NO MORE BS: Weaponized Government

GavelWith the final gavel swing on President Trump’s acquittal, in a trial to impeach a private citizen, in which he did not commit the crimes accused.  Legally there was no case from the beginning, as there was no “Riot in DC.”  I saw videos of police welcoming “Rioters” to the capitol building.  I have seen the results of other riots, live and in-person; what happened in DC was not a riot!  Leaving me to wonder at just how narrowly we escaped the theatrics of the liberal leftists.  The videos I saw showed police and capital guards showing people where to go.  But the DC “Riot Theatrics” does provide the American people and the world a cautionary tale.  The bureaucrats, liberal leftists, militant leftists, and the media have cooked up methods, and means, to attack anyone they desire, and this should scare the living hell out of everyone!

Theres moreExtremists need an enemy, need financing, and require a safe location to thrive, plan, and recover.  The same is true for terrorists.  Comparing extremists to terrorists is not hyperbole or shockvertising; they are one and the same.  Extremists are political animals; terrorists are political animals.  Extremists use violence and fear to achieve victory; terrorists use fear and violence to achieve victory.  There is no fundamental difference between an extremist or a terrorist, and the faster we recognize this fact, the easier it will be to fight this enemy within.  One final note, extremists and terrorists will use the law against law-abiding people to thrive upon a society’s goodness and mercy until that society is broken and destroyed.  Democratic societies worldwide have always possessed an enemy within but called them “extremists’” instead of “terrorists” to appease the citizenry.

The actions of the US House of Representatives majority leadership, and the US Senate’s majority leadership, coupled with the craven and yellow-spine efforts of the minority leadership in the Senate and House, declare with a single voice, “I am incompetent, but I am free from any accountability and responsibility.”  On the legal basis of impeaching a private citizen, I will leave this to the legal scholars, judges, and legal think tanks.  On the charge of weaponizing the government against private citizens, I will declare, “Cease and Desist Forthwith!”

PatriotismWhat is weaponized government?

Weaponized government uses the powers of government to afflict, torment, or injure individuals with whom you disagree politically.  President Clinton used Hillary as a tool to weaponize the government and shut down dissenters, rape victims, and sexual abuse allegations while Bill was in office.  The media reporting on these facts is available; feel free to dig and cringe.  Weaponizing government very inefficiently, but still effective enough to enrich themselves, destroy people, and enjoy the theatrics.  President Obama used President Clinton’s example of weaponizing government, then raised it to a science in tactical strategy for political machinations, how to weaponize the government more effectively.  In fact, the only compliment I have for President Obama was his proficiency in weaponizing government and using government strings to lynch the American Citizen every chance he could.

Examples of Weaponized Government.

Detective 4Does everyone still remember the IRS Debacle, Lois Lerner, and the scandal inflicted upon applicants for 501 (C) various tax-exempt statuses through the IRS?  Does anyone remember that this very public debacle was made political and was never completed, finished, or rooted out of the IRS?  Just a reminder as tax time begins.  Supposedly in a politically neutral manner, the government agency tasked with collecting taxes is bereft of honesty, integrity and has the highest number of government workers who do not pay their taxes.  But the donation filings for political races consistently record the IRS employees donating more to Democrats by large margins than to any other political party or cause.  Draw your own conclusions about where the IRS Employee’s or any government employee’s loyalty resides.

Long have I recorded government weaponization and how the Department of Veterans Affairs abuses patients based upon political leanings or merely because they want to abuse someone.  I have personally witnessed patients with similar complaints, wearing nothing but different politically-themed clothing, receiving 180-degree different treatment types at VA doctors’ hands.  I have witnessed VA employees choose based upon patients’ likes and dislikes, who get better care, faster care, or more professional care.  After almost a year of discrimination due to my inability to wear a mask, I think I can claim my experience as an excellent example of how the VA is weaponized against the people they are duty-bound to serve.

