Robert A. Teegarden's Blog

December 4, 2012

Where’s the budget?

Filed under: Civics,Good Administration,Government,Obama,Uncategorized — by Robert @ 11:08 am

Forget the so-called “fiscal cliff.”  Forget sequestration.  Forget the media-attention-getting animosities of congressional debates.  Forget the political-correctness drivel oozing from the lips of the Pharoah.  How in the world can anyone consider a “plan” for the future without knowing the reality of today?  How in the world can you plan your time and your resources without knowing what’s in the bank?  Simply said, “You can’t.”  So the realquestion, Mr. Soetoro/Obama is, “Where’s the budget?”

Now we all know that the big BO will obfuscate, suborn, jive and shuffle his way out of this budget thing by noting that there is nothing in the
Constitution that requires him to provide one. Actually, he’s correct there (and that’s a first!).  Seemingly, then, he’s off the hook and off to the races with our credit card.  His behavior and that of his wife, let alone all his czars, remind me of a newly-minted adolescent, recently free from the bondage

of home, family, and parental guidance, free to explore the world at whim, and possessing a credit card for the first time.  But the problem is that the citizens of the US are the co-signers on that card.  He might wind up in Hawaii, living the life of Soetoro, but the rest of 

 

us will still be down on thefarm, slaving to pay off the debt incurred in his reckless pursuit of narcissistic dreams of power and pleasure.  Ain’t freedom wonderful?

But he cannot ignore six laws of the land which do apply:

  1. Budget and Accounting Act.
  2. Congressional Budget Act.
  3. Antideficiency Act.
  4. Impoundment Control Act.
  5. Government Performance and Results Act.
  6. Federal Credit Reform Act.

If BO doesn’t first provide a budget proposal to Congress, fire him.  If Congress (the Senate) doesn’t enact a budget, fire them.  If leadership cannot adhere to the will of the people, fire them.

A contemporary  comedian once noted that the most sacred document in any home is the checkbook.  It tells what you’ll do withten dollars and what
you’ll do for ten dollars.

Transparency demands that we have a budget.

Change demands that we have a budget, one in which we can all live.

Hope demands that we have a budget.

Let’s get with the program or throw the bums out.

 

Advertisements

September 9, 2012

City Employees Exempt from Fines for Running Red Lights

Filed under: American,Civics,Good Administration,Government — by Robert @ 1:03 pm
Tags:

 A recent article in the Rochester, NY, Democrat and Chronicle noted that Rochester city employees seem to have a serious tendency to run red lights. But when cited, the city argues that the individuals “may be disciplined” but are exempt from paying fines.  The article is of note for it outlines the beginnings of a slippery slope that will evolve into chaos on the streets and further distance “government employees” from the citizens they are sworn to represent.

Wrong.  Bad policy.  Back the red-light truck up.  Don’t do it. Let the consequences fall. 

The offenders included folks working in public works, solid waste or refuse, building services, cemetery, library vehicles, animal services, police vehicles, including the police chief himself.

I might consider some variance for police officers in the performance of their duties, but public works, solid waste, building services, cemetery, library and animal services—definitely not.

I used to admire our state highway patrol officers.  They were the “barons of the boulevard.”  They were highly trained, honest, moral citizens with a badge.  They didn’t flaunt that badge in your face.  They served the public (citizenry) well.  On one rainy night in Oakland, California, while I waited in traffic for a serious accident ahead of me, I watched one of these “barons” pull off a miracle.  Six lanes of traffic were to be merged into one and this officer had to place flares on the rain-slick overpass.  Rather than step out of the protection of his cruiser, he dropped the lighted flares from his window as he crossed three lanes.  Once he got to the end, he proceeded in reverse and, using his mirrors, he gently “popped” each flare with the right rear tire to scoot it across the concrete to exactly the right spot to merge the upcoming traffic.  I was impressed.

But I’ve noticed since then how sloppy our government employees drive.  I’m told that police are allowed a five mile-per-hour speed over the posted limit without the use of their red lights.  In other words, they can break the law up to a point.  But this “grace” doesn’t include red lights.  Weaving in and out of traffic with no red lights. No signals.  Speeding in excess of five mph over the legal limit, again with no lights.  Tail-gating.  I won’t even get into a comparison with the want-to-be, pretend, Napolitano-nympho TSA agents

The law of the land in New York is if one runs a red light, one pays a fine.  Period.  And that’s the way it should be; Richard Nixon taught us all that NO ONE is above the law.

Did you know one can perform a citizen’s arrest on a police officer who breaks the law?  I wouldn’t recommend it because of the retaliatory potential of an armed group of individuals, but it is possible.  But this is my point.

The one thing we all have in common when we’re on the highways is that we’re all citizens.  We’re all doing what citizens do—supposedly obeying the laws.  There are private citizens and pubic citizens commissioned to protect and serve.  If a citizen breaks the law there are consequences and those consequences must fall; otherwise, we start sliding toward tyranny and then anarchy.  After all, if a government employee doesn’t have to pay a fine for breaking the law, what should anyone else?

The Rochester article does give a couple of clues as to the real problem.  Here are just a couple of tidbits to consider:

“But Sheppard said most do involve emergency responses, and typically are rolling stops on right turns.”

