Think you've got it bad when it comes to representation in Washington DC in your district?
Let me introduce you to mine,
Jeb Hensarling, Ferengi.
|Jeb in his Earthly form.|
He's a warrior of principle and liberty!
Thanks to the beauty of social media (enjoy it while it lasts) I can follow Jeb's day-to-day duties and "meet my congressman" as it were. I've been his friend on facebook for some time now, and let me tell you what, old Jeb's a Ferengi with lobes...
When not in session, he spends his days on his home planet, Ferenginar, it is the center of the Ferengi Alliance and is governed by the Grand Nagus and a Commerce Authority made primarily of the Council of Economic Advisers (formerly Board of Liquidators). Like most of his colleagues, his religion is based on the principles of capitalism: they offer prayers and monetary offerings to a "Blessed Exchequer" in hopes of entering the "Divine Treasury" upon death, and fear an afterlife spent in the "Vault of Eternal Destitution".
Jeb, the Ferengi is a humanoid species, somewhat smaller than humans, usually reaching approximately 1.5 m (5 ft) in height. Ferengi have unusually large ears, which are more pronounced in males than in females, giving them an excellent sense of hearing. Due to the size of their ears, they can also sense sudden atmospheric and altitude changes within an election year where most other species would not have noticed the changes. The ears, at least in males like Jeb, are erogenous zones; Ferengi are seen to take sensual delight when their ears are stimulated, described by the word umox ("oo-mox". The exact meaning is unclear: "there is no direct translation" Ménage à Troi). The Ferengi also colloquially use the word lobes much as the words brains or balls are used in modern English (as in, "I didn't think you had the lobes for that, Jeb!").
Jeb realizes that Humans and other species often look down on him for his ravenous profiteering and lack of independent technological or cultural achievements. However, Jeb often sees other races as self-righteous and, as Ferengi have come into regular contact with Humans, their own self-image has improved by comparison. While their criticism that Humans took well over 6,000 years to develop a central banking system after the beginning of their civilization may seem lacking in moral force, other arguments can be more convincing.
Here are some fun facts about Ferengi Jeb:
|Jeb back home on Ferenginar.|
In theory, every business transaction that a Ferengi makes is governed by two hundred eighty-five Rules of Acquisition, though the rules themselves give the Ferengi license to cheat, steal, and bend the truth to suit their needs. Much like the GOP Oath of Office.
- Revenge and crimes of passion are nearly unknown among the Ferengi—again, they rarely see any profit in either. The Ferengi idea of revenge is more akin to the concept of schadenfreude. Causing your enemy to lose profit, or fail to profit, is considered the best revenge.
- Despite the goal of vast accumulation of wealth, income mobility among the Ferengi seems to be quite high. A poor Ferengi who has the "lobes for business" will almost certainly rise to great heights. Ferengi society seems to be based on strict meritocracy. Aristocracy, nepotism, oligarchy, and dictatorship are almost unknown in Ferengi society. In fact, former Grand Nagus Zek rejected his own son, Krax, as his successor when Krax attempted to assassinate acting Grand Nagus Quark after Zek faked his own death: not because he had tried to do something morally wrong, but because Zek saw resorting to such a crude attempt to gain control as the sign of an incompetent undeserving of the position. On rare occasion it is possible for the administrators of the FCA to remove a Grand Nagus from power, apparently when he has displayed such gross incompetence that he is determined to be medically unfit to lead. For example, Grand Nagus Zek was in danger of being removed from power when his advancing senility resulted in mistakes that produced a stock market crash (though ultimately Zek was able to rely on advisors for the remainder of his tenure).
- Despite the possible profits from nuclear power, the Ferengi never tested nuclear weapons in their atmosphere. In addition, the Ferengi do not often believe in selling products that are inherently dangerous from regular use, as that would reduce their customer base. For example, the Ferengi invented synthehol for use as a harmless substitute for ethyl alcohol, although they were impressed that humans would allow the sale of cigarettes, which are both addictive and unhealthy. Ferengi have also been involved in the sale of various addictive and dangerous substances, while they may prefer to sell intoxicants that don't reduce their consumer base, they are willing to sell substances that will kill their customers if there is enough profit. They have also been known to sell weapons to both sides in a war, though this may be looked down upon (even in such cases, the logic is often used that they don't make customers actually use weapons, so they are selling deterrents).
- The Ferengi have a strong work ethic, and encourage thrift and saving over conspicuous consumption. When Jeb makes a major purchase, it is likely to be something very useful for making further profit. Ferengi make excellent administrators as they are well versed in accounting and inventory procedures, and can often apply these skills to other endeavors.
- The Ferengi do not appear to appreciate class or have a class system. Even though their status is determined entirely by wealth, the Ferengi would consider it foolish to establish an "upmarket" clientele when there would be profit to be made in selling goods to less fortunate people. In fact, the Ferengi belief in the "Great Material Continuum", an analogue of the unrestricted free market, often drives them to great length to satisfy a potential customer's needs and to find a market for their goods. It is worth noting that the Ferengi economy is not actually an unrestricted free market, and is subject to the Ferengi Commerce Authority's heavy regulation (the authority breaks strikes and has the ability to seize all assets of any Ferengi who does not comply with FCA regulation).
- To the Ferengi, profit is its own reward (Rule of Acquisition #41). Arms merchants are tolerated, as with any business. Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #34 states "War is good for business"; however, Rule of Acquisition #35 rebuts "Peace is good for business." Ferengi engage in the practice of selling defensive weaponry to weaker species under attack, in addition to selling to species that are more belligerent.
- The Ferengi consider pregnancy to be a rental, with the father being termed the lessee.
Wow! Isn't it amazing what you learn about your congressman if you take the time to pay attention.
Jeb follows The Two Hundred Eighty-Five Rules of Acquisition, the sacred code on which all of Ferengi society is based. They were first written down by Gint, the first Grand Nagus (the title of the leader of the Ferengi Alliance). The title "Rules of Acquisition" was chosen as a clever marketing ploy (since the rules are merely guidelines) and Gint numbered his first rule one hundred sixty-two in order to create a demand for the other one hundred sixty-one Rules that had not yet been created.
Jeb and his Ferengi culture are so devoted to unregulated capitalism that concepts such as labor unions, sick leave, vacations, or paid overtime for workers are considered abhorrent, because they would interfere with the exploitation of workers. Ferengi workers don't particularly mind this system, because they all want to eventually gather enough wealth to become employers themselves, exploiting their own workers. In addition to the Rules, the Ferengi also recognize the five Stages of Acquisition: infatuation, justification, appropriation, obsession, and resale. The five Stages of Acquisition may be based on the five stages of grief.
And I thought this guy never worked...