Friday, May 13, 2011


    I can take a deep breath now and let out a huge sigh of relief.  I have been informally informed that I am no longer “dangerous”.  It appears that tactic has failed, and since I am still here, and still typing I guess they have to try a new tactic.

     I am going bald and at times fall behind on my haircut schedule. This may give me a “bozo the clown” hairstyle, but do not let that interfere with serious nature of the subjects that are discussed here.

    I am concerned about the future stability of my Country.  I am concerned about the future stability of my pension, my pay, and my health insurance. I do not consider discussions on these matters, laughable, funny or anywhere approaching the realm of a joke. 

    Now that it has been determined that I am no longer dangerous, I am trying to figure out which part of this is now “laughable”.  Is it laughable that certain Union Leaders are conducting our business in a dishonorable fashion?  Is that the funny part?  How about the demise and downfall of the US dollar, you know the little green backs we use to buy EVERYTHING we need to survive, is that the funny part?  Wait, I got it, it must be the part where our own members have to make motions, to FORCE our Union Leaders to give us access to the rules that govern our meetings, that must be the hilarious part.   Maybe it is the part where the AFL CIO and our union leaders are standing with the enemies of a free America, you know the socialist, communist, and anarchist.  The very people many of us joined the military to oppose.  It must be hilarious now that guys who have actually been in combat in the service of their country are now being told by their union leadership to stand with the very people trying to destroy our Country.  Excuse me for not thinking that’s funny. I must have lost my sense of humor over on the horn of Africa when I was serving my Country.  Wait a minute, no I didn’t because there are some things I think are funny.

     What I find laughable is my leadership’s inability to refute what I am saying in these posts.  Maybe if they did that, then we could all laugh together.  What I find laughable is the predictable and petty tactics used against me by my own leadership.
I find it laughable when my union leaders take the time to concern themselves with what stickers I have on my turnout locker.  I find it laughable when my union leaders say “brotherhood”. 
   You see, I used to be on the executive board of my union, I led our Union Honor Guard for 10 years, I stood shoulder to shoulder with these men for 14 years, I supported them, they supported me, until I had the audacity to disagree. Once I did that, we found out exactly how “cheaply” that “brotherhood” was disregarded.

    When this newest tactic runs it course, I will still be standing here, I will still be speaking, can we then talk openly and honestly about these things? 

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Anatomy of Unanimous Consensus

    Unanimous is defined as being of one mind, agreeing, formed with or indicating unanimity, having the agreement and consent of ALL (emphasis added).  
    In order for a group as large as 500 people to come to a unanimous consensus, leadership is required. There are many different kinds of leadership, autocratic, democratic, or Laissez-Faire to name just a few.  There are many different types of leaders as well, some good, some not so good, most somewhere in between.  The following are two generic examples of leadership and the parameters for both examples.
-       The leader is a paid member of a board elected by its dues paying membership, to manage the affairs of the group.
-        All monies for the operation of this group come directly from the paying members. 
-       Each leader understands that consensus among large groups of people is sometimes hard to achieve, and requires finesse.
-       Each understands that this is the largest expenditure of this group’s money in its history.
-       Each understands the rules regarding the steps needed to spend the group’s money.
-       Both leaders will remain within the “rules”.
-       The membership in each example will be the same, and ranges from distracted, and uninvolved to active in the daily business of the group and at some level everywhere in between.
-       The goal or objective for the leader to gain approval from the membership for something the leader wants.  In these examples we will say the leader wants to purchase a used RV (recreational vehicle) for the leadership to use to travel with.  The leader in each example believes this purchase is necessary and will save the group money in the long run.

The following is example A:

    Since all your members are not really interested in this at the moment, you send out the absolute minimum requirements for notification.  Do not in anyway use any other form of mass communication at your disposal then follow the steps 1-7.
1.     Schedule the two-day vote with as little prior notification as allowed.
2.      Be prepared however, just in case word gets out to those who would not approve your measure.  You may need to call in more support if by chance you almost lose the first days vote.
3.      Ensure there is adequate “response” from supporters to overcome the resistance of the first days vote, on the second day.
4.     After you have achieved “approval” from your membership to purchase the RV, make sure the purchase is complete and irreversible prior to the next meeting.  This is an important step, because word is going to get out to those who were not initially concerned.  They may speak out against it now, even though they were not paying attention, they are still dues paying members and they may organize a motion to tie your hands at the next meeting.
5.     Now that you have completed the purchase you now have to set the path to approve the next chunk of money to refurbish it.  You may still have resistance to this so you must plan accordingly.
6.     Go on the offensive; use your leadership position to intimidate your membership.  You achieve this by attacking those who are speaking out against it, or anything else you are doing.  The membership must know that there is a price for speaking out. An easy way to do this is to start telling the people around them you think they are “dangerous”.   Make sure they know you are serious, you may even mention it to supervisors, so there will actually be questions from their superiors inquiring to their “mental stability”.
7.     Once step 6 is complete, Repeat steps 1 and 2 above.

   With the RV purchased, and the membership disenfranchised, you step out and claim “unanimous” victory. Do not however mention how many people actually voted, because that may draw attention to the fact it was not an undisputed vote.  

The following is example B:

  Since all your members are not really interested in this at the moment, you take the time to send out multiple meeting notifications using all forms of communication at your disposal, both informal and formal.   You set the meeting and vote at a time that allows you to follow these steps;
1.     Make a presentation with all the facts and figures.
2.     Travel to where your members gather routinely at pre-described times and locations, and present your case to them.
3.     Answer any questions your members may have.
4.     Schedule the vote, and poll the entire membership by secret ballot.
5.     Wait for the results and hope you had what it took to convince your members to make the purchase.
6.     If you did, make the purchase, and follow up with any other request in the future that’s needed to complete the task.
7.     If not, hold your head high, because you realized it’s not about what you want, but what the membership wants, and you conducted your business in an honorable fashion.

The preceding are fictional examples. Any resemblance to real persons or events is entirely coincidental.  They are intended to demonstrate that in life the leadership we choose to follow is up to us.  The questions is simple, do you want to live in a world where example A is the norm, or example B?