If they are an emergency response, then red lights should be on.  How do we know this isn’t just a mad dash to the donut shop?  These “rolling stops on right turns,” sometimes referred to as a “Hollywood stop,” are still a violation of the red light ordinance.  Sheppard is making excuses for a lack of discipline. “Most involve emergency responses?”  How does he know when he cannot remember what he was doing when he was cited.  No, this is kind of like saying it’s a matter of national security—which is another way of saying “butt out.”

“There also was a stretch in April when city employees recorded 24 violations in 27 days.”

Common Sense tells you why. They got away with it. If there’s no consequence, the behavior continues.

“Two vehicles – one in animal services and the other in solid waste – were ticketed four times. The data doesn’t show whether the same employees were driving each time.”

I know ignorance is bliss, but I’m sure they have a check-out system that tells them exactly who was driving the vehicles in question.  If not, they’d better design one real quickly.

“He said some employees already have faced discipline, which can escalate from a note in their file to suspension to termination. The disciplinary process varies by bargaining unit, Redon said. Those terms allow for assessment of damages up to $100 but do not address monetary fines, said Mike Mazzeo, president of the police union, who suspects any discipline will need to be negotiated.”

This is the most troubling part of the report.  This says that the law of the land can be trumped by a union contract, kind of like how the teacher’s union operates.  The disciplinary process is the prerogative of the employer.  But the consequences of the law still stand.  Run a red light and you pay a fine.  Do it enough and you loose your license/privilege to drive in addition to whatever your employer demands.

The union already is upset that public safety aides, not police officers, review violations to determine whether tickets should be issued. And Mazzeo questioned the value of cameras, as intersections with cameras have yet to show a noticeable decline in violations.

This is a classic case of demonizing the messenger when we don’t like the truth in the message.  Citizens should be making these reviews, not police officers.  These citizens are just as capable to determine if someone breaks the law.  Likewise, the union officials can’t see the value of these cameras in the first place because, according to them, they don’t show a decline in violations.  Of course they don’t, especially when the greatest offenders get off scot-free.  But they sure catch a picture of the violators!

Union officials are NOT arbitrators of the law.   Run a red light and you pay a fine.  The only exception is if your red lights are flashing and you are on an emergency.

August 13, 2012

The Ten Commandments of a Poor President

Filed under: Civics,Elections,Good Administration,Government,Obama — by Robert @ 9:14 am
Tags: , ,

The Ten Commandments of a Poor President

  1. Refuse citizens, media, cabinet members a share in the decision-making process.  Don’t let them know how you got “there.”  Use pithy remarks and slogans to hide your real agenda.
  2. Issue edicts undergirt only by one’s own presumptive authority.  Make sure these are issued in the dead of night or at the worst, late on a Friday afternoon.
  3. Suddenly change fundamental stated objectives in the midstream of your administration.  In the vernacular, this is called practicing “bait and switch,” say one thing, but do another—consistently.
  4. Permit political pressures and threats of self-serving individuals and groups to alter the practices that have been proven time and again to meet the needs and desires of the total community. Practice and promote political-correctness. Refuse to go beyond party-politics to find the “truth.”
  5. Allow the changing world to change yourself, your philosophy and your convictions such that you cease to exemplify the attributes that characterized you when first discovered.
  6. Initiate, implement through edit transforming innovation without any preliminary testing and approval through pilot programs.
  7. Place all blame for failure upon colleagues, other government agencies, predecessors and the people-at-large and demand full credit, personally, for all obvious successes.  Use an ad hominem wherever possible.
  8. In all modes of outside communication express a sense of possessiveness concerning “my” cabinet, “my” administration, “my” policies, “my people”, “my” programs, “my” ideas.
  9. Exhibit personal qualities not consistent with the behavior and character of a well-educated, roundly developed person—qualifies such as selfishness, greed, mendacity, dishonesty, intolerance, and immorality.
  10. Separate yourself entirely from  all government programs and operate only through edict and paper communication from a cloistered office.

 

Ten Commandments of a Good President

  1. Express in every word and action a high degree of integrity, honor, professional competence, thoughtfulness, intelligence, and balanced judgment.
  2. Involve all appropriate parties in policy-formation activities without surrendering  or overstepping the decision-making responsibilities that must be assumed by all involved.
  3. Develop within the country a clear and accepted understanding of the philosophies and practices which have been adopted as institutional foundations.
  4. By thought and action reveal yourself as a knowledgeable proponent and disciple of a rational governance philosophy.
  5. Be a leader and teacher par excellence with everyone you meet.
  6. Build a staff of individuals offering a varied and comprehensive array of outstanding abilities, prepared and able to press vigorously toward the attainment of designated goals.
  7. Be extremely generous with praise for others when efforts are successful, and quick to accept managerial responsibility when progress is less than admirable.
  8. Spend a large portion of your time outside the enclaves of one’s office, meeting citizens in un-planned and un-rehearsed opportunities.
  9. Exhibit courage and firm leadership when important principles are attacked, even when such defense imperils one’s own personal welfare.
  10. Be a faithful energizer of the people’s policies.

Blog at WordPress.com.