In which I post another diary that boils down to “What He Said”

If you’re not reading the Rude Pundit, well, you’re just missing some of the funniest, most incisive commentary on the correct side of the internet.

Some choice excerpts:

In re Newt Gingrich ending his “campaign for President”:

And so it was that on May 2, 2012, one of the most disgusting, spitting pustules in the vile recent history of the diseased American body politick finally decided that he had had enough of people despising him in public. Yes, Newt Gingrich realized that his quest for the presidency was so quixotic that Sancho Panza would have just stabbed himself in the heart to avoid it.

So, like the complete debased cocksucker that he is, the kind of bloated, herpes-ridden old dude you find in the bathrooms of shitty bars, begging you through the glory hole in the stall wall to let him blow you just so he can feel something akin to being wanted, Gingrich of course ended his campaign with a head-slappingly self-aggrandizing piece of delusional stream of consciousness that seemed more like the rantings of someone who had had acid slipped into his Metamucil.

Also, it’s time for another Balloon-Jobs thread–who’s looking for a job?  Who knows about a job opening?  What’s out there, and how can we help each other out, and while we’re at it, who has a recent success story?  Got a promotion or a new job?  Lets hear about it.  I’ll go first–if you are unemployed or underemployed in any number of professions, you should definitely be searching and applying at www.usajobs.gov especially if you are a Veteran, or a disabled person, but especially if you are a disabled Vet, even if your disability is not service-connected.  Come to work for the best employer there is, the American Taxpayer.  Right now, my agency, Veterans Affairs, is preparing to hire a LOT of IT personnel for virtualized work.  That’s right–you can make good money working from home supporting a worthy cause, the health and welfare of Veterans.  Hell, when I type it out like that, it almost looks like a scam.

Anyway, let’s hear what you’ve all got for and about employment today.








Balloon Jobs

It’s been a while since we had one of these.  If you need a job, post some basic info and your fellow Juicers might be able to help you out.  If you know of an open position or one about to open, post the basics and maybe one of your fellow Juicers can either help you out or knows someone who can.

For my personal experiences, the best jobs site I ever used to get civilian jobs was www.careerbuilder.com but of course, you all should be putting your resumes and information up on www.usajobs.gov so that you can get a good job with good benefits working for the best employer in the world, the American Taxpayer.

Also too, open thread.

Don’t forget the Seattle area meetup!

Short link at Lawyers, Guns, and Money








Balloon Jobs

Been a while since we did one of these, and I’ve had news of a couple of opportunities sent my way, so let’s have at it.

For one — if you have development/fundraising experience, the National Coalition Against Censorship is looking for you.  Details here.  I’m assuming this would be an in-office job, which would mean the New York City environs…

Also, rather more specialized, but Harvard’s Nieman Foundation for Journalism folks and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society have teamed up to offer a one year fellowship for a working journalist pursuing “a specific project on journalism and innovation.” Details here.  That would, of course require geographic affinity with Our Faire City, Cambridge (not that one, this one) MA.

So over to you all:  work available? Work needed?  Take it away.

Image: Limbourg Brothers and Barthélémy d’Eyck, Les Tres Riches Heures du duc de Berry, (March), 1412-1416 and c. 1440.








Even with 9.1% unemployment, no one wants this job

Around two months ago I started getting calls from a person who works for the state Democratic Party. He told me they think my state representative has the potential to be vulnerable, because of some hazy rumors of scandal or general bad behavior or corruption that (apparently, allegedly) surround him. Pick one: scandal, general bad behavior or corruption. I’m not sure what the caller was alluding to. It’s an overwhelmingly conservative district, so the idea is to have a Democratic candidate on the ballot ready to exploit the possible implosion of the incumbent.

They needed help finding a candidate. I didn’t do anything about it for a month or more, because I’m not the only person they’re calling, and I was hoping they’d find someone. But they haven’t. They have a week left to find the candidate and do what is necessary (50 valid signatures on a petition) to put her or him on the ballot.

