Truth and the Freedom Series

Both “Meet the Press” and “Face the Nation” considered the proposition that Russia was involved in hacking in the American election and also involved in rigging the election in order to make Trump the winner of the election.

During the last third of his campaign, Trump repeatedly and publicly alleged that the election was rigged. If he lost the election, Trump trumpeted, it would be proof that the election was rigged.

We reacted when the election results came in. A recount of the votes in three states was endeavored. Trump objected to the recount efforts. It’s been said in other places that his objections to the recounts make no sense. Having the votes recounted would confirm his victory in those states. So why is he objecting to the recounts?

The issue of a rigged election, interference by Russians in the American election process, was also part of the discussion. Trump’s persistent bellowing of interference and rigging continued all the way up to election day. But now his campaign team objects to being called on those allegations. They scream foul and claim the allegations are sour grapes.

candleflame - In search of the truth

In search of the truth

Actually, we’re now looking more closely at the claims and accusations that were pronounced by the candidate for President, Donald Trump. How can it be unfair to ask (again) for proof of the claims of election tampering?

On “Face the Nation,” Kellyanne Conway was asked a question about these campaign allegations. Instead of answering the question, she deflected it by turning to another aspect of the campaign and how unfair some of the DNC tactics were.

Some questions that need to be answered are whether there was in fact election tampering, whether there was hacking of the political parties (DNC as well as RNC), the veracity of the election results, and whether our President-elect can be trusted to help those who are in this country realize the Roosevelt promises of freedom of speech and worship as well as freedom from hunger and fear.

Observation: Time after time and with each passing day, we seem to be gifted with real, public scrutiny examples of the tools of an abuser.

Restriction from

Restriction from

In various times of allowing a dictatorship to overtake a country, things took hold because there were those who chose to do nothing for various reasons. Some chose inaction because they felt they did not have the power nor the tools nor the importance to resist or be an effective member of a resistance. Some remained inert because of fear based on many things that were relevant to their healthy existence. (It’s ironic that a dictatorship and tyranny lead to a very unhealthy existence.)

There were those who chose to act. Their numbers were small in regard to public presence. But there were also those who chose to act while staying in the background.

At some point in the near future, the many proofs of the campaign accusations and inflammatory rhetoric will emerge. Then we will be an informed public.

Meanwhile, we continue to create a new national culture that is no longer based on trust but fear. One of the healthy outcomes of this 2016 election is the motivation to become more educated about many aspects of our nation and the systems that caused it to be part of the Rockwell vision of “Freedom From.”

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Fourth Thursday in April

When does succession planning start? Some have posited that it starts when the CEO (or the executive who will soon be leaving) identifies several in their midst who appear to be likely candidates to step into the their shoes. The candidates are sort of taken under wing and given projects that will amplify the native skills and talents while also prodding creative thinking and strategy issues. The mentor will interlace these with conversations about not only theory but also practice. And guidance will come through being engaged in the projects together so that the progress, strategies, and rationale can be discussed.

Similar to Youth Development

Succession planning in the business world is not that different from teaching youth. The difference is that in the business world, we’re working on fine tuning competencies and empowering to lead in a responsible way. With youth, we’re developing core competencies and critical thinking skills. We’re also leading them to their introduction to the world of work, wherever that may be for their talents, as well as how to be responsible and mature.

Even when they’re in school, the purposes of the classes such as getting to class on time, turning in assignments, reciting before the class, and so on, all relate to being in the real work world. They are part and parcel of training to be a responsible, intelligent part of the workforce. Unfortunately, school is a bit theoretical for the youth. It’s difficult for the various exercises to be palpable. The age old complaint about “Why do I need to learn this? It doesn’t have anything to do with [insert name of profession or discipline here].” Ah, my petulant pupil, it has everything to do with it, and more.

Putting Context to Theory

I’ve talked about it many times over the years. There’s the fourth Thursday of April each year when Ms. Foundation promotes its Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. It’s a day when the practice and the theory become actualized at a real workplace. The youth have an opportunity to be in the real workplace and be involved in part of the processes that create the enterprise. It’s a time when many of the pieces can fall together and form a better picture of what it’s all about; youth have a chance to realize the answers to their strident grousings about the relevance of what they’re doing.

But the day needs to be kept relevant. This isn’t a day for sending the youth to the copying center or collating and stapling mountains of forms. For the day to be meaningful, this should be a day when the youth shadows a particular role model or mentor who includes the youth in the various aspects of doing that job. For example, there should be opportunity for understanding the reports that need to be prepared. In fact, it would be a good idea to have them be involved in the preparation of a report, along with the research to create it, and a conversation about what the report should deliver to its audience.

