Cognitive Dissonance & Fiscal Illiteracy

I know, I know—Big Words.  Cognitive dissonance is confusion resulting from dichotomous & opposing views about one principle.  Sir David is the personification of cognitive dissonance.  His latest publicly embarrassing rant is about deputy pay raises. Morgan fumes to WEAR:

“It’s nonnegotiable,” Sheriff Morgan exclaimed. “We’ll settle this in front of Governor Scott. We’re not going to negotiate this. This is nonsense, I’m done. I have a board of county commissioners unfortunately that appears to believe that they’re smarter than we are…..It’s OK for an officer to catch a bullet from a thug, but county commission won’t give them a pay raise.”

While these statements have a great deal of truth to them, the BOCC is smarter than any and all the admin at the ECSO & the officers that retired in 2009 had more longevity with greater performance based success that reflect in the crime numbers.  They also had higher standards to pass on a day to day basis. According to sources at the academy, as many as 65% don’t pass the full curriculum.  Of that remaining 35%, a high percentage  (what is estimated to be half) of them find their first couple of months in FTO, proves to them  that a place in this agency is not for them. Now that could be because the people being recruited come from PCC (sounds like a punchline but it is, unfortunately, true) or because the standards have been so low to populate approximately 2.5 times the number of classes churning through the academy than any other point in the last 15 years.

To get back to the cognitive dissonance of Morgan’s latest tantrum on the news lies in the fact that while he accuses the BOCC of letting his deputies “take a bullet for a thug” rather than get a raise, he fails to disclose the increase in the budget at the beginning of this year that he BLEW on hiring an “UnderSheriff” to soak up funds to populate 1 job position for 2 of his followers, Chip Simmons & Eric Haines. Two salaries for 1 job that has been parceled out to 2 people. A colossal waste of funds.  Not to mention the money, he gave Andy Hobbs, David Ingram and Amber Southard that makes every raise in the ECSO look like chump change; his fiscal illiteracy provides the cognitive dissonance we see today.  Yet his strategy is to bitch about and shame the BOCC members when he, not them, wasted approximately $200K in these horrible decisions to stack the top of his agency rather than put the money towards the rebuilding of the agency he single-handedly dismantled by forcing out 62 deputies last year.

Now let’s talk about that number, 62. Of those 62 who left the agency last year, at least a third have entered into civil suits for discrimination, civil rights violations and sexual harassment against Morgan personally and professionally. That is a skyrocketing number of suits against any ONE Sheriff. Another meritorious distinction this non LEO sheriff claims.

To simplify this for some of the current admin at the ECSO and the Honorable Sheriff, you can’t bitch about how the BOCC regards your deputies’ pocket book when you already stole from them too. That is cognitive dissonance–berating someone for something they shouldn’t do when you did it as well but don’t think you should be berated or judged. Hypocritical is another term in this case that would apply.  The money in the budget he gave to Chip Simmons, Amber Southard, David Ingram & Andy Hobbs. They got the money that deputies deserved. Morgan mismanaged that money by rewarding his favorites in a grandiose fashion, leaving the rest in the cold.

That brings us to the fiscal illiteracy. The fiscal illiteracy refers to his failing to manage the agency in the way it should be, despite the fact the Honorable Sheriff claims he can. I don’t know, maybe Webster University’s graduate level business classes,  37+ years ago, didn’t prepare Morgan to actually use numbers as high as the Honorable Sheriff has to work with today. Maybe there are too many big numbers for him to understand in one budget. I don’t know.

Let’s look at the over all money issues historically Morgan has had:

*in the military, he allegedly was skimming government money via credit cards, resulting in his early retirement

*the mishandling of the budget regarding the jail that resulted in him losing the oversight of that jail

*the employee that embezzled $150K from the LET fund for years without anyone knowing and his CFO keeping his job even though he facilitated larceny

*the citizens’ complaints on how LET money is spent resulting in an investigation by the State Attorney.

