The Mayor and Mr. Claypool: Chicago Citizens Suffer Under an Arrogant City Regime

THE MAYOR AND MR. CLAYPOOL: OUT OF TOUCH WITH CHICAGO’S CITIZEN MILLIONS

In the news what do we have? Here is just a brief list:

Citizens on a hunger strike for the support of the school they want in their neighborhood;
Among the worst (gun) violence in the nation;
Schools in disrepair;
Teachers upset and on strike and threatening strikes;
Pension funds a mess;
Roads and bridges in disrepair;
Homeless families and veterans;
Special needs people who are seeing cuts in funds for services……………………..

And what are our officials talking about? Here is just a sampling:

Property tax increases;
Garbage fees (we already pay for utility and garbage fees at many apartment complexes);
School property tax increases;
Congestion tax for people who drive in from the suburbs;
Taxes on sugary drinks such as sodas and fruit punches;
Cutting public school personnel and jeopardizing teachers and students;
Selling expensive parking lots and earning millions of $$ from those sales in downtown;
Closing schools and establishing charter schools that do not use union personnel;

***************************************************************************

What are our officials NOT talking about? Cutting their own perks and salaries and timing themselves on a time clock like many citizens do, and being accountable to the people who elect them instead of to the mayor who hand-picks many of those ‘trusted’ officials. These narcissistic people are so worried, so paranoid and obsessive-compulsive about giving up or sharing their power that they will do just about anything… but that is going to ruin not only their reputations but our city as well.

Who is going to want to have a business or a home in the city limits? Who will want to drive in and be sacked with a ‘congestion tax’? And by the way, some Chicago apartment managers charge for garbage collection and sewer services and a resident told me that doing so is illegal because the city already pays those companies so we are being charged twice for garbage collection. They head everything under the name of “utility fees”.

We certainly need people in our city department offices who are not accountable to the mayor, who are not hand-picked by the mayor, who have to answer to their employees and not their boss the mayor, and who must answer to a citizen’s board made up of people from all the neighborhoods and who have a bone to pick with the mayor and his arrogant ivory-tower inner circle.

No doubt they have their hands in every department and every office. I suspect that if you turned upside down and shook the boards of METRA, the RTA, Chicago Parks, the CTA, and the Streets & Sanitation, you would find some mayoral crony in the official circle. The Chicago City Council and the Chicago Public Schools already have that deep trouble, and they will push taxes through in a hurry without any consideration of the millions who will suffer.

We are in the grips of a high-money mayor who has his head in the clouds of big money and corporate favoritism and Washington politics. Yet he was booed out of a public meeting recently and there are many people who hope that happens at every public meeting he has until the problems we have are resolved completely to citizens’ satisfaction.

Those few tyrannizing over the many? Uh, folks, we need to get on the officials and in a hurry. We need to ask them what is going on, we need to ask to whom they are answering. If they say, “I answer to the mayor” then those who work for them have choices – they can strike, they can reply, “Oh, then if you cannot help me then why am I working for you?” They can leave the city and go elsewhere, to jobs where they will be appreciated and leave the officials hanging and wondering and having to search their own consciences and finally cooperate with their constituents.

Just look around – there are already people leaving for other cities and suburbs. There are plenty of ‘for sale’ and ‘for lease’ signs in downtown, and there are plenty of homeless and beggars and families suffering on our streets. There are vacant lots full of trash and there are abandoned buildings that attract drugs and crime and vermin. What is the mayor and his inner circle going to do – drive out so many people that only the rich will be left and those who are left will be ‘taxed to the max’ and then want to leave? What will Chicago be left with – no residents, no small businesses, and no workforce.

Get the officials to answer to you or band together and find ways to fire them for not doing their jobs. After all, if the average citizen did not do their job they would be severely reprimanded or fired or demoted, so considering that we let those officials keep their jobs and their money and perks and cushy seats, we should stay on top of them like our employers sandwich us in and hold them accountable for every little thing – yes, every pothole, every power outage, every flooded home, every rat and mouse in the alleys, every tax increase, every investigation that shows government waste, every closed school, every murder using a gun, every homeless veteran, and everything else we know can be corrected. We just have to do this ourselves.

If the officials are too prim and lazy to get out there then grass-roots efforts are the answer. We need to show them how it is done and organize cleanup days and go through this city from south to north and from east to west till we like the way it looks. Then we can work on deciding where our taxes should be spent and how they should be spent and who should control that money. We need to send the officials home for a few weeks, rather like a time-out for a fussy child, until they can cooperate and politely ask to come out of the corner and then assure us, their bosses, those who elected them (and what is the mayor but an elected official so where does he come off being so arrogant and stuck-up), that they can and will behave properly and do their jobs correctly and for the benefit of those who put them in office.

Meanwhile we have the:

Citizens on a hunger strike for the support of the school they want in their neighborhood and who are now going to rally for an elected school board;
Among the worst (gun) violence in the nation;
Schools in disrepair;
Teachers upset and on strike and threatening strikes;
Pension funds a mess;
Roads and bridges in disrepair;
Homeless families and veterans;
Special needs people who are seeing cuts in funds for services
Kids dying on our streets due to drugs and guns and gangs……………………….

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2015.

Advertisements

America on a New Route of Rude?:: Rude, Crude, and Inhumane!?

Hello Chicago and hello America!

What is going on with our attitudes? Sure it is admitted that no human being is perfect in any way – be it behaviorally, physically, morally or spiritually. But we sure need to at least try to improve our behaviors towards others and in the presence of others.

Now my view of behavior and the science of it is that our reactions towards others begin with how we view ourselves and our environment and how environmental factors of all kinds have affected us.

My goodness, what a spit of rude behavior I have seen and experienced lately! We tend to misjudge and sadly prejudge others before we know the facts or the circumstances of situations we see or hear about. The so – called “news” does not help our tendencies to be so fast and thus to act before we think – such as been a shortcoming of our “progressive” technological world. But it is still rude to do many things and to act before thinking. Acting means any kind outward manifestation of thought here – speaking, shouting, gesturing, traveling, etc.

Just some of the examples I have seen of how rude Americans can be include:

Reprimanding someone when the reprimander did not know the rest of the situation (happened in a grocery store and the nasty reprimanding person was way out of line and did not know the rest of the circumstances);
Interrupting someone when they are serving another customer;
Cutting another driver off on Interstate 88;
Wearing caps at the dining table (I have seen at least three guys – I will not call them gentlemen – do this in the past week);

Now there are situations I have not experience but have heard of that indicate just how rude and crude Americans are becoming, such as:

Abuse of others for any reason;
Teasing and making ethnic or other manner of jokes (some people do not consider funny what others consider as funny or “just having fun”);
Smoking within the entrance of a store or apartment complex where non-smokers have to walk;
Mistreatment of animals;
Stepping on the feet of others and not saying excuse me or I am sorry;
Pushing others into a subway car and shoving other passengers out of their way (arrogance, prideful and shameful behavior that has no consideration for the others on board);
Littering (even when a garbage can is within a few feet);
Not cleaning up after pets;
Stealing money from one’s company;
Interrupting in a senate or parliamentary procedure situation, and so many more!

