Republicans are so off track

9 May

It’s very frustrating to see the Republicans doing such a poor job at governing. Republicans are supposed to be conservatives.

Today’s Republicans are NOT conservative.

True, they are more conservative than the liberals. But, the liberals moved far to the left and as the liberals moved, the conservatives stayed the same distance from the liberals. Now, the conservatives are MORE liberal than liberals of the past used to be.

Take Obamacare, for instance.

The constitution doesn’t require the federal government to provide health care to the citizens of America.

A true conservative would repeal Obamacare and replace it with a free market system outside of government control.

What today’s liberal Republicans are doing is just coming up with a different form of government run healthcare.

The Republicans are scared of what people think. Liberals don’t seem to suffer from that problem. They propose socialism and nobody bats an eye.

Conservatives need to stand up and say (ala Frank Underwood), “You are entitled to nothing!”

The country needs a wake up call. The only way the government is giving everyone health insurance is by taking money away from some people to pay for others.

I can’t blame the liberals for being what they are. But, I am disappointed the Republicans are nothing but closet liberals.

The solution is simple. Government should get out of the health insurance business. Have you noticed that pretty much everything the Federal government runs is broken, has bloated budgets with ridiculous waste, and is generally incompetent in how it is managed? (Remember the Obamacare website disasters?)

The solution isn’t a government run program in any form. The solution is to trust the free market. Will that happen? Absolutely not. Because the Republicans are weak and way off track. The Democrats guilt the Republicans about 24 million people that will lose health care. The Dems use language of fear and of course, they have most of the media on their side. The reason the Republicans don’t get any traction is because they are trying to be watered down liberals. They should be conservatives with conviction, should stand for something and be bold enough to propose taking the country toward true conservatism where the Federal government stops controlling your life.

But, the Republicans are probably not going to get anything done and soon they’ll lose the Presidency and Congress again. Then, watch out. The Federal government under the next liberal administration will take over more of your life. They’ll take your money to give an entitlement to someone else. They make fringe groups mainstream. And, the Republicans will have no one to blame but themselves.

Remember the famous words of Ronald Reagan about the nine most terrifying words in the English language: “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”

Swan in the Swamp Books are out!

28 Apr

It took a couple years to write but I found it interesting to add twists and turns. Before I knew it, the story was as long as War and Peace. A good editor might have condensed this to one good book. Since this is self-published I don’t have an editor, just a proof-reader.

So, I divided the one story into four books. You can sample and buy them here:

Swan in the Swamp Series

SITS4T2

The Series is called Swan in the Swamp. It’s about a woman, Joey Porter, who takes a job as a part time FBI messenger and gets sucked into the swamp of Washington corruption and a terrorist organization. Her boss assures her that being a messenger is safe even though these are not “dead drops” where you merely leave a message in a garbage can and later someone picks it up. These are live drops where she meets her contact, Pete, and exchanges envelopes.

Misdirection. Book one introduces you to an unstable Republican President and a retired CIA scientist who has created Kee-7, a new weapon. The President approves development of a weapon of mass destruction and sends his trusted aide to the Middle East for a test on a live subject that he chooses from the black jail at Bagram.

We meet Cassidy Roslyn, a Yale Professor who inspired Joey Porter in college and we meet Hasinah, a Saudi Princess who travels the world giving money to the poor.

We also meet George Baltimore, who runs the Washington FBI bureau. He’s the one who hires Joey.

We meet Victoria Sinclair who is traveling the world with her parents. And, we meet Samad Salar, who used to be in Homeland Security but is now in love with Hasinah.

Without giving too much away, all the plot lines are intertwined – and, it’s all misdirection. The weapon of mass destruction is NOT to kill terrorists in the Middle East, it’s to kill his political enemies in Washington. Samad and Hasinah are not who they pretend to be; neither is Victoria Sinclair. Even George Baltimore had an evil motivation when he hired Joey Porter.

Hasinah has a detailed plan to attack the United States and secretly builds her terrorist organization. When the Secretary of State begins to suspect the President of being unstable, Joey Porter is chosen for a mission to London to secretly pick up a video of the test for the President’s weapon of mass destruction. It’s the first time her contact is someone other than Pete.

