Sanders, Clinton, Nevada, and the wages of political despair

History is full of lessons about what happens when people realize the game is rigged against them.

1968 Democratic National Convention, Chicago

Brian has an interesting take on the recent Nevada Democratic caucus dustup, and if you didn’t read it yet you should. Also note the comment section, where the discussion zooms in on the question of whether Sanders responded appropriately to the “violence” from his supporters. (I use quote marks because there is no evidence that violence actually happened.)

I’m intrigued by the discussion because of a debate that’s been raging in my own head for years. In short, is productive change in America possible absent a violent uprising? Continue reading

Politics: Democrats vs Republicans

America 101: we are not a democracy and never have been; is this good or bad?

America is famed – especially in our own collective mind – for being the greatest democracy in history.

This is a fun and noble self-image. But “democracy” is a word with a meaning, and have we ever, even for a second, fit the definition?

  • For the first several decades of our existence as a nation a significant proportion of the population wasn’t allowed to vote. In fact, as of 1860, nearly 4 million Americans – around 13% – were property. For fun, every time you hear the term “founding father” or “framers of the Constitution,” substitute a phrase like “wealthy slaveowner” or “legislative tool of the human chattel lobby” and see if it alters the tone of the discussion.
  • For the first 140 years, give or take, over half of the adults in the country – specifically the female half – weren’t allowed to vote.
  • Originally, the vote was reserved to landowners. Continue reading

Slate wonders if Trump is succeeding because of racism. Well duh.

Racism is the single most defining political issue in the history of America, after all.

Donald TrumpJamelle Bouie, Slate’s chief political correspondent, has penned an analysis of the role racism plays in the success of the Donald Trump campaign – and just in time, as the latest CNN poll shows Trump surging to a 21 percentage point lead over his closest competition (39% to Ted Cruz’s 18%).

Nothing wrong with analyses of voter racism. Nothing at all. But, check the subhed:

What if Trump is winning because of his racism and bigotry, not despite it?

Ummm. I mean, isn’t this sort of like asking if you’re a little warm because the house is on fire? I’m not being snarky here. Seriously, is there anybody out there for whom this isn’t about the most obvious observation of the whole election season? Continue reading

Stochastic terrorism and “lone wolves”: why aren’t Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina in jail this morning?

I’m not a lawyer, but I have a question. Maybe two.

robert-dear stochastic terrorismInciting someone to break the law – that’s a crime, right? (I know, the Brandenburg test leans heavily on “imminent,” so this is fuzzy, I guess. “Clear and present danger” is also a layer of fur to pick through.)

And you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater, right?

Free speech isn’t absolute. You can’t say things that inspire others to commit mayhem (in principle, anyway – the application of the law certainly provides a lot of wiggle room for the culprit).

The concept before us this morning, in light of the shootings in Colorado Springs, is “stochastic terrorism“: Continue reading

Online Dating

Online dating tips for women: how to write a winning profile

New scientific analysis provides insights for women seeking Mr. Right. Works for OK Cupid, eHarmony, Zoosk, Tindr, Christian Mingle and Plenty of Fish, too.

I’ve seen a lot of women’s dating profiles over the past five years. Thousands of them, literally. And I’ve had plenty of conversations with other online daters, men and women alike, as I have sought to better understand this fascinating new (well, relatively new) mode of social interaction.

In the process I have noted a broad range of patterns and tendencies and have come to a highly scientific understanding of what works. Ladies, follow these simple steps and you’ll be reaping the rewards of your successful new dating profile in no time at all.

1: Always – always always ALWAYS – use the word adventure.  Continue reading

The real problem with the “Anonymous” list of KKK members

It looks like the list of KKK members that dropped today, allegedly by Anonymous, isn’t from Anonymous at all.

The real list, from the Anonymous Twitter account, will be released later in the week.

Some of the names on that list – most notably Lexington, KY’s openly gay mayor, Jim Gray – were immediately suspicious (although, given the actual existence of Log Cabin Republicans, I suppose nothing is impossible).

Others, on the list, though – people like Sens. Thomas Tillis (R-NC) and John Cornyn (R-TX) – those are, shall we say, marginally less suspicious. Continue reading

My favorite client conversation

Sometimes you have clients who are just fantastic. Other times you have this guy.

