Fine Teaching Gig You Got Here. Be a Shame If Anything Were To Happen to You.

From Mercer Community College in New Jersey, a political science science lecture turns into a lesson on free speech and abuse of power.

The incident occurred on February 1, as Michael Glass, an assistant professor of political science, was lecturing students in a course on state and local politics about New Jersey's budget gap, according to an account offered by the institution's student newspaper, The College Voice, and described by Ms. Donohue's office as confirmed by the college's own investigation.

Sheriff Larkin came up in the class as an example of public employees who engaged in "double dipping," by collecting a pension at the same time he received a salary. When a student remarked that he would not know how to spend the more than $200,000 Mr. Larkin was earning annually through salary and pension payments, Mr. Glass allegedly said Mr. Larkin needed much of the money to cover alimony and child support.

A student who is employed at the county clerk's office promptly sent the sheriff a text message about the comment, and Mr. Larkin soon came to the classroom himself and summoned Mr. Glass out into the hallway for a few minutes. Mr. Glass then returned to the room, introduced the sheriff, and apologized for making disparaging remarks about him.

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  • ||

    Fucking petty little thug.

  • Thomas||

    I wonder if he realizes that's what he is, or if he thinks what he did was justified or even necessary.

  • ||

    I am sure he thinks of himself as a wonderful public servant. That is the nature of being evil; you don't realize it. No one tries to be evil. In fact just the opposite. The most evil people generally think they are doing the most good and are the most smug about it.

  • true colors||

    self-reflection?

  • ||

    You disagree with me, so I must be evil right?

  • true colors||

    Evil is it's own judge but you are definitely self-righteous and smug.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Oh! You petty things!

  • ||

    Don't you know you're driving your mamas and papas insane? Let me make it plain. Gotta make way for the homo superior.

  • Joe M||

    Note to professor: only dog on out of town abusers of power.

  • Joe Arpaio||

    Amateur. The good professor would've found himself taking a sand nap out in the desert if he tried that shit in Maricopa County!

  • ||

    Whaddaya wanna bet Larkin used his lights and siren to get there and chew out the good professor? I'm also wondering why the professor (and most people) didn't flex his rights and refuse to say anything to the pig?

    The revolution cannot come fast enough.

  • ||

    It is too bad he didn't.

  • josey||

    Lights & siren? Not a chance. At least around here, cops never turn those things on unless they've pulled over a vicious seatbelt-law violator. In that case, they need to have three or four backup squads on-scene...lights a-blazin'...you know, just to be on the safe side.

    Funny story...well, you be the judge. I once came up on a sheriff as he breezed right through a four-way stop. Not a big deal, but as chance would have it, this was the same guy I'd reported earlier that day for doing about 85 in a 35 in front of my friend's house for no reason other than to get to the city hall parking lot and do paperwork. Not that I make a habit of that -- actually, it's the only time I've done so; but there are tons of kids that live on that street and it just really irked me. So anyway, I recognized the car, and I started following him, since he'd turned the way I was already going. He must've recognized me too, because he immediately accelerated to somewhere around 110 mph, and since he used no lights or siren, I decided to follow suit. A couple of miles further, he braked hard and turned into a heavily-wooded residential area. I tried to keep up as he made random turns onto different side streets, but eventually he shook me. I didn't report this, since (a) I'd have to admit officially to the speeding infringement I had to commit in order to chase him, and (b) it was fairly evident that he had gotten the message and might think twice before deciding to recklessly endanger the citizens he's sworn to protect.

    And no, despite being a crazy libertarian type, I'm not a general scofflaw; I'm 34 and I've never had a single moving violation on my record. By the way, if you're some state troll reading this, notice that I said 'funny story', not 'true story', so put that in your donut and smoke it. And turn on your lights if you have to break the law you are supposedly upholding -- they're on your car for a purpose.

  • ||

    In that case, they need to have three or four backup squads on-scene...lights a-blazin'...you know, just to be on the safe side.