Joey Porter, the innocent and naive swan finds herself in a dangerous swamp where both her personal safety and completing her mission are at risk.

The President’s Shoes. In book two, the swan wades deeper into the swamp. George Baltimore sends Joey Porter to Afghanistan to check on what the President’s personal aide is doing there.

The Secretary of State, James McFarland, sees the video of the test and determines to stop the President from implementing a weapon of mass destruction in the Middle East. McFarland puts a plan in motion to have the President assassinated before he can use the weapon.

Joey Porter finds the warehouse where the weapons are being made but it’s a warehouse full of shoes. On the way back to the base her vehicle is hit by a bomb and she is captured by Afghan rebels who are part of the Legion of a Thousand, an organization run by Hasinah and planning devastating attacks on the U.S. It turns out the test on the Kee-7 was done on Samad’s brother and Hasinah is able to obtain the Kee-7 technology. To bring down America, Hasinah uses her international contacts to alert Russia and other countries of her impending attack. Those countries make preparations to take advantage of America’s weakness.

Joey Porter escapes from Afghanistan, but not before rescuing an army soldier and being misused and abused herself. The plot to kill the President takes it’s toll on some families and doesn’t go as planned. But, Vice President Gilbert is forced to step into the President’s shoes. As far as he knows, the Kee-7 will destroy terrorists in the Middle East. In reality, it won’t kill anyone in the Middle East, it will kill politicians in Washington.

When Hasinah’s attack begins, an untrained Joey Porter does her best to stop it. As the attack happens, President Gilbert must decide if he will retaliate against the terrorists by using the Kee-7.

Unusual Times. In Book three, the swamp threatens to drown Joey Porter in its corruption. Hasinah outfoxes the President who thinks they’ve finally killed her. Russia moves a fleet of planes closer to the US.

Hasinah secretly buys manufacturing companies who supply parts to defense contractors. She has the Kee-7 built into replacement parts such as fuel pumps for jets. One of her loyal people is a seductress who gets the sabotaged parts installed in military jets and ships.

Still staggering from the devastating attack, President Gilbert resigns and Democrat James McFarland takes office. His inauguration is shocked by another attack as Hasinah escapes. Samad has a crisis of conscience and visits President McFarland to tell him the military can’t be used because of the sabotage.

Joey Porter has her eyes open, realizes who people really are and suffers consequences for being associated with them. But, she is invited to become part of a new organization known as Theresa – TRSA  – the real spy agency. She meets Ryan, the man who was forced to kill the President and gives him safety in her apartment. She finds out who gave the order to assassinate the President. And, she risks her life to save people from another clever terrorist attack by Hasinah.

Tipped off by Hasinah that America can’t use it’s military, Russia invades Alaska and other countries prepare to attack. When Russia sends attack jets toward the east coast, President McFarland faces the crisis and must do whatever is necessary to protect the nation.

Joey Porter is caught giving harbor to the Presidential assassin. Aware that she knows too much, the President banishes her to a black jail for the rest of her life.

Copper Green. In Book four, the swan reaches the bottom of the swamp. Joey Porter is sent to Copper Green, an American black jail deep within Bargram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. She is tortured and interrogated for information about Hasinah.

China, North Korea and Russia move forward to advance on the United States, given the U.S. military is still unusable. The British Prime Minister offers to protect the United States if they sign over the country to be a British colony for a hundred years. The President has no choice and takes the proposal to Congress.

The President’s widow cleverly helps Joey Porter be released from the black jail. While there Joey met the man who was the face of the Legion of a Thousand and he shares information that a final attack by Hasinah is coming. Joey Porter shares the information with American intelligence but the only way they’ll believe her and take action is if she agrees to return to serve her sentence in the black jail.

President McFarland warns the nation in an attempt to survive the final attack. Since she saved the nation, Joey Porter is free and feeling more like a savvy, skilled agent, she decides to pursue Hasinah and bring her to justice once and for all. But, even that attempt has unexpected twists all the way to the satisfying conclusion that ties up all the plot lines and characters.

