In Tough Job Market, Applicants Try Résumé Gimmicks

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We thought we’d write a little ditty on how difficult it is to get your resume noticed by HR nowadays.  Here goes:

I’m gonna use a gimmick to alert the HR folk

That my resume is not some ordinary joke.

Tired that my resume is swept under the rug,

They are gonna find that I’m a regular spark plug!

I’ll hire Jimmy Carter to deliver it, why not?

(He does lots of charity and doesn’t ask for squat.)

I’ll print it on a pinhead, and with magnifying glass

HR will confess that I have plenty of high class.

I will print it on hemp paper; they can prod it and can poke it,

And maybe I will get the job if they decide to smoke it.

Perhaps a thousand dollar bill will garner their attention

(Or possibly they’d think it just a tad too much pretension.)

I’ll be a human cannon ball and fly right through their winder!

(I wonder if they have a chair that fits a human cinder?)

Or tunnel up from underground to give them my CV;

Now wouldn’t THAT go over big on Fox Network TV!

Lookout you HR offices, your minds I’m gonna blow . . .

As soon as I have watched this rerun of the Oprah show.

We heard back on this poem from one of our readers, who just happens to work for the Wall Street Journal.  We quote her email verbatim:

I love this! Good luck getting someone to smoke your resume. Perhaps in Colorado?

Best,

Lauren

Lauren Weber

Reporter

Wall Street Journal

1211 Avenue of the Americas

New York, NY 10036

212.416.4117

lauren.weber@wsj.com

twitter @laurenweberWSJ

Jell-O with the Senator

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If you’re from Utah and happen to be in Washington D.C., feeling lonely & hungry, here is a friendly message from Senator Mike Lee:

My staff and I want my Washington D.C. office to be a place where visitors from Utah feel at home.  Every Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., we host “Jell-O with the Senator.”  All are invited to come meet me and enjoy a serving of Utah’s official state snack.

Dates and times are subject to change, so if you are planning on visiting my office during one of these events, you are welcome to call ahead for a confirmation – 202-224-5444.

Here is the text from the bill passed by the Utah State Legislature designating Jell-O as the official state snack:

This Senate resolution of the Legislature recognizes Jell-O® brand gelatin as a favorite snack of Utah.
Be it resolved by the Senate of the state of Utah:
WHEREAS, Jell-O® brand gelatin was introduced to the country in 1897, just one year after Utah was admitted to the Union as the 45th state;
WHEREAS, Utah has been the number one per capita consumer of Jell-O® brand gelatin for many years;
WHEREAS, Jell-O® is representative of good family fun, which Utah is known for throughout the world;
WHEREAS, Salt Lake Magazine proclaimed Utah “the Jell-O® State” in a cover story in 1996;
WHEREAS, Jell-O® brand gelatin recipes, which often include bananas, apples,
marshmallows, pretzels, carrots, and grapes, are a traditional favorite at family, church, and community dinners throughout the Beehive State;
WHEREAS, in 1997, Salt Lake Tribune editorial cartoonist Pat Bagley drew a week-long series of political cartoons showcasing Jell-O® in Utah in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of Jell-O®;
WHEREAS, a 2002 Winter Olympic pin was designed that featured a bowl of green gelatinand has become a valuable collector’s item;
WHEREAS, when Des Moines, Iowa edged out Salt Lake City as the capitol of Jell-O® gelatin consumption in 1999, it sparked front page stories in Salt Lake City’s newspapers;
WHEREAS, Utahns rallied to “Take Back the Title” as Chef Scott Blackerby hosted a recipe contest in the Hotel Monaco’s Bambara Restaurant and Pat Bagley ran a cartoon persuading Utahns to purchase more Jell-O® gelatin;
WHEREAS, throughout 2000, Brigham Young University students campaigned to make Utah’s love of Jell-O® official at festivals and fairs throughout Utah;
WHEREAS, more than 14,000 signatures have been collected from the people of Utah in support of the campaign to select Jell-O® as the Official Snack of Utah; and
WHEREAS, due to these and many other efforts, Salt Lake City has now successfully recaptured the title:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Senate of the state of Utah recognize Jell-O® as a favorite snack food of Utah.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to Kraft Foods, Inc.

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The Lingering Shame of Occidental Racism.

