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Are You Micromanaged?

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Have you ever worked for a micromanager? Then you know how frustrating and stifling it can be. Every move, every decision you make is scrutinized. Creativity and ingenuity are definitely not encouraged, and are often times the cause for reprimand. Let's look closer at the idea of micromanagement and how we, as a society, have allowed ourselves to become the micromanaged.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines micromanage as:
To direct or control in a detailed, often meddlesome manner.
In other words, a micromanager needs to feel that he is in total control of any given situation. He must direct every aspect of every operation right down to what color of black ink is used on the letterhead of outgoing mail.
Some would say that it's a matter of trust. When you're engaged in a working relationship with others that you trust and have confidence in, you're giving them the latitude to perform tasks by not sending them the message that, "It's my way or the highway." A micromanager, on the other hand, allows no room for human error. To the micromanager, there exists only one correct way to do a task. He telegraphs to his workers that the worker's experience, knowledge, and skill are not enough to perform the given task and are therefore not to be trusted. The worker is forced to perform the task within the most strict of conditions, and they most certainly are not allowed to think for themselves when it comes to problem solving. All deviations from given instructions must be approved first.
The consequences of needing to direct and control every detail is that the micromanager ends up having to do all the thinking for the entire group, not to mention most of the work. Imagine a situation where you're punished for innovation. This creates an environment where no one wants to step out on their own for fear that their decisions will not live up to the micromanager's expectations. No one likes to be punished for being resourceful or creative. To do so creates an environment where the worker will hold back and only act when called upon by the micromanager.
Again, looking at the consequences of micromanaging people, we see two distinct situations developing. The first is where the micromanager creates an environment where his way is the only correct way of doing a given task. This creates an artificial situation where he appears to be indispensable. In other words, if he were not present, no work would be accomplished because no one else knows how to do the micromanager's job. He must be present, or the whole system collapses. In creating this synthetic environment, the micromanager has secured his position. Fear of failure causes his workers to always get approval from him before making decisions. If he's not present to dole out approvals and to direct resources, all work comes to a screeching halt.
The second effect of micromanaging is seen in the workers themselves. When a worker is placed in an environment where he is told that there is only one correct way to perform any given task (and it most certainly isn't the one he's currently thinking of), he starts to feel that he's nothing more than an automaton. The worker perceives his function in the workplace as a mindless robot sitting idle waiting for a command to act. Do to fear of performing below the micromanager's expectations, if instructions for completing a task are incomplete, the worker will stop working until he gets clarity from the micromanager rather than taking the initiative of working through the problem on his own. As you can see, micromanaging creates an environment where you replace productive workers with a herd of mindless sheep.
This mentality is cancerous, too. It spreads throughout the workplace as workers up and down the chain of command learn to cover their posteriors for fear of reprimand if something goes horribly wrong. Older workers teach newer workers that initiative and ingenuity are not appreciated. It is far better to do only what you're told than to rock the boat. Furthermore, if you're in a situation where you have people under you, the last thing you want is to get reprimanded because one of your underlings took initiative that wasn't appreciated at some higher level. To quell any initiative, you tell your people to do only what they're told to do and most definitely no more than what's expected of them. And who amongst us can blame them for their actions?
So, how does this relate to our society on the whole? Simple: our government, as it currently exists, is in the business of micromanaging our lives. The old saying, "from cradle to grave" expresses perfectly what keeps government's position secure in our society. Over the years, government has slowly crept into every aspect of our lives and has supplanted our free will and our ability to make decisions for ourselves. They've even created micro-environments where they alone are masters. Our ability to think for ourselves has been replaced by the coddling of politicians who've promised us safety nets and subsidies.
What's worse is that many people today have been so conditioned to look to government for solutions to their problems that hardly a day goes by where you don't read of some group of people demanding their government fix something that they could have just as easily handled themselves. A once resourceful and independent people, Americans have become nothing more than sheep. We live our lives, mindless and clueless to our surroundings. We hide inside our cubicles, hoping some government official doesn't stick his nose into our business. We fear punishment for deviating from its multitude of rules and regulations that dictate to us how to live our lives. As in the example of the micromanager above, our relationship with our government is one that's born out of fear of punishment, not the free will and consent of the people.
We've been turned into a bunch of bleating sheep. Our government has firmly planted itself into our society as a necessary evil in our lives. We are taught that our society will most certainly collapse if government fails. We're told that civilization as we know it will cease to exist if the politicians and bureaucrats suddenly become unemployed. They drill into the heads of every man, woman, and child that they need government for their own personal safety and security. Much like the micromanager that secured his position by creating a synthetic environment where people are afraid to act without first getting his approval, government has created an environment where citizens are afraid to question the dictates handed down to them by their elected leaders. Government has become the end-all, be-all in our society. It's never to be questioned, and most certainly not opposed.
People need to realize that government is in the business of people management. Their sole purpose is to make sure we all get along with each other by not violating each other's rights. Where we run into trouble is when people turn to government to solve problems it has no business meddling in. What's worse is when government creates its own problems to solve. There is nothing more dangerous to society than when one arm of government decides to save you from the evils of another arm of government. It's government saving you from... well, government. Can you see the idiocy in that? It's not their fault you're not smart enough to see that the problem and the solution are one in the same. As a society, Americans have been so dumbed-down over the years that most people cannot make this simple connection.
Americans need to realize that we can greatly reduce the need for (and the size of) government by taking responsibility for ourselves. We need to tell government that we don't want, nor need, their help anymore. As a matter of fact, we need to impress upon government officials that for them to try to insert themselves into our private affairs will not be tolerated. We need to take control of our own lives; we need to solve our own problems. We need to once again become those creative, resourceful, innovative, and ingenious Americans that created this once-great nation. Ultimately, we need to learn to manage our own personal affairs. But, to do so, we also need to learn to tell government to butt-out!

