Tag Archives: GOP

Can Everyone Just Stop Talking, Please

There are times in my life when I feel so frustrated, so small, so unheard, so forgotten as a citizen that I want to stand on the tallest building I can find and just scream until someone pays attention to what I am saying. How are people, little people like me, heard in this country of Freedom of Speech, the right to arm bears (a much better choice, if you ask me–give those bears in Alaska a chance against Sarah Palin and her helicopters), the conservative right who literally make absolutely no sense. I don’t mean that they’re just illogical, the words that they string together to form sentences do not answer questions, they give no answers–they are a Möbius strip. I’m really not just saying this–look for this article on The New Civil Rights Movement’s web site: Sarah Palin: Atheists Are Suing Private Citizens Over Nativity Scenes ‘On Somebody’s Law.’

Why, I ask myself, do she and other people like her end up being heard? Because they’re stupid? I know I’m not the one with all the answers. I know I can’t solve all the problems. I know things can’t be fixed overnight. I used to want to work in International Relations when I was a kid, because I wanted to make the world a better place. I’m so glad I didn’t follow that path, because I would have ended up a disillusioned puddle of an adult. I don’t know what is wrong with the world. But today for the first time in a long time, because there’s a part of me that’s hardened to the daily horror that is the world, if one is paying attention–today I had to stop because I started to cry. I simply could not take any more. Any more illness. Any more famine. Any more war. Any more oppression. Any more GOPs smearing Nelson Mandela’s name and comparing the American national debt to apartheid. What? Any more of Syria, the Ukraine, Iraq, North Korea, Afghanistan, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, and whoever else I left out.

And the white elephant has turned into an animal of a different color, a giant brown bear.

I do not hate or hold grudges against any country for what happened in their past. If you do that, you end up like Israel and Palestine, or Ireland and Northern Ireland, fighting wars that have been going on for far too long. The point is that what happened has already happened. I am not religious, but nor do I believe the “sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons.” We have been told, over and over, that the point of history is to learn from the past. Well, we’re all doing a pretty damn poor job of it. We haven’t learned a blessed thing. People are more interested in political maneuvering, the next election–I speak for the US, the only country I have experience to speak on. The usual rounds of mudslinging and defamation. And hatred, true hatred, growing against the LGBT community within our love thy neighbor religious institutions, the lovely christian right.

When I was growing up in the 1970’s, I had nightmares about nuclear war, the utter and complete devastation of the world. It seems many of the writers of dystopian young adult fiction didn’t grow up under that shadow–many of them are half my age. Maybe that’s why dystopian, apocalyptic fiction doesn’t appeal to me; for me, growing up, that was a true possibility (not that it isn’t completely out of the question now, but it doesn’t hang over us everyday like fog). My nightmares are changing. And again, they emanate from the same source; the bear is up and busy these days, passing some terrifying laws, one in particular. In my nightmares, it’s as if there’s a curtain and we can’t be sure what really is going on in Russia. We know they run propaganda–oh, wait, news, every two hours with their head of telecommunications telling millions of Russian citizens that people who are gay have “unsuitable hearts for living.” It’s pretty clear what the implication is. Whatever the means, they should die. But he quickly added that he has gay friends. Not anymore, I would imagine. I think “Who needs enemies when you have friends like that,” applies here. I don’t believe the bulk of the Russian people feel this way. Again, it’s the loud, brash, I-can-talk-over-everyone-else people who run the show. Whoever runs the media holds the power. What are they doing? I ask myself. Is this just the beginning? What do they intend to do? I don’t want to look at their past. There’s a history of many, many people ending up dead. And this scares me. Very much.

And the timing, with the Olympics. There’s the rub. What to do about the Olympics. Have countries boycott them, and the athletes who have been training all this time not compete? But tell me–what is worth more; precious metal on a ribbon around your neck, or knowing that you have made a difference, you have made a mark far bigger than a name that goes into Wiki with what place you won. You have made a statement about not just humanity, but the fact what is happening is not moral, it is not ethical, and it should not be condoned. Right now no one is to talk to children about people who are gay–how long before they actually start disappearing so the children don’t see them either? That is my fear, that is my nightmare; the mere possibility that could happen to someone I love.

