Monday, May 30, 2016

Just a Few Old Thoughts....

I have a lot going on in my life lately. 

First of all, have a pleasant Memorial Day. Maybe take the time to use today as it's intended. For reflection and appreciation. We have so many to remember and honor. I was a Cold Warrior as they say, in having been in the military during a period of peace (1975-1981), during the Cold War. I have a framed government certificate on my wall that says just that. Just through my own personal experiences, I feel I have much to be thankful for, to appreciate, for those who served during war, who suffered and died on our behalf. 

I mostly only had to deal with the typical life of someone in the military. One who was stateside, who only had to deal with the stress of the job, the knowledge that my job supported those who "melted cities" as an AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code, the numerical equivalent to my job title), and Soviet spies and their agents. 

I met one of them in the woods once, nice guy, but he was still obviously doing the job he was doing, for money, and not in America's best interests. We didn't discuss what he was doing, but I knew and he knew I knew, and later I found out that the air base knew. They couldn't stop them from gathering ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) and mere statistical and logistical information. But they kept an eye on them (there was more than one around the entire base) a few in truck and campers with a lot of antennae and electronic equipment, monitoring anything they could. 

The one thing that kept me going was that my job wasn't directly related to killing, but to saving lives (I was a parachute rigger, survival equipment technician, fabric and rubbergear specialist). At the end I went through the grueling process to be vetted and accepted into the AFOSI (Air Force Office of Special Investigations), their FBI. Then I left government service, got a degree in Psychology and writing, and took an entirely different career and life path. 

And so now here I am. Writing and working in IT for the past few decades. 

There's lots of changes in my job in IT. I work for a health insurance company on their servers and web sites. In five years we expect to not be a health insurance company with the way things are going. If America (hopefully) finally goes with single payer health insurance (Medicare), my company will disappear, so we're becoming something new and better. 

I'm staging myself to finally do what I've wanted to do, for so long.

I'm prepping my house, staging it for viewing, packing up and selling my home of sixteen years. It's the longest I've ever lived anywhere in my life. My marriage ended within a year of moving in here in 2000. My kids grew up here from the end of grade school on and even then some more after graduating till they got on their adult feet. Now they seem pretty stable out in the world, one at the end of his twenties, the other approaching the middle of hers. 

That's all a story unto itself. 

This past weekend I went to Crypticon at the Hilton in SeaTac, Washington. It's a convention of horror... stuff. Just about you name it. I went last year. I saw new things, made new friends (finally met  horror icon, Tom Savini), and now I've been in two films because of it. 

This morning I was at the Hilton latte bar waiting on Kelly Hughes, director of the film I was just in (The Mephisto Box), We were going to have breakfast, then I had to head home. 

Lance Henriksen at Crypticon 2016
Lance Henriksen walked up, ordered a latte and started talking to me. Many know his work in Aliens, the TV show Millennium, Near Dark, and well, so very many other great roles and films.

We hung out there talking, waiting on his drink and a bit after he got it. Nicest guy ever and one of my all time favorite actors. So yes, I was pretty pleased to have gotten a chance to talk to him one on one like that and away from fan based interactions. We talking about the weekend at Crypticon, about fans, about perseverance, and about his latest project, Gone Are The Days. He said he was flying out today for California where he is starting on the production of the new western where he plays a bank robber at the end of his career. Check out the IMDB write up, it sounds like it's going to be a fun film. 

Good times all around!

I wrote most of this on Thursday last, before this is to be posted on Monday. Just in case I'm too beat to write a new week's blog after I get back on Sunday. Sometimes I do have them staged even week's ahead of time. But I've been hard pressed lately, I've been so busy working on my house and packing up and all,. I really haven't had all that much free time. 

Well now I am back and updating it a bit and I am beat, and I am glad I wrote this ahead of time and I am happy to update it about my meeting with Mr. Henriksen and eventually I'll get around to talking about my weekend at Crypticon. For now I'll just say it was fun and I learned a lot overall and in some of the panels I attended. Two of which director Kelly Hughes was on the panel for. He's a smart guy. 