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WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court’s 1944 decision in Korematsu v. United States was a disaster. In endorsing an executive order that required 110,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry to be removed from their homes and confined in detention camps, the court relied on wartime hysteria streaked with racism, sullying its reputation and damaging the constitutional principles it was meant to uphold.

Justice Antonin Scalia has ranked Korematsu alongside Dred Scott, the 1857 decision that black slaves were property and not citizens, as among the court’s most shameful blunders.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer has written that Korematsu has lost all potency as precedent. “The decision has been so thoroughly discredited,” he wrote in a recent book, “that it is hard to conceive of any future court referring to it favorably or relying on it.”

But Korematsu has never been overruled.

Calls for the Supreme Court to renounce the ruling started almost immediately after it was issued, and have persisted for 70 years. “Public expiation in the case of the internment of Japanese Americans from the West Coast would be good for the court, and for the country,” Eugene V. Rostow wrote in 1945 in The Yale Law Journal.

The jurisprudential problem for the court is that it needs a proper setting in which to overrule a decision. It rules on live controversies, and the mass detention of citizens has not arisen again.

The failure to make a definitive statement may also reflect a lack of judicial creativity. The court can say what it likes about its earlier rulings, and it would cost nothing but ink to say something about Korematsu.

The court will soon have a chance to do that in a case concerning a 2012 federal law that authorized the military detention without trial of people accused of providing support to terrorist organizations. The law left in place “existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens.” That would seem to include the Korematsu decision.

In urging the Supreme Court to hear their case, Hedges v. Obama, No. 13-758, the plaintiffs challenging the law asked the justices to consider whether Korematsu should be overruled.

The new case is hardly an ideal vehicle. The federal appeals court in New York dismissed it, saying that the plaintiffs had not suffered the sort of injury that gave them standing to sue, and it said nothing about Korematsu. Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. will presumably oppose a Supreme Court review on the grounds that the appeals court’s ruling on standing was correct.

But Peter H. Irons, a lawyer who discovered evidence of government misconduct in the Korematsu case and later helped its namesake, Fred Korematsu, wipe out his conviction, for remaining in a restricted military area, said the new case represents an opportunity.

He and other lawyers recently wrote to Mr. Verrilli to ask him to join the plaintiffs in asking that Korematsu be overruled. They reminded Mr. Verrilli that his predecessor, Acting Solicitor General Neal Kumar Katyal, had in 2011 issued a “confession of error” for the actions of government lawyers in the Korematsu case. Those lawyers, over the protests of underlings, had twisted and withheld evidence from the Supreme Court.

Mr. Katyal spoke for the executive branch. Congress has also addressed the matter.

In 1982, a congressional commission concluded that the internment of Japanese-Americans was “a grave injustice” animated by “race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership.” It added that “the decision in Korematsu lies overruled in the court of history.”

Nathan and Tim Recommend.

LBA

If you live south of the Washington D.C. area in Virginia, you may want to consider sending your children, or help your grandchildren attend Liberty Bridge Academy, in Woodbridge, Virginia.  Nathan and Tim highly recommend this fine Christian Academy for grade school children, where they will receive one-on-one instruction, not only in the arts and sciences, but also in the Scriptures and Good Citizenship.  Liberty Bridge Academy is one of the very few academies east of the Mississippi River to use a thoroughly LDS doctrinal approach in their curriculum.  We had the privilege of teaching at the Liberty Bridge Academy during the 2012 school year, and found it to be a wonderful place to expand young minds while fortifying them against the worldly follies and practices that engulf so many of our young people at an early age.

All races, creeds and religions are welcome at this accredited parochial school.

Our Glorious Welfare State in Action.

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Up to 40 kids at Uintah Elementary in Salt Lake City, Utah,  picked up their lunches Tuesday, then watched as the meals were snatched and thrown away because of outstanding balances on their accounts — a move that shocked and angered parents.

“It was pretty traumatic and humiliating,” said Erica Lukes, whose 11-year-old daughter had her cafeteria lunch taken from her as she stood in line Tuesday at Uintah Elementary School, 1571 E. 1300 South.

Lukes said as far as she knew, she was all paid up. “I think it’s despicable,” she said. “These are young children that shouldn’t be punished or humiliated for something the parents obviously need to clear up.”

Jason Olsen, a Salt Lake City District spokesman, said the district’s child-nutrition department became aware that Uintah had a large number of students who owed money for lunches.

