Another Book Published …

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The book has been released from the Amazon exclusivity period and now I have published it on Smashwords. I am not sure why, maybe the small fish/huge pond thing, but I hardly ever sell a book on Amazon but often sell the same book on Smashwords.

In any case, if you are interested, it is now being published on Smashwords.

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Here I Present A Couple of Politically Incorrect Items …

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Columbus Day. By now every school child knows that Christopher Columbus not only did not discover America, he didn’t even discover the North American continent. And he was not a nice guy. So why do we continue to have a holiday set aside for him?

As far as I can tell, the only beneficiaries are government employees. They get the day off, as do public schools. I have heard (but do not know it of my own knowledge) that Americans of Italian heritage like it, that they are proud of CC and would lobby to keep him as the false but honored discoverer of America. If that is true, it is another case of alternative facts being tossed into the public forum. Why don’t we get rid of it, or rename it “Explorer Day” so the dead people that really found America (some people from Asia found it well before even Leif Ericson) can get some attaboys.

My second point is World War II. You all may recall how the Germans started WWII in about 1939, ultimately pulling in most of the world in the deadliest war so far. And some of you know that World War I preceded it by only thirty years or so. After Germany was defeated soundly in WWI, the winners whacked them across the knuckles in the Treaty of Versailles.  France and Britain took away land, made them only have a small military and charged them a shitload of money. It was no time at all before the Germans started chafing under this load and started Hitler on his way up to create WWII.

You ask yourself, “Why did we let this second war happen?” We had the Germans on their back. But we let them up. If we had wiped them out, there would have been no WWII, no millions of dead, no Holocaust. No Nazis. I know it is impolite to say it, but if the Allies had squashed them like bugs, WWII would have never happened.

My point is that a conquered people that are made irrelevant by absorption or elimination do not start another war. The American settlers land greed almost did it to our Native Americans. There have been no more Indian Wars.  Looking back on it, would the prevention of WWII have been justification for eliminating a whole people? How about dropping the A-bombs on Japan to end WWII? It killed a bunch but, according to some historians, saved a bunch more by making it so the Allies did not have to invade the Japanese home islands, which would have resulted in many more Japanese and Allied dead than the bombs killed.

You can decide for yourself about these things. There is not much we can do about preventing WWII but we can, if we want to, do something about Columbus Day. It doesn’t matter to me. I am retired so a holiday means nothing to me except no junk mail.

What ‘Drain The Swamp’ Means

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When Trump was running he said he would ‘Drain the Swamp’, probably meaning that he would get rid of the corruption and swill that Washington has become in the past forty years. An admirable goal, one that everyone could get behind. And a lot of people believed him, because no TV shuckster would lie to you … would he?

Now, he has shown us what he meant. He just brought in his own reptiles. Tom Price (who could be the stunt double for Ned Flanders) is just the latest erupting pimple.  The Cabinet is filled top to bottom with shady characters sucking at the government teat. Remember, that teat is you: the US government has no money: they take it from you and spend it wisely on what needs to be done for the Country. Like making sure Tom gets to his lunch with his son in luxury. Bucking Fozo’s.

Strap in tight, boys and girl’s. We’re in for a hard ride.

Here are a Couple of Thoughts, in the Vein of ‘Other Stuff’

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Thought one: I see social media postings and various talking heads on TV asking for ‘prayers’ for the soon-to-be-hurricane battered Florida. My question is why did God aim this at Florida if He didn’t want it hit?  The Word On The Street is that He is omnipotent, and therefore He must be able to control the weather. That implies that He wanted Florida hit. Would these prayers not being going against His Will?

Thought two: Equifax, one of the giant credit bureau outfits, found that crooks had hacked in and stolen the private information of a bunch of people. They found this out at the end of July, but for reasons they refuse to divulge, only made it public now.

This break-in provided crooks with credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other private information. They said there were 143 million ‘customers’ that were affected.