And out of the darkness there is a small bright light.  A political figurehead who supposedly has no power in the political system. President Joachim Gauck of Germany announced he will not be attending the Olympics in Sochi next year. A politician with a conscience. Are there any others? The goliath that is Coca-Cola folded under one of the seven deadly sins. What I would ask, if I could shout and yell until people listened, is will the politicians around the world make a stand and follow President Gauck’s example, or will they crumple?

And after that I would dearly appreciate it if someone would bring me a glass of water.

Sleep well.

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Plus ça change, plus c’est les mêmes.

2 Spies Beaten by Egyptian Soldiers

2 Spies Beaten by Egyptian Soldiers

Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan

Climbing Ninja

Climbing Ninja

jacquesdem

Sovereigns

Sovereigns

Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I

Spy report to Elizabeth I on Spain

Spy report to Elizabeth I on Spain

American Revolution Notes

American Revolution Notes

NSA Goes Too Far

NSA Goes Too Far

From Wikipedia, notes given below:

Events involving espionage are well documented throughout history. The ancient writings of Chinese and Indian military strategists such as Sun-Tzu and Chanakya contain information on deception and subversion. Chanakya’s student Chandragupta Maurya, founder of the Maurya Empire in India, made use of assassinations, spies and secret agents, which are described in Chanakya’s rastra. The ancient Egyptians had a thoroughly developed system for the acquisition of intelligence, and the Hebrews used spies as well, as in the story of Rahab. Spies were also prevalent in the Greek and Roman empires.[2] During the 13th and 14th centuries, the Mongols relied heavily on espionage in their conquests in Asia and Europe. Feudal Japan often used ninja to gather intelligence. More recently, spies played a significant part in Elizabethan England (see Francis Walsingham). Many modern espionage methods were well established even then.[3] Aztecs used Pochtecas, people in charge of commerce, as spies and diplomats, and had diplomatic immunity. Along with the pochteca, before a battle or war, secret agents, quimitchin, were sent to spy amongst enemies usually wearing the local costume and speaking the local language, techniques similar to modern secret agents.[4]

  1. ^ “WHAT IS ESPIONAGE?”.
  2. Espionage in Ancient Rome“. HistoryNet.
  3. “Henrywotton.org.uk”. Henrywotton.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-07-07.
  4. Soustelle, Jacques (2002). The Daily Life of the Aztecas. Phoenix Press. p. 209.

I wrote a post ranting about the NSA earlier today. I erased it, put the Crazy Frogs in as I had intended before my temper got away from me, and did other things. I finally decided on the way I wanted to approach it–this one. Espionage and spying are nothing new. They have been around since there have been groups of people to spy on each other. Elizabethan England, it appears, was pretty bad. There have always been people who have a price, or who have done it because they are good at it.

Now, the playing field has changed. Drastically. There are still people who can be bought. There are still people who can be seduced. But really, why go to the bother when all you have to do is set up a scan? It’s too easy. They NSA has more data than they can possibly know what to do with. I’m sure a lot of people could give them suggestions. I’m so used to knowing that anything I do could be monitored, traced, saved, tracked…I almost don’t even care any more. Orwell was right, he just had the date off a little. Yes, I’m angry. I’m angry that the actions this overreaching department of the government which should have been reined in like the rabid dogs they were behaving like weren’t stopped before things got this bad. Angry no one was keeping a closer eye on them, instead of giving them carte blanche to, well, the world. Making a mess of foreign relations. It could be a T-shirt slogan: With Friends like US, Who Needs Enemies?

Nothing can ever be proved, nothing can ever be denied. They’re in the perfect position. The problem was they got careless, as sometimes happens with the bloating caused by power. The NSA is like Jaffar from Aladdin. Remember him? This would be a good time for a little intervention.

Infinite cosmic power...