One of the panels was about the pitfalls of producing a web series with among others, members from Luchagore Productions. Another about horror westerns where he shared the panel with Charlie Jack Joseph Kruger (one other was supposed to show but didn't make it).

I not only learned a lot in the horror western one (go figure right, who knew?) I also got ideas for two new screenplays. Yes, western horror films, You know I've not written a western of any type...yet. 

Sadly...we missed the Lance Henriksen panel (Aliens, panel I think, with a few of the actors as Michael Biehn was there this weekend too with his wife as is usual). I had wanted to attend that panel but I didn't know when it was and we had a schedule. Turns out we could have made the panel but not the hour of questions afterward (Lance said it ended at 10pm). Nuts. Anyway....

Part of the reason I'm selling my house is for a new beginning, to lower my overhead, to stage things so I can start to write much more than I have for years. Maybe ever.

This past year, past month, past weeks of working on the house, fixing it up to sell, packing up, going through things from my past, packing more stuff, it has all been been an emotional roller coaster ride. I just gave my ex back some of her things that I found stored in my garage, buried beneath my kids and my stuff. My kids who grew up and moved out several years ago. Or more.

Really. It's time to move. It's time because I want to.

One of the things I uncovered during my rummaging through and repacking things was a box with writings in it. Well I found many of those. I'm a writer. But one in particular. It had a page in it from 1994. Along with that I found a folder about an inch thick full of writings I thought I'd lost that were even older, of more writings. Things I wrote that I didn't even remember. Very cool. Very, very cool.

The following is a short rumination I found in that box. From 1994. 

Apparently titled: Epiphany

Date: Fri, 2 Sep 1994 14:40:05 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: To myself: Epiphany
You know?
I was just thinking:
I get these little spurts of feeling, of imagery at times. 
Similar in nature to a "Deja Vu" experience.
I'm not nuts. 

My degree in psychology was in Awareness and Reasoning Division, Phenomenology, Alternate States of Consciousness, Systems and Processes. Attending Western Washington University was itself and alternate experience. But then, any college experience is. Or should be. 
Between that education and martial arts training since childhood, it may be easier for me than for many, to "see," to see into other's thoughts. To "feel", to feel things in their mental and emotional processes. That might explain with the head of our psychology counseling department tried so hard to get me to change my orientation to therapy. But I couldn't have taken it myself, emotionally. Day and and day out listening to what is tearing people apart. Of course, there'd be the up side....
Sometimes I can see things that many people don't realize are there, within them. Things that ARE most definitely there. Within them. Things that are in everyone, really. Things we may not want to think are even there. 

But it just takes looking inward.

I know there were people I've talked to in the past who thought they were talking to a real screwball (me). Especially some of the more banal types I've spoken with.

Then it occurred to me.

The only times I'm really happy are when I am writing away at some project. When I am deeply involved in a novel I've developed, a screenplay or a piece of some sort that I have fully conceived of myself. Or a project I've developed along with a significant other in my life. As opposed to a project at work or one given to me by an instructor. I get these little flashes of really... good... feelings from it. Feelings I can only attribute to being "feelings-of-well-being." Of euphoria.

Feelings too that I can link pretty much only to heightened emotional experiences, events from my past.

Perhaps a moment's "Deja Vu" from being in the mountains. Or looking out over a spectacular sunset on the ocean as viewed from a scenic beach. Or watching a waterfall unraveling in the middle of nowhere while I sit, all alone, with no one around for miles, the sun glistening off the cascading flow of water. Or droplets on the moss in the mountains in the early morning dew, the crisp moist air hugging me, the fresh smell of life biting, deliciously, into my lungs.

These Little Flashes of Moments.
Moments that give me this feeling.
Feelings that I can conjure up while writing.
While creating. While making a Universe.
While watching something spring to Life out of nothing.