The Duty of AmericansWhistle-Blowers

Whistle-blowers are people who tell the dirty secrets of the executive branch in an effort to stop the crimes committed by bureaucrats or employees of the government.  However, whistle-blowing and the stories related never capture the full scope of the problems in a government agency or how many other victims there are of abuse from the weaponized government.  To have whistle-blower protections, the whistle-blower must still be an employee to have protection.  More importantly, the employee cannot be probationary, as probationary employees do not have the same privileges and protections as non-probationary employees.  Suppose the agency is able to remove you from employment. In that case, you can tell all the stories you like and never be a whistle-blower, taken seriously, or even allowed to have legal protection for your rights as a citizen witnessing the abuse of government.

Next, weaponizers of government know the law and use the law to enact their reigns of terror.  In this case, the law includes the policies, procedures, and people in authority in a government agency.  Hence, the moment anyone tries to tell a story about abuse or the weaponization of government, they are ostracized, attacked, and the processes begin to torment and harass the accuser, e.g., the whistle-blower.  Watching the whistle-blower experience their personal life being investigated, the torment, harassment, and other punishments is a significant deterrent for everyone else who knows of problems and abuses from ever stepping forward.

VA SealA specific and personal example; I regularly witnessed EMTALA and HIPAA crimes in the VA Emergency Department at the Raymond G. Murphy VA Medical Center.  I routinely saw patients abused, frequently watched nurses and doctors be unprofessional, and these problems were common knowledge all over the hospital.  I reported the issues verbally, by email, by written letter, and never received any help in correcting the problems.  I was a 365-day probationary employee, where my director came off leave to ensure my employment would not survive to see day 366 and my probationary employment conclude successfully.  When I discussed these problems with my elected representatives, my emails, letters, and voice conversations were conveniently missing, denied, and my reputation slandered.  I still have copies of some of my emails on these topics, and I blog a record of the treatment in the hopes that one day, changes can be made, the record cleaned up, and the criminal treatment of veterans ended forever!

Until such time as the government size is dramatically reduced, the bureaucrats are culled, and the criminals held liable, every person should be wary, cautious, and concerned about being mistreated by the hands of their government.  I am not fearmongering; I am calling people to action!  The government is not your friend, not your buddy, and not interested in your concerns.  The government, including elected officials, NGOs, think tanks, employees, etc., are all willing to abuse, harass, deter, rob, thwart, and hinder you as an individual.

LinkedIn ImageBeing aware, conscious, and competent, you are the population the tyrannical government fears.  Through this irrational fear, the tyrant will seek to injure first, ask questions never.  Thus, we can expect greater punishment, harassment, issues, and problems where our lives cross the government until we can eradicate the problem and end the tyranny.  Our weapon is to watch and report, declare and deride, and gain knowledge and experience.  We must act locally to get to the true tyrannical roots, or this problem will just keep coming back!

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

NO MORE BS: Presidential Appointees

I-CareEvery new president hired has a list of appointees to fill in various leadership positions for the government’s executive branch.  The US Senate must approve some of these appointments, and other special conditions apply to their roles and functions.  The following is a discussion specific to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) but is benchmarkable to all the Federal Government’s alphabet executive and legislative appointee departments.  Important to note, “Presidential appointees come and go, but entrenched bureaucracies are allowed to live forever.”

How big is the US Government?

There are over 9,000 potential civil service leadership and support positions in the Legislative and Executive branches of the Federal Government that may be subject to political appointments.  There are four distinct types of presidential appointments, as outlined below, copied from ACSLAW.org.

