Mixed Messages

LisaJones01“Lisa Jones” is a contributing writer on Leavenworth St.

Am I the only one baffled by the Governor’s choice for Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol?

If you haven’t heard, Bradley Rice, the nominee for this position, was involved in a gender discrimination lawsuit when he was formerly with the NSP. In the trial, Rice admitted to providing interview advantages to men (a daylong prep session with the successful candidate and provided tips to two other male applicants, but not the female applicant) when he sat on the interview panel. You can certainly read more about it in the OWH and on Nebraska Watchdog, but long story short, the patrol lost the lawsuit and chose not to appeal, making restitution to the female officer and giving her the promotion. Subsequent articles have revealed more allegations of Mr. Rice’s views, such as comments that he believes women should not be employed in law enforcement at all.

So out of all the people Governor Ricketts could tap for this role, this is the guy?

To provide perspective, this is the same Governor who a few weeks ago asked Pat McPherson to resign over a racially-charged blog posting that McPherson says he did not even write. A racial slur on a blog post, unacceptable. But using your power to deny a female a promotion, costing thousands of dollars in legal fees–well, everyone makes mistakes.

In seriousness, whenever stories about sexism or gender discrimination in the workplace come up amongst my male friends, two things usually happen. One, there is usually a lot of resistance to and discomfort about thinking that that still happens. (It does. Not claiming a victim card, just stating a fact. It can be blatant, it can be subtle. But it happens.) Two, if they are a father, they say, “I’m going to teach my daughter differently. I’m going to show her that life is about possibilities, and the stuff isn’t going to affect her. I’m going to teach her to rise above it.” I’m sure a lot of fathers think that. That’s how I was raised, too. We will just raise our daughters to work hard, make good choices, and they will succeed.

But the bottom line is this: when they encounter someone who doesn’t think they should succeed because they are a female, and that someone has the institutional power within the workplace to deny them, every lesson we’ve taught them means nothing. Their skills, abilities, competencies, and drive don’t matter, because a man with power won’t let it matter. And every time we let something like this slide, or say “well, maybe we don’t know the whole story,” and give power back to someone who abuses it, we are really saying it’s okay–paving the way for the daughters we teach today to have daughters of their own with the exact same stories.

Maybe Mr. Rice isn’t a blatant sexist, but even his strongest defenders would have to admit that his actions appear to be, at the very least, a little sexist. Which leads me to wonder–if we have to ask the question of whether, just maybe, he’s a little sexist, should we be elevating him to the Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol?


  1. Macdaddy says:

    Lisa, I think that Jessica Moening secretly hates Ricketts and is doing everything in her power to bring him down without him ever knowing what happened. This, of course, does not reflect well on our Governor.

    I disagree with your next-you-last paragraph, though. The lessons still stand but perhaps the education is incomplete.

  2. good post says:

    I am agreeing, sort of. But in a round about way.

    Playing devil’s advocate, let’s assume that you cannot read minds. (I now don my tinfoil hat, just in case.)

    Winning a sexism case does not necessarily a sexist make, especially when the guy preps and picks one guy and specifically denies the job to two other guys and a gal. — Maybe he is a homosexual in love with the guy he picked over two other guys and a woman. He won’t advertise that. Better a sexist male than a gay cop, right?

    What he thought of the woman and the two other guys we don’t know. And what she chose not to reveal of her conversations with him and others, we cannot know. What we do know is that even you, Lisa, here in this blog, can spin this crooked manager into a sexist pig, as if somehow him not picking a woman is worse than him not picking the two other men.

    When we focus on minority/sex fairness laws, we can miss the forest for the trees. She may have been the worst candidate or perhaps the best, and the other two guys too. This isn’t about their jobs. This about an abuse of power by the manager-selector who meant to violate a process that denies all citizens optimum law enforcement.

    This manager was already crooked enough to not let the selection process sift out the best person for the job. He instead picked just one in advance. That makes him a crook. The fact that he knew a woman was in the mix as an inherent potential EEO complaint only adds stupidity to his real crime, which isn’t him disliking women but rather his abuse of power.

    I am racially mixed. I understand why equalizing laws exist. I am not arguing if Affirmation Action is right or wrong. It is in fact the law and the status quo. Any boss today can close his or her office door on a male white subordinate and speak without much worry. But when a woman or a minority is in that room with a white male superior, that door stays open or witnesses are there. That is basic managerial common sense.

    Most people sincerely wants to rise on their own merit. However, there is more opportunity for some to file a potentially profitable EEO complaint, and more easily so against white male superiors, and this managerial top cop knew that perfectly well.

    As a law enforcement executive, he has a lot more wrong with him than just being unfair to women. That’s Ricketts’ problem. And he cannot blame that on some appointee. The buck stops with Pete.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Scott Peterson dominated the establishments pick by getting Ed Truemper elected. Good Job Scott & Jon tucker!!!

