Monday, July 16, 2018

GOP and Conservative Disinformation Must Stop

Dear American Idiots. Stop destroying this country for your desires and pleasures. Pres. Trump, Stop! GOP, Stop! Conservatives, Stop. NRA, STOP.

And now with the Putin and Trump love fest summit today....

It's both rewarding and disconcerting to hear mention so much lately of Russian disinformation tactics and validation of what I've been saying for some very long.

I've been talking about Russia, disinformation, and the GOP and conservatives, the NRA, and others since long before my first blogs back in 2010. I've seen the tobacco cartel using it seemingly forever. The NRA then picked it up. Conservatives loved it and the GOP picked it up. Donald Trump used underhanded even pieces of Russia operations and certainly tactics to become president.

And there are so very many other concerns with Trump as president and I won't even go into what a nightmare it must be for his interpreters to convey his word salad sentence to any other foreign leader and it's a miracle we're all still alive at this point. As example Trump has berated Germany for spending billions and billions on Russian oil, but what about us then? Forbes article.

To have studied the Soviet state and KGB for so long, nearly since childhood for me, then to see it creeping into America, has scared the hell out of me for years. And I know I sounded like some crackpot to far too many. Until hopefully, now. Now because we're seeing investigations into it that go all the way up now to the presidency.

I did a search. My first mention in my blog of old Soviet disinformation tactics in America was in July of 2010. First mention in relation to Republicans was in June of 2011 about their flooding the media with lies about cannabis. November 2012 in relation to the GOP and climate change. June 2012 about Edward Snowden (during Obama administration, showing I wasn't blind to what Democrats were doing either, but they cannot hold a candle to what the GOP and conservatives had been, were then and continue to pull). July 2014 in relation to Fox News. March 2015 in relation to Tobacco companies, Congress, even robotics and a thing called Ethics. December 2015 in relation to guns, the NRA and the GOP. In December 28, 2015 in relation to the GOP and memes. I think this may have been around the time Russia was ramping up their disinformation leading to the 2016 election. July 2016 about conservatism, the GOP and disinformation. And many other times I mentioned it in blogs and the many, many times I've posted on social media, especially Facebook about it.

And no one was really listening. No one seemed to be paying any attention.

Until now.

And is now too late? After all, Trump is president. The GOP have Gerrymandered us into insanity. The vile have been empowered. And we are flailing and quickly getting nowhere.

Are we now too late to reverse the insidious crawl of the old Soviet, through the new Russia, through Putin, through their arm in the GOP?

I hope not. Start listening, start acting. Stop listening and start ending this fake news crap, this fake president nonsense, this fake GOP business as usual and let's return to American ideals and actual business and true politics beyond the old Soviet cancer that has spread throughout our media and our country now.

Is there hope? Yes, possibly. From 7/15/18:

Are we finally seeing #Democrats...anywhere, in this case California, beginning to reduce the anachronistic weight of their sedentary bulk to finally be fit enough to fight for us in the present to remove Republicans from their ongoing and abusive, bear trap lock on our government for their incessant and damaging and even anti American actions?

One can only hope....

#GOP #Republican #Russia #disinformation #POTUS #realDonaldTrump

Monday, July 9, 2018

Food Stamps?

I wrote this blog back in 2011 I think.

I guess to follow up my Fat man comment yesterday about sideshows, the AMA has labeled Obesity a disease now. Really. Is it a disease? Or is it just (for 99% of people) a matter of priorities, discipline, education? Is it more of a last ditch effort to get a handle on this national tragedy?

The more you look into the common diet in the US the more you begin to distrust corporations. Michael Pollan in his new book "Cooked" has said that people who eat food cooked by people and not corporations are showing to be healthier.

"Congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX) released a statement on Tuesday arguing that food stamps provide a good life for people as long as they use them wisely. Donny Ferguson, who serves as Congressman Stockman’s communications director and agriculture policy advisor, was able to buy enough food to eat well for a week on just $27.58, almost four dollars less than the $31.50 “SNAP Challenge” figure." [from "Continuing the Tradition of Black Intellectual Thought"]

For $21.55 Ferguson purchased at Dollar Tree:
Two boxes of Honeycomb cereal
Three cans of red beans and rice
Jar of peanut butter
Bottle of grape jelly
Loaf of whole wheat bread
Two cans of refried beans
Box of spaghetti
Large can of pasta sauce
Two liters of root beer
Large box of popsicles
24 servings of Wyler’s fruit drink mix
Eight cups of applesauce
Bag of pinto beans
Bag of rice
Bag of cookies

But the food he bought had very little protein and was not the most healthy of choices. I'd like to see this guy actually eat that food for a week, or live on it for months or years and see what it does to his body and mind. Look at the sugars (Honeycomb, Peanut Butter, Grape Jelly, Root Beer, popsicles, fruit drink mix, applesauce, cookies - a plethora of corn syrup products). You may be able to eat on that amount of money, but you are not going to be as healthy as you could if you have more money to spend on food.

I would never have bought those things when I was on food stamps, which I was for a while just after I got out of the military and before I got into college. I used to dream about buying meat and proteins. Maybe I could afford eggs for my Top Ramen (a fabulous cheap product you can throw anything into for a meal that differs day to day). But not the healthiest noodles to eat. One of the things about my post military and later on in college diet was that I got sick of eating the same things day in and day out.

Finally I discovered as many have that Top Ramen rocks.

You may be able to eat on that amount of money but you are not going to be as healthy as you could if you have enough money to spend on healthier food and can afford real proteins (no, vegetarians, we're not looking here for your input, even though you may be right because many people do not see a vegetarian lifestyle as a viable choice for them, even though it may work to their benefit). Baby steps, okay?

When I got out of the military I had a rough time. I was on food stamps for a while until I got into college and could use my Vietnam Era VA benefits. The work I did in the Air Force just didn't translate well back then to a job. I had to take a string of rather demeaning jobs until I simply couldn't take it anymore and gave up. It took me about a year to heal up and get things together.

My then ex wife, as our marriage didn't survive the military years, was a vegetarian and I had eaten well for years. To then go down to what I did after leaving the military was both enlightening and disconcerting. I finally got a job and got off food stamps, and thank God they were there when I needed them.

When I was in my third year at University, after moving to a different city where jobs were few in being available to students, I did't have and luckily didn't really need a job (and frankly I really needed to be a full time student, working day and night on my studies) and so I had very little money.

Both times what I found was that protein is very expensive and you either can't afford it or very much of it. Lots of carbs were cheap and I became more and more disgusted on what I could afford. This wasn't on food stamps because I felt I shouldn't dive into that since I was surviving and others needed it more than I did. Like I had earlier for a while after leaving the service. Others who couldn't attend college at all. But then, thank God for local food banks.

Still, foods you might prefer not to eat are far more affordable on a low income. I realized back then for the first time that you cannot live very healthy on the types of foods affordable at that economic level. There is a lot of talk about alternative lifestyles and how cheap it can be to grow your own, etc, but once again, that's not viable for many people.

TODAY (7/8/2018)

And now Republicans want to cut food stamps, end programs necessary to people's lives and continue to discredit citizens, humans in America, because they are "too lazy to become rich." That is such a stupid statement only an asinine person would even consider saying it and no decent person would.

We need to end this stupidity ASAP with due prejudice and far more than any of the programs these Republican want to end.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Normalizing Death & Independence Day 2018

First off, I would like to wish for you all to have a very happy, fun and safe Fourth of July Independence Day celebration!

I have found memories of my growing up and having very happy 4ths. Until I found myself in the middle of an explosion once back in the early 1980s (an experience that made it into my screenplay, The Teenage Bodyguard).

I've seen this in others. They love explosions, until they are involved directly in one either in civilian life, or actual war situations. They are not fun, when you see, when you feel the reality of an explosion. When done in a war situation, where one explosion or even is not the end, where you know you have more coming, perhaps until you's a very different experience than we experience in our mild by comparison, Independence Day celebrations.

Which are by law, to be safe and sane.

Yet I think most of us entirely miss the concept of the Fourth of July celebrations with fireworks. Yes it reminds us of war, kind of, but we've been too far removed from all the danger. All the damage. Well parents and authorities do try anyway. But let's face it, once our children grow up and move out, they can become the province of police, emergency services and ERs around the country.