There is a pattern of misappropriation.  It seems very clear to those of us who pay attention.

The conclusion, based on the past history of this Honorable Sheriff leads to the reasonable assessment that, either he is criminally responsible for misappropriation of taxpayer funds as well as mismanaging criminal justice principles and personnel necessary for a LEO agency in the 21st century,

OR

He has been given too much responsibility for his capability.  He cannot seem to handle doing the duties of his post, which is to maintain law and order while sustaining the county’s fiscal well being and safety.

You decide.

I almost forgot to give a shout out to Gerry Champagne for trolling and liking my FB page for Florida Open Gov. Initiative.

CORRECTION:

I mistakenly said that 65% failed the academy. That is incorrect. The cadets go through the academy fine; it is 65% failing out of FTO or discovering this job is not for them.  My Bad.

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It Doesn’t Get Any Better than this!

You know when you have someone tell you something emphatically, but then turns around and does just what they emphatically told you they WOULD NOT do, well you just have to relish your good fortune or laugh like hell at the irony.

No more commentary.  I will let the facts tell themselves.

Setting:

“Rumors” around the ECSO were that the Perdido satellite precinct office would be closed. Also Chip Simmons was hired to work as Chief Deputy. People had to assume the current Chief Deputy was going to be replaced.
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November 23, 2016: WEAR3.com

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**Chief Deputy Haines did not move; however his job was diminished and he will give up half his responsibilities.

 

ANY QUESTIONS ???

What’s Wrong with Pensacola’s Sinclair Station?

Mr. Marks,

I bring you yet another communication, ON BEHALF OF CITIZENS OF PENSACOLA, to ask WHAT IS WRONG WITH WEAR 3?

Your mission statement:

Our goal is simple: We alert, protect and empower
our audience on all platforms.

We produce compelling, engaging, informative newscasts.

Our stations hold public officials accountable, 
asking the tough questions that our viewers would ask.

Our newscasts have stories that make a difference.

The key to our success is content choices.

As expected, there is still no mention of the State Attorney’s Investigation of the Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan and his misuse of funds. This “insignificant” investigation questions how the HONORABLE Sheriff Morgan wrongly allocated funds to non-profits for quid pro quo donations from their members to his campaign fund. This should have been overseen by 5 county commissioners and the budget director of the county. We are talking about $1M misappropriation, which I believe is a felony in any other profession. During the last several weeks, there are 6 elected officials and one higher ranking county official that are being investigated  The investigation is still on-going (which gives the accusation much more credence) even as the good Sheriff doles out more money and brags about it on Facebook pompously throwing it in everyone’s face.

This story which potentially affects the entirety of your broadcasting area, but WEAR is mum.

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Yet a falsely reported violation of the Florida Sunshine Law (which would have been a misdemeanor punishable with a fine) of one county commissioner was covered by Channel 3 at the behest of another county commissioner.  Commissioner Doug Underhill ran to the State Attorney’s Office and reported Commissioner Grover Robinson for talking about about county business outside the county commission meeting.

http://weartv.com/news/local/sunshine-law-violation-filed-against-grover-robinson

Then within approximately 24 hours this story ran:

http://weartv.com/news/local/no-violation-of-sunshine-law-committed-by-grover-robinson

Fact: Grover Robinson was investigated for less than a day of a misdemeanor & Channel 3 ran the story.

Fact: The Sheriff of Escambia County and all 5 County Commissioners along with other county personnel are the target of a lengthy investigation for felony misappropriation of county funds and conspiracy  & Channel 3 has yet to cover the story.

If the entire county government infrastructure facing possible impeachment, removal and/or indictment is not newsworthy, then there is no story that needs to be aired.

