So, you’ve stumbled onto my humble little blog. Perhaps you are a Millenial wondering why most of your friends aren’t fully employed. Or wondering why ObamaKare is being shoved down your throat. Or why your generation is on the hook for a national debt that stands at $17 $18 Trillion and counting. Maybe you are scratching your head wondering why your President thinks Global Warming the weather is more worrisome than Islamic Terror. And perhaps you’ve started to become aware there might be something the corrupt and biased lame stream media isn’t telling you. The answer, to these and other existential questions, is ... the Left - specifically, the modern American Progressive. Think of this site as a portal to a richer understanding of this answer, a portal purposely designed with a consciously cock-eyed bent to keep it entertaining. Because the First Amendment is forever and the Internet never forgets. (Plus you better figure out FICA isn't the name of a Swedish bikini model, before she eats your entire paycheck.)

How to use the portal? You could dive into my archive*. I was most active here 2010-2012, but that matters not. How many times do I need to demonstrate the central point? To wit, the political / ideological Left is a menace to the constitutional republic and must be resisted lest the American experiment in liberty devolve into socialist dystopia. If it's the more pointed hand-to-hand combat of the comment board that whets your appetite, click the 'My Disqus Comments' widget. I continue to visit that world from time to time as a light diversion. Or you could browse through my blog roll. It's a very representative collection of center-right blogs, though hardly exhaustive. I can't do the political / ideology thing 24x7, and you probably can't either. Leave that to the hysterical, talking point chanting, mob agitating, race baiting, election stealing, gaia worshiping, straw man torching, Islamic Terrorist appeasing, organized Left (aka OFA, MSNBC, UAW, SEIU, Think Progress, Media Matters, most of legacy media, the politically correct faculty lounge, anybody who belonged to Journolist, anybody connected to Occupy Wall Street, anything funded by George Soros or Tom Steyer, their paid Internet trolls, and the rest of the usual Team Leftie suspects).

*Re-posting encouraged. No need to ask for permission. Just follow the commonly accepted convention of acknowledging this site as original source with a link back. That way, you leave the asking for forgiveness to me.

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Liberty vs. Tyranny USA 2010: Mid-Year Review

I concluded my 12/30/2009 post (Foreword To The Blog) with these words:

2010 is a dry tinderbox, and our current administration stands by with a blowtorch.

Your fumbling, bumbling, pyromaniac administration has not disappointed my forecast. They have proven themselves to be definitely incompetent, probably corrupt, possibly even treasonous - and most of all Leftist ideologues.

This administration’s bankrupt Leftist ideology is at the root of all their failures, outrageous governance, and the accompanying chaos throughout the land. I first made this point in my 01/04/2010 post (Stupid or Treasonous?). Leftist ideology drives every decision and every action this administration takes.

Those of us paying attention have alternately labeled them socialists, communists, or progressives. My own personal analysis is the American Progressives of the early 20th century are their fathers, and the Fabian Socialists of the late 19th century are their grand-fathers. But this is beside the point. They have seized power, for now, and we are in an epic battle to prevent their abuses of power from permanently damaging the republic. As with any epic battle, nuance and splitting of hairs is the enemy of effective action. Let’s just agree to label them with the operative term best articulated by Mark Levin in his 2009 masterpiece “Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto.” These people are Statists.

These people believe – fervently - in the wisdom of the state. These people worship at the altar of the state. This always causes them to abuse the powers of the state when these powers are in their hands. They are hostile – religiously hostile – to individual liberty, because the exercise of liberty can introduce inconvenient speed bumps slowing down their implementation of the state’s wisdom. Historians will look back on this administration as the final, glaring, proof that statism is a bankrupt ideology.


Foreign Affairs are going to Hell in a hand basket – on rails – under their stewardship. The Korean peninsula and the Middle East are in a sudden death competition to determine which region will be the flash point for World War III. Our traditional friends do not trust the current administration. Petty dictators openly mock this administration. No one, least of all our nation’s avowed enemies, respects this administration.

This is all occurring because their ideology instructs them they must make nice with poor, downtrodden nations; and knock prosperous capitalist nations down a notch or two. They are immune to learning the lessons of history that explain why poor, downtrodden nations are often our enemies; and prosperous capitalist nations traditionally have been our friends. The perverse result is an administration that consistently alienates its friends, yet gets rolled by its enemies like a cheap pizza crust.

