When Fiction is Reality – The World Weeps!

Exclamation MarkI find a piece of fiction masquerading as science from today’s email, and I cannot help but ask myself, when did fiction become a reality?  How did Orwell’s 1984 escape the pages and become a reality?  Why did Animal House exit the big screen and become a way of life?  Mark Twain is one of the most often quoted authors, and I particularly like his comments on statistics which is pertinent to today’s discussion on fiction.

“There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Consider something with me; even if you initially disagree, please humor me.  Statistics prove nothing; the best a statistical analysis can ever do is represent a bias towards a specific course of action.  That is it!  Mark Twain’s quote describes the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. Mark Twain’s point is used to doubt statistics to prove an opponent’s point.  Inherent in every statistical analysis are the researcher’s biases, the desire of the researcher to attempt to verify something via numbers that are generally unable to be proved otherwise.Anton Ego

Except research proves nothing; even peer-reviewed research, the gold standard in research, can only point a person towards a potential solution and encourage a person towards a course of action.  The numbers prove nothing, ever!  Many people have become convinced that statistical data is comparable to “Holy Writ,” which is erroneous and dangerous.  Let me prove it to you, please.

Project Implicit

Project implicit was designed by Harvard University, is hosted on Harvard’s servers, and is all about individual bias.  Implicit bias in statistics is described as bias that occurs automatically and unintentionally, that nevertheless affects judgments, decisions, and behaviors.  Bog-standard bias is considered attitudes, behaviors, and actions that are prejudiced in favor or opposition to a person, group, or thing.  But, here is the clincher, bias is judged by others as a projection of themselves when they encounter other people, places, or things.

Broccoli PNGFor example, President Bush I, did not like broccoli.  A prejudice, possibly from childhood, he does not like this vegetable and handled the situation poorly at a state dinner in Japan.  Not liking broccoli is a bog-standard bias.  Other people, especially those enjoying broccoli, will view this event and shake their heads, possibly even ridiculing the president for his disinterest in broccoli.  Others who agree that broccoli is nasty will not have a problem with the presidential bias against broccoli as they exercise the same intolerance.  Thus, a bias is a behavior, an attitude, and supporting actions against something, someone, or someplace, even if that bias is understood or not.

Implicit bias takes normal bias one step further, according to psychiatrists and psychologists.  The extra step includes the inability to explain why a person does not like broccoli.  If there is no hidden reasoning from childhood, traumatic experiences, or irrational fears, then bog-standard bias is considered implicit bias, as judged by the person observing the behaviors.  Are the differences apparent; the reason I ask this is because of the problem in naming biases, the individual doing the observing and judging.Implicit Bias Test

In a branch of science called “Chaos Theory,” there is a hypothesis “that people affect their environments to their own desires.”  The premise was accidentally discovered when humans observed particles under close study and observed under remote means, and the particles acted differently.  The human influence upon particles was a giant leap forward in science, and nowhere is the power of researchers more fully understood than in human sciences (psychology, psychiatry, etc.).  The human brain is wired to connect socially, which is part of the problem when humans are studied under observation.  The innate desire to connect means that people will choose differently when under direct observation, when under remote observation, and when under no observation.

Hence bias is a judgment of another as witnessed through a lens of another person’s understanding, opinions, biases, and experiences.  Researcher bias is a fact inescapable and remains a topic of discussion in every research paper as a contributing factor to the results.  Why; because the researcher’s influenced the results, influenced the data, and influenced the process to achieve their own desires for an outcome. QED: Thoughts become things.Thoughts Become Things | the quotes

Returning to Project Implicit, ask yourself, why would you allow someone else to judge you?  Do you know them?  Do they know you?  Do you fully appreciate that the other person and yourself will influence the results?

Project implicit claims to measure, using mathematical formula the bias of another person, using time and word lists.  Using this formula (v1-v2=BIAS), Project Implicit proclaims they can help you recognize implicit bias on a range of topics from racism to gender roles and from veggies to pets, all because the mathematics claim they are conducting science.  Except, the implicit association is rigged to produce the desired results, as discussed above; hence, where is the veracity?The problems with implicit bias training | The Spectator | Truth Conquers All

GIGO

Garbage in equals garbage out (GIGO) is an axiom that initially began in computer programming and signified that when you dump a bunch of garbage into a system, the results are garbage.  The same is true for every single human endeavor; when you begin with garbage, the best you get for a result is more garbage.  Returning to implicit associations as an indicator of implicit biases, ask yourself, who selected the terms associated with the topic under study, the researcher or the researchee?

