Nullification? Ask Civil War Dead

So Missouri wants to nullify all federal gun legislation. Apparently the whole idea of nullification has a lot of folks excited. This is neither a new nor a good idea.  Look up John Calhoun, and see where nullification led back in the day–namely the Civil War and over one million casualties out of 30 million U.S. citizens.  That would be 10 million casualties today.  Nullification!  What an idea!

Stop and Frisk

The “stop and frisk” policing tactic is currently very high profile, and a double-edged sword organizationally, since crime gets driven down, community resentment gets driven up and a fine 4th amendment line gets walked and, as recent court rulings regarding the NYPD have held, are sometimes crossed,  (Posting this article is also a test of whether a public URL from this particular publication persists, so the answer is no if you  click above and nothing happens.)

Pinstriped Wall of Silence!

So, now a pinstriped (prosecutors) wall of silence joins the “blue” (cops), “white” (doctors) and “black” (priests) wall of silence. Time to recognize these walls as a generic feature of organizations dominated by members of a primary occupational group who “understand” why corners may be cut, may themselves do it and, therefore, reflexively defend colleagues who do get caught.  Viewpoints.

Gold Parachutes for Public Servants

Pension spiking is an apt term.  The average public servant’s salary trends upwards unremarkably over the years until retirement or other separation from service looms on the horizon.  Then, some workers, or in this case executives, manage to double and even triple their last two or three years pay, which dramatically boosts their pension payouts. The techniques vary jurisdiction to jurisdiction but who pays for all those golden parachutes does not – ordinary taxpayers who pay more and deserving recipients of public programs who get less.

Watch the Edgy Ones

The pantheon of edgy CEO’s includes TYCO’s Dennis Koslowski whose sales tax dodge on artwork he purchased mirrored a fast and loose corporate stewardship that resulted in jail time. New research suggests Koslowski was not unique, those prone to pushing the boundaries – legal and otherwise – seem as likely to do it in the corporate suite as behind the wheel of a speeding car. Keep an eye on those edgy acheivers, even if (maybe especially if), their foot seems never to come off the accelerator in pursuit of outsized results.

Downside of Privatized Government

Where to start? Corporate operator of the U.S. half of the Detroit – Windsor, Canada tunnel wants to reorganize under bankruptcy. A potential buyer of this asset in any bankruptcy sale is the fellow who operates the Ambassador Bridge over the same waterway and has Windsor city officials nervous, perhaps because of his opposition to a proposed U.S. – Canadian connection that would compete with the one he runs. So, Windsor officials’ don’t think it’s too far-fetched to fear that the wrong buyer might cement up the US side of the tunnel.  Moral of the story: Government borrows, taxes and collects fees to build and operate critical infrastructure for good reasons, which this story of foundering and politicking private operators is sure to underscore.

The Seven Year Interview

So the Senate finally gets around to appointing a permanent ATF director after seven years. Oftentimes when agencies seem inept and ill-managed, the fault lies with wizards in the legislature willing to play such games for political ends both specific and global. Here, the specifics are an ATF the NRA would rather see dead and the global is a Republican Senate Super-Minority willing to hobble government administration at any turn so as to better run against “the beast” in future elections and show loyalty to Godfather Grover Norquist, the anti-tax crusader who has decreed a starvation diet for the federal government.