Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Review: Wolf Hollow


I read a sneak preview of Wolf Hollow and I was not impressed. Even so, something about the book stayed with me, nagging at the edge of my thoughts, until I bought a copy and finished reading it yesterday. I was impressed by the book.

Annabelle and her brothers travel from their grandparents' farm where she and her family live through the woods surrounding Wolf Hollow where previous generations of farmers in the area dug pits and baited them with poison to kill the wolves plaguing the region. The woods around the path are dark and full of shadows, the shadow of wolves prowling long ago and the shadow of an incorrigible girl sent to live with her grandparents nearby. Wolves come in the four-legged and the two-legged variety and Betty was a two-legged wolf.

Incorrigible is a pale word, a safe word to describe a predator and predator may be a little too strong to describe a girl who delights in bullying anyone -- and everyone -- she considers vulnerable. Betty thought she rendered Annabelle vulnerable by threatening Henry and James, Annabelle's younger brothers. That worked for a while. Annabelle offered Betty a penny that Betty threw away because a penny was not good enough. Betty expected more from someone who had as much as Annabelle did. Betty demanded something more, something substantial, and Annabelle would get it or her brothers would suffer.

Betty made good on her threat by seducing Henry and James close to her to pet the bunny she found. The boys were delighted, petting the wild bunny in Betty's life, a bunny she controlled with her fingers around its fragile neck. Annabelle shooed the boys off to school and faced the bully who responded by slowly squeezing the life from the bunny and throwing it down at Annabelle's feet. There was no doubt that Betty would hurt Henry and James if Annabelle didn't find something to placate Betty.

Every lie Annabelle told her parents about her day from the first encounter with Betty demonstrated how far off the path she had wandered. Betty got worse with each day. Annabelle wasn't alone, not since Tobias told her he'd seen everything when he gave the tossed aside penny back. When Ruth, Annabelle's best friend, was blinded by a rock thrown at a local German farmer Betty blamed Tobias and Tobias took the blame for the wire stretched across the path that could have killed Annabelle's brother instead of cutting his forehead open. The lies and the danger increased, not only to Annabelle, but to Toby because he was alone, a casualty of World War I wandering about the area carrying three rifles strapped to his back, taking photos with a camera that belonged to Annabelle's mother, and living rough in a converted smokehouse. Betty claimed she was afraid of Toby and Toby was following her, and then Betty goes missing.

Wolf Hollow is as much about the power of lies as it is about the courage of a 12-year-old girl in standing up for a neighbor when the adults have already judged someone guilty. Lauren Wolk takes her time building the background for her coming of age story, illuminating the times and the characters in shadows and light, giving the reader time to get invested in the outcome. Even when Betty's guilt is apparent, Wolk allows Annabelle's feelings for Betty change and mature as Annabelle steps in to protect Toby. It is not only Betty's bullying that takes center stage, but Annabelle's strength and her relationships with her family and her friends that truly stand at the heart of a childish conflict that quickly escalates to affect the world where Wolf Hollow's history and presence remains. Wolf Hollow is a complex and deeply texture tale of truth and lies and how lies can quickly become a truth that can destroy as well as explain. 5/5 stars. Don't let the slow beginning fool you; there is plentiful meat on these bones.

That is all. Disperse.


Monday, November 28, 2016

Serious Leaks

 Huma's Sep 3, 2016, Emailed Letter to her brother, Hassan

Presumedly, Huma's emailed letter was part of the 650,000. Per SuperStation95, this is a "leak" by the NYPD.

This is not a WikiLeaks release -- and nor has it been shown on mainstream news outlets, such as CNN or any other Mainstream Media news outlet ().

So I don't vouch for its reliability. That doesn't mean it's not reliable, but it does mean there is no confirmation yet. It is what it is, as they say.

Here's the relevant portion of the SuperStation95 article:

----------------------------------

NYPD Won't Abide FBI/DOJ Corruption

Acting on a complaint, the New York Police Department began investigating former US Congressman Anthony Weiner on alelgations he was "sexting" a 15 year old girl in North Carolina. Weiner is the estranged husband of close Hillary Clinton aide, Huma Abedin.

The Special Victims Unit (SVU) obtained a search warrant and seized Weiner's laptop computer.

Upon examination NYPD found a trove of 662,000 e-mails showing Weiner engaged in all sorts of sexual activities via the Internet.

Within that pile of e-mails were about 11,000 which bore the addresses of "state.gov" meaning the US State Department. Among those State Dept. e-mails were some items marked "Classified" and others marked "Top Secret." The NYPD then contacted the FBI, concerning these State.gov emails and the Bureau has since re-opened its investigation into Hillary Clinton.

The emails were forwarded by Huma Abedin from her secure US State Department e-mail address, to her non-secure Yahoo.com email address. But unknown to Abedin, her un-secure Yahoo account and other personal email accounts, were programmed to "synch" to computers at home. One of the computers at home which was part of that synch process was Anthony Weiner's laptop. So Weiner's laptop got all the state department emails, and all the emails his wife Huma sent / received involving anyone else!
NYPD made clear they would not sit-idly-by and allow the information in these emails to be "buried." They made clear there were terrible crimes evidenced in those emails, and the Department expected very prompt action by the FBI in securing Indictments of Hillary Clinton and others. NYPD warned the federal government that if timely Indictments of Hillary Clinton and here co-conspirators were not forthcoming, the NYPD would release information on its own about some of the things contained on that Laptop.

NYPD gave the laptop to the FBI on October 3. Today is November 6 and the feds have now announced they will not charge Hillary Clinton.

It seems the NYPD appears to be proceeding with "leaks" of its own.

According to SuperStation95 sources in New York, below is purported to be an e-mail from Huma Abedin to her brother, from less than two months ago, seized from Anthony Weiner's laptop:
>> ON SEPTEMBER 03, 2016 AT 8:57 PM. HUMA ABEDIN @YAHOO.COM WROTE:
>> SORRY FOR MY LATE REPLY, HASSAN. YES, LET ME
>> TELL YOU ABOUT HER. THE WOMAN IS SO ODD, SO STARVED FOR
>> VALIDATION, SO TORMENTED AND VAIN IT IS A CONSTANT
>> SURPRISE TO ME THAT ANYONE TAKES HER SERIOUSLY.
>> EVERYONE ON THE TEAM KNOWS HOW UNWELL SHE IS, BUT
>> THEY’RE MORE DETERMINED THAN EVER TO SEE HER WIN. THIS
>> WOMAN THAT HAS A DOZEN SEIZURES A DAY. THIS GODLESS
>> SHRIEKING MALCONTENT PASSED OUT IN HER MEDICAL VAN.
>> THIS WALKING CADAVER. SHE’S NONFUNCTIONAL. HASSAN,
>> NOBODY CARES. WE SOBER HER UP FOR SPEECHES AND
>> INDULGE THE PRESS CORPS WITH CHEAP SENTIMENT. THE FIRST
>> FEMALE PRESIDENT. THE LAST GLASS CEILING, ETC. THEY TRIP
>> OVER THEMSELVES LINING UP BEHIND HER. SURELY THEY KNOW
>> IT IS NOT HER THEY’RE GETTING. IT’S THE ONE IN THE CORNER,>> THE QUIET HELPER, YOUR SISTER HUMA. YOU ASKED ME ONCE
>> HOW I DID IT. HOW DID I TAKE THE CASTLE? HASSAN, I DIDN’T
>> TAKE IT, THEY GAVE IT TO ME. YES, THERE WAS A COST. I WILL
>> ADMIT, SUBJECTING MYSELF TO AW AND WJC
>> IS MORTAL TORTURE. BUT I DO IT
>> GLADLY, BROTHER, EVERYTHING THEY ASK OF ME, HOWEVER
>> SICK AND DEPRAVED. I DO IT, AND I SMILE, REJOICING AT THE
>> THOUGHT OF WHOSE GLORY I SERVE.


EDITOR'S NOTE: In the email above "AW" is likely meaning Anthony Weiner, and "WJC" is likely meaning William Jefferson Clinton

FBI Announces NO CHARGES for Hillary in "new" E-mail Investigation! Now E-mail "Leaks" from Anthony Weiner Laptop begin from NYC

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Review: The Bear and the Nightingale


Russian fairy/folk tales are not all about Baba Yaga. The Russian steppes are full of spirits and beings at peace with the people and waiting for the right opportunity to feed on fear and repay with fire and ice.

Vasilisa Petrovna is the last child born of a line that began with a ragged commoner who appeared out of the woods and ended up in the royal family. One of her daughters became the wife of a northern boyar and gave him three strong sons and a beautiful daughter who had none of the gifts their grandmother passed on, at least not until the winter when she tells her husband she is determined to give birth to the child she carries, the last child. Vasilisa's mother fulfills her promise to her beloved husband that she will see the child born, entrusting her other children to her old nurse, Dunya, and to her husband.

It takes Vladmirivich four years of Vasya's wildness before he travels to Moscow to marry once again. Anna Ivanovna is a fearful, and some say mad, wisp of a wife who gives her husband a pale but beautiful daughter and brings a proud monk determined to make his mark in the northern wilderness. Instead, the monk, a gifted artist dedicated to God and painting icons, brings fear and sows the seeds that will bring fire and death.

