NO MORE – An Open Letter to the People of Arizona

To The Citizens of Arizona:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NO MORE BS: Highlights (?) of the first 100-Days

Theres moreOn this momentous day, marking 100-days of the fraudulent president, I thought it fitting to mark the occasion by reminding everyone of freedom grabbing runaway government promoted by President Biden.  As CNN so clearly stated, “To date, 10 of President Biden’s actions on immigration have been reversals of President Trump’s policies.”  Begging the question, do you feel safer in your home now, or this time four years ago?  I know my answer, and I am looking forward to your thoughts.

To date, President Biden has made 50-end runs around the US Constitutional process through executive orders.  For the record, you could take President Trump (38) or Obama (34), add them with President Bush II (13), and still not max out President Biden’s lead.  I have written about executive orders and why I detest this singular action made in a free Republic (if we can keep it) by any leading elected official, Mayor, Governor, or President.  The US Constitution does not need more beatings coming from leading executives, but less.  Much, much, less executive actions, executive orders, and singular people acting “for the good of all” without Congressional representation.  Why use CNN; because as the biggest cheerleaders for the fraudulent president, they have the clearest cheering squad.

Detective 2Examining closer the 50-executive orders issued by President Biden, we find the most egregious of these orders, raising the minimum wage of Federal Contract Workers from $10.95 to $15.00 by 2022 and eliminating the tipped minimum wage by 2024.  I am thoroughly unfamiliar with any federally contracted jobs that fall under the tipped minimum wage.  Thus, I can only presume the president is now arbitrarily setting the minimum wage for the country without congressional approval—leaving serious questions behind about the legality of this executive order.  Where is Congress in exerting its power and rights to set minimum wage?

A minimum wage is a serious issue; any time the wage goes up, jobs are lost.  A competent first-year economics major can trace that cause and effect line easily!  There are direct causal relationships between high school kids needing employment and not finding it due to the minimum wage laws.  This group of uneducated workers extends to many low-income families, minorities, and many others trying to find work as laborers and cannot find jobs.  Yet, as a political stunt, the president signs an executive order, betrays the US Constitution, upsets the separate but equal branches of government balance, and somehow this is a “nothing burger.”  I beg to differ, vociferously!

Detective 4Another interesting aspect of the president’s first 100-days is immigration.  The current president’s Trump Derangement Syndrome has him reversing 10 of President Trumps Executive Orders and writing two additional immigration-related orders.  The plasticization of modular language reveals the tyranny of ruling by executive order!  The terms “fair,” “equitable,” “just,” “proper,” etc., all point to the president’s desire to see America devalued by illegal immigrants.  Look at the rhetoric used by the president to “explain” why he has reversed, revoked, and wrecked the legal immigration process, and you will find that through Congressional inaction.  With Congresses’ refusal to exert its rights, the president can do anything he wants on immigration, and Congress’s leadership just cheers!

To the US House and US Senate, I must ask, where are you?  Did you take a taxpayer-paid vacation and stopped caring that you are a co-equal branch of the government?  Do you think the judicial branch will stop the president’s runaway government by executive fiat?  Do you believe that the American people stopped caring that the president is giving away America, one illegal alien at a time, and we would not notice?  Why are you not scrutinizing the executive branch and exerting your rights, standing up for your voice, and making sure you are playing a role in the governance of America?

PatriotismI have been insulted, denigrated, derided, and many other things for my stand that every president should have a contentious Congress!  I firmly believe that when a president has a contentious Congress, the will of America’s people is better respected, observed, and through the process of working together, real compromise occurs.  But, what do we see in the US House of Representatives; we see a Speaker who is also the majority leader and the minority leader abdicating their duties to their caucuses and the US House of Representatives.  We see members of the US House race-baiting, employing every card in the deck of identity politics deck and refusing even to acknowledge the other party.  But, the US Senate, if anything is worse, and the US Senate’s problems can be traced directly to the executive actions of Speaker Harry Reid (D) during President Obama’s tenure.

Millstone of Designed IncompetenceAmerica, we learned a lot about the “families” presenting themselves at the US Southern Border for entry into America.  We learned about child prostitution, children being “attached” to two strange adults and calling it a “family.”  We learned about a lot of schemes to feed the growing human trafficking problem in the United States.  Yet, the media continues to call the separation of “families” unfair, and the president has proved he learned nothing but smoke and mirrors.  At the same time, these children are raped, abused, disappeared, and destroyed, all through executive order instead of legislated demand!  Legitimate families should be kept together, but until documentation can be obtained, separating the families for the safety of the children should be paramount!  Sorting through the MS-13 plants is not uncaring; it protects America’s main streets from terrorists!  But, these immigration policies, designed by President Trump, are hated by the media; so, these policies have to go.  Thus, I ask again, do you feel safer in your home or not?

The Duty of AmericansI was never a President Trump (R) supporter; but, I did, and do, support anyone willing to try new ideas to make America safer.  I am not a supporter of holding children indefinitely in nice hotels when veterans are homeless and fully support an America FIRST agenda.  But, I also firmly believe that the churches and non-profit groups of America can organize to help in a humane way better than runaway government supported by executive fiat!