I admit no one is immune to some eruptions of unusual or bad behavior but I am attempting to improve, and pledge so to do. If we all do that, pledge to improve our behavior towards others by a small percentage or by giving a few more seconds’ thought to a situation before we impose any kind of action on another person or on the situation, we will be better people and have a nicer nation.

Divi Logan. Chicago. 2015.

Veterans Need the Best We Can Offer: Chicago HAVE For All Military Personnel

Chicago Needs to HAVE Veterans In Our Hearts All the Time

There are many men and women who have served our nation in uniforms of the military branches of our great United States. They have enlisted and signed the papers, put on the faces and marched through the mud. They have seen international tours of duty and they have seen service right here at home.

Speak Up, America! Watch US Work.

Remembering America’s veterans.

Home… a word that does not ring with many of those proud people, since they do not have a home to go to. Yes, there are homeless veterans… HOMELESS… the very people who have given so much, who have sacrificed and labored and been through obstacle after obstacle, to protect the homes we go to every day, do not have a home of their own to step into.

That is disgraceful.

Yes the Veteran’s Administration (VA) system is seeing its share of dishonorable behavior and wasteful disgraces, but to think that a veteran or any military member is homeless is a major stain on our nation and a pustule on our society. These are people with medical problems due to their tours of duty, and that to which they have been exposed, such as gunfire, diseases, shelling, shell shock, PTSD, and loss of limbs. They have been sick for us, been maimed for us, and been tossed aside by us.

Something has to change, and such changes cannot wait for politics or elections. Those in office, those who command and lead and order around those veterans must step up, just like those folks did in lines of rank or to police an area of their base. They wanted things to look better, they wanted freedom, they wanted health and well being, and they were willing to sign on and give their lives and legs and hands and arms for those privileges.

Do we arrogantly stand by and wait for a new mayor or new senators or a new president to be elected before we bother to look at the endurances these proud people have made for the rest of our nation and around the world? They cannot wait for the influential, the rich, the government that hired and ordered them about, to step up.

Every veteran and their families should have a home and work that is fitting to their talents and needs. Every man and woman should have a house they can call their own, a space that suits them. If the vet has lost a limb, build them a home that will accommodate their special needs. If they are sick, give them the best care a reformed VA system can provide.

HAVE is an idea I thought of while listening to excerpts of Mayor Emanuel’s inauguration speech recently, and the acronym means Home All Veterans Everywhere.

After all, we have homes; we have spaces all our own we can go to after work and play and worship and trips to the grocery and the mechanic, so why don’t these veterans have a home?

It is going to take a lot more than dropping a buck or two in the shaking cup of a homeless vet crouched at the side of a street under a light post, or holding a sign as he strains to sit up in his wheelchair; it is going to take elbow grease action, grassroots efforts, caring and tender and loving people who deeply understand that these are their fellow citizens and neighbors.

Treat them with respect. They deserve it.

America's flag flies proudly.America's flag flies proudly.

Bless our veterans, love our veterans, take care of our veterans, home our veterans.

Divi Logan. Chicago, on this Memorial Day 2015.

Congress Negative: Problems Facing Our United States (or is it?)

Congress’s Approval Rating Negatively Secured!

Waste, bickering, filibustering, arguing, scandals and excessive spending are just about all we seem to get from our so –illustrious and so –compensated and so-spoiled national legislative body that now our approval (or disapproval) rating of that august gathering of elected officials has reached an all- time low. Yes, Monsieur and Madame Congress -person we do not like you and if we could we would recall and replace every single one of you because of waste and malfeasance and laziness and acting like spoiled brats when you don’t get your way.

One issue plagues many people, and that is so much talk of “national security” especially in the wake of the WIKIPEDIA leaks by a member of our military and the Edward Snowden/ NSA (National Security Administration) cases. As far as many are concerned there is too much of this security stuff going on, and 9/11 is no excuse for waste, excess, attempts at justification, and so much snooping on and hindrances on law -abiding citizens who do no wrong and who have no ambitions to do anything amiss.

What are these organizations that plague us every day and make us listen to such notices as you hear on commuter train lines, those notices about seeing something and saying something, about suspicious people and activities, and about “making us all more secure”? Do we really need them all and how much is all this costing us?

The NSA and some group called the CSS (and we aren’t talking Cascading Style Sheets)

Well, let’s get on with this necessary dirty work of exposure of the deep spooky reaching hands of our government, starting with the organization most in the news today, the NSA, or National Security Administration. According to their webpage their core missions are to protect U.S. national security systems and to produce foreign signals intelligence information. WHAT? Here it is straight from their link:

“The National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) leads the U.S. Government in cryptology that encompasses both Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) and Information Assurance (IA) products and services, and enables Computer Network Operations (CNO) in order to gain a decision advantage for the Nation and our allies under all circumstances.”

The arm of the NSA is known as the CSS, and here is its statement from its NSA page link:

Central Security Service (CSS)
“The Central Security Service (CSS) provides timely and accurate cryptologic support, knowledge, and assistance to the military cryptologic community.

It promotes full partnership between the NSA and the cryptologic elements of the Armed Forces, and teams with senior military and civilian leaders to address and act on critical military-related issues in support of national and tactical intelligence objectives. CSS coordinates and develops policy and guidance on the Signals Intelligence and Information Assurance missions of NSA/CSS to ensure military integration.

The CSS was established by presidential directive in 1972 to promote full partnership between NSA and the Service Cryptologic Components of the U.S. Armed Forces. This new command created a more unified cryptologic effort by combining NSA and CSS. The Director of NSA is dual-hatted as the Chief of CSS.”

Put the mission and values together and you get:

Our Vision

Global Cryptologic Dominance through Responsive Presence and Network Advantage.

Our Values

We will protect national security interests by adhering to the highest standards of behavior.

Dominance and advantage – is that all they want? Why do we need so much of this arrogance and ambition?

The CIA or Central Intelligence Agency

Wasteful spenders take two: tackling the CIA’s mission. What is the Central Intelligence Agency and what are they about? They are an independent U.S. government agency responsible for providing national security intelligence to senior U.S. policymakers.

SENIOR U.S. policymakers around here are about as useful as bricks in a junkyard: they just sit there, take up space, and waste resources because someone has to guard them, clean their area, and secure their space. Policymakers, indeed… and the worst thing we can call them is “law makers” because they tend more to get in scandals and break laws, but they sure know how to impose them on American citizens and not lift a finger to help us out without going through a lot of red tape, huffing and puffing and condescending.