The domestic economy is stuck on lousy – despite this administration throwing a trillion bucks down the Keynsian Stimulus rat hole. The administration remains stuck on stupid, still proposing more Keynsian deficit spending – because it’s the only trick their ideology has to offer. A perverse outcome was a President of the United States being dressed down by the European Social Democracies at the G20 Summit about curbing his reckless spending habits. The European Social Democracies for cryin' out loud!

This administration’s policy of growing government to stimulate the private sector is an epic fail. This administration will be viewed by future historians as the final, climactic, death-knell of Keynsian economics. They are to Keynsian economics what the popularly understood comet is to the reign of the dinosaurs.

The Gulf oil spill is “Exhibit A” demonstrating the conspiracy theory triad of incompetence definitely, corruption probably, and treason possibly.

• Why would they turn down so many offers of help, if they intended to contain the spill? Possible answer = hubris, a very dangerous form of incompetence.

• Why would anyone turn down any particular offer of help, if they intended to contain the spill? Possible answer = corrupt subservience to a particular political master, like maybe the labor unions.

• Why would anyone willfully screw the pooch on the whole damn thing? Possible answer = deep seeded hostility to the United States of America, its economy, and its citizens who prosper from that economy.

In the view of LibertyAtStake – gross incompetence, consistently governing by placing politics over the national interest, and consistently demonstrated hostility to the national interest are *all* impeachable. But that’s a case to be made in another post. Soon.

The accomplished comedienne Victoria Jackson gives us an entertaining diversion to get us all in the mood to pursue impeachment in high spirits.


Soon enough we will be debating the process of Impeachment in detail. You can take that much to closest bank that hasn’t been nationalized yet.

But, first things have to be first. We simply have to take the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue in November, or these statists will have two more years – a total of four – to completely wreck the American Founding. Believe me, they could do it. Believe me when I say they intend to do it - by any means necessary, as their ideology instructs them to.

Update - 07/01/10

The discussion topic for the first hour of Chris Plante's radio show this morning was a hand-in-glove fit to this post.  The gleefully disputatious host (that's what I like about him) keenly observed the Leftists in this White House have now moved into campaign mode overdrive, and will be there to stay until November.  Their strategy is designed to divert attention from their abysmal record, and will be taken right of the playbook given to them by Saul Alinsky (their Clausewitz for partisan hackery) - "change the subject and attack."  Their fellow travelers in the criminally biased MSM will reliably carry their water.  All the sand they have been kicking up in the sandbox over John Boehner's innocuous ant/nuclear analogy is just the beginning.  Barry's hyper-partisan call to arms for the illegal immigration amnesty lobby today at AU is another sign of things to come.  It's going to be a long, hot, summer and fall.  We patriots need to push back with every means at our disposal.  The future of the republic depends on it.
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Friday, June 25, 2010


(AP) – Jack Wiley Dithers reporting.

Our cracker-jack investigative journalism team has learned President Obama will be holding a Top Secret Camp David picnic on July 4th, for selected world heads of state. Certified White House Genius Valerie Jarrett told our source this picnic was a continuation of the administration’s new diplomatic outreach to the rest of the world. We have been able to obtain some of the correspondence that has gone into planning the event.

Afghani President Hamad Karzai declined, but said he was keeping his options open for July 2011.

Chinese Premier Hu Jintao accepted the RSVP, but with a note saying he insisted on approving all the purchase orders for event planning.

The leaders of Brazil, Turkey, and Iran all suggested a game of poker – on the condition it would be just them and Mr. Obama at the table. Kim Jong Il, Supreme Leader of North Korea, suggested bobbing for apples carved into the shapes of South Korean naval vessels. The North Korean leader is also scheduled to take on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a Festivus Feats of Strength match, to determine who gets to run the fireworks display at the end of the evening.

The Indian Prime Minister accepted on the condition he could assign his own security detail. The Mexican President’s invitation was the only one that included the words “go ahead and bring along as many friends and family as you can.”

