Corruption & Graft, Culture Wars Comments Merle Feb 12 2018 at 12:04 am In some cases I have seen evaluations could result in your wages being reduced, as well as raised – could turn out to be a good thing….. cmblake6 Feb 12 2018 at 12:05 am Some would indeed debate the “worker” statement. Ryk E Lee Feb 12 2018 at 12:12 am Some Bureaucrats would actually owe us money for showing up at work. JTC Feb 12 2018 at 12:25 am Gotta call ’em something…”workers” in this hive of villainy are far outnumbered by the “drones”, so there ya go. Deplorable B Woodman Feb 12 2018 at 12:40 am How about calling them “barely functional bureaucratic assholes”? (add more descriptors as your imagination allows) JTC Feb 12 2018 at 1:32 am No, “drone” is a good metaphor; just gotta follow nature and reverse the ratio with drones making up a tiny minority, and then when they are no longer useful either plunge to their deaths or are pushed out into the cold. Deplorable B Woodman Feb 12 2018 at 8:37 am Ok. If they’re going to be drones, then they should be neutered like drones. As a secondary benefit, neutering the drones would reduce the next generation of elitist welfare minded Gubbment “workers”……..er……….drones. Saaaaayyyyyy………maybe that should be a requirement for Gubberment “employment”, at any and all levels, chemical castration. When you leave Gubberment service, the chem castration stops. Deplorable B Woodman Feb 12 2018 at 12:37 am The same airquotes should be used around the words “Senator” and “Representatives” when discussing most of the Kurrent Kongressional Klown Krew. WayneM Feb 12 2018 at 2:08 am Yup and how!! ses1066 Feb 12 2018 at 1:00 am The fact that has ALWAYS depressed me is that there are never any incompetent government workers, as demonstrated by the 99%+ retention rate. Even the most ‘feather-bedded’ non-government employer will generally release/fire around 10% in the average year. Thus this ‘lump’ of an ever increasing and ever entitled and never constrained nor threatened bureaucracy becomes an ever larger overhead in both cost and regulation on our economy. This is the iron core & iron corps of the “Deep State”, the very ones that Heinlein warned us about with his axiom on civil servant equating to civil master! ExNuke Feb 12 2018 at 9:37 am Unlike Nostradamus his predictions and observations were specific and accurate, Heinlein was and still is well worth reading and re-reading. NotYetInACamp Feb 12 2018 at 2:16 am They are all about as useful as Maynard G. Krebbs whose response to the word “wok” was to let out an involuntary high pitched frightened squeak “werk!” Then there are all of those who are dangerous. Then there is that one person who is actually doing productive work. It is all about control. John D. Egbert Feb 12 2018 at 10:27 am Ah. So you also remember “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.” Wonder what happened to Dwayne Hickman and Tuesday Weld. Reuning with Bob Denver, perhaps? Sabba Hillel Feb 12 2018 at 1:10 pm Dwayne Bernard Hickman (born May 18, 1934) is an American former actor and television executive at CBS. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dwayne_Hickman The last mention of Tuesday Weld in Wikipedia is a movie in 2001 and a website on Where are they now says “It is reported that Weld suffers from bipolar disorder, and as she turns 70 she is being cared for by her daughter. However, that report has not been fully proven or disproven.” NotYetInACamp Feb 12 2018 at 10:28 pm Tuesday Weld was a classic beauty who was offered more money in another role. my older sister and her friends all aspired to her and some others from that era’s beauty. Some of them made or surpassed that level. I hope that she is well enough. Looking at online photos I now recall that so many of the girls and women I grew up around looked similar as to level of beauty, most internally and externally. It was a good neighborhood back then. And that meant almost all of the people. People worked hard back then. So many veterans were there. The rich and otherwise were some of the best around. Not that many government people, but I think there were many who went into controlling things. I did not know how good it was back then. Silly me. Interventor Feb 12 2018 at 2:18 am The feds that rebuild armor at Anniston Army Depot are competent. As are those that built every artillery piece carriage since WWII. All the contractors claimed bankruptcy. ExNuke Feb 12 2018 at 9:48 am It isn’t possible to be “politically correct” when dealing with real world things and actions without getting someone injured, there is only one way to turn a bolt, weld a seam or connect up