It’s Called Free Speech Dumbasses!

Constitution

Which I should add is technically what you’re engaging in when you protest by marching, and holding up signs expressing your opinions.

This is part of what the First Amendment is about, and is one of the most cherished rights we have in America.

Amendment I. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

ChicagoRiot

However, once your start throwing punches, vandalizing property, tossing bricks, burning down buildings, or stealing cases of tampons because that’s all that was left to take from the CVS… Well you’re no longer engaging in free speech; now you’ve just become a bunch of thugs, and thieves.

They used to teach this stuff in school. It was called Civics.  I remember having Civics classes off and on throughout Elementary, Junior High, and High School.

Glencoe Civics Today Textbook

Of course, for the most part… I ATTENDED school and learned enough about the workings of our government to be able to operate in society. (Stuff like stop when the cops tell you to, don’t steal, vandalize, rape, or otherwise harm others, be polite and let others have their say, 

Apparently, that educational effort was lost on the crowds rioting in Chicago, or the idiot young adults on college campuses today.

I digress.

If Donald Trump wants to speak, he has every right to do so. Just like you. The same goes for Ben Shapiro, or Milo Yiannopoulos events on college campuses. 

If you get tossed out of an event where other people (equal in their rights to you, by the way,) have PAID or chosen to hear the speaker, then I see that as perfectly fine too.

If you’re going to disrupt an event that others are interested in attending, you special snowflake, are the aggressor, not the crowd. You had the option not to attend a rally, or speaking event, and you chose to attend and be disruptive. You also had the opportunity to leave if / when you found the topic of discussion offensive.

Trump

Here ends your lesson on Free Speech and the first Amendment.

Perhaps tomorrow we’ll move on to freedom of religion, and how Islam, must be equal to Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, or every other religion, or the choice by some people to not believe in a higher power.

I know it’s hard for some people to understand, but no religion or belief system is to be treated as superior to another here in America. I promise, I’ll use small words.

 

This is in no way a complaint

Email icon1

And I’m really trying not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but has anyone else noticed a significant slowdown of SPAM in their email?

I mean really noticeable!

Whereas, in recent months my email had been inundated with all kinds of crap, now, quite suddenly, it’s eerily quiet. 

Again, not complaining, just fascinated and curious about what’s happening.

It’s been so slow that I actually wondered if my email was broken. 

I could understand one account being quiet, I’m trying to phase out accounts that I don’t use anymore. But this is a marked reduction in junkmail across several accounts. 

I was hoping that my stellar programming of junk filters had been responsible. Then I checked the servers and found that, alas, my junk filters were as inefficient as always, and there was nothing being caught by the built in server filters either.

For a moment I was excited though.

angryemail

Could it be that people aren’t falling for the scams in the junkmail anymore, so the spammers aren’t sending email?

Nah, unlikely there are way too many morons out there.

As PT Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute”.

I just had a dark thought. Suppose the SPAM / Phishing emails are slowing because they’re no longer necessary?

What if due to the breaches at the OPM, IRS, and various Health care companies the SPAMMERS have all the information that they need? 

That would truly suck. 

I’m hoping it’s just that I’ve gotten lucky and various ISPs handling my email have installed some killer filters.

I’m not holding my breath… I think I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The peril of incessant resume editing

Job Search Magnify

Placement agents will often ask that you make “minor” alterations to your resume for presentation to a client, “Don’t say Oracle, say SQL,” and inevitably there’s a time constraint giving you the impression that you’re not going to be submitted for a particular position if you don’t make their suggested changes instantly.

Evaluate these requests carefully, especially if you’re applying to multiple positions through multiple resources.  On the one hand, the suggestions may yield a stronger resume. On the other hand, the suggestions may be the placement agent picking nits, due to their personal biases.

Job Search Apps

After four solid years of looking for permanent employment, I can’t honestly tell you if making changes under the gun will land you a job, it sure hasn’t in my case.

What I can tell you, is that making changes on the fly can introduce some of the darndest typos in your resume.

In various attempts to comply with placement services “requests” I’ve found myself editing my 900-word resume on my phone, sitting in a parking lot, in my car. “This is an immediate opening; I can’t submit your resume without these changes…

Planned” and “Planed” look an awful lot alike on a phone’s screen. Spellcheck isn’t going to catch the difference either. Punctuation? Ha!  Worse yet, you make the edits then rush headlong into another interview, forgetting you made them.

