Saturday, October 8, 2016

Guest Blogger: Pheremones

This was submitted to us by Your Tour Guide.

Most individuals consider themselves honest and moral. The thought that their actions might injure someone, hurt their finances, or put them in harm’s way is alien to them. This creates a quandary. So many of the persons we put in charge of our future and security are, basically, sociopaths. As long as they, or the friends they represent get what they want, nothing else matters. 

To correct this, decent individuals have to rewire their thinking. When things don't make sense, or when something's repeated that has failed spectacularly before ask THIS: "If I were an utterly ruthless, greedy, amoral person, what would I be doing in this situation?"

Simply put, you can't deal with a thief unless you can think like them. I'm calling this little tale Pheromones. Just like animals send out scents, the dishonest seem to have similar abilities. In 1975 a friend gave me a four hour long ride around Dayton, Ohio. We were riding in quite the set of wheels: a corvette-blue 1967 Camaro Rally Sport, 327, 4 speed. 

We stopped at house after house, visited person after person. We only spent 5 minutes at the 15 or 20 places we visited. At first, I thought my friend Dan was showing off his ride. Then, I thought that maybe he didn't have much to say, so he was keeping it short. I finally decided that Dan was immensely popular ( and equally superficial). Twenty years later, I was describing that day to a friend, and it finally hit me. Dan was dealing dope.  

In my later teens to early twenties I knew a lot of Dan types. I knew and worked with quite a few of their customers. What I noticed back then hasn't changed. The Dan types could walk into a room and instantly know who to go up to. It was like a sixth sense: Pheromones. 

A decade later, I played in a band. I frequently heard the tale about the best paying gig they'd ever had. And why they'd never consider doing another one like it. The lead singer's cousin Bobby was hired to set up equipment. An outgoing redneck guy, he'd had an "interesting" past in Louisiana. Friends would find out about it in unusual ways. 

If you were Bobby's friend, and he heard that someone had did you over he'd make an offer.  "Cuz" (to Bobby, everybody was "Cuz"), "Let me know if they get on your nerves. I might be making a trip to the bayou. The understanding was that he would have company on the trip, and they likely wouldn't be returning. Back to the gig, it was a lavish party at a large farm for a local judge. It was located over one county from where the judge presided. 

When Bobby finished setting up, he mingled between sets. Remember I said "outgoing?"  Bobby could find someone to talk to anywhere. He finally settled on chatting up a very well dressed, distinguished looking man. Although he already knew the answer, after the gig Bobby asked his cousin how well they'd been paid. "Like you wouldn't believe!!!!" was the answer.   Bobby smiled. "Cuz, I think I would. You been playing for the mob." 

This was all figured out earlier by Bobby going up to the well-dressed guy and telling him: "We might be dressed a little different, but we talk the same talk." And since they talked the same talk, he had heard the whole story. The well-dressed man knew that it would go no further. Honor among thieves indeed.

Another pheromone trail: who the dishonest sniff out when they go to hire someone.The crooked tend to pick people with a bit of stink on their boot for various reasons: 

1. Someone honest and ethical might realize their boss isn't, and blow the whistle on them. 

2. It's easier to keep someone in line when you have the dirt on them. 

Sorry to those out of Georgia, but I know a little more about my fair state in this. Bear with me.   

A number of formerly rising Georgia politicians were “pushed” into the private sector. Some cheated on their wives, for decades. Others also cheated on their wives, only with other men. Some now work for charities and well connected law firms.

Sometimes they'll give a heads up to the "right people" when the heat’s on. The “right people” being the Fine Old Families of The South or their elected stooges. They give the heads up to the people who convinced them to enter the private sector initially for this reason. 

It's understood that they play ball, or dire things start happening, worse than the pictures that maybe made them enter the private sector in the first place. Those that are keen in pheromones also have a keen sense of direction. They know where winds blow in from areas where the politics stink to high heaven. 

Savvy citizens need to hone their sense of smell accordingly. Alarm bells might go off at your local school board meeting if, say, the new proposed hired hails from Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City schools lost their accreditation a few years ago after a federal judge made them issue some bonds, for a BILLLION dollars to settle a never ending desegregation suit. 

Supposedly, the state of the art schools with running tracks, computer labs et al were going to attract the middle class back in from the burbs. It worked about two minutes. Parents rapidly figured out "nice" didn't mean "safe". 

So…taxpayers found themselves on the hook for a billion dollars’ worth of decertified schools. Knowing about these types of occurrences is important in hiring persons that make the decisions affecting your family. To be fair, sometimes people find themselves mired in situations through no fault of their own. 

Cutting to the chase: bad instinctively finds bad. Good needs to hone up their sense of smell, and giving fewer crooks the benefit of the doubt.

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