Archive | May, 2014

Bureaucracy is the Problem

30 May

In the discussion of the problems with the VA, IRS, CIA, FBI, NSA, all the other alphabet agencies we know about and those we do not are all focusing on the Secretaries we appoint to serve and their immediate assistants.  The problem is not there.  It is down below with the people who have to operate in an environment created by the system.  Problems in the system are usually caused by lean budgets that simply could not stretch enough to cover the need.

The challenge is that, as a nation, we never address problems in reality until we are forced to do so.  We are a nation controlled by the numbers we have set in place to take care of the norm, but everything is not normal.

For instance if we want to set a budget for any department we ask the heads of those departments to give us a budget need for the next year.  Usually the ask each of their subservient department heads to submit their need for next year based on their budget spent for last year.

This is when all the spending of the funds not needed last year get spent, so they can increase the amount needed next year.  This isn’t wrong because we have put the bureaucrats in a position that if they run out of money, their ass is on the line.  There is no mechanism to reduce the budgets or plan for disaster.

Now we have to let the number management system run our government.  Therefore the underlings use that system to control their own smaller departments.  If the numbers work the department wins.

President Carter scared everyone when he wanted to go to zero based budgeting.  This would have been a good start.

Now we should look at number system as the cause of malfunction.  If workers are judged by the numbers produced by their superiors, the worker will make the numbers work.

The point is the government does not hire managers; they hire people that are or will become auditors.  They then have people that teach them that a good auditor is a good manager.  Corporations work the same way that is the reason they cannot be controlled by the law under which they operate.

Now the elected government wants to fix the problems in the bureaucracy by using the same methods that have not worked in my lifetime.  Any time one addresses the situation either in the government or corporations, it has to be fixed by training their present staff to become managers.  Even a person working with no one under him or her has to be a good manager.

 W. Edwards Deming, born in 1900 and was a very significant contributor to the production quality of the Japanese business process after World War II, related a story of one of his consulting visits to a company here in the United State where he asked a phone call operators what her job was.  She said that she didn’t know for sure.  The company wanted her to make 40 phone calls and hour and wanted her to sell 3 per hour.  She said she didn’t know which was the most important, making the correct number of calls per hour or selling 3 per hour.

In that case, as in most cases like that, the numbers became the manager.  The person that was the manager might as well not even been present.

Training managers that can train their employees to service the public should be the primary focus of our government.  Just think of the times you need to speak with a government employee to get an answer.  Are you intimidated?  Of course you are.  We all are.  They are not trained to help the public.  They are trained to help each other hold their jobs.

If we are to win back the control of our government we need to repair this problem.

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The System

23 May

If we find the very best men that can do most anything such as become a general and lead men for many years, it would be safe to assume his organizational skills and leadership skills are very adequate.  In the service the rule is get the job done within the rules approved by the commander and chief, congress and the UCMJ.  In the service there is no room for failure.  Simply get the job done is always the goal.

If we put this same general in charge of the Veterans Affairs and tell him that he should get the job done but with restraints place by congress such as limited budgets and dealing with a bureaucracy in place.  This bureaucracy must believe they have accomplished their goals if they meet their number requirement instead of recognizing and treating all the veterans that come to them for help.  Congress tells the new head of this department they have their full support and believe it is adequate because they have studied the system and believe it is adequate.

Of course this is the same thing they have told every predecessor since the department was formed which has never worked so far.

If one, in order to solve a problem, continues doing the same thing over and over hoping to get a different result is the definition of insanity.  Using that same analogy has congress operated in a sane manner.  The system we use and have used for all the years I have been alive has never helped the veterans.

Fifty years ago accountants thought they should be able to control everything by numbers.  Much of the government was already doing that, but the process spread to business.  Now we think it is the norm.  It isn’t.  Numbers are important to see how you are progressing but numbers have no problem solving ability.  If you let numbers solve the problem you will not be using all the factors for the solution.  That is a problem that will never be solve by artificial intelligence.  Someone has to have the freedom to solve the problem using human reasoning.

This country has made certain commitments that have to be supported.  If this country declares war, congress has to vote to support the war.  How much it costs to support the war doesn’t matter.  We don’t need to give anyone an open check book, but if something is necessary for the country’s protection there is no question.  The money just has to come.  Making the decision as to what is necessary for our protection is the job of people and not numbers.

When we declare war we automatically agree to support those veterans that agree to fight the war in person.  If they come home there should be a mandatory program in place for every veteran who has served in a stressful capacity to move them mentally and emotionally back to civilian life.  If they come home injured they should be taken care of immediately automatically or just by application which should have an automatic approval. If it is a bogus complaint it should be judged so by qualified VA service personnel.  It should never be up to the veteran to prove he is due care.  If it costs more money to do that, then it costs more money.  We owe the debt to the soldier.  The veteran should still have to go through the mandatory conversion to civilian life.