Vasya sees and knows the domovoi, the household spirits that protect her father's home, land, and animals. Anna Ivanovna sees the spirits as well. She is after all a child of the wild, ragged commoner that was mother to Vasya's mother as well. Anna, however, is a devout Christian and has always been afraid of the demons she sees while Vasya, an ugly frog of a child, feeds and cares for the household spirits. It is Vasilisa Petrovna's gifts that make the people under the monk's control believe she is a witch and haunts the monk's dreams and will lead to a confrontation with the Midwinter King, Frost, and the bear that feeds on fear and brings fire and death.

The tales of Baba Yaga were some of my favorite stories growing up, so it was with relish I dove into Katherine Arden's novel rooted in Russian folk tales. The Bear and the Nightingale is a departure from western fairy tales and rooted in traditions that few westerners know or have heard. That does not diminish their power or their magical fascination. The frozen reaches of northern Russia are full of magic and conflict that have yet to be thoroughly plumbed, let alone scratched. Arden's story of upyry, domovoi, and the life of early Rus' while still under Mongol control is bright and magical. The landscape is a world of the seen and unseen, a world far from the centers of power where new gods struggle to replace the old golds and where the old gods still inhabit the minds and hearts of the people.

The Bear and the Nightingale is as much a tale of magic as it is a treatise on the clash of beliefs, the magician offering change in much the same way as the magician offered new lamps for old to capture the power of Aladdin's lamp. Vasya shares her food and her strength with the fading household spirits to stand on the side of tradition. The Midwinter King foresaw Vasilisa Petrovna's importance in the coming struggle when he made her father promise to give her the amulet, his bride gift. Arden's novel is the discovery of the Arkenstone among a dragon's hoard easily worth 5/5 stars.

That is all. Disperse.

Review: The Return of Sir Percival


The legends of King Arthur, Merlin, Guinevere, and the knights of the round table have all been written. The cast of characters was set long ago and so has their rise and their fall. The promise that King Arthur will come again when there is great need is a promise as old as the legends of Merlin and his powers until now. Camlann was not the end of Arthur or his knights or the enduring legacy of chivalry and adventure nor are the legends entombed with Arthur on the Blessed Isle or with Merlin locked away in the tree where Nimue bound him at Morgana le Fey's behest. There is more yet to be told.

We are all familiar with the story of how Mordred broke the fellowship of the Round Table and how Guinevere took her vows and remains a nun in the service of God while Lancelot roams the world in search of the Holy Grail ever out of his reach as he does eternal penance. The table was broken and all that remains are legends about the nine ladies who escorted King Arthur to rest on the Isle of Avalon and bright Excalibur returned to the Lady of the Lake. All that remains is shadow and the dream of Camelot and, according to S. Alexander O'Keefe, The Return of Sir Percival who was sent on a quest to find the Holy Grail.

In O'Keefe's version of the end of Albion, Sir Percival returns to England after ten years a man seeking the peace and comfort of home without the Grail. Sir Percival knows that the Round Table and King Arthur are no more. All is gone and he missed his chance to fight alongside King Arthur and die protecting his king. He failed his king and returns a changed man, scarred in pursuit of his quest and even more devout in his faith than when he left.

Sir Percival brings a companion, a black warrior, Capussa, the likes of which no one in Albion has ever seen. Expecting peace and quiet, Sir Percival instead finds Saxon and Norse raiders preying on the people and peace and quiet must be won by force of arms even as they cross the channel. Sir Percival's battle is not yet over. He must free the land of invaders and Queen Guinevere in exile in the Abbey Cwm Hir and restore the queen to her throne. The journey he intended to finish in quiet retirement still has long to go before he lays down his arms.

It didn't take long to put aside all I thought I knew of the Arthurian legends set in stone as I began to follow O'Keefe's vision of life after Camelot. At first I was disconcerted and unwilling to accept this new version of the gilded dream of Camelot, Arthur, and Guinevere. Disappointment quickly gave way to growing excitement as I followed Sir Percival's path. I enjoyed Capussa's bluff and ready wit and Sir Percival's economic dispatch of the Saxon marauders. Morgana, I soon learned, was not Arthur's half sister, but a Roman sorceress from Constantinople sent to plunder Albion of its silver for Roman coffers and the people to feed the slave markets of the Empire. Merlin, also of Rome, had disappeared and Morgana was not the only one intent on discover where he had gone to ground after Camlann.

One knight remained, Sir Gawain, hidden by black armor and in forced service to Morgana, her war master. How had a knight of Arthur's round table come to ally himself with the king's greatest enemy? So much was changed, and not for the worse.

O'Keefe's vision of Albion after the fall of Camelot is truly unique, not only in the retelling, but in what happens after the fall of the Once and Future King and his company. Guinevere is no longer the unfaithful wife of Arthur nor Lancelot her lover, having betrayed Arthur and forfeiting his honor. The tragic tale of Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot is quite different from what has been accepted as the thread of truth in the legend and rendered in new colors with a very different and promising future.

Guinevere is a queen in exile attended by two women, a wild young noblewoman not too shy to speak her mind and an aging nun. She rules her kingdom through a bishop stealing from her to enrich himself. King Arthur's wife died in childbirth and the king's marriage to Guinevere was a political alliance. Lancelot is a proud knight jealous of his fame, a bit of a taskmaster and Gawain a handsome womanizer often drunk. Only Percival seems true to the legends but only because not much was written about him. He is young, a proven general, who taught the peasants to fight in the Roman manner, and who it turns out is secretly in love with Guinevere, as was Gawain.

The battles and character of the rest of Camelot's denizens take on a wholly different aspect and are richly described in this new version and may more closely resemble the history of the time and place where the man who becomes the Arthur of legend actually lived. The Return of Sir Percival gives new life and a brighter prospect to the legend that is a delight for romantics and students of battle tactics and warfare. O'Keefe has even imagined a greater destiny for the Grail and a story that adds texture and depth. The Return of Sir Percival is well written and well imagined, peopled with nuanced characters and set squarely within the history of the struggle for Britain's identity. A solid effort that adds luster to the Arthurian legends to delight a whole new generation of followers, 5/5 stars.

That is all. Disperse.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Review: Shadows of the Stone Benders


Anlon Cully is a scientist who, with his partners, turned environmental science into a fortune, retiring to the quiet and relative anonymity of a small community at Lake Tahoe. His peaceful retirement will end shortly when his archaeologist uncle dies and Anlon must go back when he is made executor of his uncle's will. He inherits his uncle's home, his collection of artifacts, and the opportunity to follow his uncle in death.

This first book of the Anlon Cully Chronicles outlines a reality that is far outside of the accepted history and archaeological proof of mankind. If that isn't shock enough to the academic view of humanity's evolution, following the trail of greed and murder will keep you off balance.

As an adherent of forbidden archaeology, I found the premise of K. Patrick Donoghue's new series seductive. I was not disappointed . . . mostly. Donoghue's pace is almost glacial at times even with new revelations in most of the chapters, but a foundation must be laid first. At least, that is how I consoled myself as I soldiered on. For me, the tantalizing trail was littered with too many speed bumps, a problem that was solved, at least in part, as the book neared completion. All the clues came together at last and so many dangling threads were connected. Good thing since I was almost ready to give up and delete the book from my Kindle. The conclusion of the story was not as satisfying as I had hoped as more unsolved mysteries were revealed. All good series must have a central theme to connect all the books, but are usually handled more deftly than Donoghue did.

Maybe that is my unsatisfied curiosity talking as much as my irritation at being left hanging until the next book is released.

Another problem with Shadows of the Stone Benders is grammar. I would suggest Donoghue brush up on the basics of sentence structure in order to keep readers from stumbling so frequently. A good copy editor is a necessary expense. The writing would be clearer for a start.

In spite of the technical issues, the characters in the book are well crafted, complex, and entertaining on so many levels. My issues with the way the book proceeds may not be someone else's as I have more background and experience in alternative history and archaeology than the average reader. I enjoyed sharing Anlon's story and his mystery and look forward to the next book. Definitely 4/5 stars. There is room for improvement.

That is all. Disperse.

Review: The Populist Explosion


Like many of you I thought when a new President of the United States was elected that would be the end of the constant barrage of campaign news and the recriminations, back biting, and attack ads. I was wrong.

Hillary's loss has become every United States citizen's problem because we failed to elect a woman, because we failed to hand the country over to the Democrats and their agenda lock, stock, and barrel, and because politicians of Republican and Democratic stripe do not understand why Donald Trump won. The mainstream media keep their corporate microscopes trained on Trump and Obama and the rioting and unrest while the public outcry of racists, xenophobes, anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti-Hillary echo day and night. Protesters scream that Trump is not their President, the election was rigged, Hillary was robbed and reporters hype their anguish and rage, determinedly throwing gasoline and napalm on the fires where Trump is burned in effigy. None of them realize what has happened or why and most give in to their fear -- and their jubilation -- of the return of fascism and Nazi rule. Nothing could be further from the reality of what ended with Trump's election.

Had they read John B. Judis's The Populist Explosion they would know what happened and what is currently happening all over Europe as candidates like Trump step to the forefront of the rising tide of a populist movement that started around 1928 and has grown with greater force with every passing year.

Whatever your political affiliations, I recommend The Populist Explosion not only for its detailed examination of the rising populism but also because Populism and Fascism are not even close cousins in the political arena here in the United States or in Europe as Marine Le Pen, Geert Wilders, and other populist leaders repudiate their roots and embrace the 21st century embodiment of the politics of the disenfranchised, dispossessed, nationalist middle class.

