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Emergency Dispatcher Fired For Facebook Drug Joke 631

kaptink writes "Dana Kuchler, a 21-year veteran of the West Allis Dispatch Department, was fired from her job for making jokes on her Facebook page about taking drugs. She appealed to an arbitrator, claiming the Facebook post was a joke, pointing out she had written 'ha' in it, and noting that urine and hair samples tested negative for drugs. The arbitrator said she should be entitled to go back to work after a 30-day suspension, but the City of West Allis complained that was not appropriate. Is posting bad jokes on Facebook a justifiable reason to give someone the boot?"
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Emergency Dispatcher Fired For Facebook Drug Joke

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  • no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dmitrygr ( 736758 ) <> on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @02:46AM (#32332768) Homepage
    Probably not, but by the time it's sorted she'll be bankrupt
  • by Tukz ( 664339 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @02:48AM (#32332774) Journal

    Maybe they had other reasons, but needed an excuse to lay her off?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @02:49AM (#32332778)
    I'd say no. It is kind of disappointing that our off hour lives are subject to such scrutiny. The employees sense of humor or lack thereof shouldn't get them canned. They already demonstrated they were not in fact using drugs (though, even if they were, unless it interfered with their ability to perform their duty at work, who cares?). Seems like a simple misunderstanding and they should be allowed to return to work and get on with their life.
  • by Rivalz ( 1431453 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @02:49AM (#32332782)

    Seriously I understand from a business point the reason. But that doesn't make it right.
    Kinda along the lines of no bathroom breaks, mandatory overtime without compensation, and your everyday harassment from bosses.
    It always seems like when a company goes too far to try to limit negative publicity all they get is a mountain of bad press.

  • by Ethanol-fueled ( 1125189 ) * on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @02:52AM (#32332794) Homepage Journal

    Dana Kuchler, a 21-year veteran

    'nuff said. That's a lotta retirement money the get to keep.

  • by linzeal ( 197905 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @02:56AM (#32332810) Homepage Journal
    21 year veteran with mandatory raises is pry a nice chunk of change. My friend's girlfriend worked in dispatch and with OT pulled in enough to get a loan for a 300k house and a 50k car with no cosigner. I don't know what she makes but it is pry ridiculous for the amount of skill involved.
  • by Fallen Kell ( 165468 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @02:56AM (#32332812)
    Sounds like the excuse to fire someone whom they could replace with someone a lot cheaper/less benefits due to years of service....
  • by Dryesias ( 1326115 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @03:05AM (#32332850)
    Seems likely. Why else would they be checking (stalking?) her Facebook profile anyway?
  • by antirelic ( 1030688 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @03:07AM (#32332854) Journal

    The 1st Amendment protects peoples freedom of speech from the Federal government, not from the consequences of private entities in society. You should be able to say whatever you want without the government penalizing you (without causing unjust harm), but that doesnt mean everyone should be forced by the government to have to listen to your stupidity, or be impartial towards you.

    Businesses should fire people who are too stupid to understand the impact of their actions on their company. If you work in a business... lets say something in the First Responder, or Public Safety industry... perception and image is extremely important. Public confidence goes a long way in making First Responders life easier, and safer. This can be clearly seen in areas where police are viewed as brutal (no one snitches on crime), where first responders never show up (Flavor Flav's, "9/11 is a joke in your town").

    The constitution applies largely to restricting the Federal Government, not private citizens.

  • by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @03:13AM (#32332878)

    So I assume she was getting paid for those 16 hours of every weekday (and 48 hours of weekends every week) where she was required to abide by some company "behaviour code"?

  • by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @03:17AM (#32332898)

    Yes, private in the same sense as if you were to decide to go to a bar and have a few drinks with your friends while not working it would still be a "private" event in the sense that her employer would have little grounds for firing you even using the "but anyone could see him/her in the bar and we don't condone binge drinking here! We have to protect our corporate image!" argument. Once you're off the clock it is your private time to do with as you please (unless you're getting paid to be on call).

