Monday, December 31, 2012

An After Christmas eBook Giveaway!

So, it's almost New Years? Want a New Year's Eve eGift?

I'm giving away another ebook today and tomorrow called, "Gumdrop City".

It's a murder story that doesn't mess about. "Gumdrop City" was published in 2010 in Zilyon Publishing’s “The Undead Nation Anthology”. It is a horror story, pure and simple, but also a true crime story about a child serial murderer. I have also worked on this as a screenplay with a producer in Hollywood. So, hard telling if someday you may be watching a movie and think to yourself, "Gee, this seems kind of familiar."

This story is also included in my book, "Anthology of Evil", which I will be giving out free on New Year's Day.

Happy Holidays!

Tomrrorw? Another freebie!


Also, Death of Heaven will continue to be free through New Years Day!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

An After Christmas eBook Giveaway!

So, missing Christmas yet? Ready for another eGift?

I'm giving away another ebook today and tomorrow called, "Japheth, Ishvi and The Light".

Be aware, it's a zombie story. The first one I ever wrote with a bit of horror, a bit of comedy. It is based on the Biblical tale of Abraham and his son Isaac and is about the religious commune they live in. Of course, their names are different, Japheth and Ishvi. Throw in some devastating confusion, a few soldiers, God, and well, there you have it..

This story is also included in my book, "Anthology of Evil", which I will be giving out free on New Year's Day.

Happy Holidays!

Tomrrorw? Another freebie!


Also, Death of Heaven will continue to be free through New Years Day!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Another Christmas eBook Giveaway!

So, ready for another holiday gift?

I'm giving away another ebook today and tomorrow called, "In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear".

It's a piece of social horror and science fiction about how one man can change the world.

What if someone could change himself into a "computer chip" of a sort? What would that be like? For him, for the world? Here is my version of that which simply becomes more horrifying the more you think about it.

This story is also included in my book, "Anthology of Evil", which I will be giving out free on New Year's Day.

Happy Holidays!

Tomrrorw? Yes, another freebie!


Also, Death of Heaven will continue to be free through New Years Day!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Yet Another After Christmas eBook Giveaway!

Ready for another holiday present?

I'm giving away another ebook today and tomorrow called, "Poor Lord Ritchie's Answer to a Question He Knever Knew".

It's a very odd story of a Medieval Lord who has lost his way. His life is a shambles but he has one last chance to fix things in delivering his family's "crucible" sword to their enemy and thereby sealing a peace and saving his family. But he has a few problems that get in the way, like time seems to be blending together and then there is that pesky wizard he should probably have treated better.

This story was chosen by actor Rutger Hauer in a short story contest back in 2004 and is also included in my book, "Anthology of Evil", which I will be giving out free on New Year's Day.

Happy Holidays!

Tomrrorw? Yes, another freebie!


Also, Death of Heaven will continue to be free through New Years Day!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Another After Christmas eBook Giveaway!


So, you still want more Christmas presents? Wow. Okay then, fine.I mean, good!

I'm giving away another ebook today and tomorrow. A horror story called, "The Mea Culpa Document of London".

It is about a Medieval Witch Hunter in England who studied under a Master Witch Hunter, who now finds himself in the very same situation that killed his Master. What is a Witch Hunter to do?

This story is also included in my book, "Anthology of Evil", which I will be giving out free on New Year's Day.

Happy Holidays!

Tomrrorw? Sure...another freebie!


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

An After Christmas eBook Giveaway!

So, you got all your presents yesterday? Want another?

I'm giving away another ebook today and tomorrow called, "Quantum History".

It's a weird little sci fi comedy of sorts.

How'd you like to wake up to your beloved spouse holding a gun on you and screaming for you to "get in here right now!" When you're already in there? And then when you tell them that, they continue to scream and threaten you with a loaded gun, thinking you aren't you?

This story is also included in my book, "Anthology of Evil", which I will be giving out free on New Year's Day.

Happy Holidays!

Tomrrorw? Another freebie!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas - ebook giveaway

Merry Christmas!

A quick holiday message....

I hope you all have a great Christmas and for you others, wishing you a very pleasant Tuesday. But for all of you, oddly enough I'm putting the ebook version of my book, Death of Heaven up for a Christmas day eGift. Always nice to have some interesting reading during the holidays.

Cheers!
Throughout the whole of Human History many philosophies and religions have attempted to answer that ultimate question: Where did we come from? James and Jimmy, brothers in spirit and tragedy since childhood are about to discover the answer to that ultimate of all questions. They will learn about it in a way that is as amazing as it is unbelievable. They alone will discover that reality is unlike anything that has ever before been considered. They will discover just what it is that nightmares are made of. Friedrich Nietzsche claimed in 1882 that "God is Dead". But that was only a piece of the whole misleading truth. It is now left for two friends alone to experience the whole story, and along with the rest of the Human Race, to experience firsthand the-- Death of Heaven.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Beliefs

First off, Happy Christmas Eve Day!

