Getting Here

I had another blog before this one.  In it I talked about all manner of personal things.  That blog built up a decent following, though nowhere near as big as some that I have come across.  I think that is due in part to the fact that people like to look at other people’s lives.  Maybe out of curiosity, maybe for some kind of “keeping up with the Joneses” kind of thing.  I don;t know.

I deleted that blog because I felt like I had discussed too much personal information.  Where I work that is frowned upon.

It is not my intention to get deeply in to my personal life again, but I believe there are some things that all of us have in common.  So I will discuss my own thoughts and current situation with regard to some of those things.

This morning as I was heading to my desk I spotted a member of my management chain walking toward me down the hallway.  He went through a door to the stairs leading down to his office, so we didn’t actually walk past each other or speak.  The last time we did walk past each other he turned his head to the wall and purposely avoided making eye contact or speaking to me.  When I saw him this morning I was reminded of that.

I am a relatively intelligent individual.  I excel at some things and struggle with others as most people do, but in general I am capable, competent, reliable and able to get the job done, whatever that may be.  As I looked at this individual, about whom I can say none of the things I just said about myself, it dawned on me that I must have really, really screwed up somewhere along the way.  And I am not alone…

We live in a society where education is valued.  Yet, we all know people with degrees that are essentially clueless, bumbling, idiots.  Childish, petulant, pouting little people with titles populate management positions at companies big and small, all over this nation.  And much like Obama takes credit for killing Osama bin Laden, as if he personally pulled the trigger, these managers make a career out of taking credit for the things their subordinates accomplish.

Many of these people offer no guidance, no direction, no mentoring or advice.  They do not ask you, or themselves, how they can help you advance in your career, achieve your goals, rise to your potential, or even benefit the company as a whole.  They simply send out vague emails, with just enough information to qualify as a communication, but not enough to hold them accountable if something goes wrong.  If you succeed they take the credit, if you fail you take the blame.

I have mentioned in a number of forums that I consider my last manager the best manager I have ever had.  That is because she invested herself in the people that worked for her.  She saw us all as a team, and she wanted the team to win.  She encouraged us to pull together, reach our potential, and achieve our goals.  She pulled people in, one at a time, and helped them map out the path forward.  She helped us identify strengths and weaknesses and develop a plan to leverage our strengths and work on our weaknesses.

None of that is present in my current position, though I work for the same company.

Where I am now we are all just assembly line workers.  Meet your quota or you’re fired is the mindset.  One of my co-workers was told that she needed to fill out her PDR because management uses those “when we’re looking to get rid of people”.  The manager in question, I guess, was trying to help her keep her job because he likes her.  But he inadvertently revealed a mindset that poisons the workplace and generates animosity.  My question is, why are you looking to “get rid of people”?  Shouldn’t you be looking to retain people?  Shouldn’t you be looking to build a team and guide it toward success?  Or is it all about the numbers on your personal evaluation, without care or concern for the real people and the real lives involved in decisions like firing someone?

I work in a secure environment.  Security violations occur almost daily.  Sometimes, it is an employee of my company that is involved.  But when I ask questions like, “Was this reported to security” I am ignored, or worse.  I am sometimes told that security concerns will be handled by management and are not my problem.  But this is untrue.  Every single one of us has a duty to report suspected violations, and we all sign documents to that effect.  In addition, it is in management’s interests to conceal a violation, as repeatedly violating security regulations can result in adverse actions with regard to current and future contracts.

There was a time when I was proud of what I did and who I did it for.  Now, I wake up like many of us do, dreading the day ahead of me.  Feeling under-utilized, unappreciated and disrespected.

I come home every evening like the guy in the television commercial whose parrot says, “Not another day.  I can’t take it anymore.”

I have gone from a trusted and respected member of a team, working with a group of people to provide our customer with a good product and provide them support for that product, to a punk kid working at a car wash (effectively).  It is the difference between “what do you think?” and, “just keep your mouth shut and do your job”.

I am surrounded by people with technical skills and experience, some of them with long careers doing what we do, and none of that matters.  We are beset with inane requests for updated information (like where do you sit, even though my seat has never changed).  We are required to “clock” in and out via email, even though we are all salaried employees.  We are sent reminders like, “Time sheets are due today” on Fridays, like we’re a bunch of forgetful kids who don’t know what day it is.  And we are hounded about our workload and how busy we are staying, in spite of the fact that we are getting the job done every day.

