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Resolution Update – 25-Dec-2010

Wow .. these 8 weeks went REALLY fast. The new job is picking up steam, and I have been shedding outside things to keep up. The year is essentially over. I hope to close the year with a summary and a list for next year.

Update:

- Daily Rosary –  25 of 55.
- Extra daily mass once a week – 5 of 8
- Confession monthly – November and December – check
- Good quality time with the wife once a month – November and December – check.
- Read a good book for 15 minutes every day – 36 of 55.
- Walk, 40 minutes, 3 times a week – averaged 1.5 times a week.

Please pray for my wife’s Grandmother, who is (still) suffering some of the struggles of her age.

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Did I Smell of Blood?

Jason Alba runs a free/premium website for job seekers (JibberJobber) which I used sporadically during the 14 months I did not have full time employment.

I just read a post he wrote on his blog, the thrust of which is that when a job seeker is desperate, that desperation is apparent, and hurts the search.

My experience bears that out. I lost my job in July 2009, and spent the next 9 months trying to build my freelance business exclusively. I had limited success, earning enough to pay the mortgage most months, so our savings were only lightly drained. In March 2010 I decided to pursue full-time employment as well, and started a search in earnest. It was also a struggle. Clearly the job market was picking up, and I saw a lot of activity, but not much was meaningful and nothing was sticking.

Then, in August 2010 the business started a nice upward track. I added additional services (bookkeeping) and took on a couple of additional clients. Then and only then, did the job search also get some traction. I ended up accepting a great business technology consulting position.

I realize that temporal connection does not imply causal connection.  In retrospect however, it seems likely that the improvement in my outlook had a positive impact on how I was received by HR folks and hiring managers.  Part of me wonders if things would have turned sooner for me if I had been more outrageously positive.

So I would second Mr. Alba’s advice .. when things seem down, do everything possible to keep a HIGHLY positive outlook, and to communicate and emote that positive outlook in every way.

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Resolution Update – 31-Oct-2010

The new job is going well so far .. I am struggling with being so busy, which is a great thing. The next couple of weeks are going to be both fun and busy!

Update:

- Daily Rosary –  3 of 15.
- Extra daily mass once a week – 0 of 2
- Confession monthly – missed October …
- Good quality time with the wife once a month – October done.
- Read a good book for 15 minutes every day – 5 of 15.
- Walk, 40 minutes, 3 times a week – nope.

Please pray for my wife’s Grandmother, who is suffering some of the struggles of her age.  Also please pray for the Ferrigno family here in San Pedro, who had an unimaginable tragedy last night.

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Why I Oppose the War on Drugs

I support the legalization of most recreational drugs, and I strongly oppose the “War on Drugs”.

From my political view summary post:

I am a pragmatist, and the War on Drugs has been a failure.  Recreational drugs should be legalized, regulated and taxed, similar to alcohol.  This will de-fund the gangs and organized crime in America and the cartels in Latin America. Certainly, recreational drug usage will increase, but the overall impact will be positive.

One of the reasons I consider the War on Drugs a failure is what it has done to our police forces. In the linked article, which I recommend highly, Megan McArdle links to a police video shot in February 2010, when the police executed a late night warrant on a FAMILY (husband, wife, 2 kids under 10) that resulted in the shooting of the two family dogs in front of the kids.

In order to combat drugs and drug traffickers, our police have morphed into paramilitary urban combat units. They have also become far more likely to shoot first and asks questions later. Both of these make sense when the police are tasked to go after drug gangs that are themselves heavily armed. There is also a cycle of drug asset forfeitures providing funds for police weapons and training, which results in more SWAT units and the need for more money to arm and train them.

I am not saying that drugs aren’t a societal problem.  Of course drugs are a problem; there is a terrible human cost to addiction and even to recreational use. I pray frequently that my daughter not get involved with drugs. But that doesn’t mean it that drugs should be illegal. What should be illegal, and harshly punished, are the negative activities that affect others, such as driving under the influence and providing drugs to minors.

The thing is, prohibitions don’t work in a free society. The prohibition of alcohol in the 1920s and 1930s was a driving factor in the growth of organized crime in America. And the prohibition of recreational drugs has directly led to the growth of the Latin American drug cartels. If people want something, it is far better to control it, regulate it, tax it, and mitigate its harm than it is to prohibit it and fight it.

Those who urge and support the war on drugs seem to think that there is no cost to fighting it. They are wrong.

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Fall 2010 Election – Offices

My default vote is Republican, although I am usually more conservative than the typical Republican, particularly the typical California Republican. I find myself “holding my nose and pulling the lever” pretty frequently, and this election is no exception.

Note: My votes for the ballot initiatives can be found here.

US Senator – Carly Fiorina (R)

Barbara Boxer is an embarrassment, and needs to be sent home. As a tech guy, I didn’t like Ms. Fiorina when she ran H-P, but looking backward she saved the company.

I find myself getting angry at the Boxer ads about Fiorina having sent jobs to China when much of the drive to outsource results from Democratic policies that are hostile to corporations and employers.

US Representative – Mattie Fein (CA-36) and Star Parker (CA-37)

I live in CA-36 and am currently represented by Democrat Jane Harman.  I hope to be represented by Republican Mattie Fein.  Frankly, I don’t know much about Ms. Fein, but she isn’t Jane Harman.

I wish I fell into CA-37, because Star Parker is a candidate I am excited about. She is an exceptionally rare individual; a black woman who is more conservative than I am!