So many of especially conservatives and our new form of American faux and neo patriots, seem to have missed the point entirely. Just as many of them seem to think that our "right to bear arms" is a fun pastime and guns are toys. That life isn't precious and that we can just chalk up the mass murdered to being collateral damage to our 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution.

As we have seen, Afghans and Iraqis, Syrians and others who have had to abandon their countries know full well to what I refer. While many Americans have no clue whatsoever in our privilege and entitlements and do not even recognize it as such, for what is going on in our celebrations of distant explosions and bright pretty lights in the sky.

Which in war still terrify in their beauty. But the key word there is... terrify.

I would suggest this from our government from here forward...

People can have their bright, loud but harmless fireworks displays which authorities limit on power and effect since people will literally (and do) kill and main both themselves and others when due care is not undertaken.

But perhaps, one night a year our government at each of its various levels needs to fire fireworks off above all neighborhoods. Fireworks guaranteed to break at least some windows in homes and terrify the young and elderly, and all the rest of our clueless middle of the road types.

You know, the one's Republicans don't care about except for votes and money and enhancing their positions of power and illiberal permanency through Gerrymandering, voter suppressions and even illegal Russian involvements in our elections.

People should wake on July 5th exhausted from lack of sleep doe to the fear and intensity of the explosions to REMIND us what war is about, what it's like, how you are in living through it. If you are so lucky to do so.

We have forgotten as a nation. To be sure, our soldiers have not as due to our ongoing warmongering, we have so many now who do remember, because they had experienced it for real only a short time ago, if not...yesterday. Or today.

Alamy - A Royal Navy fleet bombards Fort Sullivan in Charleston Harbor on 28 June 1776. The Revolution was rife with such fights, large and small, coastal and riverine, making it “without question, the largest and most significant naval war of the 18th century.”
American civilians should feel and see damage in their neighborhoods, experience at least the fake destruction, the trash everywhere from remnants of major fireworks in the air. They should walk a bit like zombies through July 5th and light versions of short term PTS and exhaustion so they can truly experience, or remember, to know (perhaps again) just what it is like to have suffered through what birthed this nation, and what others are currently going through around the world.

Because if we all truly understood it, would there really be anymore wars around the world? Or would we make it our life pursuit to find ways to make diplomacy work and to curtail its ill conceived cousin, corporatism and corporate thinking, which many times have spawned these wars? Or to have set up future groups like the Taliban, Al Qaeda, or ISIS to start or continue their own versions of the wars they were born from?

That, is the purpose of a celebration like this. And no, I do not really suggest we do this. But we need to find a way to bring this home, to see it and feel it, experience it, to find the enlightenment of the fear involved, the ongoing terror, the resulting damage, death and perhaps permanent PTSD.

Remembering. Knowing. Going forward with the intention to truly be able to appreciate what you have and what has been sacrificed since the birth of this nation in order to give them the safety and prosperity we all now have and have been born into. Or have migrated toward. Legally or illegally.

We have spent decades decreasing the threat of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction into manageable weapons and scenarios. Our attempts to beat our weapons into plowshares has led to our massive wars becoming smaller and more conventional and in some cases we have gone from nukes to knives. More urban warfare. Small groups, drug cartels rather than wars again nation states.

From fears of wars on our soldiers to terror on civilians by terrorists, some with religious bents, bending their religions to mean whatever they wish it to mean. And to be sure, that is one of the concerns about religions and conventions of magical thinking.

So we now have nations and leaders who abuse their people so much, where groups such as ISIS or drug gangs, due to poverty and shutting down crime in one country so it seeks another, that we now have millions of displaced civilians seeking refuge and too many unempathetic ears and hearts turning them away. In some cases, turning away those who are products of our past transgressions. Actions in one place, that have festered and burst in another.

Then when they seek our help, we treat them like filth and criminals. We have situated ourselves in America today where we have a president who calls out these innocents, purely for political power, as just such despicable humans, when those types are actually the ones doing the name calling and barring hopeful innocents from our shores and borders. Even when that is what America was founded upon; even when that is what America was built, certainly in part, to do.