Well now, the CIA… what is its mission? Straight from the horse’s mouth it is:

Vision

One Agency. One Community. An Agency unmatched in its core capabilities, functioning as one team, fully integrated into the Intelligence Community.

Mission

We are the nation’s first line of defense. We accomplish what others cannot accomplish and go where others cannot go. We carry out our mission by:

  • Collecting information that reveals the plans, intentions and capabilities of our adversaries and provides the basis for decision and action.
  • Producing timely analysis that provides insight, warning and opportunity to the President and decision -makers charged with protecting and advancing America’s interests.
  • Conducting covert action at the direction of the President to preempt threats or achieve US policy objectives.

The FBI or Federal Bureau of Investigation

Talk about having to make hide and hair of what our government throws at us every day, now we need to take apart the corporate lingo of the FBI, or Federal Bureau of Investigation. Another “bureau”…swell. Just what are they around for anyhow?

Here is something from their “About US” link:

(The FBI is) “an intel – driven national security and law enforcement agency, providing leadership and making a difference for more than a century.

Our mission is to help protect you, your children, your communities, and your businesses from the most dangerous threats facing our nation—from international and domestic terrorists to spies on U.S. soil…from cyber villains to corrupt government officials…from mobsters to violent street gangs…from child predators to serial killers. Along the way, we help defend and uphold our nation’s economy, physical and electronic infrastructure, and democracy.”

Supposedly this organization has so many “intelligent” people working and they cannot even spell out “intel –driven”?

Let’s match up their mission and priorities and see how this information we are gleaning is coming together. Here it is from the FBI’s link:

“Our Mission

As an intelligence-driven and a threat-focused national security organization with both intelligence and law enforcement responsibilities, the mission of the FBI is to protect and defend the United States against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats, to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States, and to provide leadership and criminal justice services to federal, state, municipal, and international agencies and partners.

Our Priorities

The FBI focuses on threats that challenge the foundations of American society or involve dangers too large or complex for any local or state authority to handle alone. In executing the following priorities, the FBI—as both a national security and law enforcement organization—will produce and use intelligence to protect the nation from threats and to bring to justice those who violate the law.

  1. Protect the United States from terrorist attack
  2. Protect the United States against foreign intelligence operations and espionage
  3. Protect the United States against cyber-based attacks and high-technology crimes
  4. Combat public corruption at all levels
  5. Protect civil rights
  6. Combat transnational/national criminal organizations and enterprises
  7. Combat major white-collar crime
  8. Combat significant violent crime
  9. Support federal, state, local and international partners
  10. Upgrade technology to successfully perform the FBI’s mission”

It seems that this mucky gibberish is their way of saying, “Gosh, we’re paranoid and we want you to be, too. And we want you to waste time and money supporting our paranoia veiled under the language of “patriotism” and ‘protecting national security’.”

One thing is sure: until we pare down the Census Bureau (to be discussed) we will not make progress on “civil rights” or “race relations” How ridiculous does that sound? And it is your government that is making all this lack of progress and all the trouble and stress possible. Just remember, there are people terrorizing this country every day from the inside; child abusers and molesters and pornographic suppliers, sex offenders, spouse abusers, serial killers, abusive teachers, bullies in the schools, parents who don’t pay child support, racial profilers, stalkers, and drug runners and pimps and gang –bangers. Who needs talk of all this “overseas” gibberish when we have enough problems to solve RIGHT HERE in our own borders?

The DHS or Department of “Homeland Security”

“The Department of Homeland Security has a vital mission: to secure the nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 240,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cyber -security analyst to chemical facility inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, but our goal is clear – keeping America safe.”

Talk about government linking and lingo and deep layering: enough will be known by looking at the following very involved and very complex and detailed links to the DHS and its policies: http://www.dhs.gov/dhs-rulemaking and http://www.dhs.gov/mission.

Oh boy already… how much more of this can we take?

Had enough? Well don’t go yet- there is more!

The TSA or Transportation Security Administration

Do we need this extra layering of the TSA AND “Homeland Security?” Honestly I’ve felt safe in air travel since the 1970’s, when the Vietnam War was still going on and the United States was involved around the world. 9/11/2001 was a sad day for everyone and it served a need for an increase in security but not, in the view of many, for the creation of an entirely new organization, when there has been some kind of security over our nation’s airports and cargo transport zones for decades now.

Travel now is slower (and they think it is expedited) for passengers than ever before. We now have to remove our shoes, have bags inspected down to their zippers, remove our belts, be pelted with rays and signals, and be identified until we think we can say our social security numbers backwards while standing on our heads in the security screener. When was there a time when bags were not screened, or a time when there was not ample security in the airports? Think the CIA or FBI or the National Guard could handle that without this extra layer of the TSA wasting our time and money?

Here is what the TSA overview says they are doing for you (and how much more will we want done with this “for you” attempt?):

“Protecting Transportation

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created in the wake of 9/11 to strengthen the security of the nation’s transportation systems while ensuring the freedom of movement for people and commerce. Within a year, TSA assumed responsibility for security at the nation’s airports and deployed a federal workforce to screen all commercial airline passengers and baggage.

TSA now vets 100 percent of all passengers into, out of, and within the United States through TSA’s Secure Flight program. We use the latest technology to stay ahead of evolving threats, and continuing our efforts to screen 100 percent of cargo, regardless of where or how it is moving.

I will clarify the word “vets” since the writers of the web page were not kind enough to elaborate despite their cumulative intelligence. What is the meaning of “vets”?

When you “vet” something you:

a : subject to usually expert appraisal or correction <vet a manuscript>

b : evaluate for possible approval or acceptance <vet the candidates for a position>

So the TSA and every “security layer” we have in this country knows more about you when you get on that flight than you do about yourself… now is that something to be concerned about… or isn’t it? Below is more about the TSA.

*           *           *           *           *           *

Improving Security Through Layered, Risk Based Approach

TSA employs a layered, risk-based approach to secure U.S. transportation systems, working closely with stakeholders in aviation, rail, transit, highway, and pipeline sectors, as well as the partners in the law enforcement and intelligence community. The agency continuously sets the standard for excellence in transportation security through its people, processes, technologies and use of intelligence to drive operations.

We use layers of security to ensure the security of the traveling public and the Nation’s transportation system. Because of their visibility to the public, we are most associated with the airport checkpoints that our Transportation Security Officers operate.

These checkpoints, however, constitute only one security layer of the many in place to protect aviation. More security measures both visible and invisible to the public include:

  • Intelligence gathering and analysis
  • Checking passenger manifests against watch lists
  • Random canine team searches at airports
  • Federal air marshals
  • Federal flight deck officers” (Italics mine for emphasis).