hydraulics and power and make it work. It’s either right or it’s not. Reality doesn’t care whether it hurts your feelings or how you “think” it should work, NotYetInACamp Feb 12 2018 at 9:57 pm Those are workers. Artisans. Artists possibly. People who care about what they do. The exceptions to make the rule. The government may work on the exception to the rule principle. Or not the 80-20 rule, but the 95-5 rule possibly. There are always those good people who don’t go with the program. Dienekes Feb 12 2018 at 2:29 am Cue in the music from “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.” epilitimus Feb 12 2018 at 2:30 am Send ’em to me and I’ll show them what the real world is. I can use the help replacing my 9:12 roof, cutting/splitting/stacking 6 cords of wood, or just keeping my old 50’s IH TD6 & JD backhoe running. I don’t think I work all that hard but it would be good for ’em to get a little dirt under their manicured nails. On second thought better not. They might get miffed when I chuck their govt’ supplied iPhone into the thickest nastiest black berry patch I can find, and I can’t spare the time it would take to explain to them that the closest thing they’ll find around here to a cocktail party is when the toms start haggling over hens for their harems. Now if we could just get Trump to add a little to his wall…say a section around DC and another around Sacramento. It would have a certain symmetry to it. ExNuke Feb 12 2018 at 9:57 am They have been trying for decades to turn DC into a Green Zone, If they would just go ahead and install the concertina and sandbags we could start the seige. Pamela Feb 12 2018 at 12:41 pm “They might get miffed when I chuck their govt’ supplied iPhone into the thickest nastiest black berry patch” I’d run it through the wood chipper. Delilah T Feb 12 2018 at 8:33 pm Not the wood chipper. The chemicals in the screens are nasty stuff. Just put them all in an oil drum , smash them with concrete blocks, and at some point, ship the mess to China. They dispose of lots of crap. Pamela Feb 12 2018 at 11:28 pm Too bad we can’t ship the bulk of Sacramento Pols for disposal. Ozymandius Feb 12 2018 at 4:09 am Most of them do the work of two men.. Laurel and Hardy. gruundehn Feb 12 2018 at 12:50 pm Laurel and Hardy both worked extremely hard in order to provide the entertainment that they did. From my experience, Government Bureaucrats do not work near that hard. Bill G Feb 12 2018 at 6:41 am I am reminded of why there’s a line down the middle of the hall in Federal office buildings; it’s so the people coming in late don’t bump into the people leaving early. The concept of Federal Worker changed to Federal Employee when the jobs unionized and the democrat party started getting the largesse from the unions. GWB Feb 12 2018 at 7:53 am The difficulty is…. Gov’t doesn’t produce anything – not in the economic sense. So, there’s very little to use as a metric for efficiency. With a company, you can cut costs. You can maximize profits. You can get good reviews/feedback. With gov’t, there’s no need to cut costs (lobby for more money in your budget, or play the “baselining” game). There’s no profits to be had (not counting graft). And you would be hard-pressed to ever get good feedback since no one likes dealing with bureaucracy. The only way to really help with this is to reduce the size and scope of gov’t, itself. Once the numbers are down, and the reach very limited, the issue of spoils system vs “civil service” is a lot easier to handle. JTPatriot Feb 12 2018 at 8:13 am President Trump needs to follow the example of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and remove the requirement for paying Union dues, for all Federal workers. To me, that has always been one of the requirements for Draining The Swamp; nothing will change as long as the Unions keep their power. Why doesn’t Trump recognize that? ExNuke Feb 12 2018 at 10:03 am Along with Union Dues there should be no taxes on government wages and those wages should be reduced by the amount of those taxes not charged. It is sort of stupid that they are paid with taxes and charged taxes on those taxes. John D. Egbert Feb 12 2018 at 10:36 am The same should apply to military pay — active, reserve and retired. IIRC from my father, there was very nearly a military-wide mutiny in 1943 when FDR imposed income tax withholding nationwide and included the armed services. Another unwarranted intrusion by gubmint. Delilah T Feb 12 2018 at 8:36 pm Tell that to people who retire from the military after 20+ years and still have to work in the private sector because they won’t get either SSRI or their pensions until