Infinite cosmic power…

Itty, bitty living space

Itty, bitty living space

Fake Magic the Gathering Card

Fake Magic the Gathering Card

Of course, it isn’t so easy. Or as amusing. And I really hope that the person who made up the very clever MtG card learns to spell “Obedience” right. But otherwise a very awesome card, only four mana to tap, lasts indefinitely. Very nice. I always played blue, green, or white.

I think that may be what they think this is, the NSA–a game. A game of drones. Only people are getting hurt. Real people. Really getting killed. Not thermonuclear war killed. Dead. The more bits and pieces of the news that you read, if you can stand to stick with it long enough, the more pieces start to come together, and the more of a mess it becomes. Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive. As allies, it seems Germany’s (oh why, why, the love of compound words–I respect and admire them, but it’s going to be a while before this one rolls off my tongue) Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND)has been giving information to the US but doesn’t know how we’ve been using it. Dear Gods. They’ve also been doing what the NSA has been doing to its own citizens. Spying on them.

I will just say right now that I think everyone is spying on everyone else, and their own citizens. Why not? It seems the chic thing to do these days. Maybe that will make all of us feel better.

What I sincerely don’t believe in is the US spying on the citizens of other countries: that’s just greedy. Leave the French to France and the Germans to Germany and everyone else where they belong. I think you’ve done enough, thank you very much. Does anyone else remember the song by Peter Gabriel, Games Without Frontiers?

I really wanted to visit those countries someday. Oh, and Italy. Let’s not forget Italy. I’m sure they’re involved in there as well. Spain? I would really like to go to Barcelona, because Gaudi never seemed to make it over to the US to build anything here. I would like to see museums. I would like to see buildings that are older than this country, by hundreds of years. I want to see castles, and cathedrals, and if you f**k this up, President Obama, by not having kept a tighter rein on your–you know, none of the definitions for agent in Wiki fit what the NSA is doing. None of them. You’ve created something new, which is only appropriate, I suppose. Let’s just call them your Clandestine Computer Cavaliers (CCC). The CCC’s actions are on the cusp, if they haven’t already tilted, US diplomatic relations arse over teakettle.

Congress didn’t listen to their constituents during the shutdown, as they’re supposed to–after all, those are the people who elected them. They acted on their own agendas. How many rules of the US Constitution did they break then? What was their “punishment?” None of them fled to Russia for political asylum. They just cut off food to hungry women and children, closed Head Start programs, furloughed hundreds of thousands of workers.

How many rules are the NSA breaking now, “for our protection?” I’m sure checking up on women they’re interested in is “for our protection.” I’m sure the only protection they need is a Trojan…Horse. Remember those guys? They were sort of spies as well. In a way. It was underhanded, and not very noble of them. That’s war, though, isn’t it.

Are we fighting Germany, France, Brazil, Mexico? I didn’t think so. Technology has gotten ahead of us, faster than the NSA’s brains, and the CCC treat it like they’ve just plundered a candy shop. These aren’t toys. They aren’t little wooden horses.

This is not a game. This is real life.

I’m sure people are sick to death of my proselytizing over things like this, but WAKE UP! Where are your morals and your ethics? What is happening in this country? Why do you, President Obama, let it happen. Have you given up? Because I voted for you twice, and that, quite frankly, will just piss me off. Giving up. Be proactive instead of reactive. Fix things before you have to do damage control.

Yes, you like to spend time with your family, and you value that. I respect that. But, also in all respects, you’re not a normal man and you don’t get to have a normal life while you’re the President. It sucks, but it’s true. Your attitude has led us down the road of isolationism in terms of relationships with other countries, yet the actions of the NSA have reached out and grabbed other countries by the throat and throttled them. Not a good thing to do when we have an isolationist President.

This is going to take more than a few quick steps and fast thinking to fix. No one is happy. Everyone may be doing the same thing within their own bounds, and even if they aren’t, it’s not to the extent the CCC is. It is going to take genuine desire to fix the problem.

This needs to end. It needed to be over years ago. Keep this agency in line, or keep whoever is leading them in check.