    • Presidential Appointments Requiring Senate Confirmation (PAS)
        • These are top-level, senior positions that include the heads of most major agencies. Including cabinet secretaries, agency leadership at the Deputy Secretary, Under Secretary, and Assistant Secretary levels, the leaders of most independent agencies, ambassadors, and US Attorneys. Some positions within the Executive Office of the President, including the Office of Management and Budget director, also fall in this category. These positions require a congressional hearing and a confirmation vote in the US Senate [emphasis mine].
    • Presidential Appointments Not Requiring Senate Confirmation (PA.)
        • This category includes hundreds of positions, including most jobs within the Executive Office of the President. These include most senior White House aides and advisors as well as their deputies and key assistants. These appointments do not require a Senate hearing or vote [emphasis mine].
    • Non-Career Senior Executive Service (SES)
        • Members of the SES serve in key positions just below the top Presidential appointees; the posts were designed to be a corps of executives charged with running the federal government. These positions include senior management positions within most federal agencies and serve as the significant link between top political appointees and the rest of the federal workforce. While the SES mostly consists of career officials, up to 10%, or (as of 2016) 680 positions, can be political appointees. Unlike the presidential appointments, the non-career SES appointments tend to be made within each agency and then approved by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Presidential Personnel Office (PPO).
    • Confidential or Policy-making Positions (Schedule C (SC.))
        • These positions consist of political appointees in policy-making positions or positions that require a close working relationship with the incumbent officeholder or key political officials. Schedule C positions may be designated by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) or the President’s Executive Office at an agency’s request.

I repeat, only for emphasis, presidential appointees come and go, but entrenched bureaucracies live forever!  Presenting the first problem of American Governance, the Federal Government is too bloody big!  Worse, State Governments mirror the Federal Government, and how many of those are too bloody big, 50!  Add in the city/town, county governments, and the most incredulous and pernicious problem facing action and change in America is the bloody government’s size!

ProblemsUnfortunately, the government’s size masks another problem, the incredible size of Non-Government Offices (NGOs), the United Nations, the NATO, and other agencies created through treaty, Lobbyists, Lawyers, and other non-governmental but still official people working in or on government at the Federal, State, and Local government capacities.  Since the Great Depression recovery began, the government of all levels has exploded in the growth of people, costs, resources absorbed, and more.

Bringing us back to the Senate Approved Presidential Appointees.  The US Senate confirmed VA Secretary nominee Denis McDonough Monday, Feb. 8, and he was sworn in as the eleventh VA secretary.  A brief biography of Secretary McDonough.  A native of Stillwater, Minnesota, Mr. McDonough graduated from Saint John’s University in 1992 and Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service with an MSFS degree in 1996. McDonough has extensive experience on Capitol Hill, having served as White House chief of staff under President Barack Obama, deputy national security advisor, and chief of the National Security Council staff.  A proverbial insider to left-leaning politics has been made Secretary of the VA, who, like the fraudulent president, is calling for unity while working to ruin political opponents and destroy the US Constitution.

VA SealHere’s the real problem, political appointees, set the culture for the entire VA.  Over the last four years, Secretary Wilkie has had his hands overfilled with the abhorrent culture set by his predecessor, which allowed for tremendous amounts of skullduggery, crime, illegal action, and much more to thrive in the VA Now, without any further ado, let’s discuss some of the problems Sec. Wilkie found after the Obama Presidency.

Veterans experienced blatant HIPAA and EMTALA abuses at every VA medical center (VAMC) across the country, as witnessed by employee whistleblowers who were then fired or abused by the VA bureaucracy for telling the truth.  Over the last four months, the VA-Office of the Inspector General (VA-OIG) has prosecuted multiple cases of theft of funds, theft of government resources for resell, and other criminal elements in the employees of the VA.  A culture allowed to grow and breed under all three of President Obama’s VA Secretaries, Shinseki, acting Secretary Gibson, and McDonald.

Survived the VAThese three President Obama VA Secretaries should still spark a memory.  They led the VA through two cases of where the Phoenix VAMC was killing veterans.  Where the employees responsible skated, the media required a scapegoat, and the VA Secretary’s left government service with full pensions, retirement benefits, and other goodies at taxpayer expense!  Talk about “Golden Parachutes!”

Within just the last two weeks, or since the start of February 2021, the VA-OIG has reported seven cases of misconduct by VA employees and other related individuals.  Including a woman who faked her death to avoid being held accountable for defrauding the VA.  She and her husband will be held responsible, but the entire sordid affair had help from VA employees not being held accountable for not doing due diligence or their jobs.