they reach a certain age (67 now), period. No, they now pay into SS tax and Medicare, but it’s not associated with the military pension. NotYetInACamp Feb 12 2018 at 10:40 pm And A**hat municipal “workers” double and triple dip into the government funds. Some (all?)retire after 20 years and get their pension, then move over a city and get a new full paid job while recieving the pension. Then again sometimes. Actually municipalities can “work” up to the point of paying three people for the same job. There is the person in the “position. There is the person who retired from the position 20 years ago. Then there is the person who retired from the position 40 years ago. that’s three people getting paid with one person at the “position.” A vote of the electorate can change government employment contracts and, I believe, government pensions and rules. 20 year pension reception is a very communist thing to do. Europe is sinking under it also. Sit next to cops at the donut or lunch place. They always talk about their pensions, and how to work them t retire with huge pensions. Massive overtime in the last three years at ne city increases their pensions to a YUGE level. California and Illinois have people paid royal pensions that were likely just padding their pensions and not working. John D. Egbert Feb 13 2018 at 8:59 am 1. Bear in mind that prior to withholding, military pay was not subject to federal taxation, including FICA; Medicare was included when it came along. 2. Active duty military become eligible for Retired Pay – NOT a pension. If the balloon really goes up, military retirees may be recalled to active duty at any time. Retired pay commences upon transfer to (in the Navy, for example) the Fleet Reserve at 20 years and continues after transfer to the Retired List. At least that’s how it worked when I retired (26 years) in 1988. 3. Reservists who retire at 20 years, with at least the last eight years in Drilling Reserve status begin receiving Retired Pay upon reaching the “official” retirement age. eon Feb 12 2018 at 8:25 am Once you get past the military, Federal “work” comes down to two things; collecting taxes and enforcing Federal laws and regulations. Regulations are not the same thing as laws. Federal laws are mainly intended to prevent or punish crimes that involve crossing state lines, like kidnapping, extortion, drug trafficking, human trafficking, some types of murder, etc. Regulations mainly enforce some activist’s, politician’s, or bureaucrat’s vision of The Way Things Ought To Be. Hence environmental regulations allowing the government to seize private property to “protect wetlands” (like a pond) or “navigable waters” (like a ditch). Some agencies, like BATFET, exist solely to enforce a vision at odds with the Constitution. (“Peasants should not be allowed to have guns, fuck the Second Amendment.”) Or EPA, whose vision of a primitivist Eden is at odds with the concept of not exterminating 99.99% of the human race. Such agencies can be spotted by their adherence to the Prime Order of the Empire- “Terror Must Be Maintained”. There isn’t much difference between an armed BATFET raid to confiscate something they plant themselves, and an EPA strike to destroy a dam to “make rivers wild again”. You can make an argument that the Department of Education exists to change society by regulation. The Edina school scandal, in which everything is now a question of “fighting white/patriarchal capitalism”, even in elementary school, with the full approval of the Federal education bureaucracy, is a case in point. To the dedicated (i.e. fanatic) “activist”, there’s nothing quite like being able to impose racism and bigotry at Nazi Germany levels by Federal fiat’. Taxation agencies (like, again, BATFET) exist mainly to fund such “regulatory” activities, as well as acting as “regulators” themselves. How many times has a politician or bureaucrat or activist smilingly stated that “By taking tax money from you and then giving services back, we are ‘adding value’.” The thing is, the ones doing it are split between those who actually believe that and those who know it’s a lie, but want to use taxes to enforce their worldview- which brings us right back to the difference between “laws” and “regulations”. Laws are necessary, to remind the miscreants in society that their urges to hurt others carry a price. Regulations are less a necessity than a textbook example of Malcolm’s Axiom from Jurassic Park; somebody getting so wrapped up in the idea that they could do something that they never bothered to ask themselves if they should. clear ether eon Vulcanrider Feb 12 2018 at 8:51 am I have to take umbrage