Of course, the researcher selected the terms, chose the topic, and tested how fast you can associate a word with the topic under study.  Then comparing the two results declares you have a bias.  Except, do you have a bias; I do not think so!  But, that’s my bias, for I choose to believe that you know how to choose and act in social environments to your potential and desired outcomes.[الإنحياز الضمني] مكتبات التصنيف الجاهزة في العقل البشري | محمد بن نخيلان الشمري

An Example

I was ordered to take an implicit association test to measure my emotional intelligence in a previous position.  The test used word associations on the topic of gender roles and leadership.  Believe it or not, I failed that association test; I do not place genders into any roles as traditional or limited to one gender or the other.  The best leaders are good followers; leaders are not born, they are made; gender, like race, never plays a role in the leadership potential of the person in charge.  Yet, when I failed the association test, my organization was informed I was obstinate, difficult, and opinionated; not that I deny these accusations, I simply refuse to fit into a pre-determined box.  Plus, I would see more people escape the box that has been built for them to “fit” into!https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8368/8537356422_23bf051215_b.jpg

Later that same week, I snuck into the association exam a second and third time, mainly because the researchers kept sending active links that did not discriminate against logins that had previously taken their test.  Yes, I intentionally poked holes into these researcher’s pet project, and I will explain in a minute why.  On my second attempt, I chose what the results considered a “traditional male” with a bias against women.  In the third attempt, I decided to be a woman with a grudge against men and their traditional roles.  I wanted to show how irrelevant these word association tests are and how the results should never be taken seriously.

My plan backfired; my employer was not happy.  The researchers had to scrap their entire data set and go back to the drawing board to fix the research plan, and then after regaining approval, collect human testing data a second time.  Lots of prestige was lost for my employer.  I did not care then; I care less even now; even though I eventually left that position with people angry with me, I do not regret my actions.  Thankfully, I was not the only person offended by the word associations and the results which “snuck back” to play!Mediocrity Joke

Why is this important?

The answer to why these topics are important is found in the principles outlined:

  1. Statistics prove nothing!
  2. Statistics can only support a course of action!
  3. Research can only support a decision!
  4. Research cannot prove anything!
  5. Faux science abounds, and until researchers and academia acknowledge this problem, it will only grow.
  6. Never believe what you read, see, or hear!
  7. Faux science is being used to classify, separate, denigrate, and deride!
  8. Faux science is the excuse for stealing your liberty, freedoms, and legal rights under the US Constitution!
  9. Faux science crops up in courtrooms which is a cause for bad case law, which develops into detestable legislation!
  10. Faux science looks, sounds, and appears legitimate until you dig deeper. If you do not dig, you will be misled!

Bobblehead DollI cannot stress enough the need for every person to stop accepting the box others claim you must live in to “get along and get ahead.”  You are an individual with inalienable rights, a brilliant mind, and unlimited potential.  You are needed on the front lines of the battlefields of today.  You must play an active role, or you will not be able to leave the American Heritage and this great Republic to your children and community.

But, like the “Reading Rainbow” used to proclaim, “Don’t take my word for it!”  Meaning explore, doubt, ask questions, and keep asking questions until you are satisfied the answers are truthful, without dissemination.  Liars will tell you a thousand truths to get you to believe a single lie.  But, do not take my word for it; prove it to yourself; then teach it to another person so that you can learn more perfectly.Reading Rainbow

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

NO MORE BS: What is History? A Prelude to the Future.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NO MORE BS: Executive Orders vs. Legislation

Image - Eagle & FlagA republic is messy!  I have made this claim before on this blog, and I will continue to affirm and support the messiness that occurs in a republic, especially this our constitutional republic!  A republic requires politicians from both extremes on an issue spectrum to come together somewhere between the two extreme points for a compromise.  Please remember, a good compromise leaves everybody unhappy, but a good compromise is fair and the best way to govern.  The messiness of governing takes time and the mess and time protect the interests of the population!

