Posts

Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 9 of ?

Image
Removing an elected official from office is difficult, which it should be.


I contacted the Muskegon County Clerk's office to find out the official number of signatures needed and the time frame. Here are the number of votes needed:

- - - - - - -

The total number of votes cast for Governor in Dalton Township in November of 2018, was 3,530 of which a recall would require a number of signatures equal to 25% of the number of votes cast or 882 valid signatures of registered voters in Dalton Township.  This is following the process for filing for recall beginning with filing a recall petition with the County Clerk and approval of the petition language by the Election Commission at a Clarity Hearing, prior to circulating petitions for signature.

- - - - - - -
And here is the rest of the process:

- - - - - - -

Filing for recall is not a quick process.  When you file the wording with us, a clarity hearing is scheduled for not less than 10 or not more than 20 days from the date the wording …

Curiosity Saved the Cat: Mind, Body, and Soul

Image
I was recently observing my cousin's five cats interact, and I was also recently at another house where there were a few cats. One cat would come out and want to be petted. Another would hide. One cat would jump at a toy and play with it. Another would run away and hide. There are always differences in the cat personalities, but at base there are really only two main perspectives that a cat can take on life.


Curiosity is the thing that encourages exploration. Exploration and fear are both ancient circuits in the brain. To a large extent motivation is linear, you can move towards something or away from it. You can approach or you can avoid.

When something is new it's natural to be afraid. Not being afraid is what is learned. For instance, if you take a cat to a new environment and drop it off then the first thing that it will do is stand still, tense, ready, and look around. It's trying to get its bearings, it's trying to orient itself in its new environment. The first …

Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 8 of ?

Image
It's time to clear the air.


It sometimes happens that people are put in bad spots, almost impossible positions. "Lie or you lose your job." You don't want to lie, but you can't afford to lose your job either. That's a difficult situation. Maybe you make the wrong choice. We all make bad decisions at some point. The question is, can it be rectified?

Personal and public redemption are two different things, but they also complement each other. Personal redemption is more important, by far. You becoming okay with you, the decisions you've made and the actions you've taken, nothing's more important than that. And violating the public trust, that's a big issue.

Here is a statement from U.S. President Grover Cleveland in a speech titled "Good Citizenship".

- - - - - - -

...toleration in all things save dishonesty and infidelity to the public trusts.

- - - - - - -
I'm not sure the public trust can be restored after something like what ha…

Life: Expansion, Limitation, and Success

Image
Life is about collecting experiences. Or, at least, that's how I've lived a large portion of my life. I think it's a valuable attitude, but I also think it falls short in some ways. Specifically, it doesn't include creative or attitudinal values. But, I've operated under that life philosophy for so long that it's a strong habit now, and maybe I have a natural tendency to be that way too. So, I'm going to dump some of my mind in here and see if I can come up with any new, good, or useful thoughts.


An Amish friend of mine asked me today if I would be interested in taking some of his products to the farmers' market in Holland.

Yesterday, a friend of mine asked me if I would go to car auctions with him because he owns a small car lot.

At a business meeting yesterday someone told me that I should dive into the book and publishing industry in some way because I seem quite knowledgable about it.

I would like to pursue all of these things, but that's the pr…

I Went to a Writing Group Today - June 12th, 2019

Image
I was not feeling it today. I had a tense political meeting on Monday that I gave a speech at, and I sat in this uncomfortable plastic chair for the meeting holding a lot of tension in my body. That threw off my spine. I went in for an extra adjustment the next day and it wouldn't adjust properly. If my cervical spine is out of place for too long it causes issues with my brainstem, and will start effecting my ability to cognitively function, which is just starting to happen now (it doesn't take long). And, I've been too busy to properly rest like this particular body design needs. So, I wasn't feeling it today, but I went to the writing group and had fun anyway.


Analiese came up with a prompt that included an educational piece. Here's the beginning of it.

- - - - - - -

Conflict

In every story, there has to be a problem. The main character has to be challenged in some way or the story will go nowhere. There are four basic conflicts to look for that may face the main…

Ideas from the Last Few Months - Part 3 of ?

Image
When I reached the top of Mt. Rainier it was odd. It was odd for a few reasons. First of all, I felt like I was drunk, never underestimate the power of elevation. But then there was this other thing, I wasn't sure what it was at first, it was kind of a letdown. I had been working at achieving this goal for around 6 months, now I was there, and it was a letdown. That confused me for awhile, and I realized that you always need to have a next step. I had nothing planned after that, nothing. That was a mistake.

Today, I have a political meeting that I've been working towards for a couple of weeks. It could go well or it could not. It's important that I make sure I have other things going, other things in motion, always another thing. Thus, story ideas.


Objective third person point of view is when you describe what people are doing, but you cannot know what anyone is thinking. What if I did that from the perspective of actual implements, like cameras? What if these were marked …

Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 7 of ?

Image
I see a bright future for Dalton Township.


There comes a day when the mettle of a community is tested. When hard times come, a question is asked, a question that reaches out to each citizen and wonders, "What will You do?"

In that choice, in that decision, lies the entire future of the community. It's a decision that rests in the heart and soul of each individual.

The community that comes together in a show of support is the community that has a bright future.

The community where the citizens find courage and strength in each other, that is the community that has a bright future.

I see hundreds of people coming together, connecting, sharing, supporting, and seeking for that brighter future.

A future where the citizens participate in, and contribute to, the township's policies.

A future where the citizens oversee and approve of the township's procedures.

A future where the citizens of Dalton Township trust the officials of Dalton Township.