Those are the basics without giving away the unexpected turn of events along the way!

Next Season Binge watching reviews

18 Apr

Iron Fist

This just has one season out but I’ve watched most of the Iron Fist. It’s basically the same plat as Arrow  – a guy is gone for a long time and comes back in poverty to take his place as a rich guy and becomes a vigilante. In Iron Fist it’s like he’s living in a world within a world – he’s a martial arts guy fighting this enemy while life goes on around them. I’m not sure where it’s all going but it’s okay so far.

Superhero’s or good guy vigilante’s always seem to billionaires or really rich – Bruce Wayne is loaded, the Iron Fist guy owns 51% of his company although they take it away for no good reason, the Arrow is from a rich family, and so it goes.

But, the Iron Fist isn’t as good as Arrow. There’s something about the storytelling and pace that isn’t as good.

Better Call Saul

Have to admit being a Bob Odenkirk fan. He played an almost-doctor dating Elaine on Seinfeld and was the older-looking chief of police in the first season of Fargo. He’s got that everyman quality and Jimmy McGill is a perfect character for him.

The actor who plays Mike – Jonathan Banks – is very good and it’s hard to believe he’s over 70 now.

The funny thing for those who watched Breaking Bad is seeing Gus and Mike and some other’s back in the show. It’s a prequel but it’s still freaky to see people that met their end in the Bryan Cranston show.

I really like the quirkiness of this show and hope it stays on for several more seasons. I burned through the first two seasons before season three started so I’d have it all fresh in my mind. Eventually it’s going to catch up to where Breaking Bad started but we’ll enjoy it until then.

Fargo

Season three just started and it’s as quirky as the first two so far. A stamp, an air conditioner, and two Ewan McGreggors. Nobody does quirky like Fargo. Looking forward to what they have for us in season three.

I’m trying to be more alert in this season. If you don’t know, Season two had a BIG surprise at the end but for those who were watching carefully (and I wasn’t) there were a lot of clues along the way.

There were UFO references throughout the show – even a kids drawing turning into a harbinger of visitors from the sky. I’m not sure if they’ll pull the same thing this season but I’m watching.

 

Test for a business virus that will destroy your company

15 Mar

Here is a link to a clip from the war movie, In Harm’s Way:

Indecision is a virus

Henry Fonda is sending John Wayne on a mission and telling him about a problem Abe Lincoln had with a commander who couldn’t make a decision.

He explains that, “Indecision is a virus that can run through an army and destroy it’s will to win or even survive.”

I’ve noticed the same thing about indecision in a company. When leaders won’t make a decision it can ruin morale and create chaos.

One of the easiest ways to determine if you have this virus in your company is to answer this one simple question. It’s an easy test to diagnose if you have the indecision virus:

Do leader’s respond to emails in one business day?

That’s it. It’s that simple. Do people in the company respond within 24 hours? If not, the virus is alive in your company.

The fix is simple. Encourage people with the policy that all emails MUST be returned within 24 hours.

 

The country’s auto-immune disease

8 Feb

Watching CNN and FOX is like watching two different America’s. And, politicians seem to have no interest in cooperating with their political enemies to get things done for the country.

I’m writing a political satire that comes out soon. The basis of the book is: “The only way to end the division in the country is to divide the country.” In the book I point out that America is like a patient dying of an auto-immune disease – the kind where the body attacks itself.

We could have some hope if the leaders on each side weren’t so infatuated by their own self-importance, their desire to prosecute their enemies, and their insistence on shoving their agenda down the throats of America.

Why did Trump win? Because many Americans realize how BROKEN Washington is. For eight years Obama stuffed liberal garbage down our throats. It ruined society and left the country far more divided when he left office. Because of that, and the trillions of dollars of debt he incurred, I think he was one of the worst Presidents we’ve ever had. Obama is intelligent, a great politician, and a great leader. But, where he led the country was an abandonment of the morals and values we’ve always known.