The problem is that executive orders have become the tool of tyranny to make an end-run around the Constitution, stripping the legislative branch of its authority.  Just like when a legislator’s support is purchased with pork-barrel spending, passing legislation with purchased support or pork also does an end-run around the Constitution and robs the taxpayer to enrich the politician.  Both Executive Orders and Pork Barrel Legislation are immoral and unethical but have become accepted practice based upon historic legal precedence and the distorted minds of those in political power.

What is an Executive Order?

An executive order is a means of issuing federal directives in the United States, used by the United States President who manages the federal government’s operations. The legal or constitutional basis for executive orders has multiple sources; however, the executive order is limited to the executive branch of government and the executive branch’s governmental operations.

Where executive orders are concerned, until revoked or superseded, the order remains in effect.  For example, Executive Order 9006 – Certifying the Territory of Hawaii as a Distressed Emergency Area.  The executive order was signed within 30-days of Pearl Harbor being bombed, stripped American Citizens of their rights, their property, their freedoms, and punished them.  Fred Korematsu argued before the Supreme Court that his rights and those of other Americans of Japanese descent had been violated by Executive Order 9006.  The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the government, saying that military necessity overruled those civil rights.  Here is the rub; there is no Congressional Legislation supporting this illegal seizure, the forfeiting of ownership, or Congressional Authority tied to the Executive Order; worse, there was no military reason to justify issuing the Executive Order.

LookNow, I get it, the Empire of Japan had just bombed America, and a day of infamy had descended.  The legal rights of Americans, regardless of their birth heritage, were stripped from them, not by Congressional Action signed into law by the President, but through an Executive Order.  Worse, this order has never been rescinded, and who knows what skullduggery continues to occur under this Executive Order.  As a historical sidenote, there was no justification for Executive Order 9006 – Certifying the Territory of Hawaii as a Distressed Emergency Area.  No military rationale, no social justification, and yet, this Executive Order caused tremendous illegal and unconstitutional actions in the island of Hawaii, which spread to all of America and saw many Japanese heritage Americans stuffed into internment camps.  Losing property, lives, livelihoods, and never receiving any compensation.

Do you need more proof that Executive Orders are in effect long after they should have been rescinded?  Look no further than Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote in his majority opinion in the 2018 case of Trump v. Hawaii that the Korematsu decision was explicitly repudiated.  In non-legal speak, Chief Justice Roberts refuses to be associated with Executive Order 9006 and the earlier court case, Korematsu v. Roosevelt decision, but did not rescind the order, make null the order, or demand the order be superseded.  The cravenness of Chief Justice Roberts to right a historical wrong is beyond contemptible!

What is legislation?

From Webster, we learn that legislation is the action of legislating “specifically: the exercise of the power and function of making rules (such as laws) that have the force of authority by their promulgation by an official organ of a state or other organization.”  The executive branch must sign these legislative actions before they become of full legal force.

Are Executive Orders Legal?

Executive orders have been made legal, as the judicial branch of government has essentially told the legislative and executive branches to argue the problem out amongst themselves.  Now, legal scholars will nit-pick the heck out of what I am about to say, but since I am not a legal scholar, decide for yourself; here is my opinion and understanding.  Yes; executive orders are legal.  Insofar as they guide the executive branch in directing the executive branch’s affairs, and is not intended to control the citizenry or be the “law” under which citizens lose their rights and privileges.  But, as for application to the US Population as a whole, no!  No, executive orders are not legal because the executive order acts outside the executive branch’s domain and attempts to supplant legislation.

DutyImportant to note, broad powers were granted to the US President under Article II, Section 1, Clause 1 of the US Constitution. “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.” Sections 2 and 3 describe the various powers and duties of the President, including that “[the President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”  The judicial branch has granted significant leeway to the President to act.  When added to the powers Congress has consented to the President to run the executive branch of government, executive orders’ legality v. illegality remains a legal gray area.  Sometimes the President has been smacked down with their Executive Orders due to a stricter reading of the US Constitution. Other times a more lenient reading of the US Constitution and Congressional powers has allowed Executive Orders to stand.

