New Jersey, New York, California, Oregon, and Washington – Just Sell Them for Parts!

cropped-laughing-owlWith a nod to Bill Engvall, let’s honestly discuss three complete holes in America where suicide by legislative fiat and executive stupidity has produced catastrophic failure.  Let me be perfectly honest, if either of these states were a business, they would have been forced into receivership, broken up, sold for parts, and their leaders jailed for incompetency and felonious charges of malfeasance long ago!  The charades have ended, the rose-tinted glasses are off, and frankly, the party is over, all the taxpayers are fleeing, and the businesses are closing shop and fleeing for healthier climates.

California this week passed another job-killing piece of legislation.  The bill is targeted at Amazon and is built on hogwash, acrimony, lies, and allegations so thin you could read Apple’s User Agreement through them.  Not the first time California’s legislative body has targeted a specific business for job-killing legislation, not the first time the legislation is built on sand, and the forecast is for torrential rain, not the last time this idiocy is going to happen.  The fact that California keeps killing itself is depressing!Bird of Prey

New Jersey and California hold an interesting title, and 32 other states are 100% insolvent in their Unemployment Compensation Trust Funds.  Business owners, this fact alone should scare the living daylights out of you and every one of your workers right now!  Now, some of you get it; some are scratching your heads and going; why is this important.  For those who got it, feel free to skip the following explanation.

The unemployment trust fund is akin to the social security trust fund managed by, raided, and depleted by the Federal Government.  No money means that the debts in those trust funds cannot be paid, and all the funds being collected right now are not being used for future calamities.  For all you economists out there, yes, this is a very simplified explanation.  Insurance trust funds are expected to be the funds of last resort to ensure payments to investors; those paying premiums for coverage can receive protection.  Not having these trust funds means the state unemployment insurance fund is in deep trouble, and there is only one direction to point the blame, the legislators and executives in government.

Bobblehead DollNow, some are claiming these funds were only depleted due to the COVID pandemic.  Do not believe the hype.  These funds were in trouble long before COVID hit, and the fact that there are funds to replenish these trust funds and government leaders are refusing to invest money in the trust funds should be major red flags for everyone in the state!  State and local governments are spending money like it’s Christmas, and the New Year will never come with the bills from the holidays.  Think drunken-sailor on 7-day liberty here if you prefer that analogy.  Either way, financial troubles are brewing above and beyond the current inflation woes, and the media is deftly NOT reporting this crisis.  Does anyone want to venture why this topic is not being discussed?

The Article from the Tax Foundation lays out the data nicely, and you are left to draw your own conclusions from the data.  But tell me, what happens when you call GEICO, Farmers, All-State, etc., with a claim and the claim is denied because the insurance company has no money?  Now multiply that by every wage-earner and business in your state and tell me if maybe, just maybe, the unemployment insurance trust fund being insolvent should be a more significant issue of discussion.Tax Burden

If your state is insolvent, and your next paycheck is a LOT lighter, remember this tidbit about unemployment tax insurance trust funds.

Unemployment insurance tax rates on businesses rise automatically when trust fund balances are low.”

Do you see the trouble now?  First, the government maliciously raids and spends the funds, then a hidden tax kicks in, depleting your paycheck, and the government does not have to tell you why your paycheck is lighter.  Especially since those in legislative bodies traditionally exempt themselves from having to pay these taxes.  Now add in the other hidden taxes; inflation goes up because when taxes climb, inflation climbs, prices go up to cover the hidden taxes of higher costs to operating a business, and wages stagnate, which crimps your budget even further.Government Largess

The states mentioned are not the states that did not need Federal Intervention, and they are not counted among the states spending money wisely, as discussed by Governing.com.  Please tell me that nobody is surprised by this revelation.  I find it alarming that Governing.com, in their analysis, was able to conclude the following:

Despite predictions that COVID-19 would crush state tax revenues, most of them didn’t need mega-billions in pandemic aid to balance their budgets. But for the most part, they seem to be spending the money wisely.”

Leading me to ask, why did the Federal Government invest our tax dollars, venture into such incredible debts, and shut down a booming economy?  COVID has proven NOT to be worthy of the title “Pandemic.”  Yet, COVID remains an excuse for emergency measures, emergency spending, and emergency police actions.  Will any media representative ask a politician why?  I didn’t like the book, but I read Albert Camus’ book “The Plague” for light reading.  That is a book about a public health crisis, a pandemic worthy of the title pandemic, and several times in world history, the title pandemic has been warranted when survivors are burning corpses in the street.  COVID fits none of the definitions or situations for a Pandemic, except for the politically connected to laugh at the politically abused populations.Angry Wet Chicken

Look at Washington, New York, New Jersey, California, and Oregon across the COVID-19 political mania.  Tell me why COVID is not an exercise in malicious government and politics gone horribly wrong.  Sure, we can add New Mexico, Minnesota, Michigan, and a couple of other states into the mix for fun.  These core states are where politicians made vast sums of money on COVID-Hysteria, and I would like to keep the focus small for the current article.

The House Ways and Means Subcommittee is reporting 32 states are intentionally withholding money from rural governments as a political move.  When you take the top 20 receivers of COVID-Relief money and the 32 states withholding COVID-Relief money, you find some lines of congruence with states with the harshest COVID restrictions, ridiculous COVID mandates, and no correlating data to infection risk avoidance.  Now, why isn’t COVID reported as a political and social experiment gone horribly wrong?  Worse, why was the money borrowed by the Federal Government at extortionate rates and given pell-mell to the states when the majority of those states do not need the money and the states that did need the money have sufficient if their politicians reigned in spending?Angry Grizzly Bear

The five states mentioned are not poor states by any stretch.  They have resources, both human and natural; they have riches galore, they have potential, they used to have favorable business climates, they are committing suicide.  Why should the rest of America bail them out?  Why not break them up into parts, sell assets to cover debts, place them into receivership, and force them on a diet of sanity and logic until the bills are paid?

I close with a word of warning.  Texas, you’re headed to California status faster than you would like to admit!  Your COVID restrictions are particularly heinous and represent the infection found in Austin spreading like fast-moving cancer to steal your state and liberty.  Arizona, Idaho, Wisconsin, Iowa, you are all on a similar track, the speed might not be as noticeable right now, but the infection is there and growing.  Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, both Dakotas, you are all at various places in being terminally sick with the same cancer.  If soft words and political expediency can conquer the Western US, the entire United States is lost.  New Mexico has been lost since it was given statehood in a political move that robbed Arizona and Texas of land!

Image - Eagle & FlagThe time to awake and arise is now!  The fight for liberty and freedom will be fought and won or lost in the American West.  Sure, the coasts of America are well and truly infected.  But, the fight for independence is not on the shores; it is right outside your doors.  The media and politicians like to hyperventilate about the coasts, but the rural communities in the “Fly-Over” states are more important to liberty and freedom surviving than any other local in America.  Awake and Arise!

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

When Fiction Becomes Reality – An Illegal Safe House

Angry Wet ChickenTwo days ago, I received an email that still has me baffled.  What is an “Illegal Safe House?”  The subject line of the email states precisely that, “Illegal Safe House.”  The email had been forwarded to me from other sources, and I got lured into research mode.

01 June 2021, The Gateway Pundit published a story regarding migrants being housed in a secure closed hotel in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Through ICE, Scottsdale Police, and other security agencies, Homeland Security, plus a hired contracting agency, provide security.  Those housed are not discussed; people with questions are pointed to an organization’s website, and nobody knows anything they are willing to release to the public.

Exclamation MarkOther sources report the following regarding this “illegal safe house,” which I have collated into a single comprehensible statement.  I am not the author of this information, and the sources from which it was gathered are not vetted for veracity.

A federal contractor began operating a temporary hotel facility for immigrant families Saturday, 29 May 2021. The site has generated substantial public and media attention.  After nearly two weeks of operation, Scottsdale police report that the only calls for service at the location are from those operating it due to people not associated with the site coming onto the property. Several protests attended by as many as 300 people have occurred, which have been lawful and peaceful.

Whether using this hotel for this purpose complies with the city’s zoning ordinance has been raised. This hotel has been rented to provide temporary stays to families.  Thus far, the city of Scottsdale has seen no evidence indicating this use is not in conformance with the zoning ordinance.  The city of Scottsdale continues to be in contact with the operator and officials from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

According to ICE officials, this site is for intact families seeking political asylum who are being processed and taken to transportation facilities as they continue their journey to a sponsor family or organization.  Families are at this location for an average of 48 hours, and the vast majority of people travel outside Arizona after processing.  Medical screening (including COVID-19), meals, and other services are provided on-site.  A figure of “1,200” families at the hotel in Scottsdale has been cited, which is incorrect.  The federal contract provides for 1,239 beds in aggregate for all temporary facilities along the southwest border.

