NO MORE BS: Voting

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NO MORE BS: Government Customer Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NO MORE BS: Discretionary Funds – The Taxpayers Bain

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

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

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

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

What are the dangers of discretionary funds?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Green money is cash.

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

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

Red money is debt.

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

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

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

Black money is dead money.

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

Potential Money – Blue Money

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NO MORE BS: The War Against Dr. Seuss

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

More VA Insanity – COVID Mask Policy – Denial of Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where do we go from here?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NO MORE BS: The Statistical Lies – COVID Version

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

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

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

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

VirtueWhat is veracity?

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

Questions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VISN 22 – The Bureaucrats Operationally Living as Petty Tyrants

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

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

Literary FiendWhat are petty tyrants?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NO MORE BS: What can I Do?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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