*          *          *          *          *          *          *

So far what is the common ground of these “Security” organizations? Let’s review.

Purpose/Mission NSA/CSS CIA FBI DHS/TSA
Cryptology
Gathering   Signals
Computer   Spying/Networking
Dominance   of Intelligence Gathering or Providing Intelligence
Covert   Actions or Military Support
Securing   Infrastructure

Couldn’t we make do with just one that can take care of everything? Why not- the resources are spread out now and we have enough trouble understanding why all the waste, the specialty symbols and uniforms and scanning devices and the excess and the problems, including inappropriate or poor behavior by security staffers. Seems that just one “Central Intelligence and Security Association” would be more than enough, combining resources, paring down, recycling paper and plastics and “going green” and saving enough money to reduce the deficits and reduce citizens’ anger at the scandalous intrusions of government waste.

And anyhow, are you tired of this talk of “improved security” and “national security” and secrets and other wasteful chatter that hints of the “Cold War” and having to keep information from others and holding up the veil of “national interest” and this idea that the US has to be dominant and controlling in every part of the world? Considering that our nation is still in its infancy, does it make sense that we should dictate to nations a lot older and more civilized than ours? We need to do more listening and studying than dictating and patrolling and militarizing, and perhaps then we would be cured of arrogance, waste, pride, envy, greed and all those other bad behaviors we do not want to “own up” to displaying every day. Our government needs that dose of humble pie, and perhaps a few dozen humble pies before the facts are clear: WE DO NOT APPROVE OF THE (LACK OF) JOB YOU ARE DOING, SO GET WITH IT!

We have to every day at our work, so why aren’t you people in Washington doing the same?

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *

Our National Guard should be just THAT, OURS!

No more foreign involvement for our National Guards –people! Saying they are protecting our interests when they are 10,000 miles away from the United States is like saying you are watching your cake bake in your own kitchen oven while traveling in another state. It is an attempt at telling you that your tax dollars are being properly spent in guarding our “national interests” when the people on whom those dollars are spent are nowhere near guarding OUR nation but are watching over the rebuilding of and defending of other nations such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places where it is plain that those people do not like the presence of Americans in the first place and are doing all they can to let us know that.

Our National Guards ought to be HERE, within OUR borders, protecting people until rough neighborhoods are restored to order, helping out in natural disasters, and providing defense against so-called homegrown terrorism. You don’t have to go halfway around the world to find terrorists and troublemakers; they are right here within our borders.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *

I say to Congress, if you cannot do good work, GO HOME and quit wasting money running the Capitol. EARN your salaries for goodness’ sakes and stop the whining, the bickering, the arguing and the filibustering and the racism and the demographic junk that is ruining our nation. You certainly do not have our approval now, so just get out of Washington. Eventually we will vote you out anyway so why continue to waste resources? Just get out and give everybody some peace and quiet so we don’t have to hear about what you are (not) doing every day.

RESOURCES

  1. http://www.nsa.gov/. 25 July 2013
  2. http://www.nsa.gov/about/central_security_service/index.shtml
  3. https://www.cia.gov/index.html
  4. https://www.cia.gov/about-cia/cia-vision-mission-values. Posted: Apr 04, 2007 03:54 PM. Last Updated: Jan 10, 2013 08:19 AM
  5. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us
  6. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/quick-facts
  7. http://www.dhs.gov/about-dhs
  8. http://www.dhs.gov/dhs-rulemaking
  9. http://www.dhs.gov/transportation-security-overview
  10. “Vet”. Merriam-Webster.com. 2013. http://www.merriam-webster.com (27 July 2013).
  11. “Help”. Merriam-Webster.com. 2013. http://www.merriam-webster.com/help/citing.htm (27 July 2013).

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.

Chicago Public School Officials Behaviorally Challenged: Who’s Acting Uneducated Now?

CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOL OFFICIALS ACTING HIGHLY UNEDUCATED

Listening to Karen Lewis talk, you would think she wants some things to remain the same far as this business (overdone) with this chatter about “neighborhood” schools. She wants the present Mayor out of office, but what would she tell a new candidate about how the schools should be run and what ought to be done?

If I were going to run for Mayor and President Lewis came to me talking as she did today on the News Radio WBBM interview, I would turn her out of my office and tell her to come back when she’s not clouded by letting the demographers have power over her mind and the minds of those she works with. I’d say that when she is ready to really give an educated response and burst the bubbles of this talk of race and gender and gang lines, she can come back and settle down and use some Parliamentary Procedure manners and talk with me.

Listen folks, do not play the race game and the Census bit with me – I won’t buy it. I am tired of hearing people sound as though their world ends when their streets end or when the “people who look like them” are no longer visible. Pretty unsecure and prejudiced thinking, in my view, and we do not need such talk any further.

Demographic and racial gerrymandering talk does no good for anyone at all. Such talk only gives the government Census people more power to separate and categorize us and to make it sound like such talk is good for us and will give competitiveness, federal dollars, boost this or that and make  funds available for people who want to buy in to their “diversity” babble.

English: Seal of the United States Census Bure...

English: Seal of the United States Census Bureau. The blazon is defined here as: On a shield an open book beneath which is a lamp of knowledge emitting rays above in base two crossed quills. Around the whole a wreath of single leaves, surrounded by an outer band bearing between two stars the words “U.S. Department of Commerce” in the upper portion and “Bureau of the Census” in the lower portion, the lettering concentric with an inner beaded rim and an outer dentilated rim. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Get on the horn, people! YOU ARE DIVERSE; everyone is “diverse”, because we are all different.  I don’t look like you and you don’t look like me and we don’t like the same kinds of food, but that does not make me inferior or superior to you. Come on, get grown up, folks. If you are in a fire are you going to watch for the firefighters coming up the aerial ladder and if he or she does not look like you are you going to be stupid enough to tell them, “I’ll want here until someone who looks like me comes up the ladder?” How silly is that?

So she thinks kids are not going to be welcome in a new school or in a new environment? That is a poor commentary on how good people can really be and how warm and open folks can be if given a chance. Such talk as she is spouting out is only adding fuel to the fire and keeping the wounds of racism, gangs, drugs, “turf”, neighborhoods, and “special” education going.

Perhaps the goals of our education system are wrong in the first place. For one thing, we are ALL in need of some sort of “special education”, considering that from observations I make that everyone is behaviorally challenged. We are not civil, we are not decent, we spit, we shout, we use phones at the dinner table, and we talk in church. People cut folks off when driving, people text when driving, act up in flight, push and shove, do not acknowledge when someone gives a resume in or have a job interview; people expose their underwear and exhibit other breaches of behavioral niceties.

