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Stars – Beyond Horizons

Dated May 23,2017

Always an enticing vision causing man to look beyond, beyond the ground, beyond the sky into the New Horizons that have kept calling since the beginning of time.

As a young man with friends, we would set off in September (the nights were getting cold and so kept the mosquitoes at bay), sitting by a warm fire after a long day of paddling in the Boundary Waters, sipping a muscle warming brandy and water staring at the stars. Oh so brilliant, no city lights to dim their glory, to be transported to the land of imagination. What if? I wonder when? Who would have thought? How often?

The wonder of it all.

 

The Republican Party or the Trump Party?

 

852 words 3 min 6 sec read

I  propose something radical.

It is regarding the Republican Party.

The Republican Party has lost its soul.

I share my thoughts at the above blog post:

Rebirth of the Republican Party?

In this post, I want to discuss an idea for the rebirth of the Republican party.

My first swat at the Republican party is in this post on 4/27/18 where I liken the party to mosquitoes.

I hope this post develops that subject clearly stated

Mr. Michael Gerson in the Washington Post on February 6, 2018, stated that the

Republican is now governed by the “lickspittle wing”  whose “cowardice is staggering”.

Today I will solve the problem for the Republican Party because that is what I do.

I point out deficiencies and then offer solutions.

(Although I must admit I mostly point out deficiencies when I am writing about the

Republican party.)

For the model of this solution, I track back to March 1854, when the Republican Party,

the GOP (Grand Old Party) was formed in Ripon Wisconsin.

The ideology of this party was conservatism, economic liberalism, social conservatism,

fiscal conservatism, with factions of Libertarianism and Right-Wing Populism.”

The Republican Party   was founded by anti-slavery activists and economic modernizers

found the party. They forged it out of the Whig Party.

The Whig Party itself was founded in 1834 to oppose the policies of Andrew Johnson. It

viewed itself as a moral sword to the actions of Johnson such as the removal of Indians

from their land and the supremacy of the United States Congress over the presidency.

So we now have the precedents of the Republican Party of today: economic liberalism,

social conservatism, and fiscal conservatism.

It also stood in opposition to slavery and pro-economic reform.

Both parties were successful in getting men elected as presidents:

Whig Party William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Winfield Scott, and Millard Fillmore.

The Whig Party was prominent from 1834 to 1860 when it was dissolved.

The Republican Party was prominent from 1854 to 2016.  Its first president was

Abraham Lincoln in 1860 followed by Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley up to the 20th

Century.

The Republican Party was known for free homestead farms, a federally subsidized

the transcontinental railroad, a national banking system, a large national debt, land

grants for higher education (the foundation of land-grant colleges such as the

The University of Minnesota), a wartime income tax, permanent high tariffs to promote

industrial growth and high wages, a hard money system based on the gold standard. It

also created the foundation of a modern welfare state through the extensive program

of pensions for Union veterans. Regarding foreign policy, it is supported imperialistic

expansion of Hawaii, the Philippines, and the Panama Canal.

Through the early 20th century Republican Presidents included Warren G Harding,

Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover.

It gained the reputation as the pro-business policies and heralded in the Wall Street

The Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression.

Other presidents were Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Robert A. Taft, Harry S. Truman, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan.

Most recently elected Presidents were George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump.

Can you identify the trends listed above and juxtapose them onto today’s United States?

What characteristics of the early Republican Party are now prominent in the current party?

The electoral college elected in 2016 Donald J. Trump president.

What characteristics do you see in his policies that reflect the foundational principals of the Republican Party?

Tariffs yes that is easy BUT their underpinning theory has since been debunked.

This excellent article in “The Guardian” which lays bare the notion that “big lies are

founded on small truths”.

Do we see the policies of imperialism and despotism?

The rise of the nationalists (the very definition of dictatorship) and white supremacy?

Trump rose so high on hubris and the foundation of Joseph Goebbels works and he is

now poised to pay the price of his crimes against the United States.

