Here is a classic thinking question for undergraduate political science students.
If you work in a government, and that government is run by officials elected by the public, are you your own boss? Discuss why and why not.
So, the Supreme Court offers their answer in Garcetti et al vs. Ceballos (pdf). The press is talking about the decision as one that is "anti-whistle blower". I would tend to agree with that assesment given the tact the Bush administration took in their briefs on the issue. However, a look at the Court's opinion is persuading me otherwise. More later.
But, where is the line drawn between you as a public employee and you as a citizen who has a right to critique performances of those you may report to and to discuss with your voting friends what may or may not be right in government? And, should you expect any protection from retribution by your supervising fellow voters?