From the VA-OIG report, we find the following:

Robert S. Stewart Jr., 35, pleaded guilty to making false statements in order to obtain multimillion-dollar government contracts, COVID-19 emergency relief loans, and undeserved military service benefits. Stewart, the owner, and president of Federal Government Experts LLC, also defrauded the VA by falsely claiming to be entitled to veteran’s benefits for serving in the Marine Corps when, in fact, he never served in the Marines. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 16, 2021.”

ScalesAgain, we have a perpetrator who needed help from VA employees to defraud the government, which are not held liable as co-conspirators to a crime.  I want to know why?  To register as a veteran, you need documentation, and that documentation has to be approved by several people.  A 201 File is required.  Other supporting documentation is required to show duty in dangerous situations, orders for transfer, a monumental paper trail that is generated, securely kept, and digitized for ease of data checking.  All of which require VA employees to do their jobs correctly.  How can falsely claiming veterans’ benefits still be occurring?  Where are the employees conducting quality assurance checks and performing their roles?

From the VA-OIG report, the following is obtained.

Thomas E. Duncan, a VA procurement supervisor at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, was charged with five counts of wire fraud, one count of witness tampering, and one count of falsifying records. Duncan allegedly received approximately $36,250 in kickbacks from Daniel Dingle, the president of a medical supply company, in exchange for steering at least $1.7 million in product orders to Dingle’s company, many of which were never fulfilled. Dingle was charged with four counts of wire fraud.”

Detective 4I find it interesting how long these fraud schemes are surviving, and I am always left asking, “What else occurred that was “beyond the scope” of the VA-OIG investigation” that will not be charged.  This procurement supervisor felt comfortable defrauding the VA, which tells me that he learned how to commit fraud from someone and taught fraud to others, so what else is occurring that is illegal, unethical, or immoral in this department?

From the VA-OIG report, we find two cases of interest, including another prime example of a third party, able to defraud two different government bureaucracies and no employee accountability.

Kelly Wolfe, 49, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and filing a false tax return. In addition, Wolfe and her company, Regency, Inc., have agreed to pay up to $20,332,516 to resolve allegations that Wolfe and Regency violated the False Claims Act, including falsifying documentation in order to fraudulently establish durable medical equipment corporations to bill Medicare and CHAMPVA for medically unnecessary equipment.”

Darren Cady, owner of Southeastern Physical Therapy in Ashville, North Carolina, agreed to resolve allegations that he received illegal kickbacks and violated the False Claims Act by submitting claims to the VA for reimbursement for medically unnecessary durable medical equipment.”

Will someone please explain how the employees can shirk responsibility for allowing this crime to occur?  Will anyone investigate the cultures of corruption that enable and empower these nefarious beings access to taxpayer dollars?  What about the victims who are refused care because crime sucked resources out of a government program?

The providers’ fundamental roles in VAMC’s across the country are the communication of test results in a timely, honest, and forthright manner.  Yet, one of the first things you learn as a patient of the VAMC is that test results are never discussed forthrightly, honestly, or timely!  I suffer from this problem daily.  Apparently, the problem is so expansive that the VA-OIG investigated the Beckley VAMC in West Virginia and found abused patients, but the VA-OIG claimed the patients were not adversely affected, no harm, no foul, and recommendations were made to improve patient communications.  I could scream in frustration at how often this scenario repeats at the VAMC’s across the US.  Even when the VA employees have caused adverse patient results by not communicating test results, the VA Employees skate on being held accountable.

LookGo to a non-VA hospital or medical doctor if they do not contact you about your test results; regardless of the test results, do you become frustrated, less trusting of that provider, and concerned about your health?  Yet, the VA can routinely, as in every patient, withhold, delay, or obfuscate patient communications and never is held accountable!  That is what is meant by a culture of corruption!

