Bringing Efficiency Into Federal Employment

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about President Trump’s recent executive orders to change civil service regulations.

The article reports:

“These executive orders will make it easier for agencies to remove poor-performing employees and make sure taxpayer dollars are more efficiently used,” Mr. Bremberg said.

The move will promote efficiency, save taxpayer dollars and create better work environments for “thousands of employees who come to work each day and do a great job,” said another official.

as expected, unions objected loudly. The article reports some of the reasons for the reforms:

Office of Personnel Management data shows federal employees are 44 times less likely to be fired than a private sector worker once they’ve completed a probationary period.

A recent Government Accountability Office report showed that it takes between six months and a year to remove a federal employee for poor performance, followed by an eight-month appeals process.

The National Affairs blog posted the following this spring:

Even President Franklin Roosevelt, a friend of private-sector unionism, drew a line when it came to government workers: “Meticulous attention,” the president insisted in 1937, “should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government….The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” The reason? F.D.R. believed that “[a] strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.” Roosevelt was hardly alone in holding these views, even among the champions of organized labor. Indeed, the first president of the AFL-CIO, George Meany, believed it was “impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”

Many of our current civil service policies are the result of the unionization of government workers. It is time for that practice to end. Government workers are paid very well and should be subject to the same rules as the rest of the workforce. Unions should not be able to collective bargain with people whose political campaigns they help finance.

The Problems With Our Media Are Nothing New

There is an article in the Jewish World Review today dealing with the problem of bias in the American media. I strongly suggest that you follow the link and read the entire article, but there were a few things in the article that jumped out at me.

The article reminds us of some historic media bias:

It is the MSM who ties McCarthy with what Joseph Welch said to him in the Army-McCarthy hearings in 1954 misquoting him as saying, “Have you no shame?” In actually he said. “Have you no sense of decency?” But what really angered Mr. Welch was McCarthy had the audacity to say: ” But in view of Mr. Welch’s request that the information be given once we know of anyone who might be performing any work for the Communist Party, I think we should tell him that he has in his law firm a young man named Fisher whom he recommended, incidentally, to do the work on this Committee, who has been, for a number of years, a member of an organization which is named, oh, years and years ago, as the legal bulwark of the Communist Party, an organization which always springs to the defense of anyone who dares to expose Communists.”

In this case Joe McCarthy was the truth teller and had to be destroyed. So too, was Whittaker Chambers, editor of Time magazine, and a former communist spy who warned of the infiltration of communists in the Washington elite and one of the persons he named was Alger Hiss. He was involved in the establishment of the United Nations both as a U.S. State Department and U.N. official. In February 1945, as a member of the U.S. delegation headed by Stettinius, Hiss attended the Yalta Conference, where the Big Three, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, and Winston Churchill, The communist spy was this close to FDR at this important conference and no one bothered to vet him because the media was probably covering for him.

One wonders if the fate of eastern Europe might have been different if the media had chosen to tell the truth. One wonders how many eastern Europeans might have had longer, happier lives. The truth matters.

The article also reminds us:

While the MSM is following Goebel’s propaganda rules, we must remember what he also said about the antidote:

“The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

The future of our country depends on the truth and it is nowhere to be seen in a lying, stinking media.

Strong words, but unfortunately, true.

 

A Republic, If You Can Keep It

A friend of mine writes a column for the Beaufort Observer. Her most recent column was particularly relevant to today’s news. Here it is:

NancyMurdock

April 21, 2015

The story goes that after the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked, “Well, Doctor, what have we got – a Republic or a Monarchy?” Franklin responded: “A Republic – if you can keep it.”

These days no one is openly clamoring for a monarchy, but few talk much about our Republic, other than in the pledge of allegiance to the flag. In fact, most people think we are a democracy, even though our founders went to great lengths to determine that not so. James Madison clearly spoke of the problems of a democracy when he wrote: “Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths”.

The word democracy was seldom used in this country before the presidency of our old friend, Woodrow Wilson. He used the slogan “making the world safe for democracy” as a battle cry to get the US into World War I. It became such a bone of contention that the government itself through various means attempted to clarify the matter. The US Army’s Training Manual of 1928 contained a section explaining in detail the difference between a democracy and a republic in the original, historical sense. However, the cat was out of the bag as schools and the press routinely used the word democracy to identify our form of government, and now it is a generally accepted term.

James Madison explained a republic in Federalist Papers, No. 39: “We may define a republic to be…a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people, and is administered by persons holding their offices during [the people’s] pleasure for a limited period, or during good behavior”. (That good behavior part presents a serious problem.)

The left loves to attack the Constitution by stating that at the time of its ratification our country was small and mainly agrarian, but it is no longer suitable for an industrial huge nation. Madison addressed that point specifically in Federalist Paper, No. 14: “In a democracy the people meet and exercise the government in person; in a republic they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents. A democracy, consequently, must be confined to a small spot. A republic may be extended over a large region”. How and where the people live should not affect the type of federal government required – unless the government wishes to control every aspect of the lives of the citizens.