ApathyAmerica, we need legislation on immigration, NOT executive orders that change as frequently as the president!  I have maintained this stance, publicly, since President Reagan signed the first orders providing paths to citizenship for illegals.  The illegal immigration policies in America can be directly traced to President Roosevelt and WWII executive orders allowing foreign workers access to America’s jobs in agriculture.

Feel free to look this historical tidbit up, and ask yourself, are you safer in your homes and places of business with executive orders or legislation?  Are you feeling more secure in your finances with runaway executive actions or through the “Rule of Law?”  Do you prosper more under one “Rule of Law” or under identity politics where every single identity can request special treatment, special laws, and special rights?

Image - Eagle & FlagIf the fraudulent president has proved anything in his first 100-days, he has proved America is in trouble, DEEP Trouble, due to the executive orders, runs around the constitutional process, and the abdication of Congressional rule (legislative branch) at all levels of government.  Beyond a shadow of a doubt, this president has proved that bigger government is a millstone dragging this Republic down.  Finally, this president has proven you cannot “trust” the government and must watch it like a toddler running with a knife!  So, CNN, and all the other corporate media outlets, you cheer the fraudulent president; but don’t you dare try to claim this is a good thing for America!

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

NO MORE BS: Calling Out Politicians – The Rep. Greg Stanton (D) AZ09 Edition

Foghorn Leghorn - MedicationWhile Rep. Greg Stanton (D)’s staff did respond, and this is a good thing, neither senator from Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D) or Sen. Mark Kelly (D) cared enough about my concerns to respond.  Frankly, this speaks volumes about how little the senators representing Arizona care about their constituents or veterans.  Hence when re-election arrives, remember well the treatment and vote for anyone else!

Now, getting back to Rep. Greg Stanton (D).  I contacted his office initially in December 2020; by early January 2021, I received a response from the director of constituent services and was told to allow the VA 45-days to respond to my complaint.  Remember, this is my seventh attempt at contacting any of the federal elected representatives to no avail.  I was 6-months into being discriminated against by the Carl T. Hayden VAMC for my medically approved breathing problems that preclude wearing a mask.  I have sent letters to the hospital director, the VISN Director, and Secretary Wilkie to no avail.  I have sent emails to the patient advocate and gotten misleading information, at best.  My Primary Care Provider (PCP), at the Carl T. Hayden VAMC, refuses to diagnose over the phone or through distant means and has invited me to find another PCP.  I have been arrested, injured, and cited three times by VA Police, who have no say in writing policy.  The policy they are enforcing is causing me both injuries at their hands and refusal of emergency care illegal under EMTALA.  Not to mention the continuous HIPAA violations as they joke about my medications, mental diagnoses, and physical diagnoses.

PatriotismI explain this by phone at least three times to the director of constituent services for Rep. Greg Stanton (D), who called me multiple times while responding to my numerous requests for assistance since the election occurred in Nov 2020.  Not having heard anything from Jan 2021 to 25 April 2021, I sent the following message via email to the director of constituent services:

“Good Morning XXXX,

Has it been sufficient time for the VA to address my concerns and return a response to your office? The governor of AZ has made mask mandates unenforceable since 25 March, and the VA continues to push masks as mandatory and deny me access.  This includes refusing to schedule blood work through the community while insisting that I needed blood work to be conducted before I could get a prescription refilled.  I went more than 2-weeks without diabetes medication because my primary care provider refused to alert me in early February that a refill of Metformin would need blood work.  I did not discover the need for blood work was required to refill until after I had been without Metformin for a week!

Mask discrimination at the VA is real and dangerous to veterans’ health and safety, and I, for one, am sick and tired of the BS the VA keeps serving as excuses to deny service.  I am not a behavioral problem, as the Carl T. Hayden VAMC continues to claim.  I do stand up for my rights against all enemies, foreign and domestic!  I have paid my fines.  If the US Marshals at the Federal Courthouse can have situational empowerment to not press the mask issue for those of us with qualifying medical conditions, the same should occur inside the VA with the VA Police.

The mask mandate is a policy issue threatening my health, safety, and well-being, as well as thousands of other veterans with breathing problems.  Just what, if anything, has been done since January on this issue?

Sincerely,
Dave Salisbury”

I realize that the AZ State Governor does not have anything to do with the Federal Policies; I mentioned the governor’s action solely as an indicator that change in the state of AZ has come (finally), where mask mandates are concerned!  The VA claims their mask policy is “constantly changing,” but the only changes I have witnessed are moving from draconian to oppressive, then to ruthless and punitive!  The mask policy is wrong, has never been printed as a work standard, and has never been published for veterans to abide by.  The best a person has is a sign claiming masks are mandatory and a bunch of emotionally charged employees acting like snowflake Nazi Storm Troopers on a 6-day pass from hell!

The Duty of AmericansToday, 28 April 2021, I reached out to the director of constituent services as I had not received any additional information.  Sending the following email:

“I blog, I have a pretty good following, here is my latest: https://dnc-consulting.com/2021/04/28/no-more-bs-speaking-of-administration-bureaucrats-in-government/

Please note, I have not mentioned Rep. Stanton (D) by name, yet, as a politician, I am begging to perform his job of scrutinizing the government, but the temptation is real!  I have to be able to access the VA Healthcare system ASAP safely!  Where is this issue in being resolved?  Feel free to explore the other VA Articles I write on my blog.  You will find every single one of the letters to the VA, you will find other veterans having similar problems, and you will find I do not hesitate to name names and point fingers.