If you’re using a cloud service your edits are propagated to all your devices and any errors, introduced may linger in your resume for quite some time. Who re-reads every single word of their resume each time they send it out? You “know” you’ve worked hard on getting it just right and you don’t recall making any changes…

JobSearchSite Cartoon

So you merrily select “Upload” on whatever job placement site you’re using and move on to the next flagged position.

Wanted: detail oriented person for high paying position…

Yep, they’re going to really believe how detail oriented you are because you planed the project, cutting costs by 20%. While shaving costs, may in fact be a good thing, you probably meant you planned the project.

I recently noticed that I’d at some point, (fairly recently, I hope,) made exactly that mistake. I did it literally on the first line describing my former duties. I even think I know when I did it.

I was having to reword several descriptions because the placement guy wanted a bit more “punch”. I was distracted, sitting in a coffee shop, doing the edits on my iPad between interviews, and probably accepted the first suggested word choice. I know better!

Nonetheless, I finished the edits, and emailed the update to the placement agent. The agent, in my humble opinion should not only have caught the error, but told me about it and corrected the word prior to sending my resume to his client.

Guess what? He didn’t notice the problem at all.

Which brings me back to the original point.

Minor edits being demanded by placement agencies may land you in more trouble than simply allowing your resume to stand on its own merit.

I’ve been considering placing my resume under source code control for a while. Maybe today is the day! I’ll put my resumes under Git, just like all my other code projects. It’s easy and allows me to compare changes and even roll changes back. 

Sounds like a winner. 

What if you threw an App and nobody came?

IPeeple App’m hoping that’s what’s going to happen with Peeple.

Yep, the application that should NEVER have been written debuted yesterday.

You remember, the application that will let you know someone is “Reviewing” you via email but that you’ll have to join to refute any comments.

You know, the app that will essentially enable cyber-bullying but claims it doesn’t.

The app that once you’ve joined, will allow you to “hide” but not delete any negative “reviews” of your personality traits, business dealings, dating habits, or sexual performance.

But it’s not enabling bullying…

RIIIIIGGGGGHHHTTTT!

Now, they’ve added a “New Lemon Scented” feature. A paywall that allows those who pony up the money, to see the “hidden” reviews. Great!

But it’s not enabling bullying…

Sometimes, a bad idea, is a bad idea, no matter how much you claim it isn’t.

But in the case of the progressive Social Justice Warrior crowd where bad ideas abound…

Bullying done by SJWs is Justice, and a plate of shit, is sirloin steak.

I hope to God this bullshit fails. Unfortunately, I know it won’t, and eagerly await the first time they’re named in a cyber stalking or bullying law suit.

Until then, keep an eye on your email folks. You’re being reviewed and you’ll have to create a Peeple account just to defend yourself against folks that have an ax to grind.

Wait until co-workers start savaging each other, or angry children “review” their parents. I don’t even want to think about the kind of dirt that’s going to be thrown by nasty divorces.

I’m going to sit back, make some popcorn and watch the show.  It’s going to be amusing as hell.

Took a little break yesterday

I took the day off yesterday. I know, given my employment situation, that’s counterintitutve, let me explain.

Sometimes you just need to escape.

My world is starting to collapse, there’s nothing I can do about it. I’ve been pounding my head against a wall for years now; trying to catch a break and get back into my profession. Nothing has worked and frankly the job related websites and social media sites have been a waste of time.

iuI’ve been orbiting a black hole and the orbit is decaying. The gaping maw of professional oblivion has got me and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.

Now I know why the band played on as the Titanic sank.

I am experiencing first hand, how some phrases come into being. Remember the old favorite, “Re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?” How about, “When rape is inevitible, relax and try to enjoy it.”

Sorry… I’m sounding a little whiney and I’m getting slightly off point.

stress-2Worry, fear, anger, and fight, are all good and necessary feelings, they can guide you, strengthen you, and to some extent are all necessary to ensure survival. (I’m honestly not sure about worry but I think it’s a precursor to fear and the fight or flight response.)

That being said, in a situation where these things are the only diet you have, you lose persective and become numb. After a while you simply stop giving a flying fuck. This is a relatively new phenomena, in days past, you might worry that the guy from the next farm over had a grudge but the worry wasn’t long term because you’d call him out, and it would be settled by the inevitable fight.

