NO MORE BS: LIC – Low-Intensity Conflict – Explained and Expounded

Dont Tread On MeBetween 2012 and 2014, I wrote the first article on Low-Intensity Conflict (LIC).  Somehow this article has been lost in my changing blogs and computers.  Hence, what follows is an in-depth look at LIC.  Please note, several authors have significantly contributed to my understanding of LIC, but none so much as Lt. Colonel Alan J. Tinder, who wrote a paper for the Air War College in 1990, titled: “Low-Intensity Conflict.”  From the Colonel, I have learned much and benchmarked this principle to more thoroughly understand LIC, how to recognize LIC, and how to detail LIC for others.  The other compelling source is L. C. Green’s paper on “Low-Intensity Conflict and the Law.”  My aim here is to synthesize this information into a manageable topic and aid understanding.LIC 2

Too often in America, we do not recognize LIC.  When the Verizon Labor Unions had to be legally restrained from committing LIC against Verizon, the judge seemed to want to call the acts of violence nothing but poor decisions by some people.   Yet, the labor union had begun a tactic of pressuring Verizon by destroying property, scare tactics for third-party contractors, and causing mayhem to obtain their demands.  Hence, the labor union committed LIC and got away with it, no punishment, no accountability, no responsibility.  Never forget, “Barely three percent of violent crimes committed by union members lead to an arrest or conviction. … Most victims of union violence are unemployed workers looking for a job [to] feed their families. “Scabs,” they call them. Subhuman scum. Untouchables. People who, in the minds of unionists and their enablers, are worthy of the same kind of vile abuse that Klu Klux Klansman used to dish out to African Americans that didn’t know their place.”LIC

What is LIC?

Low-Intensity Conflict (LIC) is the official name for what happens when individuals or governments hire intermediaries to conduct violent operations from a position of security.  LIC is a misnomer; those who have become victims of the barbaric cruelty of those practicing LIC find nothing “Low” about the experience.  The conflict is intense, the actions brutal, and the practitioners remain cunning adversaries using and employing willing dupes to hide the true depths of moral decay inherent in the societal destructions and deprivations the practitioners are enacting.  Many confuse LIC in describing the actions of unbridled violence committed by ideologues under the banner of terrorism.  The US Military Joint Chiefs of Staff define LIC as:

A limited political-military struggle to achieve political, social, economic, or psychological objectives. It is often protracted and ranges from diplomatic, economic, and psychological pressures through terrorism and insurgency. Low-intensity conflict is generally confined to a geographic area and is often characterized by constraints on the weaponry, tactics, and levels of violence (Tinder 1990) [emphasis mine].”

Green (1997) adds a key ingredient to the description of LIC from Tinder (1990).

… Non-international conflict itself is a refined term for what [was] formerly known as revolutions or civil wars, particularly when these have developed into major operations with the likelihood or reality of atrocities being committed against non-combatants.  Whether civilians or those [rendered] hors de combat, a fact that is often more common in non-international … conflicts, especially when ideological, ethnic, or religious differences are in issue.  It is for this reason that it must be borne in mind that the term low-intensity [conflict] has no relation to the severity or violence of the conflict” [emphasis mine].

Some will proclaim loudly, primarily due to affiliation with or money donated from deep-pocketed entities, that LIC is only limited to those more commonly perceived as terrorists, i.e., car bombers, hijackers, etc.; however, paid rioters, looters, and those termed by the media as “violent protesters,” are practicing LIC.  Worse, labor unions have been getting away with LIC since 1892 and the Homestead Strike.  As a point of fact, K-12 educators will only teach the labor union’s side of the story during the Industrial Revolution, leaving out the capitalists providing jobs, businesses that did not need, or want, government intrusion, and the continued depravity the labor unions continually inflict upon America.  Just for the record, in 1991 alone, 4400 acts of violence were committed by labor unions.Apathy

Consider this for a moment, Americans generally despise violence for economic gains; but, due to LIC in K-12 education, the labor unions get special treatment before the law on committing violence.  Imagine for a moment how ugly the media would scream if the KKK dropped nails, broke glass, destroyed property without regard to a minority-owned business.  Oh, wait a minute; we know what the media would do, nothing!  See, when politically correct rage occurs, even when it is a minority on minority, the press closes their mouths or pitches in!  The world saw this in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Atlanta, Florida, and so many other riots, politely termed “peaceful protests” by the media!

LIC and the Law

I am not a lawyer, and the following is not legal advice.  LIC being punishable under a military court is founded in the Civil War, and President Lincoln desired to regulate the behavior of Union troops and show proper deferment to enemy troops.  While this legal precedent goes further back, the legal precedent begins with President Lincoln in the US.  Controlling troops’ behavior led to the Genocide Convention of 1948, where genocide was created.  A legal standard was set for controlling and describing proper behavior during a conflict and enforceable by third parties.  Hence the reason why, and for, international courts to bring charges against countries and leaders of countries who commit genocide.  Unfortunately, even with the United Nations “maintaining neutrality,” enforcement of genocide continues to be problematic.The Duty of Americans

However, the point is clear, commit acts of LIC, and you do not face a civilian court and judge; you face a military tribunal.  The legal precedent for handling LIC by military tribunal further clarifies that those violent protesters and labor union members using LIC to commit acts of violence are deserving of the label, domestic terrorist.  As a terrorist, those using LIC, including those paying for LIC, lose their US Constitutional Rights, face a military tribunal, and held without Habeas Corpus.  Terrorists do not deserve and have rejected their US Constitutional Rights upon paying for or committing violent LIC actions.  According to the legal dictionary, Habeas Corpusis a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court, especially to secure the person’s release unless lawful grounds are shown for their detention.”  If US Troops must follow the Geneva Convention during peace and war, then those paying for or committing LIC are also bound, especially by Article 3:

“… Each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum … [to] persons taking no part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause [certain minimum rights to ensure that they] shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, color, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.”

Since those involved in LIC are terrorists and like criminals, they do not adhere to the law.  The international community should be exerting pressure to capture, hold, and try the individuals involved in LIC anywhere in the world.  For example, Cuba is currently holding a leader of BLM, an internal terrorist organization with roots in Marxism-Leninism.  Other people have found safe haven in the international community and need to answer for their criminal and terrorist activities.  However, since the American government refuses to label paid agitators as the internal terrorists they are, the criminal justice system will continue to be violated.  Those guilty of LIC are allowed to continue their licentious ways to the detriment of America.Patriotism

Labor unions hide behind the lawyers and the criminal justice system to game and play LIC against everyone they consider an enemy.  ANTIFA, BLM, and every other paid agitator group in America burning, looting, rioting, and “protesting” need to be labeled what they are, terrorists.  Their actions need to be classified correctly as acts of terrorism.  A military tribunal called to investigate funding sources and hold accountable those paying and those committing terrorist violence in America.  There is no difference between a  terrorist in the IRA, a terrorist in Afghanistan, and a “protestor” terrorist in Portland, Oregon.  America, we need to understand LIC, and then we need to apply legal precedence to fix the situation America currently finds herself in!

© 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.

Competition, Collaboration, Cooperation, and Compromise: Revisiting the 4-C’s

Ziggy - The GovernmentIn 2014, I wrote about the powerful tools of competition, collaboration, cooperation, and compromise.  I have been considering a revisit of this topic for several days, as the need for compromise, collaboration, competition, and cooperation seem to continue to fade and be plasticized.  I also feel a dire need exists for every citizen to know what is happening and how to recognize when you were fed rotten mushrooms when you expected steak.

