Executive Overreach

Excerpt from Daily Caller article:

Zinke rolled out an “action plan” in October for NPS to combat workplace harassment. The plan includes strengthening policies, hiring more Employee Relations and Labor Relations staff and increasing harassment training. The secretary directed other department heads to develop similar plans after the DOI report was released Thursday.

I just came across a news article on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke this morning that read, “Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke Removes Four Senior Leaders for Inappropriate Behavior“. At first I think “woah, big news! Did the Interior Secretary just fire public trust officials for falsifying scientific data, like they did at Point Reyes National Park ? Did he fire some of the leadership in the BLM for misconduct and abusing their power in the Bundy Ranch and Malheur standoffs?” Of course this cynical hypothesizing didn’t go on for very long, because I understand the dynamics of the world I live in; the dynamics that ensure that there is no servant in high office that would be interested in genuine accountability and justice. On the contrary, based on historic references and current observations, this governing system ensures that the highest officials get to exercise unlimited ambiguity and make the rules up as they go. Watch the video and read the Dept. of the Interior report  and you’ll see that nothing of significance is taking place… at least not in a positive way. Apparently, what the Interior Secretary is doing is firing people for non-disclosed reasons of misconduct in a time when the nation is focused on every little reason to intensify the significance of every form of harrassment. In the absence of a detailed explanation of the reasons for dismissal, this move is adding validity to the already over-the-top world of “Political Correctness”; a world where we all, in George Takei’s words, must conform to the “lowest common denominator of butt hurt”. It’s the kind of move that sends a message to the employees of all the public (mis)trust institutions a very mixed message.  Its a message that is not unlike the ones received by  abused children when their daddies punish them and don’t tell them why they are being punished.

 

Not having the details of the dismissals we can only speculate. My cynical mind tells me this move was just a deep state, “right” leaning puppet “throwing a bone” to the liberal camp. More significantly, I think this move is setting a dangerous precedence. (Or, rather, further solidifying a precedence that has already been set).

Perhaps the underlying significance of this move is the demonstration of the executive branch’s unchecked capacity to wield its power beyond the constraints of due process and transparency (certainly already established in other ways, such as through the Patriot Act (LINK)) . It should be noted that this move is being emboldened by the “independent” survey results from an outside contractor, “CFI Group” that determined there was an issue with harassment. Any time you have institutions invest in these outside contracting companies, especially those that serve international corporate interests, you should be suspicious. CFI Group is an international company that specializes in technological surveying to generate solutions in the corporate world as well as in the world of government bureaucracy.

From CFI Group’s website:

“With a team of research experts and a patented analytics engine, CFI Group is a leader in citizen satisfaction and employee engagement measurement.”

One of the globalist’s objectives seems to be the blurring of the lines between public trust agencies and the international corporations that continue to champion this technological/ industrial revolution. Changing the culture in public trust organizations to model corporations that are “customer perception” based and beholden to their corporate heads is a major part of this. I contend that this is a management model that is not appropriate for public trust agencies. This public/ private overreach is very much apparent in the partnering around the global warming issue demonstrated at the Idaho Climate Summit  and in the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, bill (HR4647). Both situations endeavor to manipulate perception in order to sell the people (customers) back the products they are told that they already own at an ever increasing price. Similar to what you would expect from a corporation trying to increase it’s profitability and market share. Except, in this case, increasing market share means building bureaucracy and the multitude of outside contractors (the natural resources industrial complex). There are much better ways for people to protect environments and manage resources that don’t involve this form of extortion through fear programming. Right now we are essentially at the crossroads where the “thesis” and the “antithesis” over public lands have synthesized to carry us willingly into a mindless, globally aligned corporate technocracy that is taking control over public and private lands.

I have become quite jaded to the common practice of public trust organizations who are continuously investing in these kinds of outside resources to influence behavior and perception in these organizations. You can read my protests in previous blogs “Public Distrust” for my thoughts on this.

Good Ol’ Boys and The Citizens Who Love Them!

While I have no disillusion about the existence of “good ol’ boy” networks within public trust organizations and evidence of misconduct, the notion that it is a significant problem at the lower levels, that requires the current amount of investment in time and money is quite arguable. I strongly suggest, having delved deep into the subject with an open mind, that the biggest problem that exists in terms of harrassment and missconduct is that which exists at the top. It is the political establishment’s nefarious conduct within the halls of power that needs to be corrected. (It has needed to be corrected for a very long time; long before this current administration). The conduct that we see out of our public trustees, conduct that is so unbecoming anyone in the position of leadership, is being transposed onto the employees in these organizations, in true “scapegoat” (LINK) fashion. Why we tolerate this nonsense and condone these actions in our leadership, as always, proves to be something to behold and something I attribute to the fear of various forms of consequence within these organizations and out in the public.

The way these policy directives from the top are playing out is having a profound impact. The culture that this creates is making it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for anyone in public service to honor their obligations to the public. There is no way for anyone in these bureaucratic institutions to pose a challenge to the top down mandates or policy directives without fear of reprisal. What is being created within these government institutions is a culture of fear, where everyone in the organization must conform to the goals and objectives of the organization and the policies being mandated from the top, regardless of whether or not they find them to be ill-advised. Often times I think public trust managers would rightfully oppose the actions being taken by their organization, if allowed, because they know that what is being advanced is not always based on sound and openly derived scientific analysis and reasoning (perhaps it is even rare that this is the case). The very pillars that these institutions are suppose to stand on is sound science, reason, and public trust. (“Public trust” continues to be the terminology being bandied about to give the false impression that the public trust is held in the highest regard).

