Political And Economic Considerations

There will be a set of "further reading" citations at the end of this post. I urge you to explore them. Things have gone a bit mad at the moment.

The Shutdown

At this point I am on "shutdown furlough". In this private sector, this would be a "lockout" but not only are employees impacted but also the managers too. I don't have an expected return date. Depending upon what my divisional commissioner decides, extraordinary measures may be taken to hold off on bringing back my team. I may eventually get paid depending upon the legislation passed by the Congress and signed into law by the President at some future date. For now I can only deal with the situation at present.

It appears that the two parties in Congress are at a stalemate. I will not be returning to work until the new congress convenes on January 3rd at the earliest, it appears. I still appear on the rolls of the United States Treasury as staff and haven't been dropped yet.

My last paycheck is set to be received on or near December 31, 2018. After that, things are left twisting in the wind.

The Plan

On Friday I intend to finish work on starting up the kitbashed video processing workstation that was procured from Micro Center. The audio equipment is at readiness. I will need to do an update to the Erie Looking Productions website to note that we are open for business. After that, I'm going to have to go after clients.

Some colleagues are applying for Unemployment Compensation from the State of Ohio. Currently there is a three week waiting period on that. In addition, it all has to be repaid in the event back pay is authorized by the Congress. If I go out and earn my own money during this crisis instead there is no offset to the back pay and it just has to be reported on my tax return. Considering that I am a tax collector, I think I should be able to handle that small thing.

Examples of types of jobs that can be done:

  1. Audio editing
  2. Radio ad production and placement
  3. Audio production
  4. Contract podcast production
  5. Limited music recording for release
  6. Single-camera video recording of events
  7. Radio airtime brokerage
  8. Systems analysis in conjunction with South Shore Microphones
  9. Non-credit teaching using Saylor Academy curricula
  10. In-person test proctoring
  11. Print media production using LaTeX2e
  12. Referral to other appropriate vendors as necessary
  13. Book collection analysis and purchasing recommendations

There is far more I could list. Those are types of jobs I could do contracts on within the limits of current equipment and operational constraints. I'll need help managing the business/sales side but I can keep busy without the usual employer.


Well, I do feel generally disgusted by the current state of affairs. I am glad this is happening now. If this took place in February it would have become a drastic crisis with my employer due to the special work we do. It is far, far better that this is happening now.

Further Reading

Akers, J., Bansal, G., Cadamuro, G., Chen, C., Chen, Q., Lin, L., … Roesner, F. (2018). Technology-Enabled Disinformation: Summary, Lessons, and Recommendations. ArXiv:1812.09383 [Cs]. Retrieved from http://arxiv.org/abs/1812.09383

Bade, R., & Bresnahan, J. (n.d.). Dems’ New Year’s resolution: Stiff Trump on the wall and reopen the government. Retrieved December 28, 2018, from https://politi.co/2ETqZdG

Bennett, J. T., & Dick, J. (2018, December 27). Congress, Trump Basically Give Up on Ending Partial Shutdown Until 2019. Roll Call. Retrieved from https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/trump-congress-basically-give-ending-partial-shutdown-2019

Blackmon, S. J., & Major, C. H. (2017). Wherefore Art Thou MOOC?: Defining Massive Open Online Courses. Online Learning, 21(4), 195–221. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1163443

Byrnes, J. (2018, December 27). Shutdown to drag into next week — and next year. Retrieved December 28, 2018, from https://thehill.com/policy/finance/423030-shutdown-to-drag-on-with-no-house-votes-expected-this-week

Caygle, H., Everett, B., & Bade, R. (2018, December 22). No signs of shutdown end as all sides dig in. Retrieved December 22, 2018, from https://politi.co/2QMyF7N

Congress meets briefly, takes no steps to end shutdown. (2018, December 28). Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-shutdown-congress-idUSKCN1OQ1HV

Green, M. (2018, December 27). EPA braces to run out of funds by week’s end as shutdown continues. Retrieved December 28, 2018, from https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/423048-epa-braces-to-run-out-of-funds-at-midnight-as-shutdown-continues