Part of that conversation is help from qualified individuals to take the experience of the veteran before he joined the service, and the skills he gained while in the service and put together a profile of the veteran now.  Now with the help of other professional personnel they can help the veteran gain knowledge to gain acceptable employment to fit the new profile of the veteran.

When we commit to sending men and women to war, we have to commit to the veterans coming out of that conflict.

Senator John Banner said this present problem is a very serious matter and someone needs to be held accountable.  My thought it is ultimately any congressman that failed to take care of the commitment we have to these fine veterans that should be held accountable.

This general told the president at the time war started that the war would cost a lot more than they projected, so he was retired.  This general took the job as secretary because he saw a need.  Again money is the problem.  Now many Senators and Representatives want his head.  I think the heads of Senators and Representatives to be put to use for once and create a system we can be proud of that will actually help the veterans rather than putting another band aid on a critical wound.

Faith in God and Country

22 May

In 1776 we declared war with England by writing and passing the Declaration of Independence with the signatures of the representatives in the First Continental Congress.  Friends, this is faith.  This country was built on faith just like Christianity was built on faith.  When the Declaration of Independence was signed the United States had nothing but land owners and the money they personally owned.  Some citizens didn’t want to separate and were English sympathizers who gave no support.  The common man and other patrons that supported our declaration with their lives eventually won our freedom.

 

A few years later we started the expansion of our country by developing more states and with the Louisiana Purchase which we signed in 1803 followed by the fulfillment the terms of the agreement.  What kept us going was debt and growth. 

 

Individually we buy cars and houses mostly on credit depending on the growth which allows us to keep up the payments we agreed to pay.

 

We start business because we have to have faith that the people will use our products or services to support our investment and cost of doing business.

 

We created the National Guard (our organized well regulated militia) and expanded our military with the assurance the growth of the nation would continue to support it.

 

When President Eisenhower pushed through the interstate highway system, it was done because he and congress had faith in the growth of the nation to build it and take care of it.  They had so much faith that they unlocked the social security lock box to begin the program.

 

We bought national parks and staffed them for the amusement, conservation, and education possibilities. 

 

We built large and small learning institutions which had to be supported by the states and tuition. 

 

We as tax payers have to support the above items and even more such as the agriculture support and inspections we need because of the chemicals they put in our food and inspect imported foods.

 

The question is who pays the taxes.  Actually commerce should pay all the taxes.  It is commerce that gets all the benefit by employing a work force and selling their products and services to the public, but about 100 years ago we determined that all should pay something by classifying a specific tax on income.  Since then many taxes have been added which were supposed to have specific targets to support, but everything is in the general fund.  Management???

 

The question is what is fair.  Previously commerce paid most of the taxes and paid the workers almost nothing.  Now the workers pay some taxes, but still are paid very little for their services, but this is only part of the problem.  We have people in this country that cannot support themselves and their families.

 

Businesses, especially big businesses, have capital reserve accounts that are simply invested for various reasons which is necessary to keep their businesses adequately financed for future growth.  However, many businesses and wealth entities invest large sums of money, either their own or contributions to contracts being held for payment for the benefit of those from whom they are receiving those dollars i.e. insurance policies, stock accounts, bank account, and etcetera, for the benefit of the institution. The large sums of money we refer to are not invested as a joint venture with the specific investor.  These funds are invested for the sole benefit of the institution.  The idea is these companies are taking the risk.  However, they are usually taking very little or no risk at all.  The are paying us 1% or even 6% to hold our money and with the consent of the government agencies earn 30, 40, or even 50% conservatively for their own benefit.

 

These institutions rent your money to lend or invest.  Whether they lend the money against an asset or invest your money directly they still increase their own investment possibilities.  My point is that when they invest money simply to gain a profit with no risk. They should either pay more for the money they are renting or pay a higher income tax percentage.

 

Money is invested in stock and the buying and selling of various other financial paper.  The tax paid on money earned should reflect the risk taken to earn that money.  Employees are taking a risk that they are working, at the pleasure of their employer, who could not run their company without the employee is a high risk, ergo high risk – low taxes.  Individuals, partnerships or corporations in business making profit selling their products and services are also taking a risk.  On that portion of their income they should enjoy lower taxes but not a low as the employees because of the extra tax benefits they receive just for being in business.  Individuals, partnerships or corporations making profit neither selling a product or service or individuals, partnerships or corporations making additional profit outside of their normal necessary business structure should have to pay a much higher percentage tax on the profits derived on that type of investing. 