At the end of this blog article, I'll be talking about a free ebook for the holiday.

One thing the internet has pointed out to me is how different some people's views are from mine. So different at times, that one or the other simply has to be demented, or delusional.

And we all think it's the other, don't we?

But I do think it depends upon what you base your beliefs on. I too base many of my beliefs on books of ancient sayings. For me, it's Aristotle, Socrates, Pythagoras, and others of that type, including the Buddha Dharma.

So actually, I agree that ancient books and sayings can be good. But basing your beliefs on ancient superstitions are generally and specifically problematic as they are based on a specific people at a specific time and a specific set of, well... superstitions.

Superstitions are generally not good for living things. Any set of beliefs will have some good in them, no matter how ridiculous or false they are. But to set your base beliefs on belief, and not rational observable facts, leaves yourself open to all kinds of nonsense and problems.

So there is some friction between superstitious "believers" and philosophical believers based on logic. Logic is a mature and founded belief system. Superstitions are an immature belief system we are born and develop into, fed by dreams, fears, darkness, overwhelming power (the sun being the first), hallucinations, and coincidences.

Religions were born from superstitions, then exaggerations toward an agenda, and to achieve control over a group. Once it's realized that someone has to be in control, in charge, the leader of the group, power issues come to play and direct power corrupts. Logic involves indirect power, the observable and the reproducible. Thus, anyone can be in control because anyone can reproduce these beliefs. In religion, there are always some few who are in control of the information and therefore the power.

Priests and scientists do not make for a good comparison. That is something theists dream up to fallaciously support their case. Much of theists' attempts at "proving" their beliefs have to do with jumping forms of logic, and just saying they believe, which is proof of nothing. Other than that you have nothing to base your beliefs on.

If you believe in something that wasn't based in reality, that was based in unprovable hearsay. Jesus said this or that, is hearsay and unprovable; Aristotle said this or this, and if you can prove it through logic, although it is hearsay, it is provable. If you believe your reality, having started it upon superstition as a base to grow from, well the evolution of that is obvious and you are going to run into issues and conundrums. Something that we see a lot in modern society today.

All that being said, even if you do follow and believe in a religion, do try not to involve superstitions in your beliefs as that seldom works out well for anyone. Go back to the texts and origins and don't just listen to what others say you should believe  Because sometimes? They are wrong, or simply mistaken. Don't govern your life by someone else's mistake. If you're going to believe in something,  just be sure that you know what you're believing in.

And so, here we are today, in America.

It takes many kinds to make the world go round and I do appreciate you all. Just consider that the more you can be rational, basing your "truths" in verified information, the more smoothly life will go for you and for those around you. So believe as you will, but do try to make real world decisions using real world facts and then govern them with your heart. Not the other way around.

Happy Holidays!

I'm offering my short story ebook, EarVu for free on Christmas Eve Day and Christmas Day. I'll be offering another each day this week. Keep an eye out for them. Cheers!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The NRA sure seems nuts. Surprised?


Is the NRA's Wayne LaPierre insane. Or just self serving? It is after all, his job.

Add armed guards to all our schools? We can't even afford to pay our teachers a decent wage, now we need armed guards? Guards who you know won't be the cream of the crop, let's face it. Have you SEEN the TSA? Putting armed guards in thousands of schools would boost the NRA's credibility and boost the gun industry by quite a bit. But it wouldn't protect all that much. Most of those schools would never see an incident and it would be a huge waste of money and resources.

Wouldn't it make more sense, along with whatever else we decide upon to correct this rather small but very noticeable national trend of mass murder, to reinforce the schoolrooms so that they can be locked down when something happens, securing the children, teachers and administrators from attack and locking off or in, the perpetrators? Wouldn't that create jobs? Jobs that would begin and then be over but not go on forever like armed security?

Perhaps having a locked down gun in every school and one or two members of schools to have training access to use that weapon should something ever happen, before police show up, might be a reasonable thing.

The NRA has called their suggested program, the "Shield Program". Isn't that what I'm suggesting here? To give schools the ability to engage a shield if an when it is necessary? Isn't this far more aligned with being a "shield" than the NRA's suggestion of bringing more guns into the schools?

Consider, how often does this happen to schools? How many schools are there? This is not a massive thing, it's effects on us emotionally is massive. According to the National Center for Education Statistics via NPR, March 16, shows that in 1993 and 1994 there were 40 homicides each year in elementary and high schools. Guess the insanity of Junior High schools keeps most crazies out of those institutions for reasons of competition? Or maybe they are grouping Jr. High and High schools?

Does this look like an epidemic
The point is, the media has saturated us with this event. Yes, it's horrible. Yes, if it were my kids killed or even in that school I'd be incensed. But that's why we have calmer professionals around, to think for us when we can't.