The city of Scottsdale has received several hundred calls and emails regarding the facility. Immigration is a federal matter over which the city of Scottsdale has no responsibility or oversight.  If you have further concerns, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Federal Government representatives:

Having tried to contact and engage the elected officials mentioned, good luck breaking through their bureaucracy for straight answers!  None of the elected officials mentioned care a fig for those who elected them.  They continue to prove their dissonance and derogatory attitudes towards the electorate every time they open their mouths!  Arizona, are you sure you are appropriately represented?

QuestionsQuestion 3

      • Who is hosting illegal immigrants?
      • Will those fostering them ensure they show up for court?
      • How do we know these are “intact families?”
      • If these are “temporary housing facilities,” why are they kept so secret?
      • Why wasn’t the public notified that this hotel had been rented and is housing illegal immigrants?
      • The City of Scottsdale claims the ICE operates the hotel in a manner consistent with proper zoning regulations. Yet, Congress proclaims that the Federal Government trumps local regulations and can do anything they want.  Knowing the politics of the City of Scottsdale’s “Zoning Board” and “Zoning Officers,” I can only presume that the zoning officers were hushed by the more than $600-million Endeavors.org received to “sponsor” this illegal safe house.  Who is following up on the money?
      • Where did the money originate, and who is in charge of the contract at the Federal Government?
      • Who hired Endeavors.org to operate temporary housing? Why?  Where is a copy of this contract for public scrutiny?
      • If this contract was a “No-Bid” contract, who are the contracting officers, and why was this a “No-Bid” contract?
      • How many other “Illegal Safe Houses” are being operated? Where are they?  Who is being housed?  How long are they being housed?
      • How much money is the City of Scottsdale receiving directly from this housing scheme?
      • How much money is the State of Arizona being paid for operating these domiciles?
      • Safety and security of America, who vetted these illegals? What documentation was used?  Where did that documentation originate?  How do we know the documentation is legitimate?
      • If these illegal immigrants are being housed temporarily, where are they being sent to next? Who approves travel?  Who is paying for travel?  Who is responsible for mandating appearance on court dates?Plato 2

These are but some of the fundamental questions I would expect to see addressed on Endeavors.org, the parent company operating this domicile.  Except, none of these questions are discussed, addressed, and no additional information is available from the website.  Does anyone else find this particularly odd?  Want to see something horrifying; go to the following link and look at the map for where “migrant services” are provided by Endeavors.  Now, ask yourself, is the problem on the southern US Border restricted to just the southwestern US?

Frankly, I do not care where you stand on illegal immigration, immigration, and immigration reform.  This article is not written to discuss these topics.  I am concerned with the secrecy, the lack of funds, and the government’s profligate spending.  I am concerned with national security issues.  I am very concerned with the human trafficking issues.  America has become the human trafficking capital and human slavery capital of the world.  Yet, none of the politicians locally, state, or federally are willing to act on human trafficking and human slavery problems.  We have token arrests, but prosecutions take forever, and illegal immigrants are being taken advantage of, with a nod by the Federal Government and a sly wink from the state and local governments.

Knowledge Check!With America being a representative government, this means that the citizens are responsible for the actions of their government.  I refuse to be held accountable for feeding the ever-hungry jaws of human slavery and trafficking, the sex and drug industries.  Join me; throw off the chains that threaten to bind and gag us, refuse to be governed by the current crop of politicians who refuse to do their jobs, while taking bribes and “political donations” from groups that are trying to overthrow America!

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

 

American Heat and European Flooding – The Lies of Climate Change

BBC Logo iPad | Obama PacmanThe BBC is currently pounding the Anthropomorphic Climate Change drum pretty hard.  Currently, the Northern Hemisphere is experiencing summer, and the southern hemisphere is experiencing winter (July 2021). A typical occurrence in global life, the globe moves on an axis, and the north and south hemispheres have opposite weather patterns.  North America is experiencing drought conditions from the heat of summer.  Europe is experiencing flooding from heavier than average rainfall.

To those affected adversely by the heat or the rain, I feel for you.  For those who have lost loved ones to flooding, my sympathies.  For those experiencing days on days of scorching heat, been there, done that; drink water.  However, these weather events have been occurring for centuries, sometimes extreme one way and occasionally intense the other.  This is climate change, and it is normal to see patterns of extreme weather.  I will tell you a secret; man has nothing to do with the weather!

Climate Change HysteriaFive environmental disasters that we should make sure children know about

Anthropomorphic climate change is an invention by academicians to obtain funding from the government, control over people, and dictate how they choose to live – usually while living to extremes themselves.  How can a person know that humans have played no role in how Climate changes?  Believe it or not, there is a simple test.

How many raindrops can a man force to return to the clouds?  How many clouds can man direct to drop rain in drought regions and put sunshine elsewhere?  How many tides can man change from their regular routines?  The answer to all three questions is zero; thus, we can conclude that humans cannot change the Climate, even when extreme weather occurs and people are harmed.

QuestionI was presented with a question the other day regarding anthropomorphic climate change that has kept me thinking.  I pose the same question to you.  “How can paying a carbon tax to the government change the weather?”  Did paying taxes to the government end the war on poverty; no, in fact, the war on poverty has lost ground since the pandemic and government mandates.  Did paying higher taxes end the war on drugs; no, in fact, the drug problem is worse than ever.  Thus, how will paying the government a tax, or a fee for carbon usage, change the weather?

Common Sense

In the dictates of academicians who preach climate change religious adherence, common sense was the first casualty, and the truth was the second.  Has man, at times, been a poor steward of the globe upon which they live; absolutely, but paying money to the government has done nothing to fix the problems, only hide them.  Don’t believe me; that’s okay; let’s use recent history to detail the problem.Silverton's Gold King reckoning (The Gold King reckoning) — High Country News

The Gold King Mine was shut down.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an arm of the US Government, hid the details, closed the mine, and “hoped” the dangerous chemicals would stay put deep in the ground.  Instead, a government contractor for the EPA accidentally released a bunch of those chemicals into a river that spread to a national disaster in four US states and Mexico.  Nobody has been held accountable for the lives lost, the economic problems created, and the loss of cattle, sheep, horses, etc., that drank the waters and died.  EPA updates claim all the cases have been settled.  Now, the acidic tailings in the Gold King Mine were indeed man-caused; the release of millions of gallons of toxic water into cement creek that pours into the Animas River was man-caused.  However, man could not stand in the Animas River and demand the orange sludge return to the Gold King Mine; so how could man change the weather by paying the government?

Another interesting incident, the Cuyahoga River in Northern Ohio, caught fire multiple times throughout history.  Lightning, sparks from trains passing on bridges, cigarettes, etc., at one time or another caused the Cuyahoga River to catch on fire.  The pollution was certainly man-caused, meaning that man was a poor steward and did not fully appreciate the consequences of dumping materials that floated or sank to become sediment into a river where those materials could catch fire.  Now, the Cuyahoga River is an EPA “Superfund” site, where money has literally been dumped into burying the toxic chemical-laced dirt in an attempt to clean up the pollution.  “… A total of 650,000 cubic yards of contaminated sediment were taken out of the Ashtabula River and buried under 19 acres of soil in a specially built landfill. The price tag was around $85 million.”  The actions taken have been declared a successful cleanup of a river by dredging it and dumping the chemical sediment in a landfill.  Nothing was “cleaned,” simply moved from one location to another, with a price tag so high that it can only be estimated.

The Cuyahoga River Caught Fire at Least a Dozen Times, but No One Cared Until 1969 | History ...Ohio has 53 Superfund sites where similar actions are being taken to “clean” up historical pollution.  By comparison, New Mexico has 21 Superfund sites, and Florida has 92.  Dig a little into the superfund sites on the EPA website, and a fact comes clear, man is a very poor steward of his resources, but he has never influenced the weather.  Inherently, man is a changer of his environment instead of his behaviors.  For example, being cold, man will start a fire instead of wearing more clothes, build climate-controlled buildings instead of growing more hair for the winter months, or living in more tropical environments.  But, building a climate-controlled stadium is a far cry from controlling the heat in one country and rainfall on a different continent.

