Showing posts with label Constitution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Constitution. Show all posts

November 5, 2018

Election Day Dead of 2018

This just seemed so perfect for election day this year. 

With the country torn asunder between left and right. 

We are the grateful dead of the U.S. of A. 

- Our political system is stymied and our representatives are only self-minded. 

The integrity of our founding fathers has vanished and last century's great national hope has languished. 

Cause the liberals hate the conservatives. 

And the conservatives hate the liberals. 

All of my folks hate all of your folks, and everyone blames the Jews.  

- The Constitution has become malarkey, and the Bill of Rights now makes people snarky. 

Polarization and they're a lyin', fake news and no one is even tryin'.

It's either my way or the highway, and everyone else can go to h*ll. 

- Throw a fit and curse your neighbor, chase the opposition to the wayward. 

Know that threats and violence are better than silence, and resistance means persistence. 

How could this have even happened, and you're all on the wrong side of history. 

- Are we making things great, and they're only about hate. 

Or are they racist deplorables, and we're the self-righteous ennobles. 

From the economy to trade wars, and from immigration to healthcare. 

Why is it that we can't listen, negotiate, compromise, and play fair. 

- I don't know why we're even having an election.

When we only want to defeat the opposition. 

Cause the Democrats hate the Republicans.

And the Republicans hate the Democrats. 

All of the Obamanicks hate the Trumpeans, and vice versa is certainly true too. 

- It's up to everyone to put the country first and stop the bickering and the hate. 

Practice patriotism and nationalism, tear down the walls so progress does not stall. 

No one is all right and no one is all wrong, instead we've got to come together and just let everyone belong. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 23, 2017

Guns Are American

So we can argue who exactly should be allowed to have guns in America.

But we can't argue that the 2nd Amendment generally guarantees people the right "to keep and bear arms."

Sure background checks are an important safety and security check to ensure we aren't putting guns in the hands of criminals, terrorists, abusers, or mentally incompetent individuals. 

At the same time, people should be able to responsibly own and use them for hobby or self-defense. 

Some guns are even a work of art and not just a killing machine. 

Pictured here is an American Joe with etchings of USA and wings representing freedom and of course, the painting of the American flag for strength and patriotism. 

Not quite the golden AK-47 that Saddam Hussein sported, but nevertheless a beautiful and deadly .45 caliber one. 

With over 300 million guns in the USA, there is just about one for everyone. 

In America, there is a grand tradition of the Old West, but it's also important to balance that with responsibility and safety. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 1, 2016

Love The Flags

So while we were in Florida, we went into one of the many art galleries. 

And on the wall was this painting of the Israeli Flag with the Star of David and inside was a beautiful red heart. 

Out of curiosity, I inquired how much this was and the lady says, "Oh, that is $55,000!"

While we were impressed with the painting of the Israeli flag and what it represents as one of America's greatest allies and friends, we must've looked really puzzled at the price, because the lady goes, "Well, of course it's worth it!  It's by Peter Max, the most famous artist in the world."

My wife and I nodded and left the store, and immediately were asking each other why every gallery says with a straight face that the artist that they represent is the "most famous in the world."

Anyway, at the same time this was going on we were following in the news about the controversy with people burning the American flag and the question of whether this is just an expression of free speech or something more that should be prohibited as disrespectful and unpatriotic or even traitorous to the country. 

In that respect, the flag that represents our values, beliefs, and patriotism is valuable beyond pure artistic sense or money, it is who we are and what we love. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 20, 2016

Please G-d In The Workplace

So here is a true story that happened to me at work.

You know how you put on your "out of office message" in Microsoft Outlook when on leave...

Well, I was responsible and did just that. 

My message was typical informing people that I was out, when I plan to return, and who to contact about urgent matters in my (brief) absence. 

But something astonishing happened then...

I actually got a reply to my out of office message from an executive scolding me about it--imagine this being how government time is spent. 

Yes and dun da da dum...here was my big offense to this senior executive, in my out of office message, I simply used the words "Please G-d," as in:

"I am out of the office and plan to return, please G-d, on [such and such day and date]."