Think on this; if the NSA hadn’t done so many illegal things, committed so many egregious wrongs against so many tens of thousands of people in multiple countries, it wouldn’t matter so much about Snowden, would it? Put it this way–if the FBI were working a case, and got a witness with all the information they needed, the names, the dates, the people under the names, the money, who else was involved, and got them to turn state’s evidence, the FBI would be in heaven. Because that person has all the goods on everyone. But the smog of moral turpitude seems to linger these days. I’ll just leave it at that.

Except for this. And a picture. I have to have another picture.

If you were a little kid, going to the principal’s office, and the principal already knows some of the story, and you know another person who knows the whole story as well as you do is sitting in the room next door, but you’re the one who is talking to the principal first, would you tell the principal everything first, and get it over with, or would you wait and let the other person do it? And then have to wonder what they did say, and what they didn’t say? Snowden can control this show a drip at a time, or you can, Mr. President, because it’s becoming a three ring circus of unprecedented proportions, everyone is watching, and this time, no one is laughing.

 Plus ça change, plus c'est les mêmes.


Plus ça change, plus c’est les mêmes.

Did You Declare War?

war-games1In 1983 a movie was released called WarGames. It starred Matthew Broderick, Ally Sheedy, and a host of other good actors. I thought it was a great film, and seeing it years later, I still like it. In the early days of hacking, home computers, and what computers were capable of, it was an excellent film for preying on the fears of those unsure of what this new technology would bring.

All the young man played by Matthew Broderick wants to do is find new games to play, and he enjoys the challenge it takes to find them. As usual with my posts, I had no intention of talking about this movie. I wasn’t even thinking about it. Certain events that happened today encouraged me to do a search with the two words in it, and lo and behold, there was the movie.

Shall We Play a GameOnce he’s hacked into a military computer, the now well known words light up the screen.

A game. Of course!

gamesThere are some interesting choices, and honestly, who wouldn’t want to play Global Thermonuclear War?

The “game” starts to look suspiciously real, and Matthew Broderick’s character asks the computer what the point of the game is.

to win the game

This is the point when he panics and turns the computer off, the computer calls him, and chaos ensues.

It’s also the point where I started making imaginary connections.

n-GOP-CRAZY-large300However, they weren’t playing a game. They were waging war. I don’t think they got congresses’ approval beforehand, either. In their, let’s just be polite and say somewhat delusional minds, they were at war with the President. Congressmen at war with the President? That sounds incredibly iffy to me. I don’t think they had a bottle to stand on.

Yet they had their “tactics” and their “strategy,” and openly said it was a war. Their goal? To win. For who to win? They can feed whatever they want into their gopbabble, it wasn’t for the people of the United States, it was for themselves. They wanted to win.

Apparently, they pay attention to neither the news, nor have they ever seen WarGames.

A lot happens–now that I’ve pulled up a quote from the movie, I see Matthew Broderick’s character is David and his girlfriend, Ally Sheedy, is Jennifer. They go find the reclusive Professer Falken who created Joshua, the computer who is now running on its own, and bring him back the the military base. David finally figures out a way that he thinks the computer will figure things out, while the military commander thinks this is all real, and the nuclear missiles really are preparing to launch at the then Soviet Union. David teaches Joshua how to play tic tac toe, then tells it to play all games.

wargames tic tac toeAll Screens[They are in NORAD, watching the computer WOPR playing Tic-Tac-Toe and Global Thermonuclear War at the same time]

Jennifer: What is it doing?

David Lightman: It’s learning.

That_scene_from_War_Games

Are we still playing

The only winning move is not to play. Exactly. When you are a member of congress, representing the people of the United States of America, you are not there to play. You are not there to wage war. You are there to make arguments and decisions based on facts and truths, not what you want them to be, but what they are. You are there to work for the best interests of the people, the rich (you) and, more importantly, the rest of us, who might not have a “nice home” to make payments on–we have rent to pay. We don’t complain about how dirty our spa is because we’ve furloughed the people who work there. We don’t harass people who work at parks you have closed (are you really that stupid?) and tell them they should be ashamed of themselves. That woman is completely in the right when she says she isn’t ashamed, she shouldn’t be. She is doing her job. She deserves a medal for standing up to insensitive, idiotic representatives. That was despicable behavior. I’m so glad someone actually got a video of it.