But fear, weakness and consciously structured economies, designed to keep citizens in need, have made us weak, while we cry about our strength. Make us hypocrites, while we proudly announce our great moral authority. Make us despicable while we rant about our intellectual superiority. All which makes us nothing, if not lesser so.

As for those illegals, or for those seeking legal sanctuary, for those refugees we need to turn not our historically blind eyes toward their home nation's conditions, but our enlightened eyes, minds and open hearts to realize, and to avoid in the future, especially where we the ones who set up those conditions for their seeking asylum from us in the first place.

Rather than simple mindedly, unthinkingly, labeling them as criminals. When all they want is what we want. Safety, security, hope. Hope for themselves, for their families and loved ones, and for their children. Children whom we recently and still are abusing on purpose, for political effect and for power.

Then and only then might we actually start to see an outpouring of empathy and a determination to not only help war displaced victims, but to actually and permanently work to put an end to despots. All Despots. Yes, like our own current illiberal overly and unnecessarily conservative GOP and their leader, our greatest and most despicable pathologically lying Pres. Donald J. Trump).

"Mr." Trump is playing world politics like a board game. Monopoly? Or perhaps his own 1980s board game, narcissitically called, Trump: The Game. We are not a game. We are not, something for sociopathic leaders to manipulate for their own pleasure. And yet, he does.

We need to put a stop to all such idiotic beliefs including our current forms of destructive capitalism, the travesty of religions such as evangelicalism, radical Islam or whatever else theistic crap that may crop up, the authoritarianism and populism today that is so destructive in places like North  Korea, Russia and elsewhere, all these things that do tend to lead a clear path to abuse if not finally to...war.

We can turn this around. We have done it before. After all, it's why we have Independence Day in the first place. So do go forward, but do it with purpose. Do it with an understanding that to celebrate the Fourth is to know why you do so and to realize that to celebrate it, means you have to, you still have to...fight for what is right. And not just what is seemingly good, right now.

But hey... Have a very Happy Independence Day!

#POTUS #GOP #Conservatives #Dems #realDonaldTrump @realDonaldTrump #VPOTUS #Republican
#4thofjuly #army #baldeagle #eagle #fourthofjuly #independenceday #marines #navy #patriotism #unitedstates #usa #veteran #vintage #vintagedad #supportsmallshops #fourthofjulyweekend #fourthofjulycelebration #fourthofjulyfestivities #fireworks #fireworksdisplay #starsandstripes #redwhiteandblue

Monday, June 25, 2018

Do your best, just not too well

Be clean. But don't be too clean.
Do well, just don't do too well.
Think. But don't over think.
Life isn't simple. Work with that.

In fact being too clean at times actually works against us.

Same with doing too well in nearly anything. Calculating your efforts tends to work much better with aforethought and due consideration.

It is a downfall of extremists and conservative thought, of being motivated only by ideological thought. To just go for it, without much thinking. And that tends to be their downfall. It is the same with the concept of "zero tolerance" on most things or of purity overall. For some reason nature needs some degree, some functional degree of contamination. It is defective. It sounds nice, makes for a good sound bite, but in reality it generally turns up defective systems, products, even people.

Think! It's your better self. Don't be lazy, mentally. Because in that is so much of our problems in this country and in the world. As example, let's take a look at a physical issue. Cleanliness.
There are some who are a little paranoid about bathroom practices. Yes, washing your hands helps. Washing your hands whenever you return home helps. Washing too much doesn't. Using antibacterial soap everywhere can work against us. Perhaps just in the bathroom may be a good idea.

However if we really had to worry as much as some people do, then we'd have been dead thousands of years ago.

Consider your belt on your pants or dress, or buttons or zipper and how contaminated they can be or become without proper consideration.

Anderson Cooper
Anderson Cooper on his show once had his cell phone tested. Tests came back that it had fecal contamination all over it. And he's a pretty clean, well brought up guy. Needless to say he was stunned. No matter what you do, how careful you are, it's going to happen.

