NO MORE BS: Voting

Boris & NatashaMy email box was assaulted again; this time, the politicians who auto-email me, decided to crow about House Resolution 1, “The For the People Act.”  The politician this time, Rep. Deb Haaland (D), is “proud to co-sponsor” this legislative nightmare!  Frankly, the information contained in this proposed legislation makes me shudder and worry for America’s continuance!

Let us be perfectly clear, how a person votes is a State’s Right issue, not a Federal Government issue.  Hence, more Federal Government intrusion into a State’s Right issue is not acceptable, not warranted, and frankly will lead to greater conflict between the various States and the Federal Government.  Rep. Haaaland’s point is that some states saw the disaster that was the 2020 Presidential Election, and their legislatures are taking steps to improve the voting operations in their states.  Rep. Haaland wants to curb the State’s legislative powers to control how voting occurs.

LookDid you spot the first and most egregious issue?  States exercising their rights to self-government is bad, and the Federal Government is “obligated” to “step in” and manage those State’s internal affairs through legislated fiat!  The entire proposed action is 100% unconstitutional; yet, the legislation has been written and will probably pass into law, given the Senate and the President’s State of mind politically.

“But,” as they say on the Home Shopping Network, “There’s more!”

HR 1 aims to eliminate institutional barriers to voting, including cumbersome voter registration systems, disenfranchisement, and limited voting hours. This includes enacting automatic voter registration nation-wide and allowing same-day voter registration, expanding early and absentee voting, and reducing long lines and wait times, all while enhancing the security and integrity of our elections by restoring the Voting Rights Act and bolstering federal support for voting system security. HR 1 also directly challenges the influence of dark money in our elections by upgrading online political ad disclosures and requiring all politically active organizations to report their large donors. Americans shouldn’t have to worry about politicians being influenced by big money donors and placing special interests ahead of the public. This legislation addresses these challenges head on, amplifying the voices of the people over anonymous donors [sic].”

Detective 2What is “dark money” in politics?  “Dark Money” is any money that goes to a political party not approved by Democrats and the militant liberal leftists.  Ever since Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission Supreme Court Decision, the militant liberals have screamed holy murder over “Dark Money” in politics.  Yet, when those same sources send money to the Democrats, the money is not “Dark money” but a patriotic symbol to free America from oppression.  Take any corporation that donates to both parties, and you will find that the funds opposed to non-Democratic parties and interests are called “Dark Money,” but it is not “Dark money” if that money goes to the Democrats and their pet issues.

“Voice of the people,” interesting choice of words there Rep. Haaland (D).  From the Nov 2020 elections to the inauguration of the fraudulent President, the people asked for the litigation to finish, the investigations into blatant fraud to conclude, and then see who had “won” the Nov 2020 elections for President.  Where were you when the “Voice of the People” asked for time to have justice complete the investigation?  Your proposed legislation wants to “improve election integrity,” yet everything proposed does nothing but decrease voting integrity and increase risks for the electorate to continue to be abused!

GavelThe Nov 2020 election showed the world the problems with mail-in ballots, but you want to increase the fraud opportunities and risks in elections by expanding the precise programs that generate fraud in elections.  Are you sure this is the “Voice of the people” or just personal interests and political ambitions?  Same-day voter registration is another State’s Right issue that more Federal involvement will generate more significant fraud opportunities and risks.  Are you positive same-day voter registration is the “Voice of the people?”  Because frankly, I am appalled at the same-day voter registration, the mail-in balloting measures, and absentee-voting schemes currently in operation, and I am not alone in having these concerns.

State-issued, picture voter ID with biometric tags, using a thumbprint and signature on the ballot, are common-sense ballot initiatives that need to be explored and discussed in the various State Legislatures and worked into law.  But, a Federal Voter ID is NOT acceptable!  America is a Republic.  The chaos we pay for 50-different states doing things their own way is precious.  I, for one, will not have the Federal Government imposing a one-size-fits-none pattern over America where the State’s become ever more subservient to the Federal Government.

LinkedIn ImageRep. Haaland (D) and Rep. Sarbanes (D), you are both in the wrong and need to scrap this disastrous piece of legislation!  Destroying the State’s Rights to control voting is an abomination and unconstitutional.  If you cannot see this, your voters can, and it is time you learned to obey the voice of the people!  Support a “Liberty FIRST Culture!”

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Government Customer Service

Duty 3As a subject matter expert on customer service, as a professional customer service provider, and as a concerned American, I have to state for the record, the government’s abuse of the taxpaying customer is beyond atrocious, ridiculous, and craven!  I am sick to death of being treated like cat vomit; when I seek customer support from the government, I pay such incredible sums to fund.  Worse, I am fed up with the bureaucratic mindset that places the customer in the wrong, the customer as a pain, and the customer as a nuisance to be endured instead of assisted professionally.

ProblemsMy local Post Office here in Phoenix was visited yesterday (03 March 2021).  The Post Office does not deliver packages to the apartment complex we live in, so the standard procedure is for the USPS delivery person (mailman) to place a card notifying the customer of a package on a 10-day hold in the customer’s mailbox.  Since we moved in, we have not gotten these indicators, and Monday, my wife was notified a package she needs was returned by USPS.  It was delivered Monday to the Post Office and returned to sender as “customer refused delivery” the same day.

I went to the Post Office seeking answers.  The counter-working postal representative was the epitome of rude, obnoxious, and downright unfriendly.  It took more than an hour for a supervisor to arrive, and upon discussing the problem, I was told, “Lots of your neighbors have been complaining about this issue.”  Are you kidding me?!?!?!  You have two 500+ Apartment complexes across the street from each other, multiple people from both complexes are complaining about package delivery failures, and with a smile, you can tell me this is a known issue.

Theres moreAsk yourself the following question, if you had upwards of 100 customers complaining about your work, how long would you remain employed?  Frankly, I am still stunned 24+ hours after the interaction with this supervisor.  My visit was the sixth time I had been to the Post Office complaining about not getting package notifications and having trouble with packages sitting around the post office taking up space.  One of these visits included speaking to the Post Office’s head, general, whatever, the top person in charge of a local post office is titled.  Still, the employee has maintained their job, kept the same route, and the customers continue to be abused.

After I wrote a formal complaint, I was assured that action would be taken, and the employee talked to about this oversight in their duties.  Seriously, that was exactly what the supervisor said, “the employee will be talked to.”  I understand the human resources processes, understand and have designed human resource processes, and possess a Doctor of Psychology title specializing in industrial and organizational psychology.  But, I do not know how 100+ complaints can arrive at the post office weekly, and the same mailman is only on their verbal reprimand for failure to perform their duties.  We have been complaining about this issue for a year now, and in speaking with several neighbors, they have been complaining for longer than a year about this failure.  I have some doubts that this issue will be resolved, ever!

Detective 4But hey, the Post Office is only one of the government agencies exhibiting a race to the bottom where customer abuse and customer disservice are concerned.  The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a state-run agency, is always in this race, and they take hostile customer service to new heights, or depths, depending upon how you look at their performance.  The last visit to the DMV ended with screaming for several minutes in my car before possessing the proper mindset to drive away safely.  The DMV is comparable to a dentist drilling before anesthesia starts and doing a poor job on an infected tooth; you just know you will have a bad day when a visit to the DMV is scheduled!

Yet, in discussing the race to the bottom, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is also a constant competitor in asinine customer service practices, customer abuse, and inept inertia.  I do not think the VA could even get bureaucratic inertia correct if someone had not taught them how.  The Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) investigated a surgical supply program for abuses and found:

VA controls were not sufficient to ensure VA medical facility staff accurately reviewed, verified, or certified distribution fee invoices for the program. VA also did not ensure staff at medical facilities accurately established and applied the on-site representative rates and paid fees based on annual facility purchases. The pricing schedule establishes fee rates for on-site representatives based on annual facility purchase amounts.”

The amount of money involved is staggering ($4.6 Billion). The fact that the VA cannot correctly oversee a supply program, check invoices, monitor stock levels, and pay invoices properly does not bode well for integrity in customer service.

LinkedIn VA ImageThe VA is to be congratulated, the colonoscope, which is used on multiple patients for a colonoscopy, is being cleaned properly and to standard, which means that infections from one patient are less likely to occur in another patient transferred from the colonoscope.  However, the training program, certification program, and training documentation remain under considerable scrutiny for continual failure, as discovered by a VA-OIG investigation of 10 different clinics!  Training, certification of training, and documenting and tracking training are internal customer service actions that the entire VA continues to fail.  Whoever is in charge of adult education and training at the VA is not performing their jobs, and this is witnessed every couple of weeks in the VA-OIG investigation results across the entire VA.  Designed incompetence leading to customer service failures, absolutely ridiculous!

I-CareThe VA-OIG conducted a lengthy investigation at the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) Chicago VA Regional Benefits office in Illinois.

The OIG found claims processors did not properly correct administrative errors in 88 percent of cases reviewed. Errors resulted in improper underpayments of about $59,100 to six veterans, improper overpayments of $18,900 to two veterans, and $5,900 in debts VA had inappropriately collected from eight veterans through January 2020.”

Revisiting the Post Office example above, if you had an 88% error rate in your job, how long would you expect to keep your job?  Training and certification of claims processing personnel remains a failure of internal customer service and is mentioned in every VBA investigation by the VA-OIG.  As a point of fact, the failures of training and training certification were recently cited as a significant deficiency, where in 2018, no certification and training occurred due to internal technical problems with the intranet.  Yet, even with all this evidence that training is failing, certification is not occurring, and claims processors continue to abuse veterans through clerical, system, procedural, and process errors on claims, they maintain their positions.  Cited in this latest VBA investigation was the claims processors’ continual failure to communicate with the veteran.

Boris & NatashaConsider the following analogy.  A 100% disabled veteran gets paid once a month and budgets those monies very carefully to last the entire month.  A claims decision is made, and without any communication for why, the amount the veteran is expecting to live is cut in half.  The veteran is then responsible for wading through the various call centers to find why, how the decisions were made, and what to do, which takes time, lots, and lots of time on the phone.  While bills go unpaid, food goes unpurchased, financial difficulties mount, and correcting the situation takes more time.  Sure, the VA will pay back pay, but that is never sufficient to cover all the accruing costs and losses experienced.

Hostile customer service by the government is the most inexcusable example of customer disservice imaginable.  Why; because there is no competitor to move your business.  There are no pathways for holding customer service representatives accountable when even talking to a supervisor is not worth the time and effort.  I spent four hours on the phone chasing a claims processing error; at one point, I finally got so mad I demanded a supervisor.  I waited on hold for just under 120-minutes for the supervisor, who said had I worked better with the agent, I would not have had to wait, and the problem could have been resolved, as their opening statement!

Survived the VABy this time, I had worked with four separate agents who were confused or refused the call by hanging up.  I had been sworn at, I had been told I was a liar, and I was told my office could not handle your request.  Each call required anywhere between 30 and 50 minutes of hold time waiting for an agent.  As the supervisor reviewed the problem, they discovered that their agents could not have handled the situation, and a specialist was required.  But, I never got an apology from the supervisor for the waste of my time, the issues experienced with previous agents, nor the loss of my time and resources it took to handle the problem.

Gadsden FlagGovernment employees beware; how you treat customers is a problem, and you need to be held to task for your insolence, depravity, ineptitude, inertia, and uncaring attitudes!  When discussing the BS of government, the customer service issue is the most egregious.  I will call you out publicly every time you abuse a customer.  I am done being abused!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Discretionary Funds – The Taxpayers Bain

Wasting TimeNew Mexico’s current Governor, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), is being audited by the New Mexico State Senate for questions in how she uses the discretionary funds that come as a perk to her office.  While Gov. Grisham is not the first to abuse discretionary funds, nor will she be the last, abuse of discretionary funds in New Mexico is not the topic of this article.  Although, if I were a New Mexican Senator, I would hound the living life out of why the Governor thinks she can use those funds for her dry cleaning and then complain that from a budget of $7 Billion, “context is important.”

Scared Eyes!Context is not the issue in the use of discretionary funds, paid through forced taxation and other government means, to rob the citizen and businesses of their money.  Context, according to Webster is, “the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed.”  Let us use Gov. Grisham’s spokesman Tripp Stelnicki’s own words for expounding upon the problem.  Please remember, Gov. Grisham is only being used as an example as she is currently in the news for dipping her hands into discretionary funds.  Many politicians need their discretionary funds scrutinized, audited, and accounted for by the politician to the public for wasting the public’s money.

Discretionary funds are an amount of money available to spend on things that are not considered necessary but may be useful.  How these funds are spent, how the funds are accounted, regulated, and controlled will vary from state to state, county to county, and city to city across America.  How discretionary funds are controlled and regulated across all democratically elected societies worldwide is extremely varied and complex.  The sole standard of discretionary funds is that they are a set amount of money budgeted, and the spending is considered “necessary” or “useful.”  Just do not forget, these funds come from the taxpaying public and should be publicly discussed, and accountability is required!

blue-money-burning-2New Mexico Governor (D) Bill Richardson’s annual spending of discretionary funds climbed to $139,000 in 2008 while playing host to Hollywood types foreign dignitaries and community groups the Governor wanted to woo.  The ethical lapses of discretionary spending were but one reason why Governor Susana Martinez (R) was elected as the people hoped for a change and better accountability for their tax dollars.  Sadly, Gov. Martinez was not the fiscal hawk needed. New Mexico State continues to struggle because of the politicians’ ethical and moral positions in the house, senate, and Governor’s mansion.  Not to mention the fiscal illiteracy found in the same politicians.

What are the dangers of discretionary funds?

Fraud appears to be the most obvious danger in discretionary funds.  A non-profit group in Flatbush helped rip off the discretionary funds’ scab and the scams that funnel millions of taxpayer dollars into politicians’ hands in a cycle of abuse of both non-profit organization’s discretionary funds.  Apparently, “a lack of control and oversight of the millions of dollars New York City appropriates annually to non-profit groups through council member earmarks, often referred to as pork-barrel spending.”

Government LargessPublic corruption also rears its ugly head where discretionary funds and people with hands out conduct business.  “Former City Representative Desiree Peterkin Bell, who ordered the $3 million deal in 2014, is charged by state prosecutors with theft and misuse of public money stemming from her oversight of the Mayor’s Fund, a non-profit used to promote Philadelphia and advance the mayor’s policy goals.  A state grand jury charged Bell in October 2019 with six felony counts related to public corruption for alleged theft and misuse of Mayor’s Fund dollars. Bell has denied all charges.”  Never forget, the politician controlling discretionary funds decides what is “useful” but not necessarily “needful” when spending discretionary funds.

Phantom Funding also appears as a hole through which discretionary funds come and discretionary funds go.  Consider New York City and the report from 2008 where “… the City Council had allocated funds to non-existent organizations, Council Speaker Christine Quinn declared that the council has “reformed” its decades-long practice of hoarding extra funding for pet projects.”  For New York City, the scandal for discretionary funds and phantom funds went as high as $20 Million annually.  Leading to a question for NM Gov. Grisham’s spokesman Tripp Stelnicki, “whose context should we keep in mind when discretionary funds are abused the politicians or the taxpayers stuck footing the bill?”

Pentagon BureaucracyWant some interesting insights on discretionary fund abuse; Courtney Gross raised some excellent points and identifies how the process works, just in New York City.  However, I have no doubt the same pattern is followed in abusing discretionary funds across America, maybe not in the exact dollar amounts, but definitely, a pattern followed.  Worse, Courtney Gross asked the questions all politicians who have discretionary funds available need to answer.

Discretionary funds are dangerous, as the Pope has discovered in 2020, where Mr. Tirabassi and Monsignor Perlasca, among a host of others known only by initials, set up schemes to raid the Vatican coffers of at least €454 Million in financial assets.  The investigation is ongoing in Italy and has taken a dramatic toll on the Catholic Church’s finances and reputation.  The scheme included blackmail, bribery, and a host of other financial crimes.  While those accused remain innocent until proven guilty, the fact that the Holy See is not impervious to discretionary fund abuse is a warning to everyone that discretionary funds are dangerous!

Detective 4A simple search of discretionary fund abuses brings up discretionary trading and a host of articles citing and supporting the claims that anything with the term discretionary in the title is an opportunity ripe for abuse by nefarious actors who want their cut.  Hence the problem, too many accounts in public funds include discretionary in their titles.  Like the famed hydra of old, if discretionary funds are removed, a new head will appear to abuse and steal the public’s money to the benefit of a few politicians, non-profit groups, and in the case in Rome, “consulting fees.”  The following suggestions support a “Liberty FIRST Culture:”

      1. All discretionary funds are ended forthwith, and if an account is needed, all receipts are open for public discussion, and details are paramount. Those spending the money need to provide the public the reason for the funds being spent.
      2. No unfunded liabilities are allowed, ever!
      3. Make it public with quarterly audits done by more than a single auditor and double-checked using a third and independent auditing system.  Fail an audit once, and the politicians are immediately removed, and a criminal investigation opens into financial crimes.
      4. Reduce the size of government! I cannot stress this point enough; size breeds problems, and theft is committed in the chaos!
      5. Personal accountability for how and why public funds are spent is missing in how politicians are currently conducting business. Begin to build into local and state laws methods and means for holding those abusing their position with the public’s money ways to hold them personally accountable legally.  Hence, if a politician misspends money, they are personally responsible for repaying those funds.  Suppose the Commanding Officer of a ship can be held accountable for marine life death due to shipboard operations. In that case, every single politician can be held responsible for the whales of public spending malfeasance they originate.

Leadership CartoonRemember, these suggestions are only a beginning to the solution, not the end resolution.  In conducting audits, previous politicians will be discovered for the schemes they perpetrated, and they will need to be held accountable.  Some schemes have lived for so long; the scheme is now an organizational design problem, costing money and other resources requiring locally adaptable solutions to correct.  Regardless, cleaning up the government’s size and the funds spent will be a significant undertaking requiring the best innovative minds.  Pitch IN!  We need all hands on deck to fix these problems and pay off the fiscal malfeasance!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Wanted A Leader – The Leader’s Job Description

cropped-snow-leopard.jpgThe best job descriptions address the common questions of Who, What, When, Where, and How.  The common question ‘Why’ is excluded because it remains self-evident, there is a “something” desired from the job, or the job would not be considered worthwhile.  Since value and rewards are the beholder’s sole facets, ‘Why’ has been excluded as superfluous.  The sum of these points and positions is derived, deduced, and selected from the following resources, and this list is not all-inclusive, Avolio (2008), Boylan (2005), Brady (2005), Carpenter (1868), Chaleff (2003), Lundin (2000), Costa (2008), Hamlin (2008), Hinckley (2000), Oyinlade (2006), Morrow (1935), Sandburg (1926), Wren (1995), and Yukl (2006).

Wanted: a Leader

Literary FiendThe successful leader is morally obligated to embrace loyal opposition.  Loyal opposition is found in those following, taking and giving counsel and guidance to improve plans, implement ideas, and garner the individual buy-in from free agents.  Loyal opposition ensures that integrity, responsibility, and accountability are not lost or forgotten.  The leader is a teacher, and a teacher is a leader.  The cycle for learning and teaching does not become lost or less significant as rank is increased.  The inverse occurs. The greater the position, the higher the responsibility to remain engaged in the learning/teaching cycle.  All Applicants must have the following characteristics:

      • Drive and Determination – This is required as the task is difficult, the work often arduous, and the pay is never sufficient.
      • Education and Experience – Knowledge is good, but a continued thirst for learning must supersede past educational experiences. Experience in applying education is critical.  Without experience in application, academic success is not enough to obtain this position.
      • Willingness to sacrifice – As a leader, the followers need to be trained and supported; this requires a considerable measure of sacrifice in time, resource allocation and demands innovation in thinking and flexibility in approach.
      • The power to delegate – A leader does not have enough time to meet all their responsibilities; if a leader cannot delegate, oversee, and inspire others to action, that leader cannot achieve success and is not a leader but a manager.
      • Willing to follow without sacrificing the need to lead – Leaders can never sever the ties to being a follower, but the leader must act to lead. Above all else, leadership requires balancing between being a follower and leading well.
      • The ability to exude a ‘Quiet Confidence’ – Knowing you know what to do, have the ability to find the answers, and still meet achievement goals is required to inspire confidence and determination in others.

Charismatic people need not apply.  Those possessing ‘Chutzpah’ are always welcome.  Charisma is a potent drug and, when combined with the power of leadership, tends to lend itself to abusing followers.  People possessing ‘Chutzpah,’ e.g., having the backbone to make a stand and remaining standing long after others consider quitting, are always in demand.  Determined ‘Chutzpah’ will be the order of the day to make a change, lead in flux, and drive the change in others while putting followers at ease, delivering praise, and inspiring others to achieve.

quote-mans-inhumanityThe ideal candidate possesses a working and living knowledge of history, politics, sales, marketing, customer service, and a devotion to seeing others succeed.  The ideal candidate must be willing to be an example and remain engaged mentally to the tasks of leadership.  Other qualities an ideal candidate would possess include:

      • Appetite
      • Passion
      • Honesty
      • Forthrightness
      • Morals
      • Ethics
      • Motivation
      • Imagination
      • Understanding of the difference between monitoring and overbearing
      • Emotionally stable
      • Enthusiasm for learning and living

To apply, follow current leaders well, be engaged, be positive, and ask questions.  Shortly leadership positions will develop to begin the leadership training process.  Never forget, being a good follower remains key to being a good leader!  While awaiting your opportunity to become a leader, increase your literacy in general, including fiscal literacy.  Be the best follower possible, even if being a good follower requires you to stand apart from your peers.  Be willing to stand for principles, morals, and ethics without budging or giving way in the face of adversity or temptation.

quote-mans-inhumanity-2Learn that a good leader is a teacher, and a good teacher is a leader, even if all they do is follow well.  Delegation requires teaching; teaching requires knowing and using knowledge to gain experience; hence, volunteer, ask for additional jobs, take on assignments, and open your mouth to offer advice and suggestions.  A good follower and the best leaders speak up, speak out, and reflectively listen to gain mutual understanding in all they do.  Never allow peer pressure to silence you!

References

Avolio, B. J., & Yammarino, F. J. (2008). Transformational and charismatic leadership: The road ahead. Vol 2. Bingley, United Kingdom: JAI Press – Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Boylan, Bob (1995). Get Everyone in Your Boat Rowing in the Same Direction. New York, New York: Barnes & Noble.

Brady, C., & Woodward, O. (2005). Launching a leadership revolution: Mastering the five levels of influence. New York, NY: Business Plus – Hachette Book Group.

Carpenter, F. B. (1868). The inner life of abraham lincoln: Six months at the white house. New York, NY: Hurd and Houghton.

Chaleff, I. (2003). Leader follower dynamics. Innovative leader, 12(8), Retrieved from http://www.winstonbrill.com/bril001/html/article_index/articles/551-600/article582_body.html

Costa, A. L., & Kallick, B. (2008). Learning and leading with habits of mind: 16 essential characteristics for success. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/108008/chapters/describing-the-habits-of-mind.aspx

Hamlin, R. G., & Sawyer, J. (2007). Developing effective leadership behaviors: The value of evidence-based management. Business Leadership Review, IV(IV), 1-16. Retrieved from www.mbaworld.com/blr-archive/scholarly/5/index.pdf

Hinckley, G. B. (2000). Standing for something: 10 neglected virtues that will heal our hearts and homes. New York, NY: Three Rivers Press.

Lundin, S. C., H. Paul, and J. Christensen. Fish!, a remarkable way to boost morale and improve results. Hyperion Books, 2000. Print.

Morrow, H. (1935). Great captain: The lincoln trilogy. New York, NY: William Morrow and Company.

Oyinlade, A. (2006). A method of assessing leadership effectiveness: Introducing the essential behavioral leadership qualities approach. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 19(1), 25.

Sandburg, C. (1926). Abraham lincoln: The prairie years. New York, NY: Blue Ribbon Books.

Wren, J. T. (1995). The leader’s companion: Insights on leadership through the ages. New York, NY: The Free Press.

Yukl, G. (2006). Leadership in Organizations. 6th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

© Copyright 2021 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.
All rights reserved.

NO MORE BS: Understanding Money – Shifting the Paradigm on Money

LookDo you understand money?  Honestly, is how money is created, used, and tracked understandable or a complete mystery?  I have advocated for economics to be taught in high school to understand the actions of government since I was in high school.  I was forced to take a class to write checks, balance a checkbook, and other simple economic topics in US Army Basic Training.  I thought I knew how money worked after this class, but only later realized I knew enough to get into trouble with money, but not enough to fix the problems I had gotten myself into.  I was mid-way through my MBA when I finally took a class on money, economics, and how money works.

I have asked other adults and high school students what they think about money and remain aghast that basic economics is not taught in K-12 education.  There is no reason for fiscal illiteracy in America; yet, fiscal illiteracy is evident in the politicians elected, the lobbyists pushing agendas, and how American politicians of all levels understand money.  The following is a brief attempt to clear some of the confusion regarding money.

Green money is cash.

Dane-GeldGreen money is the dollars and cents in a bank account or your pocket and is quickly spent.  Green money is often called liquid money or liquid assets, liquid because the holder is presumed the owner, owns it, and can spend it freely any way he wishes.  Possession is nine-tenths of the law where liquid assets are concerned.  One of the first lessons most of us learned growing up was if you wanted to buy something and your pocket was empty, you went without.  Liquid assets are cash, green money and are available to be spent in any way the holder chooses.

Non-liquid assets are considered green money due to their sale; this is why a house, a car, a boat, and other such items are considered assets, investments, and opens the door to depreciation or money loss where an asset is concerned.  The sale of the asset provides the opportunity to turn a non-liquid asset into a liquid asset.  However, since the asset is often employed as collateral for a loan, the sale of that asset means the loan holder is paid first from the sale.  If the resale value is insufficient to cover the full loan owed, the loan, which is red money, can still be collected; this process is why red money is so important to understand.

Red money is debt.

Government Largess 3Historically, if a debt could not be paid, the debtor’s blood was allowed to be spilled; hence debt is red money.  Red money always comes with a penalty called interest.  Interest is green money turned red to return the profit to those who lent the initial funds or principle.  That debt, be it a loan, a credit card, or another debt model, remains a burden to the borrower, continues to accumulate interest, and can be called due at any moment in time.  While some laws protect the borrower from excessive interest rates, it remains essential to know about and be cognizant of the interest rate trap.  The legalese on a contract to launch a debt is important to understand, especially where prepayment penalties, late payments, and the ability to call the note due are concerned.

The interest rate trap comes in several forms.  While in the US Navy, stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, a sailor buddy bought a beautiful car for $4000 with a 45% interest rate.  He put $1500 in green money down, so the full loan amount, principal, and interest, for 60-months were $7805.49, including the sales tax.  Later that month, when the car was stolen, the insurance company valued the vehicle at only $1000, leaving the sailor to pay $6805.49 immediately.  This is one type of interest rate trap; another comes from Payday Loans.  Borrow your next paycheck today, get the money today, and pay your paycheck back during the next 36-months at an interest rate between 30-60%.  By the time the payday loan is paid off, more than four separate paychecks will have been paid to cover a single paycheck loan, provided all the payments have been made on time and as quickly as possible.

Welfare State BeginsWhile paying off this loan, you lose your job.  You can lose your car because your car is sometimes used as collateral for your payday loan.  If the resale value is insufficient, you lose your car, you lost your job, and now you still owe a considerable sum that gains interest.  Red money is dangerous; like Damocles’ sword, the danger hangs by a tiny thread above the borrower; one wrong move and the sword falls.  Debt, red money can be helpful; but, careful planning and budgeting are required before entering into debt obligations.  Always it is better to save and budget green money or obtain investors before contemplating debt.

Black money is dead money.

Consider the person who takes green money and places those dollars and cents under a mattress or coffee can in their home.  The cash is out of circulation, is not valuable enough to collect, and no one is benefiting from the money through interest.  Black money can be created in other ways that will be explored later in this article.

Potential Money – Blue Money

blue-moneyThe next type of money is blue money, also referred to as potential money.  Consider a hammer. The hammer might cost $20.00 in green money to buy and bring home.  In the hands of a trained construction worker, a $20.00 hammer, over the course of the hammer’s useful working life, has the potential to earn thousands of dollars in green money for the construction worker.  In the hands of an inexperienced worker, the hammer has the potential to cost thousands of dollars in green money through waste, destruction, and learning.  Training a person to improve their performance might cost $300 in green money; but, if that employee can improve his performance on the job, potentially millions of dollars can come into the company because of the training provided.

Money is created when it is borrowed, and interest is paid on the loan.  For example, Jack has an extra $500 (green money).  He gives this money to his friend Joe in the form of a loan (red money).  Joe takes the loan, adds to his business potential (blue money), and through increased profits, can pay Jack his $500 loan plus the interest of $300.  Hence, $300 (green money) is created as profits for Jack.  While a simple analogy, do the types of money become more apparent?

Welfare State EndsJoe’s loan to Jack showed on Joe’s books as red money until the loan and interest were paid.  During this time, Joe was also making green money, or profits sufficient to pay his workforce, his other obligations, and still retain adequate to pay himself.  Small business owners are not paid until everyone else is paid.  It is not uncommon for small business owners to be scraping by on the smallest margins because all their non-liquid assets are locked up in loans to keep the business afloat.  When poor business practices begin risking inventory and equipment and shareholder investments are added into the equation, is it any wonder why small businesses struggle.

quote-mans-inhumanityMoney is also created when saved in the various saving tools offered by banks.  The diligent saver can save $40 a week until he or she is 65 years of age and potentially have millions in the bank for retirement.  Why, because the bank will pay interest to the saver from the interest collected on the loans the bank makes with the green money invested from the savings account.  Many different savings tools can be considered non-liquid assets because of the agreements made between the saver and the bank.  Generally, the longer the bank’s contract to hold the savings money, the higher the interest rate paid as the bank can schedule payments and loan the same dollars more efficiently when the saver’s funds are expected to be in the bank for a more extended period.

quote-mans-inhumanity-2Often Federal treasury departments of governments create money by printing more or larger bills.  The problem with printing more money is one of surplus, which begins to increase interest rates and decrease the value of the green money held by citizens participating in the economy.  Consider that if the only way to create money is to work money through lending, improving business, etc., and then printing only makes it harder to put money to work.  Too much money on the market creates negatives; negatives include lower dollar value, which makes items cost more and increases interest rates, making borrowing costs rise, and inflation begins to increase prices for goods in the economy.  More importantly, except for necessities, producers’ willingness to spend money stops; these are typical cause-and-effect actions.  A long enough period of decreased desire to spend money and an economic downturn is initiated.

Blue Money BurningState, City, County, Town, municipal governments are even more pernicious with their plots and plans.  On the local government level, money cannot be printed.  Hence, debt is entered into, and municipal bonds are sold to create money in the private sector, which is then paid to the government in increased taxes, but the money lent to the local government was already spent.  One truth discovered about government, when taxes are increased, money is asked of the voters to borrow.  The truth is, the government body asking for more has already spent the increase, spent the budget, and usually spent twice as much as they are asking the voters to allocate.  Consider special elections for increasing taxes; the money being asked for has been spent, the budget was spent, and now the voters are asked to pay for the special election cost to decide if the local government can spend some more money.  The increase being asked very often has been spent three to four times before the election is considered to ask for permission to enter larger amounts of debt in the public’s name.

Poor fiscal planning increases debt by decreasing the value of the original municipal bonds.  The government has to borrow more to get relatively close to the value of the first municipal bond sold.  Note, municipal bonds are considered a debt to the local government and as green money non-liquid assets to the purchaser; municipal bonds can be bought and sold on the private market.  Government focuses upon the holder of the most bonds; because elected leaders are focused upon the holders of the most bonds, citizens bear no weight in being heard.  Money talks!

Detective 4In several different locales, municipal bonds can be held as unseen debt or black money, also referred to as unfunded liabilities, kept on other books, not currently open to the public.  The monies owed are not considered red money because there is no plan by those in power to pay these debts; thus, the city’s debt could be significantly higher than reported.  Unfunded liabilities never have a plan for repayment by those in power.  Unfunded liabilities can be a mixture of many different debts (employee retirement, some municipal bond types, unpaid bills to local service providers, etc.).  The common denominator remains, there is no plan or money to repay this debt.  Thus, black money is created because there are no plans or money to meet these obligations.  The taxpayer remains on the hook for the principal and the interest of those unfunded liabilities.  Unfunded liabilities are hopes of current politicians on future prosperity, and sometimes, depending upon laws, unfunded liabilities are part of the government’s credit rating. Low credit ratings by the government increase taxes, the risk increases, making borrowing money more expensive, and the taxpayer generally has no idea how poor their municipal government’s credit rating.  Never forget, municipal government, many times includes the local school board.

ToolsWhile this explanation is elementary, the lessons contained are sufficient to protect the bottom-line, improve knowledge, and provide an opportunity for improving circumstances.  When bottom lines fail, before anything else, look to lost blue money as the cause.  When blue money is disregarded long enough, red money increases exponentially, and green money evaporates; this formula is set in stone.  Potential blue money is not elusive, but it takes keen observation to protect and grow.  Grow enough blue money, and green money multiplies exponentially.

Americans must start demanding fiscal literacy in the politicians running for office.  Americans must begin understanding the captivity they are in where the government spending is concerned.  Ask yourself, would your bank honor a post-dated check?  Why should the government be allowed to write a check the bank won’t allow you to write?  Can you spend 8-15 times your salary between paychecks and maintain your house, car, and other assets?  Of course not, so why should the government be allowed to do this on your tax dollars?