The key to limiting Executive Orders is if the Congress considers an issue necessary enough to legislate.  However, do not be fooled; tremendous power is being wielded when a president sets their pen to paper and drafts an Executive Order.  Interesting to note, the lists of presidents with the most Executive Orders are as follows:

Are Executive Orders the same as legislation?

Executive Orders state mandatory requirements for the Executive Branch and have the effect of law. Historically executive orders were issued with a law passed by Congress or based on powers granted to the President in the Constitution and consistent with those authorities.  However, since Pres. Clinton America has witnessed the exponential rise of executive orders to bypass the legislative branch and control law through executive fiat and not legislation.

For example, President Obama, where the Paris Environmental Accord was concerned, ran around Sen. Harry Reid and the Senate, issued an executive order. America was then obligated to the Paris Environmental Accord.  Under the US Constitution, the president “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur” (Article II, section 2). … The Senate does not ratify treaties—the Senate approves or rejects a resolution of ratification [Emphasis Mine].  The Senate never ratified the Paris Environmental Accord, so President Trump was in his power to issue a countermanding executive order and remove America.  21 Jan 2021, Biden then issued another countermanding order and recommitted America to the Paris Environmental Accord.  Still making an end-run around the Senate and refusing the American people the opportunity to have a voice in the affairs of government, especially where costly environmental laws and obligations are concerned.

LinkedIn ImageIs it clear that executive orders’ abuse is strangling America and creating chaos across the entire globe!  All because the politician currently in power refuses to engage in the correct and legal processes of conducting the people’s business, and all political parties are guilty!  The precedent for issuing Executive Orders controlling business outside the executive branch started with Pres. Abraham Lincoln when he made an end-run around a contentious Congress and issued the Emancipation Proclamation.  Not that the Emancipation Proclamation was not needed, not that it did right, not that it was not the exact tool at the precise time, simply that Congress refused, and the President acted through Executive Powers rather than Congressional Legislation.  Setting the legal precedence for the current abuses of Executive Orders in the last five presidents.  Six if you count the current sitting president who issued 15 Executive Orders on his first partial day in office as a “show of strength.”

Legal, yes; legal, no, is a gray area!  Not what the founding fathers intended when drafting the US Constitution.  Want to drop down a rabbit hole of incredible size and shape, look up old Executive Orders, read them carefully for the powers claiming their legality, and then look at recent legal decisions quoting those old Executive Orders.  Lawyers have a saying, “Bad cases make bad case laws.”  That saying is especially true where Executive Orders are considered.

In rule by Executive Order, there is a great caution.  Rule by executive decree is tyranny!  Making end-runs around the co-equal branches of government is a slippery slope that becomes easier and easier once begun upon.  A recent example of this is found in the Obama Presidency.  President Obama is on record claiming he could not issue executive orders to fulfill the wishes, hopes, and desires of the liberal few.  Then, a few short months later, after issuing a slew of Executive Orders, President Obama issued Executive Orders, flip-flopping like a boneless chicken breast, and granting the liberal few their hopes and wishes by executive diktat.

3-direectional-balanceWhat I am going to put forward is not fearmongering but a need to awaken the American People to the dangers of rule by Executive Order.  The Emancipation Proclamation is an Executive Order.  If a President can remand or supersede any previous Executive Order, what is to stop a President from rescinding the Emancipation Proclamation?  Nothing!  The chaos caused by Executive Order rule in a Constitutional Republic is a danger that all people, of every political flavor, need to recognize and communicate to those in power to cease this abuse forthwith!

Those in power can only abuse the controls and restrictions placed upon the government through other governing tools.  Therein lay the protection for the American People and the risks to the American People.  Hence, the need to know, understand, and act to protect the government from overreach and freedom theft.

© Copyright 2021 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein. The pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the images.
All rights reserved. For copies, reprints, or sharing, please contact through LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/davesalisbury/

A Failure to Listen – The Hinge Upon Which Governments Fail or Thrive

AmidalaPadmé in “Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith” makes a powerful statement about the galactic war being fought, “This war represents a failure to listen.”  While Padmé insists that diplomacy is required, this is incorrect.  Diplomacy is the political game of charades, with smoke and mirrors of intelligence games.  Diplomacy fails because each sides agenda is more important than the words being spoken, which is why so much of the work done in diplomatic circles is done in “informal settings.”  Diplomacy fails to listen.

