Weekend Open Colloquium

The Long Room, Trinity College Library, Dublin

“The cause of this decay of the family’s traditional role as the transmitter of tradition is the same as that of the decay of the humanities: nobody believes that the old books do, or even could, contain the truth.”

Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind, 1987

Thursday Open Comments

As bonus addenda for today’s theme, we have this ridiculous article from the “dignified” New York Times about militant feminists expecting the men of the houses to handle all the garbage chores.

Taking Out the Trash? That’s Still a Man’s Job, Even for the Liberal Coastal Elite

This is our weekly ritual. There’s no acknowledgment of the obvious inequity. No you-do-it-next-time admonishment. He accepts his role without a hint of bitterness. (In a way I do not when it comes to, say, driving car pool or coordinating play dates.) Every Monday around 9 p.m., I feel a tinge of guilt, except … not really.

Almost every woman I know who lives with a man shirks this chore. It’s as if all hard-won equality in the home is tossed on trash night. It may be the last bastion of accepted 1950s behavior. And in this case — and this case alone — women are fine with that.

As one friend pointed out: “Women deal with the rest of the garbage.”

Ocean Not a Swamp New Year Thread !

Every Dime. Online. In Real Time.

The nonprofit watchdog group Open The Books has put out a new report, “Mapping The Swamp,” that seeks to flesh out what has, until now, merely been a metaphor. What it found is eye-opening, and shows the size of the challenge that lies before President Trump as he seeks to drain it.

“We found small and large agencies across the federal government gaming the system for personal gain — and it’s expensive for the taxpayer,” said Adam Andrzejewski, CEO and founder of OpenTheBooks.com. “Congress should hold hearings to bring transparency to all the information we’re still missing, including performance bonuses and pension payouts. It’s time to squeeze out waste from compensation and stop abusive payroll practices.”

It’s hard to get your arms around just how big our government is — and how wasteful. But “Mapping The Swamp” does a good job of it in just 35 pages.
The report is 35 pages, but Adam Andrzejewski and staff, thanks to the Thomas W. Smith Foundation, have built a massive database of every federal, state and local governmental agency in America down to the kindergarten teachers in your local elementary school.  Isn’t it interesting we have to rely on a private, conservative non-profit to get a definitive picture of our governing Leviathan ?  No governmental taxpayer funded organization ever seems to be concerned.
We all know military pay isn’t high, but bureaucrats don’t come cheap. The average benefit package includes 10 federal holidays, 13 sick days and 20 vacation days — that’s four weeks — a year. The benefits alone cost taxpayers just under $23 billion a year.

The report even suggests that the government has an unofficial minimum wage: $100,000 a year. That’s the minimum average salary for 78 out of 122 federal departments and agencies, although some individuals make less. Even so, the report notes, “29,852 federal employees out-earned each of the 50 state governors receiving more than $190,823.”

It used to be people went into government to do good. Now, apparently, it’s to do well.

And who knew bureaucrats came in so many varieties? As the study shows, the government has some 579 separate job titles, “ranging from ‘Book Binding’ to ‘Zoology’.”

These are the most important links I have posted all year.  Save them for future reference.

Report: Mapping the Swamp

Open the Books Online Database

Oh, and Happy New Year to All !

Thursday Open Thread

A 16-year veteran with outstanding work performance reviews and accomplishments, Gritz alleges McCabe, along with other senior management, made it impossible for her to do her job and obstructed her ability to move up the ranks.

She eventually filed an Equal Employment Opportunity Complaint [EEOC] in 2013 for sexual discrimination and a hostile work environment against McCabe and other superiors. In 2012 she received the only negative review in her career with the FBI, and it was conducted by the same supervisor she had named in her EEOC.

She told Circa, current senior level management, including McCabe, created a “cancer like” bureaucracy striking fear into FBI agents and causing others to resign. She eventually resigned herself, but her case is still pending.

and,

“When I heard Michael Flynn was being brought under investigation, I wondered if they would go after him,” said Gritz, recalling the letter Flynn wrote on his Department of Defense stationary. “I still believe McCabe should have recused himself from the investigation into Flynn.”

Flynn had worked with Gritz extensively during her tenure on joint terrorism related assignments between the DOD and FBI wrote a letter on Pentagon stationary testifying to her character and work ethic. Other top military officials also wrote letters of testimony on behalf of Gritz, including Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Gen. Keith Alexander and retired Navy Rear Admiral B. L. Losey, who served both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama as the White House’s National Security Council Director for Combatting Terrorism, according to documents obtained by Circa.

The FBI’s attorney tried to block testimony from her supporters, including Flynn’s letter, in 2014, memos obtained by Circa show.

RTWDT.