I sent emails on it, but no one ever here responds to a request for help in an email, so I made phone calls last night. No one wants to do this. My “top” pick, a woman I have asked to run before, is a retired teacher and would do it, but she cares for her sick and frail elderly mother and she’s just completely consumed by that. Most of the people I talked to had reasons like that not to run: one woman I spoke with who has four kids literally laughed out loud in a jagged, slightly hysterical way. The people who don’t have crushing, overwhelming family and work responsibilities and might consider running talk about how horrible campaigns are: they won’t have any privacy and half or better of the county will end up hating them. I’m not blaming these people, at all. They don’t want to run for office. I don’t want to run for office, either, which is why I’m asking them.

I bring this up because I think there’s a perception that there are just tens of qualified, wonderful people vying for these slots, and the “candidate” is chosen in a smoke-filled room, after carefully excluding all the liberals and hippies. That may be true for big important jobs, like US Senate or House, I don’t know. Maybe it’s true in liberal areas, where there’s a lot of potential Democratic candidates, but in a conservative area like this it isn’t true at all. In a place like this, they’re contacting clueless people like me in absolute desperation trying to come up with a candidate. It’s really wide open. I’d take a hippie in a heartbeat. So why doesn’t anyone want to try?

John Boehner started in a statehouse, and then:

Ever wanted to know who to thank for House Speaker John Boehner’s congressional career? The late Ohio Republican Rep. Donald “Buz” Lukens was your man. It was 1990. Lukens was in his second term in Congress. The year before, the 58-year-old congressman had been caught on a television network’s hidden camera in a McDonald’s restaurant speaking with the mother of a 16-year-old girl he was allegedly sleeping with. Lukens was soon convicted of paying the teen $40 to have sex with him and wound up serving nine days in prison and paying a $500 fine. That would be his first of two stays in prison, and his second of three sex offense allegations.

Despite the scandal with the 16-year-old, Lukens ran for reelection. He declared his bid for reelection on May 2, 1990, calling the whole debacle a “dumb mistake.” Boehner, who was at the time was president of a packaging sales company, saw his chance. He crushed Lukens in the Republican primary, launching the congressional career that has brought him to the position second in line to the presidency.

According to the FBI report, Lukens told his staffers that the underage girl had given him a fake I.D. that said she was 20 years old. The staffer said Lukens maintained the attitude that there was nothing wrong with what he did. Lukens felt he could have won the election if he had come forward and apologized.“10,000 people voted for a convicted sex offender,” one staffer told an FBI agent, referring to the 20 percent of the vote Lukens received in his race against Boehner.

Maybe Boehner’s not a good or inspiring example. I don’t know that I would actually say “you, too, could end up passing out checks from tobacco lobbyists on the House floor”, but still. These things happen and could happen again.



Another Specialized Balloon Jobs Post

Know any folks out there interested in rhetoric?  Communications pedagogy? Research into professional communication and/or literacies across media?

Well, some of my colleagues are looking to hire a senior (aka tenured/tenurable) scholar/teacher in this area, with MIT hiring its first (in a long time, certainly, if not ever) professor of rhetoric.  Here’s the description:

MIT’s Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies in the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Science seeks to appoint a distinguished scholar in rhetorical studies at the rank of tenured associate or full professor to start in the Fall of 2012. Candidates should have a Ph.D. in rhetoric or a relevant field of interdisciplinary rhetorical studies, with a distinguished record of publication, broad experience in developing innovative college level courses in rhetoric and communication; and a record of funded research in one or more areas of communication education or media literacy. The candidate will work collaboratively with colleagues in the Programs of Writing and Humanistic Studies, Comparative Media Studies, and Literature, while providing faculty level support for MIT’s educational programs across the disciplines at MIT. Relevant areas of specialization include the history, theory and critical tradition of classical rhetoric; contemporary rhetorical studies in one or more academic or professional disciplines or fields of study; and oral presentation, visual studies, digital humanities, narrative, and media studies. MIT is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer.

And here is where one would submit an application.

So — if this big and broad community has some among it, or some in its circle of acquaintances who might be interested…come on down!

And, of course, use this thread to spread the word about jobs you seek and/or jobs you know of.

Image:  Jan Steen, Feast of the Chamber of Rhetoricians near a Town-Gate, before 1679.








99% Balloon Jobs

We are the 99%.

Well, you are anyway, for the most part. I, on the other hand, am stonkers with cash, positively rolling in it.

