Ever wonder why your doctor has you undress but keeps his (or her) clothes on? Or why your dog slinks away as you emerge from a cold shower?
(If your doctor does disrobe with you, please ignore the above and contact the American Medical Association.)
In addition to checking you out in the medical sense, it is generally presumed that a fully clothed person has a certain power over someone who is buck (or is it butt?) naked.
Which brings us to the flap du jour, the most recent newspaper-triggered expose of the federal establishment. In this case, it’s the New Jersey newspaper whose successful Freedom of Information Act request gives anyone who goes online the power to find out what tens of thousands of non-exempt federal workers make in salary.
Some feds are beet-red with anger. Others are pink with embarrassment. Others are taking it in stride as in, its-part-of-the-job. We’ve heard from a variety of people and, whether pro, con or resigned, they make a lot of sense.
We start out on a lighter note with this comment:
Mike, neither the public, nor my dog, wants to see me naked. But our pay and five or six other items (grade, work address, etc.) are and have been available to the public for a long time. Not excited about it, but we are “public” servants, so it goes with the territory. In 35 years it has not caused any problems that I know of. — Dave @irs
On the other hand, another IRS employee writes:
My salary is not listed on the website … and there is a reason for that.
Many IRS employees have had liens placed against property among other frivolous revenges against employees just doing their jobs. To have the income out there, to make the employee even more of a target, should be done. I agree with that. A lot of federal employees are under the radar as far as the public is concerned. The public doesn’t know what they do and really doesn’t care, unless is affect them, John Q Public. IRS everyone knows and hates, except when they get a speedy refund check. That is just one reason, it doesn’t need to be out there for people to see what IRS or DoD or other sensitive-area employees make, and owe and could be subject to blackmail or bribes. Just saying… — West of the Mississippi IRS
And then there’s this:
Around 1979 or maybe 1980, the largest paper in New Hampshire printed the names, grades and salary information of every federal worker in the state. I was a little taken aback that they could do this. All my relatives and neighbors then knew what traditionally had only been my wife’s and my knowledge. Then I thought about it and came to the conclusion that the people who employ us have a definite right to know how much they are paying us. Its been 32 years since my secret was ousted and not one person ever acknowledged they knew or cared. Maybe they just bought the paper and never read it. Don’t know and don’t care, the point is that it had absolutely zero effect on my life and career and kept the taxpayers in the loop. — Bunka in New Hampshire
Why do people shout “Geronimo” when jumping? During World War II, the Army first began experimenting with deploying troops by having them parachute from airplanes. The men of the Parachute Test Platoon, based in Fort Benning, Ga., were apparently inspired by the 1940 movie about the Apache chief, according to MentalFloss, which the platoon saw the night before their first group jump.
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