Special education is for everyone, though some people need more attention than others due to physical or mental disorders that cannot be attended to in a regular school environment. Kids with severe deficiencies do need more attention during the day than those who can do normal activities such as feeding and dressing themselves, so they should be assessed and placed in a suitable environment.

But every school should be as good in quality as the very best schools in the Chicago area or schools around the nation, and if they are not then we need to take a close look at the real reasons why they are not. Who is playing the politics card, who is fomenting the racial and gender and gang issues and for what reason? Are they getting money and support from groups who are affiliated with demographers, demographic institutes or the Census Bureau?

I find that it is interesting that the Census Bureau has on its coat of arms an open book, the sign of someone getting an education and expanding their horizons, and the lamp of learning and the quills, with which people used to write with dipping in ink. And usually a wreath of leaves indicated the sign of a heroic accomplishment. The only thing the Census people are doing is dividing this nation along all kinds of lines and in all manner of categories, and I find nothing good, decent, heroic or honorable about that in the slightest. The way they are pushing their demographic divisiveness they ought to have a closed book and an extinguished lamp. Racial gerrymandering and prejudice have no place in this country and our government is making both legal, permissive, and acceptable.

What is really going on with those stubborn people? Do you want to have that kind of thinking plaguing you any longer?

If you need a further reason to burst your demographic social economic racist gender-biased bubbles and come out and break down the barriers, then look at the people in London who are by the tens of thousands participating today running in the London Marathon. Only a week after the events in Boston which drew us and the City of Boston together to assist the injured and traumatized, the London Marathon is drawing people supporting those in Boston and the sport of running and the spirit of good sportsmanship. THEY ARE NOT AFRAID TO COME OUT, to come from other countries and get in that race and run and feel proud and happy! They are happy to be out there and showing the team spirit!

How come you folks in Chicago cannot do the same?

Here is the pin… burst the bubbles and take a breath. Surely the air will be fresh and not at all stuffy. You’re making it stuffy now so break the barriers, grow up, stop talking and start acting, but in everyone’s interest and not for your political or PR ambitions. Quit acting up and start behaving like good citizens should.

Thank you.

Divi Logan, Chicago, 2013.

Congress is NO GOOOOOD!:: Treat Officials as Bad Athletes and Let ‘Em Have It!

CONGRESS IS NO GOOD DOING WHAT THEY ARE DOING HOW THEY DO IT. WHAT CAN WE DO?

Our Congress… our United States of America Congress, our highest elected officials short of the President and then of the Supreme Court (and what power is there!) is made up of something. What is that ‘august’ body of officials made up of?

American citizens, I think.

But what are they doing? Have they forgotten how they started out, as ordinary American citizens running for office, perhaps a relative unknown in their town or state until they burst forth from the ordinary run of the mill of life and work and decided to try out for so high an office as United States Senator? American citizens they are indeed, first and foremost, born and bred, tried and… uh…

True? Not so.

Let’s compare our Congress members to overpaid, over -hyped athletes or celebrities. First of all, we are not getting the value we want, the money’s worth it is taking to run our Capitol which is more wasteful than anything the average person does in a day. Congress does nothing but take up time, energy, money, water, heat, food and… and for what? They do nothing but sit there and filibuster and bicker and fill our airwaves with disagreement and party line junk. Pro athletes who misbehave get penalized, get fined, get maybe fired, get ejected and get technical fouls. They get cited for unsportsmanlike conduct, they get in trouble when there are too many people on the field and when they are doing nothing worthwhile or when they should not even be there. They get cited when they cannot manage their anger and also when they celebrate excessively.

As for celebrities, they are about the same, but they and the athletes get so much time on our mass media wavelengths that we come to see their behavior as worthy of talking about, of admiring, of imitating, of accpting, the latter of which is the worst of all. We pay them, we go see their movies, we listen to them when they brag about their acts of giving money to a cause, and all for some lousy photo op. The same for our Congress, all that showing off and materialism and ego tripping. They ego trip until those egos grow so big the possessor thereof trips over himself or herself coming and going, whatever they say and do.

Your behavior certainly is not “black tie”. You gentlemen and ladies are absolutely not the type of people I would want at my nice event. I mean what, get you in there where the times are to be good and wonderful and charitable and fine, and you probably would be bickering in seconds, unable to manage your anger and your party views for the favor of the rest of the guests and the atmosphere. No way would I want any members of Congress near my good event or dinner.

Oscar Pistorius (Preposterous), is an athlete who has made so much news here, and why on earth should we give a care about that guy? He murdered someone and just because he is an athlete he makes the news and all that hearing and trial stuff makes the news everywhere. I don’t care about that man but I feel sorry for the family of the woman murdered. They are the ones who will suffer the most. That Oscar character certainly deserves no Oscar for his actions.

So poor us for having a Congress that cannot cooperate, that has so much poor conduct that it is no wonder they have a nearly negative approval rating from us citizens. Poor us for having to listen to them and the “feds” every day with their lack of cooperation and helping out the country, which is what we put them in office to do. Our Congress is such an embarrassment, so pitiful, so terrible for our national reputation. Disgusting to the hilt, their gold -plated hilt as it would be.

They can stew in their bean soup until they wake up and smell the coffee that the ordinary citizens are putting down time and again in order to stay alert to try and go to work every day and make money and then get it taxed so much that we wonder if we will have anything more for food and for our households.

Congress, please do us this favor: turn off the lights in the Capitol, stop wasting water and heat and light and energy, don’t bug the cleaning staff, close the doors and go home until you find it in yourselves to come together as the President wants you to do, as he has you on the hot seat to do, as he told you to do in the State of the Union address, as he has called you to do, pleaded with you to do, and listen to the people you represent. Until you do that, just stay away from the Capitol and from Washing ton. You will do more good staying in your home states and spending money and working with your constituents than you ever will in the Capitol.

For the way you are acting now you do not deserve to be there.

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2013.

Congress:: They Can Agree on One Thing: Being Stubborn and Wasteful

CONGRESSIONAL BICKERING HAS POTENTIALLY SERIOUS EFFECTS ON OUR NATION

Did you hear lately about the City of Gary cutting fifteen paramedics, and yet finding $90,000 for funding payment for an official? Well then they turn around and plan to train extra firefighters to be paramedics. That concept was on television forty years ago when the series EMERGENCY! aired. It is worth watching those episodes again, and you can, on MeTV during the week.

And now, thanks to the stalemate of the fiscal cliff, will we lose hundreds of air traffic controllers? What will smaller regional airports do for safety control then? What if a pilot is in danger or an aircraft is in danger in some remote area and there is no one at the tower to help? Safety of passengers and residents will be severely compromised. Many major airporst’ ATC staffs are all ready understaffed and underfunded; what if thousands of traffic controllers are put out?