The last entry in our two-week window of the VA-OIG reports is the declarations of insufficient oversight for issuing prosthetic supplies and devices.

VA’s Prosthetic and Sensory Aids Service (PSAS) is the world’s largest provider of prosthetic devices and sensory aids. Prosthetics include artificial limbs and any device that supports or replaces a body part or function, such as wheelchairs and pacemakers. Sensory aids include hearing aids, optical prescriptions, low vision, mobility aids, speech, and communication aids. The cost of PSAS services increased from over $2.9 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2016 to nearly $3.5 billion in FY 2019. … Consequently, VHA improperly issued an estimated $15.8 million in prosthetic supplies in 2017. However, 94 percent of transactions related to deceased veterans were proper. The remaining 6 percent were improper, but the OIG did not identify evidence of fraud with respect to these errors. VHA also maintained adequate oversight of duplicate supply issuance [emphasis mine].”

Let’s review;  100% of the cases reviewed, 94% went to deceased individuals, 6% were improper, but the oversight was adequate.  Are you kidding me?!?!  What does a deceased person need with prosthetic devices?  When we discuss employee accountability, proper role fulfillment, and proper oversight through process regulation, this includes protecting the taxpayer from abuse by sending deceased patients expensive medical equipment.

Presidential appointees are in a difficult position; they must serve at the president’s pleasure and lead an organization with an entrenched bureaucracy.  However, the manner of the presidential appointee’s leadership is the living factor that becomes the employees’ behavior, attitudes, and ethics.  Having written about the VA-OIG reports for over 10-years, I have seen good leaders come, and bad leaders go, but always the front-line patient-facing employees will mimic the attitudes, behaviors, and ethics of the presidential appointee, who was hired after Senate confirmation.

PatriotismTo change this paradigm and improve the employees’ behavior, there must be significant and fundamental changes in government size and the government leaders being held personally accountable for the harm and the failure of those being led to do their jobs!  When you do not know the problem, abuse of your rights, privileges, and freedoms occurs.  If you ever need to see why the government size matters, read a few offices of inspector general reports.  These reports are delivered first to the elected representatives, who are supposed to enforce the law upon the executive branch as a money-saving measure.  When was the last time you saw this occur in those televised committee meetings; not, in my lifetime!

© 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: Civility – Plasticized and Abused

Hunter Biden went to church this weekend but stopped the motorcade mid-trip for coffee and bagels.  No regard for other people traveling, no respect for those in the motorcade, no concern for how a mid-motorcade stop would look, and zero care from the President!  Just so Hunter knows, when you travel in a Presidential Motorcade, you are NOT a private citizen who can stop anywhere without implications!

Theres moreWe have National Guard troops sleeping in a parking garage, and the commander in chief cannot even take enough time to address their housing, but heaven forbid Hunter Biden should not have his coffee and bagels on his way to church.  Abysmal behavioral disconnects were infuriating under President Obama; a repeat under President Biden is disgraceful, detestable, and downright demoralizing.  But, wait, there’s more!

The AP has the bitter cherry for the crap sundae news piece.  A bitter hit piece on Pres. Trump declaring civility had returned to Washington DC with the inauguration of President Biden.  As a child, I often watched Pres. Reagan navigating the rocky shoals of Washington DC and wondered where respect, modesty, civility, and common sense were in politics.  As an adult, I have witnessed both sides of the political spectrum call for civility and then act like churlish rubes.  If this is acceptable “civility,” I want more incivility after the pattern established by President Trump!

The media sycophants in the White House, the flunkey talking heads on the news programs, the lickspittles with megaphones, the kowtowers in the House and Senate, the craven fawners in the Supreme Court, all leave me wanting to grab an airsick bag and projectile vomit my lunch!  2015, along comes a non-politician, speaks well when treated well, can fight when he is abused, and does not talk or act like the cronies and toadies we have abhorred.  All the media could do was take a bitter hater pill, slurp the Hater-Aid every morning, and devour each other’s lies, and now the media wants to celebrate a “return to civility?”  Not on my watch!