DutyFiscal literacy improves freedom and liberty.  Fiscal literacy is required to maintain the US Constitution and US Bill of Rights.  Budgets are not bad things for government to live on; in fact, the government should be the first exemplar of budgetary soundness and fiscally literate action.  A Liberty FIRST Culture will require fiscal sanity and fiscal restraints, a reduction in debt, and a payment plan for all unfunded liabilities.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Human Rights vs. Human Obligations – Chapter 2

LinkedIn ImageToday 03 March 2021, the BBC ran an article titled, “Global Freedom: India is now only ‘partly free,’ says report.”  Claiming a shift from democracy to authoritarianism, civil liberties in India have declined under Prime Minister Narendra Modi since 2014.  The article explains that the United States under President Trump also saw a decline in democracy due to a contested election result and President Trump’s leadership methods and manners.  The actual report claiming the fall of democracy is titled “Freedom in the World: Democracy under Siege (the report).”

Boris & NatashaLet us face the elephant in the room; the BBC is not known for reporting information without personal bias, political opinion, and a hearty dose of fearmongering as tools needed to sell advertising and lure unsuspecting readers to their version of the news.  Nothing against the BBC, just acknowledging that when it comes to newspapers and news media, it is always best to understand the basics, corporate media outlets exist to sell advertising.  Hence, lurid stories lead!

In acknowledging the elephant in the room argument, we also need to cast aspersions upon the Freedom House source report, which never supplies the standards for measuring democracy in their report.  Hence, if you have not researched how Freedom House measures democracy, you can only take the information at face value and believe the authors.  Worse, the authors used word tactics to attack political beliefs and politicians they do not like.

DutyFinally, let us be perfectly clear, The United States of America is NOT a democracy, but a Republic!  America being a Republic is a good thing because democracy is just evil under the guise of freedom.  In a democracy, the majority rule, not just a supermajority of 60% of a population or more, but a simple majority of 51 out of 100.  Having laws and procedures demanding significant government changes need supermajorities is a protection to the freedom and liberty in a nation, a state, a county, and a city/town.

The report talks about COVID.  As discussed many times, COVID is a government hysteria, fed by media, viral infection.  Claims that COVID influenced or allowed freedom theft in Democratic and Republican governments worldwide is valid, but the viral infection is not the problem; the government response is the problem.  Allowing a viral infection with a survival rate of 98% to shutdown economies, drain resources, increase debt, and steal liberty and freedom is the worst type of projection possible.  The viral infection did nothing but make a few people sick; the government is the problem and needs to be held accountable!

GavelReturning this discussion to the problems with human rights vs. human obligations.  Human rights are laws, and the report is very damning on laws the authors do not like and then claim those laws are anti-human rights.  The report’s authors create a couple of human rights from whole cloth to batter politicians they particularly do not like but were democratically elected by their respective populations.  The authors’ political bias becomes clear very quickly while reading the report. The report will be like throwing red meat to the political left’s lions and tigers, who will never admit there are biases, issues, and confusion purposefully twisted into facts in the report.

Since human rights are codified laws, the ability to change the law in a democracy requires a simple majority.  Hence, another issue with the fundamental measurement of “freedom” in a democracy is that changes in desires lead to law changes.  The world saw this with BREXIT.  The politicians refused to change, but the population changed its mind.  The politicians repeatedly refused to change. The people had to sack enough elected representatives at the ballot box to finally get the process started to exit the European Union (EU).  Even after starting it, the politicians and bureaucracies in the United Kingdom continued to thwart, stall, and subvert the will of the people.

GearsBecause human obligations are a reflection of the morals of a population, these do not change, nor should they change, which means that there is a constant method to care for the sick, the afflicted, and the downtrodden.  The problem inherent in human obligations is those who consider that it is the government’s job to care for their populations cradle-to-grave when this is simply not possible!  No government should ever be saddled with morals, or care for human obligations, as human obligations are individually fulfilled, not government programmed.

The government has no morals, they only have interests, and interests, like laws, change.  When the interests of a government change, especially when the population that government represents does not like the changes, rebellions occur to correct the imbalance.  The authors of the report argue for government having morals through human rights, neglecting the fact that human rights are laws, and laws change.  The authors consider the changing of laws as “anti-democratic,” “freedom stealing,” and “liberty depriving.”  Except, this is not the case at all; laws change based upon the collective thinking of the population as expressed through their elected representatives.  That is democracy in action, and since democracy needs only a simple majority, changes occur faster than in a Republic, but the changes are messier and the populations necessarily louder.

Detective 4The report states, “As COVID-19 spread during the year, governments across the democratic spectrum repeatedly resorted to excessive surveillance, discriminatory restrictions on freedoms like movement and assembly, and arbitrary or violent enforcement of such restrictions by police and nonstate actors.”  All of which is true and distressing in the extreme.  Yet, the rest of the paragraph twists a couple of half-truths into facts and closes with how non-democratic governments went to the extreme to punish their citizens during a “global pandemic.”  Still refusing to believe, or even consider, that the government response to COVID has been the problem from the beginning of Sars-COV-2 spreading from China across the world.

Mobs, riots, and insurrection were also blamed for losing freedom, especially in the United States, where President Trump was personally blamed for the social unrest.  Yet, the social unrest began with lies told over a police shooting, was elevated by ANTIFA, BLM, and other left-leaning political organizations, and was provided a stage by the media to spite the victims of the terrorist actors causing the social unrest.  By not fully expounding upon the reasons for the social unrest witnessed, the ties between freedom and liberty and the loss of democracy are tenuous at best and completely false at worst.

VirtueSince the authors got the social unrest in the United States wrong, how can anyone have verity that the rest of the report was right?  More, where human rights and human obligations cross, how can the authors get away with spreading half-truths as facts and diminish any country through a couple of authors’ personal biases and opinions?  Since the matrix for measuring “democracy” is not revealed, how do the authors make the conclusions they make with unsubstantiated data?

More can and should be done in freely elected societies (Democratic and Republican) to exemplify why these societies are better than socialism, communism, monarchies, and other forms of government.  However, these democratically elected societies’ people need to be heeded more by their elected representatives, even if it means human rights laws change to reflect less government intrusion and more human obligation acknowledgment.  All democracies must begin to understand and support the fact that their government cannot care for them cradle-to-grave.  The responsibility in a democracy, and Republic, is for the individual citizen to be responsible for their own actions and the resulting consequences.

Image - Eagle & FlagHonoring human obligations leads to greater freedoms and liberties for the entire society, not merely those who fit into one government program or another.  Better, liberty and freedom built upon honoring human obligations allow for reduced government size, leading to less opportunity for governmental abuse and injury.  The shift in growing liberty is not found in human rights laws compelling behaviors through forced state penalties.  The change in growing liberty starts as people honor their obligations to each other and reduce reliance upon government handouts.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: The War Against Dr. Seuss

LookLet me be perfectly clear, Dr. Seuss is not the only victim of the book burning and banning liberals, but as the latest victim and the most egregious victim to date, I am going to use Dr. Seuss as the example.  For the record, I am a bibliophile (book lover; lover of reading books), and I detest any book being castigated, derided, and depublished simply because a political party cannot stand the content.  Of all the dumb and irrational actions of the political left, book shaming is one that sees me get madder than a soaked chicken with a raging case of hemorrhoids.

02 March is my holiday!  In the United States, 02 March is National Read Across America Day, celebrated on Dr. Seuss’s birthday.  As one of my favorite authors, I like to serve green eggs and ham, read about the “Cat in the Hat,” remember all the places I will go and have gone, and enjoy books!  This year, the fraudulent president began by removing Dr. Seuss from National Read Across America Day because some people do not like his illustrations.

ReadingMark Twain has regularly been banned for using language, which in his day was acceptable, and which today is considered “offensive.”  I love Mark Twain’s sense of humor; his stories wrap me in imagination, daring, and fun.  Yet, the political left has deemed him offensive, and millions of children will never know his name.

Rudyard Kipling’s “Just So” stories made up my childhood, taught me important lessons, were a primer for living a better life, and filled my imagination and dreams with excitement.  Aesop’s Fables were classics in my home and also filled my imagination and mind with wonder, excitement and taught me the journey a good story can take a person.  Yet, schools have regularly removed both Aesop’s Fables and Rudyard Kipling from their libraries, the curriculum, and public libraries for various idiotic reasons.

Beauty of LiteratureNow, Dr. Seuss is being added to the banned books, and I could weep!  Shame on the fraudulent president for this foolish and disrespectful political action.  Shame on the political left who will leave Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf on the shelves of libraries but will remove Dr. Seuss, Aesop’s Fables, Mark Twain, Kipling, Roald Dahl, and thousands of other titles and authors, simply because of political choices.

Literary AttitudesDo not choose to misunderstand me; all books are not equal, and some books I detest.  But, I will never support the banning of books!  I will never condone stealing authors’ intellectual offerings from the public simply because politics demands those books be banned.  I read the “Captain Underpants” series; I did not particularly like or dislike the books, but to see the series banned is incomprehensible!  I loved Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, a Brave New World, Of Mice and Men, Goosebumps, The Catcher in the Rye, and so many other books that, as of 2019, have been banned, and I am embarrassed by the idiocy and the shameful behavior of the book police and the thought police.

Detective 4Did you know the Holy Bible is regularly on the banned books list as a popularly forbidden book?  Yet, the Koran is regularly found in public school libraries and public libraries?  I first read the Koran in sixth grade because my school had a copy.  I read Mein Kampf in Junior High School because my school had a copy.  Neither book was mandatory reading; I just found them and decided I wanted to read them.  Plus, reading them made my parents so mad!  My parents are fans of banning “some books” due to content.  Yet, like liberty and freedom, no books will be allowed if all books are not allowed.  You cannot limit free speech and still have free speech.  You cannot restrict warrantless search and seizure without limiting every person’s rights to be safe in their papers and property.  Worse, you cannot grant liberty to one and steal freedom from another, that is the height of tyrannical behavior, and this pattern works just as well for books as it does for music, art, and every other human endeavor and government polity.

Reading - A JourneyMy tastes in books, like music, span the entire written spectrum offered.  Sherlock Holmes, Father Dowling Mysteries, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Mark Twain, Kipling, Roald Dahl, C. S. Lewis, Aldous Huxley, and so many more make-up who I am, why I choose, and how I grow.  I could not ban one book without banning all books, and I will not ban a book!  Books represent the soul of the author; the ideals written should live forever so people may have a choice.  If you are a book banning type, would you ban a book from the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe series?  If so, which one?  Would not a ban on one book mean you have to ban the entire series?

What about the Chronicles of Prydain, also known as The Black Cauldron series?  A magic pig features prominently in this series.  Do you ban all the books that have the magical pig not to offend people who view pigs as dirty?  The thought boggles the brain!

Freedom's LightBanning books is wrong, plain, and simple.  Admonishing long-dead authors because you do not like illustrations or phrases used is the height of cowardice and personal insecurity projected onto other people.  Frankly, banning books is the worst abomination of thought police possible, and I, for one, will always oppose your choice of mental disease!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

More VA Insanity – COVID Mask Policy – Denial of Service

I-Care02 March 2021 – Today, I got a secure message from the pulmonologist at the VAMC in Phoenix; he needs me to go to the hospital for a series of tests to understand why I cannot breathe.  Except, when he tried to get me into the hospital, he was told the VA Mask Policy would not be allowed to be “adjusted,” and the administration is the problem.  Worse, the local administration refuses to engage in discussion, refuses to write a cohesive and legal policy, and absolutely continues to deny service to veterans illegally.

I desperately need answers as to why the VA Hospital is allowed to act in this manner.  The denials of service are more than just a mask policy issue where COVID is concerned.  The actions of the Phoenix VAMC since June 2020 extend beyond simple bureaucratese where COVID masking is concerned.  Where are the elected representatives in scrutinizing the Phoenix VAMC?  Where is the media in demanding answers to the abuses being witnessed?  Where are the police in protecting the innocent?

InertiaTo actively work to refuse service, shut down dissenters, and muzzle those who honestly want to help and change the Phoenix VAMC into something worthy of respect and improve the care of the patients who try and obtain healthcare at the facility is atrocious behavior worthy of the harshest condemnation.  My medical chart clearly states I cannot wear a mask, the pulmonologist needing me to receive tests to understand why, is unable to obtain community care due to administrative fiat, and unable to get the VA to stop needlessly harassing, injuring, and arresting me because I cannot safely wear a mask.  All because the administrators would prefer to refuse service, deny care, and then complain that nobody is making their appointments.

2004, I started this journey with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); I had spinal problems, I was short of breath, I had neurological issues, and a host of other issues.  Yet, for more than 10-years, the VA refused care after I left the service with injuries because of the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) treatment.  As soon as I finally get the VBA to act, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) begins to act like I am scum that was drug in off the streets.

LookWhat drives me crazy, I have been across the United States and seen the inhumanity of the VA Administration up close and personal too many times to think the problems are limited to only one VISN or another.  I have witnessed veteran patients and dependents worthy of the highest care denied service and then further abused by the VAMC refusing these people’s future care.  I have witnessed VA employees create rules to inconvenience a veteran patient, slow care, and deny service to a patient who had to travel 4-6 hours to the VA.  The VA-Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) relates more and more abuses by VBA and VHA staff monthly, where accountability is lost, responsibility rarely accepted, and the cycles of abuse continue because nobody in VA leadership will act!

Does anyone understand what this entails?  A patient, not me, with chronic pain and incredible service-connected injuries, is denied the ability to drop off a letter for his primary care provider, and the VA employee who would handle the letter anyway refused to accept the letter unless the letter was mailed.  The veteran drives four-hours to the VA Hospital every time he needs care and he works to maximize his time while at the VA taking care of as much business as possible.  The employee claimed that if the patient left the letter on that employee’s desk, the employee would throw it away.  The VA employee refusing to help a veteran was shortly promoted, moved to a less visible clinic, and the veteran who needed the help still has not received the support he needs.  Even after writing to the hospital administrator, the VISN administrator, and his congressional representative.  Why do I know so much about this case, I witnessed the scene and have been kept abreast of the trouble this veteran is having.

Survived the VAI met a veteran on social media who is in my same boat and cannot physically and safely wear a mask.  He has been actively denied service, even while bleeding, at the ER.  If President Trump had not signed the Community Care Act, which forces the VA to allow patients the VA refuses to see to access community-provided care, both of us would have been much worse than we are today.  Monday (01 March 2021), a nurse from my primary care provider called to relay information. The nurse refused to provide service, refused to answer questions, and then chose to become offended and disconnected the call.  Worse, I still have no idea why the nurse called, the purpose for the call, or what outcome will be derived from the call.  Why; because you cannot directly call your clinic and receive answers.  The phone chain games mean I call the clinic and get routed to a call center, they leave a message for the provider, and possibly within a week, I might obtain an answer from the provider.

Want to reach your clinic directly; send a secure message through the MyHealtheVet portal.  Then wait for an answer that can take as little as 24-hours, or as long as 3-months, if you get a response at all.  I have asked simple questions through both phone and secure messages and received atrocious answers, answers not fit to print, and answers that are a logical pretzel-making no sense but are regarded as “the policy of this hospital.”  A non-veteran I was casually talking to asked, “Why do you use the VA at all?”  The short answer is because if you do not use the VA, the billing nightmare to get the VA to pay for healthcare from military-connected injuries is a bloody nightmare!

VA SealCase in point, 30 June 2020, I checked into an ER for care.  January 2021, I receive a collections notice for the visit.  I called and asked why; apparently, the hospital submitted the statement to TriCare instead of TriWest, causing confusion and denial of service.  But, the VA “due to HIPAA” policies could not speak directly to the hospital, only to me.  I had to call the hospital and inform them of what the VA said.  The hospital’s billing department, the collections agency, and I are stuck between two bureaucracies at the VA, and I have an active collections problem hammering my credit.  These shenanigans are, but a small part of the regular issues all veterans are handed because the VA refuses to do their jobs creates rules and policies at whim to inconvenience, and flat out refuses to do their jobs!

Patients seeking care at the majority of VA Hospitals face no customer care, worse customer service, refusal to honor the job, disrespect of the patients, dependents, and veterans, and worse service for active personnel.  I have seen the VA’s actions, and I refuse to stay quiet about the illegal behavior, unethical actions, and the immoral treatment of veterans, active service members, and the qualified dependents seeking care and finding crass bureaucratic red tape.  There is no reason for this abuse of the patient, except as previously mentioned, the VA Hospitals can “get away” with bad behavior where non-government hospitals cannot.

Where do we go from here?

DetectiveWith the government being less than enthused with ending the COVID-Farce, with the media refusing to recognize a problem and assist in advocating for a reprieve, and with the elected officials failing to scrutinize the workings of the executive branch’s operations properly, I am not sure of the proper answer to this question.  Insanity, according to Einstein, is doing the same things over and over, expecting different results.  The paradigm of government-provided healthcare is a pernicious fraud and desperately needs to be corrected.  But the answer is more than simple bureaucratic inertia found in many other government agencies.  The VA has built a special case for itself, and the solution will necessarily require new approaches and new thinking.

The belief that government is good for anything but injuring others remains an idea that needs to spread far and wide in an effort to reduce the harm caused by the government.  The American people require a higher return on their investment in the government through forced taxation.  Yet, the administers of government and the elected representatives hired to scrutinize the government fail to act, believe the bureaucrats over the citizen, and are part of the problem.

Fishbone DiagramRoot cause analysis points to inertia as being a prime candidate in the failures experienced and witnessed.  Inertia is a comfortable blanket to wrap yourself in when change is supposed to occur, but change scares you.  The hospital administrators refused to act because that would require a spine and written records scare the hospital administrators; especially those in Phoenix after two dead veterans’ scandals where responsibility pointed to people who possessed written records.  Hence, besides inertia is the fear of being held accountable because the written records exist.  Yet, because policies, directives, and processes are not being written down, behavior can worsen where the veteran patient is abused, and there is nothing that can be pointed to claiming the actions taken were inappropriate.

Detective 3Logic claims that if the VA denies service to a class of veteran patients, then another option for receiving care should automatically open.  However, the lack of written policies and the inertia of the employees causes the veteran patient a nightmarish cycle of needing care but not being able to access care.  Because the employees are following spineless leaders and inertia is better than sticking one’s neck out and acting differently from the pack.  Thus, plotting a path forward requires leadership and a willingness to document, change, and adapt, all of which appear anathema to the VA generally and the Phoenix VAMC particularly.

The VA-OIG just recently finished an audit of community care claims being handled by 3rd party contractors.  The results are fairly typical of the VHA and VBA using designed incompetence.

The OIG audit found that inadequate contract terms and VA’s lack of effective oversight contributed to claims processing inconsistencies and errors. The VA’s contract did not include standardized criteria for contractor employees to use when distributing and processing claims. Furthermore, the contract did not require contractor employees to follow VA’s Office of Community Care (OCC) claims-processing guidance. Although the contractor cannot be faulted for acting inconsistently with OCC guidance not required in its contract, the resulting inconsistencies mean VA lacks assurances that proper processes were used. VA also did not have an official quality reporting mechanism in place before February 2019.”

The VA-OIG report quoted above discussed how 13% of the claims were handled inappropriately, causing veterans’ problems and delays in processing for providers.  In Albuquerque, NM., I saw this firsthand.  The VA sent me to a community provider; the community provider filed all the proper paperwork and kept gathering more paperwork for the next three years.  Finally, when all the red tape was satisfied, ¾’s of the bills were too old to receive payment.  That provider went bankrupt trying to provide services to veterans because he could not get paid in a timely manner.  I was there for the full and abysmal treatment of this provider by the VA.

Detective 4The designed incompetence is galling and getting worse.  The VBA is the portion of the VA that makes claims decisions.  Recently the VA-OIG investigated the VBA specifically to check consistency to comply with skills certification for compensation and pension claims processors.  The results are a horror story of designed incompetence, failure to do the job, and trainers’ failure to train properly.  Of the 10,800 claims processors required to certify their jobs, 4700 were never tested from 2016-2019.  Of the 2,500 who failed the certification test, 1,900 did not have any repercussions, training plans, identified corrective action, or employer counseling.  Worse, the VBA failed to take any personnel actions on 98% of the population surveyed (10,800).  2018, as in the entire fiscal year of 2018, the certification tests were unavailable due to technical issues on the VBA’s intranet.  Meaning that effectiveness in 2019 to measure and certify was virtually useless!  Does anyone wonder why veterans are refusing to trust the VBA and the VHA?  Is the problem clearer that congressionally elected officials’ failures to scrutinize the government influence the employees’ behaviors for the worst?  How many claims have been improperly decided, wasting taxpayer time and money and the veteran’s time and money since 2016 by failing to certify to fill the roles and duties the American Taxpayer is paying them to fulfill?

Wasting TimeIt is imperative for profound and fundamental organizational change at the Department of Veterans Affairs to begin as soon as practical.  Worse, scratch the surface of any other government agency on the Federal or State level, and the same problems arise.  The same abuse of taxpayers, the same refusal to do the jobs hired to perform, and extensive cultures of inert slugs just punching time and wasting money until they can retire!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Human Rights or Human Obligations

ToolsPlease note: The following is not a philosophical debate, a legal push/pull contest, or even a religious discussion, although philosophy, law, and religion are all aspects of human rights and human obligations.  Here, the intent is to remind, encourage, and challenge individuals to focus less upon human rights laws desired and more on human obligations owed.  When we fight for human obligations, we inherently possess more human rights, liberties, and freedoms.

The famous Russian writer Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is quoted as saying, “It is time… to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.”  The author talked about Freedom’s direction in western society, as decadence has overcome common-sense, where administrative power has reduced individual liberty, and the dual critics of parliament and the press feel warranted to oppress and oppose without restraint and knowledge.  Interestingly, the author’s comments come from 1978, in a graduation address at Harvard.

Andragogy - LEARNHuman Rights

The United Nations has defined human rights as, “Human rights are moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behaviour and are regularly protected in municipal and international law.”  Keep close note upon the use of law when discussing human rights. The human creator has been supplanted by a legal body that uses the law to create offenses where none existed and fight endlessly over minor items when laws are being destroyed daily.  The countries eliminating human rights laws and causing problems at the United Nations are rich in cash and hire lawyers to mistreat the law for personal gain and political points.

Detective 2Lost in the madness over human rights, the lawyers, the judges, the politicians pushing for creating new human rights, and the ever-present media influence is a simple and indisputable fact, morality cannot be legislated, nor can it be adjudicated.  Martin Luther King Jr. is but one person making this distinction throughout human history, “Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.”  The principle of morality remains critical, not to human rights but to human obligations.

Some legal scholar will claim the following is oversimplified, but hear me out.  A pedophile attacks a child, exercising a moral choice; that pedophile is then arrested, convicted, and sent to prison.  The pedophile is heartless and has received punishment for a moral choice but retains the ability to make this same choice again upon completing their prison sentence.  Hence, morals cannot be legislated, but judicial action can restrain the heartless.  A lawyer, and many people in California, may claim that the pedophile is only acting out of “Love” and does not deserve such a harsh sentence because the pedophile’s moral choices are actually the pedophile’s human rights.  Forgetting the victim has the right not to be molested in the first place.  The victim has expectations of human rights not to be stolen through the exercise of the moral choices of the pedophile.

Detective 4Never forget, governments established laws and created human rights, and all government actions are always injurious!  A government never acts altruistically but always with the intent and ability to harm.  Hence, care and concern should be taken when discussing human rights, as the government is legally victimizing someone else to issue another person a “human right.”  Human rights have become disconnected from human responsibilities, morals, and a connection to a creative power greater than man.  By disconnecting human responsibilities and morals from human rights, human rights become a watchword for human control, oppression, and tyranny.  Just like the pedophile in the analogy, to have their human rights acknowledged, the victims of sexual abuse and molestation must be further abused by the government recognizing the perpetrator over the victim.

Human Obligations

Kee (2014) defined “human obligations, in contrast with human rights, are not written, and archived laws, but rather are those duties and responsibilities for which all men across the full expanse of time are obliged to fulfill.”  Keep close note upon the hinge of human obligations, morals, and morality.  Laws do not codify obligations.  Obligations are a personal choice from the options available and the resources provided.  For example, if I have money or resources to help the beggar putting up their petition, I can choose to honor a moral obligation and render aid.  If I have not the resources, I am under no obligation but still, care about those asking for help.

3-direectional-balanceNelson Mandela is quoted as claiming a man (including women) has only two obligations: One obligation is towards his family, parents, wife, and children. The second obligation is his responsibility towards his people, community, and his country.  I would venture there is a third obligation, to one’s god, gods, or God, his religion that supports the moral code selected for making life meaningful, rich, and purpose-filled.  Morality cannot be separated from obligations, and moral codes are those provided by living a religious lifestyle.  Yes; atheism is included in living a religious lifestyle; the separation is that the morals an atheist lives will change based upon who they are, what they study, and who they choose to emulate. At the same time, the morals of other more organized religionists are standardized and generally supported by membership in a community of other believers, where membership in that community of believers is a strong motivational force to act in a specific moral manner and honor moral obligations to maintain membership.

Separate and Not Equal

Essential to understanding, even though the United Nations mixes human rights and human obligations as synonymous, human rights are not human obligations!  While the United Nations does tie human obligations to morals, by equating human rights and human obligations, the United Nations attempts to muddy the conceptual difference and give verity to human rights laws where no verity is possible.

ElectionBecause man creates a government, and the government creates laws, the foundation for human law and, thus, human rights are never grounded in a moral code.  For example, the Old Testament records Moses walked down off a mountain carrying Ten Commandments.  These Ten Commandments formed Judeo-Christian Law for thousands of years and never mentioned human rights.  However, human obligations abound in the Mosaic law as duties we owe to others.  The sixth commandment is all about human obligations to honor our fathers and mothers.  However, human rights laws claim honoring thy father and thy mother is not required under the law.  Hence, human rights are not human obligations; they are separate and not equal actions, nor are the following of these separate pathways going to lead to the same destination.

Remember, laws come with lawyers; lawyers come with the power of manipulating the law for their own benefit, e.g., winning the case for the person who hired them.  Thus, caution should always be remembered when discussing human rights, as a crafty lawyer, the right judge, and the pre-selected case can create lousy case law, and chaos reigns while respecting human rights.

GavelTake any criminal case in the criminal justice system, and one will find that the human rights of the victims are not honored, respected, or even mentioned, but the criminal’s rights are always foremost in the administration of law.  Add in a media whose sole purpose is to sell advertising space to the criminal justice system’s volatile mix. You have a perverted “criminal justice system,” and human obligations to the victims are never discussed.  Take any politically charged legislation, and human rights created by lawyers and politicians are the talking points, not the human obligations, not the morality, and not the interests of Freedom and liberty.

The discussion of human rights and human obligations will continue in these articles as we move forward, but clearly appreciating the line separating human rights from human obligations is the first step to having logical conversations about the cause and effect of legislation, the injuries government have caused, and the continued injustices and moral degradation of democratic societies by people advocating for human rights.  Eleanor Roosevelt is quoted saying, “Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With Freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect [emphasis mine].”

LinkedIn ImageA “Liberty FIRST Culture” must understand these basic principles, the origination of the problems, and the cause-and-effect nature of government action to begin to accept and live the required solutions.  We, the members of democratic societies worldwide, must begin to honor, respect, and live human obligations, not human rights!  We have an obligation to our families, our communities, and our god, gods, or God to live in a manner that respects our obligations owed to each other.  In many cases, I will never meet those who read these words, but I have a moral obligation to speak the truth, discuss the truth, and, if wrong to correct my thinking and writing to respect the truth.  More, I hold a human obligation to allow all to comment freely, without prejudice for my personal bias, opinions, and rights.  This is called respect and responsibility, two words that have not been adequately honored in democratic societies for an exceptionally long time!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: The Statistical Lies – COVID Version

ElectionRecently, the death toll of COVID was advertised as 500,000 dead, per CDC.  Another factoid that slipped under the radar this week, influenza deaths and cases have dropped to zero since COVID-19 government hysteria happened, also per the CDC.  Until 2020 the US could lose between 12,000 to 61,000, globally 290,000 and 650,000 deaths to the annual flu, also per the CDC.  Yet, 2020 has seen zero deaths or influenza cases.  Does something sound suspicious about these statistics?

2019, measles deaths surged with a 50% increase to 207,500.  These statistics come from the WHO.  From the CDC, we find cigarettes kill 480,000 annually in the US alone.  According to the CDC, 3,000 Americans die of foodborne illnesses.  Motor vehicle fatalities kill 1.35 Million people in the world, according to https://www.asirt.org.  According to the CDC, heart disease kills 659,041, cancer 599,601, Diabetes 87,647, yet none of these other deaths receive any of the same attention as COVID.  Why?

Detective 2Why does a virus that forms the common cold, per the CDC, get all this attention, money, and other resources?  What is so special about COVID?  Many have accurately called me heartless, cold, and distant where death is concerned.  I do not share in the emotions, actions, and social heritage where death is concerned, and the traditions surrounding a death are always morbid to me.  Hence, when we talk about death statistics, I focus more on the statistics than on the individuals, families, and communities.  Still, if COVID is a “special circumstance,” are 500,000 deaths really that tragic when we lose more people to cancer and heart disease annually?

Several political representatives filled my email inbox with marketing materials marking the 500,000 deaths to COVID, and I cannot fathom why COVID is getting the attention.  When heart disease and cancer can be fought and won, and with those being fought and won, less would suffer from viral and bacterial infections, like COVID.  Let us open one more topic for discussion where COVID deaths and statistics are concerned, veracity!

VirtueWhat is veracity?

Webster’s dictionary is spot on in their definition, “conformity to fact; accuracy; habitual truthfulness.”  Veracity is the ability to share knowledge without a bias for lies built-in.  Veracity is the key to truthfulness and long-term trust relationships and is one of the first and most glaring absences in dealing with the media, politicians, used-car salespeople, and lawyers; generally, in that order.

Questions?

How can anyone believe the statistics put forth by the CDC when motorcycle accidents where the patient died, but the hospital called the accident “COVID-related?”  There is an axiom worth knowing in computer programming, GIGO (Garbage In equals Garbage Out), which means that you get trash out for results when you put bad data into a data set.  Since February 2020, many have discussed the GIGO properties in the CDC reported deaths where COVID is concerned.  Why should we trust the veracity of CDC data sets?

blue-money-burning-2Shortly after cleaning out the marketing materials hyperventilating over the 500,000th death by COVID.  My email box filled with politicians begging for my support for “The American Rescue Plan” from COVID as being pushed by the fraudulent president and his minions.  Another $1.9 Trillion of “aid” to America, except, America does not have the money, the “Rescue Plan” does not end the government worsened health crisis, and one of the worst bill riders is to raise the American Minimum Wage to $15.00 an hour.  Why should I support legislation that will intentionally worsen the financial health of America?  Why should I support legislation where the government wants to increase the minimum wage, killing private sector employment?  Does anyone need a refresher course on how bad the $15.00 minimum wage has been to Seattle and every other place where it has been made mandatory?

Blue Money BurningWhat else is in “The American Rescue Plan” for goodies, bennies, and pay-offs that make this legislation different from any other legislation to date?  Will America be sending money to African nations to increase sunshine harvesting efforts as a global climate change initiative?  The inanity and asininity in the legislators pushing these “plans” leave me mentally breathless!  In the category of mental breathlessness, why do all these COVID-recovery bills include loan programs?  Why increase personal debt, business debt, and other debt levels, and call this a benefit?  Loans are not a benefit!  Loans are captivity and chaos, not joy and pleasure!

Here is a direct quote from one of the politicians sending marketing materials:

“To end the pandemic and get our nation healthy again, the American Rescue Plan will mount a national vaccination program to establish community vaccination sites nationwide. It will also invest $46 billion to ramp up COVID-19 testing, an initiative that will propel us forward in our fight against the virus, allow us to safely reopen schools, and get us closer to herd immunity.”

Theres more“End the pandemic,” this is a government decision that shut down and mandated to cause chaos in America and end an economic rebound.  Why not merely pass legislation declaring the pandemic over and let people get back to work?

Why are we spending another $46 Billion on testing for the common cold?  Which Big-Pharma has their hands out begging for government goodies while passing bennies back to the politicians pushing the extra funding?  Let us talk about schools reopening; because everywhere I look, the schools are reopened, students are attending class, and there has been no spike in infection rates.  Something discussed over the summer when it was discovered that children largely escaped any harm from COVID but were mentally harmed and became suicidal because of the freedom shattering “health emergency” measures taken by the government, at the behest of the hysterical media.

Detective 3Please, help me understand how a virus, inherent in the common cold, is going to help “herd immunity?”  The common cold continues to kill, regardless of herd immunity.  What exactly is in that “vaccine” that will aid in reducing the common cold?  Worse, catching one of the coronaviruses in the common cold has been found to create immunity to COVID-19 (Sar-COV-2).  Hence, why exactly is COVID-19 being treated as a “pandemic, health emergency?”  Why was a vaccine needed?  What is so “novel” about COVID-19 that every other viral disease does not have or does not create?  Why is COVID-19 being treated like a “pandemic” when measles is worse, is more easily transmitted, and possesses a higher death rate?