Trump and his Trump Party have given American corporations and the most wealthy

Americans $1.5 trillion in wealth.

 

 

In turn, they were supposed to grab the economy and bring it to new heights. Instead,

they posted their largess to their accounts to increase the companies’ wealth not the

workers. (list examples of tax breaks)

This has led to a smoking hot economy that is now hitting the brakes.

The results will be like those of 2007 when the economy collapsed after Bush gave it a

false sense of worth with his generous tax cut.

This coming collapse will be worse than that one.

There is no elasticity in the economy.

The trade war with China adds another level of

uncertainty and requires a lot of currency.

The $1.5 trillion gift that is causing the collapse must be clawed back. The companies and

wealthy did not do what was promised.

Jobs were not created to the extent promised.

Cash was not brought back from overseas.

Sharing the wealth with common people has not been triggered.

We must change the structure of the economy if working people will be able to share in

the wealth and promise of this nation!

Republican Flag and Elephant - The Enemy of America Facebook

Thanks for stopping.

Craig

Google Images dual blue roses

 

 

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Veterans – Blue Water Navy Vets have HEART and MACV Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans

743 words read time 2 min 42 seconds

I have been promising myself that I would finish a post on Veteran’s health for months. I apologize that it has been so long, but health issues have kept me pretty busy. Doctor’s appointments you never seem to end.

Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans

MACV

My first note is to commend the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans. This organization is committed to helping vets, especially those that are homeless. They have helped me thru some rough patches. I know that in the Cities they even went looking for vets during the 50 degrees below weather during the Polar Vortex of 2019. Real dedication to their mission.

Donations to help house homeless veterans is appreciated. Instructions on the website www.mac-v.org.

 

BLUE-WATER NAVY

Some long overdue news:  The law firm of Hill & Ponton P.A. Disability Attorneys, announced on January 29, 2019, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit the Department of Veterans Affairs could not exclude Blue Water veterans from receiving the same benefits as other veterans who served in the Vietnam theater, also called ‘the Brown Water Navy’ or ‘boots on the ground’.

 The Blue-Water Navy, those vets who served aboard ships are now entitled to the same presumptive benefits.

The main disabilities covered are diabetes and heart disease from exposure to dioxin, better known as Agent Orange.

Procopio v. Wilkie is the case that restored the ‘will of Congress’ to all veterans of the Vietnam theater.

If you are suffering from these or other presumptive diseases contact your County Veterans Service Officer and he or she will help you file a disability claim with the VA.

Presumptive Illnesses

Diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitus also known as Type 2 diabetes devastates the sheath covering the nerves. Suffering includes deterioration of vision, cellulitis, edema, loss of blood flow resulting in the amputation of extremities and limbs.

Healthline.com is one of the easiest to understand resources for diabetes information. A newsletter arrives at least once a week and I think you can sign up for more.

The articles range from insulin injectors to a new drug that “helps the body replenish its insulin-producing cells.”

This article on healthline.com is an excellent article on the background and damage caused by Agent Orange.

VA’s “presumptive list” of diseases that are caused by exposure to Agent Orange now includes everything from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, prostate cancer, and multiple myeloma to Parkinson’s disease and ischemic heart disease”.

Ischemic Heart Disease is a “condition in which the blood flow (thus oxygen) is reduced in parts of the body”.  Other names are coronary heart disease and coronary artery disease. These can lead to heart attacks.

Pay attention to how you feel. Your body will tell you when something is not working right. The doctors can determine the cause.

This is a list of a few of the resources available on the American Heart Association website (use the above link). These are excellent resources.

 

Another great resource for medical issues is My Health eVet.com is a great resource for your health.

The topics online today are: ”Understanding Diabetic Nerve Damage”;
“Understanding Acute and Chronic Pain”; “Medical Questions: Get the Facts” and more.

Other resources on this site: apps for your phone and tablet: Mindfulness training and AIMS—Anger and Irritability Management Skills.
The VA has developed these apps for veterans and service members.