From Freedom to Fascism in 10 Easy Steps

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Guardian has an excellent article written by Naomi Wolf that I recommend you read. She lays out in her article how America, under the leadership of the Bush administration, has been moving from a free democratic society to a fascist dictatorship through the process of erosion. This process isn't done by dumb luck, either. History, as Naomi Wolf illustrates, shows a clear roadmap for instituting a fascist dictatorship in an otherwise free society. Here's a quote from her article that bears this out:
Last autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand. The leaders of the coup took a number of steps, rather systematically, as if they had a shopping list. In a sense, they did. Within a matter of days, democracy had been closed down: the coup leaders declared martial law, sent armed soldiers into residential areas, took over radio and TV stations, issued restrictions on the press, tightened some limits on travel, and took certain activists into custody.
They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10 steps.
I'm going to list those 10 easy steps, but you really need to read Naomi Wolf's article to put each step into its proper context with recent events. In reaching the last of the list, if you don't believe we're well on our way to a fascist dictatorship, you're either a fool or an idiot.
1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
2. Create a gulag
3. Develop a thug caste
4. Set up an internal surveillance system
5. Harass citizens' groups
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
7. Target key individuals
8. Control the press
9. Dissent equals treason
10. Suspend the rule of law
Remember these steps the next time you see members of the Bush administration reminding you that we're at war with terror, that Muslim extremists mean to do you harm, that they hate us for our freedoms. Remember this when you look at the buildings that represent our once-great republic and realize that everything good they once stood for has been eroded away. All you're seeing is the empty shells of a great democratic society. Underneath the marble stone lay the rot and stench of a growing fascist dictatorship.