SARS has been around since 2002, has a mortality rate of 9.6%; no political hay was made over this viral infection.  MERS has been killing people with a mortality rate of 34.4% since 2012, no pandemic declaration, no health emergency, no massive spending bills.  2019-nCOV has a mortality rate of 2.2%.  Why is COVID-19 being treated like the worst viral disease globally, especially when H5N1 Bird Flu (1997) is still killing 52.8% of the population who catches this viral disease?  Look at the politicians who have come and gone since 1997 and tell me why other reactionary governments did not hyperventilate over their viral infection, but somehow the politicians in 2019 are allowed to overact to COVID-19 violently.

This closing passage from the political hack marketing email for “The American Rescue Plan” has me baffled.

“The hardships of this crisis cannot be overstated. So much has been lost this past year: lives, jobs, financial security, and our ability to embrace one another freely.”

Theres moreThe government created the hardships, increased the losses, ended jobs forever, ruined financial security plans for millions of people, and acted foolishly repeatedly, all while being egged on by Big-Tech, Big-Pharma, and the corporate media.  You, the government, have created a “healthcare emergency,” used your media lapdogs and a 24/7 news cycle to blow up emotional reactions in populations, and I want you to stop the madness!  End the shenanigans forthwith for your actions are atrocious, and I refuse to pay one more penny into this madness you have created from lies and emotional hyperbole!  COVID-19 represents the epitome of why every democratic society needs to reduce the size of government, regain individual rights, and declare the government a fraud!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: STOP the Insanity!!!

DetectiveRobert Spottswood, a member of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, had the following to say about non-native species of lizards and snakes in Florida.

I’m very sensitive to the people in the pet trade and enthusiasts, but this action is a result of invasive species that continue to get into the wild.  These animals are doing lots of damage, and we are incumbent to do something[emphasis mine].

Every bureaucrat who is about to steal liberty and freedom from people uses this excuse, “we are incumbent to do something.”  Frankly, it is past time for the scab to be ripped off this excuse and sunshine disinfectant applied!  When these words are uttered, injuries are about to abound, and the political representative is about to gain personal power through political theft!

Detective 4For the record, I will presume that the entire Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are behaving as “the sons of Mary,” possessing nothing but the best of intentions in their plans are programs.  Yet, I have to ask, who authorized you to “do something?”  Where does your authority to steal people’s livelihoods derive?  Who granted you the power to restrict trade, shutdown commerce, or interrupt individual people’s lives and livelihoods?  Why does “doing something” always include the loss of liberty and freedom in a population when a government entity acts?

I get it; invasive non-native species of animals are a problem.  I detest snakes with a passion and will kill them with prejudice, regardless of the laws when they cross my path.  Not an enthusiastic fan of lizards and would never consider one a “pet.”  But hey, to each their own in a Constitutional Republic, act as a responsible pet owner, and you will never have a problem with me.  But, how did we get from irresponsible owners to restricting trade and curtailing freedom?

Why is “doing something” not including increasing hunts for non-native species of reptiles?  I have seen the enthusiasm for hunting non-native species in the hunters; why not increase the bounty and open the hunt to more people?  Why not look at other means and methods of controlling the non-invasive species than curtailing freedom and destroying commerce?  If we can invent drugs and chemicals to moderate mosquitos, non-natives snakes and reptiles should not be a problem.

The Duty of AmericansWhy are all bureaucratic responses the same, shoot the messenger, kill commerce, and pray nobody figures out what is happening behind the curtain?  The Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) investigated after the death by suicide of a veteran three-days after discharge from a mental health unit in Missouri.  The bureaucrats there had a similar excuse, “we need to do something,” and the actions taken were so subpar, it makes an underground car garage look like the Taj Mahal!  Bureaucrats covered their “doing something,” a veteran died by suicide, a family is bereft and emotionally broken, and all the people behind the incident can say is, “we did something.”  Not the right action, not the standard action, not a correct action; they merely “did something,” and a dead veteran testifies to their ineptitude!

VA SealSpeaking of bureaucrats and the insanity of “doing something.”  Kathleen Noftle, of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, was sentenced to 40 months in prison and three years of supervised release for diverting morphine while she was employed as a nurse in the hospice unit at the Bedford VA Medical Center. In October 2020, Noftle pleaded guilty to tampering with a consumer product and obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, deception, and subterfuge.  The inspectors can claim they “did something,” and a hospice nurse has been convicted of one count of tampering and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, deception, and subterfuge.  Seriously, this is all!  What about her manager, other nurses, and the other VA Leadership who had to have been aware of this problem long before this one nurse was caught and plead guilty for one crime?  Was this a “plea bargain” so the prosecutor can declare they “did something” to curb the abuse of veterans at this hospice unit?

The excuse, “we are incumbent to do something,” is the most ridiculous, haphazard, and detestable excuse any bureaucrat can derive, and it is past time to see this excuse ended forever!  Speaker Pelosi used this excuse to pass legislation, then claimed, “We have to pass it to know what’s in it.”  Lame, tepid, worthless excuses that should never have seen the light of day are being accepted as “work” done on the public’s behalf by elected and unelected officials of the various government levels across America.

LookFor the record, NO; you, the government are not “incumbent to do something!”  You are there to enforce the law equally and leave people alone!  Not create new laws to destroy commerce, create policies that increase suicides, and definitely not make deals with criminals placed in positions of trust as they steal and harm patients in healthcare settings!  You, the government, are exceeding your authority, and the only excuse you can provide is, “we are incumbent to do something,” this is unacceptable!

I have witnessed the abuse of animals; I do not like it, but that is the owner’s problem, and the owner will eventually have to face justice for the mistreatment of animals.  The government is not responsible for policing animals.  I do not have pets; why; because I physically cannot care for their needs.  Thus, I am a responsible pet owner.  The government does not, and should not choose to be, “incumbent to do something.”  The government cannot enforce morality in a population; thus, why are the bureaucrats claiming otherwise as they act to strip liberty, kill people, and destroy the US Constitution?  Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted as saying, “Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.”

LinkedIn ImageA “Liberty FIRST Culture” must recognize the government’s lie; every action the government takes will be injurious to all citizens.  Hence, the only government needed is a small, tightly controlled government that follows the citizens’ rules and strictures!  End the charade, close out the farrago, and stop the insanity of runaway bureaucratic nonsense.  Deny those claiming, “we are incumbent to do something,” the right to dictate and ruin before it is too late, and America is lost.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: The Equality Act – More Questions

moral-valuesEpstein is dead, how remains a closely guarded secret; Weinstein is in prison; both are accused of sexual improprieties, one is convicted.  2017, or thereabouts, California passed legislation that is similar, almost plagiaristic, to the Equality Act recently passed in the US House of Representatives.  Who did the plagiarism is up for grabs and beyond the scope of the article?  However, questions need to be raised regarding the Equality Act’s language in California and DC.  Shortly after the California version of the Equality Act went into effect, pedophilia became a conservation topic.  Eventually, California decreased the penalties of pedophilia, all in the name of “Love.”

By passing SB-145. The bill’s revision would allow pedophiles not to be registered on the sex offender list as long as they are not 10 years older than the minor they were convicted of molesting.  The bill, introduced by Sen. Scott Weiner 18 months ago, relaxes sex offender registry requirements for sodomy and other acts with minors to reportedly end “discrimination against LGBTQ young people on the sex offender registry,” according to Weiner.”

ScalesThese are all facts; worse, these facts all point towards a severe problem, and one I would like to open a discussion about.  I repeat, only for emphasis, I am not judging.  I desire logical, non-emotionally charged discussion on a serious moral topic relevant because some people have refused to exercise control and have allowed their bedrooms into the public arena for inspection and discussion.  Again, I do not care about your preferences and choices, homo- heterosexual makes no difference.  Keep your private life private and the public square free of sexual actions, and I could care less what you do or choose to be; provided, your sexual preferences do not interfere with or harm anyone else’s rights, privacy, and liberties.

Explain Why!

Epstein and Weinstein are in trouble because of their sexual proclivities, one specifically for sex with underage women.  I want to know why Epstein is in trouble, but Kevin Jennings, President Obama’s Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug FreeSchools at the US Department of Education, who promoted NAMBLA (North-American Association for Man-Boy Love Association and the other members of NAMBLA are not in legal trouble?

Pedophilia!

LookThe following is an account of a person and family I am deeply aware of, not a story about me!  A man I know had a wife (20-years of marriage), two beautiful children, was an alcoholic, and from the time he was 12 until he was too old at 18, the local bar owner groomed him for a homosexual relationship as part of his job!  The job benefits included any drugs the boy desired, cigarettes, alcohol, the ability to drive the bar owner’s vehicles, but the work required a lot of overnight specials.  This man spent many years overcoming his demons and the alcoholism that ruined his first marriage, and the alcohol that almost killed him.  Unfortunately, the little town this man originates from had this problem for many years; the fact that young men were being hired and groomed for male-to-male sexual relations was an open secret in the town.  No help ever came to this man or any others before or after.

Of all the crimes that people perpetrate against children, pedophilia is an absolute abomination deserving of the harshest methods of mechanical castration the human mind can invent!  I stand by this claim and will not move because the LGBTQ+ crowd wants to call it “Love.”  Pedophilia is not about “Love;” it is Lust, Greed, and Sexual Desire perpetrated upon innocents and must cease!

GavelYet, the passing of the California Equality Act and the penal code changes where pedophiles are concerned was considered a natural evolution in correcting abuse of a targeted and misunderstood population.  How can pedophiles posing as homosexual predators of young children be considered a “misunderstood population?”  Sexual relationships between a man over the legal age of majority (18) and a child under the age of legal majority is a crime.  Why is the same standard not set and applied to those who groom young men or young women for homosexual intercourse treated equally?

Any teacher in a school Male/Female sleeps with underage students of the opposite sex is a crime.  Absolutely!  Not reporting these relationships to the proper authorities is a crime.  But, Kevin Jennings was told about a homosexual relationship between a student with concerns and a grown man, and not only was he not punished for not reporting this relationship, but he has also been heralded, shielded, and praised.  Homosexual relationships between grown men and young boys, grown women and young girls, are still pedophilia, and not criminalizing this population is a double-standard.  Why the disparate treatment under the law?

Are we aware of how big the problem is?

Detective 2Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted as saying, “Morality cannot be legislated, but behavior can be regulated. Judicial decrees may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless.”  The LGBTQ+ communities have a group called Gay Lesbian Sex Education Network founded by Kevin Jennings.  My research makes me shudder to think about what is being taught in K-12 Education instead of Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.  While a substitute teacher in an English class, the department head thought it completely acceptable to bring in literature that contained graphic and pornographic reading materials for sophomore, junior, and senior high school reading.  His excuse, “I just want to know the students are reading books.”  Seriously, real events, real people, and actual reasons, and I remain horrified at what was offered as literature for reading.  The books were provided to the school free of charge by GLSEN in partnership with NGOs on fighting illiteracy and national associations for reading.  It kind of makes you wonder where your tax dollars are going and why America’s students are functionally illiterate.

I am a strong advocate for improving literacy, empowering liberty and freedom through a more literate population, and growing a generation of children into responsible and knowledgeable adults.  Until that child reaches the legal age of majority (18), that child cannot, and should not, be exposed to materials that the parents find disturbing, immoral, and relationships that take advantage of their youth and naivety.  Yet, this is precisely what is occurring in public schools across America, and I remain highly concerned.

Detective 4In the Old Testament, Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” is a double-edged sword, akin to Damocles’ sword, and the consequences for training a child wrong means their life is ruined!  My friend, who was abused as part of his job, had his innocence and childhood stolen.  I talked to high school students who have been victims of predatory homosexuals; they are scared, they are being abused, but they feel stuck because of the double-standard in the law.  In my graduating class, a young woman and a young man had been molested in homosexual relationships; one tried committing suicide, the other fought depression and anxiety.  Neither one has been able to conquer these crimes from their childhood.

Worse, I have stories of predatory homosexual youths who prey on their classmates, and since the relationship is homosexual and between minors, there are no legal protections.  In one story, the nurse who was informed of the older classmate’s predatory nature offered tips on safer homosexual sex and sent the confused and hurt student back to class.  Who speaks to the depravity that has been injected into K-12 schools?  Who speaks for the victims who got into a sexual relationship and discovered they weren’t ready or did not want that type of relationship?  If the relationship was heterosexual, there are help groups, laws, and forces arrayed to help.  Why not for homosexual encounters?

kpiWhy was the Equality Act fast-tracked, and what will be the outcome where pedophiles and predatory humans are concerned?  The LGBTQ+ community is always talking about equality; where is equality for the victims from homosexual predators?  I want answers.  What I am witnessing is not my America, and I want to know why double-standards have been intentionally written into law to protect predators and not victims.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: – Let us Open a Dialogue – The Gender Choices

Social Justice Warrior 2The elected clowns have filled my email inbox with all sorts of marketing emails regarding “The Equality Act.”  The Equality Act remedies these disparities by amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, education, housing, credit, jury service, public accommodations, and federal funding.  The following are not examples of closed-mindedness, nor am I passing judgment; honest questions, attempting to understand a social issue that makes no sense to me personally, creating too much emotional hyperbole in society.

Why do we need the “Equality Act?”

The US Constitution claims all men are created equal; America has had to amend to include women in this claim because of bigots stuck in the fourth century AD.  But, there are sufficient laws on the books covering the need to treat everyone regardless of sex, religion, handicap, etc., equally.  Why do we specifically need a law to cover personal bedroom and gender choices that should never be discussed anyway?  I do not care about your gender choices, nor do I want to hear about your bedroom activities, homo- or heterosexual choices.  These are your choices, the consequences are yours to enjoy, and frankly, I could care less.  Just keep your preferences private and leave me out of your choices.  If you already have equality under the law as written in the US Constitution and other existing laws, why are we creating new laws?

Respect for self and modesty in public – What happened?

ModestyThe one relationship I have had where I did not respect my partner to keep my bedroom choices in my bedroom and not in public, I have regretted it, and apologies never made right my loss of control.  I learned harsh lessons about respect and caring about the other person; more, I learned about respecting society to allow social behavior to not interfere with my partner and me.

RememberModesty in public is more than hemlines, it is an attitude of respect for others, and it is a desire to not inflict upon another that which they do not want to witness.  Yet, every day, a person is assaulted in public by behaviors and activities that belong at home, or more specifically in a bedroom.  Since the LGBTQ+ crowd seems to have lost their minds the most with respect for their partner/s and the public square, I must ask, why do you disrespect yourselves and your partner/s so much as to take your bedroom into public?  Not letting the heterosexual crowd off the hook, the last couple of movie theaters visited had severe problems with respect and modesty in public.

When I asked why they could not control themselves, I was told not to watch.  As the couple engaging was sitting directly in front of me, it was hard to miss the spectacle.  I went to see a G-rated animated movie and was forced to watch the film with XXX-rated material provided by the couple.  It is not enjoyable, not acceptable, and not respectful for either the couple or the other theatergoers or the public in general.  Yet, the behavior in the last “Gay Pride Parade” was exponentially worse, and I could not watch the news, go in public, or go anywhere without being assaulted by the images of disrespect and the shunning of modesty for the public spectacles of bad decisions and poor behavior.

moral-valuesThus, I ask, what happened to respect for oneself, their partner, and the public in presenting modest behavior in public and controlling one’s behavior until they returned home?  What happened to respect for the public square and standards for conduct in public?  It is not too much to ask a person to control themselves and respect their partner/s in public!

Elected Officials – Are all the other issues in America Resolved?

Do we have a balanced budget, making payments on the debt, and resolving all other issues that made passing the “Equality Act” of paramount importance?  You waste my time and yours by focusing upon the minutia when the 800#-Gorilla of debt and financial instability remains a glaring problem.  The COVID crisis created by government hyperventilating remains a time-sensitive issue; did I miss the memo where this had been resolved, and people can return to business as usual?  What about illegal immigration?  Has the southern wall been built, old laws culled, and the problem resolved so American’s can go back to work in America, the welfare rolls reduced of illegal-aliens, and security can be found in American cities?

Theres moreWhy was the “Equality Act” fast-tracked into Congressional business when so many other issues remain outstanding?  You, the elected representatives in the legislative branch, have two jobs, write common-sense laws that help everyone, and scrutinize the government.  How is that scrutinization of government going?  Have all the problems with out-of-control bureaucrats been resolved?  Can veterans receive respect and dignity from the VA?  What about the IRS, are their employees all paying their taxes now?  What about all the other government departments?  How are they operating?  Have all their unfunded liabilities been collected and a plan put into place to pay them off?

Pride – Which definition?  Why?

The marketing materials speak of pride in accomplishing the passing of the “Equality Act.”  Really?!?!?  Pride?!?!  What was accomplished?  What good is being provided to all Americans?  Where is the value of this legislation?

Pride 2Pride has several definitions, the first being, according to Webster, Noun – “a feeling of deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.”  The second, “consciousness of one’s dignity.”  The third, “confidence and self-respect as expressed by members of a group, typically one that has been socially marginalized, based on their shared identity, culture, and experience.”

Pride is defined as “being especially proud of (a particular quality or skill)” when used as a verb.  In older dictionaries, the definition of pride also included the following, “enmity.”  Enmity is defined as “the state or feeling of being actively opposed or hostile to someone or something.”  Feel free to comment, but this definition of pride appears to be more applicable to the “Equality Act” than any other definition.  The hostility of the elected representatives towards the American people appears to ooze from every email marketing this “great achievement.”  The hostility and active opposition to performing the roles we elected you to fill is glaring and very much not appreciated!

Detective 3Enmity remains a synonymous for pride for a reason.  Pride is always competitive in nature, where the person possessing pride claims they are better than everyone else, and all must bow and worship the owner of pride.  Well, I have removed my consent to be governed by you!  Pride is always short-tempered, unkind, envious, and hostile.  Hence, I wonder why you choose to feel pride over passing the “Equality Act.”  Did you read the act before voting?  How many elected supporters got their palms greased, and their special interests paid for with the public’s money to pass the “Equality Act?”

A “Liberty FIRST Culture” recognizes the sham and will not allow you to continue to abuse the American Public for much longer!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Responsibility

LookDale Renlund made a powerful point:

“… Blaming others, even if justified, allows us to excuse our behavior.  By so doing, we shift responsibility for our actions to others.  When the responsibility is shifted, we diminish both the need and our ability to act.  We turn ourselves into hapless victims rather than agents capable of independent action.”

Consider this statement with me as we observe and review recent events in America and the world.

  1. The Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) reviewed the administration of spina bifida benefits for children born to Vietnam veterans, found internal communication and data sharing were the root cause of administering the benefits program incorrectly. The Department of Veterans Affairs – Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) blamed each other for administration failure.  Applying Renlund’s point, we find that blaming each other equally provided the excuse for neither bureaucratic administration to accept responsibility.  Blocking movement towards action in correcting the problem, and ultimately the victims will continue to be children born of Vietnam veterans who deserve better and cannot cut the red tape to reach help desperately needed.  Worse, the blaming has turned the VBA and VHA from independent administrations into victims who deserve pity, instead of a boot kicking for their customers’ abuse!
  2. The VA-OIG, in another inspection, found COVID to be the root cause for shortages and outages of personal protective equipment (PPE). Except none of the 42 facilities surveyed ran out of anything.  Stocks dipped low, but outages of supply never occurred.  The blame for the low stock was also found on data and lack of reporting data correctly.  While people were praised for acting to “shift supplies, create new processes, and order supplies promptly,” the people could not be blamed for the low stock levels and were made into victims of COVID and data mismanagement.

Detective 4Please allow me a brief public service announcement: in business, one finds Juran’s Rule.  Juran’s Rule states that when there is a problem, 80-90% of the time, the processes are blamed, not the people.  The processes, or the written (supposedly) directions to perform a task, are so convoluted in government that Juran’s Rule could slide into 98% of the problem and still not run out of process convolution before people can be blamed.  Yet, the leadership of the VBA, VHA, and every other government agency refuse to look at the processes and eliminate, change, correct or even take action to review the processes.

Thus, Renlund’s point steals potential from people, as people become hapless victims to processes and procedures, instead of the commander of their duties and roles as hired.  The shift of responsibility from people to processes is the danger found in Juran’s Rule, not the truth in Juran’s Rule.  Thus, action to correct is diminished because responsibility has been shifted from leaders to the processes they are already responsible for monitoring.  Hence, when I see the VA-OIG allowing data or business processes to be blamed for the failure of people to act, according to the roles they have been hired to fill, I doubt the ability to fix the right problem.

  1. Using Renlund’s point, here is a typical VA-OIG inspection summary. See if you can spot the responsibility shifting, the inaction, and the problems.
      • The Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) examined whether the VHA had effective procedures for (1) purchasing, (2) inventorying, and (3) tracking biologic implants such as skin substitutes and corneal or dental implants. The VA-OIG found deficiencies in all three areas at four medical facilities it visited. The audit team determined that purchasing agents did not always record implant purchases correctly or use the appropriate funds. The purchasing agents did not register 2,931 of 10,305 purchased biologic implants in the proper system [emphasis mine]. Instead, agents documented the implants in various local spreadsheets, databases, and third-party systems. Purchasing agents improperly used logistics funds instead of prosthetic funds, making it difficult for VHA to account for biologic implant spending fully and effectively budget or use funds for other purposes. Due to inadequate guidance, the OIG found that the facilities visited had an inaccurate inventory of biologic implants, did not use a standardized system, and did not consistently review stock on hand. The staff could not locate 714 biologic implants in inventory at the four facilities visited, valued at almost $1.1 million [emphasis mine]. The audit team also found 288 additional unrecorded items, valued at nearly $433,000, in storage locations [emphasis mine]. Poor inventory management can jeopardize prompt care, as medical providers may need to delay or cancel procedures if implants are unavailable. The facilities visited failed to track at least 45 percent of implants reported as used from October 2017 through March 2019 [emphasis mine]. VHA did not designate responsibility for overseeing tracking, develop a national policy on how facilities should track biologic implants, or have a standard tracking system that meets accreditation requirements. Effective tracking is needed for facilities to notify veterans if the manufacturers recall their implants.
      • Are the problems of shifting responsibility and the magnitude of the problem more understandable? Feel free to use the comments to discuss this example.LinkedIn VA Image
  2. In the final example, we find another common problem at the VHA, the refusal to alert patients promptly about test results, with the same worn out and tired excuses, time, and refusal to employ and document according to standards. People did not do their jobs, and it took “several concerned members of Congress” to initiate a VA-OIG investigation to certify there was a problem. Still, the solution by the VA-OIG remains tepid at best!  Leading to questions for Congress to allow these problems to thrive and advance the issues that VHA hospital leadership intentionally designs incompetence into their processes and procedures, then dares the patients seeking care to find a solution to force the administration to do their jobs.  Irony strikes again in the VA-OIG reports; the same issue was investigated and reported with the same “recommendations” almost every month throughout the last two-years.  Why aren’t the VHA local leaders being held accountable by their VISN leadership teams for failure to act to fix their problems proactively?

DetectiveToo often, the pattern at the VA, is exemplified in every other government agency for the keen observer to witness; act in a manner unacceptable, hide behind broken processes intentionally designed to hide purposefully designed incompetence, and escape responsibility but retain their jobs into retirement.  Essentially, the leaders of government agencies have employed the pattern discussed by Renlund for personal gain at the expense of the frustrated taxpayer.

When responsibility has been dodged, the answer is not to allow retirement, but to demand correction, holding people accountable, and set performance standards that include penalties for failure.  Training will have to occur, but cannot happen until written directives, policies, and procedures appear, that form the standard for employees’ behavior not responsible for the designed incompetence created by leadership.

In a “Liberty First Culture,” the adults looking to demand change take the pattern offered by Renlund and recognize the behavioral issues that will need correcting.

“… Blaming others, even if justified, allows us to excuse our behavior.  By so doing, we shift responsibility for our actions to others.  When the responsibility is shifted, we diminish both the need and our ability to act.  We turn ourselves into hapless victims rather than agents capable of independent action.”

Gadsden FlagAmericans [A(h)-ME-I-CAN] are not hapless victims; we stare responsibility in the eye, accepting the responsibility, and choose to act in a manner that shows we have learned the lessons and are prepared to improve.  The time to correct the government that represents us is Right Now!  We must act, recognize the designers of incompetence for the traitors they are, and remove them from employment in government, promptly!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

VISN 22 – The Bureaucrats Operationally Living as Petty Tyrants

Survived the VA23 February 2021:  UPS delivered a letter package containing a single sheet of paper from Dr. Karen MacKichan MD, auto signed, and dated 09 February 2021.  Declaring that the Phoenix VA is absolutely correct in behaving as petty tyrants and denying me medical care, illegally sharing and knowing my HIPAA information with VA Police Officers, breaking EMTALA, and treating me to injuries, all because I cannot safely wear a mask.  My only infraction at the Phoenix VA is not to wear a mask.  Yet, this is considered a “behavioral problem,” and I am wrong for behaving in a manner that insists that my safety comes first!

From June 2020 to date, the charge has been, “Wear a mask or a face shield to receive service in the VA.”  Then, I got arrested while wearing a face shield and told my failure to wear a mask is “disruptive behavior.”  Seriously, not wearing a mask somehow disrupts the entire hospital and keeps it from running efficiently.  Refusing to believe the letter my VA provided Primary Care Provider wrote (August 2020) for my employer regarding my inability to breathe while wearing a mask.  The VA Police have continued to escalate situations to reflect “disruptive behavior patterns.”  Yet, I am the one punished, and I am the one injured; I am the one being denied care.

Literary FiendWhat are petty tyrants?

James Abyad quoted the Urban Dictionary for the definition of petty, which exactly expresses the sentiment of petty.  Urban Dictionary defines petty as “making things, events, or actions normal people dismiss as trivial or insignificant into excuses to be upset, uncooperative, childish, or stubborn.”  It further defines it as “a person who is purposefully childish with the intent of eliciting a reaction,” or “someone who does something in an attempt to hurt another person but makes themselves look stupid.”  Tyrant is a cruel and oppressive ruler, per Webster.  Hence, a Petty Tyrant is a childish, insignificant, oppressive ruler.

Well, Dr. MacKichan, Deputy Chief Medical Officer VISN 22, 300 Oceangate, Suite 700, Long Beach, California, 90802, you are incorrect!  I have followed all written VA directives. Do not assume that it is my fault the Phoenix VAMC leadership cannot write down a COVID Mask Directive and operational policy that supports all veteran health contingencies.  Then train the staff coherently upon written guidelines and directives, and engage in an honest and forthright manner with veterans seeking care.  Where are the written directives governing COVID Mask Wearing?  You claimed to have reviewed all the information; I have asked for these documents and been pointed to a sign.

VA SealOn the topic of written directives, written operational policies, written patient guidelines, and written job descriptions and duties, let’s talk about how the VA Police can injure people and not be held accountable!  The VA Police attacked me on 07 December 2020, violently pushed, then spun into a wall.  My C-and L-Spines did not move, and my T-Spine turned; I dropped like a rock sustaining spinal injuries, knee injuries, and got cut on my right hand and arm.  Worse, being handcuffed with my arms behind my back caused bruised wrists that were jerked by more VA Police officers on 10 December when I sought medical attention.  I am an 80% disabled person with mobility issues, yet your letter claims all the action of the Phoenix VAMC was in accordance with written policies, guidelines, and directives.  Well, I possess a Missouri mindset, “Show ME!”  Show me the written and published policies, guidelines, and procedures that allow VA Police Officers to physically assault patients!  Show me the written and published policies, guidelines, and procedures that allow me to be refused treatment.  Prove through written and accessible documents how the decision for this hodgepodge of ineptitude can label me a “behavioral issue” when my only discretion is not physically and safely wearing a mask!

The Duty of AmericansYou claim to have reviewed the actions of the police officers who routinely have medically protected HIPAA information about people being arrested, joke about this information, act in a manner that brings shame to all Federal Police Officers.  What happens to these unprofessional officers and their despicable commander?  When do my rights to have my HIPAA-protected information withheld from parties who do not need this information?  When do all the other veterans being served and not being served by the Phoenix VAMC become protected under HIPAA?  I am not the only veteran being refused service, denied care, and abused and injured by the VA Police for not wearing a mask, while also not being a “behavioral issue.”

Since your letter proclaims loudly that your review was thorough, independent, and comprehensive, and as the VISN 22 Chief Medical Officer, surely you cannot condone illegal activities being masked by calling a patient a “behavioral issue.”  The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA; 1986), a federal law, requires anyone coming to an emergency department to be stabilized and treated, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay.  EMTALA was regularly abused at the Albuquerque VAMC, and I reported this issue multiple times. EMTALA’s abuse and illegal activity at the Phoenix, VA Medical Center are worse, and I have reported this issue multiple times.  Twice I have followed my primary care provider’s instructions to report to the VA ER for treatment, and twice I have been refused service.  Thus, what is to be done to correct this obvious deficiency in VISN 22 treatment of veterans, service members, and dependents by VISN 22 emergency medical care providers and the staff, including the VA Police, who should have no influence upon care being received or who should receive care?

Theres moreYour letter discusses “the most effective manner to have the behavioral flag lifted” as “checking-in with the VA Phoenix Police.”  Do you know what that entails?  Did your “thorough, comprehensive, and independent” investigation uncover what happens at this “check-in?”  I was told clearly what happens; I will be evaluated for wearing a mask, found not wearing a mask, arrested, cited, and denied service for not wearing a mask.  Then, I will have a black mark on my behavioral flag record for disorderly conduct!  I am not disorderly in my behavior because I cannot safely wear a mask!  What part of this do you, as a medical doctor, fail to comprehend?

I had my gallbladder removed in a Phoenix hospital (Sept 2020), never had a problem not wearing a mask.  I have had MRIs completed (Aug 2020), never had to wear a mask.  I have been seen three times in an emergency room and never had to wear a mask (Jun 2020, Sept 2020, Jan 2021).  The only medical service provider demanding through compulsion and fear that I wear a mask, which would place my health at risk, is the Phoenix VAMC.  Yet, you as a medical doctor cannot understand this issue, the problems with unwritten policies and directives, leadership failures to train staff properly, and you allow petty authoritarians wearing VA Police Badges to enforce a reign of terror at the VAMC in Phoenix.  Hence, you are part of the problem in failed leadership, poor management, and detestable petty authoritarianism!

InertiaI always interact with the staff at VAMC’s, even when they are wrong, in a respectful manner, knowing that the problems of dumb policies, time-wasting procedures, and bureaucratic inertia are the fault of the leaders hiding in their offices and cubicles.  I have been interacting with the VAMC’s across America, and the inept staff, since I left the service in 2004!  Never having a problem, never having an issue, and never getting injured by or even interacting with VA Police.  This all changed in June 2020.  The VAMC refused to write down a comprehensive directive for COVID Patient Mask Wearing.  I get blamed for following the unwritten policy and directives, then falsely accused of being “disorderly” in my behavior, then falsely accused, again, for being a “behavioral issue!”  I am not in the wrong here!  I am not a “behavior issue!”  I am not disrupting hospital operations, placing other patients at risk, or being violent!  Where are my rights in this farrago and railroading scheme?

Image - Eagle & FlagYour boilerplate response indicates this issue has reached the final point.  I beg to differ!  I will have my name cleared of these false charges.  I will not be blamed for the ineptitude of the leadership at the Phoenix VAMC and VISN 22!  I will not be silent and meek in the corner because you cannot tell the difference between standing for one’s rights against tyranny and compulsion and oppression through bureaucratic fiat!  I have done nothing worthy of these fallacious claims, false accusations, and the Phoenix VAMC and VISN 22 will admit this publicly when I am done cleaning my name of the scum you have thrown upon it!  Make no mistake; I am not angry, but I will have my rights restored, my name clear, and satisfaction from the injuries and treatment I have been made to suffer!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Audemus Jura Nostra Defendere

GI JoeThe Alabama state motto is “Audemus jura nostra defendere,” – which translates to“We Dare to Defend our Rights” or “We Dare to Maintain our Rights.”  Do we?  Do we dare to defend our rights?  Honest question, I know my answer, and I answer this question with a resoundingly positive and affirmative YES!  How do you answer this question; do you dare to maintain or defend your rights?

Over the weekend, a news article caught my attention.  First-class and Business-class passengers on a flight can remove their face masks in-flight.  Seriously, a person’s financial standing can determine their liberty in being maskless.  How do you consider COVID “health mandates” now?  Does the fact that a person’s wealth determines their health and freedom cause you to determine your answer to Alabama’s State Motto differently?

Let’s be clear, COVID-19 is a virus, like Measles, Mumps, Chicken Pox, etc., and frankly, COVID-19 is not 1/3 as dangerous or deadly as measles and exists naturally in the common cold.  These are all basic facts, and the human-animal has been fighting the common cold, viral, and bacterial infections throughout its entire history.  Yet, COVID-19, and all its variants, have been allowed to capture a hysterical government and media response to equal no other viral disease outbreak in history.  In light of Alabama’s State Motto, how do you answer the question posed?  Does your answer shift where COVID is concerned?  Why?

ArizonaHere in Phoenix, AZ., I had Denny’s Restaurant refuse me service for not wearing a mask.  When I walked in, the entire customer base was without a mask.  The manager refusing service claimed it was his right to refuse service.  Except, wasn’t this the same excuse used by that bankrupted baker in Colorado and others, and the law demanded the small business owners were in the wrong?  These small business owners held the intellectual property rights to their products and services.  The Denny’s Manager does not even have that much.  Do we dare to maintain our rights?  Do we dare to defend our rights?