Andragogy - The PuzzleThe inherent discussion is condensed from Thomas (1992), who advocated this combined approach to organizational design as a masterstroke to getting people working together. The same basic philosophy can be seen in the writings of Goldratt and Cox (2004), Lencioni (2002), Lundin, Paul, and Christensen (2000), Boynton and Fischer (2005), and Boylan (1995), among many others. Notably, these principles have been understood throughout time; Jucius (1963), in speaking of the broader issues in personnel management, understood the combined power of collaboration, cooperation, compromise, and competition and wrote extensively about using these effectively in the organization. Cruickshank and Davis (1958) understood these principles as a combined and more effective tool than different general direction strategies.  All of these authors have strove to ensure business leaders understood the practical application and inherent need for the organization to adhere to these principles as a combined effort of all organizational members. McNichols (1963) strove to keep these items combined in executives’ minds, thus empowering them to discover solutions employing all the strengths in the consolidated collective use of competition, collaboration, compromise, and competition. The empowerment felt in combining these tools elevates the individual focus into a collected culture and body, and the solutions for an organization are improved dynamically.

Collaboration

Collaboration is strengthened by cooperation, compromise, and competition.  Collaboration is all about action, working together with another person or entity to produce or create a product or service.  However, like all words on this list, the term has a dark side and a legal standard born from the historical collaboration with enemy forces as a traitor.  Collaboration originates with Latin from Collaborare, meaning to work together.

Senator McCain would call his political gymnastics with the then-Senator Obama as collaboration, or working peacefully together for the common good; but in honesty, the resulting product was more the traitorous use of collaboration.  Unfortunately, the same pattern is visible in many current politicians who “make deals” to “make history.”  Instead of writing laws suitable for everyone and are constitutional, while scrutinizing the legislative branch for runaway government.

Competition

Competition is the act of competing, and competing is all about striving to achieve something through defeating or establishing superiority over another.  Competition must end in collaboration, cooperation, and compromise; in fact, competition will breed collaboration and cooperation to reach a compromise before those competing against; this is why competition is so powerful but not independent of the others. The fires of competition are crucial to purifying those collaborating, compromising, and cooperating into a single, honed unit that can more effectively work together.

The dark side of competition is what is witnessed in too many governments’ capitals. The hostility of establishing superiority has created monsters of hate, envy, spite, malice, and the citizenry are left betrayed and confused.  The competition between political parties has bred such tremendous angst that neither political party can see past the next election and realize the competition they are in is meaningless, at best!  I was disgusted with the political response to the Bush/Cheney election and the “Chads.”  But, since that election, the rhetoric has only climbed higher and higher. The parties try to make enemies of each other and the citizens until a war of words and silly emotional jokes are running around, displaying their childish stupidity.

Compromise

Every adult in the room should be aware by now that a good compromise leaves everyone upset.  This is a simple truth of humanity and has been apparent in every age of recorded human history.  As a verb (denoting action taken) or a noun, the common definition of compromise boils down to the same thing, settling a dispute by mutual concession.  Webster and Cambridge Dictionaries are pretty clear on this topic.  Every side concedes a little for the whole to gain a lot.  Compromise without cooperation or collaboration is nothing, and competition is an added value, or force multiplier, to ensuring more decisive compromise.

However, Speaker Pelosi (D) feels a distinct need to continuously offer this word as what happened in a political committee.  But, she uses compromise as a verb with the following definitions:

    • Bringing into disrepute or danger by indiscreet, foolish, or reckless behavior.
    • To cause to become vulnerable or function less effectively.
    • Weaken (a reputation or principle) by accepting standards that are lower than is desirable.
    • To accept standards that are lower than is desirable.

Hence, let me be explicit, compromise when discussing the 4-C’s uses the term as a noun or a verb using the common definition.  Do we understand why Speaker Pelosi (D) and many other politicians from both sides of the aisle use compromise as a verb or plasticize compromise as a noun to describe the political chicanery happening outside the light of day?

For example, we could use the compromise of BREXIT as to why BREXIT went from a good thing to a punishment.  We could use ObamaCare as a perfect example of political compromise, where lower standards became acceptable, and America’s healthcare became vulnerable due to the reckless and feckless behavior of the politicians involved!  We could use the wasted time of the District of Columbia becoming the 51st state legislation as a dispute brought by foolish behavior that forces the US Constitution to be violated by lower standards than desirable.

Cooperation

Cooperation is a process; this fact can never and should never be forgotten.  A process requires investment from all sides, time, trust, and a clear goal to achieve.  Cooperation is the rendering of assistance through ready compliance, not compulsory means!  Cooperation can do nothing without the shared responsibilities of collaboration and compromise; when competition is added, the cooperation is strengthened, not weakened.  Yet, even cooperation can be abused, turning friends into enemies, family into distant associates, and countries to war.

WWI and WWII brought the dark side of cooperation into life, and the same hatreds borne from those conflicts still exist today!  Consider the US Civil War; President Lincoln wanted to forgive the Confederate States and welcome them back into the Union with open arms, no hate, no animosity, no recriminations.  When President Lincoln was shot, the South was not brought back into the Union, except as an outcast.  The citizens of the confederacy were treated horribly then and now through the punishment of the law.  There are still actively used laws to punish the Confederate States, keeping the area in depression; this is the dark side of cooperation.

Angry Grizzly BearThe first post on this topic explicitly dealt with business and how businesses can use the combined power of the 4-C’s to more powerfully work together, advance towards a common goal, and achieve greatness.  The same lessons taught in business should be applied to government offices and the elected officials holding public office.  Yet, what do we find daily reported as news; childish behavior, tantrums, and vile deprecations towards those in the minority party.  Even though history proclaims that today’s majority party is tomorrow’s minority party; hence, we should not be making enemies of each other.  We should not be using the dark side of the 4-C’s as weapons of state to destroy but employing the light side to build, create, and grow.

References

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

Boynton, A., & Fisher, B. (2005). Virtuoso teams: Lessons from teams that changed their worlds. FT Press

Collins, J. (2001). Good to great: Why some companies make the leap…and others don’t. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers.

Collins, J. (2006). Good to great and the social sectors: A monograph to accompany Good to great. London: Random House Business.

Collins, J., & Hansen, M. (2011). Great by choice: Uncertainty, chaos, and luck: Why some thrive despite them all. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Collins, J., & Porras, J. (1994). Built to last: Successful habits of visionary companies. New York: Collins Business Essentials – A Collins Business Book: An Imprint of Harper Collins.

Cruickshank, H., & Davis, K. (1958). Cases in management (2nd ed.). Homewood, Ill.: R.D. Irwin.

Goldratt, E. M., & Cox, J. (2004). The goal: A process of ongoing improvement. (Third Revised ed.). Great Barrington, Massachusetts: North River Press.

Jucius, M. (1963). Personnel management (5th ed.). Homewood, Ill.: R.D. Irwin.

Lencioni, P. (2002). The five dysfunctions of a team: A leadership fable. Hoboken, NJ. John Wiley & Sons.

Lundin, S. C., Paul, H., & Christensen, J. (1996). Fish! A remarkable way to boost morale and improve results. New York, New York: Hyperion.

McNichols, T. (1963). Policymaking and executive action; cases on business policy (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Mintzberg, H. (1980). Structure in 5’s: A synthesis of the research on organization design. Management Science (Pre-1986), 26(3), 322. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/205849936?accountid=458

Mitchell, J. (2003). Hug your customers: The proven way to personalize sales and achieve astounding results. New York, NY: Hyperion.

Punia, B. K. (2004). Employee empowerment and retention strategies in diverse corporate culture: A prognostic study. Vision: The Journal of Business Perspective, 8(81), 81-91. doi: 10.1177/097226290400800107

Robinson, G. (1999). Leadership vs. management. The British Journal of Administrative Management, 20-21. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/224620071?accountid=458

© 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’s Talk About Root Cause Analysis

Flying BuffaloSome of you are thinking, “I will skip this article because the title does not sound interesting.”  I beg your forbearance, just please keep reading.  I laughed today, long and loud, over the incompetence of the current elected leaders in America, fully supporting public mocking, public shaming, and public humiliation over the following piece of news.

You cannot make headlines like this up:

Kamala Harris Emphasizes “Root Causes’” of Border Surge, Says the Problem is “Complex” while blaming climate change for the border crisis.