America is a Republic, rather America is a Constitutional Republic, where the rule of law as written is the supreme law of the land to which every citizen is bond.  In the world there are democracies, where the mob rules.  There are socialist governments where the fat of government is forcibly taken through taxation and doled out by the micro-ounce to those selected to win or lose.  There are still communist governments and monarchies where the leaders are pampered to the detriment of the citizenry.  Unfortunately, between these extremes are a host of other government types who borrow pieces from many government theories thinking they can escape the negative consequences of those government methodologies.

Yet again we find Padmé’s counsel appropriate and timely.  Before war begins, there is always a refusal to listen.  For example, it is historically accurate that the US Government had signs and warnings of the impending Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor, but the US Government had stopped listening to adverse advice, and America paid dearly for that failure to listen.  Worse, war came, and hundreds of thousands paid in blood for that failure to listen.

Emotional OutburstThe Russians thought diplomacy was the appropriate approach to Nazi Germany; and Nazi Germany made the Russians pay in blood for the failure of the government to listen.  Even though history has regularly taught the Russians not to engage in diplomatic solutions with Germans.  This was hardly the first fight between Germany and Russian troops and governments.  Failure to listen, and the citizens suffered tremendously to overthrow both Nazi Germany and then the chains of Communism.

Consider again the relationship between Mexico and the United States, the Mexican Government has never been an ally or friend to the United States; yet, the governments refuse to listen to common sense, and throughout history, those people hellbent on destroying America have always found safe passage and refuge in Mexican borders.  History relates that the failure of governments to listen, is the root of the United States and Mexican sour relationship.

Cuba has suffered under Communism and Castro’s poor ideas because government leaders refused to listen.  Venezuela fell because the governments in power refused to listen to each other, bribed the electorate, stole elections, and now a once mighty nation is starving while their government leaders sit in luxury.  How many times will this story have to repeat before the citizens of governments learn, we must be able to speak freely, and listen appreciatively, if we are to survive, grow, and prosper.

For too long, the powers of the world who consider themselves above the law have worked to keep the citizens separated into fighting factions.  Every conceivable line that can be drawn to distract, separate, denigrate, and deride has been drawn, and the only people winning in this are those drawing the lines.  Republicans against Democrats, Homosexuals against Heterosexuals, religions aplenty all against each other, state to state, NFL/NHL/NBA/NASCAR and so much more adding confusion and noise to the problem and further separating people along ambiguous lines to keep them from talking and listening appreciatively to each other.

Nuclear FamilyHow many families cannot have a meal without choices of lifestyle and hostility ending conversation over a failure to listen?  Can a Chicago Bears Family survive long with a fan from Minnesota or Wisconsin?  What about the other choices people make in their lives, religious flavor versus another religious flavor; this simple line has been destroying nations since history began being recorded.  What do we see in the Old Testament; governments repeatedly failing because they stopped listening.

Please note, this is not a call to drop standards, accepting everything, and singing “Kumbaya,” while Rome burns, and society dies an ignominious death.  This is a call to cease destroying society and begin listening first!  Why were the riots this past summer so brutal and destructive; first the mob stopped listening, then they stopped talking, and then they started fires and terrorizing society.  Why did they stop listening; because they assumed no one heard them and cared enough to shift the paradigm, (patterns of thought and action all based upon selfishness and pride).

Darth and AnakinWhy did Anakin stop being a Jedi; he stopped listening, then he selectively listened, he began acting as a terrorist, and then he became Darth Vader.  This plot line of refusing to listen is so prevalent and obvious because humans continue to make the same mistake.  When we stop listening to each other, we stop talking; when we stop talking, we become overwhelmed by our own echo-chambers, and create the chaos that ultimately destroys our lives, our dreams, and our futures until we begin to lay aside petty differences and listen to each other again.

Listening has four distinct levels:

    • 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.

Social Justice WarriorListening appreciatively is reflective listening, where we commit to listening with the intent to achieve mutual understanding.  Essentially, to improve government we must listen first with the intent to reach mutual understanding, before we ever open our mouths to speak.

