Tainted Superbowl, Tainted Governance ⋆ Politicrossing
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Tainted Superbowl, Tainted Governance

By politicizing the IRS, the Democrats made a stunning and direct attack on democracy.

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Were you among the more than a billion-plus people who watched the 2014 Super Bowl? If so, like multi-millions of viewers, you might have been disappointed afterward to learn of the cheating that occurred. The Seattle Seahawks swamped the Denver Broncos, seemingly, on play after play, as if they knew exactly what the Broncos were going to do with each snap of the football.

As it turned out, the Seahawks did know what the Broncos were going to do. As was revealed on talk shows a few days later by some of the Seahawks players themselves, they had stolen the signs of the Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. More often than not, they knew in advance what play the Broncos were going to run and hence stayed ahead of the Broncos on one play after another.

The net result was that fans around the world were treated to a less than stellar game. Some called it the worst game they had witnessed in their Super Bowl viewing lives.

Theft on an Enormous Level

So it is in American politics, especially as practiced by the Obama-Biden administration. After the Democrats were swamped at the voting booth in the 2010 midterm elections, timeline evidence reveals that the IRS, on orders from the highest level of government, instigated tactics that should make each of us shiver.

Under the daily direction of Lois Lerner, with marching orders from above, the IRS began a comprehensive program of targeting groups that held contrary positions to that of the Obama/Biden administration: The IRS initiated a program of deliberate harassment and punishment of political opponents.

Lerner is a fellow alumni of Bloomfield High School in Connecticut. She graduated one year ahead of me and today lives in comfortable retirement supported in part by her government pension, funded by our tax dollars!

Unprecedented Impact

In a research paper, Andreas Madestam of Stockholm University, Daniel Shoag and David Yanagizawa-Drott, both at the Harvard Kennedy School, and Stan Veuger at the American Enterprise Institute studied the Tea Party impact on voter turnout in the 2010 midterm elections. Extracting information from the Census Bureau, the Federal Election Commission, news reporting, and other sources, they compared geographic areas with significant levels of Tea Party activity to nearly similar geographic areas with little or no Tea Party activity.

The researchers discovered the Tea Party’s impact was enormous, and in House races, brought the GOP between 3 and 6 million additional votes, even though, combined, all Republican House candidates attained less than 45 million votes. Thus, the GOP’s newly energized base proved to be instrumental to many landslide victories in key elections. Democratic strategists took note.

The Tea Party’s unprecedented success came as a result of highly involved activists nationwide, who devoted countless hours leading up to the 2010 elections rallying, donating, volunteering, and organizing, all centered upon section 501(c)4s of IRS code.

The data that the researchers uncovered illustrated that if the Tea Party advocacy and impact had continued at the 2009/10 pace, they would have bolstered the Republican vote in 2012 by 5.0 million to 8.5 million, this compared to Barack Obama’s margin of victory of 5 million votes.

Badgered on Cue

Harassed and delayed by the IRS, the Tea Party came to a standstill. State by state, no one realized that what was happening to them was occurring on a grand scale. Rather than delivering an estimated 5 to 8 million GOP voters in the 2012 election, the Tea Party became a non-player. Barack Obama won the popular vote by an 11 to 10 ratio, but easily won the electoral vote.

The Democrats emulated the Tea Party “playbook” and made for a blasé election season, where the outcome was already known to the handful of insiders. Such politicizing of the IRS, and other agencies, was a stunning and direct attack on democracy. Attempts to tilt elections are nothing new in American politics, but perhaps were never executed on so massive a scale with such precision. Related tactics likely continued through 2020, when Democrat election tampering and voter fraud likely reached historic heights.

Bogus Democrat Winners Galore

If Republicans had politicized and weaponized the IRS as the Obama administration had done, and deliberately targeted, harassed, and punished liberal advocacy groups, the Left would go berserk. The New York Times, to this day, would be featuring the scandal on the front page.