 

Self Doubt

This is an article in Inc.com by Carol Sankar on ways to overcome ‘Negative Self Talk’.

As a trained specialist in confidence training and research, she suggests three ways to eliminate “the megaphone from drowning out optimism”.

  1. “Stop Confirming Your Fears

“Avoid words and phrases which imply doubt and skepticism”. These phrases such as ‘what if I can’t’, “I don’t know how’, I don’t think I can’. These words disable your confidence.

  1. “Focus on the life you desire—not the challenges you’re facing

Visualize what you want in life and what you want out of life. This is not simple.

She tells us the secret: “ If you focus on your challenges, you will continue to feed your own limitations. Your language will begin to reflect your reality rather than the optimism of the journey ahead. Your language and vision will set the intentions”. “Focus on what is ahead.”

  1. “Network with other established founders and leaders

To achieve your goals spend time with the people who have achieved what you want. Gain “sound advice from people who have overcome challenges” and changed “their relationship with doubt.”

Image from Veterans Administration

REMEMBER THE VETERAN’S CRISIS LINE:

1-800-273-8255 PRESS 1

 

Thanks for stopping!

Craig

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A Best in Class Boss or a Toxic Boss

 

December 26, 2018

965 words  3 minute and 32-second read

First one and then the other

What makes a ‘Best in Class Boss’?

Talentsmart an organization that claims that 75% of Fortune 500 companies use its test on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) has conducted research with more than a million people.

They found that the best bosses have characteristics in common.

Dr. Travis Bradbury is the President of Talent Smart and writes articles that appear frequently in LinkedIn.

Before retirement, I always tried to be a ‘good’ boss. Those things that make a good boss are difficult to keep at the top of the mind awareness,

In the heat of a moment, or confronted with a seemly intractable problem or even in a serious discussion managers/bosses tend to make an inevitable mistake.

I think the goal should be: keep your good intentions at the forefront of your mind, practice the correct reactions so that they become a habit, and don’t let the ‘bad’ actions get a foothold in your psyche.

Brush off the ‘bad behavior’ and reset your mind to the tenants of Emotional Intelligence. The newsletter of Emotional Intelligence, Talentsmart is located here.

I have been reading an article about the traits that the ‘best’ bosses seem to possess.

The number one ‘skill’ that “90% of them have in common is the skill at managing their emotions in order to stay focused, calm and productive.”

I have known several men that possess this trait and I have always admired it immensely.

However, I have not been able to shadow that skill. I wonder what the rest of these characteristics are and what they tale they will tell about me.

“Composed”

The premise here is that the ‘best’ bosses constantly monitor their emotions so that they can use this knowledge to react to challenging situations with self-control.

Another ‘not me’ vote. Two strikes.

Once in a while, I was prepared for when the situation went downhill and I managed, at least in my mind, that I handled it with aplomb.

But I have never been able to take the ‘long’ view of events and reacted mainly with short-term actions.

Sometimes when I reflected on the damage that I had already done, I could see a better way.

“Graceful”

A much-admired trait. A combination of strong and gentle. Hmm… I tried to not resort to intimidation, or manipulation because I didn’t enjoy those mind games be played on me.

But to say I was gentle, no I don’t think that was ever said about me.

The people with this trait are “approachable, likable, and easy to get along with.” I guess I have to circle ‘no’ here also.

“Knowledgeable”

The “best” bosses are always trying to increase their ‘self-awareness’. I’m not sure what that means in this context.

How does that apply to spend the time to learn, to have a passion for opportunities to improve and learn new things?

This I did try to do. Maybe not as often as I should have.

“Honest”

Another one that I really tried to follow.

If you lose your honesty and people stopped trusting you, what do you have left to offer?

If you don’t possess and show people your integrity they have nothing else to look for in you.

In addition, Notre Dame did a study that showed that people who lie often experience more mental health problems. But perhaps a better way to explain the phenomenon is to look at the positive side.

