Fundamentals of Corporate Training – Learning to Learn Prepares to Teach

Bobblehead DollOrganizational design (OD) hinges upon a caveat posed by Myron Tribus, “what does the business organization [leaders] desire?”  Business organizations can be designed in a myriad of ways and possess a plethora of leadership styles.  Tribus remains correct; the entire design can be simplified into a single decision about the organization’s makeup and summed as the business is either a money tap or a socially involved mechanism trying to improve society and culture.  If money taps, there is not much left to say.  The organizational design, culture, and climate will reflect the owner’s desire to collect as much money as possible until the tap runs dry and the business is cast off by industry.  If socially involved, the decisions are obvious, and further delineation is superfluous.

For several years now, I have researched corporate training; from the start of recorded history, corporate training has protected business knowledge as much as it is screening people out for not being the “right fit” for a business and as a means of controlling behavior.  Originally an untrained youth would be indentured to a master, who agreed to do work in exchange for knowledge and ultimately be trained to become a journeyman, then master of a trade, craft, or business.  Your options were controlled long before interest was gaged and contracts for services were purchased.

Schools sprang up, and indentured servitude was expected to fall away.  Instead, only the indenturing of people went slowly away, but the servitude remains and is as healthy today as it was in the 1600s.  Currently, servitude is cloaked in terms of culture, competitive stance, and corporate knowledge, and the corporate trainer remains the arbiter of entry into a business, trade, craft, etc.  The trainer does not impart knowledge but exemplifies behaviors, attitudes, and mannerisms that the business leaders consider tenets of competition.

Finally, let’s name the 800# gorilla in the room, servitude is captivity, and captivity is how a person is described who changes into what the company desires of its long-term employees.  Thus the phrase “Captured by the system” indicates this phenomenon.  What does it mean to “Play the game?” the same thing, change your attitude, behaviors, and ideals, and become one of us, doing what we tell you to do.

By naming this phenomenon, I am not being cynical.  Multiple researchers of peer-reviewed research have discussed this phenomenon in their research and called it key to business success, placing the onus onto trainers and training to expound and exhort compliance of the human element.  Trainers are considered mentors, managers, job coaches, HR representatives, supervisors, etc.; if you fill a leadership position and trust, it is because you exemplify the business’s manners, attitudes, behaviors, and culture.  Understand compliance is neither good nor bad.  Non-compliance leads to ostracization and eventual unemployment.  However, submission does not guarantee long-term employment either, as those businesses relying most heavily upon human compliance tend to burn out fast and bankrupt themselves.

All operational processes and procedures rely upon changing behaviors, not necessarily upon gaining new knowledge.  In making this statement, I am not discounting gaining new knowledge, as new knowledge can arrive in many shapes, sizes, and encounters, but the primary role of a trainer in corporate offices is not new knowledge imparting but behavioral controls.  The indentured servant model of a Master training Journeymen and Journeymen training Novices has not changed these many centuries and remains firmly set in the “modern” principles of organizational learning.Question 2

Why is this important to know?

Not understanding the model and putting into place a person who does not comply is as dangerous to the health of a business as a thief, a liar, or a con man.  ENRON did not fail only because of the action of the leadership team.  ENRON failed because the model of behaviors exemplified by the leadership team and taught to employees poisoned the organizational body.  Hence the corporate trainers led the failure of ENRON, for the corporate training model follows GIGO (Garbage In equals Garbage Out!).  Understanding that the trainers were responsible for ENRON’s collapse does not excuse any person’s conduct.  Instead, it more fully places the blame on the leadership team who exemplified behaviors anathema to good organizational health.

Take any business, successful or collapsed, military organization, or non-profit; these distinctions do not matter.  Review them closely, and you will find Tribus’s choice personified in the employees’ actions, cultures, desired attitudes, behaviors, dress styles, mannerisms, etc.  Suppose a learner is preparing to train others, and doesn’t understand these fundamental aspects of corporate training and organizational design.  In that case, that trainer will teach poorly, and those employees will have short careers in the business.

Hence the most extraordinary aspect of controlling costs does not arrive in cutting people but in training them for compliance, improving the understanding of the role of behavioral adaptation, and improving the incentives to adopt the culture of the business.  A client of mine is facing this exact scenario; the economic downturns have hit them hard.  Instead of focusing on improving costs through behavioral adaptation, they have begun cutting people, leaving in place the trainers that are fundamental to the problems the company is facing.  Proving the maxim, “You cannot correct the problems with the same thinking that spawned the problems.”

Leadership CartoonWhat is needed?

Unfortunately, what is needed is not what is currently wanted, but the path forward will require pieces of the following solution.  What is needed is a new model for corporate training, and the model has been historically proven to be successful.  Joseph Smith Jr., an early American religious leader, founded several highly successful communities and launched a leadership revolution and a religious organization.  His leadership style was based upon the following principle, “Teach them (people) correct principles and let them govern themselves.”

Technology has removed the brick stick to beat compliance into employees.  Technology has also leveled a lot of playing fields, putting employees into a position where they must act for themselves, guided more by self-interest and self-preservation than any generation of workers previously.  Add in COVID lockdowns that spurred the rise in remote workers, and technology has released a lot of employees to work outside the accepted strictures of an office.  The release of employees has done two things, changed the behaviors compliance spectrum and removed the front-line supervisor as a primary trainer in monitoring and controlling cultural acceptance.

Several years ago, a researcher was told by front-line supervisors, job coaches, and mentors of a company that communication and training were not in the specific job roles of these people.  Thus, they could not be held accountable for poor communication on their teams.  Remote working has eliminated these aspects on the part of the front-line supervisor.  Therefore, if the supervisor is not teaching independence, allowing for self-preservation, and promoting the freedom of thought and action in employees, those employees are now acting outside the company culture and operations, and disaster is looming.  To their horror, the New York Times just discovered that company-forced cultures are being called into question when employees are not in the office, and demanding employees return hurts bottom lines.

Thus, the front-line supervisors must adapt.  Adaptation in managers nullifies a manager’s power and authority, sparking fear of downsizing into these mid-level managers.  Fear mixed with self-preservation leads to more problems for a company’s leadership (C-Level Suite) to consider.  The self-interested but not free mid-level manager will crave their benefits, perks, and powers, like any drug, and the withdrawal process is never pretty.  Again as recently exhibited by the New  York Times, their trainers are proving that they do not understand people and technology and do not know the role of the trainer in corporate training.Behavior-Change

Since the mid-1990s, technology has risen, coinciding with the need to provide front-line employees more freedom to make decisions and take rapid action.  Mostly, this freedom has clashed with “traditional” models of behavior demanded of by what is considered novice servants.  Yet, technological growth was not considered a fundamental threat to tradition until the COVID-lockdowns.  Regardless of the politics in the lockdowns, the truth remains, the traditional roles have fundamentally shifted, and the businesses that embrace this new role for the trainer, including a new model for operation, will reap success in the whirlwind.

Hence, while not wanted, the model suggested is what is needed.  Employees must be taught correct business principles and fully granted the freedom to govern themselves.  Thus, the role of the trainer shifts from behavioral compliance to knowledge instruction and behavioral exemplar.  More to the point, all levels of a business need to conduct themselves differently.  Relying less upon behavioral and attitude adoption and more upon individuality, expression, and thinking to complete business tasks.

Front-line and mid-level managers are, by necessity, going to have to decrease in the new model.  Relying upon layers of managerial oversight is not going to work, and honestly has never worked, and the costs of this oversight have proven too expensive.  The gap between C-Suite Level decision-makers and the front line has grown too large and too expensive, and until this is acknowledged, the role of the trainer will continue to be hindered by old-model thinking.  The 1960-1980s saw the exponential rise of middle managers, coinciding with significant cost increases and a tripling in government influence, all in the name of controlling behaviors, dictating attitudes, and demanding compliance.

The growth of the middle manager was considered “new thinking,” and history has proven this idea is as false as fools’ gold and as worthwhile.  Middle management restricted freedoms, and while employment laws have granted, since the 1940s, employers the ability to take these controlling actions, these actions remain fundamentally unfair.  The employees have slowly gotten more freedom back from their employers.  Each business will find a balance between the extremes of absolute liberty and the oppressive regime of stolen freedom.  The proposed model helps strike a balance as nothing else will, but caution is needed here; there is no one-size-fits-most solution in this balancing act.Fishbone Diagram

Since the industrial revolution began, businesses have competed upon their employees’ skills and influence to serve customers, which is the fundamental truth that cannot be ignored any longer.  By the C-Level Suite, the skills, freedoms, liberties, behaviors, attitudes, and investment of the employee dictates the company’s ability to compete for market share.  While much lip service has been undertaken to this fundamental truth, action has lagged considerably, and this trend can no longer survive in the global markets.  The front-line employee must be taught to understand this truth that they currently grasp like a fish in a stream, and they must become empowered more to act in this role.  Requiring the trainers to know, prepare, and teach these principles to power action by the front-line employee.

Teaching correct principles and allowing employees to govern themselves is cyclical.  The employee will rely more heavily upon trainers to teach the correct principles.  Increasing the need for value-added, timely trainers who support individual liberty and freedom in employees to generate customer-centric solutions.  These trainers will need to be taught so that they can teach more perfectly, and the cyclical process will continue.  Needs for training will drive new training, producing more freedom to act and driving more demand for training.

Knowledge Check!Returning to the decision posed by Tribus, regardless of whether to be a money tap or a community-building organization, embracing a new model for the role of the trainer will prove beneficial.  Reducing mid-level managers will produce direct bottom-line cost reduction.  Increasing the freedom of front-line employees while also training them to generate customer-centric solutions will open new lines of business and new opportunities.  There are no downside consequences to adopting these changes earlier than your competition and proving the concept.  As a business leader, are you brave enough to embrace these truths, or will you watch what you have built be destroyed by those who are?  The choice, as always, is yours, and if you would like help, please feel free to reach out.