The trust of community rests on the accuracy of news reporting. Mr. Lowe’s integrity is incontestably deficient if not, non-existent.  I reiterate,the validity of this broadcasting station as a news entity is continually enfeebled by political partisanship. In fact, the impulsive jump to run the story regarding Mr. Robinson could be seen as possibly malicious defamation. It was prematurely reported, particularly given the quick dismissal by the State Attorney’s office. Had Mr. Lowe put the same “consideration” in airing Mr. Robinson’s investigation as he has in not airing the story on the Sheriff, it would not have been news at all.

How do these two news items align with your mission statement?

– Does it hold politicians accountable, asking the tough questions your audience would ask?

-Does it alert, protect or empower the community?

A response would be greatly appreciated in this matter because I am holding you accountable on behalf of the Pensacola community.

 

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Escambia Media Hijacked?

The story:

Sir David was at the Molino Ballpark a bit over a week ago watching his grandson play. He noticed a sign on the fence that was for electing John Johnson. It was fundraiser sign purchased in sponsorship of the field/league. Sir David and his wife not being able to control themselves asked the coach of the little league team who had no authority to remove the sign. He claimed it was illegally there. A scene was made and there was some hostility from Ye Olde Sheriff. The coach being a mere coach with no true connection to the sign or the park policies said he would deal with it after the game but he had a game to coach. During the game, it seems someone called the county or league organizers (possibly Lumon May), who said just take the sign down and they would deal with it on Monday. Come Monday morning, a County Attorney (who has not been identified) ruled that the sign was legal and to re-post it.

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Courtesy of John Johnson’s FB campaign

The scandal:

So this classic bad behavior by the David Morgan should have been covered as it has covered social media for the past week,; this defines a noteworthy event, but yet no one in the media covered it. Not WEAR; not PNJ; not North Escambia; not any radio stations…NO ONE. How is this possible?  The news was not overwhelmed with more newsworthy events that over shadowed this. Someone with a pulse at these stations of mass communication should have tried to do a story.

A source at WEAR who was close to this story claims the story had been green lighted but no one from the park or Johnson’s camp would return calls. Without cooperation, the story had no legs and it was scrapped. Now cut to Johnson’s camp; they claim that they were contacted by WEAR but they wanted to wait until the County Attorney had ruled. After that, the reporter from Channel 3 called back but had to exit the call abruptly because there was something happening in the newsroom. She finally called back to say that the story had been scrapped. Rumor mill  from inside WEAR claims that the GM of the station,  Mr. Lowe, I believe (his name isn’t easily available on the site),who has been known to buffer “anti-Morgan”pieces, pulled the story.

The freedom of the press is important to this country for the purpose of keeping the government in check by telling the stories and facts as they exist no matter if they are pro or anti-government stories. In a recent interview on  TheIntercept.com, Edward Snowden made a remark to the effect that if the press did its job and did not censor the acts of the government, it wouldn’t take people like him to leak information.He’s right. Independent researchers, bloggers and freelance journalists have a place on the web because the mainstream news will not cover these stories. I have a voice because these outlets will not hold Morgan accountable for his actions.

What else does this man have to do to demonstrate how very incompetent he is at his job?  He’s stealing from taxpayers; he lies to the public about crime and the morale of his officers, as well as his own credentials; he’s endangered kids by not properly investigating crimes.

There needs to be accountability in the press. Whatever the reasons were that this story did not get aired, the result is the PERCEPTION of government filtered journalism. The fact this story is so vibrant on Facebook a week after the fact, demonstrates the need for coverage. The lack of mention of such an event looks like political cronyism. Whether it is or is not, is moot. It walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, so people see it as a duck.  Public relations people know that. What has happened in Pensacola is the media has been HIJACKED! The corruption is prevalent and controls the information–at least where Morgan is concerned. Think about the recent story of ” Sheriff Endorses Mike Hill”. Why is that a story?  The simple fact that is the story the same week that the biggest story on Pensacola Facebook, the Molino Ballpark Incident, is proof enough. This reeks of sanitation of the media in the 1920’s. The plague of corruption is spreading from government entities to the local press. It is a cancer that needs to be remedied.

