Who can protest an injustice but does not is an accomplice in the act.
Who can protest an injustice but does not is an accomplice in the act.
Barb and I have been home for a few hours now and we are about to leave again for a few more days of vacation. Earlier this week we visited Washington State (Benton City), Oregon (Madras and Mt. Hood), Nevada (McDermitt, Virginia City, and Tahoe), and California (Carmichael).
Barb asked why I talk about the “compound” and my “arsenal” in previous posts about leaving home with the kids in charge. It’s because back in the late 90′s when I worked at Microsoft every time some gun owner would get arrested the police would pile all his guns and ammo on the front lawn for the media to take pictures of. And the news people would talk about his “arsenal”. If the guy was in a little bit of a rural area and had a few outbuildings then they would say he had a “compound”. It became a joke with the Microsoft Gun Club. The media was choosing words to demonize gun owners. We adapted the words and made fun of them. I am just continuing in that fashion. Just like the “Red-necked, knuckle dragging, Neanderthal” subtitle. You neutralize the people who attempt to demonize you buy adopting words prior to them using them on you. So…
Again the kids, dogs, and cat are in charge of the “arsenal” and the “compound” while we are gone. Xenia will post the Quote of the Day until I get Internet access again.
We ask that the government undertake the obligation above all of providing citizens with adequate opportunity for employment and earning a living. The activities of the individual must not be allowed to clash with the interests of the community, but must take place within its confines and be for the good of all. Therefore, we demand: . . . and end to the power of the financial interests. We demand profit sharing in big business. We demand a broad extension of care for the aged. We demand . . . the greatest possible consideration of small business in the purchases of national, state, and municipal governments. In order to make possible to every capable and industrious [citizen] the attainment of higher education and thus the achievement of a post of leadership, the government must provide an all-around enlargement of our entire system of public education . . . . We demand the education at government expense of gifted children of poor parents . . .
The government must undertake the improvement of public health – by protecting mother and child, by prohibiting child labor . . by the greatest possible support for all clubs concerned with the physical education of youth. We combat the . . . materialistic spirit within and without us, and are convinced that a permanent recovery of our people can only proceed from within on the foundation of the common good before the individual good.
Excerpts from the political program of the Nazi Party, adopted in Munich, on Feb 24, 1920 – source- DER NATIONALSOZIALISMUS DOKUMENTE 1933-1945 , edited by Walther Hofer, Frankfurt am Mein: Fischer Bucherei, 1957 pp 29-31
A few days ago I posted that a magazine wanted to interview me about being fired as a result of my blogging. The email was sent on Sunday morning and I didn’t receive it until very late on Sunday night when I came into civilization and an Internet connection. It turns out I didn’t get back in touch with them in time to meet their deadline–so no interview.
It was People Magazine.
Kim du Toit posted about both his and my adverse experiences because of our websites. Kim made a comment about PNNL being “a company of skunks”. I posted a comment in response and I think the same posting here is justified. I fixed a few typos and grammar errors but otherwise the following posting is the same as my comment there:
My “model” for what happened to me was that there were a few people that had big anti-gun biases and no checks and balances for the power they held. None of my co-workers, my project manager, nor none of the people in the projects I managed were ever asked anything about me. Some of them first found out I had been fired, after not being able to make contact with me for a couple weeks, by reading my blog! I suspect “Safeguards and Security” gets raises based on how many people they get fired or disciplined. In that situation they look for whoever has the highest “profile”–me in this case. And the process apparently doesn’t allow for presentation of the evidence to the accused and a chance for the accused to present evidence or witnesses in their favor. For example: They asked me if there was any Official Use Only (OUO) material on a laptop when my wife and daughter used it. I said no, I didn’t think so. A few days later I remembered there were some documents that were marked OUO. But those documents were old. All the OUO restrictions had been removed but the documents on the computer had not been updated and the OUO markings removed. They did not ask me or any one that might have known that. I suspect, but can’t say for certain, that is one instance of how they claimed I violated policy. There were numerous other things that I suspect they may have discovered that at first glance looked bad but had innocent or even praiseworthy justification. They never asked anyone who would have known the truth.
So… my summation of the situation is: The Process is Broken. For the most part I believe the lab and the people there are doing a decent job and are decent people. Some of the projects really should be done in the private sector rather than on taxpayer money but that isn’t the fault of the lab. That is the fault of our congress critters.