In another study they found fecal contamination on furniture and in many places around the house that you'd not expect it. Some households are worse (or better than others) but if you are extremely paranoid and you're house simply couldn't be like that, well, you'll actually still come up with some contamination.
Chandler and Joey of Friends
Consider the episode of "Friends" when Joey pointed out to Chandler when he showers how he uses their shared shower soap. Suddenly Chandler realizes and is horrified at what he must have been putting all over his face for all those years.

Now consider this.

Have you ever leaned or sat back while sitting on a toilet, brushing against the underside of the toilet seat sitting up behind you? Did you know when you close the lid (which is better when you flush) exactly what happens to the mist that appears from the soiled flush water? 

Studies have shown that mist travels throughout the house if the bathroom door is open and no fan had been on. See, the fan isn't just for odors. Here's another. Apparently the hot air blower in public bathrooms, not only sanitarily drys your hands, it also recycles all the airborne germs in the public restroom all around that room and out the bathroom door when it opens.

The point is, fighting this is a losing battle. 

We do the best we can and still we fail. That doesn't mean we shouldn't still do our best. Or that failing will kill us. The trouble is in sometimes doing too well. Simply doing the absolute best that is possible can at times be counterproductive. We actually do need some bad bacteria in our life to help our immune system to be triggered in order to be strong to fight things off whenever it really is needed.

Life, as well as politics are very much like that. It is intrinsic in the conservative way of thinking. So be careful. But not too careful.

You cannot simply do the best you can. You have to do just the right amount of what is best. Trying too hard can actually kill you. Not trying at all can also kill you. Thinking critically, being reasonable, finding the Middle Way is usually the answer. 

Then at times regardless of all our best intentions, we can still die from our own actions.

So relax. Do your best. Just don't overdo your best...too much.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Our Internet Today... and Yesterday

Nuts. I'm not 100% loving Facebook, but it's nice nationally and internationally to have a platform from which to easily and at least somewhat usefully do so. To do what? All that Facebook kind of stuff. Obviously.
Graphic from ITPulse
I started on the internet back in the late 80s.

I was involved in it, took classes in it, worked in IT (Internet, intranet technologies and...information technologies) in a variety of ways, jobs, levels and orientations.

It's amazing to see how far we've come. For that matter, how far I've come, as I've retired from IT and now am a full time author and filmmaker with at least ons screenplay in hopefully the right hands in Hollywood.

I even wrote a short sci fi story about America, the internet and media titled, In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear. It is recently available as of June 2018 as an audiobook as well as ebook. It was my first fiction sold to a horror quarterly back in 1990 and is the first story in my book of my older sci fi and horror fiction, Anthology of Evil. I have a sequel coming out of my newer writings, many of which have been published in magazines or anthologies with other authors.

Graphic from Zcorum

This Internet today is simply not what we wanted, in what we're seeing today. Like the Internet of things. Though it has surpassed the imagination of what many of us has conceived. We had wanted an internet free for everyone, where information was free to all... and open.

Much has even disappeared from online, or has become a fee based access situation. Overall, the Internet has benefited us all, if only we can get back some of our original orientation, if only we could counter some of the for profit issues and get back to the betterment of humanity.

At first for us it was, "information is free!" It should be Free! "The Internet is for Humanity!" Not big money! Not big business. Certainly not for Russia to alter our national elections!

Back in the 80s, if someone tried to sell something in the newsgroups back then in the beginning, or the middle, the late 80s, where we had mostly text based newsgroups, FTP, Telnet, Gopher, whatever text based stuff, they were crushed. Ostracized.

When the graphical internet, the World Wide Web, WWW, what came to be known as the internet as the dark parts sunk into the dark started creeping its way in. A few of us pushed to keep it out until (I for one) realized that it was far bigger than us and far too powerful (money's like that) and that it could serve a good purpose. But then would obviously take a darker course. Simply's inevitable.

Eventually I got it, as did others, but it worried me\us.

 I learned, I got educated about it, I took many classes. I worked in IT. First as a technical writer, then deeper and deeper into the mechanics of it all. Which led as it has to, to security. Something I'd been into before at a more physical level.

Graphic from Latest Internet News
I had stumbled into something awesome. Something that led to Internet security people and police as well as intelligence people at all levels and the government. Something I was headed into before. The great Soviet had died but that education and those skills were all still relevant.

