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NCRblues
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« on: March 29, 2012, 04:04:33 AM »

So, I am writing a dissertation on “corruption inside Civil Air Patrol”. To calm some fears right off the bat, this will not be an “anti-cap” paper or harbor “anti-cap” messages.

I wanted to get your alls opinion on how CAP in particular (not outside agencies like we tend to discuss here…I.E. USAF and USCGA) becomes corrupt. What a better source than those that live CAP?

 Things like at what level does it start, what level can it be controlled. What is corruption versus what is “natural selection” of good leaders. Your opinions on fairness inside CAP at all levels, your opinions on if corruption can ever be eradicated from our organization, and how to go about doing it.  (not limited to those things of course) How the scope of corruption effects CAP (I.E. the Pineda incident V the berry boards incident). Maybe even some (censored) personal stories. Anything you are willing to put out there will help me.

Like I said, anything you want to put will be a big help to me. I would not mind a little debate to add opposing opinions to the mix.

Thanks in advance to anyone who posts.
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jimmydeanno
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« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2012, 04:16:19 AM »

I think that we can only point to a few cases of actual "corruption" that have occurred in CAP.  I don't think that we should confuse power struggles, politiking, and empire building with corruption.  HWSRN was corrupt.

A local squadron commander who is strong headed, creates some policies that people don't like and drives a unit into the ground isn't necessarily corrupt, just a lousy leader.

The finance officer cooking the books to hide that he took the unit's funds is corrupt. 

So, I suppose I'm looking for what your definition of corrupt is, because I don't see much, if any, true corruption in CAP.  There are a lot of lousy leaders, but in fairness, not corruption.
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NCRblues
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« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2012, 04:22:34 AM »

I think that we can only point to a few cases of actual "corruption" that have occurred in CAP.  I don't think that we should confuse power struggles, politiking, and empire building with corruption.  HWSRN was corrupt.

A local squadron commander who is strong headed, creates some policies that people don't like and drives a unit into the ground isn't necessarily corrupt, just a lousy leader.

The finance officer cooking the books to hide that he took the unit's funds is corrupt. 

So, I suppose I'm looking for what your definition of corrupt is, because I don't see much, if any, true corruption in CAP.  There are a lot of lousy leaders, but in fairness, not corruption.

Well, I would consider "corruption" to be cronyism as well. Lets say a wing commander appoints a classic CAP "good ol boy" club inside his/her wing I would consider that a form of "corruption" more or less, So, to each their own.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2012, 04:26:38 AM »

Well, I would consider "corruption" to be cronyism as well. Lets say a wing commander appoints a classic CAP "good ol boy" club inside his/her wing I would consider that a form of "corruption" more or less, So, to each their own.

Except that's not what the definition of corruption is.  Corruption is the abuse of power, usually to personal gain.

Cronyism might be considered poor leadership, but it's not necessarily corrupt, and if the mission is being accomplished, then
it isn't likely to even be challenged, because the only ones with an issue will be those who aren't included.  Again, frustrating, but not corruption.

I have encountered plenty of poor leadership, and plans based more on random decisions than good management,  but have never personally had any contact with anyone who was "corrupt". 

You clearly have an agenda here, and I don't see how a thesis with the stated title can be anything but negative.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 04:32:20 AM by Eclipse » Report to moderator   Logged


NCRblues
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« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 04:31:54 AM »

Well, I would consider "corruption" to be cronyism as well. Lets say a wing commander appoints a classic CAP "good ol boy" club inside his/her wing I would consider that a form of "corruption" more or less, So, to each their own.

Except that's not what the definition of corruption is.

Cronyism might be considered poor leadership, but it's not necessarily corrupt.

You clearly have an agenda here, and I don't see how a thesis with the stated title can be anything but negative.

I have encountered plenty of poor leadership, and plans based more on random decisions than good management,  but have never personally had any contact with anyone who was "corrupt".

