8:12 pm, February 27, 2015

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  • The National Zoo Part Two
    deployed decoy
    Now I understand why OPM is ran like a herd of cats. One good thing OPM has done in the last year was to change the job requirements of HR folks. Now at the GS12 level, they must be able to comprehend English to the level to understand the regulations they and congress write. No idea who might review some GS11 HR specialist who in one case. I sent the exact regulation no less than 4 times before someone who could understand English as used in the PD and CFR actually read it, and agreed with my reading of it. OPM failed to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth to Senator Akaka in June 2010 in regards to NSPS to GS reconversions. I recently pointed that out to the Senator. Hoping he orders the Director this time to tell the whole truth to Congress. As for politicians making mischief. I just looked up the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) fire information data. The nation is only at preparedness level 3. We cannot call out the military or minimum security prisoners to fight fires or make military retardant water drops until we hit level 5. If I didn’t fat finger the calculator, and only fires that are being reported as of yesterday (and then fires with cost estimates), we have spent $58.7M on fires this season. This number is very low balled as most costs are not provided back to the war room in real time. Where is the outrage America that this money was used and some 458 structures were lost anyway. Why is my tax money being used to fund this mostly US federal employee mission, of part time, seasonal GS5 feds. I say bill the logging companies and home owners, assuming they have fire insurance they can pass this off to private industry or is this just another social entitlement.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Tilting at windmills today?
    contrarian
    I can make the same case about how flood insurance promotes careless oceanfront building. We all pay to subsidize the rich yet again. If everybody paid their true costs for everything we'd be better off. It's getting to the point that enough of us are realizing that there's no younger generation to stick with the impending tab. Risky behavior and investments have been subsidized through crony capitalism for decades and it's not just a one party problem. It's time for a third way: everybody pay their own freight. Why should I pay higher real estate taxes so the local school board can give every kid a laptop? The list really is endless.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Oceanfront
    Linda
    Contrarian, I agree with you on subsidizing ocean front properties that get wiped out and the rest of us pay more insurance to cover the cost, when these structures get taken out 3 and 4 plus times. I think it should be a law that if something is distroyed by nature more than once you can't build there again. Give them the insurance money and turn the property in to open space. Insurance companies in the long run would thank you. I still don't understand why they didn't just let the lake in New Orlean reclaim the low land property and just move people. We all know that levy will breach again with a direct hit.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Oceanfront 2
    Linda
    Not to mention the disaster relief payments these people get and the tax write offs. Which cost us money as Taxpayers as well.
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  • Linda
    Moderate
    The relief payments go against basis or adjusted basis unless they use the money for repairs. Then it might be a wash. problem is the deductions for the assertions that they try to rent these houses.
    worker
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Partially disagree
    Moderate
    I do not agree with the oceanfront comments, but I do not have enough to defend my feelings. As far as the laptop issue is concerned, it is critical that students learn how to use a computer. When they graduate, they will look for jobs on computer (unless you pay for welfare or pay $50000 per person per year to keep them locked up instead). papers are done on computer now. This is why laptops are given out in the wealthy school districts. My children did not get laptops. Computer ediucation is part of education. I can understand the point as I had to learn how to use a computer when they were first given out back in 1987. It was not easy and I am still no expert. But i try.
    worker
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  • You have proven you are not moderate but socialist
    contrarian
    If parents want kids to have laptops they should buy their own or use the library. Or they can solicit donations. To coerce others to pay for your stuff is socialism.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • You need to get your act together
    Moderate
    I would write what you are, but the post would be censored. Seriously, stop the name calling and review the facts. Schools are for education so that the children can get a job and learn something. Computers today are like text books when I, and possibly you, went to school. They are essential. That is why the wealthy school districts give them out.----I went to formal school from the mid 50's to 1971. I was, for all practical purposes, not exposed to computers. We got them in 1987. I dived into them as soon as they were given out, but I can say that I know very little about how to use them. I get by. The kids today are much better off learning about them in school. Therefore, I disagree with your position.