In the first place, we are not customers of Equifax: we are product. They did not ask our permission to gather this information, nor ask if they could sell it to anyone that comes along, nor pay us anything for the use of our private data.

And if they had not accumulated our information to sell, it would not have been conveniently sitting there waiting to be stolen. So let’s call a Clown a Clown.

New Book Published!

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So I have published my eighteenth book (I think, it’s hard to keep up when you are having Fun. Hahahahah) and it is available in ebook format at Smashwords and Amazon and in paperback at Amazon. I advise you to buy it and read it, maybe tell a Hollywood movie producer you want to see it made into a blockbuster along with all my other books.

In any case, enjoy it if you can.

American Royalty

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I happened to be watching TV news this morning, a rare event. I try to avoid all of it and get my news from trusted sources like Snopes, the NYT and Consumer Reports. But this morning I saw an event that drove home why Washington is in such a mess.

The Vice President is going to Houston to View The Remains, show the flag, make the voters know where the welfare money that will be pouring in is coming from. He was treated like royalty. Flown in on a private military helicopter with an armed military escort and a flock of dignitaries waiting to fawn at his feet. He descended from His Helicopter to salutes, handshakes, and hugs.

Then he boarded a private jumbo jet to be flown in luxury to Texas. Where he will no doubt be met by another contingent of forelock tugging lackeys.

And you wonder why those assholes will never leave office voluntarily. They need term limits. After they get a taste of how sweet it is, and being treated like this, they will never give it up and go back to being common citizens crammed into overpacked airplanes, having to drive to an airport like a peon.

This is not a Republican/Democrat issue nor a conservative/liberal one. This happens in every administration. How and when did we get to treat these civil service workers, these employees of ours, with such deference? Do they deserve it? Are they special people? Not hardly. They are plain old politicians. No more, no less.

Two Sides? Ha!

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There are not two sides to every issue.

Just because you believe something, or have a feeling that it’s true, or even wish it were true, does not make it so. Much of the current disagreement about matters like climate change, vaccine safety, and other scientific positions are specious. There are not two legitimate ‘sides’ to the issues.

The problem arises from two sources.

  1. The news media presents an opposing view to every subject. That gives the loony side a legitimacy that it simply does not have. And they never question the most asinine statements by their guests.
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    The Internet and social media give everyone a voice. So, if you can write it, it must be valid. And important.

The news media has a responsibility to provide factual information. But in an effort to be ‘fair and balanced’ they often get some tinfoil hat wearer just to have an opposing viewpoint. That did not happen in the past when news was separate from entertainment, and it would not happen now if TV had any integrity. But they want to sell ads, and that means as many eyes as possible. Telling the truth would lose some viewers.

Also, Facebook and it’s ilk have provided a forum for everyone to spout whatever brand of craziness they have in their little heads. No filtering. And no fact checking. Anyone can claim (and often do) that vaccines kill thousands every year, or that the planet is actually getting colder: I know because my cat froze. None of these things could stand up to peer review or any scientific methodology at all. But people say them, and they get read by other loonies, and so become the alternative facts of tomorrow.

I say again, folks: always check for yourself if something is true before you go posting it or believing it. I recall a woman, a friend of a friend on Facebook, that posted a story about a goddam 134-foot snake. The simplest fact checking would have shown that such a beast is not possible, and that the story was taken from some tenth-graders project using toy tanks, soldiers, and a real snake carcass. How stupid do you have to be to just blindly post something without checking it out? That woman has been blocked from me ever seeing anything of hers.

There is a place in society for legitimate disagreement on some issues. Subjects like abortion, gun control, politics, and religion have people on both sides with deeply held beliefs and they can usually muster up some actual facts to support their positions. But these are not scientific matters: they are emotional and depend on each individuals ethics, morals, religious views, and social factors such as age, income, and education. These issues do not lend themselves to scientific dissection and study.

So if someone tells you something, or you read something, or you see something that does not make sense, check it out before accepting it. Healthy skepticism is the Word. Or maybe the Bird is the Word.