© Copyright 2023 – 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.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

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Added Upon – An Eternal Investment Principle

WhyPlease note that while the following begins with truths found in the Bible, this is not a religious discussion.  Galatians 6:5-10 reminds us that what we reap, we will sow.  Some have called this the “Principle of the Harvest,” others try to frame this discussion as Isaiah proclaimed (Isaiah 10:15) “Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith?  or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it?  as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood.”  Each iteration proclaims the same truth, where you invest, you shall gather the interest thereof.

I could stop right here, and the entire lesson will have been taught to those with ears to hear and eyes to see.  However, there is something else I wish to communicate and will beg your attention a little longer, dear reader, for the principle of added upon does more than merely render unto a person that which they carefully sowed.

As a child, I grew up in a home full of abuse.  Mental, sexual, physical, spiritual, if you can name the abuse, we suffered it.  Carefully sown, this abuse has grown bitter fruit indeed.  Except, those who planted were not only my parents; the fruits were bitter indeed for the receiver of the abuse and the deliverer of additional abuse.  Shortly after working out a plan to commit suicide and failing, boy did I feel like a loser; I came to my senses and committed to breaking, forever sundering, the chains of abuse.  I would not have my children raised in the turmoil, abuse, chaos, hate, strife, and pain I was raised in.

See, the investment principle is powerful.  Interest must be paid, and the principle of added upon works like this:

If I act in a specific manner, it will be observed by those around me, and they will multiply my behaviors (for good or ill) 10-fold.  Those who see this second generation of behavior will imitate that behavior 20-fold, multiplying and forever working to exceed the earlier behaviors observed.?u=https3.bp.blogspot.com-fYRTNk48SCwT8ua0IRDWPIAAAAAAAAFZUpexSmJsN2Kos1600overcoming-adversity-help-yourself-believe-cubby-motivational-1289878102.jpg&f=1&nofb=1

The principle of added upon works in other ways.  In the 90s, I read a research report about how high school students who thought cheating acceptable stole from their employers.  But, the children of those who stole from their employer took the behaviors of theft and added upon them to steal purses, rob stores, murder, lie, and cheat, all with no abandon.  The interest came from the behaviors of the original sin of cheating on a test in high school, and the fruit destroyed potential lives.

But, I am not without hope in discussing the principle of added upon, as the reverse also occurs.  A dear friend of mine was raised by his single mother, his father was an alcoholic, and there were generations steeped in abhorrent behavior.  Yet, my friend broke the chains, invested in learning, and his children were free of the evils of abuse, alcoholism, and sexual abuse and were raised in a nuclear family.  My friend worked exceedingly hard and continues his efforts to protect, teach, guide, mentor, and build his children into productive and valuable members of society.

The principle of added upon holds such power as to bloom potential in the darkest abyss, bringing light, life, and deliverance to future generations.  Why is this important right now; America is in trouble.  Too many have sown seeds of destruction and are reaping the whirlwind as natural consequences.  Too many broken homes, too much welfare destroying the principle of work, too many imaginations have uprooted common sense and decency for the politically easier path, and so much more.  Personal interest fuels wars, contention, strife, and every social ill from coast to coast.Tax Burden

Consider this, the government “Of the People, By the People, and for the People” has intentionally been sown with seeds of complacency, bureaucratism, hate, envy, strife, malice, and abuse of all kinds and flavors, done in the name of securing power and personal wealth.  That which the government has sown is being reaped in her citizenry, and the citizen’s tears must be answered by those wielding government power for personal gain.

Much has been written about Liz Cheney’s recent loss, and the personal wealth garnered while serving in the US House of Representatives.  Some have called this karma; others believe it is a heaven-sent miracle.  I hope that which she reaps will build a new person.  How many of us are in a similar position?  We have sown, and are praying, hoping, wishing that the fruit of our labors is not bitter?

I have some suggestions, and I hope you may find peace in some of all of these thoughts.  Please take the time to learn, and choose the seeds you sow more wisely.

  1. If you hate who you are right now, do you want to change? Do you desire the ability to change with every fiber of your being?  Do you want to change your consequences?  If the answers are YES!  Then make a choice to change, and start rooting out the seedlings sown.  This alone is a good first step, but it will not be easy; yet I echo words from the master teacher, it IS worth it!
  2. Start RIGHT NOW! I cannot emphasize this point enough.  Procrastination is the enemy of change, as surely the enemy of food is a starving beggar.  How do you start?  Forgive yourself, commit to change, and begin acting.  Even if you think you are incapable of changing, let the desire feel your mind, write down your ideal person, and start rooting out the weeds and bad behaviors of sown seeds.
  3. Ask for forgiveness, and render forgiveness. Saying sorry and committing to not repeating destructive behaviors are HARD.  But, the German axiom is well remembered, “The hard IS good!”
  4. Forgiveness will eventually bring the fruit of forgetting. Please, be kinder to yourself and others, forgiving and repenting daily.  How do you change the past; you practice forgiveness and repentance in the present, and the future will shine brighter, eventually.

I was privileged to hear a person speak about hourglasses in my youth.  When trying to change, we are in the bottom glass, and there is plenty of room.  But, as we swim against the tide coming down, the space diminishes until we are in the neck of the hourglass.  If we can but hold onto the change we desire, then as we exit the neck, still moving upwards, we get a little more space from the problems and troubles, the tide pulling against us lessens as we get further from the neck, and the added room provides places of safety.  The hourglasses stacked on top of each other form the pattern, and we can succeed gloriously, as we were not created to fail!Never Give Up!

If you need more help, confidence, or a shoulder to lean on (but not rest), choose someone as committed as you are to change and make them central in your life.  You CAN do this!  Believe, and then go to work!

© Copyright 2022 – 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.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

Woman!

Detective 4The majority of this article was drafted before the controversy with the SCOTUS nominee.  The intent is to honor the role of women and woman.  Affirming again that how you choose to live is your business and is between you and whatever god, God, or gods you worship.  Provided you allow others the same rights to life, liberty, and pursue happiness, I do not care how you choose to live.

How you choose to live should not denigrate anyone, let alone biologically living males and females, men and women.  Leading this discussion to answer the simple question posed by US Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn) to SCOTUS nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, “What is a woman?”  Again, affirming the role and embodiment of a woman is more than the sum of her sexual parts; the question does have merit and deserves answered.  What is a woman?

The Bible relates that all creation occurred in six days; on the sixth day, the woman was created as the supreme creation of God, and then God rested on the seventh day.  Not here to argue religion, but to herald that final glorious act of creation, the woman.  How grateful I am for the women in my life.  Various scriptures relate that woman was created so man would not be alone, so a helpmeet was found for Adam, and the woman would be equal to the man in all things.  An interesting dichotomy was found in creating the woman: Adam was created of the dust, but the woman was created from Adam’s side.  According to biblical accounts, no other female in the species created replicated this pattern.  Clearly, there is a lesson for us to understand, acknowledge, and support socially through laws and societal norms.

Male v. FemaleWhat a unique creation the woman is.  Paradoxical in all things, a woman is soft and strong, inflexible and flexile, independent, and a great team member.  What family is complete without a woman and a man?  One of the great truths in life is that man and woman were created separate and dependent, and gender is an eternal construct.  Each person is born male and female, with their creator’s traits, personalities, and intelligence.  Yet what do we see in all modern societies; the continued blurring of lines, roles, and dehumanization of the grandeur of man and woman, but of the two woman, has been taking the worst hits.

Consider fashion; since the feminist movement began, fashion for women has warped and destroyed the modesty, chastity, and glory of a woman.  Fashionistas are trying to make the woman into a young boy at best.  Always to be “fashionable,” the woman is made to squeeze, pinch, and be uncomfortable.  Women’s shoes are a contortion and torture exercise, a balancing act sacrificing function and comfort for some twisted idea of style.  Long have I looked upon the inequality in fashion between men and women and been abhorred, disgusted, and discomfited by the base and profane ideas accepted as “stylish” and “fashionable.”  Women, why do you allow yourself and your high and holy station to be demeaned in the name of “fashion?”

Consider make-up and all the chemicals a woman is “supposed” to use to “improve” her beauty.  The emoluments alone are sufficient to baffle and bewilder, then add the smells and paints, and the woman is taught from day one that being natural is insufficient to being attractive or whole.  Yet, I know differently, for I have seen strong and powerful women who never touch these things and remain effective, regnant, and influential.  Tell me honestly, what you put on your face, to make up, what value is there in this process?  Who told you you needed these chemicals to be a woman?Virtuous Woman 3

Human biology, and I would presume all biological sciences, defines a female as having two X chromosomes, whereas males have an X and a Y chromosome.  I passed biology with high marks but failed zoology as I did not attend enough to be scored.  If there is a biologist who would like to weigh in, please feel free to correct me.  The developing fetus develops as either a male or female as growth occurs in the germinal, embryonic, and fetal stages of life.  The physical characteristics separating males and females are coded into a person’s DNA, and fourth-grade science was apparent on these topics.

Psychology in recent years has declared that a person’s choices can change the gender of a person, but the sex of a person remains coded genetically.  Thus, woman, as a biologically separate class of animals, have different bone structures, hair, glands, skin, hormones, etc., coded from birth, regardless of how that person chooses how to live.  Please allow me to make a strong point, a woman, and for that matter, a man, are more than the sum of their sexual parts.  If this were not true, then those men having sexual reassignment surgery to obtain female genitalia would automatically adopt all the characteristics of a woman upon the conclusion of surgery.  VaccineEstrogen and testosterone, hormones, and chemicals would not need to be supplemented, and the mental processes separating a man and a woman would not need to be fought so assiduously by those having their sex surgically or chemically altered.  Again, supporting the fact that it is psychology and not biology, establishing the difference between biological men and women, and the sum of their sexual parts is a non-issue.