Russian President Dimitry Medvedev initially said he needed to check with Vladimir Putin for permission. Mr. Medvedev then said he would participate on the condition of removing the Ant-Ballistic Missile (ABM) systems that protect Camp David and the rest of DC. The reply from Mr. Obama was “don’t be silly, no such thing exists. Come on over, dude.” Our sources at the Pentagon are nervous about the possibility of Mr. Obama actually asking whether such a thing exists. It might present an ethical dilemma.

Vice President Biden is scheduled to provide entertainment of an unspecified nature. Former Vice President Al Gore is scheduled to give a PowerPoint presentation on something kind of scientific-ish. Weather permitting.

The Prime Ministers of Israel, Great Britain, and Germany were sent invitations to a separate July 5th gathering; at which the plans included serving leftovers, listening to taped recordings of Mr. Obama’s old speeches, stupid pet tricks with Bo the dog, and VP Biden providing entertainment of an unspecified nature. July 5th was also the rain date for Mr. Gore’s PowerPoint presentation. However, none of these leaders accepted, so the July 5th event has been scrubbed.

Jack Wiley Dithers reporting.
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010


(AP) – Jack Wiley Dithers reporting.

Really – this comes right out of the You Can’t Make This Stuff Up Department.

Before this news broke, our crack investigative journalism team was working on a report to explain what was taking so long with the FY 2011 budget process. We’ve decided to just dump our findings into the public domain for the historical record.


When asked about the budget by our reporters, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said “I can’t write the bill until it passes and I can see what’s in it.”

A House coalition lead by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. Edwin Markey (D-MA) was working on an amendment to classify Carbon Dioxide as taxable income for plants, on the theory the new revenue would close the budget deficit.

A coalition of Senators led by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), John Kerry (D-MA), and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) was working on an amendment to attach digital monitors to every citizen, in order to meter and tax carbon dioxide exhaled. Republicans have been torn between embracing the measure as a way to tell who the illegal aliens are, versus challenging the measure as double taxation in view of the House proposal.

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) were working on a measure to reduce the deficit by selling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to the government of Greece.

Our attempt to interview Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) was a complete wash out because her phone was ringing off the hook. We couldn’t understand a word Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY) was saying either, because she was looking for her new teeth the whole time. Nor could we understand anything Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) said, due what appeared to be a pointed pillow case on his head. When we approached Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) his head spun around 360 degrees and he spoke in tonques.

Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) was busy cobbling together a coalition of representatives who were determined to demand an Executive Order stating the deficit doesn’t exist. Representatives Weiner (D-NY) and Kucinich (D-Ohio) were working on a proposal to combine the US and Canadian budgets because the overall math will look better.

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) was holding out for more funding for mosque construction in Northern Virginia. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) was holding out for more funding to promote the development of bad comedians. Just before going to press we began to uncover ties between ACORN and a mysterious effort with some financial ties to George Soros, apparently aimed at identifying and cultivating bad comedians in the inner city. The connection to Senator Franken continues to be investigated.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus wrote a letter to us stating they were waiting for a more comprehensive proposal. The Congressional Black Caucus wrote to us they were holding out for separate public bathrooms for TEA party members. Interestingly, this letter came on letter head using the name Congressional African-American Caucus. We may investigate this anomaly at some later date.

President Obama could not be reached for comment today. His staff said he was busy greasing himself up for tomorrow’s Greco-Roman wrestling match with Gen. Stanley McChrystal (D-voted for Obama and don’t forget it) on the South Lawn of the White House.

Jack Wiley Dithers reporting.
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Thursday, June 17, 2010


(AP) – Jack Wiley Dithers reporting.

Today, President Obama announced in the Rose Garden that Czar of Homeland Justice Richard B. Cheney will lead a newly formed task force to clean up the mess in the Gulf.

Holding the door for Mr. Cheney as they entered the Rose Garden, the President’s attire and coif appeared a bit mussed. On his way to the podium, Mr. Obama looked at ABC News correspondent Jake Tapper and said “No questions today, Helen.”

Mr. Obama was uncharacteristically brief and contrite in his remarks while introducing Mr. Cheney. Mr. Obama told the press pool, "What this crisis needs is a straight shooter. And nobody shoots like the Czar of Homeland Justice." He went on to say "I have deputized the Czar of Homeland Justice to do - and let me be clear, I mean DO - whatever it takes to clean up the mess in the Gulf."

