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Federal Employees News Digest : Oct 14, 2013
Kristi Dougherty General Manager Phil Piemonte Managing Editor Sherkiya Wedgeworth Online Managing Editor Becky Fenton Circulation Manager Nathan Abse Writer Mike Causey Columnist Edward Zurndorfer Columnist Published by 1105 Government Information Group, Anne Armstrong, President. 1105 Public Sector Media Group is part of 1105 Media, Inc. Neal Vitale, CEO. Corporate Headquarters: 1105 Media, Inc. 9201 Oakdale Ave., Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311 www.1105media.com Office: 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 500 Vienna, VA 22182-2215 Phone: Editorial: (703) 891-8554 Subscriptions: (800) 989-3363 Fax: (703) 876-5130 Internet: www.FederalDaily.com Subscription Rates: 1 year---$39 Site Licenses are available: E-mail: FENDsitelicense@ FederalDaily.com For single article reprints (in minimum quantities of 250-500), e-prints, plaques and posters contact: PARS International Phone: (212) 221-9595 E-mail: email@example.com www.magreprints.com/QuickQuote.asp The Comptroller General has ruled that federal agen- cies and departments may buy Federal Employees News Digest publications with government funds. This decision is No. B-185591. Federal Tax ID 20-4583700. DUNS #612031414. FEDERAL EMPLOYEES NEWS DIGEST (ISSN 1065-0970) is published weekly except first week in January and last week in December by 1105 Media, Inc., 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311. Annual subscription rate is: US $39. Subscription inquiries and customer service: Mail to: Federal Employees News Digest, PO Box 15428, N. Hollywood, CA 91615-5428, customerservice@feder- aldaily.com or call (800) 989-3363, fax (818) 487-4550. © Copyright 2013 by 1105 Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproductions or distribution in whole or part prohibited except by site license or reprint purchase. The information in this newsletter has not undergone any formal testing by 1105 Media, Inc. and is dis- tributed without any warranty expressed or implied. Implementation or use of any information contained herein is the reader's sole responsibility. While the information has been reviewed for accuracy, there is no guarantee that the same or similar results may be achieved in all environments. Technical inaccuracies may result from printing errors and/or new develop- ments in the industry. This publication's subscriber list, as well as other lists from 1105 Media, Inc., is available for rental. For more information, please contact our list manager, Merit Direct. Phone: (914) 368-1000; E-mail: 1105media@ meritdirect.com; Web: www.meritdirect.com/1105. October 14, 2013 Vol. 63, No. 13 2 Visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com her sister a story. The king replied with the Persian equivalent of "whatever." But he listened in. And got hooked on the story, which she did not finish. She asked for another night of life, to finish the story. This went on for years (and three children), to a happy ending. Fast forward to my final year in the reserves. We were a pretty motley crew and, because this was the days of the draft, soldiers weren't given the respect they are in today's all-volunteer military. As a result, we got some crummy duty during our time at the reserve center. Lots of make-work. Except for me. One of our sergeants, a World War II type, found out I could type. So at each meeting, he pulled me aside. We went into an unused office and we wrote. And wrote. And edited, and revised. A letter. A letter to the War Department (although it had been DOD since the mid-1940s). The letter was about a sum of money my sergeant thought the War Department (aka U.S. Government) owed him, for some- thing he wasn't paid for during World War II which, even then, was a long time ago. I think the amount was something like $39 and change. Not a lot, even then. But it was a lot. To him. And it meant a lot. To me. Because while we were crafting and reediting the letter, I got out of stinking duty, and instead typed, edited, revised, etc. We worked on that letter for a good year, honing it so that the secretary of defense (should he see it) couldn't say no. And Sgt. Reid (I think that was his name) would get what was coming to him, i.e., $39 and change. As I was getting out of the reserve, after a mere 7 1/2 years, I found a new guy, just out of the regular Army and into the reserves, who could type. I told him the deal and introduced him to Sgt. Reid. I hope he spent the rest of his tour of duty in an air- conditioned office, working and reworking THE LETTER. And then passed it on to another new guy who could type. The point is that back then there were Sgt. Reids all over the place. Thousands of people with some grievance (real or imagined) against the military, the gov- ernment, an individual. And those people wanted justice. And compensation. And it is starting all over again. During the recent furloughs, more than 30,000 federal workers filed grievances against the government. Most will be settled easily and quickly. But some will linger on and on, being heard by administrative law judges, or federal judges, or taken up by politicians. During this shutdown, even more people were furloughed. Some exempted, then fur- loughed. Some furloughed, then exempted, then furloughed again. Talk about your lawsuits and grievances. Some of these complaints will be with us when your kids, maybe even grandchildren, go into govern- ment. If you will allow that. Employees will sue because they were furloughed while other employees weren't. Folks at the EPA and HUD will say: "Why us? Why not Commerce?" At the same time, workers have been kept on duty so they could tell people that national parks were closed and keep people off federal land (the people's land?). Yet when rangers did it here, in D.C., at the World War II memorial, members of the Greatest Generation blew them off. They walked, were wheeled and used their walkers to go past the feds who were only doing what they were told to do, stupid as it was. Then the politicians joined in and asked: How dare the feds do their duty and keep people, as ordered by Congress, off the grounds at the Mall? Many of the offending feds (who were just doing their duty) were subject to public ridicule. Some were photographed. Made a laughingstock in their neighborhoods. All because they did what their bosses, inter- preting the will of the White House and Congress, told them what to do. Sgt. Reid wouldn't take it. I don't know how many 95-year-olds are on active duty with the U.S. Army. Probably none. But if Sgt. Reid is still with us, I am sure he has found another typist to pursue his case. Just imagine how many Sgt. Reids the furloughs, the shutdown and---maybe---the big-deal debt ceiling crisis, are going to create. (Not to mention the Reids that will emerge if all this has an effect on the value of your TSP account.) We will find out. But in the meantime, sue somebody. Or at least, write on! INSIGHT by Mike Causey continued from page 1
Oct 7, 2013
Oct 21, 2013