12 Facts About Chernobyl's Exclusion Zone 30 Years After the Disaster | Mental FlossThe Chernobyl disaster, the USSR poisoning the northern sea, China, India, France, England, Germany, and so many other places around the world where man has abused the environment is poor stewardship, not anthropomorphic climate change.  At best, man can attempt to try and influence the weather.  For example, placing silver iodide into the air to try and make it rain in a blighted drought area.  We have the science, but the science does not always work, and just like Chernobyl, the Cuyahoga, and Animas Rivers, we do not know the consequences of employing the science.https://shiftingtheparadigms.files.wordpress.com/2021/07/b3adf-13ka-w5ahgn_fabizklayrq.jpeg

Poor Steward; Yes!  Affecting the Climate; not Hardly!

Consider this for a moment, the environmental problems are still not fully understood, but the government wants to keep pouring money down that hole.  One must ask, “Why?”  Acidic tailings from gold and other mining operations have been known since the 1800s when those tailings were considered as “the cost of doing business.”  Nobody knew what to do with them then, and we still do not know what to do with them, except to “accidentally” release them en masse into nature and let nature recover.

Intern Seminar Series: Workshop on Science Communication (Interns Only) | Carnegie's Department ...Is it possible that eventually scientists will discover a way to leach the metals and man-produced chemicals from the dirt and water; possibly, and this is a science I can fully support.  But to even consider that man’s puny arm could change the direction of a cloud or dictate where and when rain occurs is absolutely silly!  To blame a man for how much precipitation falls in a designated area is insanity at its finest and most disturbing.  To even consider that man can change the temperature of an entire geographic region is blatantly and patently false as a concept and as a pseudo-science!

The best man can do, is be a better steward of the resources on and in the earth.  After that, man adjusts to extreme weather, chooses how to live, and then goes back to pursuing happiness as an inalienable right.  Government has nothing to say or do in this matter that will ever be effective and valuable.  Thus, why pay more in taxes for something government cannot perform?Knowledge Check!

Is air pollution a real problem; absolutely, and man can change how much pollution he dumps into the environment, but the government should not play a role, and every country must police their own for any progress to be made.  Again, water pollution can be influenced by man and should be monitored, but not by the government, for the government will always act as they did in the Gold King Mine incident.  Uncaring, heartless, picking winners and losers based upon political connections, never holding themselves accountable for the deed or responsible for the consequences.  Thus, why would you trust a government, any government, to change the weather?

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

NO MORE – An Open Letter to the People of Arizona

To The Citizens of Arizona:

ArizonaIt has been my pleasure to have lived in Arizona four separate times since 1996.  Employment and pleasure have brought me relocation opportunities, and I have enjoyed my time in Arizona. However, since my return in 2005 to the present, I have feared for the soul of Arizona.  I have watched as despicable and detestable politicians have won political races that never should have been won.  I have witnessed governors act in cowardly and craven methods to thwart the people’s will.  I have witnessed those elected to Federal Offices from Arizona stop being held accountable to the electorate until the politicians have set up a hegemony and no longer fear the ballot box.  Most egregious of all, I have witnessed the veteran community become increasingly abused as every day ticks past.Patriotism

In April 2021, I wrote about my interactions with Rep. Greg Stanton (D) and his staff, where the VA is concerned.  For almost an entire year, I have been injured, cited, and arrested, denied care, had untold HIPAA violations, and other disgraceful conduct taken against me by the administration and leadership of the Carl T. Hayden VAMC.  In December 2020, I reached out again to the federally elected representatives, asking for help to clear my name and remove the atrocious behavior of the VA, all to no avail.The Duty of Americans

All four Senators rejected my pleas and never bothered to respond.  All of the members of the House of Representatives from Arizona refused to reply, save the staff of Rep. Greg Stanton (D).  Except, Rep. Greg Stanton (D) and his staff, did nothing!  Had no priority, refused to communicate, could not maintain pressure, and bought the lies and excuses of the Carl T. Hayden VAMC administrators.  These are the same administrators who create a crisis for veterans through inaction, duplicitous action, poor behavior, and refusal to perform the jobs they were hired to perform.  I have made it clear that the Administrators of the Carl T. Hayden VAMC and VISN 22 are but one dead veteran from another scandal to dwarf the death list scandal that originated with the VA administrators in 2012 and repeated in 2016.

VA 3No VA Administrator has addressed the root causes of those scandals, and without proper persuasion from Washington, D.C., they never will!  Worse, without continuous scrutinization, the bureaucrats will continue to exemplify the duplicity and failures, hiding behind designed incompetence and tissue paper-thin excuses for poor behavior.  Yet, what do we find from those enjoying elected office?  Zero interest, half-truths, straight lies, misinformation, smoke and mirrors, and plain laziness!  We, the electorate, find the politicians sitting on their hands, engaging in hopeless and stupid legislation that will go nowhere, and we find lackadaisical meandering in the House and Senate leadership.  I have witnessed amoebic life with more robust spines than the current political leadership in Arizona!Image - Quote Poltics is Dirty

It is true, Arizona is not the only state suffering from political abuse of the basest sort and blackest hue, but Arizona is where I have personally seen the destruction hit the hardest.  During Senator McCain’s tenure, my requests for help were rebuffed, but I could still obtain assistance from the House of Representatives members.  Now, the political party doesn’t matter, the politicians have plastic ears, and plastic lips, and their hearts are full of desire for political gain and not the electorate’s support.  Who loses, the electorate!  Who wins, nobody!

America, I ask you, in the year and change between today and the next election cycle, what will you do to change America’s government?  Arizona, you have been duped, lied to, and dishonored by those elected to power.  What will you do to reclaim the honor, integrity, and political government you deserve and pay so much for?Apathy

Personally, I have been betrayed, and I am sick to death of pleading for reprieve only to have lackluster performance, at best, provided so I would just go away.  I know of no honorable politician representing Arizona, and their respective staff is worse than the politician!  From the Mayor of Phoenix to the Governor, including the school boards, judges, and so many others, the fear of the ballot box is shrinking, and the bureaucrat is winning.   In contrast, the scrutinization of bureaucrats and other duties are dodged to win another term, always with a complicit media running interference.LinkedIn Image

I did not elect the media to their position, and since the media is not elected, they can be removed. However, while the politicians are elected, the fear of the ballot box needs to be retaught to the politicians.  How does a citizen get a politician to fear the ballot box; you first buck the trends and stand like a rock in a stream. Then, as additional rocks begin to stand, a dam is built, forcing change to that stream.Plato 3

If we are to change the government and retain our freedoms and liberties under the Rule of Law, we, the electorate, must first get the politicians to fear the ballot box!  We, the electorate, need to also teach accountability and responsibility to those who claim power but who only obtain power from those choosing to be governed!  We, the electorate, hold power over these politicians and the bureaucrats spawned in the legislative branch of government. So claim the power that is yours, and join your friends, neighbors, and communities in demanding better from those elected.

Knowledge Check!I heard the mayor’s office in Phoenix complain that they have no power over the Federal Government.  To think this is treason of the vilest kind.  Let me reiterate something discussed in several previous articles.  The local government stands as a bulwark against the county government overstepping its legal boundaries.  The city and county stand against the state encroaching against the freedoms and liberties of the state government.  The state government defends its citizens from the Federal Government’s encroachment, and the individual citizen is the most potent force in our Republican form of government.

Plato 2Cease the sophistry of plastic language and do your job!  End the tyranny of plastic words and work to aid the citizen in protecting their rights and freedoms from the ever-encroaching thieves of government and the bureaucrats spawned in the darkest pits of legislative fiat! So stand, every American citizen needs to stand and refuse to be governed until those elected are replaced with people willing to take action and honor the Rule of Law, holding previous politicians accountable and responsible for the mess America is currently suffering under.  Enough is enough, and I have reached the end of my tolerance, and my cherubic demeanor has been replaced with a hunger for justice!

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

NO MORE BS: The Butterfly and the Little Boy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why do I remember this story and event so well?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What has this story to do with NO MORE BS?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

NO MORE BS: A Black Day in American History – The Rise of the Fraudulent President!

Theres moreIn a few short hours, America will inaugurate the fraudulent president.  A president is coming to office where the “Rule of Law” was blatantly plasticized, contorted, and flagrantly forgotten.  I am not a conspiracy theorist; I am an American Patriot.  I have deep concerns and reservations about how Biden/Harris won the presidency, and I have deep and valid concerns about down-ballot winners and losers.  Worse, I have deep and abiding concerns about America’s future elections.

