October 10, 2020

The main reason I hope one day to have a home with a yard is to build an ADU for work like this.

I just want a music listening, book reading, personal computer working shack.

Jason Becker

IKEA pegboard installed. Level and square, which was significantly harder than I thought it’d be.

More office shots soon. Hopefully will be fully cozied by end of year.

Two white IKEA Skadis pegboards mounted above my desk.
Jason Becker

This morning I sat a the local coffee shop and ate this expensive toast. It was delicious. But it was also so normal and pleasant.

Jason Becker

October 8, 2020

October 7, 2020

October 5, 2020

Having a full bleed option for the central column of my blog layout using CSS grid is something I struggled with. This solution is great, and like all great solutions, seems completely obvious now that I’ve read it. Excited to implement this weekend.

Jason Becker

October 4, 2020

Achievement Unlocked: Got the “Are you still watching?” shame dialog while watching The West Wing.

Jason Becker

October 3, 2020

I am terrible at comforting people. I just want to do something. I want to solve the problem. I want to say the magic words that fix things. I want my love and my care to make it all go away.

Of course, when I am in a bad mood, there’s nothing the people around me can do to soothe me. There’s nothing to fix. Nothing to say. Often I have to let it … fizzle out of me. I will just, run out of energy to feel quite so foul and return to some kind of mean. Sometimes I need to read a book or watch a movie or show that will get me crying. Mostly, I probably just need to eat or drink a Diet Coke, because I’m a cranky fuck when I’m hungry or under-caffeinated.

But it has almost never been the case that someone can say or do something for me that fixes it. I have to deal with it, and even dealing with it often just involves enduring the lows until they fade.

And yet, I still so desperately want my own care to burn through and evaporate the dark clouds of those I love. So much so that I find myself speaking when I should be quiet. Offering council when I need to offer an ear. Trying so hard to be the who or what they need, even though I know I’m nothing of the sort.

People are not problems to be solved, but that’s the only hammer in my tool belt.

Jason Becker

October 2, 2020

Wow that Ted Lasso finale. This show hit me in all the right places. Stellar first season, just stellar.

Jason Becker

October 1, 2020

Earlier this week a different meeting turned into essentially a weekly check-in with one of my direct reports. We said, “Let’s cancel Thursday, but let’s not take it off the calendar so you can reclaim that time.”

Folks, I forgot this arrangement, and it worked GLORIOUSLY.

Jason Becker

September 29, 2020

I’m awake because I had to read that book in one sitting. It was beautiful throughout and still managed to surprise me with even more beauty at the end.

Tomorrow will be brutal, but tonight was what I needed.

Jason Becker

September 28, 2020

I had both an easy and meaningful fast. I don’t always get that. It has made crashing back into the world this evening and the start of this new year a little overwhelming.

The hard thing I want to do this year is to find a way to reach for calm in tough moments.

Jason Becker

September 27, 2020

This story about Nikola joins many others in the last ten years that makes me feel like there’s literally no protection against a grift except time.

Jason Becker

“Did you ever think about killing yourself?”
“What? Why would you do that?”
“Why shouldn’t I?”
“Because some things take care of themselves. They’re not your job. Maybe they’re not even your business.”

— Joe Versus the Volcano

Jason Becker

September 26, 2020

Amy Coney Barrett doesn’t deserve your defense because of her religion any more than she deserves criticism for it.

Of course, the actual critique is not her religious belief, but her belief that she has a duty to use her position in the courts to impose those beliefs on others.

The conservative movement talks a lot about patriotism. Their vision of patriotism is celebrating the history of a country whose past reflects their current values. This is not an active patriotism of taking part in the American project today and weaving ourselves in her fabric.

A higher form of patriotism actively participates in the American, small-l, liberal democratic tradition. In this patriotism, pride in America is connected to how she welcomed those of us with nowhere else to go. Her ongoing project and triumphs come from her struggle to build a functioning civil society out of radical pluralism. Patriotism in America is using the civic process to accept and incorporate people of all backgrounds into her body-politic.