Me: So these are the high-value keyword terms on which you’re ranking in the low-hanging fruit tier. By making them the basis for content marketing campaigns you have the potential to drive significant improvements in click-through rates and, resultingly, conversion rates and revenue.

Client: I see. How would we do this? Continue reading

Bill Clinton v. Darth Cheney on Iraq: yes, but….

Clinton’s comments on Cheney and Iraq are 100% correct. But they ignore something important.

Bill Clinton has taped an interview that will air tomorrow. In it, he’s asked about Dick Cheney’s attacks on President Obama and the Iraq mess. Continue reading

Bobby Jindal doesn’t understand the First Amendment

2016 presidential hopeful’s defense of Duck Dynasty star’s homophobic comments suggests a deep misunderstanding of what the Constitution says.

Here we go again.

The great thing about Duck Dynasty-style blowups is that they provide dumbasses a chance to trot their dumbassery out for public display. Take Louisiana governor (and prospective 2016 presidential candidate) Bobby Jindal, whose comments this morning suggest that he doesn’t understand Constitution even a little bit. Continue reading

Cthulhu Republicans

Club for Growth: meet the Cthulhu wing of the GOP

Here’s wishing the Tea Party luck in its efforts to destroy the GOP. One down, one to go.

A few days ago I wondered if, for the Tea Party, there’s any such thing as “too conservative.” After all:

Does the Tea Party have a right “edge”?

Is there any such thing as “too conservative” for Teabaggers?

I shall be with you on your wedding-night. – Frankenstein’s Monster

You may have noticed that a new “bipartisan budget compromise” has emerged on Capitol Hill, largely brokered by conservative darling Paul Ryan and “pragmatic liberal” Patty Murray. The howls of outrage from the Tea Party wing commenced on cue. Which is why, earlier this morning, I found myself joking that I was looking forward to seeing Ryan primaried from the right. Continue reading

Hey Facebook – can you tell me who my perfect match is?

PrivacyBig Data and Social Media: Americans can’t give their privacy away fast enough…

Big Data just keeps getting bigger and biggerer, and it seems like if you have enough data you can figure out damned near anything. Last year we had the case of Target telling a Minneapolis man his teenaged daughter was pregnant before she did. Now it seems like Facebook knows who you’re involved with whether you reveal it or not. Continue reading

Barry buys a car at GOP Motors

Barry needs a new car. Something spiffy to show off, so people know he’s a big deal, an important guy, a man for all seasons. So he heads down to GOP Motors. Those guys always have nice cars.

“I need a car,” he says.

“Oh, it’s you again,” says Mr. Haney, the senior sales rep, brightening appreciably. “Which one you like?”

“Well, that big silver BiPartisan luxury sedan looks awful nice. How much?”

“What you looking to pay?” says Mr. Haney.

“I reckon I could go $35,000 for it, long as you throw in floormats.”

“Lord, Barry, you’re killing me. I can’t possibly let this fine automobile go for that little. Tell you what, I think I can get my sales manager to let you have it for $50,000.”

Barry thinks, scratches his head. “I don’t know, Mr. Haney. That’s a lot of money. How about we say…$55,000?”

Haney pauses for a second, hits replay on that last sentence to make sure he heard it right. “How much did you say?”

“Oh, all right. $60,000.”

Haney stares at him for a few seconds. Figures maybe he’s being punk’d, but okay, he’ll play along. “If I let you have it for that I’m losing money. My manager will fire me. Can you go to, say, $75,000?”

Barry whistles through his teeth. “Man, you drive a hard bargain, Mr. Haney. I don’t know if I can do $75,000. The little lady would kill me. Tell you what, $80,000 and no floormats.”

Haney, getting into the bargaining spirit, yelps like a bit hound dog. “JESUS AND MARY, Barry! I’ve got a family to feed. I can maybe go to $90,000, but not a penny less.”

Barry sprouts a satisfied grin and extends his hand. “We seem to have agreed on $100,000 even.”

Haney takes his hand, trying to stifle the urge to dance around the lot. It’s been a pleasure doing business to you.”

In other news….

When it comes to judging America for its sins, God is an absolute doofus

Lately I’ve been trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with God. And having no luck at all.

If you’ve been paying attention, by now you’ve figured out that natural calamities are God’s judgment on America. Preachers preach it and Christians believe it. When a hurricane hits, for example, it’s usually because we’re being unholy in some way or another. Drinking, fornicating, gambling, etc. But mainly the queers.