No, I don't think we need to arm our schools, or our society. Yes, we have the right to keep and bear arms. Work it out. But in an intelligent way. We need more jobs right? Which makes more sense, hiring armed guards, or putting laborers to work on schools?

Then there is legislation. Do we really need assault weapons? Well, perhaps it's our right, but just as we don't or shouldn't have the right to own anti tank weapons, we probably should not have full assault weaponry. Perhaps we can with limitations. For a long, long time it's been legal to have fully automatic weapons but the license for it is very expensive, or used to be. You can own a suppressor/silencer, but you need the licensing. Not every Tom, Dick and Idiot needs to be owning one.

Of course, you can make your own and most of what's going on subverts gun laws so how cracking down on guns legally will keep illegal usage down, I'm not so sure. Yes, less guns around is less ability to use them. But it seems that a lot of these killings (and most are in inner cities but no one seems to care about that, just when children are kills, so if you'd paid attention sooner to the people you DON'T care about, maybe your kids wouldn't be getting killed now?

And I think that is a relevant point. It's not the guns that are killing people. It's the attitude and the culture of this nation that is doing it, or at least, allowing it to be possible. Even, if you think about it, reasonable  Reasonable in that sense that you can reason why this might happen, not in the sense that it's a reasonable thing to allow, or put up with.

So, should we do something? Yes. But let's make it something that will functionally do something and not just waste money. Going to war with Iraq was doing something about 9/11 but was it the most functional thing to do considering the situation? Hell, no. Going into Afghanistan was and we did that within a few weeks and we kicked some serious ass, but almost no one knew that, because we wanted more pain on the other side. What other side? We didn't really care, we wanted to lash out and old Bush Jr. was happy to help out and look good.

Like now, we want to lash out, but does it matter if we do anything reasonable, or functional? Or should we just have a bunch of knee jerk reactions to what feels good to do?

Let's do something to solve the problem. Because whatever that is, it probably won't feel good, or good enough, but it could be the right thing to do.

More guns, isn't the solution to guns. Those controlling the guns, is where the real issue lay, and no one wants to deal with that. I'm actually getting exhausted repeating this line over and over again to people. Because, no one is listening.

They just want to last out and hope that stops these things from happening. Well, guess what? It won't. Because you see, you actually have to do something that is useful, to stop things that you don't want to happen, from happening.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Political Addiction

Note: I am trying to ween myself off of political commentary. It is like being a junkie and walking through the mall when every other person you walk by runs up to you and shoots smack into your eyes; it's hard to avoid and impossible not to react to. Sometimes, viscerally.

But listening in these modern times with all the instant communications, biased news, political pundits, idiots, tramps and thieves (the latter three I'll take most of the time over that immediate former), it makes it hard not to be occasionally incensed and constantly stimulated to speak out, clearly, and at an 8th grade level so as not to be misunderstood.

I know, double negative, deal with it.

But now that I am trying, I am in withdrawal and I will do my best to contain my insanity and addiction and return to the somewhat hidden and closeted arena of a writer's speculative and the fiction worlds.

The obvious trouble with that as I'm sure you well know, is that in our modern world too many people simply cannot tell the difference between what is fiction and what is non-fiction. And so they attempt to apply unreal, opinionated information, sadly and too often successfully, to serious concerns in what I like to call the, "Real World".

Now this is not the "Real World" on MTV, so perhaps I should say, the "Actual" world. Which as you know (or should), is that which is observable when you look and listen to real people going through real events in real time.

I know. Just swap out "real" for "actual", but it should be the same thing.
It just isn't any longer.

Think about that for a minute.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Mass killings: Prayer fixes all? Probably not.


Mass killings are horrible. Especially when children are involved.

But let's look at another thing briefly, so is war. This has been happening to those parents in war zones. It's currently going on. Children are dying around the world, not just in America. We are not that special; children are. So if you don't like your kids being killed, or American kids being killed, think about those parents around the world whose children are dead and dying because of war; because of Syrian's bombs, Palestinian's, Israeli's, and American's bombs.

Now about American mass murderers....

We NEED GUN CONTROL! Right? That will fix everything. It will keep guns out of the hands of  murderers and criminals! Right?

Well, not exactly.

We have guns. That's just how it is. We should look at gun control some, but it's not a solution. The guns aren't killing people. You've heard this before: People, are killing people. Did you know that in Switzerland every other citizen owns a gun and their murder rates with guns are extremely low. In 2002 Swiss murders by firearms, 67, in America that year, 9369. So, it's not just about firearms existing. Something about the people, their attitude, is different.

I've helped teach hunter's safety courses before. I own guns. But I've always wondered, how come you need training and testing to get a drivers license, but not to get a gun? How is it you can study and pass a driver's test and then you get to drive around a 2,000 lb killing machine, but you can buy a gun and in zero to three days or a week, put a comparable concept of a 2,000 lbs killing machine in your pocket and carry it around.

