Saturday, June 1, 2024

The war on poverty and how to climb out of this hole created.


Ms. Tingley, a retired school superintendent and college professor, wrote a rebuttal to the war on poverty in the Williamsburg Gazette on 6-1-2024. She attacked with a typical liberal attack of "pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is hard." She is right. It is hard without some skills you can offer for employment besides flipping a hamburger. The truth is some could not flip a hamburger if they wanted to or cook one to the proper degree as needed for a healthy meal. Urbanization is one of the direct causes of this phenomenon and, of course. Some high schoolers don't know the difference between a straight-blade screwdriver and a Phillips. How can they survive with little education? I offer my ideas on the war on poverty through the leanse of Been There Done That. We have forgotten how we got here through high school shops, future Farmers of America, and community skill centers in every town.

Ms. Tingley is correct when she writes concerning the war on poverty. The war on poverty has failed due to today's partisan politics. We seem to keep doing the same things to prevent poverty and expecting different results, and that is a form of madness. Ms. Tinsley writes, "We don't all get to start at the same starting line."  All are 100% true. We should acknowledge the luck of the draw and the family we are born into; not one of them is the same nor provides the same outcome and opportunities. Ms Tingley writes about how "life is hard." Well, who said life was supposed to be easy? Life is hard. for all of us. Yes, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is hard. Who said it was easy? For a child in poverty, the best chance of breaking the cycle is the parent's love of education and realizing that education is the most important and best way out of poverty. Someone has to be there to tell the child to go to bed. Someone has to say to the child to do their homework. Someone has to teach the child to respect and mind the teachers. Someone has to remind the child that through hard work, rewards are plenty. Someone has to put food on the table. Someone has to give their life and be willing to go without and give the child a chance. A sacrifice must be made. Without the sacrifice of the child born of your own flesh and blood, the child will follow the parent into poverty as, indeed, the sheep follow each other over the cliff when the wolf attacks. 

Through our love of our fellow man, we have created unintentional consequences concerning human life where the survival of the fittest, a natural law of living on this rock, has been compromised. To end poverty is relatively simple. Urbanization of our communities has left many without the skills to survive when we give without asking for anything in return. The idea of everyone getting a college education (Obama) was an unrealistic vision and a political lie for votes.  

I grew up poor, leaving a broken family unit in a pickup truck, bag of clothes, and tent at age 20. I relied on my rural skills of hunting and gathering food right there in front of me. I had the skills to survive. My trade work at that age came from my time working rural farm jobs as a young adult, and of course, I was an accomplished welder at the age of 14; my time in Future Farmers of America and Shop in my high school years afforded me the skills needed to survive and have never asked the government for one darn dime. Today, I am a millionaire who is still living off those same skill sets. I was determined to put myself through night school college. To end the war on poverty, we must return to our rural roots; shop class reintroduced at the middle school level of k-12 will go a long way to defeating this unnecessary enemy created by our love of our fellow humans. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

Mom is trying to get us food

Mohammed Ugbede Adaji posted a picture. He asked, what does the picture mean? Many responded. 

Mohammed is a Facebook friend, and I enjoy our conversations. We don't get mad, we don't threaten, we don't spew unwise words over differences of opinions. Mohammed is from Nigeria, and I have found the people I interacted with educated, wise, and wonderful. I am thankful to be allowed to be a part of his world. I have realized that social media ills and hate are an American problem. America has a real problem with division, and one has to wonder if this divide is intentional, created by the media and politicians to harness power for themselves. 

It's a very touching photo with some vital lessons, wrote Benny Peters Adaji.

1. "Both are families, and irrespective of what happens to any of them, the children will be motherless. So, the first thing is that personal survival is vital. You need to be alive to do what you need to do. 

2. Your being alive comes at what cost? Who suffers at the other end of your survival? So, in life, it's vital that you think of others too. 

3. In life, value comes first. If one must survive, it must be the one with higher value, and you will agree with me that fish are made to be food for humans, not the other way around."

I was asked to opine.