No; I am not in any way, shape, or form condoning violence in the maintenance or defense of our rights.  I am asking you, what are you willing to do to ensure the rights and liberties you have enjoyed are available for your grandchildren.  I advocate smarter and more intelligent action to seize our rights and liberties from the petty tyrants who have designed a method for stealing our remaining liberties and freedoms.

What and Who are these petty tyrants?

LookJames Abyad quoted the Urban Dictionary for the definition of petty, which exactly expresses the sentiment of petty.  Urban Dictionary defines petty as “making things, events, or actions normal people dismiss as trivial or insignificant into excuses to be upset, uncooperative, childish, or stubborn.”  It further defines it as “a person who is purposefully childish with the intent of eliciting a reaction,” or “someone who does something in an attempt to hurt another person but makes themselves look stupid.”  Tyrant is a cruel and oppressive ruler, per Webster.  Hence, a Petty Tyrant is a childish, insignificant, oppressive ruler.

The manager at Denny’s Restaurant is one.  The fraudulent president is one.  A lot of the current political class, whatever that means, fits in this category.  America does not believe in classes of people, and I refuse to support a lie fed to the people by the media, placing the corporate media voices into the same category as petty tyrants needing to be refused a future.  What about the police officer who makes up laws to hinder and thwart; no, this does not paint all police officers as petty tyrants.

The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints reveres as scripture a book called “The Doctrine and Covenants.”  Doctrine and Covenants 121:39 states, “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.”  Petty tyranny is “unrighteous dominion.”  I, for one, am fed up with facing people drunk on the power they assume (suppose) and then use that power to afflict and torment others!  Do we dare to defend our rights from petty tyrants?  Do we dare to maintain our rights in the face of petty tyranny?

Duty 3Do we dare to stand up for someone else’s rights, knowing that if another’s rights are removed today, tomorrow the tyrants will come for us?  A manager at a Wildflower Bakery, also here in Phoenix, AZ.  One of my favorite places to eat spent 15-minutes venting her spleen at me for having the nerve not to wear a mask, not wear a mask in public, refusing to wear a mask in her store, and not using curbside delivery as designed in the app to order food.  Except, curbside delivery was broken in the app that day, I could not explain I have a medical condition that prevents my safe wearing of masks, and I just wanted to get my food and leave.  Her employees stood by in shame, hung their heads, and witnessed this abuse of my rights in utter silence!

I have been arrested three times by the VA Federal Police for having the gall to seek medical attention at a VA Medical Center while not wearing a mask.  I have been injured three times while being arrested.  The hit list of illegal, immoral, and unethical treatment is long, but the worst part is the silence of those witnessing this charade.  Do we dare to defend our rights?  Do we dare to maintain our rights?  Will we help others in their defense and maintenance of their rights?

Doctrine and Covenants 121:37 “… when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved;…”

Does my suggestion for honoring Proclamation 97, as President Abraham Lincoln issued, make a little more sense now?  The petty tyrants have acted to cover their sins, gratify their pride, massage their vain ambitions, and exercise control and dominion through compulsion upon every person they can.  COVID-SILLINESS has brought out the very worst in petty tyrants and silenced many who previously would have spoken up.  We need divine help.  We also need to reopen ourselves to the maintenance and defense of freedoms and rights wherever the opportunity presents.

Image - Eagle & FlagLet us be Americans [A(h)-ME-I-CAN] in word and deed, living and uniting to maintain and defend our rights and freedoms!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: State Motto’s

Life ValuedHaving traveled across the 48 continental United States and having researched Alaska and Hawaii heavily, I have realized several things about the people who live in the various states.  Pick your state, tell me if you agree or disagree in the comments.

  • Alabama – “Audemus jura nostra defendere” – “We dare to defend our rights,” also translated as “We Dare to Maintain our Rights.” Both translations are observable in the long-term residents.  Alabama’s state motto’s audacity is one to be proud of, to follow, and the people and the musical group represent this motto perfectly.  While I have many more miles to enjoy in Alabama, keep up the good work in living this motto.
  • Alaska – “North to the Future.” – The people of Alaska always seem to possess a fire of hope in their souls, and moving North to the future is a big reason for this hopefulness. Long have I desired to travel your highways and byways.  Keep up the great work!
  • Arizona – “Ditat Deus” – Translated to “Enriched by God” or more popularly “God Enriches.” Maybe it’s the sunshine, perhaps it’s the heat, but Arizonans in the major cities seem to have neglected their state motto, and hopelessness is breeding.  I have observed a mixed bag in the smaller towns where the state motto and hope appear to cross.  I tend to think it’s time to return to the roots that made this state great, “Ditat Deus!”
  • Arkansas – “Regnat populus” – Translates to “The People Rule!” Traveling through Arkansas, especially the smaller towns and cities, you see this principle in action.  I love watching “The People Rule!”  Keep up the great work.  Your strength is needed right now!
  • California – “Eureka” – Translates from Greek, not Latin, into, “I have found it!” The saying traces its origin to the gold mines that started the state.  When I traveled the coastal highway, I thought, “How did the Californians lose what they found?”  Then I traveled a few back roads and visited mountain towns, and found the state’s soul is not found along the coastal highway.  How grateful I was to see this occur.  California, especially those along the coast, needs to correct your behavior, attitudes, and positions.  For California is on the brink of destruction, suicide committed by those who have ruled you.
  • Colorado – “Nil sine numine” – Translates to “Nothing without Providence” or “Nothing without the Deity.” To all travelers to Colorado, Colorado is not Denver!  Denver is not a good, true, or even just representation of the state’s inhabitants.  Denver is a cesspool, and the rest of the state is incredible!  Why has this been allowed to occur?  Denver, why are you absent from the rest of the state?  Where is the leadership the rest of the state deserves and requires?  Frankly, Denver, you disgust me!
  • Connecticut – “Qui transtulit sustinet” – Translates to “He who transplanted sustains.” Connecticut, what happened?  Where did hope that sustained your forefathers disappear to?  Why?  I visited Connecticut two different times, and both times the population seemed to have shrunk in hope and faith, leaving a bitter people.  No judgment intended, simple observations if I am wrong, please let me know.  I miss the hope that was embedded in your state!
  • Delaware – “Liberty and Independence” – What happened? Why did your state sell itself and lose both liberty and independence?  Your state was the rallying call, but where is this rallying call now?  Where are liberty and independence in Delaware?  Doesn’t it seem weird to you that your state was founded upon liberty and independence but has grown into bondage and dependence?
  • Florida – “In GOD we Trust” – I know some of the stories for Florida changing. The import of so many different political views as people aged tore the roots out of your state, like the lost orange orchards, and the empty shell is full of bitterness and poison.  I know several of your political figures have been directly responsible for your demise.  Floridians, do you still believe?  Floridians, what are you willing to do to reverse course on the demise of your fair state?
  • Georgia – “Wisdom, Justice, Moderation” – Values to live by; values to honor; and for the most part, what I have seen of Georgia lives these principles. May you continue to strive and understand the power of this motto!
  • Hawaii – “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ‘Āina i ka Pono” – Hawaiian Translates to, “The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.” I fully admit I have not had the opportunity to travel and meet the people of Hawaii.  From what I read in your newspapers, online news, and the politicians who call your state home, I deduce some significant problems and the existence of a disconnect between reality and the state motto.  I have met some great Hawaiians who have left the island for various reasons; again, no judgment, just concern for the loss and wonder about where your state goes from here.
  • Idaho – “Esto perpetua” – Translates from Latin into “Let it be perpetual.”  There is lots of good happening in Idaho, lots of change due to Californians’ movement into the smaller towns, and frankly, I worry about Idaho’s future.  So much good, so many good people, but so much change.  Fundamental, foundational, and honestly, some of the towns I have visited are unrecognizable from just a few years ago.  Change is perpetual; change is good; please remember who you are; I would hate to see Idaho lose itself and become Connecticut, or worse.
  • Illinois – “State sovereignty, National union” – I know when this motto was lost. I know the historical moment when Illinois lost its soul.  What I do not know is when the residents of Illinois will fight to get their souls back!  Illinois, you have so much potential, but the criminals and politicians, mobsters, and mafia continue to abuse you, which is unfair to you and the nation.  Illinois, I would see you regain your potential that has been stolen and squandered; as citizens of your state, what are you willing to do to fix the problems?
  • Indiana – “The crossroads of America” – Indiana, thank you for being the crossroads of America! I love the vibrancy of your state, the constant change, the beauty of your people is extraordinary.  The hope that comes from being at the crossroads infuses every moment of every decision, which is fun to observe.  Keep up the great work!
  • Iowa – “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.” – Let me tell you a secret; Iowa, I love how your State, cities, towns, and people work together. Honest, forthright, dependable, and outstanding people.  Thank you for the goodness that comes from your people and supports the good throughout America and the world.  Keep your motto firmly planted in your hearts, and your state will continue to be unique and revered across the globe!
  • Kansas – “Ad astra per aspera” – Translates from Latin as, “To the stars through difficulties.” From all I have observed, the hope grown through this motto’s realization makes strong people stronger!  I know the jokes and stories about how flat your state is, how pancakes have more geographical change than your highways, but I also know your people and praise them for their goodness.  Keep up the great work, remember your motto, and live your motto, and nothing can harm you!
  • Kentucky – Originally, “United we stand, divided we fall.” I have only known your state with this motto.  2002 brought a new motto, and I have not observed your state since.  “Deo gratiam habeamus” a Latin translation of “Let us be grateful to God.”  I wish you and your people the best.  While I like the new motto, the unity I saw in your people under the old motto was something to be respected!
  • Louisiana – “Union, justice, confidence” – Feel free to disagree and correct me, but what I have seen, parts of the state live this motto and produce incredible people. Then we have New Orleans, and I have to wonder why the disarticulation?  Please explain why Louisiana always feels disjointed, disconnected, and discombobulated, where the rest of the state is one way, but New Orleans is so different?
  • Maine – “Dirigo” – “I Direct.” Maine, I have seen you from coast to coast, from stem to stern, and many places in between.  I know your farmers and your fishers; I am a product of Belfast, graduating in Camden-Rockport, have family across the entire state, and friends where I do not have family.  Please forgive the military axiom, “Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot?”  Your state has been bankrupted twice!  You have such incredible potential, so many hardy and good people, but you elect the worst to represent you and destroy your potential.  WHY?  Of all 50-states, your economics are in a worse mess than California, and the only reason is the politicians elected to represent you!  I weep for the loss, the waste, the poverty, and the bloody madness that sees you repeating Einstein’s definition of insanity ad nauseam ad infinitum.
  • Maryland – The State with the most mottos and one of the more lost and listless states in America. “Fatti maschi, parole femmine / Scuto bonae voluntatis coronasti nos / crescite et multiplicamini” – From Italian, the first translates as “Strong deeds, gentle words.” From Latin, the second translates as “By the shield of your goodwill you have crowned us.”  Also, from Latin, the third translates as “Grow and multiply.”  Great motto’s, one and all, but how do you stand to exist so listlessly?  I know, Washington, DC infects your state worse than any other, and this abuse is hard to bear.  I also know the crabbers, farmers, and other people in your state would love to grow and prosper.  You can be so much better; would you please begin to live your state motto’s?
  • Massachusetts – “Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem” – Translated as, “By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.” Boston used to live this motto and was respectable.  Now, the state’s motto is only lived outside Boston!  Could someone please explain why?  Why did Bostonians sell themselves and their peace through liberty by giving up their swords?  Look, there is a lot to respect about Massachusetts; I love the food, the people, the variety, the whole state has such incredible history and potential for the future.  But, do you understand the motto of your state and why this motto is so precious?  Do you feel the power of your state motto in your daily decisions?  Do you recognize the obligations to peace and liberty through proper and judicious use of the sword?  Please wake Boston back up!  Please open your minds and hearts to this motto and rededicate yourself to this principle; it is important!
  • Michigan – You have one motto that can be read as two different directives. “Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice / Tuebor” – “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you, I will defend.”  A more pleasant peninsula cannot be found in the world than Michigan.  I have been so impressed with your people, your state, and I would gladly defend your peninsula.  But, your current governor has got to go in disgrace!  Many of your politicians need removed and held accountable for their insanity and abuse.  Worse, the infection of your politicians continues to throttle your state’s potential.  I sorely wish more would take up “Tuebor” as a call to action, for then blessed change would come to your great state.  If you ever visit Lansing, just outside the city is a farm that makes the best apple/peach lattice pie, apple caramel pie, and apple/cranberry pie on Earth!  Just saying!
  • Minnesota – I love that your territorial motto has never been repealed or replaced, “Quae sursum volo videre” – “I long to see what is beyond” the imagination this motto inspires in me, on a dark night traveling from one point of your state to the other, has always made me smile. The official state motto, not that fond of honestly, “L’étoile du Nord” comes from the French and translates as “The star of the north.” Honestly, your state is a star in the North. Indeed, your state has such amazing people, the food is incredible, and I have met the salt of the Earth in your borders.  Yet, I cannot help but ask some of the same questions of you that I asked of Maine.  Why do you continue to elect rubes and fools to public office to abuse and oppress you?  Please explain this to me; your state has potential, location, power, and resources, but the politicians never direct the state or lead very well.  Why?  Not saying you haven’t had some good politicians worthy of respect and honor, but the majority just embarrass your state.
  • Mississippi – “Virtute et armis” – Latin translation, “By valor and Arms.” Never forget the power you hold by standing with your neighbors and not relying upon anyone but yourself.  I have seen your valor through the arms of your people during natural disasters, state emergencies, and in normal times as a means for growth and development.  Please, cling to and live your state motto, for your lives depend upon this motto, and you are worthy of this motto!  Keep up the good work!
  • Missouri – The “Show ME” State has a great motto, “Salus populi suprema lex esto” translated as “The Welfare of the People is the Highest Law.” I guess I have to ask, especially since I am a die-hard “Show Me” adherent, where do you live your state motto?  How do you interpret your state motto?  I have traveled your state from border to border many times; the people are amazing, the geography ever-changing and beautiful, but your leadership represents the antithesis of your state motto.  Not always, but too often, your political leadership from the school board to the governor are simply the most useless specimens it has been my displeasure to observe.  Why?  Please explain.
  • Montana – The “Big Sky State” has a motto a little more earthy, “Oro y plata,” from Spanish, “Gold and Silver.” Oh, how I love your state!  Your people are incredible examples of strength, diversity, and down-home, old-fashioned goodness.  Helena and Missoula have million-dollar views that are beyond compare 365-days a year.  The small towns have hospitality flowing out of their every action.  Never felt so at home and comfortable.  While the politicians in your state continue to disrupt and dismantle, you continue to thrive, and I respect your people’s will to thrive against all odds.  Keep up the good work.
  • Nebraska – Much respect to your state has been earned because of your state motto, “Equality before the law.” I have witnessed this motto in the people, the businesses, and the air you inhale seems to breed this motto into a person’s soul!  Keep up the excellent work, for I know there are problems, but your state is worthy of the potential, and you possess the ability to improve!
  • Nevada – “All for our country.” If you travel to Nevada, get off the highways and take the back roads, and you will find some of the best patriots in the world!  The roads might appear lonely, barren, and desperate; the people more than makeup for these road conditions.  Thank you for being such a fantastic place!
  • New Hampshire – Of all the states in my travels, New Hampshire lives this motto like no other state, “Live Free or Die.” May I beg a favor to all my New Hampshire friends, family, and neighbors?  Please live this motto more fully, more thoroughly, and let your influence be felt throughout ALL of New England!  Join Vermont and take Maine and New York to the woodshed for some corrective behavioral modification.  You are doing a good job, and it is a pleasure to witness!
  • New Jersey – The State of “Liberty and Prosperity” seems to be lacking both! New Jersey, let’s face some harsh facts, you are lost!  You have lost your liberty through public debts and your prosperity through the labor unions who have made the state practically uninhabitable!  I know New York City has been and continues to be a significant influence causing your state’s problems.  But the bi-polar politicians have done just as much damage as the New York Citizens to steal prosperity and destroy liberty.  Do you not know who you are and your proud history of accomplishments?  Did you forget who you are, how your state was made, and the definition of your state motto?
  • New Mexico – Never be fooled; New Mexico is not found in Albuquerque or Santa Fe, as much as these two cities try to hide their inadequacies, hellish intentions, and bad manners. Albuquerque and Santa Fe are not representative of New Mexico and New Mexicans! Although the evil they try to hide is representative of the state’s motto, “Crescit eundo,” for “It goes by growing,” is precisely what represents Albuquerque, and her suburbs, and Santa Fe, and her suburbs!  I love New Mexico!  Truly an enchanted land full of people deserving better than the abuse they have received at the hands of her rulers and politicians.  Her current governor is in a race to the bottom and is in a three-way tie between Newsome in California and Whitmer in Michigan!  Want a culinary delight?  Stay out of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, eat at a local mom and pop restaurant, and the food of New Mexico is revealed in all its glory!  Las Cruces is a great area; the pecan trees and other agriculture speak to the people’s hard work and dedication.  Great people of New Mexico, you deserve better; please choose your elected officials and representatives better.  Your potential will only continue to be wasted and abused until your politicians are held to task and corrected!  If you are in Albuquerque and are hungry, Monroe’s is an excellent choice, and you can get some of the best food in New Mexico style.  The Owl Café is an incredible gustatory experience.  If eating at the Owl Café, save room for the Volcano Banana Split or the New Mexico Red Shake, both are excellent!
  • New York – The State whose motto is “Excelsior!” could do with a heck of a lot more “Ever upward” movement! Everywhere I look in New York, you see the exact opposite of your moving “Ever Upward.”  From spasmodic politicians to Janus-faced labor unions to vacillating and spineless bureaucrats, the entire State of New York is in desperate straights, committing suicide with a dull knife, one stroke at a time!  Look, California is in trouble, no doubt, but why, oh why is New York competing for the bottom?  Unfunded liabilities and debt are crushing the entire state, and not a single politician wants to speak to the 800-pound gorilla in the room.  Worse, the mayor of your most populated city has murdered citizens by placing infected COVID patients into long-term care facilities.  No mention from Albany, no leadership from Albany is the standard response to every state problem.  Please explain how the state government in Albany can afford to be so disconnected from what occurs in the rest of the state!  Roads are crumbling; Albany does not care.  Crime skyrockets due to criminal injustice reforms; Albany could care less.  Towns failing; Albany wants the tax dollars and refuses common-sense approaches to aid in moving the state from a downward trend back to moving “Ever Upward!”  It is past time for Albany to wake up, put on some work boots, and start leading the State of New York!
  • North Carolina – “Esse quam videri” – “To be, rather than to seem!” North Carolina has been through some difficult times, but if your people return to this single motto, you can regain all you have lost.  Cease the fakery and “BE” what you need to become to regain your state!  I weep for the history that nefarious and petty tyrants have imposed upon you recently.  Worse, the terrorists are still among you, some even hold public office, and deep cleaning of fake people is required.  I wish you luck, for liberty and freedom will be lost if your state cannot remember your roots!
  • North Dakota – The State where Daniel Webster is quoted on the Great Seal of the State, “Liberty and union, now and forever, one and inseparable.” While the state’s coat of arms declares, “Strength from the soil.”  Both are appropriate.  I have barely traveled in your state and regret that I have not met more of your people, traveling your cities and towns and sampling the goodness in your state.  Your state is an example to the entire country, and I thank you for your hard work, dedication, and living the motto of your state.  Keep up the great work; you deserve all the success you can create!
  • Ohio – As the only state whose motto is taken directly from the Bible, “With God, all things are possible,” one might think the state would be less inclined to self-destruction. However, the state also has the following motto, “Imperium in imperio” or “An empire in an empire,” which explains a lot.  Ohioans, I have lived and traveled your state extensively, meeting you in small towns, big cities, restaurants, and other civic events, and frankly, I think your state is stable and in good condition.  Except for the labor unions and the politicians and bureaucrats!  Holy… “Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot” Ohio, why did you sell yourself for a bowl of pottage to borrow another incident from the Bible.  I have had the most incredible privilege of sweating beside the Amish, the Mennonites, and so many more of your people working and building.  The people are fantastic in Ohio, the second friendliest state in the Union.  But you have gotten sick on the political hay fed to you, and that sickness is ruining your state!  Would someone please explain why this is acceptable to a state with such a rich history of industry, commerce, resources, and the people to put these tools into action?
  • Oklahoma – “Labor omnia vincit” translates to – “Hard work conquers all things.” A truth and a representation of a people.  Oklahoma, you have some problems, you have some issues, but after what I have observed of your people, and through living your state motto, you can conquer, and I will cheer like mad!  I wish to take your people and transplant some into Pennsylvania or New Jersey for some woodshed corrective behavior modification.  Keep up the great work!
  • Oregon – “The Union,” and “Alis volat propriis” – translated as, “The Union, she flies with her own wings.” A state motto where the leaders are wholly disconnected from their state motto and couldn’t recognize the problems if Lady Justice was beating them with her sword!  Look, when one gets out of Portland, the entire State of Oregon is 180-degrees different.  Portland did not use to be the example of supreme idiocy, asininities, and deranged behavior.  These were inflicted upon her citizens by her rulers and government representatives until Portland was lost!  What boggles my mind is why the rest of the state has allowed Portland to fester and the rest of the state decay.  I know the environmental movement in the 1980s did a number on Oregon that has never been fixed, crimes committed where justice was denied the individuals, and Mount St. Helen’s didn’t help the state at all.  Please believe me; Portland is not representative of Oregon on or off the I-5 corridor; the rest of Oregon is full of good, honest, great people.  Outside of Portland, Oregon is the third friendliest state I have had the pleasure to travel through.  I pray that Oregon’s citizens can recover Portland, even if it means woodshed corrective behavior modification for the entire city!
  • Pennsylvania – “Virtue, Liberty, and Independence,” I repeat, only for emphasis, “Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot?” The historic land of independence depends entirely on all the wrong things, government answers, and labor union hypocrisy included!  Why did the land of virtue choose to lose virtue as a watchword for moderation and intelligent thinking supporting distinctive action?  Why is liberty so scarce in the land of liberty?  Of all the states that have thrown off their motto, refused the answer to their problems, and denied their heritage, I would never have expected Pennsylvania to make this list, but not only are you on the list, but you also lead the list!  I look at your state budget and the captivity of debt and shudder to think of the consequences coming your way.  Worse, I can find no excuses for the loss of virtue, liberty, and independence.  Sure, your politicians and labor unions helped.  Sure, the people were sold a lie and fed voraciously upon the lie.  But, there is not a single incident I can point to that would explain this destruction.  Why and how did you fall?  Please help me understand, Katrina and New Orleans are a historical point that ripped the scab off the rot in Louisiana and New Orleans.  What happened in Pennsylvania?  Why have you agreed to sleep in the filth left from the lie sold you?
  • Rhode Island – “Hope,” yes; I am an adherent, acolyte, postulant, etc., to the “Show Me” State, I live by “[Living] Free or Die,” but at the end of the day, “Hope” is my watchword. Rhode Island, why did “Hope” die in your state?  My last trip through your state was during a good economy, and things were happening, lots of good taking place, but your people were the most hopeless I had ever witnessed inside the borders of America.  Why?  Please explain to me why “Hope” is so scarce in the State of “Hope!”
  • South Carolina – “Dum spiro spero / animis opibusque parati” – Translates into, “While I breathe, I hope; prepared in minds and resources.” South Carolina, as a kid, I traveled extensively through your state.  As an adult, I have traveled not as extensively, but I can still not help but think the changes made in your state have not upheld your state’s motto.  I respect your state’s preparation for natural disasters and consider your efforts to be good.  But, the people’s minds have been forgotten, as witnessed by the terrorism of thought experienced during the summer of 2020.  Resources help in being prepared, but the minds must also be supported, instructed, and built!  Why were the minds of the people summarily discharged from the state efforts?  Of all the states in the Union, I expected South Carolina never to forget this lesson learned in the fires of the American Revolution.  Would someone please explain to me why mind preparation has been strangled, defied, and left behind?  In a case of limited resources, it is better to invest in the mind than in resources, for the mind can be stretched, and imagination can make resources.  Please, return to preparing the minds of your people.  Everyone else, understand this: South Carolinians are not stupid, ignorant, or mentally deficient; the state has simply stopped aiming for literacy, which has hurt the state’s resources and denied the heritage left them!
  • South Dakota – “Under GOD the people rule,” a sentiment worthy of such incredible people. How true this lesson remains for the rest of the country to learn.  I regret not having had the privilege of traveling more in your state, for I love what I have seen and experienced.  Your people are fantastic, and I encourage more people to participate in both North and South Dakota at your earliest opportunity.  When you see the metal T-Rex being walked by a metal man, I hope you laugh as hard as I did!  Keep up the great work, for I am very impressed!
  • Tennessee – “Agriculture and Commerce” remains a beautiful sentiment worthy of the people in Tennessee. I know Kentucky is the “Blue-Grass” state, but I find Tennessee’s agriculture to be much prettier.  Tennesseans, I implore you to return to your roots of agriculture and commerce.  Please correct your politicians and regain your competitiveness.  Your people are some of the world’s best people where ingenuity and imagination combine to create commerce.  Use this skill and develop your people.  But first, get new politicians at the city/town, county, state, and federal levels of government; these people do not represent who you truly are as a people!
  • Texas – “Friendship.” Another state motto that has been replicated perfectly upon the citizenry.  All my time in Texas has been defined by friendly people, helpful people, and people who care about their neighbors to the point of showing their care and concern as a daily part of regular action.  I regret the changes that have come, through unfriendly people to the city of Austin.  I implore the rest of Texas to rise and bring some woodshed corrective behavioral modification to Austin before the cancer of unfriendliness ruins your state!  Keep up the great work Texans, I know of no friendlier people on Earth!  Don’t forget to get your politicians back in order; they are killing your state.
  • Utah – “Industry” the perfect motto for the people of the state! Everywhere one turns in Utah, “Industry” is the watchword and the directive.  I met a man traveling through Utah, he wanted to be lazy, but when he saw how industrious all the people were, he was ashamed of himself and went back to work.  Sure, some homeless people needing to learn to be industrious, but I always had work sufficient for my needs in Utah as a person of action.  A willingness to work, and no skills, was not an affliction that kept one from working; I found trainers everywhere, provided I wanted to learn.  I know some of this is engrained from the founding of the state through the religious beliefs of the members of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints.  Still, the heritage of industry surpasses religion’s influence, and frankly, I am always amazed to see just how much industry can accomplish in 24-hours!  Not saying there are no problems, but through living an industrious life, the troubles melt.  Keep up the great work, Utahans!
  • Vermont – Holding two state mottos, “Freedom and Unity” and “Stella quarta decima fulgeat,” the second translates from Latin as, “May the 14th star shine bright.” Ever want to know the history of something cool, look up the history behind the 14th star and Vermont.  The lesson is well worth the time.  Vermont, you are definitely worthy of both your state mottos; better still, I am anxiously awaiting the day you and New Hampshire become the central players in New England; your people and your states have waited a long time to rise.  Keep up the innovative work you do; hold your politicians more accountable, and keep the faith; your time is coming, and success is yours!
  • Virginia – With all your potential, your resources, and your people, I cannot help but claim, your state motto leaves me madder than a soaked chicken with a raging case of hemorrhoids! I know you are the only “Commonwealth” in the American Republic; I know your state has hated Texas since Texas came along.  I know your political class exemplifies perfectly the state motto, and this is flat-out disgusting!  “Sic semper tyrannis” – “Thus always to tyrants.”  Virginia, you have bullied and abused your neighbors as a tyrant, you continue to be a thorn in the side of this great Republic, and frankly, I look forward to the day your state is finally humbled.  For from the ashes of humility, I hope to see a better state rise!  I have met extraordinary people in Virginia, I have worked beside some great individuals, but all of these people were transplants, not “true Virginians.”  Honestly, General Robert E. Lee would be ashamed of the tyranny in Virginia!
  • Washington – Of all the states I have visited and lived in, Washington is the most bipolar and schizophrenic! With the motto of “Al-ki,” translated from the jargon of the Chinook Indians, it means “By and By.”  Seriously bipolar and schizophrenia are the watchwords in Washington.  If a person travels the entire length of Interstate 90, upon leaving Idaho, the homes of Boston become familiar, and then the rest of the whole United States becomes replicated in the architecture until you hit the mountains.  Drop down the mountains, and an entirely new world arrives where moss grows so thick on the roofs of houses that homeowners have to mow their roof!  SeaTac is not a good representation of the people of Washington, but schizophrenia is apparent everywhere along the I-5 Corridor from Canada to Oregon!  Some blame coffee for this psychological disease, but I assure you, you cannot blame the people on the coffee!  Great people, fantastic food, and incredible resources are throughout the entire state.  Still, the politicians, aided by Marxist labor union types, and too bloody much money, all crammed into too little space, has created a lifestyle that makes no sense and has seen people earning a million dollars a year living out of their cars, showering at the club or work, and driving home on the weekends!  Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, you especially, and desperately need to change who you elect to public office!
  • West Virginia – “Montani semper liberi” – Latin for “Mountaineers are always free.” Damned straight and from that freedom, West Virginia threw off their chains of captivity to Virginia, and the world changed forever.  Having lived with the mountaineers, climbed the back trails of the mountains, and witnessed the mountaineers’ strength and stubbornness, I know why Virginia lost that fight!  West Virginia has been the victim of government and Virginian abuses since its inception, but always the mountaineers remain steadfast, loyal, and fierce!  Do not underestimate the women or the mountaineers’ children, for they will kick your butt like nobody else!  Keep up the efforts, West Virginia; you are truly worthy of respect and honor, and shortly your day will come.
  • Wisconsin – If ever a state could exemplify both their motto and the need for living that motto more succinctly, Wisconsin wins hands down! The official motto, “Forward!”  I have traveled and experienced Wisconsin in good times and bad, from shore to border, and from Canada to Illinois, and all I can say, keep moving Forward!  Wisconsin, you can improve, you have the tools, resources, and some of the best people fed on the most incredible foods; keep moving Forward!
  • Wyoming – “Equal Rights and Cedant arma togae.” Two distinct thoughts that merge into a single motto, that “Equal rights ‘Let weapons yield to the toga.’”  The import of this idea is that with equal rights, the weapons of the past yield improvements in society to bring out the academic, the professional, and the better human.  Keep this motto in mind, for the truth is absolute that this can occur, and Wyoming is a unique example of how the state motto is leading the mind to change.  I was so intrigued to witness this motto in action in the people who still love rodeos, western living, and rugged individualists!  Wyoming keep up the great work you are living; I loved visiting and living in your state; thank you!

Detective 4As an industrial and organizational psychologist, I study and observe people.  I look at how people interact as a social group, a society, and an organization to understand the good and ill of human relationships.  I am not perfect, and I admit I am biased to hope, even when intelligence tells me hope is gone and to give up.  I also freely admit I live by “Show ME.”  My political beliefs live in New Hampshire’s motto, “Live free or die!”  I realize that living free involves following laws.  I support the US Constitution and US Bill of Rights as the only laws we need for the Federal Government to operate smoothly where the most freedom and liberty reside in the hands of the states and the people.

I love America!  Having seen the slums of Bahrain, the poverty of people in South Korea, the incredible beauty and wonder, the problems of countries in between, and the issues in America, I would live nowhere else on Earth.  Why; because of all of the problems witnessed in my travels across America, I know that when Americans wake up, put on their work boots, and go to work with a purpose, the world changes for the better again and again.  Each state’s motto is specifically designed to describe the culture of the people living in that state.  More, each state’s motto represents America’s ideals as a patchwork quilt that is American greatness.

Lever UpHence, I urge you to learn, discover, define, describe, and live the state motto that makes you the American you desire to represent!  American, [A(h)-Me-I-Can], adapt and adopt, gather, and be defined by any state motto that inspires.  How great is that!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to

NO MORE BS: What can I Do?

ToolsThe most commonly asked question comes with the most straightforward answers.  This article focuses on providing practical actions anyone can do to help move any democratic society into more freedom, smaller government, and increased liberty for all.  It cannot be stressed enough, act!  Take purposeful action, repeat, and then do it all over again.

  1. The most powerful action you can personally take, get informed! The news is biased; the news has always been biased and will continue to be biased.  Corporate news exists to sell advertising, not report the news!  Hence, getting informed means more than simply reading a newspaper, watching the news, listening to talking heads, the radio, etc.  Getting informed requires asking questions and demanding answers!  Getting informed is not passive but active and requires your full attention.Beauty of Literature
  2. Read! Pick up a book.  Use the library, eBooks, Kindle, Nook, iBooks, etc. but read.  Heck, you can even get books on tape, CD, and an application on a smartphone.  The idea is to increase your literacy levels.  Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
      • Herman Wouk – Winds of War, and War and Remembrance – Excellent reads both books, discussing WWII, families, and provides a solid historical setting for the story. As a point of fact, I recommend Herman Wouk as an incredible author, and all of his books have been electrifying and inspiring.
      • Alexis de Tocqueville – Democracy in America – Incredible book, well worth investigating to understand the underpinnings between democracy and a Republic.
      • Albert Camus – The Plague – You will not like this book about a pandemic. Still, it is an essential read and discusses issues regarding government in society, leadership, stress, and much more—a great read, but not a pleasant trip through roses and lollipops.
      • The US Constitution and US Bill of Rights – Both are easily read, easily understood, and should be read by everyone.
      • Edward Gibson – History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire – Feeling like a powerful reader, want to know more about the only other long-lasting Republic in the world, desiring to understand why Rome died, this is the book you need. You might not like all of the book, but it is a pattern that we can observe occurring right now in front of our eyes in America and every democratic society across the globe.
      • Henry Ketcham – The Life of Abraham Lincoln. I love this book!
      • Thomas Paine – Common Sense – Want to know why America is in such dangerous waters? This book has a lot of answers.  Common sense is what is needed now.
      • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison – The Federalist Papers – Writings on America’s founding. Excellent source for how the people should control the government.

