#1 By: Cory Doctorow, October 4th, 2013 19:01
#2 By: Niels Pluto, October 4th, 2013 19:31
A more nonsense. Budget cuts already forced american scientist to not go to international conferences, but this is just insane. What if they say they only speak for themselves?
#3 By: Tim, October 4th, 2013 19:33
…the 143-year-old Antideficiency Act makes it a crime (punishable by fines and imprisonment) for government employees to volunteer to do their own jobs…
Just out of curiosity, who enforces the Antideficiency Act in the event of a government shutdown?
#4 By: Steve B, October 4th, 2013 19:42
If you read any biographies of that era, one of the things that stands out is the amount of time Lincoln and others spent on 'patronage'. Most of this day, especially early on, was spent talking people who wanted to be postmaster, inspector, etc. One even sneaked into Lincoln's wake to talk to Johnson. When asked if he realized he what was going on, the office seeker said something like, 'the matter I wish to speak with you about is especially important'. So I see why they have this law. There are still a lot of people who see the gov as a giant cash cow.
#5 By: Stephen Schenck, October 4th, 2013 20:45
That doesn't make a lick of sense. Aren't tens of thousands of government workers - those deemed "essential staff" - working for free right now? If that's not volunteering, then what is?
#6 By: Boundegar, October 4th, 2013 21:17
Vigilante government employees, obviously. No, wait...
#7 By: Tim Quinn, October 5th, 2013 00:09
"a kind of Civil War era version of red-light windscreen squeegeeing."
The suburban version would be the friendly curbside address number painter. They usually claim some non-profit connection to further annoy your suspicious side.
#8 By: Duncan, October 5th, 2013 09:00
This has actually been going on since sequestration took effect. Agencies cut travel funds to preserve salary, so government scientists can't go to conferences, even on their own dime. I was in a panel to which were invited two Feds with offices in our city. They were precluded from attending, even though their conference fees were waived.
#9 By: Jardine, October 5th, 2013 11:40
It's my understanding that the essential staff will get paid retroactively once the Republicans stop their hissy fit. I could be completely wrong on this though.
#10 By: beep54orama, October 5th, 2013 12:53
Well, the Antideficiency Act is now officially my favorite Act of all time, just for its absurd name. No one could possibly guess what that was referring to without actually knowing in the first place.
#11 By: El Mariachi, October 5th, 2013 14:50
Shouldn't it be the post-hoc invoicing that's the illegal bit? This is like outlawing candy because sometimes people spit gum out on the sidewalk.
#12 By: Mercedes O'Callaghan, October 5th, 2013 17:53
#13 By: James Riley, October 5th, 2013 18:00
I hate to invoke slippery slope, but employers would be all over that shit. If some people came in, and some didn't, guess which would be kept in next budget cut. How long before turning up for no pay is expected, rather than exceptional? After all, teachers do waaaaaay more than contracted hours. (as a random example, other careers also overwork.)
#14 By: Thomas Shaddack, October 6th, 2013 15:58
If said scientists aren't prevented from being physically present, the workaround could be as simple as cancelling the talk formally, moving it informally to a local bar, and turning it to a larger-group science chat with beers.
#15 By: Cory Doctorow, October 9th, 2013 19:01
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