OPM Disability Retirement under FERS & CSRS: Scoffing paradigms

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Robert R. McGill

Serving Walkersville, MD

Principal at firm Robert R. McGill

Serving Walkersville, MD

     Of course, such a title can have a double entendre or duality of meanings – that, in the first instance, the accent is upon the word “scoffing” with a lowering of one’s voice upon “paradigms”, and that would mean: One turns up one’s nose at the very idea of paradigms. Or, alternatively, if both words are of equally monotonous tonal undulations, then it could mean that the paradigm itself is one which scoffs at other paradigms, differing principles or contrary perspectives.  As to the first:  There are those in life who declare that paradigms are unnecessary, and one needs to simply live life, take things as they come and forget about being able to comprehend “first principles” or other such nonsense.  Indeed, that is the bestial side of humanity; animals and all other species live like that, and as the evolutionary perspective has won out and we are left with nothing but the biological counterview of life, so why not us as well in consonance with the rest of the universe?  The second meaning would presume the opposite:  for, in order for a superiority of belief-systems beyond modernity’s feeble attempt at generalized equivalence of all such systems, there needs be certain paradigms that are objectively prioritized in significance, importance and relevance of application.  In either meanings, while the emphasis upon the direction of the scoffer may differ, the central concept of “paradigms” remains throughout and consistently becomes elevated and magnified as the primary root cause.  Modernity has a dual problem (and many more, besides):  On the one hand, nobody any longer believes in grand systems of philosophical import; thus, the Hegels, Kants and Heideggers of yesteryear will not become reincarnated in current or future times, unless there is a wholesale exchange of mindsets.  On the other hand, we still cling to a tribal mentality – of wanting and needing to belong to a group that espouses illogical biases and discriminatory tendencies, if only to have some semblance of an identity unique from others; and so we embrace, by unconscious fiat or otherwise estranged ignorance, paradigms that we neither understand nor take the time to comprehend, but instead join in and defend by means of keeping company with other such ignoramuses.  For Federal employees and U.S. Postal workers who begin the process of preparing, formulating and filing an effective Federal Disability Retirement application, whether the Federal or Postal employee is under FERS, CSRS or CSRS Offset, what becomes quickly evident during the process is that the Federal Agency or the U.S. Postal Facility will suddenly become encamped and invested in one paradigm, and you in an altogether different paradigm, and then the scoffing begins.  The Federal Disability Retirement applicant (you) are no longer amongst the “for the mission of the agency” paradigm, and you end up being a member of that “other” paradigm whether you like it, choose to, or not.  Thus do you participate in the vicious cycle of scoffing paradigms, in either sense of the terms, without even knowing it.  Go figure.

 Sincerely, Robert R. McGill, Esquire

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