On the topic of psychology, look to the results of choosing to live in a manner opposite of birth sex.  We discover suicides, depression, anxiety, and a host of other mental diseases prevalent in this population, not witnessed to the same degree in different populations.  Why the LGBTQ+ populations have such prevalent and significant occurrences of these mental diseases is a question modern society refuses to research as this has been termed out of bounds as potentially anti-LGBTQ+.  Thus, research supports that the populations of those choosing to live life in this manner have these mental problems but refuses to ask why; do you see a problematic situation?  All this while attacking the role, lifestyles, and position of woman.

20 Inspirational Quotes for Women All Around the WorldUnder the role of woman, there is a title worthy of acknowledgment, and the title is lady.  Like gender, being a lady is a choice, a lifestyle, and contains social obligations, societal expectations, and requires significant effort on the part of the woman to obtain the title lady.  For example, Nancy Reagan was a lady, Hilary Clinton is merely a woman.  What separates these two women is class, respect, dignity, and more, not politics, not personality, and definitely not lifestyles and social circles.  Being a lady requires sacrifice, making choices over long periods of time, and it demands total commitment to achieve.  Females become women through growth, females become ladies by choice and sacrifice, and are granted this title by others.

In attempting to make this distinction clearer, allow me to draw a more specific example between women and ladies.  Gretchen Wilson sings a song, “Redneck Woman.”  The song lists qualities of a woman, specifically a class of woman “Redneck women.”  No aspersions cast, no denigration, and no offense offered.  Frankly, I have deep respect for several redneck women.  I am also proud to know and respect a lot of women who ride horses as cowgirls and rodeo stars, some really kick butt women from the US Military, and more.  But, a lady is phenomenally different by choice, and this is the point.18 Inspiring Independent Women Quotes By Famous & Powerful Women

Great ladies of history include amongst their ranks Katherine Hepburn, Doris Day, Nancy Reagan, Barbara “The Silver Fox” Bush, Abagail Adams, Mary Todd Lincoln, Mother Theresa, Queen Elizabeth II, Margaret Thatcher, Sarah and Esther of Old Testament fame, Mary of New Testament fame, these and more are ladies.  First and foremost, these females are women, strong and independent, then they choose to become ladies and are honored more than mere women or as the sum of their sexual parts.  Women honored, revered, and respected for their contributions to womanhood, society, and sacrifices, women who practiced gentleness, compassion, respect, and kindness as quintessential aspects of their core identity, not for worldly fame or personal gain.  Abraham Lincoln, America’s 16th President, honored two women as mothers and called both ladies of influence.  Yet, Disney would have us believe that all stepmothers are horrible creatures.  A vast chasm exists between women and ladies, and this is but one of the separations or classifications between women; by the choices the woman makes, a lady is created.Strong Women Quotes, Powerful Independent Woman Quotes

In trying to make a point about not hitting women, President Biden accidentally created a problem.  President Biden remarked that nobody should punch a woman in the face.  Distinguishing multiple times in the same speech that hitting a woman in the face, specifically, is not allowed.  As a kid, I learned not to hit women at all; even if being attacked by a woman, a man merely defends themselves restraining a woman if necessary, not to cause additional injury to herself or someone else.  But, Biden implied that only hitting a woman in the face is problematic; what a detestable creature is the man who would hit a woman!  I am not condoning violence in any shape or against any person.  For thousands of years and across hundreds of societies, those who would enact violence, society, rightly, has dolled out steeper punishments to those committing violence against women.Quotes from some of the most Famous Women in History ! - TechStory

Social laws throughout recorded history have always treated women differently.  Sometimes in history, this has been to the detriment and unequal treatment of women, and recently in history, treating women as equals to men is a fact that should be cheered and heralded.  Yet, along comes transgenderism demanding equal treatment under the law, not as a separate but equal category, but supplanting women, representing more attacks on women and womanhood by conspiring men for personal gain.  Don’t believe me; look at the story of the NCAA and the recent swimmer making news and winning championships, and tell me that conspiring men are not attacking the equality of women.  A charade of disrespect is cast before us, slandering women and womanhood for some amorphous and ambiguous term for lifestyle choices and not sound science, or respectful dialogue about laws.

Knowledge Check!I conclude where I began, respecting women, honoring ladies, and decrying the attack on women and womanhood as the demented and twisted attack of conspiring men and women who would see women destroyed upon the altar of political correctness.  Ladies, you have my respect, admiration, and sword, for you are deserving.  Women, you have my respect for the roles you fill as opposites of men and your work as mothers, teachers, and the co-equal helpmeet of men.  May those conspiring to destroy you be found buried in the hole they have dug for your destruction.

© Copyright 2022 – 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.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

“That’s Crazy!!!” – More Chronicles from the VA Chapter 5

I-CareI had originally planned on writing something else today, but my mental train was derailed, caught on fire, and I had to change my plans.  18 March 2022, I received an email signed from Sonja Brown of the Albuquerque VAMCS, who discussed how it takes 10-20 years for the VA to make a decision about which clinics to close, how to build new clinics, and the possibility of change (not) occurring in the New Mexico VA Medical System.  Doesn’t that warm your heart; two decades is a maximum timeframe for ending unprofitable clinics to save the taxpayer money.  Now multiply this problem by every government agency, and we find the reason for reducing the government bloat!VA 3

Luckily, I still have VA-OIG reports to discuss, not that I got behind, but February and March have been especially prolific.  In January, the pace set appears to be sustained, at least for the first quarter of 2022.  Some have commented that I do not write very often about the National Cemetery side of the VA’s voluminous bureaucracy.  Your wish is granted; a whistleblower reported that the Houston National Cemetery was not being operated properly.  The VA-OIG substantiated “some of the claims made by the whistleblower.”  However, the leadership at the Houston National Cemetery had, for the most part, already begun making changes before the VA-OIG arrived.

Thus, I congratulate the Houston National Cemetery leadership for being almost proactive and 100% more responsible than any leadership in the VHA and VBA.  My heartiest gratitude to you and your staff.  May you continue to show initiative, forward-thinking, and attention to detail, and may the rest of the VA’s hegemonically impotent leaders learn from your example.VA 3

A Comprehensive Healthcare Inspection (CHIP) was conducted at the James J. Peters VAMC in the Bronx, NY.  While a lot of the report is cookie-cutter, similar to all the other CHIPs that cross my inbox, I remain fascinated with a frequently used term from the report, “Servant Leadership.”  From the website linked, we find the following to define “servant leadership” at the VA:

We are all leaders, all of the time.
Servant Leadership is an approach for optimizing the delivery of client-centered services by strengthening employees to be an engaged and empowered workforce.  The philosophy and practice of Servant Leadership is one that emphasizes caring, authenticity, and putting clients and employees first, and ahead of personal goals or leadership aspirations.  Servant Leaders strive to meet both organizational objectives and the growth / development of their workforce.”

Please note ALL the grammar and punctuation errors are included in that quote.  Far be it for me to pass along any advice on grammar, spelling, punctuation, and proper communication techniques.  But, even this quoted material reflects the fact that there is a Grand Canyon-like chasm between DC leadership and the worm’s eye-view in a VA Hospital, VBA operations center, or the National Cemetery.  Be a leader at the VA, and you will NOT last your probationary period after hire; I have experienced this personally!VA 3

Worse, try and help the VA from the worm’s eye to see the problems and fix the issues, and the VA Leadership will chop you into little tiny pieces and feed your carcass to the fishes.  Yet, every single CHIP report mentions problems with “servant leadership” as opportunities for growth and development.  More bureaucratese for designed incompetence as an excuse, the VA-OIG will believe.  How sick to death I am of these shenanigans!  Don’t believe me; check out the full CHIP report, it’s linked above, read a few of the other CHIP reports from the VA-OIG, and discuss the actual problems you think the VA is experiencing.

Servant Leadership is officially defined, by Purdue University, quoting Robert Greenleaf from 1970, as:

The servant-leader is servant first.  It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve first … a philosophy and set of practices that [enrich] the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world.”

Notice a problem between the two definitions of servant leadership?  Recognize an issue yet with the entire concept of servant-leadership?  Let me give you a hint through a question, What does a “just and caring world” really define?  The whole concept of servant leadership is easily twisted, plasticized, and framed in a way that removes liberty, destroys justice, and wrecks havoc on a free society, all because the philosophy sounds good, but the practice leaves chaos and destruction in the name of creating a more just and caring world.Servant Leadership and Health Care: Critical Partners in Changing Times

I am not condemning anyone who wants to try and improve their leadership skills through learning servant leadership or applying some of the servant leadership philosophies in their leadership toolbox.  I am merely stating that care and caution should be used when trying to reshape the world on such ambiguous and amorphous terms as “just and caring.”  The VA is trying to force a leadership template for all leaders to follow.  This type of leadership philosophy warps the world and makes leaders into managers with excuses for failure, e.g., designed incompetence.

On a different topic, please read the following carefully:

The VA Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) reviews nonpharmaceutical proposals submitted to the VA National Acquisition Center (NAC) for Federal Supply Schedule (FSS) contracts valued annually at $10 million or more for high tech medical equipment, $3 million or more for all other FSS contracts, $100,000 or more based on manufacturer sales under dealers or resellers, or as requested by the NAC.”

Here is why the above is critical:

The VA-OIG determined commercial disclosures were accurate, complete, and current for only 24 of the 103 proposals reviewed.  This means 24 proposals were reliable for determining negotiation objectives and fair and reasonable pricing.  The remaining 79 could not reliably be used for negotiations until the noted deficiencies were corrected.  The OIG recommended lower prices than offered for 76 proposals.