 

If I make a profit on the stock market trades the taxes on that should be higher that the employee tax of the business taxes earned by selling a product or service.  While stock trading, with computer help, and the investments of buying and selling any paper the investor is making money on trading money. There is no real benefit for the country with these types of investments.  This money is leveraged usually from the money you own placed with financial corporations. The risk is your, but they get the profit.  Additionally when trading enormous amounts of money the computer digital trading is not really a gamble.  The losers are usually the small trader who cannot leverage themselves out of trouble and have to sell at a loose.

 

If those financial institutions use your money to trade and only earn 6 to 10 percent compounded monthly the investment will at least double in a calendar year.  The profits can actually be much higher.  The institutions are only allowed to invest a portion of your money, but even at that the return is tremendous.  Therefore the taxes should be a high percentage, or you should be able to share in the profits, or both.

 

The inequity here is the system.  We have created a very large country that needs money to run it.  We are not in a row boat.  We have created a very large ocean liner, and we have we have people guiding it that don’t know where we have been, how we got here, or where we should be going.

 

We are led by leaders that want to slow down the growth of the country.  Every time that happens, we lose momentum.  We have to support the mechanism we have created.  Without that support we lose growth.  When we lose growth we lose jobs and etcetera.

 

The libertarians and the republicans seem not to want to support the necessary expenses it takes to run this country.  The democrats are not much better.  They want to collect more but they also spend more.  None of the legislators seem to understand that, while they are slow to make decisions, people are financially hurting because they don’t have the extra funds to get through these tough times.  Stopping unemployment payments and food stamp payment which was ultimately caused by their negligence is no way to run the government. 

 

We have to pay taxes no matter where the money comes from if we want to continue to enjoy freedom as we know it. 

 

Jesus told a parable about the businessman who left three men in charge of his money while he was gone on other business.  The first two men earned some profit while he was gone.  But the third man buried his money and didn’t earn any profit or take any risk.  This was the only man that made the businessman angry. 

 

We have all these resources here in these United States that we are supposed to care for.  If you don’t think God gave this nation to us, I will pray for you.  If you do think God gave this nation to us, let’s take care of it.

 

If you are a legislator you know what to do.  If you are a citizen, vote.

I believe there is a God. I also believe in God.

19 May

If I say this loud enough and often enough will it be true?  That really is the question isn’t it.

 

The people of this great nation, if asked, most would say they believe in God and Jesus.  To paraphrase the bible, the devil believes the same thing.

 

  1. If I mistreat the weak, but say I believe in God; does that make me a Christian?
  2. If I do not pay my workers a fair wage, but say I believe in God; does that make me a Christian?
  3. If I cheat my fellow man as I buy and sell commodities or my labor and say I believe in God; does that make me a Christian?
  4. If I misuse the resources on earth given to us by God and say that I believe in God; does that make me a Christian?
  5. If I do anything that is unfair to others and say I believe in God; does that make me a Christian?

 

  1. If I always do what is right and always treat everyone fairly and say I believe in God; does that make me a Christian?

 

From what most of us know, the answer to question number six would be yes.  Well it could be but not necessarily.  All people that profess to be Christians are not.  It is not what they desire to project, but it is a fact. 

 

When I was nine years old I was attending vacation bible school in a Baptist church in my home town.  It was the end of the bible school and the minister was addressing the children in the school.  He evidently asked for those who believed that Jesus the Christ came to the earth in human form, was crucified, died and resurrected to save us from our sins to raise their hands?  I remember thinking ‘what fool doesn’t believe that’.  I evidently raised my hand because one of the workers came to get me and said did your raise your hand? And I must have said yes, because the next thing I knew I reconfirmed my agreement with the minister’s statement and was scheduled to be baptized the next Sunday.

 

I did believe that Jesus came and died for our sins, but I didn’t understand it.  As I was walking home some of the children asked if I felt different?  I thought I was supposed to agree, so I said yes.  The next Sunday I was baptized and was a member of my church. 

 

From that time on I learned many verses of the bible and memorized the clichés I was supposed to learn and continued to go to church regularly until I entered the Navy.  During that time I witnessed to many people on the street and in revivals I attended in several different denominational churches in the area.

 

If you asked me when I trusted God to rule my life, it could have been before the day in vacation bible school or a long time after.  I always believed what my Sunday school teachers said that God created the universe.  I surmised that if God created the universe anything else had to be easy.  Intellectually that was a no brainer.  I didn’t realize until much later that God had a plan for my life and I had to live for him.  The more I believed that I was supposed to be living for him, but more challenges I faced.  It didn’t make sense for me to now believe he had a purpose for my life, but was continuing to let bad things happen. 

