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    • Republic’s End: Trump’s National Emergency
      “Well, Doctor, what have we got—a Republic or a Monarchy?” “A Republic, if you can keep it.” (Benjamin Franklin) So, apparently Trump has said he will declare a national emergency to build his wall. I’m going to make one point about this. If you have an abusable law or power it will eventually be abused. […]
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“Your assistance is greatly appreciated”



Superhero power: ability to IM 10 people at one time 

Not really. No, I don’t mean that it isn’t appreciated. It’s just that I don’t need your assistance. Wait, what am I saying?

Let me back up. I’ve been writing that on the bottom of almost all of my business emails lately. And I really mean it. For gawd’s sakes, if you know the answer to my question, please give it to me now!! I really appreciate it.

But it’s cool. I think I am finally getting the hang of my new job. It’s hard to characterize what I do without giving too much away but let’s just call me “The Fixer” at work. It’s my job to analyze situations quickly and come up with equally quick solutions for extremely busy colleagues on my team. Weirdly enough, the R&D background kinda sorta helps in a way I can’t quite describe. Also, it helps to be slightly unhinged in a zany, “off the cuff” but not business inappropriate way. It helps put people at ease.

And in today’s NYTimes Magazine, a study at Google to find what are the characteristics of good teams bears this out. The article is called What Google Learned from Its Quest to Build a Perfect Team. To boil it down, the secret is that people who see their jobs as a crucial parts of their whole lives make better team members. That is, sharing yourself as a person doesn’t just happen in your off hours. You’re going to spend 33% or more of your day at work. It *is* your life. Those people on your team? They’re not just colleagues. They’re people with personalities and lives of their own. Get to know them.

Anyway, I’ve been figuring most of this out in the last several months without Google’s help but I am relieved to know I’m on to something.

Will it make you rich and famous and a billionaire? Probably not. But you might end up much happier than the people who write into to Trump University looking for the keys to phenomenal success and hot eastern European arm candy. That’s the conclusion I came to when I was reading I was a Donald Trump Ghost Writer. Here’s what I learned about the Donald – and his Fans by Adam Eisenstat over at Vox.

Here’s the money quote:

Trump had somehow tapped into a fundamental yearning people have: the need for something they can call their own, a way to rise above the relentless challenges of grubby survival. The budding entrepreneurs who sought his counsel wanted to control their own destinies. To these people, Trump personified everything they aspired to, and many believed that a version of his life — or at least the opportunity to enjoy many of the things he valued — was a realistic possibility, if only they had the knowledge or training and a chance to prove themselves.

The fact that Trump himself had inherited a fortune — representing the far more common, universal paradigm that wealth begets wealth and poverty begets poverty — was left unsaid by TrumpU as far as I knew, and was either unknown or overlooked by its customers. Though not every one of these people was completely naive or benighted, I think nearly all of them engaged with Trump University as a way to live Trump’s life vicariously, to embrace the fantasy of being the boss and running the show — projecting power and strutting on a big stage, never pulling punches, never backing down.

Jeez, are these people enjoying their days at work? Do they foster a sense of psychological safety in their coworkers?

Why is it that regular people who love what they do are nothing but Biff Loman’s in TrumpWorld? I sometimes wonder if the people who subscribe most to  Trumpism are the ones who have had the most trouble finding their niche in life. Have they never found a job they loved? Felt too cowardly to try something new? Lacked self-esteem? And now they have to project those feelings onto others and make them feel bad for not being fabulously wealthy?

I only ask.

In the off hours, I’ve been playing games with a group of people I met recently. Last night we had some time to try Heads Up. If you haven’t played it yet, get thee to they apps store on your favorite smart phone device. It’s the best 99 cents I’ve spent in a long time. We drew attention to ourselves acting out. Which just goes to show, you don’t have to be a billionaire to have fun.

What is your super power?