LinkedIn ImageCivility is defined as politeness in speech and courtesy in behavior.  Yet, I was raised that civility, like respect, is earned.  When someone abuses you, disrespects you, lies to your face, and stabs you in the back; offering civility and respect to that person had been forfeit, and you receive what you earned—not condoning violence, merely the action of meeting disrespect and loathing, with disrespect, and loathing.

During the Iran Contra mess, I remember watching President Reagan answer insulting and worthless questions and asked why he was not treated more respectfully as the President.  My answer: “that’s politics.”  No, that is not “politics” that is politicking, and it has become the national sport.  As a refresher, politicking occurs when politicians include activities undertaken for political reasons or otherwise promoting themselves or their policies.  Politicks is narcissism on steroids, where the personal belief that you are better than others and all else are scum to be scrapped.  Nightly, Americans have watched twelve-years of politicking, disrespect, innuendo, and plain turpitude, and I must wonder, why now should civility return?

Detective 2In reviewing the historical usage of the term civility, we might answer why the calls for civility are being made now.  From dictionary.com we find, the origins of civil in the “late Middle English: from Old French civilite, from Latin civilitas, from civilis ‘relating to citizens’ (see civil). In early use, the term denoted the state of being a citizen and hence good citizenship or orderly behavior. The sense ‘politeness’ arose in the mid 16th century” [emphasis mine].  Apparently, we have another president who considers themselves above the machinations of ordinary folk, by reason of being elected, and now wants all their citizens to exude “orderly behavior.”  Carrot and stick tyranny, using the people’s money and abusing government for self-aggrandizement and enrichment.

Tell me, where were the calls for civility back when Minneapolis was burning last spring?  Where was Biden/Harris in leading for calls of civility all last summer?  Where were the calls for orderly behavior when the media ran with the lie that President Trump won by using Russian interference?  When the public’s property was stolen by CHAZ/CHOP, who was admonishing for civility, citizenship, and politeness?  The entire primary season, those now in the seats of power, on both sides of the aisle, refused to admonish, reprimand, rebuke, or chastise the puerile behavior of terrorists. Still, these same people could always make time to insult, gossip, and undercut the President.

Even now, Portland continues to burn from the actions of terrorists, all connected to the liberal politics of the left, and none of the political leaders will support the “Rule of Law” and end the tyranny of terrorism.  Yet, everyone else is commanded to be civil, polite, kind, and accept what is being forced upon us by our political masters.  Not bloody likely!

Scared Eyes!John Pinette, the comedian, had a famous line, “My Cherub-Like Demeanor.”  Well, “My cherub-like demeanor” has been abused, beaten, and bruised enough!  Civility is respect, respect is civility, and both require a place for growth through trust.  I cannot trust a fraudulent president.  I cannot trust the media.  I cannot trust Congress.  Why should I allow my cherub-like demeanor to continue to be abused while I abase myself in the hopes that some government bureaucratic ticket-puncher will send benefits my way?

No!  Absolutely NOT!  If you want civility, act in a manner that is civil first!  Want respect, act in a manner worthy of respect.  Desire consideration for your political opinion, spew fewer lies, disrespect, and hatred.  Desire politeness and good manners show them to others first!  A bureaucrat at the Post Office by my house always treats people based upon race, I am not in the favored category, and this person’s actions are bloody reprehensible.  Why have we allowed the bureaucrats to weaponize government; because we allowed through voting those who lead the government and provide the example.

During President Obama’s years, I regularly saw “Tea-Party” demonstrations.  They were quiet, respectful, well mannered, and the media used every trick in their Cloward and Piven textbooks to denigrate and deride the Tea-Party.  The difference between the hordes of liberals protesting and the Tea-Party was 180-degrees of separation.  Hence, it is time to treat the puerile like children, the detestable as the despised they are, and the repellant as the excrement they treat others.