When Bush/Cheney ran into problems in the 2000 Presidential Election, the process of law was followed.  The Florida State Supreme Court made a decision, the Supreme Court of the United States made a decision, recounts were halted, and a vigorous and transparent investigation was conducted.  The legal issues were settled quickly, and the results of the election could be trusted.  Why was this legal precedent thrown aside in 2020?  Fast forward 20-years and when the head of the Federal Election Commission claimed there were concerns about fraud, why didn’t the supreme courts in Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, North and South Carolina, Nevada, specifically, but all the state supreme courts generally, immediately move to suspend counting, conduct a thorough, transparent, and speedy investigation into the fraud accusations?

What irritates me most in this convoluted farce of an election, the liberal leftists have never claimed that fraud did not occur.  The liberal leftists have just taunted Americans to prove how they conducted fraud.  Add in the corporate media running interference, the COVID health excuse, and the interminable lack of interest, and the 2020 Elections will go down in American History as the pinnacle of perpetuated shams.

Duty 2The last role of an elected head of the executive branch is to oversee the fair, honest, and transparent election process.  Yet, President Trump was thwarted at every hand in his duties to ensure a fair and transparent election occurred in November 2020.  Thus, when Biden/Harris is referred to as the fraudulent presidency, it is because they have assumed office and never denied or tried to help ensure an honest, fair, and transparent election in November 2020.  Is the problem apparent?  The supposed “winners” of the election never once offered to help protect their election win from claims of fraud; to me, this is the first and largest red flag!

Georgia’s election officials getting caught red-handed committing fraud is the second red-flag.  That Dominion Voting holds 40% of the voting machines used in all the states with the most fraud is another indicator that there are problems.  Legitimate, valid, and pressing concerns needing to be investigated to protect election integrity.  If Dominion were honest, they would be grateful and graciously looking forward to clearing their name of the fraud accusations.  Add in the ties to China, the influence peddling, the complicit media, and the American People are right to be very concerned about the incoming administration!

Detective 2What about the numbers that do not add up in Pennsylvania?  The stop/start vote counting that suddenly overturned election results in multiple states that is statistically impossible, what about the time gaps in reporting the numbers? So many questions abound.  An honorable person would not assume the presidency under these circumstances.  Because under a cloud of fraud, every action will appear to be a slight and insult to the last officeholder and an insult to every American.

State Legislators and Senators, where were you in upholding your state’s laws, honor, and reputation when the fraud was accused in the November 2020 elections?  I saw hours of committee hearings, but you have two jobs, write laws that make sense to improve the society in your state and scrutinize the state, county, and city governments to protect your state’s honor and integrity.  Where have you been since the debacle in November 2020 began with the primaries?

RememberFair, honest, and transparent elections are the job of local city, county, and state governments, and they have failed to perform their most sacred job.  Even if your state was not included in the primary “battleground states,” can you affirm that only legal votes were counted?  That only legal votes were counted once.  That legal votes can be tied directly to a single person, holding a government ID, and the legal ability to vote?  On the subject of scrutinization, how are you, the state legislators, proving the voting machines’ results did not reduce one person’s vote to a percentage based upon the candidate’s political affiliation or candidate vote cast?

Of truth for certain, when even a single dead person votes in an election, the entire results of that election need to be scrutinized, measured, and weighed against protecting your state’s integrity and promoting trust in election results.  You, the executive branch in state and local governments, have failed to do your job, and you are solely responsible for the insanity that has ensued in America since November 2020.  Not claiming you alone are responsible, for there is plenty of illegal, immoral, and unethical actions to go around.  Still, the state and local governments are the first line of defense in election protection and integrity and deserve the most scrutinization!

ScalesSupreme Court of the United States, I repeat my question: Why was legal precedent set aside in November 2020 that has been in place for most of American History?  When accusations of fraud arose, and questions with evidence began to be forthcoming indicating fraudulent voting occurred, why did the Supreme Court not immediately halt the election counting, walk over to the Department of Justice, assign an investigator, and look into irregularities’ claimed?  The Supreme Court should have been the most vocal and avid defended of honest, fair, and transparent elections; but, you were nowhere to be seen.  Even after receiving evidence and hearing the charges, you refused to act.  You refused to return the election results to the state legislatures and demand coherent action.  Why were the Dominion Voting Machines, along with all other voting automation machines, not placed under Federal Warrant, sealed, and then had a full audit performed in the code, the software, and the hardware as a means to protect election integrity?  You are the court of last resort, and when you fail to act, you leave the American People hanging, and election fraud continues!  Why are you refusing to do your job?

How many times have Voter ID laws come before the Supreme Court since the 1970s?  The answer is a hodgepodge of federal and state supreme court decisions that span legal logic.  For example, Pennsylvania had what was considered a strict Voter ID law that was refused by the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court back in 2012.  That particular legal fight was full of judicial activism, failures of the legislature, and soured many people’s trust in government.  Fast forward to 2020, and now, Pennsylvania is in the middle of a major fraud accusation and has no one to blame but themselves.

GeorgiaGeorgia has what is considered a strict Voter ID law.  Thus, it should be possible to trace every single vote to a legal citizen to prove they voted.  Would the state legislature of Georgia please explain why you remained silent, refused to help, and allowed your state’s honor and integrity to be trashed through fraudulent election practices?

ArizonaArizona has what is considered a strict Voter ID law.  Thus, it should be possible to trace every single vote to a legal citizen to prove they voted.  Would the state legislature of Arizona please explain why you remained silent, refused to help, and allowed your state’s honor and integrity to be trashed through fraudulent election practices?  Why were the governors of Georgia and Arizona and the rest of the state executive staff in such a hurry to certify votes when questions of fraud remained hanging over their heads?

Michigan has lax and just about useless voter ID laws.  I doubt Michigan could stop fraudulent ballots with a bulldozer and a front-end loader. Yet, the legislature refuses to act to protect election integrity, transparency, and accountability.  Fulfilling the terms of the definition of insanity as Einstein provided, “Repeating the same actions expecting different results.”  Shameful!

Do you, the various states’ citizens, enjoy being labeled as incompetent because your state cannot hold an election without fraud, e.g., Illinois, Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Maine, New York, etc.?  Check out this map.  Then, start contacting your local governing officials.  Until a rhubarb is raised on the local level to improve voting laws, voting transparency, and voting operations and practices, America will continue to obtain the same results in elections, fraud, malfeasance, misfeasance, criminal actions, and untrustworthy politicians to lead America!

DutyAn absolute sham has been thrust upon American Citizens by the political left.  The political left does not deny they committed fraud.  The political left has been giddy as little school-girls about this entire election game they played.  A black day has begun in America, and the sun will not shine again upon America until we clean house, reduce government, and fix the broken election system.

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

Election Fraud – Understanding Begets Opportunities for Change

Image - John Wayne QuoteA noted fact in American History, not favorable, but factual; in every election the dead will vote for the political left.  When the dead vote, this is fraud.  Fraud is generally defined in terms as, any wrongful or criminal deception, with intent, that results in financial or personal gain.  Logic relates that the dead, being dead, are not eligible to vote in an election; yet, somehow, the dead continue to vote.

To qualify for the legal term of fraud, there must be three conditions met, deception must occur, intent established, and someone gains personally or financially.  A friend asked, how is the dead voting fraudulent, meeting the three criteria for committing fraud?  First condition to meet fraud, a deceptive action is committed, completing the election ballot for someone else, or in someone else’s name is deceptive.  Second condition, intent; intent is established in criminal law by showing that first the defendant knows right from wrong, then can understand what they are doing is wrong, and both conditions can be met with circumstantial evidence.

For example, simply asking a person if they knew what they were doing when performing an action, and if that person can distinguish between right and wrong after the action has occurred, can easily establish intentions.  If a person has chosen previously between right and wrong, their intent can be used to reflect they still know right from wrong, barring any traumatic experience or injury to the head.  Again, intent is easily witnessable and provable.

Third and finally, personal gain or financial profit.  Essentially the Greeks gave us this piece of legal thinking by asking, Cui Bono and Cui ProdestCui Bono? is a rhetorical Latin legal phrase used to imply that whoever appears to have the most to gain from a crime is probably the culprit.  Cui Prodest? is a Latin term which means “who profits?”.  Generally used to raise a similar question as “Cui Bono,” and specifically to point out the fact that those who benefit from an event are likely to be responsible for causing that event.  Thus, since the Political Left, in America’s political system this is currently the Democrats and those who support leftist political ideology, are the only party to benefit from dead voting, it is easy to draw a conclusion that the political left is intentionally committing fraud in elections for personal gain.