I do not have an agenda, just to write my paper with a little help from people that do CAP. It will not be negative that I promise. I did say "to each their own" eclipse, as I am sure we all have differing opinions on what constitutes corruption.
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Eclipse
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« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2012, 04:33:14 AM »

You could just as easily write a paper which explores the leadership dynamic in a volunteer environment without having to mention
any organization, specifically.
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NCRblues
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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2012, 04:37:00 AM »

You could just as easily write a paper which explores the leadership dynamic in a volunteer environment without having to mention
any organization, specifically.

I could have, but chose not to, since I belong to CAP and CAP alone in organizations. Eclipse, no one is forcing you to read this, if you do not want to contribute than don’t. Thank you for your time anyway.
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Major Carrales
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2012, 04:37:54 AM »

Don't confuse the rethoric people use around places like this as signs of anything signaling true "corruption."  One problem with modern language use is that people don't know which words to use and use terms like "corruption" to describe things that a lesser or different word would use.  Add the passion that comes with not caring for a decision and we can visit a quote by ole Ben Franklin...."Passion Governs, and she never govern's wisely."
 
For a positive example of the importance of language.  I was listening to the Supreme Court today via CSPAN and I took note of several attempts at "adgendistic" rethoric, the Supreme Court Justices would counter the political commentary and agenda (including Justice Scalia who made a point by pointing out that States opposed to a certain topic had a Governor of a certain party and the reverse) with an attempt to bring it back to topicality. That is not to say that the Supremes did not have their own political bias out of it, but I felt they were actually trying to stay within the CONSITUTION, and not beyond it.  The key is to focus on the language.  We often fault lawyers for their use of language, however, when it counts...the one who best uses language and defines the terms wins the case.

I have seen many an over-inflated rant on CAPTALK use a lot of language and "says" nothing, aside from "I hate this person and anyone associated with them is EVIL or some enbodiment of a SATANIC SPAWN and every and all things tried or implemented by this person (be they good or bad) must be purged in accordance with the [darn]ATION it WARRANTS!!!."

You would be serve the intent of the thesis your are writing by narrowing the subject to a clear and concise set definitions and work within the confines of the topic.

I have to admit that I find your intent "suspect."  Elaborate please...
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 04:45:03 AM by Major Carrales » Report to moderator   Logged
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2012, 04:43:47 AM »

Well....if you want to write a paper on cronyism....and talk about its positive and negitive affects it has on an organisation....with out defining it as corruption....then I would support that.

But Corruption is a negitive term.  You can't talk about the corruption in CAP with out it being negitive to CAP. 

Corruption is when someone uses the system in such a way that it violate the law, the core values of the organisation, or interferes with the mission of the organisation.

Bending a regulation is a form of corruption.  But appointing your buddies to wing staff is not in and of itself corruption.

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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
NCRblues
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« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2012, 04:44:48 AM »

I have to admit that I find your intent "suspect."  Elaborate please...

I am not trying to "suspect". I just believe that CAP contains certain corrupt or corrupted (in the past) portions. My paper would be about how it comes/came to pass. How to stop it in the future or eradicate it now if it exists. Nothing sinister. If you don’t want to post anything than do not post. Simple I think.


BTW Corruption: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/corruption
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 04:49:53 AM by NCRblues » Report to moderator   Logged
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Major Carrales
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2012, 04:53:35 AM »

I have to admit that I find your intent "suspect."  Elaborate please...

I am not trying to "suspect". I just believe that CAP contains certain corrupt or corrupted (in the past) portions. My paper would be about how it comes/came to pass. How to stop it in the future or eradicate it now if it exists. Nothing sinister. If you don’t want to post anything than do not post. Simple I think.

See, when I say "suspect" I do not mean you have any suspicions about any specific agency within CAP, but rather that your intent may have, or be seen to have, some alternate agenda or intent.  Historically, when people here deal with concepts like corrputions it is later discoved that there was some issue.

There is also assumption...it is not illogical to assume from these actions that you entertain the fact that CORRPUTION is a culture in CAP.  That, at any given ambient state...and any give time in CAP that there will be corruption.

Will there always be those that fall into corruption?...yes.  In as much as corrpution can be found in any undertaking that humans involve ourselves in. 

Soultion?  I actually have one in the form of this suggestion.