Then if and whenever you choose, you can expose it and spew out death repeatedly and quickly. And according to the New York Times, the average weight of an American car now is 4,000 pounds. Likewise, the assault rifle is becoming more common around America, yet the handgun kills more than anything else, and daily on the streets of cities like New York and Chicago and others. So in a way, assault rifles have gotten a bad rep through a few horrific incidences.

Yet acquiring a gun requires absolutely no accountability, no training, no conscientious building of skill or respect to own one?

Consider in this latest mass murder in Connecticut, how could gun control have stopped this? The killer didn't even own a gun but had three which he took from his mother, after first killing her. That went right around gun control, effectively, making it useless; in fact, a moot point.

Gun control and politics are not the answer. The issue is much bigger than that. But no one wants to face it. But I'm going to face it here and now, for you.

From Masculinity and Mass Violence The ‘Intimate Enemy’ We Refuse to Name, By ELIZABETH DRESCHER:

"Race and religion are certainly root similarities among Timothy McVeigh, Jared Loughner, Anders Breivik, James Holmes, Wade Michael Page, and Thomas Caffall—all white, all Christian."

Someone on my FB page the other day said that the whole problem is not enough prayer. Really? How many times has prayer kept a murderer from killing? Very, VERY seldom. Frequently, I would suspect, it gets you laughed at, just before they kill you.

From What’s the common denominator for mass murderers? White, Male, Christian, or Crazy: answer may surprise you:

"Prayer has nothing to do with fixing this. After all, many killers have religious, even more so, strict religious roots. From an article, Drescher’s [see quote/URL at top] conclusion is: “by and large the common denominator in mass killing is gender; the intimate enemy [the killer] is almost always a man. Drescher rightly points out that a major player in the hegemony of the masculine is religion, which in the case of American Society means ”

And this:

“We cannot begin to address the culture of violence that is literally exploding all around us without acknowledging that “manning up” in American culture too often involves actions aimed at the subordination of others—women, children, nature—to the will of a man who, it is assumed, embodies the will of God. These often religiously informed, institutionalized, and naturalized versions of masculinity play no small part in the continuum of violence that moves from the domestic sphere to the public arena.

"As gender scholar Raewyn Connell has noted: “There are many causes of violence, including dispossession, poverty, greed, nationalism, racism, and other forms of inequality, bigotry and desire. Gender dynamics are by no means the whole story. Yet given the concentration of weapons and the practices of violence among men, gender patterns appear to be strategic. Masculinities are the forms in which many dynamics of violence take shape.”

Interesting, right?

So what is needed? Less strict religious upbringings, perhaps less prayer, not more, is needed. More attention to raising children to grow up as adults with reasonable self control and reasonable self discipline, positive masculine attitudes for boys and positive self image for both boys and girls.

I would like to say one thing about the President's comments this weekend in using the power of his office to "do something". Pres. Bush, after 9/11, wanted to "do something". So we went to warn with Iraq, an inappropriate reaction to an action by terrorists whom he was actually at odds with. I don't know what the President has in mind at this time, I doubt even he does at this time, but I do hope whatever action he takes, it is appropriate to the situation. Because the office of the President these past ten years or so, and our government in general, hasn't so much been appropriate, in their actions.

Like with "cutting" and "self abuse" behaviors, we have been raising our kids not to have outlets, so they internalize, self abuse. Then when they get tired of abusing themselves, they may lash out. When they lash out, be careful. You may be next.

We have learned not to raise our kids as our parents raised us. How to cut off certain behaviors  that today's parents had done as children. We have effectively frustrated our children and taken away their ability in some cases, maybe in many cases, to simply be children. To get into trouble, to learn by experience, to make mistakes and grow from them. They need to "act out" to release, to be heard. We need to pay attention to them, to give them appropriate releases in order to grow emotionally healthy.

In the end, gun control will not solve this problem. Having healthy Americans however, will. There will always be the individual who walks into a place and kills randomly. Sometimes, people are just crazy. But we're seeing too much of this for that to explain this. We need to reevaluate our own behaviors. We need more good mental health, positive role models. Consider how screwed up our Congress is? Kids see and hear about this. People need to stop being nuts, selfish, greedy, and start acting like mature and most importantly, intelligent, responsible adults, to give our kids a way to see how they should act.

We need to strengthen our population, our mental health, our societal health. Then we will stop seeing all this insanity. It goes into our culture, our corporations, our government. This issue is so big, no one is seeing it, and so no one thinks it can be fixed. But it can. Just not over night. And we need to start, now.

Look at your child(ren). Consider how you are raising them. Look to yourself. Because in the end, it's not just the other parents who raised a crazy kid, it's not just gun control that will fix this situation, it's not just someone else who is responsible. In the end, we are all responsible.

Also, there is another side to this we really need to consider. Watch this video of Dr. Michael Welner talks to the ladies of The View about mental illness as it relates to the Newtown, Connecticut shooting.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

GOP - The Grievous Old People Party


Let me ask you something. Who are we most becoming like, moving toward? Or if you don't like that one, who is becoming much more like us, moving that direction, anyway?

