Saturday, February 11, 2006

Office Ineptitude

Having worked in office environments in the past, and now working in one again on a daily basis, you quickly learn the line between what is appropriate in an office situation and what isn't. Supervisors can and do monitor e-mails, phone calls, faxes, and other communications coming from outlets that were set up for conducting business on a daily basis. Some are more lenient than others, and very few mind if you send a personal e-mail from your work address while taking a five-minute breather. I've done this, and I know few people who work in offices every day who never send a personal e-mail from their company account or never use a company line for a personal call. Business communication tools are not for personal use, however, and any reputable company cautions its employees to avoid turning the tools of business into a personal toy.

Now-former lottery official Steve Adams would have us believe that while professional standards of communication apply to the private business world, the same standards do not apply to the officials of the Tennessee Lottery. Its okay, according to Adams, for him to send crude, suggestive, and even pornographic jokes from his state e-mail because people in the office "need something to laugh about."

Shame on the State for not monitoring this kind of activity more closely up to now. Why did it take so long to fire Adams? Surely someone knew what he was doing. Are the present gang of people who administer the Executive offices of Tennessee so inept that they don't know when someone like Adams engages in inappropriate workplace behavior?

Most reputable companies wouldn't tolerate that behavior for five minutes. Now, even the Davidson County Chancellor thinks that the State should put up with that kind of filth from employees on the job.

Adams deserved to be fired, it is good that he was removed. A fair question to be asked, however, is why it took so long for that to happen.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Was it just me, or did the singing of Imagine completely ruin the otherwise beautiful opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I'd like to buy Campfield a drink (of his choice)...

A few people have asked me whether or not I am going to attend the Lin-or rather, the Oatney Day Dinner. I have always enjoyed attending these festivities, as they always coincide with the celebration of the birth of such a great American.

Unfortunately, I will not be attending the dinner Saturday night, although this isn’t from lack of wanting to attend. As regulars might know from reading through these pages, I recently started in a new situation. I enjoy it highly, but it has placed us in the precarious position of having to wait on my first pay in order to spend money on anything other than necessities because in the transition period from old to new, we’ve had to go a bit longer than normal without pay, so if the dinner were next week, Nicole and I would likely attend.

One of the regrets I have about not attending the dinner Saturday is that I will be unable to meet a potential gubernatorial candidate. Despite my lack of attendance at Oatney Day festivities, that potential candidate should be assured of my full support, as well as my desire to be of help to him in any way that I can.

Perhaps my biggest disappointment, however, is that I won’t be able to finally meet State Representative Stacey Campfield. Stacey did me the honor of a headline yesterday, which I truly find humbling…my poor comments are unworthy of such dignity. I so appreciate Stacey’s work, and what he is doing for the people of East Tennessee and all Tennesseans, that I would love to buy him a drink and shake his hand.

(I will add the disclaimer that I would not purchase said drink with the intent of using it to influence any legislative activity, or otherwise bribing or corrupting the said Campfield.)

I don’t know if Stacey will be there or not, but after reading his blog now for many months, I can say that I truly hope we can meet one of these days.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Symbolism Over Substance

Yesterday I talked about how Governor Bredesen’s State of the State Address was really a State of the Re-Election Campaign Address. Typical of a campaign speech, from a candidate of any political party, Bredesen gave us a serious and sober look at the problems we face as citizens of Tennessee. However, he offered no real solutions, only symbolism disguised as solutions, to explain how he planned to try and deal with these complex issues.

Stacey Campfield was quick to point out in his blog yesterday, that Bredesen was keen to tell us how he wasn’t going to raise taxes, yet is going to insure every child in the state of Tennessee. In addition to that spending spree, the Governor also says he wants to increase education spending. I’ll agree that the education system in our State is in dire need of a serious overhaul. I don’t think an overhaul is what Bredesen really wants to accomplish however. I think he merely wants to throw money at our education problems, operating under the theory that more money will solve the problem. The fact is that most of the problems the Governor outlined in his speech are not problems that the government can solve, and they certainly aren’t issues that the government can deal with alone.

The fact of the matter is that children will be educated in Tennessee when more parents take responsibility for their offspring. More children will receive healthcare when people become willing to extend the hand of Christian charity the way that Christ says they should.

What’s more, I think it is fair to say that corruption would be less of a problem in our state government if the elected officials within that government, and those appointed to serve under them, take responsibility for their actions and uphold their oaths of office. In the end, the vast majority of Tennessee’s problems will be much improved if people take more personal responsibility and quit leaving it to the government to deal with the consequences of their poor decisions, bad judgment, and corrupt ways of public business. That goes for people at all levels of government, from schoolteachers to the Governor himself.

