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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Debt Ceiling Debate is in the Debt Gutter!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have had it with all of the political gamesmanship being played with our hard earned money.

While our “elected” officials enjoy CEO-style perks, the rest of us have to live within our budgets and all the while watch as our tax dollars are squandered by those elected to spend it wisely.

My income is taxed; my house that is paid for is taxed and everything that I purchased is taxed with all of that money used to pay for government-local, state and federal.

I don’t have a car and driver furnished for me to shuttle me to and from meetings. I don’t have a gym provided to me free of charge. I don’t have a paid staff to help me with my job duties. I don’t have free medical benefits and I sure as hell don’t have a pension, compliments of the U.S. taxpayer…but if I did, it might just insulate me from the reality that everyday citizens are struggling to make ends meet. It might cloud my judgment when spending someone else’s money.

When I go to the polls in November of 2012, I am going to vote for ADULTS; people who have properly gauged the state of our nation’s financial condition and who can sit down as adults, have adult conversations and make mature decisions that more accurately reflect sound money management.

I am tired of the fear tactics being used by BOTH parties. I am fed up with Harry Reid, who is nothing more than a five-year-old boy in the body of a 71 year-old man. I cannot look at or listen to Tim Geitner without thinking about anything lower than whale scum. He more than any other single individual brought this country to the brink of economic collapse in 2008. And Nancy Pelosi; Nancy, you don’t have the big gavel OR the big hammer anymore. Go away!

I am not a big fan of Michele Bachman, but she has more grit than Rooster Cogburn and more class than a 1937 Mercedes Benz 540 K. She is principled, intelligent and leaves no question on where she stands on the issue. This is not to say that I would vote for her, but I would seriously consider it. Oh; and she engages in debate like the grown up that she is. Plus; she is sticking to her promises made to her constituents, including not raising the debt limit and pushing for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

I thought that we had a thorough-bred in John Boehner when he became the Speaker of the House…

Then; he cried.

John! We cry at funerals and our kids’ weddings and maybe the birth of our grandchildren.

We DON’T cry after we have been elected to the third most powerful position in our federal government. Every time you go in front of the cameras, I wonder if I am going to see a tear form in the corner of your eye. Many of us grew up in tough times just like you. We did our fair share of crying THEN. It made us tougher NOW. Man up and go kick Harry Reid’s ass.

And what about Obama?

He is still organizing. He isn’t leading; he’s lecturing with that condescending tone. He acts as if he’s still on the campaign trail. If I played as much golf as he does, I wouldn’t be able to hold down a full time job. He likes to brag about how he can afford to pay more in taxes. Well, Barry; then stop taking advantage of all of those deductions and loopholes and write that check to the Treasury. I happen to think that I pay enough.

And where has Scott Brown been? You know; the guy from Massachusetts who was going to save the country? Did his pick up truck break down or what?
Paul Ryan has been noticeably invisible. After he failed to get his plan passed, did he take his balls and go home?

God, I miss Joe Liebermann. I thought that I would NEVER say that, but at least you knew what you were getting with Joe. He was almost a liberal Republican, if there is such a thing.


Chuck Schumer, Chuck Todd, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, Barney Frank, Chris Mathews, Dick Durbin, Stuart Varney, Jay Carney, Glenn Beck, Jesse Jackson, Ann Coulter, Ben Bernanke, Keith Olbermann, Janeane Garofalo, Michelle Malkin, Al Sharpton, Rush Limbaugh have all been to the “hyperbolic chamber” and for the past several months have managed to keep the country’s knees knocking with their non-stop, doom and gloom diatribes.

What about our Bills? No; not those kind. I am talking about Bill O’Reilly, Bill Maher and Bill Cristol.

Bill O’Reilly enjoys mixing it up with an administration that is STILL blaming Bush.

Bill Maher; I took you more seriously when you were a mildly entertaining comedian. Now that you are a mouthpiece for the Far Left liberals, we no longer find the same things funny.

Bill Cristol makes very good points, but it’s hard to understand him. He talks as if he only has about 20 percent of his lung capacity. And his presentation of his position on an issue doesn’t come off as scary of the others.

Stop with the commentary and REPORT the NEWS! I don’t want your opinion. I have one of my own. I want to listen to news…NOT your take on the news. Support whomever you want on YOUR time and stop wasting MY time. Try to remember why you got into journalism in the first place.