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 desire, 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.
      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?

Leadership CartoonListening 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 society change.  It has been said that the US Constitution will hang by a thread, rule of law and the American Republic hang upon our decisions to listen appreciatively to each other and to stop allowing petty divisions to destroy ourselves, our families, and our American society.

© 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.
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Shifting the Employment Paradigm – Or an Open Letter to the Politician’s of America

Pournelle and Sterling wrote an amazing Military Sci-Fi series of books under the banner of ‘Falkenberg’s Legion’ (1990) collected into a single title called ‘The Prince’ (2002).  In this series an interesting quote appears.

Every soul in his earliest stages of untutored awareness feels that the center of the universe resides within himself [or herself].  To learn that we exist and move for the most part in orbits, rather than preside at the focal point of even a minor cosmic system is a painful and difficult process for most of us…

So far in this series of writing, the origins of the current employment system has been uncovered and commented upon.  During this period of writing, the United States of America, a previously free Republic, has moved inexorably onwards in the path of less freedom, more chains of debt, and further into the dark abyss of history’s failed experiments.  This does not mean that hope is lost; it simply states for the record that leadership is needed very soon.  Toward this end, this missive is given.

The citizenry of the United States is comparable to a herd of anxious cows.  Let me explain.  No offense is intended; please do not choose to take offense.

Fear makes cowherds anxious.  Loud sounds, changes in temperature, atmospheric pressure changes, and even the simple desire to run have spooked entire herds into running, mostly into dangerous territory and always to the disgruntlement of the cow herders, ranchers, and farmers.  Ranchers have learned to make fences stronger, read the lay of the land, and place the herd into as tight an enclosed position as possible when the herd is put to sleep at night to protect the cows from harm.  Just before a herd breaks into a run, the signs of anxiousness are observed; the emptying of bladders and the evacuation of bowels makes quite a mess.  Other signs are apparent; the shaking of heads, the shifting of feet, the eyes roll back in the head, and restlessness or the shuffling of feet in every direction begins.  Finally, the most important sign is a refusal to listen to external leadership, i.e., cowboys/girls tasked to watch the herd.  The final straw before the herd breaks is usually not a major action but a minor inconvenience, which if it had occurred earlier would have been brushed off as nothing; but in the agitated state, the herd sees the minor as major and the herd breaks loose.  Once the herd begins running, those tasked with the herd’s care are forced into running beside the herd to try to turn the leading cows away from danger.  However, herd mentality has taken over.

The citizens of America are as restless as a herd of thunder struck cows right now.  Recent events in Hurricane Sandy, tornadoes in Alabama, the massacre in Newtown, the regulatory nightmare from Washington D.C., Libya, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Israel, China, etc., all are culminating into a nameless fear.  The leaders of the herd, or the politicians at every level, have been entrusted to care for the herd, to take limited resources and spend wisely on that which provides the best for American interests.  The pathways the Federal Government have lead us down are filled with enough good intentions and self interests to pave a four-lane highway from Maine to London and Seattle to Tokyo.  Yet, these same leaders are causing the people to err.  Herein lies the problem.

America was founded upon, has lived upon, and rests upon a single principle, confidence.  The US Dollar is strong because those people, who possess it, trade in it, and bet futures upon it, have confidence in the dollar.  America’s military is strong because the US Soldier/Airman/Marine/Sailor are all possessing confidence individually, in their leaders, and in the political establishment.  The American voter goes to the polls from an overabundance of confidence that the person they have selected is the best choice, but even in a loss, that same voter and nonvoter instills the winner with their confidence.  This confidence forms a sacred trust, an unbreakable vow, an eternal contract, between the politician and the voters.  Breaking this sacred trust hurts every institution in America at the core of confidence.

Look at the abysmal numbers of people who trust the House of Representatives, the Senate, or the President to do the right, plot a correct course for America, or simply to tell the truth, and it becomes apparent that the core has been shook, people are restless, and the herd is about to run.  People need a paycheck, need to know how big the tax bill is going to be, and need to know that the collected taxes are going to reduce the debt, that the politicians elected will honor the contract America made by electing them to office.