You know? It just occurred to me.

There must be a reason I like to write.
One other than the pedantic reason of simply being able to do it well.

Perhaps it was taking those little sojourns, those brief intense strays of exotic moments gleaned from books read at a tender young age? Maybe that has something to do with it?

No matter how I look at it though, I will never be happy until I am making a living writing; and writing whatever I want.

Writing what feels like it is being born from my inner being, springing from my mind, from within my chest, separating out from my heart, leaping out from my soul.

It's just a thought.
Just a moment.
Just a comment. Or two.
An Epiphany upon the Downs.
A thought upon the Velt.

A Revelation.
A Splendor in the Grass.
A Triumph at Dawn.
For that is all it is.

An Epiphany.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Mephisto Box - A Horror film and an open door

And now back to being creative....

Director Kelly Hughes, was once called the John Waters of Pacific Northwest Indie Horror Films by Digital Dead magazine back in November of 2015. With more to follow. As of the posting of this blog, Kelly now has eight episodes of his latest feature film, The Mephisto Box up on YouTube.

From Kelly's website:

In this highly anticipated new web series, a disgraced psychiatrist redeems himself by treating a fragile mental patient, only to unleash a demonic attack. Subscribe to the official YouTube channel and watch a new episode every Friday: Video.

Cast of, The Mephisto Box (2016)
Yes, there I am in that lower row.

We had shot some of the film here at my house, which I am currently in the process of selling. We also shot in various other locations around the greater Seattle area. Including in a large church up on Seattle's Capitol Hill along its famous Broadway Avenue. I got to play sound man and general grip that day.

In the shoot at my house I got to fill the positions of F/X man, pyrotechnic and for a while, talent wrangler I suppose. It was fast paced, guerrilla filming, colder than the tip of a witch's nose in Antarctica and at times even a bit hotter than we needed.

We "burned" a guy to death, then chased him down, put arrows through him and later resurrected him as a demon in a ring of fire. Among other things.

You can see many of those shots on Kelly's website.

As I said I'm selling my house. I live on a couple of lovely acres in a forest and I love this environment. It's so peaceful and tranquil here. But I'm looking forward and need to move so I can devote more time to working on my writings and film productions from now on, as well as moving some place more local to what's happening.

My house listed for sale last Friday. There's been a stream of people through here checking it out. I heard one agent tell his client she might want to decide soon as he didn't think the house would be on the market much longer. Which is nice to hear. I've heard one person wants to put a bid on it, that it's the right price but she has to wait till some of her financial dealings are complete in a couple of weeks.

Back in 2006 I had tried to sell... just as the market started to tank and then the bubble burst in the housing market. Now ten years later, here we are again. Though I'm better situated and more motivated to sell. So far so good.

But this is about Kelly's film.

It's fun that we got to shoot some at my house and around my property in a couple of films now. The first being Kelly's recent shortDon't Kill Grandpa Until We Strangle The Baby Sitter. In the teaser you can see me as Grandma's ghost while my son pours gas on the fire behind me. Good times.

That short ten minute film was created for the upcoming DVD compilation GRINDSPLOITATION 2: The Lost Reels. It was a lot of fun to shoot and it turned out better than expected.

However that was just a short. This is about the feature.

In The Mephisto Box, there are some great scenes and acting by many of the actors, including always excellent actor Betty Marshall, a long time veteran of Kelly's films since the 90s. This time she is a disgruntled all around helper for someone of means, and very jealous of her position. There's some real gems in this film for those into indie horror. I even got a short (short) scene as a street preacher.

Here is a teaser for it. Synopsis - A disgraced psychiatrist attempts to redeem himself by treating a young mental patient, not realizing he is tampering with demonic forces in this new series by director Kelly Hughes.

We will be stumbling around Crypticon this upcoming final weekend in May over the Memorial Day weekend. Say hi if you happen to make it. It's a fun film, a fun crew to work with and Kelly is an indomitable force and enjoyable to be around. Just like Crypticon.

