Idiot of the Week – Dr. Ben Carson

Idiot of the Week medal

On March 2nd, former presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson was sworn in as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  Last November, Carson indicated that he was not interested in serving in any official capacity in the Trump regime, and regarding a cabinet position, he said that he did not feel qualified, having no government experience and never having run a federal agency.  But once nominated for the position he currently occupies, he suddenly … somehow … felt qualified, saying, “I know that I grew up in the inner city, and have spent a lot of time there. And have dealt with a lot of patients from that area. And recognize that we cannot have a strong nation if we have weak inner cities. And we have to get beyond the promises and start really doing something.”

Now, before we go into that which made him a strong candidate for the IOTW award, let us hear some of the things he said while on the campaign trail and even before … things that almost, but not quite, qualified him for the award last year.

  • “You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control.”
  • “Well, my thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality. It doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition.”
  • “There comes a time when people with values simply have to stand up. Think about Nazi Germany. Most of those people did not believe in what Hitler was doing. But did they speak up? Did they stand up for what they believe in? They did not, and you saw what happened.” (Isn’t it ironic, and perhaps prophetic?)
  • “Because 9/11 is an isolated incident. Things that are isolated issues as opposed to things that fundamentally change the United Sates of America and shift power from the people to the government. That is a huge shift. You have to take a long-term look at something that fundamentally changes the power structure of America.” (he was comparing ACA – Obamacare – to 9/11)
  • “A lot of people who go into prison straight, and when they come out they’re gay.” (I cannot believe … I simply cannot believe he said this!)
  • “My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain. Now all the archaeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big — when you stop and think about it, and I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time — to store that much grain.”

There’s more, but I am saving the best for last.  First let us list Carson’s qualifications to be Secretary of HUD:

  • He is breathing

Well … that was a rather short list, yes?  What, exactly, is HUD? According to Investopedia:

“The Department of Housing and Urban Development, often called HUD, assists U.S. communities in providing fair and equal housing. HUD encourages home ownership and keeps an eye on the amount of affordable housing that is available nationwide.

The department is also involved in fighting housing discrimination, and works to support first-time home buyers who may need assistance in overcoming financial hardships that may disqualify them for bank loans.”

And the responsibilities of Mr. Carson, as Secretary:

“To advise the President on issues regarding housing. The Secretary makes policies, creates rules and coordinates the efforts of HUD so that headquarters and all offices serve the same mission. That mission is to make sure the citizenry has affordable housing, including both rental and owned properties.” 

For which, by the way, he receives annual compensation of $199,700.

Carson is as unqualified as DeVos and Sessions, but no surprise.  Living in the inner city as a child does not, in and of itself, qualify one for the job of Secretary of HUD.  Now, if as an adult he still lived there, then maybe.  Let’s take a look at Carson’s Palm Beach, Florida house that is on the market because of his job relocation.

Estimated value: $1.2 million.  Not exactly the projects, right.  In fairness, owning a $1 million plus home does not disqualify him from the job, but coupled with the lack of government experience, lack of knowledge of the issues surrounding his new department and, more importantly, lack of understanding what it is like simply trying to scrape together a down payment for an $80,000 home … all of that makes him remarkably un-qualified.

But here is what pushed the envelope the final millimeter to become Filosofa’s Idiot of the Week.  Yesterday Carson gave his first speech to hundreds of employees in his department, a speech intended to motivate and inspire, when he said … well … let us hear from Ben in his own words just what he said:

“ ,,, That’s what America is about.

A land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder for less.

But they too had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great grandsons, great granddaughters might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land.”

Um … Benji?  Let me explain something here.  Immigrants come to this country sometimes seeking refuge or asylum, other times simply seeking a better opportunity to provide a good life for their families.  Slaves were kidnapped from the African continent, brought against their will to this country, then treated brutally, often beaten, even lynched, given little to eat and forced to work under threat of a whip or gun.  No, for them this was definitely not the land of opportunity.  For them, this was hell.

Dr. Carson was once a well-respected neurosurgeon, a member of the medical community.  Perhaps his biggest act of idiocy was leaving that community to enter politics where he has become a laughingstock.  At any rate, Dr. Carson … here is what may well be your most prestigious award yet:  Filosofa’s Idiot of the Week award!  No … no need to thank me … you have more than earned it!  I hope it looks nice in your new office!

