Conservative panelist bloviates on Real Time

On HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher last night a guest stated assertively, several times, that a tactical nuke is exclusively defined as a weapon designed to penetrate underground installations like a conventional bunker-buster. While there is no precise definition, the term generally refers to a nuclear device  that 1) produces an explosive yield measured more in kilotons than megatons and 2) is designed for use on a fluid, relatively nearby battlefield as opposed to a more distant fixed target like a military base or a city.

The individual was, I believe, Duncan Hunter (R – CA), staunch member of the Dunning-Kruger wing of the GOP. A syndrome which seems to afflict more and more conservatives these days. Hunter made this blanket claim, shooting down any skepticism by other panelists, with apparently little knowledge of the colloquial use of the term tactical nuke. He did so in a rather dismissive, smug manner and went on to imply that, since he served as a 2nd Lt in the US Marine Corp in Iraq, his view on any foreign policy issue, presumably including strategic and tactical nuclear devices, was beyond question. Among those views is Hunter’s more infamous statements that war with Iran will become necessary and the US should use nuclear weapons in a “massive aerial bombing campaign” together with conventional explosives. [Read more...]

Because the Internet

Many a blogger has speculated vainly on the mysterious and often bizarre choice of guests on the network Sunday talk news programs. The two main ones being Meet the Press with David Gregory and This Week with George Stephanopoulos. Back in the days when I had a full-time job and couldn’t follow the fast-moving intrigues of the weekly news cycle, these shows were marginally useful and occasionally even entertaining. These days, as I wait for a phone call telling me I have or haven’t been hired for a network support role that would boost me back into the lower middle class, they’re worthless. By the time Sunday rolls around my cohorts and I have heard the latest partisan poutrages, talking points and counter talking points and obfuscations galore, which get regurgitated on Sunday morning verbatim, as if they were new and fresh and completely un-debunked six ways from, well, Sunday. [Read more...]

Speaking of getting an interview, I’ve got a couple lined up

It’s been a hectic day. Partly spent on getting some routine content into the Daily Kos queue by a deadline, done. Another chunk of time dedicated to seeing about a guest post on Slate Magazine. In the works, we’ll see. And the best part spent scheduling two interviews, both for interesting jobs. The first one is an office manager for progressive organization, working with progressive clients, building my own team to do the same, that kind of thing. It doesn’t pay great. So, if I’m not going to make much, my thought is the work should be rewarding, beneficial to the community, and teach me some new, useful skills.

This one does all those things, plus I get to be the head guy, but the pay is really … challenging. So challenging that I can’t say for sure if it would even be feasible. For one thing it’s in downtown Austin not far from 6th Streets, which would mean monthly parking expenses to the tune of a couple hundred bucks and either moving to a more expensive and closer place or commuting every day down a road called 183 and the city’s main thoroughfare called MOPAC, during rush hour. I’ll have to hold out for the maximum possible pay if they do end up liking me.

The other interview is a customer service tech-support job for a company that provides real-time services to other business, it requires higher end skills, solid knowledge of navigating the Internet on hand-held wireless devices and trouble-shooting same for clients. The pay and benefits package is not bad, around 45k with bonuses and taking into account that they pay 100% of the health insurance premiums. Sad to say, if offered me both I’d simply have to seriously weigh taking the higher paying job even though the advocacy position greatly intrigues me.

Two myths about “older” workers we need to dispell

In reading about the trials and tribulations of “older” job seekers, and as I go through the dismal soul-crushing process myself, one comes across several assumptions said to be commonly made by our younger counterparts. Mostly to explain why those with experience are at a disadvantage when competing with the unproven. The first is that experienced applicants need worry about being overqualified, the second and related that they are perceived as less flexible, unable to adapt to always changing technology in the workplace. Below I’ll take a crack at debunking those myths, feel free to send any relevant snippets of my aged wisdom to your nearest HR and hiring departments. [Read more...]

Beware the fake job listing

Some readers clued me into the fake job posting process, after a little research I wrote the following rough draft. It will eventually go up on DKos in some more refined form, but I thought I’d vomit it up here as is to test the new plug in that was just installed and for reader comments and pointers. The thing I value love about this site is the traffic is fairly low, meaning I can actually have fun, and the traffic is of superb quality. It’s like having a team of editors and critics that talk me off the ledge and keep me from posting stupid shit on larger venues. [Read more...]

Oy vey, this job hunting is depressing

I remember now what it was that knocked the stuffing out of me last year and the year before and the year before that, trying to find a job. I’m getting absolutely nowhere. Scratch-off lottery tickets have proven a more productive use of my time and limited resources over the last four weeks. Texas Workforce Commission. i.e., unemployment, requires the unemployed to keep a log of how many apps we’ve submitted, I’ve put in just shy of 50 now in less than a month of logging. That’s almost 50 job applications for stuff I’m eminently qualified for. These jobs are not a reach, the highest paying one was $20/hr, most are more like 15 bucks, a few paid barely over minimum wage. Seriously, these firms would be lucky to get someone like me for that price. But here’s how it actually goes down. [Read more...]

Philip Hoffman, RIP

Like so many people I’m saddened by the loss of actor Philip Hoffman who succumbed to an apparent drug overdose this weekend. It’s SOP to sing the praises of anyone after they’re gone, but in this case some singing is warranted. Watching some of the clips of Hoffman in various films last night and today, I was struck by two observations: in several cases, his transformation into the role was so complete, the original editor of Creem magazine in Almost Famous (Who incidentally, did die of a drug overdose) or the trust fund kid in The Talented Mr. Ripley, that I didn’t even know it was him playing the part until now. Second, in those roles and others, his performance was so superb, even as a relatively minor supporting actor, that I remembered them, he drew me in with an authenticity that just popped right out of the screen.

That being said, I have to ponder and wonder, had a Latino ball-player or black musician of equivalent talent been found dead in a luxury apartment, surrounded by half empty packets of smack and pill bottles, with an emptied syringe sticking out of their stiff, cold arm for chrissake, would media be so kind? Because I suspect there would be significant elements in the news and general communities who would shrug it off as “uppity fucking nigger got what was coming to them.” [Read more...]

Getting a job is a job in itself

Activity here has been light because I’m taking getting a job that pays a living wage seriously. Job postings have improved a little bit since the last time I went through this process with the same determination, over a year ago. The kind of jobs I’m applying for are by no means a stretch. My requirements, for now, are it should pay a bare minimum living wage, for me that works out to $15 to $20 an hour. That it be close enough that it’s feasible to get there on time even during rush hour. That’s about it. A few details below. [Read more...]

Abuse directed at women on the Internet

Derogatory and scary comments directed at women, in large part women who are for one reason or another known by a real name to an online community, is a hot topic these days. The Internet is definitely a sewer, go to just about any active youTube video and check out the comment section for easy-to-find examples of pointless vitriol.

As someone who has waded through interminable chat logs for online communities of all kinds, I have seen some bizarre and at time unintentionally funny shit. Men posing as women and cybering with other men posing as women. Classic. I’ve seen men cybering with other men and then contacting that man and trying to scare them or even blackmail them by threatening to out them. But the worst thing I’ve ever seen was … [Read more...]