He made fringe groups mainstream and reverse discrimination in vogue. In Obama’s America being a conservative or a Christian or a white man in America meant you were racist and evil.

The division is not all Obama’s fault but we are at a place now where there is so much division and anger at each other, it’s hard to see a way back.

On CNN, Trump got blamed for violence at his rallies but liberal violence is considered an expression of civil rights.

Republicans are almost as bad. They’ve had seven years to work on a replacement for Obamacare and have nothing.

At least Democrats stick together. Trump will always be fighting the Democrats, the Republicans, the Media, and anyone who is establishment.

It just seems like the country is so uncivil and so divided that there is no way we’re going to get back to a place where we can have respectful conversations with those with whom we disagree. And, without that in Congress, there won’t be any compromise. Without compromise, nothing will get done. I hope the division isn’t fatal but it sure looks that way.

 

The Problem with Sanctuary Cities

10 Jan

These thoughts aren’t meant to be about immigration and I can empathize with people in the country who don’t want to be separated from their loved ones.

But, there IS a problem with sanctuary cities. Here’s what I think:

  1. It’s hypocritical for some people not to obey the law. Liberals are wanting to prosecute Flynn for taking money from the Russians because its in violation of Federal Law. In the same breath they violate the Federal laws on immigration and consider themselves merciful.
  2. Justice is supposed to be blind and fair to all. How can liberals prosecute people for violating Federal law and at the same time dismiss the laws.
  3. Liberals are really good at marketing. They created places where the law is being broken and gave them a graceful name.
  4. When leaders can pick and choose what laws to obey, where does that lead society?
  5. Why are conservatives so weak that they don’t put violators of Federal law in prison? That’s what the liberals would do if the situation was reversed.
  6. If you don’t like a law, change it. But, obey it until it’s changed. A liberal on the news was asked how they can defend violating Federal Law. He said is was draconian. So, following his lead, if people don’t like a law, they don’t have to obey it? Tell that to the people in prison for tax evasion or embezzlement. They probably didn’t like those Federal laws either.
  7. Liberals – and conservatives – shouldn’t be allowed to have cities that are sanctuaries from Federal Law. When we can pick and choose the laws we follow and get away with it, what kind of precedent does that set? What kind of society does that create?

This chart explains a lot. This year, establishment lines are more important than party lines

21 Sep

In a typical political season there are Democrats and Republicans who each vote along party lines as illustrated in the chart below. Some candidates might be more establishment and some not quite so much. But, this chart shows how in a normal election, how establishment and non-establishment doesn’t mean as much as party loyalty.

Usual election: Voting along party lines regardless of how “establishment” a candidate is.

 

chart2

 

 

Ah, but this is no ordinary election. We have a non-establishment candidate running against a complete establishment candidate.

This primary election: Not voting along party lines. Voting along conventional establishment lines.

The unconventional Democrat, Bernie Sanders, would likely have been chosen as the primary winner except for

  1. the Super delegates who made it look like a landslide from the beginning and
  2. the corruption at the DNC hindering the Sander’s campaign.

    Clinton is really an illegitimate candidate because of the corruption but since she is establishment, the rule of thumb for conventional candidates is, no harm, no foul.

And, we all know how the GOP voters rejected the establishment candidates.

Establishment people can’t understand voting for an unconventional candidate. But, the American people apparently want a non-establishment candidate. That explains the rise of Trump and Sanders.

If Bernie was the Democratic candidate for President, as he would have been without the corruption and finger on the scale for Clinton, the voting in the general election might be back along party lines again.

chart5

Why would George H.W. Bush and several other Republicans vote for the Democratic candidate?

Some Republicans look at the choices for conventional establishment candidates and only see the Democratic candidate.

This year being an establishment candidate is more important than party affiliation. The Bushes and other Republicans would rather beat down the unconventional than beat the Democrats.

Why? Because the anti-establishment candidates are a bigger threat to their way of life than a conventional Democrat. 

The question is, will independents vote conventional or unconventional this year? This election is not as much about Republican vs Democrat as it is Establishment vs Non-establishment.

chart4

 

 

Why the new PXT Select is so awesome

7 Sep

 

If your company uses assessments or are thinking about it and would like to have a good experience, you would be wise to consider the PXT Select™.