Nah! Nah! Nah! Nah!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In the ongoing debate on deciding when to pull our troops out of Iraq, it's been observed by many that President Bush doesn't seem to hear what the American people and the Congress are saying. The majority of Americans are ready for our troops to come home--regardless of whether our adventures in Mesopotamia will be recorded by historians as a "win" for the U.S. of A.
Recently, I received, from an unnamed source deep inside the White House, a picture which might explain why it is that Bush doesn't seem to "hear" what the American people want:
Yes, this picture certainly explains a lot! It would seem the Unitary Executive seems to be exercising his Commander-in-Chief prerogative to wage war, irrespective of the people's consent. We're just along for the ride.

Domestic Partnerships

Sunday, April 22, 2007

For those that are interested, here's a link to the SHB 1351, Protecting individuals in domestic partnerships by granting certain rights and benefits (.pdf). Have a read through. It's really not that bad. Keep in mind that the "rights and benefits" granted by the state are revocable at will. That is to say, an act of Congress created these rights; an act of Congress can also destroy these rights.
Here's an interesting quote:

Although many of these rights and benefits may be secured by private agreement, doing so often is costly and complex.

Which must be why the preceding paragraph stated:

The public has an interest in providing a legal framework for such mutually supportive relationships, whether the partners are of the same or different sexes, and irrespective of their sexual orientation.

In other words, the same system that now claims to make it "easy" to create Domestic Partnerships is the same that made it "costly and complex." This is another example of the State saving us from the State.

All hail the State!

A Sign of the Times?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Before you grab your pitchforks and torches, let me tell you this sign has been taken down. That's the good news. The bad news is that this sign was in place for a number of weeks in East Palo Alto, California. In my opinion, it should never have been allowed--as written--in the first place. And here's why:
If the East Palo Alto police had worded the sign to read, "For info on criminals with guns" I wouldn't have a problem with it. But the way it's worded causes the average person to think merely possessing a gun is now a criminal act. For the police department to make such a boneheaded blunder is inexcusable. Thank goodness a large surge of local opposition to this sign's presence was enough to get it taken down.

Guns and the Virginia Tech Tragedy

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

First, let me offer my heartfelt condolences to the friends and families of those involved in the shootings.
In all the furry of figuring out what happened at Virginia Tech, I want to offer a reminder to those who say things like, "What is needed, urgently, is stronger controls over the lethal weapons that cause such wasteful carnage and such unbearable loss."
It is people,
that kill other people.
I personally think the real tragedy at Virginia Tech is that there was not one single armed person close enough to Cho Seung-Hui, the South Korean English Major who wrought this carnage, that could have dispatched him. Once again, we see another fine example of law abiding citizens being gunned down by a madman who doesn't give a damn about laws preventing guns on school campuses. Why are there so many shootings on school campuses? Because you'd have gun laws on your side disarming your targets. What better shooting gallery could you ask for?

Missing Emails Solved

I was thinking that even if the emails hosted by the Republican National Convention's servers were "accidentally" deleted, as alleged by Karl Rove, from the RNC servers, they could still ask the National Security Agency for copies since it's common knowledge that the NSA is reading and archiving all our emails. Or, are members of the RNC above suspicion?

Deriving Consent Through Beatings

Monday, April 16, 2007

Associated Press        AP - Sun Apr 15, 9:36 AM ET
OMON, riot police, officers confront an opposition demonstrator in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Sunday, April 15, 2007. It was not immediately clear what sparked the violence after the rally, which city authorities had authorized and took place under a heavy police presence with at least one helicopter hovering above. Although city authorities gave permission for the rally in a square on the edge of central St. Petersburg, they had banned plans for the demonstrators to march afterwards to the city's government headquarters. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
If legitimate government is derived from the consent of the governed, then what do you have when that government, once created from prior consent, decides on its own to protect itself from changing consent? How can any government ever be considered legitimate after that? Especially when it uses force, as in the image at left, to garner that consent. To me, that's not consent, that's submission. Government is the product of the people's consent and has no business at the table when it comes time to decide what new direction the people want to take it. You don't ask your old Ford if it's OK to change its worn out engine. Why should you have to get permission from government to change it?

