Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.



facebook Canyon News twitter Canyon News

Canyon News

Bel Air News

Beverly Hills News

Brentwood News

Hollywood Hills News

Laurel Canyon News

Los Angeles News

Los Feliz News

Malibu News

Melrose News

Pacific Palisades News

Santa Monica News

Sherman Oaks News

Studio City News

Topanga Canyon News

West Hollywood News

Westwood News

Woodland Hills

Celebrity News

State News

National News

World Headlines

Deaf News





On the Industry

Star Gazing

St. John's Confidential File

Theatrical Musings

Life & Style

Event Listings

Tech Talk

Looking Good For Lots Less

Spirit & Creativity

Miller Time


View from the Hill


Chrystal's Recipe Corner

Career and Life Coaching

Gardening With Tony

Life According To Lenson

Real Estate Realities



Marathon Running

Keeping It Bruin: A Look Into UCLA Athletics






Vi's Corner

Pet Tips

Point of View

John Armor

Message to America

Critic At Large... Ruta Lee

Labor Week


10 Degrees Cooler

McConnors corner

Edge of the west

The Physics Wizard


Kyle's Kars


Susan Michelle's Compass


Ask Deanna

Dear Lily

Ask Oona


Dancing with Earthquakes


Sports Schedules

Traveling Beyond the Canyon

Edge of the West

Law Man

Ask Us

Nathan Tabor

The Angry Economist

Truth Probe

As I See It


Truth Conquers

The Live Wire

Notes from Exile

Letters to the Editor

Dog Training by Anthony

Canyon Mews



America's Most Wanted Dogs

World Recipes

Vegetarian Lifestyle


News Briefs

Local News



Canyon Fodder

Bad Movie Night

Critical Projection

Ed's on the Town

Fitness Quests

Flashback Films

Stories of the Strange

Gourmet Grandma

He Said/She Said

Home Matters with Yvonne

L.A. Etch-a-Sketch

L.A. Ruminations

McConnor's Corner

Mommy Minute

Musically Speaking

My Back Pages

Publisher's Pages


Scene and Heard in L.A.

Silly...But Wise!

Sunset Diaries

Table Options

The Paws Cause

TV Stuff

Cartoon of the Week

McConnors corner

Get To Work!
Posted by Sean McConnor on Aug 31, 2008 - 8:44:06 AM

I don't know how many of you remember the late movie star James Stewart who played in a number of films from the 1940s through the 1960s. One of the classics he starred in was "The Flight of the Phoenix," in which a plane crashes in the desert, and the crew, led by Stewart, attempts to build another plane from the wreckage led by an airplane designer who, it turns out, only designs model planes.


The scene that is really poignant is when the designer tells Stewart that he doesn't design big planes, only models. Stewart, who is hammering away and has had people working in the heat, starts stuttering in his James Stewart way and says, "Wait..wait..wait a minute, you mean to tell me, you had me working these people and you don't design planes?" Whereupon, Stewart takes his hammer and throws it in the desert in anger.

I felt the same way the other day as James Stewart did when the American Boardcasting Company did a story on a report released by U.S. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma about the rapid growth of employees who are AWOL from their jobs in the federal government. I got mad because I am working and paying my income taxes for this!

The release from the Senator's office stated that since 2001, 18 federal departments reported that employees have been absent without leave (awol) for almost 20 million hours. The hours involved have increased from 2.5 in 2001 to 3.5 million in 2007. (This is clearly a bipartisan problem under a Republican President and Democratic controlled Congress.)   

Senator Coburn does his James Stewart imitation in anger too by saying, "These findings are an insult to the American taxpayer and should be of a great concern to the agencies included and members of Congress."

What really irks me is that the two biggest violators are the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the Treasury Department (the folks who collect our taxes.) These two departments accounted for 61 percent of all AWOL hours between 2001 and 2007. To put it another way, VA employees were 19 times more likely to go AWOL than Department of Defense ones.  This is really comforting for someone, like me, who really feels for our veterans.

If you go onto the VA website, you can pull up a 230-page Directive (5011) about working hours and etc.  Page three says that "all employees are expected to be on duty during the full period of their tours unless absence on approved leave."  Sounds like the administrators of the VA need to re-read  the manual and begin acting on their problem, which is now our problem.

Senator Coburn put it in perspective when he said in his release, "No private company would put up with its employees refusing to show up for work, let alone watch the problem grow year after year." Amen, Senator.

Are you listening Senators Feinstein, Boxer, Obama and McCain?


Cliffside Malibu




Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.