People normally lie 1.6 times in 24 hours.

When people learn to lie less (in a 10-week study) they reported feeling better mentally and physically.

“Speak with Certainty”

Another one lost on me a good share of the time.

I tried not to “um”, “I’m not sure” and, “I think”. But I was not as assertive in speaking as the “best bosses” I knew.

“Positive Body Language”

You could often catch me unfolding my arms as I consciously became aware that they were folded across my chest.

I knew this was a defensive action and I would watch out for it.

The same principle applies to eye contact. I watched for that in other people while they spoke to me. Even leaning in a little towards the listener I was aware of but not sure I remembered to use that one either.

“Super successful people ‘ draw others in’. “How you say something can be more important than what you say.”

“Confident”

‘Successful leaders compete for your attention.” How you say something can be more important than what you say.

I was not aware of this one, especially when it is recommended for those times when the efforts would only yield a small victory.

The victory, however small still builds new androgen receptors in the brain. “They are responsible for reward and motivation.

The increase in androgen receptors increases the influence of testosterone, which further increases confidence and eagerness to tackle future challenges.

“Fearless”

“Fear is nothing more than a lingering emotion that’s fueled by your imagination.” Danger, however, is real.

But fear is not danger. This is interesting “Fear is a choice.” I have never heard that before.

“Grateful”

This I recognize as a trait that I always tried to emulate.

I have always done the tasks that I later end up supervising. I recognize the hard work and ingenuity that is required.

I would much rather celebrate subordinates glory than my own.

I have felt that they need a standing ovation so they can be recognized by higher echelon bosses.

These traits should be self-explanatory to anyone that has toiled in a subordinate position.

I originally wrote this to put out for people to read, discuss and even chuckle over. I am sure former employees will have a great time.

However, I ran into another great article

730 words 2 min 24 sec read

The first article I have had written for years and I haven’t been able to find the exact place where I found it.

The next part I found just before Christmas 2018 and it is a great counterpoint to the above article.

This article was in INC.com written by Marcel Schwantes titled “7 Signs of a Toxic manager that should be stopped immediately.” 

Mr. Schwantes, the Principal, and Founder of “Leadership from the Core” begins his article “I’ve been part of many conversations with executive clients who are quick to blame their employees for bickering and lackluster performance. They get their information, of course, from management teams bickering and complaining about their employees.”

He continues,  “While there’s no quick-fix solution, I tell them, usually the reasons managers aren’t getting the best from smart, creative, and talented employees have to do with job dissatisfaction – common human reactions to unfulfilled work expectations and/or stressful environments – and managers, not employees, are primarily to blame.”

“A Gallup study of 7,272 U.S. adults found that 50 percent of employees left their jobs “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.”

I don’t know if that is a reflection on the training that these managers received or if they were just too absorbed in thinking that they were the best gift to the manager corps.

A sign that a person is a good manager is that he or she regularly asks for feedback from their employees in a formal setting such as a performance review or informally while gathering around the water cooler.

If you inspect managers closely and if they prove to be a poor manager, you will find certain negative practices and untrustworthy behaviors that are consistent with the above research findings.

“Seven of the most toxic management behaviors that stifle the human spirit and such the soul out of an organization” are:

1. People are Treated as Objects, not as Human Beings

2. Employees Compete Against Each Other

3. Passive Aggressiveness

4. A Focus on the Negative

5. Stealing the Spotlight

6. Missing in Action

7. Gossiping

While these findings are pretty much self-explanatory I think Mr. Schwantes summarizes each topic succinctly.