ToolsCivility is a grand goal to achieve, but offering courtesy and getting slapped, is not a method for progression but continued abuse.  President Trump taught well; you can disagree without resorting to violence.  You can share a cherub-like demeanor with those who respect you and treat your opposition as they treat you.  You can stand and oppose without losing the moral high ground.  That is what is needed right now!  End the liberal left’s grand ideas of superiority by reminding them they are citizens as well, and civility is first offered, not demanded without reciprocation.  It must be shared to improve anything with those who think differently.

There is no excuse for continuing the cycles of abuse while watching extremists from both parties call for that which they have no intention of offering.  President Biden has no intention of following the US Constitution, neither does Kamala Harris, Speakers Pelosi, and Schumer, or any of their ilk.  Worse, they will continue to call for that which they refuse to offer.  Tell them firmly NO!  We are not servants to government; the government is a servant to the citizens, and they should be showing civility and respect!  If they want respect and civility, they need to offer respect and civility, follow the law, and do their jobs as outlined in the US Constitution.

© 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/

America – Let’s Elect a Few More Bastards

Non est vivere sed valere in vobis …. merentur melius quam tu tibi semper sit.

Finest HourPersonally, I am tired of soft speakers who speak platitudes and inwardly are ravening wolves.  Pres. Obama spoke softly, carried no sticks, drew red lines without consequences, and America is far worse for having had him as a president.  President Clinton also spoke well; but, severely lacked morals, courage, a sense of honor, and America suffered.  Both President’s Bush spoke well but lacked intestinal fortitude, grit, backbone, and ultimately were bad presidents for America.  President Reagan had grit, spoke eloquently, was respected, and was a bastard whose enemies honored him and feared him.  President Trump for all his good qualities is plain and abrupt.  But, inwardly he has a spine of iron, and demands accountability first from himself, and then from those around him.  Recently, I heard President Trump referred to as a “Bastard of a Bully!”  I think we need to elect a few more bastards.  People with grit in their teeth, iron in their spines, tongues that can lash and whip, and hands with calluses from doing actual work.

Anthony Liccione is quoted as saying, “A company of wolves, is better than a company of wolves in sheep’s clothing.”  For too long America has been electing legions of wolves in sheep’s clothing.  People who can utter pleasing words, but lack a spine, morals, convictions, and calluses from doing hard work.  We have elected the political poison we currently suffer because they make a good speech.  I remember an election, in fact, it is the only time I ever voted for Senator John McCain.  His opponent was lackluster, the race was a non-presidential year, and I had heard a couple of speeches and thought Senator McCain was worthy of my vote.  Not two days after McCain’s victory, I witnessed how spineless and useless McCain truly was and my eyes opened.  McCain was a traitor to America, and unfortunately, he had excellent company in the long-term emplaced members of Congress on both sides of the political aisle.  I am glad to say, I never made the mistake of voting for McCain ever again.

Grit is a MarathonAs an independent thinker, armchair historian, and a morally upright citizen, I have been doing more work every election to scrape the shield of whipping cream off the crap sundae the electorate is handed, and know who is being offered for election.  The more I scrape, the more worthless those running for office appear.  Terry Pratchet is quoted as saying, “He was the sort of person who stood on mountaintops during thunderstorms in wet copper armour shouting ‘All the Gods are bastards.’”  That is the type of person America needs in political office.  Not the namby-pamby, wishy-washy, flim-flam artists, but people who insist that the government needs to be smaller, thus consequentially more flexible in crisis.  We need people who have suffered under the rule of bureaucrats and beat the hell out of them to achieve, despite the bureaucracy.  We need more grit!

