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Re: Texas PE Criminal Background Check Instructions

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This conversation makes me grin a little between grimaces... it is sounding 
 a lot like many I have heard over and over around my parent's dinner 


Being a skeptic is his hobby, astronomy his full time job and at the time 
my father wrote this article he had been working for JPL for over 20 years 
(if you are not familiar, JPL is basically a NASA funded laboratory to 
study space.  It can be argued that the scientists and engineers that work 
there have a far lesser impact or exposure to public safety that structural 
 engineers)... a few years later Dept of Homeland Security (ironically, 
working for the former governor of Texas) passed a directive that resulted 
in all JPL employees requiring more extensive background checks.  I believe 
 the check was somewhat intrusive, to the extent of researching high school 
 girlfriends, etc. but take that with a grain of salt, my source of 
information was biased so I don't really know how intrusive the checks 
were.  The issue made some news locally and lawsuits were filed by a group 
of scientists and the moral fight was fought, I think the scientists won a 
round or two at the local levels but as it moved up the appeals process the 
 federal judges and courts found on the side of the federal government.  Do 
 search on "JPL background checks", some stuff will come up.  There are 
some parallels to this Texas issue we are talking about.

I hope you guys in TX can find a way to halt and reverse the silliness.  We 
 are continuing to head in the wrong direction for sure if this takes hold 
nationally.  Luckily here in CA I can still have a pocket knife on my key 
chain as I sit here wL^2/8-ing and I hope it can stay that way.

Donny Harris, SE
Los Angeles, CA

> Date: Thu, 20 Feb 2014 20:00:57 +0000
> From: Matthew Stuart <MStuart(--nospam--at)>
> Subject: RE: Texas PE Criminal Background Check Instructions
> The most aggravating issue about this background check to me is that they
> are not accepting recent previous background checks for things like fire
> arms permit.
> This is similar to Texas being so hard headed at one time about not
> accepting the NCEES Record.
> In either case, similar to when you fly you just have to go ahead and 
> take your shoes, belt and everything else they ask you to take off of 
> your person , or else don't fly.
> D. Matthew Stuart, P.E., S.E., F.ASCE, F.SEI, SECB, MgtEng
> Structural Division Manager
> Pennoni Associates Inc.
> Office 215-222-3000 x7895
> Mobile 908-309-8657

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