Harris, J., & Wihak, C. (2018). The Recognition of Non-Formal Education in Higher Education: Where Are We Now, and Are We Learning from Experience? International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education, 33(1). Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?q=descriptor%3a%22Experiential+Learning%22&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_2018&pg=5&id=EJ1180057

How partial shutdown of U.S. government could play out. (2018, December 27). Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-shutdown-explainer-idUSKCN1OQ0RZ

Kellat, L. N. (2018). Model Chemistry Study Of Choline And Urea Based Deep Eutectic Solvents. Cleveland State University. Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/pg_10?::NO:10:P10_ETD_SUBID:175241

On shutdown, Trump vows to wait as long as it takes for wall funding. (2018, December 27). Reuters. Retrieved from https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-shutdown-trump-idUSKCN1OP16L

Paskevicius, M., Veletsianos, G., & Kimmons, R. (2018). Content Is King: An Analysis of How the Twitter Discourse Surrounding Open Education Unfolded from 2009 to 2016. International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 19(1), 116–137. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?q=descriptor%3a%22Social+Media%22+AND+descriptor%3a%22Teaching+Methods%22&ft=on&ff1=dtyIn_2018&id=EJ1174052

Reynolds, G. H. (n.d.). I deleted my Twitter account. It’s a breeding ground for thoughtlessness and contempt. Retrieved December 3, 2018, from https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2018/12/03/twitter-facebook-social-media-bias-political-poison-blogosphere-instapundit-column/2183648002/

Riismandel, P. (2018, December 12). The Free Music Archive Lives On. Retrieved December 15, 2018, from http://www.radiosurvivor.com/2018/12/11/the-free-music-archive-lives-on/

Schallhorn, K. (2018, December 17). Facebook locks National Weather Service out of dozens of accounts. Retrieved December 27, 2018, from https://www.foxnews.com/tech/facebook-locks-national-weather-service-out-of-dozens-of-accounts

Trump vows “very long” government shutdown in border wall standoff. (2018, December 22). Retrieved December 22, 2018, from https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/378861/trump-vows-very-long-government-shutdown-in-border-wall-standoff

Tully-McManus, K. (2018, December 27). Shutdown Day 6: Federal Workers Prep for Paycheck Problems, Creditors and Landlords. Roll Call. Retrieved from https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/federal-workers-face-creditors-landlords-shutdown-continues

U. S. Government Accountability Office. (2018). Critical Infrastructure Protection: Protecting the Electric Grid from Geomagnetic Disturbances, (GAO-19-98). Retrieved from https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-19-98

U. S. Government Accountability Office. (n.d.). Protecting the Electric Grid [MP3]. Retrieved from https://www.gao.gov/multimedia/podcasts/696106

Zenna. (2018). Scuttlebutt. Leipzig, Germany: Congress Center Leipzig. Retrieved from https://media.ccc.de/v/35c3-9635-scuttlebutt

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When Standoffs Happen

As written in a couple other places besides this:

To note it here, I was placed in non-duty non-pay status (a.k.a furlough) as of 12:01 AM on December 22nd, 2018. This was due to the Partial Government Shutdown caused by the lapse in appropriations for my employing agency. I may be moved to a non-pay on-duty status if this drags on but that’s the unpredictable future.

For now, I am available for paid short-term work as long as it is not against the interests of the United States or otherwise violate certain narrow restrictions.

Yes, I do have one more paycheck coming on December 31, 2018. That would cover the bi-weekly pay period of December 10th through December 21st. After that paycheck on New Year's Eve, there isn't anything coming in financially.

Contact and arrangements for making payments for any small scale projects can be handled via Liberapay at https://liberapay.com/smkellat. If you don't want to proceed that route and would rather just use PayPal, contact me via Launchpad by first visiting https://pad.lv/~skellat and then visit https://paypal.me/smkellat after we've arranged matters. There are perhaps some short-range gigs I may be able to accomplish remotely to round out the year. Documentation projects would be great even if they were small dollar, little matters.

The back-channel discussion among my fellow crew from my operating site has mixed predictions as to how long this is going to last. The pool has a wide range of dates. Nobody thinks the appropriations crisis will be resolved on December 27th, though.

Have a Merry Christmas and let us all hope for an even better New Year.

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