Freedom's LightThese suggestions, many were free or very low cost, when I went exploring looking for books for my first iPad (Gen 1).  The principal point, read!  Discover literature!  Write about what you discover, and then discuss what you discover.  The world needs literate citizens voting smarter.

  1. Vote! Yes, I want you to vote!  I do not care who is running, like/dislike, political party, criminal records, etc. if you have the legal ability to vote, use that power, even if all you do is look at the candidates and leave the ballot empty, you showed up, you exercised your rights, and you were part of the process.  VOTE!Boris & Natasha
      • My wife hates it when I vote for Donald Duck, Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Mighty Mouse, Bullwinkle, Rocky J. Squirrel, or even myself as a write-in candidate. She thinks I have wasted my vote.  We have this discussion every single time a chance to vote occurs.  I do not mind!
      • I refuse to leave a ballot blank, for I know not what hooligan will mark the ballot. Hence, I vote.  Many times not for the candidates running for I have weighed them, measured them, and found them wanting!
      • When Romney ran against Obama, I am proud to say I wrote myself in and voted for me! Neither candidate had won my vote.  Winning my vote and winning your vote should be hard work, not purchased with government goodies, not tied to a political lie regarding reduced healthcare costs, and certainly not tied to illegal actions like DREAMERS.
  2. Look locally. Who is your mayor?  What is the state of your city/town budget?  How well is your community prepared for a natural disaster?  Who is on the city/town council?  Who is on the County Board of directors?  How well prepared for a disaster is your county?  Does your county budget the tax money they collect?  Who runs the election office?  How well are they doing their jobs?  What about unfunded liabilities at the city/town and county levels?
  3. School board! While looking locally, do not forget the school board!  These politicians skate too often and take zero responsibility for their failures, blaming teachers in the classroom for policies set at the school board level.  Who is on your school board?  How well do they budget?  How many unfunded liabilities do they have?
  4. State government. Know it, learn it, and fix it!

The Duty of AmericansA quick government hierarchy lesson.  The city/town government is supposed to protect you from the government overreach of the county.  The county government is expected to protect you and your rights from the government overreach of the state.  The state has expectations, rights, and powers specific to protect you, the individual citizen, from the Federal Government’s abuses.  The problem is, local politicians have been negligent in their duties, taking the example of the Federal Government, and made your life a living disaster!

In this, the Constitutional Republic of the United States of America, you, me, the individual citizens of this Republic hold all the rights and privileges not expressly set apart for the use of government.  What can you do to help change this paradigm; everything!  Simply realize you are in charge and deny your consent to those abusing your rights, liberties, and freedoms.  That is what the “consent of the governed” is all about.  The government abuses you; stop consenting to the powers of the government.  There are processes and laws that support you and your right to refuse your consent.

LinkedIn ImageI am not talking about sedition, treason, or lawlessness.  I am talking about standing up and telling the government they do not have your consent to govern!  Your responsibility is to learn and then act.  You have been intentionally led to believe a falsehood and purposefully programmed by K-12 Education to be an illiterate drone, good for nothing but taking orders and doing what you are told.  You have been abused; I have been abused by the government and its functionaries, the media, and the other groups working in conjunction to oppress Americans’ heart and soul!

Seize a “Liberty First” mentality, and let’s rebuild the government in fear of “We the People!”

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: A Liberty First Culture – Power to the People

Frankly, I laugh at a part of the title of this post.  “Power to the People” is a common sign seen at mass demonstrations, based upon the lie that the people somehow lost power and that power needs to be returned from wherever it went, to the people, whoever they are.  The people in a democratic society already have control over the government.  In fact, the government cannot take the power of the people away because they fear the populations they have abused, like all tyrants in history.

Whale in OceanConsider for a moment the blue whale.  The biggest mammal on earth swims in the ocean and can grow to be around 100 feet long and displace 200-tons.  Does the ocean rely upon the whale, or does the whale rely upon the ocean?  The answer is obvious; the blue whale, as massive and majestic as it is, depends upon the ocean for survival.  The same is true of the government!  The government cannot survive without the people, just as the blue whale cannot survive without the ocean.  The consent of the governed can be given and taken from the politicians as the people decide.  Hence, tyrants fear the people they oppress, all while enjoying the spoils of oppressing the people.

Every revolution in history started when people believed they had reached the point of no return and took upon themselves the power of self-rule.  The French Revolution, the American Revolution, the various feudal fights across Ireland, Britain, and Scotland, the multiple Chinese and Russian revolutions, India, Israel, etc., all are boiled down to this simple and inescapable fact.  When the people have had enough, the politicians fear and scramble, then they are held accountable, and the people claim the powers of self-rule.  Until the people forget their parents’ lessons, the fight for freedom, the liberties of self-rule, and begin to vote in oppressors, the cycle begins anew.

Laughing OwlHence, I laugh at all the fools and tools that carry these signs, for they know not what they want, nor do they accept the responsibility they claim they desire.  I have seen signs proclaiming “Power to the people!” in various languages, various wordings, and in Maoist and Marxist ideologies since I became aware of the world.  I detest these simpering tools and fools who spout their Mao, their Marx, and Stalin but reject the responsibility and the damage these societies create.  The clowns and puppets wearing Che Guevara on their clothing make me wonder about the chess pawn axiom and how the pawns are the first to die in battle.

When Hillary Clinton came out wearing her Mao jacket, I understood the consequences of choosing better politicians from those able and willing to run for public office.  More, I understood the need for cleaning the house when a politician runs amok and needs to be removed from office.  I have learned to detest those who consider politics a game, and even worse those who “play the game” with the people’s liberty and freedom while abusing the citizenry!

I make clear the following, repeating myself only for emphasis.  I do not care about your political flavor or leanings.  I only care about keeping the United States of America a free Republic, under God, for my children’s children to enjoy.  Political parties come and go, politicians come and go.  The liberties and freedoms of the US Constitution will only endure by making better choices at the ballot box, raising our voices in city councils and school board meetings, and demanding those who desire to oppress being held accountable before a judge and jury.

The Duty of AmericansPresident Abraham Lincoln gave America Proclamation 97.  Take a moment to read this very short but powerful proclamation, and consider living this proclamation this 30th of April 2021.  What would happen if all the people who love liberty, who call themselves Americans, regardless of belief, obeyed this simple proclamation as a prayer for help against the tyranny and oppression we are now experiencing?

Is not the government’s mandates and policies for COVID-19 as oppressing and freedom stealing as a civil war?  Would your answer change if, because of their money, specific populations of American’s were allowed to forgo the COVID mandates?  Simultaneously, those who do not equal in financial strength are treated to the harshness of government tyranny.  Is not the National Debt, State Debt, City/Town Debt, and School Board debt sufficient to enslave and punish those not born because the politicians have allowed funded and unfunded loans to be borrowed in the people’s name?  Are these chains of captivity not life-stealing enough to pray for forgiveness and beg for a reprieve?

Literary ArtsWhat about the forced illiteracy imposed upon the people by the politicians now long dead, who despised a literate people and demanded that their liberties be stripped through ignorance?  Is this not a sufficient reason to plead to a power greater than you or me for supplication and divine interference?  To plead for an end to this misery caused by generations of politicians from all parties who had robbed, cheated, blinded, and harmed us long before we were born.

I had the great privilege of reading the history surrounding Proclamation 97.  The President knew not what else he could do as a mortal man to end the American Civil War.  So, driven to his knees by the loss, the shattered lives, the destroyed families, the national debt climbing to fight the South, the President looked to the one hope he knew could help.  More importantly, when proposed to the Senate, the Senate approved the measure.  With a careful understanding of the timelines, a person can begin to see the Civil War changes that brought a swifter conclusion to that bloody affair after the National Day of Fasting.  Can we stand to be accused of doing less by our Children’s Children at this tragic and pivotal moment in American history?

Religious ThoughtEvery religion I have studied, including atheism, recognizes there is power in fasting, even if the power is only better health.  While atheism does not realize a higher authority than self, and prayer to an atheist is a joke, every other religion I have studied holds a similar bond to fasting and prayer.  Recognizing the need for help from a greater power, realizing that the problems have grown too large, but still those problems need resolution, a person can go to a source for inspiration, guidance, and solace.  I suggest repeating the National Day of National Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer, as laid out in Proclamation 97.

Let us, the citizens of America, stand together, kneel together, supplicate together, and arise stronger for the experience of being unified in asking for forgiveness and for divine assistance from the hands that made this country great.  Let us join in a national day of supplication for relief from what the government has become, the great millstone about our necks.  When a company wants to declare a new culture, specifically towards becoming safer, they declare a day, and they set apart that day as a “Safety Standdown” to teach, train, and launch a new culture.  Well, America needs a new political culture, one where Liberty is First in every freedom-loving person’s mind, where liberty and literacy can find fertile soil in the mind and heart to grow.  Where from the wrongs, right might begin to prevail.

LiberationLet us honor a national day of fasting and prayer and see how fast divine assistance arrives!  Let us throw off the chains and shackles and prove to ourselves that we have not and are not helpless beached whales, but the mighty and powerful ocean of voices screaming we will not allow liberty to die!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Liberty First Culture – Awake and Arise

William Shakespeare, in “The Rape of Lucrece” (lines 211-214), states:

“What win I, if I gain the thing I seek?
A dream, a breath, a froth of fleeting joy.
Who buys a minute’s mirth to wail a week,
or sells eternity to get a toy?”

RememberConsider these lines for a moment, not as part of the greater work, but as a pattern to be laid over the actions of the politicians elected to office, who have sold liberty and freedom for “a toy.”  Those same politicians who will seek their personal gain as a “dream, a breath,” or a “fleeting joy” are the same politicians who will buy with your money mirth, happiness, and prosperity so that the rest of the country can wail, cry, and suffer.

At its founding, the Republic struggled to get out of debt caused by the Revolutionary War.  Through work, sacrifice, and determination, the captivity of debt was eventually canceled.  The debt was considered captivity and remains the antithesis of liberty.  Yet, everywhere we look, the politicians buy personal power, with the public’s money, for a minute of fleeting joy, while everyone else suffers for weeks and years on end.

Government Largess 2As a kid, I read a Newsweek or Time article on how long the National Debt would take to pay off.  I have never found this article again, which is a tragedy, for I would quote the source heavily.  However, since the debt has ballooned over the last four American Presidents, it would be safe to say that the article I read as a kid is “out of date.”  We find some troubling facts about debt’s captivity from the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE).

Consider the following, economics is not a hard and challenging topic, and I promise what is being offered is easy to follow.  Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is what the country earns as a paycheck.  Currently, what we owe on the national debt is 106 times greater than the GDP.  This means that with interest for the debt presently owed, America cannot produce enough to cover the payments for the fleeting joys enjoyed by her politicians.  Essentially, since America cannot produce more products for trade and sale, the ability to meet our debt obligations per paycheck has been wiped out, and we still owe more per paycheck than we earn.

ProblemsConsider what happened with Hurricane Katrina: hundreds and thousands of people were displaced, hundreds needed airlifts of food and water, thousands of homes were flooded, and Katrina’s recovery cost is still ongoing.  President Bush II took a political hit by the media, and the political left and their media lapdogs had a field day on the suffering and devastation during an American Natural disaster.  Would you be surprised if I told you the real culprits for failing to protect the citizens from harm properly was not the Federal or State government’s job?  Would you consider that the local authorities, even some of those who went to jail for embezzlement, were guilty of other crimes that have so far gone unpunished?

Shortly after Hurricane Katrina, several states suffered major flooding.  Iowa was one of these states.  The flooding in Iowa was just as traumatic and costly, but no one ever hears a word about this flooding unless you follow natural disasters as a hobby.  Why the difference between Iowa and Louisiana?  The response by the local government.  The local government’s planning and preparation and the lack of dependence upon the Federal Government to “swoop in and save the day.”

Duty 3The government is not a superhero.  The government is not the answer to local problems, emergencies, and natural disasters.  Your neighbors, friends, and families are the superheroes.  That is where one looks in times of trouble, not the government!

I learned this lesson one Sunday as a child of six or seven.  Salt Lake City had enjoyed a tremendous amount of snowfall that winter, and spring floods came with a vengeance.  A gentleman walked into the chapel where we were meeting, asked for the congregation’s attention, and called on every able body male to man shovels and help sandbag streets to steer the floods.  The Jordan River overflowed into my school, canceling classes.  For weeks on end, every able man from 12 to 99 spent countless hours volunteering to work on the dikes, doing extra hours to cover the shift of a volunteer on the flood project, and I do not know how many meals were donated to feed the workers.  I know Salt Lake faced significant flooding, and I know the community was stronger for the local action, rather than waiting for any State or Federal Government protection.

Iowa faced the floods, the communities held the floodwaters in check, and the communities had help from unaffected areas to steer the floods and recover after the flooding ended.  New Orleans counted on the government, and the damage is still being paid for, hurting the area and causing havoc.

LookAs a point of fact, everyone who thinks the US Government is the superhero must remember, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has the right to tell a state, No!  As in, No; the resources of the Federal Government will not arrive to help you.  No, the Federal Government will not be paying for this disaster.  No, the failure to prepare properly is not the problem of the Federal Government.  The Governor can activate the US Army National Guard, but if they do this, the State is on the hook for the full cost of mobilization, and if FEMA says No, then the State now has more budget problems than previously expected.

FEE reports that every time a politician has attempted to cut or reduce the government goodies, there has been ferocious outrage.  Ever try to tell a two-year-old child No!  Yet, the captivity of debt has now breached:

  • $68,400 per citizen
  • $183,000 per taxpayer
  • The Federal Government currently holds debts on $125 Trillion in unfunded loans.
      • Unfunded liabilities are what we ordinary people call check kiting.
      • There is no plan to pay for these liabilities.
      • There is no money to fund these liabilities.
      • There is no GDP available to fund these loans.
  • Want to know why you cannot obtain a reasonable interest rate on saving money, certificates of deposit (CDs), and other money-saving tools offered by banks. The National Debt!

The most troubling fact of all:

      • It would take the United States 713,470 years to pay down the national debt if we paid $1 per second of the year.

Detective 4How many future generations have been squandered by the purchase of a minute’s mirth by the politicians, the lobbyists, the media, and the government employees who implement the politicians’ policy in the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government?  A generation is 20 years.  Hence, it will require 35,673.5 generations to pay off the National Debt, if we started paying right now, at $1.00 per second, or roughly $86,400 per day (31,536,000 a year approximately), every day, for the next 713,470 years.  Many people will proclaim loudly that paying off that large debt is “impossible,” yet we will never know the freedom of being debt free as a nation if we do not begin.

I have heard economic postulants proclaim that debt is a good thing, but common sense tells us that being in debt is captivity, prison, to the interest, and the principal owed.  Debt is never an easy taskmaster, yet the government has helped millions of Americans be saddled with untold debts through student loans, housing loans, and other obligations to fund the politician’s minute of mirth.  There are smarter and more efficient ways to create wealth than through debt, and while somewhat slower, the methods are more effective and carry less risk while allowing liberty to thrive.

VirtueThe sad but undeniable truth is this, a “Liberty First Culture” must acknowledge the elephant in the room, the national debt, and the harsh taskmaster’s debt and interest.  During the Clinton years, the fiscal games only hurt America and the world, never balancing the budget or paying down the debt.  Liberty is a priceless commodity but is easily destroyed through debt.  Public debt can only be entered into by politicians; politicians feel they are immune from the taskmasters of debt and interest because they were elected.  This mental disconnect from the action and the consequence responsibility is the key to changing the discussion in national, State, and local capitals on publicly funded debts.  For the other sad and undeniable truth, the National Debt is just the beginning of the debt problems facing America.

Suppose you live in Illinois, California, New York, Maine, New Mexico, Washington, Oregon, Wisconsin, Michigan, West Virginia, or Virginia. In that case, your State has some of the worst problems where state debts exceed the state GDP, and those debts are killing your State.  There are cities like New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, etc. that have city debts equaling or exceeding the state debts.  This debt captivity is killing your wages, your future, and your city.  All because a politician, somewhere in time, regardless of the political party, purchased a toy with your liberty and told you this was a good thing.  Why are your roads and bridges crumbling beneath your feet and your cars; because the politicians borrowed from one hand to purchase a toy in the other hand and left unfunded loans as “IOUs.”  Do you have a state pension you have been counting on to retire; guess what?  There is no money in those funds either because of unfunded liabilities to purchase that minute of mirth.

LinkedIn ImageA “Liberty First Culture” requires the adults in the room sanction the politician, restrict the checkbook, and demand debts begin to be reported clearly, concisely, and coherently, include all unfunded liabilities, and then start planning a method to repay the debts even if it means shrinking the size of government.  Even if it means less nation-building outside America’s borders.  Even if it means ending the meddling, we do in other nations to instruct them on “gender equality” or other nonsense that does nothing but waste your tax dollars and my tax dollars.

Demand a “Liberty First Culture!” in every person running for political office!

 © 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Safety and Liberty – The Connection

DetectiveIn watching the United States Chemical Safety Board (USCSB/CSB) videos on YouTube, an epiphany occurred.  In a safety-first culture, the employees are all responsible for near-misses.  The employees are expected to have the ability to act in a manner conducive to and appropriate for the safe operations of their roles.  Next, each employee has the power to halt operations if a safety problem is detected or if a better solution presents itself to avoid near-misses and future incidents.  In the protection of the US Republic, every citizen has these same two powers for the continuation of liberty and freedom inside the borders of the United States of America.

Your political party is your choice.  I will never deny an individual to act as they believe in a free society.  Consider though the responsibility each citizen is under to protect this Republic by intentionally acting to avoid electing people who refuse liberty to others, deny freedom, or produce captivity for future generations through their actions.  Transcending the ambiguous division between political flavors, we remain citizens charged with protecting the Republic from harm and crimes committed by elected representatives.

Wasting TimeFor example, President Clinton had an extra-marital affair with Monica Lewinsky, this is a known fact, and this relationship has ruined Monica’s life and defined President Clinton’s presidency.  The affair damaged America’s core fabric, showing to the world the callousness of Hillary Clinton in the abuse of women who have come forward to accuse her husband of impropriety, and crimes against this country were committed, and justice was never delivered due to political gamesmanship.  Because politicians put politics before protecting this Republic, America has suffered tremendously, and other sex crimes and problems have further deteriorated America’s morals and culture.

Anthony Weiner is a sordid tale with direct connections to the Clinton Machine, more justice not served for the victims or the Republic, and the result has been nothing short of criminal.  Sexual impropriety by elected officials is the epitome of, and exemplification of, the definition of sexual harassment; but, too often, the politicians skate on responsibility, accountability, and even receive honors and glory; for more examples, see the Kennedy Family!

Detective 4Building a safety culture takes work, requires full engagement of every person, regardless of skin color, race, sex, handicap, etc., all must pull together to reduce safety incidents so that everyone can return to hearth and home at the end of the shift, with all appendages intact.  Yet, for some reason, the same philosophy is not applied to the Republic, which protects us.  The American Republic stands for law, truth, and moral accountability.  The Republic begs us to remember, honor, and unite under a single banner, the US Constitution.

While living in Seattle, I had a friend whose foot was crushed from the ankle into his safety toe by a forklift because the forklift operator ignored his ground guide’s commands.  Brutal incident caused tremendous pain and injury to the ground guide, my friend, and the operator lost his job for failure to comply.  Harsh penalties were issued all around.  The company lost, the labor union lost, my friend lost, the forklift operator lost, my friend’s family lost; but, when justice was done being served, mercy was extended as appropriate, compassion was felt, and the people involved possessed an opportunity to make changes and begin anew.  To recommit to safety, recommit to a new and better lifestyle and work style, and growth became possible.  Had justice not been as harsh as it was, healing could never have been possible, and frustration would have been the watchword.  Trust would be forever harmed, creating space for doubt, envy, malice, and other powerful negative emotions to thrive and endure.

PatriotismConsider Harvey Weinstein’s crimes, compare those to any politician caught in the same act, doing the same crime, for the same purposes, and ask yourself were they treated similarly under the law?  The answer you arrive at will dictate the culture you prefer.  Myself, I see the politicians being not held to a higher standard but a lesser standard and consider the US Constitution in trouble because of a “One rule for thee, but different for me” mentality.  Liberty is always jeopardized when one rule for all is not upheld.  Consider Rome, the Army had one rule, slaves a different law, politicians a separate rule, the Caesars had an entirely different rule, and their Republic failed because the “Rule of Law” was destroyed!

Just as a safety culture cannot be “for safety” and at the same time “not care about safety,” the US Constitution cannot be upheld and destroyed simultaneously.  Those for upholding the US Constitution, and the Republic of America, will act to exert justice upon those committing crimes and work for a “Rule of Law” just society. They know that under the “Rule of Law,” all are better off, regardless of political belief.  Those who would uphold a dual law system do so for personal power, political gain, and the ability to be enforcers of impropriety, also referred to as terrorists, tyrants, and troublemakers.

Politics is too often referred to as a “game.”  That axiom has a shelf-life and has passed the expiration date.  Politics should never be a “game,” for in degrading political leadership to game pieces, the people’s voice becomes lost, the tyrants, terrorists, and troublemakers gain power, and the US Constitution gets shredded in the process.  Worse, a real hazard is brought to the shores of this Republic.

The Duty of AmericansWe can do better!  We can be better!  We need to be better to save this Republic!  Thus, I implore the following:

        1. Cease allowing yourself to be separated over petty and insignificant divisions. Skin, race, sexual choices that do not infringe upon others’ rights and liberties, handicap, etc., do not matter.  In a “Liberty First Culture,” we accept all, and we expect all to shoulder the same burdens to the best of their abilities.
        2. “Liberty First Culture” requires an all-in mentality. Everyone is being asked to vote smarter, holding all political representatives to a higher moral, ethical, and legal standard as they represent us, not the lobbyists, not the tyrants, not the terrorists, and certainly not the troublemakers.
        3. A “Liberty First Culture” requires action! See something that threatens the liberty of all, say something, repeat as often as required to get attention, and then act accordingly.
        4. “Liberty First Culture” demands action in accordance with the law to change the law. We do not give up our liberties just because some hooligan has decided to step over the line to become a terrorist or troublemaker!  We, the lovers of liberty and freedom, know the law, follow the law, and demand redress for wrongs through the law.
        5. A “Liberty First Culture” insists upon unity first, understanding that more can always be accomplished through unified action than through singular action. Refuse the titles thrust upon people to divide and cause friction.  Unify under the banner of the US Constitution, and there is room for all here.

LinkedIn ImageA “Liberty First Culture” is needed right now in America and in every democratically elected society worldwide.  Liberty lovers far outnumber the petty thugs, wannabe tyrants, and terrorists, and it is past time for us to take the stand for liberty and freedom.  We can make a difference; believe that with your soul and blessed change will come!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Learned Helplessness Leads to StagNation

Government Largess 2Cash Nickerson wrote a powerful book, “StagNation: Understanding the ‘New Normal’ in Employment.”  In discussing the housing bubble, Nickerson made a point worth understanding about people’s psychology as a group.  The middle-class survives upon the hopes and dreams of lower classes of people striving to move into the middle-class.  When the housing bubble broke, and millions of lives were destroyed, with their hopes, dreams, and home investments, the financial livelihoods, and the dreams of those financial upward mobility into the middle-class were blasted into oblivion.

By failing to strive to get into the middle-class, the middle-class shrinks and dies; worse, the lower-classes learn helplessness and become devoid of hope.  Then, along comes President Trump; hope in the lower-classes of people becoming financially upward mobile was rekindled.  Suddenly, a president was recognized as an honest person, working to work with those whose dreams had died, and new energy to be upward financially mobile were reborn.  The lower-classes leaving the plantation provided by the government and liberal leftists scared those in power; President Trump had to be destroyed, hopes and dreams of financially upward mobility crushed, and learned helplessness needed to be restored in America’s working-class neighborhoods.

Do the demise and demonic possession make more sense now?

Detective 4The working class has to be kept miserable, hopeless, and dependent upon the beneficent government bureaucrat, or power and prestige are lost.  These people have no idea how to live if they are not oppressing someone else.  Five-years of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” has not improved the power hold of those governmental powers who desire to oppress.  Instead of bringing the working classes into despair, hopelessness, unemployment, and returning them to the plantation, the working classes are ANGRY!  The working classes are inspired.  The working classes are madder than a pen full of soaked chickens with an acute case of hemorrhoids.  Worse, they have met the enemy, and the enemy is the “beneficent” government and their media lackeys and lapdogs.

Speaker Pelosi, along with the rest of the US House of Representatives majority and minority leadership, is expected to represent the working and middle classes in the “People’s House” in a representative government.  These people have failed to do their jobs, abused, harassed, defiled, and demeaned their positions to the point that the working and middle classes want her jailed, or worse, depending upon where you obtain your information.  I heard someone wanted to outfit Pelosi and her ilk with stakes, an anthill, some honey, and leave them in the Arizona desert.

People are not returning to the plantation as humble orphans awaiting their daily bowls of gruel; the people are standing and fighting back.  Those in government power, their assistants, their employees, their staff, the lobbyists, etc., all expect a different outcome.  They will be shocked when they open their eyes and see the people rising in rebellion.  Throwing off the chains of learned helplessness and discovering they are strong, capable, and able Americans [A(h)-ME-I-CAN].

The Duty of AmericansFacing Truth

The housing bubble, like COVID-19, was artificially created by the government to adversely affect the working classes of people as they strive for financially upward mobility into the middle class.  The same is true for the coming Educational Debt bubble, the Consumer Credit Card bubble, and the National Debt bubble, among other looming disasters.  The government leaders refuse to believe that bubbles burst, and if the bubble bursts after they are out of office, then they can claim, “It didn’t happen on my watch.”  Enabling them to lie about their own willful misconduct creating bubbles of problems for the American Citizen to handle, clean up, and correct.

Welfare State BeginsLet us talk frankly and honestly, openly, and directly.  America is in a mess; K-12 Education was purposefully designed from the 1860s to create a dependent class of poor citizens.  Hopeless, learning helplessness from their first day in K-12 classrooms, and forever cast out of American Society’s mainstream because of their literacy abilities.  Since this population needed neurological stimulation after K-12 Education, other government programs were introduced to keep America’s populations divided, opposed, and barely managed.  Illegal immigrants were introduced, sports were made a “profession,” and media channels flocked to host sporting events.  Through lies, deceit, and drugs, “education” became 12-years of neurological stimulation, not a free mind’s education.  All actions which taken by the government are very similar to Rome’s problems where “Bread and Circuses” were the answer—raising the Roman National Debt, forcing the Roman Armies and Navies to continually find a new enemy and a new source of wealth to pay for the lower-ranked citizens to sit around watching circuses and eating bread.Welfare State Ends

The American Republic is ours, IF we can keep it![emphasis mine]

Benjamin Franklin is reported to have made that statement.  I find it applicable today, and one worth knowing the full history.  Click the link!  Know your history, for your enemies in government know that if you lose contact with history, they can control you!  By reducing your literacy, the powers in government hope to keep you from discovering they are not benevolent but tyrannical.  Not helpful, but harmful, deadly, and like acid, they are consuming this country from within.

ProblemsWhile reading the cases of families in family court, I wanted to weep at the lost potential.  A great-grandmother has custody of her daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughter’s children.  Why, because a couple of the girls are in drug rehab, one is still a minor, and her great-granddaughter just became pregnant at 12 for the food stamps, WIC, and other government benefits.  I have read of people, all races and creeds, in inner-cities selling government benefits for cash, to buy drugs and alcohol.  I have read stories of how a grandmother pimped her granddaughters for cash, among other cases where the granddaughter was required to get pregnant quickly so the family could maintain a level of government subsistence.

LinkedIn ImageLearned helplessness leads to StagNation… The lesson is clear, the writing is on the wall, and the next major government catastrophe can make America stronger by cleaning out the trash in power, or will destroy America as we know it forever.  People need hope, upward financial mobility, and less government intrusion.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Literacy – Putting the “Art” in Literature Arts

Beauty of LiteratureMy high school experience included eight different high schools in four years.  Seven high schools on the Wasatch Front in Utah, finally graduating from Camden-Rockport High School, Camden, Maine.  During my high school career, I was unfortunate enough to be placed into several classes called “Language Arts,” “Literature Arts,” or something similar, plastic words covering the fact that I needed more English credits to graduate.  In my first “Literature Arts” experience, I was hoping to explore books, literature, and a young bibliophile (book nerd) excited to study literature.

Freedom's LightShortly reality would snuff out the excitement.  Shakespeare is not the only author of note in the Renaissance period, and those other authors are easier and more fun to read.  Poems and poetry are not the same things.  Forcing high school kids to spend an entire semester on Emily Dickins and Edgar Allen Poe’s writings is sufficient to make suicidal depression seem like a jolly good time!  Not a single literature arts class covered Kipling!  Not a single class ever covered Aesop.  None of the lessons put the art in literature arts, which made the classes boring.

It has only been recently that I understood why these classes were designed this way.  I am still struggling with having my time and mental energies wasted in such a grotesque fashion.  Worse, being a young bibliophile, I had already been exposed to Emily Brontë, Hemmingway, Kipling (poems and stories), the Greek and Roman Myths, and so much more.

Love ReadingIn Junior High School, Crosby Junior High School, Belfast, Maine.  The school was ancient, used to be the high school until the district built a new high school.  Crosby Junior High was a gothic building, very imposing, but it had the coolest library.  On my first day in Junior High, I bet the librarians that before leaving, I would have checked out all the books, read them, and returned them.  I might not have gotten them all, but I explored every inch of that library, supplemented my reading from the Belfast Maine Library, and read books!  Lots and Lots of Books!

By this point, I bet most of those who will read, or glance through this post, are thinking, BORING!

Bear with me, please.

Where is the art in Literature Arts?

Reading - A JourneyBelieve it or not, you bring the art to literary arts.  Sure, authors will cast the story, set the stage, and prepare well to inspire you, but you bring the art.  For example, I can give you a paint set, a charcoal set, pencils, paper, canvas, and every other art supply available, but you have to wield the brushes, pencils, tools to create the masterpiece.  The fact that you, the student, are the art bringer to literature arts, should be the first lesson taught, but it is never mentioned.  It is sad that many people have been turned off by something that should have turned them on.  Worse, the second lesson in literature arts is the requirement for time with the materials to understand the meaning, grasp intent, and apply to a life of living.

Good TimberFor example, take the poem of Joseph Malins, “The Ambulance Down in the Valley.”  A political poem about how well-intentioned, people come together about a problem and perform an illogical action.  This poem has always left me laughing at the silliness of people in government.  Only lately have the townspeople’s hysterical treatment of the fence supporter been represented in real life, and the poem has lost some of the humor.

Three favorite childhood poems, the authors are listed with links to the poems, Ernest Lawrence Thayer, Grantland Rice, and Clarence P. McDonald, all deal with Casey’s singular topic at the bat.  A baseball series of poems that comforted me during my first horrendous year at little league baseball.  I couldn’t hit, I failed at catching, and only because my mother paid in full was I stuck playing an entire season of little league baseball.  That first awful year of baseball was nothing short of embarrassing!  The second year, I had improved, challenged, and won the position of catcher, and learned how to hit, after a ton of frozen fingers playing ball in the snows of a Maine winter.  I can honestly say, an aluminum bat in a Maine winter is no fun to grab!  But during those long hours remembering my first year of Little League, the poems about Casey at the Bat were always there, and that made all the difference.

Literary AttitudesWhen I was eleven, January, turning twelve in February, a person I admired introduced me to a poem that has defined, taught, and corrected me since that January day.  The poem “Good Timber” by Douglas Malloch.  Before this period and this poem, I never could tell the difference between a poem and poetry.  A poem changes your life; poetry paints pretty pictures.  The first poem, that first mental chord struck in life, what an experience.  How grateful I am to the man who introduced me to this poem, a potential meaning, and taught a young man how to feel.

I would bet dollars to doughnuts, for I love good apple fritters, that everyone has heard of the author Rudyard Kipling and probably have heard his poem, “If.”  When you bring the art to literary arts, this poem moves from poetry to poetic power.  As a kid, I never could understand some parts of this poem, “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster – And treat those two impostors just the same.” I could not imagine triumph as an impostor, then I witnessed lottery winners, athletes, and Hollywood people, and the waste that occurs, and understood.

Why are literature arts hard?

Literay ArtsThere are three reasons.  One, literature arts is not just reading, but also writing, imagining, exploring the art inside you; but it is rarely taught in this manner.  Two, the age of the mind during literature arts is unprepared for drawing lessons from materials for application to life through reflection on experiences.  Reflection must be taught, and too often, reflection is refused as a topic in a classroom.It has taken a lot for me to find the poetic power in Kipling’s poem “Pharaoh and the Sergeant.”  In fact, I had to serve in the US Army and then enlist in the US Navy, to have sufficient life experience to understand.  As a side note, I wish England had said to France, “I must make a man of you; That will stand upon his feet and play the game; That will Maxim his oppressor as a Christian ought to do.” The world would have lost fewer people in WWI and WWII.