I am still waiting patiently, but patience does wear thin when information is lacking!

Sincerely,
Dave Salisbury”

Anton EgoWithin 3 hours of this email, I received the following:

“Dr. Salisbury,

Thanks so much for sharing! Apologies for the delayed response. I am following up with the Phoenix VA Medical Center and determine the status of the inquiry.”

Why am I writing this article?

Angry Grizzly BearFrankly, I am through!  I am done with the foot-dragging administration at the Carl T. Hayden VAMC, and Alyshia Smith, the director who has dodged, balked, and refused to engage.  I am through with the VISN 22 Director Michael Fisher being able to remain silent and unresponsive in this farrago.  I am sick to death of being ignored by the VA Secretary, Secretary’s Wilkie and McDonough and their respective staff, while many other veterans across this country and I are physically harmed by a mask policy that doesn’t have enough sense to include “except for medically acceptable conditions,” and was never a policy, just some bloody marketing signs.  I am beyond insane about having to go to court for being arrested at the VA three times, kicked off property two additional times, and harassed more than 15 times, for being short of breath, denied emergency care, and then had jokes made by the VA Police about my HIPAA controlled data!

The US Marshals have situational authority to assess and bend the mask policy; why does the VA Police not have this ability?  Simple, easy, direct policy question that everyone in the VA refuses to address as having received, let alone answer.  Why are the elected officials SILENT about this problem that is harming the safety and well-being of their constituents?  Why can a congressional inquiry not DEMAND a prompt and timely response from bureaucrats hiding from the public in their offices?

DutyRep. Greg Stanton (D), why are you not more involved personally in DEMANDING the VA to correct their errors?  Do you not realize how many veterans are in your district?  Do you think you can abuse us and through us our families and hope to be re-elected?  You, sir, are in desperate need of correcting your attitude and behavior before your re-election chances are forever harmed.  I promise this article will survive to your utter shame if a prompt and immediate response is not taken!

Dont Tread On MeI have reached the point where I no longer possess anything “cherubic” in my demeanor on this issue!  You cost me time, money, and physical health.  You cost other veterans in the AZ09 Congressional  District the same.  I will find more veterans suffering as I have, as the US Marshals reported that they had seen a massive uptick in veterans being arrested and cited for mask policy violations at the Carl T. Hayden VAMC.  The VAMC, coincidentally located in your Congressional District, is harming veterans. You cannot appear to care, let alone act in a manner befitting your office as a Congressional Representative!  Immediately come out in support and show yourself a true representative worthy of the title of your office, or leave office immediately, there is no third option!

Your need to change; its mandatory!

© 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: Climate Change is GOVERNMENT CONTROL!

Angry Grizzly BearTo some of you, I am preaching to the choir; but sometimes the choir sings better when they have more knowledge.  Please help sing louder.  To others, what I am about to say is so far out of your current understanding that your brains might hurt; I am sorry.  You will never understand snowflakes and trolls, but I am willing to take that chance!

According to the Wall Street Journal, the fraudulent president, President Biden, is taking the same plan President Obama used to restrict America to a Climate Change job-killing pogrom!

Mr. Biden is essentially doing an end-run around the Constitution, which requires approval by two-thirds of the Senate for the President to enter a treaty. The emissions reductions that foreign leaders pledged on Thursday aren’t legally binding, but Mr. Biden intends to use regulation to bind Americans.”

This single statement should scare every American, whether you believe in Climate Change Hype or not.  President Obama and now President Biden refuse to act within the law where climate change is concerned.  This means there are nefarious problems, greedy hands, and legal issues the sitting president is trying to keep hidden from American citizens.  Unfortunately, this is just the beginning of the Climate Change Pogrom Plans that have been made public.Problems

What is a Pogrom?

A pogrom is a violent massacre or destruction by a government entity against its own citizens.  Nazi Germany changed the law, then massacred legally their Jewish, Catholics, Handicaps, mentally handicapped, and other aspects of undesirable citizens.  Stalin and Mao have used pogroms to murder, execute, and destroy their own people, neighbors, and many others.

Why is Climate Change a Pogrom?

From the Wall Street Journal, “Businesses will be conscripted as foot soldiers in the progressive war on fossil fuels.  America’s founders believed that the Constitution’s separation of powers would safeguard individual liberty, but this assumes Congress guards its power” [emphasis mine].  The separation of powers was supposed to stop this madness.  As President Obama demonstrated, there are loads of chicaneries the legislative branch can get away with, and Congress and the Judicial Branch refuse to exert their powers.

Millstone of Designed IncompetenceNow, let’s talk about the 10-year plan, a $2.3 Trillion plan that is a “more-than-infrastructure proposal” but is nothing but the Green New Deal in disguise.  So far, the best record for the details that have been released comes from DailyMail.com.  We need to be clear, not all the details have been released, but those released details should scare every person in America into action against this power seizure!