  1. “Because compassion and empathy are virtually non-existent, they are treated as an object or expense rather than assets and there is little concern for their happiness or well-being. You will encounter high levels of stress, turnover, absenteeism, and burnout.
  2. Management probably enforces a performance assessment system that focuses on individual performance than team performance. This leads to ‘every employee for himself or herself.
  3. The book “Toxic Workplace” showed that most toxic personalities are passive aggressive. This means that they distrust others and are very territorial and seek to remain in control. This can be seen in employees that never take a vacation for fear others will learn their job and displace them. “They don’t see themselves as the problem.”
  4. Management only looks at the negative actions. They may never give positive feedback and reinforcement for “things that are going right.”
  5. The manager takes all the credit for the work. He or she does not praise the team and offers no celebration of everyone’s success.
  6. When a big problem comes up in a project the manager is nowhere to be found. They take shelter in all day meetings. They are insecure or fear conflict.
  7. The most toxic trait is gossip. It hurts teams because the atmosphere becomes filled with suspicion and distrust. When a boss spreads rumors it is the opposite of what a true human leader would do.

How to solve the problem?

Warren Buffet always looks to character and integrity. He has called ‘integrity the most important trait in hiring, above intelligence.”

A recent study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology states that to stop the toxic boss crisis simply promote people with the virtues of moral integrity and goodness into leadership roles.

Bob Sutton, Professor of Organizational Studies at Stanford says that to find out if you are in a toxic workplace:

  1. Are you losing sleep, productivity, and fulfillment of physical and mental health issues?
  2. Are people around you jerks, and that everyone’s performance is suffering?
  3. Are you becoming a jerk and taking out your issues on other people?

I highly recommend signing up for the free newsletters at Inc.com

emotional intelligence Google Images

Thanks for stopping.

Craig

Google Images dual blue roses

 

BOSSMAN

BOSSMAN SERIES number 2

Sunday, November 18, 2018

893 words  read time 3 min 30 seconds

Assault 1: Military on Border – the TIPPING POINT

                  A: BOSSMAN’S Snookered Followers vs Mattis’

Assault 2: Justice Department

                  A: Un-Constitutional Attorney General

Assault 3: Judicial Branch

                  A: John Roberts

Assault 4: Press

                  A: Credentials and new Rules

 Assault 5: The Deadly Spy Game

                   A: Saudi government using Israeli spyware “Pegasus” from NSO Group

 Trump is attempting the rape of all branches of government.

LOOK AT ME

Legislative, Congressional, Judicial all at one time. Oh and throw in the military for some excitement.

I did not see this coming. I thought he would take one action at a time.

He has the executive branch. But he is now taking a brazen takeover of the Department of Justice.

He believes there is no one will oppose him. He has had Mitch McConnell in his pocket all year.

Matt Whitaker does not have the constitutional certification to operate the Justice Department.

Will the Senate get a backbone to correct this? I doubt it.

But if the current situation continues there will not have to be a motion to protect Mueller. Mueller is taken out of play.

Trump has a direct pipeline to the investigation since Whitaker is only his mouthpiece and tunnel rat into Mueller work so he can move at this own pace. This could be to wait until the Mueller report is sent to him, rather than Congress, and stir the southern border to activate the Snookered Army. 

What do you think?

And Trump has said he will decide issues that arise.

The Military is assigned the southern border. Due to posse comitatus, they cannot engage in law enforcement activities and yet…

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of Trump’s Snookered Army, making their way to the southern border.

Is this Trump’s strategy for getting the military involved in a firefight so that he can assume martial law or some other maneuver that hastens his power grab?

However, they have strung concertina wire which I see as a function of law enforcement. Marching in place waiting for orders?

Today Trump issued orders authorizing the display of weapons and firing with lethal force. 

Today General Mattis countermanded those orders. And has said, as of now, he had not received formal orders.

Trump this morning labeled the 9th Circuit as ‘Obama’ judge.

Justice John Roberts shot right back with “We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges,” Roberts said in a statement. “What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them.”

The flashpoint was November 7, 2018, when Trump recalled Jim Acosta’s press credentials

A Trump appointed judge reinstated them.

Trump immediately established new rules for all Washington press corps.

