missing materials showed up 2 months later. Except it wasn’t $10,000 in electronics. It was four duffel bags of clothes and other junk. My flight chief was the bailiff at the courts marshal. The OSI investigator testified that the man literally crawled inside the duffels looking for the $10,000 in electronics.

        He was acquitted. The other military jurors didn’t want to send him to jail over “a mistake on a travel form” 6 months before retirement. He quietly retired a few months later.

        The managerial state actually creates and grows these people. I bet more than one juror took good notes…

      • At one of my jobs, two brand new Suburbans were delivered one afternoon. Still had paper floor mats, plastic on the seats, etc. The next morning, they had disappeared along with their keys off the key board in the locked office. We didn’t even get a chance to start them. The list of people with access was short but nothing was ever done about it.

      • Whenever my F100 energy company did aggressive auditing of transactions in the field, it found graft and corruption with regularity. If they were minorities, however, they still had to be given big payments to make them leave….

      • I had the opposite experience working on an energy project in a state office building. The utility tunnels were full of valuable equipment and parts that management did not know they had. They wanted to order some large gate valves when a couple of new, unused ones were in storage a hundred feet from where the new ones were to be installed.

      • I worked for a utility company for about 4 years, saw corruption on a massive scale. If SEC does their job, you’ll hear all about it in the next year or two. Looking forward to seeing them get what’s coming to them.

    • So many stories that would doxx me pretty effectively if I shared them…

      I’m finally in a cush job with a boss who keeps me out of trouble, but my current bad dream is that someone out there is in a real fix, remembers my talents, and drags my ass back into the fray.

  28. As with everything else the Cloud People do, they’re trying to turn the custodial state into a college campus, where nice Diverse ladies making $300K run entire “departments” that do nothing but issue instantly-ignored memos…but aren’t they great to have at cocktail parties? Colleges are actually pretty good at giving Diversity prestige without power — see any African-American Studies department — but at the cost of making most of the rest of the place useless. (If Big Pharma didn’t outsource its R&D to the university system, it would cease to exist).

  29. As an old mentor once said on the matter of incompetent boobs being in management:

    “You know why they are doing these jobs? Because nobody has told them they can’t.”

    • In many cases I have observed, the incompetents got their positions through Nepotism, political connections, or lately, from their skin color or sex…And frequently, they aren’t expected to do much….

Comments are closed.