Yet, for eight years plus, the typical American, let alone Republican, doesn’t give Tea Party harassment much thought. Given what we know about 2012, is it reasonable to conclude that numerous national, state, and local elections in 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2020 went to bogus winners, and more of the same – much more – is in the offing.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



 
 
 

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Work-Life Balance in Your Life

It the ability to experience a sense of control and to stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy, healthy home-life

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Work-life balance (WLB) is the ability to experience a sense of control and to stay productive and competitive at work while maintaining a happy, healthy home-life with sufficient leisure. WLB, also referred to by some as work-life harmony, work-life shift, work-life blend, work-life effectiveness, or work-life integration, requires focus and awareness despite seemingly endless tasks and activities competing for our time and attention.

Work-life balance entails having what I call “breathing space” for yourself each day, feeling a sense of accomplishment while not being consumed by work, and having an enjoyable domestic life without short-changing career obligations. WLB is rooted in whatever fulfillment means to you within the course of a day and a week, and however many years you have left in your life.

Supporting Disciplines

Several disciplines support work-life balance though, individually, none are synonymous with work-life balance:

1) Self Management

Sufficiently managing one’s self can be challenging, particularly in getting proper sleep, exercise, and nutrition. Self-management is the recognition that effectively using the spaces in our lives is vital, and that life, time, and available resources are finite. It means becoming captain of our own ship; no one is coming to steer for us.

2) Time Management

Effective time management involves making optimal use of your day and the supporting resources that can be summoned – you can only keep pace when your resources match your challenges. Time management is enhanced through appropriate goals and discerning what is both important and urgent, versus important OR urgent. It entails understanding what you do best and when, and assembling the appropriate tools to accomplish specific tasks.

3) Stress Management

By nature, societies tend to become more complex over time. In the face of increasing complexity, stress on the individual is inevitable. More people, noise, and distractions, independent of one’s individual circumstances, require each of us to become more adept at maintaining tranquility and being able to work ourselves out of pressure-filled situations. Most forms of multi-tasking ultimately increase our stress, while focusing on one thing at a time helps decrease stress.

4) Change Management

In our fast-paced world, change is virtually the only constant. Continually adopting new methods, adapting old, and re-adapting all methods is vital to a successful career and a happy home life. Effective change management involves offering periodic and concerted efforts so that the volume and rate of change at work and at home does not overwhelm or defeat you.

5) Technology Management

Effectively managing technology requires ensuring that technology serves you, rather than abuses you. Technology has always been with us, since the first walking stick, spear, flint, and wheel. Today, the rate of technological change is accelerating, brought on by vendors seeking expanding market share. Often you have no choice but to keep up with the technological Joneses, but rule technology, don’t let it rule you.

6) Leisure Management

The most overlooked of the work-life balance supporting disciplines, leisure management acknowledges 1) the importance of rest and relaxation, 2) that “time off” is a vital component of the human experience, and 3) that one can’t indefinitely short-change leisure without repercussions. Curiously, too much of the same leisure activity, however enjoyable, can lead to monotony. Thus, effective leisure management requires varying one’s activities.

Entirely Achievable

Achieving work-life balance does not require radical changes in what you do. It is about developing fresh perspectives and sensible, actionable solutions that are appropriate for you. It is fully engaging in life with what you have, right where you are, smack dab in the ever-changing dynamics of your existence.

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Work-life Balance: The Enduring Quest

Organizations today recognize the importance of supporting employees’ well-being while maintaining productivity

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Thank goodness that organizations today increasingly recognize the importance of supporting employees’ well-being while maintaining productivity. As such, the corporate quest for work-life balance, harmony, and integration has gained great prominence.

Key Aspects

Here are 12 key aspects of this pursuit gleaned from a variety of programs:

1. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements: Offering flexible work schedules, remote work options, and part-time opportunities allows employees to better balance their professional and personal lives.

2. Have Clear Policies: Establishing clear policies and guidelines regarding work hours, overtime, and expectations helps employees manage their time effectively.

3. Support Mental Health: Providing access to mental health resources, counseling, and stress management programs can address employees’ emotional well-being.