In the hands of the ruling elite (nomenclatura) the media were also widely used for supporting its status quo and its activities. “This encompasses winning over people to the hegemonic ideology,mobilizing them in work and politics, and convincing them that the regime has great successes in its endeavors to better the lot of its citizens” 

Practice of Soviet Censorship In the Press: The Case of Estonia by Epp Leak

Hmmmmm…doesn’t this sound familiar? Escambia Citizens Take Back Your Media!   

By flooding your local news outlets with emails and letters asking the questions of why they are not reporting the bad behavior of the Sheriff who was such a hot button topic, you will get their attention.

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My Response to Sheriff Morgan

WEAR TV – August 12, 2015

In an interview with WEAR, Sheriff Morgan was interviewed about how the recent increase in crime & the perception of Pensacola, or rather the marketability of Pensacola would be affected. Before I get to his statements, I would like to offer an answer to those questions.

The increasing crime rate in Escambia County seems to directly correlate with the lapse of morality within the leadership of the community, particularly Sheriff Morgan. This statement may raise a great deal of controversy, but there is a practical and philosophical basis.

Martin Luther King said: The ultimate test of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and moments of convenience, but where he stands in moments of challenge and moments of controversy.

On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ And Vanity comes along and asks the question, ‘Is it popular?’ But Conscience asks the question ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.

Practically speaking, Sun Tzu and Machiavelli, both wrote of leadership instruction centuries ago and are both regarded as principal references still used by leadership and military professionals today. On a practical side, both define a leader as being a person whose foundation is built upon consistency. They emphasize that to be the cornerstone of all leadership skill. Setting the rules and abiding by them to the letter is the primary foundation for establishing an effective, time-tested leadership. When employees realize that even the leader is subject to the rules, then they will fall in line.

By downplaying transgressions, a poor leader compromises all management decisions subsequent to those compromises. This has been demonstrated within the Manning sex case. Morgan squelched the investigation. This would be an opportunity to make an example out of sexual offenders of all kinds. Politically, this would have been a sign of strength and zero tolerance of such behavior by Escambia County Deputies. This decisive event could have been a formal way to separate ECSO from criminal activity. Did that happen?  No. The investigation was rolled into a rug and buried. Why? What possible reason would there be to not hang these most egregious abusers of power out to dry? According to Machiavelli, “the first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.” In this single move, publicly Morgan reduced himself to the level of the people he led who turned out to be criminals. The opportunity to rise above the situation and take command of the perception of the public was available for him to take it or leave it. He left it. If this is what is condoned within the walls of the ECSO, it logically follows that the community cannot be held to any higher standard. That is reflective in the crime rate and the mishandling of cases in an effort to cover an inability to lead.

Philosophically speaking, inept leadership invites corruption. In a research study, “The dynamics of effective corrupt leadership: Lessons from Rafik Hariri’s political career in Lebanon” by Mark Neal & Richard Tansey, which was published in The Leadership Quarterly 21 (1) 33-49, they observed “corrupt political leaders are usually ineffective…self-interested”. Their observations saw these qualities led to overcompensation of bolstering of power. However, this power is a false flag because the consequences it yields are undisciplined, inconsistent and evades responsibility.  The errors or ills are always outward making the leader the willful victim of his own incompetence. This is how corruption seeps in. The psychological need to fulfill a role that cannot be filed leads to work-arounds and shortcuts. Justice is lost in ineptness.

They also point out that the flaw in how corruption is dealt with outwardly. Corruption is investigated as a systematic failure. This is a problem in two important ways. First, this approach does not comprehend or deal with the psychological/sociological forces operating when corrupt relationships occur.