34 thoughts on “Idiot of the Week – Dr. Ben Carson

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  3. “A lot of people who go into prison straight, and when they come out they’re gay.” …..errr….Can I ask whether he said that in the context of closing down all prisons ‘cuz he believes it’s safer having a psychotic mass-murderer in the community rather than a gay?
    Mind you we’ve got a bishop in the Catholic Community who has claimed that one of the reasons for men ‘turning’ gay is because women wear trousers
    (You can turn this sort of thing into a party-game. Each person has to try and come up with a shred of logic no matter how weird which leads to such statements)

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, he was being interviewed, and the interviewer asked Carson if he thought that “being gay is a choice”. He said that he absolutely thought so, and the prison comment was his ‘proof’. Grrrrr …. such a closed-minded dodo! I have also heard it posed that since women are ‘no longer feminine’, a lot of men are turning to homosexuality. Sigh. Their beliefs are so firmly-seated that they will never listen to anything that challenges those beliefs. Yes, it could make a party game … I can only imagine some of the responses! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s so daft an idea it’s got be giggling:
        Scene: Person wakes up
        “Hello sun. Hello alarm clock” scratches head “What shall I do today?…Hmm…I could ascribe to Logical Positivism….or maybe….I could be a geologist….There again I could become gay….or perhaps…a fundamentalist monetarist…. there again I could watch re-runs of ‘Everyone Loves Raymond’….yeh, I’ll go with that one,”

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ha ha ha … 😀 Once again, you have made me burst out in laughter! But I think they are watching Duck Dynasty … Raymond was inane, but good-hearted. DD is darker, especially if you look at the rhetoric that has been spewed by Papa Duck.

          Liked by 1 person

              • Just be skipping about YouTube
                Our Fashionable Left would just love this, it would feed into all their prejudices and their ‘let’s find another reason to hate America and laugh at ALL Americans because they are ALL stupid’ vibe. (Same coin; different side).
                Overall I can’t say I’m surprised. From readings of American history these are part of one of the outlying ‘tribes’ and but for the corporate Anything for a Buck mentality of the media would just be local ‘characters’ (just, smile, say good day and walk away quietly)
                I guess the ratings are comprised of
                1.Those who shout ‘Amen!’, and then write tirades against ‘liberals’
                2. Those who like watching freak shows; (but say it’s Reality TV, because that’s a more respectable term these days)
                3.Those who admire ‘rugged individualists’
                4.TV critics
                5. Folk who just look in out of curiosity.
                6.and finally those who switch channels by mistake and are stuck there in morbid fascination.

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                • As always, my friend, you guys ‘across the pond’ see us more clearly than we are often capable of seeing ourselves! Your assessment is spot on! I am not proud of it, and these days I find that I am not proud to call myself an American, though I have always before taken some pride in my heritage. I am torn, bewildered, and often think I can no longer relate to the world I live in. And all this in just a few short months! I wonder where we will find ourselves a year from now? I think much may depend on what happens on your side of the globe this year, with elections in the Netherlands next week, then France and Germany later this year. I hope you guys take notice of the utter chaos here and opt for more moderate choices. But time will tell … sigh.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Thanks Jill.
                    But sadly Europe is cheerfully forgetting all the bitter lessons of the 20th century and thinking that if we are all separate uncooperative nations and pick on foreigners, then we will return to our Glory Daze (sic) of the 17th to 19th centuries.
                    I actually have more faith in the US, because of your very wide streaks of independency and individualism. I also think your organisation of govt is pretty cool (ooooh and me an extreme left-winger saying that..Gosh all criminality! ).. It’s not perfect and the US has accumulated it’s own big share of bad deeds. Which every nation has (no one deny it, you’re only deluding yourselves)
                    This is an episode, it may be a long episode but folk, ordinary folk of all stripes can turn it around. I would say to paraphrase the typing exercise ‘Now is the time of all good folk to come to the aid of the country’. Find Common Cause…brothers and sisters!
                    Otherwise I fear you will separate from a federation of states into mish-mosh of independent countries, and as the broad scope of European history will teach you (about 2,000 years worth), that is not a receipt for good living.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • I would love to be encouraged by your words “I actually have more faith in the US, because of your very wide streaks of independency and individualism.” But the reality here, now, is more aptly defined by the strategy of Julius Caesar: Divide and Conquer. A year ago, I would have scoffed at the idea of a civil war in the U.S., but now … I vies it as a very real possibility. I did chuckle, though, at your “(ooooh and me an extreme left-winger saying that..Gosh all criminality! )” I could hear you saying it in my mind! Keep those chuckles coming … I need LOTS of them these days!