If you, in your employment, had a 23% accuracy rate, and someone else had to come behind you, redoing all of your work, how long would you last in your job?  Note there are still 3 proposals that do not meet regulations and requirements out of 103 contract reviews.  Read the rest of this incredible report for yourself and know what your elected representatives are failing to curtail and control.  Then answer the following question: “Why should we re-elect ANY of the current elected officials?”VA 3

On the topic of designed incompetence of an almost criminal nature, we find the VBA still making headlines and breaking rules of ethics, morals, and logic with aplomb!  Before getting into the VA-OIG report, it is crucial to note that the VBA has exclusively gone to a third-party model for Compensation and Pension exams.  The most important part of the VBA’s operations, the comp and pen exam, is now conducted solely by third-party contracts companies.  A VA doctor sees a person trying to get their benefits from the VBA no longer but a third-party physician’s assistant at best, who is (supposedly) overseen by a medical doctor.  The lack of transparency and the complicated processes of the VBA are gordian, and transparency is hidden; read that as missing entirely.You know it's true - Imgflip

Here comes the VA-OIG, not to the rescue, but to rub salt into the wounds of veterans whose claims continue to be denied for lack of evidence.

“[The] VBA complied with the requirements of the law by reinstating 69 questionnaires on its public-facing website.  However, disability benefits questionnaires that were incomplete, inaccurate, or of questionable authenticity from non-VA medical providers were not always processed correctly when determining benefits entitlement—causing underpayments of about $13,900 and overpayments of $74,800 over the nine months studied.

Improper processing occurred because VBA lacked sufficient controls to ensure disability benefits questionnaires from non-VA medical providers were properly relied on when determining entitlement to benefits.”

Let’s let this sink in for a moment.  The VBA moved to a third-party model, then denied access to the VBA’s questionnaires to determine benefits, then had to be forced to reinstate the questionnaires.  Improper VBA processes and procedures led to over and underpayments of benefits, and claims processors still do not have the tools to make informed and logical decisions reliably.  Best of all, veracity (questionable authenticity) remains questioned in the process when the third-party contractor submits the forms for benefits.VA 3

You cannot make this stuff up; fiction writers can come nowhere close to creating a story this inane!  Is designed incompetence as a concept clear now?  The VBA developed a process using a more expensive model and then questioned the inputs for veracity from the contracted party, and the veteran suffered more!  Do you think the VBA intentionally designs its processes to help and create a more just and caring world (servant leadership)?  I think the VBA intentionally designed their processes to screw veterans in the hope they die before the government ever pays money on their claims.  Let me know what you think in the comment section, for this is a travesty of justice anyway I slice the data.

As a veteran who has been trying to get a compensation and pension decision corrected since leaving the service in 2004, having suffered both overpayments, which I had to repay, underpayments, and erroneous overpayments where the funds paid were (eventually) refunded, the news from the VBA designed incompetence is a particular form of hell for me to read and discuss.  I have had the third-party comp and pen exam doctors refuse to see me three times in the last two years.  Delaying a VBA decision repeatedly.  I have had the VBA reject the third-party data and a new comp and pen exam scheduled, rescheduled because I cannot wear a mask, and then conducted by a hostile and infuriating provider who refused to listen to the patient.Are you an Incompetent Developer? - Web Development & Web Design Blog

When veterans talk about fighting the VBA for a fair and honest decision, they mean a literal fight!  Don’t take my word for it; ask veterans how their comp and pen exam has gone; when you find those struggling with the VBA, listen carefully to their stories, and you will hear very similar stories.  The VBA represents government inefficiency, designed incompetence, and bureaucratic inertia to the Nth degree!

The following link might, or might not, work as intended; the link directs you to all testimony recorded from congressional hearings.  If it works, you will be able to read the statement of David Case, Deputy IG, who was testifying before the HVAC subcommittee on drafted legislation “Quality Education for Veterans Act of 2022”.  A brief synopsis from his testimony is included below:

This bill would significantly strengthen the OIG’s efforts to prevent fraud in VA’s education and training programs.  Given that more than $10 billion in taxpayer funds is expended on education and training programs each year and hundreds of thousands of veterans, service members, and family members receive these benefits, the OIG supports efforts to strengthen programmatic and beneficiary protections.  The statutory changes in the draft bill do not appear to be burdensome or costly to educational institutions or VA, and yet they have the potential to make a significant impact on the amount of education fraud that occurs.  The OIG agrees that these changes would work to lessen the harm suffered by veterans and beneficiaries and reduce losses to the government.”

Ever wonder how much a VA-OIG inspection costs or where and how the VA-OIG is funded; here is the answer and the problem.  Tell me, why is the VA-OIG not financed from the VA budget?  Simple question, not hard, and requires an explanation!  The explanation should be detailed, transparent, and I guarantee that the answer will reflect the designed incompetence and failure to scrutinize the executive branch adequately.  The VA is one of the few, if not the only, Federal Government Agency with a specialized inspectorate general, dedicated solely to independent oversight and continuous improvement of the VA.  I think the VA-OIG might be failing in its mission.VA 3

Fraud is rampant in the VA because the VA refuses to act, work, change, and improve.  How will throwing more money at VA programs alleviate the hurt, stop the fraud, and spur continuous improvement?  Almost every week, my inbox fills with accounts of fraud occurring, but the roots of the problems are never addressed, and people are not held accountable for failing to perform the work they were hired to complete.  Failing to hold people responsible promotes fraud, waste, and abuse.  Allowing whistleblowers to be fired promotes a discouraged whistleblowing culture, and the perpetrators are allowed to continue their nefarious misdeeds!  How is the VA-OIG going to tackle these systemic issues in the culture at the VA?  When will continuous improvement begin; I do not want to miss growth and development!

Knowledge Check!America, the VA is sick.  A symptom not a disease; the larger disease is a refusal to act morally upright.  The majority of those employed in the behemoth of government service have little to no moral compunction, are not servants of the taxpayer, and consider themselves “Too BIG to fail.”  We need a smaller government, and I hope this message helps enlighten and support shrinking the government!

© Copyright 2022 – 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.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

Flashes – How is your quest for JOY coming?

Bobblehead DollLong before I read Leo J. Muir’s book, “Flashes from the Eternal Semaphore,” I knew I wanted to find joy.  But, I was stuck; what is joy and how do I identify joy were my first two obstacles.  Yet, from many sources comes the following, in many different forms:

Man is that he might find joy.”

What is Joy?

An appeal to the dictionary confuses joy and happiness, forming part of the problem where understanding joy is concerned.  The closest definition for joy coming from the dictionary is to define joy as an ecstatic feeling, pleasure, or deep satisfaction.  But, if a person goes around chasing a euphoric feeling, they will be disappointed in pursuing joy.  If we consider joy as not an emotion but the result of an unexpected event that creates feelings of peace and contentment, then joy is more fully understood, but the quest for joy becomes more challenging to pursue.  How does one pursue an unexpected gift?

Christians, and some Jews, share a description of joy as a “good feeling in the soul, produced by a visit from the Holy Ghost (Spirit); thus, joy is felt as a consequence of a visit from another being.  However, unless you pursue education into those religions, you still might not fully grasp what joy is and why we seek joy so ardently.  One of the most straightforward descriptions for joy comes from the writings of Pope, an English author from the 16th century who wrote:

Reason’s whole pleasure, all the joys of sense, lie in the three words –health, peace, and competence.”

Hence the pursuit of joy is gaining health, peace, and competence.  So we can conclude that joy is found in possessing health, peace, and competence, as a consequence or good feeling stemming from achieving these three items.  Now, I know someone will get bent out of shape here; what if I have poor health, how can I pursue joy?  The answer lies in understanding peace and competence as co-equal parts of health.50+ Joy Quotes - a Perspective on Life | iCreateDaily | Quotes

Recently on YouTube, I watched an amputee discuss their amputation, health, peace, and display their competence.  One could argue that losing a foot is poor health, yet this person glows with good health for having joined health to peace and competence.  By the same token, I know several people who possess poor health, are depressed from not finding peace, and are not competent.  While working with mental health patients, I met a person in a wheelchair who cannot walk, can barely speak, and this person chooses to live on the street in misery.  This person has plenty of money for an apartment but chooses to live on the street eating from garbage cans in abject misery.  Thus, we can see the need for combining health, peace, and competence to obtain joy.  One might even define joy as a consequence of choices that build a life.  However, and this is critical, the feelings of joy are internal!

Imperative to understanding joy as a consequence is the need to grasp that joy is an internal feeling of ecstasy, delight, and wonder while dependent upon health, peace, and competence.  We cannot understate this importance nor overstate the criticality of joy to the combination of health, peace, and competence.  I have met very depressed people who possess competence but cannot find joy.  I have met people with great health and who are miserable.  Possessing one or two of these components does not disqualify you from obtaining joy or pursuing joy, but lacking all three will not produce joy in any quantity or with any staying power.  Joy is not an event in life but a collection of events from life, where “everything just clicked.”50+ Joy Quotes - a Perspective on Life | iCreateDaily | Quotes

Finally, it must be expressly noted joy is not an emotion; thus, joy cannot be chosen from a list of emotions to fit circumstances.  Since joy is not an emotion, this is where happy and joy are most often confused.  If an external event occurs, and health, peace, and competence are not present, happiness, not joy, is being felt or experienced.  If health, peace, and competence are present, and the feeling of joy swells inside, independent of all other factors, then joy is being experienced.

Case in point, in the US Navy, I served in a toxic working environment as a highly competent sailor.  I possessed health and, through inner strength, enjoyed peace inside myself.  Frequently, I would experience joy, even though external elements and environments appeared expressly designed to “make me miserable.”  By choosing to disallow an external event to choose my emotions, peace was mine, and joy was a consequence.Joy Quotes 3 | QuoteReel

Another English author from the 16th century was Edward Young, who concluded the following:

On the soft bed of luxury, most kingdoms have expired.”

What is happiness?

The definition of happiness is as convoluted as the definition of joy.  Consider the following: “Any state of being, having considerable permanence, in which pleasure predominates over pain.”  Yeah, that’s going to help a person understand!  Sarcasm aside, the definitions of happiness also include some interesting aspects for consideration: fortuitous aptness or fitness, grace, beauty, and felicitousness.  Happiness is also the quality or state of being happy, as if that actually helps.