I hope you have a great weekend too. If your passions is for creating, film production, or just writing stories, or simply viewing or reading them, find your passion and start acting upon it. Life is just sitting out there, waiting on us, hoping we will knock on that door which will be opened, if you just take the time to look for it and step through.

For me, The Mephisto Box was a part of that door opening. As was my book, Death of heaven. Or my work with a studio some years ago as a screenwriter in absentia (I worked remote as I was in Seattle and they were on the east coast). As was In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear, my first published short horror story (also contained in and the first story in another book of my short stories, Anthology of Evil).

These were my doorways into my passion, writing, getting it out there for people to read. And film production. Something that goes back to being a public access cable TV producer in the early 90s, just like Kelly Hughes. That project so long ago, led to us finding one another on Kelly's entry through that door start then and there, so many years ago.

You never know where what you do will one day lead you. So if you have the inclination, then do something. Act on your desires. Even the little things count sometimes. They are all just one more step up to that door you have to bring up the courage to knock on, to turn the knob on, to push open that heavy creaking door into, your future, your passion, and possibly your bliss.

You will never know if you simply don't try, and try again, and keep trying, until finally one day, probably when you most think it will never actually happens.

Get involved.

Get involved in yourself, in your community of creatives and in ours too by watching and sharing what we have done. So that one day perhaps, you too will be sharing what you have done with us, and we will share it with all of our community.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Church and Guns

Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant recently signed a bill allowing people in his state for churches to legally have armed security.

Let that sink in.
Note the props: Reagan book, Bible with holstered gun on top
When a national gun culture finally invades your churches, your religion, it's really time to pay attention. Arming churches is not a religious reaction. It's a human, scientific reaction. We don't need to arm and militarize churches. Yes, they have been attacked. But few and it's not really reasonable in arming your church.

Religion should be a baseline for humaneness, for peace, spiritual security, for joy. Historically, for sanctuary. Not for anger, not lethal reactions.

This lack of continuity between religion and believers is untenable and hypocritical. People fear putting their beliefs on the line. They always have. And yet, they have martyred themselves to perpetuate their beliefs. Beliefs that have inspired countless millions over thousands of years. But many now see that it is better to arm their church, than to possibly die for their beliefs.

When I think about Church, about guns, I think back into my past. Back to when I was in the Air Force. My final main base was in Spokane, Washington. In 1975 I was at Fairchild AFB, a nuclear bomber base in the Strategic Air Command (SAC). We had fuel tankers, B-52 bombers, and were on alert 24/7/365.

In about 1977, I got friendly with the guy who gave out equipment in the base gym. My friend and I played racquetball every other day and lifted weights on those other days. If we needed anything we'd go to the equipment room attendant. We got to talking over a period of weeks about things in general, "guy stuff", guns and eventually, oddly enough, religion. Then one day he asked if I wanted to go to his church.

I was at a point in my life where I was ex Catholic, had been head altar boy at our church and in fact had been the altar boy serving at our old priest's open casket Mass for his funeral. My first time seeing a dead person. He looked good, the gentle kind soul I had known for years and served Mass with.

Later I went to a single final and graduating year of Catholic primary school (eighth grade). As I entered my young adult years, I was looking into the universe to see what there was, other than what I had been taught. I read a lot of books on philosophy, religion, even magic, a sign of the times in the 60s and 70s. You name it.

So with an invite to visit what sounded like a cool church, I figured, why not?

I told my wife about it. She probably couldn't have been happier that I wanted to go to church. After all, she was raised Baptist and we had been married in her church. Yes, the whole big church wedding and all. We divorced the year I got out of the Air Force. The guys told me when I arrived at my main base that no one survives that base and remains married. There were a lot of divorces, a lot of philandering, mostly with wives of enlisted fooling around with officers, especially pilots, the God's of the Air Force.

