False bravado

False bravado per the Urban dictionary means “Portraying yourself as much more confident then you are as a defense mechanism.” One of my favorite examples is that of the male gorilla who will beat on his chest and make a ruckus in an attempt to intimidate his opponent. Unlike his human counterpart, the gorilla can usually back up being a blow hard.

I have long grown weary of politicians who intentionally portray a false bravado or faux toughness to appeal to voters. Politicians blowing smoke at people to paint a picture of toughness occurred long before the latest former president. What has always amazed me about this former president is the thing that scares him most in this world is a woman (or man) armed with facts. He would much prefer a name-calling mud fight, as he has a better chance of winning that. It is those pesky facts he fails to study, that get in the way.

His greatest fear is being found out that he really is all about perception and his base of knowledge tends to be far less than portrayed. This is why a false bravado is so important to him. He must look tough and smart. To my earlier point, we must not forget he declined to do one debate if Fox News’ Megyn Kelly was there asking him questions. She was mean to him at the previous Fox debate asking him questions he did not know were coming. We learned much later that the Fox News network had fed him the questions that were to be asked.

I read this morning that Senator Rand Paul is the latest tough guy saying he does not need a vaccine. Fellow Republican and realist Representative Adam Kinzinger mocked this false bravado. Being an eye doctor, Paul believes he can convince people the vaccines are unneeded. I find this to be a dereliction of duty. What is sad is the whole attempt is to mask over the former president’s woeful handling and downplaying of the COVD pandemic that caused more people to die than should have. Even today, too many people do not take this pandemic seriously thanks to this political messaging.

The people who tend to be the brave ones, usually do not need to broadcast that. This is one reason people who have done brave things in wars do not want to share details, as it is too horrific and they were just doing their jobs. A famous baseball pitcher who did well in pressure packed games said something interesting about this. The people who do well under pressure tend to do their jobs at the same level when the pressure mounts; it is others whose performance falls off when the pressure increases. They were just doing this jobs.

That is what we need more of in public service from politicians. Worry less about keeping your job and just do your job. That is all we ask.

Keep these trends in the back of your mind

It is easy to get distracted with today’s news, where “he said what about that” gets way too much press. Here are few other trends that we should keep in the back of our minds. Some are more pressing than others:

  • Drug companies make money by inventing a recurring need and marketing a drug you need to take the rest of your life. Mind you, there are plenty of good reasons to invent new drugs to help, but there are a series of runaway trains being advertised daily. One trend I noticed is the “add-on” drug. What I mean by this is you may be taking a recurring drug for a condition that works just fine. But, the company or even another company comes up with a supplemental drug that makes that drug a little better. Or, in the case of opioids causing constipation, there is a drug to help you with that. Suggestion: Speak with your doctor and do some research.
  • Your data will never be fully protected and safe online. We should do everything in our power to limit what is out there, but hackers are way too sophisticated and diligent. I applaud the security folks greatly, as they are tasked with a hard job. And, as I mentioned in an earlier blog, some apps like Facebook make money selling access to your information. Unless they change that model, your data will be exposed. Suggestion: Know what data you have out there and decide if you want to limit any of it. Do not use wi-fi in public places to do sensitive financial transactions (banking, credit cards, etc.). A security person said using a hotel’s wi-fi is like picking up a croissant off the floor and eating it. Change your passwords every so often, but make sure you can remember them.
  • Bottled water is a threat to our environment and your wallet. There are floating islands of plastic in the ocean as big as some states. If you must buy water, then recycle. Then there is that cost thing. Much cheaper is buying a filtered water pitcher and keeping it filled in the refrigerator. Some major named water sellers simple use purified tap water with additives. So, why not cut out the middle man. Suggestion: Check out how much you spend on bottled water or even soft drinks each month. Filtered refrigerated water (either from your door or pitcher) will save you money and the environment. Plus, if you reduce the number of soft drinks by drinking water, it will do the above, plus improve your health.
  • An authoritarian type leader tends to use a lot of false bravado. It is my view that the amount of bravado is highly correlated with the amount of lying. Think Trump, al Assad, Putin, Kim, Duterte, Maduro, etc. Suggestion:  Take everything said by these people with a grain of salt. I assume their comments are untrue and work back from there. Plus, do your homework and don’t be made out to be a fool. As Mark Twain said, “It is easier to fool someone than to convince them he has been fooled.”
  • Speaking of correlation, larger family sizes are highly correlated with a propensity toward poverty (this one is not just my impression). I read again this morning the solution to poverty is smaller family sizes, yet the source also denies the need for family planning funding. Another variation is there are too many single parent families. Again, family planning helps, but also marriage counseling with 1/2 of marriages ending in divorce. Suggestion: We need to avoid stating obvious problems as if that statement will solve them. We must do something about the problems. Data reveals states that have robust family planning funding have fewer unwanted pregnancies, fewer healthcare costs, fewer STDs and less poverty.

What are some trends you are seeing? Please offer a suggestion as well.