My father was the second son of the Baron Capel of Tewkesbury, although there were always rumors that there was something a little, shall we say, Edwardian about his genetics, particularly given that the old Baron had, ten years earlier, had both testicles shot off by Ayub Khan in the Second Anglo-Afghan War. Let’s just say that Daddy could do an impression of George V that would fool the king’s mother. He served in the Navy during the Great War, doing very secret and nefarious things. He was a great man, and I loved him very much.

Anyway, Great Grandfather had made money in Jamaican tobacco, which his son then invested in ironworks, making even more money. My father invested his share in ammunition factories a few years before the war kicked off. When daddy died, he left everything to me (well, that which wasn’t swallowed up in death duties), and I immediately began to carefully invest it in Dior, cocaine and Krug, along with the odd share of Ford or Apple over the years.

Ben Marshall (1767-1835) - A Hunt Servant

Daddy, my mother and I lived in a big house, packed with more servants than anyone knew what to do with, usually retired sailors. It was like Downton Abbey except with worse dentistry and more rum, sodomy and tattoos.

Now, Daddy was a powerful and ruthless business man. His first lesson to me was that, in business and in love, both your enemies and friends were fair game, and if you could steal someone’s business or their wife or their damn chair from under them it was your honor-bound duty to do so.

However, he also said that you should always be kind and generous to to your servants, not least because, as he put it, you never knew when one of the bastards was going to dunk his syphilitic tackle in your breakfast martini. I suspect that Daddy’s reasons were slightly deeper than just the fear of someone’s dick in his drink. Daddy’s servants were always the happiest and fattest and best dressed in the neighborhood, and so our silver was always the shiniest, our sheets were so well starched you could do yourself an injury on them, and there were never any nasty surprises in the soup. He applied the same rule to the workers in his factories, and there were never strikes because everyone had more than enough to feed and clothe their family and at least one day off a month.

My father also told me that it was your duty to pay the full amount of tax on every dollar that you earned, because otherwise how was the government going to buy all those things it desperately needed, like bullets and iron and tobacco?

Daddy was not a good man. He may have been ruthless. He may, in fact, have been a nasty son-of-a-bitch who’d sell his mother’s ashes to a soap factory or push a business rival under a tram (only once though, and it really might have been an accident).

However, he always said that if the revolution came, he knew that he wouldn’t be one of the ones putting on a blindfold and lining up against a wall. He, unlike our captains of industry of today, knew who buttered his bread and washed his car and shaved his face every morning with four inches of sharpened steel and made his bullets and built the roads that his delivery trucks drove on.

He, unlike much of the 1% today, wasn’t a fucking idiot.

Let’s call this a Balloon Jobs Thread, as well as an Open Thread. I know Mr Levenson has already done one this week, but another can’t hurt.

Image: A Hunt Servant – Ben Marshall (1767-1835)



A Kind of Specialized Balloon Jobs Thread

I know, I know.  I never write. I never call.

And I haven’t got anything substantive to say just now (or rather not the time to untangle thought from rage).  But I do have notices of two faculty searches in my general purview at MIT — and while they are very specific and pretty demanding in terms of qualifications, this is a big, bad, beautiful crowd here.

So I thought that I might let social media take up a little slack and alert you all — who may then alert any qualified friends as well — to the possibilities.  And all that seems like a good excuse for everyone else to put up any other suggestions they may have for gainful work for our crowd.

Here’s what’s on offer at my shop:

First up — a junior, tenure track professorship of science writing. You can see the advertisement and check out the application process here.  The deadline on this one is coming up fast — November 1, so if this is of interest to you or anyone you like, go for it.

Second:  there is a senior search for a professor of rhetoric.  Ad and applications details here.  There is a little more time available on this one — till December 1.

That’s it from my end of the patch.  (BTW — I am not on the committee for either of these positions, so there’s no point in lobbying me.  I am happy to answer questions about the nature of the science writing job, and y’all know how to reach me if necessary.)

Now you know what I got.  What do you have?

Jobs anyone?

PS — something more on the main line of Balloon Juicing coming soon.  I’ve made that promise before, and I’ve always meant it.

Image:  Frederick Stuart Church, Tiger Having Eaten Professor, 1905.