Following The Drum Beat

If you've followed the news in the United States of America, you've probably seen something called a "government shutdown". In non-USA terms, the legislature is refusing to grant supply to the executive. In parliamentary systems of government, the government would fall and there would be an election. In the United States we just get this current weird situation where parts of the government are funded and other parts aren't. Especially disconcerting is that the majority of federal law enforcement agencies have their employees working without pay until the impasse is resolved.

You might be thinking that that is an academic exercise that you have no connection to at all. As a member of the community, though, I've been recalled to duty Thursday and I won't be paid at all until this impasse is resolved. Thursday will be the 27th day of this debacle. I've probably made it a bit more real for you now compared to any news reports you've seen on the BBC, CanBC, AusBC, or from your favorite wire service.

Currently the legal guidance offered is that the civilian staff returning to duty without pay will be prosecuted under a choice of statutes if they set up "GoFundMe"-type efforts to seek funds to ease the lack of cashflow. One possibility is just as a criminal ethics violation but another is under the prohibition on accepting bribes. Due to some perverse consequences of how various mandatory separation payments are structured and the current constitutional prohibitions on payments without valid appropriations as well as due to restrictions on what the HR staff can do right now, I technically cannot quit my job at the moment.

Remember, I am working to build up Erie Looking Productions and am still seeking clients as well as jobs for handling. There is a version of a resume posted to LinkedIn and my mobility is constrained temporarily while some tricky things would have to be worked out. Problems are not insurmountable but they certainly are big. Once the current unpleasantness is resolved, I am more than likely able to cross borders to places in the English-speaking Pacific to work if I don't find something based in the USA.

As to software-related matters, the fiddling with Greenstone that I had coming up is on hold. I really wanted to see if I could get it to compile on a Raspberry Pi 3B+ that runs Ubuntu. It doesn't seem too cross-architecture portable. It does seem like an excellent candidate for snapcrafters to take a try working on, though.