“Specifically, power in organizations and power relationships between individuals have serious implications for the way corruption functions. Understanding corruption this way allows us to focus on the role of influence and networks of influence in corrupt relationships. Secondly, the systemic approach completely ignores the role of an individual’s free will in corrupt transactions. The systemic approach is only designed to fix “the system” of the public sector agency that has been the victim of corruption. This preoccupation with the system does not allow sufficient attention to be paid to the motivations and goal orientation of private actors. Corrupt transactions occur between individual human beings as the result of specific human interactions. For corrupt transactions to occur there must be communication between two or more individuals. They don’t happen by osmosis (and they don’t happen) by accident

Individuals intend to participate in corrupt transactions. They may not call them corrupt or they may have some rationalization to justify their behavior, but they intend for their transaction to have consequences which they desire. In this sense, corrupt transactions are social interactions between individuals and have to be viewed in terms of the intentions of the individuals. The intentions of both parties when participating in a corrupt transaction are to promote their interests. This may be an obvious point but it is nonetheless important. Promoting your own interest is essentially identifying and realizing personal goals. In order to achieve one’s goals one must have “power.” It is my contention that both parties to corrupt transactions are power-holders and power-seekers. They may possess differing amounts of power, but more importantly, they each possess resources of power that cannot easily be converted to promote their own interests. The purpose of corrupt transactions is to conduct a power swap which converts resources of power into actual usable power. The participants in the transaction can then use the power they have obtained as part of the transaction to promote their own interest.”

Corruption must be recognized as an act of individuals who manipulate the system in some way to their advantage. Fraud is brother of corruption. Sheriff Morgan fraudulently said he was “knight”, while that point is insignificant, the underlying fact that he would make that statement speaks to his view of responsibility, morality and respect he has to the people he is elected to serve. This is demeaning to the community because they are misinformed and mislead. In every research endeavor, one must consider the source, yet when the source seems like person we can relate to, who is in a position of command, such as Morgan, this leads people to fall prey to his attempts to take advantage of his power to “tell a tale” rather than relaying facts.

When Sheriff Morgan says something like he said to jurors in the Patrick Gonzalez Capital Murder case and many, many other court case such as, “I’ve done my part and now it’s time to do yours” while grasping the jurors’ hands to shake them in an act of agreement. This is a sanctifying step results in the responsibility of the citizens to do as they are told. For the average person, the weight of imprisoning the killers is, now, on them. It is no longer a question of innocence. Morgan has placed an onus on the shoulders of the citizens to do their part ie…convict. He is interjecting his morality and his opinions into an equation which proves only to prejudice citizens. Hitler used such methods to incite Germans to go after Jews. Remember this statement:  Moral corruption incorporates a range of acts that place self-interest, rather than the interest of the community/group, as its ultimate goal.

http://www.rcfp.org/browse-media-law-resources/news/florida-sheriff-agrees-cease-custom-greeting-jurors

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Sheriff Morgan has power invested in his words by the people of Escambia County because of his elected position. In this role, when he asserts things, people take it for truth. The dilemma develops when he asserts non-factual or misleading ideas and personal agendas that are being taken take as fact. As a politician and human, when he speaks his morality must be scrutinized. He is obliged by oath, to be impartial, but this is rarely the case. His personal agendas, perceptions and value system are what is often propagated. There are many examples that provide proof of this pattern of behavior.  The following is an analysis and deconstructing of some statements Sheriff Morgan has made in the last few days.

Statement #1: Regarding the Smith triple homicide:

“Well….the time of the blue moon every three years, the method of the murders and also our person of interest is known to practice this. It’s witchcraft. I’ll say that right now”

This is not a statement of fact but it is being portrayed as such. This is misinforming the public of the circumstances of this brutal crime. It is a red herring. That was good publicity talk for media. Sensationalism is a tool of the media but Sheriff Morgan uses it as a tool of reference. Doing so is obtuse and the only reason to use that as a tool of reference is he does not know how to use the facts and responsibility he has to convey an unbiased account to not skew the public or potentially the jury pool.