In my particular case management is in a tough position. A couple of jerks screwed me over. I suspect management has done their own investigation by now and know my case has at least some merit. Now what do they do? Their main function is the make the company money. If they fire the jerks, as they should be, then I can use that against them in my wrongful termination suit–costing the company money. If they come to me and say, “We have a couple of bad eggs and a bad process, we want to make it right with you.” then they put themselves in the position of giving away money they didn’t have to. What they have to do, in my opinion, is wait for me to file my lawsuit then evaluate their chances of winning and the cost of doing so versus settling with me. Throw in the bad publicity they will have to deal with while the event is going on and afterwords, if I win, and come up what gives them the best odds financially. One cannot expect them to “do the right thing”. It would be unethical from the standpoint of the company finances. They must be forced to do the right thing.
So… I tend to disagree with Kim’s assessment.
My “job” at this point is to help them realize the truth coming out will be more financially painful than fixing the problems a bad process and a couple of “bad eggs” created. The FOIA requests, the Privacy Act Information Requests, and the publicity around my experience will be a festering boil for them. The lawsuit will just be the lance that forces it to drain and heal with as little scaring as possible–for everyone except the couple of jerks. Those people need to be held personally responsible and there is a fair chance I may be able to accomplish that.
The political, economic and social consequences of the anarchic proliferation of light weapons are well known. They are the millions of victims, most of them civilians, the displaced populations with their tears and suffering, the phenomena of child soldiers, terrorism and wide-scale banditry in urban areas. This belief in disarmament does not proceed from idealism, or from naivete. The best strategy for prevention of armed conflict is to eliminate the means of violence.
Alphan Oumar Konare
President of Mali
Oslo, April 1998
I got a call from daughter Xenia this afternoon. A letter from Battelle came in the mail today. She said, “It looks like a report card.” What she meant was that each side had to be ripped off before you could open it. “Oh, I’ll bet it’s my last paycheck”, I said. I didn’t expect one because I just had two days of vacation left and they had paid me for two days that I was suspended without pay. I asked Xenia to open it. It was a check. A check for $0.00.
I laughed for quite a while about that. I have my speculation as to why it would show up over two months after my last day on the job and why they bothered to send me a check for $0.00. I think it has something (and I have my suspicions about the exact reason) to do with the new website about bigotry at PNNL (PNNL is operated by Battelle who issues the paychecks) I put up last weekend.
I think I’ll frame that check–although I will always wonder what the bank would have said if I deposited it.
Update: By popular demand:
Click on the image for a high resolution version.
Every once in a while I have doubt. Maybe I did do something wrong. Maybe I did step over the line and deserve to get fired. When I was in the first meeting I thought maybe there was something that I got carried away with. The next day I reviewed everything I could find on my blog. There was nothing that should have been a problem. I felt better in some ways but things still didn’t make sense. Why were they making it into a problem?
I was required to talk with the HR people and I thought it went really well. They asked factual questions that were not judgment calls. “Did you know this was a rule?” “Yes.” “Did you ever break this rule?” “No.” Almost all the questions were easy stuff. Virtually nothing was ambiguous–which was a problem for me with the first meeting. Immediately after the meeting I was suspended without pay–which was a shock. As I drove home the doubt crept in. What had I done that was so bad? Maybe I had done something but couldn’t remember it. I had time to think about things and to try and make sense of it. They weren’t giving me any more information but I had another source–my web access log files. I did a quick scan of them and I could see a pattern. And I could see they had lied to me in that first meeting. Why lie? What in the world did they have to gain by that lie? And they were still looking HARD for stuff in my websites during and after the HR meeting. I felt better. There were people out to get me and if there was something I had actually done they should have found it by now and they wouldn’t have to lie about little things.
When I got the call and was told I was fired I was certain. There had not been any further questions of me. I knew there was stuff that looked bad but had completely innocent explanations. They didn’t ask about anything so I knew they weren’t interested in the truth about me. My web access logs were my only real hope of learning the truth about them. More reviewing of the logs seemed consistent with my first impression. But as I continued looking and annotating the logs I began to have doubts. Maybe it was just a random search through things and it just happened that the firearms stuff was what they looked at first and last. Then I looked at the times when PUCK would have been preparing for the first meeting. I was enraged. And I had no doubt.
In the last few days I came to doubt again. I would look at the preparation time and wonder if maybe there was another explanation. It’s easy to believe what you want to believe. Then last night I got a call from someone. A completely independent source confirmed something I had suspected. It’s not a “smoking gun”. It’s not something that is irrefutable proof on it’s own. It’s like “fingerprints at the crime scene” and there is no contraindicating evidence. I have no doubt.
