Carnival of the Bureaucrats #5

Good bureaucrats recognize mistakes. And they try to rectify them with as little public notice as possible. Under Rule 6 of the Carnival of the Bureaucrats, submissions to this carnival may not include the term “stupid bureaucrat” and related epithets as defined therein. It has come to our attention that we have failed to recognize that it appears to be the case that based on the available evidence before us that a small number of bureaucrats are not in fact heroes.

This month the Carnival of the Bureaucrats condemns the Board of Trustees of Duke University and associated administrative functionaries for conduct unbecoming of bureaucrats. At a recent meeting, the Duke Board took no action and rubber-stamped a proposal that had probably been in the bureaucratic pipeline for years. That’s exactly what Boards of Trustees are designed to do.

The Duke Board anchors the university bureaucracy and has a solemn obligation to ensure that its bureaucrats represent the interests of their own group. As a result of a grotesque travesty of the presumption of innocence, due process, and equal justice under law, three Duke students have suffered greatly and continue to face the possibility of lengthy imprisonment. One of the students explained his feelings about Duke now:

“I chose Duke to be my home for four years. And to see your professors … go out and slander you and say these horrible, untrue things about you and to have your … administration just … cut us loose for, for, based on nothing. Duke took that stance that “We wouldn’t stand for this behavior.” They didn’t want to take a chance on standing up for the truth. I can’t imagine representing a school that didn’t want to represent me.”

No excellence in inaction and rubber-stamping can make up for the failure of bureaucrats to defend vigorously their own organization. Their organization is Duke, and students are part of it. The actions of the Duke Board of Trustees, Duke President Richard Brodhead, and the faculty functionaries of the Group of 88 deserve the contempt of bureaucrats world-wide.

My brother graduated from Duke. In bureaucratic fury at the highly unacceptable behavior at Duke, I intend to destroy him in this year’s Galbi Brothers’ 800 Meter Challenge.

GrrlScientist at Living the Scientific Life reports that the USDA has stopped using the term “hungry” and started using the term “low food security.” Her reference explains:

The switch of bureaucratic jargon came about after the White House budget office questioned why the agriculture researchers actually called hungry people “hungry.’’ The USDA bucked the question to the National Academies of Science, where it was determined that using the word “hunger’’ wasn’t entirely accurate, since the agriculture researchers can count people who say they don’t have enough food—but can’t necessarily describe the symptoms they experience while doing without.

GrrlScientist notes:

“Very low food security”? Hello?? Is that like rethuglicans referring to themselves as having “very low truth security”?

GrrlScientist also reports that Reality TV is going to be used to choose a Price Minister of Canada. She notes, “Imagine choosing your next national leader by using reality TV.” I think reality TV is boring. I suggest instead having avatars vote in Second Life.

According to her profile and postings, GrrlScientist is a molecular evolutionary biologist who has been looking for a job for four years. Looking for a job is highly stressful. Now she’s coping with a very difficult personal situation. GrrlScientist, I wish you a speedy liberation and good health! Can any of you high-placed and influential purple motes co-participants help her to find a job?

Jack Yoest at Reasoned Audacity presents Donald Rumsfeld’s Rules: Advice on Government, Business & Life. Rumsfeld has offered some questionable advice:

Don’t let the complexity of a large company mask the need for performance. Bureaucracy is a conspiracy to bring down the big. And it can. You may need to be large to compete in the world stage, but you need to find ways to avoid allowing that size to mask poor performance.

Doing one’s job isn’t the same as a conspiracy!

Paul at Paul’s Tips offers tips about how to deal with information overload. He explains:

Most of what’s demanding your attention is probably pointless anyway. Information is so abundant and easy to get in today’s world, that any individual instance of it is likely to be next to worthless. It’s a simple case of supply and demand.

Nonetheless, documents must be filed appropriately.

Steven Silvers at Scatterbox describes “the big picture behind congressional investigations that are going to create new corporate scandals.” He notes,

The turmoil of the next two years marks the emergence of a new socioeconomic order in the three-way relationship between America’s largest employers, their stakeholders and representative government.

My department doesn’t handle those issues.

Alvaro at SharpBrains presents brain teasers. SharpBrains describes itself thus:

A mix of fun brain teasers and serious commentary on neuroscience-based brain fitness and “brain gyms” for health, education, and corporate training.

Check out the size of the face on this homunculus!

The China Law Blog presents China’s Foreign Business Blame Game and notes, “Chinese bureaucrats going wild with blame.” Hey, blaming is for politicians, not bureaucrats!

James Enck at Eurotelcoblog describes The Winter of Our Discontent, explaining:

I have just been given a pay rise so derisory that it will cost more in administrative costs than the actual value of the extra cash they’re giving me (who ever said that a high ranking, unusual ideas and interesting CV should matter to a bureaucracy which focuses on page count?)

I don’t believe that anyone ever said that. Moreover, here at purple motes, we surely know that’s not the case. But cheer up, someday you may get selected as Bureaucratic Hero of the Month!

RDoctor presents “Psychology of Law and Order. Interview with Dr. Deborah Serani.” Dr. Serani explains:

One of the recent trends in psychology highlights has been how the world has become fast-paced and media saturated. As a result, the world is filled with individuals who are either desensitized or overly anxious. And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

I hope the good clean fun here at purple motes helps all its co-participants become more sensitive and less anxious.

That concludes this edition of the Carnival of the Bureaucrats. Submit your blog article to the next edition using our carnival submission form.

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