But this whole time, while you have been waging war, it’s been against the American people. The women and children who couldn’t get food for themselves and their babies. The veterans who couldn’t get their services. The veterans who did wage war, at congresses’ permission to the President. The hundreds of thousands of furloughed workers who couldn’t pay their bills or buy other necessary items. See, unlike those people in congress who make approximately $174,000 a year, and are already millionaires to boot, many people live paycheck to paycheck. Maybe more congresspeople have advice such as taking out loans?

People need health care. Do you think because people make less money they don’t get sick? They don’t need surgery? I really believe in this case it may be a case of affluency acting as blinders, the “let them eat cake” syndrome. Congresspeople don’t have to worry about health insurance. They need to go to the doctor, they go to the doctor. Many of us, if we need to go to the doctor,  have to find out if they take our insurance, if we have insurance, if they’re an approved provider or an out-of network provider, do we pay a co-pay that is set or a percentage, if we need a prescription, how much is that, is it a drug that’s on the approved list on our insurance, and so on. And then we have bills we have to make payments on stretched out over a year or more. It’s a whole process. So, we have a president who wants to try to provide health care for all Americans: it isn’t going to be perfect, and there are going to be snags and wrinkles that need to be ironed out. However, it is a start, and I don’t care if conservatives and tea partiers think it’s communist, socialist, Marxist or fetishist, it’s the first time it has been done in this country, and it’s about time.

Yet this is what this imaginary “war” was against. Sort of. It was the excuse John Boehner used to wage his war against President Obama, a personal, ideological war, in a situation that should never have arisen, should never have taken place at the expense of the public Rep. Boehner pledged to serve, and should never have resulted in a shutdown of the government while you were still paid. It was a grudge match carried out in full sight of the entire world, who we at least managed to amuse, and I’m sure now we appear much less threatening. An entire country held hostage by a small bunch of right wing conservative extremists? Hell, Boehner probably has fan clubs in some parts of the world. And the tea party? They should cringe every time they think of the name they chose for themselves and truly be ashamed. This is not the American Revolution, and they are not the self-modeled heroes they purport themselves to be. The American Revolution was fought by people willing to die for their country, to fight for was was really freedom. They denigrate the purpose of the Boston Tea Party as the truly revolutionary act it was by claiming any association with it whatsoever. They are not of that caliber. What gives them the right to usurp the name of an incident of far greater import, consequence, and reckoning than they will ever accomplish through misinformation and distortion of the truth?

War as Boehner and his cronies see it is an odd thing again. As Joshua the computer says, “What a strange game. The only winning move is not to play.” It wasn’t a game, and Boehner sulks that he didn’t win, but says the fight isn’t over. Did he learn nothing from this? Did any of them? What fight? No, he didn’t learn anything. If only when he heard “Shall we play a game?” it meant sticking him in a room with a game console to fight his imaginary wars there. Where no one gets hurt. In the movie, the world is saved because Joshua learns through playing all the scenarios in his “head.”

John Boehner, Kevin McCarthy, Cathy McMorris Rodgers

Maybe Rep. John Boehner needs a processor. I think there’s a place to go for those. All he needs is a companion…

jackalope copy.jpg.2013_10_05_21_49_23.0

And he’s all set. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…

Meanwhile, we can finally go back to government pages without getting stuck here:

government-shutdown---murica-404_o_2293279

I want to thank all of those who made the use of these pictures possible, including MGM, United Artists, and Sherwood Productions for making such an awesome movie. The Jackalope is mine. And I found another picture while looking for these I found particularly funny:

government-shutdown-034-10022013

Enough said.