Outside of ourselves, who do we owe the most money to?

Who do the fear-mongering politicians and pundits say we most want not to be like? Or that we should fear? No, not Russia.

Who was the most repressive, conservative presidential candidate in the 2012 election going to stick it to if he had been elected president?

In all these questions the answer may very well be, China.

Are we becoming like China? Is China becoming like us?

It seems that way.

Do we want Big Brother telling us what to do? Do we really want to limit our options, let a political party keep us from having the freedom to choose, in a so called free nation state? Do we want our government telling our women how to act? Do we need one gender making medical and societal decisions for the other gender?

Where do they get off thinking that is okay? Even after getting pounded in the election, they still think they should not pay any attention to women or minorities. Is that smart?

In the 1950s when McCarthyism was running rampant, the fear was about the Soviets and those were who we became most like. Fear, repression, rooting out your neighbor who just might be a commie, turning people in, blacklisting very talented people regardless of their true predilections. If someone is not outright calling for active destruction of the government, what is the problem with free speech?

I'll tell you, lately free speech is letting loose some mad dogs who want to return to a policy of control of the citizenry. The GOP is a party who says they want smaller government yet they are trying to control more of the citizenry, just with more government. They seem to want their cake and eat it too. Wouldn't you say? Smaller government, government out of our businesses, out of our bank's business, but not out of our citizens personal lives, it would seem.

Do we really need a government like that?

It would also seem the GOP wants to control our country by using "God". Their God certainly, the Christian God, of course. "Let God decide", they seem to be saying, what businesses need to be controlled. And in using God's demands... in the Bible, that religious tome of a single overarching religious community, let people be ruled by how they (the "righteous"?) interpret "God's Word".

Do we really want a political party setting the laws of the land according to one religious community's dogma? Do we really want to turn America into China? Only a religious China? Consider how the God Communism has ruled China for so long. They are a "Godless Nation" it's been said; but are they? Are they really? It's been said that America worships the God Money. Maybe. But we really need to not be worshiping anyone and certainly not, money.

The one conundrum here is that China has a law requiring one child per family so that they nearly require abortions, where the GOP is doing just the opposite as they seem to fear abortion and require children.

Abortion isn't a great thing certainly, but when it can cost a woman her life in suicide and fatal attempts to perform one on her on, that is when medical procedures need to be available. Which, wasn't that the original reason for Roe vs. Wade in the first place? To save women's lives who were getting back alley abortions, then bleeding out, or getting fatal infections.

The GOP wants to return to those days and with their restrictions already it is happening now. Women are taking drugs to abort pregnancies and they are hemorrhaging and dying. And that, is on the heads of the GOP and the ProLifers who are really being so pro fetus that they have become, and they refuse to think about it or to really consider the actualy consequences of their demands, AntiWoman.

The Grand Old Party has turned itself into the Sad Old Party. It's a terrible thing to ruin a fine tradition in the name of perceived righteousness. Especially when you're wrong. Religious bigotry and repression are the worst of all traditions. Just cast a glance a short distance back through time to the middle ages where religions slaughtered people for the most mundane of human conditions, all because of the demands made by a supposed (perhaps non existent?) entity described as written down in an ancient book, updated over centuries by the various and prejudiced hands of... men.

If you are a Republican, fight to bring your party back to the light. It's your party. Is this who you are?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Our Next War


Where will our next war be? Now that Iraq is over and Afghanistan is wrapping up, we need to look at who to go kill next. Iran is an obvious contender for the Zionist war mongers among us. Those people, who were historically treated poorly and never given a chance or their own country to call their own, who are doing the same thing to Palestinians for whatever reasons, seem like the most promising next war. To stand with Israel and support them in their attacks on Iran, that is.

But the reality is probably less obvious. Considering China's change in leadership, their 500 year dominance of Japan, Japan's more modern overpowering of China earlier last century and their current status as a world power and world economy, the next war or "police" action" whatever you want to call it, could come over a dispute in the Senkaku Islands.

Traditionally these islands belonged to China. But so did Japan. Then when Japan took over China, they claimed and to this day have been in possession of, these islands. Now China is pushing for their historical possession of these islands and the Chinese and Japanese navies have been pretty contentious around these islands.

Our problem lies in our treaty with Japan. After the intensity of Japan in WWII, America wanted to cut Japan off at the knees and made an agreement to Japan to protect them if they ran into martial problems with another country in Asia. That meant we didn't have to be so concerned about Japan rebuilding their military force and once again take on their historically aggressive attitude and thus find ourselves in yet another conflict with them.

What we hadn't foreseen was their going up against the new strength and possible threat in Asia, China. If a conflict starts between these two countries and it is possible, we would have to go to the aide of Japan against the second most powerful nation in the world and to whom we owe a massive debt.

