S4 E19 — The Reason Character and Honesty Don’t Count Anymore

There’s a reason I bring it up.  I feel that’s what’s missing.  It’s seen as a sucker’s game in politics.  So, haven’t we devolved?  Ethics is the study of how a person should act, particularly toward others. That is where character comes and character is “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual,” he writes.

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72: “Intensity is up and a strong sense of urgency has you in a flurry of productivity. Much will be accomplished. It’s a good day to put an idea to the test. You won’t have to ask too many questions to get to the truth.” Virgo

Hi and welcome to Saturday’s 19th Episode in Season 4 of  Our Disruptively Resilient Year” on this 2nd day of April in the spring of 2022.

We concluded the three-year examination of how bits of wisdom changed — during the “normal” pre-pandemic year compared to the pandemic year, and more recently to the paradoxically normal year. 

Season Four continues now within domestic and global chaos.

Previously in Season Four, The Disruptively Resilient Year

S4 E18Hopelessly Naive or Too Numb to Know Any Better?; S4 E17We Regret to Inform You …; S4 E16The Collateral Damage Triggered by the Reflexive Control Playbook

Related from Season Three, the Paradoxically Normal Year

S3 E19Thought Flickers, Cosmic Swirling and Exacted Costs; S3 E18My Teacher is Sending You to Detention!; S3 E17Guess What? You’re on a Treadmill Just Now Picking Up Speed; S3 E16Quid Pro Quo the Awesome Kind

Related from Season Two, the Pandemic Year

S2 E19What’s Percolating in Our Collective Unconscious?; S2 E18What is the Truth and How Can You Tell?; S2 E17Shutting Mountain Resorts Down, Closing Boutiques, Kicking Tourists Out; E16Scroll to the Bottom for Foresight and Quality-of-Life, Right Leo?

Related from Season One, the Normal Year

S1 E19Day 19 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E18Day 18 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E17Day 17 of My 1-Year Experiment; S1 E16Day 16 of My 1-Year Experiment


In a LA minute the radio show, Character Counts, or maybe that was the tagline, came and went.  

In fact, as an aside one of “my” Executive MBA students who sought my advice over her two years in the program, taking one or more classes from Peter Navarro,  told me her husband who lived in LA while she commuted to Irvine from the Bay Area of San Francisco (that’s another story) had been employed as an executive for the show until its plug was pulled.  

The reason I bring it up, is I feel that’s what’s missing.  It’s now seen as a sucker’s game in politics.  So, haven’t we devolved? 

Miles Taylor, author of “A Warning” by (Anonymous ) witnessed the devolution in the Trump administration.

He contrasts what the White House once stood for.  It’s similar to the response I gave to Emma the Baroness’ cousin’s husband when he asked what we Americans thought of Trump while we huddled around a small table in one of Lillehammer’s cafe savoring our beers while the Norwegian women cousins shopped the quaint shops in 2019.   

“The presidency used to stand for something,” I answered “but not anymore.”  

My older brother-in-law tried to wedge a distinction between what had been accomplishment versus how Trump behaved.  He could tell his opinion filled the minority when the rest of us rolled our eyes and met him with silence.

Taylor says it better. 

Built in the early 1900s to accommodate a growing staff, the West Wing houses the offices of the president and senior advisors, the Situation Room, the Cabinet Room, and more.

He goes on to describe, the presidential seal carved into the ceiling to the Resolute desk, a gift from Queen Victoria in 1880

And summarizes with my point, “The Oval Office fills visitors with a sense of respect.”

Or it did.

Not everyone sees the full Trump, especially the one who is red-faced, consumed with fury, and teetering at the outer limits of self-control.

Near the beginning of his time in office Trump’s apologists referred to his “strange stream-of-consciousness commentary as the result of (electing) a ‘disruptor’.” 

Taylor said they “used to tell ourselves, there have been a number of chief executives who’ve acted unscrupulously in office.”

    • Lyndon Johnson’s vulgar comments and crude advances,
    • John Kennedy’s and Bill Clinton’s assorted trysts,
    • Richard Nixon’s efforts to obstruct justice and seek vengeance against his enemies.

