Wednesday, September 24, 2008

hidden love motes

Well, I survived my "vacation" on Florida's Space Coast. I had forgotten how ghost townish East Coast beaches get during the off season. Of course, our off season coincides with high season for our northern neighbors. December through March should see the crowds appear and places like Ocean City, Maryland or Virginia Beach will be deserted. This week, for the most part, it was just us and some surfers out each day.

DVR'd and watched 3 days of dancing with the stars, which was basically 5 hours of shaking, spinning, and sequins. Can't help it, I like dancing. I love it when the fall season starts. Then the good stuff comes back: Survivor, Boston Legal, Amazing Race, Chuck, etc.

I watched the first presidental debate and got out of it exactly what I thought I would... me hollering at the TV, "Good point...BUT THAT WASN'T THE QUESTION!!!"
Leher: "Senator Obama, which of your priorities would you cut if the financal crisis continues?"
Obama: "Well, you know, Senator McCain supported us going into Iraq, which I, of course, opposed."
Leher: "Senator McCain, which of your priorities would you cut if the financal crisis continues?"
McCain: "Well, honestly, I don't think Senator Obama understands the difference between a strategy and a tactic."
Basically I took away from the first debate that McCain wants us to understand that he understands and Obama doesn't, but he is dead set against spelling out exactly what it is that he thinks he gets. And I figure Obama's main point was that McCain was an enabler of all the sins of the Bush administration, of which there are far too many to count and that he was against 'em all from the start because he's, well, you know, smart.

Hidden love motes is a partial line from a song by a guy I know. I couldn't remember the last time I heard "mote" in a song. I did read The Mote in God's Eye, a long time ago. For what that's worth. I mean, I did used to read a lot. I still do, but it is all newspapers and magazines. I am pretty knowledgable for it, but I miss reading for pleasure.

Been holding off for a few days now waiting for something to strike my fancy for blogging. Nothing has. Been home a few weeks, so things are all routine again. I am home again next week, then off to Guatemala for a week. Guatemala better be good because I gave up 2 weeks in Amsterdam for 5 days there. I have a hotel smack dab in the center of Zona 10, aka Zona Viva (The lively zone). To be all that lively, there is suprisingly little I can find on google to link to to make you some kind of jealous. Mostly just comes up with hotel info. Maybe, as the lol cats would say, UR doin it rong.

Obama Pictures and McCain Pictures

Anyway, might as well take the time do add a few pictures from the last couple of weeks. Then I will slink back over to the dark(-ish) side for a while and wait to blog again. Oh yeah, after listening to DBT's Dirty South about a gazillion times I had a brainstorm and went to Netflix and ordered the original Walking Tall with Joe Don Baker. Yeah, let's see that big ass stick.

You don't know my wife, but if you did you'd know that this is completely out of character for her. As she once said to me, "Teelac. I cannot to be farmer."

Have you met my kind benefactor, Noriko? WHOA!, bub. That's close enough. I didn't hear the lady ask you over.

The camera adds 10 pounds but the, um, digital camera adds about forty.

From the balcony of my hotel room.With the wind in my free flowing hair.Proof positive that I am still a sixteen year old at heart. Remember how many of your high school photos found you posing like this? What do you mean it was just me???

Country first, before 3rd favorite local restaurant.
A great Indian meal. That pita-looking bread beside the water glass has 3 different kinds of hot pepper baked into it.

Owwmykneecap, out
Ramblin' Ed

Monday, September 15, 2008

Situationally Ethical

So, my question for ponderment most all of this week has been this: Can you be an honorable man if you sometimes move what is purely ethical aside for expediency when you think something is the right thing to do? It's a toughie.