Let that sink in for a minute; the person who cannot hold a press conference, cannot even get VP added to her title, and cannot do root cause analysis!  I have been working since I was twelve; I was taught root cause analysis as a shade-tree mechanic; you have to be able to diagnose the correct problem to fix the engine.  This article looks like VP Harris is fixing the tires on a car without an engine, claiming this will get the vehicle running real good.  Here is VP Harris’ actual quote:

We are looking at extensive storm damage because of extreme climate, we’re looking at drought in an area in a region where agriculture is one of the most traditionally important basis for their economy, we’re looking at what’s happening in terms of food scarcity as a result of that and in fact, incredible food insecurity, which we used to call hunger food insecurity.”

Detective 4Let me see if I understand this statement correctly.  Political instability, Venezuela’s continuing meltdown politically, and the invitation from many politicians with (D) after their names have nothing to do with the “border surge.”  Just like a stricter stance on illegal immigration by President Trump (R) didn’t slow down illegal immigration on the southern border; do I have that correct?  Let’s talk about incentives, mainly welfare, housing, education, and a political base that refuses to enforce immigration law, do these not influence a southern border crisis, and buffalo wings come from flying buffalo.

What is Root Cause Analysis?Root Cause Analysis

Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is a process of logically working through a problem as a solution is developed.  I know some of you have other definitions for RCA, and that’s okay.  I am just trying to be real simple here, for if VP Harris sees this article, I do not want her confused with big words.  There are three goals to simple RCA, discover the root of the problem, understand how to fix the problem, apply what is learned to prevent future issues.  VP Harris’s comment above has already failed the goals of RCA; hence we can conclude that RCA was not accomplished!Fishbone Diagram

Effective RCA processes possess core principles that are apolitical and easily understood:

      • Focus on fixing the problems, not band-aid solutions
      • Symptoms relief is a short-term answer to buy time for long-term solutions.
      • Multiple root causes are possible; however, each root cause requires factual justification and logical discussion.
      • Who is never part of RCA, just HOW and WHY.
      • Methodical cause and effect evidence is required for each root cause.
      • Future prevention requires increasing learning and understanding.
      • Corrective action requires information and ACTION.

I am not here to hurt VP Harris’s feelings, but her comment about the southern border crisis being climate-related still does not pass the smell test on the core principles of RCA.  Let alone any logical test for veracity.  Thus, again, we can conclude that RCA was never followed to justify her commentary!

The easiest and simplest RCA is the 5-Whys Approach.  Here is the 5-Whys Approach in a simple analogy:

      1. Why? – The car battery is dead. (First why)
      2. Why? – The alternator is not functioning. (Second why)
      3. Why? – The alternator belt has broken. (Third why)
      4. Why? – The alternator belt was well beyond its useful service life and not replaced in a timely manner to save the battery. (Fourth why)
      5. Why? – The vehicle was not maintained according to the recommended service schedule. (Fifth why, a root cause)

Using the 5-Whys Approach, one can also work backward from a completed RCA to double-check integrity in the process.

5 – I am holding the maintenance records showing timely maintenance was conducted.
4 – The alternator belt is broken, but so are the other belts in the engine. Are we sure the root cause is the alternator?
3 – The alternator is missing.
2 – The battery is missing.
1 – The car is not working; why?

Using VP Harris’s comment above, we can back check the climate-change excuse to the erroneous assumption using the same technique.

5 – How many illegals at the southern border are only from the three countries being blamed for illegal immigration?
4 – Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, suffered from El Niño and El Niña in 2017 and 2018, but there was no increased immigration during those tumultuous years of extreme weather.
3 – Since 2015, food security has been an ongoing problem in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. Again, we do not find a surge in citizens from these countries immigrating illegally to the US Southern Border.
2 – According to the World Bank, regardless of the weather issues and the global financial crisis, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras are still being favorably looked upon as places to invest in for good returns on investment.
1 – What is causing a southern border crisis immediately after a presidential election year?

Please note, I only researched to 2015 for the weather, economy, and food security issues, as obviously President Trump (R) never had a positive influence on the Southern Border Crisis.  President Biden just inherited President Obama’s mess.  Does the RCA backward and forwards process make sense?  I ask solely because we have had migration issues on the southern border before today.  The politicians in America never seem to find the root causes and act to protect America’s defensible borders!  Blaming the weather, which has been changing in cycles since recorded history, for recent events, is akin to blaming the position of the planet Mars for burning one’s hand on a hot stove.

ApathyYet, let’s give VP Harris the benefit of the doubt; maybe her staff did complete an RCA process to reach this conclusion, while she has been sequestered and unavailable since the election.  If so, it would be easier than stepping off a curb to produce the RCA in detail and allow us, the electorate, to see how and why she is blaming the weather for a migration crisis.  This is a reasonable request, produce the proof an RCA was completed, where climate change is the only root cause in a “complex problem.”  Want to raise the stakes a little; if you cannot produce the RCA and accompanying evidence, along with the plans of action, you leave American politics forever.  If you produce the evidence and RCA, I will issue a sizeable public apology and never write about politics again.  I am waiting!

© 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: Statehood for DC – A Total Waste of Time!

Angry Wet ChickenAnother legislative session, another brain-dead idea passed off as needed, fair, and necessary, and wholly without merit.  Gosh, I am fed up with the time wasted by both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.  Speaker Pelosi (D) is pontificating about the U.S. House passing (again) legislation to make the District of Columbia a state.  Except, Speaker Pelosi (D) never saw a liberal idea she didn’t immediately love, embrace, and wholeheartedly support, so nothing new in this news.

President Biden (no surprise here) backs the idea he has previously not supported as a Senator.  Color me shocked!  What did not surprise me was racist and belligerent commentary on the house floor during the debate.  It seems, every time someone with a (D) after their name can play the race card, the race card gets thrown down.  No objectivity, no specificity, no reason, logic, only plain emotion, malice, and stupidity!  Man, the use of the race card has gotten ridiculous.  Read Rep. Jones’s (D) comments, and feel free to laugh at the stupidity!  Plain ol’ public scorn should follow commentaries like the statements Rep. Jones (D) made, including mockery, shunning, and shame!

On the issue of race, the 2019 Census estimates 46% of D.C.’s residents identify as “Black,” and 46% identify as “White.”  Leaving a mere 8% of the population to fill all other ethnicities and races.  Yet, Rep. Jones (D) wants to make D.C. becoming a state a race issue.  Queue the mocking laughter and public shaming!Calvin & Hobbes - Irony Hurts

One of the issues brought up for making the District of Columbia a state was the amount of taxes they pay.  Personally, I laughed at this argument!  Still laughing; not sorry!  How long has the District of Columbia elected mayors who have done nothing but tax and spend; almost forever!  Taxation without representation is a dead issue when you elect tax and spenders into office.  As I was told as a kid, “You made your bed, now sleep in it!”  Think I might be wrong, understand the following:

No Republican has ever been elected mayor since D.C. home rule began in 1975. The DC Republicans have had no representation in the D.C. Council since Carol Schwartz left office in 2009. As of January 7, 2019, there are 30,001 registered voters affiliated with the Republican Party of the District of Columbia” [emphasis mine].

It appears to me, thou doth protest too much, and consequences hurt!  One-party rule is never a good idea, but the District of Columbia has embraced one-party everything and is suffering accordingly!  Please note, I am not claiming the Republicans could rule any better, but I am arguing that one-party rule is NEVER a good idea!

What is the issue?

Detective 4The District of Columbia keeps petitioning to become a state.  The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive authority of the U.S. Congress; D.C. is therefore not a part of any U.S. state.  Since this is a U.S. Constitutional issue, it will require all 50-states to ratify a change to the U.S. Constitution, not simply the wasting of time and resources of the U.S. House of Representatives.  But, as they say on the Home Shopping Network, “There’s more.”  With 34 US States never having been made states properly, according to the US Constitution, and their lands remain under “Federal Government Control,” I do not see DC being a state that big of an issue!