A couple examples that come to mind that demonstrate this situation in Idaho includes that which is being encouraged through the reactions to climate change; which is clearly being realized at the Idaho Climate Summit. (I suggest that the Idaho Climate Summit promotes the wrong kind of response in the form of public-private partnerships based on cherry picked, Hegelian-inspired scientific data. I know others in the public trust institutions and among the citizenry feel strongly about this as well, but aren’t able to openly challenge this public/ private collusion). The other example is the policy directives to fight the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). It has been my observation that there is a complete lack of acknowledgement for any outside scientific research, particularly that which suggests an alternative etiology to the not-well understood pathology that public policy is being based on.  (This alternative research into CWD should inspire other types of testing and allow for greater scrutiny of pesticide mitigation and weather modification programs (as well as other industrial endeavors). Idaho Power’s weather modification program in the Payette National Forest through Weather Modification Inc. is one such program).

The unquestioned roll out of wireless technology and infrastructure that is being advanced at a very concerning pace, with no real investigation by anyone in the resource agencies (who rely very heavily on this technology to perform their research), is of personal interest to me. This is a concern I had brought up with various public trust agencies, including Idaho DEQ. Below is the IDEQ response to my concerns. Their response should tell you how little protection citizens might enjoy from their tax funded public trust agencies. (Much more information on this subject can be found at the EHS Idaho website).

John.Cardwell@deq.idaho.gov
Dec 20 at 4:45 PM
To:

CHUCK FINNEY

Message body

Mr. (FINNEY): Thank you for your information and suggestion to investigate environmental impacts resulting from wireless technologies. At this time, DEQ does not have authority to manage or regulate wireless technologies. The issues and concerns you have raised have been documented and may receive additional review in the future as the agency evaluates long term strategic goals and objectives. Thank you.

Maximizing and Marginalizing the Human Resource

I have long held the notion that Human Resourced departments, that are operating among the various public trust institutions, are not there to protect the “human resource” but to protect the institution from the human resource. (I would argue that the human resource is actually a diminishing component (LINK) in terms of significance, when you look to the roll-out of so many of the toxic technologies complex computer modeling and resource mapping programs that are becoming the “one size fits all” decision makers for the way resources are managed).

Getting back to the primary topic, If it were not the case that HR departments were made subservient to the leadership (the “public trustees” rather), a proper course of action to challenge misconduct in an organization would be to bring it up to the Human Resource department. This is what we are taught to do when we are hired on in these organizations, . The situation would be handled honestly on a case by case basis through due process. As a suggestion, perhapss guilt and punishment should be determined by peer review rather than by appointed officials. The mechanisms, in theory, are there to provide for grievances, but it’s obvious they can be controlled from the top. In matters of unquestioned loyalty to the organization and, more importantly its leadership, the protections promised to the average employee through HR departments (including whistleblower protections) has been circumvented. In this way, HR departments have been diminished in their ability to protect the public servant. This is exactly what happens when due process is made to be subservient to the institutionally aligned status quo and political objectives (such as in this case with Ryan Zinke).

I contend that most of the problems of harassment and otherwise are a trickle down issue that rests at the feet of the leaders of these institutions. Any head of an institution should not be in a situation where they would arbitrarily enact punishment for misconduct. In the case of Zinke and the Trump administration, not only is he (or most in these high ranking offices) in no moral position to pass judgement but they are not in a position to render fair and unbiased judgements on any case. What they are in a position to do is to ensure the constitution is followed and that the departments that are set up to deal with these human resource issues are operating in a fair and transparent way.  As “public trustees” beholden to political interests, if it should become necessary to weigh in on an issue that isn’t being resolved through the systems that are set up to ensure proper conduct, they should refrain from making any direct judgements and enacting punishments without clearly demonstrating their reasoning to the public and to the institutions they preside over. It is far too easy for political ambitions to trump fairness (pun intended); in which case the already extremely despondent, costly and often counter-productive public trust institutions model their leadership to become tools of oppression. Yes, we are all but at this point already.

Conclusion

With such a significant display of power, where the Secretary of the Interior can ambiguously terminate employees, with little to no public challenge and no due process, leaves open the door to abuses. The fact that this move comes from the executive branch provides cover for those in organizations at other levels of government. The leadership in other organizations at state and local levels will enact the same arbitrarily applied penalties; perhaps in order to silence dissenting voices within their organizations. (The dissenting voice is an extremely important component to a public trust institution; one that’s been all but extinguished ubiquitously among all the public trust organizations). These all too ambiguous “political correct” mandates being made at the top are causing people to bend over backwards to keep from stepping on anyone’s toes. Employees are going out of their way just to maintain this perception of civil discourse and to keep from giving the impression to their peers and to ensure to their leadership that they are not on board with the goals and objectives of the institution. Ultimately those who suffer are the citizens who, wrongfully, think they are “in charge” and can affect change through the ballot box. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

I encourage people to read my blog “Trickle-Down Psychopathy” and recognize how arbitrarily applied policy mandates can become manifest, and how culture creation within an institution can come about from modelling the leadership and the political narratives playing out through mass media. In all instances it is important to get past the emotions and see the more important evidence of abuse of power. It need not matter your position on the issues; how much you hate poachers, wolves, cattle, oil, global warming, or whatever. If we are to have a just and fair society, nobody is to have special privilege over the application of justice and everybody must have equal access to the common law and be allowed to seek redress of their grievances. Nobody, least of all the leadership, should be immune from the fair and open application of common law.

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