  • by MadnessASAP ( 1052274 ) <> on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @03:18AM (#32332900)

    Is your o, a, b and l keys broken? I'm assuming not since you seemed to use them elsewhere in your post without difficulty. So why the problem spelling 'probably'? In the era of high speed internet access and multimedia rich web content bytes are cheap. Don't feel that you are doing anybody a favor by heavily condensing words, especially when you seem to have no problem using other equally long words.

  • Cause (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zaphod The 42nd ( 1205578 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @03:18AM (#32332902)
    You know, we wouldn't even have this problem if we didn't try to prohibit Americans from so many things...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @03:20AM (#32332910)

    Businesses should fire people who are too stupid to understand the impact of their actions on their company.

    Ah yes, the good, old "you're just a slave after all" argument.

  • by muckracer ( 1204794 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @03:23AM (#32332924)

    With Facebook's constant and behind-the-back changes to make more and more things public by default, it'll be a question of time until somebody gets fired because they posted something for their friends (not including anybody from work), yet people (incl. employment-related) they had never intended to see the message did see it and used it against the poster.

    Personally I hate the fact, that I have to keep screening my privacy settings just in case they fucked around with something again and changed it to "Everybody".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @03:25AM (#32332932)

    but it is pry ridiculous for the amount of skill involved.

    Fuck you, asshole. You're exactly the type who screams rape when there's a suggestion of pulling back executive bonuses, but thinks God invented bankruptcy courts to smash signed and sealed union contracts.

    Up your ass.

    BTW, are you really hoping "pry" will catch on? Dipshit.

  • by hyades1 ( 1149581 ) <> on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @03:32AM (#32332966)

    As long as your physical performance on the job isn't affected, your employer should have no right to use what you do outside of work hours against you, unless they're paying you to be on-call (and even then, there should be limits).

    End of story.

  • by P0ltergeist333 ( 1473899 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @03:32AM (#32332970)

    You are right about the constitutional right part, but dead wrong about the whole 'perception and image' bullshit. People take themselves and one week of 'bad pr' way too seriously. A company should have the integrity to stand behind a 21 year veteran. Period.

  • by bickerdyke ( 670000 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @03:42AM (#32333026)

    Basically, yes.

    My company pays me from 9 to 5 and that does NOT give them the right to invade my live the rest of the time. In return, I will not meddle with their buissness outside office times. What happens at the office, stays at the office, and what happens outside, happens outside. Thats a matter of basic decency.

    Of course there is a good measure of flexibility to this rule, but that works both ways. If my boss doesn't mind leaving me an hour early from time to time, the less I mind the occasional overtime.

  • by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @03:43AM (#32333032)

    Think before you post online, whichever site or mailing list. Too many people post without thinking.

    Seriously, should I have to do this ? And when I make a joke in public to one of my friends should I first glance over my shoulder to see if there's some HR loon or middle manager stalking me who could use a joke as an excuse to fire me ? That's not the kind of society I want to live in. (It's also in fact NOT the society I live in because luckily I happen to live in a country with decent social protections and unions.) This is the sort of thing we used reproach the USSR for : peoples lives being destroyed because they get reported for saying the "wrong things" without recourse.

  • by Jedi Alec ( 258881 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @04:03AM (#32333128)

    I doubt that's what happened. A far more likely event would be that a co-worker who is also a "friend" saw it, blabbed to Janet in accounting who couldn't help but mention it at the watercooler after which it passed through the janitorial staffmember to the HR guy during a smoke break...and there you go.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @04:06AM (#32333146)

    In firing Kuchler, the West Allis Police Chief wrote that Kuchler's Facebook posting "destroyed the city's trust and confidence in (her) ability and integrity" as a dispatcher and was "an embarrassment to the city."

    If being an embarrassment to the city by cracking jokes can get you fired, we should give politicians the death sentence for embarrassing the nation!

  • by Dhalka226 ( 559740 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @04:11AM (#32333164)

    Well, on the plus side, there's no need to feel bad for her. She's likely to file--and win--a substantial lawsuit against the city for wrongful termination which will not only net her her job back (if she wants it) but also her pension and a decent chunk of change for her troubles.

    Such is the power of firing people for no reason and ignoring an arbiter who told you that you did so.