Grit - DefinedWhat is “Grit” you might ask; well, since America has not seen a lot of grit, please allow me the opportunity to describe this precious commodity. Grit is a positive, cognitive trait based on an individual’s perseverance of effort combined with the passion for a specific long-term goal or end state.  At least, that is what the academics call grit.  Of all the people America remembers who have had a positive and long-lasting influence upon American culture, John Wayne is near the top, and if anyone embodied grit, it was John Wayne who is quoted thusly, “True grit is making a decision and standing by it, doing what must be done.  No moral man can have peace of mind if he leaves undone what he knows they should have done.”  In understanding grit, I have oft called upon T. S. Eliot, “Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

As a child, I once watched the Boston Marathon, it was as interesting to me as watching a dandelion grow, only the finish line really mattered.  As an adult, I saw nonedited pictures of runners during a marathon and understood that which I could not see as a child.  I saw men and women who had bowel movements, torn large pieces of skin away and were bleeding copiously, or thrown up on themselves and still kept running, and I came to understand why grit involves the mindset of living life as a marathon and not a sprint.  Marathon runners are not pretty at the finish line, they know about heartache, failure, blisters, torn muscles, dog bites, shoes failing, weather changes, and so much more.  The marathon is effort incarnate, planning that fails, sorrow, misery, and a finish line.  A marathon is grit embodied, sticking to a plan day in and day out, not for a small period of time days/weeks/months, but months/years/decades, because the goal is worth the effort.

On the Maine coastline, just south of Belfast, is a marina called Bayside.  As a child, I spent time delivering the Bangor Daily News to Bayside homes and got the honor to meet and talk to several of the lobstermen who came and went through Bayside’s docks.  I never expected to see professional lobstermen and fishermen in Bayside.  I was told Bayside was where the rich Boston people had summer homes and playboats.  One very senior lobsterman taught me a lesson one day about grit that I never forgot, “Without grit, pearls are impossible.”  He talked about how small amounts of grit wore down large rocks, that lobsters used grit to clean, and how grit polished.  My grandfather a few summers later taught me how to polish steel until it shined using grit.  I look at President Trump, and for all his faults, I can also see how grit has polished him until he shines.  Maybe a little more grit, that comes with 4-more years as President, can soften more of his abrasive character; but, when I see the growth that the first 4-years has brought, I cheer for President Trump!

PatriotismAmerica, I think it is time we learned a valuable lesson where the selection of politicians is concerned, “Be a good enough person to forgive the losers elected in the past, and smart enough to never trust them again with political office.”  America has lived the words of Soren Kierkegaard, “There are two ways to be fooled.  One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to accept what is true.”  It is true, at all levels of government, poor choices have been made, rotten and unintelligent boobs have been placed in power above their ability.  In the military, we called this “being promoted to a person’s maximum level of incompetence.”  Well, this is an election year, and we will have another next year and the year after.  We have been cheated and abused by the smooth-talkers long enough.  Let us elect some true bastards!

Let us elect people who buck the system, who take the bureaucrats on and win.  Let us elect some people who have grit, backbone, and knowledge from experience, not just a degree from a wealthy school and experience as a lobbyist.  We need police officers who know about laws, we need farmers who know about growing things, ranchers, and dairymen who know about long days and short pay because of taxes and dumb decisions made in capitals that kill their businesses.  We need manufacturers who make things, and we need people who do not want to live their lives in the capitals of America feeding off the work of others as a parasite, but who work while elected and long to return to doing what they love.

The Duty of AmericansGeneral George Patton was a bastard; but, he is remembered for being the biggest bastard of them all in WWII, and when the chips were down, he won by being the biggest, grittiest, most hated bastard America had ever sent to war.  I suggest ripping a few pages from General George Patton and Ayn Rand’s book, and electing people who have trod the gristmills of life with bloody feet and callused hands, who live the following: “The question isn’t who’s going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me!”

America, you are the superheroes in your own story, rise!

Thomas Watson said the following about friends, but it applies to politicians desiring to lead just as well, “Don’t make friends who are comfortable to be with.  Make friends who will force you to lever yourself up!”  Politicians should be forcing us to leverage ourselves up, to rely upon ourselves, not the government, and the politicians America needs, know that government is a necessary evil and nothing else!

Lever Up

© Copyright 2020 – M. Dave Salisbury

The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the pictures.

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

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