Mr. Cheney then strode up to the podium like a colossus, and began speaking. He was characteristically brief and direct. He said his first order of business was to determine whose ass to kick, and that he had already checked that one off. Mr. Obama was looking at his shoes while Mr. Cheney made this point.

The Czar of Homeland Justice said he had already made four phone calls while Mr. Obama was sitting there.

The first was to Nobel Prize Winning physicist Steven F. Chu, instructing him to stay at home and watch the news on television.

The second was to his administrative assistant, instructing her to initiate the call tree to every head of state willing to send a skimmer ship to help.

The Czar of Homeland Justice then said his third phone call was to ‘whoever the hell is running the Army Corps of Engineers today, and I told her to get some damn shovels out there to build those damn berms Bobby has been screaming about.’

He also announced that one week from today, he will chair an open forum, at the New Orleans Hilton, where anyone with an innovative idea for picking up oil off the water or beaches can present their ideas. He said his fourth phone call was to BP CEO Tony Hayward clearing the agreement BP will expense all submitted travel and lodging expenses.

Effective immediately, any Gulf Coast resident claiming to have lost their means of living can enlist in the new Czar of Homeland Justice Gulf Clean Up Corps. Each enlistee will be compensated weekly at the equivalent salary rate of a GS-15 salaried federal employee. Each of these enlistments will be matched by an indefinite furlough of a Washington-based GS-15 for as long as the cleanup takes – making the program deficit neutral.

Mr. Cheney looked over at Mr. Obama, both men nodded, and Mr. Obama went over to hold the door open for Mr. Cheney, and the press pool was left murmuring to itself.

Jack Wiley Dithers reporting.
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Quickie Analysis: Barry’s Gulf Oil Spill Speech

Or: It's Still All About Barry.

It is fitting that Barack Hussein Obama’s first speech from the Oval Office will go down as the speech that precipitated his final slide into complete and utter irrelevance.

This will be because he couldn’t help but make it all about Barry. The problem for him is making it all about Barry is what got him into this hole in the first place. Not being able to even recognize the root problem, he is incapable of observing the first rule of standing in holes – stop digging.

He couldn’t bring himself to make even the slightest admission that the government could have done anything better, or faster, in the containment response. In fact, he had the chutzpah to start off with the big lie that the federal government was calling the shots from day one: “we directed BP to assemble teams and equipment…” Even while you were turning away offers of skimmers from foreign governments, Barry? Something doesn’t add up about the “in charge” part of your narrative.

He also gave the federal government a belated pat on the back for deploying booms, assigning national guardsmen, issuing permits to build sand berms, and bringing in skimmers – precisely the containment tools and methods local jurisdictions have been screaming for at the tops of their collective lungs for eight weeks now! Government can do no wrong in the statist’s mind. And Barry is nothing if not a statist. It’s all about Barry.

He then pivoted easily into a so-called “Long Term Gulf Coast Restoration” program – making the unrealistic promise to give Gulf Coast residents anything and everything they need, at no cost to US taxpayers, completely underwritten by the evil BP corporation. If you believe this, I’ve got a bridge in … well, you know the rest. Make no mistake – this is just the old Community Organizer’s trick of promising something for nothing to people in need, in exchange for voting loyalty. It’s all about Barry. This program will cost the American taxpayer untold gazillions of dollars – you can take that much to the bank. Speaking for BP’s open-ended commitment before meeting with BP’s CEO for even the first time could prove to come back and bite Barry, too – we’ll see.

He then moved on to defending the drilling moratorium he reflexively imposed (like a good statist will) – on the specious grounds that he was misled about the risks on a somewhat related decision a few weeks before. Make no mistake – this was a sop to his political left wing. Does the FAA ground every airplane for six months whenever any single airplane crashes? Of course not – it would be a stupid overreaction. But Barry has an agenda to push here. It’s all about Barry.

And Barry smells an opportunity to impose more government control, like any good statist would. He announced still another phony commission – this one with the transparent mission of building out denser (read economically straight-jacketing) regulations for an industry that already deals with reams upon reams of regulation. Barry the statist used the opportunity tonight to make his clarion call for scorched earth regulation of another industry. It’s all about Barry.