It's a challenging picture to reflect upon. I had read others' points of view and thought for a long time before responding. Everyone who has responded shows a warm heart and deep thinking. I will share another view that I may not like. To think, one must have two people in one's head to weigh the pros and cons.

Life is hard. We toil at our work, some of us in miserable conditions, some as slaves. We humans suffer greatly while riding this rock. In the end, we have but a chance to meet death with a smile and move on into eternity. Life isn't fair or unfair; it's a bit more complex. A blend of circumstances, choices, and luck. Some things may seem unfair, while others may feel just. It's all about it's personal perspective.

To the picture: If a shark comes along and eats the fish, Mom, and her babies to survive, do we accept that as nature's survival? Nature operates on principles of survival of the fittest, adaptation, and natural selection. It's about organisms evolving traits that help them thrive in their environment and pass those traits on to future generations. It's not about fairness but rather efficiency and effectiveness in adapting to the challenges of existence.

In this case, Fish Mom gives her life to feed a family of humans through natural selection. However, will the fish children learn what a hook is and be aware of it? No, the answer is no; they will bite the same hook in a matter of minutes. Humans are like that.

Humans see obvious danger; we watch people die in wars, and we see the history of evil, yet we continue to create wars and live in sin even though we have watched others perish needlessly. As humans, we never really progress in our human nature. We see the fish bite the hook, and like the fish, we still bite the same hook, not really learning from history. We are but sheep, following the sheep leader over the cliff. It is then the reason why we need better sight. Only God can provide that sight through his teachings, allowing free will. Evil is the absence of God in our lives. With God, we live in the green meadow, not at the bottom of a cliff.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

The Essence of Work Dignity: A Cornerstone for business Health.

I wrote this piece for a former employer. God save our souls. 

Title: The Essence of Work Dignity: A Cornerstone for Business Health 

Introduction: In today's dynamic business landscape, where competition is fierce and innovation is the key to success, the concept of work dignity stands out as a crucial determinant of organizational health. Work dignity encompasses the intrinsic value and respect accorded to individuals in their professional endeavors, reflecting not only on personal satisfaction but also on the overall vitality of the business. This short list of comments delves into the profound significance of work dignity, elucidating its pivotal role in fostering employee morale, productivity, and organizational well-being. Motivated leadership at the highest levels sets the tone for the entire organization, fostering a culture of respect, fairness, and engagement, leading to higher productivity and overall job satisfaction. Additionally, it creates a ripple effect, influencing how employees treat each other and the company's reputation in the industry.

The Foundation of Work Dignity: At the heart of work dignity lies the recognition of individuals as valuable contributors to the organization's mission and goals. It transcends mere compensation or job titles, encompassing the acknowledgment of each employee's unique skills, expertise, and potential. When employees feel valued and respected for their contributions, they are more likely to develop a sense of purpose and commitment to their work, leading to heightened job satisfaction and engagement. 

Enhancing Employee Morale and Productivity: Work dignity serves as a catalyst for nurturing a positive work environment characterized by mutual respect, trust, and collaboration. Employees who perceive their work as dignified are inherently motivated to perform at their best, striving for excellence in their endeavors. Moreover, when individuals feel empowered to voice their opinions and ideas without fear of retribution, it fosters a culture of innovation and creativity, driving organizational growth and success. 

Fostering Loyalty and Retention: Businesses prioritizing work dignity are better positioned to attract and retain top talent in today's competitive labor market. Employees are more likely to remain loyal to organizations that recognize and appreciate their contributions, leading to reduced turnover rates and associated costs. Furthermore, a workforce characterized by high morale and job satisfaction becomes a magnet for prospective employees, enhancing the company's reputation as an employer of choice. 

Safeguarding Organizational Reputation: A business's reputation is intricately linked to its treatment of employees and adherence to principles of work dignity. Instances of workplace discrimination, harassment, or exploitation can tarnish the company's image and lead to public scrutiny, legal repercussions, and financial losses. Conversely, organizations that prioritize work dignity attract top talent and earn the trust and loyalty of customers, investors, and other stakeholders, bolstering their long-term viability and sustainability. 