Happy, the root word of happiness, is defined as cheerful, willing, possessing good luck or fortunate, a marked pleasure satisfaction, or showing the same.  What the dictionary skips, and the elements needed for understanding happy and happiness, is that being happy relies upon external factors and is a choice.  We choose to emote happy or happiness based upon external forces, societies, people, events, and environments.Spread Happiness Quotes. QuotesGram

Steven Aitchison is quoted as saying, “Happiness begins with the decision to no longer feel sad.”  Is it clear that happiness, like all emotions, is a choice?  The importance of choosing our emotions cannot be understated, and many of life’s biggest problems would disappear if we chose better emotional responses to external stimuli.  Aristotle provides the final word on happiness:

True happiness comes from gaining insight and growing into your best possible self.  Otherwise, all you’re having is immediate gratification pleasure, which is fleeting and doesn’t grow you as a person.”

What is the difference between Joy and Happiness?

Of a truth for certain, confusing Joy and Happiness leads to despair, misery, and failure.  Please keep the following clearly in mind; happiness is external.  Happiness is based on situations, events, people, places, things, and thoughts.  Happiness is connected to your hope.  Believe it or not, the following observation is not religious thinking, faith builds hope, hope builds charity, and charity is nothing but an outward action of an inner commitment (faith).  Happiness is faith and hope expressed for everyone to see.  Put the words in any order and use a thesaurus.  The result never varies; happiness is a consequence (resulting from) of faith and hope combined into action, and others might call that action charity.Quotes about happiness

If further questions arise about distinguishing between joy and happiness, please review the above definitions where I have attempted to clarify the delineation.  One essential factor in pursuing peace is time to reflect, which promotes peace and distills into competence.  Competence breeds from education (formal and informal) applied over time and understood through reflection.  Peace is stability, mental calm and derives from reflection and additional education (formal and informal).  Health can be physical, mental, and spiritual, but of these three, mental and spiritual are more important than physical health.  Again, when combined, independent of all external forces and environments, joy is the consequence, not happiness!

Please allow me to point out something truly obvious when a person wishes you joy, they generally also include happiness as an addition to their blessing.  For example, the Whitney Houston song whose lyrics claim:

I wish to you joy and happiness.  But above all this, I wish you love.”

Thus confirming that joy and happiness are two distinct and separate entities.  The US Constitution allows and encourages a person to pursue “Life, liberty, and happiness” as inalienable rights.”  Joy is not included!  Benjamin Franklin is quoted as saying:

The US Constitution doesn’t guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it.  You have to catch up with it yourself.”

The Quest for Joy

The quest for joy begins with education (formal and informal) as a building block for competence and to begin the process of finding peace.  While influenced by external factors (drugs, alcohol, disease, viruses, bacteria, etc.), health requires mental and spiritual inputs and is not content without peace.  Choosing to accept physical limitations is part of building mental and spiritual peace, and the human body cannot long survive without mental and spiritual health and peace, but the body can long endure physical health problems if mental and spiritual health remains.Meme Quotes » Happiness

Another truth becomes evident when questing for joy, “Joy dwells in the ordinary.”  Consider this for a moment; a person gives another person a flower.  Ordinary, simplistic, and yet this giving provides joy to the giver and receiver.  How swift and fleeting is the happiness of Christmas, where the gifts are generally more extravagant, costly, and luxurious, but a simple flower can spark a world of memories.

Why bees & biodiversity benefit from indigenous wildflowersMy granddaughter, a toddler at the time, and I took a walk.  She found a wildflower in the midst of thousands of other flowers on this walk which was important to her.  Upon our walk concluding, we pressed that flower into a book.  The time spent with her remains a cherished memory for me, and when I see wildflowers, the memories of this walk and flower pressing come back readily.  Truly, joy is found in the ordinary!

Elbert Hubbard reminds us that:

Ozone and friendship will be our stimulants – let the drugs, tobacco, and strong drink go forever.  Natural joy brings no headaches and no heartaches.”

Why; because natural joy combines health, peace, and competence into a powerful force.  No further stimulation is needed or wanted.  Bulwer Lytton provides the best flashing sign for contemplation:

We lose the peace of years when we hunt after the rapture of the moments.”

What will you sacrifice in the quest for joy, the peace of years, or the rapture of moments?  One of the most miserable people I have ever met chased rapture in the moments and could not understand why chasing momentous euphoria did not lead to anything other than the chase for more rapturous moments.  Like any drug, the mind and body build a resistance to the drug over time, and more and more of the drug is required to obtain a similar experience.  Be the drug sugar, chocolate, heroin, cocaine, tobacco, alcohol, etc., the pattern is the same, and the consequences are the same.  Depression, anxiety, addiction, destruction, call the consequences what you will, chasing the rapture of moments is death.

We conclude with the following from Robert Louis Stevenson, may his words ring out on our journey for joy as a beacon and a sounding board to base decisions upon:

He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has gained the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauties, nor failed to express it; who has always looked for the best in others and given the best he has; whose life is an inspiration; whose memory, a benediction.”

May your quest for joy be fruitful!

© Copyright 2022 – 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.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

Flashes – First World Nation Problems

Bobblehead DollSince Russia invaded Ukraine, no longer is the truth able to hide; America has been pursuing easy things, making America weak!  Several years ago, I was in a used book store and found “Flashes from the Eternal Semaphore” by Leo J. Muir.  I count myself extremely blessed to have found and purchased this treasured book!  Mr. Muir explains that a semaphore is a means of using flags to send messages, and people have been using flags to send messages for a lot of the earth’s recorded history.  The author declared that regardless of religion, certain truths are timeless, ageless, and failure to learn and live these truths brings destruction to civilization.

The first flash/truth is that pursuing easy things makes people weak.  Consider for a moment a German proverb, “The hard is the good.”  Work is an eternal principle; it does not change if you believe, or do not believe in, God, god, or gods.  The need to work, to pursue difficult tasks makes boys into Men, girls into Women, and at the end of life reflects honor and dignity in a life well-lived.  Yet, what do we find daily as the life to pursue, playing games, rest, recreation, and all the waste this involves.Work Quotes With Pictures | Labor Day Quotes | Marketing Artfully

I know not the source, but as a kid, I heard someone complain that the hardest and most difficult job in the world is being a person of leisure.  As a kid, I had worked my fingers to the bone every day, going to bed bone-weary and mind tired.  To hear this man talk blew my mind, for I would have given anything to have less work to do.  Yet, during periods of unemployment, I have wept in frustration for not having a job that tasked my mind and body.  In employment right now, I often look around and ask what else is there to do, for I feel like I am cheating my employer.  Some call this a work ethic, I call is being responsible, professional, and honest in my dealings with my fellow-man.

A friend informed me that most people do not think similarly, and I wonder why.  My friend said it was a “First-World Nation Problem.”  He explained that in first-world nations, you have to go a long distance to find anyone who works like I do and thinks work is necessary.  Mr. Muir reminds us, “There is no immunity from the penalty of indolence and irresponsibility.”  Think of that, too much idleness, too many video games, not enough personal responsibility builds weak people, and there is no social or personal immunity, no vaccination, from the consequences.

40 Motivational & Inspirational Quotes About Hard WorkWhat’s worse, First-World nations are passing this malady around the globe.  We are sick from the disease of not working, akin to catching polio, leprosy, or a fatal case of pneumonia; the disease can be treated, but the effects are life-changing.  You cannot achieve for your ability is curtailed.  We have forgotten that “There is NO excellence WITHOUT labor” [emphasis added].  I remember assignments from K-12 that left me physically drained from the mental exertions, and I remember lazing my way through lessons; in both situations, the grade I earned was of my own creation!  Believe me, my parents were exercised to see my low grades, and I had my school and home work increased to new levels to achieve learning that one lesson, “There is NO excellence WITHOUT labor.”

What do we see today?  Students are allowed to graduate who cannot read, do simple math, and write their names.  We see lowering standards for scholastic performance in K-12, which produces a slug of a student who expects to graduate college.  Woefully unprepared people who were abused and allowed to abuse themselves during K-12 due to their skin color, economic situation, or English as a second language.  What teachers do you remember from school, those who allowed you to slide, or those who believed in you, challenged you, setting high standards, and then teaching you how to meet those high standards?

I told my friend, and dear reader, I am telling you, the principle of work should not be sacrificed to “Leave no child behind.”  If a person sets out to leave no one behind, they get to know their charges, work their charges, set high standards, teach how to reach those high standards, and then urge them on to new growth opportunities.  Why did the school boards lower standards; they believe in growing a class of citizenry that can be controlled!  Since the late 1800s, this has been the government’s intentional actions in America.  Some will use their weakened minds and claim this is the dastardly work of a single political party, but the reality is that both political parties are neck-deep in the responsibility they have shirked and promoted by lower standards, and they call this “helping.”50 Famous Quotes About Success And Hard Work - Dreams Quote

No, do not for one second believe that this is a “First-World nation problem,” it is a problem made by conspiring men (and women) for the overthrow and destruction of freedom.  They have been carefully creating a class of people who can be counted on to be controlled for personal political gain.  Independent people, strong-bodied and minded people, scare those who desire to be a ruling class.  Consider Putin in Russia; he wanted to rule, he has planned, crafted, killed, lied, and cajoled to rule, and he is a strong person ruling a weak people who have gotten sick on the pursuit of easy things.117 Best Hard Work Quotes That Everybody Must See

Look at Cuba and North Korea; the people have had to be beaten and starved to weaken them into submission and keep them dependent on a strong leader.  Yet, how quickly could those strong people throw off their oppressive governments if they had even 1/100th of the opportunities their poorest neighbors enjoy.  What happens in countries oppressed, the leaders become weak pursuing easy things, the people get stronger, and then the government is backed against a wall, and either the people overthrow the government, or the government is killed.  Then the cycle begins again until the population is consumed by a neighbor (Ukraine being consumed by Russia) or democracy and capitalism are tried and found to be valuable.  But democracy is only powerful if the law is held sacrosanct!  Capitalism is only useful and helpful when the society employing it has morals, values, and is educated.