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @04:22AM (#32333216)
    The real answer is to pry the HR drones away from Facebook and make them get back to work, thus making this entirely a non-issue.
    That's not likely to happen, so kids it's time to learn the lesson the net taught everyone else long before there was a world wide web - don't use your real name if you want to write anything that may offend the most easily offended person you can think of.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @04:24AM (#32333222)

    Don't use the goddamned Facebook.
    What's so hard about it?

  • by CaptainNerdCave ( 982411 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @04:25AM (#32333226)
    Does that mean a Coca-Cola employee could be fired because they always buy lunch at Taco Bell and joke about hating the taste of Diet Coke? Does that mean I could be fired from the hotel where I work because I stayed at a Hilton and it was reported that I said Hiltons are much nicer? What if I posted these on a Myspace page? A twitter page? In a privately-visible Facebook entry? Where is the line drawn? Are my first-amendment rights applicable?
  • Feel safer? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Lemming Mark ( 849014 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @04:29AM (#32333248) Homepage

    On the one hand, they tried to remove an employee in a critical job who had been linked - via a Facebook comment - to drugs. On the other hand, they tried to remove an experienced employee working in a critical job who had submitted to and passed their drug tests. Who would they replace her with? A less experienced dispatcher who talks about drug addiction in bars and at home but not on Facebook?

  • by wannabgeek ( 323414 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @04:32AM (#32333268) Journal

    What makes you think she is anonymous or assumed that it will not be read by her employer? Her defense is that it is an obvious joke, and that she is not really a drug addict. We don't know the rest of the conversation, may be what she said was funny in the context it was said too.

    Like others pointed out, this is probably just an excuse to fire her. The real reason could be something else.

  • by Capsaicin ( 412918 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @04:39AM (#32333300)

    Being so stupid as to say dumb things on Facebook

    It wasn't a dumb thing, it was a joke. It was clearly marked as a joke. The physical The "dumb thing" is that the humourless irony-deprived grey flannel dwarf who reported her did not understand it was a joke.

    Stop being an apologist for the implementation of a regime of "thought crime." Please stop.

  • by oji-sama ( 1151023 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @04:39AM (#32333304)

    Being so stupid as to say dumb things on Facebook without realising her words could come back to bite her might be good grounds for not employing her in the first place.

    I think you'll find that [the Universe/saying dumb things] pretty much covers [everything/everyone]

  • by TheVelvetFlamebait ( 986083 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @04:45AM (#32333324) Journal

    Ah yes, the good old "set up a strawman then burn it down" argument.

  • by snerdy ( 444659 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @05:14AM (#32333424)

    Arbitration in the US is binding.

    Unless it's non-binding arbitration []. The TFA only says that the woman "appealed to an arbitrator."

  • by kramerd ( 1227006 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @05:28AM (#32333466)

    The 5th step is dismissal. The other 4 steps have to be taken first.

  • by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @05:47AM (#32333556) Homepage

    People joke on the street about taking drugs all the time. I couldn't imagine batting an eye if I heard that walking by a group of strangers.

    Some people see the internet as a big newspaper, with all of the authority, authenticity, and formality that entails. Something showing up on the internet is documented in a library permanently. Anyone looking up anything related to that person will inevitably come across that thing, tie that thing back to their employer. The West Allis police department would forever be associated with hiring a drug-using loony online.

    Of course, that's not the case at all (at least, not until they made it newsworthy). The internet is dirtier, louder, and with a lot more noise. Nobody outside of that particular Emergency Dispatcher's family and friends were ever likely to see that post. The sheer volume of noise around the department, and even that particular dispatcher, made that possibility basically zero. And anyone digging that deeply would find far more controversial revelations about the city. This is, after all, the city that gave us both Liberace and Jeffery Dahmer.

    It's like when photographs of schoolteachers drinking at weddings appear on the internet. Or when someone follows a twitter feed of a controversial gay rights advocate. People have to have lives outside of their jobs. They have to make controversial art, put up silly christmas displays, and protest government policies they disagree with. This all will get photographed or filmed by someone, and somehow it will go up on Flickr or YouTube. Some people in our society are still calibrated on the older scale, and can't deal with the idea that things which are OK to do in private frequently finds its way online.