Micro-management can erode work dignity in several ways, and there are telltale signs that indicate its detrimental effects on employees’ sense of value, autonomy, and respect in the workplace: 

1. Lack of autonomy: When employees are constantly scrutinized, and their every action is subject to approval or intervention by a manager, it signals a lack of trust in their abilities. This undermines their sense of autonomy and self-efficacy, leading to feelings of disempowerment and frustration. 

2. Decreased morale and motivation: Micro-management breeds a culture of fear and anxiety, where employees are afraid to take initiative or make decisions without explicit instructions from their superiors. As a result, morale and motivation suffer, as individuals feel undervalued and demotivated in their roles. 

3. Limited opportunities for growth and development: Micro-management stifles creativity, innovation, and learning opportunities, as employees are not given the freedom to explore new ideas or approaches. This can hinder professional growth and development, as individuals feel constrained by rigid guidelines and directives. 

4. Increased stress and burnout: Constant oversight and micromanagement can lead to heightened levels of stress and burnout among employees, as they feel pressured to meet unrealistic expectations and deadlines. This can have serious implications for their mental and physical well-being, as well as their overall job satisfaction and engagement. 

5. High turnover rates: Micro-management is often associated with high turnover rates, as employees become disillusioned and disengaged with their work environment. When individuals feel micromanaged, they may seek opportunities elsewhere where they can have more autonomy and freedom to excel in their roles. 

6. Micromanaging business partners: Micromanaging business partners can strain relationships and hinder collaboration. It creates an atmosphere of distrust and can lead to resentment. Moreover, it may discourage partners from bringing their creativity and innovation to the table, ultimately affecting the quality of the partnership and the outcomes. Trust and open communication are vital for successful collaborations between manufacturing and third-party contractors who design, build, maintain, and provide the all-important quality assurance aspect for a profitable project

*By being mindful of these signs, businesses can recognize when work dignity is being compromised by micro-management, take proactive steps to address underlying issues and foster a more empowering and respectful work environment. 

How do we identify micro-managers? Identifying micro-managers and managers who take credit for subordinates’ success or other department contributions can involve observing their behavior and communication patterns. 

1. Excessive Control: Micro-managers often control tasks and processes excessively, frequently checking in on minute details and making changes without consulting their team. 

2. Lack of Trust: They may demonstrate a lack of trust in their team members’ abilities, constantly monitoring and questioning their work rather than empowering them to take ownership. 

3. Credit Hogging: Watch out for instances where the manager consistently takes credit for the successes of their team members or other departments without acknowledging their contributions. 

4. Communication Style: Micro-managers tend to dictate rather than collaborate. They may give orders rather than engaging in open dialogue or seeking input from their team. 

5. Failure to Delegate: Managers who struggle to delegate tasks effectively may be prone to micro-management tendencies, wanting to maintain control over every aspect of a project. 

6. Blame Culture: Pay attention to how they handle mistakes or setbacks. Micro-managers may blame others for failures while taking credit for successes, creating a toxic work environment. 

7. Feedback Loop: Consider how they provide feedback. Micro-managers often focus on criticism rather than constructive feedback, undermining confidence and morale. 

8. Micromanaging Tools: Some micro-managers rely heavily on tools like excessive reporting, tracking software, or constant status updates to monitor their team’s progress rather than trusting their judgment. 

Identifying these signs can help employees and organizations address and mitigate the negative impacts of micro-management. 

Conclusion: The notion of work dignity transcends mere economic transactions, embodying the fundamental respect and value accorded to individuals in the workplace. By fostering an environment where employees feel valued, respected, and empowered, businesses can unlock the full potential of their workforce and drive sustainable growth and success. Embracing work dignity as a core tenet of organizational culture is morally imperative and indispensable for the health and prosperity of businesses in the 21st century. Work dignity is worth fighting for because it acknowledges every individual's intrinsic value and worth. It ensures fair treatment, respect, and recognition of one's contributions regardless of socioeconomic status. Fighting for work dignity promotes equality, fosters a sense of belonging, and creates a more just and humane society. We are only on this earth for a very short time. Treat each other as brothers and sisters, as family, if you will. 


Attract talents | STORYBOROS.