The District of Columbia is a unique federal district of the U.S. The Government of the District of Columbia operates under Article One of the United States Constitution and the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, which devolves certain powers of the United States Congress to the Mayor and thirteen-member Council.  The District of Columbia Home Rule Act was a compromise back in the 1970s to allow more self-rule to D.C. while still being within the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution.  While the District of Columbia Home Rule Act caused some pretty wild protests, this was expected as a compromise between Congress and the local D.C. residents.  All the adults know that a good compromise leaves everyone upset.  How effective has the District of Columbia Home Rule Act been; well, look at the before and after economics, and the problem becomes loud and clear.  Taking us back to why I am still laughing and still not sorry!

For the lawyers in the house, the District of Columbia Home Rule Act is a quagmire of legal jargon and directionless logic like no piece of legislation it has ever been my displeasure to review.  If you can make sense of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, please I.M. me directly, for I have questions and need answers.  Thank you!Apathy

Alert!

Dont Tread On MeToday’s chicanery in the U.S. House of Representatives was not the first time a piece of legislation making D.C. a state has passed the house.  I doubt this will be the last time our tax dollars are wasted on passing frivolous legislation on a U.S. Constitutional issue that will be passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Have any of the elected officials in the U.S. House or Senate read the U.S. Constitution, US Bill of Rights, or other founding U.S. documents?  I figured those with (D) had read their Marx and Keynes, but they were not elected to act like Keynes or Marx!

© 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 Stop Judging Based Upon Projection

LaughterI had to laugh today (20 April 2021); I received a comment based upon an article written, and the first words read were, “You do not know what you are talking about.”  I have been discriminated against for not wearing a mask, for being white, for what I know and don’t know, and always the discrimination stems from a judgment based upon the projection of the person speaking.  Judging based upon projection has become tiresome!

What is Judging?

Judging is the action of a judge.  A judge has several definitions especially apt to this discussion:

  1. To form, give, or have as an opinion, or to decide about something or someone, especially after thinking carefully.”
  2. To express a bad opinion of someone’s behavior, often because you think you are better than them.”
  3. Used to express the reasons why you have a particular opinion.”

The definitions originate with the Cambridge Dictionary and, in my opinion, are particularly well stated to provide sufficient explanation without additional commentary from me.  Most interesting of all, the definitions challenge the reader to think about actions and behaviors where judgment, often confused with discrimination, is the first or only response to anything new.

GavelMany, many, many, atheists have complained in terms vociferous that I do not know anything about atheism.  Several theists have made similar claims but are generally more hostile than the atheists.  Regardless, one of the topics I enjoy studying are people’s closely held beliefs, and religion is one of those beliefs that are both closely held and motivational in nature.  Politics is a close second, and I enjoy studying the why behind political choices.

I have a close relative who is not allergic to food in any shape or capacity but will use the allergic excuse for food they particularly do not like, peanut butter, fish, canned peas, mushrooms, and much more.  Without ever tasting many of these foods, a judgment has been made, an excuse offered, and a diet established.  If my relative had the ability, they would live off only one food type, and actively refuses to believe that variety is a spice in life, especially where food is concerned.

Millstone of Designed IncompetenceJudgments make hasty decisions with natural consequences that must be shouldered.  Like the proverbial millstone about the neck, a judgment can become very heavy to carry.  Especially when that judgment is based on false or erroneous data, the judge will not be swayed, which explains why many people continue to smoke but do not blame smoking for the cough, lung problems, cancer, or death.

One of my favorite authors is Robert Fulghum, best known for authoring “Everything I need to know, I learned in kindergarten.”  In a follow-on book, he related a news story about a guy who was rescued from his smoldering bed, where he had fallen asleep after drinking heavily and needed a cigarette before sleep.  Who got up, relieved themselves, and then crawled back into bed after noticing that the bed was on fire.  One could judge the man as stupid for crawling back into a burning bed, but if they did not know about the heavy drinking, they might judge erroneously.  Others might judge both drinking and smoking as dangerous, and the man deserved his fate.  I laughed the first time I read this story at the absurdity of it all.  Then I got a lot of experience about what people do when intoxicated, and I understand the man a little better.  By not judging the actions or circumstances, I understand better the decision to crawl into a smoldering bed, pull the covers to my chin, and go back to sleep.  The understanding does not limit my finding humor in the absurdity of the actions, but I understand the decision-making process better now.

What is Projection?

Editorial - Educational TruthFrom PsychologyToday.com, we find the definition of projection.  “Projection is the process of displacing one’s feelings onto a different person, animal, or object. The term is most commonly used to describe defensive projection—attributing one’s own unacceptable urges to another.”  For example, the man who climbed back into a smoldering bed could be declared a lot of things by someone projecting their own biases, opinions, and poor judgment behaviors onto the man climbing into a smoldering bed.  In doing so, the ignorance of the judge becomes as apparent as the rising sun.

Still quoting from PsychologyToday.com, “Unconscious discomfort can lead people to attribute unacceptable feelings or impulses to someone else to avoid confronting them. Projection allows the difficult trait to be addressed without the individual fully recognizing it in themselves.”  I have several relatives who regularly attribute their own feelings of insecurity onto others, and it has been quite humorous to observe them in public.

Finally, also from PsychologyToday.com, we find the following, “Projecting a threatening trait onto others may be a byproduct of the mechanism that defends the ego, rather than a part of the defense itself. Trying to suppress a thought pushes it to the mental foreground, psychologists have argued, and turns it into a chronically accessible filter through which one views the world.”  We need to understand this comment as quoted fully.  Research on thinking confirms that any thought we try to suppress moves into the mental foreground and remains the only thought we can hold onto.  The more force we try to kick that thought out, the more stuck that thought becomes.  Enough experience with that thought, and the thought becomes the filter through which we see the world.

Emtional Investment CycleFor example, I know an alcoholic and a chocoholic with the same disease, but with different drugs, whose power over the individual is precisely the same because the same thought is stuck in the foreground of their mental capacities, and both see the world through their addictions.  The only thoughts allowed in their brains are how to get chocolate or alcohol.  Nothing else can stay in their minds because their addictive thought has become the filter of behavior.  Essentially the projection of their fears and desires became the addiction that controls them.

Is the relationship between stuck thoughts and projection clear?  People project to protect themselves, avoid things they do not desire, and socially fit into a peer group they desire.  All of which involves making judgments as seen through the filter of stuck thoughts.  Leading to more stuck thoughts, more filters, more behavior changes, more judgments, and the cycle repeats ad nauseam ad infinitum.

How do we break this cycle?

Andragogy - LEARNThe first step in any problem is to admit there is a problem.  Refusing to admit there is a problem is another stuck thought which allows justification for projection and judgment, perpetuating the problems, addictions, and issues.  It is okay to admit you need help!

Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is one of the most powerful methods for overcoming stuck thoughts.  A little research, a little practice, and change can begin.  Please note, weird thoughts, they happen, and they do not mean you are a bad person.  Fighting those thoughts leads to stuck thoughts, so the opposite is recommended.  Admit that the thought was crazy, didn’t belong, and move forward consciously.  The thought might return, acknowledge it, and move in a different path.

Detective 4I have a great resource on this topic, “Overcoming Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts,” authored by Sally M. Winston PsyD and Martin N. Seif Ph.D.  The book is humorous, easy to read, and very helpful.  The book employs CBT as a method for getting unstuck, and I recommend all adults, and many teenagers, to read this book as a tool for directing energy and thinking into productive areas.  I am not trying to sell the book; feel free to find your own CBT resources, and feel free to share them.  For when we understand our own behavior, we can improve!

Better, when we understand this connection between projection and judgment, we can observe others and discern better the sources we allow to provide information, we elect to public office, we trust with our money, or allow into our lives.  Liberty and freedom are not built upon a fallacy, bias, opinion, and outright lies projected by scared and power-hungry people.  Liberty and freedom are built upon law, control of self, and sacrifice for the good of many.  Embracing a “Liberty FIRST Culture” means understanding those behaviors that got us into the mess we currently are in, and through understanding, solutions begin to generate.