Hitler's brand of nationalism was colonialism, fascism with the ultimate goal of expanding Germany's borders, digging out from under the war reparations demanded of Germany at the end of World War I, and bringing back a sense of dignity and hope in the wake of the rising tide of communism. Franco in Spain and Mussolini in Italy followed suit determined to stamp out the communist menace that threatened their countries and their people. Since the Russian revolution, communism was spreading like a poisonous weed through Europe and Hitler was determined to halt the spread. Judis details the roots of populism and its spread from the United States, South America, and throughout Europe. The Populist Explosion answers all the questions of how and why Nationalism is gaining support and spreading into the enlightened, politically correct world of the European Union and the stated goal of a world with no borders and one government under one leader. Populism, and the modern version of Nationalism, is not Fascism nor do populist leaders want to expand their influence or their borders. What Le Pen, Wilders, and Trump want, and what their growing number of followers, the members of the ever shrinking middle class, is sovereignty, to maintain their countries' social, cultural, and economic identities and protect their borders from the massive immigration of aliens determined to destroy national identity and remake host countries in their own image, an image that is bent on destroying the cultural and social identity of the host governments.

Judis's clear prose and carefully researched history make The Populist Movement a must-read resource that will open your eyes and delineate not a return to the old world of intolerance and hate, but a new world where national pride and a stable, productive economy is the goal where the middle class is resurrected, revitalized, and renewed. I give the book 5/5 stars and suggest you read it twice and share it with everyone you meet.

That is all. Disperse.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Rise of Nationalism


What we have here is a failure to communicate. We are speaking the same language, but the need to keep from falling into the PC pit to get an important point across has resulted in mental and verbal contortions that would try the abilities of the best acrobat -- and politician.

The point is the growing populist movement, a movement that is equated with nationalism, xenophobia, religious intolerance, and fascism. That is where language fails us as it will always fail us after being filtered through the fine mesh of Political Correctness. Every word is suspect. Every motive a leap backward to the bad old days of Hitler, Stalin, Il Duce, and Franco of Spain. The Left points fingers at the Conservative Right who are busily distancing themselves from the painful onus of the Ku Klux Klan and the segregationist and racist policies of the Good Old South. Just a hint of the return to the bloody burning old days and the politically correct neo-progressive left wing riot, burn, loot, and crawl into their safe spaces to hug a puppy and while away the unthinkable hours with Play-Doh and coloring books while Barney videos sing a happy inclusive song in the background.

The National Front and Marine Le Pen of France, Nigel Farage of Britain, and Donald Trump have one thing in common and it isn't xenophobia, religious intolerance, or fascism. What they have in common is their nationalism, their strong feelings for the middle and lower classes and the protection of their national identity. And that is where the conversation ends. The neo-progressive Left, the socialist and communist factions, and the conservative religious Right begin howling for Nationalist Blood, having worked so hard to come this far only to be destroyed, undermined, and sold for a return to a forgotten bloody age.

That is what happens when the ruling classes from all ideologies refuse to listen and do not -- cannot -- understand when large numbers of their constituencies follow these nationalists like rats following the Pied Piper.

There are economic issues to consider, but at the heart of the economic meltdown and defection is the immigrant problem. Pointing to the hordes of Muslim immigrants only brings out the blinders and ear plugs while the entrenched political parties try to drown out the sound of xenophobia and religious intolerance by singing lalalalalalalalalalala at the top of their voices, making it impossible to listen, let alone hear, what these nationalists are saying.

The world equates nationalism with fascism and could not be farther from the truth. Nationalism, and populism, has nothing to do with the expansionist goals of fascism still doing their best to extend their borders and influence. Marine Le Pen, Nigel Farage, and Donald J. Trump don't want more land or more power. They want to keep their borders strong and their sense of identity as French, British, and American intact. The immigration of Muslims is the problem, not because of their religion as such, but because of their refusal to integrate into the host countries.

It was easy to assimilate the Amish and the Mennonites. They were religious separatists who wanted nothing to do with the outside world, the English as the Amish term all those who are not part of the Amish beliefs and practices. The Amish and Mennonites deal with outsiders, but they do so in a peaceful manner. Neither the Amish nor the Mennonites want the rest of the country, or the world, to convert to their beliefs. The Amish and Mennonites want to practice their religious beliefs in peace away from the world.

Secular Jews assimilated into their host countries, going to temple and mingling with host countries where they immigrated, having been driven out or voluntarily leaving one step ahead of the latest Progrom or train ride to a concentration camp to either work until they died or were gassed, robbed, and burned. The workers were piled into mass graves after everything of value was stripped from them, dead and alive. Secular Jews kept a low profile to avoid further depredations.

Orthodox Jews were also hounded out of their homes by Pogroms and gassed with their secular brethren and sisters, worked to death, and fled to wherever they could find space. Orthodox Jews also maintain their religious identities separate from their host countries, refusing to assimilate, gathering together in separate communities. Though Orthodox Jews are also separatists, they have no desire to interfere with the laws and customs of host countries keeping themselves to themselves and doing so peacefully.

Muslims fall into two categories: the ones that assimilate and the separatists gathering in closed communities and refusing to assimilate. Islamic refusal to assimilate is rooted in jihad and the goal, like the New World Order, of a global Caliphate where Shari'a law is the only rule and all apostates and unbelievers either convert or die. And therein lies the problem -- the refusal to assimilate and their demand that they be given all the protections and social perks of the host country. Call it what you will -- religious extremism, jihad, separatism, ghettoism -- these immigrant hordes look more like locusts than migrants looking for a new home, a new country where they will belong. Their only agenda is the same as it has been since the 7th century: expand the global Caliphate and convert or behead all infidels and apostates.

In Spain, secular Muslims, migrated up from the Middle East and Africa and Turkey. There were the inevitable fiery and bloody clashes between Muslims and Christians determined to maintain their way of life and their religious national identity, but secular Muslims did become part of Spain and the Spanish identity, sharing their knowledge and architecture, enriching the indigenous culture. Secular Muslims came together with the Spanish people under the banner of Don Diego de Bivar, El Cid, when marauding Islamic jihadists swarmed into Spain from Africa intent on beheading the peaceful Muslims and the Christians. Neither were acceptable as they cut a bloody swath through Africa and into Spain. The jihadist's one rule was convert or die. The Spanish Muslims and the Spaniard forces under the leadership of El Cid beat back the jihadists together.

It is no different today. Islamic jihadists like a marauding horde of locusts swarm throughout Europe demanding to remain separate in their communities and over burdening social programs with further demands that they be given their share of the social pie while maintaining Shari'a law and terrorizing the people of their host countries. Like week-old fish and guests that stay too long, the Muslim immigrants who refuse to assimilate and become French or Dutch or German, etc., they have outstayed their welcome. The presence is a constant reminder of the danger they pose, not only to the collapse of social programs, but to the lives, well being, and safety of the people of their host countries. Islamic separatists do not want to become a part of the host country, they want what they have always wanted . . . to convert or destroy everything and everyone around them just like locusts. Their expansionist agenda is the danger, not the desire of the people put at risk by their ravenous appetite for more, more, and even more.

Unemployment rates continue to rise. Economies are melting down. The people feel less safe and secure. Social programs are stretched far beyond their capacity. Health care is deteriorating. The global Caliphate must be made a reality and no one, no government, no laws, no national identity, nothing must stand in the way of the sweeping Islamic jihad. But how can we tell the Islamic jihadists, the religious extremists from the peaceful secular Muslims?

We cannot.

Even though the current neo-progressive left agenda is the New World Order, a global government under one leader with one religion and one monetary system of exchange, the Left's agenda is not compatible with the global Caliphate. The agendas are the same, but the end result is diametrically opposed and their methods are vastly different. The NWO has worked in secret, infiltrating countries slowly as the doctrine of One World-One Government-No Borders worms its way into the minds and hearts of the people through their leaders. Socialism was the first step. The European Union was the next step. The NWO's plans for the abolishment of borders and national identities have hit a snag as nationalist/populist leaders push back with the force of an awakened dragon aware of what their sleep has cost them and continues to cost.

Something has to go. The destruction of what it means to be French or American or Italian, Greek, and British will not be taken lying down. The people are pushing back. The people will not go quietly into that oblivion. Le Pen, Farage, Wilders, and Trump rose from the background to stand up and give the people a voice and the people are flocking to them in ever rising numbers, and even against their own distaste for the perceived negative views of nationalism, which is still too close to fascism for them. The people are not xenophobic or intolerant, but the are tired of watching their future go up in smoke or die in a hail of Islamic jihadist bullets while they gasp out their last breath. The people could see the need for affordable and universal health care, the safety net of social programs that grew out of the end of World War II, and the possibility of a better life, a better future for their children, but not at the expense of marauding hordes of Muslims that drive the minimum wage down, take away jobs, demand their share of the social safety net, and destroy the freedom and safety of their towns, cities, and country in their ghettos.

America isn't the only country facing illegal immigration nor is it the only country suffering the wholesale abandonment of wealthy corporations and jobs drip, drip, dripping away. Granted, Muslim immigration, and illegal immigration, have crippled America and many European countries, but they are only a part of the problem. Their determination to take over and eradicate all opposition is a big part of the problem, but the real problem is much more complex and far reaching.

Securing national borders and rebuilding infrastructure and bringing back jobs, stemming the rising tide of unemployment, must begin somewhere, so why not begin with the obvious obvious problem first and end Muslim integration and the violence they bring with them?