The message I received back in my inbox:

"I'm not sure what the 'please G+d' reference means. It's a bit confusing. You may want to delete it."

OMG, I was being admonished in the federal government for using the words "Please G-d" in my out of office message--for simply respecting and recognizing Him/Her. 

- What is confusing about "Please G-d"?

- And how can anyone ask that I delete G-d from my message or in any way from my life???

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states under religious discrimination and harassment that:


 "Harassment, can include, for example offensive remarks about a person's beliefs or religious practices."


Further, "the law requires an employer or other covered entity to reasonably accommodate an employees religious beliefs and practices," barring an undue burden. 

What burden to the government was there in me saying, "please G-d."

And why did I get back a mocking message spelling it this way, "G+d," which I read as being a cross in the middle, mocking me as someone of Jewish belief.

Understand that I write the word G-d with a hyphen, because I was taught out of respect not to spell out ( or even say) G-d's name in vain, which is the 3rd commandment in the biblical Ten Commandments.

The executive's comments to me were not only extremely rude, offensive, and discriminatory, but also illegal.

It is outrageous that this type of behavior should be allowed to go on in 21st century America, let alone in the federal government itself that writes and enforces the law of the land--the land of the free and the home of the brave--read it, it's in our national anthem and our constitution. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 23, 2015

Denouncing Anti-Semitism



Heroic remarks from NYC Councilman Greenfield after pro-Palestinian activists protested the commemoration of 1.1 million people murdered in Auschwitz concentration camp in the Holocaust. 

Calling a spade-a-spade...anti-semitism is once again alive and well due to acceptance and even promotion of anti-Semitism/Zionism, and unfortunately, it some cases, it seems like it's coming from the top-down!

The words and actions are fanning anti-Semitic terror attacks around the globe and even setting the stage for a regional war in the Middle East. 

What a shame that we need to remind some of the First Amendment of the Constitution that guarantees freedom of religion, whatever your practices. 

Protestant pastor, Martin Niemoller, famously said:

"First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out 
because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me."

I believe, I know, that there are many true decent human beings and real leaders out there that will speak out against the very ugly head of blind hatred and bigotry in this world. 

May G-d show mercy on all his creatures and instill love, tolerance, and genuine respect for all races, colors, and religions. 
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December 8, 2014

I Want It To Mean Something

So I took this photo in Starbucks--one of the Baristas in Washington, D.C showing his tattoo. 

Not that I am a tattoo guy myself (uh, I'm not!), but I thought this was really an interesting one. 

"We The People Of the United States" -- our Constitution establishing our nation, freedom, democracy, and human rights here. 

Along with pictures of the Capitol, White House, Washington Monument, and Jefferson Memorial (maybe more around the arm...I don't know). 

When I asked him what made him choose this?

He immediately said, "I wasn't originally thinking of a tattoo, but when I did, I wanted it to mean something!"

So this one wasn't just a vanity thing, but has meaning to him and I bet to many others--very cool! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 24, 2014

Is That Freedom?

This was a funny (-sad) picture I took the other day.

"Freedom Septic"!!!

That's what they name a port-o-potty?

Certainly a very strange and loose interpretation of what freedom means to some people 

(Uh, I prefer the Constitution/Bill of Rights version.)

Then again, check out this company's website at the bottom of their signs--I won't go there. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 18, 2012

The Privacy Slope

I read with interest Ronald Bailey's book review of Privacy by Garet Keizer in the Wall Street Journal ( 16 August 2012). 

In a nutshell, privacy is founded in the Constitution's 4th Amendment: "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated."

I would define privacy as the freedom--to think, to feel, and to act as ourselves (within ethical boundaries) without fear of intrusion, revelation, or reprisal. 

In other words, it should only be our business who we love, what we are interested or believe in, who we vote for, what we choose to do with our lives, and more. 

I think in grade school, the children generally sum it up well when they playfully chant: "Mind your own BI," where BI is used for business (or biziness). :-)

According to Keizer, the danger to privacy come into play from two main sources: 
- Commerce--who want to sell you something and
- Government--that needs to surveil for security and law enforcement purposes 

After 9/11, their was a perceived need for greater surveillance to enhance homeland security, and with advances in technology and communications (smartphones, Internet, social media, etc.), the ability to snoop became far easier.