Now here we are. We need a place for everyone to use. Not fractured, but cohesively. Not to polarize, but to feel to feed ourselves intellectually and other ways. To share with like, but also unlike minds.

We need this. It protects us. It also attacks us. Sometimes from those we elect or pay to protect us. Openness, transparency. THAT protects us. That and being able to share and openly so.

I don't care if it's Facebook or not. Or as I proposed in my above mentioned story, In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear, where the United Nations builds its own "Facebook" social media platform. Using experts from around the world to build it, all the best minds. It replaces Facebook. Everyone the world over uses it.

Photo from Daily Maverick
So that when any dictator or government shuts its people off from it, the UN pays attention, and immediately sends in moderators, "blue hats", to protect the people and stop more abuse as we've seen so much through the end of the last century and the beginning of this new one.

It became what it could become, as with Facebook or Twitter in the Arab Spring, or other national travesties. I had done my best back in 2011 to support that movement in Egypt and some did use my blog back then for updates to information their government was trying hard to keep them from. It was a hopeful time, that devolved into mediocrity, much as America has with the election of Donald Trump as president.

Before Facebook it was MySpace, which has changed into a music platform. Before that, there were others. Before that there were the BBSs, the Bulletin Board Systems you used a modem to dial your phone and PC up to.

Before that...well, it's been around for a while. This ability to communicate world wide. In the late 1960s when I was in jr. high and had a radiotelegraph license and could run a ham radio. I talked to other countries and wrote it all down as is normal procedure for hamm operations.

Before that it was telephones and before that, the telegraph. Although that technology was by a select few of trained and paid individuals, a kind of subculture grew up around it and telegraph stations across the nation. There are even very interesting books on that culture.

But we don't do that anymore. Though, we kind of do. Don't we? Everything now is recorded and saved, somewhere. And, we need that. For history, for our protection. For our coming together. For humanity growing closer, rather than continuing to take advantage of those less knowledgeable, less powerful, less whatever. But we're seeing humanity growing more apart. Why? We need to work on that, and turn things around, to be sure.

In that way we can make those others and ourselves, more than. Not less. Because as we're seeing, too many are trying to make us all, less than we can be. I'd really prefer to be more, for us ALL to be more than we are. Even if I don't always win. Even if I don't become rich. Even if I can't, have everything.
Graphic from WordlessTech
Just enough really is enough. That alone, would make me happy. For us all to better ourselves and come together. To be more informed, more aware, more proactive. More caring for all others as well as ourselves.

Especially if those around me, are happy too.

Monday, June 11, 2018

In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear, A New Audiobook

It is finally UP and Available to the public on Amazon, Audible and iTunes:

Original artwork by Marvin Hayes
In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear. The title, an homage to science fiction writer Isaac Asimov's 1979 first autobiography which I found so affective and orienting to me as a writer, In Memory Yet Green.

My story is a tale of how a dystopian society comes to be through the efforts on a single man who takes over much of America's thinking through his managing their daily feed of information.

Sound familiar? Seem a bit too real? A bit too much like today? It is. But this is a reality we can easily escape, simply by finishing listening to or reading the story.

From the Amazon description:

A short story about a world reminiscent of a Philip K.Dick story since the 2016 US Presidential election, or this story here where a world famous surgeon helps his missing son's best friend. Only to find that his actions lead to monumental changes in the United States and as well around the world. All in ways he would never have foreseen.

I wrote this story in the 1980s and eventually saw it sold to an east coast horror quarterly magazine. It became my first published short sci fi horror fiction in 1990. Then in 2012 it became the first story in my first book Anthology of Evil (to which I'm currently shopping to publishers its sequel, Anthology of Evil II). That first book of mine is a collection of my original older short sci fi and horror, including its ending novella (Andrew) that evolved through one other short short story (Perception) into my second book, DEATH OF HEAVEN.

In 2013 I had produced and narrated three audiobooks on my own. The Conqueror Worm (first and standalone short horror which opens my DEATH OF HEAVEN book), The Mea Culpa Document of London (also in Anthology of Evil), and Expedition of the Arcturus (the title an homage to the 1920 book,  Voyage to Arcturus, by Scottish author David Lindsay) and was first published in the hard sci fi free online magazine (thanks there to publisher Sam Bellotto).