So my wife and I agreed to check out the guy's church with him and his wife. I told the guy the next time I went to the gym. Which was the next day. He said he would pick us up with his wife on Sunday morning and he would drive.

Well, that's nice of him, I thought.

Government as an entity, is typically rather stupid. Elements within the government however can be quite intelligent. yet there is a healthy dose of stupid among the employees. I was about to be stunned by the stupidity of this "nice" guy from the gym.

He had told me to bring my gun, that it was cool to wear a gun to church. I thought that was odd, but hey, I was open to see new ways of viewing the world. I carried concealed, legally, my Walther PPS\k .380 auto. Yes, I should have seen it coming. I should have seen something coming.

We headed out of Spokane toward the border. As we were crossing the border I got nervous and asked him about it. He said it was okay, the compound was in the hills of Idaho and it was beautiful there. About my concealed gun and his, and considering we were in the military, and I had a secret clearance unlike him, I was concerned about federal issues.

He said not to worry, you didn't need a concealed weapons permit in Idaho and where we were going it wouldn't be an issue. When we finally got there up into the hills of Idaho it was beautiful. We arrived at a gate that was unlocked and allowed us to pass. We were now on the property of the Church of Our American Christian Heritage. Beware a church that has in its name, "American" or "Heritage". Or any church who seems to have all the answers.

We drove up in his truck, a forerunner to today's SUVs. he pulled into an area of the compound with a traditional type well int he center and several buildings, one being an old fashioned church with the steeple and all. Several guys were wearing what looked to me like Nazi uniforms, only a different grey color, looking just different enough that you COULD claim, they weren't Nazi uniforms. When I mentioned the similarity (as well as the Hitler salute they used) they got offended. They weren't Nazis! Sure seemed like it to me though.

I won't detail the entire morning. But it was bizarre, surreal, disturbing, and scared the hell out of my wife. I worried if I didn't play it right, would I end up in the bottom of that well. They told us stories of how the local Sheriff was afraid of them and wouldn't come onto their property. The old ladies were the most racist people I had ever met.

Their national leader was there from Georgia to give a lecture at their church service. He didn't know we were there and were novices to their beliefs. He had really let go intimately detailing their beliefs and disgust at non whites, about the "cesspool of humanity that was Vancouver, B.C. Canada."

We got out of there eventually and never looked back. Don't get me wrong, these were very nice, polite and friendly people. I know deep down they meant well. But the things they believed in were immature, foolish, and frightening. As well as bad for humanity in general.

By time we got into the truck to head home that day, my wife had inadvertently nearly ripped off the sleeve of my shirt from repeatedly having grabbed it and holding on with dear life, while trying to look happy and at ease. Occasionally smiling and whispering she would say into my ear, "Get us out of here!"

The next day I considered telling the base about what was going on, but my racquetball friend talked me out of it. After all he said, those people know where you live and when you won't be home with your wife. It brought to mind a scary situation.

Gun and church do not belong together.

Pairing them is a massive warning that something is wrong. Perhaps, if your country has been invaded by an active force as happened in France, there is reason. But not here, not in America, and not since the Revolutionary or Civil War.

Needless to say we need a separation of Church and State, and Church and guns. If you want to protect your church from attack, try non lethal forms, try metal detectors, try anything, but leave your guns at home.

If your church is at all about death or killing, find another church. If your religion is death oriented like the three major desert religions of the Middle East, rethink your life choices.

Religion needs to be positive, life affirming and not about killing people.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Religion as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Many disorders that humans exhibit are merely normal conditions wherein the "dial" and degree has simply been turned up high enough that it has become an issue in one's daily life. PTSD is one of those where some psychologists are claiming it isn't even a disorder but a natural reaction to long enduring traumatic stress after the fact.

OCD precursors are another one of those things that when properly attenuated in life, can lead to great success in life, love and career. As with PTS, it's a necessary and functional thing in life. But when one is put into a situation where the stress is intermittent, continual and long lasting, one has to heighten one's senses in order to deal with it in the most safe manner possible, for the organism (people).