© 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: What is History? A Prelude to the Future.

There is an axiom in history, “If you do not learn history, you are doomed to repeat it.”  Some have refused to believe this lesson, to their utter misfortune.  Others have refused to accept this sentiment and have suffered likewise.  How do I know this; history shows the willing student how history is a prelude to the future.

Ancient Greece was the center of knowledge, but their people stopped learning history, and Rome came in while Greece was napping and took over the country lock, stock, and barrel.  Then, over time, Rome stopped learning the lesson they had taught and was forced to relive their history when caught napping; others came in and ruined the Roman Empire.  Ancient Egypt was a grand empire until Rome.  More history leading to preludes of the future.

Moving forward several centuries, and we see the rise of the Muslim Empire, suffering the same fate as those behind it when they too forgot their history.  The repetition of history is both scary and clearly written in the annals of history.  When one stops learning their history, they become doomed to repeat that history, for history is ever a prelude to the future.

Now, I am not a doom and gloom type, nor do I have grand aspirations of being a prophet or prognosticator.  I am simply pointing out the truth and hoping others may join me in learning history to avoid repeating history.What historical lessons do we need to learn?

To answer this question, I beg you to indulge me for a moment.  I have to ask a few more questions to answer this most pressing question.  As a modern citizen of your country, do you understand the family’s value and importance to your society?  What are you doing to support the family as the preeminent foundational stone of a sound and growing society?  Are you willing to sacrifice worldly reputations, money, power, etc., to have a family?  The leading cause of the Roman Empire’s fall was that they stopped having nuclear families, and within a generation, they fell.  Why did the sunset on the Egyptian Empire; they stopped believing in and supporting the nuclear family, and they failed.  Before WWII, why was England, the world’s mightiest empire since Rome, failing; they lost the nuclear family and still haven’t recovered.

Why is France struggling, Italy disappearing, Germany struggling, and the US and Japan all having such incredible problems; all have forgotten the nuclear family.  As the nuclear family goes, so does the state’s power and the identity of a country’s soul.  Let that sink in a minute.  As the nuclear family goes, so does the country’s soul.  A country’s identity, liberty, law, freedom, and lifestyle rests squarely upon the shoulders of the nuclear family.

I have read reports that Italy will no longer be the traditional “Italy” in less than 10-years because the Italians are not getting married and having families.  I love my Italian family members, but I am so distraught to think that “La mia famiglia,” the quintessential Italian experience, will not be around for my posterity to enjoy, except through fading pictures and journaled memories.  What makes this worse is Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and every other nation on earth have the same problems.   The nuclear family is disappearing at a frightening rate, and as the family goes, so do the historical lessons that need to be learned to avoid repeating.

An ignorant barbarian suggested, “well, just have people have more kids.”  I wanted to gently take this person by their ears, look deeply into their eyes, and ask, “Is anyone in there?”  Children are important but more important is the nuclear family experience.  Another person once suggested that the nuclear family, consisting of a mother, a father, and children living in the same home, is copyable for homosexual couples, divorced couples, and single parents, so what’s the big deal?”  In asking that question, the individual’s historical ignorance was apparent, and society’s problem leading to a repeat of history.

Living together as a family is messy, it is hard, and it requires learning how to live together.  These fundamental lessons become the experience that binds a nation to its culture, faith, and fundamental societal core.  There is no substitute, no shortcuts, and no other possible way to exist.  Yet, too often, the nuclear family is shunned, disrespected, and disregarded for the pleasures of living more easily.

No, I am not casting aspersions on those parents raising children as single parents.  I have known the great and good and the incredibly terrible in single parents and would support that person and those children however I can.  But, I hold this perception and desire because I know the value of the nuclear family, the nuclear family’s potential, and I know how a family makes a community, and a community makes a family.

I read the research on homosexual couples rearing children, and I weep for the children!  A more honest statement I cannot make.  I know the abuse and problems inherent in any family organization, but the problems are only multiplied a hundred-fold in homosexual couples rearing children.  The second most destructive power in Rome’s fall, mirrored from the Greeks, was the rise of homosexuality, which was preceded by a loss of morality, religious living, and the nuclear family.

President George Washington said in his final address to the nation about religion.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”  Continuing, Pres. Washington called religion and morality “Pillars of human happiness, and the duty of citizens to uphold.”  Concluding with, “Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation [and morality in society] desert the oaths?  Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

I know the struggles in families, but those struggles pay dividends when we support the nuclear family.  I recently read of an 11-year old having children because her mom and grandmother were in prison, and great-grandma needed more welfare money to feed the other children living in the home.  In reading that report, I hoped this was a one-of-a-kind experience, but I was horrified to learn the exact opposite, and family courts are full of tragedies similar to this story.  Our communities are failing because the nuclear family has suffered some desperate body blows, and more welfare programs and government heavy-handedness are NOT the answer!  History is indeed a prelude to the future, and the loss of the nuclear family is front and center in this battle for your country’s soul, culture, legal system, and future.

Families, reach out to single parents and open your home.  You do not have to be perfect to help; just help!  Communities reach out to support the nuclear family.  Religious communities especially reach out to support single parents raise morally centered children and help build nuclear families.  If the nuclear family experience is lost, we will repeat history, and chaos is too small a word for the conflict that will fill every country on earth!

I offer no excuses for those who abuse their spouse or children!  I extend only support for the victims and would see the situation corrected.  In the same breath, I would offer hope to those struggling in these times to raise a nuclear family; you are doing a good job, even if it seems like every day is difficult.  Please stay in the fight; it is worth the struggle.  To the non-profit and religious organizations, get involved in the battle to support the nuclear family and morality in public and private.  Fight for morality and nuclear families; they need you, your community needs you, and your country needs you!  Especially to the organized religions and their leaders, find a spine!  Get into this fight, or die an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle!

Please, learn history, teach history, and work to support the family as a prelude to a better future!

© 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: Why?

Reading - A JourneySimon Sinek authored an incredible book called “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.”  The No MORE BS movement is all about inspiring everyone to take action.  We are people who have reached our maximum limit with the problems we see in the world, and we want to see people take action against the tyranny being experienced.  I agree with Mr. Sinek; we need the why.  We need to know why something is important, why something is being refused, why actions were taken that are illogical, and so much more.

Why discuss religion and politics?

Foundational principles of society revolve around how and what people believe.  As they take combined action as a society, the standards of behaviors expected then become the laws of that society.  Those laws are standards of codified behavior and restrictions for social inclusion.  Why do people abhor thieves; the 10-Commandments form the bedrock of Judaic society and include an admonition, “Thou Shalt Not Steal!”  The connection between society beliefs and laws for governing society remains unchangeable in human history.  Why was Rome so strong; their codified beliefs (religions) influenced their politics and their social inclusive behaviors (laws) written down for everyone to be held accountable to.  The Old Testament reports the same thing occurring in Judaic society post-Egyptian bondage.Apathy

I am not advocating a state religion, that is abhorrent to me.  I am advocating for the ability to openly discuss the ties between religion and politics to inspire action in people to live their religion and hold their elected representatives to a higher level of conduct publicly and privately.  Without the ability to discuss these topics, freedom, and liberty disappear in tyranny and chaos.  I do not make this claim lightly; history provides us a perfect example in Egypt post-Jewish bondage, Babylon with the death of strong kings, Rome, and many other empires, city-states, countries, societies.The Duty of Americans

As Rome began changing from various religions to Christianity/Catholicism, the ability to speak freely was one of the first rights stolen by the government to control the spread of religion.  Rome fell!  The United Socialist Soviet Republic (USSR) tried to police people’s beliefs, police thoughts and limit speech.  The USSR fell.  China currently restricts speech and just forced a bunch of speech limiting policies and regulations onto Hong Kong.  China will fall.  Is the pattern clear; America is a Republic (if we can keep it), and when the ability to discuss topics publicly and openly is restricted, we will join history in falling!

Why do humans create societies?

