Wednesday, October 22, 2008

All worked up over politics

I've had a rule for many many years now - don't discuss politics and religion with friends. In some cases these "friends" might be mere acquaintances, and in some cases they might be family. In most cases my "friends" are actually my "friends" and the majority of said friends will tell you that I don't get in to these types of discussions (for the most part). This being said, there are plenty of other folks out there who not only don't live by this rule, they've apparently never heard of it. I've come across a number of people over the past year who want to sit and debate, bash, slander, smear, and berate whichever candidate they like the least. I've certainly got my opinions on the candidates, and I always have had opinions. If you ask me what I think of someone I will probably tell you one way or the other, but you should know that's not an open door for us to get in to a lengthy discussion about it. I might even ask you what you think about a particular candidate or their stance on a certain issue, but again, just a question, not a debate invite. All this brings me to the reason for this blog. Folks who get all worked up because they believe that one candidate or the other is somehow going to sell our souls to the devil.
Now, perhaps I'm wrong, and niave and whatever else you'd like to call me - but I believe that our government keeps tabs on folks, especially those in public office. I believe that the CIA has a file on me - and I haven't broken any law outside of an occasional traffic violation (and I've been free and clear of those for 2 years now). Keeping this in mind, I can't believe that any person holding a public office at the national level hasn't been checked over. This doesn't mean that they keep their noses clean. Did Gary Condit have Chaundra Levy knocked off... well, we'll probably never know. Do senators and congressmen break the law and d0 really stupid stuff - of course they do. However, I don't believe that any of them, not a one, is a threat to our national security.
This belief continues on to our presidential candidates. Honestly folks, do you think that "undercover terrorists" taking the form of presidential candidates are going to walk right past the CIA, FBI and whatever else is housed over in Langley? Do you think the secret service covering a candidate is standing idly by while he has meetings with Osama Bin Laden? It seems to me that there are alot of folks out there who believe this. There are entire organizations whose entire goal is not to promote one candidate or the other, but rather to smear one candidate or the other, and frankly their tactics and suggestions are not only outrageous, they're abhorrent.
I'm not sure how you feel, but for me, my vote is won and potentially swayed by telling me about what a candidate is going to do for this country. I'm generally only disgusted by smear campaigns and for the extreme cases where the only message is hate I just hit the delete button. You want to change my mind and win my vote? I suggest you start telling me about what your candidates plans are to make this country a better place. How is that guy gonna solve our problems and make the US a place our kids might actually want to live in? I don't care what you think about the other guy - and I'm entirely uninterested in whatever muck you've raked up on him. That only proves you've got far too much time on your hands which would undoubtedly be better spent finding better ways to solve our energy crisis, keep folks from losing their homes and jobs, and putting a halt on the enormous problem that is global warming and the loss of acres and acres of wildlife habitat.
That's what I want to know about, that's what folks should be talking about and frankly anyone who wants to sit around and sling mud all day can stick it where the sun don't shine.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Things that make you go.....

Arg! I'm gonna pull my hair out! No, not things that make you go hmmm... The aforementioned phrase is far more representative of my current frustration/aggravation level with a certain aspect of my current job.
I've got a great job, don't get me wrong. I love the people in my office, the organization I work for, the mission we support, and so on and so forth. The negative aspects are few and far between. Recently, an issue has come up that is just completely incomprehensible to me - on several different levels. People, possible an entire organization of people, are apparently running a covert operation to try and undermine my program. On the flip side of that - constituents of mine, who, in an attempt to block this potential undermining scheme are WAY overstepping their boundaries with yet other organizations (with which my organization is partnered). I realize this is all pretty confusing since I'm not naming names, but stick with me here.
So, the overstepping organization thinks that I (and/or my organization as a whole) should be backing them in their overstepping. We blatantly disagree and have told the organizations that have been overstepped upon what our stance is - as well as the actual oversteppers. Unfortunately, it seems that the undermining organization is continuing to press their undermining agenda, thus forcing us to come across (at least in some situations) as agreeing with and joining with the overstepping organization. It's a very tough spot.
In my position, I'm between a rock and a hard place. While I want to support the overstepping organization because we are partners and have the same goals, I cannot stand by and allow this blatant misuse of assumed power (power that does not actually exist - AT ALL). It's just wrong, and it's not my place or their place to do so (hence the term "overstepping"). On the flip side, if the undermining organization is actually playing by the rules, and not undermining my program after all (which I would honestly find hard to believe considering the circumstances) then we've done them a HUGE disservice and frankly there could be legal action taken (which would be an extreme case, but don't put it past them).
The next couple of months will be quite interesting where this issue is concerned. I'll be doing alot of travelling and may run in to this precise quandary - right in my face where I may be called upon to act in some sort of "overstepping" capacity (or at least that's my perception of what my potential action could be). I'd rather not be grouped with the oversteppers, so the thought of this makes me pretty ill, but I'd also rather not have a situation where my program is being undermined.
Just thinking about all this nonsense gives me a headache. Makes me long for the days where all I had to deal with were mindless ADs, non-compliant kids, and the occasional raging coach. Sad, but true...