Then came the big pitch for Barry’s true agenda - Cap and Tax. We got the old Progressive meme stating the US uses 20% of the world’s fossil fuel even though we’re 2% of the world’s population. No shit, Sherlock – we have the most prosperous society! If Kenyans would like to consume more fossil fuels and raise its standard of living, and change the ratios, they are welcome to have at it!

Notice he did not mention “Global Warming,” err I mean “Climate Change,” err I mean whatever the hell they are calling it now. That’s because the science is discredited. Instead, he engaged in the big lie that resources are running out closer to shore and on shore. Yeah, we’ll have that argument in the coming days and weeks – but just for starters; let's review this map of the status of coastal US off shore drilling areas (courtesy of Reuters).

Then he predictably got into wind and solar, surely knowing they are incapable of meeting even a pathetic percentage of demand – while failing to even mention nuclear, which does indeed have the ability to scale up to meeting significant portions of demand right now. But when the truth doesn’t fit Barry’s agenda, it cannot be mentioned. It’s all about Barry.

Then came the explicit mention of Waxman-Markey (aka “Cap and Tax”), without actually saying its name. This was the big sop to his political left wing we all expected. It’s all about Barry. We then heard the oblique reference to there being “costs” involved – but no specifics. Yeah, economically crippling costs! Make no mistake – when the statist is non-specific about costs, you can be sure the final bill will be astronomical.

Then he made another disingenuous promise to entertain all ideas in the Cap and Tax debate – just like he did right before the phony Blair House Summit that kicked off the last act of the ObamaCare tragic comedy. My personal favorite tonight was Barry the Wise wondering aloud why energy companies don’t spend as much on R&D as high tech companies. No shit, Sherlock – energy companies are already regulated to death! More regulation means more dollars for compliance and fewer dollars for everything else, including R&D. But of course more and more regulation is precisely what the statist always calls for. The only surprising thing here is he didn’t take the opportunity to call for more regulation of the high tech industry in the next breath. An amazing show of restraint, if you ask me. It’s all about Barry.

Finally came the hopey changey platitudes and insincere nods to prayer and patriotism.

It was all about Barry when the Progressive machine foisted this Empty Suit upon the republic, and sold him on false premises, using the compliant and biased MSM. It still is all about Barry, and that’s precisely the problem that presently plagues the republic.

For now, it’s as if these guys were running the country, and we’ll just have to muddle along with the checks and balances bestowed upon us by the American Founding Fathers ….

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Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Conservative Ascendancy (And Other Things That May Be Rising)

Tuesday’s primary election results across the nation were good news for the Conservative Ascendancy. And it’s not just because it precipitated a lot of media coverage concerning Sarah Palin’s boobs - although this has been a fringe benefit for some of us.

Wonkette Reports, You Decide. Take Your Time.

Nor was it due to the demographic attributes of the Palin-endorsed “mama grizzlies” who won their races – which has been so much the topic of conversation among the chattering class and its’ talking heads. I couldn’t care less about my politicians’ demographics, and neither should you. We should care about just what the hell these people intend to DO for us or to us once in office.

The uniformly good news from Tuesday’s results is the American center of political gravity continues to move right. Yeah, I know Mark Levin thinks Carly Fiorina might be a RINO – but a RINO would be a huge improvement on the two Progressive slugs California now calls “Senator” (or “ma’am” as the case may be). And, as I look around at the situation today, I can say with confidence I’d be much happier living in an America with RINO Senators from MA and CA - assuming principled conservatives from everywhere else in the country.

I could even live happily under principled Democrat conservatives from middle America (if there is even such a thing anymore). Stipulating for the sake of illustration alone that Blanche Lincoln is a “conservative” Democrat – it is good news she beat back the challenge from the well funded, union backed, Progressive wing nut named Bill Halter. The center of gravity continues to move right.  We’ll beat her sorry “blue dog”, err I mean “lap dog”, arse in the general anyway.

The best news of all is that a true TEA Party patriot named Sharon Angle has been nominated to finally rid us of Dingy Harry Reid, and she is starting the general election race with a significant lead in the polls against this most contemptible of incumbents.