Follow-up questions will be not allowed. While seemingly innocuous they will have the effect of stifling the freedom of speech.

The turf is marked off.

The Constitution defines the rules of engagement.

Now, will the Armies show?

Trump will. He has spent two years maneuvering to get to this place.

graphic on Facebook artist unknown
Graphic Facebook artist unknown

 It appears the Supreme Court and therefore the courts are joined.

 The Fourth Estate is already in the battle and they are spoiling for a fight.

 The military has fired the first salvo in standing up to the Commander in Chief.

 The big question is, as it has been all year – where is the United States Senate?

 Trump has tangled them into knots of ineffectiveness all year.

 As I have postulated, I think there are Senators who depend on the stipends offered   by Trump’s supporters.

Why has Senator Rand Paul, who was anti-Russia suddenly determine Russia was playing nice after his trip to Russia? There are others.

Other senators have also softened their stance.

Also, Trump has his 30 million or so ‘allies’. These allies are ‘his base’. his “Snookered Army”.

They have silenced a few people and encouraged them to lie down their arms and cease their opposition to Trump.

In some cases, this was accomplished by threatening force.

Trump has laid out his positions.

He wants control of :

The executive branch and the Senate (he lost control of the House in the November mid-term elections), and the Judicial Branch.

 He has appointed 2 Conservative Supreme Court Justices and 29  of the Courts of   Appeal and 5 District Court Judges. There are a total of 179 Judges on the Courts of   Appeal and 673 district court judges.

Don McGahn Google Images
Don McGahn Google Images

Don McGahn served as Trump‘s White House Counsel and was primarily responsible for the appointments Trump has made to the federal bench.

Trump’s pretentions have him controlling the federal courts but even his recent appointees such as  Kavanaugh have ruled against his actions.

Two REALLY BIG ace cards Trump is using:

The Senate is starting investigations into Comey and Clinton (you thought 2016 had moved on?). I have not seen this on the official calendar as of this writing but keep your eyes open.

Trump is preparing to use (if he hasn’t already done so) a neat spy tool that Saudia Arabia is using on it’s malcontents.

This spy tool is called “Pegasus” and was “the creation of a highly secretive, $1 billion-valued Israeli surveillance dealer called NSO Group.

This tool is able to silently hoover up private information on a target iPhone, from WhatsApp chats to emails and can spy on people via their smartphone’s camera and microphone.”

The Saudis have used it on a well-known dissident. Ghanem Al-Masarir

Ghanem Al-Masariri Forbes
Ghanem Al-Masarir  Thomas Brewster Forbes.com

is a YouTube comic and satirist based in London.               

A question is:  Will Trump rape his dissidents and journalists using this tool?

The relationship between Israel and Saudi Arabia is coming into the open. Trump has remade the players in the Mid-East to line up against Iran. Will Iran and Russia be strong enough to hold off Israel and Saudi Arabia.

What is the United States place in the re-alignment?

If Trump is somehow taken out of the picture in 2020 where does this leave the world?

An issue arising from the ascendence of ‘strong men’ is “What happens when they are overthrown?

I expect in the coming days we will see even more swords being brandished and flames coming from the mouths of each party until there is one huge pile-up on the steps of the Supreme Court. The diversion.

What Trump is setting in motion is best described in a comment to Washington Post article “Troops Approved to use Force, but Mattis says the mission hasn’t changed” by Missy Ryan and Paul Sonne. The commentator  istherenojustice
posted in the Washington Post article dated November 21.

Is there a place where Trump thinks he will win all of his arguments?

The Congress, The Fourth Estate, The Judiciary, The Military, The Immigrants, The NSO Group with Pegasus, The Snookered Army.

The pieces are in place.

Time will tell.

Bossman definition topic of a blog post 11/18/2018 

Thanks for stopping.

Craig

anger is fire image by ANTHONY RAO 1590111647265 unsplash

Do you like your frying pan hot or hotter?

Image by Joshua Newton 149634158 unsplash