  1. Biden vowed that America would be “on a path of a zero-emissions economy by no later than 2050.”
      • Where is the US Congress in agreeing to this plan?
      • Where is the complete plan laid out for the American People to review and approve?
      • America is a Republic (if we can keep it), and I do not see anything that reveals this information, neither does DailyMail.com.
  2. From experts, to reach a zero-emissions economy, the following will have to occur within the next 10-years:
      • All meat consumption, especially red meat, will have to drop to less than 4 pounds a month per American, or roughly 90% of today’s consumption rates for red meat and a 50% cut in all animal consumption. Essentially, America would be on a 0.18 ounce of meat per day for protein.
      • Every single American will have to buy an electric car, currently a $55K investment.
      • Electric heat, solar panels, windmills, and more would have to be drastically increased, increasing the cost of electricity to roughly $5700 a month for heating and cooling your home.
      • The costs of the plan, to start, begin at $2.3 Trillion. If ObamaCare is any indicator at how fast cost estimates by the government are surpassed, a closer cost estimate is around $500 Trillion!  Don’t forget the farrago that was the ObamaCare Website!  Including:
          • $85 Billion for infrastructure modernizing public transit.
          • $174 Billion replacing lead pipes and modernizing drinking water and sewer systems.
          • $100 Billion to protect nature-based infrastructure.
          • $40 Billion for housing infrastructure.
              • What does this mean?
          • $100 Billion for upgrades to the electrical grid.
          • $100 Billion for new public schools.
              • Why?
              • Isn’t this a state issue?
              • Aren’t I, and every other American, already paying for school modernization?
          • $10 Billion for upgrading federal buildings.
              • Why isn’t this already occurring?
          • $35 Billion for investing in climate science.
          • $10 Billion for an enforcement arm, called the Civilian Climate Corps.
  1. How many dairy farms, ranches, and other animal husbandry jobs will be lost to reduce protein intake to 0.18 ounces daily?
  2. How many restaurant jobs will be wiped out due to the costs that will disproportionately fall upon the reduced middle-class and lower class of people?
  3. How many American jobs in Natural Gas and Oil fields will be lost to other countries that do not have to follow the same plan to reduce emissions?
  4. How much of the economy will be sacrificed for science projects and liberal pipe dreams?
      • Public transit systems are a colossal waste of tax dollars just for inner-city transit; how about intra-city transit?
      • AMTRAK hasn’t been able to turn a profit on carrying people between cities ever; how does modernizing public transit improves the loss of taxpayer dollars down this well of liberal insanity?

Andragogy - LEARNRemember, our pattern for this insanity is from President Obama, who had a comfortable first two years due to a friendly House and Senate. They could not do these enviro-legislation issues due to US Constitutional problems, so President Obama used executive orders.  Again and again, climate science has proven to be a money-sucking black hole for taxpayers while the limited few buy new jets, new luxury yachts and force restrictions upon everyone else.

ApathyHow many people will die from the cold or the heat due to the cost of electricity, electricity failure, and not having a backup or tertiary source for heat or cooling?  Every year America sees people die from the cold and excessive heat.  Want a pattern for how higher electricity costs and liberal-brain dead solutions work; let’s look at California.  Last year, loss of power killed people on medical equipment, where electrical lines were not properly maintained, sparked fires, and rolling brownouts are common.  Now that you see the middle and lower class sacrifices, ask yourself, did Speaker Pelosi (D) or any of here Hollywood and political buddies suffer any inconveniences from brownouts and loss of electrical power?

LookHey Speaker Pelosi, how big are your freezers and refrigerators again?  How many do you have in your walled mansion?  How much electricity do you consume?  Climate scare is a method for an unconstitutional power grab, plain and simple, and every single American needs to be actively engaged in fighting these restrictions!  The fight for liberty is cloaked in “Climate Science,” and every nation on earth has been infected with this power-grabbing sickness where politicians win and the citizens lose!

© 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: Statehood for DC – A Total Waste of Time!

Angry Wet ChickenAnother legislative session, another brain-dead idea passed off as needed, fair, and necessary, and wholly without merit.  Gosh, I am fed up with the time wasted by both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.  Speaker Pelosi (D) is pontificating about the U.S. House passing (again) legislation to make the District of Columbia a state.  Except, Speaker Pelosi (D) never saw a liberal idea she didn’t immediately love, embrace, and wholeheartedly support, so nothing new in this news.

President Biden (no surprise here) backs the idea he has previously not supported as a Senator.  Color me shocked!  What did not surprise me was racist and belligerent commentary on the house floor during the debate.  It seems, every time someone with a (D) after their name can play the race card, the race card gets thrown down.  No objectivity, no specificity, no reason, logic, only plain emotion, malice, and stupidity!  Man, the use of the race card has gotten ridiculous.  Read Rep. Jones’s (D) comments, and feel free to laugh at the stupidity!  Plain ol’ public scorn should follow commentaries like the statements Rep. Jones (D) made, including mockery, shunning, and shame!