 

The more I studied the word the more I began to understand that He was building my faith because of what I was to do.  It had nothing to do with what I had done.  May be this message would inspire someone more qualified than me to understand what they should do instead of me a seventy four year old man doing something that makes a difference.  However it is what it is.  I can’t control that.  I can’t even understand it.

 

May God will bless the reader of this message and help them to understand their purpose in their time on earth.  It is a short life at best, but we need guidance.  My suggestion is to pray to God to see if you are on the path, He wants you to follow and get in the word and ascertain His answer.

 

If you can’t intellectually agree that God created the Universe, I suggest you order form Amazon or some book seller my book, “God’s Agenda vs Man’s Agenda”.

Inequity

12 May

I continue to be concerned about the possibility of this country’s survival and what caused our down fall. 

 

If 1% of the country controls 35% of the wealth of this country, does that suggest anything to you?

 

The 10% of the people that control 75% of the wealth of this country mostly control the people that are elected to the thousands of lawmaking positions in this country.  These lawmakers write and pass laws that further exacerbate the difference between the working poor to the nonworking the wealthy 10%.

 

This 10% seem to get voters to vote with them even though their best interest of the voter is not served.  This has resulted in the breakdown of the Christian values upon which this nation was built.

 

What gods do the 10% worship?

 

Is it money, is it power, is it pride, is it prestige, or is it the Lord God Almighty that created the heavens and the earth?

 

Which one of the gods above do you worship?

 

If you say you love your fellow man and don’t vote, you are not telling the truth.  The only way we can fight the power is to vote for people that are not looking for money, power, pride, or prestige.  Only people looking for justice can help this nation survive.

 

The only way the populous can address the problems of the nation is by voting for people who care.

 

An example of not protecting the people is the fact that people in legislature now and the people before them, back 50 years or more, would pass a law protecting the environment and then postpone, change or abandon the laws when it was time to implement. 

 

Years ago when we needed to help the people to observe the Sabbath, in many communities we had a law called the “blue law”.  This law would have never made it through the Supreme Court because it dictated Christian beliefs.  However it did show the desires of the communities. 

 

My grandfather sold his vegetables in Knoxville, Tennessee.  His farm was 30 plus miles from his farm to market.  It was over 60 miles round trip for a horse drawn wagon.  He would not leave his farm until 12:01 PM on Monday morning in order to not break the Sabbath. 

 

My grandmother’s father lived in same Tennessee community and served in the Union Army because of his beliefs.

 

When harvest time came in their community blacks would come to help.  When lunch time came, the black’s would start to open their lunch from home and my grandfather would say you have to eat with us here in the house.

 

My grandfather also owned a store in this community and during the depression he gave away a lot of food to the needy people in his community.  Like many store owners in that time and area he took IOUs for collateral which mostly were never paid.  Many store owners experienced similar experiences in this area known then as the Bible Belt. 

 

If a child was doing something he should not be doing, and any adult saw him or her, the adult called them down and the child usually obeyed.  The children were mischievous and would get away with whatever they could.  They were children.  There were bullies and roughens, but generally the people tried to be fair with each other.  There were no locks on the doors.  You might go up to someone home with them away.  A note would be on their door that said come in a sit we will be back to milk the cows.  Honesty was just expected. 

 

If someone needed help they would just help and be repaid when someday they also needed help.  The Golden Rule was real and something you just lived by.

 

My grandfather was a Justice of the Peace.  He knew who would vote for him and who would not, but he serviced the community for all.  He was a republican, but would not at all recognize the republican party of today.

 

I say all that to say this.  It is possible to live together in harmony as we did one before.  All the material wealth in the whole world is not worth your sole.  If you are not a Christian, look into it.  You might be amazed at the possibilities.  If you are a Christian I hope you understand that Christ died in order for your life to be better through grace.  God loves you and I love you.

 

I would love you more if you would just vote.

How do we protect this couintry

5 May

God has been very generous to the people of the United States even though the founders decided to allow other religions to form in this great nation.  However, it seems to me that they were not addressing all other religions.  They were only referring to Christianity and the Jewish religion. 

 

In my opinion the founders should have been more specific when they decided that the US government would not establish a state religion.  It would have, in my opinion, been better to say that the government would not establish a certain method of worshiping God, the creator of heaven and earth.  Even though these men were clearly led by the influence of God in their life, they never imagined that people would opt for religions that abandoned the God that they loved enough to pattern this country after His teachings.

