Compleat Idler, Education, Writing and diction

Vita Translated

 

© 2014 Earl L. Haehl: Permission is given to use this article in whole or in part as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

 

 

What most people call a resume when they send it to a potential employer is what the experts call a curriculum vita. They think of a resume as a one page summary designed to get an employer’s attention. When I would get one of these to look at and realize it was meaningless for my purposes and wonder what edition of What Color is Your Parachute the sender was reading.

I was watching a four hour interview with John Taylor Gatto and he was discussing the resumes colleges and employers look at. By the time I was out college no one but an institution of higher learning cared about a straight A high school career. If an employer looks at it, it gets balanced out by a C+/ B- college record and the assumption is that you did something other than go to class. (An institution of higher learning will note under-performing.)

So now I can translate my old vita for the benefit of prospective employers. NOTE: I exited the official civilian workforce in 2008 so it might be unpatriotic of me to seek a job, but if something interesting presented itself I might go for it anyway and let someone who is a statistic remain so.

College – Bachelor’s in English and Journalism. Translation: The Army would not take me. Because of a tremor related to cervical stenosis and injury to the cerebellum my hand coordination would not permit drafting so engineering was out. I can write better than most English (and journalism) majors—mathematics teaches logic which is helpful in writing. Also, while there was a general expectation that I would gravitate to law or the clergy, I preferred the journalism option because it allowed photography as well. I finished 22 hours in earth sciences which involved field work.

Law school – This was a socially acceptable way to kill 30 months while looking for a reporting job while my wife was finishing her doctoral coursework. I also would have had to spend the first year in grad school on probation (see C+/B- GPA). I also arranged my time so I could make some money shooting freelance. If I had been offered a job I would have left.

At one point I listed every school program I attended and the dates as well as honors and scholarships. In the first job after college, this is good. But, for the most part, employers do not care where you went if you did not get a degree. Your education should be secondary to work history unless you are applying for a post doc. Also, people who spend a lot of time in different schools get the label (at least in my generation) of “loser.”

Work history – pre government. This was basically odd jobs and temporary work. I did develop some skills and the photo gigs continued part time after I was hired by the state as an investigator.

Work history – investigations and administration. Translation: I could not get a job reporting or teaching photography/journalism. Government pays well and has benefits. Until I promoted to administration, I did a brisk and fairly profitable photo business on the side.

Work history – retail. I did the usual retiree thing. I was hired because I had developed skills over the years related to the businesses I worked in—hardware, photo supply and finishing, and outdoor supply.

To get high level teaching or professional work in the fields of my managerial expertise requires a degree in human resources (a law degree and certificate in labor relations does not count), criminal justice administration or public administration—all bogus graduate pursuits. NOTE: 20 years in mid and upper level management positions do not count. NOTE: I am damn good in relating to customers and product knowledge.

Miscellaneous: This is stuff that does not fit on a normal vita but might be explained in a cover letter or interview.

Sports: Too small for football, to short for basketball, to slow for track or baseball. Outside of school I enjoyed golf and tennis, but was not driven. I climbed cliffs—and slid down messing up my clothes. I hunted with bow and arrow. And I learned riflery in military science. In later years I did competitive shooting with handgun. Fishing improved my abilities at prevarication which helped in writing budget justifications—numbers were accurate, but the justification of new programs was, shall we say, more on the creative side.

NOTE: Colleges and some employers look at team sports to find a team player. Richard Branson of Virgin Air, when looking for leaders, looks at individual sports and risk taking. To work for him I should have taken a boat trip up the Orinoco or gone skydiving—neither of these made my bucket list.

Mechanical/building trades: I am certified by the FCC to build and repair transmitters and receivers in frequencies available in the Amateur Radio Service. As a high school student I learned to field strip and maintain numerous weapons, most of which are no longer in active service—this no longer appears in the high school military science program. I also built a vacuum tube superheterodyne receiver and repaired all my grandmother’s radios. In college I learned to process and print black and white photographs and build a pinhole camera. Working summers for my uncle I did set up a production line1, did drywall, roofing and general construction, and learned to maintain and repair GM engines.