For over 15 years I’ve been an authorized partner with Profiles International. In addition to recruiting and public speaking, I provide occupational assessments to companies.

I use assessments when I recruit for companies. The Profile XT is amazing at uncovering what someone is REALLY like and finding out BEFORE you hire them. Seriously, using the Profile XT is like hiring with the lights on. And, not using the Profile XT is like, well, you get it.

A few years ago, Profiles International was purchased by the Wiley Corporation and they’ve just rolled out the PXT Select.

PXT Select is an assessment that is taken online. Here’s what the PXT Select does for you:

The PXT Select helps fill in the gap between the resume and the interview. It provides you with actionable data about candidates in a simple-to-understand format that can help you to interview better and hire smarter.

Here’s why the PXT Select is so awesome:

The PXT Select provides great value! It provides several assessments for the price of one! As an example, just a few months ago, before PXT Select, there was a separate charge for a Profile XT, a PXT sales assessment, or an Executive Leadership Report.

With PXT Select, all of those reports are available for no extra cost. That’s pretty awesome.

And, for our clients, all of those reports are now available for anyone who has taken the Profile XT!

In addition, there are 8 hiring reports including a total person assessment, interview guides and performance model matching,

All included!

But wait, there’s more…. (sorry, just had to)

When a manager and employee take the PXT Select, in addition to their individual reports, we now provide at no cost a Managerial Fit report, showing how a manager and employee can work together better.

When each member of a team take the PXT select, in addition to all the other information and reports available, our clients can receive a PXT team report to help understand the composition of the team so they can work together more efficiently.

To roll our the PXT select, I’m offering a big discount* for a limited time (through September 2016). Also, I’m offering a FREE virtual assessment center set-up – a $1,000 value – and reduced annual hosting fees for life.

With your own virtual assessment center, you have control over scheduling and reports, plus your company branding appearing across the assessment program.

To take advantage of the PXT assessment program, just email me at mike@thepartnergroup.com or give me a call at 847-732-9001.

Here are the reports available with the PXT Select:

Individual profile™™
Individual graph
PXT Sales Assessment (compared to a custom job pattern we make for your company)
Graph
Performance Model Comparison
Interview guide – challenge areas
Interview guide – total person
Summary graph
Comparison summary
Strategic workforce planning – matches a person to job patterns in your company
Leadership approach (formerly executive leadership report)
Leadership approach summary
Candidate matching
Team report (requires each team member to take the PXT)
Managerial fit (requires both manager and employee to take the PXT)

 

* Sorry – In order to sell at discounted prices, my authorized partner agreement prohibits me from publicly publishing prices  – but just email me or call.

PXT Select is a registered trademark of the Wiley Company

The biggest mistake people make when using assessments for hiring

8 Aug

Trust the tool.

That’s what I learned the hard way. And, that’s the biggest mistake that people make when using assessments – they DON’T trust the tool.

For 15 years I’ve been an authorized partner with Profiles International. When I started using assessments doing recruiting for companies, I fell into this trap myself. The Profile XT assessment – or whatever excellent assessment you happen to be using, is a tool that should account for about 1/3 of the hiring decision.

The resume and background checks are the past, the interview the present and the assessment tool is a look into the future.

You meet a candidate and think their great! So far, so good. You give them the Profile XT and there are issues. They are only a 60% match. You look deeper.

You don’t want to believe the candidate is really a 2/10 on energy. They interviewed so well!

You don’t want to believe they are a 1/10 on manageability. They seemed to get along with everyone.

You don’t want to believe they are a 2/10 on the learning index scale. They knew so much about the job and the industry.

So, what do you do? The warning signs are there. But, you don’t trust the tool. You hire them anyway. We’ve all done it. We want the search to be over. We want the warm body in that seat. We want to stop interviewing and go back to our work. I get it.

But, Six months later you hear these words come out of your mouth as you see that employee walk in one morning and ask a colleague, “Who hired that idiot?”

