Exploitation, work comp, and a soapbox

Discussion in 'World Events' started by Tiassa, Nov 15, 2000.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Specifically and generally, how about that?

    Specifically, an (insurance) industry news source who very directly states that I cannot mention them or quote them without paying them cash included a story in a May newsletter which recently arrived at my desk.

    Apparently, if you get punished at work for doing something wrong, and feel humiliated or stressed, that stress is compensible under workers' compensation law.

    It seems that in 1989, a police officer was investigated for domestic violence. Given his situation, he was placed on administrative leave (with pay) until the investigation was complete. The humiliation the officer allegedly felt having to turn in his badge and gun, and then pass by his colleagues on his way out of the building, apparently created enough stress to qualify as a workplace injury.

    As a specific complaint, I find it amazing that police officers, who rely on You-should-have-thought-of-that-before-arousing-my-suspicion logic to do their very jobs, don't have to think about the ramifications before choosing to not settle their marital disputes in an orderly fashion. At my job, I can be fired for being falsely arrested, and I'm not so allegedly important as a lawkeeper. On the other hand, I can apparently handle my marriage so badly as to require police intervention, and then get workers' compensation when my inability to handle my marriage damages the credibility of my job performance.

    The Bigger Picture involves the idea of what one chooses to do for a living, as a representation, ad nauseam. What of those people who take advantage of their positions? Sure, Bob came in here with a gun and threatened us before taking off with less than a thousand dollars cash, but he's going to go to jail for a lot longer time than Joe, our accountant, who defrauded us, wrecked our pension plan, and embezzled millions. You know, a crime is a crime, but what if it's your accountant stealing from you? Your gynecologist abusing you? Your limousine driver getting drunk before taking you to the airport? What about the cops? If your job is to uphold the law, as such, what does it say of your credibility as a police officer--I speak not of a person's credibility as a human being--if you're, say, smoking crack (Tulia, Texas, for a recent example I've raised at Exosci), planting evidence (Rampart), killing to hide other of your crimes (Rampart), or beating your wife (the current newsletter I'm not allowed to cite at risk of financial difficulties)?

    This is no grander idea than we threw at President Clinton for his infidelities. Some noted that he was CiC of the armed forces, and thus should be subject to the same adultery laws he enforced in 1997. Of course, the liberals pointed out that the conservative inquisitors, by and large, had mistresses, too, so who were they to complain?

    If someone cons your daughter into believing they care, take advantage, and leave her to whatever miseries come, would it irk you any more to know the letch in question was a psychologist trained to manipulate people's ideas?

    Every year, at the end of the fiscal period, you will see ambulances and fire trucks wandering aimlessly around cities, trying to burn up their fuel budget, lest it be cut.

    If I assert that the Drug War causes crime, we might wonder if it's about money, except that I'm quite sure there are easier ways to get ahead in life than exploiting your power as a cop.

    Is one who upholds the law in exchange for money committing any worse an act than the average crook if they break the law for their own advantage? Is one who exploits their chosen position in life to a criminal benefit committing any more or less severe an act than the random person committing that crime?

    If a child is exploited walking home from school ...? As opposed to being exploited by, say, the nanny?

    Big or small, the idea's there ... I don't expect it to be entirely cohesive. Mostly I wanted to whine though, about all the wolves who insist on their right to be thought of as sheep.

    thanx all,

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    Whether God exists or does not exist, He has come to rank among the most sublime and useless truths.--Denis Diderot
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  3. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    Hmm, interesting, Tiassa. This is a world filled with various subjective views. This, for certain, is reflected in our laws and in our society. There are also powers of persuasion at work too.

    When viewing a crime, we apply a subjevtive reaction based on, what is assumed to be, a general consensus of disdain regarding the offense. Depending on popular thought or popular powers, the punishment for each crime is prescribed.

    I'm not certain where you are going with this, but it reads as if you are frustrated by the lack of justice in our system of justice. Forgive me if I am wrong. The penalties are not always fair when we focus on the true nature of the individual crime?

    It's all very large.
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member


    I promise to give better consideration going into the weekend, but I did want, at least, to cover this one part of it:

    I would assert the following:

    That we have a moral duty, when prescribing conditions affecting a person's life, limb, property, or liberty, to consider all the factors honestly.

    As pertains to the specific work-comp complaint: The simple fact remains that whether or not the officer is guilty of actually assaulting his wife, he handled his marriage so poorly that the police were required to manage the situation. Now, I give people junk mail; literally, I carry it to their desks three times a day. I can be fired for being arrested, whether there's any credibility to the arrest or not. If my job is subject to that degree of consideration, then what of a public peacekeeper? Would you really send a wife-beater out to a domestic violence scene? Therein lies the question to be resolved.

    But that one feels humiliated after causing the circumstances that require his employer to answer these issues is the humilated person's fault. Don't like your wife? Shouldn't have married her. But if you're humiliated because you're being investigated because your chosen actions may have broken the law, it's your own fault.

    The biggest result of this that I can see is that employers will be less willing to use administrative leave as an option, and just fire the employee instead. Of course, what happens in the case of the police officer when the Union gets involved? I can actually envision a potential situation where an officer can violate the law, retain his job as a union condition, be forced onto admin-leave instead, and then be given compensation for the humiliation of being on administrative leave. (The central gist of the court decision is the difference between suspension and firing.)

    On the larger level, though I draw your attention once again to the myriad-ringed circus of the Drug War. Let's look, first, at the Devil's Weed:

    * I assert the following: That if the public were to consider all the relevant factors honestly, we would find that prosecution of marijuana users is counterproductive to the purpose of law enforcement.

    Crack and cocaine?

    * That if the public were to consider all the relevant factors honestly, we would find that prosecution of cocaine users results in striking demographic issues which indicate that the war against cocaine targets poor, dark-skinned minorities, and causes results counterproductive to the purposes of law enforcement.


    * That if the public were to consider all the relevant factors honestly, we would find that our regard for the heroin situation reinforces the lethality of heroin addiction. Much of heroin's inherent danger disappears when the black market does.


    * That if the public were to consider all the relevant factors honestly, we would find that our public regard for methamphetamine is so grossly misconstrued that we're inflaming the perceived difficulties. (There's a reason Ecstasy survived its first persecution, in 1985.)

    It pertains to just about anything: drugs, crime in general, economy, environment, compassion, &c. ...

    That's why politicians and preachers always lie to the public, so that the popular thought never includes the greater picture of reality.

    Take sexuality: Conservatism would have you believe that if you never mention that sexual intercourse exists, people won't have it. That works just fine, until you're a conservative who also cares about abortions. Pro-life works fine until you're a conservative who sheds a tear about the way the world treats children. Put the three together--ignorance, abstinence, and charity--and you've got a vicious cycle at best.

    Popular power is also what motivated the Red Scare. Now, we've been through it again, but the same popular-power that brought about the Red Scare was more offended by Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times (for which he was deported as a communist sympathizer) than they were that he was sleeping with a 14 year-old.

    Popular power, indeed. But that power has to be honestly informed. The only crime that power commits is when it refuses to be honest.


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