    This is especially significant when there are real problems out there. A one-sentence obvious joke about drug use is a major public relations nightmare? The high school students in my area sneak into bathrooms to shoot up, and one of their teachers was laid off for sleeping with them. We have a mugger prowling the area, along with a ton of dealers. And this is in a relatively safe city. Making a joke about doing drugs on Facebook isn't even a blip. Have they heard anything that is said in the fire department's locker rooms?

    A simple "that's not cool, please take that down" would have resulted in the content being gone from the internet forever, and an employee a bit better educated about what the city is comfortable with. Also, it would have sidestepped this lawsuit. Destroying a career for it, though, is extreme. The only other alternative is to strive as hard as you can to keep any personally identifiable information or photographs off of the internet (how long before ip reverse lookup tables are trivial?), and down that road lies madness.

  • by alfredos ( 1694270 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @06:17AM (#32333676)

    I have a friend who used to be a public servant at a big utility here in Spain. At one point, the gov't was uncomfortable with him in his position. Not because of his performance, but because they wanted the position for someone else. One day he made a joke about mistreatment to women, and a pretty innocent one at that; but he apologyzed immediately just in case. He was fired the same day (actually an early retirement.)

    It seems some things are pretty universal.

  • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @06:22AM (#32333694) Homepage

    Which makes this whole story sensationalist. It's not like "make a drug joke, get fired", it's "be on the verge of being fired and pile on the straw that broke the camel's back". Nobody really wants to have people in that position for long, either you want the employee to really straighten themselves out or you want them out, no in betweens. There's no goodwill at that point.

  • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @06:25AM (#32333716)

    You do realize this was not a corporation ? It was a the police department, technically a government-run, tax-funded public service.

    Isn't their JOB to PROTECT people's constitutional freedoms (like the freedom to tell a joke ?) as opposed to censoring people ?

    The article doesn't say if the joke was made during working hours. If she was on the job, in uniform they could make a claim that the joke was conduct unbecoming of somebody employed in law enforcement or something, but surely when she takes that uniform off and walks out the door she's a private citizen with all the rights of such ?
    Soldiers can't be charged with conduct unbecoming for bad behavior unless they are in uniform, so why should it be different?

    Of course this is just speculation since we don't KNOW if she was in uniform but essentially - if she was off duty, then she wasn't representing the department and if there is any "embarrassment" her behaviour it is only toward herself - so this would seem a crucial point of consideration I believe.

    Disclaimers: IANAL. IANAA (I Am Not An American).

  • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Keeper Of Keys ( 928206 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @06:33AM (#32333754) Homepage

    You think the police's job is to protect people's freedoms? You must be Swedish

  • by jamesh ( 87723 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @06:40AM (#32333782)

    I deleted my account over a year ago.

    And it's been better ever since.

    Seriously, if you don't know how to use facebook properly you're better off without it. It's a useful toy but it's not the answer to all the worlds problems - i'm tired of hearing from people who thought it was and then get all upset when they find it isn't.

  • by Rysc ( 136391 ) * <> on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @06:42AM (#32333792) Homepage Journal

    I don't agree that her remarks, joke or not, merit termination, but I do agree that her behavior was stupid.

    People need to learn this and learn it well: Whatever you post on the internet is forever and irrevocably attached to you and will be used against you in every way possible. This is not like other, earlier forms of communication because in other, earlier forms of communication remarks were not preserved and were mostly limited to a small set of known recipients.

    This is why your internet handle should not be your name. This is why routine anonymity is a good thing for everyone. Yes, her employer acted badly and yes, whoever reported her is a humorless jerk. You cannot build a society on the assumption that there are no jerks and everyone has truth and justice as their primary motive!

    Don't post anything on facebook, or any other site, unless you want it to be known by all future employers, the police, all future boy- and girl-friends, your mother, your current or future children, historians attempting to demonize you, etc., etc.. It is no exaggeration to say that what she did was stupid and that she, and everyone, ought to know better. A joke among friends is one thing, a joke to your boss's face is quite another; and (like it or not) when you post on facebook you are talking directly to your boss, and your mother, and the cops, and so forth and so on.