If Islamic jihadists refuse to assimilate their host country and be part of the solution, then Islamic jihadists must be stopped and must go. National identities must be preserved and protected first, politically correct neo-progressives be damned. Let them howl at the perceptions of xenophobia, religious intolerance, and fascism. It was the neo-progressives that helped create the problem and they can muck in with the rest of their disenfranchised brothers and sisters and help fix the problem. If they won't help, then they can get out of the way. Nationalists want to protect their national identity. They do not want to expand their borders and take over anywhere but at home. That is what Le Pen, Wilders, Farage, Trump and every other populist leader have been saying and why the people are willing to ignore what they think they know nationalism is and embrace the people willing to listen to their concerns and do something about it.

We have more to worry about with Islamic Nationalism because it is fascism, invasion and expansion of Shari'a Law and the Islamic religion at the cost of everyone, everything, and every country in its wake. That is the fascism the neo-progressives should be paying attention to instead of pandering to.

That is all. Disperse.

Friday, November 04, 2016

Review: The Jekyll Revelation


The title drew me first, as I am sure it seduces everyone who has read or knows story of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. There is also the added draw, for me as well as others, of a link between Whitechapel, Jack the Ripper, Jekyll, and Hyde. Who has not imagined Robert Louis Stevenson's tale of the heights and depths of which man is capable is a direct link to the murders that continue to horrify us? The detectives of the newly formed Scotland Yard considered Stevenson and the American actor, Richard Mansfield, as suspects. Only a mind so deranged and lost to decency could conjure the fiend, Edward Hyde, and a man steeped in vice like Mansfield could believably portray a doctor willing to severe his soul's evil. If only Bram Stoker, the theater manager where Mansfield became Mr. Hyde every night, had written Dracula around the time of Jack's bloody rampage through Whitechapel in 1888 then Inspector Abberline would have had yet another opportunity to unmask Jack and end the brutal murders. All these machinations and connections are features of a journey into the abyss in Robert Masello's hands.

The Jekyll Revelation has more to offer than speculations about Jack the Ripper and Robert Louis Stevenson's part during those dark times in London. Man's evil is not confined to Whitechapel or the waning days of the 19th century. Evil continues and keeps pace in Topanga Canyon in California where Rafe tags and studies coyotes and their habits during the continuing drought devastating the land. From the rapidly disappearing waters of a lake in the canyon, an old green steamer trunk emerges and inside among the moldering remains of a gentleman's clothes, Rafe finds a diary, the ink faded and barely readable, and a flask in a locked box. The memories are those of Robert Louis Stevenson and tell the story of Stevenson's illness, trek to the snow-bound Alps in Switzerland where he sought a cure for his weak lungs, and the emergence of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Stevenson documented some of his works (Treasure Island, Kidnapped, and The Master of Ballantrae) as well as the brownies that inhabited his sleeping mind.

Life often mirrors art, yet seldom in the exact same manner. Chapter by chapter, Rafe follows where the trail leads, in the past and the present, where he finds clues to unmasking a century-old serial killer and sets the stage for his own nightmare of meth, a motorcycle gang, and a coward ready to tear his life apart.

Masello's prose is tight and clean, but, like many writers, he gives too little space to the women that share the tale. The female characters are written well enough, but seem less substantial than the men who create and perpetuate the murder and mayhem in 1888 and the present. Rafe's guilt is as superficial as the inclusion of the female characters. Even Rafe's outrage is about as believable as Constance Wooldridge's fall from grace. In short, the actions fall short of the mark. The emotions of the villains and the heroes pale in comparison to the rich and varied nuances of the twinned stories as a whole. I imagine a list of the elements of storytelling Masello ticks off one by one, superficially grazing the surface of what could have and should have been a tale to stand proudly alongside the classics. Even though the depth mirrors the level of the shrinking mountain lake, The Jekyll Revelation is riveting and memorable, worth 4/5 stars in my estimation. Masello is a writer worth following.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Review: Day Shift by Charlaine Harris


Manfred Bernardo, Midnight resident psychic, has gone to Dallas for a few days to do personal readings. He has a suite in a pricey hotel. One of his favorite clients, Rachel, a wealthy woman who comes to Manfred to connect with her recently dead husband, Morton, dies just as Morton comes through and touches his wife's fingertips. Manfred sees Rachel let go of her earthly form gladly follow. Could the day get any worse?

Not unless you consider the murder and suicide of the couple Manfred saw in the dining room the night before with Olivia. Three deaths in the same hotel in the same day will not look good to the police -- and it doesn't.

Reporters lay siege to Manfred's house, disturbing the usually quiet Midnight. Now that the old hotel has been renovated and 4 senior citizens are living their full time, supposedly waiting for a spot to open up in a nearby senior community.  The Rev takes in a young boy of about 8 whose appearance changes daily.  His rapid maturation has not gone unnoticed as one of the new residents from the Midnight Hotel stops by Fiji's to let her know he and the ladies noticed. Joe Strong tells Fiji someone needs to get rid of the extra attention before the next full moon.

After Barry the Bellhop arrives in town, he brings the solution, but not without the promise of more trouble.  His grandfather, Shorty, was moved from his Las Vegas to the hotel with the other three senior citizens. As always, nothing remains quiet for long in Midnight and Fiji, Olivia, and Manfred will have to sort it out.

The Midnight series has three books in the series so far. Day Shift is the second in Charlaine Harris's latest supernatural series. It seldom takes long before Charlaine drops a series and moves on to the next supernatural venue, I don't hold out much hope anything will change, not even with the new NBC series, Midnight, Texas debuting in 2017. At least, Barry the Bellhop and Quinn, characters from the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries, add a bit of spice to the life in Midnight with a promise of more trouble to follow.

Once again, I have been drawn in Charlaine's storytelling and her ability to show how easy it is to slip over the line into the supernatural with her. Although the NBC series will be bloodier and scarier, there is no end to the mysteries found in Midnight. The only denizen of this haven not present is resident vampire, Lemuel Bridger, who is tracking down someone to help him translate some of the books Bobo Winthrop stored away. No doubt Lemuel will be back in time for the Night Shift.  

Charlaine Harris's cozy mysteries spins a nepotistic web between all of her supernatural southern stories. The storytelling shares the seductive quality of many southern tales, treating the strange and supernatural as nothing out of the ordinary. The veil between the mundane and the special is thinnest the South. Manfred mentions Sookie Stackhouse when Olivia discovers Barry is reading her mind. Midnight, Texas it seems is not so far removed from Bon Temps, Louisiana after all. In the end, Midnight's denizens welcomes a new resident who adds a special touch to the neighborhood. Definitely 4/5 stars for Day Shift because I know I won't get to visit Midnight for long. At least I have another piece to the puzzle that is Olivia.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Where is Obama Now?


Obama has been selling man-made climate change for the past 8 years and claiming climate change is behind the fighting in Syria and the reason for hordes of Syrian immigrants (most of whom are not from Syria or women and children) rampaging across Europe. In the 7th century and during the Dark Ages, the immigrants raging throughout Europe were Muslim jihadists as the Ottoman Empire spread death and chaos in order to convert Christians, Jews, and pagans to Islam. The same force still spreads death and war throughout the war, not for the Ottoman Empire, but in the name of the Islamic State and for the same reason: Death to infidels. The infidels are everyone who refuses to bow to Allah and the Islamic jihad.

Climate change is the boondoggle Obama, as the front man for the Global Elite, has been selling for the New World Order, a world with no boundaries governed by one man, one religion, and one world. Even Pope Francis has been selling a world without boundaries, but Pope Francis believes the one religion will be the Roman Catholic Church while Obama may be pushing Islam. There's no telling with Obama since he lies with pathologic regularity -- about everything, especially climate change.

There is climate change, and some of it is man made, but it is not the result of SUVs and cars and buses and planes. The Pacific Ocean is dying and heating up because of the 9.0 earthquake that rocked Fukushima, Japan and caused a nuclear meltdown from the power plants along the fault line that have been spilling radioactive waste into the ocean and killing marine life every day for the past 4 years.

In what has been called an extinction level accident that includes the entire Pacific Ocean in the Ring of Fire, radioactive waste from Fukushima has killed, and keeps killing, everything from plankton and krill to the larger animals that depend on both for food. The tuna and salmon wild caught from the Pacific are full of radioactive waste and the unexplained deaths of walrus and seal communities up and down the west coast of the Americas are a direct result of thousands of tons of radioactive waste spewing from Fukushima that are also heating up the oceans.

The most I've seen and heard about this disaster and its implications for the planet are in brief side notes in the mainstream media, which is why I go to the alternative media for the facts and honest reporting.

While Obama continues touring with his man-made climate change as a result of too many cars and fossil fuels, he seems to have left out the Fukushima disaster that has been destroying the Pacific Ocean and killing all life within it's reach, and the radioactive waste has a very wide reach as can be seen in the above diagram.

The worst part of this news isn't that the facts have been somehow missed in the mainstream media reports over the past 4 years and from Obama's climate change spiel is that the Japanese government knows that it does not have the technology to repair the damage to the power plants or to this planet's oceans and the lives lost. And no one is talking about it. Not Obama. Not the prime ministers of the world's governments. Not the European Union. Not Pope Francis. Not anyone except for the report linked above.

