Friday, January 16, 2009

Government contractors and those getting bailout money offshore their tax liability--the rest of can't do that.

Is anyone surprised that a number of large companies, including those getting bailout money and those with strong ties to the Republican party are making every effort to plunder the U.S. treasury and thus the U.S. taxpayer?

You shouldn't be.

When it comes to money, companies and their allies will use anything to get their hands on it.

If it means selling people on a war to improve their bottom line--they'll do it. If it means evading their obligations to their home country by evading taxes--they'll do it.

I don't know about you, but if I tried to offshore myself to avoid taxes I'd be arrested.

So much for real patriotism. Being patriotic is about carrying your full share responsibility to your country instead of your wallet.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Supreme Court is violating the spirit of the Constitution when ideology guides decisions.

Cases like this highlight the problem that plagues the Supreme Court: Ideology.

Justices aren't allowed to make decisions based on religious sentiments, so what do they rely on instead?

Ideology. Ideology serves as a proxy for religious sentiment.

The problem with ideology is the same as for religion. It's based on the irrational and based purely on belief without support from law or fact.

Yes, I said it. The Supreme Court is nothing more than an ideological playground for those who've managed to convince themselves that what they're doing doesn't violate the spirit of the Constitution when they use ideology as the basis for their decisions.

The whole point of the Exclusionary Rule is to insure law enforcement follows the law. If law enforcement knows they can screw up and generally ignore the Constitution, they will do so.

Now the Supreme Court has given tacit approval of such bullshit.

I don't care how smart people like to say the justices are. When they engage in such ideological decision-making, they are not serving the law, but their own agenda.

Call it what you will, but ideology is nothing more than a secular form of religion.

As the Constitution says plainly: there shall be "no law respecting an establishment of religion".

Unfortunately, the Supreme Court--our interpreter of that fine document called the Constitution--has come up with a work-around by substituting ideology for religion.

I call bullshit on that. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and acts like a duck, it's still a duck.

Same goes for ideology.

Drug war violence threatens to spill over into the U.S.

The drug war craziness that's occurring in El Paso and Juarez is just another sign that our drug policies aren't working.

It's time we take a look at some new approaches to drugs.

The El Paso city council wanted to encourage a look at possible legalization of drugs as a way to combat the murder and crime.

Few people take the position that drugs are a good thing. However, legislating morality and behavior to the degree that the drug war does has brought us nothing but tragedy.

This tragedy is being played out on the border between Mexico and the U.S.

More jail and harsher punishment doesn't work. In fact it costs us money that we don't have in our current financial state.

The best way to stop the violence is to take away the profit motive. Namely, we eliminate the illegality surcharge that drives up drug profits. By opening drugs up for regulation, we offer those who use drugs an opportunity to come into the open, to seek treatment, and to purchase drugs through official channels--without the violence.

Drug cartels cannot compete with official purveyors. Their drug business will wither and die and along with it the violence they bring to the business.

That's what we ultimately want anyway.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Bush Administration placed ideology above the Constitution.

Is anyone really surprised by this report?

The Bush administration not only exercised an ideological purity test, akin the the Gestapo's litmus test for handing out jobs. They also lied about it.

I have first hand experience with the ideological side of political hiring.

While living in Washington back in 2004-2005, I sought government employment as an attorney.

When I asked for some assistance as to contacts and suggestions from my home state Senator--Bill Frist--I was advised that I needed to write him a letter explaining in graphic detail the nature and extent of loyalty to the Republican agenda.

What I found truly galling was that I was specifically instructed to spell out my loyalty to and adherence to Christianity.

As an attorney, well-versed in the Constitution, I was thoroughly offended that I was expected to pass some religious guantlet as well as an ideological purity test.

It took me days to get over my anger.

My desire to serve overcame my anger at the Republican's ignorance of the Constitution and using my legal skill, I drafted a letter that punted on the requested purity tests, while speaking highly of my country and parents.

I was never called back.

I'm so glad Bush and his wingnuts are gone. Those who seek to serve should not be turned away because of their loyalty to country over or church.

Managers take heed.

Managers do many things to undermine the enterprise they endeavor to lead.

As a life-long student of good leadership and proper management, I'm unduly sensitive to matters affecting employee morale and affecting capacity to accomplish the mission.

Some of the biggest mistakes management makes are as follows:

1) Assigning responsibility without delegating the authority to effect change.

You cannot ethically make someone responsible for a task or a job unless you empower them with the tools to do the job. Management is notorious for this violation because of their own insecurity issues. Managers further compound this mistake when they ask subordinates to "buy into" the program. It's insulting.

2) Causing shit to roll down hill.

I learned this after eight years in military school. I'm reminded of Harry Truman's famous quote when I see management trying to lay blame on subordinates. "The Buck Stops Here." Good management doesn't shirk responsibility nor cravenly lay it at the feet of subordinates. It takes spine to be responsible, but spine is often not a requirement for management, just good blame-shifting skills.

3) Using only sticks to insure compliance.

The best managers use a combination of carrots and sticks. In that order. Resorting to sticks alone marks a manager as dictatorial. It undermines morale and breeds disloyalty.

4) Using divide and conquer as a strategy on those managed.

Not only does it breed contempt, it sucks as a management strategy. Why would any manager want subordinates devoting time and energy to infighting when a job needs doing? Only emotionally stunted managers use this strategy. It will kill a business if not stopped quickly.

There are many more, but this is a good sampling of what "not" to do in management.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bush apologist is a liar.

Okay, another Bush apologist has done it again.

He's giving Bush credit for stopping the "Global Warming Alarmists." Which is something that everyone knows is all a bunch of crap.

Well, just today I read an article by, you guessed it, a bunch of scientists who offer proof to silence climate skeptics.

You don't have to take my word for it because it's on Science Daily and here's a link to the article.

It's time we called out liars. Fred Barnes is a liar and he's pushing an agenda without the facts to support it.

I'll be emailing Fred Barnes the article.

Bush apologists still peddling logical fallacies to justify idiocy.

Articles like this one from the New York Post all serve to underscore the problems with ideologues.

All the neocon fanatics still trot out the old logical fallacy used during Bush's '04 election that since Bush has been in office we've not been attacked by terrorists.

Like Bush is somehow responsible for something not happening.

Here's the same logic but in a form that shows how stupid and idiotic it is:

Ever since my birth, there has not been a Spanish Inquisition. Therefore, my birth was responsible for preventing the dreaded Spanish Inquisition.

See how stupid it is? Well, claiming Bush is responsible for a negative is the same.

There's a reason ideologues are anti-intellectual: Because their justifications and rationales WILL NOT STAND UP TO REASON!

People are finally waking up from their dream of a conservative America.

Thanks GOD.