Winning this race will be a morale boost to the Conservative Ascendancy no less significant than what taking Fort Ticonderoga in May 1775 was to the Revolutionary cause.

I grew up in upstate New York relatively near Fort Ticonderoga…which brings me now to the primary election report from the congressional district in which I now live, Virginia’s 11th.


I reported in my April 30th posting I would be making a last minute decision in the local Republican Congressional primary, because the professed policy positions of the two contestants were virtually identical and very conservative. I made my election day decision on purely subjective factors. My subjective analysis was that Herrity seemed to want it more - so I had better vote for Fimian just to be careful.

Herrity lined up the GOP establishment and went more negative with more fervor in the campaign literature I saw. Plus Herrity’s big negative point on Fimian didn’t even hold water with me. Apparently Fimian the business owner ran into some tax law red tape over a technicality in the amount of $16K supposedly owed. Big deal – sounds to me like he has the experience to lead the coming tax revolt.

Well, the votes have been tallied – and the only thing that matters now is defeating that Jihadi huggin’, deficit spendin’constituent assaultin’ Progressive sack o’ excrement Gerry Connolly in November. So, Herrity had better step aside (don’t pull no Charlie Crist crap, man) and the local GOP establishment had better get completely behind Fimian.


The turnout story was the most interesting part for me. My wife pushed the big electronic button for Mr. Fimian at approximately 1 pm. She says she was voter number 76 at our local polling place. I cast my vote for him at around 6 pm, and I was voter number 138.

I went to bed wondering about the apparently low turnout, and, honestly, not caring too much about the outcome.

During the morning commute the next morning, I learned from local talk radio that Fimian had won. I also learned that turnout district-wide was unusually high- which of course indicates the conservative base is on the move as expected. So, why the unusually low turnout in my precinct?

I’ve decided it just confirms what I’ve always known – my immediate neighbors are mostly zombies too clueless to even care their country is being destroyed by the Progressive gang, as well as some card-carrying members of the gang itself.

I can’t wait to unfurl the “Mission Accomplished” banner in my front yard after the November elections. It’s been a long time coming.


This just in: Gallup says Barry is now officially toast.  Disapprove exceeds Approve for the first time. 
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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Why Can’t Government Actually DO Anything? (Because it’s Government Stupid.)

Or: If it’s in the nature of the beast, and it’s a problem, then starve the beast.


Let’s start with a little vignette from my own personal experience at a government agency that shall remain nameless. If you don’t have time to read any further, I’ll give you the summary right now as a game of charades.

Two Words. First word – “Cluster.”

The task was to deploy a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Intranet application with maybe a few hundred users, from a test platform into production. The presentation layer was garden variety .Net forms. The data layer was SQL Server. The business logic – and I mean every single business rule – was entirely contained in SQL stored procedures. Literally only two target servers – web server and database server. The database server took in a couple of data feeds from external systems; all totally read-only and asynchronously connected. I’ll now translate for the non-IT-geek……

….Dirt Simple.

If they had given me administrative access to the two servers, I could have completed the task myself in an hour without breaking a sweat. A competent administrator who actually knew what they were doing could have done it in 20 minutes, including the obligatory cigarette break. Here’s how it actually went down.

I was presented with a three-track approval process. The first track was an incredibly dense documentation exercise for headquarters' “change control” organization.  The other two tracks involved two distinct automated help desk ticket processes – one for each target server – even though neither update could work without the other one. You know, because everybody knows you need a completely separate organization for every damn server.

I was given a “handler” to guide me through the maze of the headquarters red tape. His preferred mode of operation was to constantly ping me on Instant Messenger (IM) with new questions and requirements for what was obviously a still evolving “change control process” at this so-called “headquarters.” This process lasted a week or so, including at least four face-to-face meetings. Throughout this process I mostly just fed this guy what he wanted, knowing full well it had next to zero nutritional value. (Any value to speak of was purely CYA in nature.) At the end of all this he gave me his thumbs up, and pronounced my two draft help desk tickets ready to move forward.

Was he ever wrong.