  • by mangu ( 126918 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:01AM (#32333886)

    You think the police's job is to protect people's freedoms? You must be Swedish

    I don't think so []

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:06AM (#32333904)

    The question is not about anonymity or "safety" it's about what you are "allowed" to say to your friends in your free time.

    I don't see the fired woman complaining about anonymity. You're treading out a position on FB privacy issues (which I agree with) at an irrelevant time.

  • by EriDay ( 679359 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:25AM (#32334004)
    "The arbitrator said she should be entitled to go back to work after a 30-day suspension, but the City of West Allis complained that was not appropriate."

    So the city sets up a kangaroo court, is displeased with the results and declares it moot? Generally those contracts where you agree to settle things by arbitration are set up so the big can crush the little with a minimum of effort.

    What was the purpose of arbitration if "the city" can simply say it is displeased with the result. I like how the TFA makes it sound like this is a talking city.
  • by ZeroExistenZ ( 721849 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:33AM (#32334048)

    My company pays me from 9 to 5 and that does NOT give them the right to invade my live the rest of the time.

    I wholeheartedly agree.

    It seems the concept "working" has become a bit warped in our society. If you formulate it differently things look entirely different:
    "My employer pays me for my skill and service which I'm willing to deliver for the price I'm being paid. We both have a contract and agreement where we stipulate which service he wants me to provide to him and for which compensation I will dedicate my time to this person. If the agreement isn't met, the agreement is voided and I will put my skills and time to use for someone else who needs my expertise with whom I negotiate the terms for my service to him or her."

    These days it seems like a job is something you have to bend over for and you're at mercy of someone who is "kind enough to give you a buck to mope the floor and make coffee."

    Other then your "service" with your mutual agreed terms (you've signed a contract, you can scratch clausules and modify others if you don't agree, you're negotiating terms that moment...) your employer has no say in your private life.

    While I might agree you should sortof keep the both seperated, it's a personal choice and it's up to you. Knowing much more about one's personal life does affect professionalism (after getting closer to some colleagues I often lost respect but you remain professional), but your employer has no authority over what you do in your passed time.

  • by krou ( 1027572 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:33AM (#32334052)

    Funny, you just reminded of the Soviet Union, Cuba, and a few other places where people had to watch (and still do watch) what they say because they were never entirely sure whether or not the person they were talking to would be an informer of some sort. It didn't matter if those remarks were not preserved, or limited to a small set of known recipients. You just never really knew, and self-censored what you said.

    By claiming her behaviour is stupid, and saying that you should watch what you say unless completely anonymous (what happens if anonymity on the internet is eroded?), you're really targeting the wrong person/party. Her behaviour is not stupid. Her behaviour is perfectly natural in a society that (supposedly) promotes and protects freedom of speech. The real target of your ire and denunciations of stupidity should be the corporate and (in this case) government desire to undermine these freedoms, and promote self-censorship. The real stupid thing here is the idea that she should not be free to say what she wants. As the parent said: Stop being an apologist for the implementation of a regime of "thought crime."

  • by Aqualung812 ( 959532 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:37AM (#32334076)

    You can't be fired for things you said on your Facebook page if your page is set to private

    You think setting your profile to "private" will make sure that only your friends see your status? That's cute.

  • Re:no (Score:1, Insightful)

    by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @07:59AM (#32334238) Journal

    Sounds reasonable to me. Smokers are basically killing themselves, so naturally their hospital costs will be higher. Let THEM pay for the increased costs, not me and other non-self-destructive persons.

  • by Securityemo ( 1407943 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @08:05AM (#32334300) Journal
    Working your life around the assumption that society is, for all intents and purpouses, lawful evil will destroy you in the long run.
  • by luis_a_espinal ( 1810296 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @08:05AM (#32334306) Homepage

    Is posting bad jokes on Facebook a justifiable reason to give someone the boot?"

    All things being equal, the answer is no.

    Once you consider the context, it depends. If my jokes involve insulting the company I work for, my managers or co-workers, then yes. Obviously, that was not the case with this person, but it's important to answer this question, given slashdotters' penchant for asking what-would-jeebuz-do open ended questions without context.