Unalienable Rights Can't Be Violated

Sunday, April 15, 2007

While listening to the latest American Radio Show, Dave Champion read a letter found in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. This, in my opinion, is an excellent letter and I wanted to share it with you.
Unalienable rights can't be violated
   The foundation of the American nation was laid in our Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are ... endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.... ".
   Unalienable means no human authority may take those rights from you, whether by coercion or legislative enactments or "social compacts." Any government, whether local, state or national, that presumes to derogate your rights through its self-proclaimed authority is committing an act of violence against you. When that happens, it is your right to defend yourself -- with deadly force, if necessary.
   Our governments are all corrupt, our elected officials besotted by power and money. They are no longer constrained by the Constitution or limited by the rule of law, as they are able to change, amend, interpret or manipulate these to suit their agendas.
   Nor can they be reined in by the ballot, because they alone control the rules and procedures by which they are elected.
   Against such evil, disobedient servants there is only one remedy : force.
   Therefore, any elected official or government employee who commits violence against even the least of our unalienable rights should be harshly dealt with like the criminal intruder he is, and sic semper tyrannis.

The Birth of Bureaucracy

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

From a Yahoo! News article titled, White House considers war overseer:

"The White House is looking into creating a higher profile position that would have the single, full time focus on implementing and executing the recently completed strategic reviews for both Iraq and Afghanistan. This position would report directly to the president as well as Steve Hadley and have representatives in the offices of the secretaries of State and Defense in order to speed up and make more efficient the implementation of these strategies," National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.

Great! Just what we need: more government bureaucracy!

Thoughts For Today

If you could travel faster than the speed of light, people wouldn't be able to see you coming.
Is the heat we feel from the sun a byproduct of the many collisions between light particles that left the sun moments ago and were reflected by objects here being struck by other light particles just arriving from the sun?

Why Somalia?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

There's been little mentioned about the United State's interest in Somalia. I'm in the process of forming a hypothesis on why we're involving ourselves in Ethiopia's overthrow of Somalia's government [what little there was of it]. Strategically, Somalia would be perfect for an airstrip in which to launch an air campaign against... you guessed it: Iran.
Pull out your map and tell me which countries lie between Somalia and Iran... The answer is none--just water. I haven't checked, but I'd be willing to guess that Somalia is on the outer edge of most of Iran's long-range missiles, too. This gives our anti-missile defenses plenty of time to counter any incoming attacks. Furthermore, Somalia's location removes our aircraft carriers, support ships, command-and-control, etc, far enough away from Iran's shore-patrolling missiles.
More on this to follow.

Announcing the new iRack!

Monday, April 09, 2007

h/t Norm

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Will You Give?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Dear friends:I have the distinguished honor of being on the committee to raise $5,000,000 for a monument to George W. Bush . We originally wanted to put him on Mt. Rushmore until we discovered there was not enough room for two faces.

We then decided to erect a statue of George W in the Washington, D.C. Hall of Fame. We were in a quandary as to where the statue should be placed. It was not proper to place it beside the statue of George Washington, who never told a lie, or beside Richard Nixon, who never told the truth, since George could never tell the difference.

We finally decided to place it beside Christopher Columbus, the greatest Republican of them all. He didn't know where he was going, and when he got there he did not know where he was. He returned not knowing where he had been, destroyed the well-being of the majority of the population while he was there, and did it all on someone Elses money.

Thank you.
George W. Bush Monument Committee
(so far we have collected $1.35)

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Quote of the Day

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

"I don't know whether aluminum bats are more dangerous or less dangerous," Bloomberg said. "But I don't think it's the city's business to regulate that."
~Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Unfortunately, this bit of reasonable thinking will be short-lived. The very next sentenced from the article where I found this quote states:

It appeared, however, that the City Council would have enough votes to override a veto.

I'm sure it'll be done for the sake of the children. Long live the nanny state! I wonder what the punishment will be for using a metal bat to play the Great American Game.

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