Now of days we are existing in an environment that we really were not designed for in being bombarded continually with stressful information. That of constant vigilance and preparation to fight or flight.

Once one of these human features broaches over to that point of being a disorder, it is then that we see issues that affect the individual's life, those around them and in some cases as in politics an entire local government, the nation or the world at large.

We are seeing a lot of this in the world today regarding religious beliefs brought on by triggers of fear, a decline in the veracity of religion itself with the advent of instant and ubiquitous information\media, the reactions to all that as well as to those speaking out against religion. It can incorrectly appear as a "war" on religion. When in reality it is something else entirely.

"Everything happens for a reason."

That saying has a purpose. One that simple minds have subverted. it is a shorthand to mean,... we need to find what purpose to ascribe to an event so that it has more purpose than mere happenchance.
In that way we can turn bad into good, good into better.

But to believe that there is a fate or a divine action that results in your being affected is to abdicate your ability to affect your own existence, to accept responsibility for what has happened to you in your life. 

YOU mostly have done to you what you experience happening. 

Even if it's not true, even if it's indirect. 

Because once you accept that, you have empowered yourself. 

Only then can the true "magic" in your life begin to happen.
There is too much magical thinking in the world. However we are as a race finally beginning to mature.

Eventually this will all will die down. Life will mediate into a level playing field and this will one day all be looked back upon as that period in history when there was obvious madness rippling through society world wide.

Hang in there.

Allow me to toss this into the mix:

It seems to me conservatives tend to be focused too much on their ideals (questionable as some of THOSE are) rather than giving enough consideration to reality, for far too much of the time. It sounds great but like religion, when you delve into it, eyes open, you quickly run into things many conservatives can't abide to consider.

While liberals are more concerned about actually reality rather than perceived (or believed) reality and govern their ideals through an effort to appropriately balance those.

So conservatives then try to claim liberals are unethical because they will bend their ideals if needed to fit reality (typically when it comes to being humane vs concerns of idealism or religion).

It's the religious ideology format of governing one's thought all over again. Something I see in many conservative atheists too. It's easy, quite lazy and requires very little exercising of the brain cells. Just say, "But God, God's laws, or idealism!" and you're done. But life is more complicated than that child's view of the world.

And it explains so much about our current mess.

Now add this to all of this:

Social Network Algorithms Are Distorting Reality By Boosting Conspiracy Theories

Monday, May 2, 2016

Which Revolution?

I hope you had a nice May Day weekend.

Think about this for a moment. There is a revolution in the works. One that has been needed for a long, long time now. Bernie Sanders has been talking about a political revolution and we desperately need one. I hope he is right and I hope it comes to be.

I have a conservative acquaintance who says the most important thing is to protect our guns in case of or when, we have to have an armed insurrection to take back our government. So he is voting for Bernie, or if he isn't available, Ted Cruz. Really? Wow.

Well, he's a conservative and conservatives have a very childlike, naive way of viewing the world through their very binary filters. Things aren't going well, beat up the bad guys. Easy peasy. Because it's just too hard to do it without a gun. As if a gun in the hands of armed citizens nowadays could win against the US Government. Uh huh....

That brings up the other revolution in the works. Not Bernie's non-violent one. You know about it, you see it in the news now every day and it is coming not from the liberal but the conservative side of things. Republicans have seemingly lost their minds. And it's been a long time in the proces. Going back to before Reagan, back to Nixon and before, but really taking off in the Reagan years.

To be fair, Democrats kind of let it happen by sitting back too much and doing little to combat it. To stop it dead in its tracks while it still had a chance to. As things are going we are at another point in our politics where the GOP can be course corrected and that apparently is again up to the Democrats and Americans in general, because the Republicans seem incapable of controlling even themselves.

The GOP is looking to block Donald Trump from the presidential nomination even though he is the clear choice of the people voting Republican, or just dumb.