    And they need to jackknife their fat union asses across all but one remaining lane of what otherwise would have been a totally clear road, creating a miles-long backup.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    My brother-in-law, former Volunteer Fire Chief, told me that turning on the lights does not allow cops to break the speed limit. The law is the law and the only reasons that cops get away with it are that most folks believe that they can and who is going to arrest them?

    Caveats:

    This is New Mexico as of about 10-15 years ago. I don't know if that was correct then and, for all I know, it might be different now.

    ... Hobbit

  • Playa Manhattan||

    In CA, a steady red lamp (not flashing) displayed to the front of the car exempts the driver from the vehicle code, with the condition that the driver operate the vehicle with"due regard for public safety"

  • Abdul||

    That sherriff soiled the outstanding reputation that public servants in New Jersey have, unless he also shook the egghead down for a bribe, in which case it's okay.

  • ||

    What's he need a bribe for with that salary?

  • Public Teacher||

    To maintain his self-esteem, silly.

  • Joel||

    "Need" has nothing to do with it. In that sense, bribes are exactly like guns.

  • ||

    Let's see if I got this right:
    Some college prof uses the sheriff as an example of douchbaggery. The sheriff gets wind of it and has a few words in private with the guy. The prof then apologizes.

    I don't know. Maybe it smells a little, but for all we know the sheriff just said "Hey I'm not a douchbag so stop telling every one I am".

    Maybe there was abuse of power here, but I can't get my outrage on over it.

  • ||

    Fair enough. But forgive me for not wanting to give a small town sheriff making 200K a year the benefit of the doubt.

  • billy-jay||

    A few words in private? He interrupted the fricking class.

  • ||

    So is the Sheriff paying alimony and child support or not? And how is that disparaging?

  • ||

    Of course it could be that a classroom is not a proper setting to air the laundry of other individuals. Be they the Sheriff or the school Secretary. If the Sheriff threatened the teacher using his authority, then that's inappropriate. However, if he just had a gentle chat, and said that it may be wrong to talk about his private life to a bunch of strangers... Well I'm not so sure. My problem with this example of abuse of power, is that from my viewpoint, what the professor did was unprofessional as well. Don't remark on the private lives of other individuals in a work setting. It's not considered "polite".

  • Libertarian||

    The Sherrif's a public employee, dipshit, and double dipping is theft.

  • ||

    Not sure if he showed up based on the teacher talking about double dipping, or about the discussion on his ex-wife. It does make a difference to some people. Public employees get to discuss the things said about them as well.

  • ||

    so's the professor.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    double dipping is theft

    It is?

    Aside from the fact that it's probably a gov't retirement, if the guy did the time he earned it, no? If he retired from the Army after 20 years he'd get a pension (nowhere near 200k, grant you) and at 38 might want want to get another job to fill his time.

    Or maybe my sarcasm meter is broken.

    BTW, I'm with Warren.

    ... Hobbit

  • Xeones||

    A student who is employed at the county clerk's office promptly sent the sheriff a text message about the comment

    Somebody's gonna get faaaa-aaailed!

  • BakedPenguin||

    And that would be a great lesson in abuse of power. An "F" would be the perfect grade for a political science course for the damn snitch.

  • ||

    To my mind, a sheriff who rushes out to confront someone who says unkind things about him is a sheriff who is temperamentally unsuited to any position of power and authority.

  • emily||

    exactly.

    and this professor seems like kind of a pansy.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    I would have told the sheriff to cram it with walnuts. OK, no, I really probably would have apologized.

  • bubba||

    If the Sheriff shows up in a class and "requests" a public apology from a professor, I don't think he's making the point he thinks he's making.

    Especially in a course on state and local politics...

  • ||

    If the Sheriff threatened the teacher using his authority, then that's inappropriate.

    I would guess that any conversation with a member of law enforcement about whether or not you should be saying the things you said involves, at an absolute minimum, an implied threat.

  • ||

    So are members of law enforcement then unable to have conversations with any citizens about what is or isn't an appropriate thing to say? If this were in reference to a third party, perhaps the school's janitor, would it be OK?