26 WORK Quotes About Hardships And Cooperation At Workplace | Brainy ReadersWhat is weakening every oppressive regime around the globe; is a failure to honor the rule of law.  The leaders pursuing easy things become weak, and their choices inevitably lead them into problems with the law.  Think back a couple of years to the Chinese baby food or dog food scandals.  The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) blamed mid-level leaders for their roles in the scandals, but were these people really to blame or merely useful tools to help deflect blame from the flagrant and profligate rule-breaking of someone higher?

Pursuing easy things makes people weak!  There is no escaping the damage pursuing easy things does to an individual and a society.  Yet, how big are the entertainment industries?  How expansive has the lure of taking it easy become?  How prevalent have games become?  An entire new technological industry sprung up to feed the appetites of those pursuing games?  For a truth, Muir quotes Franklin for the following flash, “Laziness travels slowly and is soon overtaken by poverty.”  How expensive have cellular phones become?  How soon do those phones wear out and need to be replaced?  Worse, how many politicians, Hollywood “influencers,” and hundreds of other sources exemplify not working, hide behind a “work-life balance,” or employ social media to display a life of plenty and ease without working?  The only way to keep the American dream alive is through hard work!

Knowledge Check!King Solomon provided the only instruction that offers a modicum of relief and is quoted as the final flash, “In all, they getting, get understanding.”  I know many people’s childhood was full of abusive relationships.  From parents to teachers, to peers and government officials, you have been robbed, plundered, and the abuse is real.  For all that, you remain an eternal being suffering a mortal existence.  Thus, you have the choice to get understanding.  You possess the power to throw off the abusers.  Learn to learn.  Learn to read.  Learn math.  Learn how to write.  You hold the power, choose to exercise that power, and you will bless your life and the lives of those around you!

© Copyright 2022 – 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.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.


Year End (2021) – An After Action Report

Bobblehead DollBetween Christmas and New Year 2019, I accepted an offer to write more frequently for a group that, at the time, was calling itself “No More BS.”  What an amazing opportunity the challenge to write more regularly became, and how much I have come to enjoy writing.  Like all things in life, the challenge came with a cost; I had exhausted myself mentally, I was spent by October.  Physically my body could not answer the call of my mind, and my mind was screaming at me to stop.  Let’s talk about drivers and BS, for the importance to American society success is found in ending the BS.

Little Joey Biden and his Afghanistan Debacle are still unfolding, and I fully admit this turn of events from August 2021 has left me numb.  When America left Hanoi (April 1975) and Vietnam fell, many Americans, especially veterans, felt defeated in ways hard to describe.  Who knew that in such a short space of time (less than 50 years), America would repeat Hanoi (August 2021) by a couple of magnitudes?  Some very cynical veterans I know suspected the politicization of Afghanistan would lead to a repeat of history; but, I can honestly say I never expected Biden to act in such a disastrous and self-defeating manner.

Leaving Americans, allies, and stakeholders on the ground, holding the bag of responsibility, remains the quintessential yellow-spine craven move of the new century.  One of the greatest insults from my time in the US Military was the corporatization of the military officer corps.  Disconnecting responsibility and accountability, honoring weak-kneed drivel to the detriment of the professional NCOs and the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines has been utterly unacceptable.  Why; because every corporatized military in history has failed!  Now, America has Afghanistan and Vietnam, and the government leaders refuse to acknowledge they are the problem, and the sitting president rewards pubescent behavior.  Sickening!Angry Grizzly Bear

The military, to be effective, must be out of sync with the society they protect.  A sacrifice principle is required from those who love country more than themselves and voluntarily wear their country’s uniform.  Yet, the politics and political leaders refuse to allow the military to act at home and abroad, so we repeat history.  May I ask, how many more Vietnam’s and Afghanistan’s does America need to relive before accepting that personal sacrifice is quintessential to a strong military?  Mr. President, Little Joey, when does the BS end, and the motivation to lead return from bureaucratic hands to professional officers and NCOs?  For I warn you, what you have right now is a mob, and you desperately need a military!

But, Afghanistan, in all its depravity, is not the only outrage from this year where BS needs to end.  Consider something with me, the power of jury trials.  High-profile trials have been occurring and continue through this holiday season and end-of-year celebrations.  How incredibly grateful I am for the rule of Constitutional Law that provides for a jury by peers.  More often than not, juries get the law right and hand down fair verdicts.  Yet, the Corporate Media refuses to accept that jury trials are the best method for handling problems in a constitutional society.  I have seen the media meltdowns repeatedly when juries hand down verdicts the media have tried and failed to influence.

Now ask yourself, dear reader, why does the media try cases before all the facts have been presented?  Power, the answer remains ever simple, the media have become what they consider as THE single greatest power in American society.  The self-delusion is a steaming hot pile of BS dished up for public consumption 24/7/365, and the media refuses to eat the BS they are serving.  Considering themselves better than common citizens, above the law, the media companies have decided they can arbitrate, decide, and deserve to be listened to and obeyed.  Well, jury trials work, and it is time more journalists are introduced to the concept through defending themselves in a court of law.

QuestionWorse than the corporatization of the US Military has been the continual erosion of the rule of law.  The Uniform Code of Military Justice is regularly abused for the benefit of the powerful and the destruction of the weak.  When the law is cheapened, joked about, and castigated, the trust in civil society is broken, and the military is but a smaller example of what is occurring in American society as a whole.  When warriors are not judged by their deeds, but upon their political connections, the society hiring warriors, training warriors, and sending them into harm’s way will quickly find the warriors are gone.  Their replacements are not worth the honor and trust.  Leading to society being taken over and destroyed.

Feel free to disagree, but Rome remains the quintessential example in history of what happens when a republic fails to accept social consequences, infects its society from within, and then picks fights with neighbors.  Rome had the greatest military in recorded history, and it fell ingloriously all because the military, a microcosm of the society as a whole, decided politics was more important than the rule of law.  Popularity became more important than law and obedience to the rule of law.  Who taught Rome to fall; who brought the Roman Legions to their knees?  Look no further than their politically elected leaders who spent their time and the people’s money in riotous living, perversions, and trying to evade responsibility for their actions.  Tell me, are we not seeing the same exact abuses in current society that is witnessed on the pages of history with Rome falling?

What is the only difference between Rome’s fall and any other government with elected political leaders?  Advanced weaponry to include nuclear weapons.  What is the only safeguard in republican and democratic societies strong enough to save those societies from repeating Rome’s example; learning history and obeying the rule of law.  Of the two, learning history is more important, which is why learning history was the second casualty in the fight to overthrow the rule of law.  The first casualty was teaching students how to read.

The abuse of children remains an utter abomination, and rightly so.  But until the political leaders can be made to accept they are facilitating abusers of children masquerading as K-12 School Districts and teachers, the abuse of children, the wasting of precious resources, and the sacrifice of innocence will continue and worsen.  In Virginia’s gubernatorial election this past November, the central theme was public education.  Virginia, as your newly elected officials come into power, are you willing to watch those elected and demand they obey the electorate’s will and change education in your commonwealth?Lemmings 1

Over the holiday, I watched heart-wrenching videos of parents who almost lost their child to suicide because the teachers groomed the child into transgenderism, all without the parent’s knowledge.  Worse, the parents were abused by the government when the teachers involved called “Child Protection Services (CPS).”  Tell me, when bureaucrats join together for the abuse of those they are duly sworn and duty-bound to protect, who is at fault; the elected leaders!  What did the elected leaders do when the parents complained; they joined forces to continue abusing the child and the parents.  The exact opposite of what they were hired to do, scrutinize the government employees and protect the electorate from abusive government operations, practices, and people.

Unfortunately, some of you think this is only happening in California, Virginia, New York, or some distant city/county/state.  No, the truth of the matter is this is occurring in your child’s school district right now.  Your children, grandchildren, cousins, and neighbors are all being abused and harmed, and the rot is at your doors.  Don’t take my word for it; investigate for yourself.  Go to local school board meetings and ask to see the curriculum your child is being exposed to, and you will find the truth, and the truth will first abhor, then anger, and then motivate you.

I hope the motivation will be sufficient to inspire action to become more informed, pay closer attention to local political races, and stop allowing incumbents a free pass to officiate in the destruction of America.  One of the frequent conversations in my home is, “What are my plans after I complete the Ph.D. degree I am chasing?”  The temptation is real to run for political office, either mayor or school board, sheriff, or judge; I want to get into this fight to defend the America I love.  Most people think the battle for America’s soul is being fought in the US Senate or House of Representatives when the reality is the fight for America’s soul is being fought and lost in local elections, and it is time to find strong candidates who are willing to run for office and fight this fight locally.

Jesus, Minion Memes Aren't Funny : terriblefacebookmemesThe biggest lesson I have learned in writing this year, a degree doesn’t represent smarts or capability; those come by working in the trenches for something more important than self.  The US Navy taught me endurance in the face of insurmountable odds and enemy shenanigans, and the US Army taught me to think and have grit and determination.  I know I am not perfect; I am not the “picture perfect politician.”  I prefer blue jeans and button-downs to suits and ties, but I know people, and I prefer real people to the fake effrontery currently holding the reigns of political power.

Writing this past year, I have faced my demons, and while I still fight those demons, I know the need to engage is real, helping others promotes healing, and teaching provides the opportunity to learn more perfectly.  I know the power of citizens motivated to protect hearth and home, and I celebrate freedom.  I would see my neighbors armed with knowledge, possessing the motivation to speak out and act according to beliefs and win the American heritage left us.  I believe in America, and I know that when Americans are left alone, they use the power of freedom to change the world; all we need is to shrink the government, and America will begin to blossom again.LinkedIn Image

Shrinking the government begins locally.  The local government protects against county and state government abuses.  The state government protects against federal violations.  The federal government protects borders and provides for the common trade of goods across state lines.  Limiting government is not a bad idea at all; in fact, it is the only good idea that can help save America.  Join me!