Government Largess 2What is gained in committing election fraud; the gain is political power, favorable laws, a compliant media to fawn upon you, and personal gain.  My friend asked me how a politician gains financially by being elected.  I responded, how did Ex-President Bill Clinton in the year after leaving the White House, just making 57 speeches, earn $13.7 Million in speaking and writing fees?  One year, 57 different speeches, a little writing, and $13.7 Million USD just appeared.  This is but a single example of how politicians, and ex-politicians, turn momentary fame in the ballot box into lifelong Millions of dollars.

My friend was very specific, how do you tell who committed the fraud in elections?  Do you try to go to the source, as in who completed the ballot, or do you just lump the fraud together into one big case and hold those gaining from deception responsible?  I do not know how to answer this question and stated so.  In my small knowledge about the law, the answer to me, appears to lie in legal strategy played by a prosecutor; however, I could be very wrong.  What I do know, is that “those that gain, need to either hang together, or hang separately, but they need to hang!”

Here is the real problem with fraud of any kind, but especially election fraud, trust.  When those voting lose trust in the process to elect a candidate to a political office, regardless of politics, that trust is fickle.  Easily lost in seconds, never fully regained.  Worse, the taint of fraud cannot be expunged and all in that election are tainted equally, the winner and the loser.

Lady JusticeHowever, one of the legal issues facing the calls to clean up voter records and the fraud of dead people voting is the legal hairsplitting between intentional and unintentional fraud.  Unintentional fraud is also referred to as negligent misrepresentation.  If you, as a citizen concerned about election fraud are confused, it is okay, this is a lawyer’s bread and butter, and a logical person’s headache.

Several of the legal challenges made by politicians after an election have been thrown out of court or received judgments that the case has no proof of fraud, even though there are clear indications that a normal person can see of dead people voting and a dead person voting is fraudulent.  All based upon the problems of holding a group responsible for committing fraud, versus a single person.  Herein lies the problem.

A county in the United States has an election office.  That county’s election office holds the reigns on county elections, overseen by the state.  Under the US Constitution, State’s Rights have already caused a Civil War and as such remain a very testy issue in the Supreme Court.  The Federal Government, and other State Governments, cannot force, cajole, threaten, or coerce a state to clean up their voter rolls.  Thus, if the dead vote in an election, this is a State’s Rights issue, not a Federal Government issue.

2017 and 2018, President Trump made an honest attempt to ask, beg, and entice the individual states and counties to clean up their voter rolls.  Except, Corporate Media, Democrats, and some Republicans fought tooth and nail to squash President Trump’s efforts to have an honest and transparent election in 2020.  My friend asked me, how do you know the voter rolls need cleaned up?  Because during the run up to the 2020 election, I began receiving text messages from state’s I have not lived in for years or decades, asking me to vote for a specific candidate or platform.

LinkedIn ImageAs an independent voter, I generally never become entangled in the mess surrounding elections.  Yet, in 2020, not a day past without a text from Wisconsin, Ohio, Maine, Wyoming, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, Utah, Washington, or Arizona political action committees or the democratic party representatives contacting me to urge me to vote for a democratic candidate or democratic favored piece of legislation.  While I have not checked, I would not be surprised to see I had voted in every single previous state of residence, all because mail-in ballots were sent out and my records were still live and active on all those state rolls.  If I, as an independent voter received this harassment, I can only guess what it was like for those who had political party membership.

Still the courts, at the bequest of lawyers, refuse to call fraud, and judge a logical decision.  If a dead person votes, someone committed fraud.  Since the fraud always benefits one party over any other party, than that entire political party needs to be held accountable for perpetuating that fraud, encouraging fraud, and for benefiting from the fraud committed by operatives.  Election fraud does not happen only through dead voting.  There is vote harvesting, where operatives are expected to canvass neighborhoods to “help” those unable to get out to the polls to complete their ballots.  Except reality reflects a bunch of people sitting at tables filling out blank ballots.

We also have another interesting technique in committing fraud, hacked election machines.  Where technically the voter machine “glitches” and a republican vote becomes a democratic vote.  Except, these errors are not actually errors, but programmed methods for stealing an election in the United States.  Fraud and theft are pretty much the same crime, while the lawyers wet themselves from trying to separate these into two different crimes, the fact remains if John Smith votes Republican and all John’s votes are turned democrat through technical means, John’s voice has been stolen from him and this is basic theft.  Not a technical malfunction, pure and unadulterated theft.

Mail-in ballots in the run up to November 2020’s election was a big issue; why, because this is another excellent method for stealing ballots, negating a person’s voice, and perpetuating fraud.  Mail-in ballots in 2020 had problems being delivered to voters, being returned to the county timely, or at all in a couple of cases, and being handled in a manner that allowed a person’s voice to be marked according to their preferences.

President AdamsIn every county and state in America, ballot dumps occurred.  In the six states causing the most problems, Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, and Nevada, we find the most egregious ballot dumps.  Pennsylvania had 90,000 votes dumped into counting in the early hours.  Where did these votes come from?  Why did more than 89,000 votes for Biden and a third-party candidate, when the regular population mix would have these vote totals much lower?

Finally, we have the real issue in correcting, auditing, and holding honest elections, money!  Holding an election is expensive; thus, a taxpayer would think that those counting the ballots would be considerate and do their jobs right the first time.  Except, this is not the case, and every day that passes without a certified election increases the costs of that election.  Add in court and legal fees, and the election costs skyrocket into deficit spending rapidly.  Yet, when fraud occurs because those in the county election offices actively work to muddy an election’s results, why are these people not required to pay for their political shenanigans?

Consider a simple example, a baker makes a mistake on a product, the costs involved in the first attempt are the bakers to absorb, not the customer who needs the product delivered.  A car mechanic cannot escape the costs and consequences if they make a mistake in diagnosing a problem, or if a newly repaired vehicle winds up causing an accident due to mechanical failure.  Yet, these election results, a product of the county election officials hired to perform an honest election, too often get certified and real harm is done to the taxpayers in that county, and the officials remain in comfortable jobs able to meddle in future elections to their greedy little hearts content.

The Duty of AmericansIs the problem clear regarding where the fraud occurs; because, at the end of the day election theft and fraud is a local government issue with national repercussions.  Due to a law that insists that every veteran applying for a city, county, state job gets interviewed; I interviewed with a county election office.  The interviewers all came in spouting, neigh on screaming, their political agendas, we had a well-used PETA coffee mug, coats with patches and marketing materials for democratic candidates and clauses, a parking lot full of leftist political stickers, and I was hoping to obtain a job I was overqualified for, but desperately needed.  The interview began with a hostile attitude towards me and I knew within 2-minutes that I was not going to win this job.  All due to my not declaring publicly my political leanings.  Diversity laws include diversity of thinking which empowers checks and balances in operation; yet local governments across the country have become silent mouthpieces for totalitarian government.

America, the 2020 election is a sham, a farse, a perfect example of how to steal a federal election, and every candidate is equally tainted from the fraud committed.  Fixing the election fraud will require local elections to demand a clean sweep of every single elected official and staff member in local government election offices.  A full and complete refusal to use technical means to handle elections in any way, shape, or form.  Plus, fraud laws need tightened with harsher consequences.  The 2020 election was stolen, and a usurper is set to fill the presidency, fraud in elections has reached the ultimate tipping point, and represents a breakdown of trustworthy government from the dog catcher to the President, taints every single elected official, and requires the citizens of America to reclaim the government and demand those parties responsible, including the corporate media, to be held accountable!

PatriotismIf the American Republic is to endure America must have fair, transparent, and trustworthy elections as the first and most basic building block of responsible government!

© Copyright 2020 – 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 pictures.
All rights reserved.  For copies, reprints, or sharing, please contact through LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/davesalisbury/

Moving Past Active Listening to Facilitate Communication: Shifting the Paradigm

GearsIn several previous professional positions, especially those in call centers, there has been considerable time spent training people to actively listen.  The problem; active listening can be faked, and fake active listening is as useful as a shower without soap or shampoo.  You might get wet, but you do not feel clean.

Listening has four distinct levels, these are:

  • Inactive listening – Hearing words, seeing written communication, zero impact mentally. Mostly because your internal voices drown out the possibility for communication.
  • Selective listening – Hearing only that which confirms your own voices, opinions, and biases. While others are speaking, you are already forming your response.
  • Active listening – Show the other person you are paying attention, engage with meaning in a reply. Focused upon removing barriers to get your point across.
  • Reflective listening – Paying attention to intent and content, reducing emotion, two-direction as both parties are engaged in achieving mutual understanding.

