Bureaucracy: Legalism versus Integrity


I discovered a great deal about identity today.

I went to the passport office to renew my Canadian passport.

I was treated very politely and given the necessary form.

I filled it out accurately and completely. Went to the passport officer and presented form, new photos and current passport. She opens the passport and looks at the photo page and says, “This passport is invalid.”

I reply, “I worked in the United States for one year using that passport, the TN1 visa is still inside.”

She says, “You didn’t sign the passport. It’s invalid.”

I think to myself, “I could take the passport outside, sign it and come back in.  In fact, I could take the passport and sign it right in front of her.  There was never a requirement for a witness; it could have been signed by anyone. This policy is retarded.”

She asks me for additional identification. I don’t have a driver’s license because I sold my car and decided I would use public transit. I offer my Social Insurance Card, but the signature has been rubbed off. I offer my birth certificate, but it has no signature. I offer my provincial health card, but it has no signature. I offer my credit card, my debit card and my library card.  I consider my Movie Village card because the signature is laminated.

She takes everything to her manager. She comes back and gives me a slip of paper. “This is the address of the Manitoba Liquor Control Commission. They are on the far side of the city. Have them provide you with a photo ID with your signature and fax me a copy.”

I tell her, “I don’t drink.”

She replies, “You don’t have to.”

I jump on a bus and I go across town. I give the MLCC all the same ID that I gave the passport officer. They have me sign a form and in five minutes I have a photo ID with my signature.  Because the signature pad is electronic and does not provide visual feedback as I am writing I find the first name and last name of my signature overlap.  Maybe it is designed to emulate your signature when you are blind drunk.  I’m over 40 and for the first time I have a card that explicitly states I can legally drink alcohol.

I travel all the way back across town to the passport office. I explain that the passport officer required me to provide another piece of identification. I am directed to a special officer. She makes a photocopy of the MLCC photo ID with signature and says, “Thank you, that’s it.”

Can you explain to me what was achieved by my going to the MLCC which cost me an additional $25 when you include bus fare, which couldn’t have been achieved by me simply signing my passport?

I protected one bureaucrat’s legalism by exploiting another bureaucrat’s legalism.  And the bureaucracy doubled its money.

I will have a renewed passport in two weeks.

They call themselves “public servants”, so why is the public required to jump through mindless hoops to make them appear vigilant?

We do these unnecessary and costly things bureaucrats tell us because we are not willing to sacrifice the greater cost of preserving our integrity and the integrity of policy.

Consequently, the bureaucrat keeps her job, politicians maintain the illusion of governance and we all lose.  Time, money, value.

Will my passport protect me and the global community?  Yes.

Did I also perform a mindless ritual?  Yes.

I believe that a healthy society is regulated by public servants.  However mindless observance of regulations by public servants fails both the public and the policy makers.

Anyone who tells you to violate your integrity to preserve theirs has none.  All they are doing is seeking a bigger piece of the pie at your expense.  It’s a measure of bargaining not morality.

Systema: Business Motivation

I have been reading the material produced by the Business Rules Group and it pains me to see the lack of grounding these people have. They have created a mess of explicit relationships that don’t have any implicit relevance. They do not recognize in the least what actually motivates an organization.

Let me call up one of my most recent Six Hats, Six Coats tables:


If you look at the CAUSE column you will see the six levels of motivation for a system. And we all know that an organization is a system.So let’s define each of these motivations from the top down:

  1. Reality – to make its internal conscience complement its customer’s conscience
  2. Unity – to make its internal governance complement its customer’s governance
  3. Quality – to make its internal profession complement its customer’s profession
  4. Quantity – to make its internal education complement its customer’s education
  5. Security – to make its internal estate complement its customer’s estate
  6. Regularity – to make its internal cycles complement its customer’s cycles

That is it. Those are all the business rules you need.

Related Posts:

Systema: Seven Hats, Seven Links

Systema: Seven Revolutions…or is it Six?

Came across the Seven Revolutions website and explored it to conclude that they want us to think about the six interrogatives globally over the next 20 years. That’s what I said, six not seven. Their classification system is incorrect. However, do not let this stop you from exploring the site. It is worth the effort.