to the “all federal workers” grouping, especially in the comments. I’m a mid-grade fed, but since my background, including 17 of my 26 years of active duty is in Emergency Management/Anti-Terrorism I don’t have much choice. Oh sure, I suppose I could go to work at Wally World for minimum wage, but why? Not trained as a food stocker or forklift driver, but I can still tell you the cutaneous exposure level for Sarin. Just want to point out not all of us are slackers or bureaucrats. Not all are charged with enforcing rules as eon points out. Some of us are actually tasked with the protection of our Military members, peacetime and at war. Maybe I’m too sensitive, but the constant comment of “all feds are scumbag do-nothings” just gets to me… JTC Feb 12 2018 at 1:23 pm Vulcan, note eon’s military exception at the top of his comment. I’m missing where anyone said “all” federal workers…as in most things the exceptions prove the rule. Problem is, “workers” are the exception rather than the rule defined by the drones. Just Joe Feb 12 2018 at 10:06 am You’re a rare bird Vulcan. Thanks for your service. gruundehn Feb 12 2018 at 12:57 pm As a retired TSgt, who was abused by civilians when returning from SEA, I find that the comment “Thank you for your service” to be condescending. Instead, tell me what you are doing to help veterans and those kids on active duty now. Kids who have it worse in the field than I ever did. Olcountryboy Feb 12 2018 at 10:46 am Merit base pay will never work in this country. We have a merit system now. What happens is the “employee” gets rated to the top of his/her grade. Maximum pay plus bonus. No additional work, the rating is so high our favorite bureaucrat can do nothing and screw off forever, but there are no negatives going to a civil service judge (or laughingly called arbiter. For proof of this, look at your local bureaucrat, teacher, street worker, clerk, etc. The dreamers are not the illegal aliens, but the stupid voters and tax payers that fall for this charade. Kafiroon Feb 13 2018 at 12:01 am Merit pay is only as good as the flunky drone that “evaluates” whether you deserve one. I remember the authority granting X number of dollars for raises, Only the “BFF’s” got one and the joyfully gave the rest back. Usually a third or better of the amount for all of us. Old Codger Feb 12 2018 at 11:58 am A wise man once told me, “Those who can, do; those who cannot go into government so they do not have to.” Folks like Vulcanrider are the exceptions which prove the rule. I was assigned additional duty of NBC Decontamination Team for the last 7 of my 10 years. Was on search and recovery/remains recovery team for 8 years @ 3 different Air Bases. I supposed I could have gone into something like what you did. One of my Uncles was Post Master of a small city in west Texas. I figure between Veteran’s preference and his personal recommendation, I could have gone into either the USPS or some other civil service position. I decided to take my chances in the civilian job market. With the exception of rara avis like Vulcanrider, how many “civil servants” have you ever encountered? DrD Feb 12 2018 at 12:08 pm I spent seven (long, long) years as a civilian employee of the US Navy at a research facility. I was not a manager, but a senior level worker been. In seven years time, I estimate that I was assigned about 18 months worth of work to do. The rest of the time was spent trying to look busy and find a job order to charge to. There was no work because there was no leadership, no one setting a direction, no one with authority to authorize work on anything in particular. Suggestions for projects were always met with “that is the responsibility of Code xxx, its their turf.” At first, I was worried; in private industry, I had never been without a project to work on for more than a day. When the first three weeks passed with no work, I thought they were setting me up for dismissal. I was told repeatedly, “don’t worry about it.” Finally, I realized that they were serious; nobody had any real work to do. We were to spend the day sitting around in bull session, drinking coffee and complaining. I have never seen such gross waste of resources anywhere other than in the government! That entire lab could be closed and it would make no difference to national defense. I’m sure that is true of many others as well. If we are to have “merit based pay,” how does that work when there is no merit? Guairdean Feb 12 2018 at 12:10 pm Performance reviews have been used to promote the incompetent and prevent promotion of the qualified since the early days of the civil service system. If you have a worker