The real reason the left does not like the Constitution is that it does not allow for a Federal government that would contain a Department of Labor, a Department of Agriculture, A Department of Education, a Department of Energy, and hundreds of other agencies not enumerated within the Constitution. The basic truth is this: the Constitution would never have been ratified if there had been even the slightest hint of a central government with one tenth the power which it now embodies. The Federalist of 1787 (those supporting a strong Federal government) would identify with those currently called strict Constitutionalist (known in some circles as far right wing nut jobs and whacky birds) and the Anti-Federalist (those wanting a weaker central power) would probably move to a South American island.

More and more it appears as we have been unable to keep our Republic. The question as to what comes next is still open to debate. Will more Americans accept slavery to the state or will a new spirit demanding liberty arise from the ashes?

Today Is The 69th Anniversary Of D-Day

On June 6, 1944, allied troops landed on the beaches of France and began a march that preserved the freedom of Europe and America. In the process of preserving that freedom they learned how inhumane man could be to his fellow man.

There was no guarantee that the D-Day invasion would be successful, but in those days it was acceptable to ask God for favor. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library website preserves the prayer that President Roosevelt shared with the American people that day:

Franklin Roosevelt’s D-Day Prayer

June 6, 1944

My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas — whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them–help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.

 

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What Makes A Contract A Contract ?

The legal definition of a contract is an agreement that two parties enter into voluntarily. Helen Whalen Cohen posted an article at Townhall.com asking if Obamacare violates this basic concept. Ms. Cohen also points out how bad things can get when a government enters into contracts with the governed without the consent of the governed.

Jim Powell at the Cato Institute cited a few examples of government forced contracts that did not turn out well in a recent article he wrote for Forbes Magazine.

Mr. Powell points out:

…For example, on April 5, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 6102 that mandated Americans to surrender their gold coins, gold bullion and gold certificates to the government by May 1, 1933.

…On February 19, 1942, amidst war hysteria, FDR issued Executive Order 9066 mandating that some 110,000 peaceful Japanese Americans be hustled away from the Pacific Coast and into places like the urine-soaked Santa Anita racetrack stables until these people could be moved to Spartan “War Relocation Camps.”

…On August 15, 1971, President Richard Nixon issued Executive Order 11615, mandating price controls, rent controls, wage and salary controls. By forcing people to do their business at below-market prices, Nixon’s controls encouraged consumers to buy more, while encouraging producers to supply less. Consequently, the controls caused shortages that led to rationing and daily inconvenience.

…In ancient Egypt, the pharaohs’ most hated tax was the corvée — forced labor that had to be provided on demand for, among other things, quarrying stone and building pyramids.

…After the U.S. Civil War, many blacks didn’t want to work for former masters who had tormented them. But The Union army, occupying the South, pressured former slaves to sign annual contracts with plantation owners, and blacks were forbidden to leave plantations without the owners’ permission — the same policy as under slavery.

…During the 1930s, Nazis began barring Jews from professions and ordering Germans not to do business with Jews. By December 1938, there were substantial numbers of unemployed Jews, and the regime issued a decree that ordered these people to register for forced labor.

Etc., etc., etc. The point here is that a forced contract is simply not a good idea.

Mr. Powell concludes:

Four thoughts:

1. Most of the cases I mentioned took place during a war, a financial crisis or other emergency leading people to accept extreme measures that are unthinkable in easier times.

2. Nobody can predict when the next emergency will occur.

3. There isn’t any reliable way of keeping bad or incompetent people out of power.

4. Once government gains additional power, it’s exceedingly difficult to roll back.

These are major reasons why we should uphold our Constitution with limited and enumerated powers.

I hope the Supreme Court Justices take these ideas into consideration.

 

 

 

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Attempting To Rewrite American History

Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to four term...

Image via Wikipedia

America is a country that has Christian roots. If you read some of our founding documents–the Mayflower Compact, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution–you find God acknowledged in all of them. The respect for God and the need for prayer are part of America’s tradition–the first Thanksgiving Proclamations were issued by the Continental Congress between 1777 and 1784. George Washington issued the first Presidential Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1789.

That is part of who we are, but not everyone is happy about that. Fox News reported on Thursday that the Obama administration has announced its objection to adding President Franklin Roosevelt’s D-Day prayer to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The article reports:

D-Day was one of the major events of the war. It was the beginning of the end of the war and the beginning of the allied victory. It was a totally risky undertaking, and when you read the reports of the time, it was not assured that the landing would be successful. I have said on this blog before that my father was one of the people who went ashore that day (on Utah Beach), so this is very important to me.
As a conservative, I am not FDR’s biggest fan, but his prayer was earnest and needed to alert the American people to the gravity of the situation and unite them behind our soldiers. That prayer is an important part of our war effort and belongs at that monument.
I have posted FDR’s prayer in the past–this is the link: rightwinggranny.
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