Katrina was God’s judgment. And it’s just beginning. Because of the Pride Parade. (A Google search on “Katrina God’s judgment” returns 129,000 hits, by the way.) Sandy? God’s judgment.

Tornadoes are God’s judgment. Earthquakes are God’s judgment. Forest fires, famine, volcanos – God’s judgment. You get the point.

Fine. God isn’t happy and he’s sending us a message. A warning shot across the bow, as it were. But…you can’t help wondering. Is God stupid? Does he have a bad aim? And what does his recent spate of angry warnings say about history? There have always been natural disasters, even back in the ’50s when there weren’t any homosexuals. There were volcanos during the late Cretaceous. Who the hell was he mad at then?

Let’s take a closer look.

Oddly, most hurricanes target our godliest states. Yes, Louisiana has the modern-day Gomorrah that is New Orleans, but if you recall Katrina mostly missed the Big Easy. The front side – the big overhanded haymaker – hit the Mississipi Gulf Coast and the damage there was massive. Had God aimed further west busted NO in the lips the way he did Biloxi, Bourbon Street and everything else within 20 miles would be gone. So – what the heck did Mississippi do? They’re one of the best-behaved Christian states in the country.

Another state that gets stomped by hurricanes a lot is Florida. Now, the Sunshine State is a mixed bag. You have some wickedness down around South Beach, but you also have a bunch of old people who haven’t done anything wrong. Not in the last 50 years, anyway. And yet, God judges them like they were one big Frankie Goes to Hollywood video. Makes no sense at all. He even threatened last year’s Republican National Convention, and the GOP is HIS OWN POLITICAL PARTY.

W. T. F?

Among recent hurricanes, Sandy is the only one that sort of makes sense. NYC is a godless wasteland, for sure, home to every kind of decadence known to man, as well as a few others that are still in the development phase. But God, in judging NYC, blasted the shit out of New Jersey, which has a Republican governor, and some of the hardest hit areas of NYC are in Congressional District 11, home of Rep. Michael Grimm, a Republican.

Apparently God can’t afford a laser and has to use a shotgun instead.

What about tornadoes? Ever heard of “Tornado Alley“?

The core of Tornado Alley consists of northern Texas (including the Panhandle), Oklahoma and Kansas. However, Tornado Alley can also be defined as an area reaching from central Texas to the Canadian prairies and from eastern Colorado to western Pennsylvania. It can also be disputed that there are numerous Tornado Alleys. In addition to the Texas/Oklahoma/Kansas core, such areas also include the Upper Midwest, the Ohio Valley, the Tennessee Valley and the lower Mississippi valley.

Overlay a map of Tornado Alley with an election results schematic. They might as well be the same thing. Bright red, Republican, God-fearing and prone to swirling black judgment from one end to the other.

If it weren’t for tornado activity you’d have never heard of Moore, Oklahoma. Only 11 F5s (the highest and worst rating) have struck the US since 1999, and two of them hit Moore. Two more pounded nearby El Reno, which means that God has aimed one-third of the most devastating twisters in the last 15 years or so at the Oklahoma City suburbs. That’s Oklahoma, which is about as close to Sodom as Peoria is to Proxima Centauri.

Clearly, something is amiss with the God’s Judgment Hypothesis. Even the sort of … umm … intellect prone to believing that God judges us this way … even that guy has to be a little confused. I know, I know – the whole Lord worketh in mysterious ways thing. Mysterious, sure. But barking batshit crazy?

Think about it this way. Say that you’re a) God, b) pissed off about the gays, c) determined to send a message, and d) wanting to make sure it’s understood. Duh. A lot of your followers aren’t exactly rocket surgeons, so you need to avoid as much ambiguity here as possible, right?

Do you spin hurricanes at states that vote exclusively according to their understanding of the Bible or do you, you know, smite the guilty? If I’m God, I’m going to dial up a 9.4 on the Richter Scale and epicenter that sumbitch under the manhole cover at Castro Street and Market. I’m going to point three or four category fives directly at South Beach. And the greater OKC metropolitan area is safe, because the new Tornado Alley is going to start in Seattle, wind its way down the coast, make several passes back and forth through Hollywood, skip across to Vegas, then skip again to the Upper Midwest where we’ll thump Minneapolis and then draw a bead on Taxachusetts. Just to show off, I’d drop a hurricane on Ann Arbor. And don’t even try to tell me that isn’t possible. With God, all things are possible.