4. Give Leave: Offering generous paid time off, including vacation, sick leave, and parental leave, allows employees to address personal and family needs without fear of repercussions.

5. Prevent Burnout: Encouraging employees to disconnect from work-related technology after hours helps prevent burnout and supports work-life separation.

6. Support Workload Management: Ensuring that employees have manageable workloads and realistic deadlines prevents excessive stress and long working hours.

7. Provide Wellness Programs: Implementing wellness initiatives, such as fitness facilities, nutrition programs, and health screenings, promotes a healthier work-life balance.

8. Enable Employee Assistance Programs: Such programs provide confidential counseling and support services for employees facing personal challenges.

9. Promote a Culture of Balance: Company culture plays a significant role in work-life balance. Leaders should model a balanced lifestyle, and the organization should celebrate accomplishments beyond work.

10. Maintain Continuous Communication: Engaging in open dialogues with employees about their needs and concerns regarding work-life balance fosters a supportive and responsive corporate culture.

11. Empower Workers with Training and Education: Providing training on time management, stress reduction, and resilience equips employees with the skills to better balance their lives.

12. Leverage Remote Work Policies: Crafting clear remote work policies and expectations ensures that remote employees have a structured work-life balance.

Bringing in the Hired Gun

As the world’s only holder of the title, “The Work-Life Balance Expert®,” as issued by the USPTO,  I am often summoned by organizations to enhance work-life balance for their troops. In all, I’ve delivered programs and spoken to 960 groups. Below depicts an encounter with a company who shall remain nameless for reasons of confidentiality. See if this squares up with your experience in your organization.

The following responses were derived as a result of my sending a questionnaire to the conference meeting planner where I was to be their keynote speaker. I requested the names of 10 people who would be in the audience. I called each of them to discuss their current challenges. Here are their actual replies to three of my questions:

1) If you could magically resolve a work-life balance issue, what would it be?

* Have more breathing room between high-level projects.
* Accomplish more during the workday and leave mentally free.
* Hire more staff!
* Take vacations and time off with no big pile ups when returning.

* Be allowed to take some Fridays off and catch up on much needed appointments.
* Reduce the number of pop-up requests and questions flying at me all day long so that I could ACTUALLY do what I need to do each day.
* Be approved to work from home or adjust my hours. My personal time isn’t respected.

2) What do you seek to derive from attending a session such as mine?

* Manage my time more effectively.
* Gain tools to embrace life while living it
* Develop stronger skills.
* Make work-life balance a reality in our company’s work-first culture.

* Acquire strategies, tips, or ideas to re-think my approach.
* Learn to change my focus, to be more productive, balanced, and focused.
* Be able to balance the few things that I do control during my day.
* Discover tips for keeping my staff in balance.

* Gain a realistic expectation of what we can achieve or experience.
* Develop a more positive outlook for the group.

3) Are there any observations you could offer?

* Work-life balance is a huge topic organization-wide. We are high performers who want to do a good job. We compromise our personal lives to meet work demands. We have to keep pace with the leaders and teams we support. If we don’t, we’ll be deemed unresponsive.

* A frenetic pace seems to be inherent in this company. Our team does a good job of emphasizing work-life balance; the problem lies with the surrounding divisions that thrive on working all the time, for no good reason. Yes, we are in a global space, working in different time zones, but some of these people are beyond the pale.

* What I love about this organization are the people. They are dedicated to the cause and truly want to deliver reliable, affordable, dynamic, and versatile solutions to our customers. However, our frenetic pace isn’t necessary. Not every project is the most vital. Not every problem is an emergency. Not every request has to be filled now.

* If in charge, I’d implement a more efficient, logical pace organization-wide. If we all took a breath and reevaluated how we work, in a more focused environment, we might find that we could produce better results with less stress.

Resonates Strongly

As you can see, the topic of work-life balance resonates strongly among today’s career professionals. Going forward, may more organization recognize and acknowledge the critical role that employee wellness and work-life balance has on the organization’s overall effectiveness.

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