The continuing Fukushima disaster affects every government, every country, and every person, plant, and life on this planet and no one has the tools to repair the damage. By the time the tools and technology are available, there won't be a planet or a life left to save and no one to laugh at Obama and the man-made climate change scientists that continue to blame the undocumented and unproven rise in global temperatures.

Don't worry about World War III and who will drop the nuclear bomb that will begin a nuclear holocaust. We're dying now and have been dying by inches for 4 years as raw radioactive waste has daily poured into the Pacific Ocean.

That is all. Disperse.

Review: Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris


After the disappointing and out of character ending of the Sookie Stackhouse series and being left hanging with Charlaine Harris's other two short-lived series, I swore would never read another Harris book. Then I saw the trailer for a new series set in Midnight, Texas and was hooked. Maybe, I thought, this time the series will last longer than 3 books.

That is the problem with Charlaine Harris. She draws me in with complex characters, hooks me with interesting relationships, and leaves me hanging when she moves on to new characters, new situations, and the same provocative come hither sideshow buildup only to be let down again and again. Sookie Stackhouse was different in that the series had a much longer and more fascinating life. Charlaine let me down (let all her readers down) when it became clear she was no longer interested in Sookie, the vampires, or the were creatures and was only phoning it in. The ending to Sookie's story was a let down and the last couple of books the characters were not acting like themselves like a lover hot one minute and frigid in the end.

Here I am into the second book in the Midnight Texas series, Midnight Crossroad and I can already see the hook and know without doubt that I will be left hanging again. Maybe not since the books have sparked a new TV series that feels different from the life of Manfred Bernardo and his new neighbors on Witch Light Road. There is a vampire working the night shift at the local pawn shop who has a mysterious girlfriend who might be a high class traveling hooker or a mercenary assassin and a tall, blonde, and handsome guy left in the lurch when his new girlfriend walked out on him 2 months ago. A witch and her marmalade cat live across the road next door to a dark and silent reverend who tends to the burials of pets in his back yard and performs a 3 or 4 weddings a year in his bare living room chapel. A father, daughter, and son own the Gas 'n Go down the road near the diner where a statuesque beauty, her handyman husband, and baby son offer home-cooked meals. Chuy and Joe Strong own the antique store and beauty salon where they live with their dog.

Into this tight knit community comes psychic, Manfred Bernardo, who conducts his business online and fits right into the neighborhood. The background and characters are pure Charlaine Harris and seductively readable. If Charlaine's past series are anything to go by, I have already been set up and will once again find myself down when she moves on to a new neighborhood and denizens with their own affinity for living on the boundary between reality and the supernatural.

The mystery that drives Midnight Crossroad is Bobo's missing girlfriend. Aubrey walked away one day and never came back. She left all her things 2 months ago. Bobo boxed everything up and stacked them in the pawn shop's store room and still grieves for her. No one has come looking for her, although Bobo reported her missing to the police a week after she disappeared. She was still missing until the day of the neighborhood picnic up at Cold Rock when Fiji follows her nose to the remains of the girlfriend still wearing her expensive sneakers.

The police are called and the local militia group, Stronghold, come to Midnight to serve their own brand of justice for the death of one of their own. Bobo was already in their crosshairs because his grandfather's cache of weapons, ammunition, and bombs should not be left to a left wing liberal not willing to put all that firepower to use for the coming redneck revolution. In the coming months when Texas secedes from the United States, the members of Stronghold will fire the first shot and lead the charge.

On thing I have learned over the years is that you cannot escape your true nature -- or your past. Nature is inherent and the past always comes back to haunt you no matter where or how far you run. I hope Charlaine will find a neighborhood on the edge of the supernatural that appeals to her long enough to keep her interested and that she will not walk away and leave with nothing but an occasional mention in another new town. I hope Charlaine Harris hangs around Midnight, Texas for a while and does not get too bored with Manfred and his new supernatural friendly neighbors.

I give Midnight Crossroad 4/5 stars for well written prose and a fascinating story that kept me guessing almost to the end. I took off 1 star because I already see the writing on the wall.

Check out the book trailer and keep an eye out for the new TV series.  And, yes, Francois Arnaud, who played Cesare Borgia on the Showtime series, The Borgias, was part of the reason I gave Charlaine Harris one more chance. I'm a sucker for a good story and Charlaine writes memorable stories.



Sunday, October 23, 2016

Review: Forsaken Skies by D. Nolan Clark


Forget what you know about science fiction writing. Do not expect the usual tropes. What hides within the pages of Forsaken Skies is not what you have come to expect of science fiction stories. D. Nolan Clark gives you an exciting chase at the beginning and then drops you onto a poly space station servicing the usual travelers, freight, and soldiers on their way to wars or stopping on their way from a war. That is where the story stalls and where I almost gave up on Clark's tale.

The chase was exciting -- a battle hardened pilot chasing down a kid fleeing from a murder in an expensive racing yacht nearly colliding with an automated container ship hauling . . . passengers? From that point the story gets weirder and boring. What could I expect from the commander of a space station who never gets out of his space suit or lowers his helmet? Or an elder from a breakaway group and her aspirant coming to meet a con man intending to fleece them of four years of improvements for their desolate planet? Or a marine who used to be a pilot afraid to fly? Or even an ace turned con man to pay off his debts? Forget about the rich kid in the pricey yacht or the 300-year-old pilot turned rich man's bodyguard and his ex-second in command who redirects a wing of Navy planes for a fool's errand. You won't get the real story unless you can get through the sketchy details about characters who seem to be cut from substandard literary cloth. Clark has buried the lead so far down the wormhole it will take determination and curiosity greater than Pandora's to get to the whole point of Forsaken Skies so why bother?

I bothered because not because I enjoy the minute details of hard science fiction, but because I wanted to give Clark a chance to show me something worth my time.

And he did.

It took two-thirds of the book to get to it. It was almost worth plodding through the dross to find the Arkenstone of Clark's series.

Forsaken Skies earned 4/5 stars for taking so long to get to the meat. The other four stars are because the meat was worth the trek as the characters earn their salt in their corporate monopoly (hence poly) control by reducing humanity to the bottom line of a balance sheet. Even heroism counts only if it is profitable. An old campaigner like Aleister Lanoe had to fight for a cause he finally believed in by riding to the rescue of an impoverished elder of a barren planet nearly killed by a wealthy kid fleeing the murder of his father in Daddy's private racing yacht.

D. Nolan Clark may start a trend with his storytelling. All told, Forsaken Skies was worth digging to the heart of the mountain for the payoff. In the end, I liked Lanoe's worthy cause. At least it didn't take me 300 years to share it with Lanoe.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Review: Deadlight Jack by Mark Onspaugh


From the Pacific Northwest to the Louisiana bayou, Mark Onspaugh's latest tale begins with 4-year-old George Watters and ends with Tlingit-Inuit Shaman Jimmy Kalmaku, ghosts, revenants, and all the horrors that Professor Foxfire musters against the 70-year-old Jimmy and George. Professor Foxfire is only one of the many names of the nightmare that is Deadlight Jack who lures children away from their families to feed the swamp lights and Jack.

George Watters lost his father in World War II and then very soon after lost his grandfather. That was when Deadlight Jack first appeared to lure 4-year-old Georgie Porgie pudding and pie away from his family and into the swamps of bayou. If not for George's grandfather, George would have been lost to his mother and brother to provide a tasty meal for Jack. George's mother and his aunt got in Jack's way and, with George's grandfather, drove Jack and his green and yellow will o' the wisp lights back into the shadows. Jack would not be held off forever, not with such a one as Georgie Porgie nearly within his grasp.

Seventy-year-old George Watters is a wise-cracking, smart-mouthed jokester given to teasing Jimmy Kalmaku with every Indian reference he can remember -- and George remembers a lot. For all the ribbing and jokes, George and Jimmy are close friends. They have already defeated the Faceless One who nearly destroyed a family and dragged Jimmy and George into the abyss for good measure. Jimmy has a wild talent and is a favorite of the Trickster, Raven of Tlingit legends. Being a favorite of the gods is a heavy burden to bear, one Jimmy is used to. George is no unwelcome passenger on the journey into the darkness and neither are strangers to the unseen world. George and Jimmy are friends and comrades in arms, though neither are ready for the journey that will lead them into George's forgotten and tumultuous family troubles when George's grandson, Donny, disappears while on a camping trip in Louisiana.

Jimmy prepares to visit his son's family to celebrate his granddaughter Molly's birthday in Boston when the calls come. Donny reaches out and shatters George's dreams with his terror and fear. Jimmy is visited by Dabo Muu, another messenger from the unseen world, in a vision that sends both friends far from their home on 152nd Street. When Jimmy calls Molly to explain he will not be there for her birthday, Molly tells her grandfather he will need to help George and that she will help as she can. Molly shares the wild talent with her grandfather, unknown to her parents, and Raven has also enlisted Molly in his service.

The journey into George's past and his family troubles is no picnic, but neither is the task of finding Donny and defeating Deadlight Jack, especially when the energies that Jimmy knows best will be of little help so far from his cooler northwestern home. The real journey is still ahead as George is confronted with a past he cannot remember and a daughter who is still angry that George was never there for her.