Censorship in our Brave New World

There appear to be some issues with self published eBooks being taken down from some online stores amid accusations of “indecent and immoral content.” Instead of being taken as a case-by-case basis, some proprietors have determined it best to remove all self-published material, regardless of subject. The original complaint was against allegedly distasteful erotica. So now fantasy, historical fiction/romance, science fiction, etc. all have to take the brunt of these accusations. Every self-published author is now apparently some sort of depraved, sick individual. It’s not even a matter of quality control.

It’s a matter of content. So who gets to censor, and who gets to set the standards?

One site in the UK has actually taken their page down until they manage to remove all self-published material from their shelves, and has a holding page up with this statement:

A statement from WHSmith:
Last week we were made aware that a number of unacceptable titles were appearing on our website through the Kobo website that has an automated feed to ours. This is an industry wide issue impacting retailers that sell self published eBooks due to the explosion of self publishing, which in the main is good as it gives new authors the opportunity to get their content published. However we are disgusted by these particular titles, find this unacceptable and we in no way whatsoever condone them.

It is our policy not to feature titles like those highlighted and we have processes in place to screen them out. We offer over one million titles through our eBooks partner Kobo, many of which are self-published titles. Due to the massive amount of self publishing a number of these titles have got through the screening process.

We are taking immediate steps to have them all removed. While we are doing this we have decided to take our website off-line to best protect our customers and the public. Our website will become live again once all self published eBooks have been removed and we are totally sure that there are no offending titles available. When our website goes back online it will not display any self published material until we are completely confident that inappropriate books can never be shown again.

We sincerely apologise for any offence caused.

In the mean time if you have any questions for our customer support team you can contact then here (customer.relations@whsmith.co.uk).      

What a statement–“until we are completely confident that inappropriate books can never be shown again.” It also could use a good edit. I’m a vegetarian. I’d really rather not see any books on BBQ or Slow Roasting Chicken. I don’t like guns, so I think we should get rid of all those titles as well. Oh, that takes out quite a number of mysteries, doesn’t it? Action/Adventure, too. I’m afraid of the water, so there go any nautical, Navy SEAL, or books about the Marines. Poor Patrick O’Brian! And books on pirates. My kidneys are going bad, moderately damaged. Better get all the cookbooks with too much salt out of there–it’s better for everyone’s health in the long run. And I find the idea of steak and kidney pie, well, extremely hurtful in this light as well, so out with those. I don’t particularly like the outdoors, let’s get rid of all the books on hiking. I can’t afford to travel, so I find it offensive that there are other people always talking about all the places they’ve been or are going to visit. Out with all the travel books on other countries.

Ridiculous, isn’t it? Why should I choose what anyone else can read? We have freedom of speech, at least supposedly, in the United States. I can only assume that the UK would as well. I’ve never been there. Can’t travel, remember? It sort of sucks sometimes, being one of the 99%. But I do have some rights, according to the constitution. Oh, but wait, we have politicians here who can’t remember how laws are made, what am I saying? I imagine they’d love to hop on this censorship train. The Tea Party may be more at home going by ship, though…

I didn’t have a question for WHSmith, but I did have a comment:

The only offense that has been caused here is the blatant censorship exhibited by a kneejerk reaction to a limited number of titles, not the entire body of work that is self-published.

This reaction is akin to making a blanket statement about an entire ethnic group or population. It is the equivalent of profiling by law enforcement. It is morally and ethically questionable, and smacks of an Orwellian mentality.

If paper burns at a temperature of 451 degrees Fahrenheit, what happens to eBooks? Luckily, you’re even saved that issue with a single click of a delete button.

Who makes the decisions of what is and isn’t acceptable? Who are our moral  police? In our “Democratic” United States, it appears that the ones who think they would be responsible for a task such as this would be the GOP and the Tea Party. Anyone who is following current politics in the United States knows just how moral and ethical they are.

As opposed to folding under pressure to appease the madding, misled, moral unintelligentsia in the quest to retain their almighty pecuniary tributes, I would urge you to consider where your actions will lead. Is it a moral and ethical place, or is it a place full of landmines and Molotov cocktails? Who will join you for happy hour then?