As a result, the child-nutrition manager visited the school and decided to withhold lunches to deal with the issue, he said.

But cafeteria workers weren’t able to see which children owed money until they had already received lunches, Olsen explained.

The workers then took those lunches from the students and threw them away, he said, because once food is served to one student it can’t be served to another.

Children whose lunches were taken were given milk and fruit instead.

Olsen said school officials told the district that their staffers typically tell students about any balances as they go through the lunch line and send home notifications to parents each week.

The district attempted to contact parents with balances via phone Monday and Tuesday, Olsen said, but weren’t able to reach them all before the child-nutrition manager decided to take away the students’ lunches.

Congress Finally Shows Some Backbone by Trimming the Food Stamp Program.

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WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill authorizing nearly $1 trillion in spending on farm subsidies and nutrition programs, setting the stage for final passage of a new five-year farm bill that has been stalled for more than two years.

Negotiators from the House and Senate spent several weeks working out their differences on issues in the legislation, including cuts to food stamps, income caps on farm subsidies and a price support program for dairy farmers. The bill is expected to save about $16.6 billion over the next 10 years.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 251 to 166. The Senate is expected to take up the bill later this week.

Compared with earlier, more contentious votes on the farm bill, Wednesday’s vote was largely bipartisan. Many Democrats who had opposed it because of cuts to the food stamp program supported it on Wednesday. A number of Republicans, including many who wanted deeper cuts to the food stamps, also voted for passage.

The House speaker, John A. Boehner of Ohio, and the majority leader, Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia, had endorsed the bill and urged Republicans to support it, even though they said they would have liked to see more changes.

“This is legislation we can all be proud of because it fulfills the expectations the American people have of us,” said Representative Frank D. Lucas, Republican of Oklahoma, who led House efforts to pass the farm bill.

House leaders are now expected to turn their attention to other issues, including the Affordable Care Act, ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.

It is unclear where the Obama administration stands on the new farm bill. Mr. Obama had signaled his opposition to any bill that cut food stamps and expanded crop insurance.

The new farm bill, which had been mired in partisan gridlock, makes fundamental changes to both nutrition and farm programs. It cuts the food stamp program by $8 billion, and about 850,000 households will lose about $90 in monthly benefits under the change.

Anti-hunger groups called the food stamp cuts draconian. Feeding America, a coalition of food banks across the county, said the change would result in 34 lost meals per month for the affected households.

The bill does provide a $200 million increase in financing to food banks, though many said the money might not be enough to offset the expected surge in demand for food.

Farm programs were not spared from the cuts in the new bill. The most significant change to farm programs is the elimination of a subsidy known as direct payments. These payments, about $5 billion a year, are paid to farmers whether or not they grow crops, and the issue had become politically toxic over the last several years as farm income has risen to record levels.

The new bill cuts this subsidy and adds some of the money to the government-subsidized crop insurance. The government pays 62 percent of premiums for the $9 billion-a-year insurance program.

Lawmakers said the elimination of the direct payments ensured that only those who actually farm would receive subsidies and only when affected by a disaster such as drought. Budget watchdog groups called it a bait-and-switch, and said it replaced one subsidy with an even more generous one.

“This bill is so bad, they literally stripped reform from the title,” said Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, based in Washington.

Although most agriculture groups generally supported the new farm bill, several were left disappointed.

The seafood industry expressed disappointment that a contentious seafood inspection program at the Agriculture Department remained in the bill, despite bipartisan efforts to repeal it. Meat and poultry industry groups also expressed their concern with the bill because it did not include language to delay a labeling program that requires retailers to list the country of origin of meat. The industry said the labeling was too costly.

The bill does not address the changes to the international food aid program sought by the Obama administration, but it does give an increase of about $80 million to the United States Agency for International Development to buy food closer to disaster areas, rather than shipping food from the United States.

Anti-hunger groups, including the World Food Program, support the proposal. Several environmental groups, such as Ducks Unlimited, also expressed their support for the new farm bill because it includes new soil and water conservation measures.

Senator Rand Paul Pleads for American Christian Pastor Imprisoned in Iraq — Threatens Diplomatic Retaliation if Situation is Not Resolved Soon.

saeed

Saeed Abidini is a naturalized American citizen who has been arrested and imprisoned in Iran for the past two years.  His crime?  He converted from Islam to Christianity while still an Iranian citizen, and has helped to establish Christian congregations for worship in Iran.