So first of all, who really should have possession of these island?

They say that possession is 9/10ths of the law. It is true that a current owner has greater claim over previous owners. But a bigger power can also take back or make a claim outright and simply occupy a place, thus having new, albeit possibly temporary ownership. Then it would take others to go in and reclaim that place through force, or agreement. Considering China's new economic and world situation, as well as their newly changed regime at this time and that new regime needing to assert their control, it is very possible they will find that they do want to push this issue to its ultimate conclusion so that they might reclaim ownership of the Senkaku islands.

Japan and China have had a long traditional opposition and neither has forgotten the last hundreds of years. Japan will not want to give up these islands. Partially because and both know this, there are some very wealthy oil reserves in this location and they both want them.

Here is my view. These islands belong to Japan. They are in possession of them. They have been in possession for many years and China has accepted that. So the possession issue in my mind is settled. China argues that they had historically had possession of these islands, which is also true, but what does that matter, really? I had historical possession of my car years ago, but I sold it, thereby accepting that I no longer owned it. Can I now go back with threat of force and reclaim it because I had historical possession of it? No.

Also, China had tried to take over Tibet for hundreds of years until a decisive battle settled who was sovereign:

"In 821 China-Tibet Peace Treaty: "Tibetans shall be happy in Tibet and Chinese shall be happy in China". The peace treaty was an acknowledgement of stalemate between the two countries after 200 years of Sino-Tibetan conflict. The treaty stated that the Chinese recognized Tibetans as equals and Tibet as a separate state with its own inviolable territory. The treaty was engraved on a stone pillar in front of the Jokhang temple in Lhasa."

1910-12 A Qing army led by General Zhao Erfeng invades and occupies Tibet, causing the Dalai Lama and Tibetan government officials to flee.

1918 Tibetan army, led by British-trained officers, defeats Chinese army. Tibet and China sign a peace treaty; China refuses to ratify treaty.

So, if China's argument on the Senkaku Islands is to be accepted, then they need to move out of Tibet. If their claim on Tibet is true and valid, they do not get the Senkaku Islands back.

We therefore are obligated to follow through to defend Japan's claims on the islands and the wealth therein, against China no matter what the consequences. China, if Tibet is any kind of example, will most likely not back down without some kind of remunerative benefit, either by way of taking possession of the islands, or in some other way.

A conflict in those seas is highly possible and could potentially be our next war, in or around these islands. If we allow Israel to drag us into another Middle Eastern morass of killing with Iran, we might once again find ourselves in conflict with two different countries, only on very different parts of the globe.

This won't be the same thing as Bush Jr. getting us into an Iraq war over a reason that didn't exist. This will be a war required by law, unless we can help them to find another way to resolve it. Perhaps they can share the islands? This isn't really acceptable as Japan's legal possession at this time in my mind is indisputable. But the reality of a military the size of China's brings along with it, an entirely different kind of reality. Not to mention our financial debt to them, where they could also potentially use it against us if we angered them enough, although that could easily backfire on them and they know it.

The world is not at peace yet and we need to get on that as soon as possible. Once people get used to peace, they get pretty unpleasant when forced back into war. But as long as we maintain any kind of a semblance of being at war, the possibility of starting a new war is always a more easy possibility.

We need to start paying more attention to what is important. Peace, climate change, our economy, (that is, paying for what we want and not charging it for future administrations to worry about), and forging a truly peaceful world into being.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Devil's Carnival with Emilie Autumn


I just watched The Devil's Carnival (56 minutes) with Emilie Autumn (I did a blog on her a while back).


I really wanted to like it, I really did, and I did like it, a bit; maybe even, two bits, but not six bits, or a dollar.

It had some of my favorite actors in it, Dayton Callie, from among other things has  now been in several of my favorite shows, Deadwood (loved that show), John From Cincinnati, and my current favorite, Sons of Anarchy; Sean Patrick Flannery famous for Boondock Saints and Boondock Saints - All Saints Day (also, love those flicks); Bill Mosely, famous for so many horror films including the Night of the Living Dead remake (and the upcoming, Night of the Living Dead: Origins 3D), and House of 1000 Corpses (I ran into Bill, Tom Savini and Sid Haig at ZomBcon II in Seattle (SeaTac) where at one point, in a seminal scene I have to tell you, they were being "blessed" by a "Zombie Jesus" at the bar, amazing scene....).

Original Music by Saar Hendelman and Terrance Zdunich of Repo! The Genetic Opera (the 10 minute version and the 98 minute version).

I haven't seen "Repo!" but I read that it was good. TDC had a lot of promise and I wanted to like it. Mostly I did like it. But I was having trouble with several things during the film. One was the audio production, it left much to be desired in places and was inconsistent in quality. The other main problem I had was the music and lyrics. It came off to me at least, as pretty pedestrian and somewhat amateurish. Consider this, they had Emily Autumn on set and they didn't use her to her full potential? They did use some of her very good violin skills and I'll give them credit for that.