As a home owner I have done plumbing, painting, electrical and cement work. I have also built custom furniture. I personally designed and built photographic laboratories and modified photo equipment to accommodate my needs—I did a portrait lighting set up with $10 used strobes and cheap slave units2. This does not include the lean-tos and sheds thrown together by every kid in my area back in the fifties.

NOTE: When I applied to work at Radio Shack in 2002 they were not interested in my Amateur Radio Service license. I am still a competent bench electrician.

Living in the outdoors skills: I have taught land navigation, woods tools, fire building, cooking, shelter building, edible plant identification, tracking etc. I have done much as a scout and on field work and outdoor photography.

Leadership: Classes in leadership are big in business and government. There are even programs and degrees in “leadership studies” in colleges. I am of the opinion that if eight or nine people go out in a wilderness area with just the essentials and survive they will learn more about leadership and teamwork than if they sit in class doing case studies in groups of four. (I have used case study method in teaching.) I did the week long Wood Badge course—they are no longer doing that format. I learned more there about myself, my abilities and my techniques than in all of the seminars I participated in—including TQM 3.

These are the things I picked up being in the situations I happened to drift into. Your own are unique to you. So use them. Your work experience and education (as well as awards and accomplishments) should be in your vita. But if you want to get on the team to build a new community, it would be good to let the employer or client know if you and your twin were raised by a she-wolf after your parents were killed4. Boil the significant stuff into a cover letter or drop it on the interviewer.

NOTE:  As usual, tags are suggestions for further exploration.

Footnotes:

  1. At age 16. My uncle had a ladder factory. I was on vacation and spending time there. He asked me to set up a line to produce the front part of eight, 10 and 12 foot painting ladders. I analyzed the supply flow, where in needed to run the compressed air and where the rest of the ladder was being built. I set up the line and the next step. I ran the line and was producing 10 units an hour.

  2. It worked at the time. I would go to the camera store’s annual sales where they brought out trade ins, stuff that was discontinued, etc. Maybe I should list my scrounging skills. A slave unit attaches to an electronic flash unit to fire simultaneously with the main flash—this has nothing to do with the Thirteenth Amendment.

  3. Total Quality Management. Developed by Walter Shewhart and modified by W Edwards Deming, the statistical process control system is sometimes referred to as TQM. It worked well for the procurement process in WWII, for Western Electric and for Japanese industry during the American Occupation. American Industry, bound by union contracts, has come around. Government agencies adopted the name but, with the exception of the early space program, has “modified” the concept to the point that it has become a means for reinventing the wheel and adding steps to justify more employees. I was prohibited from teaching the process.

  4. Romulus and Remus founded Rome.

 

 

Standard
Compleat Idler, Writing and diction

Old wolf changes direction — Learns new tricks?

 

© 2014 Earl L. Haehl: Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

It has been some time since I have posted in this venue. Quite recently I have been looking at my own life and at the world around me. I have made a decision that this blog will change its direction and be aimed at the Compleat Idler and subjects such as outdoor living, tools and cooking—I have said about everything I have to say about politics and see myself repeating what I have written. (Note: Decisions I make are subject to future change although at age 70 there is not as much future as there was.)

Expect in the near future articles on the scouting movement, tool use, changes in the earth and general outdoor living issues. But expect them to be fewer and better written.

The key to the latter is that I have changed my editing process. I write a draft double spaced in 14 point type—even with the stasis in my cataracts which puts off the decision for another year I have some trouble reading standard type. I had predicted back in 1967 when they talked about computer editing and type setting that copy editing would become sloppy and stuff would get by. This may have to do more with my view of the nature of mankind than with sociological studies but my reading of the local newspaper seems to bear me out.

About a month ago I went to the coffee shop with a draft in 14 point double space and sat down with a 0.9 mm pencil and went through it the way I used to in a newsroom. There was a similar level of noise, but there were no manual typewriters clicking at 40 wpm and there was not a cloud of tobacco smoke hanging over the room. I guess mocha or latte with a scone is probably better than my old formula of Snickers and Camels. Anyway, the editing went better and I was less distracted without the urge to go online to find out what’s happening in Tajikistan.