Tackle the concept of CORRPUTION instead of "CORRPUTION in CAP."  Use CAP examples if you wish, but take a look at what makes up corrpution in HUMANITY.  Then we can apply those lessons to CAP.

Otherwise, I think your thesis will smack of anti-CAP rethoric and instantly be dismissed as such by anyone who would read it before they actually read it.  Such prejudice defeats the purpose of your work.   A thesis, like any academic paper, is written to be read...so telling Eclipse he "doesn't have to read it" is the antithesis of what I think you really want to do.  You cannot change minds, educate and inform of people never read your works.

« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 04:59:24 AM by Major Carrales » Report to moderator   Logged
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NCRblues
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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2012, 05:02:00 AM »

To hell with it then...thanks for all the "help"  ::)
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Major Carrales
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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2012, 05:12:23 AM »

To hell with it then...thanks for all the "help"  ::)

I am helping you.  You seem to care about the article you want to write, but your approach is ascerbic and will bias the people you want help from against you.  My advice was to attack the true ISSUE...corruption itself.  Objectivity is the Mother of all true solutions and ideas.  Many of our current politicans on both sides of the isle lack that...steeped in their own agendas.  The result, the cart gets before the horse and these issues are never resolved (ever wonder what caused the gridlock and why thing that seems so basic are never solved?).

Don't give up so easily.  Unlike "dogpiles" I have endured in forums (which were just a bash), I offered you a solution I feel would further your position.  Would an enemy do that?
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« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2012, 05:21:39 AM »

Clearly, there is a reticence on the part of the members to have actual instances of corruption in CAP committed to ink. CAP has certainly seen official corruption ( although you will have to excuse Eclipse, since he hails from parts where that's business as usual!)

Limiting the discussion of corruption and the remedies for corruption solely to CAP, would probably be useless from the standpoint of a discussion in organizational dynamics, since the sample is too small. A thorough examination of instances of corruption from a historical perspective could be of great value, but since you will never gain access to official records, everything you would find would have to be second-hand or even more far removed than that, so the value as  cautionary tales would be minimal. My suggestion would be to find a really good example of a single, actual, case of corruption within CAP, and obtain as many viewpoints as possible from those with direct knowledge and involvement in that particular scandal. Then, if the "perpetrators" were involved in second instances, an exploration of the systemic failure would be more warranted.

My own view on why we have corruption in CAP? ( or anywhere else for that matter) Man is sinful, corrupt, wicked, murderous, and larcenous by nature, and his base nature is just barely held in check by the thin veneer of society. On the other hand, its great job security....

Major Lord
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NCRblues
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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2012, 05:24:28 AM »

Well, here is the thing. If I open the paper up to "corruption" in general, than I will get dinged for not having sources of stories or ideas from outside CAP. I wanted to do it on something I love, CAP.

If you look at the definition of corruption that I linked, CAP does in fact have a level of it. If you call it the "good ol boy club" or cronyism is immaterial, it’s all a form of corruption according to the definition. So, thanks for the help, I will just go on like this thread never happened.
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Major Carrales
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« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2012, 05:34:21 AM »

In my opinion, you are getting good advice from me and others, Major Lord's points in the above post are excellent.

Corrpution is on of the UNIVERSAL constants...taking a good look at it objectively would go along way to making people aware of it.  A step in mitigating what Major Lord wrote about and "thickening the skin" of that "thin veneer of society."

However, if it comes off as "CAP BASHING" then you lose all hope of making that difference.

Now, if you anticipated that this would be come a listing of incidents from Around the Nation to draw from, that would be something that, especially without some regulation, would become a "free for all' and display infromation and misinformation for the world to see.  That would not be a good idea.
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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2012, 05:39:49 AM »

Well, here is the thing. If I open the paper up to "corruption" in general, than I will get dinged for not having sources of stories or ideas from outside CAP. I wanted to do it on something I love, CAP.

If you look at the definition of corruption that I linked, CAP does in fact have a level of it. If you call it the "good ol boy club" or cronyism is immaterial, it’s all a form of corruption according to the definition. So, thanks for the help, I will just go on like this thread never happened.
I just don't see how you can right a paper on corruption and it not be negetive. 