Follow Up and Follow Through

The young interns spend only one day in the real workplace on this Thursday in April. Many think of it as a day for the kids and then back to the usual. Hold up. Anything done deserves to be done well. Anything done well deserves recognition in some way.

The youth were given permission to miss a school day of attending classes in order to have their one day in the life of an intern. When they return to school, their teachers will want to have an oral report on what transpired, especially as it relates to their middle or high school subject, so that there’s accountability. But the oral report can also serve to make this occasion viral and inspire other students to vie for the opportunity to spend a day in the real work world in the following year.

Meanwhile, it would be wise for the oral report to be reduced to writing and shared with the coordinator of the TODSTWD event. The report will serve as feedback on what was learned and what revelations occurred during the one-day internship. The coordinator can then share the information with the mentor so they have some appreciation of how effective they were as a role model.

What Industries, What Businesses

Even though this article is written with deference to a business that sits in some office building, the dynamics of the day and the purpose of it is not constrained to just an office setting. There are all types of businesses. We would do well to let ourselves as well as our youth begin to see the world as more than just a brick and mortar site.

There are alternative careers in forestry, many aspects of beauty and fashion, services from keysmithing to plumbers. Many young people think of the local fast food franchise as their “just out of high school” option. But what would it take to run the independent store that competes with that franchise? Perhaps a mortician or a minister could get involved in making the day meaningful for a new generation of service providers. As stressful as it is, getting to know the other side of social work is also an option that should be available to the youth so that they gain a better understanding of the governmental side of the picture.

What Outcome?

But even more can come out of the day’s events and follow-up reports. How well did these sycophants perform? Maybe they’re worth having return for more than one day. Perhaps they could be interns during the summer months or be involved in some type of work-study program designed to train them for a more involvement in the business. And that just may lead to developing your company’s pipeline of qualified candidates in the future.

Starbucks Urban Legend and Taking Responsibility

A few days ago someone posted a comment to one of my profiles. It passed on a rumor about Starbucks and their cavalier attitude toward support of troops in Iraq. It continued by citing other instances of Starbucks insensitivity and urged others to share the message as well as refrain from patronizing the business.

There were certain things about the phrasing of the message that just didn’t set right. With greater time to consider the accusations would come better analysis of the situation. Even if Starbucks was guilty of the acts of which they were accused, many businesses have policies with regard to charitable acts and the latest urban legend about Starbucks had the ring of business policy as the rationale for the stance, not insensitivity. Since there was not enough time to investigate the allegations nor the Starbucks policy, I did nothing in regard to the posting. I allowed it to simply sit on my profile until there was time to do the research and take the time to reason through the impugning acts.

Interestingly, the same friend who posted the alleging message retracted the statement. The following simple message appeared in my Comments this afternoon: “Please review this, fair is fair, thx. Check out Snopes:

Someone took the time to research the legend on Snopes and found the truth of the matter, plus more, and posted their findings to my friend. My friend acted responsibly and it felt good to know that in my circle of relationships, there are people who ultimately do the right thing. But this was obviously a teaching moment. It was seized and the following message was shared with the friend as well as other associates who also had the legend posted to their profile page:

l didn’t forward your post to anyone. Yours was probably the second posting I received on my own page and I saw similar ones on the pages of other Tagged profiles.

While there was a desire to object to the information based on familiarity with typical corporate policies on charitable donations, I simply have not had time (nor energy) to go to Snopes and research the issue more fully. I’m glad you did and I’m even more grateful and elated that you have chosen to do what is required by law in regard to defamation. That policy is to post a retraction to every place where the “speaker” has shared the information.

The other interesting thing about defamation is each time a false publication about someone or some business is posted, the one who publishes the information is considered a new initiater of the defamation and is culpable for their act. One of the remedies for defamation is that the falseness of the original message be admitted to at each place where the originator of the false information shared it.

If any of those who received that false message shared or published it elsewhere, they also bear the responsibility to post a retraction and admission of their discovery that the information is false. This is not an act that is of a “when I have time” nature. It must be done immediately. Again, I’m very glad of your posting this retraction to me.

This incident brings to bear how often we in the employment industry rely on information at first blush. In particular, it is very close to doing reference checks based on interviews and statements from former supervisors or employers. The positive or negative remarks flow from a person who holds a responsible position. The words must, of necessity, be true. Few, if any, research the reference or try to learn whether the evaluator’s remarks carry retaliatory intent. No one investigates the history of the evaluator in order to determine whether they have a history of abusive behavior. There’s an assumption that the recommendation or detracting statements are valid and not from the mouth of a bully. It would be ideal if Human Resource departments and recruiters had their own Snopes in order to validate the evaluations they receive.