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Child Protective Services, OPR, and State Ombudsman Office

The first thing the universe presented me with last week was a call from a state senator’s aide, looking for input on how to effect external oversight for CPS. My response, of course, is to create a State Ombudsman office. With a little reminding, the senator remembered that our paths had crossed before, when I testified before the Senate Government Operations Committee against removing a level of appeal in the Office of Professional Regulation (OPR).

13Jul2009 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Starting again, again…

During this hiatus the bureaucratic stuff has kept right on swinging along, one bit after another after another. Here are a few of the stories I’ve bookmarked, listed in no particular order.

25Jun2009 | | 0 comments | Continued
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The new DOJ: Power is as power does

Until people at the DOJ are so committed to justice as to be willing to face the prospect of having their own feet held to the fire in the U.S. justice system, they may as well rename the DOJ to the Department of However Much Justice Is Possible After We’ve Covered Our Own Backsides.

7Mar2009 | | 0 comments | Continued
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We really must have transparency and accountability

Having been clear, I hope, in presenting my progressive/liberal credentials, I’ll say that for some things there simply is no middle road. Transparency and accountability are among those things.

President Obama has so far signaled, if not outright opposition, at least considerable foot-dragging when it comes to undoing some of what can be undone of Bush’s legacy, and pursuing accountability for Bushies who may have committed crimes.

18Feb2009 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Kays Gary on Dorothy Counts: Between MLK and Obama

There weren’t many of us who witnessed the Arkansas National Guard facing down school children, to prevent school integration in Little Rock, who would have imagined we would see an African American president in our lifetime.

19Jan2009 | | 1 comment | Continued
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TVA Disaster

Most of my time lately is still spent getting used to my two new knees, but I keep watch on matters bureaucratic when I have the opportunity between the day job and rehab sessions.  Now having the time for a post, I find I do have a problem with deciding which stories to focus on, [...]

13Jan2009 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Here’s to things passing as they should…

Ah, I just couldn’t let the end of the year pass without one more post for 2008.  My latest hiatus was on account of my taking the time to get two new knees installed.  Though I didn’t have internet access while in rehab—and wouldn’t have had the brain power to make proper use of it [...]

1Jan2009 | | 1 comment | Continued
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The Innocence Project

If you have not acquainted yourself with the Innocence Project, do so now. And by all means, anytime you start feeling as if your situation is really terrible, just give a few minutes thought to what has been endured by those whom the Innocence Project has helped, and what is being endured by those who continue to be wrongly imprisoned.

14Nov2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Unplanned hiatus over!

My primary focus is still paying attention to, and getting reform in, the lower levels of bureaucracies. Those are the non-sexy, non-glamorous, under-the-radar agencies and bureaucrats that I think form the foundations, and the bureaucratic breeding grounds, if you will, that give rise to such egregious bureaucratic abuses as we’ve seen the last eight years.

13Nov2008 | | 2 comments | Continued
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The old home team is doing good stuff

This is a journalist doing what journalists are supposed to do.

5Aug2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Open records struggle in Vermont

This week saw a new chapter in open records struggles here in Vermont. The Vermont State Employees Association, the state workers’ union, had requested from the Department of Human Resources emails and other documents relating to Gov. Douglas’ plan to cut 400 jobs from the state’s payrolls. DHR responded with a demand for $1700 to pay for the time DHR staff would have to spend gathering the documents

2Aug2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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On Jim Schutze, incompetence trumping party lines, and race and racialization

One of the things I love about doing this blog is sitting here in my little corner of Vermont, poking around the net and finding terrific writers and their writing…

24Jul2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Insurance Company Rules

Netroots Nation, which recently wrapped up in Austin, TX, is something I really, really hoped to go to, but alas. Good things are popping out of there, however, including this stitch of a video, Insurance Company Rules. It’s from Health Care for America Now!, a grassroots campaign to achieve universal affordable health care. Insurance company bureaucracies [...]

20Jul2008 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Patent Failure: New book addresses bureaucracy’s suppression of innovation

Not a long post today, but a good one. There is a terrific review from the Ars Technica website of a new book: Patent Failure:How Judges, Bureaucrats, and Lawyers Put Innovators at Risk.

16Jul2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Keith John Sampson’s Apology from IUPUI Chancellor Bantz

This one will also go into the BureaucracyBlog Resource Library as an example of both the importance of standing up to bureaucratic abuse, and the role that publicity plays in rectifying bureaucratic abuse.

14Jul2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Getting the approval of 15 different agencies

The Gulf Port, MS, Sun Herald reports today on both the problems and progress of the Missisippi Development Authority (MDA) in its post-Katrina rebuilding efforts. Officials from the Mississippi Development Authority paint a picture of vital Hurricane Katrina-relief projects still snared in federal bureaucracy almost three years after the storm. But members of the MDA [...]

12Jul2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Bureaucracy and higher education

I find it astonishing, but also fairly common, that institutions of higher education often do not take time to find out, and make use of, some of the cutting edge work being done by their own students and faculty that could so well serve the kinds of administrative changes that would enhance the educational mission.

11Jul2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Speaking of Kafka

As I regularly refer to Franz Kafka, this item on some of his unpublished papers got my attention this morning. Part of Kafka’s genius was in seeing, and making the picture accessible to others, the crazy-making, and sometimes downright evil (e.g. Nazi), abuses to which bureaucracies so often are given. In doing so he has [...]

10Jul2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Keith John Sampson update: The WSJ story

As mentioned in the post of a few days ago, there is indeed a story in today’s Wall Street Journal by Dorothy Rabinowitz about Keith John Sampson’s situation at IUPUI. The reportorial aspects of the story are fine, but oh, do I have a problem with the tone! And the graphic.

7Jul2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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Unpacking the last decision: Egregious is as egregious does

If Franz Kafka and Lewis Carroll had provided the raw materials for the fantastical creation of a government office, their results would probably look very much like the Office of Professional Regulation in the Vermont Secretary of State’s Office. Last week I posted the latest and last decision in my Kafkaesque journey through the Looking Glass world of the OPR. This week I unpack that decision.

6Jul2008 | | 0 comments | Continued
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