On the issue of race, the 2019 Census estimates 46% of D.C.’s residents identify as “Black,” and 46% identify as “White.”  Leaving a mere 8% of the population to fill all other ethnicities and races.  Yet, Rep. Jones (D) wants to make D.C. becoming a state a race issue.  Queue the mocking laughter and public shaming!Calvin & Hobbes - Irony Hurts

One of the issues brought up for making the District of Columbia a state was the amount of taxes they pay.  Personally, I laughed at this argument!  Still laughing; not sorry!  How long has the District of Columbia elected mayors who have done nothing but tax and spend; almost forever!  Taxation without representation is a dead issue when you elect tax and spenders into office.  As I was told as a kid, “You made your bed, now sleep in it!”  Think I might be wrong, understand the following:

No Republican has ever been elected mayor since D.C. home rule began in 1975. The DC Republicans have had no representation in the D.C. Council since Carol Schwartz left office in 2009. As of January 7, 2019, there are 30,001 registered voters affiliated with the Republican Party of the District of Columbia” [emphasis mine].

It appears to me, thou doth protest too much, and consequences hurt!  One-party rule is never a good idea, but the District of Columbia has embraced one-party everything and is suffering accordingly!  Please note, I am not claiming the Republicans could rule any better, but I am arguing that one-party rule is NEVER a good idea!

What is the issue?

Detective 4The District of Columbia keeps petitioning to become a state.  The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive authority of the U.S. Congress; D.C. is therefore not a part of any U.S. state.  Since this is a U.S. Constitutional issue, it will require all 50-states to ratify a change to the U.S. Constitution, not simply the wasting of time and resources of the U.S. House of Representatives.  But, as they say on the Home Shopping Network, “There’s more.”  With 34 US States never having been made states properly, according to the US Constitution, and their lands remain under “Federal Government Control,” I do not see DC being a state that big of an issue!

The District of Columbia is a unique federal district of the U.S. The Government of the District of Columbia operates under Article One of the United States Constitution and the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, which devolves certain powers of the United States Congress to the Mayor and thirteen-member Council.  The District of Columbia Home Rule Act was a compromise back in the 1970s to allow more self-rule to D.C. while still being within the boundaries of the U.S. Constitution.  While the District of Columbia Home Rule Act caused some pretty wild protests, this was expected as a compromise between Congress and the local D.C. residents.  All the adults know that a good compromise leaves everyone upset.  How effective has the District of Columbia Home Rule Act been; well, look at the before and after economics, and the problem becomes loud and clear.  Taking us back to why I am still laughing and still not sorry!

For the lawyers in the house, the District of Columbia Home Rule Act is a quagmire of legal jargon and directionless logic like no piece of legislation it has ever been my displeasure to review.  If you can make sense of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, please I.M. me directly, for I have questions and need answers.  Thank you!Apathy

Alert!

Dont Tread On MeToday’s chicanery in the U.S. House of Representatives was not the first time a piece of legislation making D.C. a state has passed the house.  I doubt this will be the last time our tax dollars are wasted on passing frivolous legislation on a U.S. Constitutional issue that will be passed in the U.S. House of Representatives.  Have any of the elected officials in the U.S. House or Senate read the U.S. Constitution, US Bill of Rights, or other founding U.S. documents?  I figured those with (D) had read their Marx and Keynes, but they were not elected to act like Keynes or Marx!

© 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: Prelude to the Declaration of Independence

LinkedIn ImageLong have I argued with myself how to complete the needed article on America’s most important founding document, “The Declaration of Independence.”  I thought I would merely write the article, then I argued about how long it would be as I add commentary, then I debated what should be included as personal commentary.  Hence, there is a prelude and a postlude planned for this important document, and over the coming days, all will be written and posted.

The Declaration of Independence was a legal notice of charges filed with the then King of Great Britain, presenting facts, logic, and legal grounds for ending the relationship with Great Britain.  Long has The Declaration of Independence intrigued me.  Long have I wondered the how and why of the declaration’s wording and structure.  Then, I asked what would happen if a majority of the states disregarded as “Fly-Over States” made a similar document to the Federal Government that run away our money, left us in terrible debt, lied, and beguiled the citizens, and treated America like cat vomit on an expensive rug.Apathy

The Declaration of Independence includes a line that, in my opinion, is as applicable today as it was when The Declaration of Independence was first drafted:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

Currently, the American Citizen is suffering from “governments long-established” and “abolishing” the government to which we have become accustomed looms larger every day.  Long have I asked, “Do you trust your government to represent you and not the special interests, lobbyists, and personal interests of the current politician in office?”  Federal, State, local government, do you trust the office holder?  Would you invite them into your home to babysit your children, pet sit, or watch your home while you went on vacation?  Your answer is your choice, and the consequence affects all of America equally.Government Largess 2

I know my answer; I do not trust the government’s current representatives locally, State, and especially Federally.  I refute my right to be governed by such soulless and despicable people!  I refuse to be associated with anyone who plays skin color, race, gender, etc., games over character and ability.  Business, media, or political, I hold the same disdain!  Twist words to plasticize and reign in tyranny, and I will refute and oppose you every step as I will not bow to tyranny!