    In this particular case, look at it like this: One has to be a real idiot to post jokes like that when on that of job... specially after having multiple warnings and write-offs at work. The dispatch department shouldn't have the power to fire her off like that, but it can,and this woman put herself in that situation... after multiple warnings and write-offs, unrelated nonetheless, but she should have known the department was looking for a way to get rid of her.

    It's as if I were to work for the Secret Service or the NSA, with multiple warnings and write-offs all the while making jokes or half-assed statements about flying a plane on a building. We don't need to be computer/privacy-savy to exercise rudimentary common sense.

    Companies and orgs should not have the power to fire people for stupid jokes plastered on their facebooks... but it happens. If you are that stupid to fall for that, shame on the company for abusing its power, and shame on you for being a moron without an ounce of common sense. I know, I know, freedom of speech and all that, but do you really want to exercise your right to be a clueless moron on a job like that, after multiple warnings and write-offs, without giving it any thought, just because?

    Common sense and prudence. They can be useful.

  • Re:no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by michaelhood ( 667393 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @08:08AM (#32334322)

    Sounds reasonable to me. Smokers are basically killing themselves, so naturally their hospital costs will be higher. Let THEM pay for the increased costs, not me and other non-self-destructive persons.

    I agree. I'm not a smoker but I certainly enjoy self-destructing.. and I don't expect others to pay for it

  • Re:no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by icebrain ( 944107 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @08:15AM (#32334370)

    How is it unjust? If you join the military (at least in the US), you did so voluntarily. You chose, of your own free will, to sign over your time (and if need be, your health and/or life) to the military to be used as the leadership sees fit. Part of being in the military means that you are on call all the time, and on the hook be called up at any moment and sent into combat. Going and doing stupid things like getting in trouble with the law impairs your readiness to deploy, hence the additional charges.

    Don't like it? Don't sign up. And don't get me started with my take on pacifists.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @08:17AM (#32334390)

    Can we apply this logic to all the cops running around with "white power" and neo-Confederate bullshit on their Facebook pages?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:05AM (#32334846)

    The city was probably just trying to protect itself from lawsuits. Think about it, Say the dispatcher screws up one day and sends police / fire to the wrong address, or is slow to respond. Then the city gets sued for having a druggie for a dispatcher with her facebook post as evidence. I hate it but that is the kind of society we live in now days.

  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:10AM (#32334902) Journal

    As the parent said: Stop being an apologist for the implementation of a regime of "thought crime."

    Does anyone else see the hypocrisy in this? She's upset that her right to free speech is not being respected. But she wants to go back to work for an institution that doesn't respect the right of people to manage their own biochemistry as they see fit, or to buy sex from a consenting adult. If she really cared about freedom, she would have stopped facilitating the arrest of non-violent people a long time ago. It's only when they violate HER freedom that she speaks out.

  • Re:no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:25AM (#32335064)

    The idea that I can get charged with an ADDITIONAL crime purely on the grounds of the fact that during the day I work for a branch of the government is utterly ludicrous and unjust.

    The military is more than just "work". It involves a different level of commitment than a civilian job, and different laws apply.

    Nobody with any REAL courage would consent to a life of "following orders with discipline".

    There are two forms of patriotism: Defend the country, or make it worth defending. The lifestyles are different, but both goals are admirable. It's your military - if you don't like how they are being used, then you need to consider getting involved in politics.

  • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by deKernel ( 65640 ) <timfbarber@y[ ] ['aho' in gap]> on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:29AM (#32335108)

    Congratulations, you just gave three examples of where things turned out groovy. On the flip-side, I will give you examples of where empires have laid waste to populations (both internal and example). Don't believe me, think Hitler, Stalin, Mao just to name a few. Try being a pacifist to a Muslim extremist, and I am pretty sure they will literally hand you your head: think Daniel Pear. Your examples only work because the British are reasonable people. You might not believe that, but they are. When you are on the other side to psychopaths on a mission to cleanse the world of , throwing you your hands is a guarantee of death for not just you, but your family, your clan and possibly your .