Tools for listening effectively, which for all intents and purposes, means listening reflectively, requires several tools, along with considerable experience in using these tools.  Customer service focus – not sales in disguise, not having a hidden agenda, and not covertly looking for opportunities to turn the conversation back to you.  The attitude of service – is all about what your intention is after listening.  Sales are all about attitude and winning over someone else; however, how many sales require first being able to reflectively listen; every single one.  Desire – desire determines your choices, your choices form decisions, and decisions determine destiny!

ElectionConsider the press conferences at the White House.  A room is full of people who would claim they are professional listeners, who then report what is being said.  Yet, how many times do you see questions asked with an agenda, personal opinions warping what is said into what they desired to hear, and then reporting what they erroneously heard to satisfy their desires politically; every single time.  Hence, the problems with active listening and how active listening can be faked.  Desire and attitude of service are not being applied to improve customer service focus.

Communication occurs in two different modalities, verbal and non-verbal.  Good communicators adapt their message to the audience.  Adapting the message requires first a choice, determining who the primary and secondary audience is, then focus the message onto the primary audience.  Next, adaptation requires prior planning, which includes mental preparation, practice, and channels for feedback.  Finally, adaptation requires listening to achieve mutual understanding, careful observation, asking questions designed to lead to mutual understanding, and clarifying what is being said to achieve mutual understanding.

Too often, those labeled as “good communicators” cannot listen reflectively.  They have never learned how to use the tools of desire and attitude of service, in a manner that builds customer service focus into reflectively listening.

Leadership CartoonConsider two people the media has proclaimed as great communicators, Presidents Reagan (R) and Obama (D).  President Reagan was listened reflectively, asked good questions, listened to the answers, asked more questions, and then listened some more.  In listening and asking questions, President Reagan built people (customer service focus) and was respected by enemies and friends for his ability to communicate (personal desire determined destiny).  President Obama has been labeled by the media as a good communicator; but by all accounts, he never listened, his questions showed he desired to be heard, and his focus was all on him as the smartest person in the room.  Desire builds an attitude of service, which then forms the customer service focus, which then reflects a desire to reflectively listen and achieve mutual understanding with those being communicated with.

One of the most despicable problems in customer service today is a theme established by Stephen Covey, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”  On a recent issue, a letter was sent to Senator Martha McSally (D) of Arizona, the response has formed the epitome for not listening in written communication as the response had nothing of the original issue even discussed.  The response was a form letter, on a different topic, and lacked any response that the sender had been heard; but, the letter advertised Sen. Martha McSally and her commitment to listening to her constituents.  But, you might say, a Senator is too busy to respond to every communication delivered, a few other examples of both verbal and non-verbal communication failures.

  • Two lieutenants, representing the Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Police Service, stationed at the Phoenix VA Hospital. Engage a person not wearing a mask.  Body language clearly states they are the authority and will broker no resistance.  The officers spend 45-minutes haranguing the patient before cuffing and frog-marching the patient to a holding cell, where the patient who was seeking services in the emergency room, waits for an additional 60-minutes before being forced off Federal Property.  The patient informed the officers multiple times of their pre-existing condition and inability to physically wear a mask.  The hospital mask policy allowed for a face shield to be worn instead of a mask, and after the patient put the face shield on, the officers continued to verbally engage without listening, until the foregone conclusion of arresting the patient could be justified.  The patient was fined $360.00 (USD) for “disorderly conduct” by refusing to wear a mask.
  • Calling a major cellular phone provider (AT&T) with questions about the price plan. The representative answered every question but needed to make a sale, and their focus was on making that sale, not on assisting the customer.  Not the agent’s fault, the policy of the call center is to up-sale on every call.  If the agent does not up-sale, the call is automatically downgraded in quality assurance and the agent gets in trouble.  Hence policy dictates that the customer not be listened too reflectively as the sale must come before the customer.
  • Hotel check-in, online registration was made specifically for a particular sized bed, but due to late check-in, the customer is not provided what was asked for, and the attitude of the clerk is one of disgust at being bothered. Verbal and nonverbal cues are sending messages that the customer is the problem and is interrupting the life of the clerk.
  • A patient receives a call to make an urgent appointment with a VA medical provider in general surgery. The medical provider has demanded the patient be seen in the clinic, thus negating a phone or video styled appointment.  The patient’s record clearly states the patient has trouble complying with mandatory masking for patients seen in the clinic.  The provider arrives 20+ minutes late to the appointment, and because the patient is not wearing a mask immediately refuses to see the patient, wasting 90-minutes of the patient’s day.  The provider gets off in 10-minutes, and seeing the patient will make the provider late getting off.  Was the mask really the problem; not likely.

Social Justice Warrior 2Not listening is probably the largest social problem in the world today.  Everywhere fake active listening is observed, along with copious amounts of observable inactive, selective, and active refusals to listen.  Some of the problems in improving listening are policies and procedures that do not allow for individual adaptation or situational understanding.  However, too often, the individual choices to grab power, exercise authority, and pass along inconvenience are the real problems in not listening.  Harvey Mackay is reported to have said, “Easy listening is a style of music, not an attribute of communication.”  Proving again that listening is a choice, a personal choice, borne from desire, bred on attitude and reflected in verbal and non-verbal patterns of communication.

The following are some launch points for improving listening in society:

  1. Understand your desire.  Know that your desire choices are determining your destiny.  If your destiny is not one, you appreciate, return to the desire and make different choices.
  2. Practice mental preparation, based upon previous situations, to make different choices. Listening is a voyage of discovery to reach a mutual understanding, but mental preparation is key to safely reach the destination.  Prepare, use a mirror, practice until what currently feels alien becomes familiar.
  3. Reduce emotion. The principle of empathy and sympathy are destroying listening and only reflect the internal voices.  The volume of internal voices is silencing the ability to reflectively listen, necessitating the need to fake actively listening for employment’s sake.
  4. Listen as you would have others listen to you. This is an adaptation of the “Golden Rule” and remains applicable as a personal choice.  How you choose to listen will determine your destiny.
  5. Listening remains the number one tool you control and has application to written communication and verbal communication channels. Body language is a non-verbal communication channel that can be heard as well as seen.  How are you communicating non-verbally, which is interfering with your written and verbal communication attempts?

Listening is a choice.  Listening is hard.  Yet, many people have pointed out that we have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as often as we speak.  Choose to reflectively listen, choose to reach a mutual understanding, watch your destiny change.

© Copyright 2020 – 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 pictures.

All rights reserved.  For copies, reprints, or sharing, please contact through LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/davesalisbury/

The US Constitution – Understanding the Paradigm

Since February 2020, to date America, and the world has witnessed the cruel and unyielding hand of mobocracy practiced.  Mobocracy is the rule of the mob transformed into governance.  Consider the actions of several city councils and state legislatures where defunding the police has become the hottest political topic.  The mob screams for changes to the law, politicians pander, politicians pay “Dane-Geld,” and the laws change to satisfy the appetites of the mob.  Thus, mobocracy is being practiced.

To everyone who reads this post, I will without doubt or fear maintain that the actions of the politicians to allow mobocracy in America, state for the record that, “You are committing an illegal act; must be held accountable before the bar of justice for your heinous crimes!”  Make no mistake, the actions of politicians to appease the mob, to rule through mobocracy, and to thwart the will of the governed to the masses of screaming mobsters is treason, the calumny of the blackest sort, and a rejection of your oath of office rendering you and your authority moot!

LinkedIn ImageBeginning with the US Constitution’s Preamble, a person will find why the government was instituted.  “… in order to form a more perfect Union (government), establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”  The politicians who have sworn an oath to uphold the US Constitution who deny these statements are already guilty of treason and breach of office.  Domestic tranquility cannot be achieved through the rule of the mob.  Domestic tranquility cannot magically appear, it must be built through law and order, through justice and mercy before the bar of justice, and must be fought for when tyranny rears its ugly head.  The general welfare of the population can only be established by obedience to the just laws of the society to which a person belongs.  Defunding the police tramples the welfare of society, domestic tranquility, and calls for the defense of the rule of law by every freedom-loving person in that society.

Article 1 Section 1: Established for every government in America the separation of powers, where legislation is equally shared between a house of representatives and a senate, who must work together in their separate but equal duties to fulfill the actions dictated in the preamble.  Sections 2 and 3 establish the finer points regarding the house of representatives, the senate, the powers of the executive branch in filling vacancies and establishing the terms of office.

Article 1 Sections 4-8: Establish taxes, the military forces, the day of elections, when a term begins for an elected officer to the Congress and other details of government.  Nowhere in these articles does it allow for one branch to dominate another branch.  Nowhere in these articles does it allow for the senate of the house of representatives to do the others job.  Each establishment of government has a specific job to perform, and those politicians who refuse to do their job are in fact breaching their oaths of office.