As a matter of fact, this lead did not “pan” out. Now this Wiccan is not a “suspect” so what happens to this ritualistic murder and witchcraft?  It disappears. Morgan’s credibility in saying “It’s witchcraft. I’ll say that right now” that is NEGLIGENCE. If a doctor told someone, “This is cancer. I’ll say that right now”, then it wasn’t, what would be thought of the doctor? He is arrogant and incompetent.  That is problem with Sheriff Morgan being a “media whore” (my name for him informally), he is there to promote himself not the facts or to inform the public.

 

Statement #2: “What I find sad about the last homicide was the fact that we have lost 3 of our citizens. That has been lost in the noise. Nobody is talking about the 3 innocent people who have lost their lives which is the horrific part”

This statement is the blowback of Sheriff Morgan’s narcissistic comments which were self-serving and not information. In legalese, this is considered “misinformation”. The misrepresentation of facts or accounts; to give false pretense. His press conference was supposed to be a bringing forth of the facts and investigation thus far in this brutal murder. Instead Sheriff Morgan made his statements the center of the press conference and is now condemning the very people who he led down that road by his “witchcraft” assertion. A responsible speaker knows that there are words that inflame. Anything racial or religious are understood to be inflammatory. Another is wording that is divisive by nature. If the statement categorically generalizes and isolates any one set of people, the fuse of public outrage is lit.

Sheriff Morgan is presumably a man who has read sensationalized news reports and has criticized such things. However, he perpetrates the same sensationalism in lieu of facts. Why? One could argue that the Escambia County election season has started and any publicity is good publicity.  One thing that cannot be argued with any factual basis is that there was an intent to educate the public unbiasedly of the facts surrounding the triple murder. That was not his intent, yet it was his duty. In this capacity, his message is morally corrupt by definition.

 

Impact of these murders on the marketability of the Pensacola community:

“The community needs to understand unless you’re engaged in high risk behavior, the probability of you being a victim of a violent crime is very low. It’s very very small “What would affect marketability (of Pensacola) would be if we weren’t telling the truth. That’s why when cases and investigations allow, we try and be as transparent as possible.”

 

Now this comment is a simple reverting back to the exploitation of the position of power given to him by the community. He’s asserting his personal bias that effectively led to no conclusion in truth. This is calculated measure to emphasize his “truthiness”.  However, there is no truth to the statements and as such, the murders are lost in the semantics Sheriff Morgan calculatedly used to get good “face-time”.  This is a betrayal of his oath of office, his responsibility to the citizens and community. It is a morally, public office corruption.

How this affects the statistics on crime is simple. Government and law enforcement have a duty to put criminals in jail. What are criminals? This is where the law gets grey. Authority figures with no morality may wield this magic wand as rod of punishment to political enemies and also a tool to absolve others of criminal legality. That is why it is imperative to scrutinize the practices and moral ideology on a daily basis of any person put into such a power position. Sheriff Morgan, as a matter of routine, misleads and manipulates the public. Is it a stretch to think that those watching him start to back slide into same moral sinkhole? If the authority figure who is looked to as the instrument of justice is not manning his post as he should, what happens? People around him are not held to the same standard and they loosen their gird on their behaviors. This is how the deputies become corrupted by a poor leader. This all is conducive to making crime rates go up. Thus you have Escambia County today. The citizens of Escambia County, Southerners, are seen as an ever-increasingly criminal, uneducated lot based on the only national recognition that we have. Sheriff Morgan.

To end on a note of wisdom, many historic leaders have spoken on corruption because it is a timeless vice that is as old as the human race itself. Here are just a couple of statements regarding corruption that seem to best portray the fatal flaw of this kind of behavior by a public official.

Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession.  I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.  ―Ronald Reagan

Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct.  ―Thomas Jefferson

Power-lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant lots of an abandoned mind.
― Ayn Rand,

Among a people generally corrupt, liberty cannot long exist.
― Edmund Burke

Look at the orators in our republics; as long as they are poor, both state and people can only praise their uprightness; but once they are fattened on the public funds, they conceive a hatred for justice, plan intrigues against the people and attack the democracy.
― AristophanesPlutus