Each of the help desk tickets would require no less than five more levels of approval. Each one added its own unique requirements for new documentation. Mostly it was more documentation with next to zero nutritional value (except for CYA). But, of course, my team is also required to attach precisely detailed installation instructions for servers they’ve never seen, and will never be granted access to, and which are controlled by groups barely willing to take our phone calls. Literally hundreds – perhaps even more than a thousand (I am not insane enough to try to count) – emails, phones, and Instant Messages flew around the digital network. On one of the tickets, the person actually assigned to do the work was approval level one with four left to go.

After maybe two weeks of this bureaucratic nightmare, the big day arrives. A conference call line is opened, consisting of the two people actually doing the work and about a dozen or so other interested parties. The two people doing the work are inexperienced and lack basic skills. The one person on the call with the experience and knowledge actually needed is not allowed access to the target servers.

It works - despite the “change control” process’s best efforts to guarantee failure. The next day a government executive sends out an email congratulating the team on great team work.


If you are not muttering “WTF?” to yourself by now – read it again, stupid.

Is it any wonder the Minerals Management Service (MMS) had no contingency plans in place when the Deep Water Horizon rig blew up? Is it any wonder Secretary of Interior Salazar was caught flat-footed? Not to me. MMS is one of no less than eight – count ‘em, eight – operationally independent bureaus falling under the Department of Interior (DOI). Each one has an organizational identity all its’ own. And a congressional budget all its’ own. DOI cannot be managed by anyone, period.

Is it any wonder the Department of Energy (DOE) was formed approximately 35 years ago with the mission to make us independent of foreign oil - and yet we are only more dependent on it now? Not to me. In those three and half decades, DOE has been mostly devoted to subsidizing so-called “renewable” energies that still supply a pathetic percentage of overall demand.

I’m not smart enough to articulate the root cause in this space. But I have seen the symptoms up close and personal. Government employees tend to behave like the worst caricatures of unionized labor. No interest in outcomes, no interest in productivity. Totally interested in protecting their “position” and benefits. Never thinking about how current activities can be improved and performed more efficiently. Definitely never seeking new, innovative, activities that connect to a higher purpose of mission. Because there would only be personal risk in this.

This attitude results in the simplest of activities being Balkanized into absurdly small pieces of turf, that must be protected and justified by absurdly opaque and dense ribbons of red tape designed to confuse the outside observer into seeing heroic complexity in the simplest of tasks.

Gulf Oil Spill Contingency Plan? I’ll bet there’s a document for that. An impossibly dense, confusing, and unrealistic document that cannot possibly be executed and has never been read through, much less actually exercised.

Libertarians and Conservatives are often mischaracterized (sometimes intentionally libeled) as calling for no government involvement in anything. No, that position is more accurately labeled Anarchist. Libertarians and Conservatives espouse limited government to provide a few things that are necessary to secure the liberties of the citizenry and provide for every citizen’s pursuit of happiness. You know, stuff that is good and necessary, but which no sane person would seek to do for profit. Like raise an army to provide for the national defense, or build an interstate highway system to provide for individual mobility (Reflect for a moment on what it is that makes “Easy Rider” the quintessentially American movie).

Somehow, our Founding Fathers must have understood all of this. The genius of the governing framework they devised is in how it inherently limits the powers of government. We know that because they said so.

Here’s a small sampling of quotes.

Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

George Washington

Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.

Thomas Jefferson

There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.

John Adams

I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.

James Madison

Americans need never fear their government because of the advantage of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation.

Gouverneur Morris

Here, sir, the people govern; here they act by their immediate representatives.

Alexander Hamilton

Unfortunately, the Founding Fathers don’t seem to have envisioned the need to specifically limit the size of government. I think it went without saying for them. But, in our day, over the past 3-4 generations, we have seen the leviathan grow in size and reach to the point where it seems able to deem new powers by fiat.

That’s why, while thinking about what would make good constitutional amendments in my spare time, I have come around to believing the most useful amendments today would be ones to specifically limit the size of government. For example, capping the federal budget at some reasonable percentage of GDP sounds good - the better to control the insatiable appetite of the beast.

I’ll need to work out the Amendments discussion in my head for a future post. If any of you professional politicians out there would like to get the ball rolling on the Constitutional Convention, I might be motivated to pick up the pace on that one.
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