In 2002, the DoD program for Total Information Awareness (TIA) was an attempt to know everything (i.e. total) about those who would do us harm, but fears about this capability being used against the innocent, quickly required a rethinking or perhaps, just a rebranding. 

Some say that the new NSA mega data center in Utah is the fulfillment of the TIA dream--according to the Washington Post, already in 2010 NSA intercepted and stored "1.7 billion emails, phone calls, and other types of communications." Further, law enforcement demanded records from cellphone carriers on 1.3 million subscribers "including text messages and caller locations" over just the last year's time. 

Keizer cautions that "the ultimate check on government as a whole is its inability to know everything about those it governs"--i.e. without the people holding the cards, there is the risk of spiraling into a Big Brother totalitarian society--goodbye democracy!

I think Keizer perhaps oversells the fear of government surveillance and underemphasizes intrusion from business--his thinking is that "If consumers are annoyed with a merchant's monitoring, they can buy elsewhere." 

But what Keizer misses is that industry as a whole has moved toward the use of technology--from club cards and promotions to use of Internet cookies, RFID, and more--to systematically track consumers and their buying behavior and that information is readily captured, packaged, used, and sold for marketing and sales--as well as to the government!

As a common practice now, where is a consumer to go that will shield them from hungry business looking to capture market share and earn nice profits?

At the same time, while government surveillance can certainly be misused and abused with terrible consequences for individuals society---there are potentially a lot of people looking over the shoulder of those carrying out public programs--and this "sunlight"--where and when it shines--can help to prevent bad things happening. 

The problem is that the system is not perfect, and there are always those program people who act of out of bounds and those watchers who are ineffective and/or dishonest.

Overall, it's a zero sum game, where those that hype up security and capitalism, can tramp down on privacy, and vice versa.
In totality, we can never just assume everything will be okay when it comes to privacy and how information is used, but we have to be active citizens helping ensure that right things are done, the right way. 

For regular, hardworking, decent citizens, there is a definite need to safeguard privacy--and technology can be helpful here with anonymizers, encryptors, and other shielding tools.

For the bad guys, I would imagine, no question, that the government will continue to develop the means to thwart their secrecy and planning to inflict harm on the American people. 

For business, it's okay to capture consumer information and sell, but pour it on to thick and people will think twice about your company's ethics and brand--and even a lawsuit may be in the making. 

Yes, privacy is a slippery slope, and not only can a person's self be revealed or used inappropriately, but the voyeur can get burned too if they overdo it. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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June 29, 2012

Divided We Fall

Checks and balances in government is a great thing. 

Our founding fathers were brillant in building it into the constitution to place limitations and constraints on unbridled power.

Yes, we the people...of the people, for the people, by the people.

But recent fighting in government has shown that it is lately more about--of the politicians, for the politicians, by the politicians.

Unfortunately, everyone seems to be fighting everyone--not only across the party aisle, but between state and the federal government, and between branches of the Federal government, itself.

How does this work (or should I say maybe not working up to its ideal)--let's take an example:


Yesterday, the healthcare law passed by Congress more or less along party lines, and signed by the President, was upheld by the Supreme Court in a suit brought by 26 states, and is being promised or threatened (depending which side of the aisle you are coming from) to be repealed by the next administration

Ah, there you have it--everyone seemingly going against everyone else and fighting what is considered progress to one side, but is harmful from the other's point of view.

Let's try another one--also just from yesterday:

Attorney General Eric Holder is held in contempt of Congress in the majority Republican, House of Representatives, with Nancy Pelosi, members of the Black Caucus, and other democrats walking out of the vote.  And this is to release papers on "Operation Fast and Furious" in the Justice Department (the Executive Branch) that resulted in the death of a border agent, Brian Terry of another Federal Department, Homeland Security, 11 miles from the Mexican border. But the papers were held under Presidential Executive Privilege from being released to a Congressional oversight committee. Now this turns to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia to pursue or drop, but he is a Presidential Appointee that reports up to Attorney Holder, and could end up the courts to decide.