© 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.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

Identity Problems – A Frank Discussion

Several weeks back, I made the declaration that the more labels a person adopts, the harder it becomes to be a person and know who you are.  Multiple labels saddle a person with mental struggles that become physically exhausting.  Each label comes with social responsibilities, cultures, and expectations that cannot be shirked as long as a person has adopted that label.

For example, I am a dual-service disabled veteran.  Thus, I carry the cultures, expectations, and responsibilities of sailors and soldiers.  Consider what the expectations of a soldier are, and that image is part of the identity and societal responsibilities for being a veteran soldier.  Being disabled carries societal expectations, both mental and physical burdens.  Consider the Marines, and every Marine is a Marine for life!  You graduate basic training and earn the title Marine, and you will ALWAYS be a Marine!  Again, that title and label hold societal expectations voluntarily onboarded, and never will a Marine lose the attitude and social expectations of Marines.

The same is true of every single label a person voluntarily chooses for themselves.  The label will attract specific people into your social circles, but only as long as you willingly live the life expectations of that label.  Each label selected will form identities and mental challenges to meet the social expectations, a heavy burden indeed!

In a recent Tik Tok video, a person proudly declares more than 50-labels, preferred adjectives and pronouns, and identities. The video lasted more than 3 minutes, and I felt sorry for the exertion this person will face every minute they have these identities onboarded.  Another person watching this video declared that the subject claiming their labels was mentally ill; I agree with that sentiment.  Why; because the subject will never know who they are because of the noise of the labels, which includes the social pressures, the responsibilities, and the expectations.  I do not know the name of the person in the video, I would not share that video due to the privacy respect I have for others.

Who are you?

Even though current society in 2021 declares confusion between who and what a person chooses to be, not what are you.  For example, I do not like, nor do I onboard, the identity of disabled.  I am NOT disabled, handicapped, injured, and working on healing, but NOT disabled.  Consider the power of words for a moment.

The transitive verb “dis” means to show disrespect, insult, or criticize.  As a prefix, “dis” is defined as the opposite of something, depriving someone of something, excluding someone, or expelling someone.  Thus, a disabled person is either being disrespected, insulted, or criticized, deprived, excluded, expelled, or is the opposite of able.  Frankly, when we are made aware of the etymology of words, we are then more aware of why people choose to adopt or not adopt certain words and labels.  Do we understand this problem of labels just from an etymological perspective?

Regardless of plasticization, words hold power over the mind.  Words become identities, thoughts become things, and research supports that labels hurt mental processes and can permanently scar.  Yet, who and what a person chooses as their identities are not considered a problem in current society or a mental illness.  People’s choices reflect their identities to attract those in socially accepted circles.

Thus, who are you?  Who do you choose to be?  Are those identities sufficient?  While not as important as who a person is, the last question ranks a close second.  How many identities can you physically onboard and live successfully?  As a fan of simplicity and a follower of the KISS rules, as detailed by Murphy, the god of perversity, I keep it supremely simple to protect my energy levels and allow my identity to shine through.  Having only a few identities enables me to select social commitments, restrict the mental noise and exertions, and hold myself accountable to a few identities to grow as a person.

Returning to the Tik Tok video subject and their 50+ labels, identities, and preferred pronouns, we must ask, what is sufficient?  A follow-on video by this person reflected the physical exertions from conforming to identities and social pressures.  Worse, this person had onboarded several more labels and identities. They reflected the mental illness and physical drain caused by trying to live up to all the label responsibilities.  An extreme example; unfortunately, no; the pressures to onboard labels and identities have grown exponentially, mental problems are too significant to quantify, and they are growing.

Not just in America, the confusion about who a person is, the identities, and their inherent loads, have become a global phenomenon.  What are the mental health professionals doing; causing harm by not discussing the physical and mental exertions of onboarding too many identities.  It is up to the individual and parents of minor children to understand and help learn and teach simplicity in labels allows growth as a person, not more identities, but less.  Fewer identities provide freedom for growth, identity exploration and empower mental health, leading to improved physical health.

Identities

As a pre-teen, I struggled with the concept of my identity.  Religion was a curse, my family was worse, and I did not know who I was, thus strangling what I could do or become.  I got jealous of how my sister could get away with breaking the rules and thought I should be a girl.  I struggled with wanting to be a girl for several years as I learned who I was and what I wanted to be.  If this problem occurred right now, professionals would counsel me to adapt and change my body through drugs and surgery, compounding my identity problems.  Yet, what helped, was getting to know me!

I had several people help me form an identity I could be comfortable living with as I explored my options, fought to understand my role and purpose, and embraced my potential.  It took time, lots of time.  It required patience with myself, a moral code I could live in, and a desire to learn—all of which I had to develop from scratch.  My identity is forged in the fires of adversity, for the consequences of my choices during this time played a role in how I went to school, what I chose to learn, and where I found employment and socially accepted company.  Some of those consequences hang around even all these many years later.  Some consequences I have been able to live long enough to survive.

Worse, as I have learned more about myself, my identity has changed, bringing with it consequences of change.  Music, movies, humor, education, and more are part of an identity that forms a life.  Choices bring consequences; how we value those consequences (e.g., good/bad, profitable/unprofitable, etc.) will determine our eventual destiny towards understanding who we are, so we can become what we desire to see in the mirror.  More lessons I had to learn, then and only then, could the value of religion be discovered, the value of family understood, and honor and pride and commitment to self appreciated as an identity to live.  Crucial to this growth and development, I know when to cut social ties, drop music and movies into the trash, and I am imperfect in changing, but I have some lessons I would see others learn to avoid pitfalls.

      1. Commit to learning using the question, “Who am I?” as a core principle to discovery.
      2. Allow yourself time to think, ponder, and consider before committing to an identity. I always wanted to be a soldier, but I loved the ocean.  I did not understand the value of these paradoxical options, and by rushing headlong, I had to learn an identity after living that identity.  Arduous path; know first, then adopt an identity.  Let me try and simplify that with my favorite axiom,  learned as an Emergency Medical Technician, “Never take your body where your mind has not traveled first!”
      3. Comfort is key. If you are not comfortable, your conscience tells you something is wrong.  An identity should require physical strain and mental confusion.  Yes, you can delude yourself for a time/  Ultimately, your conscience, spirit, intellect, whatever you call your inner voice, will break through and tell you your identity is not mentally acceptable.  If your identity choice is not comfortable, it will affect your physical health negatively.
      4. Never stop learning; learning leads to change, and change is good!
      5. When in doubt, turn to lesson two, give yourself more time before committing to an identity.

I love hard rock, big hair bands, and southern rock.  Steel guitars, banging drums, and headbanging to an excellent beat are an identity with power.  But headbanging gives me incredible headaches.  Too much rock and roll, and I cannot think clearly, and the ability to control my thinking is paramount to me.  Do I adopt the headbanging identity or not; sometimes, I am all in for a solid rock fest.  Mostly, I listen to the inner voices and moderate my music.  See, lesson two continues to hold power and lesson four keeps me thinking how much longer will I affect my identity with an uncomfortable identity with physical pain.

Choose carefully, evaluate often, and allow yourself the freedom to grow by not onboarding labels without due consideration.  Please, consider your gender and biological sex as integral to your ultimate destiny and comfort.  Before you are comfortable in your skin, you have to be comfortable in your mind!  If you want to explore identities, explore, but explore smartly and be cognizant of the social responsibilities, expectations, and cultures inherent with an identity.  Observe those with those identities closely for the consequences of thier identity.

I cannot betray a confidence, but I have witnessed how traumatic experiences can be the impetus for forcing an identity change.  A close associate went to a party, had a mickey slipped into their drink, and woke to a new reality.  The consequences of other people’s identities can negatively impact your identity, especially if you do not know who you are!

I have never been comfortable with the hard rock, headbanging social aspects of rock and roll identities.  The illicit drug use, the promiscuous sexual encounters, and the extremes in living frankly scare the hell out of me!  But, I love the music, and I love much of the wardrobes in this identity, even though I will NOT wear makeup and cannot play a musical instrument.

Life is a journey; travel safely using the axiom, “Never take your body, or anyone else, anywhere your mind has not already traveled.”  Think, ponder, consider, and then act confidently.

© 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.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

Jacob and Esau – The Perils of Government; An Analogy

Bobblehead DollSeveral books of scripture, in multiple religions, record the story of Jacob and Esau.  Jacob and Esau are twins male children of Isaac and Rebekah.  The boys were competitors for their entire lives.  Esau acts outside his parent’s wishes in marriage, sells his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of pottage (stew or beans; something cooked in a pot), and late in life is reconciled to Jacob even though his people continue to have animosity towards Jacob’s people to this day.  While the story of these twin brothers remains useful to those in religion and teaches several morals of importance, Jacob and Esau represent a classic tale of why government should be limited in size and scope.

Genesis 27, Old Testament, contains the story of how Jacob obtains the birthright blessing, which had been sold to him by Esau for the aforementioned bowl of pottage.  Consider with me what would have happened if the same bloated government we have right now had meddled in the affairs of Isaac, Jacob, and Esau.  The cost of meddling in the internal family affairs, the government would have taken 40% inheritance tax.  Esau would have always had the government as a millstone and ready excuse for not reconciling with Jacob, and lawyers and government officials would have further sundered the family.

Remember this, for it has importance in the following discussion, the government does not grant freedom, EVER!  As described and stated in the US Constitution and US Bill of Rights, freedom comes from a power higher than government, and government was only, ever, instituted for the benefit of man.  Ask yourself, is your government benefitting you?Plato 2

I guarantee the answer is no; regardless of the political spectrum, you prefer.  Why, because the government should not be exerting powers in areas that control or curtail the freedoms of the people.  Esau never valued his birthright, so selling it was easy, and a bowl of pottage was a rich reward for something he did not value.

