Two recent example of foolishness by elderly high public officials brings this question to mind. I postulate that age 80 is a cut-off age to avoid probable nonsense from babbling forth into public discourse.
Permit me to adduce two bright examples.
Example I. John Paul Stevens (age 86) writes an opinion that Shakespeare didn't write the plays. WSJ: Justice Stevens, who dropped out of graduate study in English to join the Navy in 1941, is an Oxfordian -- that is, he believes the works ascribed to William Shakespeare actually were written by the 17th earl of Oxford, Edward de Vere. ... This puts much of the court squarely outside mainstream academic opinion, which equates denial of Shakespeare's authorship with the Flat Earth Society.
" 'Oh my,' said Coppelia Kahn, president of the Shakespeare Association of America and professor of English at Brown University, when informed of Justice Stevens's cause. 'Nobody gives any credence to these arguments,' she says. Nonetheless, since the 19th century, some have argued that only a nobleman could have produced writings so replete with intimate depictions of courtly life and exotic settings far beyond England."
Gosh, a common man couldn't read and talk to courtiers. Nor write such magnificent works. That required the nobility.
What nonsense !!! But what would I expect from one involved in saying that carbon dioxide - essential to plant life - is a pollutant. Or one who can't read the Second Amendment and understand its plain language.
Example II. Yesterday Paul Volcker (age 81) opened his mouth again. WSJ: "Mr. Volcker, who led the Fed in conquering double-digit inflation in the 1980s, questioned how the Fed can talk about both 2% inflation and price stability. 'I don't get it,' Mr. Volcker said, leading to a lively back-and-forth between the two central-bank heavyweights at a conference Saturday at Vanderbilt University." I suppose he doesn't think sub 2% core inflation rate is close enough, but wants to grind down millions of the common man to get it closer to zero.
Then on Blabbberg I heard his suggesting that Fed accountability be reviewed. Now ? Here's a guy who used his unaccountable authority to destroy millions of manufacturing jobs in the MidWest in the 1980s as he caused the dollar to soar to ridiculous levels with high interest rates. I call Paul Volcker the Neutron Bomb of central bankers. He saves the money while killing all the people. If one thinks ECB chairman Trichet is an Ostrich with his head in the sand, then Volcker is Pluto, god of the underworld far down below ground level.
The Fed under Bernanke is the only institution in DC that is working well. Maybe Volcker is opening his mouth to be in the spotlight after years in the shadows. Maybe he likes the attention Obama gave him. But he's dangerous to listen to. People I know personally heard him speak at a conference recently in NYC and told me everyone was thinking Volcker sounded completely foolish, bloviating on matters he knew nothing about.
Conclusion: The drop-off in wisdom begins at age 80. Let's make it a mandatory retirement age for public figures.
Big drop yesterday. After six weeks of green, some big, bright red days are expected. Barring bad news, I'll give the selling three days, then look for some adds.
Word of the Day
"Emend" - verb [$10]; from the card file
Emend means to remove errors or corruption.
Sentence: Excessive Congressional and "watchdog" efforts to emend the TARP appear to seriously harm its effectiveness. A similar failure due to undue focus on emending a program killed last summer's multi-billion $ mortgage relief program.
Le Mot du Jour
"Le pouvoir" - noun [sic], masculine. I am not referring the the common verb, "pouvoir".
Le pouvoir means power, ability, capacity; (Physics) power.
La Phrase: Les pouvoirs de l'État sont grandes et dangereux.
Sentence: The powers of the State are great and dangerous.