Morality and ethics aside…

I’d be lying if I said I don’t have deep misgivings about what appears to be the exercise of increasingly unchecked power by both the federal and state governments. That’s especially true when the discussion turns to the he power of the state to “lock down” people within entire geographic areas or perhaps the entire country. Where it makes perfect sense from a medical or harm reduction standpoint, it creates ponderous questions about due process rights, false imprisonment, and the Constitutional protections Americans enjoy against arbitrary government action. Where government reasonably can require a contagious person into quarantine, does that power also extend to people who aren’t sick? Should it?

I guess you can go ahead and add constitutional scholar and medical ethicist to the long list of things that I’m not.

The morality and ethics aside, I’m wondering at what point people begin to reject medical advice in favor of “living their best life” and rolling the dice. Having spent a lifetime watching people, and Americans in particular, I hope you’ll forgive me if I doubt the average person will be perfectly willing to live under a regime of social distancing, isolation, closures, and economic armageddon for as long as the 18 months or more that Imperial College is speculating it may take for COVID-19 to run its course

Irrational reaction…

There’s a 5 week old bulldog puppy in Georgia I desperately want to put a deposit on and roadtrip south to pick up next month. To the social media friends I’ve spammed with pictures over the last five weeks, hey, sorry about that… but I mean have y’all seen her?!

The thing is, intellectually I know that adding another dog to the mix right now is stupid. Winston is going on eleven now, which for a Bulldog is ultra-geriatric. He already has enough trouble getting around without a pup nipping at his heels. After adding a cat to the mix last year, I feel like he’s probably endured enough new and different in the household. Then there are the inevitable geriatric bulldog expenses to consider. Still, all intellectual assessments aside, I’m having a profound irrational reaction to the litter this particular breeder is showing.

The $4000 price tag of a bulldog from a well-regarded breeder is also enough to give any sane person pause. Is GoFundMe a thing people can do when they want an adorable, but stupendously expensive dog? I mean I’m my own favorite charity already so holding a donation drive doesn’t feel too far fetched, right?

Yes, before someone brings it up, the ethically correct thing to do is wander over to the local animal shelter to find the next addition to the menagerie. I can’t argue that point… but there is something undeniably special about bulldog puppies. Ask anyone who’s been around one. I have absolutely no doubt they’ll back me up.

Beta…

I’ve been working on a book. That’s not exactly been a secret. It feels like I’ve been tinkering with it since just after the dawn of time and I’m sure you all feel like you’ve been hearing about it for even longer than that. The good news is that the actual writing is (for the most part) finished, I’ve made the first pass at editing over the last few nights, and earlier today I seeded the text to a handfull of people who have graciously volunteered their time to be beta readers. Once they’ve finished and gotten comments and suggestions back to me, I’ll take a few more swings through the editing process, address some layout issues, and come up with a cover that doesn’t look like I designed it using PowerPoint.

So yeah, the good news is you’re going to be spared the pain and aggravation of listening to me bitch about writing for a while. To compensate I’ll be ratcheting up the volume on my complaints about editing. I mean, I want everyone to feel like their part of this process right along with me. I mean who doesn’t want to know fun facts like the first draft contained 137 separate instances of the word “likely” and 27 sentences that started with the phrase “Go ahead…” Let’s just say that first draft version 1.1 showed some significant improvements.

This blog was very clearly the inspiration for the book and if you read it, I think you’ll notice the same tone come through almost immediately. Where the blog ranges out over whatever topics happen to strike my fancy, I limited my efforts on the book to a topic that’s near and dear to my heart. With a working title of What College Didn’t Teach You: A Ground Guide to Surviving Your First Big Job, I’m going to do my best to deliver 35 chapters of observations, generalizations, and snarky commentary about the lessons I’ve learned from navigating big, bureaucratic organizations for my entire professional life. Mostly, it’s just a collection of things I know now that I wish I’d have known in the Summer of 2000.

For now, it’s all about editing, cleaning, figuring out if I’m going to get wrapped up with the US Office of Government Ethics, and reminding everyone repeatedly to read the disclaimer.