That’s a pretty dangerous criminal!

The Obama administration does not seem to care about Abidini, and so Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has taken up his cause.  We quote his latest news release on the subject verbatim:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Rand Paul today issued the following letter to President Hassan Rouhani of Iran urging the release of American Pastor Saeed Abedini. The text of the letter can be found below:

 

LETTER TEXT:

January 24, 2014

His Excellency Hassan Rouhani

President

The Islamic Republic of Iran

Sa’dabad Palace

Tehran, Iran

President Rouhani,

I am writing to you today to urge you to commute the sentence of Pastor Saeed Abedini and release him from prison. I have recently met with his wife, Naghmeh, and she is very concerned for her husband’s well-being. His health is deteriorating and he is apparently under constant threat of harm from both prison personnel and other inmates at Rajaei Shahr prison.

I wish to remain cautiously optimistic regarding the recent diplomatic progress between our two nations.  However, I must point out that if something were to happen to Pastor Abedini while he is incarcerated, any good will forged over the past few months would likely evaporate. Conversely, granting clemency to Pastor Abedini and allowing him to return to the United States would do much to create a positive atmosphere that would reflect well on future discussions.

Cooperation and trust are built one gesture at a time and actions speak louder than words.

Sincerely,

Rand Paul, M.D.

United States Senator

 ###

Nathan & Tim’s Recommendation.

wai

“When we’re in Bangkok, we love to stay at the Midtown Longstay Apartments!  Their prices are reasonable and their service is fantastic!  You never feel abandoned or alone when you stay in one of their air-conditioned and scrupulously clean rooms.  We highly recommend that when you go to Bangkok, for business or pleasure, stay at the Midtown Longstay.  They take the hassle out of the Bangkok hustle!  ”  Nathan and Tim.  

Senator Ted Cruz Labels Obama “Lawless”.

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In his latest patriotic outburst, Texas senator Ted Cruz had this to say about President Barack Obama:

Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the president’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat. On Monday, Mr. Obama acted unilaterally to raise the minimum wage paid by federal contracts, the first of many executive actions the White House promised would be a theme of his State of the Union address Tuesday night.

The president’s taste for unilateral action to circumvent Congress should concern every citizen, regardless of party or ideology. The great 18th-century political philosopher Montesquieu observed: “There can be no liberty where the legislative and executive powers are united in the same person, or body of magistrates.” America’s Founding Fathers took this warning to heart, and we should too.

Rule of law doesn’t simply mean that society has laws; dictatorships are often characterized by an abundance of laws. Rather, rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men. That no one—and especially not the president—is above the law. For that reason, the U.S. Constitution imposes on every president the express duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

Yet rather than honor this duty, President Obama has openly defied it by repeatedly suspending, delaying and waiving portions of the laws he is charged to enforce. When Mr. Obama disagreed with federal immigration laws, he instructed the Justice Department to cease enforcing the laws. He did the same thing with federal welfare law, drug laws and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

On many of those policy issues, reasonable minds can disagree. Mr. Obama may be right that some of those laws should be changed. But the typical way to voice that policy disagreement, for the preceding 43 presidents, has been to work with Congress to change the law. If the president cannot persuade Congress, then the next step is to take the case to the American people. As President Reagan put it: “If you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat” of electoral accountability.

President Obama has a different approach. As he said recently, describing his executive powers: “I’ve got a pen, and I’ve got a phone.” Under the Constitution, that is not the way federal law is supposed to work.

The Obama administration has been so brazen in its attempts to expand federal power that the Supreme Court has unanimously rejected the Justice Department’s efforts to expand federal power nine times since January 2012.

There is no example of lawlessness more egregious than the enforcement—or nonenforcement—of the president’s signature policy, the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Obama has repeatedly declared that “it’s the law of the land.” Yet he has repeatedly violated ObamaCare’s statutory text.

The law says that businesses with 50 or more full-time employees will face the employer mandate on Jan. 1, 2014. President Obama changed that, granting a one-year waiver to employers. How did he do so? Not by going to Congress to change the text of the law, but through a blog post by an assistant secretary at Treasury announcing the change.