Hammer down, bitches. But that’s just me, and I ain’t God.

Meanwhile, I can’t help noting that my own state is ramping up another epic summer of wildfires. The Black Forest Fire, the worst in Colorado history, has so far killed two, destroyed 379 homes and forced 38,000 people to evacuate. And it’s nowhere near contained. The God’s Judgment Hypothesis predicts that such a fire ought to be looming over Boulder or perhaps creeping down Highway 36 toward Denver.

But it isn’t. It’s in Colorado Springs, ground zero for America’s aggressive new evangelical Christian movement. Specifically, the fire is roughly six miles, as the crow flies, from the headquarters of Focus on the Family. Where it’s currently 90° with humidity in the low 20% range.

I wonder if God is judging someone.

Mark Udall: working hard to fly a drone up the ass of every American

UdallDronesWe’ve had some issues through the years with Colorado’s BiParticrat Senator, Mark Udall. He’s worked hard to cultivate a reputation as a guy who’s looking after our civil liberties, and his chief tactic in doing so has been an insistence on no-nonsense, pro-rights policy a nigh-Cirque du Soleil-esque commitment to misdirection, sleight-of-hand, obfuscation, backpedaling, smoke-blowing, singing in tongues and tapdancing. Recall, if you will, his silver-tongued bullshittery back in 2008 when I wrote him about his anti-Constitutional collaboration with the Bush administration over FISA. I don’t know who his Propagandist-in-Chief is, but his/her gift for doublespeak could, in a month or two, transform Charlie Sheen and Paris Hilton into poster children for abstinence.

Now Udall is on the stump for domestic drones, and again, he’s waving the bright shiny with one hand while he fishes the Vaseline out of his pocket with the other. See, the thing is, he wants us to understand, the thing is that we have to make sure all those people putting drones with cameras in the air over America’s cities and towns are doing so in a way that doesn’t, you know, result in illegal surveillance.

No, wait. That’s not quite right. That’s what he wants you to hear. What’s he’s actually saying is slightly different.

“We need to integrate unmanned aerial systems into the American psyche in a way that isn’t threatening or scary,” he said, in remarks at the National Press Club. “Many here today have likely recognized that I’m deliberately not using the word ‘drone’ because it carries a stigma.

Ahh. There’s the Vaseline. What we have to do is deploy those drones – excuse me,  unmanned aerial systems – in a way that doesn’t upset folks. The problem isn’t the drones, it’s the people. We don’t need to ban drones, we need to reengineer people’s psyches so that they look up in the sky and see a friend. It’s not like Big Brother at all.

Udall’s solution sounds okay on its face, although we’re not being given anything in the way of specifics. But we can trust him.

Udall is working to update safeguards to protect Americans from being surveilled by private drone operators without their consent, addressing concerns raised by his constituents while helping to head off possible legal problems for an emerging and potentially important industry for Colorado.

The great news is that he has a track record of being an uncompromising privacy watchdog and if history tells us anything, it’s that Congress always refuses to bend and water down legislation in the face of lobbying by big industry interests.


In related news, you may have been reading that the NSA has been routinely collecting our phone records without warrants for several years now. Why do I mention this now?

Intelligence committee member Mark Udall, who has previously warned in broad terms about the scale of government snooping, said: “This sort of widescale surveillance should concern all of us and is the kind of government overreach I’ve said Americans would find shocking.”

Yes. I’ve been worried about illegal government surveillance all along. Which is why I voted to grant blanket immunity to telecoms that helped Bush operate his illegal scheme.

Ahem, I say. Ahem.

So now BiParticrat Udall wants us to all get warm and fuzzy about those unmanned aerial systems which he’s being careful not call, you know, the “D” word. Kumbayah, bitches. We can trust him to shoot straight and never compromise where our rights are concerned. Just like he always has.

Pass the Vaseline, yo.

Honoring the men who made Memorial Day possible

Today is Memorial Day, the annual holiday where we pay tribute to those who gave their lives in service to their country.