  4. Stirred pot says:

    Speaking of stirring the “pot”, where does Ricketts and the Unicameral stand on medical marijuana?

    Nebraska could use the income from an extra crop, since NE dollars earned by illegal Mexicans flow unimpeded into Iowa Casinos and Colorado marijuana clinics.

    That’s meant to be a joke. But the med pot issue is no joke for people in pain.

    My family members have glaucoma, have fought cancer, and one has ceaseless pain from wartime injuries. None are law breakers so they don’t even try pot. The veteran has on his shelf VA prescribed codeine, a massively strong narcotic derived from the same source as morphine and heroin, which is horribly addictive and powerful beyond reason. One can hardly think cannabis derived meds, oils or such, or even smoking it, could be worse than a cousin of heroin prescribed by our federal hospitals. No one in my family even smokes tobacco. A merlot is as wild as we get.

    As a Nebraska political blog this seems the right place to ask this question.

  5. Anonymous says:

    You might get an answer if not for your “joke.” Seriously, your family member’s need seems real enough. Why embellish with bad humor?

  6. Macdaddy says:

    The reason the veteran has constant pain is because codeine is not a massively strong narcotic. It’s weak. Codeine does not equal morphine which does not equal heroin. You do know heroin is illegal, right? He can’t get that from the VA. I don’t really care about the joke which is way off because everybody knows that illegals send their money back to their home countries, but I do care that the case for medical marijuana is being made from emotion and not science. There aren’t studies to back up the claims. Instead, you progressives shun science and use the same tactics used to defend abortion and agitate for same sex marriage: you highlight the 0.0001% of people who could tug at our emotions. Medical marijuana is a medical issue. Go get some medical research and we’ll talk. And Journal of Getting Stoned doesn’t count.

  7. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Mac daddy, The evidence derived from the observations made in those states where medical marijuana has been allowed belies your obvious knee-jerk aversion to its use. Studies have been made, but more are needed, and only the decriminalization of cannabis will allow medical research facilities such as the University of Nebraska to conduct studies.
    So long as marijuana remains on the list of Schedule 1 drugs, it will be very difficult for any serious research to be done. Several highly respected medical organizations have already indicated that they favor its decriminalization.
    As a point of curiosity, why did the Nebraska Legislature think that it was imperative that cigar smokers should be able to consume the drug of their choice in cigar bars while tobacco, essentially, meets all of the criteria established for a substance to be included in the list of Schedule 1 drugs? Is there a bit of hypocrisy being spread around?

  8. TexasAnnie says:

    Sing it brother Brian! Not every variety of hemp contains THC. Those that do, get you high. Those that don’t make good rope. It’s the cannabis that contains CBD which helps those with intractable seizures, —a condition my youngest daughter has battled throughout her life.

    And no, Macdaddy, there ARE NO LEGAL PHARMACEUTICALS for alleviating this condition. At one time about half her life ago we did find a fairly good substitute, recommended by her neurologist, to be imported from Canada and widely used across Europe. It was not approved by the FDA (lobbying power at work here) and was classified as an “orphan drug.” (Google it, and google Sanjay Gupta’s CNN special on the subject of cannabinoids while you’re at it.) Thus we were in a position of trying to import the drug, at risk of having it confiscated, and finding ourselves without necessary medication! Those who are seizure free are free to doubt…but just because some don’t believe medical marijuana has a legitimate use doesn’t make it so.

    Let science do it’s job: free cannabinoids from Schedule 1 classification so they can be studied!!!

  9. Macdaddy says:

    Are we talking about tobacco or marijuana here? Are we talking about legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes (wink, wink) or are we talking about increased medical research into marijuana? Hey! Focus, people. Get some fresh air and focus back on the bill. The bill’s purpose is to make it easier for people to get marijuana. Not the extract, not the oil, but out and out marijuana. No quality control. Mixed study results, especially for seizures. Vague and malleable qualifying conditions. Nightmare scenarios for employers with a duty not to put the public in harm’s way. Just move to Colorado already.

  10. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Macdaddy, evidently we are talking about your inability to successfully engage your cognizant abilities. It is far too apparent that you haven’t bothered to read the bill. We certainly wouldn’t want you to bruise your cerebellum by exposing it to factual information.

  11. TexasAnnie says:

    Macdaddy and Brian: I haven’t read the Nebraska bill and I haven’t the will to do so. We’ve got our own bill under consideration here for me to concern myself. However, Macdaddy, you explicitly accused those of us who have read about the medical benefits of hemp oil, of false motive for desiring the substance.
    We want the studies, and eventually the production of any beneficial medical application. So as a Schedule 1 drug, we believe the federal government should back down on this issue… In the meantime, the states are doin’ it for themselves!