These days, you’re being damaged, attacked, hurt, raped… and there’s no-one to take a swing at. You have no choice but to keep trying to succeed but failing that, you can’t engage in any of the normal human behaviors. How do you fight the ethereal? What are you running from, or to?

Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore.jpgAs an aside; this is, I think part of the explaination for Trumps campaign success.

There are a lot of people just like me who feel that their back is against the wall; not because thery’re pro, or anti social justice, or selfish per se, but because their options are increasingly limited by the erosion of the middle class.

A lot of folks are simply realizing that things are getting worse, not better for them economically.

When was the last time anyone had their boss hand them a bonus check for a job or project that was particularlly well done? I believe, the imposition of institutional mediocracy has done more damage to us as a people, than anything in the past 50 years.

“Sorry, dude but I can only give you a 2% raise because that’s what everyone is getting. But I recognize that you’ve worked very hard this year.”

incredibles-team-the-incredibles-10-incredible-facts-in-honor-of-its-tenth-anniversary-jpeg-168588There was a line from the movie The Incredibles that resonated with me. “When everyone’s special, no-one is.

If that’s your mentality or your corporation’s then why not just “phone it in, all the time?” This is how you diminish exceptionalism, and gut innovation, and progress.

Since there’s no upside to innovation, doing something faster, better, or smarter, you end up with a group of people who will find ways to get what they need with the minimum of effort. Or the people will turn their intellect to finding ways around the rules.

As an example, take a look at the former Soviet Union. I’ve got a couple of Russian friends that are absolutely the GO-TO people if you want to figure out how to get more from a bureaucracy. One guy managed to manipulate the insurance bureaucracy so that he got 5 technically elective surgeries in 7 months and way more than the allotted time off work during the same period of time. He wanted the surgeries, didn’t want to pay for them, and used the down time to finish law school and pass the bar. While getting paid to do it.

I wasn’t sure about the ethics of his actions, but I damn sure respected his ability to manipulate the insurance company and the Human Resources department of the company from whom we worked. In retrospect, I should have taken many more lessons from him.

I think Trump’s rise is based on the frustrations of the middle class being squeezed out and having their options for advancement limited. He’s telling America something that is closer to the truth than we’ve heard in 20 years.

It’s resonating because lies of establishment politicians are coming home to roost. Even if Trump is lying, at least it’s a different pack of lies that sound more like truth, than the previous pack of lies.

I’m reminded of a certian frustrated Artiste cum house painter from Austria. It could be argued that this house painter came to power because he capatilized on the frustration of a citizenry who’d grown tired of platitudes and wanted to see action from their leaders. I don’t know if that argument would stand up under scrutiny, but as a broad generalization It might.

I digress.

Old BooksSo the problem is, how do you take a “Vacation” without spending money you don’t have, fuel you can’t afford, or whatever?

There are a great many things you can do to pass the time. You can have sex, (with yourself or others.)

You can drink until you pass out. Drinking numbs the pain for a while, but you wake up feeling like shit.

You can smoke a little weed, but if you’re the least bit prone to paranoia that can actually add to your stress level and an outstanding case of the munchies can clear your pantry. Both the weed and the muncies can cost you as much as a trip to the movies or more.

You can clear out your medicine cabinet, eating all the Rx pain killers you have on hand. (Dangerous, but for some people it works.)

You can binge watch your DVD collection.

Or you can do what I did.

imagesTurn off the damn computer, tablet, phone, TV, stereo, what have you and read a book, or two.

Since I was a kid, books have been my escape from reality.

My learning to read is the single greatest gift, next to unconditional love, I’ve ever received.

So in a bit of a funk, I turned to my oldest truest friend. I opened a book, and stepped into another world.
Talos_IV_remastered

I re-read a story I’d read years back and I laughed and cried, and ohhed and ahhhed, and for a time, rested my over stressed mind.

My world and it’s associated troubles faded away. I was in another place, and was using my mind in a completely different way.

Instead of worrying about things, I was with the characters in a world where I could taste victory and success.

It was a nice break and while my problems still exist the respite provided by books is a welcome one. I also saved myself a trip to Talos IV.

TOS_1x00_012I hope your world is stable and spinning on, and that your reality is as pleasant.