In creating a world where two men of different backgrounds and cultures become so intimately entangled, Mark Onspaugh illuminates the good and the bad in his characters. The world George and Jimmy inhabit is as rich and complex as the Louisiana bayous where much of the action takes place. The cover of Deadlight Jack is a pleasant fantasy beside the horror and evil unleashed on an unsuspecting world going back centuries and rooted in the myths and legends of a much darker past than the average person realizes or is willing to see. All of the characters, from George's bitter eldest daughter to delightfully precocious Molly are revelations. Jimmy's shamanic heritage and George's amazing gifts are the heart of gold at the core of this dark and bloody tale of the world that marches beside the reality most people are willing and able to see. Strength and magic blossom in the most wonderful and unexpected ways. I cannot wait to read what else Onspaugh has written and has yet in store for the future of this mismatched and ultimately wonderful pair of modern wizards.

5 stars and I only with the scale went up to 10. A rich and satisfying journey that awakens an unforgettable magic in all of us to follow an unlikely pair of friends into the shadows where evil dwells.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

BUSTED!


More of Hillary Clinton's emails have been released by WikiLeaks and Julian Assange's promise has been fulfilled . . . at least part of it. Hillary isn't in jail yet.

The latest news that Hillary, along with Barack Hussain Obama, created the Islamic State is fact. The facts are proven in the latest email dump in which Hillary is communicating with the White House and Obama's people about her progress with the Islamic State, which is being funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

As the news goes public on the corporate-controlled mainstream media and questions are asked, Hillary will fall back on her usual defense and blame Russia for the leak, and China if she wants to make a clean sweep of her enemies. Don't believe it. Russia and China and many nations outside the European Union are fight ISIS and Assad's enemies because they are the good guys. They have been for quite some time, and I'm not sure any more whether or not Russia was ever the bad guy.

The Syrian people want Assad to continue as their country's leader because they elected him. It wasn't the usual straw man election that the United States has had all these years, but the real thing, democracy in action. The Islamic State (ISIS) was created to help the US topple foreign governments and extend their reach. The United States has funded terrorism and terrorists in order to keep the chaos pot boiling and keep people easier to manipulate by making sure they stayed afraid. The attacks in Paris, Germany, Lebanon, and around the world were political theater and the visible proof that terrorists exist and they are coming for you and me and everyone else who does not succumb to the propaganda of fear.

Hillary uses the term ISIL for ISIS, which goes to prove that she has never been on Israel's side or fighting for Israel. That should have been apparent since she has lambasted Prime Minister Netanyahu on several occasions over the building of settlements in disputed (and not so disputed) regions in the West Bank. ISIL is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The Levant is where Israel currently exists.

It is hard to countenance when Hillary has stood smiling and shaking hands with Benjamin Netanyahu as she did with Shimon Peres when he was prime minister, but Hillary is a mistress of lies. Haven't you figured that out yet? There are decades of proof going all the way back to the Nixon administration when she worked on the Watergate investigations. No, Hillary was not fired, but she was publicly admonished because she lied and was willing to pervert the rule of law to get rid of Nixon, who stepped down as President of the United States rather than face impeachment.

Obama's next press conference when the leaked emails finally hit the mainstream media will be easy to script. I can do it from memory. Obama will tell the American people that he found out about Hillary's involvement and the leaked emails when the people did . . . on CNN or in the newspaper (whichever one breaks the news first). He will be stunned and shocked and he will get to the bottom of the leak just as he got to the bottom of the IRS scandal and Lois Lerner's involvement (a scandal that is still going on) and the many scandals that have dogged his term in office.

Hillary will fume and sputter and blame the Russians and the Chinese for the leaks, but she's looking too far afield, and she wants to be the one to set off the first shot of World War III like a good acolyte of the New World Order.

Oh, the leaked emails are damning and fatal for Hillary and Obama in a sane world where treason is punishable by trial and death, but we are not at war with anyone. There's the war on poverty and the war on drugs and the war on whatever Obama is willing to call terrorism, but those are little more than theater. Those wars are little more than distractions, bread and circuses to stir up the masses until they forget and go on to the next Kardashian drama or a new episode of Real TV. The people must have their bread and circuses maintained or they will wake up from the mainstream media coma and realize they have been had. Again.

Congress showed its first vestige of spine and guts when it overturned Obama's veto on the bill that allowed the families of victims of 9/11 in 2001 to sue the countries that funded the September attack 15 years ago. Obama and Hillary both know that even though Saudi Arabia and Qatar funded and aimed the terrorists, President George W. Bush allowed the attacks to happen. Yes, the American people were sold out by their President. No wonder foreign nationals threw shoes at Bush when he spoke to them. They knew the truth because they were in on the fix, or had just found out that they were being hung out to dry for the crime. Bush got a lot of mileage from the attacks on 9/11 and the fall of the Twin Towers and the deaths of all those American citizens. And we fell for it.

I fell for it.

I remember the anger and grief that fueled the rage when the shock wore off. I wanted Osama bin Laden and all Islamic terrorists dead. I was wrong. Bin Laden was the dupe, the man the US funded and set up to take the fall in the same way that Saddam Hussein was built up, funded, and hunted when the US cavalry rode in to save the day for the Iraqi people, destroying their infrastructure and beggaring a once proud nation. Hussein believed he would bring back the Golden Age and was busily rebuilding the ziggurats and temples of the ancestors. He was wrong. He was a foil, a tool, a target and Bush was already loading the bullets and missiles that would destroy his dreams before Hussein went underground.

It should be no surprise that the United Kingdom went along with the ruse. They wanted their piece of the pie and London has always been partners with the US. The UK and the US are 2 legs of the tripod that hold up the New World Order. Rome, the Vatican, is the first leg of the tripod. Rome is the seat of religion. London is the bank because money is the fuel that keeps the New World Order going. The US, specifically the Pentagon, is the 3rd leg of the tripod; the US is the military force, the muscle for the New World Order's end game. That is the truth that Obama and Hillary know. Obama and Hillary are puppets of the New World Order and you hear the NWO's rhetoric every time Obama chides the world in the name of climate change and blames climate change for the wars that he and Hillary have orchestrated during their terms in office, just as Bush, Sr. and Jr. did in their day and Bill Clinton did during his term in office. This game goes all the way back to Carter, who was an imperfect tool, but has stepped up his game as his time on this planet and in world politics is whittled down by cancer. Carter is no more a hero or a peacemaker than Bill Clinton is a chaste monk who has given up sex and power.

Hillary's time is up and it will be a race to see whether or not Donald Trump can implode fast enough to ensure her election before she is scooped up by the FBI and put on trial for treason and crimes against humanity alongside the Great Pretender, Barack Obama.

It's past time to wake up, people, not just here in the United States, but everywhere. You may not thank me for the wake up calls because it will change the world as you see it. The world is a much darker and more dangerous place than it was when you were asleep. You will see the tendrils of rot and ruin everywhere you look and the villains are not the same villains you saw when you were in the coma and following faithfully the mainstream media as it fed you more lies to go with the drugs you were given and continue to be given with the daily dose of poison in your food and water.

There is light at the end of this long, dark tunnel, but you have to be fully awake to realize it, to see and accept it. But first you must wake up.

My thanks to Roman Tunkel for the link above on Hillary's emails and to you for taking the time to read.

That is all. Disperse.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Review: Greyhound by Steffan Piper


For Sebastien Ranes, the past eleven years of his life have been an exercise in futility in getting his mother's love and attention. Charlotte, his mother, does the best she can for him when she thinks about it and when her attention isn't on the man in the current line-up. Sebastien is not that man. He is an encumbrance and he is in the way, a stuttering embarrassment that will not make her upcoming marriage or honeymoon better, except by his absence. At least she is willing to drive Sebastien to the Greyhound bus station in Stockton at 3 a.m. to begin his trip back to her ex-husband's mother and father's home to live with his older sister Beanie. He's eleven, almost twelve in a day or two, and capable of taking care of himself, all evidence to the contrary forgotten as soon as the ticket is bought and Sebastien ready to board the bus as she and her current fiance get on with their lives. Sebastien knows what to do and will just have to handle whatever comes.

That is the beginning of Sebastien Ranes's education and the end of his childhood, what childhood there has been for him so far. Steffan Piper takes the rest of the journey across the country to Altoona, Pennsylvania showing how a boy ignored by his mother and her boyfriends/husbands/exes finds the world is less cold and uncaring than his previous years have shown.

Sebastien finds people willing to look out for him and care for him along the way, especially Marcus, a recent ex-con heading home to New York City to be with his moms and visit his pops's grave. Marcus is an unusual young man who shares the poetry of Langston Hughes with Sebastien and steps up when his young friend is nearly kidnapped and raped by a predator working the Greyhound lines. When the young man walks away from what could have been the end of his road, he carries with him Leigh Allen's driver's license. Marcus took it from the bruised and bleeding pedophile and gave it to Sebastien to keep and use if necessary.

Steffan Piper illustrates what I have always believed: people are basically decent and generous. Piper shows the kindness of strangers, and their disgust and horror at Charlotte's disregard for her son's safety and life. Charlotte's off-hand treatment of her young son is echoed by her sister, Sharon, in Los Angeles where Sebastien meets Marcus as he waits out the hours between busses alone and forgotten. Aunt Sharon never shows up, but a bus driver with a nasty attitude, Frank, demonstrates that there is cruelty in the world, something Sebastien knows all too well, from the people meant to protect and guide. Frank's rabid racist attitude toward Marcus sets off a chain reaction of retribution that will fundamentally change Sebastien's life and make the future far less bleak.