  12. Macdaddy says:

    Annie, this bill does not do what you want. Go talk to Obama, the FDA, and the DEA. Leave Nebraska out of it. Every state that has passed a medical marijuana bill has had soaring rates of legal marijuana use. It’s not all extracts. The vast majority is smoked. In addition, this bill will either tie up police resources as they arrest people using marijuana and then have to track down whether or not they are legally able to use it, or they will just turn a blind eye to all of it, effectively legalizing all marijuana use in Nebraska. That is the point of this bill: using people with heart-wrenching stories to give cover for everyone else who wants to get baked.

  13. Macdaddy says:

    BTO, I did read it:
    A person shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including, but not limited to, civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or occupational or professional licensing board, for providing a registered qualifying patient or a registered designated caregiver with cannabis paraphernalia for purposes of a qualifying patient’s medical use of cannabis.
    Now 2 people are licensed to have marijuana even though only one has a “condition.” In addition, you can’t get kicked out of your job if you test positive for marijuana. How is that going to play the next time a cement truck driver blasts through a red light and kills somebody and he tested positive for marijuana the week before? Bye, bye, cement company. This bill is crap but all you and your ilk can see is, “Whoo hoo. We can get baked!” Colorado has legalized recreational use and still medical marijuana usage goes up even though it has been legal there for years. Why? It’s cheaper. Sales go up on Fridays, too. Why? Who knows? Maybe because it’s the weekend and people want to use more on weekends. What? Drug users wanting to use more drugs on the weekend? Shocker. Just admit it, BTO. You want to get cheap marijuana and you’re willing to ride the backs of seizure patients and cancer patients to get it.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Brian, don’t waste your time arguing with Macdaddy. His mind is so closed that rational thought processes are impossible. As I get older, I get more and more disgusted with his type. Because of irrational fear, it’s necessary to block an effective treatment for someone with a definite need if there’s a chance (or even a guarantee) that some will misuse it. Lack of compassion and irrational fear are traits that many (not all) Republicans share.

  15. Macdaddy says:

    Rational thought processes are blocked? The evidence for medical marijuana consists largely of anecdotal evidence, news reports, poorly run studies and equivocal results. Every last study published on this, including the evidence-based reviews, say that more studies are needed, but you guys say the science is settled, free the pot. Now, I can explain science to you, but I can’t understand it for you. In addition, there are no quality controls that every other medicine has to go through nor are there labeling regulations that even homeopathic treatments have to have. You’re just ready to throw people to the stoner wolves and you’re hoping an adjective will hide what you really want.

  16. Anonymous says:

    You can study something forever (and even that’s hard to do with marijuana’s present drug level classification), but what we do now is that the results of its use (or misuse) are much, much, MUCH less harmful than the legal drugs we are surrounded with. If you had a family member that was benefiting from its use now, and not having to wait years because he lives in a state where it is legal, you might have a different opinion. (Not just restricted to those on the right, but I’ve stopped being surprised at those whose views change 180 degrees when they are personally affected.) Like human climate change deniers, I doubt you’d ever accept the evidence that this is a beneficial drug, no matter how many studies were done.

  17. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Macdaddy, I have no desire to be “baked,” as you put it. I do, however, wish that my good friend with Stage V Parkinsons disease, another with Multiple Sclerosis and nearly anyone suffering from the effects of radiation and chemo from their cancer “cures” could access a substance that has been proven to alleviate their suffering. I’m sorry that you only believe those expensive medicines created in laboratories by greedy corporations are somehow better than those given us by our Creator.

    What makes you think that all of those drugs produced by Big Pharma aren’t being abused? Hell, your hero, Rush Limbaugh, used so much Oxycontin to addle his feeble mind that he had to get three or four doctors to prescribe it for him. I guarantee you that if he treated his erectile dysfunction with cannabis rather than with industrial sized quantities of Viagra, our entire country would benefit. And every time you get in your Yugo and head down I-80 you’d do well to look out for all the housewives that are in the other lane, driving while higher than a kite on some LEGAL anti-psychotic that her pill pushing doctor prescribed for her.

  18. Macdaddy says:

    Again, we are talking about marijuana. There is no clinical evidence that marijuana helps Parkinson’s or MS. And yes, multiple studies have been done. Does your friend get relief from symptoms with marijuana? Great. But that is not science. That is one guy’s experience and it very well be a placebo effect. Is that how we want to make laws for the entire state? Based on one guy’s subjective experience? Make it a thousand. Fine. Go for it. But you are anti-science and you are providing cover for tens of thousands of others to use a powerful, harmful drug they should not be using. That’s a verifiable fact. I’m sorry that your friend is suffering. Is the answer to cause even more suffering among others?

  19. Brian T. Osborn says:

    You’re hopeless, and heartless, Macdaddy. If you were a boyscout, you’d be standing on the corner pushing old ladies into traffic.

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