I am now putting out audiobooks with friend and professional voice actor Tom Remick in a collaboration we are both finding rewarding and just fun to do. Here is a short video intro to Tom's work. We have since changed our equipment and recording setup for the current audiobook, In Memory, Yet Crystal Clear.

Next up... first, I am narrating my most popular piece, a science fact article I've renamed, On Psychology. It details the history of psychology, proposes new research on synesthesia and schizophrenia and offers some perspective on today\s related political environment.

We already have audio tracks for the next story recorded for Mr. Pakool's Spice, a short story about a single father trying to get his two young kids to safety through the back winter woods of Oregon during a zombie apocalypse. With no food, barely surviving, and with of all people an international terrorist hot on their tail. It's a well drawn and heart wrenching tale.

Included with that story in the ebook and now audiobook is the short short story, The Regent's Daughter, a medieval tale which won Best Tension, in a short short story contest among a group of writers.

After that we will be recording the engrossing and tense sci fi horror story, EarVu about a new and frightening technology. It seems like a fun technology... at first. Then the several scientists who developed it find strange things happening around their top secret lab.

Tom and I are having a great time. Producing audiobooks is not easy and takes a lot of work which we hope genre fans and others, will appreciate. It's especially rewarding for me as some of these stories I wrote a very long ago. My older ones even going back to my university days in the early 1980s.

Having read and re read them so many times during the crafting process, over the years and then to hear a talented voice actor read them, to bring them alive, brings another level entirely to these stories. Some of which I have now updated to be more relevant to today's sensibilities. And in some cases as with this current audiobook, our present reality has only enhanced the intensity of the story.

So many authors have said their stories are in a way, like children to them. This experience has been like my stories have gone from high school to college and who knows, perhaps one day they will achieve professional status to become produced on film. Part of the reason I retired in 2016, buying film production equipment and restarting up my LGN Productions (AKA Last good Nerve Productions, started in 1993) company was to produce my stories in new formats.

But until that happens these stories are available as print, ebook and now audiobooks as we produce more and more of my stories. Please take a look and a listen. I think you'll be very pleased with the result we have culled out of them in bringing new life to them as audiobooks. If you do like what you hear and read in my stories, please do share with friends and feel free to post your reviews. I look forward to seeing what you think.

All the best and do... keep reading and listening!

From the ever beautiful American Pacific Northwest... JZ Murdock.


#audiobooks #time #two #reading #ebook #book #soundcloud #review #love #today #google #instabook #instasoundcloud #instareview #instabooks #instagoogle #audiobook #listening #thriller #read #listen #Audible #horror #sciencefiction #scifi #sf #horrorSF #dystopia #America #democrat #politics #PKD #philipkdick #specfiction #speculativeFiction #bodymorph #bodymods #bodymodification

Monday, June 4, 2018

Cannabis As A Legal Intoxicant

I'd like to clear something up about Cannabis, pot, weed, ganja, or whatever you like to call it.

I may come across as a die hard activist about it, but actually I don't think anyone should do drugs if they can avoid them. Meds, obviously are another issue. The concept of using medical pot for recreation has always been a bastardization of it, something our government should hang their heads in shame over the need for that to have come about. That has nothing to do with the actual need for medical pot. I'm talking only recreational use.

I just don't think people should be abused as we have, through prohibition (and alcohol in my view is as bad as cocaine and just or nearly, as dangerous). Unlike most of those against all this, I learned to have my opinion through research and experience, not just having a jaded opinion as many who are against it.

There has also been more interest by the public in drugs after our government has lied to use for so many decades about them. There are now doctors, scientists and journalists talking about drugs and the real information about them. Therefore there is also more interest in hallucinogens.

People like Michael Pollan with his book, How to Change your Mind - What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence,.discusses this. At the writing of this here, I'm still waiting for the audiobook to hit retail.

I go in depth about this myself in my latest audiobook, On Psychology. It should be available any day now on Amazon, iTunes and See the addendum at the end of that article about the history and systems of psychology and study of synesthesia and schizophrenia. It's a fascinating article. Even if I do say so myself. And I explain in it what that is so and how I know that to be true.

