Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Be warned. There is a possibility of strong language sneaking into this blog.
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks for idiots. All those nice folks who work for the federal government are walking a little less tall these days, and it’s a shame. The overwhelmingly majority comprises perfectly nice folks who earn a fair paycheck and would not think of abusing their positions. Then, of course, there are the others. The idiots. I use the term with a degree of sagacity.
First, the US Secret Service… These people, by and large, are heroes willing to take a bullet for others who often are not worth one. Recently, a passel of Secret Service men were sent to Cartagena, Colombia, to prepare for and ensure the safety of the President during his visit to the Summit of the Americas. While there, the men went to a strip club and engaged the services of prostitutes. Prostitution is legal and regulated in Colombia, so technically these US government employees were not breaking the law, but being the Puritans and hypocrites most lawmakers are, the Senate long ago dictated Secret Service regulations with clauses to ensure the agents will behave in a moral fashion that will not embarrass the US. Hence, no playing hide the wiener with the locals.
Personally, I have nothing against the world’s oldest profession. That the US agents decided, after a night of drinking, to take some ladies of the evening back to their hotel, smacks of idiocy, but is forgivable. That an agent would, the next morning, choose to argue about money owed for services with one of the prostitutes is beyond cretinism and truly unpardonable. Here I might add that the women involved were not one-thousand-dollars-a-night call girls. We’re talking thirty bucks here and hell of a way to end a career for civil servants whose raison d’être is putting their lives on the line.
Not quite as titillating is a minor scandal involving the General Services Administration which pretended a Las Vegas bash was a training conference. Although the GSA is, literally, in charge of procurements, there were apparently no prostitutes involved, but unfortunately for some civil servants, what went on in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas. To wit, a senior regional GSA official (do we need to name names here? Nah…) hired his wife to throw a $800,000 bash that included mucho booze, spa suites, and a mentalist, for employees who each received a commemorative medal to reward their attendance. Ok, that’s pretty stupid, but not as idiotic as official’s wife who posted photos of the parties, the suites and the boozery on her Google+ account.
There are other idiots involved as well, notably the media. In the case of the Secret Service fiasco, journalists and reporters of all stripes took joy in unearthing the minutest details of what has come to be dubbed Boomboomgate. The story made the front pages of almost every newspaper in the States. Coverage of what was of true importance—the meeting of Obama with several South American leaders—was relegated to the papers’ inner pages. Similarly, chroniclers took the easier and softer route when taking potshots at the GSA for a single, shameful event, when the bigger story lies in unearthing the truth regarding taxpayer moneys spent on a host of poorly engineered GSA-approved purchases.
Wow! Look at that! I went through my entire little rant without calling anyone an asshole! Progress, not perfection.