I recommend it.

 

 

Standard
Citizenship, Education, Free Society, Media, Writing and diction

Piers Morgan Redux

© 2014 Earl L. Haehl: Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

We still hear rants from Piers Morgan on how America ought to be. A comparison seems appropriate, though in a sense it is rather embarrassing to compare him with Alistair Cooke.

 

Alistair Cooke came to the States on Commonwealth fund scholarship to study. Among other things he happened to be hired as a film critic and had a Letter from England program on NBC in the thirties and is noted for his coverage of the Abdication of Edward VIII. Reporting from America after WWII, he developed the Letter from America which lasted 58 years.

 

Cooke was a journalist and scholar. He studied the United States before speaking and he did not shoot his mouth off on subjects he did not understand. While in the States he was employed as a journalist for the Guardian, one of Britain’s more reputable papers and he wrote extensively. He oversaw the research and writing of Alistair Cooke’s America. And he understood what he was writing about. No ranting, just objective reporting.

 

On the other hand, we have Piers Morgan. Piers, a product of state schools and the Harlow College (roughly equivalent to a Juco or Vo-Tech in the US), has a career in tabloid newspapers and celebrity television. Prior to taking over for Larry King, he was fired as editor of The Mirror for publishing dubious photographs. He had been a “presenter” rather than a correspondent for BBC.

 

His role as a “host” is not that of a journalist. Larry King made no pretensions that the show was anything but entertainment. Unlike his predecessor, Morgan lines up guests who disagree with him for a session of hectoring and rants, bypassing rational discourse. He does not attempt to learn or to educate himself on America. His assumption is that celebrity trumps research and education.

 

In fact he is woefully ignorant, not only of American constitutional history but British as well. Our Declaration of Independence cites the 1689 Bill of Rights. Our second amendment guarantees all citizens the same right to keep and bear arms as the 1689 Bill grants Protestants. Unfortunately for our cousins across the pond there is a waiver of the Bill of Rights in time of war—ever notice that the UK has been in a state of war most of the time since. He looks at what are essentially “black swan” events which are not subject to real analysis since there origins appear to be random and comes to a definite solution that does not work—it has not worked in Britain, a far more violent society than the US, and it has not worked anywhere.

 

The British finally, about 1775, ordered the colonists in Massachusetts Bay to surrender their weaponry. On the night of 18 April 1775 they marched a column of 800 or so grenadiers and marines out of Boston to arrest two “traitors” at Lexington and seize munitions at Concord. In the morning they stood facing a small group of armed colonists on the green—while they were facing this group, John Hancock and Sam Adams slipped out of the Rev John Emerson’s residence and headed south unnoticed by the Redcoats. Shots were fired and the colonists retreated. At Concord they found the cache of munitions empty and a larger force (growing by the minute). As the British forces (I should say English because the term UK is a sop that does not recognize where the power is) started to retreat the colonists kept firing and picking up more Enfield muskets along the way. There was a war.

 

When, in the ratification process, the anti-federalist faction demanded a Bill of Rights that included the right of the people to keep and bear arms. The Assize of 1181 and the 1689 Bill of Rights were precedent to the US Bill of Rights. The fact that the UK Parliament has gutted Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights as the people have adopted a stance of European serfdom, is not something one gets in a technical trade school.

 

Piers asks about the AR-15. In the 19th Century case of Dred Scott v. Sanford, the court remarked that if blacks were given citizenship, they would have the right to “musket and cannon,” the military weaponry of the day. This is, of course, what lawyers refer to as dicta which has less legal standing than the arguments in the decision. Dicta is most of what we get out of Supreme Court cases since judges want to leave employment opportunities for attorneys and judges. Prior to Heller, most second amendment cases (with the exception of Cruikshank which was overturned by Congress) have more dicta than decision. US v Miller, for instance, was decided as an excise case with dicta that there was no regulatory power and that the weapon in question was of no military utility.