Yet, from all my observations, this is where America currently sits.  Worse, many of the Democratically Elected governments across the globe find themselves in the same boat as America.  Politicians are more interested in minutia than in working together to solve problems.  Despots threatening war and the nations of the Earth sit in silence, twiddling their thumbs and complaining about claptrap and doggerel, chasing their tails in circles, instead of taking definitive action to thwart the evil in the world.  Worse, being so wrapped up in the influencer culture, they forget they are temporary elected representatives, not hereditary political classes with life-long appointments.Patriotism

From The Declaration of Independence, we find words that fit today’s US House of Representatives and Senate almost perfectly:

The history of the present King of Great Britain [US House of Representatives, US Senate, and US President] is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States.”

Debt is long-term captivity.  Taxation without representation through printing money and the Federal Reserve, including Quantitative Easing, deprives value of savings and increases debt. They are depriving farmers and ranchers of the ability to compete inside America for shelf space in supermarkets and the theft of farm goods to regulate prices.  The refusal to balance a budget and scrutinize the government’s operations, wasting time and energy on tasks outside their two mandated jobs and the list of grievances grows daily!  Tell me, and be truthful, is it not time to throw off the current government and reclaim the rights and privileges under the Rule of Law?

Let me state, again, only for emphasis; I am NOT advocating for armed rebellion!  I am advocating for a change in the paradigm we have accepted as “government.”  For too long, we have suffered as the US Government’s property as declared by Charles Reich in “The New Property,” and America needs to correct this governmental action!The Duty of Americans

Now is the time to decide, are you stamped, “Property of the US Government?”  If not, why should we, the citizens of a representative government, allow ourselves to be treated as such any longer?  Are we scared and frightened kittens hiding deep in the shadows, or are we the proud inheritors of a heritage of freedom and warriors worthy of taking on the greatest challenge to liberty and freedom, an inert and intractable government?

These questions and more need answered as we discuss The Declaration of Independence.  How you answer individually will collectively result in change or death to the US Constitution and the Republic of the United States of America.  Worse, if America falls, so will the rest of the democratically elected governments across the globe, and the world will slide into barbarism.  Anarchy is too small a word for the resulting confusion.Never Give Up!

I know my answer; I choose a “Liberty FIRST Culture,” where I am protected by the Rule of Law in a constitutional republic!  Join me?

© 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: 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: The Power and Blessing of Conflict

Douglas Malloch wrote a poem that has become famous.  More to the point, the poem “Good Timber” declares a natural law, “Conflict is Good!

Good TimberGood Timber
by Douglas Malloch

The tree that never had to fight
For sun and sky and air and light,
But stood out in the open plain
And always got its share of rain,
Never became a forest king
But lived and died a scrubby thing
.

The man who never had to toil
To gain and farm his patch of soil,
Who never had to win his share
Of sun and sky and light and air,
Never became a manly man
But lived and died as he began
.

Good timber does not grow with ease:
The stronger wind, the stronger trees;
The further sky, the greater length;
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow
.

Where thickest lies the forest growth,
We find the patriarchs of both.
And they hold counsel with the stars
Whose broken branches show the scars
Of many winds and much of strife.
This is the common law of life
.

I learned to swim by being thrown into the deep end of a lake and told to get back to shore on my own.  The conflict made me understand and learn how to coordinate movement, and I learned to swim.  I learned how to fight by opening my big mouth and having someone bigger close my mouth for me.  I learned how to ride a bike by falling off.  As a process of learning and developing, conflict has been the driving factor in all of our lives.  But, as soon as a person is elected to public office, they seem to lose their minds and think conflict is always bad, to be avoided, and scared of due to the perceived consequences.

ToolsConflict is a tool, and like all tools, when used appropriately, it can build, enhance, strengthen, and create.  Whereas, if the tool is improperly used, destruction, damage, and chaos are spawned.  Conflict happens; what a person chooses to do with that conflict and how that person considers conflicting occurrences is how the labels “good,” “bad,” “valuable,” “beneficial,” etc., are applied.  McShane and Von Gilnow (2004, p. 390) postulated, “conflict as beneficial [when] intergroup conflict improves team dynamics, increase cohesiveness, and task orientation. … [C]onditions of moderate conflict, motivates team members to work more efficiently toward goals increasing productivity.”  The sentiment regarding conflict as a tool and beneficial is echoed throughout the research of Jehn (1995).  Jehn (1995) reflected that the groups researched labeled the conflict as beneficial, good, bad, etc. Based on the group’s dynamics and the conflicts faced and settled, the groups formed an integrated model for organizational conflict.  Essentially, how the conflict is approached and used by the team members individually and collectively dictates how beneficial the conflict is for the team and the organization.