California Governor- Meg Whitman (R)

Meg Whitman is not Jerry Brown, which is enough by itself.  Some say she will just be another Arnold.  That would be a shame, but even the Arnold we got was an improvement over Grey Davis, and Meg Whitman is certain to be better than Jerry Brown.

As an aside, the Libertarian candidate is Dale Ogden, a fellow San Pedran, an acquaintance of mine,  and a fellow member and former Exalted Ruler of the Elks lodge in San Pedro. My heart wants to vote for Dale, but my head says Jerry Brown needs to be retired from elected office.

Continued…

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Fall 2010 Election – Initiatives

I do not like the initiative process, particularly for “initiative statutes”. It is a horrible way to govern, and is symptomatic of the deep structural governance problems we have in California. Those with passion for a particular issue should funnel their funds, passion and drive into the standard process, and work to make the legislature compliant rather than going around them and leaving the real problem in place.

My default vote on ANY initiative statute is NO, and the hurdle to get me to vote YES is pretty high. I am more willing to approve an initiative that amends the constitution in a way with which I agree.

Note: my votes for the offices can be found here.

Prop 19 – NO – Legalize Marijuana in CA

I support the legalization of recreational drugs, but we don’t need this right now. There will be orders of magnitude more trouble with this than with the medical marijuana experiment. I also think this is one of those things that should be left with the legislature.

Prop 20 – YES – Redistricting Reform

OTOH, this is EXACTLY the kind of thing appropriate for an amendment to the constitution. It simply can’t be done legislatively, for obvious reasons. And it is pretty clear that the legislature should not be setting up their own districts.

Prop 21 – NO – $18 Car Tax Increase .. free State Park Admission
Prop 22 – NO – Prevent State from taking funds once they are designated local

Micro-management of the budget should absolutely NOT be done through initiatives. Fire the legislators who do the budget badly.

Continued…

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Resolution Update – 16-Oct-2010

Man, has my life changed in the last month!

Most notably .. I am now fully employed! A company that I interviewed with in April called, a week later we had a deal, and  week after that I was working. The job is with an IT services company and the job is called a Technology Manager.

Update:

- Daily Rosary –  15 of 45.
- Extra daily mass once a week – 2 of 6
- Confession monthly – got August, got September!
- Good quality time with the wife once a month – September done, October done!
- Read a good book for 15 minutes every day – 30 of 45.
- Walk, 40 minutes, 3 times a week – got 2 weeks of 6.

Still struggling with the daily  rosary. I am driving more, and doing more praying in the car.

Also, please pray for my wife’s Grandmother, who has had a very difficult summer.

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Resolution Update – 28-Aug-2010

The summer moves along. Although others disagree, I am enjoying the rather temperate August!  The last few weeks have been exceptionally busy, with many birthdays, the kid starting college, the Junior Olympic water polo tournaments, and an increase in activity in the business.

Update:

- Daily Rosary –  12 of 32 – struggling!
- Extra daily mass once a week – 1 of 4
- Confession monthly – got July, will have missed August
- Good quality time with the wife once a month – August done!
- Read a good book for 15 minutes every day – 20 of 32
- Walk, 40 minutes, 3 times a week – got 2 weeks of 4

I have been struggling with the rosary .. got a few early morning prayers in, but struggling.  Pray for me please.

Also, please pray for my wife’s Grandmother, who has had a very difficult summer.

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Much Ado about JournoList

By now, anyone paying any attention to politics has heard of JournoList. Washington Post columnist Ezra Klein ran it for like-minded liberal wonks to discuss liberal things. It was a chat room via email; the members agreed to keep it confidential (and off-the-record) for obvious reasons. The list imploded when someone leaked some particularly nasty posts about conservatives from WaPost columnist Dave Weigel, who was supposed to be covering those same conservatives. The kerfuffle ended up costing Weigel his job.

Some on the left consider JournoList conspiratorial in nature. Tucker Carlson’s Daily Caller site is making all kinds of hay (and raising the its profile) by publishing excerpts and leaked threads, and using them as evidence of coordination and intent. From what I have seen, there is a bunch of nastinesscheerleading and angst (depending on the issue), and a few members used the list to urge the other members to be advocates. But there has been no smoking gun .. no situation or story line where the members agree to all publish X or smear Y, and then X is published or Y is smeared.

Sure, there is all kinds of liberal ranting and raving.  Certainly, some individuals (Spencer Ackerman springs to mind) did not distinguish themselves with wisdom, discretion, or respect for the truth. Some of the JournoListers are not good people. This isn’t new news, and we are wasting our time and energy worrying about it. That there are liberal journalists everywhere is not new news. That they rant and rave about savior Obama and evil and nasty conservatives is not new news. That Obama gets a pass for things that would have gotten Bush skewered is not new news.  That liberal journalists parrot the DNC talking points is not new news.

That doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy the squirming as the biases that we knew about and they refuted are revealed.  And it doesn’t mean that we can’t use the list to separate the true advocates from the writers who happen to be liberal. But the JournoList revelations don’t change anything, and don’t reveal anything we don’t already know.

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Resolution Update – 22-July-2010

The World Cup and the holiday are over, and the summer is settling in.

Update:

- Daily Rosary –  15 of 30 – OK
- Extra daily mass once a week – 3 of 4
- Confession monthly – OK for June
- Good quality time with the wife once a month – June and July done!
- Read a good book for 15 minutes every day – 31 of 30
- Walk, 40 minutes, 3 times a week – got 3 weeks of 4

Working on changing the daily routine .. make the early mornings about getting the daily stuff (including this) done. Pray for me please.

Also, please pray for my wifes Grandmother, who is starting to really feel the ravages of aging.

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