 

A “host” with a liberal arts background would probably realize that there are arguments from various perspectives on the question. And the purpose of the interview should be to broaden the discussion, not browbeat the interviewee with the pretense that authority comes from a BBC accent. And yet there may be hope—in an interview with Ann Coulter, Piers did admit that his visceral reaction to pro-second amendment guests may have been counter to his cause.

 

We shall see.

 

Standard
Citizenship, Free Society, Writing and diction

Treason?

© 2014 Earl L. Haehl: Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

Politicians, prosecutors and pundits throw the term treason around like they understand it without going to the source. (Note the three sets of alliteration in the first eight words.) I went back to my scripture on the matter—The Constitution of the United States.

Article III, Section 3 reads as follows:

1:  Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.  No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

2:  The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Since 1946, the United States have not been in a state of declared war. Therefore there is no “adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.” Otherwise the current Secretary of State could be charged with treason for carrying messages from the North Vietnamese delegation to the committee in the House of Representatives led by Ron Dellums in 1973.

In the matter of current affairs, Edward Snowden could be charged with violation of official secrets legislation, but not treason. Note that the Rosenbergs received the death sentence under the Espionage Act of 1917, but could not be charged with treason because there was no state of war with the Soviet Union. Jonathan Pollard, a civilian analyst, was convicted in 1987 of selling secrets to Israel and sentenced to life imprisonment. He is the only person sentence to life for selling secrets to an ally.

Also, Maj Nidal Hassan, an Army psychiatrist, was charged with murder under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and convicted. In court statements, Major Nidal claimed that he was at war with the United States. Had treason been charged, he could have been convicted of treason, the elements being there. Instead, the Administration, the Attorney General and Secretary of Defense chose to characterise the attack as workplace violence.

Standard
Education, Writing and diction

Is loboviejo iconic or legendary

© 2014 Earl L. Haehl: Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

Some questions on usage spring to mind as one reads the daily newspaper. Not long ago I read the lead, “The career of iconic beat writer William Burroughs…”

This violated two important style conventions of time past. The major one was elimination of the middle initial. This has become common as has the omission of middle names that identify individuals who went by those names. Per example: Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, William Cullen Bryant. I, myself, use a middle initial in financial matters to distinguish me from a second cousin—of course to the government I am xxx-xx-xxxx. But Burroughs wrote as William S. Burroughs. I am just damn picky.

Okay. Now to “iconic,” one of two adjectives that hit my button. If you have ever seen Eastern Orthodox art, you have a good idea what an icon is. There are specific conventions in icons, specific hand positions and colors of clothing. You will generally find no statues in Orthodox churches—I have seen an occasional crucifix, but the statues of Santos we get out and parade at fiesta no. Things are changing and it’s been 10 years since my flirtation with the east, so I used the term generally. Icons are two-dimensional. They are written, not drawn. Burroughs would hardly be a subject for an icon in any church I have set foot in. And as I recall seeing him on occasions, he was three-dimensional.

In the advertising section as well as the retail sector, the word “legendary” is used to describe proprietary branded clothing. I had always thought of the gods of the north as legendary, Odin of the many aliases, Frigg the consort of Odin, Freyja of the Vanir (goddess of beauty and gore), Thor of the barrel chest and stocky build (take that, Marvel Comics). Or the heroic west, Hickock, Earp, James, all more legend than reality. Calling Chinese clothing which is sold by two or three retail/catalog outfits—same item, different proprietary names is what we called “puffery” back when I was in the ad biz. There are legendary brands of clothing such as Brooks Brothers, Levis, Stetson; those brands date from the nineteenth century and stood on their own as brands the country grew up with.

By overuse the term legendary has become meaningless. By misuse the term iconic has lost all meaning.

Is loboviejo iconic or legendary?  Hell no!

Standard
Compleat Idler, Education, Technology, Writing and diction

Trademarks

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

Back when I could still afford MAD magazine there was a parody of product placement in films. And the one that entered my mind and lodged there to exit my mouth at inappropriate times was a battle field where the Cavalry had gotten the short end of the stick (I used to love those) and a scout rides up and says, “Over there is General Custer with a VanHeusen through his chest.”