What if we continue to lose first responders to the greed and pension problems and other misguided actions of officials?

What happens when education programs are slashed, for school lunches and after school activities? What happens when the price of milk doubles? Imagine paying more for milk than for gasoline! What will those who need to feed their young kids do then- get milk at $7 a gallon or tell them they have to go without? Where will the kids get the necessary nutrients milk can provide?

When taxes go up, what then? We aren’t taxed enough? Our patience with Congress certainly is being taxed all right, and for many citizens it has been taxed to the limit. Wasteful spending, lavish lifestyles, the insider information schemes and scandals, the affairs inside the CIA and the FBI, the fiascos across the seas, the wars, the Fed, the expensive meetings, the defense budget… Congress wastes enough of our money. We are putting our hard -earned money into the hands of a few people who don’t know how to handle a budget as others are expected to do every day for home and business finances.

Congress… give me a break. Cut your own salaries and perks, your lavish living and your privileges first. Cut the State Department, the embassies, the lavish spending on those elaborate lifestyles, the limousines, the private guards, the flashy clothes. You make cuts as you expect the rest of your constituents to do.

Do we want more cities to become as dangerous as Camden, New Jersey? Chicago certainly is, with five hundred homicides this year, and the number is going up every day. 500 dead from guns and drug and gang violence. Repeat that- 500! That is more than a murder a day, a figure New Orleans had years ago, but Chicago is now surpassing what was thought to be the most violent American city at one time. Families are suffering, people are hurting, kids are scared to go outside and play in their own front yards because their communities have suddenly become part of “gang turf” and they could get caught in a crossfire, be mistaken for someone else, or be a target for gang initiations. How sad.

The police want to be present at “gang funerals” now? Well folks, if you don’t know how to behave at a funeral, you darned well need to learn and quickly. A funeral is a funeral no matter whose it is; a “gang funeral” is still a funeral, a sending off, a dearly departing, an end, a closure for someone, for some family or sibling or relative or classmate.

As for Congress, they are putting the nails into this nation’s heart every day they continue their wasteful ways and arrogant thinking.

America the Beautiful, God shed His grace on Thee… and Lord, would you mind so much putting an ASAP on that prayer? Congress could use a visit from You right now, to bind them and open their eyes to the ruin they could cause this nation.

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, 2012…. and let’s hope for a brighter and better 2013.

GUN CONTROL BEGINS WITH SELF CONTROL! Mental Health Crosses the Spectrum.

GUN CONTROL? WEAPONS OF DISTRUCTION? COME ON FOLKS, CONTROL YOURSELF!

Sandy Hook, Connecticut

Sandy Hook, Connecticut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the wake of the shootings – most recently of a police officer in Houston, Texas, of four firefighters and a wounded police officer in in West Webster, New York, and of the students in Sandy Hook/ Newtown, Connecticut, there have been talks regarding how best to implement and practice gun control.

Gun control? GUN CONTROL? We must begin a way many steps back than that, begin before the surface issues, begin before the copycat schemes and crimes that have riddled our nation with acts of violence in the past years and so many just in 2012.

The officials and legislators talk about mental health as of the utmost importance in working with the issues of gun control. Mental health is so complex an area of study that it, like the brain that works those faculties and processes, must be carefully considered. Everyday citizens have degrees of mental health, some towards mental illness and some towards what we might call sanity, but everyone experiences those degrees of mental health at one time or another ranging from experiences of euphoria and great dreams to depression and seasonal disorders (SAD).

Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress.
Regions of the brain affected by PTSD and stress. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are others in our nation and around the world because of our policies, that also experience a wide range of mental health issues. Those folks are the personnel of our United States Military branches – the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, and the Coast Guard. Personnel in our first responder branches – firefighters, police officers and SWAT officers, and paramedics no doubt experience the widest range of mental health concerns possible.

The firefighters in West Webster and Rochester, New York, must now begin to pick up the pieces and, if someday possible, fill the holes left by the deaths of their volunteer colleagues. The police chief in those videos announcing the updates on that fire and shooting is visibly shaken when he talks of the friends he lost. We cannot even begin to imagine what the people are feeling in New York, who lost their homes and so much before Christmas, but have their lives to rebuild. Such tragedy… we must wonder what is happening within our nation.

But back to the concerns about our military personnel and the issues of mental health. There are tens of thousands of soldiers who have returned to the United States from violent and hectic tours of overseas duty, and some very young. They will have every range of mental health issues. They have seen people die, have killed people, have used high – powered weapons, grenades, machine guns, and fighter jets. They have seen horrible acts of rape, murder, burning, torture and desecration of bodies.

That would be enough to turn anyone’s gut, who has not had the training those folks have had. But though they are trained to be tough, to carry out those acts of sanctioned violence in the name of “freedom” and democracy, they are affected. They must see blood spilled, hear people screaming, see children scurrying for cover, see homes burning, hear the rocket -propelled grenades and the jets criscrossing the borders, the skies and the mountains and deserts. And they get involved in wrecks where the enemy plants improvised explosive devices that blow up vehicles and cause catastrophic injuries.

NATO personnel are tough, strong, brave, sure – just like military personnel are supposed to be, just like law enforcers are supposed to be. But only the hardest hearted person would not be moved to tears and turn green in the gut at the sight of innocent villagers huddling in bloodstained, burned -out buildings, wondering what the next day will bring. Will the coming hours bring freedom from their oppressors, will the troops harm them, or will they be killed by those who rule their nations, as in Syria?

What happens then when those American personnel come home? Certainly they might look like the same man or woman on the outside, the same Private or Captain who went across the waves on tour. But inside, in the brain and in the faculties, they are not at all the same. They might exhibit many of the habits you as family or friends recalled when they left – eating meals the same way, cooking some things, dressing a certain way, or driving a certain way (provided they have their limbs, their eyes, and their appetites). But their minds are not the same because of the very nature of what they have had to do during deployment.

Official seal of Newtown, Connecticut

Official seal of Newtown, Connecticut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These personnel must be watched carefully for signs of PTSD (Post -traumatic Stress Disorder), depression, suppressed anger, and other signs that their minds/brains are in real trouble. They must be encouraged to talk about what they have seen and done, reminding them that it is strength to seek help, not weakness to ask for assistance. It is necessary that they talk about what is bothering them, that they not hide their feelings, and that they shed their toughened boot camp mentality so they can heal.

Another issue to think about would be whether or not the personnel had an honorable or a dishonorable discharge. An honorable discharge might not be so much a concern but someone who is booted out for dishonorable actions needs to be followed in case there were issues that caused their instructors or officers to doubt their effectiveness to serve and thus made the dishonorable discharge necessary. When it comes to background checks, every factor must be considered before a weapon is sold.