See also the Blog, Wrestling with Pop Culture

Emily's main song just didn't work for me. After seeing many of her songs she performs on her on stage show, this just didn't live up to the quality she usually offers. Her performance was good as always, but the song and lyrics just didn't give her that much to work with. The song was "competent" but not great.

I'd love to have seen what she would have turned out if the filmmakers had told her to go for it and supply her own songs for the entire production; something that is long overdue. Had they then gotten a much better audio engineer and had the director been more on top of things, this could have been an incredible little film and not just an interesting, and merely good one.

I'm divided on this film. I liked about half of it, I appreciated what they were trying to do and half failed at. Half of the songs were likeable, but I'd have to say that in the end, they missed the mark on this. Should you watch it? Absolutely. Because of what it was trying to achieve if nothing else.

A film should leave you wanting more. But after it is over, not during, and afterward I was left wanting more quality in the songs and skill in the audio production and director.

All that being said, it is still an interesting piece.

Monday, December 3, 2012

9/11 Was Not Just A Terrorist Attack - The Return of America the Great


9/11 was not just a terrorist attack. At very least, its effects were much more far reaching.

9/11 was an injection of poison that no one seemed to notice. That was the damage that was done, not just the lives lost. America was poisoned with a shot injected into the largest city of this once great country by those deluded with hate, by those who grew to hate us in part from our own actions over the past hundred years of our paying no attention whatsoever to what our actions were doing to those then third world nations of the world. We were injected with a poison that spread out rapidly, reaching across our country, and then spreading out to the world.

In modern pop culture terms it was like we were bit by a zombie and then we bit others conveying the poison to the world. The infection spread partly from fear of terrorism, but also from our own words and actions. America is rather new to the need to protect our homelands from terrorism and sadly, we reacted to it like children.

Fear is contagious and we helped to spread it. This was what FDR meant when he said, "Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself."

After 9/11 we were turned into a Zombie country. We were infectious, WE then were dangerous. We went to war against the nearest country that fit our need to kill; someone, anyone We did what was right before we were attacked. We should have cleaned up in Iraq in the 80s, not in 2003. We rightly went into Afghanistan in 2002 and attacked our attackers, Al Qaeda and their associates the Taliban. We nearly devastated them and the Taliban. But then we let Bin Laden escape to Pakistan. Why? Because, we weren't through satiating our revenge. You can blame the Bush Administration, they were the head of the pimple at that time that was America.

What other country has two million people in thousands of prisons and jails in its own country? Who had secret prisons around the world? In Romania, in Poland, in Guantanamo? That poison we were injected with on 9/11 made us go crazy. Our own past with nonsense like our "War on Drugs", a war on many of our own citizenry, gave us a mindset that allowed us to be led into a "War on Terror". So we went into the longest war in our history in Afghanistan, a "war" that spread against a rag tag global group of terrorists and wannabees. We found a way to allow ourselves to torture prisoners, to terrorize individuals in a confined setting. We used things like "extraordinary rendition" to kidnap and torture and when that became too difficult to do, we found other countries who had brutal natures and we allowed them to do those things in our name.

The Bush Administration kept these things going for many of those years. Those secret prisons were shut down in 2006 and in 2009 it became official policy that we do not do that anymore, under a different administration. For years the flag draped coffins at Dover were banned to be photographed when America's children, killed in war, were brought home to their final resting place. The worst thing we can ever do, is to force ourselves away from facing that we are indeed at war. When at war you need it to be painfully obvious. Let that be a lesson to us.

Labeling so many things as "war" allowed us to think as you do in a war. In war we do things that are not normally allowed. Murder, is legal and not even called, "murder". The "Fog of War" includes killing the lame, women, old people, and children. It allows us to kill our own citizens, something that should never happen without due process and judicial interference. And we did that. We killed an American citizen with a missile in another country by first labeling him as traitor. His father even went to court to sue the country to keep it from happening, asking instead that he captured, to bring his son back, give him a trial as he was guaranteed by having been through all his life, a great thing, an American citizen. But in killing him we devalued what we are as Americans.

One of the great things about our Country, about being an American citizen, is the protection of our own country and in having due process, not presidential dictate leading to capital punishment. After we killed that American, we then killed his sixteen year old son, shortly thereafter and in the same manner, using a bomb delivered on the end of a missile.

Is this who we are now?

Is that America? Does that sound like America to you? Is this, what our once "Great Nation" is about now? All this because we were afraid? Because of Fear? When we are afraid does that give us the right to throw our long standing ethical principles, right out the window?

President Obama, as soon as he took office on January 22, 2009, put a stop to our torturing people around the world, on principle. Some people complain a lot about Pres. Obama and what he has done since coming into office. They have various considerations on how we should be rebuilding our economy, treating our citizens, and fighting (or even being in) a war. But the one thing the Obama Administration has been and is doing, is helping our country to heal itself after ten years of our longest war ever (other than our "War" on drugs and the American citizen).

