We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I am WAY behind on posting. I still have Iceland videos and pictures to post, as well as some from my recent Caribbean sailing trip.
However, for the last 2 months I've been very busy with a restructuring of my office. My job has shifted, as has my department, my management, and my co-workers. I'm essentially doing the same job, but I've dropped some of my duties to another, so I'm training them as I focus more on the important parts of my new role.
I'm sorry for not following up on Iceland yet, but I will.
That said, I returned from our Caribbean sail (no WiFi for 10 days, both a blessing and a curse, mostly a blessing) and turned around and flew to a conference to consolidate our restructure. At one point in the conference, we had guest speakers. One was Chris Christie (more on that later) and the other was Kobe Bryant.
Kobe's personal issues aside, he was an excellent speaker. I thought I'd find him difficult to listen to. However, this is a guy who has transformed himself more than once, and I find people like that intriguing. Right now, he's building a studio to produce films and TV. It helps if you have his status and friends, of course. It helps more if you come from Los Angeles and are beloved there, as he is. Lots of people want to help. Still, even with all those connections and assistance, you need ideas and the right attitude, as well as a commitment to work. Kobe clearly has all of these.
What struck me, however, was one thing he said. He was commenting on how to focus, in particular at the free-throw line. He said people who get nervous are thinking about themselves and how they are perceived. I agree. “Dissolve into the situation. It’s not about you.”
Unquestionably the right attitude. But I think this is an attitude we can apply almost everywhere. I was speaking to a friend about the shutdown and they commented on how personal it was. They hadn't been furloughed, they hadn't lost a paycheck, they didn't even work for the government. But to them it was 'personal' because someone was losing a paycheck. I said "big deal - people lose a paycheck every day in the private sector and nobody says BOO unless it's a recession, then we look to blame it on a politician who probably had next to nothing to do with the recessionary cycle. So a few non-essential government workers lost a paycheck? Big deal. Goes to show you how much we can cut government and not feel the pain."
"But those people feel the pain - that's why it's personal."
No, it's not about THEM. It's never about them. It's about something else. They just happen to want to make it personal, and so does the media, because they are playing with your emotions. We can lament the loss of anyone's paycheck, any day of the week, and we should. But there are no guarantees in life, but we want to believe these guarantees are about us every time. They aren't.
Let me put it this way. I've had 4 bouts of unemployment in my life. The first 2, I believed it was someone else's fault (and certainly, to a small degree, it probably was), I came to believe being laid off was intensely personal. It can be, if you let it. After the last 2 layoffs, I realized it's not about whose fault it is, or whether it's personal, it's just up to me to fix the situation and make it better, and I did. It wasn't ever personal. The only 'personal' part was deciding that nothing is guaranteed unless I work at it for myself.
After Kobe made that comment, I started thinking how difficult it is to be a Progressive Liberal and living with the knowledge that your entire life is predicated on a hypocritical and unsupportable philosophy. I guess they try not to think about that too much.
The Victim Status makes life easy for the Reactors. It is easy to be against something (protestors, Antifa, social activists) It is entirely different to make something happen. In your personality, your life, your job, your community. Positive, proactive people are worth their weight in gold.
And virtue signaling is today's status symbol. Besides, if you believe in the "white privilege" narrative, what better way to prove you reject your privilege than by signalling that you hate Trump? This time, the hatred is aimed at him for taking the sacred paycheck from government employees.
I understand why some people want to live in a world where they will be guaranteed a paycheck. The problem is that no paycheck worth having can truly be guaranteed for long. Especially not when we already have a $21 trillion dollar debt that is getting bigger every day.
The debt PLUS another $22 to $50+ trillion unaccounted between DoD and HUD, according to former HUD Asst. Secretary Catherine Austin Fitts and verified over the last year by Michigan State econ professor Mark Skidmore and his graduate school students. The GAO/Congressional committee who knows?!) tried to wipe the figures from the Internet, but Fitts and Skidmore had downloaded them, so the numbers suddenly reappeared.
What a bunch of maroons: Pfft! Don't bother me with no stupid accountin' or budgetin' crap. I got places to go, people to see and some lobbyists' a$$e$ to kiss. And now I gotta find a commercial flight to Brussels and beyond.
If you work in IT, take it as a given that you will be laid off several times over your career and it will absolutely not be your fault; you're simply trying to do swimming pool laps in a gigantic Cuisinart.