Corra Daily Planet » 2010 » March

The Amy Bishop Background Checks

Wed, March 31st, 2010 - 6:22 am - By Gordon Basichis

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An article in Elizabeth College’s Etownian, entitled Academic Background Checks Inept? calls for better background checks for academics.   The article, by Patricia A. Cangelosi,  notes how the University of Alabama may have overlooked Amy Bishop’s past where she reportedly shot and killed her brother by accident while trying to clean his shotgun.   According to the article in the Etownian, in 1993 while at Harvard, Bishop suspected she would receive bad reviews and in response she allegedly mailed pipe bombs to the professor’s house.

I blogged about Bishop’s exploits in an article on the blog site Hopeful, called The Vintage Whine of Academia.  I commented on how different professors were claiming the requirements for tenure were too harsh and while Bishop’s case is in the extreme, candidates for tenure may succumb to the stress and pressure.   I thought this claim over the top as most people in the private sector are under pressure at their jobs as well.  It comes with the territory and should be apparent that someone awarded a professorship or position for life should be under scrutiny for protracted period.  Let’s face it, other than a judgeship, and as the dictator of a third world country, there are not many places where you are awarded your position for life.

Cangelosi writes in her article that at Elizabethtown College a teaching applicant could still be accepted, even if they have on their background checks convictions on criminal records going back ten years or.  Fair enough, if it’s a harmless misdemeanor or even a non-violent crime of sorts.  But when violence is involved and when there are students present, violent criminal records can give an employer pause.  Cangelosi cites other incidents with other teachers who were arrested for different crimes.  In one case a teacher was arrested for soliciting sex from what he thought was a teenager.  It turned out to be an undercover cop.   Good eye, teacher.

As Bishop shot six people and killed three of them, academic license and freedom of expression can be taken to extremes.   To help filter out the nut jobs , criminals and potential threats to students and faculty, more stringent background checks are in order.  And with the more stringent background checks, colleges and universities should implement much more stringent reviews.  Anyone applying to teach or work on campus should come under greater scrutiny.    Although it may sometimes be too rare or deemed to pedestrian in a campus environment, background checks are the sensible thing.

Better than facing ugly headlines with your school featured in the background as the haul away yet another nut job for shooting up the campus.  Check them out before you hire.

Could You Be Hiring Jihad Jane?

Tue, March 30th, 2010 - 6:04 am - By Gordon Basichis

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By now most of us have heard of Jihad Jane.   Jane is a blond haired blue eyed, high school dropout who converted to Islam and allegedly believed her life was best spent assisting fundamentalist terrorists by helping them kill their perceived enemies and otherwise providing material support.    She helped recruit other Westerners of similar proclivities to wage violent jihad against the West.   This among other place was reported in an article in  The Washington Post.

Jihad Jane was born  Colleen Renee LaRose.   According to the Post article,  in her more desultory days, been arrested in Texas for passing bad checks and driving while intoxicated.  She had been living in Pennsylvania for quite a number of years.   According to the charges, she was attempting to assist her co-conspirator in moving to Sweden where they reportedly would kill the infidels and try to win converts over to the terrorist cause.

This may sound funky, but we all know that this is true.  What you must realize is that this is the among the worst nightmares for law enforcement and intelligence.   There is no racial profiling here.  These are Westerners who can blend in easily and perform the most horrible acts against the public as well as the government.  We are all too well aware of the tragedies and near tragedies terrorists have perpetrated in the United States, Europe, and other countries around the world.   So while this woman may not appear to have all her oars in the water, she still is dangerous as hell.

The thing is, many terrorists may be funded, but others are not.  They have to eat; they need a place to live.  Which means they have to work.   They may be applying for jobs, and many may be crazy, but certainly not stupid.  It’s the latest wrinkle in the new world in which we live.  While extremely rare you would even find a Jihad Jane lite in your midst, this is definitely not the person you would want to hire.   The ramifications are major.   To say the least,  hiring a terrorist is not the best way to promote your business.   Having the captured terrorist and your business featured on the six o’clock news may prove upsetting to both customers and community.

There are several background checks that can assist in filtering out those on the terror watch lists.   The Global Terror Watch List includes seventeen reporting agencies from the United States and around the world.   It is a relatively inexpensive background check and can be added to any preemployment screening program.   The Global Terror Watch List also includes individuals and entities that are prohibited from working or doing business in the United States.

Again, I stress the chance of your turning up a Jihad Jane among your job applicants is extremely rare.   But keep in mind the greatest concern that law enforcement has is the rising number of home grown terrorists and assorted nut jobs appearing on the radar screen.   There are enough of them to give any employer at list the slightest pause, if not concern.   Besides, for government contracts and when doing business with defense related or homeland security related industries, the Global Terror Watch List is increasingly mandated by most concerns.

So check them out before you hire.

E-Verify BackGround Checks to Experience Partial Outage

Mon, March 29th, 2010 - 6:02 am - By Gordon Basichis

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E-Verify or I-9 qualification background checks can be an important part of any employment screening program.  As most know by now, the E-Verify I-9 background check is mandated for any employer contracted for work with the Federal government and some state governments as well.

The I-9 verifies that your new hire is eligible to work in the United States.   This is not a preemployment screening check, I would like to remind you.  You must formally offer the position to your employment candidate before conducting the E-Verify background search.

The E-Verify system will be experience partial outages.  Here are the dates–


E-Verify will not be able to automatically approve certain document types between 1 AM and 7 AM on 3/28 due to scheduled downtime on other DHS systems. Transactions which do not require entry of a document number (card number, receipt number, etc.) should not be affected.

Outage Start Time and Date:       0100 EDT, Sunday March 28, 2010
Outage Stop Time and Date:       0700 EDT, Sunday March 28, 2010
Estimated Outage Duration:        6 hours

E-Verify will not be able to accept initial verifications between 11 PM 4/3 and 5 AM 4/5 due to scheduled downtime on Social Security systems. Cases which have already cleared SSA and gone to DHS will not be affected.

Outage Start Time and Date:       2300 EDT, Saturday April 3, 2010
Outage Stop Time and Date:       0500 EDT, Monday April 5, 2010
Estimated Outage Duration:        30 hours

Corra Group discusses Ryan Jenkins Background Check with CanalPlus Cable French Television

Fri, March 26th, 2010 - 10:43 am - By Nick Gustavson

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Corra Group founders Gordon Basichis and Nick Gustavson discussed Ryan Jenkins’ background check with French Cable News Station CanalPlus. The interview was conducted in English, but overdubbed in French for the French television audience.   

Ryan Jenkins, Reality TV contestant who later murdered his wife Jasmine Fiore, passed a Canadian criminal background check as part of the vetting process to join the cast of Megan Wants a Millionaire. Apparently, the Canadian Provincial Court Clerk was unable to locate any criminal records on Ryan Jenkins. Canada has since revised their reporting procedures and included new safeguards for reporting Provincial Criminal Records as well as the Canadian National Criminal Search or CPIC.

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