Healing is difficult, it can be painful, but it is necessary.

Look, having a "War" on things is dangerous. That attitude alone is dangerous and we need to stop doing it. Legalizing Marijuana strangely enough, is one way to help end that mindset of having a "war" on something because it means an end to extraordinary actions against something that some only some people don't like. When it leads our own country into rationalizing actions against our own citizens, then we really have gone astray. Whether it is arresting someone in our own country for possessing even small amounts of Cannabis, or in blowing an American up in another country for terrorism and being a traitor, we need to make up our minds who we are and what we are allowed to do, in any circumstance.

As it helped lead us into our, out of context, "War on Terrorism", something that sounds good, feels good but counter-intuitively isn't good, it also led us into something else. Things like the "Tea Party", extremism in our country, the Republican Right taking over to the detriment of our country and even the GOP, their own party. But as things go these types of things tend to be cyclical and the pendulum can only swing so far to one extreme or the other before it either swings back, or simply breaks the mechanism. And we have been far too close to that for far too long now.

Being an American means something. It should mean something, anyway. It should mean something extraordinary and these last ten years and more we have diluted what it means to be an American. We need to stop that. We need to get back on the path and we need to heal. Not only ourselves within our own country, but also in how others view our country and its citizens. We need to get back to the business of being "Great" and not saying it. It's not just about our military power or our economy. It's also about our principles, our existence, our being a leader in doing things around the world, and within our own country. We need to decide what is "right" and stick to it.

Sometimes being that kind of a country is difficult, it can be painful. Lives can be lost over it. But we have in the past been the kind of country that can "take it on the chin" and continue on, even through difficult times, and continue doing what is right.

Which kind of country do you want us to be?

During these past ten years we have at times been, in contemporary parlance a, "chicken shit" country. Literally, we have been scared of our own shadows. Remember the colored, "Shades of Danger" alerts that we stopped using in 2011? As it turned out, we only needed them for feeling all fuzzy safe. The Bush administration had pushed us into an old fashioned Texas style retribution and we all know that revenge destroys both the deserving and the undeserving. It can also make one into the other.

But now we are painfully trying to leave that juvenile opiate of war and the mindset of retribution behind. Shouldn't we now finally go back to being the kind of country we were once again? Shouldn't we allow this healing process that the Obama Administration is trying to help us with, happen? To return to being once again that great nation that we once were?

We have evolved during this process. We are a different country now than we were in 2000. We have entered the 21st Century as a country at war and we need to stop that and become a country that is on the forefront of delivering peace. Of advocating Peace. If we want to be at war then we need to be at war against those who are fighting a war against us. But it is not toward our own citizens. It is not toward those who use recreational drugs. It is not toward terrorists. Terrorists require police actions, intelligence operations, not full scale war actions. Going to war in Iraq when any "war action" was really in Afghanistan, was simply ludicrous.

War against terrorism is a concept that may very will never end. Those wannabees who wish to be terrorists can simply do so. But do they deserve a war? Maybe so, but do WE deserve it? No. Surely we can handle them with smaller, less devastating actions that will not destroy those innocents nearby them as "collateral damage" and create new terrorists in their wake because of our killing their relatives and loved ones, as inadvertently as it may be.

Jeh Johnson, the Defense Department's General Counsel, the head Lawyer for the Defense Department, went out this past week for the Obama Administration to say just this. He spoke at Oxford University in Britain and said that wars against something like terrorism can go on forever and we need to find an end to it. He said that we are fighting against a new kind of thing and that at some point we need to call an end to the "war" actions.

"How will this conflict end. It is an unconventional conflict against an unconventional enemy, and will not end in conventional terms." - Jeh Johnson

At some point he said, this will have to be turned over to police and intelligence agencies, and the sooner the better.

America is finally coming back into its own. We are striving to return to being the once great nation we had been and perhaps in the end, we will become an even greater nation than before.

A lot of what I'm talking about here falls under a single word: Honor. War gives a wink and a nod to acting in dishonorable ways, and that has to stop. We have to acknowledge our past actions but then we have to move on to heal from them.

But we have to allow it to happen, we have to let it happen, and we have to support those who are trying to do this hard work. We have to want it and embrace the change as well as a embrace a different, more mature way of being and looking at things. We have to be brave, to persevere through adversity and no matter what, we have to not allow those fear mongers who have spoken out for so long and have led us astray, to influence us, ever again.

In the end, we have to be Honorable. We have to face it, to admit it, that we were not at some points in these past ten years. And then we have to move on to build ourselves a better way of being, under any situation.

This, is America.

Make that mean something once again. Allow America to again come into its own and to remain so from here forward, no matter what.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Chasing Ice review is now up on PerihelionSF.com

Just a quick note to say that Part II of my Chasing Ice documentary review is now available.

Cheers!
Happy Holidays!