Thursday, October 27, 2016
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Tuesday, September 06, 2016
I wanted to read Chasing Embers because the description sounded interesting and because I have always liked stories about dragons. I was wrong. The book is a tedious slog.
There are moments that sparkle and are exciting. I thought "now the story will get good." I was wrong. Another slog was dead ahead and was more tedious than the last slog and is the central problem with James Bennett's Chasing Embers.
Bennett writes action very well, but fails to rise above 2-dimensional characters that care about anything but fighting, chasing, and getting rid of Red Ben. At least the antagonists, for all their diversity, revel all too briefly in their brief victories -- all too brief. There is no connection to the characters, nothing that delves any deeper than a surface scratch. Why does Red Ben care about humans so much, other than the obvious carnal desire, which seems due to the lack of a female dragon to continue his line, but that is forbidden since only Red Ben among all the dragons may continue to exist in the human world. He signed the treaty that became the Lore 800 years ago when he was barely dry from is hatching. He had obviously not even hit puberty when he signed away his rights in order to keep living. Why fall for a human female when their lifespans are so short and mating so brief and fruitless? Beyond an orgasm, why does he care?
Khadra, the human the Queen of Punt possesses in order to be corporeal, is briefly interesting, very briefly. Bennet takes a very long time getting to the point that Khadra is giving up everything so her people will live. Her sacrifice will bring the rains to her dusty lands. So what? It isn't as if there is any connection between Khadra and her mother or the land of her human birth.
Red Ben loves Rose. So what? He walked away from her because he was bound by the Lore to hide who and what he is. He cares but not enough to bare his soul -- or himself -- and that is the heart of a book that has the beginnings of a story that matters, that readers -- that this reader -- cares about. Red Ben wants to keep living and cannot if there is another dragon in the world because it is against the Lore, the same Lore that he upholds while everyone bound by the Lore breaks it with impunity and promiscuous regularity.
In the end, Chasing Embers is tedious, pointless, and less than superficial. Give it a miss until Bennett rewrites the book or finds editors that can dig deeper than toothpicks scratching granite and expecting to make a lasting mark.
Monday, September 05, 2016
Convenience. We all want convenience. But convenience for what?
Convenience, it seems, is all about giving us more time to watch TV. We don't use the time to any real purpose, except for vegetating, and we don't use the time for making our lives better. It's all about convenience. Fast food stores are convenient. Markets are convenient. Grocery stores and superstores are for convenience. Letting the government handle business is convenient. The problem is that all of this convenience has put us in someone else's control. The problem with control is that the more you have the more you want and the more you will do to get control. It's like cancer.
The government controls, through its various agencies, what goes into our food, our water, our air, our linens, our clothing, the pots and pans we used to cook, and everything that we use in our homes. They control the content of our carpet fibers in our paint and everything in between. And everything they control is designed to poison people, poison us, poison our children, poison the world we live in. That's what control gave them, that's what convenience gave them, that's what is killing us.
In order to take back control we are going to have to give up convenience. The convenience of driving through a fast food place where the food is poisoned and guaranteed to kill us by inches or by mouthfuls. The convenience of going to the grocery store to pick up what we need, what is easiest, what is freshest, what is poisoned with chemicals and design to kill us by the mouthful. The same is true of every aspect of our lives, from our closing to our jewelry to the cars we drive and to the homes we live in. We need to worry more about what is poisoning our home environments and our neighborhood environments before we can take on the monumental task of cleaning up the world. Step-by-step, point by point, in order to get back control and free us of the cancer at the heart of our society, we must give up convenience and go back to self-sufficiency.
As for the health benefits of bread, there are scientists who say that bread is bad for diabetics, the glycemic index is too high. So what about whole grain breads? Scientists differ on that subject. Some grains are better for us than others and yet the glycemic index (or load) is still too high and must be offset by other exchanges, fruits, vegetables, meats, etc. and we are back to control again.
More people have diabetes now than ever before because they eat too much white bread, too many carbohydrates, too much this, too much that. There was a film maker who proved that a steady diet of McDonald's raised his cholesterol levels and ruined his health because of all the fats and white bread and French fries he ate. Okay, there were the egg McMuffins and hamburgers and cheeseburgers and milk shakes and everything else that McDonald's sells making him sick, but it was convenient and cheap, everything people want in their food.
Or do they?
Everyone pointed fingers at McDonald's for the problem, but McDonald's was only partly to blame. McDonald's shouldered the blame and offered more fruits and vegetables, a salad bar, healthier, low fat choices, and people still had the same problems with the same results. The blame should be taken back to its source -- the government.
The government, through the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) was responsible for what was and was not in the food because they approved the ingredients as safe -- or at least safe enough for human consumption. Have you read the latest about what the FDA has approved safe for human consumption? How about glycophosphates -- a scientific word for herbicide, a crop desiccant, the chemicals that Monsanto makes and sells, the same chemical that organic food growers don't want near their crops. Monsanto makes a lot of poisons and most of them go into food crops which eventually go into foods like bread, vegetables, fruits, and even nuts. The same foods that are sold to McDonald's and other fast food franchises at such cheap rates. Convenience again.
It is an inconvenient truth, to borrow Al Gore's phrase about climate change, that food is the fuel that people, humans, mankind puts into their bodies to support growth and health and procreation, and the food that Monsanto poisons with their herbicides, insecticides, genetically modified organisms (GMO seeds to fend off insects and bacteria and predators) is the same food that has resulted in birth defects, autism, Alzheimer's, fibromyalgia, and other autoimmune diseases. What is done at the genetic level to alter food and eradicate insects travels through the food chain and alters humans at the genetic level and attacks people's immune systems. It's a roundabout method of killing people but maybe that is the point. When we traded control of the food we eat and serve our families we gave entities like Monsanto carte blanche (a blank check) control over what they can and will do to our food supplies, and thus control of our health and lives. Is it any wonder people are sicker now than they ever have been in centuries past?
It's not white bread and carbohydrates that are increasing the risk of diabetes or the fat in the food that is making people fatter. It is what companies like Monsanto are doing to the food. Fat doesn't make you fatter, but pumping growth hormones into genetically modified chickens, pigs, cows, and sheep will do the trick. The soil is so full of chemicals and has been leached of its nutritional content that the food grown from the soil has fewer nutrients because fewer nutrients are available for the seeds to grow in and genetically modified seeds have changed the stakes and scientists don't even know what those genetic modifications will do and have done to the nutritional value of the seeds and the food that is grown from those same seeds.
The flour that is sold in markets and grocery stores and made into buns and pancakes and sliced and packaged bread is lacking in the essential nutrients that bread and buns and pancakes should have -- and used to have in abundance -- and the result is damage to liver and pancreas and every part of the human body that should be nourished and instead is being damaged and broken down. It's no wonder there is a health crisis in the United States because the government and the FDA have allowed companies like Monsanto to meddle with our food crops and genetically modify the food to the point that the result is damage to the human body, its immune system, the brain, and every major (and minor) organ in the body.
Scientists cannot agree on what causes diabetes or how to avoid getting diabetes, but I can point the way.
Start with good, nutritious food without the convenience of packaging, chemicals, and genetic modifications. Buy organic foods, like flour, from a reputable grower and ask the grower what kinds of chemicals and fertilizers are used on the crops from seed to harvest. It will likely be more expensive, but the cost is negligible when compared to the cost of drugs and doctors when you get sick from the poisoned food you've been eating. Vote with your pocketbook and bring your friends and neighbors and family along. More people buying their food from reputable farmers and ranchers will hit the government and the corporations right where it will hurt the most -- profits.
Join the health nuts. Buy organic flour, natural sea salt (or kosher salt), natural yeast, and filter your own water. Buy a good osmosis system to filter your own water or invest in a high end filter for your faucet or a pitcher and plenty of cartridges to filter your own water. Forget buying bottled water because you cannot be sure what they're doing to the water or what they're putting into the water. If you don't have a well, invest in high end filtration systems. The rest is easy.
It all begins with bread. The staff of life. It is as simple as baking our own bread. First, we need to buy flour that is grown organically and naturally and without insecticides and additives and preservatives of any kind. Then we need to get the other ingredients to make bread: water, salt, yeast. That's all it takes. That and time. Of course, we will need to slice the bread and preserve the bread by wrapping it up against oxidation and staleness. That is easily done. Buy a bread box and use fresh and organic linens that have not had the chemicals applied to them to wrap up the bread. The rest is as easy as the four ingredients it takes to make bread. Time.
You can learn to make bread by using the no-knead method. Simply put, a few ounces of cold or warm water and the rest of the ingredients stirred together, covered, and set out on the counter overnight will mean fresh bread to bake in the morning. While you're taking your shower or bath or while you're getting out your clothes for work, you can put the bread in the oven for 40 minutes and end up with a fresh loaf of bread two slice for toast, for sandwiches, and just for buttering and adding honey or cinnamon or jam for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The bread will have to proof (rise) for 30 to 60 minutes before it goes in the oven but that is a small price to pay. After a while, you and your family will get used to the process and the fresh, wholesome food that will be the result. And it is food that will nourish you.
There are tools to make slicing bread easier and more uniform, there are tools to conveniently store your homemade bread, end there are infinite benefits and ingredients to use to help find the bread that you like, or that your family will like, to add to your daily meals. That's the first step to taking back control of your life and your food and your health. One small step along the pathway to taking back control and taking back your life.
Check out the books by Steve Gamelin, Artisan Bread with Steve, and find the kind of breads you can bake in your own kitchen. The whole artisan craze is about small bakeries, small restaurants, and small bistros where one person, or a few people working under one person, make food. Artisans are the artists creating something uniquely their own one at a time, not mass produced so the finished product can sit on the shelf for who knows how long and must be preserved in order to still be fresh when you buy it? Consider your kitchen the home of your own artisan creations, artisan meals. Your family and your health will show improvement with just this small change. You can also go to the Jennycancook.com website and find Jenny Jones's recipes for bread as well. You have options and you control which options you take advantage of. It doesn't take a lot of money to get started and you don't need a lot of fancy equipment, just use what you have. Bread can be baked free form on a sheet pan or in a loaf pan. There are lots of options. Find one that works for you. You're the one in control of everything -- except nature and nature can take care of herself.
Choose a no-knead bread recipe you like (try a few different recipes first) and begin baking your own bread. You'll get into the hang of it and find trading convenience for the convenience of home-baked bread full of nutrients and without additives and chemicals is better for your health -- and your well being. Be brave. Buy a mixer with a dough hook or roll up your sleeves and knead your own bread. There is no better stress reliever than a session of kneading your own dough for home-baked bread and kneading costs less than Xanax and Valium and all the drugs Big Pharma has put on the market.
Take back control by taking control of the bread. Bake whole wheat bread or try honey oatmeal with raw honey. Give pumpernickel and rye bread a try, and not just for pastrami. You can learn how to make your own pastrami the way women did less than 100 years ago, and you can control the amount of salt and herbs and spices you add. And it all begins by baking your own bread in your kitchen. There's also barley, spelt, semolina, and so many other grains and flours you can try. Even potato bread is better for you than the store bought kind you got for convenience. You can learn to make hamburger and hot dog buns, rolls, baguettes, pretzels, and every other kind of bread-based food you like and your family will thank you. Teach your kids how to bake bread and reward them with homemade cinnamon rolls or sticky bun. That is how kids learned to cook and bake when I was young. Kids love to help in the kitchen if you teach them when they're young. What better to spend time with your children where the end result is good food prepared by hand -- your hands and theirs.
While you're at it, teach them where their food comes from and how it is made. Let them get their hands dirty -- or doughy -- and have fun. I used to help my grandmother when she cooked and baked. I learned to make noodles from scratch and roll out dough for pies. I got to keep the scraps which I rolled out again and spread with jam, rolled up, and Gram baked it when she baked her pies. The pastry was a bit tough, but that's to be expected; it was leftover dough handled again which made it tougher, but I didn't care, nor did my brother and sisters. I helped make the jelly roll and it tasted like success. Teach your children how much is in their control and let them find out for themselves what goes into preparing a meal, or the dessert, what it takes to prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their thanks and smiles are memories they will cherish in and out of the kitchen. Be aware. Give up 15 minutes of vegging out or a couple of hours of TV or the few moments you saved stopping at McDonald's or the grocery store and take back control one food and one step at a time.
If someone is poisoned from your cooking -- or baking -- at least you'll know what poison you used and that it will be quick, of a bit painful, instead of the slow lingering death and cancer-causing insecticides, pesticides, and GMOs you've been buying that was passed off as food. The FDA just raised the acceptable level of glycophosphates in food sold to consumers -- sold to you -- to 1,394 ppm (parts per million) as countries in the European Union are banning glycophosphates completely and will accept no food or drink as safe for people if it has more than 1 ppm. Feel like a lab rat yet?
It's your choice. Take back control by changing your view and your life one food at a time. Bread is a great first start and I'll share more steps as we travel the road to change together. Did you know that not getting enough carbs and salt is all part of what is making you sick?
That is all. Disperse.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Published April 2015: Did you know the national debt was frozen? How about why it was frozen? Frozen national debt Maybe because there was no money in the kitty to pay US creditors, like China and Japan, both of which own the most US debt.
If you didn't know about the national debt freeze, I'll bet you don't know where the debt is now and how fast it is counting down your children and grandchildren's future. The US debt clock counting down August 2016
I will bet you didn't know that since 2012 the US debt was paused (frozen) because the Fed was out of money. Well, to be fair, the US Govt was out of money and the whole debacle was blamed on the GOP gumming up the works by refusing to pass any bills in the US House of Representatives. Obama said he was forced to sequester government spending because of the GOP's intransigence and Obama refused to work with them. Did you know you'd been lied to and that Obama's promiscuous spending and use of US taxpayer dollars continued without cease? Probably not. You either backed Obama's play or were refused admission and entrance to National Parks and National Monuments, like the World War II monument paid for by US citizens. Remember when US veterans were denied access to the monument US citizens paid for? I'll bet you didn't know the barricades went up within moments of the announcement from the White House or that liberal protesters were allowed to camp on the same public property guarded by the National Parks & Recreation department 2 weeks before the veterans were denied access. Well, after all, aren't liberal protesters so much more important than veterans who fought, died, and paid their dues to keep the Nazis from taking control of the world and defeat the Japanese after their sneak attack at Pearl Harbor. Who says you cannot fight and win a war fought on 2 fronts?
It was all yet another scam on the US citizens to cover up what was really going on -- the fleecing of the nation and the US taxpayers en masse. That means every United States citizen was told a lie and many people, not only those in the Obama Chorus, blamed the Republicans for causing the problem and for the US using its AAA credit status. It was lost the moment Obama took office in 2009, but you didn't know that. It was one of those "need to know" things and ordinary citizens, like the ones who pay taxes, did not need to know.
How does Obama look now? It's all right. Obama was nothing but a straw man, a paper fiction, a puppet for the global elite to prop up in the Oval Office to bring the United States to its knees so the American people would be ready to accept a Pan American Union like the European Union without too much fuss. The Global Elite tried the same thing a few years ago, about a decade ago now, to get rid of organic farming and organic supplements and health foods, but the outrage and kickback over that showed the Global Elite that they couldn't pull the wool over the eyes of watchful Americans unwilling to take Monsanto and its GMO crops lying down.
Not only did Americans vote in its first black president, but they did it twice without realizing that they had been fooled not once but twice. What is that old saying? Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Do you feel the shame yet?
If not, there's more shame to come as Obama contravenes the wishes of US citizens and bypass the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) by turning over control of the Internet to the UN and readies the ground to turn over control of the guns to the UN. Is the shame beginning to set in with the reality that Obama has fooled you again? Don't wait, it will come.
Voters elected a black president because they wanted to break the color barrier and they wanted to finally put the issue of a black president behind them. Obama spoke well (with a teleprompter, though he has gotten better over the past nearly 8 years of practice) and he looked nice. He did not rant and rave -- all the time -- and his policies, except for the promiscuous use of the Executive Pen, have not been too onerous. Just like that frog sitting in the slowly heating pot of cold water that doesn't jump out in time to save his life, those still drinking the Obama Kool-Aid are sucking down the punchy goodness while the water temperature creeps toward boiling, and will die before they can jump out of the boiling pot.
As November 2016 nears, many voters are poised to vote for Hillary Clinton because it would be nice to have a woman president for a change and they want to be part of the first woman president historical footnote. The voters will be the footnote if Hillary wins and voting for Donald Trump, for all of his bombastic display and foot in the mouth rhetoric, is a vote for the status quo. Trump needs money to build his skyscrapers, universities, and casinos and must get a lot of angel investors or kowtow to the banks. I like his promise not to take a salary if elected, but that is not enough for me because it sounds too much like Obama's vacations and golf trips paid for with taxpayer dollars, and like Trump won't be around the Oval Office much after he gets the big chair behind the big desk. Granted, Trump might return Winston Churchill's bust to the Oval Office, but once again, not enough for me to vote for the political clown act.
Voting for someone because of their color or because of their gender is still racist and prejudiced because the choice is not based on logic or carefully weighing the options of candidates running. If we take racism and prejudice out of the equation, the only true choices are obvious. Start a revolution. Take the power out of the hands of the Global Elite and the puppets for the Global Elite and take a good hard look at the real choices from the Green Party and the Libertarian Party. Check out Dr. Jill Stein and Gov. Gary Johnson and thwart the plans for global domination by the Global Elite and their lackeys. Make a real choice this election.
If you want to make a PC choice, Dr. Stein's running mate is a black man, Ajamu Baraka. You can still vote for a black man near the Commander-in-Chief's seat and the heir apparent if the first woman is voted in as President. That's a two for one America can actually live with. Happy now?
That is all. Disperse.
Thursday, August 25, 2016
Maybe I'm in a mood or maybe I'm tired of the usual political ME, ME, ME and blaming and name calling and everything that passes for honest electioneering. Was there ever a bigger oxymoron than honest electioneering?
When I was a little girl I dreamt of growing up to be many things. First and foremost was a writer and I began there and then when the inspiration struck, writing about a young girl about my age who got lost in the rain forests of Central and Southern America and stumbling upon a lost city. Not surprising since I was enthralled by Edgar Rice Burroughs tales of lost civilizations and ordinary men and women conquering their own physical short comings to become familiar with their new home far from the world and the routines they had taken so for granted. I read dozens of books about modern men and women washed ashore at the fringes of lost civilizations hidden for centuries going on about life without the knowledge of or even caring that there was a wider, more technologically advanced world beyond the confines of their jungles. Tattered, bruised, and often starving, the lost hero/ine overcame all obstacles to become one with their new lives.
And then there were the books about the real histories (imagined of course) about cavemen and cavewomen that did not involve being dragged to a remote hideaway to be raped or brutalized, but were about how our less evolved ancestors progressed from fire-hardened spears to better quality spears and then to bows and arrows. Animals were hunted and killed to be preserved for winter and eaten before the blood dried between forays hunting berries, vegetables, and fruits and catching fish for storage, eating, and trade with other groups.
Then I received a coloring book about the history of ballet that set me dreaming about dancing en pointe to the music I heard every day (my parents liked classical and Broadway music) and I danced for myself between bouts of tree climbing and foraging for guavas and coconuts among the trees that ringed our base housing close to the edge of the dark and mysterious jungles. I tramped the jungles, swung from tree to tree on ropes, climbed trees for sun-warmed lines as big as my dad's fist, and explored the base from our home past the special forces training ranges to the base pool or the movie theater and back again every day, chasing armadillos and hunting iguanas and coatimundis among the shadows, stopping on to pick and eat the abundant fruit just out of sight of home. Bananas, star apples, papayas, and exotic fruit I'd never seen or known about comprised a good part of my diet when out and about exploring. Every day brought some new revelation or experience that fed my yearning for exploration and nourished my need to know more, always more.
My yearning to know more, to experience more, and to live as wildly as possible while still a child left very few barriers to feed my curiosity and I embraced everything the world had to offer. My mother, tired of my constant questions of why and how, told me to look it up for myself and I looked up everything . . . even the things I heard but no one would take the time to explain. The world was my classroom and I enjoyed every moment of it, believing there were no taboo subjects -- at least not taboo enough for me to explore the moment I got out of sight of my parents. Considering the way children grow up nowadays, mine was a wild upbringing where I knew the limits of my universe only until I could find a way to get past the usual barriers and hurdles and keep exploring. No subject was too difficult and no book forbidden me because I could read.
There was The Graduate that Mom hid until I liberated the book from her bookcase, swapped dust jackets with a more innocuous Frank G. Slaughter novel of Australia, and read anyway, hiding it between the toilet tank and the wall in the bathroom. That was when I was a teenager and avidly curious about why the book was too old for me. I found The Graduate all right, but was somewhat disappointed that there wasn't something more dangerous or exciting about it. I swapped the dust jackets back and read Frank G. Slaughter's novel anyway; it turned out to be far more interesting.
In spite of the restrictions placed on me in most areas, like not being allowed to date until I actually turned 16, I felt no restrictions on my explorations into every subject that caught my eye, fascinated by flying planes, trekking through the wilderness, delving into science, astronomy, and history -- always history. I read everything on a subject until I could find nothing new, believing what I read until I discovered another perspective and another voice that offered a different view of the same subject. I do the same thing now at 61 that I did at 6 and 16 and 26 and every age in between, reading all points of view and making up my own mind about truth -- my truth, not what passes for truth in the mainstream world.
But I am somewhat inflexible, believing when attacked from all sides by the establishment and the accepted way of things, standing up to criticism and denigration and being called names. Being called names failed to phase me after being verbally abused in my own home and called a liar when I stood up to oppression, abuse, and denigration, sticking out my chin, biting my lip, and facing my opponents down with whatever I had found to support my claims, and cursing myself for not having a tape recorder to hide in my pocket to prove what I said. In that regard, I was born too early, and yet still I stood up and faced down the abuse no matter where it came from.
I had an easier time in the world outside the microcosm of my parents' home, finding like-minded individuals who were willing to listen and to debate the finer points until one or the other of us was converted or agreed to disagree.
I had far larger aspirations beyond being a ballerina, writer, archaeologist, paleontologist, and pilot. I wanted to be the first woman to race at Indy and to be the first woman on the Supreme Court. I even thought of being a lawyer so I could be a judge and work my way onto the Supreme Court, but my dreams of college were shattered and set aside for life and biology to grab me, shake me, humble me, and cow me into submission . . . for a while. And still I dreamed.
I dreamed of being President of the United States and thought I had made a good start when at 15 I worked on my first political campaign. To my parents it was nothing more important than when I drew and painted and practiced the piano, just another phase to get through. I'd grow out of it when I realized that I would never get anywhere because I was born a girl. That point was driven home every single day of my life as I watched my brother, 5 years my junior, do what I wanted to do and was denied for lack of a Y chromosome. And he got to do it at a younger age. Everything I won or was awarded was filtered through the mesh of being a girl. And a nice girl at that. Nice girls don't . . . and the list was endless.
Many times through the years I have dreamed of being President, the first female President, but that is not why I have opposed Hillary Rodham Clinton. She was not a factor, not then and not now. I still dream of being President in spite of my lack of political clout and experience in the Beltway scene and the shadows of being inside the Beltway where honesty and integrity, honor and service to the people is for sale in the White House and in the hallowed (to me) halls of Congress. I have more experience than Daniel Boone or George Washington, though less than they in skinning a bear or commanding troops in a war. I have lived in a war zone and slept with armed soldiers in my bedroom night after night while snipers kept their sights trained on our base home during the Panamanian riots, and rode to school at Coco Solo naval base with armed soldiers on the bus to protect us in transit to and from school and kept watched, rifles at the ready while we studied cursive writing, math, and science. I know a lot more about the Panamanian riots now than I did as a child of 8 years old, but that is to be expected since I was paying attention and kept reading and questioning and digesting the information I discovered.
I am of the people because I am one of the people, one of the US citizens who has voted in many elections since I was 18 years old, and I have hotly debated my views and changed my views as I learned more and experienced more.
For instance, I have changed my position on illegal immigration because I was friends with an illegal immigrant I liked very much. I learned his story and went with him when it was learned he was an illegal immigrant a few days after he got promoted at work. He was a hard worker and had earned the promotion, but he had not earned US citizenship. He had been deported once and had traveled back to see his middle class Mexican family and his brother who worked for the President of Mexico a couple of times after flying back across the border on a plane with the full knowledge of his brother and the President of Mexico who both wished him well. He explained how he was able to get a drivers license and social security card and I saw the letter the Social Security Bureau sent him after it was discovered he was an illegal immigrant with his brand new valid social security card inside along with the admonition to use the valid card and not the fake number he had been using for more than 10 years.
I went with him to see an immigration lawyer in Denver to find out what options he had and if it would help if I married him to give him legal status as the spouse of a US citizen. What she told us opened my eyes to a lot of things, including how to cheat the system. After all, he was my friend and deserved to be treated better than anyone else who stole across -- or under -- the border in the dead of night to live in America and take their share of the American dream.
I was wrong. As much as my heart ached for Luis and the trouble ahead of him because he chose to come to the US illegally, not one, but twice, I finally understood why his girlfriend's father would not sanction their marriage. His girlfriend was born in America and her parents came to the US legally and became American citizens. They saw Luis as a criminal who had stolen what he and his family earned by their hard work, determination, and belief in the law.
I know how it tears at the hearts of good people, citizens of the United States, who grieve for the families of illegal immigrants who are found out and threatened with deportation to their native countries because they broke the law. How do they leave their homes or their children or the lives they have built over the years? Their children were born in the United States, they are American citizens with all the rights and privileges of their citizenship. Why should they give up their dreams and all they worked for just because they broke the law?
That is the point. They broke the law. We're not talking about Jean Valjean or the French Revolution here or about the gendarme who relentlessly pursued Valjean after Valjean had built a respectable life with the silver and gold he stole from a church after he broke out of jail. The tale is heart warming and makes me feel good, but the bottom line is that Jean Valjean not only broke the law, broke out of prison, and broke into a church to steal everything of worth because he wanted to get away free and clear. He broke the law. He broke several laws. He was hungry, on the run, and would've killed the priest when it came down to it (although he never murdered the priest), but the priest forgave him his sin against the Roman Catholic Church and let him keep his stolen property. Jean Valjean took the stolen items and build a business, employing many people, and helped those in need. He tried to atone for his sins to the priest and the Church, but he continued to run from the police and the law because he knew he would get no forgiveness or reprieve from the law because the law is blind.
I feel sadness for Inspector Javert, not because he was in the wrong and unable to reconcile his human nature with his belief in and adherence to the law, but also because in the end he kills himself because he cannot separate his heart from his head, his integrity and the strength of his convictions that the law is made to be obeyed.
That is the real problem of illegal immigration. It isn't as if we can take one person out of the 11 million illegal immigrants or one child whose mother stole across the border to give birth to her child in the United States so that she could go back to her family across the border secure in the knowledge that her newborn child would be the benefactor, the savior of the whole family because that child is by law guaranteed to get welfare and food stamps and medical care because she was born on the right side of the border. Even if the child never lives in America, she will still get the money and the benefits of having been born in America. And that is what matters.
We cannot choose one person or one family and ignore the millions of people and families and children streaming across our borders and simply forgive them for ignoring our laws and flouting our government because forgiving one means forgiving a family and a group and eventually all 11 million illegal immigrants simply because they have, through laziness or negligence or the breakdown of government, gotten away with their crimes.
If I saw a hungry child, man, or woman about to steal food from a neighborhood store to eat, I wouldn't turn them in or call for a police officer. I would stop them from stealing and buy them a bag of groceries, talk to them and find out how else I can help, and even give them a job and a warm place to sleep in exchange for work if they're willing. But I would not condone the theft. I know what it is to go hungry, to have no good options that would take more time than I have, and have gone hungry numerous times because the only option I thought left to me was steal or starve. I starved rather than steal, but the line between stealing and hunger gets blurrier when the object of the theft is a faceless, blind corporation that will only write off the theft on their taxes and the taxes I pay will probably go back to them anyway. That's what happens when we stray from the law and quibble with the facts and reality of the law. We think it's all right if . . . .
What moves my heart in a novel is not what works in the real world no matter what excuses and justifications I use. In the end, it comes down to the law. If we break the law, we are punished. It's a simple equation. No matter how we twist and turn and wrestle with the conscience, remind ourselves that just this one person, this one family, this one time we turn a blind eye it will be all right, all we do is open the door to the flood of one more times, one more family, one more person wanting to take advantage of the precedent we just set and they will beat us over the head with it. What is a good idea, a good policy, becomes the weapon that will gut our laws, our integrity, our honesty, and our resolve and we cannot afford to abandon our principles, our laws, The Law or we will suffer the consequences.
We see the fact of what breaking the law does every day as the government, especially the left wing Democrats, ignore the law and seek to legitimize people willing to break the law and steal from US citizens and destroy the law of the land to allow these criminals to rape and pillage, murder, maim, and abuse this country and the government while granting them the privilege of voting in every election, even to the point of holding public office, in order to salve their consciences and prove they are compassionate. How compassionate is it that allowing illegal immigrants the rights of US citizens defrauds the country, its people, and our government? Whether or not they have children born in the US that have grown up in this country, those children will eventually find out that their parents lied to them and to the government and everyone they came in contact with and those children will realize they have the option of following their parents' example or the rules and laws their parents laid down for them. What a tangled web indeed.
Yes, I supported Luis's struggle to stay in the US and take advantage of the hard work he had done that landed him a management position and I stood by him as we tried to find a legal way for him to stay in this country. Rather puts the issue of marriage being between a man and a woman as a sacred bond to the question. I cared for Luis, but I did not love him. He was in love with another who could not and would not marry him because he was an illegal immigrant. Had anyone asked me then, I would have marched with the illegal aliens to fight for amnesty, but 12, almost 13 years later, I would not fight for their amnesty because they broke the law and continue to break the law every day they continue to live in this country illegally. If I have learned anything about this presidential campaign it is that the law is the law for everyone, not just for the people we know and like -- or love. Break the law and accept the consequences of your actions.
Either the law is the same for everyone or it is not and we can make up the rules as we go along. At some point, we have to stop and see the world as it is. We cannot perjure ourselves and then cover our backsides by asking what the definition of IS is in order to justify heinous actions. We are either honest or we are not. That is the whole point. The law is the law or it is not. We either enforce the law or the law is water and able to fit in whatever vessel holds it. It remains water, but water is not the law.
While I applaud Victor Hugo's writing ability and his story of Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert, Hugo was fundamentally wrong. No matter how much good he did, Jean Valjean built his life on shifting sands with the tide coming in. Everything Valjean built was a fantasy, a lie born of crime. Like Jean Valjean, every illegal immigrant builds their lives on lies and the fantasy that doing good and contributing to the community while stealing from the citizens of their community and the country does not wash away or justify the original crime of entering the United States illegally or the subsequent crimes of stealing from taxpayers every time they cash a welfare check for a child born legally in the US and use food stamps to buy their food. They have stolen every US citizen's hard work and taxes and steal every citizen's rights when they run for office, vote in elections, and demonstrate against the laws of the land to force the government to postpone deportation and give them amnesty for the sake of their families and their children based on lies and a laundry list of crimes they continue to commit in the name of pity and compassion and it must come to an end. Jean Valjean's life would have been better off, as would his adopted daughter, Cosette, and her mother, Fantine, if he had only confessed his crimes and paid his debt to society. He would also have saved Inspector Javert's life by acknowledging and accepting the punishment for his crime.
I do not believe it is right to break the law, or your parents' rules, and say you're sorry when the only thing you're sorry about is that you didn't get away with it. It's better to admit your guilt, accept your punishment, and work within the system to lessen your sentence.
That does not mean it is all right to rape a country -- or a girl -- and get off without paying for your crime because it would ruin your life. Look at the lives ruined by your crimes and how much damage you do by ignoring and breaking the law. Compassion has nothing to do with upholding the law and everything to do with showing compassion for your fellow wo/man. You show no compassion when you break the law and do harm to others and should expect no compassion when you are caught breaking the law.
That is all. Disperse.