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.
–Martin-Niemöller-Foundation

Sincerely,
Wendy Clements
Writer

Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the people by the people for the people.
Oscar Wilde

Hm. I would address this question to any online bookseller. I used to be a bookseller, for an independent bookstore. A real store. Yet even I mourned the death of Borders. It was one of the few places left for people to gather, talk, drink overpriced coffee and be surrounded by books. Granted, they never had the books I wanted, but still… I live in a university town. Our Borders closed. We have two branches of a used book store that has the potential to be a very good bookstore, another used bookstore which is loved by the community and provides wonderful events, and a couple of specialty bookstores. And the christian bookstore. We have a Barnes and Noble, however rumor has it they’re pulling the same sort of stunt on their online faux brick and mortarless presence. I haven’t verified that. The same claims were made of Amazon. I haven’t verified that either. Oh, wait, yes I did. Finn Marlowe now only has two books up. Not His Kiss to Take is missing. It’s at Smashwords, though–free.

I don’t know how many books are missing from Amazon. All self-published titles will be from WHSmith. Truthfully, things are so vague, other than “unacceptable” titles causing “offence” that I don’t even know what they’re talking about. There are plenty of books published by traditional, big 5 publishing houses with material in them I find offensive–some worse than what I’ve ever read in the self-published works I choose to read. Note the word in the last sentence. Choose. Choice. No one is forcing people to buy books of erotica. I think people are making that decision themselves. I don’t think they magically jump from WHSmith’s page to readers’ Kobos of their own volition, while managing to smuggle the money out of the readers’ accounts at the same time. Do these people who find the material offensive force themselves to read it so they can state their case first hand, or do they just read the blurb and look at the cover? Because really, blurbs only give a slice of the pie, American or British.

Books are such an easy target, and they look so innocent, but they scare some people to death. They might talk about something different from the status quo. They could be revolutionary. Although I don’t think it was a book that started either the French Revolution or the American Revolution. It just takes some people, as Jon Stewart put it, stringing these long words together into completely incomprehensible sentences that don’t even obfuscate the true meaning because there wasn’t any there to start with. See, I can do it too, except I think mine made sense.  Keep people confused. Confused people are easier to lead. When it becomes frightening is when it’s the misinformed leading the confused–a few very loud, dramatic, flag waving Palins to drown out the voices of reason and sanity.

The Tea Party is really such a waste of good tea–I only hope it isn’t Irish Breakfast, because that’s my favorite. They give tea a bad name, and I really think it would be such a nice thing to institute in the United States–afternoon tea. Some time to relax. Take a break from the frenetic pace of our lives. Read a good book. Instead we have people vying for the role of Mad Hatter. Maybe he’s available for the role of book censor. I don’t know what his political leanings are, or what his personal tastes in reading material are, but he has heard a lot of, “Off with their heads!” And I believe he possesses the requisite questionable sanity.

“The books that the world calls immoral are books that show the world its own shame.”
–Oscar Wilde

i read banned booksBenjamin Franklineyechart-banned-books

A Review of the Political Structure–A Coup in Our Midst

I sometimes am a little rough on the way things work–I won’t admit how long it’s been since I’ve studied the political process. There is a very good article in the Huffington Post, which now I can’t find other than the small quote I’d already taken out. Odd. I did go digging up some diagrams on how the political process is supposed to work. One of them, I think it was the search about budgets, brought up lots of pictures of scantily clad women with somewhat voracious expressions. I’m not sure whose side they’re on. A new third party?

separation of powerI propose a new emblem for the GOP. Elephants are intelligent, caring animals who grieve for their dead and care about each other. That’s not the GOP. I present my proposal, which I believe is much more appropriate.

jackalope copy.jpg.2013_10_05_21_49_23.0

As you can see in this diagram (and I did remember this from school), there’s a system of checks and balances in place. Note specifically how there is no negotiating between congress and the president on the budget. That’s something for the Legislative Branch to do themselves, and then present it to the president. No keeping hundreds of thousands of Americans on furlough while the GOP holds up the political process. They seem to be throwing around the document our nation was founded on, the constitution, as if they wrote it and actually understand it–the first of which is blatantly untrue (unless they’re vampires), and the second of which I think they’re overestimating their knowledge of and twisting it to their own devious–sorry–political purposes. Diabolical might be a better word. They don’t like “Obamacare,” as they’ve christened it, because it “sucks.” (That supports the vampire concept, by the way).