I am fed up with all of the name-calling and all of the hyperbolic comparisons to terrorists and hostages and other diabolical synonyms.

I am going to start the Pea Party and say, “Piss on them all”.

It’s time to get rid of all of the career politicians, re-tool the Constitution to keep power in the hands of the PEOPLE and secure a better future for the elderly and our kids.

To most of those named in this article? Well, let’s just say that I am going step away from them for awhile. We need some time away from each other. I have to re-evaluate their impact upon my “reasonableness”.

For a democracy that is 235 years old, it seems like it has a lot of growing up to do or at least the people elected to discharge their duties in accordance with the Constitution do.

Oh and this just in…

We have a “debt deal”.

Oh joy!


The opinions and views expressed are those of the article’s author, Art Goodrich, who also writes as ChiefReason. They do not reflect the opinions and views of, Fire Engineering Magazine, PennWell Corporation or his dog, Chopper. All articles by the author are protected by federal copyright and cannot be reproduced in any form without expressed permissio

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Chief Reason with a Sit Rep!

Perhaps many of you may have noticed that it has been a month since my last blog or maybe you haven’t.

I also missed my first Fire Engineering Talk Radio show in July. I hope to do the August show, but for right now, it is beyond my control.

You see; my life has seen some changes.

Changing jobs is never easy.

Those comforts that we surround ourselves with over the course of many years with a company are gone as soon as you turn in your company possessions, pack up your personal belongings and turn the lights off in your office for the last time.

Also gone are the relationships that you have spent time building and strengthening. You have memories that are of no consequence as you move to your new company, because it will take skill to establish your credibility as a new employee who is responsible for leading the company’s safety program.

It is interesting to note that I was told by an old colleague many years ago to limit yourself to what you can fit into one box when you leave a company (I filled less than one box). I think his advice goes beyond what’s apparent to a much deeper level, which are our emotional attachments.

I can tell a lot about a person when I look around their office or cubicle. They have created a “home away from home”. What they have really done is to place “walls” between them and their effectiveness as a “titan of industry”. They have found their comfort level, but have lost their edge, which is to say that they find themselves thinking and talking about personal issues instead of personnel issues. As a result, their performance suffers along with the company’s performance.

Now; don’t take that the wrong way. I want to learn about the people that I work with-you know; what makes them “tick”-but without the expectation that we will somehow become best friends. That is one of those mysterious nuances that might develop in spite of a work relationship.

And THAT might be what really separates firefighting from private sector jobs.

In firefighting, it’s important to know co-workers on a more personal level. That is an inherent ingredient to becoming a member of the brotherhood. It establishes that sacred trust and knowledge that your brothers and sisters will risk their life to save yours’. I get that!

In the private sector and in regards to safety, we establish policies and procedures so that employees WON’T have to take those types of risks. That’s why it’s called “risk management”.

It is for that reason, in my opinion, that the two cultures clash. Firefighters want latitude to determine what they risk and when they risk it. Private companies aren’t willing to extend that latitude to employees for one, basic reason and that is that each employee may not make the best decision. So, policies are written to compel employees to make the best decision and when they don’t and when weighed against past practice; the behavior is corrected by whatever means is spelled out in company policy.

Typically, what I have found when I join a company is a recordkeeping nightmare. From first aid logs to OSHA logs, it leaves much to the imagination and much to be desired!

That is not the case at my new job.

What has taken me away from my “outside” interests to a total focus on my job interests is the total lack of adherence to basic, personal safety. It has already translated into work injuries.

In other words; employees are ignoring safety policies, because they are not being enforced. That is a recipe for disaster and especially because they operate equipment that could kill them in a blink of an eye. Continuing to operate equipment that is unsafe to operate goes unnoticed by the same people who will not wear basic PPE. They have been left to believe that getting product out the door is worth the risks that are taken and when it isn’t addressed; the risky behavior is reinforced.

It is THERE that I am spending all of my time.

As we have found with firefighting, it takes solid leaders and a strong team effort to be successful. Knowing your enemy and training for the fight will get everyone home.

THAT is what I am working towards.

Until then, you won’t be hearing much from me.


The opinions and views expressed are those of the article’s author, Art Goodrich, who also writes as ChiefReason. They do not reflect the opinions and views of, Fire Engineering Magazine, PennWell Corporation or his dog, Chopper. All articles by the author are protected by federal copyright and cannot be reproduced in any form without expressed permission.