As always, not enough attention is focused on the men who made those ultimate sacrifices possible. for example:

  • William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, whose baldfaced lies propaganda brand of yellow journalism sucked the US into the Spanish-American War.
  • “Give ‘Em Hell” Harry Truman, who decided that the best way to contain China and/or the Soviets was to get involved in Korea.
  • John F. Kennedy, who reviewed the American experience in Korea and concluded that it worked so well we should take the same show on the road to Vietnam.
  • Lyndon Johnson, who inherited Kennedy’s unsuited deuce/seven and saw an opportunity to go all-in.
  • Bush the First, who realized te importance of protecting democracy in Kuwait.
  • Bush the Second and his minions Rumsfeld, Powell and Cheney, who cocked up whatever “evidence” was necessary to get our brave young future Memorial Day honorees into Iraq where they could put an end to all those WMDs and snuff out al Qaeda, which was in Pakistan, which is in Iraq.

Happy Memorial Day. Wave that flag with pride.

Atheists in heaven? Vatican spin machine leaps into action

CATEGORY: ReligionRemember back in the ’80s when Ronald Reagan would ramble on in front of a crowd, saying all kinds of crazy shit? And immediately after, the reporters would turn to his handlers, who would explain that the president hadn’t said what he just said, that he had in fact said the exact opposite? That’s where the term “spin” came from, and boy, were those the days.

Yesterday we reported on the latest from Pope Francis, who told a crowd this week that even atheists could go to heaven. At least, that’s what everybody thinks he said. I mean, read what he said.

You knew it was too good to be true. While The Gipper His Holiness does appear to have made it through the night without being assassinated, he has certainly not escaped without a tongue-lashing from the apparatchiks he reports to. And today, the Vatican trotted out a spin doctor – actually, I guess he’d be a spin priest, instead of a doctor, huh? – to explain that the pope didn’t say what he said.

The Rev. Thomas Rosica, a Vatican spokesman, said that people who [are] aware of the Catholic church “cannot be saved” if they “refuse to enter her or remain in her.”

Ummm. No, that’s what he said. Moving on.

At the same time, Rosica writes, “every man or woman, whatever their situation, can be saved. Even non-Christians can respond to this saving action of the Spirit. No person is excluded from salvation simply because of so-called original sin.”

Rosica also said that Francis had “no intention of provoking a theological debate on the nature of salvation,” during his homily on Wednesday.

Although the pope’s comments about salvation surprised some, bishops and experts in Catholicism say Francis was expressing a core tenant [sic] of the faith.

“Francis was clear that whatever graces are offered to atheists (such that they may be saved) are from Christ,” the Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, a conservative Catholic priest, wrote on his blog.

“He was clear that salvation is only through Christ’s Sacrifice. In other words, he is not suggesting – and I think some are taking it this way – that you can be saved, get to heaven, without Christ.”

Chad Pecknold, an assistant professor of theology at the Catholic University of America, agreed with Zuhlsdorf, pointing out that the pope’s comments came on the Feast of Saint Rita, the Catholic patron saint of impossible things.

So, to sum up, when Francis said that atheists can be redeemed if they do good works, what he meant was that they can’t redeemed by good works unless they stop being atheists? Is that about right?

No word on whether all dogs go to heaven yet, however.

You’re probably confused. I know I am. But that’s okay. The good news here is that we’re entering a new golden age of spin. (Not that the last couple of decades haven’t been pretty fucking remarkable on that front.) Francis is the new Reagan, and with any luck we’re going to get a new sitcom episode every time he opens his mouth.

Enjoy. And now, I’m off to re-read “The Grand Inquisitor.”

Goddamned wasteful gummit spending: Who’s the highest (over)paid “public servant” in your state? (WTF?)

A Special Guest Commentary From Randy Wayne Boudreau, Grand Dragon of the Alabama Tea Party

All right thinking citizen patriots hate gummit. Wasteful bureaucrats living off hard workers like you and me. Might as well be welfare queens.

And now, thanks to the good folks at Deadspin – private, non-union workers, I should note – we know who the highest paid gummit bloodsuckers around the country are.

What the motherfuck? Hold on a cotton-picking minute. Coaches don’t count. ‘Cause that’s football. And sometime basketball. Them’s revenue generators. I mean, you know. They’re technically gummit employees, I reckon. But not really. ‘Cause they generate revenue that funds the rest of the school. [ED. NOTE: That doesn’t really happen.] Not like them damned tenured leeches in the English department. Coaches work for a living. Them what can, does. Them what can’t, teaches. [ED. NOTE: I thought coaching was teaching.]