So, we already have the GOP refusing to negotiate the budget in the way they’re supposed to–with fellow members of congress. But as several Democratic and a few Republican members have noted, the GOP holdouts can’t even negotiate within themselves. They are a breakaway, incomprehensible, non-sensical, group of thugs operating solely out of pride.

If the GOP, who are violating the constitution with their demands— “If he [Obama] wanted to avoid economic ruin, Republicans said, Obama would submit to a delay of health-care reform, plus tax-rate cuts, enactment of offshore drilling, approval of the Keystone pipeline, deregulation of Wall Street, and Medicare cuts, to name but a few demands. Republicans hardly pretended to believe Obama would accede to the entire list (a set of demands that amounted to the retroactive election of Mitt Romney), but the hubris was startling in and of itself—” and are not interested in getting hundreds of thousands of people back to work and getting the country moving ahead, in Star Trek speak, one of their prime directives, they are not doing their jobs. If they would rather keep the wheels of government silent because the needs of the few (who would that be?) Are more important than the needs of the many (who live paycheck to paycheck—but that’s all right, they can eat cake instead), they are not doing their job.

What are they doing? Helping the people who voted them into office and put them where they are. No.

The GOP responsible for this, have, in essence, taken the American people hostage. Isn’t that what it’s called when you issue a list of demands to be filled before you’ll negotiate any further? This sounds a little, teensy bit, if we were watching it happen in another country, like a coup. Something that might even be considered treasonous. Should these men be allowed to continue to hold America in their clutches because they aren’t getting what they want, aren’t behaving in a manner the constitution says they should, and get away with it unpunished? Their behavior is worse than any of the people recently labeled “traitors.” Those people didn’t furlough hundreds of thousands of people, close Head Starts so their parents, most already struggling to make ends meet (sorry, they have more to worry about than ‘making payments on their nice houses,’ they have to worry about putting dinner on the table and feeding their children), now have to pay for childcare. Childcare they didn’t have to worry about when their children were learning at Head Start. Parents already working 2 to 3 jobs now have most of the money taken up with childcare, food becoming the balancing act between paying the rent on their homes. Should the men responsible for this be allowed to sit around not working and collecting a sizable paycheck while there are people struggling because of the men using, let’s see, threats and ridiculous demands verging on, hm, extortion, get away with this unpunished?

These men have betrayed their country, and they have betrayed the people who put their trust in them when they voted for them to represent them. They are tricky men who use deception and language to obfuscate the answer to the simplest question into a garble of psychobabble and key words to keep peoples’ minds spinning. All they are doing is stringing a bunch of words together that make absolutely no sense.

These men from the GOP are not your friends, they are your worse nightmare come true, drunk (literally) on power. They have overstepped their bounds by grand proportions, thinking their positions make them invincible and answerable to no one. They seem unresponsive to the fact the actions they perform give them the appearance of petty tyrants.

How can we successfully deal with terrorism outside our country when we can’t deal with it in our own congress? No, we’re not a dictatorship, to simply get rid of the few obstructing justice. But this isn’t a Democracy anymore either, when a small group of individuals can put forth an illogical agenda from which they won’t withdraw on the basis of pride, despite the fact our nation is suffering. Because of them. How much less of a conscience can you have to allow that to continue? Enough is enough. Take these men of the almighty GOP and treat them as a man off the street would be treated had he done the same thing. See how law enforcement feels about it. See how judges feel about it. Under the letter of the law. The third branch of the system of checks and balances. That’s their purpose. Let’s let them get to work.