Background checks need to be extremely comprehensive, detailed, drawn out to the point of dotting every “i” and crossing every “t”. The potential seller must ask every relevant question and take down the information and share it with law enforcers in the area and at every level of government. If there is even any doubt about selling a weapon the sale must not go through. Weapons also need to be carefully traced from the moment they are sold, or when they turn up missing or stolen. The idea of another “Fast and Furious” must never cross our headlines again.

Collectors also need to be very careful of their possessions. Wherever they keep their guns they need to have detailed records close by, copies kept in case of disaster as well. They must note every possible relevant detail of each firearm/ weapon in their collections, from serial numbers to where they were bought to who sold it to them, if they bought it at a gun show, at a small shop, no matter. If possible, collectors should also have records of people in their area who are felons or who might not be allowed to possess weapons. Lists of national troublemakers should also be kept up with in case someone escapes and might be in the area of the collector, especially if they know the person who might have the guns and thus make them targets of robbery.

Mental health, as said, is a complex concern that runs the gauntlet of everything we do and say. It is not as easy as “self control” or as difficult as diagnosing eating disorders or criminal instincts. It is easy and it is difficult – we can say someone seems depressed or upset or sick, but to what degree? How can we… how can anyone judge the mental health of someone else, considering we all have those degrees of brain health and physical health that make us different? Is there a rule which we can call “normal”? Is there a person that you or I could say is deranged, when we might just be so? For what reasons do we judge others when we do not like to be judged?

We must be very careful, extremely careful, when we discuss mental health. Everyone needs to be heard, to take part in discussions and if possible the studies offered by counselors or hospitals. We are a nation at war within and without ourselves; we are at war around the world and deep within our brains and spirits and souls. For there to be proper discussion there must be a sense of a stable environment from which to begin those discussions, a place of peace and quiet and harmony where we can sit down like civilized people and talk about the issues in an atmosphere of parliamentary procedure and/ or military courtesy.

The more civil and properly prepared the atmosphere of education and discussion is, the better facilitated we will be to hear and be heard, to write the necessary letters, to talk about what bothers us, to confess if we must to our leaders of worship, to talk with our families and kids, with teachers and students, with our beloved and brave first responders, with everyone, with all our fellow citizens.

We are supposed to be a UNITED nation. Let’s start to act that way, and we will all be better for doing so.

Houston Police Department
Houston Police Department (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

**************************************

Condolences to the Houston Police Department, the people of the City of Houston and of Harris County, Texas; the people of West Webster and Rochester and the citizens of New York, and the people of Newtown and Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

Flag of Rochester, New York. Image created by ...

Flag of Rochester, New York. Image created by uploader based on previous SVG image (an auto-traced bitmap) on the English Wikipedia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, ©2012.

Related articles

Fiscal Cliff Talk is Bad Posture

PLAYERS IN THE FISCAL CLIFF SITUATION SHOW BAD POSTURE

Tax

Tax (Photo credit: 401(K) 2012)

Too much talk and no action, and according to the article there has been an awful (and I do mean awful) lot of “posturing”.

The problem is, it is bad posturing. What is the meaning of bad posture, and not just in the light of politics?

When someone shows poor or bad posture, they tend to slouch, to be rather the presentation of a “couch potato”, loafing about, eating a lot of the wrong or junky foods, not getting the proper amount of activity and the like. Bad posture is a sign of inactivity of the worst kind, a show that the person is not using their faculties properly, for wisdom and strength and such.

It seems our lawmakers (wrong word considering they do a lot of law breaking and corruptive behavior too) in Washington cannot even agree on what anyone in any of the two major parties has said or what their intentions are or what the results will be. They are no more than aged children gathered together on the same playground and they cannot agree on how to use even the basic equipment available. They cannot cooperate on the jungle gym, the see -saw, the swings or the slide; they quarrel and quibble and filibuster and bicker their way through our tax dollars used to run the Capitol every day while they waste time over their Senate Bean Soup wondering whom to blame and what to say for the news hour sound bytes.

And none of it is good for this country; none of it sounds good, comes off as good, or has any spot of decency that we can say is good or not. One thing is sure, it is trouble if we are pushed over that fiscal cliff, and no good will come of it. No one wants to be taxed, and we all are excessively all ready. No one wants to see their money going for more bombs or war expenditure or planes or rockets or rebuilding another country.

We need to rebuild our own rusting, crumbling, falling infrastructure right now, and have no more time to waste on this pointless bickering over where to get revenue. We need to get with it and cut wasteful spending and high time political perks before we, that is they in Washington, can talk of raising taxes even one red cent or cutting spending where it is most needed, for our elderly especially who have earned their pay and their time and deserve the right to benefit from what they have given their country, being decades of dedicated and good service for business and government in war and in peace. We need to hold our elders in higher regard than we do… we, that is again those in Washington who would see those estemed elders degraded and impoverished by rising taxes and higher medication costs.

In this week of remembering Pearl Harbor, those who fought and died and sacrificed and those hardy survivors who turned out to see the solemnities, we need to focus on what we can do for this country and not for any other right now. We need to repair not only our literal infrastructure but our moral and spiritual and morale inner structures as well. It is plain from many reports that employee morale is down, that corruption at state and local government levels is up, that the people we elected in trust to higher office are misusing public finds (witnes the Illinois official who bilked her charges out of millions of serious bucks), and that business is suffering. Families are hard up for putting food on the table, for heating their homes, for disaster relief and insurance payments, for car payments, for getting their kids the right education, for the basics of life… and what do those people in Washington do?

Those people with the cushy seats in the Senate and House and White House, those people with the pages and the nice offices, heat and hot water, a kitchen, limousine service, access to the most private and exclusive clubs in the world, all the finest and all the best amenities of life… what are they doing? They are wasting the tax dollars those families put into “the system” every day when they buy anything, from groceries to medications to cars and gas to books and paper. Those families wonder where their next meals are coming from; the politicians can have food and drink whenever and wherever they want. They don’t have to worry about a few million dollars here or there; they would not miss that extra money in taxes or investments or in business deals. They make a great deal of money every day on the backs of those families who are down on their luck, trodden over by the same people they elected into office with their precious votes and time needed to make those choices.

They are using resources to excess and living in the luxury those families cannot even imagine having, while they waste away the hours in the marble halls and behind the heavy, gilded doors of their chambers. Those senators and representatives do not care any more; they are so jaded and their minds so clouded with luxurious excess and their eyes glazed over with golden glitter from their expensive jewelry and engine – turned silver belt buckles and the shine from their tailored shoes that they cannot see the right path to take. They are so over the path of obsession with materialism and power that it might take a billion confessions to turn them back to the level of even thinking of the right and proper path for their debates to take in order to put this nation back in good form.

