Monday, January 14, 2008

BEING STUNNED AND AMAZED

Be sure to click the header when you're finished reading this. . I don't know about you, but I am always amazed when things I thought I knew about, turn out to be apparently false. Or at least not correct. . Maybe it's just the fickleness of facts. Maybe Chaos has arrived. Maybe you assumed something and you shouldn't have. Maybe you should have assumed something and you didn't.

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In any case, I'm stuck on one those horns now.

When I was a sophomore in University, I got interested in the FBI. In those days, it was honorable to admire organizations that had a reputation for prestige, straight shooting and honesty. (The straight shooting was no problem. I had scored marksman on the shooting range.) I was aware that the FBI was created to investigate only crime within the U.S. borders. That was fine with me. I was prepared to defend my country, again, but this time within its borders.

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So one summer, I visited the local FBI office and spoke to a very nice agent there about working for Hoover's gang. We had a long, interesting chat and I walked away with the application papers and a number of other papers defining what they wanted in an agent and what college degrees were needed to work for them. I even got the government ratings for different positions and the pay scale. As I recall, the scale was pretty good even for a starter position.

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There was only one drawback. The job requirements. At that time (I do not know what present day requirements are) you had to either have a degree in law or be a Certified Public Accountant. Now that was a kick in the butt. Recognizing my own distaste for pencil pushing and a sedentary desk job, there was no interest on my part in being a CPA. None. Zilch. Nada. That left the study of law. I talked to the Dean of the Philosophy School and he was noncommittal and mumbled something about the joys of taking on Locke and the gang. So I talked to the Dean of Psychology and he pointed out the joys of helping people and being a published authority in the field to me. But he knew nothing about the FBI. So I talked to the Dean of English and she said I would be wasting my "talent" by becoming a lawyer.

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I avoided the Dean of Accounting and visited with the Law Dean. He told me about the hard work, the fact that very few passed the bar exams on their first or second try, but that I might luck out and pass it the third or fourth time. (I decided then that if that department couldn't teach any better than that, I probably should find a different school or forget it.)

But I gained a lot more respect for FBI Agents. Lots of schooling behind them. These people had smarts galore.

So when I read that the FBI was in Iraq, I was surprised, because I was pretty sure Iraq was not a part of the U.S. And now this showed up in the news:

Who's in charge of phone bills?

The FBI has failed to pay phone bills on time, causing telecommunication firms to temporarily cut off wiretaps used for terrorism investigations, an audit found.

In a review of the FBI's handling of special funds used for secret operations, the Justice Department's inspector general found an archaic payment system that goes through disorganized third-party offices.

A summary of the audit released Thursday noted that a telecommunication specialist pled guilty in June 2006 to stealing more than $25,000 in confidential funds.The audit found that the employee had taken advantage of the FBI's mismanagement of bills to steal money from refund checks, as the agency even has trouble cashing refunds from overpaid bills.

The audit concluded that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was particularly bad about paying phone bills by their due date.

One would think that with all the accountants on the payroll, someone would have experience in bill paying and forensic accouting.

I'm kind of glad that I didn't make the choice to join this organization.

25 comments:

YesBut said...

Who can you trust?

SNOOZ said...

Hey there, clicked on the header, wow I was enjoying this so much; ooh! so soothing, trying ever so hard not to think of the day ahead of the evening shift for my collections job (credit cards - I'm hated daily!), when all of a sudden....

Nice piece....

alphonsedamoose said...

You're going to be on a watch list now.
And I feel much better. ROFLMAO

YesBut said...

I'm featuring a cat in my blog today.

The Atavist said...

Fascinating. I wonder about American organizations like the FBI, BATF, CIA, NSA, etc. Have you ever read the novel "Unintended Consequences" by John Ross? He paints a very unflattering picture of the FBI and the BATF in particular. Having read about situations like Waco and the Randy Weaver fiasco makes me wonder where common sense went. Don't worry, this is not an anti-American rant -- we have buffoons galore in our police forces and security agencies here in Canada as well.