The last time that happened it was on the other side of the aisle.

Democrats tried it in the 1968 election. They didn't like who the people liked and so they chose another candidate, one who had not even been running. Except perhaps around just enough delegates and GOP official's offices to get him the nod.

The 1968 Democratic Convention is now a highly notable historical event. It frightened some of America back then. There was to get to the point, a riot. One requiring police and the National Guard. The people did not like that a candidate was being chosen for them by their party officials and they let them know that in no uncertain terms. It ended in emergency room visits and over fifty people being arrested.

Back to 2016.,,,

Donald Trump, is a joke. As a President anyway, not as a potential President, apparently.

His supporters are a joke. At least their belief in Trump as President is anyway. A joke that could potentially become president. President of the most powerful nation in the history of the world. President, the most powerful man in the world. And people think Trump is the one for that?

Seriously. I mean, seriously?

Look, this is not a joke. There is fundamentally no difference between the intolerance of Trump's rampant diatribes against Muslims, Mexicans and others and that of the Muslim intolerance of those like just like him, and a potential intolerance against many of us as citizens. It is something that can easily be turned worse and against others. Just as Muslim intolerance against the west has been turned against and some might argue mostly against, Muslims, we could suddenly find that many of us are suddenly in the Trump abuse list.

Who are Donald Trump supporters? People at NASCAR events. Evangelical Christians. Some of the dumb educated young Republicans. Those privileged and those who delusionally see themselves as privileged. People who like many of us are pissed off at how our economy is and how our personal ways of life have suffered in a lack of upward mobility.

People feel embattled, put upon, a bit paranoid now perhaps. Paranoid because of real reasons in terrorists wanting to kill Americans on American soil. Paranoid in feeling changes in their positions and lifestyles. Because change is happening, positioning is changing. But that is, America. We live in a constant flux of change and opposition to that change. It keeps us vibrant, alive, on our toes. As long as we don't allow it to also make us afraid, paranoid, childish, binary in our approach to life and others.

In a world of grayness, we cannot allow ourselves to view it in the lazy fashion of merely good versus bad, love versus hate, rich versus poor, Republican versus Democrat, conservative versus liberal. We are all Americans, with new ones being born, and immigrating all the time. It is our strength.

Trump and those like him are our weakness. They exploit our weakness for their profit and benefit and if Trump is anything, he is for himself for profit and benefit. He is merely another crass bass individually in the style of nouveau riche as opposed to more classy old money. A base individual who seeks only the filthy lucre. Where his God is himself. We are there for him, no matter how much he claims he is there for us.

Ted Cruz is a whole other level of ugly. As John Boehner claimed his past week, Cruz is the "Lucifer in the flesh" (and not the cool type Lucifer in the TV show) and that he, "never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life."

The GOP this election season is really batting 1000 here on serving us up the dregs of American depravity.

People who believed in God, Country, John Wayne, Bruce Willis and kicking ass and taking names are incorrectly clinging to those like Trump and Cruz out of false hope for a lost and in some cases, nonexistent past. People who are hunters, who like to shoot for fun and who believe their 2nd amendment rights are being infringed, can't get enough of these guys. These are the nut cases who have rushes on gun stores the last two times Barack Obama won the presidency knowing they were about to lose their guns when all that happened was, there were banner times for gun manufacturers and gun stores.

Donald Trump supporters have the 1st amendment and they are going to exercise that right to its fullest in order to be heard. Because they need to be sure everyone knows that the American's right to be Christian is being impinged. That they are taking away their guns and that must be stopped, at whatever cost. Even though so much of their fears are groundless. Still they say they would die to defend our country and feel patriots could do no less.

And they have the guns and perhaps more, to fight with.

These are the people that the Republican party want to screw with at the Republican convention.

This should be interesting.

By the way, it should be any day now that conservatives and Republicans start to blame anyone but themselves, liberals and progressives for sure, as it being their fault for the rise of Donald Trump. If not one day, his presidency.