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Chuckles both humorous and sardonic will be supplied!
                      On a political front the US is fractured at the present, the common factor being anger and disillusionment with the structures of government and the antics of the parties. This is a common theme in the histories of numerous nations; so the appearance of a President Trump is not that rare, though their staying power in a democracy is limited. And you still have that power, and you still have your heritage. Common Cause is the one hope at this time. Not easy to forge by any means. This is why discussion is vital.
                      Though going back to the ‘brighter’ side, the people in the Whitehouse seem to be folk of small stature with a limited grasp of the complexity of the USA. They may have the current approval of their own constituency, but to make ‘it’ work they have to reach out, convince the majority. And to do that there needs to be a measure of compromise and less confrontation.
                      At the moment I see less Julius Caesar and more the populist bombast of Mussolini. (only he flaunted his baldness)
                      Speaking of the Caesars at one stage during public ceremonies it was the custom for the Caesar to have a slave just behind him whispering in his ear ”Thou art mortal. Thou art mortal’.
                      Inclusion I maintain folk of the US need to read more of Marx (Groucho that is)

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • What you say makes a lot of sense. I don’t think Trump & Co. have ‘staying power’, as they operate with too little thought, just ‘shooting from the hip’, as it were. But I fear the damage they may do in the interim. That damage could well take decades to repair. I certainly agree that finding common ground, and having open discussion is essential, but these days, the great divide between right and left, liberal and conservative, becomes wider on a daily basis, so I am not certain how that process can even begin. We no longer talk TO each other, but rather AT each other, and nobody seems willing to listen to what the other side has to say. Sigh. You have a great understanding of it all … you should come here and run for president!!! 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I think the Common Ground will come when Disappointment on the conservative side kicks in. That will be the time to be sympathetic and not do the ‘Toldja’ thing.
                      Thanks for the Pres invite but somehow I don’t think it would work:
                      TV Presenter: Well since the Supreme Court has ruled it is unconstitutional for a non-US citizen to stand for President, we are delighted to have our first candidate. Mr WBH, I understand you are from Britain.
                      ME: That’s right. Wales actually.
                      (Various viewers who have one great- great-great-grand parent who came from Ireland, Scotland or Wales and have been milking that for years, draw closer muttering anti-English statements.)
                      ME: Of course, that doesn’t matter too much. I don’t buy into nationalism. Too much selective history and manufactured sentiment.
                      (Various viewers with Celtic pretentions throw snack wrappers at the TV, call me a traitor and switch channels)
                      TV Presenter: Yes, (wriggles in chair). So if we could go onto your political platform.
                      ME: Certainly. Y’ see I believe that The State has a duty to ensure the Health & Education of the population at source.
                      TV Viewer: OhMYGOD! He’s one of those socialists! Quick honey make sure the kids don’t come in out of the garden and hear this stuff. I’m going to write all this down and report it to Ann Coulter!
                      TV Presenter: I see, you believe in more state control.
                      ME: Oh yes. You see my catholic faith leads me to…..
                      Calls for Emergency Medical Teams start to rise as people collapse with apoplexy. Some folk who have been nodding far start to twitch
                      Meanwhile ME: ….this of course will require a large and more nationally based police force which will need powers…..
                      Liberal Folk pick up phones, starting phoning people who they’ve not spoken to since falling out during 2016 presidential election….
                      Five days, 3,000 messages of protest 50 death threats and three combined Democrat/Republican protests outside of my hotel, later I leave the country…wearing an Alfred E Numan ‘What? Me Worry’ t-shirt mission accomplished 😉.
                      Next task….run for leader of The Labour Party.

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    • I don’t think ANYBODY can outdo Trump … at least not the volume … but yes, Carson has outdone himself. And he was once a neurosurgeon of some fame, as he separated siamese twins conjoined at the head, I believe it was. Methinks he should have stuck to the practice of medicine!

      Liked by 1 person

      • LM’s GT class learned about Ben Carson at school earlier in the year. I get his contributions to medicine being important, but I still cringed knowing all of the stupid crap he’s said.

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    • I actually started that way, but got so immersed in election 2016, and later Trump, that it rather fell to one every now and then. I did, however, do an Idiot of the Year last December and let readers vote. Can you guess who won??? 🙂

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    • Dear Jill, Keith and friends,

      I have wondered myself, how Dr Carson could be a brilliant neurosurgeon who was chief at Johns Hopkins, while he could also sound like a complete fool when he is talking on a subject outside of his area of expertise.

      My most viewed blog ever was when I asked if it was possible that he suffered from Asperger’s syndrome.

      The good news about Dr. Carson heading of HUD, Steve Harvey has volunteered to assist him in this endeavor.

      Hugs, Gronda

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think we all have our niche. I’m sure that if I were to try to become a surgeon, they would all wonder how I was an adequate accountant and a tolerable writer, yet such a stupid surgeon! 🙂 But truly, the man does seem to lack a bit of historical knowledge and common sense. But then remember this … Donald Trump said that Frederick Douglass is doing wonderful things! 😀 Hugs!

        Liked by 2 people

  4. This is a really great post. Well-deserved recipient. This guy really annoyed me during the campaign. I couldn’t figure out whether he was stupid, off his rocker or a calculating provocateur. That smug smirk he sometimes has makes me wonder if he enjoys enraging people. I’ve never come across someone with such a bizarre personality. And that’s saying a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

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