VirtueHumans create societies mainly because we are wired to connect to people who believe as we do.  Just as a magnet is attracted to ferrous metals, humans are attracted to like-minded people.  Consider the New Testament for a minute, specifically John the Baptist.  A person who taught and preached in a wilderness, people, would seek him out to listen to him; these people who heard and chose to believe formed a society of believers.  Regardless of how you believe regarding John the Baptist, the societal changes he inspired are historically apt as an example of the influence of like-minded people combining to effect change in an established society.  The same principle can be applied to Karl Marx and the growth of communism, Christopher Columbus, and the discovery launched by his adventurous spirit, Joseph Smith Jr. and Martin Luther, who inspired religious societies.  Like-minded people are wired to connect, and when they connect, they develop social behaviors, which form the basis to remain included in that society.

Angry Wet ChickenI cannot express in words how vital and straightforward this principle is to sustaining government, of the people, by the people, and for the people.  When a society is infiltrated with those who refuse to believe in a like manner, principles of assimilation, then that society is headed for trouble.  The USSR and the German Democratic Republic (East Germany under the USSR’s control) are perfect examples of positive changes to a body of believers who transformed because others infiltrated the core society, and change occurred.  Hong Kong is another excellent example. China invaded the core belief structure through legal treaty and has refused to honor treaty agreements where Hong Kong is concerned, and chaos is too small a word for Hong Kong’s problems.

Why work to inspire action?

Do you, honestly believe, you have the power to change your society?  If not, these articles are for you.  If so, then these articles should support your efforts and help make your living your ideals and beliefs easier.  There is a business principle, place the power to effect change at the lowest level where the most effect can be felt.  For example, suppose a customer is asking for a refund. In that case, you place the refund process into the hands of a customer service representative and not a VP.  Sure; your refund process will have additional hands for approval and issuing. The power to make the decision must be in the customer service representative’s hands to handle customer claims effectively.

ParadoxThe same principle applies in what we are discussing; your most critical societal actions occur inside the walls of your home with your family.  Thus, the power of America’s government is not in the capitals but inside the homes of its citizens.  When we, the citizens of democratically elected societies, believe this fact, change will occur in our communities.  The Republic of the United States of America is specifically designed to place the maximum amount of power into the lowest level of society, citizens’ homes.  Thus, the need to inspire action on a local level, and why America needs YOU!  This is also why I believe in and support the NO MORE BS movement.  When we stand together, we cannot lose!

Conclusion

Dont Tread On MeWhile only three why questions have been addressed, these three contain lessons for contemplation and should inspire to action, all because the why has been expressed.  No; I have not dived deeply into any of the topics discussed enough to make you a master of these topics; however, I hope I have piqued your interest in these topics and helped form lines of congruence between the issues to aid in improving answers to your why questions.  If you have more why questions, please use the comments to send them to me, and I promise I will help answer those why questions.  I believe in the power of the people; you are important, and your questions deserve answers.  Let’s ask questions and then commit to action.  America needs us!

© 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: Religion and Politics

Bird of PreyPlease note, if you cannot openly discuss either topic without relying upon emotional hyperbole, feel free to stop reading right here!  I will not allow any discussion that insults, denigrates, derides, or casts insults and aspersions on either topic.  As a Republic, America must be able to openly discuss religion and politics in the public square openly, and the public square includes social media.  I will not suffer snowflakes and idiots; take your emotional hyperactivity elsewhere.  You have been sufficiently warned!

What is Religion?

I have written a post dedicated to supporting atheists, and after some consideration, I felt it was time to tackle theism.  I discussed in the atheist article that the world is not split between atheists and theists; feel free to read that article for more information.  We begin in the same place as we did with the atheists, defining religion properly.  To understand a word, all the definitions and etiology (history) of the word are critical to grasp what is being discussed fully.   According to Webster, religion has three accepted definitions:

Religion Quote 2As a Noun: “The belief in and worship of a superhuman or controlling power, especially a personal god, God or gods.”

A particular system of faith and worship.”

A pursuit or interest to which someone ascribes supreme importance.”

From Latin, Religare meaning “to bind,” and Religio meaning “obligation, bond, reverence.”  From Old French, we have the emergence of the term Religion meaning “life under monastic vows.”  Thus, a person may easily conclude that many things of supreme importance, where faith and worship are attached and is personal as a belief, can be considered a religion, including sports, food, atheists, a car, and so much more.  Consider that neighbor who polishes his car every Sunday as a method of meditating; he can be considered to be worshiping.  The same for that guy glued to the NFL all season, every season, and even between seasons, expressing a bond, an obligation, or a vow to express belief because the NFL is of supreme importance to that person.

Religious ThoughtAre the term and the method of use clear for the term religion; America has many religions and a lot of religious people who might not belong to what a person might consider “normal” religions.  I have met beer worshipers, prostitutes worshiping at the church of the virgin who believe that when taking the sacrament, it returns them to a virgin state, and a lot more, including the church of a purple (Not Barney) dinosaur.  We have the “Church of the Happy Spaghetti Monster,” where the high priest wears a colander on his head.  Lots of religious beliefs, lots of supreme beings, lots of dedicated believers whose personal beliefs are of supreme importance to that individual.

President AdamsI respect their beliefs and will honor their freedoms to believe as they choose.  I will accept no denigration, aspersions, or insults to a person’s honestly held belief structures.  If it is of supreme importance to you, that is your religion; I will support you as long as your beliefs do not infringe upon the life, property, and liberty of another person’s religious beliefs.  I expect the same rights to be extended to me under the US Constitution as amended for the US Bill of Rights.

First Amendment:  Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances [emphasis mine].

What is Politics?

Politics is too often a word with so much baggage; people become confused and stop listening after hearing the word politics.  According to Webster:

The Duty of AmericansAs a Noun, “the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.”

The activities of governments concerning the political relations between countries.”

The academic study of government and the state.”

Activities within an organization that is aimed at improving someone’s status or position and are typically considered to be devious or divisive.”

A particular set of political beliefs or principles.”

The assumptions or principles relating to or inherent in a sphere, theory, or thing, especially when concerned with power and status in a society.”

As a Verb, politic/s is derogatory and is defined as “engaging in political activities.”

From Old French Politique “political,” Latin from Greek Politikos, and Politẽs “citizen” and Polis “city.”  Thus, we have described the term politics in all its glory and inhumanity.  Is the term more understood?  Politics is a descriptive tool used to identify certain human activities where power is sought, and devious means and divisive gestures are employed to obtain that power.  Every action tied to securing power through devious means and divisive gestures is politics or political, which means derogatory.  For those needing more, derogatory is “showing a critical or disrespectful attitude.”Patriotism

Why are these topics important for open discussion?

I do not include the definitions to insult anyone’s intelligence!  The definitions are required to place all of us on the same page of understanding to discuss what is happening and use the terms correctly.  In our world, so many words have been plasticized to encourage tyranny through modular language.

Dont Tread On MeThe tyranny is witnessed in many different means and methods.  The easiest way to see the tyranny is in the lawfare we witness every Christmas by the atheists demanding less Christ and other religions in the traditional winter holidays.  Religion can be politics, and as such, this places your political beliefs into a sacred area.  I will not tell you how to vote or express your political beliefs, nor your religious beliefs.  I expect the same in return!

I demand the ability to discuss both topics openly without moderators, thought police, speech Nazis, trolls, and others giving way to emotion.  Consider something, Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to Reverend Ezra Stiles and discussed his beliefs, asking Reverend Stiles, President of Yale College, to keep the letter confidential.  Franklin said, “All sects here [in Philadelphia] have experienced my goodwill in assisting them with subscriptions for building their new places of worship; and as I have never [publicly] opposed any of their doctrines, I hope to go out of the world in peace with all” (p. 65).  I agree with Mr. Franklin; my religious tenets are my own affairs, I do not push religion, and allow all men (and women) the ability to believe as they choose.Apathy

However, I understand precisely what President George Washington said in his final address to the nation about religion.