Rao (2017) built upon previous researchers’ shoulders, perceiving conflict being a tool, and provided vital strategies for leaders to employ if they choose to minimize conflict.  Rao (2017) provided that conflict builds character, whereas crisis defines character” [p. 93].  Rao (2017) recognized that conflict labels are an individual choice.  In organizational conflict, one team could label the conflict as useful and beneficial while another department could label that same conflict as damaging and horrible.  When the conflict in an organization has disparate labels, understanding why conflict is disparately evaluated remains more important than changing the label.

moral-valuesThompson (2008) raised significant points regarding conflict, beginning with a real-life example of how conflict spurred organizational change and growth for the H. J. Heinz Co.  Thompson (2008) calls those who actively work to avoid conflict as those taking “trips to Abilene;” included in those making trips to Abilene are those who take conflict personally and choose to become offended, as well as those who choose to not see conflict as a method of ignoring conflict.  Thomas (1992) captured again how individual choices about the valuation of conflict opens or closes the door to the productive use of conflict.  Ignoring conflict, avoiding conflict, and other strategies of not facing conflict form the most dangerous people to be around, for when conflict grows beyond a point where it can no longer be ignored or avoided, that is the conflict that can destroy people, places, and things.

Thomas (1992) echoes Jehn (1995), Lencioni (2002), and Thompson (2008) in declaring the distinction between conflict as a process and the structure in which the conflict process occurred is critical to how beneficial the conflict will be for the team, business, or society.  Consider for a moment, the structure in the organizational environment.  Conflict is the mental thinking, adherence to operating procedures, and individuals working become the instigating factor, which is a threat to what is known or done at the current time.  Hence, Thomas (1992) provided a keen insight into conflict as a tool, purposeful initiation of a process (conflict) to improve a structure (organizational environment).

When people recognize the power of conflict and purposefully employ conflict, everyone receives the potential to improve through conflict (Lencioni, 2002).  Thus, conflict continues to be a tool, nothing more and nothing less.  The disparities between organizational conflict labels are critical to understanding the chasm between teams evaluating conflict as the process and business structure. The gap in understanding conflict’s results can create inhibitions to future organizational conflict, create unneeded additional conflict processes, all while undermining the organizational structure.

Andragogy - LEARNWhy does this matter?

The media keeps postulating that the slim margins between Republicans and Democrats in the US House of Representatives and Senate are bad, and chaos will reign in conflicting opinions. I’m afraid I have to disagree with the media and wanted a common understanding of conflict’s beneficial nature before expressing why conflict in the US House of Representatives and Senate is desirable.  From the earliest days of the Continental Congress, America has been born from meeting a shared understanding born from two extreme positions.  Early conflicts in American history led to the need for laws to stop dueling with guns and swords.

There are many valuable lessons to be learned from conflict critical to America’s future.  For example, had America had more conflict in the US Congress (Senate and House), we would have a budget and less debt.  Consider some of the detestable legislation pushed through at the end of 2020 and the 116th Congressional session.  With more conflicting ideas and opinions, building strong voices in dissent, those pieces of legislation would have been pushed onto a new Congress for remediation and reconciliation.

Mount RushmorePresident Lincoln is known as a great leader of America in crisis, a reputation justly earned!  Guess what, he had a very contentious Congress to face. Through the Congressional contention, conflict, and remediation and reconciliation processes, Congress had to learn to work together under the rule of law.  As a point of interest, all the presidents honored on Mount Rushmore had crisis, contention, and Congressional conflict to overcome and achieve American progress.  Why do we need more conflicting opinions, slimmer margins, and maybe a few more different and diverse political parties in America’s Congress, because they refuse to listen to the electorate!

I have seen Congressional bodies in several Democratic countries during my travels, and I keep watching how other countries’ Congressional bodies work and do not work.  Frankly, I would not mind seeing a fistfight or two break out in the US Congress as a way to shatter the current paradigm and get the legislative bodies working as they should, moving between two extreme points to find the best solution for the people who hired them.  People claim politics is a rough game; I say, bring on the conflict and make that job rougher in the hopes of improving performance!

References:
The references are included if you want to further research conflict as beneficial.

Amason, A. C. (1996). Distinguishing the effects of functional and dysfunctional conflict on strategic decision making: Resolving a paradox for top management teams. Academy of Management Journal, 39(1), 123-148. doi:http://dx.doi.org.contentproxy.phoenix.edu/10.2307/256633

Baron, R. A. (1991). Positive Effects of Conflict: A Cognitive Perspective. Employee Responsibilities & Rights Journal, 4(1), 25-36.

Brazzel, M. (2003). Chapter XIII: Diversity conflict and diversity conflict management. In D. L. Plummer (Ed.), Handbook of diversity management: Beyond awareness to competency based learning (pp. 363-406). Lanham, MD: University Press of America, Inc.

Du, F., Erkens, D. H., & Xu, K. (2018). How trust in subordinates affects service quality: Evidence from a large property management firm. Business.Illinois.edu. Retrieved from https://business.illinois.edu/accountancy/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2018/03/Managerial-Symposium-2018-Session-IV-Du-Erkens-and-Xu.pdf

Jehn, K. A. (1995). A multi-method exanimation of the benefits and detriments of intragroup conflict. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40, 256-282.

Lencioni, P. (2002). The five dysfunctions of a team: A leadership fable. Hoboken, NJ. John Wiley & Sons. 

Lumineau, F., Eckerd, S., & Handley, S. (2015). Inter-organizational conflicts. Journal of Strategic Contracting and Negotiation, 1(1), 42-64. doi:10.1177/2055563614568493 

McShane, S. L., & Von Gilnow, M. A. (2004). Organizational Behavior, Third Edition. Boston: McGraw-Hill Companies.