Right off the bat you think, if I compromise ethics, even a little, then that is wrong. And that seems fair enough. But there is always more to it than that. And the following is a true tale.
There is a man, DD, who I have always admired. He has always been pretty selfless and has always tried to do what was best for people. Only, sometimes trying to do what was best in the long run had to pass through a rule or prohibition that would tend to at best derail, and at worst completely quash the good end result. What do you do? Say, "Sorry, I'd do what I think is best but, heck, my hands are tied." Or do you go for the classic "ends justifies the means" defense. He would normally choose the latter.
Still, I do admire him. I think. I mean, I understand where he is coming from. And sometimes, when he was the boss and I was his right hand man, I was complicit in bypassing the bothersome encumberances known as Navy Regs. They didn't take enough variables into account we reasoned, and everyone came out better for it we decided. I think perhaps, at least in the short run, we were right.
Now I'm retired and he's retired. We both have good, and satisfying jobs. We try to stay in touch and we try to help each other out. And this is what got me to thinking.
DD had a guy, JM, who had worked with him on the ship. When they both got out, my DD started a business and hired him. Then the business failed and they were both out of a job. With a Masters Degree and a pocketful of very useful skills, DD was working again before his previous hat hat hit the hat rack good. JM though, was not as lucky. I was contacted to look his resume over and see if we could use him. I said I'd look, but since I didn't know him, I was vouching for him solely on the word of DD, who I trusted. The resume looked good, including a difficult to attain training designation from the Navy. Based on those two things I pitched him hard and he was hired.
It took some work to get JM to speed, some of his assigned tasks, we found out recently, were not completed, and after about 6 months he took off in chase of more money, leaving us hanging. In fact, I am helping interview people for his position this week.
Over dinner at Olive garden one night, when I was on the road and close enough to wander down near where DD lived, he confided in me that JM needed a job pretty bad. And he knew he was a good guy and a fast learner and that he could be a trainer. He also knew that we wouldn't hire him with no trainer experience, so they put that he did, added in the training designation to catch my eye, and waited for me to try and make it happen. Guess he didn't think think I'd go along if I knew. But everybody wins, right? JM has a job, DD looks good as a guardian angel, and I get help in the office. The ends, justifying the means.
You know, hypocritical though it may be, it kinda stung to get used like that. Not that I had not been party to his situational ethics before. Not that I didn't see the point in what he was trying to do. I understood the situation. I even understood his reasoning and motivation. I just didn't care for feeling pimped out.
I have thought about it a lot, because I tend to mull things over a long time.I do that because I mull in slow motion and the thought will hang around for days, whispering "mull me...mull me." I have decided that, all things being equal, I will more often choose the ethical path than not. But... and this is a mighty big caveat... I can be swayed by a good rationalization to bend the rules. Nothing big, nothng illegal. But a cut corner here, a blind eye there. I cannot claim complete innocence.
Is he my friend? Yeah.Is there a certian amount of tarnish that goes along with that friendship now? Again, yeah. Taking everything into account, is he more honorable than not? I don't know for sure. I'm still pondering it.
OK, just what in the hell is going on in our financial sector? Kinda feels like the end of civilization as we know it, don't it? You can all hate me for saying this, but come to me trying to sell additional tax cuts for the wealty and for big business and talking about continued (or further) deregulation of our financial institutions, and I'm likely to go all Hatfield and McCoy on you. I am about fed up to here with giving greedy people the green light to steal and take risks, with no adult leadership whatsoever. It's just plain wrong. It's the little people who got hurt by Enron and other corporate scandals. Not the six-, eight, or ten-figure salaried folks, but the working stiffs. Te rank and file. And now it's the taxpayers who are bailing out Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and AIG. Why don't we confiscate the obscene salaries of these "businessmen" who gutted their corporations and took home hundreds of millions doing it? Take most of that money back and throw it in the kitty too. I took none of the risk, and I'm paying my share. They should own the consequences of their risk, too. I'm just saying. Like the man says, "I don't really get economics. It's like the Dutch language. I'm told it makes sense, but I seriously have my doubts."
***BIG OL' GRIN Shout Out***
Got tickets to John Prine down in Clearwater this Friday. Yeah, buddy!

So I hit him in the head with a sock full of nickles. "Here's some change you can believe in", out
Ramblin' Ed