So ask yourself, how will the following change over the next 20 years:

  1. Existence – Light, Air, Water, Food, Climate, Sensation
  2. Estate – Security, Property, Shelter, Mobility, Perception
  3. Education – Communication, Assembly, Speech, Media, Data
  4. Employment – Professions, Trades, Processes, Methods, Information
  5. Governance – Leadership, Followership, Relationships, Knowledge
  6. Conscience – Religion, Philosophy, Moral Law, Cause, Wisdom

Systema: Six Hats, Six Coats and Six IDs

I just read an article about OpenID being adopted in France. I am certain that a single ID is a mistake. Of course I would recommend six IDs. One ID for each of the Observer Entities. The ResidenceID would be the SecureID used for the estate including capital.

  1. ConscienceID — Used for charitable access
  2. GovernanceID — Used for citizenry access
  3. ProfessionalID — Used for business access
  4. AcademicID — Used for academic access
  5. ResidentID — Used for estate access
  6. RegularID — Used for routine access

Structured Thinking System: Attributes

Again I have made some modifications to the entities.  Note “Host”, “Steward” and “Reciprocate”.


I am going to attempt to explore the attributes of the entities in the OBSERVER column (second column from left).

  1. OBSERVER.Creator.Cause — conscience wrong and right — creatable
  2. OBSERVER.Creator.Observer  — conscience curse and blessing (religious name) — relatable
  3. OBSERVER.Creator.Energy — conscience uniqueness and value — reliable
  4. OBSERVER.Creator.Matter — conscience cost and benefit  — profitable
  5. OBSERVER.Creator.Space — conscience barrier and passage — accessible
  6. OBSERVER.Creator.Time — conscience closed and open — available
  1. OBSERVER.Leader.Cause  — governance wrong and right — creatable
  2. OBSERVER.Leader.Observer  — governance curse and blessing (political name) — relatable
  3. OBSERVER.Leader.Energy — governance uniqueness and value — reliable
  4. OBSERVER.Leader.Matter — governance cost and benefit  — profitable
  5. OBSERVER.Leader.Space — governance barrier and passage — accessible
  6. OBSERVER.Leader.Time — governance closed and open — available
  1. OBSERVER.Master.Cause — profession wrong and right — creatable
  2. OBSERVER.Master.Observer — profession curse and blessing (professional title) — relatable
  3. OBSERVER.Master.Energy — profession uniqueness and value — reliable
  4. OBSERVER.Master.Matter — profession cost and benefit  — profitable
  5. OBSERVER.Master.Space — profession barrier and passage  — accessible
  6. OBSERVER.Master.Time — profession closed and open  — available
  1. OBSERVER.Novice.Cause  — education wrong and right — creatable
  2. OBSERVER.Novice.Observer  — education curse and blessing (educational title) — relatable
  3. OBSERVER.Novice.Energy — education uniqueness and value — reliable
  4. OBSERVER.Novice.Matter — education cost and benefit  — profitable
  5. OBSERVER.Novice.Space — education barrier and passage — accessible
  6. OBSERVER.Novice.Time — education closed and open — available
  1. OBSERVER.Host.Cause  — residence wrong and right — creatable
  2. OBSERVER.Host.Observer — residence curse and blessing (surname) — relatable
  3. OBSERVER.Host.Energy — residence uniqueness and value — reliable
  4. OBSERVER.Host.Matter  — residence cost and benefit   — profitable
  5. OBSERVER.Host.Space  — residence barrier and passage — accessible
  6. OBSERVER.Host.Time — residence closed and open — available
  1. OBSERVER.Steward.Cause — existence wrong and right — creatable
  2. OBSERVER.Steward.Observer — existence curse and blessing (given name) — relatable
  3. OBSERVER.Steward.Energy — existence uniqueness and value — reliable
  4. OBSERVER.Steward.Matter — existence cost and benefit  — profitable
  5. OBSERVER.Steward.Space — existence barrier and passage — accessible
  6. OBSERVER.Steward.Time  — existence closed and open — available

That’s the first pass.  I am going to give this further thought.