    Though I understand your goal and applaud your POSSIBLE conviction (I say that because unless you have a 10,000 man army storming down your roads, you can't say for sure what you will do), sometimes an active resistance is a better solution than passive.

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:33AM (#32335158) Homepage Journal

    We all demanded 100% security

    No we didn't; I didn't at least. At every opportunity I quoted "nothing to fear but fear itself," said that if we caved into fear than the terrorists had won, and pointed out that about the most dangerous thing you could do was get an an automobile. I called the misnamed PATRIOT act the "cowardly government is scared shitless act". And I wasn't alone.

    Obviously, I think that people should use their brains

    If brains were dynamite most people wouldn't have enough to blow their noses.

  • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:49AM (#32335382) Homepage Journal

    I have to agree with him. "Pry" is how you get two things apart that are stuck together. It's stupid and lazy. If he doesn't have the time or energy to spell "probably" (or even "prolly") he should just lurk rather than waste my time trying to figure out what he actually said. Bad grammar? Sure, go for it. Typos? Everybody makes them. WTF or IANAL? Of course, everyone knows what those acronyms are. "Pry" for "probably"? That's just retarded.

  • by Surt ( 22457 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @09:53AM (#32335456) Homepage Journal

    That's relatively rare, and limited to only the small number of dispatchers working in very large departments. It was not unreasonable for the other poster to assume the other direction based on the preponderance of dispatchers he may have met or talked to.

  • Re:no (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:01AM (#32335578)

    " And don't get me started with my take on pacifists."

    Oh really ?

    FUCK YOU, cocksucker.

  • Re:STOP! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:30AM (#32335984) Homepage
    News is never impartial, and anyone who tells you that it is is trying to sell you their take on it. But even partial news can still be factual. Are you arguing with the facts? On what basis?
  • Anonymous Coward (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:34AM (#32336046)

    The simple rule is to never post anything online that you wouldn't mind your worst enemy getting their hands on and using against you.

  • Re:no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HeckRuler ( 1369601 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @10:38AM (#32336106)

    How is it unjust? If you join the military (at least in the US), you did so voluntarily.

    Yeah, I've seen this argument a few times.
    "They moved there, it was their choice, they should have known better"
    "It's voluntary, they knew what they were getting into"
    "She married him, it's her own fault"
    "Well he jumped off the bridge, so of course he died"

    That last one is a suicidal crazy fucker. Yeah, he killed himself. But I don't think there's really a solid line distinguishing the difference between being pushed into a bad situation and going there of your own free will. Sure, some people go out and do stupid things. They deserve to be punished for it, otherwise there will be idiots everywhere (more so). But some people don't have any other choice. I know a few kids who's best option in life was to join the military. Too stupid for college, too poor to make it on their own, and not mature enough to left alone with booze. They could have failed out of college and racked up a lot of debt, or startup a failing business, but they were destined for the military.

    We can't absolve people from the consequences of their actions, but neither can we ignore the environment that influences their actions.

    The world just isn't as simple as that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:22AM (#32336630)

    On the other hand, assuming that society is lawful good will destroy you in fairly short order.

  • Re:no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:36AM (#32336862)

    Don't like it? Don't sign up.

    Of course, that utterly ignores that people cannot help where they are born, or the people they are born to, and so the military is the only choice for employment for many, many people.

    And don't get me started with my take on pacifists.

    You're proud of your prejudiced attitude? Wow.

    Why would you genuinely have a problem with people who do not want to hurt other people? Unless you think it is OK to hurt people for your own personal gain. Or what you perceive as your gain, which in reality is actually the gain of the major owners of corporations (i.e. banks), whilst the rest of the people are endangered as most of the rest of the world really hates you for acting on the idea that it is OK to hurt people for your own personal gain.

  • by celtic_hackr ( 579828 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:42AM (#32336948) Journal

    Well it would be the end of it, except the city has taken the binding arbitration ruling to court to have it thrown out. What it boils down to in the end is one of two things:

    1) Does the city feel it's worthhile to fire her and either:
    a) pay out a settlement from the resulting wrongful discharge, et al lawsuit,
    b) are convinced she won't find some hired gun foaming at the mouth to make mega-bucks suing a retarded local government;
    2) Does the city deluded think they can win a wrongful discharge suit, even after ignoring (in an act of civil contempt) and failing to obey the legally binding arbitration which specifically said they can't fire her for this stupid joke to her friends or the public ( I don't know what her setting was on this FB stupidity)?