Compensatory spending is wrong now and was wrong back in 1946 when passed into law for the euphemistic purpose of ‘Full Employment.’  No government from Ancient Greece to Modern America can provide ‘Full Employment.’  Going into debt does not bring true prosperity.  The only reason compensatory spending was entered into law was to cover up the pain the Federal Government created through fiscal policy failures accrued during the Great Depression.  It took a globe spanning war, millions of deaths, thousands of mutilated bodies, the complete destruction of every civilization on the planet, along with millions of gallons of tears shed in pain and misery to lift the world from the Great Depression, and no society has recovered since.  Our current society is at best a farce, Kabuki Theater, to what it could be if the government left people alone, followed the law, and had not accrued so much debt.

Not once in all the discussion about spending has a single politician offered to apologize for the laws of 1946 allowing compensatory spending and offered to remove this horror from the legal code.  Not a single politician has said, “No more debt, we will live within our means.”  America is a rich country; we are not alone in this label.  The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, China, Brazil, etc., are all rich countries.  Yet all these rich countries share the same problem with Africa, Australia, and New Zealand:  debt, cold, hard, and totally unsustainable.  The politicians tasked with the people’s trust have failed them by running up huge mountains of debt for little or no purpose.  The end result is simple.  More debt equals higher taxes, higher taxes means less freedom to the people and more power to the government.

Another truth, simply expressed; money is power.  Ever since people began forming societies, the need to trade goods and services has required something of value.  Possessing more of that valuable substance automatically equated to power, for the possessor could stop providing the resource valued and the entire economic structure would topple and fall.  A final truth:  actions have consequences.  The creator gave man the unalienable right to choose, whether he chooses right or wrong. While man can choose his thinking and actions, he cannot choose the consequences, and wrong choices cause pain.

Going back to the legislation of 1946, the politicians had chosen to meddle in financial controls.  The consequence was lost value, destroyed confidence, and the crash of the world’s economies.  This brought pain, suffering, despair, and a tremendous backlash.  The answer chosen was to increase the government.  Increasing the government meant more taxes to pay for bigger government.  Bigger government took that which was valuable from those producing valuable tools and gave to others in a vote-buying scheme unparalleled in any society known in history.  Now to retain power, those currently in power have a choice to make:  stop spending at unsustainable levels, reduce the government, and return power to the people where it rightly belongs; or, to try and continue on the unsustainable path and end 200 years of experiment in freedom.  America cannot and will not survive if the debt mountain continues.  The monies must be repaid, the debt satisfied, which will occur in either money or blood.  This is not doomsday scare mongering, but simple truth.

Look to history for this to be unfolded.  A single example:  when Ancient Rome experienced serious debt dilemmas, they conquered their creditors with their armies and navies.  Once Rome could no longer conquer their creditors, fighting began between Roman and Roman, civil war weakened the empire, and external enemies and creditors destroyed that civilization.  This pattern repeats itself time and time again throughout the history of the world.  When a government can no longer conquer their creditors or raise capital to service debt, the debt begins to be serviced by the blood of its citizenry.  The unfunded liabilities must be serviced, the debt must be serviced, and the service of the debt will be painful.  Reducing government to live totally within its means, even during natural disasters and war is the only solution.  This path is difficult, but the more difficult and bitterer pill to swallow is to see civil war break out again in every state of this republic.

By tying employment to economic indicators, the Federal Government placed people in harms way.  Lose your job and suddenly you place the entire country at risk of debt default.  Mass unemployment means fiscal uncertainty for the entire world.  This is not right.  If the government provides more freedom to the electorate, the reward is longer terms in office to keep providing more freedoms to the people.  Be courageous, shift the paradigm, service the debt, and release the power of individuals by untying employment to the economy by annulling the laws of 1946 and 1976 that would free employees to become independent contractors capable of choosing their destiny, choosing those they want to work for, and choosing what they want to do.  Employers should not have by government intervention the ‘Right to Control’ free and independent people.  Employment should be the trading of time for something of value, negotiated between two free and independent parties with the intention of improving both parties.  Act now to rectify a wrong made by previous congresses; free the employee!

© 2012 M. Dave Salisbury

All Rights Reserved