Roh, T., Min-Jik, K., Min-Jik, K., Hong, Y., & Hong, Y. (2023). Does Servant Leadership Decrease Bad Behaviors? The Mediating Role of Psychological Safety and the Moderating Effect of Corporate Social Responsibility. Sustainability, 15(22), 15901.

Saturday, February 10, 2024

Democracy is explained, the Constitution evaluated, and the writer leaves out the 2nd amendment.

Joesph Filco has taught economics and American government. Joseph writes commentary for the Williamsburg Gazette. The gentleman is relatively well-versed. Sometimes, I disagree and write my discourse here because the local Williamsburg Gazette and Daily Press refuse to print the discourse. When writing about the Constitution in his recent article dated February 10th, 2024. " Did they (meaning our founding fathers) mean to elevate material needs into rights? Or did they envision a system of ordered liberty and limited government whose proper function was to protect the rights of self-reliant people to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Democrats will, of course, look to Article One, section 8 of the Constitution, to say the federal government can impose a tax for the general welfare of the people. But then, what is general welfare? General welfare, in my opinion, is limited to the power of the Constitution as written. To provide for a standing army or defense of our country as an example, but not welfare, food stamps, or school funding for the individual as an example. These needs would be the responsibilities of the states and not the federal government. 

Democracy is explained, the Constitution evaluated, and the writer leaves out the 2nd amendment.

Excellent article, albeit a bit 5th-grade, but then you are writing to an ignorant class of people who mostly do not understand our Republic anyway. It was, after all, our founding fathers who did not trust the majority to elect a president. Democracy or pure democracy is, of course, "rule by mob," and Democrats like Hillary Clinton maintain the idea she was robbed of an election because she won the popular vote. I have to ask, is that treason not accepting an election? 

According to some, one of the most hotly debated parts of our Constitution, the Second Amendment, is a single sentence that leaves much to interpretation, or does it? Passed in 1789, along with the other amendments you mentioned in your column today, known as the Bill of Rights, I found it odd you left out the 2nd amendment in your list of amendments. 

In my research of historical grammar, we find that at the time of our founding fathers, our founding fathers used run-on sentences or the use of commas to separate ideas. It is one of the reasons people today find the Constitution so hard to read and understand. When we use today's English grammar to look at the 2nd as a list using commas, we associate the list with a well-regulated militia that has the right to bear arms and shall not be infringed as meaning a state military right to bear arms and shall not be infringed, but that is wrong. Each is a separate idea; we have the right to a militia, and we have a right to bear arms, and those rights shall not be infringed. If we look at this from the founding fathers' use of commas in 1789 and other aspects of the Constitution, we see our founding fathers' use of run-on sentences. I proposed this idea to the James City County Police Constitutional  Officer during my time in the citizens' police academy. He has been trained to help other officers as a Constitutional resource when dealing with our laws. He agreed. 

Yet, your liberal friends want to take from the individual the right to bear arms, and we are seeing this today in the general assembly in Richmond as I write this. The same liberals are ignoring sound legislation to deter the use of inanimate objects for harm by imposing minimum sentencing guidelines when a gun is used to commit a crime. 

Democrats want control of all of us, and that is clear to this writer. The conservative Democrat of my youth is gone. We are fortunate enough that the Supreme Court released opinions on the topic in 2008, and they found the Second Amendment does, in fact, protect an individual right to bear arms, a "right" left-wing haters of America want to take from me. 

January 6th: The people's power has diminished over time, proven by the expanding federal government in our lives. Where the federal government picks and chooses which federal laws they want to enforce, or do we need to talk about drugs and the border? The Civil War settled the idea of state rights and mandated federal law over state rights. This is why the federal government sued Texas after Texas decided to enforce federal laws on our border. January 6th was nothing more than a peaceful protest when compared to other peaceful demonstrations defined by Democrats across our nation in 2020. Where the federal government and some state governments looked the other way as cities burned and people died. Yet the Democrats are now throwing people in jail for long periods of time for protesting peacefully, mind you, after a protest came to Washington and their front door steps.  