  • Coeus||

    No, but it's quite possible security would have been called on anyone else who disrupted class in that manner. What the man said was clearly not illegal, so for the cop to appear at all when he should be working means he's not acting rationally. And if an irrational man with a loaded gun and the ability to rape you with a toilette plunger (with impunity) tells you to stop saying something because he doesn't like it, then the threat is definitely implied. If it were in reference to a third party, his presence would probably have been requested. If it wasn't, then the above still stands.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Somebody's gonna get faaaa-aaailed!

    That somebody gets an 'A' or else professor goes to jail.

  • Michael||

    Profuse apologies for straying completely off-topic, but this might be noteworthy...

    http://newsblogs.chicagotribun.....a-sin.html

    This Reverend Blackwell fellow makes a fairly interesting point (even though a subsequent quote is chock full of irony)...

    “I’m less concerned about you and seven martinis than the government unable to address the citizens directly about how much it costs to fill potholes, pay for education … and depending on some people’s inherent weakness instead of raising taxes,” he said.

  • JSinAZ||

    Unfortunately, the Reverand is also an idiot, who misunderstands the relationship between free will and mechanical devices: "In this case video gaming, which is structured and organized to extort money, is really demonic."

    I've heard of one-armed bandits, but one-armed extortionists? The concept is an intriguing one, although I am not sure how the software would work.

  • Jersey Patriot||

    I hasten to add that sheriffs are completely useless in New Jersey. New Jersey has been completely incorporated: all land within the state belongs to a municipality. All of the functions of the sheriffs could be moved up to the state police or down to the municipal police. The dude isn't just double-dipping. His whole job is worthless.

  • ||

    A guy from the government walks in, WEARING A GUN, and asks for demands an apology.

    Nah, no coercion here, none at all. Just the free exchange of ideas between equals.

  • Michael||

    Here's some more off-topic drivel, though this time it's police related. Chicago police superintendent is considering murder charges against whoever committed the alleged burglary that led to a call being made to 911 that led to a police officer being dispatched to the scene who subsequently spun his police cruiser out of control en route, slammed into a tree and died.

    http://www.chicagobreakingnews.....geant.html

    I'll now shut up for the remainder of the day.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    In the immortal words of Neo, "Whoa." As Reed Richards might say, "That's quite a stretch."

  • ||

    Chain of causation! Chain of causation for sale! Chain of causation!

  • Sucki||

    When a student remarked that he would not know how to spend the more than $200,000 Mr. Larkin was earning annually through salary and pension payments

    Fuuck the student too.I hate it when people say that shit. 200k doesn't cover expenses on a decent boat

  • ||

    No kidding. Name any figure, and I'll find a way to spend it, if I must.

    You're blogging with someone who'd like to have his own open-air ranch. On Mars.

  • Barack Obama||

    What comes after a trillion?

    Anarchy.

  • Orlando M||

    Fingers crossed.

  • Paul||

    When a student remarked that he would not know how to spend the more than $200,000 Mr. Larkin was earning annually through salary and pension payments, Mr. Glass allegedly said Mr. Larkin needed much of the money to cover alimony and child support.

    This is how we save money in the Greater Seattle Area.

    As North Highline fire chief, Scott LaVielle oversees two stations and 35 employees and last year earned more than Gov. Chris Gregoire.

    LaVielle's pay of $186,370 even outpaced the salary of Seattle Fire Chief Gregory Dean, who made $173,709 for managing 32 stations and 1,155 employees.

    Now, as LaVielle prepares to leave the job, he is set to receive more than $300,000 under a severance package that includes one year's pay plus about $115,880 for unused sick leave, vacation and compensatory time.

    If this is what the public sector employees in small districts make, this country is doomed to turn into a works program for government employees.

  • Orlando M||

    Fail the snitch.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Mr. Glass allegedly said Mr. Larkin needed much of the money to cover alimony and child support.

    The stupid part of the comment is the idea that someone's expenses factor into what their compensation should be.

    Fire them both I say.

  • han||

    I have to say this is good

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