PenmanshipMy penmanship is deplorable, but penmanship is rarely taught anymore, considered a wasted subject, but in killing penmanship, the art in literature arts dies just a little more.  But what is penmanship, really?  Some will erroneously claim, penmanship is writing cursive.  Detestable ignorant blaggards!  Penmanship is the science of writing the symbols of language neatly, precisely, cleanly, and writing in a manner that is interesting to read.  As a K-12 student, penmanship meant cursive, and cursive meant I was going to suck!  Why isn’t penmanship a daily practical lesson for K-12 students?  Mainly because of the third and final reason literature arts is being murdered.  Three, reducing literacy through abusing literature arts was a design characteristic in K-12 Education since the 1860s and John Dewey; for he looked upon literate people and loathed them, and children have struggled ever since.

Literary FiendWe, the inheritors of intentionally designed poor education, must wake up, put on the work boots, and go to work learning literacy and literary arts. We are then responsible for teaching these lessons to our children so freedom and liberty can flourish and prosper again in America.  Literacy and literature arts is a fight we cannot afford to lose!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.

NO MORE BS: The Butterfly and the Little Boy

Monarch ButterflySeveral years ago, my granddaughter and her father came from Lansing, Michigan, to Phoenix, AZ, to visit grandpa and grandma.  We planned a series of events for their one full day of activity with us that included a visit to “Butterfly Wonderland.”  Butterfly Wonderland is incredible; you get to travel through a room with hundreds of incredibly beautiful monarch butterflies.  If you can make the trip, come and experience Butterfly Wonderland, I highly suggest the visit!

Yellow ButterflyWhen we visited, I gave my cell phone camera to my granddaughter, and she filled the phone with pictures of various butterflies.  One particular butterfly has remained with me, not for the butterfly’s beauty, which was gorgeous, but because of the dramatic story of a toddler 2-3 years old, a Koi Pond, and how the toddler rescued the butterfly.

Rescued Butterfly 2I have no idea how the butterfly got into the Koi Pond.  I entirely missed the beginning of this story.  I noticed the little boy because my danger button had been triggered with children and bodies of water.  Thus, I watched warily and enthralled as the drama unfolded.  The little boy was visibly upset; he wanted his mom to rescue the butterfly and actively worked to try and gain her attention, all to no avail.  The boy then tried to keep the Koi fish away from the butterfly.  He waved his arms; he moved his hands closer to the water to shoo the fish, he threw what he could wrap his hands around.  But that did not work too well, and the boy became more visibly upset at the peril of the butterfly.  Finally, the little boy settled onto a plan; you saw his plan take shape on his face, intention entered his eyes, and he designed a potential solution.  He stretched himself onto the low wall of the Koi Pond until his chest was squarely on the ledge of the wall; he extended his body and arm and fingers towards the butterfly, and at the absolute end of his stretch, he could just barely come within a distance of the stranded butterfly.

You saw the butterfly tentatively stretch towards the hand of the boy.  Unsure about the safety of accepting help but being stranded, the help offered became apparent to the butterfly and was accepted.  The butterfly extended a feeler or two, and the toddler could pluck the butterfly from the water.

Rescued Butterfly 3The butterfly, visibly exhausted from trying to free itself from the Koi Pond water, clung for dear life to this little boy’s middle finger.  The little boy, realizing he had the butterfly, gently pulled himself back, and gently placed the butterfly onto the edge of the wall, away from danger.  Still wanting to help, the little boy watched the butterfly.  He did not try to touch the butterfly’s wings, as I expected.  He continued to try and gain mom’s attention to “help the butterfly be better,” and he waited and attentively watched for the butterfly to gather strength.  You could see the hope for the butterfly written in the eyes and face of this toddler.  He cared and wanted the butterfly to be okay.

Pink Monarch ButterflyAll actions I never suspected a little toddler would do, this toddler did.  He was very patient with this resting butterfly, even shooing other butterflies away who might interrupt the rest of the recovering butterfly, including final shooing motions to the Koi fish who gathered at the base of the wall where the boy and the butterfly were.  After a period of minutes, the butterfly began flexing it’s now dry wings and shortly flew further into a nesting area to rest more and eat.  Mom collected the toddler, and they strolled through the rest of the exhibits.  The little boy never looked back after the butterfly flew away; he seemed to become interested in other things and talked happily with mom.  What he said was standard toddler, but I cannot help but wonder at the story he told.

Why do I remember this story and event so well?

Koi FishIn a recent post on virtues to live by, I encouraged you, the audience, to see people.  The story of the monarch butterfly and the toddler is one of my favorite stories of “seeing people.”  Watching the stories of life unfold around me.  Being present in the moment to record, understand, and then reflect upon what is witnessed, and hopefully, in the recollecting, help others to “see people.”

More, this story represents something to me, the power of desire to help and the boldness of action.  That little boy could have wound up in the water and in peril but didn’t.  That monarch butterfly could have been eaten by the Koi fish in the pond, long before this drama unfolded; but was not consumed by the multitude of fish that swam around the butterfly.  The mother could have been more attentive to her toddler and rescued the butterfly for him; but, luckily for us, she remained unresponsive.

To watch the ideas, thoughts, planning, etc., cross the face of this toddler as he tried to use his resources to rescue the butterfly was wonderful to behold.  I learned a lot about watching this toddler that I never expected to learn.  For example, toddlers can be interested in the world around them, to the point of spurning them to act.  I never witnessed a child this young perform a selfless act, intentionally, with planning and forethought.

Zebra ButterflyResearch would tell me these experiences cannot happen, or only happen rarely a statistical anomaly, and more.  Yet, I believe in the human spark, the human animal’s intelligence to think, reason, and act.  Best of all, in all my years of human observation, I know without a doubt, this was not a singular event.

The event was surprising. The event was singular to the toddler and this butterfly, but the pattern of intentional action, selfless action, interested planning, and forethought were not singular actions among children.  I have witnessed children as young as 4 observe another child crying and try to comfort that child.  But, never as young as 2-3.

Life ValuedOne particular incident involving young, toddler age children, 2-5 years old, occurred in a hospital emergency room situation.  The younger children cried along with the child who was injured.  The older children gathered around with looks of deep concern, thoughtfulness, and a desire to act.  Race did not matter; sex did not matter, boys and girls had their attentions set upon what was happening; a young child was in peril, and they wanted to help comfort the child.  Over the space of a few hours, while doctors and nurses rushed about, came in and out, and administered to the child’s injuries, little toys started showing up on the injured child’s bed.  A small dinosaur, a car, a book, a fluffy bunny, and other small items came out of pockets and parents’ bags and became gifts for the little injured child.  The mother of the wounded child witnessed this miracle, tried to return some items.  But eventually allowed the giving to continue unabated through the night.  Other children came and went, some offered help, others noticed and were enraptured by the drama for a spell, almost in the attitude of praying for the injured child.

The atmosphere was tangibly different when the children stood enthralled and watched caregivers working to help the injured child.  The best I can describe the feeling, stand in the middle of a church, be silent, watch and observe all around you, and slowly a sense comes over you that is difficult to explain but lifts you to a higher level of consciousness.  Multiply that feeling exponentially, and you have what was witnessed this night in the Emergency Room when children became aware of an injured child and stood enthralled and selflessly observant for a moment.

What has this story to do with NO MORE BS?

Spotted Monarch ButterflyIt is a pattern for us on multiple levels.  We can choose to see people, and in seeing people play that influential role of helper, friend, mentor, coach, caregiver, or simply listening ear and recognizing eye.  We can act locally for great good.  We can follow these children’s examples and chose to exercise that divine spark within us, reach out, and make a small difference somewhere.  We can encourage good!

As kids, we were told if you tried your absolute best, you are not a loser.  You tried, you strove, your acted, and all of these are worthwhile, even if you failed.  Yet, as adults, we seem to have forgotten this lesson, we have neglected to pass the lesson along, and in forgetting, we lose a part of ourselves that is precious and childlike.  We lose the ability of trust and confidence.  Trusting that our efforts can influence outcomes.  We lose the confidence of directed, planned, prepared action choosing to act selflessly to fulfill desires.

Eye-ButterflyThe toddler and the butterfly powerfully reflect the desire to help, coupled with a plan of action; after all other resources were exhausted, success was saving a life.  To that toddler, that butterfly’s life was precious, and help was needed urgently.  The New Testament, Luke 12:6-7, records:

“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.”

To that toddler, that precious sparrow was a butterfly in need.  Replicating these verses of scripture on the value of helping others, seeing people, and being essential to a power greater than us all.

I want to affirm, in words of truth and soberness, that all effort is appreciated.  Every small act of learning, growing, helping, and being neighborly is critical and vital to improving our society.  That butterfly was vital to that toddler, those gifts from children had value beyond the price of the item given away, and we can replicate this pattern!  Some have asked what can I do, the enemy is too powerful; the answer is always the same, do something!  Improve your knowledge through reading, exploring writing, attending a school board meeting, raising your voice, voting in every election smarter and more empowered, standing when the flag passes and standing for the National anthem.  You know best what you can do, do that action, and you will make a difference!

Rescued Butterfly 3Remember the toddler and the butterfly, like the butterfly, we often need the toddler, and frequently, we can be the toddler to another butterfly!  The pictures featured come from my Granddaughter or myself at Butterfly Wonderland.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds copyright to the butterfly photos displayed.

 

NO MORE BS: Weaponized Government

GavelWith the final gavel swing on President Trump’s acquittal, in a trial to impeach a private citizen, in which he did not commit the crimes accused.  Legally there was no case from the beginning, as there was no “Riot in DC.”  I saw videos of police welcoming “Rioters” to the capitol building.  I have seen the results of other riots, live and in-person; what happened in DC was not a riot!  Leaving me to wonder at just how narrowly we escaped the theatrics of the liberal leftists.  The videos I saw showed police and capital guards showing people where to go.  But the DC “Riot Theatrics” does provide the American people and the world a cautionary tale.  The bureaucrats, liberal leftists, militant leftists, and the media have cooked up methods, and means, to attack anyone they desire, and this should scare the living hell out of everyone!

Theres moreExtremists need an enemy, need financing, and require a safe location to thrive, plan, and recover.  The same is true for terrorists.  Comparing extremists to terrorists is not hyperbole or shockvertising; they are one and the same.  Extremists are political animals; terrorists are political animals.  Extremists use violence and fear to achieve victory; terrorists use fear and violence to achieve victory.  There is no fundamental difference between an extremist or a terrorist, and the faster we recognize this fact, the easier it will be to fight this enemy within.  One final note, extremists and terrorists will use the law against law-abiding people to thrive upon a society’s goodness and mercy until that society is broken and destroyed.  Democratic societies worldwide have always possessed an enemy within but called them “extremists’” instead of “terrorists” to appease the citizenry.

The actions of the US House of Representatives majority leadership, and the US Senate’s majority leadership, coupled with the craven and yellow-spine efforts of the minority leadership in the Senate and House, declare with a single voice, “I am incompetent, but I am free from any accountability and responsibility.”  On the legal basis of impeaching a private citizen, I will leave this to the legal scholars, judges, and legal think tanks.  On the charge of weaponizing the government against private citizens, I will declare, “Cease and Desist Forthwith!”

PatriotismWhat is weaponized government?

Weaponized government uses the powers of government to afflict, torment, or injure individuals with whom you disagree politically.  President Clinton used Hillary as a tool to weaponize the government and shut down dissenters, rape victims, and sexual abuse allegations while Bill was in office.  The media reporting on these facts is available; feel free to dig and cringe.  Weaponizing government very inefficiently, but still effective enough to enrich themselves, destroy people, and enjoy the theatrics.  President Obama used President Clinton’s example of weaponizing government, then raised it to a science in tactical strategy for political machinations, how to weaponize the government more effectively.  In fact, the only compliment I have for President Obama was his proficiency in weaponizing government and using government strings to lynch the American Citizen every chance he could.

Examples of Weaponized Government.

Detective 4Does everyone still remember the IRS Debacle, Lois Lerner, and the scandal inflicted upon applicants for 501 (C) various tax-exempt statuses through the IRS?  Does anyone remember that this very public debacle was made political and was never completed, finished, or rooted out of the IRS?  Just a reminder as tax time begins.  Supposedly in a politically neutral manner, the government agency tasked with collecting taxes is bereft of honesty, integrity and has the highest number of government workers who do not pay their taxes.  But the donation filings for political races consistently record the IRS employees donating more to Democrats by large margins than to any other political party or cause.  Draw your own conclusions about where the IRS Employee’s or any government employee’s loyalty resides.

Long have I recorded government weaponization and how the Department of Veterans Affairs abuses patients based upon political leanings or merely because they want to abuse someone.  I have personally witnessed patients with similar complaints, wearing nothing but different politically-themed clothing, receiving 180-degree different treatment types at VA doctors’ hands.  I have witnessed VA employees choose based upon patients’ likes and dislikes, who get better care, faster care, or more professional care.  After almost a year of discrimination due to my inability to wear a mask, I think I can claim my experience as an excellent example of how the VA is weaponized against the people they are duty-bound to serve.

The Duty of AmericansWhistle-Blowers

Whistle-blowers are people who tell the dirty secrets of the executive branch in an effort to stop the crimes committed by bureaucrats or employees of the government.  However, whistle-blowing and the stories related never capture the full scope of the problems in a government agency or how many other victims there are of abuse from the weaponized government.  To have whistle-blower protections, the whistle-blower must still be an employee to have protection.  More importantly, the employee cannot be probationary, as probationary employees do not have the same privileges and protections as non-probationary employees.  Suppose the agency is able to remove you from employment. In that case, you can tell all the stories you like and never be a whistle-blower, taken seriously, or even allowed to have legal protection for your rights as a citizen witnessing the abuse of government.

Next, weaponizers of government know the law and use the law to enact their reigns of terror.  In this case, the law includes the policies, procedures, and people in authority in a government agency.  Hence, the moment anyone tries to tell a story about abuse or the weaponization of government, they are ostracized, attacked, and the processes begin to torment and harass the accuser, e.g., the whistle-blower.  Watching the whistle-blower experience their personal life being investigated, the torment, harassment, and other punishments is a significant deterrent for everyone else who knows of problems and abuses from ever stepping forward.

VA SealA specific and personal example; I regularly witnessed EMTALA and HIPAA crimes in the VA Emergency Department at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center.  I routinely saw patients abused, frequently watched nurses and doctors be unprofessional, and these problems were common knowledge all over the hospital.  I reported the issues verbally, by email, by written letter, and never received any help in correcting the problems.  I was a 365-day probationary employee, where my director came off leave to ensure my employment would not survive to see day 366 and my probationary employment conclude successfully.  When I discussed these problems with my elected representatives, my emails, letters, and voice conversations were conveniently missing, denied, and my reputation slandered.  I still have copies of some of my emails on these topics, and I blog a record of the treatment in the hopes that one day, changes can be made, the record cleaned up, and the criminal treatment of veterans ended forever!

Until such time as the government size is dramatically reduced, the bureaucrats are culled, and the criminals held liable, every person should be wary, cautious, and concerned about being mistreated by the hands of their government.  I am not fearmongering; I am calling people to action!  The government is not your friend, not your buddy, and not interested in your concerns.  The government, including elected officials, NGOs, think tanks, employees, etc., are all willing to abuse, harass, deter, rob, thwart, and hinder you as an individual.

LinkedIn ImageBeing aware, conscious, and competent, you are the population the tyrannical government fears.  Through this irrational fear, the tyrant will seek to injure first, ask questions never.  Thus, we can expect greater punishment, harassment, issues, and problems where our lives cross the government until we can eradicate the problem and end the tyranny.  Our weapon is to watch and report, declare and deride, and gain knowledge and experience.  We must act locally to get to the true tyrannical roots, or this problem will just keep coming back!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.

NO MORE BS: Revisiting Unity – A Further Discussion

LiberationRegardless of your personal beliefs, religious flavor, or political party, America and most Democratic Societies worldwide face a problem.  The problem is summed in a single word, unity.  Except, and unfortunately, unity has been hijacked to mean all sorts of things, plasticized into describing what it is not, and abused until the term unity itself is becoming repugnant.  Since the inauguration of the fraudulent president, the term unity has been used and abused until most people I know are ready to scream every time unity is mentioned.

Life ValuedAccording to Webster: Unity – is “the state of being united or joined as a whole; the state of forming a complete and pleasing whole; forming a complex whole.”  Aristotle provided an excellent discussion on three unities when describing a dramatic representation for a stage, theater, or book.  However, I find these three unities powerful as reminders of living unity.  The three unities are:

Unity of time:

Unity of time, for me, is all about understanding that I am an eternal being experiencing a temporal existence.  Hence, I have a purpose for living, I have an obligation to respect the time provided to me, and I owe a debt for that time to a power greater than myself, for having given me that time.  Unity of time also refers, my mind, to the fact that I live each day minute-to-minute and day-to-day.  Hence, procrastination being an enemy of the unity of time is a challenge to be overcome.  Unity of time also refers to what is occurring right now in the world today, where leaders are wasting time as a precious resource to deter taking action.

Religious ThoughtConsider how angry the population was in the Summer of 2020, where the politicians refused to honor, uphold, and sustain the laws of the land for political profit.  In this example, we can see how time was wasted, as a tool to create divisions, separate populations, and elect a fraudulent president.  When this is understood, the same principles can be overlaid on today’s news, and similar conclusions are drawn.  Unity of time is being abused for personal and political gain, and too often the time wasted, was ours, not theirs!

Unity of Place:

America is a Republic, not a democracy, so what I discuss in the unity of place is geared explicitly towards The United States of America but can be applied to any democratic society with a little tweaking for local circumstances.  The founding fathers disagreed, vociferously and violently, on many topics.  The founding fathers also agreed on many issues.  Between the two extremes of belief, a consensus was formed.  The foundation for America was laid down and written into the founding legal documents, the US Bill of Rights, and the US Constitution, among others.  Hence, disagreement is not a bad thing, and disagreement is simply the launch point to finding consensus under US Constitutional Law.

President AdamsThe founding fathers were Judaeo-Christian in their knowledge and understanding, and one of the most compelling voices for the unity of place is Jesus Christ, who is recorded in Matthew 5:43-44, as saying:

Ye have heard that is hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.  But, I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

Jesus Christ added a second action to the unity of place, from Luke 20:25:

“… Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.”

Unity of place is honoring and obeying the laws of the land, which in America means the US Constitution.  Loving our enemies does not mean laying down and losing our liberties in the name of love and peace.  It means unifying under the laws of the land, using the laws of the land to peacefully exist with those who choose to be our enemy, and finding consensus without violence, theft, property destruction, and creating enmity over an issue that is not eternally significant.

Religion Quote 2Honor and respect for civil authority, even when we are petitioning for redress from government abuse, is the first duty we owe to each other in American Society.  Every person refusing civil authority, disturbing the peace, interrupting commerce, or restricting the free flow of ideas is acting in a manner that is both objectionable and illegal under the First Amendment to the US Constitution.  President Abraham Lincoln said, “There is no grievance that is a fit object of redress by mob law.”  Unity of place is living the law, peacefully petitioning for redress when needed, and respecting civil authority.

Unity of Action:

Image result for image, lady justiceReverend Theresa A. Dear is affiliated with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and wrote, “America’s Tipping Point: 7 Ways to Dismantle Racism,” stating: “… racism thrives on hatred, oppression, collusion, passivity, indifference, and silence.”  Notice something remarkable, while one person may possess hatred, the remaining food feeding racism requires more than two people acting together.  Hence, unity of action is represented by a double-edged sword.  Unity of action can build and destroy in the same stroke of the arm.  Unity of action requires many people acting in concert, swinging in the same motion, working together to bring about the desired end-goal.

Any worthy goal will require more than one or two people acting in concert to establish and create the desired goal.  Hence, unity of action is a call, not for words, platitudes, and ambiguity, but explicit, concise, and applied action!  Unity of action takes all the elements of the unity of time and the unity of place, and puts them to work towards the desired vision.  However, the desired vision could be for good or ill, based upon those doing the work.  This is where America and the fraudulent president are currently residing when he calls for “unity.”  The calls for unity do not include a purpose, a reason, logic, or even an intentional statement, thus abusing and plasticizing the calls for unity!

Where do we go from here?

Scared Eyes!Would you believe me if I said, “I do not know?”  Not knowing the intention behind the calls for unity means the three unities cannot work together, be understood, or even be applied.  We have a complex country needing the three unities.  Except, the person calling for unity is confused and derelict, leaving each person with some modicum of power to enact calumny, abuse the political opponent, and wreak havoc among the citizenry.  We can discern the damage being made, we can observe and witness the harm, but to counteract and empower a population using the three unities is impossible.

What we CAN do!

Because I am an American (A(h)-ME-I-CAN), I am not willing to sit still and merely observe the destruction of America.  I refuse to allow the US Constitution to die on my watch and deprive my posterity of the heritage of faith, courage, and liberty I was blessed with upon birth.  Using the three unities, we can choose how, when, and where we swing the sword of the unity of action.  We can study, learn, teach, and collect supporters who understand the tools we have, and desire to participate.  We can encourage others to investigate the problems and issues we see.  We can act locally to improve the results on State and National levels of government.  We can become more unified in purpose, knowing the three unities and using them to improve ourselves.

LookNever forget, the greatest enemy to any tyrant is the population being abused, and the first tool that the abused population needs to fight back is literacy.  Literacy breeds freedom and liberty.  This cannot be stressed enough; let’s unify around local action through self-education and improved literacy.  Then we will see the tyrants run like cockroaches in a kitchen when the lights come on.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: More Insanity from Elected Officials

LinkedIn ImageAnother day, another slew of insipid elected officials clogging my inbox with pet projects instead of doing their respective jobs.  To the elected representatives in the US House and US Senate, please remember you have only two jobs, write laws that make sense for the country and scrutinize the executive branch to protect the US Citizen from abuse at the hands of bureaucrats and yourselves, the elected officials.  Frankly, regardless of the political party affiliation, all of you need a firm reminder of the roles you were elected to fill.

Today’s poorly worded emotional bloviation comes from Rep. Deb Haaland (NM; D).  The same representative, who after being contacted multiple times, refused to take action when veterans in her district were actively being abused, insulted, denied service, and treated horribly by the Department of Veterans Affairs.  All because she was more interested in pandering to every left-leaning liberal group.

Today’s topic, “Gun Abuse.”  What does “Gun Abuse” mean?  Honest question; while reading the email from Rep. Haaland, we find “Gun Abuse” means “Black Americans and communities of color bear the brunt of this violence, with Black Americans experiencing 10 times the rate of gun homicides compared to their white counterparts. These numbers aren’t just statistics – they reflect the true scale of this public health crisis and its shattering impact on communities of color.”  “Gun Abuse” means a “Public health crisis” comparable to COVID-19, another government issue, blown out of proportion for personal and political gain.

LookConveniently, not mentioned in the “statistics” offered by Rep. Haaland, are the number of black-on-black shootings or other minority-on-minority shootings.  Are these shootings not considered “Gun Abuse,” or maybe, they are not considered a “Public health crisis” even though toddlers and innocent bystanders regularly make up the dead in cities like Chicago, Detroit, New York, etc.?  Better still, what about minority-on-majority shootings, stabbings, and other acts of violence, are these insufficient to raise the good representative’s attention because those are just crimes?

Next, “common-sense gun laws” are mentioned.  What are “common-sense gun laws?”  Are those the laws that further restrict the honest and law-abiding from having weapons to deter crime and avoid being a statistic?  Or, are these “common-sense” gun laws the same totalitarian laws the liberals all want because, as the University of Colorado claims, rape victims can pee and puke on their attacker to deter being raped, so these women do not need guns or other weapons of self-defense.

Boris & NatashaThe absolute best .50-caliber gunner I ever met was a female sergeant in the US Army.  She could handle that weapon like a pro, shot master level in all shooting qualifications offered her, M-16, 9mm, .50, and more.   I never saw anything like it; she advocated for all females to be armed and know how to use weapons to defend themselves.  But, the liberals would see her disarmed because criminals use guns to affect violence on unarmed populations.  Where exactly is the logic in this “common-sense” “Gun Abuse” topic?

The simple fact is that every time a person selects a weapon to cause harm to a population, they are already committing a crime.  Look at every school shooting in America, and you will find the perpetrator/s first crime was not shooting someone but removing a gun from the possession of a legal and lawful gun owner.  Hence, guns are not the problems; immoral, criminal, and nefarious people are the problem.  Giving mind-altering drugs to children in K-12 education is the problem in a majority of the school shootings that occur.  When will you, and your elected comrades in the US House and US Senate, outlaw teachers forcing Ritalin and other mind-altering substances on students in the name of reducing school shootings?

Detective 2Better still, when will you and your elected comrades in the US House and US Senate scrutinize the executive branch sufficiently to enforce the laws already on the books to reduce crime?  Where are the marketing tools bragging about work in committees on reducing crime through harsher sentencing, education requirements to increase literacy among criminals, and using time in prison productively to clean up cities through community service, in distinctive clothing, and reduce the “pleasures” of being in jail?  Free cable, weight-lifting, time, rent-free housing, free medical and dental care, free food including special diets desired, and so much more has turned the prison into anything but a deterrent for the criminal class.  All paid for by the taxpayer who can barely afford food, housing, and necessities.

The email concludes with an emotional plea to “honor the lives of those lost.”  Okay; let’s honor the lives of those lost.  Let’s adjust the criminal justice system to punish criminal offenders. Teaching criminal offenders literacy so they understand the freedoms and rights they have forever lost by choosing to take lives.  Let’s use criminals to clean streets, pull weeds, build shelters for homeless people, and other community service acts. Let’s honor those lives lost through scrutinizing the government to help the mentally diseased population, instead of criminalizing this population and filling up jail space with people who need psychiatric help.  Representative Haaland, do you know how many of the homeless population in Albuquerque, NM, are suffering mental disease and have zero resources?  Do you even know how big the homeless population is in your city?

The Duty of AmericansI agree; let’s honor lives lost.  But, let’s honor those lives with action, dedicated to fixing problems, not pandering to small populations that keep getting you re-elected!  Let’s honor the victims instead of coddling the criminals!  Let’s honor the taxpayer’s sacrifices by doing the two jobs we elected you to perform.  Write laws that work, and scrutinize government to end bureaucratic, and criminal abuse of taxpayers!

Do you think you could, you know, possibly do those two jobs you were elected to perform, instead of perverting the US Constitution?

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Presidential Appointees

I-CareEvery new president hired has a list of appointees to fill in various leadership positions for the government’s executive branch.  The US Senate must approve some of these appointments, and other special conditions apply to their roles and functions.  The following is a discussion specific to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) but is benchmarkable to all the Federal Government’s alphabet executive and legislative appointee departments.  Important to note, “Presidential appointees come and go, but entrenched bureaucracies are allowed to live forever.”

How big is the US Government?

There are over 9,000 potential civil service leadership and support positions in the Legislative and Executive branches of the Federal Government that may be subject to political appointments.  There are four distinct types of presidential appointments, as outlined below, copied from ACSLAW.org.

    • Presidential Appointments Requiring Senate Confirmation (PAS)
        • These are top-level, senior positions that include the heads of most major agencies. Including cabinet secretaries, agency leadership at the Deputy Secretary, Under Secretary, and Assistant Secretary levels, the leaders of most independent agencies, ambassadors, and US Attorneys. Some positions within the Executive Office of the President, including the Office of Management and Budget director, also fall in this category. These positions require a congressional hearing and a confirmation vote in the US Senate [emphasis mine].
    • Presidential Appointments Not Requiring Senate Confirmation (PA.)
        • This category includes hundreds of positions, including most jobs within the Executive Office of the President. These include most senior White House aides and advisors as well as their deputies and key assistants. These appointments do not require a Senate hearing or vote [emphasis mine].
    • Non-Career Senior Executive Service (SES)
        • Members of the SES serve in key positions just below the top Presidential appointees; the posts were designed to be a corps of executives charged with running the federal government. These positions include senior management positions within most federal agencies and serve as the significant link between top political appointees and the rest of the federal workforce. While the SES mostly consists of career officials, up to 10%, or (as of 2016) 680 positions, can be political appointees. Unlike the presidential appointments, the non-career SES appointments tend to be made within each agency and then approved by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Presidential Personnel Office (PPO).
    • Confidential or Policy-making Positions (Schedule C (SC.))
        • These positions consist of political appointees in policy-making positions or positions that require a close working relationship with the incumbent officeholder or key political officials. Schedule C positions may be designated by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) or the President’s Executive Office at an agency’s request.

I repeat, only for emphasis, presidential appointees come and go, but entrenched bureaucracies live forever!  Presenting the first problem of American Governance, the Federal Government is too bloody big!  Worse, State Governments mirror the Federal Government, and how many of those are too bloody big, 50!  Add in the city/town, county governments, and the most incredulous and pernicious problem facing action and change in America is the bloody government’s size!

ProblemsUnfortunately, the government’s size masks another problem, the incredible size of Non-Government Offices (NGOs), the United Nations, the NATO, and other agencies created through treaty, Lobbyists, Lawyers, and other non-governmental but still official people working in or on government at the Federal, State, and Local government capacities.  Since the Great Depression recovery began, the government of all levels has exploded in the growth of people, costs, resources absorbed, and more.

Bringing us back to the Senate Approved Presidential Appointees.  The US Senate confirmed VA Secretary nominee Denis McDonough Monday, Feb. 8, and he was sworn in as the eleventh VA secretary.  A brief biography of Secretary McDonough.  A native of Stillwater, Minnesota, Mr. McDonough graduated from Saint John’s University in 1992 and Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service with an MSFS degree in 1996. McDonough has extensive experience on Capitol Hill, having served as White House chief of staff under President Barack Obama, deputy national security advisor, and chief of the National Security Council staff.  A proverbial insider to left-leaning politics has been made Secretary of the VA, who, like the fraudulent president, is calling for unity while working to ruin political opponents and destroy the US Constitution.

VA SealHere’s the real problem, political appointees, set the culture for the entire VA.  Over the last four years, Secretary Wilkie has had his hands overfilled with the abhorrent culture set by his predecessor, which allowed for tremendous amounts of skullduggery, crime, illegal action, and much more to thrive in the VA Now, without any further ado, let’s discuss some of the problems Sec. Wilkie found after the Obama Presidency.

Veterans experienced blatant HIPAA and EMTALA abuses at every VA medical center (VAMC) across the country, as witnessed by employee whistleblowers who were then fired or abused by the VA bureaucracy for telling the truth.  Over the last four months, the VA-Office of the Inspector General (VA-OIG) has prosecuted multiple cases of theft of funds, theft of government resources for resell, and other criminal elements in the employees of the VA.  A culture allowed to grow and breed under all three of President Obama’s VA Secretaries, Shinseki, acting Secretary Gibson, and McDonald.

Survived the VAThese three President Obama VA Secretaries should still spark a memory.  They led the VA through two cases of where the Phoenix VAMC was killing veterans.  Where the employees responsible skated, the media required a scapegoat, and the VA Secretary’s left government service with full pensions, retirement benefits, and other goodies at taxpayer expense!  Talk about “Golden Parachutes!”

Within just the last two weeks, or since the start of February 2021, the VA-OIG has reported seven cases of misconduct by VA employees and other related individuals.  Including a woman who faked her death to avoid being held accountable for defrauding the VA.  She and her husband will be held responsible, but the entire sordid affair had help from VA employees not being held accountable for not doing due diligence or their jobs.

From the VA-OIG report, we find the following:

Robert S. Stewart Jr., 35, pleaded guilty to making false statements in order to obtain multimillion-dollar government contracts, COVID-19 emergency relief loans, and undeserved military service benefits. Stewart, the owner, and president of Federal Government Experts LLC, also defrauded the VA by falsely claiming to be entitled to veteran’s benefits for serving in the Marine Corps when, in fact, he never served in the Marines. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 16, 2021.”

ScalesAgain, we have a perpetrator who needed help from VA employees to defraud the government, which are not held liable as co-conspirators to a crime.  I want to know why?  To register as a veteran, you need documentation, and that documentation has to be approved by several people.  A 201 File is required.  Other supporting documentation is required to show duty in dangerous situations, orders for transfer, a monumental paper trail that is generated, securely kept, and digitized for ease of data checking.  All of which require VA employees to do their jobs correctly.  How can falsely claiming veterans’ benefits still be occurring?  Where are the employees conducting quality assurance checks and performing their roles?

From the VA-OIG report, the following is obtained.

Thomas E. Duncan, a VA procurement supervisor at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, was charged with five counts of wire fraud, one count of witness tampering, and one count of falsifying records. Duncan allegedly received approximately $36,250 in kickbacks from Daniel Dingle, the president of a medical supply company, in exchange for steering at least $1.7 million in product orders to Dingle’s company, many of which were never fulfilled. Dingle was charged with four counts of wire fraud.”

Detective 4I find it interesting how long these fraud schemes are surviving, and I am always left asking, “What else occurred that was “beyond the scope” of the VA-OIG investigation” that will not be charged.  This procurement supervisor felt comfortable defrauding the VA, which tells me that he learned how to commit fraud from someone and taught fraud to others, so what else is occurring that is illegal, unethical, or immoral in this department?

