Out of the storm

2008 – 2009 was a pretty tumultuous year for the financial world. The housing market bubble burst, many were homeless and jobless. The United Stats government had to step in and bailout the major banks with billions of dollars.

It was the beginning of the great recession. Since 1948 there have been 11 economic recessions. A recession is an era of economic decline A recession requires to consecutive quarters of decline if there is only one quarter of decline it is just a contraction. Most economies experience contractions and recessions.

Recessions are more notable in the history of an economy because, of the damage and unemployment that comes with recessions.

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Employment provides much for the employer. Through employment people find, a salary to use money to feed their family, health benefits (at least in the United States), purpose and social interactions. To loose in one fell swoop money, health benefits, purpose and social interactions is jarring and traumatic and I think this is why comparing a recession to a storm is apt. Recessions are bleak and can lead to depression, during most recessions suicide rates rise! How can we weather these storms.

It is possible to not only survive recessions but some have come out of recessions even stronger, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, iRobot, Airbnb, Slack, WhatsAp, Square, Uber, Instagram and Pinterest were all founded during recessions.

The recession storms are not good but, if you can find a way to get money, health benefits, social interactions and purpose outside of your workplace you may discover that, surviving or even thriving during a recession is more likely what happens.

Most people spend forty hours a week at work, and it can be tempting and easy to use work to develop our social structures. When this is done however we run the risk of the storm taking away everything. It can be exhausting but rewarding now and in the future. Building a robust and fulfilling social life is and should be a big part of our mental health. Brunch with friends and rotary meetings are more than just alcohol breakfast and gossip sessions they are mental health work outs.

17 years old

Are you patriotic? What does being patriotic mean to you?

I joined the United States military at the age of seventeen. When I turned 18 I left Cleveland Ohio for US Army Basic Training. My enlistment in the army was only three years and I spent every year in a different dessert in a different country.

I joined the Army for a bunch of different reasons, I was avoiding college, I wanted to see the world and I felt like it was the patriotic thing to do. Patriotism for me was the love of the idea of the United States over the actual United States.

Ideally the United States allows every person the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I believe that the declaration of independence makes it clear that these rights, life,liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are unalienable. Because they are unalienable they cannot be given away or taken by any government. Growing up I loved the idea the the United States government would work to preserve these rights for everyone.

After leaving home I watched many people even citizens of the United States get denied these rights under the cloak of patriotism. Xenophobia and racism sit behind patriotism with groups like the Oath Keepers and the Liberators. These groups are part of what is being called the patriot movement but they do not believe in life. liberty and the pursuit for justice for all. The idea of the United States was and is still poorly executed but is one of inclusivity. Everyone has these rights no matter what the color of their skin is and what their heritigat. The Patriot movement is exclusive and will not afford these rights to people based on their race, religion or sex. The current patriot movement is shameful and sadly very unpatriotic.

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The hate from the Patriot movement has bleed over to mainstream politics and into the political parties and their actions. There is nothing patriotic about banning people from travel based on their religion or race however this happened in 2017 for three months and was done under the guise of protection. This is not patriotic at all it is the opposite of the great idea that the United States was founded on however it was not the first time that the idea of the United States was perverted.

Since the beginning of the founding of the United States patriotism was perverted to wage war on the indigenous people of North America. There have been 1,500 attacks on Native Americans by the United States government and countless crimes committed against the native American people. The genocide and total disregard was also cloaked in patriotism but that was not in line with life. liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.

I like to believe that I am a patriot not because I served in the US Military but because I believe and support the idea that every person in the whole world deserves life, liberty, and to pursue happiness. I support everyone’s right to freedom no matter what that a living beings, race, sex or religion is. Being a patriot is understanding how great your nation should and can be if it has good core principles and lives up to those principles.

Again and again and again but….

Today is Feb 2nd 2023. Today is Feb 2nd 2023, and it is Groundhog day. The Groundhog named Punxsutawney Phil will be brought out of his den and if he sees his shadow he will retreat back into his den and we the people will experience 6 more weeks of winter. It’s all true this tradition has been going on in the United States for 136 years. The first groundhog day was Feb 2 1887.

There was a movie in 1993 called “Groundhog day” in the movie the meteorologist is cursed by his ex girlfriend to relive groundhog day until he can find true love. Groundhog day has been repeated for 136 years and will continue to be repeated. In computer programming there is a technique called recursion. Recursion is when you repeat a process and break that porcess down each time you repeat it. As you repeat the process the process becomes bigger or smaller until you have accomplished your task. An example would be, a program that takes the phonebook in a user phone and goes though and calls everyone until it has called all phone numbers in that users phonebook.

When I was 9 years old a school teacher told me that there were simple machines and complex machines and that complex machines were simple machines grouped together to perform a task. To my fathers chagrin I became obsessed with machines and took apart anything I could get my hands on. My grandmother understood me and bought me encyclopedias. I enjoyed the encyclopedias with the illustrations the most. I loved to learn how things worked and didn’t work. Everything in life was a simple machine connected to another simple machine it was great.

Recursion is a technique that can help when solving some complex issues but it has to be done right. We have to repeat all but a few things every time or we could find ourselves stuck in an infinite loop.

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Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.

Vince Lombardi

When faced with complex tasks that we must repeat we would do well to learn and grow by evaluating each iteration and improving on how we perform the iteration. The wash rinse repeat and reform is how we grow.