A Lesson Washington Would Do Well To Remember

My political rants have always been bi-partisan. Today is no different.

Our government is currently shut down because members of our House and our Senate are at a battle of wills. Some view the government shutdown as “no big deal”, and it will be over soon. Others view it as a huge matter, even if it is for just one day, because those who are impacted are losing their salaries during this time. Whether or not you agree on this matter is not the focus of my rant. The Affordable Care Act is not the focus of my rant, either. Please withhold comments that either support abolishing this act or support keeping it. We’ve seen enough division amongst ourselves.

My rant is about the overall attitude Washington has on the important issues that affect you and me. Rather than doing something that will resolve the issue – rather than communicating with each other and “reaching across the isle” (as they promise to do every election season), they stubbornly stick to one point of view or another, wasting our tax dollars while they pass legislation back and forth between the House and the Senate as though it were a tennis ball.

“I’m not going to change my mind, I’m taking your idea out. Here. The ball is in your court.”

“No, we’re putting this version back in.” And they serve the ball back, while we watch the match.

The media went on about Ted Cruz reading “Green Eggs and Ham” recently, and made something big about the story he read to his child.  Dr. Seuss taught us some valuable lessons when we were children. These are lessons we still remember and apply as adults. I think they’ve forgotten them up in Washington.

Today, I give a story from Dr. Seuss for all of our politicians. It’s one of my favorites from early childhood. May they take this to heart and remember their headstrong decisions affect We, the People.

How can this be legal?

Many of you who follow the news have heard the stories of potential employers asking for Facebook passwords during job interviews. In today’s competitive job market, this appears to be one more thing they’ve added to the list of how they determine if you’re desperate enough to take anything, and work for anyone, holding out until better working conditions come along, or if you’re the type of person who’ll stand up for what they believe in. Unfortunately, standing up for what you believe in is a gamble you take that may cost you the job.

On March 28, The House shot down a proposal that would reform this practice – making it just as much of an HR violation to request this information as it is to request your age or your religion. The proposal was shot down.

Interestingly enough, of all the media coverage we’re getting on this, what we aren’t hearing is that most of the employers requesting the login credentials are law enforcement agencies; which, according to the article I linked to, are not regulated by the FCC and would not be affected by the bill anyway.

Regardless, let’s put this hypothetical situation out there… suppose it is just law enforcement agencies requesting credentials. And suppose the argument used to support requesting Facebook passwords for these job candidates is “in the interest of homeland security”. You know, that’s still a crock, IMHO. It puts the employer in the position of discriminating against the candidate after seeing a personal profile. We’re only human. We judge. The job candidate has a right to privacy and has a right to a personal life outside of the workplace. Also, in this hypothetical scenario, the job candidate is innocent until proven guilty. Why aren’t we treating the person with the right he or she deserves?

Lastly, if this practice stands in one area, it will eventually spread in Corporate America as a common hiring practice. But that’s my opinion, and we all have an opinion.