From the VA-OIG report, we find two cases of interest, including another prime example of a third party, able to defraud two different government bureaucracies and no employee accountability.

Kelly Wolfe, 49, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and filing a false tax return. In addition, Wolfe and her company, Regency, Inc., have agreed to pay up to $20,332,516 to resolve allegations that Wolfe and Regency violated the False Claims Act, including falsifying documentation in order to fraudulently establish durable medical equipment corporations to bill Medicare and CHAMPVA for medically unnecessary equipment.”

Darren Cady, owner of Southeastern Physical Therapy in Ashville, North Carolina, agreed to resolve allegations that he received illegal kickbacks and violated the False Claims Act by submitting claims to the VA for reimbursement for medically unnecessary durable medical equipment.”

Will someone please explain how the employees can shirk responsibility for allowing this crime to occur?  Will anyone investigate the cultures of corruption that enable and empower these nefarious beings access to taxpayer dollars?  What about the victims who are refused care because crime sucked resources out of a government program?

The providers’ fundamental roles in VAMC’s across the country are the communication of test results in a timely, honest, and forthright manner.  Yet, one of the first things you learn as a patient of the VAMC is that test results are never discussed forthrightly, honestly, or timely!  I suffer from this problem daily.  Apparently, the problem is so expansive that the VA-OIG investigated the Beckley VAMC in West Virginia and found abused patients, but the VA-OIG claimed the patients were not adversely affected, no harm, no foul, and recommendations were made to improve patient communications.  I could scream in frustration at how often this scenario repeats at the VAMC’s across the US.  Even when the VA employees have caused adverse patient results by not communicating test results, the VA Employees skate on being held accountable.

LookGo to a non-VA hospital or medical doctor if they do not contact you about your test results; regardless of the test results, do you become frustrated, less trusting of that provider, and concerned about your health?  Yet, the VA can routinely, as in every patient, withhold, delay, or obfuscate patient communications and never is held accountable!  That is what is meant by a culture of corruption!

The last entry in our two-week window of the VA-OIG reports is the declarations of insufficient oversight for issuing prosthetic supplies and devices.

VA’s Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service (PSAS) is the world’s largest provider of prosthetic devices and sensory aids. Prosthetics include artificial limbs and any device that supports or replaces a body part or function, such as wheelchairs and pacemakers. Sensory aids include hearing aids, optical prescriptions, low vision, mobility aids, speech, and communication aids. The cost of PSAS services increased from over $2.9 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2016 to nearly $3.5 billion in FY 2019. … Consequently, VHA improperly issued an estimated $15.8 million in prosthetic supplies in 2017. However, 94 percent of transactions related to deceased veterans were proper. The remaining 6 percent were improper, but the OIG did not identify evidence of fraud with respect to these errors. VHA also maintained adequate oversight of duplicate supply issuance [emphasis mine].”

Let’s review;  100% of the cases reviewed, 94% went to deceased individuals, 6% were improper, but the oversight was adequate.  Are you kidding me?!?!  What does a deceased person need with prosthetic devices?  When we discuss employee accountability, proper role fulfillment, and proper oversight through process regulation, this includes protecting the taxpayer from abuse by sending deceased patients expensive medical equipment.

Presidential appointees are in a difficult position; they must serve at the president’s pleasure and lead an organization with an entrenched bureaucracy.  However, the manner of the presidential appointee’s leadership is the living factor that becomes the employees’ behavior, attitudes, and ethics.  Having written about the VA-OIG reports for over 10-years, I have seen good leaders come, and bad leaders go, but always the front-line patient-facing employees will mimic the attitudes, behaviors, and ethics of the presidential appointee, who was hired after Senate confirmation.

PatriotismTo change this paradigm and improve the employees’ behavior, there must be significant and fundamental changes in government size and the government leaders being held personally accountable for the harm and the failure of those being led to do their jobs!  When you do not know the problem, abuse of your rights, privileges, and freedoms occurs.  If you ever need to see why the government size matters, read a few offices of inspector general reports.  These reports are delivered first to the elected representatives, who are supposed to enforce the law upon the executive branch as a money-saving measure.  When was the last time you saw this occur in those televised committee meetings; not, in my lifetime!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Values to live by!

Cute CalfOne of my favorite movies is based upon James Gurney’s “Dinotopia” book series.  In which several truisms are the way of living for the people and dinosaurs on the island.

          1. Survival of all or none.
          2. One raindrop raises the sea.
          3. Weapons are enemies even to their owners.
          4. Give more, take less.
          5. Others first, self last.
          6. Observe, listen, and learn.
          7. Do one thing at a time.
          8. Sing every day.
          9. Exercise imagination.
          10. Eat to live, don’t live to eat.

I liked these values so much; I decided to make my own list.  I included everything from James Gurney’s list, and then I added the following:

          1. Learn something new every day to practice tomorrow.
          2. Skip as often as you are able.
          3. Laugh!
          4. Read a new book monthly, re-read favorite books often.
          5. See people.
          6. Recognize potential.
          7. Celebrate success.
          8. Issue praise daily, sincerely, and repeatedly.

Call Center Agent - MaleOver time I have added some, removed others, and I fully admit the list is not permanent.  But, the list remains essential.  Rogers and Hammerstein wrote a song called “Cockeyed Optimist,” and too often, that song seems primarily written for me.  I love Nellie Forbush singing this song from the movie “South Pacific.”

When the skies are a bright canary yellow
I forget ev’ry cloud I’ve ever seen,
So they called me a cockeyed optimist
Immature and incurably green.
I have heard people rant and rave and bellow
That we’re done, and we might as well be dead,
But I’m only a cockeyed optimist
And I can’t get it into my head.
I hear the human race
Is fallin’ on its face
And hasn’t very far to go,
But ev’ry whippoorwill
Is sellin’ me a bill,
And tellin’ me, it just ain’t so.
I could say life is just a bowl of Jello
And appear more intelligent and smart,
But I’m stuck like a dope
With a thing called hope,
And I can’t get it out of my heart!
Not this heart…

I choose to have optimism; yet, I struggle with depression and anxiety.  I choose joy; yet, I struggle, almost daily with chronic pain, mental distress, and have struggled mightily some days to avoid leaving this mortal coil prematurely.  Still, I am a cockeyed optimist and desire for better days ahead while working for those days today.

LaughterWhy do I tell you this?

I bet you have principles and ideals you choose to live by, that you cling to when the chips are down, or as Shakespeare declared, “suffering the slings and arrows,” and that you use to celebrate when success occurs.  If you don’t, introspect, discover, and write down that which drives you!  See, when the days get hard, I sing!  I have no musical talent, and my musical knowledge can be poured into a thimble and not moisten the bottom, but I sing, which makes all the difference.  Sometimes, I cannot sing aloud, but I sing mentally, and that helps.

ToolsI have seen examples, repeatedly, where weapons are enemies to their owner.  I have an acquaintance who got so wrapped up in purchasing guns and ammo “for protection” he lost everything due to debt’s captivity, including his spouse.  Sure, the argument can be made this example was an extreme situation.  But, the thought remains that maybe we can change.  I am not claiming that weapons are not tools, nor that the world is so safe we can leave our homes unlocked.  I am merely suggesting acknowledging that truth and understanding are available in knowing the potential of a weapon to oneself.

I have encouraged people to praise daily!  No, I am not discussing prayer or singing hymns, although both are important.  I am talking about expressing gratitude, compliments, and sincere praise.  During my undergraduate degree program, I read an article about how honest and sincere praise is as good, or better, for the brain than cash.  The authors used fMRI to see the brain and measure the brain’s actions when praise and cash rewards were offered to a person.  Since that day, when I can create an excuse, I issue praise, provide a compliment, or simply express gratitude.  Be honest, be sincere, but issue praise; the effect is measurable and wonderful to witness.

Duty 3Seeing people is more than seeing the person you interact with.  I was in a group discussion on homelessness in Albuquerque, New Mexico, one of the participants said, “I never see homeless people, is homelessness that big of a problem?”  On the other hand, I saw lots of homeless people, lots of people struggling, and a myriad of homeless situations.  I work to see people, I want to help, so I ask for eyes to see not just people, but an ability to help.   Often, the best I can do for them is issue a silent prayer, but when I have the ability, I do not mind sharing what I have.  But, seeing people is more than homelessness.

Case in point, on a consulting project, I asked who is the best worker in this environment.  No one knew who the most reliable person was, the most knowledgeable, the most agile, and the best worker was because they never saw the person.  The person was a woman who came and went quietly, who never made an occasion to be noticed, and was struggling with not being appreciated.  The day she was recognized, she wept.  The recognition was well earned, the sincerity of her peers was genuine, but she had been overlooked for so long that she had no idea how to accept being seen.  I do not care if you are the boss, or a worker, a leader, or a follower, see people, issue sincere praise, and notice effort.  Not to criticize, but to accept.  For the effort provided might be the best that person can do at the moment in time.

Andragogy - Trainer FailureLong have I advocated for the reduction of the insistence upon multi-tasking.  I worked in a call center where multi-tasking was required, and the agent was so busy multi-tasking the customer on the phone was forgotten, abused, and disregarded.  Even though the call center’s purpose was to “help the customer.”  We all have horror stories of customer service interactions that enrage, alarm, and mystify; but, how many times has too much multi-tasking caused those customer service experiences?  Do one thing at a time, do it well, and then move onto another task; this was a moral in an Aesop’s Fable from my youth, and I think our society might need to revisit the tale and the moral.

Imagination, in school, I was constantly in trouble for imagination.  I could daydream hours away while performing mundane or repetitive tasks.  As an adult, that same imagination holds power for making connections in data, driving holistic solution generation, and improving operations.  One of the best teachers I ever had, was not in school, but I learned how to use imagination, and that lesson was powerful.  Inspire imagination, use imagination, and if imagination is difficult, that’s because it has not been used in a while.  Exercise imagination, read books!  My imagination of Tom Clancy’s book “Hunt for Red October” was so much better than the movie; I do not own the movie.

Pie HumorI love food!  I am a major foodie that I can discuss food, ingredients, cooking chemistry, and so much more until the entire audience is hungry and angry!  I love discussing the history of spices; yes, I am a food nerd!  I am also unapologetic!  When I started living the principle of eating to live, not living to eat, I found the food more enjoyable, taste sensations I had not realized previously, and gustatory experiences that raised my awareness to levels previously impossible to achieve.  While I still love food, and my waistline represents that love, I have learned portion controls are essential to the mental enjoyment of food.  I am not perfect, but I am striving to improve.

Therein lies the lesson in writing down a value system you can voluntarily use to govern your life.  As a kid, I heard a comparison about people in groups being very similar to cows.  After milking and upon being returned to the pasture, dairy cows will run to a boundary and push on that boundary.  If the boundary is strong enough, the cows will congregate in the center of the field, graze, and chew their cuds.  They will huddle inside these strong boundaries for protection and be safe.  If the boundary is not sufficiently strong, the cows will spread all over creation, not eat, not chew their cuds, and will be lost and die.  The boundary is vital to the mental health of the cow.

Laughing OwlBoundaries remain vital to the mental health and safety of the human as well.  Knowing your values is a prerequisite to living your values, and living a value-oriented life improves every aspect of your life.  Learn, write down, and then live.  It’s okay to fail, it’s okay to set hard values as goals to reach, and it is okay to have easy values that you can achieve with minimal effort.  Why; because the boundary is important, not the exact value.  If your value inspires you to action, it is a good value.  Provided your values do not harm another, steal property, or unfairly use another, live your values!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.

NO MORE BS: Literacy and Liberty

Gadsden FlagThere is a legal axiom that everyone should know and fear in the biblical sense, “Ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse.”  When I first heard this hypothesis, my initial thought was, “How totally bogus!!!”  As I have learned, as my literacy levels have climbed, and as my understanding has deepened, I understand the principle in this axiom more completely.  The principle is not to sow doubt and fear in a populace but to promote learning because liberty is both precious and easily removed.  As a point of reference, the preciousness and removal of liberty have been studied. Through their ignorance, those who are illiterate of the law are more susceptible to be disadvantaged by the law.

How did the housing bubble happen?

Sure, the government reduced regulations, played with interest rates, and created the problem.  Banking is a business, and the first rule of business is to return profits to the investors, so the banking industry dove headfirst into getting people into homes.  State governments helped fuel this problem with deregulation, tax breaks, and incentives, increasing their debt levels to invest in housing people.  I will fully support that everyone involved possessed altruistic motives: altruism, the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for others’ well-being.

Detective 2Except … research supports the conclusion that despite fairness doctrines written into laws, illiterates are more disadvantaged in legal dealings.  Never forget, functional illiteracy was a desire of Dewey in the late 1860s as a means of reducing the power, liberty, and freedom of populations through K-12 education.  We must start understanding the origins of the problem to empower and plot a working solution.  Academic research is purposefully vague and inconsistent on the lines of congruence between functional illiteracy and individual wealth and economic mobility, all while taking advantage of the inconsistencies where the law is concerned.

Stevens (1985) reviewed the data and found a relationship barrier, “the crudeness of the literacy/illiteracy measurements, and a finer distinction was required.”  The data he used was from the 1870s and showed that literacy barriers were dependent upon age; the older the person, the less likely they were to be literate and more likely to be taken advantage of by the law.  Does this sound familiar where the housing bubble was concerned?

Root Cause AnalysisJen Deaderick, writing for the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER; 2018), provides vital insight into how hard and deeply the housing bubble affected lower-income people and minority populations.  One of the more brutal consequences of the housing bubble was the extreme credit card debt carried by lower-income minority populations and how these populations have never recovered to 2007 income levels.

Demos and NAACP co-authored a research report declaring how credit card debt in lower-income and minority households is seen as a “safety-net.”  While these populations are actively working to pay down their credit card debt, the credit card usage remains high, and the pay-down and usage cycle hinders wealth growth.  I have now asked this question of school boards in several states and with teachers in high schools, “Why is economics not taught in high school?  Especially how to budget money, creating money, money intelligence, etc.”  The answer is always the same, “That is a good idea, but there is no time or interest in teaching those uninteresting topics.”  I have found that teachers are some of the highest credit card users in the various professionals, far outstripping commissioned salespeople.

Returning to the premise that functional illiteracy, chiefly where finances and the law are concerned, sees a tremendous and disproportionate abuse of lower-income and minority people at the hands of contractual law.  According to the law hypothesis stated above, their illiteracy is their fault, and thus the abuse is their problem.  Yet, if a person’s illiteracy was purposefully inflicted upon them by, say government, who is responsible for the illiteracy?

Oops!I fully submit that after K-12 Education, a person is recognized as an adult, fully responsible for their actions or inactions based upon what they learned in school, to become a productive member of society.  I have learned and am still learning tough and difficult lessons regarding personal literacy and financial decisions, literacy and law, liberty and literacy, and much more.  Yet, I read, I try to expand my mind, I make choices and suffer or enjoy consequences based upon those choices.  I understand the process because I have wanted to know more.

Research on reading shows that a vast majority of Americans never read a book after high school, including those who go onto college.  Worse, many students in junior high and high school never read a book; but complete reading assignments using search topics and Google.  Why; because being literate is considered “nerdy,” “reading is difficult,” “reading is not intellectually challenging,” and the excuses run on ad nauseam and ad infinitum.  All of which has been the aim of the acolytes of Dewey and Wundt since the 1860s.

Stevens (1985) expressed an idea important to literacy and freedom.

It is obvious that if literacy skills are required to exercise voting rights, for example, the worth of liberty for the illiterate person is severely diminished.”  In the decisions of State v. Sweeney (1950) the Court argued for “equal opportunities under the law,” but added: “lt is not possible for constitutions or legislation to make all men equal in understanding, intelligence and education.”  State legislation tended in the direction of equality of education even to the point of “compelling the youth of our country to take advantage of these opportunities.” But the Court acknowledged that “in every phase of our social and civic life, the uneducated man is at a disadvantage.”

Detective 4Except the case can be made that the State, with the Federal Government’s aid, has created the uneducated person, purposefully to abuse a population for political power.  When teachers tell a student they cannot learn, need Ritalin, are dyslexic, as agents of the State, they are declaring the student’s potential—locking the student into a life of purposely being taken advantage of by contractual law and other forms of law.  Who gave the teachers the right to demand a student be placed on harmful drugs to exist in a modern classroom, the State.  Who gave teachers the authority to diagnose a student as “dyslexic,” the State.  Why were teachers granted this power; why was the power stripped from parents; because Dewey wanted to control populations through literacy ability.  Dewey considered a literate person a danger to society, following an unnatural god, and possessing the power of a tyrant because they knew their language and could express themselves.

My next younger brother, Steven, is an imaginative, brilliant, and incredible person.  But, he got frustrated when trying to learn; the more frustrated he got, the more unbearable to be around he became.  Years of being told to shut up, sit down, and pay attention, has left him a shell of a person.  Teachers actively refused to answer his questions because he has a problem correctly describing the question in words.  He does not have a learning disability.  His brain works differently from the rest of a classroom population.  When he found a teacher that could help him, that was the height of his education in K-12.  He was passed onto another teacher to “be their problem” until he dropped out of school in frustration.  Unfortunately, in my family, two other brothers followed the same pattern.  Three lives have been blighted and wasted because the teachers measured potential by poverty and failed to educate, the school boards refused to teach and educate, and the State supported the teachers and school board.

Theres moreHow often does this story repeat in your family?  How often does this story repeat in your school?  How often does it repeat in your community, state, and nation?  The short answer, “Too bloody often!”  These are the people to whom the law abuses, contracts are a noose around their necks, voting ballots are a blur, and who will never leave the captivity of illiteracy!

Would you, the audience reading this blog, be surprised to find yourself in the same category as my brothers?  Abused by contractual law, abused by other laws, held in captivity due to your limited education and poor literacy abilities.  I am not judging you or your potential; by merely reaching out to find information and reading this blog, you are trying, and I commend you for your efforts and will help your progress any way I can.  But, we all have been abused, seen our potential limited, and lost liberties and freedoms based solely upon the education received at the hands of the State.  Surprised; I was when I started researching these topics.  Now, I find myself feeling more like a soaked chicken with a raging case of hemorrhoids.

Scared Eyes!Your command of your language has been intentionally limited, and each successive year, it has been reduced.  For example, while insignificant, my knowledge of literature is greater than my sister’s, and her command of the language is magnitudes greater than my youngest brother.  Want an interesting experiment, next time you have multiple generations of your family around, ask them what words mean and how to use them in sentences.  You will find similar generational gaps in literacy, even if those family members do not read.

I met an incredible family in Northern Ohio, 18 kids born to the same husband/wife team.  When the younger kids need help with homework, they call a big brother or sister.  Dad is a construction worker, very skilled with his hands, brilliant in planning and carrying out projects, but never considered “worthy” of higher education.  Mom is well-read, intelligent, and a savvy thinker, but the school boards deemed her potential.  In both cases, the school board was exceedingly wrong, but the hold was too powerful to shake.  Their story is replicated, maybe not with as many kids, from Maine to Washington, from Florida to Montana, and every stop in between, and it remains abhorrent to me!

LookYour potential to learn is not governed by what a teacher or school board has determined.  Your potential is only limited by you and your choices.  If you know someone who struggles, please help them, for you will find that empowering a mind to learn is the most incredible feeling in the world!  To know you have brightened a mind to shake off the shackles of captivity gives you the confidence to improve your own understanding and to repeat the feat!  Please, help end the abuse of the law, through literacy which increases liberty and freedom!  Because we are all connected, increasing liberty and freedom for one person increases liberty and freedom for everyone.  The truth is apparent, “One raindrop raises the sea!”

Reference

Stevens, E. (1985). Literacy and the worth of liberty. Historical Social Research, 10(2), 65-81. https://doi.org/10.12759/hsr.10.1985.2.65-81

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.

NO MORE BS: Eugenics – The Scourge of Society

Friends QuoteI have no use for the term, the methods of thinking, or the devaluation of human potential found in those professing Eugenics!  I make no excuses, broke no apologies, and suffer no eugenic fool any ground for any reason.  Frankly, I would see a full reckoning of those professors of Eugenics in a court of law, where the punishment meted out is community service in distinctive clothing, cleaning streets, pulling weeds, and scrubbing graffiti.  The professing of Eugenics where humans are concerned is a blatant lie!

H.H. Goddard (inventor of the term “moron”) used psychological testing to “prove” the feeble-mindedness of a significant number of Jews, Italians, Hungarians, Russians, and other Eastern Europeans attempting to immigrate into America in the early 1900s.  Representing the same thinking that allowed the Tuskegee Experiment upon Black people where sexually transmitted diseases were deliberately given, and medication deliberately withheld, all because a population was deemed inferior and useful only for research!  The thinking that supports Eugenics can send any number of people to Siberia to starve to death, send people into gas chambers, or mow them down in busloads with bullets, chemical weapons, or any number of vile methods culled from all of human history.

Eugenics is just a fancy word for racism, and I will tolerate no racist bigot!  Ever!

CaptivityYet, here we have, again, a crossing of “modern psychology” and the acolytes of Wundt, with K-12 government-mandated education.  All are working their poison to denigrate, deride, dismiss, and dismantle human potential by treating a child like an animal.  Using impulses and stimuli, to program behavior (brainwash) and produce through “K-12 Education,” drones and illiterate masses.  Do we understand that K-12 Education is not educating at all?  Do we see that the war for the classroom has been waged, and the casualties are smart, intelligent, and beautiful children who have been wasted, blighted, and hindered?  Why do we allow this tyranny to thrive?

Over my lifespan, I have heard, multiple times, that the Black people in America were treated horribly as slaves.  Correct, they were slaves, and slavery is horrible.  No doubt, no discussion is needed.  As is often the case, the worst treatment of Black people, as slaves, came at Black Slave owners’ hands.  But, every race coming to America has suffered the bigotry, the hatred, the stupid waste of potential through social programming, and I am sick to death of passing out excuse cards for poor behavior because someone oppressed your family in America’s history.

Theres moreThe Chinese and Japanese, including Filipinos, Koreans, Vietnamese, and other Asian ethnicities, were treated as slaves, second-and third-class citizens.  You do not see them rioting, murdering, burning, looting, and terrorizing cities because of their treatment in history.  Irish, Hungarians, Russians, Greeks, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, etc., all have periods of history where they were treated horribly, and they aren’t in the streets of America throwing a fit, starting fires, and beating their neighbors to death.  I worked for a person who came to America illegally, became a citizen, and then considered it a right to oppress his fellow illegal Mexicans through low wages, hard work, and abuse.  One day, I had that job, then the boss fired me to hire five illegal Mexicans for the wages I earned.

Do we not understand that the mother of Eugenics, Margaret Sanger, was a racist bigot who wanted to eradicate the Black Population through abortion?  Wundt, Dewey, Skinner, Pavlov, Goddard, Cattell, etc., all had similar ideas, control who was allowed to breed, to change the human genome, and eradicate “undesirable populations.”  Who is the most famous eugenicist in History; Mao, Stalin, and Hitler all compete for that title.  Still, we accept Eugenics in classroom “education” and limit potential through the labels of race, poverty, and so many other useless and denigrating titles.

What limits potential?

CourageChoice and effort!  Perception and valuation cycles where a choice is made, natural consequences occur, and the valuation of those consequences delivers to the agent the ability to continue with the original choice or choose another action with differing consequences.  Choice and consequence, effort, and time, these are what limit potential!  Poverty is a condition that can be overcome through effort!  Race has nothing to do with potential!  Our societies have been purposefully programmed to believe that the only thing that separates a successful person from an unsuccessful person is their race and their parents’ income level at birth.

I am done with this lie!  I refuse the Kool-Aid!  I abhor the preachers and acolytes of modern psychology who create limits based upon standardized tests, where the student has been refused preparation, and the score determines their entire educational experience.

Life ValuedI am a living, breathing example that poverty does not dictate potential.  I was raised in a poor and abusive family; my mother was labeled as dyslexic and a poor learner in school, which was her excuse for not achieving.  My father is brilliant as a musician, but his potential was limited to the band in school, and he never conquered his labels.  I hold a double master’s degree, graduating with 3.7+ GPA’s in both degree programs from accredited schools.  I was told my whole life college was not an option.  Shortly, I will complete my Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, where my dissertation is on andragogy in call centers’ corporate training.

In my professional career, I have been a sheepherder, a dairy worker, a heavy equipment machinery operator, a truck driver, HAZMAT specialist, marine engineer, firefighter, explosives expert, infantry soldier, a buyer, a contract specialist, a program manager, a project manager, and so much more.  Why; because I refuse to be classified by titles.  I have been bullied, beat up, attacked, sexually assaulted, discriminated against, and so much more.  But, I refuse to be labeled and kept down because some racist bigot, or eugenic acolyte, has decided I am less worthy than someone else!

Detective 4The scourge of society is the pernicious lies spread by modern psychologists that Eugenics is a way of life, that only the fittest can survive and mate.  People can be classified, labeled, and filed away like books in a library through controlling education.  I refute the modern psychologist’s authority to act in a manner conducive to Mao, Stalin, and Hitler in destroying another child’s life through Eugenics!  I refuse to accept any authority that would allow Eugenics to thrive one second longer as a method for classifying people and stealing their potential.

I have the scars of a life fully lived.  I have the injuries of military service to mind and body.  I bear the marks of a lot of hate.  But, I have the dignity of knowing who I am, what I stand for, and what I will and will NOT accept.  I will not accept being labeled.  I am an AMERICAN.  I believe that “A(h) ME I CAN,” because I am an American!  I am not perfect, but I do not expect perfection from anyone, only the willingness to strive for today to be better than yesterday.

LinkedIn ImageJoin Me!  Refuse the labels!  Refute the authority!  Stop the lies of Eugenics!  End this scourge of tyranny that has been laid upon our shoulders like a yoke of captivity.  We are humans, we have a soul, we have dignity, grace, mercy, and we believe in justice, truth, and moral integrity as the bulwark of one “Rule of Law.”

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.

NO MORE BS: The Historical Roots of Progressive Education

Gears[Public Service notice: All quotations arrive from Paulo Lionni’s, “The Leipzig Connection.”]

Paulo Lionni. “The Leipzig Connection” points out some history of great importance to understanding K-12 education.  As American students left the U.S. for Germany to study under Wilhelm Wundt in Leipzig, they returned to America and either landed faculty jobs in psychology departments or branched out into education, specifically training K-12 teachers.  Each of these returning students wanted introspection to be measured, believed the human was an animal with no soul or divinity, and each of them left impressions upon teachers entering classrooms of K-12.

VirtueThe first of Wundt’s American students to return to the United States was G. Stanley Hall.  Hall became known for his intensive studies of child development, directly fostering the child study movement in America.  In 1904 Hall published his masterwork, the two-volume “Adolescence: Its Psychology and Its Relations to Physiology, Anthropology, Sociology, Sex, Crime, Religion, and Education,” welding experimental psychology to child education.  Never forget, many of these new K-12 Educators also crossed professional paths with John Dewey, who remained adamantly opposed to literate students.  Another name in early K-12 progressive education is Edward Lee Thorndike, who was fond of declaring, “Subjects such as arithmetic, language, and history include content that is intrinsically of little value.”

Progressive education is nothing but experimental psychology, renamed, remarketed, and reliving the experiments, over and over.  The ultimate example of Einstein’s definition of insanity repeats on every new generation of unsuspecting students.  The work of dumbing down students has been launched successfully at this point in history.

The way Ph.D. Education worked in the late 1800s through the early1900s; a doctoral student found a Ph.D. holder, mimicked them, and increased the original research by extending their research into future application.  Hence, the need to fully understand Dewey and his influence upon those who graduated as Ph.D. holders who went on to lead colleges, laboratories, and experiment on children in K-12 Education.  Dewey contended that the public schools must “take an active part in determining the social order of the future… according as the teachers align themselves with the newer forces making for social control of economic forces.” Further, Dewey insisted that “… learning occurred only through experience, that the stimulus-response mechanism was basic to learning, and that teachers were not instructors, but designers of learning experiences [Emphasis Mine].”

Detective 2The shift in defining education changed the teacher’s role in the classroom. The insistence upon modern psychology having a free reign in the K-12 classrooms meant that the students were always being experimented upon, measured, sensory gratification induced, and socialized into education, not taught.  I have read accounts of progressive education experiences from England in the early 1900s, where the learning experiences meant some kid got pummeled by a bully, and the bully and victim had to relate what they learned from the experience.  Unfortunately, the same tripe is occurring in today’s classrooms.  While substituting, I experienced continual class time interruptions for standardized tests, surveys, information-gathering research, etc. All examples of modern psychology’s influence still treating K-12 students as pieces of information to be harvested instead of minds needing education.  My K-12 years were spent taking standardized tests, one in the fall, one in the spring, a big one at fourth, eighth, and twelfth grades, not mentioning SAT, ACT, ASVAB, etc.

What does a designer of learning experiences look like in reality?

I substitute taught in 4-APA English classes and 4-English classes for a period of almost 90-days.  The “designed learning experiences” included helping students feel Hester Prynne’s castigation while reading “The Scarlet Letter.”  Except, most of the students assigned to read the book refused. Those who read the book carried the “classroom discussions,” and the discussions never really discussed the book, the social issues, or worked to draw interest.  Worse, the majority of the student’s time was spent on workbooks with tear-out pages, where I, as the teacher, could only answer questions about the materials in the books, not teach the materials.  My hands were tied about how, what, when, and where I could instruct.  If a good discussion was started in an APA class, that discussion could not be continued onto another class, and many questions were forced unanswered.  Leaving frustration, social animosity, and producing a monumental waste of time.

Theres moreI asked full-time teachers what they thought and was surprised that their frustrations were not more significant.  One particularly fine comment has stuck with me, “You either learn to live with frustration, or you get out of teaching.”  I am a third option kind of person; I want to change the system, save children’s potential, and keep the American Heritage alive for another generation.

Where does Teacher Frustration Originate?

One of Wundt’s assistants and a Ph.D. student was James Mc-Keen Cattell, who measured how adults read, then assumed children did not need phonics to sound out words but could read using whole word memorization.  Notice the logic problem here; the adults measured had learned how to read using phonics, then honed their skills over time.  Cattell wanted to skip the learning stage and the honing stage and have children jump into whole-word memorization without phonics’ building blocks.  Guess what happened; dyslexia was born.  Because the student never had a proper foundation to read, reading became a chore, a hassle, and a struggle.  The students in these progressive schools were handed an excuse, a disease, and reading comprehension standards, reading ability, and reading literacy dropped significantly.  Not to mention the literary arts, or the art of expression through language was lost entirely.

Detective 4Admittedly, the most basic and essential skill a child needs is the ability to read.  Reading is paramount in everything a person does; math, science, history, language, etc., all depend upon the ability to read well.  Yet, Cattell removed the learning and honing experiences in reading, and the world has been worse off.  But, to refuse whole-word memorization and teach phonics in a classroom is a sin comparable to eating your own child. Want an interesting fact, whole-word memorization, also known as sight-reading, has been confirmed through peer-reviewed research as not increasing literacy rates.  Since Dewey was adamantly opposed to literate students, the psychologists won, and phonics was replaced.

Bringing the conversation to Charles Darwin and Darwin’s cousin Francis Galton.  “Galton’s theories held that ‘a man’s natural abilities are derived by inheritance, under exactly the same limitations as are the form and physical features of the whole organic world.’” Cattell quickly absorbed Galton’s approach to Eugenics, selective breeding, and the measurement of intelligence based upon race, poverty, and genetics. Cattell was later to become the American leader in psychological testing, and in 1894 would administer the first battery of standardized psychological tests ever given to a large group of people.”

Wundt maintained that humans are animals, and animal breeding is connected to Eugenics; thus, humans breed through Eugenics.  Eugenics is the practice or advocacy of improving the human species by selectively mating people with specific desirable hereditary traits. It aims to reduce human suffering by “breeding out” disease, disabilities, and so-called undesirable characteristics from the human population.

What is the problem with Eugenics?

Andragogy - LEARNWho determines “undesirable hereditary traits?”  Is poverty an undesirable hereditary trait?  If so, then which gene is the poverty gene?  Which race is “undesirable” and needs “bred out of the human genome?”  Which “disabilities” are “undesirable characteristics” dyslexia has been made a handicap, injuries that lead to handicaps are those “undesirable?”  Who chooses “selective mating?”  How are selective mating couples selected?  The abortion movement and Margaret Sanger are mentioned here due to the stress of Eugenics upon student education beliefs:

    • Continuous Issue (1973) – Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Court ruled that the United States Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction.
        • A little history on this subject, the 1820s and 1830s abortions were common through the fourth month of pregnancy, and herbs, pills, and other home remedies were prevalent for use. Then, the physicians of America and the government stepped in to prevent poisoning and assert control over home remedies, midwives, and other medical opinion providers of the time.
        • New York was the first state to legalize or codify into law abortion as a public health measure to improve women’s lives. But the abortion industry had not begun targeting Black and minority communities.  The first women getting abortions mainstream were middle- or upper-class white married women.
        • Original feminists opposed abortion practices and wanted only voluntary motherhood through the “right of women to control sex with their husbands.”
        • The original laws banning abortion were enacted to humiliate women who had to discuss their bedroom affairs with the executive and judicial branch representatives.
        • Judges decided to outlaw abortion through judicial activism because it took the legislative branch too long to enact laws the special interest groups, e.g., the American Medical Association (AMA), wanted.
        • Judges then decided to make abortion on demand legal through judicial activism, because again, it was taking too long for the legislative branch to act and enact laws.
        • Thus, judicial activism and abortion have a long and sordid history of causing chaos in America since at least the 1840s. Hence, when a person discusses Roe v. Wade, they are only discussing the abortion on demand industry.