The answer comes, “Uh, you did.”

That employee doesn’t seem to get very much done during the day, they won’t follow procedures and they make mistakes as if they don’t even understand the work.

But you didn’t trust the tool.

Possible reasons why the assessment information is different than the candidate you interviewed:

A lot of people who have been in an industry a long time will know the lingo. It doesn’t make them a good employee or the right job fit.

A lot of people who have done the same job a long time can succeed at it even if they don’t have a high learning index. But, change for them is tough.

People are good interviewers. Job hoppers are great interviewers. We have a tendency to hire the best interviewer rather than the best employee.

In the interview process, people hide their dirty laundry and put their best foot forward.

People win you over during the interview with their personality and interest in working with you.

So, what do you do?

Trust the tool!

The Profile XT digs into the unseen parts of the total person, the parts you’re going to get to know in a few months if you hire them.

I can absolutely guarantee you that the Profile XT assessment will often disagree with the impressions you take away from the interview.

It’s hard to trust the assessment information over your own eyes. But, going with our gut feeling is why 2/3 of hiring decisions turn out to be mistakes.

What’s the solution?

Trust the tool!

 

 

 

 

 

Shows I’ve binge-watched

1 Jul

For some reason I usually don’t watch shows while they’re on.

But, you’ve gotta love binge watching. Here’s what I’ve binge watched and my reviews. Well, now that I think about it, obviously I liked them all or I wouldn’t have binge watched the whole thing.

Alias 

I never even knew this show existed until I saw it on Netflix. It’s my current binge and I’m only on Season 3.

It was tough getting into but now I’m hooked. It moves fast and the twists are fast and furious. I MUCH prefer psychological twists to hours of car chases.

What’s in YOUR wallet?

 

Battlestar Galactica

This was a long time coming. My daughter kept saying I should watch it but for the longest time I couldn’t find it anywhere. Then it showed up on Hulu or Netflix, I don’t remember which.

Loved it.

Couldn’t wait for the next episode. Also liked this – hysterical – and says it all.

 

House of Cards

The reason for having Netflix. This is so great because they put out all the episodes on the same day. It’s a loooong year until the next season.

Kevin Spacey is great in everything. He’s really great in this. Apparently he and Robin Wright will be making the same amount from now on, which is fine even though Frank is on top of the ticket. Just as long as they make more seasons.

Watching the corruption is almost enough to make you want an outsider in the White House. Maybe Ivanka can be VP after all?

 

Friday Night Lights

No offense to the people I went to High School with, but I don’t remember girls like they have on this show. And, maybe it was just my era but I don’t remember all the sex in high school. I sure wasn’t in on it.

That said, I enjoyed it and watched all the seasons. Full hearts, clear eyes, can’t lose. And, you can’t lose with Minka Kelly, Adrianne Palicki, and Connie Britton.

Funny how I’d never noticed Kyle Chandler before but now I see him here and there. He was a scientist in a small part on the terrible remake, The Day the Earth Stood Still.

 

The Walking Dead

Didn’t even know this show existed until 6 seasons were over. I binge watched the first five and then had to wait until AMC had a Walking Dead weekend to  DVR season six.

Truthfully, I’m not a big zombie guy. That’s probably why I didn’t give it the time of day. I started watching it once and it didn’t do anything for me. Tried again. Same thing.

Third time was the charm and I was hooked. Especially when Maggie joined the cast. If Glen is the target of Negan, that would be a terrible thing. Except, Maggie would be single.

 

Game of Thrones

Another one that I didn’t watch until recently. I got to binge watch 100 episodes. All I can say is that I would follow Khaleesi all the way to the Iron Throne.

Jon Snow may know nothing but he’s probably the guy who will end up sitting on the Iron Throne when its all over. Maybe he and Khaleesi will get married?

Have to say, the last two eps of each season seem to be especially mind blowing. The big battles and Khaleesi flying off with the dragons. Pretty amazing episodes.

Breaking Bad

This took me a few false starts to get into. But, the evolution of Bryan Cranston’s character is very interesting.