Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Our Services Touch Every US Citizen"

Nobody in the government -- not the president, not Congress, neither Republicans nor Democrats -- is serious about solving the deficit, the debt ceiling or any of the other economic-flavored doom-causing problems out there; for all the meat and bone anyone cuts out of the budget, they'll leave the fat and gristle untouched. No money to fund the FAA, but plenty to expand TSA workforces to root around in travelers' underwear. No money to fix our country's crumbling infrastructure, but plenty to demolish the infrastructures of the other countries where we wage our Endless Wars.

Meanwhile, I remain poor by modern American socioeconomic income standards. Might I alleviate this and be personally enriched by some of the money government wastes on bullshit? It's possible! I'm still looking for a full-time staff writer position, and the Department of Homeland Security is hiring some and offering to pay them pretty well:

Job Title: Writer/Editor
Department: Department Of Homeland Security
Agency: National Protection and Programs Directorate
Job Announcement Number: FS-505757-SW11

SALARY RANGE: $62,467.00 - $97,333.00 /year

OPEN PERIOD:Monday, July 25, 2011 to Friday, August 05, 2011

SERIES & GRADE: GS-1082-11/12
POSITION INFORMATION: Full Time Career/Career Conditional
PROMOTION POTENTIAL:12
DUTY LOCATIONS: Few vacancies - Arlington, VA
WHO MAY BE CONSIDERED: US Citizens and Status Candidates

JOB SUMMARY:
Secure the Homeland
Proud to Protect

Are you interested in a job where your primary purpose will be to write and edit materials, such as reports, inquiries from the White House, Congress, and the Government Accountability Office, news releases, and speeches.? Then consider joining the Office of Identity Services Branch, US-VISIT, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Come work with the best to prevent and deter terrorist attacks, protect against and respond to potential threats, ensure safe and secure borders, welcome immigrants and visitors, and promote the free-flow [sic] of commerce. This mission of the U. S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is carried out every day by the dedicated men and women who answer the noble calling of public service with courage and enthusiasm. With a diverse and critical mission, we lead the unified national effort to secure America. In today's interconnected world, our country's security challenges are constantly evolving. To meet these challenges, DHS fosters a culture that values and promotes diversity, teamwork, flexibility, and innovation.

In Headquarters, we coordinate, plan, and guide the Department's work across all DHS components. You could enjoy a career that includes research, administration and management, legal work, budget and finance, cyber security, infrastructure protection and intelligence analysis. Our services touch every U.S. citizen, and our goal is to secure our country across land and sea. Come join the team who is "Proud to Protect". APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED FROM: All U.S. Citizens and Status Candidates.More than one selection may be made from this announcement should the need arise.

For new Federal employees, the starting salary will be at the Step 1 Grade selected (GS-11-$62,467; GS-12 - $74,872).


I wonder if that's the same pay Blogger Bob enjoys for his role as TSA's head of propaganda? More importantly, I wonder if I could do it?
Come work with the best to prevent and deter terrorist attacks, protect against and respond to potential threats, ensure safe and secure borders, welcome immigrants and visitors, and promote the free-flow of commerce.
Prevent and deter terrorist attacks? Then-President George W. Bush said the terrorists attacked us because they hate freedom; DHS is certainly removing that motivation, and if I worked for them, I'd be helping.

Protect against and respond to potential threats? If that means "mistreat everyone who travels anywhere in America," DHS continues doing a bang-up job and as their staff writer, I would repeatedly say so.

Ensure safe and secure borders? I personally would not tote a gun and play target practice on the border; I'd write justifications for those who did. If the TSA blog is any indication, I wouldn't even be required to tell the truth; I could tell outright lies, so long as it makes my masters look good. "There are no children on the No-Fly List." "Our immigration policy is totally humane." "The problems in Mexico are in no way the fault of US drug policy and DEA meddling."

As a journalist, I know "making shit up" is much easier than "finding and telling the truth"; an article that could take all week to write if I had to read documents and talk to witnesses could be done in less than an hour if I only had to consult the reference library stored between the cheeks of my ass. Finding proof of government wrongdoing might sometimes take awhile, but telling fairy tales where such wrongdoing doesn't exist is a snap.

Welcome immigrants and visitors? If by "welcome" you mean "confiscate their electronics and subject their bodies to intimate genital searches considered human-rights violations in other countries," DHS again does a bang-up job, which I'd have to justify.

Promote the free flow of commerce? For all the indignities TSA inflicts on passengers they still don't check cargo, so I suppose there's that.

Our services touch every U.S. citizen. Yeah. That's pretty much the problem.