Don’t carry a weapon. You lose, whether you use it or it’s used on you.
National Crime Prevention Council
10 things you can do. Tip number 8.
From: http://www.weprevent.org/your10.htm (as of March 10, 1999)
While I am still many hundreds of miles away from home (are the black helicopters gone yet?) I do have a reliable Internet connection now. I’ll be staying here until tomorrow morning and hope to be home by the weekend. Since we are driving that means I many not get connected again until I get home.
I have spent the last several hours reviewing the referrals to my www.pnnl.info site, doing an interview with a gun rights organization, and making terse comments on numerous gun forums and blog sites. There are just so many that I can’t begin to keep up. I am running a report generator on the log file but I expect it will take a several hours. I’ll post an update here with a link to the report when it’s done.
I have enough donations now that I was able to pay off the previous visits to the lawyers. More news on that front when it is appropriate to do so.
Thanks so much to everyone for all they work they put in. I just don’t have enough time to thank everyone individually. But some deserve special recognition–in particular “S” has been a huge help. Ry of course has contributed time and ideas and offered to contribute a lot more work. My daughter Xenia took care of the Quote of the Day for the last several days while I was going in and out of Internet connectivity.
All the bloggers that have linked and commented have contributed a great deal as well. Michelle Malkin’s post in particular was a huge boost.
Here are some interesting things Ry has to say about what is going on:
The associations of the nation revival, SA [Storm Troopers], SS [para-military adjunct of the Gestapo], and Stahlhelm [a non-Nazi lunatic fringe para-military organization], give every responsible citizen the opportunity of campaigning with them. Therefore anyone who does not belong to one of the above-named organization and who unjustifiably nevertheless keeps his weapon . . . must be regarded as an enemy of the national government and will be brought to account without compunction and with the utmost severity.
SA OBERFUHRER OF BAD TOLZ, GERMANY
Quoted in Richard Munday
“The Monopoly of Power”
(paper presented to the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology, 1991)
I’ve posted about this in the past:
Some may ask, “So what do you think now? Don’t you see that we can’t come out of the closet? Look what happened to you!”
Yes, it’s risky. Yes, if you stick your head up high enough it’s likely to get “wacked.” But what’s the alternative? If you won’t fight now when the worst they can do is get you fired (I have evidence a political opponent gave PNNL a tip about me–and I think I know who it was) then who among you will take a stand when they are going door-to-door taking your guns? Or when they are rounding up the Jews/Christians/homosexuals/whoever? Taking a stand now is far, far less risky and far more likely to succeed than if you wait until the thugs are knocking down your door.
Get out of the closet and do something today. If nothing else support me as I fight the bigots who demand we stay in the closet.
You’ve got to be kidding. They said Joe was dishonest? Joe is the most honest person I know.
As predicted there was no repsonse from PNNL. They (both Richland and Battelle in Columbus) spent a lot of time reviewing the site but in the end they did not have any factual corrections to make.
Check out http://www.pnnl.info. There is a link on the main page to What You Should Do. Check it out.
Barb and I are going hiking now. Internet and cellphone access again tonight sometime.
Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned.
I sent an email to the NRA about their recent article and got back a response directing me to their “General Counsels Office”. I sent them a link to my Terminate Report website.
I love it when the timing of things works out just as if you had actually planned it that way.
Barb and I got back into civilization tonight and found, after some difficulty, an Internet connection. Much to my surprise I found this email waiting for me (magazine and writer name deleted for now):
Sent: Sunday, July 24, 2005 6:21 AM
Subject: an interview with XXXX magazine
My name is XXXX XXXX and I am a freelance writer for XXXX magazine.
We are working on a story about people who got fired for blogging. If
you were fired for blogging (it was unclear from the one post I saw on
another website) would you be interested in doing an interview? If so,
email me back with your name, age, where you live, what you wrote that
got you fired and where you got fired from.
This is a national magazine everyone with two or more functional brain cells has heard of. I wrote them back saying I would be glad to be interviewed and will send them the news release when it goes out tomorrow afternoon. I also put my previous employer on the Bcc: line.
It kind of makes me nervous; I mean you are probably the best engineer I know. What’s to stop them from firing any one? It doesn’t make any sense… You are one of the most ethical people I know.
Anonymous co-worker at PNNL to Joe Huffman upon hearing Huffman had been fired.
Barb and I are off on a on well deserved vacation now. I’ll have one of my kids post the quote of the day until I get internet connection again. Have a great weekend everyone!