Consider the actions of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  Nowhere in the US Constitution is she allowed to meddle in world politics, write letters to foreign governments, or pass legislation that has not been read.  Yet, all these and more are regularly being done, instead of doing her job as outlined in the preamble, to the improvement of the American people, she is duly sworn to support.  Her failure to represent all her district is the most egregious example because she is also third in line for the President, she has been re-elected so many times, and is the speaker of the US House of Representatives.  Thus, not only does she speak for her district, but she also represents all the US House of Representatives, of all parties.

Root Cause AnalysisOne of the clearest lessons discovered in life is that of genetic behavior, usually to the shame of the person witnessing their behavior being acted upon by others.  We pass behavior onto our children, our acquaintances, and our circles of influence.  The problem with genetic behavior is that of exponentialism or the exponential growth between generations.  Research supports that cheating behavior in high school is found in cheating an employer later in life.  Research also relates that those witnessing the cheating behavior will then steal.  The third generation of people the behavior is passed onto will steal bigger items, cheat more, and commit more crimes.  The cycle just keeps building until the criminal justice system is full of hard crimes committed.

In the political realm, we see the same exponential growth of behavior.  Speaker Pelosi is witnessed by her party, who then act as she does, and commits larger or worse actions than the Speaker.  If you look at those termed “The Squad,” the representatives are by far worse than Speaker Pelosi, but they learned how to be detestable to freedom-loving peoples from the Speaker, and the second-generation politicians that surround Speaker Pelosi.  Want another example, look at any recent (2000 to present) presidential election and you will still find traces of previous President Clinton in the candidates of both parties.  Consider Mitt Romney’s candidacy, he is very Bill Clinton in his politics and speech mannerisms, which remains the main reason he failed as a candidate for president.

Grit - DefinedThus, freedom-loving people, who support justice, desire domestic tranquility, seek to provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and well-being of others, and work tirelessly to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, witness these politicians and want them removed, and held accountable for their crimes.  Not to punish without cause, but to support the common good in America.  The reason we have courts, lawyers, judges, etc. is to separate the crimes committed from the criminal committing.  This is the epitome of the word justice.  The US Criminal Justice System is imperfect, without doubt, but it remains the best system the world has ever seen and deserves support from law-abiding and freedom-loving people.

Article 1 Section 9:  Deals with two legal precedents that have been much maligned and abused.  Immigration and the Writ of Habeas Corpus.  Immigration is a topic for a different post.  However, the Writ of Habeas Corpus is crucial to this discussion.  Simply stated Habeas Corpus is, “… The legal procedure that keeps the government from holding you indefinitely without showing cause. When you challenge your detention by filing a habeas corpus petition, the executive branch must explain to a neutral judge its justification for holding you.”  The Writ of Habeas Corpus can be suspended, and American History including recent history has provided examples of when and why habeas corpus has been denied, suspended, or revoked.  The riots and acts of domestic terrorism are a clear example as to why the Writ of Habeas Corpus can be and should be suspended.  Rebellion and the breach of public safety are two separate excuses for denying habeas corpus and rioters and terrorists deserve to have habeas corpus suspended.

Finest HourMake no mistake, I am not advocating for the refusal of these people to have their day in court, before an impartial judge, to be sentenced for their crimes, and held accountable before the bar of justice.  I am advocating that until their trials can be arranged, they deserve to be held in prison awaiting the slow turning of the wheels of justice.  When you break the peace of society, you give up your rights and liberties; thus, these mob members deserve to be held and witness their rights to habeas corpus rescinded.

Article 1 Section 10:  Has several items that pertain to the illegality of state governors during the current COVID-19 health crisis, reflecting that these governors do not know the law, and are in breach of their oaths of office.  When the governor of New Mexico made a law stating that all the citizens of Arizona must be quarantined, interrupting the free flow of commerce from state-to-state, the governor forfeited her authority for political points, and the US Congress should have been demanding corrective behavior.  Yet, not a peep has been witnessed.

The Duty of AmericansCOVID-19 does not represent a sufficient “imminent danger” to refuse or interfere with commerce passing between states.  The “public health measures” enacted by the various state governors are a travesty of justice, unconstitutional, interferes with the rights and liberties of the people, and damaging the commerce and economy of the United States.  Where are the politicians at the Federal Level to correct these abuses?

Articles 2 and 3: establish the executive and judicial branches of American governance.  These articles remain critical to freedom-loving people as the articles clearly dictate terms in office, how to perform their duties, and establishes the various courts in the judicial system.  The jury trial is set forth without restriction and remains a key component in all trials.  Section 3 of Article 3 contains two items of note.  Item 1 defines treason narrowly and specifically; item 2 discusses the penalty of treason.  “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them (the United States), or in adhering to their enemies (following an enemy’s directions), giving them aid and comfort (monetary means, housing, food, or other transferable goods).”

PatriotismA legal dictionary provides a slightly broader definition of treason, “The offense of attempting by overt [or covert] acts to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance or to kill or personally injure the sovereign or the sovereign’s family.  The betrayal of a trust: treachery.”  Therein lies the justification for labeling the actions of politicians who breach the public trust with treason, the politician who breaks their oath of office to support and defend the US Constitution is committing treason.

Articles 5-7: Deal with how the US Constitution can be amended, national debt, the supremacy of the US Constitution in America, oaths of office, and ratification of the US Constitution.  With these final words, the US Constitution closed, “Done in convention by the unanimous consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty-seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our Names.”

Military CrestsEvery member of the US Military swears an eternal commitment to upholding this document, to securing the rights and laws of the United States as prescribed therein, and to follow the orders of the commander in chief before God.  I have had the privilege of taking that oath six times in my life.

The Oath of Enlistment: “I, [State your full legal name], do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So, help me, God.”

I will not allow the US Constitution to be thrown down and mobocracy, meritocracy, democracy, communism, socialism, or any other form of government to supersede the US Constitution.  To those politicians working hand-in-hand with the mobs and others for the destruction of America, you are committing treason and will one day answer for your crimes before the bar of justice.

Image - Eagle & FlagDuring my military service, I read a quote, applicable to the relationship between politicians working to destroy America and freedom lovers who support the US Constitution “No truer friend; no fiercer enemy!”  No truer friend can be found than I in the support of the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  No fiercer enemy can be found than I to those working to suppress the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights; “So, help me, God!”.

© Copyright 2020 – 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 pictures.

All rights reserved.  For copies, reprints, or sharing, please contact through LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/davesalisbury/

Realities and Uncertainties – The Paradigm at the VA

I-CareThe Department of Veterans Affairs – Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG) reports they are returning to a more regular schedule of release for the inspection reports with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recovering from COVID-19.  Congratulations are in order, to the VA, as they begin returning to normal operations and procedures.  The reality is that standard operating procedures (SOP) are regularly missing at the VA, this absence causes uncertainty, and forms the crux of this report. A question for the VA-OIG, “How can you assess employee competency without SOPs?”  To the VA VISN leaders, “How can your directors and supervisors, conduct employee evaluations without written SOPs?”  The short answer is you cannot!

Congratulations are in order, for the Marion VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Illinois.  The Marion VAMC experienced a “comprehensive healthcare inspection” and were generally praised for the excellent work being conducted, the happiness of the patients, and the overall condition of the facilities.  While there were recommendations made by the VA-OIG (29 in 8 different areas), the overall report was satisfactory, and this is mentionable.  Hence, my heartfelt congratulations for your success in this inspection.

VA SealThe Marion VAMC VA-OIG report raises a common theme, and this is a reality the VA appears to be incapable of addressing training and two-directional communication.  From the hospital director to the patient-facing staff, training always appears as a significant issue in VA operations.  Having experienced the training provided by the VA for employees, and as an adult educator, I know the uselessness of the training program and have several suggestions.  Perhaps the problem would be best addressed if more evidence was provided of a systemic failure in training employees at the VA.

In 2017 Congress mandated a change in research operations for the VA, specifically where canine research was concerned.

The OIG found VHA conducted eight studies without the former or current Secretary’s direct approval, resulting in the unauthorized use of $393,606 in appropriated funds.VA continued research using canines after the passage of the funding restrictions, in part, because VHA executives perceived that then VA Secretary David Shulkin had approved the continuation of the studies before his departure.”