How expensive is government-funded medical treatment?  Some will claim, but those receiving treatment never see a bill; really?  Costs are more than merely a statement representing the need to pay money.  What about the loss of privacy?  What about the loss of freedom to choose what treatments and providers are best for you?  What about the loss of innovation to the thumb of oppression from the government?  What about the loss of self-reliance and the health benefits of independence?  What about the destruction of your community and the connections people felt with and pride for community hospitals?  What was lost when the medical community forced, through the abuse of government intervention, the knowledge of herbs for the sterility of Big Pharmaceutical drugs?

For the hope of a prosperous retirement, what was sold; freedom and money in the now.  Yet, one should ask, where does the government get the power to take money, then give it back at some future point?  Except, how many of those government retirement Ponzi Schemes are fully funded, even with all the money flowing in?  The answer is as empty as Esau’s bowl.  Still, the government continues to steal money through forced taxation and purchase the hopes and liberties of citizens for that hoped-for bowl of pottage, prosperity in retirement.Plato 3

For the hope of reducing poverty, the government purchased a class of people whom they could abuse and ignite for political gain anytime they want or desire.  To create this aggrieved class of people, the government took over welfare programs, bought people with bread and circuses, asked them to stay in government houses, live on government food, enjoy government-provided entertainment, etc.  What was sold for this bowl of pottage; liberty, potential, freedom, upward mobility financially, safety and security, and hope.  What has been the consequences of this purchase; a permanently aggrieved class of people who look longingly at another’s possessions and desire them through theft because hard work is racist, demoralizing, and stops the government handouts.  Worse, the government had to grow in power and size to “manage” this class of people, creating those with six-digit salaries to rub the purchased people’s faces in the irony of what was lost in the purchase.

The United States has been waging a “War on Drugs,” almost since its founding.  The government considers one drug “good,” mainly due to the ease of controlling it for taxation purposes, and another drug “bad.”  Yet, how successful has it been in this “war?”  Not at all, and its failures are increasing year-over-year, even while new methods of taxation are being invented to manage “legal drugs.”

Alcohol in the United States has had a history of acceptance, tolerance, legal banning, and returned to tolerance and acceptance, all through human desires, abuse of government powers, and the need for tax revenue.  Sin taxes, the class of tax used to allow a citizen government approval to get drunk, stoned, or inject poison into their bodies, are among the highest taxes in America.  Yet, the more the taxes increase, the more people want these products, and the more the government wants people to use these products, for we see the purchase of something transitory using something highly precious to barter.  What is more precious than time and physical health, and what is purchased but something that can only temporarily ease pain or provide relief at best.Apathy

Tobacco has been a favorite drug of the government for its population to enjoy, pushing the popularity of the drug even while condemning and restricting how, when, where the drug can be enjoyed.  Tobacco farmers have played vital roles in American history, and the product has been a significant cash crop for government revenue.  Have you ever wondered where the money and research facilities originate to improve cigarette addiction?  Have you ever considered where the marketing materials originated to pitch the health benefits of smoking?  Do you realize that government is the biggest provider of money for research and marketing purposes?  Never forget the government has become flush with cash, pushing tobacco, regulating tobacco, and licensing tobacco.  Now ask yourself, why would the government give on the one hand and take on the other, because it is making money with both hands as people sell something precious for something valueless and transitory.

Do people get injured and need assistance; yes, but the government is never the answer to provide help.  Are there those who are trying to thrive and escape poverty; yes, but the government is never the answer to providing help.  A truth from time immemorial, governments do not produce anything; thus, the government must first take through legalized theft, taxation, and legal abuse to give to someone else.  Every representative government must walk a balancing act between what a government is and what responsibilities a government must shoulder.  Except, how many continue to make Esau’s mistake and sell something incredibly precious for something transitory and essentially valueless?

Worse, evaluate the consequences of allowing the purchase to occur.  First, the seller experiences buyer’s remorse, anger, jealousy, regret, and the government making the purchase laughs, making the bitterness of the sell more poignant.  Second, the seller needs an outlet for this buyer’s remorse.  In an effort to continue to purchase while appeasing, the government allows the seller to go destroy the property and goods of another less politically connected person and calls this social justice.  Third, the abused class of people who are not politically affiliated or are political rivals, whose property is being destroyed, looks on, and envy, malice, and contempt are bred, which furthers the goals and desires of the government.The Duty of Americans

Esau took a long time to be reconciled to Jacob, but it first required admitting that he had sold his birthright (something of great value) for something transitory and valueless (food).  Jacob and Esau’s story remains of great importance and a cautionary tale, especially for understanding why government needs to be smaller, less involved, and less able to abuse the citizenry.  For too long, the governments worldwide have either abused their powers to purchase or been established as a tyrannical and oppressive government.  Either way, the government is the problem, and the answer continues to be the same, curb the government!

Knowledge Check!If COVID has taught the populations of the earth anything, let us learn this valuable lesson, the government is the problem, not the solution!  The size of government is oppression, the cost of government is theft, and the loss of precious freedom and liberty for transitory and valueless gifts or benefits which come at too high a price in treasure and other precious resources.  We, the owners and the abused of government, must change how we think and feel about the role of government before all is lost to the ever-hungry maw of government and self-interests!

© 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.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.

Human Infrastructure – NO!

Angry Wet ChickenA particular political party is trying to force the lexicon of America to adopt that all humans pledged to a cause are to be considered “human infrastructure.”  Sure, what they are trying to communicate is the value of humans in a particular endeavor.  No one will know what human infrastructure means until the term is adopted and Americans are reduced to mindless pieces in a machine controlled by the government, paid for by the human infrastructure.

CEASE and DESIST!

I am not human infrastructure.  I am an American.  I am an independent, free-thinking, responsible human being.  Possessing a spark of divinity, freedom from government granted by the creator, and capable of remaining free provided I learn the lessons of history and apply those lessons to current events that I may present to future generations this Constitutional Republic worthy of living in and protecting.

I will NOT be reduced to human infrastructure, like a pawn in a chess game whose players are inept and deserving of scorn and contempt.  Do you understand what is happening in changing the term American Citizen to human infrastructure?  Can you guess the consequences of this if not fought by the citizens?  Do you know your identity as an American?

Words Matter

Congressional political leaders have for too long used plastic words to stretch over problems and hide nefarious designs.  But, do not believe me, take any government program and look for words you know, then look them up in a dictionary, compare their usage from the dictionary to current use, and see if there is a disconnection.  For example, infrastructure is the underlying base or foundation for an organization or system.  Take a road, any road that is the infrastructure supporting society.  The better the roads, the faster society moves, and the more transactions can occur.

Other definitions for infrastructure include basic facilities, services, and installations for a community or society.  Sewers and electrical wiring are examples of this type of infrastructure.  None of the six common definitions for infrastructure apply to humans individually or collectively.  Hence, the political party pushing this lexicon is plasticizing the term infrastructure to reduce the humanity of individuals, stripping them of identity, and robbing them of creator-provided potential.

Identity is Critical

Shakespeare taught a lesson, using some serious backward English when he stated:

What’s in a name?  That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

The quote originates from Romeo’s courtship of Juliet, as Romeo attempts to sway Juliet that a name does not matter.  Except, a name does matter, and the lesson here Shakespeare is trying to convey is that a name contains history, tradition, value, and distinguishment between others.  Lucy Maud Montgomery, in “Anne of Green Gables,” uses the main protagonist to establish the importance of a name.  If a rose was called stinkweed, would people revere the rose; of course not!  Beauty can only take a person so far; the name matters, and in granting the distinguishment of a name, the object or person gains value to others.

Now consider all the descriptions foisted upon Americans by conniving actors hell-bent on destroying identity.  African-American, Irish American, Jewish-American, many people in history were grateful to have earned the right and privilege of being called American.  My wife’s grandmother came over from Russia; she had seven boys and sent six of them to war, proudly learning English to write to her boys.  She was an American, which has been conveyed through five succeeding generations of family.  Yet, how many people now need to hyphenate to reduce their “American” attributes to fit in socially; too bloody many!

By failing to understand the value in a name, these people have been led into dangerous waters.  They are close to losing what makes Americans worthwhile and valuable, freedom of individuality.  Unfortunately, we have political leaders who cheer for this loss of freedom of individuality and identity, for they are anxious to destroy America!  But, my names and titles make me an individual; no, they make you childish and insecure, reflecting a poor education and an inadequate sense of self.  That poor education was intentional, the inadequacy of sense of self, and the culprit is the bloated government at the city, county, state, and federal governments.  These bureaucrats understand something you, with all your labels, have no clue about; a sense of self means fewer labels are needed, not more!

During a social studies class, an assignment was mandated in sixth grade, label yourself.  Several students labels ran for pages and pages; I was publicly called out for only having one label, American.  I figured even then; I did not need anything else as my opinions were my business, not a label I needed to carry around.  My affiliations were none of anyone else’s business, as this opens the doors for separation and discrimination.  The more we label ourselves, the more power we give to others to separate us from each other, speeding the problems discussed by President Abraham Lincoln from his “House Divided” speech.  I was a most unpopular person in school, I was too “rigid” in my thinking, and many a person took umbrage.

Jo Dee Messina sings a country song that perfectly encapsulates my response, “My Give a Damn’s Busted!”  I did not care about how insulted another chose to be then, and I care even less now.  I am an American!  Anything beyond that is icing on the cake or superfluous to the conversation.  Do we understand the principle of names and why labels are deleterious to individuals’ national safety and freedom?  When language is plasticized, separated from standard definitions to suit the purposes of a situation, the common understanding is lost; worse, the words lose their value and connection to everyone, thus speeding the destruction of society who require a common language for success.LinkedIn Image

I repeat, only for emphasis, I refuse to be reduced to “Human Infrastructure.”  I refuse to be a pawn in the hands of inept, immoral, and incompetent political leaders who could not lead homeless people into a free meal.  Americans, drop the hyphenation, join me; we need to take our country back!

© 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.  Quoted materials remain the property of the original author.