The other problem.

Based upon Wundt’s beliefs and teaching, propagated by Dewey and instilled in the beliefs that psychology and pedagogical education are inseparably connected, the reader arrives back at Thorndike.  Thorndike proposed making “the study of teaching scientific and practical.” This is his definition of the art of teaching: “…the art of giving and withholding stimuli with the result of producing or preventing certain responses.”  Thorndike believed, taught, and wrote about how children are nothing but animals, the same as chickens, cats, dogs, fish, etc., and through stimulation, responses can be programmed.

Behavior-ChangeFor example, a child is handed an assignment book.  Keeping the book clean and neat earns them a star, doing assignments earns them a star, being clean, and a myriad of other “socially accepted stimuli” will earn them stars, with the promise of a huge reward at the end of the year for those who collect the most stars.  Programmed behavior became integral in pedagogical instruction methods, not training the mind to independence, responsibility, and accountability.  Like Pavlov, Thorndike wanted to stimulate a programmed response, controlling remotely those who were deemed lesser.  Including anybody who disagreed with their aims, methods and was not converted to Wundtian methods.

The problem is apparent, to increase liberty, freedoms, and reduce government size; conservatives must focus on, and win, the battle for the classroom K-12.  But only if you believe that a human has a divine spark, a soul, and is held accountable to an entity higher than oneself.  Many good people have been duped by plasticized language and the tyranny spawned from modular language, where the psychologists and pedagogical education cross.  Worse, there are faithful acolytes who not only believe that a human has no soul but are willing to enforce breeding programs to rid the world of unwanted traits and genetic undesirability.  The sad but undeniable truth, K-12 pedagogical education warfare has been waged and, supposedly, won by the modern psychologists, who fought without an enemy.

3-direectional-balanceForward action is explicit, we must stand against the tyranny occurring in the classroom, rooting out the progressive education that was sold, and enslaved us, or our children will lose this precious country.  There is no third option here, we either win the classroom and remain a Republic, or we lose the classroom and lose the republic.  First, we must learn and raise our literacy rates.  Second, we educate our children and increase their literacy rates.  Third, we challenge, respectfully and legally, the actions of those on school boards.

Accept the challenge. … READ!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.

NO MORE BS: The Virtuous Woman, the Modest Man

Another result of School 2 educational methodology was pointed out to me, the loss of the virtuous woman and the modest man.  I owe my life and sanity to a Catholic Nun, who left the nunnery to work in the real world with children.  Miss Murphy was a virtuous woman, not just because of her commitments to the church as a nun, but her poise, her speech, her mental aptitude and attitude, all bespoke virtue.  Miss Murphy was my principal at Governor Anderson Elementary School, Belfast, Maine, for three years.  She remained my friend for another two years, and her example has had a significant influence on me.

My wife, born in 1941, is a virtuous woman.  Her strength comes from her mother, who was virtuous, kind, and a bare-knuckle fighter.  I love my Mother-in-Law for her scrappiness and her virtues, her kindness, and her focused strength.  Her daughter is a softer version of the mother, and both of these women have had a tremendous influence on my life.

Virtuous WomanI never met my paternal grandfather; my paternal grandmother was a virtuous woman, a nurse, and an influence for good.  My maternal grandmother and grandfather were two of the most virtuous and modest people I ever met.  Some fond memories exist with both of these incredible people, and I hope I am representing their virtues and modesty appropriately.  My maternal great-grandmother was an incredible woman.  She was blind, but her clothes were always neat and comely, her house was immaculate, and sure she had some help, but the core was all her.

Where did the virtuous woman and modest man go in society?

Virtuous Woman 2They got lost as School 2 progressivism won the contest for educating young minds.  As children’s education became the reduction of minds to animal appetites increasingly, virtue and modesty were the first victims.  When I went to school, if your underwear was showing, it was considered a crime.  I was bullied and got a wedgie, the principal saw my underwear, and I got a two-day suspension and had to write a report on modesty in public and why modesty was important, as a condition to returning to school.  Now, underwear is everywhere, virtue and modesty are punchlines in-jokes, and the grandeur and mystery of the human body are belittled and mocked.

School 2 Methodologies:

Education is “… the result of modifiability in the paths of neural conduction. Explanations of even such forms of learning as abstraction and generalization demand of the neurones only growth, excitability, conductivity, and modifiability. The mind is the connection system of man; and learning is the process of connecting. The situation-response formula is adequate to cover learning of any sort, and the influential factors in learning are readiness of the neurones, sequence in time.”

Observations:

Virtuous Woman 3I love watching and observing people, children are the best, and little girls are amazing.  Why, because little girls live in their own world, interpret their worlds so dynamically different from boys, and ages of girls have distinct differences in understanding the world.  Get a group of 4-year old girls together, and they play differently than 5-yer old girls, but their worlds can merge but always remain separate.  But, too often, I see children forced into roles that they are uncomfortable with.  For example, little girls need a space of their own to think, consider, play, interpret, and be safe.  The girl is often bombarded with stuff that does not allow a safe space, and the little girl grows up insecure.

Little boys need room to roam, expand, explore, and run around.  Little boys need this exercise as much as they need air to breathe.  Yet, too often, the little boys are losing this room, and in losing the room, lose themselves, and never fully appreciate what it means to be a guy.

ModestyWandering through a clothing store one day, I was shocked, bewildered, and dismayed to see two-piece bikinis for newborns and toddlers.  How is a girl to learn her body’s majesty if her every waking moment is spent showing off her body?  How is a boy to learn control and respect for his body and a girl’s body when the clothes available are immodest at best?

The lessons of the schoolroom have invaded every aspect of our lives.  The reduction of the human spirit to neurologic impulse and animal appetites has robbed little children of the most precious time of their lives, their childhoods!

Wasting TimeThe time for silence is over.  The time for immodesty in public, displayed in verbal explosions of profanity, clothes that do not reflect respect in self, and the mocking of virtue, needs to end.  We are not animals, and we are not unrestrained appetites.  We are more than the connections of neurons that are turned on and off by a need for sensory gratification.  Those who are currently in power can be defeated and deserve to be defeated by realizing that we no longer accept that which has been “educated” into our brains.

I am not asking for high-necked collars and ties to go to the grocery store.  I am not claiming women should go back to hoop skirts and corsets.  I am encouraging a return to virtues, modesty, and respect first for oneself.

What are virtues?

VirtueVirtue, by definition, is the moral excellence of a person. A morally excellent person has a character made-up of virtues valued as useful.  Virtue is moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality deemed morally acceptable and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. Personal virtues are characteristics valued as promoting collective and individual greatness.  Aristotle provided 12 unique virtues, which we should begin with understanding and acquiring.  Aristotle’s 12 virtues:

1) Courage – bravery
2) Temperance – moderation
3) Liberality – the quality of being open to novel ideas and free from prejudice.
4) Magnificence – charisma, style
5) Magnanimity – generosity
6) Ambition – Drive to excel
7) Patience – temperate, calm
8) Friendliness – the quality of being friendly; affability
9) Truthfulness – honesty, candidness
10) Wit – humor, joy
11) Modesty –behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency
12) Justice – a sense of right/wrong, indignation

Andragogy - LEARNLiteracy is the power to inspire the mind, grow the soul, and improve the world we live in.  Freedom arrives thru and as a result of learning, reading, and questioning.  Freedom and liberty grow as our love of literacy increases.  The answer to improving democracy everywhere is freeing the minds through reading, writing, and learning.

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.

NO MORE BS: Do you have a soul?

Good TimberWhen I ask if you have a soul, I will not discuss philosophy, religion, or modernism.  I am not caring about psychology topics as much as a teacher’s actual role in a classroom.  Sensory gratification is a terrible disease plaguing society in ever more significant amounts since the 1960s.  Free sex, free education, action without consequence, unrestrained debt, drugs to get high, drugs to come down off the high safely, want something take it, steal it, buy it, all these sensory gratifications, and more, are linked to individual appetite.  An appetite that is never sated.  Leading to the questions, what happened, and where did we learn unrestrained appetite?

What happened?

The answer is embodied in the saying that yesterday’s school philosophies became today’s governmental actions.  Education has proclaimed the pernicious idea that a human can be programmed with sensory inducements, like a fish, a dog, a cat, a chicken, etc., and “educated” to be nothing but a social animal, devoid of anything but unrestrained sensory desires.  History has revealed the origin of education’s pernicious idea lies with Wilhelm Wundt.

Detective 2Paulo Lionni. “The Leipzig Connection” offers the following as the aim of Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920), the “Father of Modern Psychology.” “…For the emergence of a society more and more blatantly devoted to the gratification of sensory desires at the expense of responsibility and achievement.”  If this phrase does not hold the fullest description of society’s problems, all societies worldwide, I will eat my hat.

Lionni went further and detailed that, “Wundt asserted man is devoid of spirit and self-determinism.”  Meaning that man, which includes women, has no eternal spark, no divinity, no individualism, and lacks the ability to choose the best growth path.  Man can be reduced from a noble spirit in a temporal body to an appetite that can be artificially triggered by electrical connections.  Would it surprise anyone to know that Pavlov, the guy who treated dogs to electric shocks to get them salivating when they hear a bell, and Skinner, the guy who conducted box training for conditioned responses, both went to Wundt for learning and training?

Conditioned responses are not, in and of themselves, bad or undesirable.  As a firefighter, conditioned responses have saved my life, have improved my response times, and have kept my fire teams alive.  However, as the sole education method for government education in K-12 training, conditioned responses, also known as sensory gratification, have created severe social issues that are killing potential, ruining lives, and robbing freedom and liberty.

Where did we learn unrestrained appetite?

Duty 3There are two schools of thought about education; these schools of thought are defined by their definitions of the term “education.”  Education is a concept dating back to the Latin root of the word, Eductus, “to bring out, lead forth,” from E, “out of,” + Ducere, “lead.”  Hence, “to develop the faculties and powers of another by teaching, instruction, or schooling.”

School 1:

“Originally, education meant the drawing out of a person’s innate talents and abilities by imparting the knowledge of languages, scientific reasoning, history, literature, rhetoric, etc., —the channels through which those abilities would flourish and serve.”

School 2:

Education is “… the result of modifiability in the paths of neural conduction. Explanations of even such forms of learning as abstraction and generalization demand of the neurones only growth, excitability, conductivity, and modifiability. The mind is the connection system of man; and learning is the process of connecting. The situation-response formula is adequate to cover learning of any sort, and the influential factors in learning are readiness of the neurones, sequence in time.”

Andragogy - LEARNUntil the 1930s, America and most of the world used education as represented as “School 1,” described above.  Students were led to bring forth talents and abilities through the knowledge imparted by a teacher.  Between 1930 and 1960, both schools of thought were competing for dominance, and “progressive schools” were all about socializing and sensory gratification.  By 1960, the domination of School 2 thinking had overtaken the majority of educational establishments.  Removing the individuality and replacing the individual with “the gratification of sensory desires at the expense of responsibility and achievement.”

What was the result of School 2 methodologies?

Detective 4Dyslexia was invented to cover those students who struggled.  Ritalin was introduced to control those whose sensory inputs were not in line with what was being taught was acceptable behavior. Student’s potential was measured by race and poverty and not upon individual effort, achievement, and development.  Functional illiteracy became the standard for graduating from High School to have a ready-made population of drones for the workforce.  The powers supplying the sensory inputs into the population rose to dominate government, media, technology, and much more.  Suicide rates climbed.  Depression rates climbed.  Mental diseases exploded as a means of excusing and separating the population.  Debt at all levels, household, city/town, county, state, Federal, credit card, school loans, etc., exploded to the insane levels witnessed today.  Single-parenthood became desirable.  Sex without consequences, abortion on demand, and so much more became socially permissible, accepted, and cheered.

Where we are now!

This brings us to 2021; education is now all “School 2” thinking. The vast majority of workers are functionally illiterate, and the government is stealing freedom and liberty through a “health emergency.”  As long as the population’s senses are being filled, the powers in charge can do whatever they want; including stealing an election, robbing unborn children of freedom through debt captivity, and abusing the electorate at will (California, New York, Oregon, New Mexico, and Michigan’s Governors) and robbing the Social Security Fund to pay for the pleasures of today, with no thought of the consequences tomorrow.

RememberDecember 2020, I began reviewing the outstanding accomplishments witnessed in the last century, and a question percolated, “Where are the new great accomplishments?”  Consider the “Big Historical Moments” of the 1900s.  We have the automobile instead of the horse-drawn carriage.  We have space flight, trans-continental flight.  We have all these technological advances.  Humans witnessed so much growth from 1900-1999, but in the first two decades of the new century, we appear to have come to a plateau and lost our way.  In delving deeper into this question, School 1 and School 2 philosophies’ discovery is the driving factor in why we appear to have plateaued in making discoveries, pushing boundaries, and driving innovation forward.

Maybe, plateaued is the wrong way to describe the advances witnessed from 2000-2020.  I read almost weekly about new discoveries in science and medicine, but to read these advances, I have to dig through media blaring about someone’s clothes, hair, sexual orientation, etc.  The headlines cheering Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic, Amelia Earhart’s flights, and more were the talk of the town; newspapers the world over celebrated these achievements.  Now, new advances and achievements have to compete with political bloviations, smoke and mirror editorials, and envy has become the topic of discussion and is celebrated.  All because too many generations have been reduced to animals by School 2 methodologies.

Leading the issue back to the initial question, “Do you have a soul?”  If so, then School 2 education is abhorrent, and mighty change is immediately required to correct the problems.  If not, then School 1 education and the mighty thinking and doing of the 1900s is lost forever.  Are you a social animal that is all unrestrained appetite for whatever power that provides you the most sensory gratification, or are you an eternal being, in a temporal existence, willing to shoulder accountability for the blessings of growth, freedom, liberty, and independence?

LinkedIn ImageI know my answer, and I strive every day to learn, change, grow, and control my passions and other sensory-based appetites in an effort to develop.  “Do you have a soul?”

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.

NO MORE BS: A Third Powerful Tool

Image result for Image, deliberate dumbing down of americaFrom Chapter One of Charlotte Iserbyt’s, “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America,” we find the following:

“… In 1898, Dewey wrote an essay, “The Primary-Education Fetish,” in which he explained exactly what he meant:”

“There is… a false education god whose idolators are legion, and whose cult influences the entire educational system. This is language study—the study not of foreign language, but of English; not in higher, but in primary education. It is almost an unquestioned assumption, of educational theory and practice both, that the first three years of a child’s school life shall be mainly taken up with learning to read and write his own language. If we add to this the learning of a certain amount of numerical combinations, we have the pivot about which primary education swings… It does not follow, however, that conditions—social, industrial, and intellectual—have undergone such a radical change, that the time has come for a thoroughgoing examination of the emphasis put upon linguistic work in elementary instruction… The plea for the predominance of learning to read in early school life because of the great importance attaching to literature seems to me a perversion.”

Scared Eyes!From this quote, in 1898 to the mid-1960s, phonics in K-6th grade education began to be battled by “Whole Word Memorization.”  By the end of the 1960s, teaching phonics in the classroom will be lost entirely.  Reading will continue to be irrationally marginalized, and learning the English language will take a hit so hard that many people will never know the grandeur of the language.

I spent some time reading statistical reports on reading, reading proficiency, and loving literature.  What I found shocked me!

      1. Very few people will ever read an entire book after leaving high school.
      2. Poverty does not dictate potential, how often and how much a parent reads to their child will.
      3. While important on tests, reading has been marginalized until the vast majority of students graduating from K-12 education are functionally illiterate.
      4. Functional illiteracy has become the standard accepted level for the workforce to capture and keep the minds to steal freedom and liberty from the populace.
      5. Reducing literacy was planned, implemented, and slowly been used as a weapon for destroying the American Republic.

All this because Dewey considered reading and literacy a “perversion.”  Dewey also claimed that literacy was a false god, a cult, and idolatry.  Yet, study after study continues to proclaim a single and undeniable variable.  When parents read to their children regularly, that child expects more freedoms, demands their liberties, and is better prepared to face the world.

LookJohn Dewey found high levels of literacy abominable.  He worked tirelessly to transform the school curriculum centered around the development of academic skills, intellectual faculties, and high literacy to a curriculum built around occupational activities, provided with maximum opportunities for peer interaction and socialization. He spent 30-years teaching teachers how to subvert society by little introductions into the curriculum until the pattern was perfected, and lesser topics were more important than reading, writing, and arithmetic.  The pattern: today’s school philosophies are tomorrow’s government actions.  Remember, all actions taken by a legitimate government will cause injury!

Oh, the injuries inflicted upon America’s children by not teaching literacy.  My wife made a point when I was discussing Dewey’s comments with her, “If I can read, aren’t I literate?”  My wife plays a good “Devil’s Advocate.”  Basically, yes, if a person can write their name and read their name, they are considered “literate” according to literacy’s most basic definition.  However, there is much more to literacy than reading and writing one’s name.  Dewey despises not the functional literacy of reading and writing one’s own name in commonly understood symbols of a society; but possessing the ability to love reading, enjoy books, speak, and write coherently and logically about what one has just read.

Andragogy - LEARNLiteracy is the ability to use printed and written information to function and achieve in society, to master one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential, attain growth, and improve one’s mind and body through the written word.  A 1992 survey reported 40 million adults’ literary competency at Level 1 (the lowest literacy level: understanding basic written instructions).  The National Institute for Literacy estimates that 32 million American adults cannot read, which can contribute to chronic unemployment, low self-esteem, and a lower quality of available work.  Dewey has succeeded in reducing literacy to its lowest common denominator, functional illiteracy.  This lowering of literacy standards was intentionally conducted to destroy people’s minds to accept lives in socialism and communism.

The following are considerations for reversing the actions and influence of Dewey and appear in no particular order:

      1. Read out loud!  Spend 30-minutes a day reading for fun, and spend at least 10-minutes reading aloud.
      2. If you have children, regardless of their age, read with them. Many religions encourage daily reading of scriptures.  An excellent way to read aloud, read with children, and improve your knowledge base.
      3. Read poetry! Want a hint to make poetry reading more fun; read the words to songs, for a song is merely poetry put to music.
      4. If you have been told you are a slow learner, slow reader, dyslexic, etc., stop believing these voices! Grab a book on phonics and begin teaching yourself to read.  You have a mind; you have a soul, you have unlimited potential.  You can learn!
      5. Be the example of reading being a fun activity.

Detective 4The power of reading is remarkable, critical, and is the hinge upon which the Great American Republic swings.  Believe it or not, the American population’s literacy will be the point upon which we survive or fail as a nation.  Dewey understood the truth of this in 1896 and fought tooth and nail to eradicate literacy in America.  Castro in Cuba understood this, and that is why Cuban schools have such low literacy rates.  Every despot in history knows that the more literate a population is, the less likely that population is to accept captivity in the form of government largess.  Every single tin-pot dictator knows the pattern.  Today’s school philosophies are tomorrow’s government actions, and controlling literacy is the tool to dumb down society into brainwashed robots who do what they are told.

Since the 1960s, the war on literacy has been doubled and doubled again; some of us educated in the early 1980s, and 1990s received an education worth 1000 times more than the newest high school graduate experienced.  Those educated before the 1960s had an education 1000 times greater than the education we got in the 1980s and 1990s.  All because the war on the classroom and the war on literacy is being fought without opposition.  Fought behind closed doors and by enemies who learned early on how to subvert curriculum and teachers.

Wasting TimeHence, the best way to combat this war is through reading.  Pick up a book!  Read!  Practice writing and grammar.  I am not the best writer or grammarian; I use Grammarly, but I still try to write better because to my wife, I am functionally illiterate due to how and what I was taught.  My wife, born in 1941, received such a robust education she amazes me.  But, even in the K-12 Schools of the 1940s and 1950s, reading and literacy were being marginalized, freedoms and liberties were being stolen, and the plans to dumb down America were in full swing.

We, the citizens of America, have been duped, lied to, and abused for multiple generations at the hands of people we should have been able to trust, schoolteachers.  The schoolteachers were forced to do what they did to maintain their jobs because the school boards exerted pressure to teach in a specific methodology.  Sometimes, the school boards were coerced into those paths by money from the Federal Government.  Is the connection clear; government size has led to the marginalization of literacy rates to produce a specific product for corporations.  The only way to break this cycle of abuse is to change our literacy levels.  The only way to increase our literacy levels is to read!

Duty 3Please turn off the TV, turn off the computer, pick up a book.  Read!  Read because your life depends upon your ability and love of reading.  Your children’s future depends upon your literacy rate and willingness to read aloud to them and with them.  Your freedom, your liberty, your country all depend upon your literacy level.  If you want help, ask.  If you want suggestions, talk to a librarian.  But, please read!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the photos displayed.

NO MORE BS: Child Abuse in K-12 Education

ProblemsThe child abuse I witness in K-12 Education makes me want to weep, pull my hair in frustration, and become irrational in demanding change!  K-12 education in America, and much of the world, has been deliberately designed to abuse your child since the late 1800s!  Almost since the inception of government-mandated “free education,” the methods of teaching and educating children has been captured by the enemies of America and been planting the seeds of America’s demise.

An astute reader asked me how I can draw a line of congruence between how a student is treated in public school and child abuse.  The reader maintained this needed to be explained and clearly spelled out.  Hence, this is the explanation as to how and why K-12 education is abusing children.

Abuse of children occurs through the constant lowering standards, bell-curve grading, and wasting time on non-school related topics, all while not teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic.  Want more on how K-12 Education abuses your child; I recommend reading, The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America – a Chronological Paper Trail.  The link takes you to the digital edition.  The book is well worth your time!

ToolsWithout Head Start programs, most American children will be in school from age 6 to age 18.  Twelve years to master the basics of society, the history of their country and state, understand a social order exists outside the home, learn to read, write, speak, think, and perform to an academic standard.  Each child has but a single chance at K-12 education.  When a public school spends valuable time on lesser value topics in place of reading, writing, and arithmetic, that student’s time is wasted, and their potential is hindered, hampered, and harmed.  As the parent or guardian, do you understand the classroom distraction is deliberate, to dumb your child to the level of compliant pudding?

What are those “topics of lesser value?”

Does a child in third-grade need to know how to put on a condom?  Does a child in first-grade need to know some families have two-mommies or two-daddies?  One curriculum for second-graders mystified me; the students would spend a year recognizing and defeating the “internal-bully.”  Fourth-Grade science was all about caring for the environment and race or overcoming white privilege.  Unfortunately, each new school year brings more egregious examples of leftist ideology into classrooms.  A school district in America showed a pornographic film for sexual education to young children; sure, the film was “discussed in the classroom,” but how many students understood or had the mental capacity to draw conclusions on sex?

Detective 3I talked to some Albuquerque Public School (APS) parents and senior and junior level high school students about the quality of education they are either receiving or witnessing in APS classrooms.  Here are some examples and how these examples are child abuse:

  • I heard stories about verbal assignments where the student memorized a standard response in the APS classroom, and this standard response was acceptable for participating in the classroom discussions.
    • Classroom participation is where a teacher gains evidence that the material presented not only makes sense but that the student can then apply the material in a variety of ways and means.  Verbal memorization is a useful skill.  But memorization does not equate to participation, nor does memorization reflect critical thinking skills where materials are applied.
    • I still remember the work I put into memorizing a poem for a school assignment, which also included a poem recitation contest. The classroom assignment was to memorize a multi-stanza poem, and the classroom grade was not dependent upon the performance in the poetic competition.  Memorizing a multi-stanza poem took me weeks, lots of heavy mental lifting, and tons of effort.  I took fourth in the contest for sixth-grade students, out of four participating students.  I spent too much time memorizing and not enough time speaking the poem to improve delivery.  These are “other” lessons learned in a school environment.
    • Memorizing a set classroom response for “participation” points is the epitome of mental abuse and a waste of a student’s time.  Wasting valuable classroom time is an indirect method of abusing the student.  Consider a student is in a classroom for 50-minutes, with a 10-minute break to move to the next class.  If that teacher does not maximize the learning time, all those attending that class are abused because their time was wasted.
    • I saw my first R-rated movie in school, not about an educational topic.  Still, the teacher thought it was a good movie and obtained permission to view the film in multiple consecutive classes, and then we “discussed” the film to complete the assignment.  I don’t remember the movie’s name, but I remember being bored out of my skull during these three weeks and still wonder why we had to participate in this lesson.
  • I heard about verbal book reports because the APS teacher claims not to have the time to grade written book reports.
    • Verbal book reports do not require critical thinking to produce, nor does an oral report reflect a deep understanding of the material or scored upon an objective, non-biased scoring system.  From experience, I know how to bluff a verbal book report; you read the back flap and pull a couple of cool quotes, and an improv speech is easily assembled.  I learned how to do this in school for oral book reports, five-minutes before the report was due.
    • Remember time is critical; 12- years include summer vacations, all the Federal Holidays, winter/spring break, Teacher Conferences, Parent-Teacher week off, etc.  These reduce the number of days a student is physically in the classroom.  Thus, every minute counts, every assignment counts, and not capitalizing upon the student’s time is abusing the child.
    • Common core classrooms are focused upon the materials presented, dreamed up by a group of disconnected bureaucrats, and do not capitalize upon the “other” lessons learned in school.  For example, how can a student be expected to form good habits about reading, or a love of reading, while not reading, not learning through phonics, and not being exposed to the vast array of books?  Reading remains a key metric in measuring learning, but reading is not focused on the classroom.  Reading develops imagination, critical thinking, evaluation, and so much more, yet common core continues to refuse to acknowledge these “other” lessons a student learns when they read and draft a report, focusing only upon teaching to a test, e.g., the ACT or SAT.
  • I heard about and witnessed APS classrooms that have churned through 5 or more teachers in a single year.
    • Classroom continuity builds confidence, relationships, and cohesion in the learning process.  Teacher churn, specifically in the Albuquerque Public School District, is remarkably high.  But APS refuses to address the why behind teacher churn, insane policies, dumb procedures, and a horribly political environment where teacher innovation is all but punished.  The teacher creativity that does not strictly adhere to APS rules, guidelines, and mandates means the teacher is not in charge of the classroom but the school board’s bureaucrats.  The stress teachers, educational assistants, and other teaching staff are experiencing are ruining teachers.  This stress is witnessed by the students who are harmed by teacher churn, teacher frustration, and the byzantine quagmire APS has produced in which teachers exist.
    • Teacher churn is wasting student time, destroying student relationships, and wasting considerable student time; thus, by abusing the teachers and teaching staff, APS indirectly abuses children.
  • An educational assistant (teacher’s aide) told me stories about a verbally abusive APS teacher who constantly bad-mouthed the students to the student’s faces.  But, because that teacher has been around forever, the words used and disparaging tone and teacher attitude are not illegal; the district refuses to remove the teacher from the classroom due to the teacher shortage and allowed the teacher to retire with full retirement benefits.
    • Another example of child abuse, only this time that damage is directly observable by students and parents and required immediate remediation, but the teacher was allowed to skip. Yet, APS told the principal not to initiate removal of the teacher, hampered all attempts to move the teacher to non-teaching roles, and the teacher’s verbal haranguing has only gotten worse over time.  Thus, we see another example of how APS is abusing children both directly and indirectly.

Theres moreParents, how many times are these stories repeated in your child’s school district?  How many times are race and poverty being blamed for low classroom educational attainment?  The reality is that the teachers are suffering because of the abuse they receive from the school district, and the teacher abuse is being passed onto the students.  If a teacher was sexually molesting your child, would this anger and excite you to action?  If so, why doesn’t the abuse inflicted upon your child by indirect, direct means that waste their time and deny their innate potential?  Your child gets a single opportunity for education, and if the foundational blocks are not correctly set in K-12 classrooms, your child will be hindered for life.

Three of my younger brothers were constantly told they had no value, could not learn, and were passed anyway from grade-to-grade.  All three of these people are convinced they cannot learn and only deserve jobs that abuse them.  Except, all three have IQ scores.  Their academic potential was measured and found wanting by a teacher who did not have the time to explain and teach adequately due to the requirement to teach a test.

Detective 2I substitute taught, for a short season, high school students.  I met a brilliant young lady who the school leadership forced into alternative high school because her parents were poor and lived in poverty.  The school leadership demanded she go to work to support her family and study “elsewhere.”  I met jaded students whose attitudes were programmed into them because they were deemed less likely to graduate.  Those jaded students were forced into trade classes as options for learning.  The teachers and school board were using their parents’ economic circumstances in judging these students’ potentials.  Their education rights were systematically stripped from them until they believed they had no potential, no future, no abilities, talents, and skills.

I asked these parents’ questions in drafting this article and remain astonished that the parents cannot make the connection between lost opportunity, poorly taught lessons, and life-altering educational abuse.  Want to pay less for food stamps and other government subsidy programs; improve education in K-12 classrooms.  Want to improve your student’s potential; help them read using phonics, develop a love of literature, help them write with critical thinking, and do the math per formulaic logic.  Want your tax dollars spent on education to return a more significant dividend for your investment; hold the school district accountable for every poor decision, bad policy, and ridiculous practice forced upon a teacher in the classroom.

America is the Land of the Free because we do not believe that their parents limit their children’s potential.  America is the Land of Liberty because we never believed that a person could not improve, grow, change, and become better.  Yet, this is precisely what is happening behind the classroom doors in America’s unbelievably expensive school systems.  Our children are being taught that their potential is limited if they were born into poverty or are not the right race, their “American Dream” is being chained to falsehoods, and mental abuse is heaped upon them.

Image - Eagle & FlagThe school boards across America have abused our students enough. The corporations involved in selling technology and textbooks have abused our students enough. The government has abused our children enough, and the perpetrators need to be held accountable!  The school system desperately requires change.  From the Department of Education to the local school board, the totalitarian education system in America must adapt or disappear.  The abuses of the school district are creating a bloated welfare state and hostile dependency upon government subsidies.  If America is to remain the land of the free, home of the brave, and a source of educated free-people, we must improve K-12 education in America today!

© 2021 M. Dave Salisbury
All Rights Reserved
The images used herein were obtained in the public domain; this author holds no copyright to the images displayed.

NO MORE BS: Continuing a Lie does not create Truth

Laughing OwlThe following is an assignment typically found in doctoral psychology classes to create debate, discussion, and learn how to articulate principles of psychology and understand the founders of psychology.  “According to Freud, healthy adults successfully progress through the first four of five stages of psychosexual development and then persist in the final stage.  Do you agree or disagree with Freudian theory as applied to gender identity issues? Why?”

I have not copied the full assignment parameters due to a commitment to not letting assignments out of the college.  But I listed the parts of the assignment to fully appreciate the following original response and provide you, the reader, some context.  Before we can combat bad ideas, we need to know where they originate.  History is important!

None of the above should be an option to select where the topic of psychosexuality is concerned.  In fact, I wish I could get a brain scrub and flush this nonsense out.  From reading Hothersall (2015), it appears Freud is the first to confuse gender and sex, make sex the ultimate pleasure, and project adult understandings of sex onto innocent children.  Diamond (2002) offered several different definitions to aid the uninitiated in understanding sex, gender, and the current mess we are in with both.

LookDiamond (2002) provided some clarity on the terms in the discussion.  Sex is determined by either having gametes or receiving the same and is biologically tied.  Gender is the choice one makes to live as one decides in a socially diverse society, and these choices might or might not be connected to the traditional roles assigned by biology.  Hence, the stages of psychosexual development from Freud (Hothersall, 2015) are nullified by the individual’s agency to progress and the natural consequences of making a choice, not a biological clock moving the individual through various ambiguous stages or levels of sexual identification.

Since gender depends upon societal roles and sex upon biology, I firmly disagree with Freud as applied to gender identity issues.  It appears that Freud was sexually frustrated and projected his adult views of behavior onto children, then tied pleasure to sex, and perverted all types of thinking where child/adult relationships occur.  Second, gender identity is the individual’s choice in society. If the community accepts multiple gender-based roles, then that society will have to deal with all the imaginations of the mind where gender collides with agency and action.

Scared Eyes!Of critical importance to the psychosexuality discussion, is that freedom to choose doesn’t mean freedom from consequences that cannot be chosen.  For example, I can choose to touch something hot, but cannot decide not to be burned.  How long and how firmly I hold that hot item identifies how deep the burn will be, but I cannot escape being burned by holding/touching something hot.  The same is valid for choosing different gender identities in society.  There are always consequences for the choices made.

When I said I wanted a brain scrub, I meant precisely that.  I am not even desiring to discuss these topics, mainly due to the lack of logic employed when talking about sex and dysfunctional behavior.  Psychosexuality and behavior are where I disagree with Freud the most (Hothersall, 2015).

MacKenzie, Garavan, and Carbery (2011) offered an excellent description of how dysfunctional behavior is a choice of individual people, organizations, and society as a whole.  To which, Gaudiano (2008) would suggest cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as a method for correcting the dysfunctional behavior and improving the individual.  Not, to explore the sexual frustrations of the individual and project these frustrations onto the world around us as directed by Freud (Hothersall, 2015).

ProblemsHossain and Ka