 

I believe what God was leading them to do was to take the earthly power influence out of the religious practices which had been the influenced by the Catholic Church and the Church of England.  Until Martin Luther and King James of England spoke out, the power was in the church and not in the Holy Spirit.  Many of the clergy were corrupt and cared little about the Christian people.

 

Winning this revolution had to be a slow process, because through the middle ages to the Martin Luther, the people were not just led but commanded how to worship by early religious power mongers. This was the reason, after all, that many people fled to the colonies in the first place.  Even in the early part of the development of religion in the colonies, the power mongers tried to reestablish the former power system they thought they should maintain just as they did in Europe.  After all this is what they knew.

 

They, as did the religious power structure before, did not understand where the power should be.  When Jesus died on the cross and arose from his tomb, he took all the power from the church, and said, “I am the way the truth and the life.  No one goes to the Father except through me.”  There is no doubt in the minds of the founders Jesus was the power.  After all there was a very heavy influence in that group of men.

 

The founders, however, seemed to tolerate the Jewish religion because it was the basis of the Christian religion.  This was a mistake.  It was not maybe a mistake, it was a mistake.  I do not doubt that the people practicing the Jewish religion believe in the same God we believe in, but this is not enough.  From their own religion it was prophesied to them that they would be a Savior born to a virgin.  While they believe in God they do not believe in the Word.  Unless one believes in the trinity you are not bound for heaven.  Throughout the Old Testament they Jewish people tried to live a good life many times and fail with every attempt.  God knew they could not achieve perfection necessary to be completely forgiven, so he predicted the birth or his Son in an earthly form to be the Savior.  He gave us salvation for the world and took our sins away. To solve this problem there is a simple solution.  The Jewish people simply need to believe in the Son as they do the Father.

 

I would like to believe that the Islamic religion is a similar problem, but it is not.  It is religion born of violence and in no way considers Jesus the Christ as the savior of the world.  While most Islamist believes they are worshiping God the Father, they reject Jesus as the Savior, but consider Him a profit.  If they believe He is a profit, then why do they not believe what he said?  These Islamist support the factions of their faith by not condemning them to the very highest degree possible.  By doing nothing they give support and credence to the groups that believe;

 

Kill all the Jews,

Kill all the Christians,

If we do this or that we will see virgins in heaven, and

We will keep the power of religion to ourselves and everyone else will comply.

 

Where is the love n that?

 

There are other religions that do not necessarily believe in a creator, but believe that all of this is an accidental creation.  Really! Over the millions of years during the creation of the world, God very carefully created a balance of nature that we ignore on a daily basis.  I said billions of years because I believe the first chapter in the bible covers 13.5 billion years. As I say in my book, “God’s Agenda vs Man’s Agenda”, my theory is that God created man somewhere between 160,000 years ago and told him the same thing he told Adam, but man was not true to God’s teachings and so God, about 5 or 6 thousand years ago, created Adam which who is the father of the race of people that would bring forth the Savior who was necessary for the salvation of man.

 

The worst religion is the worship of the devil in many forms.  This is the most dangerous because if they worship the devil, they should realize the only reason one would worship the devil is to become more powerful than God on this earth.  This is just dumb because if one believes this tripe, they acknowledge the fact of God.  

 

In the name God we should stop this freedom to worship anything you want to worship and amend the Constitution to read.  Matter what President Obama says, we are a Christian nation.  We were founded on Christian principles. We should acknowledge God as the creator of the world, as we did in the Declaration of Independence, but we neither should neither force our citizens to worship him nor should we be tell the citizens how to worship Father God.  However, we should not support or tolerate the worship of any other god as our foundation depends on the love taught by the one true God and His Son.

 

Our United States congress persons and Senators, our state congress persons and Senators, the lower court, regional courts, and the United States Supreme Court treat our Constitution of the United States as a meaningless piece of paper written for the benefit of the few.  In our Declaration of Independence the common man fought for justice, the pursuit of happiness, freedom of speech, the right to worship God, the creator, and the right to not worship at all as he was convicted.

 

My great, great, great, great grandfather fought for these principles.  I am sure he would say that he didn’t fight for the mess we have now.  Many of us have forefathers that fought and maybe died for the values written in the Declaration of Independence which produced the United States Constitution.  The only way I can honor these fine brave men and women that supported them and sometimes fought with them is to help to bring the values they fought for back to fruition.

 

You might wonder why I brought my beliefs in religion into this commentary.  The reason is simple.  Most of our politicians say they believe in God.  However, it doesn’t matter what they say.  It matters what they do about their beliefs that demonstrates their faith.  We must bring God back into our government before He takes it ways from us.

 

If you agree with me vote.  If you disagree with me vote.