I am Jewish, and until recently, I have found safety in America. That safety has been challenged many times in the past, and has, at times been compromised. Patriots view this with shame. Patriots view slavery with shame. They view Jim Crow with shame. They view the backlash against the Civil Rights movement, past and current tense, with shame. They view the treatment of Chinese immigrants throughout the 19th and early 20th century with shame. They view the treatment of Catholics in public schools with shame, and the questions of JFK’s loyalty to the nation with shame.

Patriotic America celebrates radical pluralism. Every moment we celebrate in American political religion is about expansion of our ideals, welcoming new people and new thoughts into our project. Every moment we view with shame is about rejection.

It is in the context that the pre-accusations that Democrats or “The Left” are and will attack Amy Coney Barrett on her religion bring to mind the words of the Bard– she doth protest too much.

In a now off-cited law review article written when Barrett was 22, she herself posits that a Catholic judge may not be able to sit impartially over a death penalty case. The article is detailed, strong scholarship, if boring to someone disinterested in the finer points of the teachings of the Catholic Church. While it repeatedly states that trying to bring Catholic dogma and the law into alignment is neither possibly nor advisable for a judge, it makes clear there are moments a Catholic judge must use their discretion to act in accordance with their faith. Fair enough– exercising discretion in ways that align to personal moral beliefs is part of the role of being a judge, wherever those beliefs stem from.

Barrett is clear– her particular beliefs, grounded in her particular sect of Catholicism, will impact her jurisprudence, just like every judges. With her paltry three-year long history as a judge, we know she is being chosen, in fact, to sit on the highest court for possibly the next 40 years based not on her history as a jurist, but instead based on her belief. You cannot separate the reason the conservative right is excited for a Justice Barrett from her religion. Her legal scholarship is infused with her religion, and her record on her religious beliefs is thicker than her record as a judge.

So yes, her personal Catholicism and what we know about it is going to be deeply entwined with any rigorous discussion of where her jurisprudence will steer the country. That’s not an attack on Catholicism, her religion does not disqualify her, that her religion impacts her morality and legal scholarship does not disqualify her.

Amy Coney Barrett holds views I find personally abhorrent. So do other members of the court, Catholic or not, and so do many members of the GOP and the conservative movement. I oppose them for those beliefs. I oppose them because I believe that they will lead to the material deprivation of the people I share this country with. I oppose them because I believe they will lead us away from America’s moments of radical pluralism. I oppose them because I believe they are wrong for me as an individual and wrong for this country. I oppose them because the Christian Conservative movement oppresses, no matter how much they claim oppression for themselves.

If you think this means I am anti-Catholic, it is probably because you believe that I cannot consider a narrow set of your beliefs as abhorrent while practicing radical acceptance for you in the society we share. This is not true. I can love you in spite of your beliefs. I can protect your right to those beliefs. I can love you in the beliefs that we share and welcome all of you with radical pluralism. The ends of my acceptance lie when your personal power and exercise of those beliefs endanger the “institutions of liberty” 1.

A Justice Barrett on this court certainly qualifies.

  1. Rawls, John (1971). A Theory of Justice. p. 220. ISBN 978-0-674-00078-0. And yes, taken from Wikipedia, because I knew Rawls wrote about the paradox of tolerance in a way that resonated with me and that was where Google took me. The phrasing of putting “institutions of liberty in danger” was too precisely what I wanted to say for me to not site it and admit provenance. In general, if you want to know what I think of the world, it’s a pretty good bet that you can start with Rawls and walk a long distance before finding disagreement on the finer points. [return]
Jason Becker

September 25, 2020

I was in a bit of a sour mood, but I just remembered it’s Ted Lasso Day, and now I feel better.

Jason Becker

The political situation in the United States has never felt as hopeless to me as it does this week.

It’s crushing.

Jason Becker

I love these key caps, but I don’t have a second keyboard to use them with, and I don’t have an office any longer to have a reason to buy a second keyboard.

Were this my biggest rona-problem…

Jason Becker