Certain trademarks have entered the language as generic terms. Who says, “Hand me a soft tissue?” No, the term used is Kleenex, a registered term of Kimberly-Clarke or whoever currently owns the trademark.

I made the mistake of referring to a restored 1943 Ford utility vehicle as a jeep in front of a Chrysler salesman and was informed that the term as registered. “So, my uncle’s Willys is not a Jeep? Jeep was not a generic term back in 1943? There were never Jeeps before 1987?”

Also during the second world war, they began using an adhesive tape with strong cotton duck backing and after the war, Manco trademarked the name Duck Tape. Similarly, 3-M has guarded the Scotch Tape Brand.

In my favorite local Mexican restaurant I will order Mexican Coke with my meal. They provide the product made by Coca-Cola in Mexico with sugar rather than high-fructose corn syrup (a product of farm subsidies). I have yet to hear the waiter respond the way the order phone responded when my buddy, then a vice-cop, asked for a coke at a drive-in. “Will that be wet or fluffy?” So far the Coca-Cola corporation has not sued any of the major cartels for copyright infringement on “Mexican coke” or the advertising slogan “things go better with coke.”

In the old Soviet Union there were a number of companies making counterfeit Leica cameras. There are a number of finely crafted ones and there are a number of collectors, including (so I am told) some employees of Leitz Optical. Cameras and optics became Leica some time in the nineties leaving the Leitz corporation to some fairly complicated electronic products. Also, at one point all 35mm double frame rangefinder cameras were called Leicas—then other companies began to push their own branding.

The Soviet Union also marketed (to avoid trademark problems—patents are another matter) a camera very similar to a Pentax K1000 with a Nikon bayonet mount. They also had what looked like a Nikon FM with a Pentax K mount. The real temptation was a Kiev 6×6 which was more or less (mostly less) compatible with Hasselblad.

China—what can you say about a country that has looser point of origin labeling than Germany—built an M-14 clone. Looks right, magazines and ammo compatible, good price point. Parts were not interchangeable.

So be aware that branding and trademark are tools of restricting competition.

Standard
Education, Writing and diction

Neo-libs anyone?

(c) 2012 Earl L. Haehl Permission is given to use this article in whole as long as credit is given. Book rights are reserved.

In the study of journalism, English literature and law I came across a common thread, the ideal of precision in the use of language. One of my favorite scenes in Ulysses involves Dubliners in a pub arguing Shakespeare’s meanings as if the Bard were their writer—the truth is that the language is as much theirs as it is the language of London, New York or Kansas City. So I have a vested interest (as a labor relations manager I wore a three-piece suit) in the integrity of the language. And I tend to lecture people such as Bob Livingston on use of the term “liberal.”

The following comment made to Fox was “moderated” by disqus, the censor used by numerous sites including Fox. Since the Wall Street Journal is the jewel in Murdoch’s Crown, there is no need to subscribe to Fox for anything but entertainment news and Stossel

I am going to say something here that may upset a lot of people.  But I am educated in the classical liberal arts which include rhetoric, grammar, logic, geometry, arithmetic, astronomy and music.  I have studied Latin extensively.  The root of the term liberal is the same as the root of the term liberty.  Until we, as a people–not we as a State–stop using the term liberal interchangeably with the terms progressive and statist, we are allowing them to misuse the word they have appropriated.  FDR was not a liberal.  Harry Truman had some liberal tendencies as did JFK.  On the Supreme Court, Hugo Black had liberal tendencies and actually knew the Reconstruction Amendments were about individual rights.  William O Douglas and William J Brennan both believed in the power of government apart from limitations–that the Commerce Clause was that grant and that it superseded all amendments.  Both of the authors of the commerce clause (Hamilton and Madison) held the view that it was not a license to expand federal power, but a preventive of arbitrary and intrusive  state interference in the peaceful conduct of crossing state lines with goods.  

 

The word liber means free.  Anyone advocating that the constitution grants authoritarian or absolute power to the central government has no claim to that title.

The liberals of the late 18th Century were referred to as anti-federalists. We often refer to big government populists as “neo-conservatives.” Does this make post FDR statists “neo-liberals” or neolibs for short?

 

Standard