That's the future th…

Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 6 of ?

Image
Why do some people feel that they can trample other people's rights and that's fine? This article will be fast and heavy. We are going to see the eight ways that people detach morality from their actions, why it's hard to tell when politicians are lying, a disturbing statistic related to the dark triad, two experiments that show the tendency of some people to abuse power and other people to follow bad orders, how stories reveal some of these processes, and the possibility for redemption.


There are eight techniques that people use to make the bad things that they do seem okay. The psychologist Albert Bandura wrote the book "Moral Disengagement". He also has a five page paper by the same name. By knowing about these you can be more alert and aware of the various manipulation techniques that are used. This will be a short overview. They have semi-confusing names, so I'll break down what they really mean.

Moral Justification
This is simply doing bad things as a m…

Making Speeches for the Harry Potter Festival - Part 3 of ?

Image
A couple of weeks ago I sent a simple breakdown of my speech plans for Potter in the Park.


- - - - - - -

This is a general overview. Let me know if you need anything more specific. Also, I'm revealing the creation process in a series of articles, so many details are included there if needed.

http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/search/label/Harry%20Potter

4 speeches for 15 minutes each.

If I get an intro I would like to use this background:
Jeffrey Alexander Martin
Visiting Lecturer - Sparta Institute for the Study of Muggles
Current Assistant Professor of Muggle Studies - Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Former Professor of Muggle Studies - Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Presenting the series: MUG 207 - Muggles in Real Life

The four speeches are:
Further Research on the Many Uses of the Rubber Duck
Muggle Encounters with Dragons Through the Ages
A Short History of Muggle Dueling
The Great Gnome Conspiracy of the 18th and 19th Centuries
(Not necessarily in…

Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 5 of ?

Image
How do you stand up and talk in front of a crowd? Some people fear it more than death. It's okay to come to the Dalton Township meeting and not stand up, but if you want to stand up and say something then this article will help you.


First, some inspiration. Then we'll dive into specific options.

One of the most important things to realize about a local government meeting like this is that you are not making a presentation. You won't be graded. You are there to say what you have to say. I'm going to put a few of my speeches from the last couple of months here. You do not have to stand up and speak like this. To a large extent you can't. You will only have three minutes during the public comment section. (Notice though, that even these speeches are only about 5 minutes long.)

A couple of weeks ago I requested a 5 to 10 minute spot on the schedule and the township would not give it to me. That's because they don't want to hear what we have to say. That's a…

Leading a Writing Group - Session 2

Image
The prompt for today was dialogue. The story could be anything the kids wanted, it just had to include dialogue, or people talking. Some stories are all dialogue, some stories have no dialogue, most fiction writing is a mix. No matter what kind of writing you do, it's good to play with dialogue.


I find these types of writing exercises interesting. I usually have no idea what I'm going to do. If I do have an idea about what I'm going to do it always comes out completely different, nothing like I had imagined.

We talked about dialogue a little bit. I went over the idea of interstitial sentences because I thought Lexi, the 14 year old, would be interested in that. An interstitial sentence is when there is one sentence that starts with someone talking, then in the middle there's some description, and then the person is talking again. For instance, if a woman is standing at the fridge it might be like this: "John! I thought you said you were going to," she turned …

Ambitions 3

Image
I've been trying to become more focused for the last decade. It hasn't worked. That's one of the good things about being way overwhelmed at the moment, it's made me start to think about the structure of my ambitions more.


The areas that I want to focus on are: art, business, philosophy, health, romance, adventure, politics, and religion. Eight areas of focus isn't focus at all.

All of these areas aren't as important as each other though, especially at any given time. So, I think I might have found an organizational structure that allows me to hold them in my head in a reasonable way, so that I can assess if I'm applying the appropriate amount of attention, energy, and effort to the correct things. A three-tier system.

I tried to arrange these in a strict ordinal system, one to eight, a number of times. I've tried something like that many times over my life, but it's never worked. My priorities and values just move around too much. But, with a three-…

Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 4 of ?

Image
Dalton Township has a need for change. We need a change in our policies and procedures. That change has to be slow, steady, consistent, and reasonable. It has to be done in a transparent way that the citizens can trust, and there has to be the opportunity for participation and contribution. But there is a change that needs to happen before all of that, and that's a personnel change.


I will be writing a list of grievances here. I will be presenting this list of grievances at the Dalton Township Board Meeting on June 10th. Let's see what this list might look like. (It might take a couple of tries.)

- - - - - - -

We, the citizens of Dalton Township, have found a disparity between the legal and moral conduct that we expect from our representative government officials, and what has been delivered. These violations of trust include, but are not limited to:

Item 1 - Not pursuing just means of mediation between citizens of the community.

Item 2 - Using immoral and illegal means of int…

Notes on "Winning" by Jack Welch

Image
I taught seven students yesterday morning, then I watched the movie "The Professor" starring Johnny Depp, I went for a couple hour motorcycle ride, took a nap, wrote a political article including a resolution of support, wrote an article with a poem, and read a chapter from Anne Rice's "Sleeping Beauty". Somewhere in there I also skimmed through Jack Welch's entire book "Winning".


Jack Welch was the CEO of GE for many years. He worked his way up through the company. So, his skillset is not starting companies, or running small companies, it's how to operate in large companies. I wrote down exactly 42 words of notes as I was going through it. (42 is also the answer to the ultimate question of the meaning of life, the universe, and everything in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", it's serendipitous that the numbers align here.)

- - - - - - -

win
candor
cut your losses
confident
vision
courage
transparency
give credit
unpopu…

Donate to Jeff's Work