The cause of the problem, the VA-OIG discovered was, “Unclear communication, inadequate recordkeeping, and failure to ensure approval decisions were accurately recorded and verified all contributing to VHA’s noncompliance.”  The researchers and executives relied upon two leading causes for not following regulations, designed incompetence, and a lack of training through clear and concise communications.

Congress mandated the documentation to assure approval was obtained before research commenced; yet, the researchers and administrative staff collectively failed to do their jobs and were able to hide behind the bureaucracy they established to excuse their poor behavior.  Loopholes for designed incompetence and lack of training need closed; but, two incidents do not clearly illustrate the reality of the problem.

ProblemsThe VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System in North Las Vegas, in response to a referral from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC), was investigated by the VA-OIG after a community healthcare worker was attacked.  The VA-OIG findings are appalling, but the reasons for the problem are worse.

The OIG determined that facility managers failed to timely respond after the social worker reported an assault during a home visit and did not address the social worker’s health needs after the assault. The social worker’s supervisor failed to immediately report the incident to the community and VA police. The facility’s policies lacked specific guidance regarding employee emotional and mental health injuries. Further, the OIG substantiated that the social worker was not informed by a supervisor of a homicidal threat, occurring subsequent to the assault, until two weeks after facility leaders became aware of the threat.”

The facility leaders knew there was a problem, yet did nothing before or after the event, that could have cost this healthcare worker their life!  VA-OIG recommendations boil down to a need for clear communication and staff training.  The recommendations highlighted another issue entirely that forms the reality and creates uncertainty at the VA, communication is not a two-directional opportunity to share information.  Single directional communication is useless, and those leaders supporting the bureaucracy to only allow communication to flow in, need immediate removal from the VA.  During my time at the VA as an employee on the front-lines, facing patients, I regularly experienced the lack of communication, and this issue is systemic to the entire VA as witnessed and observed at VA Medical Centers across the United States.

The Nevada incident is deplorable, reprehensible, and the potential for loss of life cannot be overlooked by VA leadership in Washington, at the VISN, or at the Medical Center any longer!  The problems of communication cannot explain this incident, and failure for training cannot excuse this behavior!  Since the OSC initiated the complaint, I am left to wonder, did the employee reporting this incident get fired and needed to appeal to the OSC for remediation?  I ask because the knee-jerk reaction to problems at the VA is to fire the person reporting the issue, as previously observed and personally experienced, and as described to Congressional representatives during televised hearings.  A more thorough investigation into causation needs to be concluded and reported to Congress for this incident reeks of politics and CYA.

Leadership CartoonThe Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital in Columbia, Missouri, and multiple outpatient clinics was recently provided a comprehensive healthcare inspection, and the leadership team provided 14 recommendations in 7 different areas for improvement.  While congratulations are in order, for the patient scores, the employee scores, and the overall conditions discovered.  Yet, again staff competency, e.g., training and communication, remain critical articles requiring targeted improvement.  Is the pattern emerging discernable; in Nevada, an employee is assaulted and training and communication are blamed, comprehensive healthcare inspections are conducted in three different geographic areas and the same causation factors discovered; training and communication are systemically failing at the VA.  But, the evidence continues.

The John J. Pershing VA Medical Center in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, recently underwent a comprehensive healthcare inspection.  The VA-OIG issued 17 recommendations in 6 fundamental areas, including staff competency assessments, e.g., training and communication, as well as the inadequate written standard operating procedures.  When discussing designed incompetence, the first step to correcting this problem is writing down the standards, operating methods, and procedures.  Then the medical center leaders can begin training to those standards.  Barring written instructions and published standards, employees are left to ask, “What is my job? and “How do I perform my job to a standard?”

The Oscar G. Johnson VA medical center, and multiple outpatient clinics in Michigan and Wisconsin recently underwent a comprehensive healthcare inspection, 11 recommendations in 3 critical areas.  As did the Tomah VA Medical Center and multiple outpatient clinics in Wisconsin, 4 recommendations in 3 crucial areas.  Both facilities are to be congratulated for their continual improvement and their success during the inspections.  In case you were wondering, staff competency assessments, e.g. training and communication, are vital findings and variables in improving further for both facilities.

The VA has what it calls “S.A.I.L” metrics that form the core standard for performance.  S.A.I.L. stands for Strategic Analytic (sic) for Improvement and Learning.  Learning is a critical component in how the facility is measured and yet remains a constant theme in the struggles for improvement.  Thus, not only is two-directional communication a systemic failure, but so is the poor training results found on all the comprehensive healthcare inspections performed by the VA-OIG.  Poor communication almost cost a healthcare worker their life, and staff training was a key component for recovering from this incident in Nevada.  How can the VA consistently fail at two-directional communication and training, designed incompetence?  Those in charge require an excuse for not doing their jobs, and the most common excuse provided is a lack of training and poor communication.

I-CareIt is time for these petulant and puerile excuses to be banished and extinguished.  The following are suggestions to beginning to address the problems.

  1. Easy listening is a musical style, not an action in communication.  By this, it is meant that the VA needs to stop faking active listening and engage reflective listening.  Reflective listening requires reaching a mutual understanding and is critical to two-directional communications.  In the world of technology, not responding to email, not responding to text messages, and untimely responses to staff communication are inexcusable on the part of the leaders.
  2. Staff training remains a core concept, but before staff can be properly and adequately trained, standards for performance, operational guidelines, and procedural actions must be clearly written down. The first question I asked upon hire was, “Where are the SOPs for this position?”  I was told, “Do not mention SOPs as the director hates them and prefers to work without them.”  Do you know why that director preferred to work at the VA without SOPs because she used it as an excuse to get out of trouble, to fire those she deemed trouble makers, and to escape with her pension and cushy job to another VA medical center?  A repeatable pattern for poor leaders to spread their infamy.  Shame on the VA Leaders for promoting this director to a level beyond her incompetence.  Worse, shame on you for creating an environment where many like her have excelled and done damage to the VA reputation, mission, and patients, including killing them while they awaited care.
  3. From the VA Secretary to the front-line patient-facing employee, cease accepting excuses. The private sector cannot hide behind immunity from litigation and act in a more responsible manner.  Thus, the VA needs to benchmark what private hospitals do where staff training and SOP’s are concerned.  Benchmark from the best and the worst hospitals for an average, then implement that average as the standard.  One thing discovered in writing SOPs for the NMVAMC, the committee for approving SOPs, and the process for writing SOPs were so convoluted and time-intensive that the SOP was outdated by the time it could be implemented.  Shame on you VA leadership for creating this environment!
  4. Training should be an extension of an organizational effort and university. The VA is not properly training the next generation of leaders; thus, the problems multiply and exponentially grow from generation to generation.  Launch the VA Learning University concept, staff that university with adult educators, and allow lessons learned from the university to trickle into operational excellence.
  5. Form an independent tiger team in the VA Secretary’s Office who has the authority to travel anywhere in the VA System to conduct investigations with the ability to enact change and demand obeisance. The Nevada incident was a failure of leadership and needs a thorough reporting and cleansing of the bad actors who allowed that situation to occur.  Worse, in my travels, I have heard many similar stories.  I heard of a patient getting their ear chopped off when a veteran assaulted another veteran after becoming irate at waiting times in the VA ER.  I have heard and witnessed multiple incidents of furniture being thrown, employees being assaulted, employees harassing and assaulting patients, staff property trashed, and so much more.  These incidents need direct intervention and investigation by a party not affiliated with that affected VAMC and the leadership’s political policies.

Carl T. Hayden04 October 2016, the VA-OIG released a report on dead veterans after the comprehensive investigation into the Carl T. Hayden VAMC in Phoenix, Arizona.  The same event occurred in 2014, at the same hospital, with the same causes and the same conclusions.  The core causes for the dead veterans, no written procedures, poor to no training, and reprehensible communication practices.  The Phoenix VAMC went out of their way to fire all the employees who reported problems at the Phoenix VAMC before the veterans began dying in 2014, I can only speculate that the same occurred in 2016.  Staff was frightened in 2014; they are demoralized in 2020.  Nothing has changed at the Carl T. Hayden VAMC in Phoenix, Arizona, after two successive hospital directors, if anything the problems have worsened.  The problems worsened because leadership failed to act, failed to write down SOPs, failed to communicate, and failed to train.  The hospital directors since 2014 have been appointed from the same pool of candidates who created dead veterans in the first place, and that is a central failure of the VA Secretary and Congressionally elected representatives’ failure to act!

How many more veterans or staff must die before the VA is willing to act?

© Copyright 2020 – 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 pictures.

All rights reserved.  For copies, reprints, or sharing, please contact through LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/davesalisbury/