But, Taylor draws the line when he writes, “Trust me, though. This is not the same.”

Ethics is the study of how a person should act, particularly toward others. That is where character comes and character is “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual,” he writes.

Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle answered agreed on what makes a person “Good” Taylor recalls:

    • Wisdom, 
    • Temperance, 
    • Courage, and 
    • Justice.

And Taylor draws upon Cicero “a revered Roman luminary” to define a “statesman’s character from the time when the Roman Republic was also in crisis, overrun with arrogant and dishonorable men. Here’s what it takes according to Cicero:

    • Understanding and acknowledging truth; 
    • Maintaining good fellowship with men, giving to every one his due, and keeping faith in contracts and promises; 
    • Greatness and strength of a lofty and unconquered mind; and 
    • The order and measure that constitute moderation and temperance.

Character is tested when a person is given power. As a nation we should invest in someone whose virtues outweigh their vices, right?

Donald Trump?

If Trump is flawed, or deeply flawed, does it really make a difference? The answer to both questions is “yes.”

Taylor says, “As you read this chapter ask yourself: Is this who we are? If not, is this who we want to be?”

He concedes that wisdom doesn’t require knowing all the facts up front, but it does consist of “learning the truth,” with an eagerness to seek the facts and to get to the root of an issue.

Let’s start with a curious mind.

It’s not that he (Trump) came into office with so little information about how it runs. It’s that he’s done so little to try to learn more in order to do his job.

Trump is not a curious person. He barely reads in contrast to previous Oval Officeholders — both of President Trump’s predecessors, Bush and Obama, were voracious readers.

Instead, he:

Gets up halfway through meetings with world leaders because he is bored. Was unable to point to a single Bible verse that he found inspiring, Doesn’t start the day in the Oval Office until 10 or 11 a.m. Spends his time bingeing on cable news, tweeting, and making phone calls.


“3”  Steve Zahn, 51: “Give yourself the time and space to do what you want to do. It sounds simple enough, and yet it hasn’t happened in a while. Why? You’ll unravel the puzzle and give yourself some peace.” Scorpio

Au contraire, my friend.  I do give myself lots of time and space — which is my tried and true solution for solution-finding by putting my unconsciousness play with components enough to rearrange them into new configurations.

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

“4” Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): “What people say they want isn’t what they really want. It’s not because they are lying; it’s because they don’t know themselves as well as they think they do. To know yourself, look at your unguarded, unwatched behaviors.” Aries

When was it?  At Jazzy and Delta Girl’s wedding weekend at than mom and pop Mexican restaurant in Oceanside?  Or …, who knows?  But Shaggy and I agreed that he and Jazzy grew up in our unconsciousness — Emma the Baroness and mine — as he and I found Marshall McLuhan’s theory to fit. It’s not do as I say, but as we do in our unguarded, but watched behaviors as parents.

“5”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69; Stephen Colbert, 56: “People can be like wallpaper in a design catalog: the same patterns repeating page after page. Maybe the colors change, the scale is different, but at some point, you know what you can expect when you turn the page.” Taurus 

Note to self — from Aldwyth’s documentary I need to track down a comment from her contemporary who quoted another artist which begins with the “same patterns repeating …” but leading not to what you can expect, but something else creatively and delightful.

“5”  Steve Smith, 30, Stevie Nicks, 72: “One person may spark your good mood. You’ll keep the flames alive even after this person has left. The love around you will not be an abstract concept, but a reality you can feel.” Gemini

That someone is Emma the Baroness, my drug of choice.  She’s the spark and the flame keeper we can both feel.

“3”  Steve Howey, 42: “You’ll be tempted to reveal your heart. What happens next is a defining moment. Will you be strategic or messy? You cannot make a mistake either way — it’s just a matter of style.” Cancer

Hmm.  Not so much standing alone for me today, but if you combine it with that missing Aldwyth’s quote, then maybe a defining moment will be revealed.