Although Sebastien's journey carries him through day and night, Piper keeps to the shadows, making the kindnesses brighter and the dangers much darker. I could not help but admire Marcus's generosity and hard won wisdom as he helps safeguard and guide Sebastien through danger, fire, and change. Greyhound earns 5/5 stars for Steffan Piper's vision and for the complexity and intricacies of the road to manhood and the utter simplicity of dealing fairly with fellow travelers on the road of life. Piper and Greyhound deserve twice as many stars.

Friday, October 07, 2016

"I Will Fight No More Forever"


Many voted for Obama because they believed he would bring Hope and Change. None of them knew that Obama was already set to continue the policies Bush has been demonized for (and rightly so) by continuing the policy of removing the elected leaders of certain countries around the world and specifically in the Middle East. One of those countries was Syria.

I have no doubt that Obama will hold a press conference and say that the first time he learned of the news that the US had illegally set out sanctions against Syria was when we all heard or saw it in the mainstream media, but Obama is a liar. He was lying to us all in 2008 and continues to lie to us every single day. I posted this before, but it bears repeating. Wake up, America, and see the world as it truly is and not as you have been told it is. Every day of Obama's administration this country and its soldiers have been at war.

The Syrians fleeing Syria are not due to climate change, but due to US sanctions Obama ordered against the people of Syria and their sovereign government. Many of the Syrian refugees are Islamic State soldiers carrying their war and their jihad into Europe to destabilize as many European governments as possible to pave the way for the One World Government. Forget the tin foil hats, people, and wake up. As polished and calm as Obama looks and sounds, he has been the arm of War and the changes he has instituted during his tenure are meant to destabilize the US government and pave the way for the Pan-American Union to bring the world one step closer to the One World Government, the New World Order. He has fooled many of us for 8 years. How long will you allow his crimes to continue?

Congress realized the error of its ways and overturned Obama's veto on the bill passed by the Congress to allow Americans affected by the attacks on 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia. It may be too little too late, but it is the first time both sides of aisle came together and stood against Obama. Now is the time for all Americans to stiffen their spines, stand up, and loudly proclaim that We Will Fight No More Forever. Not for Obama. Not for Hillary. Not for the New World Order. Not for the Changes that Obama Hoped we would swallow whole without thinking. We are awake and we are NOT going to take the lies any more.

The truth on the ground in Syria . . . it has nothing to do with climate change. Check out the videotaped press conference at the United Nations. These people have been to Syria, talked to the people, walked in the cities, towns, and neighborhoods and have seen the truth. Their news will shock you.

If you can afford it, go to Syria, talk to the people, and get the story for yourself from the people who live it every day. See what is happening. Reject the mainstream media fairy tale and ask the hard questions. Keep asking the hard questions until you find the answer. The first person who calls you a tin-foil hat wearing conspiracy theorist is attacking you to maintain the fiction of Obama's climate change and peaceful demeanor. These name-calling hacks are paid to make you doubt the truth and yourself. Resist the peer pressure. Think for yourself. Do not allow anyone to shut you up by such school yard bullying tactics.

Read alternative media sources. Stand up against so-called Syria refugees thrust upon this country because you can bet few of the refugees are actually Syrian and fewer will be women and children. They will be the next wave of mercenaries sent to make you afraid and destabilize America and scare US citizens into bending to Obama's will. Don't take it.

Resist. Push back. Take your fate and this country's destiny in your own hands. You have the power, the power of the vote.

Do not vote for Hillary and the continuing agenda that have marked US politics from Bill Clinton to Barack Obama. Wake up. Smell the coffee that has been burning for decades. We have the tools. We are The People and we have the right.

Vote against Hillary and same agenda of violence and fear.  Vote for a future where the US does not start wars and set up despots today who will be demonized and ousted years later. Do not play the New World Order's game.

Demand hard scientific evidence from nay sayers and paid hacks selling climate change. Pull back the curtain and see the man behind it manipulating the fireworks and illusions of monsters. They are the tools of fear meant to mold you into shaking, shivering, clanking, and clattering slaves willing to believe the lies the government uses to keep you as malleable as a wax doll hanging over a fire.

Stand up and declare loudly, "I will fight no more of your trumped up wars. Never again!" The future is in your hands. The road to war leads only to death and destruction. Choose another road, the one less traveled. Choose the road that leads to truth and justice and what we once proudly believed was the American Way.

That is all. Disperse.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Review: The Heart of Henry Quantum by Pepper Harding


I am not a fan of stream of consciousness writing. It is often an insipid descent into the mind of a madman or more often an excuse for an author to meander aimlessly through what is thought to be a mind yet often ends up being pointless. Although "The Heart of Henry Quantum" is a stream of consciousness novel I found the trip through Henry's mind well worth the time..

Henry is a man approaching middle age. He is settled into a good position at the advertising agency looking back on the sum total of his life and finding it wanting. He wants children. Margaret, his wife, is far too busy with her own more aggressive career in real estate, and the idea of children with Henry not up to her high standards. Margaret cares more about her brilliant wastrel brother with his feckless and irresponsible ways. She is thoughtful and far more generous to her brother than her husband. Henry and Margaret have reach that point in their marriage where Margaret gorges herself on Henry's flesh and soul with malicious glee. Henry did not turn out the way Margaret expected, but she will get her pounds of flesh however she can.

It is nearly Christmas and Henry has decided to buy a bottle of Chanel #5 for Margaret. The perfume is on his mind while he drives to work and at work and while he makes his way to get his peace offering to smooth the broken way back into Margaret's good graces. They were once in love, but Henry cannot remember what happened or how they got here. It is at that moment that Daisy, the woman Henry still loves, but who ended their affair, crosses Henry's path.

Pepper Harding gives the reader a glimpse into Daisy's and Margaret's mind and leaves Henry the last word. It is ultimately up to this gangly man-boy who still wears red high-tops with his business suit and acquits himself admirably at his advertising job to figure out not only what he wants but how he wants to get there. "The Heart of Henry Quantum" is a complex mechanism unknown even to Henry. In the end, still on the trail of the elusive Chanel #5 for his wife while waiting for Margaret's beloved brother at the airport, he comes face to face with the answer to his dilemma and the path to happiness.

Henry reminds me of David Tennant in the role of Doctor Who, not only for his fashion sense but for his style and insight. Henry's chaotic thoughts are as revealing of who he has become as who he really is and has always been. Harding's rendering of an unhappy man who is certain he has messed up his life and ruined his future is poignant and sweet at times. Margaret and Daisy are razor sharp characterizations of two women who have their places in the parade of life figured out and waste no time getting what they want. There are regrets enough to go around and therein lies the soul at "The Heart of Henry Quantum". The trip to the quantum depths of modern life with Harding as the tour guide was not a waste of time. The nuances and subtleties of discourse are well worth reading again to savor all the flavors and aromas available. A solid 4/5 stars.

That is all. Disperse.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Review: Crossing the Horizon by Laurie Notaro

Learning something new is always a pleasure. Learning something new while feeling a part of the action or a spectator standing in the thick of the action is even better. That is what Crossing the Horizon gave me. I knew there must have been women pilots other than Amelia Earhart, but I'd no idea how hotly contested the Atlantic Crossing was in Lindbergh's wake or that women then, as now, were inspired by Lindbergh's successful flight nonstop from America to Europe.

Mabel Boll was the wannabe of this trio of women wanting to be the first woman. She was flashy and a bit trashy and brassy as an old bell. Her pictures do not show her as a heavyweight and yet Mabel was adept at throwing her weight, and her dead husband's money, around to get what she wanted. What she wanted was to be flown, not to learn to fly. Come to that, Amelia Earhart didn't fly the plane on her successful flight across the Atlantic, though she could fly. She was a passenger, but not quite dead weight since she kept the pilots awake and on track. Amelia was the death of Mabel's dreams of being the Queen of the air by being the first woman to successfully make the crossing.

The Honorable Elsie Mackay, middle daughter of Lord and Lady Inchcape, was determined to go her own way. She served as a nurse during World War I, falling in love with one of the wounded soldiers, marrying him, and making her own way in his theatrical world as Poppy Wyndham. Laurie Notaro treated Elsie's divorce with the quiet dignity and reticence one would accept for one of England's peers. Elsie, having been disinherited by her father for her marriage to an actor, was welcomed gladly back into the fold where she made her own career in her father's luxury shipping business by decorating the suites.

Having flown aeroplanes during the war, Elsie refused to give up her love of flying even when she was flung out of the plane during a dangerous aerobatic inside loop when her safety harness broke. She made her way across to the wing and hung onto the stabilizer wires in the biplane until the pilot safely landed and prized her death grip from the wires. Both hands were cut to the bone, but Elsie was undaunted by her near death plunge and wanted to go back up again. It was that undaunted determination that set her on course for the race to be the first woman to fly across the pond from Europe to America, a more dangerous and difficult course. She planned and flew from England across Ireland and toward the Americas with copilot, Walter G. R. Hinchliffe, a World War I pilot who helped bring down flying Ace, Baron Von Richtofen, the Red Baron.

The third woman was also a pilot, little Ruth Elder, a girl from a dirt poor family in Alabama who married and divorced in short order, married again, and talked her husband into allowing her to return to the States while he remained in Panama and visited her every return trip. Ruth entered a local beauty pageant and won first place. The fifty dollars was not enough to buy a plane, but it was enough to pay for flying lessons. When she announced she would fly to Europe, reporters considered it a stunt. After all, the pretty little girl would, like Mabel Boll, be a passenger and probably could not fly, a rumor she dispelled in her best Southern Belle manner, taking a reporter on the acrobatic flight of his life.

