Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Kowtowing to money and brutalityApparently it wasn’t bad enough the Racketeer-In-Chief just abandoned any meager pretense of moral principle by choosing to accept Saudi Arabia’s barbarous murder of a journalist, their slandering him as “an enemy of the people,” and their complicity in war crimes in Yemen, all in favor of “a record amount of money” that will create “much additional wealth” that doesn’t actually exist: According to experts, Trump’s “$110 billion” in arm sales is in fact $14.5 billion, and his “450,000 to 600,000” jobs is in fact 17,500 jobs, a nigh-on invisible fraction of America’s work force of 160 million. Thus did Trump proclaim once and for all America only cares about money – even when it’s a chimera – and won’t even pretend to stand for lofty nonsense like justice.The crimes of his “statement” didn’t stop there. There was his “most uninformed, toady, poorly-written” 4th-grade rhetoric ever (sorry 4th-graders) – “It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”; the rejection of US intelligence findings over the dubious word of another authoritarian regime; the misjudgment and ignorance – experts dismiss the notion of a “gift” to Russia and China from a US withdrawal. Above all was the yuge lie that Trump has “no financial interests,” prompting a flood of reports – because thank God fake news never sleeps – about the prince who twice rescued him from bankruptcy, his hotel deals, and his multiple investments with Saudis, culminating in his famously icky, “I like them very much.”The venality proved too much for many. Twitter noted the Saudis “just installed a new VIP entrance at its consulate in Turkey so visitors can skip the previous 7-minute suffocation session and head right to the part of the visit where they get chopped up.” Tennesee’s Bob Corker: “I never thought I’d see the day when a White House was moonlighting as a P.R. firm for Saudi Arabia.” Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard: “Being Saudi Arabia’s bitch is not ‘America First.’” Minnesota’s Rep.-elect Ilhan Omar: “Once again, our President proves that you can’t buy a moral compass. Saudi Arabia proves that you can, on the other hand, buy a President.” The next day, it got worse when Trump doubled down, stooping to thanking the Saudis because, duh, money. “Oil prices getting lower. Great! Like a big Tax Cut for America and the World. Enjoy!” he jabbered, ignoring the inconvenient truth the shift was an expected short-term dip, we only get 9% of our oil from them anyway, and normal people would be repulsed by the idea of saving blood money at the pumps. Trump ended with, “Thank you to Saudi Arabia, but let’s go lower!” – which, some noted, could well be the mantra for this whole loathsome regime.A final note: Too often lost in the clamorous debate is Jamal Khashoggi – journalist, activist, human being, loved one – and the imperative to give him justice. “Khashoggi spoke truth to power. He defended human rights, and because of this he was murdered. He no longer has a voice, so we must be his voice,” argues Armen Manoogian, thus echoing Khashoggi himself: “I am raising my voice. To do otherwise would betray those who languish in prison. I can speak when so many others cannot.” Among thosemost devastated by his loss is his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, who says she has “found myself in a darkness I cannot express.” Cengiz, who waited outside the embassy until 1 a.m. the day of Khashoggi’s murder, recently turned down an invitation to the White House from Trump, citing the grotesque hypocrisy of the offer. In a heartbreaking tribute to him, she posted a brief, gentle video of Khashoggi telling a story about his fatherand delightedly encountering a surprise visitor. “They took your bodily presence from my world,” she wrote. “But your beautiful laugh will remain in my soul forever.“
Empty chair at a recent press freedom conference.
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Thanksgiving is over with. I was both busy and upset this week. People say that the holiday season is very stressful, and that was certainly true for me this week.
It began innocently enough, Hal (person) traveled out of town on Monday to visit family. He was gone until Wednesday evening. I missed him terribly, but he has to be with his family and I respect him for that. I was here, being quiet and attempting to stay productive at work. This led to the second issue of the week.
I have acquired several additional responsibilities this year at work. Each one has involved training to acclimate me with the new tasking. In one particular instance, the training proved to be insufficient. There were some items that were left out, or perhaps not stressed sufficiently, and this week that came back to haunt me. A very important item was missed and there is only me to blame when it comes down to the bottom line. Whether or not this item was covered in the training doesn’t change the fact that something went wrong, or that my name was now attached to that error.
I got my ass handed to me by several people over the course of the week. There is nothing that can ruin a holiday like getting bitched at over and over. I tried explaining what must have happened, but of course, that didn’t change what did happen. To top things off, last week was also the personal and professional evaluation review. Obviously, my performance took a nosedive. I was not happy about that, but no amount of talking would change it.
The part of this whole thing that I started to notice was that people I work closely with were behaving in ways that they never had before. I would talk with them and hear one thing, but when I spoke to the other person about the same thing, they had been informed by the first person I spoke with that something completely different had happened. In effect, I was made out to be a liar even if that was not the intent.
I can understand people wanting to protect their own position and getting the best evaluation that they could for themselves, but I was, and still am, extremely pissed that my error and misfortune was serving as a launching pad to inflate other peoples’ evaluations. By the time my own evaluation meeting was held, I was beyond furious. I told my supervisor, one of those who had behaved in the manner listed above, that I would sign what I considered a sub-par performance evaluation because I had exhausted every opportunity to resolve this issue and I was tired of fighting over it.
I have worked for this company for nearly 13 years, and this is the first time that anything like this has happened to me. I realize that this is probably rare for the length of time I have worked for the company, but it honestly hurt my pride, both personally and professionally.
Now I face the prospect of 2019 being a year that I must spend rebuilding my reputation because we all know that just one “oh shit” moment will wipe out a lifetime of “atta boy” compliments. Right now, I don’t feel as thankful for the job that I have loved for so many years, the one that I have given so much for over those years. Time will be spent watching my back from now on. I have no real choice but to let this wash over me and work to recover my reputation while swallowing my pride in the process.
Something fundamental changed this week. There is no more trust, not like there was. I cannot place my career in those hands again as I did before. I saw personal ambitions outweigh any working relationships that existed when there was an opportunity to get ahead at my expense. I detest this behavior and always try to avoid advancing my career at the expense of someone else deliberately. This is one of those painful lessons that I mention so often when I write. This one has been learned very well, and it will not be forgotten.