“5”  Steve Greene, 34; Steve Guttenberg, 61; Stephen King, 72: “Intensity is up and a strong sense of urgency has you in a flurry of productivity. Much will be accomplished. It’s a good day to put an idea to the test. You won’t have to ask too many questions to get to the truth.” Virgo

OK, can we talk?  I do feel a certain amount of foreboding about how the upcoming elections and actions taken in certain states don’t bode well for our last phase of democracy.  So bear with me as I continue to work through the lessons revealed over three now entering four seasons.

“4”  Steve Kerr, 54: “Origami artists and physicists agree that the essence of life is folding. Things crease and collapse onto one another, forming new shapes. From DNA to paper to the social fabric, much will change today with a deliberate fold.” Libra

Wait.  First of all do they agree? This is the first I’ve heard of folding as the essence of life.  I’d thinking of the wrinkling of our brain’s cerebral cortex as a kind of folding.  Does that count?  I kind of buy how things may crease and collapse onto one another, but not fully understanding the meaning.  I get new shapes being formed.  But what should I deliberately fold today to bring on the change?

“5”  Steve Nash, 45: “Reading is not a tangent or indulgence, though it sometimes feels that way. You’ll absorb what you read. Your knowledge of people and command of language will increase your power and influence.” Aquarius

There’s a part of my working memory that dredges up concepts which help explain Trump’s behavior.  Marshall McLuhan’s “Medium is the Message” said when everything is sped up near the speed of light society flips into something else entirely — like passing through a metamorphosis.  When reason and critical thinking based on reading a page from top to bottom, left to right, sentence after sentence gives way to rhythms and patterns and peripheral perceptions.  We’re glued to instantaneous preferences with no attention span left over to read long form explanations, theories or fundamental understanding of how history got us here — especially anything that happened before the day we were born.

Today’s Holiday Theme: 

Multitasking is a myth. The multitasker isn’t doing everything at once; rather, they are switching quickly between tasks and there’s waste in the transition. Pay attention to one issue at a time. It’s sweeter on the brain … It’s also easier on the people you are working closely with.

What’s Going On

Literally Bottled and Set Adrift from KnowWhere Atoll

    • @KnowLabs suite of 36 digital magazines, according to my analytics, grew from 12344 this week to 12458 organically grown followers.
    • Orange County Beach Towns 196 viewers stopped by the week before.




    • “Here, Right Matters: An American Story” by Alexander Vindman. “We’d long been confused by the president’s policy of accommodation and appeasement of Russia, the United States’ most pressing major adversary. Russia’s president Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, seizing the Crimean Peninsula, attacking its industrial heartland, the Donbass, from the capital, Kyiv. By 2019, little had changed, Russian military and security forces and their proxy separatists continued to occupy the Donbass. The biggest change was to Ukraine’s importance as a bulwark against Russian aggression weeks earlier, the White House had abruptly put a hold on nearly four hundred million dollars.” 
    • David Enrich begins his book with a suicide in “Deutsche Bank Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction” and then meticulously details the bank’s Russian money laundering operations. Deutsche’s Russian business surged after revenues had fallen 50% due to the 2008 financial crisis. Putin’s Russia, poured in to Deutsche from deals it did with VTB Bank, linked to the Kremlin’s intelligence apparatus. Deutsche positioned itself as a crucial cog in “The Laundromat” by doing what couldn’t be done — processing cross-border transactions for banks that were too small  and didn’t have offices outside their home countries.
    • “Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy” by Jamie Raskin recalls one tragedy no parent should endure — the suicide of his son — and then a second tragedy at almost the same time — the insurrection on January 6th 2021, that terrified he and his congressional peers who were tasked by the Constitution to routinely oversee the orderly transfer of power from one former president to the duly elected new President. 
    • “A Warning” by Anonymous (Miles Taylor) written prior to the January 6th Insurrection as an insider’s account documenting how frequently the former President’s behavior and rage without any “guard rails” showed just how far he would go to win the next election at any cost while spinning lies and misinformation on top of each other.  

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate


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