But I really need a job. Or a benefactor willing to give me regular sums of money for doing basically nothing. If I work for the government I could have both at once. All I need to do is find a friendly and not entirely ethical brain surgeon to lobotomize my conscience and empathy circuits first. Except I don't have enough health insurance for that, so rather than apply for this respectable middle-class writing position, I'll continue editing vanity novels and envying Japanese fetish artists. At least that way I keep my self-respect.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Hugh Akston said...

I would love to see your cover letter for this job. I would pay to be in the room when they went over your background check.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous leslie said...

Jen apply for the job and then you can write about the interview. But, would you really be happy working for them? I love it when the Republicans want to run the gov like a business-it's not a business it's government.
Hope you are doing well.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Lisa Simeone said...

Make big bucks by writing propaganda! Abuse your fellow citizens with impunity! You'll have so much fun! Employment security! Your job will never be cut!

Posted at Elliott Blog:

http://www.elliott.org/blog/tsa-watch-vote-for-your-favorite-tsa-hero-or-villain/

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Nullifier said...

Dear Feral Genius,

Of all the Libertarian chicks, (others being DeCoster, Akers, Kwiatkowski), you alone make me laugh out loud so hard that I have excretory control concerns/issues. I mean the tentacle thing, really! Don't get me wrong, the others offer trenchant analysis into important subjects, but your take on things is nonpareil.

Some days I think if it wasn't for your ravings and vodka... Well, let's not go there.

Please keep Pecking at the Ankles of Tyranny.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Alan McBride said...

To try to help blogress move up the career ladder, I've used my past experience working for a large American multi-national corporation to imagine myself receiving your blog, and considering it an application for employment and writing a rejection which emphasizes the positive aspects of your application while providing constructive advice on re-applying at a later time:

Dear Madam,

It is with considerable regret that we must inform you that we regard you as currently unsuitable for the position for which you've applied. Please do not be discouraged from applying at a future time, after you've completed a course in “Anger Management.” A short synopsis of this course of study is available from the Mayo Clinic and others, and we've selected certain portions of your application to indicate particular concerns where we believe this course would be benefit your professional life:

“As a journalist, I know "making shit up" is much easier than "finding and telling the truth";... if I only had to consult the reference library stored between the cheeks of my ass.”

Mayo Clinic says...(Tip) :No. 2: Once you're calm, express your anger

As soon as you're thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but nonconfrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them.

“I could tell outright lies, so long as it makes my masters look good.”

Mayo Clinic says...(Tip): No. 4: Think before you speak

In the heat of the moment, it's easy to say something you'll later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything — and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.

“Our services touch every U.S. citizen. Yeah. That's pretty much the problem.”

Mayo Clinic says...(Tip):No. 7: Don't hold a grudge

Forgiveness is a powerful tool. If you allow anger and other negative feelings to crowd out positive feelings, you might find yourself swallowed up by your own bitterness or sense of injustice. But if you can forgive someone who angered you, you might both learn from the situation. It's unrealistic to expect everyone to behave exactly as you want at all times.

“But I really need a job. Or a benefactor willing to give me regular sums of money for doing basically nothing. If I work for the government I could have both at once.”

Mayo Clinic says...(Tip):No. 8: Use humor to release tension

Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Don't use sarcasm, though — it can hurt feelings and make things worse.

We believe your qualifications are excellent as far as writing skills, but do not forget that you'll be evaluated on your ability “to write materials tailored to specific media and audiences” which you need to concentrate on a little harder.
Please do not hesitate to apply again after six months or so as you continue to grow in your commitment to National Security.

Best Regards for a Secure America,
Your friends at TSA

11:55 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

Dear Mr. McBride,

I urge you to reconsider your previous decision and add me to your current list of candidates. As my attached resume indicates, I have ample experience lying when necessary. For example, as a high school teacher I told several parents "Your child is destined for a happy, competent adulthood characterized by wise decision-making, all thanks to your excellent helicopter parenting." As an editor for a vanity publisher, I repeatedly tell clients "Your writing suggests you are neither functionally illiterate nor insane, and burning all the hard copies of your book and deleting all the computer files of it would be a very bad idea." I once, briefly, worked for an ad agency where I told consumers "My client's product is not worthless overpriced crap, but a useful bargain you should totally spend your money on."

I also interact well with the public. For example, I have never once told my next-door neighbor's screeching children "Shut the hell up or you'll never get Christmas presents again because I'll go to the North Pole and CUT OFF SANTA'S HEAD." Instead, I just open my door and smile sweetly and ask if anybody is hurt, and the kids all look abashed and say "no" and be quiet for upwards of three minutes (which is like three weeks in kid-time).

See? I have excellent skills in diplomacy and would be a credit to the TSA.

Believe me or bite me,
Jennifer Abel

1:06 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

More importantly: I know how to take crap and convince people it's actually chocolate.

1:16 PM  

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