I know I entitled this post “Getting Here”.  But I am not entirely sure how I got here.  I’ll have to give that more thought and write another post later.

Egypt…and the Truth

In a recent email discussion about Obama the Beneficent and our involvement in Egypt, a relatively well educated and intelligent man I know said this:

Obama continued the aid routinely given to the government of Egypt as the revolution rolled through that country in 2011, as had been given to Egypt since 1979.  The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), a SECULAR organization, took control and promised to hold parliamentary and presidential elections within months, which they did.  These were the first open elections in Egypt, perhaps ever.  You are in favor of democratic elections, are you not?  Many supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood were democratically elected in this manner.  SCAF, however, retained control and tried to push back against their power in parliament and in the end refused to give up their control of the Egyptian government to these newcomers, including the new president, Mursi.  -At which point there was another uprising in the streets earlier this year, at which point Obama WITHHELD much of our aid to Egypt, allowing some non-military, humanitarian aid through.

It is useful to set the record straight here because the truth is close to this, but not close enough.  The devil is, as they say, in the details.  As this friend of mine is a flaming liberal, it is interesting to note the things he glossed over and/or left out.

There was an uprising in Egypt, yes.  They did hold Democratic elections, and yes I am for Democratic elections.  But when they elected Muhammad Morsi, and he began to install himself as the supreme ruler, institute Sharia law, ignore the constitution, and support terrorists…it might have been a good idea for us not to send him 1.5 billion dollars, tanks, aircraft, etc.  Which he most certainly would have eventually used against Israel.  Eventually, the people having had enough, twenty million or so went in to the street to demand that Morsi step down, which he refused to do.  At that point the military, hesitantly, took the side of the people, ousted Morsi and is arranging for NEW democratic elections.  That is what happened.

But, the apostles of the prophet Obama are so deeply invested in his mythology, that they must ignore reality, common sense, and common decency in order to excuse his failures and flaws.

Notice how the notion that we have been giving money to Egypt since 1979 is thrown in.  The fact that radical muslim terrorists now run the country doesn’t seem to be an important policy making factor.  Basically, “Our shit’s on direct deposit, let’s just leave it.”
At the end he makes the point that NOW we are withholding aid, apparently because Obama’s chosen people are no longer in control.  So basically the deal is, if terrorists run a country the U.S. will happily give them aid, weapons, aircraft, etc.  If the people suffering under the jihadists rise up and overthrow them, the U.S. will cut off aid because we are not fond of popular uprisings or military coups….  Which of course totally ignores the fact that Morsi came to office as the result of a popular uprising and military intervention which ousted the long standing leader of Egypt, Hasni Mubarak.

It is a sad fact that when faced with the truth or the liberal spin, a liberal will choose the spin every single time.  But this makes sense in a way.  Because everything liberals touch fall apart.  They destroy lives, businesses, the healthcare system, retirement, etc.  And they cannot sleep at night understanding what it is they have actually done, so they concentrate instead on what they meant to do.

This is how a liberal can stand before the press and say with a straight face that there is no evidence to suggest that Obamacare is costing jobs or shifting our economy to a part-time economy, while the CBO, GAO, BBB, CoC, and numerous other studies, institutes, publications and agencies all say that is precisely what is happening.

This is how you can take 3.5 years, and spend 634 million dollars to do something that should have cost 1 million or less and been done in 3 months, fail at it, and not have enough honor to kill yourself for the benefit of the nation.  Any decent Samurai would have already fallen on their sword.  And not only will democrats refuse to commit mass suicide like any decent group of human beings would…no one will even get fired, fined or reprimanded for this epic failure.

Because in liberal land you don’t actually have to produce results, you just have to want to produce results really badly.  You have to mean to produce results.  You have to claim to have produced results.  But you do not have to demonstrate that you have produced results.  Your base, after all, does not care.  They just want their food stamps and Obama phones.  They already have free medical care, free food, nearly free housing, free phones, etc.  So they don’t care how much money you waste or how long you take to completely fail at everything.

But they will…  when the IRS starts fining people for not having health insurance, even though they were unable to use the broken ass website to sign up for it.  When the cost of  insurance prices people out of the market.  When the system collapses under its own weight and the incompetence of the people who run it.  Then they will care.  And then single-payer will be proposed as an alternative…and God help us if that passes.