Moeller, C., & Kwantes, C. T. (2015). Too Much of a Good Thing? Emotional Intelligence and Interpersonal Conflict Behaviors. Journal of Social Psychology, 155(4), 314-324. doi:10.1080/00224545.2015.1007029 

Rao, M. (2017). Tools and techniques to resolve organizational conflicts amicably. Industrial and Commercial Training, 49(2), 93-97. doi:10.1108/ict-05-2016-0030

Thomas, K. W. (1992). Conflict and conflict management: Reflections and update. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 13(3), 265-274.

Thompson, L. L. (2008). Chapter 8: Conflict in teams – Leveraging differences to create opportunity. In Making the team: A guide for managers (3rd ed., pp. 201-220). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

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

A Dangerous Moment – A Warning!

A colleague of mine on LinkedIn said something that has me thinking.

“Divergent narratives are being weaponized to habituate people to increasing the threshold of violence.  A country should talk to each other not develop proscription lists.  Proscription lists dehumanize and demonize social or political opposition rather than engaging them in pragmatic ends towards the common good.  America is in a very dangerous moment.”

Consider for a moment the message my colleague is making.  Political thought that does not match that of another is automatically discounted, denigrated, and derided.  Social views of how to improve which differ from, even slightly, are castigated.

America is currently in the middle of a very contentious election count.  Where documented skullduggery, political shenanigans, and illegal activities are so egregiously apparent that anyone with eyes can see there is a problem.  Yet, to vocalize doubts, to ask for time to cull the fraud, and apply legal processes is being squashed while at the same time the narrative of “Unify the Country” is blared from every media outlet.

Just before the election, a member of the House of Representatives, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), made the following statement clear in a tweet.  “Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future?”  This is a perfect example of proscription lists with the threat of weaponized government for those who disagree with AOC and her party.  How do we know this is true; within hours of AOC’s tweet, the “Trump Accountability Project (TAP)” was established to ensure no “Trump sycophant goes unpunished.”

The objective of TAP is “to make sure anyone who took a paycheck to help Trump undermine America is held responsible for what they did.” This objective should give every American pause and create concerns that America is falling into a totalitarian nightmare.  Worse, none on the political left are making any attempt to hide their agenda, to employ the “smoke-screen, and mirrors” tactics so common used by those with hidden agendas.  Sadly, TAP will not limit itself to President Trump’s administration officials and will include everyone who voted for Donald Trump as well as everyone who disagrees, dissents, or even asks questions.  How do we know this; Climate Warrior 7 tweeted a message similar in hate to that of Jennifer Rubin who writes for the Washington Post and MSNBC, saying,

Any [R]epublican “now promoting rejection of an election or calling to not to follow the will of voters or making baseless allegations of fraud should never serve in office, join a corporate board, find a faculty position or be accepted into “polite” society. We have a list.

 

If you know anyone who supported Trump please add their names to our database.  They will be dealt with in due course, once the appropriate legal framework can be put in place.” – Climate Warrior 7

Now someone could make a claim that these are two private citizens, exercising their free speech rights, and since there is no direct threat these two individuals are simply opining.  Yet, if that is the case, was Adolf Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf” simply a citizen expressing his personal views?  When a person makes another person an enemy, and then stops communicating with them civilly, there is danger that must be addressed appropriately.  When this is occurring across an entire nation, that nation is in a very dangerous moment.

Unfortunately, very few people are recognizing this danger and calling for civility.  Across the Spring, Summer, and fall of 2020, America has witnessed incivility, mob violence, terrorism, as nightly rituals where political leaders from all parties refused to renounce and vocally condemn the violence.  The media played their part in silencing the few who tried to speak up or speak out, while simultaneously cheering on and even participating in the violence.

Lack of communicating is a direct correlation to a lack of trust.  A lack of trust is further compounded by theft, non-transparency in government processes, and by the use of law to punish the innocent and free the guilty.  Where has this been witnessed; mask discrimination and criminalization, terrorists caught and released after causing damage and harm to a society Portland, Oregon and New York City, New York both come readily to mind.

Now, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are broadcasting calls to unify and heal the country.  Why make these calls now, when they were begged to do so during the presidential campaign and they refused?  Where was the need for civil discourse when CHAZ/CHOP was being erected and people’s rights violated?  Where have Biden/Harris been while Portland, Minneapolis, and how many other cities burned, property was destroyed, businesses destroyed, and terror reigned?

America, we are in a dangerous moment!  But, this is one of those historic moments where either we rise together against the forces of tyranny and destruction or fall an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.  How we, as a country, leave this dangerous moment is up to the individual citizens, banding together, putting aside the differences that forces would use to divide us, and standing up for our rights, our freedoms, and our families.

I choose to stand against this oppressive force which threatens to choke the life out of America and feast upon her remains.  I choose to stand with anyone who chooses to stand and not go quietly into the night of tyranny and oppression.  I choose to stand and defend that which I love, the United States of America, a free republic, under God!  Join me?

© Copyright 2020 – M. Dave Salisbury
The author holds no claims for the art used herein, the pictures were obtained in the public domain, and the intellectual property belongs to those who created the pictures.
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