Unintended Consequences, if you like guns and hunting and the second amendment, is a great read -- 1,000 pages of suspense.

Catmoves said...

Yesbut, that's a problem becoming more and more difficult to solve. Misinformation and secreteness (is there such a word?) seem to be so rampant in our culture. Note big SIGH here.
Although I trust all my blogger friends, I have been to other's sites where I know (or find out) that what is being written is a little less than accurate. (Hey, look, I'm Politically Correct.)
Excuse me, going to heart starter machine.

Catmoves said...

Thank you snooz. Glad you enjoyed the site. I once got call from credit card company telling me I hadn't paid my bill for some months. She was very nice, very helpful and we got the mixup cleared with the issuer. For whatever reason, the company had started a new computer program and somehow my address got changed to another. Of course, it was the computer that screwed up. I called the collection lady back and everything worked fine after that. So here's one person who doesn't hate you.

Catmoves said...

Moose, I have already been investigated by the FBI and cleared for Top Secret (that was the term they used in those days), no idea what they call it now.
Besides, I can always redirect them to my Canadian friends, Hehehehehe.

Catmoves said...

I gotta see the cat, Yesbut. Soons I finish here.

Catmoves said...

Atavist, Waco and Oregon are very sore points with me. I had the misfortune of watching the Branch Daidians burn to death. I have never forgiven that episode.
Now I have a coupla more books to read. Thank you.

Evatitude said...

Dear catmoves,
I thank you for your comment, but I never said i'm with Clinton....!!! Clinton is only an example, as it is for Royale...
P.S: the foreign language for comments is French...simply because that's my native language... :)))

alphonsedamoose said...

I think I am on their list. I write to our government all the time giving them hell about the way we get treated by our Southern neighbours. I see the lumber guys are revving their engines again.

Catmoves said...

Moose, you deserve to be on somebody's list.
Your southern neighbors are a bunch of money grubbing undesirables who should have to have passports to visit your country. I'll see what I can do about that.

Catmoves said...

evatitude, I have responded to your comment on your page.

alphonsedamoose said...

Cat: I appreciate that. Let me know how you make out .LOL

Lin said...

Oh Cat, you should have headed for the door as soon as you found out that the place was top heavy in lawyers and bean-counters. That's certainly my rule of thumb.

Glad you didn't go the CIA route either. I had a relative who did so, went missing without word in the Iran hostage-taking crisis. Even though he finally showed up under a Moose passport, the strain killed his wife early and he wasn't far behind after retirement. Their kids had a very rough life.

Atavist's book suggestion is a good one.

Babzy said...

Fluffy I can see you being an FBI agent: Mr Congeniality with Balls of Fury. Go Go Gadget.

Catmoves said...

Moose, I am working on it.
.......
Lin. I am sorry to hear that story about your relative. And Valerie Plame's story upset me, too.
the book(s) are on my list of must reads.

Catmoves said...

Babzy, thanks for making light. It helps. And I see you still watch kids programs, too. (I still like Rocky and Bullwinkle.)

david mcmahon said...

So ya coulda been Agent Querkey Turkey!!

That could have sounded perky, or just plan murky ....

Catmoves said...

David, I might have been known as Agent Maghty Hara, too.
Please send me an email? I'm having trouble on your web site.

San said...

Hi, I came over from David's place. It's always great to see a fellow New Mexican be recognized for their trials and tribulations.

Come over and see my big kitty.

ticblog said...

Why do I have a theme song going through my head now?

Great stuff, TurkeyMan.

Catmoves said...

Hi San. Sorry I'm late in responding, but it couldn't ne helped. Now working on a post explaining why. Glad to see you here. Will come visit your big kitty later.

Catmoves said...

ticblog, it does sound a bit like the theme from Twilight Zone now that you mention it.