Throw ’em Out!

Your official 2010 Illinois Election mantra should be, Throw the Bums Out! Taking a cue from the Chicago Tribune’s excellent beginning-of-the-year editorial, that’s what ours will be.  And if there was ever year for it – especially in state government – this is the one.  To quote:

Too many incumbents enable the Illinois culture of political sleaze that continues to suffuse so many layers of government in this state. Even with one defrocked governor in prison and another awaiting trial, clout still drives decisions on whom governments hire and how they spend taxpayers’ dollars. The endurance of that culture has all but destroyed public confidence in Illinois’ political class. Ruling oligarchs, fed with campaign donations from the beneficiaries of their largesse, want primarily to extend their power…

The big problem is, we haven’t learned our lesson.  We continue to not vote them out even though they refuse to address the growing budget crisis, the bloated bureaucracy, the clout-based decision-making, the problems with the educational system.  Why is this?  Well, because it’s hard.

The Illinois primary system has been built to back those in power with established ties, not new candidates with fresh ideas and fewer political debts.  Also, we have some of the weakest political disclosure laws in the nation, which makes it difficult to sort through the morass of finances and influence peddling that makes Springfield tick.

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Small Strides

Bureaucracies, by their very nature, function to stifle creativity, change, and flexibility.  They seem much more inclined to reinforce the status quo, block the free exchange of ideas, and deflect responsibility away from those who would rather do as little as possible.  Two keys here are a lack of results-driven attribution and reams and reams of arcane policy documentation.  Throw in a bloated and fearful legal element and you have yourself a  recipe for inefficiency.

It is any wonder why so many people are cynical and critical when it comes to big government and big business?

Sometimes, though, you can make it work in your favor.  Not very often, but sometimes.  Then, despite the pettiness and sloth of the bureaucrats, the rigidity of the policy, you get yourself a small victory.  And it tastes good…  Sweet, like a shiny ripe apple…

Six-Meeting Day

Today was the rare and heretofore unknown Six-Meeting Day. Yes, six fun-filled meetings: four of them scheduled, two unscheduled and more or less informal. Of course that doesn’t count the one I had to skip…

I know executives and important types do this all the time. Well, good for them. You do wonder, though how they manage to get any real work done and earn those multi-million dollar bonuses. One thing’s for certain, when a guy like me has a Six-Meeting Day, it can only mean additional projects and deadlines down the line.

Blogging at you Live, from…

the Nation’s Capital:

Every once in awhile, the employer sends me on the road for various reasons. It’s usually a positive experience, even though I do not like being away from the fam for too long.

So this week Beemsville brings you the report, D.C. style. Don’t really know what that means, but I will tell you this: a coworker who had some experience with tours of the home office characterized it as a depressing place filled with angry people. I don’t know about that, but I will say the floors and floors of soulless linoleum and fluorescent lights leave something to be desired.

Everyone here is fairly well dressed though, I’ll give them that. And the architecture is pretty damned cool.

It’s September 11

…think about it.

  • The enemy is still out there, and he wants to hurt us.
  • We are stuck in a bitter conflict–we can’t really win, yet the the consequences of losing would be disastrous.
  • Both political parties have politicized the situation to ridiculous proportions; we have a crisis of leadership in our government on both sides.

But what about you? Have you done any research, have you tried to understand, or do you just sit there and digest what’s fed to you.

Think about it.

(Regular programming resumes tomorrow.)

Ops Plan: EJ Dome

You put your Ops Plan together when you need to organize and formalize all the ideas and divergent scenarios relating to your objective.  In this case, the objective is pretty straight forward:

(Lord help us if we break out the all-orange unis again…)

Sub-objectives include beer, food, parking, child-management, comms plan, and overnight arrangements.  We’ve met most of these but are still awaiting a few vital pieces of intel before the Ops Plan can be certified… Continue reading