that you want to get rid of, give them a glowing review and they’ll qualify for some other job and move on. If you have a hard worker that’s ambitious, give them a failing rating and they’ll never qualify for a move. If you go with merit based pay, the performance reviews will be used to get rid of the politically incorrect employees, and keep those who are willing to break every rule if it means a larger paycheck. Government isn’t efficient, nor should it be. The last thing you want is an efficient government. You also don’t want a government where the bureaucrats are paid on an incentive basis. canuck49 Feb 12 2018 at 12:35 pm Are those in the active military workers or drones? Just asking. JTC Feb 12 2018 at 1:19 pm As the experiential comments of Vulcan and DrD illustrate, the answer is yes and yes… Pamela Feb 12 2018 at 12:51 pm I’m not sure how easy it is to watch Porn or do online shopping on Federal Employee assigned computers or phones, but anyone watching Porn-Out the Door. On Line Shopping, unless you are part of the Procurement Department, case by case basis. I would put a stop to any automatic payroll deductions for political donations to the Unions. DASTARDLY DAN Feb 12 2018 at 2:58 pm Well the National Gallery should be able to cut back on pest control expenditures when they hang that portrait of the ‘First Wookie’. That will scare every sort of vermin away! cmblake6 Feb 12 2018 at 4:39 pm Eon and Vulcanrider both said much of what I should have said. I did my 20 from Viet Nam through Desert Storm. When we did work, we worked pretty damn hard. I was air quoting about the office pukes in the non-military existence. John Feb 12 2018 at 4:57 pm I have to clarify some things about Regulations. All Regulations are forged by the Bureaucracy to implement Law. Well, at least in theory. The real problem here is not Regulations or the Bureaucracy, but the poorly written Laws. Bear in mind that the Laws are very deliberately poorly written for a specific reason, and that reason is despicable. It allows a Legislator to “fix” the Law through his/her influence on the Bureaucracy and its arbitrary Regulations in order to gain favor with the Regulation’s victims who walk through the Legislator’s door, thus rendering the victim beholden to the Legislator (and remember him come Election Time). This is just one of the reasons I advocate staggered terms (as opposed to term limits). Making Legislators clean up after each other rather than profiting from their own malfeasance would help things considerably. Spin Drift Feb 12 2018 at 9:16 pm I believe it was Will Rogers who said “thank God we don’t get all the government we pay for.” Hang’em, hang’em all and hang’em high. Spin Drift Rich Zellich Feb 12 2018 at 10:09 pm As a Federal worker for 49 years (4 in the Air Force, 35 as a Federal Civil Servant working for the Army, and 10 as a contractor doing the exact same work for the Army as I had been for the prior 35 years, I can assure you that “work” is not a euphemism for what 99.9% of Federal employees do and does not need air quotes. The Federal workforce works hard for ever-decreasing pay and benefits, and does it with pride and dedication. A great many of those workers also tend to think of their customers (the US public or, as in my case, the soldiers in the field) as their employers, not the US Government itself nor even the particular Agency or Department they happen to be employed by. Also, for those as ignorant of Federal employment/promotion/job evaluation laws, rules, and regulations as Donald Trump, Merit Pay was introduced via legislation something like 40 years ago, and has never worked. It can’t, since you have to have something to measure and a standard to measure against. The Federal workforce is mostly professional and technical and there’s nothing quantitative to be legitimately measured – and measuring quality is subjective, of course, so you’re back to the whims of the supervisors, just like it was before “merit pay”. John T. Block Feb 12 2018 at 11:04 pm Off topic for just a sec – the mail/powder attack on Don Jr’s wife, Vanessa. Can anyone of us, including Chris, imagine the shape and direction of the President’s righteous anger, at the high-fiving “journalists” who helped egg some psycho into this? Or his more revenge-minded supporters? God-damn a bunch of virtue signalling morons…. JTC Feb 12 2018 at 11:17 pm Prescient as usual, Chris’s depiction of the Trump scowl here captures that righteous anger thing pretty good…wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of that. Deplorable B Woodman Feb 12 2018 at 11:44 pm Can’t wait for the next press,conference…….