In short, whether it is foreign policy, domestic policy, national defense or basic math…if a Democrat is speaking he’s lying (if he’s a leader) or misled (if he’s a minion).  So…if you do not know what is going on and do not have time to study for yourself…find a well read liberal, ask him/her what’s happening, reverse everything they say, and you’ll know what’s going on.

Peace.

All is Well

Good news America!  The government that spent 634 million dollars and 3.5 years to build a website that doesn’t work, is back!!

The news this morning had a traffic warning from some random woman getting her 15 seconds of fame by reporting that traffic might be tough today around the capital as, “Federal workers will be going in early and staying late because they are absolutely committed to getting the work done.”  Wow.  I wonder who paid her to say that… lol

Anyway, it’s back to normal day to day operations!

The Park Service can go back to staring at stones, monitoring bear crap, and being of little or no assistance, and stop arresting people who came to DC to see monuments erected in their honor.

The IRS can get back to giving special scrutiny to conservative groups and denying them their tax-exempt status.

The State Department can get its best and brightest back to work on covering up what happened in Benghazi, helping jihadists take over governments in the middle east, and misspeaking on trivial matters like Syria and chemical weapons.

The BATF can get back to kicking down doors and shooting people.  As can the DEA, DHS, and pretty much every other federal agency with an armed division (which is almost all of them).

Secret Courts can get back to issuing secret rulings which will be kept…you guessed it…secret.

The NSA can get back to tapping your phones, tracing your movements, downloading your contacts lists, scanning your emails and in virtually every other way invading your privacy.

The FDA can get back to closing down family farms because of food preparation/storage areas that do not meet their strict standards, while allowing a chicken processing plant to continue operations during a salmonella outbreak from chicken produced at that plant.

The EPA can continue to work to close down the coal industry, causing entire regions of our nation to become employment dead zones.

The Whitehouse can continue to lie about everything up to and including what time it is.

The Congress can get back to doing nothing.

Yes, it is a great day in America.  The furlough is over!  The shutdown has ended!  And now it is time to get back to work.  There are entire generations of Americans yet to be born that must be royally screwed, and we’ve precious little time!  Up and at ’em!

 

 

 

The Sky is Falling

So here we are in day 3 of the 2013 government “shutdown”.  And let me tell you, people are up in arms.

First, let me address the fact that the government is not in fact shut down.  81% of the government is operating according to Senator Rand Paul.  I am in fact, at work today as are a whole lot of other people.

Nevertheless, some of my more, how shall we say… moderate, associates are beginning to sound the alarm.  This shutdown is now impacting local small business!  There are real people being hurt here!

We are running a 1.5 trillion dollar deficit.  We are borrowing 40% of our spending from China.  We are on course to having a 17 trillion dollar debt by the time Obama leaves office, and we are adding the ACA with it’s trillions in new costs to that.  You’re right…real people ARE being hurt here.  Every day that the government just continues on with business as usual the entire country, and future generations, are being hurt here.

If you have ever dealt with the IRS when they were clearly wrong and you tried to get them to understand that…you may have dealt with some bureaucrat that sat on the phone with you explaining that there was nothing they could do to help you.  They may have even read to you from a law or regulation, while they told you there was nothing they could do to help you.

If the EPA has ever condemned your property or taken it by force because some owl lives in a tree somewhere on it, you may have gotten the same result while trying to work it out with them

In short, if you have EVER had to deal with any person representing an agency of our federal government, you may have found that in general, they didn’t give a crap about your problems.  They were not there to help, or to serve the public,.  They were there to clock 40 for 30 years and retire, and your problems weren’t their problems.

Well now they have problems.  And their problems are not my problems.  I am at work, and they are not.  And if something bad should happen to some of them as a result of not being paid, I will lose as much sleep over it as they do when a family is kicked off their property because of a tax lien or a spotted owl.

Do you realize that the Park Service brought people back off furlough to stand guard and attempt to deny citizens access to national monuments?  Does that make sense?  If the freakin guard is there anyway…why shouldn’t the people be allowed in?

This brings up a more fundamental question to me.  Who the hell do these monuments and parks belong to anyway?  It seems rather apparent that they belong to the federal government and we are simply allowed to look at them when the government says so.