If as you state you are wrinting a paper and want to use CAP's brushes with corruption....okay.....let's go.  What exactly do you need?

Do you want examples of corruption in CAP?
Do you want examples of how nepitism negetively affect CAP and its mission?

Go back and reread you thread.....you never really asked us for any specific inputs.

We are only stateing our positions on them....and you are going to need that to bench mark your sources for your paper.
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PATRICK M. HARRIS, SMSgt, CAP
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« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2012, 05:50:36 AM »

Just accept his premise that corruption = cronyism and help the poor guy!


I think promoting you friends to positions CAN be corrupt, but look at it this way, you know your friends, correct? So you would already have an idea of what they can do. If I need X done for a job, I turn to a friend I know that can do X and they do it. Wham bam.

Taking your premise to the logical extreme, I'd need new people for every time I move up to group, wing, etc. Why? Lt. Col. Oldguy can do the job of DCP, so why do I need Capt newguy? I haven't met him, so maybe we'll have a personality conflict. But I have met Oldguy, and know he can do a killer job. Just because my friend takes the position doesn't automatically mean he stinks at it, maybe he was a kick@$$ CP officer at your squadron?

That said, IMHO, cronyism (corruption if I am accepting your premise) isn't good. But it CAN have a place, and sometimes the evil you do know is better than the evil you don't know.

What is this paper for? Maybe I could help you dig up some stuff in psych databases about cronyism?
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Major Carrales
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« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2012, 05:59:05 AM »

Again, topicality.  Cronyism would make a fine paper of it's own, as would nepotism.  If it is his intention to write a paper on solely cronyism, then that is what he should do.  But the idea of corruption...it's lapse in ethics and disregard/disrespect to the system established via law or society is a GREATER issue than any of it's individual parts.

WHat is a "working" definition of corrpution?  What is organizational corruption?  What causes corrpution?  What makes a person think they can circumnavigate the established system for person gain?  Why is that wrong and how does it harm the greater organization?  It is based in a "cult of the leader?" 

These are the organization shaking questions that he should address.

Cronyism and nepotism are symptoms of corrpution, in my understanding and opinion, corrpution is the disease.

Let us use a far better definition that is defined in accordance with a "legal" context, which defines a more organization relevent tone than simply to "decay"...

Quote
CORRUPTION. An act done with an intent to give some advantage inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others. It includes bribery, but is more comprehensive; because an act may be corruptly done, though the advantage to be derived from it be not offered by another. Merl. Rep. h.t.
     2. By corruption, sometimes, is understood something against law; as, a contract by which the borrower agreed to pay the lender usurious interest. It is said, in such case, that it was corruptly agreed, &c.
From:  http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/corruption

Quote
Cronyism(Government, Politics & Diplomacy) the practice of appointing friends to high-level, esp political, posts regardless of their suitability
From: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cronyism

Appointing friends to positions of authority is, by this definition, not cronyism if they are qualified or suitable.  So, if a CAP officer occupies a position at Wing, even if it was for years in a long learned position, and a new Wing Commander appoints a new person to that staff position who has more experience, knowledge and skill, it could be looked at as cronyism...however, it is infact, not.

Now, a clearing of the house to make room for unqualified friends?  That would be.

I have known many commanders that prefer to, when taking command, have people they know from years of service in CAP with them in that they are proven solid officers.  They may favor them in their initial descision en re staff because there are certain things that are critical in the first stages of a Command and these people may be what is needed to establish that certain thing. 

That would not even be corruption by the above definition because it is in line with official duty, within established policy and is not meant to gather some personal advancement (to add your definition to it)  Some might see that as "unfair," however, if we assume a commander selects a staff for its ability to accomlish the misison...well?  How would keeping a lesser qualified officer in position contribute to that, a removal to an assistant position then seems more fair to the more experienced person. 

Now, appointing people who are friends and promoting them to some position they are not ready for or capable of doing simply to be surrounded by yes people for furtherance of one's personal agenda?  That is another story.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 06:50:35 AM by Major Carrales » Report to moderator   Logged
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« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2012, 06:21:40 AM »

I'm seeing a hint of "my mind is made up, don't confuse me with facts".
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