Constitutionally Right

The only way to predict the future is to create it.

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Location: Yardley, PA (Bucks County), United States

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Unions: The Axis of Intimidation, Waste and Entitlement - PhillyBurbs.com

My wife and I periodically reminisce to a time of days past when I hadn’t a political bone in my body. It was before moving to New Jersey. We were young, carefree and innocent. Those were certainly “the days”. I found myself getting annoyed as a New Jersey resident and I really didn’t know why. After a few specific incidents I got involved in our local Republican Party exactly when they were desperate for a Candidate for Mayor. I bring that up just to set the stage for what was to come. Please don’t be impressed. The Candidate was me simply because I was the only one out of 80,000 residents who didn’t know any better. I’m loyal as the most trusted dog, but maybe not overly bright. I’m willing to learn, though, of course. The next 6 months were the equivalence of earning a PhD in Political Science. What shocked me most was the whole “union” thing. I just didn’t know that human beings behaved like this. A very nice gentleman undertook a complete renovation of a dilapidated apartment building on a major thoroughfare. There was no downside whatsoever; or was there? Around that time an article in the Philadelphia Business Journal (June of 2003) revealed that the labor component of union work was 40% more expensive than free-and-open-market labor. In the name of saving $7 million the developer used non-union labor. He was intimidated on and off the site (to include in church) and was denied various permits by the County Office. This 40% extra expense for union work goes to union boss salaries and funding political campaigns for elected officials who deny permits to those who don’t use union labor. I’m just barely scratching the surface, but I don’t want to get off on too much of a tangent. As I began to discover more of the treachery of the Axis of Evil I was quoted in the paper saying, “I hope a Cherry Hill researcher doesn’t find a cure to cancer using non-union laboratory rats.” The next day my car had a screwdriver gouged across its entire length. I viewed that as a badge of honor. But what really bothered me about this environment was the overwhelming sheep-like behavior of the citizenry. They bow to these punks in a fear-induced zombie-like trance. It’s really weird and I truly don’t understand the obsession to complacency. Well, people are starting to understand that this can’t go on forever and that the day of reckoning is upon us. Many separate private and public unions, but I think they have more in common than not so I won’t separate them. Take my home city of Philadelphia where you can’t even blink without union approval (and that’s no exaggeration). The entitlement mentality of Philadelphia unions goes to a new high of other-than-human behavior. Thousands of businesses have not come to Philadelphia and other union cesspools like it and thousands more won’t. I’m convinced that this environment creates a profound dysfunction that intensifies with time that tragically minimizes the opportunities for those who haven’t fled. This leads to drugs, murder and robbery in direct correlation to the opportunities lost. Should we bring up the teachers’ union (speaking of drugs, murder and robbery)? Just Google my alma mater of the Neshaminy School District, but only if you have a barf bag nearby. They’re like the 6th or 7th highest paid out of 500 school districts in Pennsylvania and have recently thrown the students out of school with their second strike of this year. I really need to be in charge of this so I can throw them out and ban them from ever setting foot in front of a child ever. Are you ****** kidding me? So where does this all lead? It leads to you getting your head out of your ass and voting for elected officials with at least one ball. “No balls” simply won’t do from here on out. It’s truly out of control and the inefficient use of your tax dollars is a black hole of epic proportions. Many try to be nice and say that it’s the union leadership that’s the problem, but I disagree. It’s also the members. The days of being nice have expired and so has my patience with weakness. Thank you for reading and let’s get it together. Seriously. Stop it with your bull**** and wake the **** up.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

High Performance and Good Values - A Match Made In Heaven - PhillyBurbs.com

I’ve noticed (over the years) a correlation between good values and good performance. This phenomenon seems true in sports, academia, professional life and family. Of course, one must first define “good values”, but that’s an easy one. All manner of “good values” might fall under the general umbrella of “honesty”. Honesty, though, can be tough because it begins with being honest with the one that’s the most difficult to be honest with - yourself. The foundation of good values was poured by my karate instructor, William Hodgkiss, who recently lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. He taught by example that anything’s possible and that hard work over time is usually what’s required to accomplish anything worthwhile. He was very critical of those who repelled hard work as if it were something bad and demonstrated that hard work was, in fact, quite a good thing. I was ridiculously fortunate to spend a few years of college wrestling learning first-hand what’s required for the highest levels of achievement. The most consistent highest performers had a lot in common. There were the good performers and the highest performers. Many, if not all, of the highest performers were really nice guys, very humble, helped others to achieve their goals, outstanding students in the classroom and had a strong faith in God. They had everything well balanced, in good perspective and never seemed stressed out. I didn’t have the mental capacity at the time to really get it, but started to notice that something was up and I wanted in. I decided that the best way to continue to refine myself was to become a US Marine right after college and I couldn’t have been more right as I picked up right where leaving off. The first jaw-dropping experience was a few weeks into Officer Candidate School where one of my peers got dropped for doing 24 sit-ups when asked to do 25. It was at the start of the 45 minute Endurance Course which was sort of like a massive obstacle course through the woods. There were Instructors observing everywhere and another also left from falling off of an obstacle in the middle of the course and didn’t go back to try to complete it thinking that no one was watching. We learned that integrity is especially important when no one’s looking and that important tasks need to be completed without excuse. Another example was a leadership exam where we had to navigate to different checkpoints within certain timeframes. I was in charge of my group and one of us got a knee injury. I disregarded the task and had the entire group move along at the speed of the injured member. I failed the test so miserably that my Company staff held a sort of hearing with me as the defendant. My excuse was the injured member, but I still didn’t get to the checkpoint at the right time (therefore having no excuse). I should have created a secure area for the one guy, completed the exercise and then came back to retrieve him. Excuses would then seem contrary to good results; and I’ve found that to be more true than not. Over the course of that training, subsequent training and then 4 years of service revealed that the top performers in the Marine Corps shared the same qualities as the top performers elsewhere. To this day the most meaningful religious service that I’ve yet experienced was in a small room on a particularly tough day. Lots of strong faith in there from some of the toughest, most intelligent people I’ve ever known. The examples keep coming. I could go on and on and on, but honesty, humility and hard work is the consistent theme throughout. You will make your own definition of good values, but the results are clear. Since this is a political blog I’d be neglectful if I didn’t point out that our current leaders out there do not have good values and the results are consistently predictable. And since we elect them I’d say that the problem is us and not them. We’ve become a nation of very poor values. Just being honest.