    In any event for Dana we have
    3) Profit!!!!

    Why settle for a measly pension when you can squeeze the blood out of the city and take everyone's pension!?

  • Re:no (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @11:47AM (#32337020)

    Aw, see, you got sympathy until you pulled the 'not even british' bit... You are British, so pitch in and help get things better please rather than relying on 'no no, I'm not a member of that group'. I agree it sucks how people refer to you as English (and I say this as an englishman) pretty much the same way every American thinks I'm from London (Manchester is more like it).

    Point is, we'd have a much better country if we all (Scots, Welsh, Cornish, Northern Irish, Even Yorkshire!) pulled together against the London-centricism of things rather than all wanting to go off in our own directions. Together we outnumber them and bring in more money, yet by remaining divided we're powerless.

  • Re:no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by severoon ( 536737 ) on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @12:53PM (#32337864) Journal

    Yes, absolutely. The only thing that I'm left wondering is why go after smoking when it's not the largest cost, though? I would much prefer that companies go after the biggest costs to save us the most money...that just makes sense, right? We'd sign affidavits attesting to the fact that we don't eat fast food, transfats, more calories per day than is good for us, and we work out strenuously at least 5 hours per week. We should be required to keep our weight within a reasonable body-mass's killing us!

    Addicts of any kind are out. People with a history of addiction in their families will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, if their personal circumstances seem like they will successfully avoid addiction, then they can be covered (I'm not proposing something heartless here). If you have some kind of expensive disability, you're out; and if you're predisposed to expensive conditions developing in the future, you're on your history could be used, or they have these really inexpensive genetic tests now like at We'd have to have people pay for their own, of course (to keep costs down), and disclose the result to the company, and anything expensive in their future we'd have to drop them.

    Did you know that car insurance companies adjust rates based on your race? Why has the insurance company not caught on to this? We ought to adjust the amount you pay based on how much you're going to cost the system after all. Of course, this means that if you're a black male smoker in a high-stress job, you're probably out of luck...but I'm not too worried about President Obama, he can take care of himself.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 2010 @02:01PM (#32338892)

    I own a small business my self.

    I do not force people apply for a job at my place. And I pay these people with my own money for their time.

    If their action, while employeed by me, caused me money then yes they will be gone.

    My employees have free will do whatever they want and so do I.

    They are not my slaves.

  • Re:no (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Khomar ( 529552 ) on Wednesday May 26, 2010 @09:39AM (#32347724) Journal

    The early Christian church did not fight back against the oppressions of Rome. They were killed by the thousands in gladiator stadiums, torn apart by animals, and crucified for their faith. But they did not resist with arms. They did not fight back with armies or even political campaigns. They fought back with love, forgiveness, and peace. And in less than four hundred years, they defeated one of the strongest empires the world has ever seen.

    The Christian church in China did not resist with politics or violence or terrorism while Mao tried to eradicate all Christianity from China. He killed thousands of Chinese Christians in an attempt to wipe them out, but when the restrictions were lifted, the church of 2 million Christians had peacefully grown to 80 million, and the heart of China is now being changed.

    The Dutch and Norwegians peacefully resisted Nazi Germany and as a result, far fewer of their Jews were turned over and killed by the Nazi soldiers than those of neighboring countries who fought back.

    History is replete with examples of the power of peaceful resistance. It is not an easy path, but there is victory at the end. Either way, people will die, but with pacifism, those who desire peace will not have blood on their hands, and their victory will be a true victory for goodness and justice and mercy. Violent revolutions only end with more violence and a government that is just as oppressive if not more so than the one they replaced because they had to become the enemy to defeat the enemy. Pacifism does not change what it is and so remains pure.

    Violence begets violence, and with each death comes more desire for revenge and retribution. I think in the end we would find that far fewer people die as a result of pacifism -- even against the most evil of regimes -- than would have died if a war had been waged.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming