Sunday, October 28, 2012

Why, yes I am.

Let's talk about the elephant in the room.

I am not a Republican. They are a bunch of sell-outs and hypocrites.

I am not a Democrat. They seem to believe that government programs are the only fix for any problem.

I'm not a Libertarian. I don't fit into their little box of anarchy.

I'm definitely not a socialist or communist. Socialists haven't met a totalitarian government they don't like, and both socialism and communism murder individual effort through their confiscatory tax programs and punishments for those who choose to excel.

Only a fool votes a straight ticket. I know Dems with whom I agree more than their counterparts, and I throw my pitiful little one vote behind them to the best of my ability. I can safely call myself a non-aligned conservative. Hear me out one time, and I'll tell you why.

I believe in the power of the individual in a free market economic system that rewards those who work harder or create goods and services that meet a demand. Yes, Mr. President, those small business people did build that. They created their own opportunities, picked themselves up by the bootstraps in most cases, pushed harder than their peers, and did what it took to make their businesses or ventures successful.

I think most unions are the bane of a free economy through their favoritism based on seniority rather than performance, and their determination to create and foster conflict between labor and management. Line factory work isn't a career. It's a stepping stone to something better. Union interference creates a culture that rewards mediocrity.

I believe life begins at conception, and renaming something in court for the sake of insulating oneself from consequences of one's actions is a crime of the highest order. They call them "Fetal tissue masses." "Fetus" is Latin. In context, it means "Offspring" or "Brood." That seems like another word for "Child" to me. Taking that life, terminating a pregnancy, should not be a legal matter, but a medical one, established to prevent the imminent death of the mother. It's a serious matter, the taking of a life. It needs to be taken more seriously than an idle "choice" based on convenience or some arbitrary, inconsistent standard.

I believe that our government has become too overbearing and burdensome, and if our founding fathers saw what our federal level has become, they would declare another revolution. Over-regulation handcuffs fairness by applying the same standards to small business as large business. Our government taxes business at such a punitive rate, it forces companies to leave the country, and then punishes them for doing so. The federal government forced banks to make risky loans in the '90's that resulted in the Freddy Mac/Fannie Mae collapses, and then they blamed the banks for the collapse. Government attacked those who bought RV's, and when they stopped buying RV's, those who made RV's lost their jobs because nobody bought them anymore. Then the Government moaned and howled about the employment crisis they themselves created (anyone remember Elkhart, Indiana?).

I do remember Henry David Thoreau's famous quote: "That government is best which governs least."
Our own constitution lays out the responsibilities of government:
1.) Establish Justice (Provide a legal system for civil and criminal justice and police to enforce laws)
2.) Insure Domestic tranquility (keep the peace)
3.) Provide for the common defense (set up our military to protect us from outside invaders)
4.) Promote the general welfare (Create a fair and even playing field so anyone who wants to can better themselves).
5.) Secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

Liberty means the freedom to choose our own destinies. Ben Franklin said, "He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security." Does this mean no one should be responsible for those who cannot provide for themselves or have fallen on hard times? God forbid! But there's a big difference between a hand up and a handout. And our government seems to specialize in handouts, especially those with strings attached. There are hundreds of private organizations who could manage assistance programs a thousand times more efficiently that our government, but they are handcuffed by regulations to the point of strangulation.

I believe a person's relationship with their God is theirs, whether I agree with them or not. But when someone's religious beliefs include harming me or my family, or anyone within the borders of my country, I have the right and responsibility to defend my family and countrymen to my last breath or bullet if need be.

I believe a military organization needs to set its own rules on engagement. The job of the military is to kill people and break things. It's a hell of a job, but someone has to do it. We need to let the military be military, not handcuff them with rules of engagement that result in more of our boys and girls coming home in body bags. When the military is given a job, they need the freedom to do it.

You might not agree. That's fine. We can disagree and still be friends. That's what makes America the greatest nation on the planet. We still have a semblance of liberty left, and I for one do not intend to let it go the way of the dodo.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Propaganda 101: A further discussion

Okay, we've briefly discussed the dirty tricks played on us by the propaganda machine. That's especially important when one realizes a critical election is just around the corner.

Hopefully, we've also seen the dirty tricks pulled by various media outlets over the years to steer their own agendas or candidates to successful positions.

On Gun Control (Big issue for both sides): How much of the propaganda machine allows stories about homeowners or business owners who successfully and properly used their weapons in defense of their lives or property? Seriously, ask yourself when the last story of such a type was broadcast, or printed. Oh, but that's not news, they say. The more sensational story is the man who lost his head and shot an unarmed boy (An unarmed man can still pose a threat to life. Just ask Chuck Norris or Jackie Chan). Hm. I thoiught the press was supposed to be unbiased and balanced.

Abortion: When was the last time you heard any positive coverage of a person who stood for the concept of like at conception? What news story can you point to where they weren't branded as "anti-choice" as opposed to "Pro-life?" (Remember those sticky "Anti" and "Pro" labels?)

Taxes: "Their Fair Share" seems to be the battle cry of a certain party. It's been taken up en masse by newspapers, television and radio outlets all over the country. Let's look at the truth behind that. Look at your 1040 form from last year. The last two years. The last three years. Look at Block 2, Federal Income Tax Withheld. Now, look at the amount of your refund. If the amount of your refund was equal to or greater than the amount of federal income tax withheld, guess how much income tax you paid? Quite a few of you would find out the government actually paid you, after your deductions and credits.

Even if Mitt Romney paid only 14% of his income in taxes (admitted by everyone on TV, mind you), and that still amounted to some several millions of dollars, how many of you can say you paid 14%? How many paid even One Million dollars?

The National TaxPayer's Union obtained this information from the IRS for 2009:

Percentiles Ranked by AGI
AGI Threshold on Percentiles
Percentage of Federal Personal Income Tax Paid
Top 1%
Top 5%
Top 10%
Top 25%
Top 50%
Bottom 50%
Note: AGI is Adjusted Gross Income
Source: Internal Revenue Service

 I apologize for not having more recent data. But rest assured, the current administration fought for higher rates for those top earners. What then is really "Their Fair Share?" Seems to me the higher earners are paying much more than a fair share. Who dictates who "has earned enough, and must now share their good fortune?"

 Job Creation: Now, if I may ask: Who of you has ever been hired by a poor man? A poor man can create a job for him,self, if he applies his efforts and talents to make his life better for him and his family. For instance, taking a second job as a writer, or a weekend musician. Buying and selling on eBay. But I've never been hired by a poor man. And  government can only create government jobs.

It seems to me our government has a lot of things screwed up, and they have been using their pawns in the media to drag us along by our noses, to create the emotional response that most favors transferring more and more of our liberty to the government. We expect them to house us, to feed us, to clothe us through their many assistance programs, all the while expecting "The rich" to pay for it all. Then, after "the rich" have been bled dry, we only are left with a country of poor people.

Is that what you really want?

I will be so bold as to make a prediction this year: If Barack Obama loses the election, there will be demands for recounts, just like the 2000 elections. Hanging chads and pregnant chads are no longer the issue. But there will be debates about who is too stupid to know how to draw a line between points of an arrow. There will demonstrations, and I predict there will be accusations of voter fraud and intimidation. Ultimately, there will be a lawsuit. For a new demon has crept from the filthy corners of Pandora's Box. And we are now powerless to prevent it being turned loose once more.

Now, all the questions I've asked above are honest questions. Answer them for yourself, and don't let your current stance on any issue blind you to facts. You don't have to agree with me. But if you do disagree, make a substantive and supported point, and please leave the hate speech at home. Comments posted by Anonymous or Unknown will be deleted without review. If you want to take me to task, do it like a human and stand up. If I'm wrong, facts will prove me so.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sneak Peek: Tempus Fugitive


Huge breath here. The NADIA Project is now complete. Okay, aside from beta reads and edits, anyway. Critical Mass  is in the capable if demanding hands of mt line editor. Lies and Paine, my free novella, previews coming!) is out to mt betas right now, getting chewed thoroughly before I unleash it on my unsuspecting publisher.

But for all intents and purposes, it's done. Nadia, Jon, Bunny, Jenna, and all the special friends I've tortured and immiserated since 2007, are now tucked safely away in their fates.

And I'm having a case of Empty Nest Syndrome like you wouldn't believe. Oh, I do have projects lined up, fear not. As a matter of fact, I'm positing a preview of my new current work this week (We'll get to that in a bit). But I still have an empty place where the guys used to gather around Irving's table and have conversations about taking down The Pinnacle.

Getting started on the new project is half the fight. I already had a good start on it, but when Nadia sold, it came to a screeching halt while I finished that series. So now we're back to a hard sci-fi story called Tempus Fugitive. The title I took as a play on words, and I'll let the first chapter here speak for itself. Feel free to let me know what you think. I believe it will shift me into new territory quite nicely.

Let me introduce you to Simon Crocker:

Tempus Fugitive
Chapter One

Some people need killing. I hear that's a valid legal defense in some states. And I say, the best defense is a good offense.
Now, before you label me a cold-blooded murderer, hear me out: Let's say you have a neighbor down the street, a real piece of work. He threatens everybody's kids, breaks into your houses and makes himself an all-around jerk. Then the kids start disappearing. The police come out, but can't find any clues. No one seems willing to do anything about it. But you know this guy is taking the kids from the neighborhood. Comes a time, you need to weigh the cost of taking the bull by the horns and saving your kids against the possible consequences to yourself. You have to stop that bastard before another child loses their life to him.
I can already hear the cries of objection, the calls for justice under the law and a court conviction. And I'll tell you, the court isn't always the best arena for handling these animals. Give a guy a slick enough lawyer, and he'll walk. The best a victim's family can hope for is containment in some psychiatric facility where that same family's tax dollars pay for three hots, a pot and a cot for the rest of this man's long, easy life. If he doesn't escape. If he doesn't fool his doctors into thinking he's healed and wangle himself an early-out. If he doesn't sit tight, serve his time, get a release and start all over again in another neighborhood. This is justice?
Now, let me throw another wrinkle at you: What if you could look back through history and see these unfixable animals? Pinpoint each one? What if you could go back and pop Ted Bundy before he made his first kill? Albert Fish? Charles Manson? What if you could go back and take care of it?
I can. Me, Simon Crocker. I didn't invent the time machine; that was Doc Friezen's baby. I just use it to put sick animals out of the world's misery.
Animals like Porter Killian III.
You might not have heard of Porter Killian III. If you have, you’re in the time stream where I didn’t rail him. I remember him because I was outside the stream when I did him.
He was born to an affluent East-Coast family who had more money than brains. If they'd used either of the two brain cells that managed to filter down through that branchless family tree, they would have drowned him at birth and had done with it. But they raised him, taught him the finer points of a life of privilege, and bailed him out every time he put his foot in it. So the concept of consequences never occurred to him.
Not even when girls started to disappear from his ivy-league school.
It was 1945. He was in his junior year at Harvard when young Amanda Hibbert was found strangled and raped in the bushes outside her dorm. She was his first kill, but not his first rape. You've heard Amanda’s name, no matter what stream you’re in.
Seventeen girls disappeared by the time he finished his prerequisites for Harvard Law School. He was questioned three times, and arrested once. Each time, Porter Killian II (not Junior) stepped up with money and lawyers to rescue his son. Those who couldn't be bribed, were attacked in character and any other way to shame them into submission. No one tangled with the Killians and survived with their career, or their life, intact.
Porter Killian III graduated, ran for U.S. Senate, and served six terms before he retired. During his career, four Capitol staffers joined poor Amanda. He died a rich, twisted, old man.
But that's not the story you heard. Because I changed it.
I caught up with him the summer he graduated high school, right after he'd raped Cindy Lawton in the woods behind the football field. He looked right at me, and I saw him for the beast he was. Then I pulverized his skull with a burst from a rail pistol at close range.
Now, let's come back to Amanda Hibbert, who did not die: She funded six free clinics in the New York area, and five more in India. In addition, it was under her leadership that Hanson Pharmaceuticals perfected three new drugs that revolutionized treatment for epilepsy.
So why didn't I stop Porter Killian III from raping Cindy Lawton? Because if I did, she never would have opened the Lawton Centers, where rape victims of both genders and all ages receive comfort, counseling, and healing.
You have to time these things just right.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Propoganda 101: A willing Press

Hey, guys. Sorry about the lapse in posts. Life happens. I may take a week off once in a while, though, just to maintain my sanity. I'm sure you understand.