I can hardly catch my breath now, but a third one this week on immigration:

The Arizona law, with controversial provision SB 1070 that permits law enforcement to check immigration status, when there is reasonable suspicion, of people arrested or detained was ruled on by the Supreme Court, and this provision was upheld. But other provisions were struck down, such as it being a State crime to be an illegal immigrant or to hire one. One presidential candidate, Mitt Romney has called the law a "model for the nation," while the current administration has felt otherwise.

Some would say this is the way it is supposed to work--this is the way we get issues worked through, grievances addressed and ensure fairness, equity, and that the right thing is being done.

But others may look at this and call it partisanship, ineffective, a waste or time and resources, one step forward and two steps back, a circuitous path to nowhere, a witch hunt or as Representative Alan Grayson said a "circus," at times.

With huge threats facing our nation on virtually all fronts--from unemployment and the stagnant economy, to our national deficit, falling global competitiveness, ongoing threats of NCBR and cyber terrorism, not to mention natural disasters, chronic illnesses, human rights, poverty, pollution, and food and water shortages--we certainly have a lot to deal with.

The concern is that if we cannot work and move forward together with common resolve--as partners rather than competitors--to create genuine solutions rather than to bicker about who's right, wrong, and to blame--then divided, we will fall.

We have a choice--unite and put the national and global commons above our own self-interests or yield to an uncertain and most frightening future.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Daniele Bora)

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August 30, 2009

Privacy vs. Exhibitionism

We are a nation torn between on one hand wanting our privacy safeguarded and on the other hand wanting to share ourselves openly and often on the Internet—through Social Media, e-Commerce, e-mail, and so forth.

These days, we have more information about ourselves available to others than at any time in history. We are information exhibitionists—essentially an open book—sharing virtually everything about ourselves to everybody.

Online, we have our personal profile, photos, videos, likes and dislikes, birth date, addresses, email and phone contacts, employer, resume, friends and family connections, banking information, real estate transactions, legal proceedings, tax returns, and more. We have become an open book to the world. In a sense we have become an exhibitionistic nation.

While we continue to friend, blog, tweet, and post our thoughts, feelings, and personal information online, we are shocked and dismayed when there is a violation of our privacy.

How did we get to this point—here are some major milestones on privacy (in part from MIT Technology Review--July/August 2009):

1787—“Privacy” does not appear in Constitution, but the concept is embedded in protections such as “restrictions of quartering soldiers in private homes (Third Amendment), prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure (Fourth Amendment), prohibition against forcing a person to be a witness against himself (Fifth Amendment).

1794—Telegraph invented

1876—Telephone invented

1890—Boston Lawyers Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis wrote in Harvard Law Review of “the right to be let alone” and warned that invasive technologies threatened to take “what was whispered in the closet” and have it “proclaimed from the house-tops.”

1914Federal Trade Commission Act prohibits businesses from engaging in “unfair or deceptive acts or practices”; has been extended to require companies to write privacy policies describing what they do with personal information they collect from customers and to honor these policies.

1934Federal Communications Act limits government wiretapping

1969—ARPANet (precursor to Internet) went live

1970Fair Credit Reporting Act regulates collections, dissemination, and use of consumer information, including credit information

1971—First e-mail sent.

1973—Code of Fair Information Practices limits secret data banks, requires that organizations ensure they are reliable and protected from unauthorized access, provides for individuals to be able to view their records and correct errors.

1974—Privacy Act prohibits disclosure of personally identifiable information from federal agency.

1988—Video Privacy Protection Act protects against disclosure of video rentals and sales.

1996—Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) protects against disclosures by health care providers.

1999Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems states: “You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it.”

2000—Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act prohibits intentional collections of information from children 12 or younger

2001—USA Patriot Act expands government’s power to investigate suspected terrorism acts

2003—Do Not Call Implementation Act limits telemarketing calls

2006—Google Docs release for creating and editing docs online

2009—Facebook 4th most popular website in the world

As anyone can see, there is quite a lot of history to protecting privacy. Obviously, we want to be protected. We need to feel secure. We fear our information being misused, exploited, or otherwise getting out of our control.

