Hail to the King

Recently the President of the United States, Barry Soreto, announced that he does not in fact need to wait for legislation to address his concerns regarding the health, education and prosperity of American citizens.  He has a pen and a phone, which according to him can be used to sign executive orders and convene Americans from all walks of life, respectively.

Callers to this morning’s news/talk program were divided in their opinions of this.  Thinking people oppose the gradual transition from a Constitutional Republic to a Monarchy.  Minorities supported Obama, without regard for what he does, because he is black.  While discussing the Constitutionality of the President’s actions a man called in to explain that the problem is that the hosts do not wish to recognize that Obama is in fact the President.  Obviously…because they are racists.

What this uninformed turd fails to realize is that all of us do in fact recognize that Obama is the President.  Everyone apparently, except for Obama.  He appears to believe that America is an Eastern Bloc, or South American banana republic, and he is the tin pot dictator.  This is evidenced by the fact that he continues to modify parts of the ACA by fiat, even though he has no authority to do so.  He has also chosen to simply not enforce the portions of our immigration law that he finds distasteful.  Meanwhile, his Justice Department sues states for requiring that a person casting a vote demonstrate that they are a legal citizen of the state in which they are voting, and that the person standing before the poll is actually the person who is registered to vote.  Which begs the question, if you cannot demonstrate that you are the registered voter in question, what is the point of voter registration to begin with?

We are on a very slippery slope.  Obama has already defied a federal judge’s ruling during the gulf oil spill fiasco.  Now, just two days after the Supreme Court indicated that he had overstepped his bounds in recess appointing fellow communists to the NLRB, he steps to the mic to essentially say, “You aint seen nothin’ yet.”

I am not simply an old man pining away for “the good old days”.  We are seeing real, and dangerous, changes to the method and manner by which our country is governed.  Some have referred to this time as the “post-constitutional period”.  I believe that characterization is accurate.

Rules in the Senate are changed when Democrats cannot get their way.  The President picks and chooses which laws he will and will not enforce.  An unelected bureaucracy publishes thousands of pages of new regulations every year which directly impact business and the citizenry.  These regulations are not subject to repeal.  You cannot vote these people out of office.  Many times you do not even know what the regulations are, until you find yourself being fined or imprisoned for violating them.

We have gone from the land of the free and the home of the brave, to a police state.

The DHS has cameras, in ever increasing numbers, in ever increasing circles, monitoring your every move.  The NSA is compiling data on your phone calls, emails, texts and internet activity.  The local and state police forces are being militarized; riding around town in MRAP’s, kicking down doors in the middle of the night.  Citizens are being shot and killed, raped, robbed, and assaulted by agents of the government which ostensibly exists to serve them.  This is not America!

Think about this for a second.  The government decides you need a service.  They are using your tax money to provide it.  But, if you say that you would rather do without the service and keep your money, you will be told that you MUST pay the taxes, or you will go to jail.  So ask yourself this question.  Who works for who?

If this trend in the executive branch is not curbed by the Congress, we are destined for the complete abolition of the Constitution.  Our future is to have Hugo Chavez or Castro style leaders, running a nation that more closely resembles Venezuela or Cuba than the United States.  And this best, last hope for humanity will vanish completely.

We fought a war in this country over federalism and states rights.  After one of the great battles of that war a great man, and President of the United States said:

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

I regret to inform Mr. Lincoln that we once again stand on the precipice from which he delivered his speech.  We are at a crossroads in our nation’s history.  We will once again be free men, in a free nation, with a government of and by the people, serving the interests of the people and performing the functions which the document that created it enumerates; or will will return to the indentured servitude, serfdom and slavery from which this nation arose.

Democrats look out across the masses of the people and they see helpless, hapless, dependent people, sorely in need of help from on high.  And so they grow government.  They regulate and legislate, and when they cannot get legislation they simply proclaim what the law ought to be, and therefore is.  This is a dangerous course, already tried, already proven to fail.

The America I grew up in was the greatest nation on the face of the planet.  We were powerful.  We were respected.  We were innovative and driven.  We dealt with our friends with compassion and our enemies with resolve.  But above and beyond all of those things we were free.  Today, that is no longer the case.

You cannot travel without inspection.  You cannot attend public events without intrusive investigation.  You cannot walk down the street or be secure in your home without the threat that some thug with a badge will decide to exert authority over you.  You cannot make you own choices with regard to your health care and insurance.  And you cannot email your mother or call your friend without the possibility that those communications are being monitored.

I have had people with degrees and security clearances tell me, “I have nothing to hide, so I don’t care if they listen in on my conversations or monitor my emails.”  Well, I have nothing to hide either.  But this is the antithesis of the American Way.  We do not have to prove to the powers that be that we are NOT criminals or terrorists.  They have to prove that we ARE.  I do not have to justify my right to own a gun, or speak my mind, or assemble with like-minded individuals.  The government must demonstrate an overriding need to deny me these basic rights before they can in fact be denied.  Or at least that’s how it should be.

So, the next time you are standing in line at the airport and some high school drop out with a patch on his shirt has his hands down your 12 year old daughters pants…ask yourself this question.  Is this America?  Is this what we have become?  Is this what the Founders intended?

And the next time our Imperial President issues an edict without benefit of legislation duly passed by the representatives of the people, ask yourself this question.  Aside from the climate, what exactly is the difference between Venezuela and the United States?  For that matter…what exactly is the difference between Germany 1939 and the United States 2014?

We better wake up…soon.

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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.