It is time you people in government tightned your belts in the same way you are asking the rest of us to tighten ours. You are not playing fair when you do not do the work we sent you into office to do, when you bicker and rant, rave and play the blame game and the party lines of corrupt and worthless political bantering. You are the ones we will blame when we are futher taxed, when we are unable to support the local businesses or promote our own businesses, when more families go hungry and more people lose jobs.

You believe that with your nice suits and expensive cars and such that you are figures of dignity and diplomacy. You are nothing of the sort. You are undignified, unworthy and blame -worthy people who have used your power for your own selfish ends and means, who have used information to gain to excess millions of dollars, book deals, news spin and photo opportunities. Your halls are filled with scandal and dishonor, and I cannot even begin to think what your consciences would look like if we average citizens could take them out and examine them under an electron microscope. I think we would see such dirt and filth, such grime, grit and muck that we would wonder if any amount of cleansing would make your souls and consciences clear again.

How pitiful it is that we are thinking about going over this fiscal cliff and seeing this nation plunge into a deep recession or even a depression. How sad it will be if small businesses, that do so much hiring and product promotion and advertising will fail or will come so close to failing that their employees will leave, give up, or wear themselves out trying to keep the store afloat. What families will suffer the most? What small towns will be hit hardest, what communities will feel it in the most challenging way, and what children will suffer when their school funding is reduced? Hazards lie ahead for us all if we cannot get our nation in order and our minds properly focused.

Oh, Senator Boehner, by the way, don’t let your friends’ grandchildren play on that bridge – it might crumble under them. What a vicious circle that will begin…

Divi Logan, Nashville and Chicago, ©2012.

Obsessions on the Job: When Production Wanes What Can be Done?

When you have an obsession with someone or something, it is basically an imbalance; one of thought, deed, word, action, influence, attentions on that object to the sacrifice of other and more important things, such as job tasks or house tasks.

When that happens it is time to get counseling, to talk with others, and the boss if you are fortunate to do so, if the obsessive object is where you work. Having a chat with people you trust can be as the opening of a book; once you are on the right page, that with the information you seek, you know it.

Today I went through exactly that process. The past couple of days, I sensed something was out of balance, something in physical exercise yes, something in the fleshly appetites, yes, but there were other things that muddled my brain processes, that addled and clouded my thoughts, that deeply upset my sleep, my views of work, of just about everything that I considered as vital and wonderful. In short there were signs of depression, of a mental recession of the caliber I have not been caught up in since I moved to Chicago. The first winter I was here and went through a bout of SAD, I had to battle my way through it pretty much solo, as at that time I knew very few people here who could be called upon for counseling or dealing with “the holidays” in a way that I figured would be satisfied.

I got through that few weeks by singing the hit tune “Route 66” until I was tired of it, but that did the job. I completed the seasonal job and went on to other things…and I am still in Chicago and enjoying all this great city has to offer. I am in a totally different environment now, a place I like, and I enjoy the people I work with.

The problem many people face when at the workplace is that they, well, like someone they work with a little too much, to the point of doubting, fears, worries, concerns and other mental issues that are so deep and heavy that they begin to do the worst possible thing. These ramblings of the mind and pullings at the heart start to interfere with workplace performance. In short they interfere with productivity. And if you are a worker committed to doing the best job you can, doing that which you are assigned and endeavoring to do whatever you can to make the business successful, that can be a real shocker when the truth comes out.

Obsessions are bad for workplace production, in short. You can get so hooked on a person or a task or an idea that you get on one track and lose sight of other things you can and indeed should be doing. Recently I was pretty nearly to being prodded into finding something to do because my mind stuck in a rut dealing with someone I like. Once I got to working at the different task I felt better and yes, I felt productive. There is something else, though, when one’s Christian principles are considered in such a light; obsessions are idolatrous and filled with vices and troubles, adversities and problems. Focusing too much on people or things is against what I learned as a good ideal for being a Christian.

In the Book of Judges, when the children of Israel made or followed or served images and false gods, nothing but trouble awaited them. Their rulers did evil in the sight of the LORD, they did not do right by God who had brought them out of so much trouble and fear, and they… well, they slacked on the job is what. Their work was to follow the word of the LORD, the tenets and principles given them decades and generations before when they were delivered with generous spoils from the slaving hands of the Egyptians. Those later generations did not follow rightly in the sight of the LORD, and they were called on the carpet for it. They were beset with war, death, pestilence, harshness, slavery and burned cities. They paid dearly for slacking on the job… for not serving properly the LORD who called to them, protected them and provided for them.

In this time when production is talked of as going down in some ways and going up in other ways, what turns out to be the most important way? Production of material goods happens all the time; production of a good character takes a lot longer than making a new car to sell. Building a good character takes years, decades, patience… practice constantly. It is not just going to worship and hearing a sermon and expecting to know everything and live by what the leader says straight out. You must think that being productive is what you are there at the workplace to do, or at anywhere that you have made a commitment to do something. The Israelites suffered because they slacked on the job; and I know what it means to suffer on account of slacking.

My good character principles went by the wayside because my energies were not properly focused. It is something, quite amazing really, what a poor or troubled conscience does to one’s entire being. When the causes are found out and all that ties in with those causes, be those things subtle or overt, it is then that solutions can be found – in this case to slacking on the job, or poor productivity. The obsession can be quelled, the concerns conquered, by looking at the field from fresh viewpoints.

You can always find something to do on the job. No place is too neat or organized or free of dust that something cannot be done to make it look even better. Small businesses are chock full of things to do to make the place better. Clean a window, rearrange a display case, do a window display, dust or mop or sweep. Check the mail, go pick up a shipment, or rework a clothes rack. Polish a mirror, straighten a crooked picture or call a customer to check on an order, whether or not they have received it or are satisfied with it. The fact is take after a good little phrase my grandmother uses when it seems nothing is around to do, and that is simply “do something, do something”! Or you can figure out just by looking around that, as my father says, “There is always room for improvement.”

If you are not sure that there is something you can do, ask your manager or boss if there is something they are thinking about and might need help with. There might be a task that someone else cannot do but that, after all, you can do. After all, brilliant diamonds do not mine themselves; they do not cut and polish themselves or set themselves in beautiful rings on their own. Someone has to take that diamond in the rough and turn it into something that will be wonderful and sparkling, will throw off spikes of color and brilliance and perhaps grace someone’s finger on a wedding day, or grace a gift for an anniversary. We are all of us diamonds in the rough… and we all need a little help getting trim and polished and set in the right place sometimes. There is no harm in asking for help – the stupid question is the one you do not ask. The right question is the one you do ask.

There is always room for improvement, so do something.

Divi Logan for EDUSHIRTS, Nashville and Chicago, ©2012.

Related articles