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Nitrogen Tax, Carbon Tax offsets should be reconsidered

Skip Stiles wrote an article in the Daily Press Sunday, 2-4-2024; Skip advocates a carbon tax, much like our nitrogen tax in Virginia, to help "in theory" offset carbon emissions. I offered my experience with nitrogen credits to offset nitrogen loads to our waterways and how this tax, and that is what this is, has actually adversely affected our rural communities in Virginia, and he should reconsider.


I read your article in the Sunday paper today. 

I have to disagree with your approach to carbon reduction. I would point to the nitrogen offset credits program that came to us in the Obama era, designed for wastewater treatment plants, both centralized and decentralized, and the protection of the environment. In reality, these same types of credits have caused more harm to the environment than have helped. Offset nitrogen credits are expensive because only some large treatment plants will sell credits when new wastewater treatment is needed. Overall, the nitrogen offset credit program adversely affects our state's rural population but not so much the urban centers. Urban centers produce the most nitrogen and phosphorus discharge in stormwater runoff. However, local leaders are looking for the state to do something like you are. Local communities are reluctant to raise taxes on their urban communities to deal with these issues you are concerned with. Why? Leaders are leaders because they want power and fear being voted out. You blame the governor when you should point the finger at local leaders. 

The nitrogen offset credit program needs to be dismantled to address aging communities built before 1960 with decentralized wastewater treatment. We can now set the end-of-pipe limits of 10 bods, 10 tss, and a TN in the neighborhood of 15-20mgl. But then these same communities have to buy credits to get to zero and a recurring charge for credits. Rural communities with newer technology will not happen because large urban WWTPs are unwilling to sell credits as they want to keep them for themselves, and when they do sell credits, most cannot afford them. So, in the end, VDH's and DEP's hands are tied, as local community leaders look the other way, and we continue to pollute. Trust me, I know. This past October, I presented a paper on this subject at the 2024 NOWRA conference in Hampton, VA. 

Our issues in the world are significant, but America has generously reduced its carbon footprint while China and India continue to build coal-fired plants at a record pace. If America went carbon neutral tomorrow, our impact on the planet would be near zero. To help you understand the actual cost of a carbon tax, you are regulating our average consumer to a life of costly taxes the state government will no doubt have to implement to pay for the credits, and one has to ask from where these credits will come from. Solar farms? Wind farms? Even solar farms and wind farms hurt the environment, as some believe shore wind farms could be killing Right Whales as the structures attract food Right Whales eat, and the traffic of boats to and from these offshore wind farms is hitting and killing whales. Solar farms destroy the environment by reducing vegetation and trees. Whose job is it to what?

Come on, you know this one! Remove carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. Where the left misses the boat altogether is found in Earth wobble. Removing groundwater from certain parts of our Earth has shifted our polar axes. Nasa confirms this. The tilt of the Earth is moving partly due to groundwater withdrawal, and when this happens, I speculate, as a keen observer of life on this planet, that we produce climate changes. It comes down to the Earth's tilt, whereas some parts of Earth now tilt more towards the sun today than in decades past, thus warming and climate change. 

If you want to get a cup of coffee, I can share my expertise and help you develop solutions where my expertise fits the ongoing saga of climate change. I do care, but our approach is based on greed for money in the form of carbon and nitrogen credit exchanges. 

Sunday, January 28, 2024

A Poem: Rock Rider

I was working on my next book today. I had been posting Facebook pictures of deep space from our orbiting telescopes. This poem came to me after months of rolling around in my head it just came to me. I wrote the poem in its basic form and then used AI and Grammarly Pro to enhance the poem. I made changes where changes seem to fit with a few literary changes. So enjoy. Copyrighted 1-28-2024. Reed Johnson. 

Upon a rock, we ride through cosmic streams,
Earth, our vessel, in vast galactic dreams.
In Milky Way's embrace, a speck so small,
Life's tale unfolds, a fleeting, cosmic call.

Aboard this orb, where oceans gently sway,
Mere riders on a journey, night and day.
In insignificance, our stories unfold,
A dance of time, a cosmic threshold.