Yet, as technology progresses, the power of information sharing, collaboration, and online access is endlessly enticing as it is useful, convenient, and entertaining. We love to go online and communicate with people near and far, conduct e-commence for any product near seamlessly, and work more and more productively and creatively.

The dichotomy between privacy and exhibitionism is strong and disturbing. How do we ensure privacy when we insist on openness?

First, let me say that I believe the issue here is greater than the somewhat simplistic answers that are currently out there. Obviously, we must rely on common sense + technology.

From a common sense perspective, we need to personally safeguard truly private information—social security numbers and mother’s maiden name are just the obvious. We need not only be concerned about distinct pieces of information, but information in the aggregate. In other words, individual pieces of information may not be easily exploitable, but when aggregated together with other publically available information—you may now be truly exposed.

In terms of technology, we need to invest more time, money, and effort into securing our systems and networks. Unfortunately, businesses are more concerned with quarterly revenue and profit targets than with securing our personal information. We have got to incentivize every business, organization, and government entity to put security and privacy first. Just like we teach our children, “safety first”, we need to change our adult priorities as well or risk serious harm to ourselves and our nation from cyber criminals, terrorisms, and hostile nation states.

But the real issue is, why do we continue to treat technology as if it is more secure and private than it truly is? In a sense, we shut our eyes to the dangers that we know are lurking, and tell ourselves “it only happens to somebody else.” How do we curb our enthusiasm for technological progress with a realism of recognizing the very real dangers that persist?


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June 14, 2009

Architecture of Freedom

In the United States, we have been blessed with tremendous freedom, and these freedoms are enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. However, in many countries around the world, people do not share these basic freedoms and human rights.

Now in many countries, the limitation and subjugation of people has extended from the physical to the virtual world of the Internet. People are prevented through filtering software from freely “surfing” the Internet for information, news, research and so forth. And they are prohibited from freely communicating their thoughts and feelings in email, instant messages, blogs, social networks and other communications media, and if are identified and caught, they are punished often through rehabilitation by hard prison labor or maybe just disappear altogether.

In fact, many countries are now insisting that technology companies build in filtering software so that the government can control or block their citizen’s ability to view information or ideas that are unwanted or undesirable.

Now however, new technology is helping defend human rights around the world—this is the architecture for anonymity and circumvention technologies.

MIT Technology Review (May/June 2009) has an article entitled “Dissent Made Safer—how anonymity technology could save free speech on the Internet.”

An open source non-profit project called TOR has developed a peer to peer technology that enables users to encrypt communications and route data through multiple hops on a network of proxies. “This combination of routing and encryption mask a computer’s actual location and circumvent government filters; to prying eyes, the Internet traffic seems to be coming from the proxies.”

This creates a safe environment for user to browse the Internet and communicate anonymously and safely—“without them, people in these [repressive] countries might be unable to speak or read freely online.”

The OpenNet Initiative in 2006 “discovered some form of filtering in 25 of 46 nations tested. A more current study by OpenNet found “more than 36 countries are filtering one or more kinds of speech to varying degrees…it is a practice growing in scope, scale, and sophistication.”

Generally, filtering is done with some combination of “blocking IP addresses, domain names… and even Web pages containing certain keywords.”

Violations of Internet usage can result in prison or death for treason.

Aside from TOR, there are other tools for “beating surveillance and censorship” such as Psiphon, UltraReach, Anonymizer, and Dynaweb Freegate.

While TOR and these other tools can be used to help free people from repression around the world, these tools can also be used, unfortunately, by criminals and terrorists to hide their online activities—and this is a challenge that law enforcement must now understand and contend with.

The architecture of TOR is fascinating and freeing, and as they say, “the genie is out of the bottle” and we cannot hide our heads in the sand. We must be able to help those around the world who need our help in achieving basic human rights and freedoms, and at the same time, we need to work with the providers of these tools to keep those who would do us harm from taking advantage of a good thing. 


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September 19, 2008

Three Branches of Government and Enterprise Architecture

The constitution, as we all know, sets up a wonderful form of government with three branches--the legislative, executive, and judicial--which function holistically and with checks and balances.

