[Paleopsych] Email Never Dies [was] So Long, Elevator Friends

Premise Checker checker at panix.com
Tue Jul 27 22:44:04 UTC 2004

Thanks, Karen. I have accumulated a few survival skills in working for 34 
1/2 years for the feds. If worse comes to worst, I'm eligible to retire, 
and even if I did get fired, I'd just retire and collect a pension. 
Actually, it's almost impossible to fire a federal employee. Only one out 
of 4700 at E.D. got fired last year, probably for not showing up at all. 
Bringing a gun into the building, slugging your boss, viewing child 
pornography, those can get you fired, but not expression your opinion. 
I asked the ethics counselor what would happen if I got an article 
printed in a North Korean publication advocating their nuking D.C., and 
she said nothing.

They can go after you indirectly by trying to get you for poor performance 
(this is what happens to whistle blowers), but no warning would be 
imparted to the public if I were targeted so indirectly and simply for 
badmouthing the Department. Since most of the Democrats in Congress are 
attacking the No Child Left Behind Act, it would make no sense to go after 

It would have to be a highly personal thing, an escalation of fighting 
where no one backs down. (Howard is an expert observer of this sort of 
thing.) And here for once I won't mention any names, though there's no 
need to, really. It's a Darwinian selection process, the types that come 
to work for E.D. and for the federal bureaucracy generally. And what would 
Tom so and so mean to you anyhow?

Supposing someone did start a vendetta against me? My boss or boss's boss 
are unlikely to start after all these years. It would have to be by 
someone higher up that wanted to get rid of me and would order my boss to 
do so. I am sure my boss's boss knows that, since I'm hard of hearing, I 
could bring on the disability lobby. (There was a guy caught reading 
pornography. He said he was mentally ill and that under the Americans with 
Disabilities Act, he should have been counseled. My boss quickly concluded 
it wasn't worth it, so he just waited for whoever it was that started the 
mess forgot about it. The guy who was caught is a heck of a good guy and 
went on to collect one or two promotions.) And I have joined the labor 
union and attend their meetings. It has no real power, and they are 
supposed to defend you whether you belong to the union or not, but the 
truth is that they will help someone who is well-known to them first. 
Another time waster, fighting the union, someone--actually a bunch of 
people--would have to go through. And finally, I'm known as a conservative 
and libertarian, and there are several columnists who would like to defend 
the rare bureaucrat who agrees with them.

Go ahead and quote me all you like, Karen. I don't really care if you 
garble things up, but I invite you to run your quotations by me to be sure 
you have the context right.

On 2004-07-27, K.E. opined [message unchanged below]:

> Dear Frank,
> I salute you!
> I feel that you are 1 in a zillion to say this outloud on a list.
> In my deep appreciation for all that you do i'd like to remind you that:
> 1. email never dies
> 2. you never know where it goes
> 3. be prepared to read this in a newspaper with your name on it
> 4. protect your privacy
> 5. email steve off list with personal opinions that are "Key Word" personal
> 6. you are not obliged to explain
> 7. email never dies
> 8. keep fighting the good fight!
> 9. Can I quote you???   <:-)
> best,
> karen
> At 02:20 PM 7/27/2004, you wrote:
>> As it happens, the bureaucracy I work for, namely the U.S. Department of 
>> Education, does nothing useful at all, except give jobs to educrats. I've 
>> been working the section that evaluates E.D. programs for 19 years, and 
>> not a single evaluation study has shown that an E.D. program has improved 
>> learning. And that from trying very hard to find evidence, bypassing the 
>> usual scruples of data analysis that would get pass peer review in a 
>> social science journal. But Congress keeps appropriating the money.
>> There are useful bureaucracies, to be sure, but one is totally 
>> disconnected from reality, the clinical definition of psychosis, to 
>> believe in E.D. in the teeth of evidence to the contrary.
>> We are not at all in disagreement, unless of course you have information 
>> that shows the efficacy of E.D. programs. The fact stands as of now that 
>> those with the means and the greatest interest of showing such efficacy 
>> have failed to do so.
>> Frank

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