Beneath the stars, our home takes flight,
A ball of wonder in the endless night.
Yet, humbled we stand, 'midst galaxies grand,
A mere breath in the cosmos, grains of sand.

Through eons passing, whispers of our lore,
On this celestial ride, forevermore.
Rock rider, we journey, our tales untold,
In the cosmic saga, our narrative unfolds.

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Dispelling false historical narratives portrayed by Democrats in an election cycle.

My discourse on Ms. Laura Hill's commentary found in the Williamsburg Gazette, January 20 2024. Ms. Hill is the executive director of Virginia Racial Healing Institute, which manages the "Coming to the table-historic triangle." Ms. Hills' political attack on Nikki Haley was a most unfortunate decision in an election year. If Ms. Hill is intent on all of us, noting her own goal of being "inclusive," then her commentary failed that mission, and I suspect there are those of us who will never be included in her vision. Not based on skin color but on morals, ethics, political affiliation, and the ability to think. To see both sides of a social issue. In reality, Ms. Hill and I agree that skin color should never be a factor in an action or decision. To base a decision on skin color is immoral in my book of ethics. However, during the past week, in the commentary I read, Dr. Martin Luther King's commentary on judging others based on the content of their character was sorely missed in media coverage and commentary, and I have to wonder why?

This idea of using American slave history to divide our nation every election cycle is worth pointing to the extremes Democrats will go to hold power and garner the black vote. For this nation to move forward and past historical slavery in America, we must stop blaming white people, and that is just what Ms. Hill did in her commentary so shallowly veiled in the darkness of describing Colonalist Europeans as slavers. She blamed white people. Ms. Hill used skin color. Ms. Hill goes on to attack a presidential candidate, and of course, this was surrounded by a false narrative of "the cause of the civil war."  A catch-22 question that, no matter how Nikki Haley answered, would draw ire. A typical Democrat ploy to divide a nation for votes. It seems to me the Democrats cannot stand on their economic record, border security record, inflation record, green policy record, and war record. No, all the Democrats have left is historical slavery to garner votes.

Addressing Laura Hills' attack on Nikki Haley, using simplistic history idealisms, and spewing her false narratives do no one any good when trying to heal a community. Inclusion and equity are what Ms Hill is aiming for, leaving out diversity or DIE, a left-wing calling card. Inclusion means everyone, including Ms. Haley, but no, Ms. Hill attacks. Ms. Hill only seems to want a just community that fits her narrative and disallows all others with whom she disagrees, a Democrat and media calling card. I could write a book, and as luck would have it, many have already been written; slavery was "a" reason for the Civil War, but not the only reason. This is the correct answer you are looking for. If you hate those "English Colonists" who happen to be white people, who you say brought slavery upon your people, then you only need to look in the mirror as to who sold your ancestors into slavery; you will find, in some cases, they look a lot like you. Your simplistic approach to slavery is an uneducated narrative, and the people should be warned. Laying your argument at the feet of the "main reason" for the civil war is a simplistic, uneducated approach to political theater.

"Defending Dixie's Land: What Every American Should Know About The South and the Civil War." Anyone can find this book on Amazon if you want to know why the Confederates fought, as history is rarely told truthfully by the victors. I am not saying this book is right or wrong, but to say there are always two sides to every story. Thinking is hard, and inclusion is more problematic when only one voice is in your head. To be able to think, one must have two voices of reason in your head to judge the pros and cons of any topic. This is where Ms Hill needs to improve. It's where most of us fail and thus conflict. 

Slavery is an awful social construct, yet there is even more slavery today in this world than in the 1600s-1800s; we don't see Ms. Hill addressing today's world slavery issues in her ancestral land; no, Ms. Hill chooses to address history. History is, of course, something no one can change. Dr. Walter Williams would be turning over in his grave after comments from Laura Hill, who has now entered political commentary. If you were to be inclusive of Dr. Thomas Sowell, he would tell you the same: For good or bad, Ms. Hill seeks power to force change, which is Marxism or equality for all.  

The war on poverty and how to climb out of this hole created.

  Ms. Tingley, a retired school superintendent and college professor, wrote a rebuttal to the war on poverty in the Williamsburg Gazette on ...