As any blogger can tell you, maintaining a blog can be tough work. Publishing consistently, finding ideas, not to mention the time to write and edit, promoting your posts, all the while hoping someone smarter than you doesn’t publish a post on a topic before you can get yours out are some of the craft’s headaches. And on some days it can be very easy – today is one of those days.
Ace’s 2/13 link dump points to this gem of a headline from The Washington Examiner: GOP Introduces Bill To Stop Feds From Watching Porn At Work. Between that headline and the title of this post some of you probably already know exactly where this is going. And the first article contained an embedded source link that led to even more interesting pages that also contained embedded links leading to even more interesting material. Like I said, it’s those rare days that this is easy that we bloggers always appreciate. Sarah Westwood from the Examiner reports:
Rep. Mark Meadows introduced legislation Wednesday that would prevent federal employees from viewing pornography on the taxpayer’s dime.
The Eliminating Pornography from Agencies Act aptly shares its initials with the government agency that drew attention to the problem of staff watching pornographic videos at work, the Environmental Protection Agency. An inspector general report released last year revealed an EPA official was caught with thousands of downloaded pornographic files on his government computer and had watched up to six hours of porn a day while on the job. The employee wasn’t fired.
“It’s appalling that it requires an act of Congress to ensure that federal agencies block access to these sites,” Meadows said. He is chairman of the operations subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
The Examiner piece contains a link to the press release posted on Meadows’ web site,which contained two links referencing the abuse the bill is designed to protect taxpayers from enabling. First over at the EPA:
Back in May, in the “old days” when we used to think that you’d get fired if your two-to-six-hours-per-day at-work pornography consumption schedule was discussed in front of Congress, an Environmental Protection Agency official testified that he needed to wait for an official report before firing an employee who was observed in person watching pornography on a work computer and subsequently admitted to watching between two and six hours of pornography at work every day.
That would be the less offensive of the two web pages cited. The second story opens with:
For one Federal Communications Commission worker, his porn habit at work was easy to explain: Things were slow, he told investigators, so he perused it “out of boredom” — for up to eight hours each week.
Sadly, this isn’t even the most disgusting part of this particular article:
In a more recent and far more costly example, U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board paralegals received salaries and bonuses for years even though they spent much of their time watching television, shopping online, exercising and wasting time on their tablet computers, according to an investigation released this week by the Commerce Department’s inspector general. Investigators estimate that more than $4 million was spent paying employees for time they weren’t working.
The paralegals, who can’t create their own work, later told investigators that the reason was simple: Supervisors weren’t giving them any assignments. Some supervisors were reluctant to give paralegals special projects out of fear that the assignments could antagonize the labor union.
Going back to why this post was easy to write, all that you need to look at is the original headline that inspired it. While given the current circumstances a law such as the one that Meadows is proposing is a step in the right direction. Personally, I would rather live in a world where there is a level of sanity that allows the managers of government employees to fire them for abusing tax payers by browsing porn. Or even better, if they have so little work to do, maybe we don’t need them employed at all? Keep this post in mind any leftist you know starts crying about how grossly underfunded their favorite agency is. If only the 2016 presidential candidate field included someone who isn’t afraid to stand up against the abuses of public sector unions…
Two last points in this post:
1) How come whenever we see public sector scandals not involving the military or directly tied to some Republican the only outrage is from conservatives? Leftists are the ones who get angry at the rest of us for not sharing their blind faith in having the government oversee our lives – shouldn’t they be the angriest when the government proves us right?
2) Back in 2012 I brought up the question of public sector unions that was best summed up in a tweet from @iowahawkblog that I can’t find anymore that said something to the effect of: “When you see the public sector unions, remember who they are united against”.
Cross posted from Brother Bob’s Blog