Ruth and her co-pilot, George Halderman, designed bulky rubber wet suits to cover the eventuality of a water landing. Ruth wore hers when they had to ditch the American Girl after a brutal night battling the storms, ice, and a broken oil line. Blown hundreds of miles off course, Ruth and George landed next to a freighter and landed in Europe from the tip of Portugal instead of Paris as originally intended. They had crossed the Atlantic through the autumn storms, but made it to Paris by train. Their near miss landed Ruth in clover on her return to the United States and set her on course for a lucrative hundred-day lecture tour that netted Ruth and her family a hundred thousand dollars and set her feet on the path to Hollywood and the movies.

Frances Wilson Grayson and her copilot left the same time Ruth and George made their flight, but were forced down off the coast of Newfoundland by the same storm that battered the American Girl and forced Ruth and George off course. Frances Grayson was not the first or the last woman pilot to die in the attempt.

Notaro gives this period in history a special luster as she details the lives and dreams of Mabel Boll, Elsie Mackay, and Ruth Elder and does not ignore the men who flew with these amazing women. Though the men did not hold center stage, their accomplishments were given equal attention. Planes changed rapidly in the race to cross the Atlantic and set records. The quick succession of biplane to monoplane (one set of wings) and painted canvas to enclosed metal aircraft and ungainly seaplanes was detailed as well. Notaro's admitted fictional conversations and the cost of the daring race to illustrate aeroplanes were the next step in transportation made Crossing the Horizon more than a footnote in history. The vintage photos at the beginning of each chapter added faces to the lives and dreams of women who were determined to show the world their sacrifices were not second rate.

Crossing the Horizon is worth each of the 5 stars I awarded in spite of the glitchy ebook coding and heartily recommend Laurie Notaro's rendering of a time when adventures were denied no one willing to brave the elements in the emerging days of air travel. The three women are infuriating and brave and you will come to love, hate, and laugh at these all too human adventurers, warts and all.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

A Final Victorious Ride


In the movie, El Cid, starring Charlton Heston, the story is about a knight, a strong and courageous knight who was above all righteous and honorable. He was, according to the movie and legends, above all a pure knight, a man who was honorable and willing to put his life and his fortunes on the line for honor and truth.

I will not go into all the historical discrepancies and conflation and stick to the myth at the center of the movie and of El Cid's legend.

In the last decade of the 11th century, Don Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar fought with the Spanish Moors who had made a home in Spain after previously conquering much of the southern part of the country. The Spanish Moors (similar to our modern day Muslims) were being overwhelmed as the more militant arm of Islam responded to Allah's call that all infidels were to be converted or murdered and beheaded, and that included Moors who had assimilated into the countries they had previously conquered. The Pope in Rome called a series of Crusades to take back the Holy Land (Jerusalem) from the evil and murderous Moors and Christians killed and burned Moors wherever they found and defeated them even as Moors beheaded and forcibly converted Christians, Jews, and infidels who would not pay homage to Allah and convert.

The areas in Spain where Moors were prominent were areas of beautiful architecture where education was extended to all comers, including women, though the women must remain veiled. Toledo, Seville, Badajoz, and Valencia were part of the Islamic controlled areas and their buildings and works remain even in the 21st century as some of the most beautiful architecture. In the 11th century, Toledo, Seville, and Badajoz were bastions of learning where advanced medical practices were taught as were mathematics and the literature and science of Islam. Though the Moors came from Mauretania originally, they became a part of Spanish culture that echoes still throughout the centuries.

Into this blended culture where Muslims were reviled by the Christians as the Christians were reviled by the Spanish Moors came Don Rodrigo de Vivar. Rodrigo's father was the Spanish king, Fernando's, champion. When he was slain, Rodrigo took his father's place as the king's champion. No doubt, Rodrigo had killed and burned many Muslims as was the custom, but when he heard of a new jihad coming up from Africa into Spain for the sole purpose of destroying all Christians and Christian rule, Rodrigo thought more for his country than for himself. He was acquainted with some Muslims and, as the king's champion, stood for honor and right, and the honor and right he saw did not include continuing to kill Muslims that had assimilated into Spanish culture in the face of a greater horror, a new jihad that put the Spanish Moors at as great a risk as the Christians. The Spanish Moors were a strong force in Spain and had continued and improved the Roman roads and aqueducts, but they were considered too tolerant of infidels and must be eradicated if they would not turn back to true Islamic worship and policies.

An alliance was formed between the Spanish Moors and Rodrigo, who had been cast off by King Alfonso after Don Rodrigo made him swear on the Holy Bible that he had no killed his brother, King Sancho, with whom Alfonso shared the kingdom. King Alfonso banished Don Rodrigo for publicly embarrassing him and making him swear he had had no hand in King Sancho's death.

Don Rodrigo had only his unsullied reputation and his strength of arms, but men followed him in spite of King Alfonso's edict that any who gave aid and comfort to Don Rodrigo would themselves die. The Spanish Moors respected Don Rodrigo's strength as a warrior and his honor and called him The Lord (El Said, which became El Cid). They allied with Don Rodrigo whose growing army followed him on foot, on horseback, anyway and anyhow they could to fight the invaders, even to being willing to fight alongside the Spanish Moors to repel the gathering horde of Islamic invaders, the Almohades, coming from the Atlas Mountains of Marrakesh to unite Spain under Islamic rule and destroy the Spanish if they could not be converted and subjugated.

El Cid and the Spanish Moors fought the Almohades for years, eventually resulting in a fatal wound that cost the Cid's life. The Spanish were so close to victory and Don Rodrigo's death so close to victory would look as if God had abandoned the Spanish and give new life and strength to the Almohades, even though King Alfonso had relented and joined forces with the Cid, providing a united front against the invaders. There was only one remedy for the dire situation and that was to strap Don Rodrigo to his charger so that he might still lead the Spanish forces against the Almohades and send them to Hell or back across the Straits to Africa in utter defeat.

El Cid was fastened to his horse and rode out against the Almohades who fled in terror from a man they believed was dead and they were routed.



I remember my tears and the smile and the feeling of pride as El Cid rides out against the jihadists in the above last scene from the movie, El Cid, starring Charlton Heston. I cried for his decision when El Cid could have been saved, for his honor and his dedication to Spain and King Alfonso and the men he led against the jihadists. I was young, but old enough to see that a man, even in a movie, willing to lay down his life for his country and his people was a great man who put his country's needs before his own, even when it meant he would leave behind his wife and children. I cried as they strapped El Cid onto the horse and fixed his banner in his mailed fist unsure whether he was clinging to life with his waning strength or already dead. When he rode through the gates of Valencia and against the jihadists so certain of his death and their victory, and as they scattered in terror before the man they believed already dead, my heart was full of admiration for his sacrifice and sorrow for his death. That is what the director wanted everyone to feel as they saw Charlton Heston ride forth against his country's foes. The hero rides against the villains and triumphantly into history.

I know the story that was created for that movie is a blend of lies, half truths, conflations, and murky history, but it is the thread that Joseph Campbell called the Hero's Journey, the same thread that runs through any tale where the hero faces great odds and triumphs against great opposition with his honor intact. It is as much a great feat to fight against oppression and opposition while clinging fast the ideals that prompted the hero to sally forth in the first place. The hero battles greed, fame, self-aggrandizement, and Faustian deals in his struggle for what is an honorable quest. And the hero emerges changed, scarred, and hopefully humble and willing to sacrifice what is dearest to him.

When I read that it was being considered that Hillary Clinton would use the powerful image of El Cid to show her as the wounded hero willing to sacrifice all to win the election I was appalled. I would feel the same way if Donald Trump ever considered the same maneuver to bolster his campaign. Neither are worthy of even the myth of El Cid let alone the truth of a crusader who fought for his people and held his king to the same honor and truth he demonstrated and which he held in high regard.

No matter the rhetoric and speechifying about how Hillary and Trump will unite us against political corruption and the boogeymen of China, Russia, and North Korea, they are not worthy to clean Don Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar's horses hooves. They have not held President Obama accountable for his actions nor have they acted honorably during their campaigns. Children squabbling over whose turn it is on the swings have more honor than either of them.

No, I do not see Hillary allowing herself to be strapped to a white charger half dead or as a corpse to ride forth against this year's political boogeymen. I do see her making a deal with Satan for more time, more money, and more power as she connives her way into the Oval Office as Commander-in-Chief. The US military might follow Trump into battle and grit their teeth and take the field as Trump slopes off to a safer position far from the killing zone, and they might frag Trump afterwards at their first opportunity. Fragging Hillary would likely happen a lot sooner, if the military will stand and fight for her at all. Hillary's disdain for all soldiers in all branches of the military has been too marked to be mistaken for anything but hatred, and not a little jealousy that they serve and she was denied enlistment.

No, I do not see Hillary as El Cid, not even when she was younger and far more healthy than she is now, nor do I see Trump as El Cid courageously risking his life to save the country. Do you?

That is the question you must ask yourself in the days before the election in November. Do you believe either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump would sacrifice their lives for the sake of the country -- if no money was involved? Forget the media manipulation and the empty speeches and focus on the future. Do you want either Hillary or Trump in control of your future and the future of this country?

Let your answer be your guide as you enter the polling booth to pull the handle to select the next President of these United States.

That is all. Disperse.