The law says that only Americans who have access to state-run exchanges will be subject to employer penalties and may obtain ObamaCare premium subsidies. This was done to entice the states to create exchanges. But, when 34 states decided not to establish state-run exchanges, the Obama administration announced that the statutory words “established by State” would also mean “established by the federal government.”

The law says that members of Congress and their staffs’ health coverage must be anObamaCare exchange plan, which would prevent them from receiving their current federal-employee health subsidies, just like millions of Americans who can’t receive such benefits. At the behest of Senate Democrats, the Obama administration instead granted a special exemption (deeming “individual” plans to be “group” plans) to members of Congress and their staffs so they could keep their pre-existing health subsidies.

Most strikingly, when over five million Americans found their health insurance plans canceled because ObamaCare made their plans illegal—despite the president’s promise “if you like your plan, you can keep it”—President Obama simply held a news conference where he told private insurance companies to disobey the law and issue plans that ObamaCare regulated out of existence.

In other words, rather than go to Congress and try to provide relief to the millions who are hurting because of the “train wreck” of ObamaCare (as one Senate Democrat put it), the president instructed private companies to violate the law and said he would in effect give them a get-out-of-jail-free card—for one year, and one year only. Moreover, in a move reminiscent of Lewis Carroll’s looking-glass world, President Obama simultaneously issued a veto threat if Congress passed legislation doing what he was then ordering.

In the more than two centuries of our nation’s history, there is simply no precedent for the White House wantonly ignoring federal law and asking private companies to do the same. As my colleague Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa asked, “This was the law. How can they change the law?”

Similarly, 11 state attorneys general recently wrote a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius saying that the continuing changes to ObamaCare are “flatly illegal under federal constitutional and statutory law.” The attorneys general correctly observed that “the only way to fix this problem-ridden law is to enact changes lawfully: through Congressional action.”

In the past, when Republican presidents abused their power, many Republicans—and the press—rightly called them to account. Today many in Congress—and the press—have chosen to give President Obama a pass on his pattern of lawlessness, perhaps letting partisan loyalty to the man supersede their fidelity to the law.

But this should not be a partisan issue. In time, the country will have another president from another party. For all those who are silent now: What would they think of a Republican president who announced that he was going to ignore the law, or unilaterally change the law? Imagine a future president setting aside environmental laws, or tax laws, or labor laws, or tort laws with which he or she disagreed.

That would be wrong—and it is the Obama precedent that is opening the door for future lawlessness. As Montesquieu knew, an imperial presidency threatens the liberty of every citizen. Because when a president can pick and choose which laws to follow and which to ignore, he is no longer a president.

Sen. Chaffetz Acts To Save Social Security.

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Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has announced his proposals for Social Security reform. With these

proposals, Social Security achieves permanent annual balance by 2051, achieves actuarial balance for

the next 75 years, and avoids tax increases and trust fund insolvency. Future retirees, including today’s

very young workers, will have increased certainty regarding their retirement.

“There is no excuse for allowing Social Security to become insolvent,” said Chaffetz. “The program is

unsustainable in its current form. However, this problem is completely within our power to resolve –

without tax increases and while protecting retirees. This series of simple steps will make the program

solvent and allow younger generations to more accurately anticipate their own retirement needs.”

Social Security is the largest single item in the federal budget. In fiscal year 2011, the federal

government spent $730 billion on Social Security, or 20% of the total $3.6 trillion1

federal budget.

Over the next 75 years, Social Security’s unfunded liability is $6.5 trillion.2

The proposals set out by

Rep. Chaffetz will improve Social Security’s balance over the next 75 years by $7.5 trillion in 2011

present value dollars.3

“It’s gratifying to see Congressman Chaffetz standing up and offering a substantive proposal that is fair

to Social Security recipients and does not increase the burden on taxpayers,” said Utah State Senator

Dan Liljenquist. “Reality is not negotiable, yet we have ignored the Social Security solvency problem

for far too long,” said Liljenquist, who has gained national recognition for his pension and Medicaid

reforms to address fiscal issues threatening to bankrupt the state.

“Congressman Chaffetz deserves immense credit for putting a specific Social Security reform plan on

the table,” said Maya MacGuineas, President of Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “We

applaud his courage in doing so and hope that those who don’t endorse his approach put forth their

own ideas rather than attacking his, in order to begin a true national dialogue on how to make the

necessary fixes to this important program.”