People were kicked out of hotels at Yellowstone and told they had to vacate the park because the government is shut down.  What??  So now hotels can’t care for guests, restaurants can’t feed them, roads can’t support traffic, and bears can’t shit in the woods without the government?  Somebody better go check Old Faithful!  I’m sure the geyser stopped erupting since the Park Service is on furlough.  The waterfalls stopped running…. pavement lost its rigidity…hell the fabric of the universe itself may begin to unravel.

We are operating under a false premise here.  The federal government does not exist to provide jobs to people.  When a business closes up shop and lays people off or fires them we do not have days of reporting on it.  But now we do.  Why?  Because it’s taken for granted that once you sit your big ass in a seat on the government payroll you are employed for life?

“What will the people do?”  Oh I don’t know… what have the 2+ million people who have been unemployed everywhere else had to do for the last few years?

The Maryland/DC/Virginia region has been spared the economy that the rest of the nation has been facing for years.  Boohooing about facing a couple of days of it now is a bit unseemly.

The federal government was constituted to regulate interstate trade, provide for the national defense, and oversee international treaties.  Three words, “the general welfare” have been used to justify ALL the rest of what you see.

Yes I know people get put in tough spots.  I have been laid off in the past.  I know what it means to scrape by.  I have been poor.  I have lived in section 8.  I have had to make up child support that I couldn’t pay while I had no job.  But it breaks down like this.  If you walk in to a place and tell the man in charge that you want him to send home everyone that is not essential to the performance of the duties of the office…and 800,000+ people walk out… there’s a problem.

800,000!!  Really?  Is it possible that 2% of them are not only non-essential they are also not performing any useful function?  In other words, is it possible they are just “fluff”?

If it is possible…how about 3%?  4%?  what’s 5% of 800,000?  Well….it’s 40,000.  And if the average federal wage is 50k…  see where I’m going?

A friend of mine just expressed on her Facebook page that it is right to be concerned about your own welfare and that of your neighbors.  Let me express an old fashioned idea.  Perhaps we should be concerned about the well being of the nation.  Perhaps we should “Ask not what your country can do for you…”

Perhaps, in order to salvage the Republic, some people may have to be inconvenienced.  Some may even have to suffer.  Perhaps one of those will be me.  If so, I do not welcome it.  But I will bear it.  Because in the end I love this country, and what we see here is not what it was meant to be, what it is supposed to be, or what we should allow it to be.

If we need to shut it down for awhile to get things sorted out.  So be it.  And if some people suffer as a result, that’s unfortunate.  But let me throw a little DMX in here to wind this up.

“To live is to suffer.  To survive, is to find meaning in the suffering.”

Today is the Day

This morning is a momentous day in America.  Today is the day we all wake up, look around, and realize exactly how little impact the government shutdown actually has in our personal lives.

Social security checks are still going to go out.  Food stamps, welfare, unemployment…will all still be paid.  The military continues its mission.  Life goes on.  For the vast majority of Americans, nothing changes.

It’s also the day that the media will begin showing us all manner of “furloughed” federal workers.  Our heartstrings will be tugged on behalf of these poor, wretches…who will be taking a paid vacation for the next little while.  But the question only a few will ask, most will never think about, and no one will answer is….why do we have so many “non-essential” personnel on the federal payroll?

Yes, today is the day you get a glimpse of how much government we have that we do not actually need.

Today is also the day that the ACA kicks in.  Well…not the employer mandate.  And not for the people who received one of 1100 exemptions issued by Executive fiat (royal decree), and certainly not for Congress, the White House, or their respective staffs.  But for you every day schmoes out there…today is your day!

If you woke up in Mississippi this morning, there are no exchanges.  Not a single insurance company in the state decided to participate.

If you woke up in California this morning and you had an insurance plan through Humana, surprise!!  They left.

If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of people who got their hours cut back or whose employer dropped your health plan… boy have we got a deal for you!!  Somewhere between 50 and 75 percent more is what you can expect to pay.  Good luck!

Yes folks, today more than any other day in my lifetime, America gets to find out what happens when you elect European Socialists.  (Hint:  They adopt European Socialism)

You might want to start studying up on France, because that’s where we’re headed.  30% unemployment, taxes through the roof, smelly people running around…

Okay, I’ll give you that we’ve had smelly people running around for a long time.  But that’s beside the point.

It’s going to take time.  Rome wasn’t destroyed in a day.  But we’re on our way.

Welcome to “Liberals Gone Wild”!  I guarantee it’s not going to be as pretty as that other “Gone Wild” series.