Goddammit. I don’t know who “ED” is, but will you cut that shit out? I’m trying to make a point here. Buncha fucking libruls trying to do away with America’s pastime. Don’t think I don’t see what’s going on here. [ED. NOTE: Technically baseball is America’s pastime, but go on.]

Last time I ever waste my money reading Pravda – I mean Deadspin. [ED. NOTE: Deadspin is free.]


[ED. NOTE: The remainder of this essay has been deleted as the editors deemed the language employed unsuitable for a family audience.]

Squirrel!: Welcome to the Ricky Bobby School of Management

BusinessPart two of a series.

Ricky Bobby is not a thinker…He is a doer. – Talladega Nights

In part one of this series, we talked about a new analysis that explains how important stupidity is to the modern corporation. Today we’re going to have a look at what this means for you.

In short, despite what you’ve been told your whole life, being smart may not be good for your career.

In some job situations, being smarter, faster, and more rhetorically gifted might also keep you stuck in your current role longer than your peers.

“When you have a lower-level job, being exceptionally good at it is usually a deterrent to getting promoted,” says Lilit Marcus, author of Save the Assistants: A Guide for Surviving and Thriving in the Workplace. For example, “when you’re such a great assistant that your boss has difficulty functioning without you, it means that he or she will keep you on as an assistant as long as possible and will not consider promoting you out of their service.”

You bust your ass, you’re the best performer in the office, and yet you got passed over for a promotion by that useless dolt Johnson, who spends all day on Facebook? Indeed, and now maybe you know why.

I was talking with my friend and colleague J. Stephen O’Brien, who spent years as a senior level consultant for some of the country’s largest corporations. He hid this to say about the process of deciding whom to lay off:

It wasn’t that they targeted smart people, it was that the people they let go tended to be among the very best or very worst performers. The very best performers tended to be the very smartest, or at least the smartest who were unwilling to just go along and keep their mouths shut.

And this is a common phenomenon. You hear it all the time in post-layoff interviews and focus groups. The people left behind are, in virtually every case, flabbergasted that “Mary” of “Bob” or whoever was let go, because they were the very best.

But the very best tend to be both threatening and irritating. They figure out stuff that’s being done wrong, and they want to fix it. When interviewed about why Mary or Bob was let go, the people making that decision usually had something to say along the lines of “not a team player,” “trouble-maker,” “didn’t fit in,” etc. People who worked side-by-side with Mary and Bob didn’t have these impressions, at all. Just the opposite, in fact.

This dynamic helps explain a particular kind of company, one that some of us know all too well. In this company you find smart people, but a) they’re generally quiet, and b) none of them are higher than mid-management. The senior leadership stratum is Ricky Bobby from one end to the other, and anyone lower down the food chain who demonstrates above average intellect is soon out the door. (Fred Spannus does a wonderful job of articulating their particular perspective, and I recommend you pop over and give him a read when you’re done here.)

The irony is that a lot of the former employees JS describes had probably been encouraged to speak up. Be forewarned: it’s a trap. Avoid cultivating a reputation as a “straight-shooter” as you would the galloping herpes. When the bosses say “we really appreciate your honesty,” they’re lying.

In the end, it’s clear that all too many businesses are populated and run by people who, as I have been known to say in business meetings, “aren’t rocket surgeons.” In some cases it seems to work out for them (witness the massive profit numbers generated by companies whose leaders are essentially sociopathic C students). But there’s a cost, and it’s frequently paid by workers who haven’t yet learned to keep their intelligence to themselves.

As I thought about this series over the past few days, my mind kept swinging back around to dogs. You know how dogs don’t really grasp the concept of pointing? You’ll be pointing up a tree and saying “look, buddy, a squirrel!” He’ll be all excited because he knows the word “squirrel,” but since he’s staring at your finger instead what you’re pointing at, he’s completely baffled?

That’s what a lot of business leaders are like. They talk about how important it is to have smart people, even though they’re structured so as to keep smart people out of the company (or at least away from decision making). They bray about creativity, making frequent reference to how important it is to “think outside the box.” Because nothing is more creative than the tiredest cliché in the jargon manual.

But when a truly smart employee stands up and points to a creative idea, like a dog owner to a squirrel in a tree, the “leaders” respond by staring at the finger. And then trying to bite it.

Be brilliant if you must. But if leadership finds out, be prepared to suffer the consequences.