A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
Booporium (boo + emporium) (9/22)
“Making fun of a fat person at the gym is like making fun of a homeless person at a job fair” (9/22)
“‘A fraction of the cost’ is misleading as hypothetically, something could be 3/2 of the cost” (9/22)
“Couldn’t believe dad stole from his road worker job. But when I got home, all the signs were there” (9/22)
“The high-jump event is basically reverse limbo” (9/22)
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Entry from February 24, 2011
Whistleblower

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Whistleblower
A whistleblower ( or whistle blower) is a person who tells the public or someone in authority about alleged dishonest or illegal activities (misconduct) occurring in a government department, a public or private organization, or a company. The alleged misconduct may be classified in many ways; for example, a violation of a law, rule, regulation and/or a direct threat to public interest, such as fraud, health/safety violations, and corruption. Whistleblowers may make their allegations internally (for example, to other people within the accused organization) or externally (to regulators, law enforcement agencies, to the media or to groups concerned with the issues).

One of the first laws that protected whistleblowers was the 1863 United States False Claims Act (revised in 1986), which tried to combat fraud by suppliers of the United States government during the Civil War. The act encourages whistleblowers by promising them a percentage of the money recovered or damages won by the government and protects them from wrongful dismissal.

Whistleblowers frequently face reprisal, sometimes at the hands of the organization or group which they have accused, sometimes from related organizations, and sometimes under law.

Origin of term
The term whistleblower comes from the phrase “blow the whistle,” which refers to a whistle being blown by a policeman or a referee to indicate an activity that is illegal or a foul.

Definition
Most whistleblowers are internal whistleblowers, who report misconduct on a fellow employee or superior within their company. One of the most interesting questions with respect to internal whistleblowers is why and under what circumstances people will either act on the spot to stop illegal and otherwise unacceptable behavior or report it. There is some reason to believe that people are more likely to take action with respect to unacceptable behavior, within an organization, if there are complaint systems that offer not just options dictated by the planning and control organization, but a choice of options for individuals, including an option that offers near absolute confidentiality.

External whistleblowers, however, report misconduct on outside persons or entities. In these cases, depending on the information’s severity and nature, whistleblowers may report the misconduct to lawyers, the media, law enforcement or watchdog agencies, or other local, state, or federal agencies. In some cases, external whistleblowing is encouraged by offering monetary reward.

Under most US federal whistleblower statutes, in order to be considered a whistleblower, the federal employee must have reason to believe his or her employer has violated some law, rule or regulation; testify or commence a legal proceeding on the legally protected matter; or refuse to violate the law.

In cases where whistleblowing on a specified topic is protected by statute, US courts have generally held that such whistleblowers are protected from retaliation. However, a closely divided US Supreme Court decision, Garcetti v. Ceballos (2006) held that the First Amendment free speech guarantees for government employees do not protect disclosures made within the scope of the employees’ duties.

Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary
whis·tle–blow·er noun \-ˌblō-ər\
Definition of WHISTLE-BLOWER
: one who reveals something covert or who informs against another “pledges to protect whistle–blowers who fear reprisals” — Wall Street Journal
whis·tle–blow·ing \-ˌblō-iŋ\ noun
First Known Use of WHISTLE-BLOWER
1970

(Oxford English Dictionary)
whistle-blower n. chiefly U.S. one who ‘blows the whistle’ on a person or activity (see sense 1b (d) above), esp. from within an organization.
1970 N.Y. Times 23 Mar. 40/6 When they reflect more fully on how well the majority leader handled a *whistle-blower and protected their interests.
1983 New Scientist 23 June 838/1 A whistleblower who tries to alert his own organisation to a problem and fails will, if he feels strongly enough about the matter, go outside.

15 April 1960, Oakland (CA) Tribune, “Union Chief Attacks Hoffa Alliance Plan,” pg. 33, col. 3:
NEW YORK, April 15—(UPI)—Paul Hall, president of the maritime trades department of the AFL-CIO, yesterday attacked Teamsters Union President James R. Hoffa and ruled out any AFL-CIO participation in Hoffa’s proposed National Conference of Transportation Unions.
(...)
He described Hoffa as a “notorious fink,” a “whistle blower” and an “opportunist.”

Google Books
22 November 1963, Life magazine, pg. 40, col. 3:
WHISTLE-BLOWER. Ralph Hill, Capitol Vending’s president, began the collapse of Baker’s card-house when he sued, alleging Bobby had double-crossed him.

12 December 1966, Dunkirk (NY) Evening Observer, “The Voice of Broadway” by Jack O’Brian, pg. 7, col. 3:
Sidney Slater, official whistle-blower of the Bklyn. Gallo Mob is running a city-wide printing business on L. I. under an alias, with 24-hour protection of the constabulary.

5 January 1970, Dunkirk (NY) Evening Observer, pg. 13, col. 8:
“Whistle Blower”
Fitzgerald Ends
Air Force Career

WASHINGTON (UPI)—Ernest Fitzgerald, 41, the civilian cost expert who blew the whistle on skyrocketing costs of the C5A cargo plane, ends his brief but troubled career with the Air Force today.

Google Books
Action for a Change;
A student’s manual for public interest organizing

By Ralph Nader and Donald K, Ross
New York, NY: Grossman Publishers
1971
Pg. 8:
The ethical whistle-blower may be guided by the Golden Rule, a refusal to aid and abet crimes, occupational standards of ethics, or a genuine sense of patriotism.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Thursday, February 24, 2011 • Permalink