Anyway, in this election season, it's especially important to see how our press, including newspapers, television, radio and electronic press, really operate.

It has been said that a journalists' job is to chronicle the events of our time. In recent years, however, the [press has taken the role of a crusader more than a chronicler. When Chris Matthews gushed about having a thrill rush up his leg whenever anyone mentioned Barak Obama's name, it signaled the death of objective journalism in the United States.

But really, when you're already aware that you're not going to get the whole truth by FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, or anyone in particular (Don't even pretend to keep a straight face while you tell me how impartial NPR is), how do you know what IS the truth?

It's usually in what they DIDN'T say, more than what they did say.

Back in the '90's, the LA Times Book of Style banned the phrase "Pro-life." Here's why. The prefix terms "pro" and "Anti" have their own connotations. If someone is "Pro" anything, that puts their issue in a positive light right off the bat. If someone is "anti," they automatically attract a negative connotation.

So we don't have "Pro-choice" or "Pro-life" factions. Look at your newspaper, listen to the talking heads. You only get "Pro-choice" and "Anti-aborton" or "Anti-choice." That tells you right there what side of the issue they stand on. Journalism isn't supposed to be slanted. Somehow, our press is.

One of the all-time classic tactics is the smear campaign. Look what happens whenever someone mentions the name of Senator Joseph McCarthy. Wow, I saw that flinch you just made. Seriously. Joe McCarthy was a senator in the '50's who suggested that there were soviet agents in positions of power in the United States. Now, you're going to think of witch hunts and blackballed actors, and all kinds of horror stories about people going to jail or getting ruined because of Joe McCarthy. But think about this: Joseph McCarthey was a SENATOR. The House UnAmerican Activities Commission was supposedly his little gang of thugs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but according to our constitution, a senator would have nothing to do with a House Committee. That should stink to someone. But the press assassinated his character so thoroughly, his name is a byword even sixty years later. And a Soviet document captured years later named names of Soviet agents who were in positions high in our government. What was done with them? Mostly nothing. But that's another issue.

Here's something else to think about. Last week we were talking about polls. Look at this link (okay, don't just look at it. Click on the darned thing!)

What they are not telling you are what questions they asked the pollees or how the results were tabulated. Now, it's Zogby poll, which is supposed to be an indication of the integrity of the company. But the way it works is the company asks the questions they are hired to ask. It doesn't guarantee the pool will be impartial. It just guarantees the raw numbers will be accurate wiuthin a certain percentage.

Here's another one:

According to this, Hispanic people will be put through extreme hardship if the have to prove they're US citizens at voting polls. It may even make them not want to vote.

Excuse me? That's like putting up a headline that says, "World Ends Tomorrow: Women And Minorities Hardest Hit!" Why should any race be treated differently at the voting booth, unless there is a desire to allow non-citizens to vote? If the issue is money for a state ID or driver's license, then why doesn't the article mention poor white people as well? We see what they are saying. What aren't these people saying? Is what they are really saying, buried in what they aren't saying?

Back to advertising, the most blatant propaganda: There are ten words considered to be the most influential. They are:

1. New
2. Guaranteed
3. Proven
4. Results
5. Safety
6. Save
7. You
8. Now
9. Easy
10. Free

The press have their own list of influential words. They include:
1. "Anti" Being against anything makes you the bad guy, automatically.
2. "Pro" Being for something makes you the good guy.
3. "Fringe" puts one on the outside. All someone has to do is say it. Look what they did with the Tea Party (who claim no affiliation to any party, and boast members bot Republican and Democrat, along with a strong representation of Libertarians)
4. "Disenfranchised." It's the favorable word for "fringe." It's supposed to evoke pity and sympathy.

Here's a link to look at for the tools the press loves to use to influence us:

They think they have a ring in our noses, and when they pull on that ring, we're going to go. I say, start looking at the tools they use. When you see an attempt at influence rather than reporting, are you willing to question the report? Who's going to open up their eyes and see the agenda behind that talking head?