Architecture and Governance Magazine, Volume 4, Issue 2, has an article called “IT Architecture in Action” by Richard Reese that compares the major steps of architecture to the branches of our government, as follows:

  • The legislative branch—“sets the policy [and] establishes technical direction” To me, the legislative aspect of architecture is carried out by the EA program. The program develops the methodology, framework, policies, and processes, and develops the architecture blueprints for our organizations. Of course, EA does this based on the requirements of the organization, just as congress sets direction based on the needs and wishes of their constituents (i.e. this is the way it is supposed to work).
  • The judicial branch—“creates and runs the ‘governing body,’ which manages compliance and recommends changes to policy and standards.” This is clearly the EA board (EAB) and Investment Review Board (IRB). The EAB reviews new and major changes to IT projects, products, and standards and provides findings and recommendations to the Investment Review Board, which issues decisions on authorizing, prioritizing, and funding the IT projects.

While the article does not address the executive branch, I would add it in to the analogy like this:

  • The executive branch—implements the EA through day-to-day management of business and technology. This is done by the line of business program/project managers and IT professionals! They ensure the business requirements and technical solutions align to and comply with architecture. They implement the letter and spirit of the target architecture and transition plan by implementing segment and solutions architectures for the operation of the business and it technology support

Just as the three branches of government cannot function without each other, so to the functions of an enterprise architecture program cannot be successful without the others. The EA program sets the overall architectural policy and direction; the EAB and IRB vets and adjudicates the IT investments in accordance with the architecture; the business and technical professional executes or carries out the architecture with programs and projects to meet the business strategic, tactical, and operational needs.

Similar to the three branches of government, the EA program, boards, and business/technical professionals are each separate, but work together and counter balance each other to establish architecture direction, interpret it on a project by project basis, and execute those projects to modernize and transform the organization.


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September 29, 2007

James Madison, the First “Federal Chief Enterprise Architect”

James Madison, Jr. (March 16, 1751 – June 28, 1836) was an American politician and the fourth President of the United States (1809–1817), and one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States. Considered to be the "Father of the Constitution", he was the principal author of the document. In 1788, he wrote over a third of the Federalist Papers, still the most influential commentary on the Constitution. As a leader in the first Congresses, he drafted many basic laws and was responsible for the first ten amendments to the Constitution, and thus is also known as the "Father of the Bill of Rights". James Madison also drafted the Virginia Plan, which “called for a national government of three branches—legislative, executive, and judicial…The concept of checks and balances was embodied in a provision that legislative acts could be vetoed by a council composed of the Executive and selected members of the judicial branch; their veto could be overridden by an unspecified legislative majority.” (Wikipedia)

As the Father of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Virginia Plan, James Madison was the original Chief Enterprise Architect (CEA) for the federal government. As the Federal CEA, Madison architected the performance, business, and information perspectives of the federal enterprise architecture (the information technology side of the equation—services, technology, and security—would come later with the post-industrial, technological revolution)

Performance—The mission execution and expected results are laid out in The Preamble to the Constitution, that states: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Additionally, the Bill of Rights ensures that the government performs its business functions all the while protecting the rights of its citizens.

Business—The functions, activities, and processes are detailed in the Articles of The Constitution, including the functioning of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, as well as state and federal powers, and processes for amendments and ratification. Additionally, the checks and balances ensure that functions are well-defined and that limits are placed on each branch of the government to protect democracy and forestall tyrannical rule.

Information—The information requirements of the Federal government are provided for in the various branches of government. For example, the legislative branch, Article One provides for free debate (the archetype for information sharing and accessibility) in Congress. Additionally, the checks and balances between the branches, provides for information flow. For example, Congress enacts the laws, and these go to the Executive Branch to carry them out, and to the Judicial Branch to interpret them. Furthermore, the political value system, Republicanism, ensures that the people remain sovereign and that they not only elect their representatives and politicians, but also can provide information and lobby to affect the enactment of laws and regulations that will ultimately affect them. Citizens are asked to perform their civic duties and to participate in the political process, so there is a free-flow of ideas and information throughout the governing process.

James Madison is indeed the original federal chief enterprise architect and a very good one at that!


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