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.”  Continuing, Pres. Washington called religion and morality “Pillars of human happiness, and the duty of citizens to uphold.”  Concluding with, “Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation [and morality in society] desert the oaths?  Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

Liberty and Freedom are Rooted in Politics and Religion!

As Pres. Thomas Jefferson claimed the French Revolution occurred because of “Kings, nobles, and priests.”  The French Revolution, especially the influence of the church in state affairs, is one reason why President Jefferson was such a stickler for the “Rule of Law” and one of the most important reasons for supporting the First Amendment, which allowed America to keep Church and State separate.  A town supporting a Christmas decoration does not intrude or imply a Christian breach into state affairs.  A violation of church and state affairs, which would be unconstitutional, would be for Pres. Biden to invite the Pope to dictate laws for America.  Is the distinction clear?  The separation of church and state has been a legal quagmire since 1879 SCOTUS decision on Reynolds v. United States.  Bad cases have made bad case law, and bad case law has left everyone scratching their heads and hostile!

Religion QuotePresident Thomas Jefferson wrote,

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”

Morality in society needs strong religious people who place supreme importance on living the tenets of their religion for liberty and freedom to grow and expand.  The Greek philosophers have been so twisted and plasticized that morality through philosophy is impossible.  Politics remains an ugly business, mainly due to the lack of morality lived by the individuals practicing political behavior.  Pick a politician, and we find problems living a moral centered lifestyle—President Clinton, well known, zero moral center.  President Obama had a pornography problem, among other less publicized moral issues.  Rep. Anthony Weiner had a sex problem with young girls.

Image - Politics is DirtyThe problem we have here is not just the lack of moral center in the politicians; it is the twisting of ethics, morals, and politics into a cohesive behavior that is the exact opposite of morality and ethical conduct required for holding public office.  Schools teach “Political Ethics,” “Moral and Political Philosophy,” and other twisted logic classes to excuse private indiscretions due to the politician’s public reputation.  Are the reasons clearer for why the definitions were discussed first?  I read a research report on ethics.  The moral decline in understanding terms became painfully obvious when behavior can be excused in a public official that would be criminal in a private individual.

A “Liberty FIRST Culture” must understand this precious connection.  Religion can be many things to many people.  Politics cannot in any way, shape, or form exist without morally centered religious people.  Liberty and freedom die with the citizen’s moral centeredness, not the politician, even though the politician plays a dynamic role as an example of proper ethical and moral conduct, publicly and privately.

Image - Eagle & FlagReference

Brookhiser, R. (2007). Chapter 4: God and Man. In What would the founders do? Our questions, their answers. New York, NY: Basic Books.

© 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: Perspective – Another Powerful Tool

Garfield - Good Explanation NeededI am a foodie!  I love talking about food, creating recipes for food, eating food, redesigning recipes to make food better, and have spent a lot of time enjoying gustatory experimentation!  I can discuss the finer points of chocolate and carob, ginger, spices (including the history of spices) until people are drooling and begging me to stop.  I have no mouth-brain filter where food is concerned.  I like it hot or cold, and lots of it!  Thus it is no wonder I am a fan of Anton Ego from Disney/Pixar “Ratatouille.”  Anton Ego and I are slightly different; if he does not love food, he doesn’t swallow.  Me, I will try anything and eat to know more as a learning experience; perspective.

Anton Ego has a fabulous line:

“… Do you know what I’m craving?  A little perspective.  That’s it.  I’d like some perspective.”

One of the most pleasurable experiences I have is shopping at Trader Joe’s.  This is especially true when I get a fellow customer who wants to discuss food, recipes and is looking for a gustatory experience.  There have been times I have been led to a product by a fellow customer exclaiming how wonderful that is in this recipe, that recipe, or straight out of the package.  Trader Joe’s used to carry these pretzel rolls that went so good with BBQ pulled pork, pulled chicken, or brats.  You would have thought you had died and gone to food heaven!

Trader Joe'sTrader Joe’s has previously had some great frozen desserts.  For example, ginger and lemon ice cream from Italy, a salted caramel gelato that was to die for, and several other unique concoctions that went so well with other products you would have thought they would still be carried today; except they are not sold anymore.  Perspective in food makes being a foodie my hobby of interest.

Anton EgoPerspective is also a key element in political choices, book selections, car buying, and a host of other human endeavors.  Perspective is not simply an opinion, it is a way of seeing the world, and perspective is a choice that comes with natural consequences.  Over time, the perspective choice decision cycle determines a person’s destiny, friends, desires, foods, clothing, companions, and so much more.  How do we know this is true; look to the food choices and consequences involved in the perspective choice decision-making cycle.

Consider the following example.  As a kid, my mother was a deal hunter, and one day in March, she came home from shopping with a screaming good deal on fish.  Tuna fish, to be precise, in #10 sized cans, designed for restaurants, and she had purchased multiple cases of Tuna Fish.  From March through the end of July, we kids ate tuna fish in every possible recipe as dinner.  At this time, My father returned from a National Guard 2-week event that took his unit to Puerto Rico, where some R&R saw them deep-sea fishing.  Knowing that many of the other wives would kill their husbands for bringing back a HUGE sports fish, tuna, my dad was offered the “extra” fish caught.  Two days before Thanksgiving, we finally finished all the fish!  The dog and cats would not touch fish, raccoons in our neighborhood would not touch the fish.  As a point of fact, scavengers of all types and sizes refused our yard and garbage due to the fish.  Thus, I do NOT eat anything with fish, even to this day, almost 40-years after this incident.Anton Ego 3

Perspective and choices, with natural consequences, leaves me in a NO Fish Zone!  I will eat protein from every other source, but if it’s fish, it doesn’t matter how it was cooked; you can keep it!  US Navy, Surf n’ Turf dinner night, I would turf, and the surf could go down the drain without any problem, except the smell of the surf prepared was enough to make me gag and refuse most food that night!  Boy, was this a funny joke in the US Navy, a sailor who would not eat fish.  Made only funnier when I refused to swim in the ocean.  On land, I am the top of the food chain; in the ocean, I AM the food chain!  Guess who doesn’t swim in the ocean!

Perspective and choices with natural consequences.  It has been pointed out that regardless of the candidate offered, 40% of the population on both sides of the aisle will continue to vote for the ticket; this is true for democrats and republicans.  Leaving a 20% middle ground where the elections are won and lost, provided you have honest people counting the ballots, and skullduggery have not biased the counting machines.  I am proud to be part of the 20%; I have been an independent voter since I lost a sixth-grade debate over Mike Dukakis.

Anton Ego 4A lesson I learned from that debate was the value of perception and choices, but I didn’t fully appreciate that lesson until I was much older.  Those natural consequences of perception and choice in decision-making remain a powerful tool, only if we choose to allow that perspective to change.  Religion and politics are two topics we did not discuss as children; yet, those two topics are the topics my brothers and sister struggle with the most.  Worse, the topics continue to remain a taboo subject even though religion hopping and political leanings are issues that are infecting the entire world right now.

A person’s perception and choices over religion and politics are the two topics that we all need more openness in discussing; however, emotions, lawyers, and snowflakes make an honest discussion all but impossible to have.  I have been on social media when atheists post something; if a non-atheists submits information, the tone automatically changes, accusations and aspersions are cast, and all hope of an open discussion is ruined.  I have seen the same with abortion, economics, and so many other topics.  The politics and the religion of those participating, both of which are a choice in the perceptive/choice decision-making cycle, end the honest discussion, and the tone and environment turn off people looking to discuss, worse too often, those attacking become trolls and attack outside the discussion

Anton Ego 2Part of living in a Republic is the need to form opinions based upon our individual knowledge, experience, and perspective choice decisions.  Living in a Republic is messy; this is a good thing!  The more chaotic, the better because it means freedom is alive and kicking.  When a Republic becomes less messy, people lose their rights to speech, privacy, liberty, and freedom.  Do you understand this connection and relationship?  Your perspective builds your opinions and biases.  Your opinions and biases make a Republic messy, and this is a good thing.  Please, engage and form perspectives, originate an opinion, and make yourself heard!