And yet, we heard much about what the government will do, but very little about what we must do for ourselves.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

State of the Re-election Campaign Address

I have not blogged all day today partly because my days have been incredibly busy of late, and partly because I wanted to hear what Bredesen had to say for himself before I said much of anything.

The Governor told us tonight that he had no intention of raising taxes this year, and left the strong impression that he would not do so at all if elected to a second term. This is a pledge that I will believe only when I see, because as we have said and cited here on many occasions, State Democrats are always looking for new ways in which they might raise taxes. Their favorite way to raise taxes would be to levy an income tax, and if they can't do that under the law, they will find some way around the law.

As for the rest of the Governor's address, there was little that he said that could be argued with, only his pledge to insure every child in Tennessee without raising taxes left me scratching my head wondering how such an ambitious social project could be attempted after TennCare collapsed, and could be done without a tax-hike in disguise. The rest of Bredesen's pledges make him sound Republican, which means that he will attempt to win a second term by portraying himself as something he is not. It is an open question, I think, as to whether that makes him a fraud.

Bredesen's administration has bigger problems, however. Former State Highway patrolman Charles Farmer is alleging that he was run out of the Patrol because he is a Republican. That indicates a level of political favoritism and corruption that, if it truly pervades even the state police in this manner, means that no Tennessean can be assured of a fair application of the law in this State. That is more than enough reason to run Phil Bredesen right out of the Governor's mansion.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Do as Bredesen says, not as he does

As is the case with many members of his party, we learned today that Governor Phil Bredesen thinks that the law should apply to others, but not to himself. The final version of the Bill places the same restrictions on the Governor as will exist on legislators when the General Assembly is in session. The provision takes effect immediately.

Bredesen has his own personal fortune, and hasn't had major opposition up to now, but I believe he will soon. Apparently, so does Bredesen, or he and his staff would not be throwing a ring-eyed fit, as they have done in the waning hours leading up to the final enactment of the new ethics Law. Considering that Bredesen has raised so much money ($4.4 million on hand) for his re-election that he could start a run for President off of it, just what is phil afraid of?

Maybe he is afraid that between now and November, someone will come along and expose his administration for the cesspool of corruption that it is. His very mentality belies the culture of corruption: "Apply the law to others, but not to me-do as I say, not as I do."

Take the money out of politics?

I happened to see some footage on PBS yesterday of the General Assembly debating amendments to the ethics legislation. Specifically, it was the Senate debating whether or not to have public financing of political campaigns.

Either the Democrats think that we are just that stupid, or they themselves are intellectually challenged. They all were fond of saying on the Senate floor how we should "take the money out of politics." They aren't taking money out of politics, however, just putting public money in, and giving the same people who have shown an unbelievable lack of responsibility with taxpayer dollars yet another excuse to waste even more of our money.

Seeing and hearing Democrats discuss ethics and the morality of the campaign process is providing a week's worth of humor in my office.

Surely they understand that if the state can fully finance a political campaign, the state also has precident to fully regulate that campaign, right down to what can be said?

Perhaps this is really another back door into finding ways to shut people up who "cause trouble," namely the opponents of Democratic domination in Tennessee

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Bowl XL

Today, of course, is Super Bowl Sunday-the day every American football fan waits for all year long in anticipation of their team actually making it to the Big Game. For a lot of us, that doesn't happen, although my beloved Bengals came as close to the Super Bowl this year as they had in 15 seasons (and if Carson Palmer hadn't been hurt against the Steelers, they might have beaten Pittsburgh-then who knows what would have happened).

As much as it pains me to do so, I'll have to root for the Steelers in tonight's game, because with the exception of the Browns and the Ravens, I will not root against an AFC team in the Super Bowl.

Matt Daley is excited about this year's Super Bowl in a special way. Even though Matt is an Alabaman, (and a HUGE Crimson Tide fan) he currently lives in Findlay, Ohio. His family neighbor Ben Roethlisberger happens to be the starting quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XL. Matt, a lifelong Dolphins fan, has been converted to Steelerism because of Big Ben's presence on the team. He'd love for Ben to have a great game tonight so he can not only tell all of his friends "I know somebody with a Super Bowl ring," but "I know the MVP of Super Bowl XL."

Enjoy the game!

Disappearing posts

It appears that a lengthy post I made yesterday about my distaste for the ethics Bill that will be signed into law tomorrow has mysteriously disappeared. Believing it had posted, I deleted the version I had saved in Word, and now it is virtually impossible to recupture what I had to say, but I can tell you that I raked State Rep. Ulyses Jones over the coals for his attitude that buying sporting tickets with campaign money was a good way to campaign.

I explained in detail whyI felt this was vote buying and how it would be quite different for Rep. Jones to take a group of underprivileged youngster to a ballgame on his own dime and how that would be the right thing to do.

I apologize to my readers for this lengthy commentary that has seemingly vanished from the earth.

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