    worker
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  • The National Zoo Part Two
    CaptMidnight
    To DD. You need to be more factual in your rants. NSPS was as TOTALLY DoD disaster. It should have never happened. It is really quite simple as to the "conversion" back to GS. Person that were placed into NSPS paybands were returned to there original classified grades which is irrespective of pay. Pay was based on non-subjective criteria in Rumsfeld's la-la land. Other than using OPM's classification requirements based on federal law, it was DoD's problem, as usual no exit strategy. And as for federal fire fighters-lay off. They are the same firefighters that are required at all DoD installations. Those Gs-5's and GS-6's are a noble group, including the smoke-jumpers, and deserve much more that we can possibly do or say. Those fire-fighters are probably the only classified positions that have not had grade creep, including your position.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • This whole mess is a disaster
    deployed decoy
    DoD did NOT apply special rates to salary in NSPS. A GS person in a special rate field did carry that pay bump in to NSPS. Overseas we have never received Locality Pay. I moved (overseas to overseas) in to a special rate field after transition in to NSPS. I received a 2% NSPS pay increase to move to Kuwait from Germany. Problem is I did NOT receive the 10% IT special rate bump. I lost over $16,500 in base overseas salary as a result in 26 months, this is 14% below RUS to rub salt in the wound. This $16.5k loss of pay has been reduced by the full 5% I exceeded GS12 step 10 by the day we went back to GS. I will note I moved in to NSPS as that step 10. I went back to GS as a step 9, in special rate tables. That is what OPM lied to congress about in June 2010. If you want the link the sworn statement Mr Charles Grimes from OPM read to congress, just ask. I also mentioned NSPS in reference to OPM today, because it was OPM that let DOD do that ugly, then lied to congress after the fact. OPM needs a few adjustments and the current leader is a politician, not the leader to make those hard decisions. As for fire fighters. I was one of those for 10 years, actually specialized fire weather and communications. I knew 6 smoke jumpers that were arrested by DOD/DOE after they got one fire out that was a threat to a nuc reactor. Apparently they didnt ask permission first before jumping in to an exclusion area in Idaho, the size of eastern counties. I fully support those GS5 and 6s on the fires. It is how to pay the estimated 160,000 man hours a day this week, costing around $4M a day in labor alone, I feel home owners just might be on the hook for. Since they built in the urban interface and most times private fire insurance is a fire protection zone 10 and still only 1.5 times the rate it would be in the city, on the same block as the fire station. I also remember the Storm King, CO fire killing 11 or 13 fire fighters. It was ONLY after that, did congress authorize these people the opportunity to even buy into federal life insurance as seasonal employees. I remember that painfully well as a close friend died on that hill and left two kids with almost nothing as a result of congress failures of the past. Some things never change.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • FIre fighters
    Linda
    I have a nephew who is a seasonal fire fighter for the feds. He is a GS 3. Up from a GS 2. He goes to college in the winter and fights fires in the summer. Other than Arizona, not too many fires in the winter to keep these guys on board all winter. He might have made a GS 4 this year, not sure. But, even for the mob up crews it is hard labor and can be dangerous. Pay the guys and girls!
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • A76 study
    deployed decoy
    Linda, I remember the A76 study to replace feds in the FS with contractors. Not even a homeless hungry person was willing to work as a wildland fire fighter. In my shop we kept 8 smoke jumpers on 25 PP a year. After the fires go out it is maintenance time across the US on fire weather, radios (10,000s of thousands of them) and all sorts of warehouse cleanup. I recommend the nephew look at CDF. They are on all year round and are by far the highest paid wildland fire fighters on the planet. Course that means living in CA... The fire season moves around. AK burns as soon as the snow melts. Then the SE, SW and finly the Great Basin, Rockies and NW. A BLM GS5 Hot Shot in Vale, OR can earn GS13 or 14 salary in 8 months and for the most part not have any drive to work (deployed) or pay for any food. Then they make them take 2 safety break paid days off on full MI&E every 2 weeks on a fire at the closest Hilton or Holiday... I just think home owners in the urban interface with cedar siding should be paying for all this in those trophy homes on deadman oneway dirt roads.
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  • Decoy
    Linda
    Nephew is just doing the fire fighting while going to college. He is going to be a pharmacist. Meanwhile the firefighting with all the overtime in a big fire year (lots of fires, means lots of money to him. He is not planning on doing the careen thing. He can make a lot more coming out of school as a Pharmcist than as a government employee. Although, I understand the VA is getting competative with the private sector, he also doesn't want to live in CA at this point in his life. when he get's shipped out of state he gets all the per diem perks, and lots of over time. He missed Colorado fires so far this year as he is still in training for the year. ........................................... I agree with the people who don't do basic forest fire safety when they live in a rural area - or even CA, should pay higher rates. We keep a green zone, and also do not grow any trees close to our house. We don't live in the woods, but there are some fields nearby that go blow up in a hurry. When there is a close fire, we watch the winds. So far nothing too close.
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