© 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: Enthusiasm and Confidence – The Power Tools to Conquer

Laughing OwlIn a job interview, the interviewer asked me for my two greatest strengths and why.  The following article represents both my answer and my desire to see others understand.  The interviewer thought I was insane by the look of disgust on their face; needless to say I was not hired.  When I asked why; the answer amazed me.  My strengths were too strong for their culture.  Let that sink in for a moment; a confident and enthusiastic person was not a good fit for their organization.  Maybe, just maybe, free societies should be taking a new look at these age-old tools for changing the world.

What is Enthusiasm?

Henry Chester is quoted as saying, “Enthusiasm is the greatest asset in the world. It beats money and power and influence. It is no more or less than faith in action.”  As a point of fact, this is the first quote I took time and a ton of energy to memorize.  Enthusiasm represents intense interest, eagerness, enjoyment, and a desire for approval beyond the simple desire of peer acceptance.  Enthusiasm also arouses feelings and originates via Latin from enthusiasmus, meaning inspiration and frenzy.  From the Greek, we learn the etiology of Enthusiasm stems from “enthousiazein ‘be inspired or possessed by a god’ (based on theos ‘god’)”  The etiology of Enthusiasm makes Henry Chester’s point more perfectly when a person considers the power and origination of faith and placing faith upon a power greater than oneself.

Literary FiendConsider those people you have found possessing large amounts of Enthusiasm; can you feel their intensity, frenzy, and eager interest?  I have had this pleasure multiple times, in various locations across the world.  My first experience was with a S. Korean business person riding the subway who was so excited to help and interested that I parted company with a feeling of desiring to be better as a person.  From that day in 1995 to today, I have strived to capture the same level of Enthusiasm as this business person in gratitude for his kindness and example of Enthusiasm.

What are you enthusiastic about?

Recently I was hired to be a data analyst for warehouses, and I sit as an advisor to the warehouse operations team to use data analysis to improve decision-making.  I cannot describe in words how enthusiastic I am every day to wake up and learn something new about data analysis, the tools of database data mining, and keeping my boots dirty and hands greasy in operations.  Ever since I got injured in the US Navy, I have tried to be what I knew, and the journey to this position has been great and dreadful, but each experience has improved how I think, and teach, to improve business operations.  I finally feel I can positively contribute as a handicapped person to the world with this position, and this feeling is incredible!Leadership Cartoon

What is Confidence?

In an effort to not confuse this topic, I have copied the definition of confidence from an earlier writing.  Confidence is a unique term, and Webster spends an inordinate amount of time trying to capture the power of, and reality is confidence.  Confidence is “a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities; firm trust, a specific feeling  regarding the truth of something, a feeling or belief upon the reliance of someone or something.”  The key to confidence is your own self-assurance.  For example, you are assured through past transactions that your employer is not kiting paychecks.  Your confidence in receiving a salary drives you to be motivated and return to work each day.  When that trust is broken, you will leave and find new employment.  Hence, people do not work for companies, but for managers and leaders, they like.

ToolsConfidence is a reality when many people all trust the same thing, which creates societies, social standards, and governments.  Confidence in the government is expressed using the government’s monetary system to trade for products and services you would not have if you had less confidence in the government system.  Firm trust in the “value of the US Dollar (insert your own currency here)” leads to gains and losses in economic values.  Consider the events of the Christmas Holiday, which is fast approaching.  The individual expresses confidence, faith, and hope in holiday shopping.  The government uses the data of the volume of trades of confidence as a measuring stick in how well they are doing in government to improve a person’s return on investment.  Shopkeepers, stores, and others selling products and services represent a two-way street of faith, hope, and confidence as they trade with customers and with other suppliers, government, and stakeholders in conducting business.

Confidence is never an unconscious decision!  One cannot have firm trust, faith, or hope, in something without being consciously aware and possessing experience and knowledge in that someone or something.  Hence, confidence is the conscious use of trust as a destination in the journey of hope, launched by faith.Grit is a Marathon

What are you confident about?

In the movie “Sound of Music,” Maria sings one of my all-time favorite songs as she leaves the nunnery and takes a bus to her new  role as a nanny, “I Have Confidence.”  I can honestly say, as she does, “I have confidence in me.”  I have talents, skills, knowledge, and experience worth value to me, and that is all I need!  It did not matter to me that my Enthusiasm and confidence were too great for the interviewer’s culture and business; I interviewed my best and allowed the chips to fall where they may.  What are you confident about?  Who are you confident in?  Why do you invest your confidence in those answers?  When do you feel the most confident, and would you like to feel more confident?

Of all the questions asked, the “Why” and the When” questions are some I would love to discuss individually as you make your improvement plans.  Since this is not entirely possible, I offer the following advice from LaRae Quy, an FBI Agent.  The points are hers; the comments are mine.Non Sequitur - Decisions

  1. Take Risks!
    1. In my youth, I climbed trees, lots and lots of trees. In Maine, we had a patch of pine trees growing so close together, the trees had woven a mat out of their uppermost branches, and you could walk on this mat of branches.  Huge risk, great fun!
    2. As a soldier, I was freaked out by how close the Warthog could provide fire support. When the ‘Hog came through, being on the ground was the most intense feeling I have ever experienced.  Huge risk, lots of fun.
    3. As an operations manager, I took an ill-considered risk. I fired the floor supervisor as they refused to train anyone else in doing the jobs they were hired for as a means of job security.  The risk paid off; the remaining team members stepped up to the plate and learned.
    4. Risk requires action; act swiftly, even if it means minor course corrections along the way.
    5. Action includes failure; stop fearing failure! When we understand failure, we know ourselves just a little better and act more smartly!
    6. When in doubt, activate step 5!Bound & Gagged - Near Death
  2. Ask for feedback!
    1. Do you prefer to receive feedback from friends, family, or foes? Some of all, all or none, or something or someone else?
    2. Do you trust those providing feedback sufficiently to act?
    3. Can you tell the difference between feedback and criticism? They are not the same, and in accepting feedback, you need to be able to give feedback.  Hence ask, but never forget to provide feedback.
    4. Never give criticism, even if you think the criticism is “constructive.” There is never, ever, anything “constructive” about criticism!Frank & Ernest - Life Lesson
  3. Practice, Practice, Practice
    1. Missoula Montana, I presume he is retired now, Veteran Employment Specialist, Charlie Brown, genuine person, real name, had a favorite axiom for helping veterans search for work and hang in their job search, “Keep throwing spaghetti at the wall until something sticks!”  Which is all well and good, but to get spaghetti to stick to a wall, you must first cook and drain the spaghetti.  Thus, practice requires preparation.  In case anyone is interested, yes; I have thrown spaghetti against a wall.
    2. Rule of 6-P’s, “Proper Prior Planning, Promotes, Promising, Practice,” is my saying, and I know it works. Practice is a prerequisite to promising performances, but you must prepare properly.  Yes, as a dual-service veteran, I know the other axioms for the Rule of 6-P’s.
    3. See Suggestion 5! Wash, rinse, and repeat!Garfield - Good Explanation Needed
  4. Link up!
    1. Network.
    2. Make acquaintances.
    3. Get to know people!Non Sequitur - This explains so much
  5. Grit Up!
    1. I cannot stress this enough; confidence and Enthusiasm require grit! Lots and lots of grit!
    2. Believe this statement: “Merentur Melius Quam Tu tibi semper sit.” From Latin, meaning, “You will always be better than you deserve.”Grit - Defined
    3. What is “Grit,” you might ask? Grit is a positive, cognitive trait based on an individual’s perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a specific long-term goal or end state.  At least, that is what the academics call grit.  Of all the people America remembers who have had a positive and long-lasting influence upon American culture, John Wayne is near the top.  If anyone embodies grit, John Wayne is quoted thusly, “True grit is making a decision and standing by it, doing what must be doneNo moral man can have peace of mind if he leaves undone what he knows they should have done.”  In understanding grit, I have oft called upon T. S. Eliot, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

© 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.