I don't say this in my psychology article but I'll mention it here. I do mention drugs like LSD in the article and audiobook, however. Years ago I was in a job I couldn't quit, couldn't get away from and had it for several years. It was stressful and difficult to go back day after day until finally I had ran out my condition of employment. It allowed me to get my degree eventually in psychology from a university, so in the end, that was good. But it was a stressful few years.

I would use LSD over a weekend sometimes when I really needed to escape but couldn't. So that come that next Monday, I felt refreshed and recharged, like I had been on vacation for an entire week. I would also use it at times to kill off a bad habit, or one I wanted to change but kept failing to. I was drop (take) the acid (LSD) alone, concentrate on what I wanted through the experience and find that afterword, There is talk nowadays about microdosing LSD. Taking low doses on a daily basis. The word is out on that for now but they are beginning to research it.

And I Found that I had indeed changed that habit after a single acid trip. Now I'm not advocating this method for people, just saying that it worked for me. And I admit, I was unusual in my understanding of drugs and psychology, even before I got a degree in it. Yet, I didn't go crazy, didn't lose my job, didn't need medical attention, didn't harm anyone, not even myself, and it seemed to me to only be a benefit to me. And to be sure, in the 1950s it was actually used in therapeutic ways. But our government, out of fear and ignorance, as usual, had made it illegal because of the 1960s counterculture.

Weed in comparison to those other drugs is pretty harmless, in that it doesn't kill like the other drugs can that it's been inappropriately grouped with. Grouping pot with heroin and meth, is ridiculous and always has been. Cocaine and cannabis are not physically addictive. The issue there comes not in physical but emotional. They are not the same thing. But cocaine is vastly more dangerous that cannabis.

Yet there are dangers related to legalizing cannabis, now. And oddly enough, they have little to do with the substance itself.

The dangers come not in the substance but in big money as usual and through corporate mismanagement (also as usual), in trying to push a product on us more than is good for us. They will seek to sell us pot soda pop, pot everything, now. Anyway they can make a buck and addict us just as in tobacco.

Except, as stated above, weed isn't addictive in the same sense as heroin or alcohol.

But does that mean it should be illegal? No. We will go through a honeymoon period for a while and then slack off some as it becomes culturally normal and we acclimate to how to use and not abuse it. As we mature into it's national use as we did alcohol after prohibition, or as a human maturing into adulthood and make decisions of use or abuse.

Also, in over enhancing the weed itself to powerful medical levels, something that came from the underhanded way that decriminalizing it had to go, we have it more and more in a far more powerful than necessary form.

All because our government lied to us ever since the Nixon commission said it was safe and he  as president ignored that because of his own personal bias. Just as we're seeing now with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom even the man who appointed him as said, was a bad idea. This had led since Nixon to a war on (citizens, not) drugs (as it failed in waring on drugs), where we found ourselves eventually with a very powerful form of pot that never appeared in nature.

I would suggest to anyone wanting to use pot, to seek the weaker forms, to learn they don't need to consume as much now a days to get reasonably high, to imbibe with reason as you would (or should) alcohol.

The less often you use it, the less it can become normalized in your system. Use at little as possible to enhance life, to "take the edge off" and not make it a life in and of itself. In that form, it can be very useful as an adjunct to life and not an end all, be all. Rather than use it and do nothing, use it and do something, safely, and legally.

We simply need to act like responsible adults. The ability now to eat THC (or CBD) is healthier than smoking it. Using a bong or water pipe (even better as it doesn't burn the substance just as a vape does not), is healthier. Vaping the oil or other such substance is better too than smoking it due to the heated smoke, the particulates hitting the lung's alveoli.

Let's face it, drugs aren't for kids. But if my own pre adult kids (or as adults) were to use a drug, I'd far more prefer it be cannabis, than literally any of our other of the scarier prospects out there, including alcohol. Deaths to cannabis are nearly if not completely non existent. Death due to alcohol, domestic violence, drunk driving, weapons charges on booze, etc., are astounding. The more we can get people to replace alcohol use with cannabis, the better we'll all be.

And then, there is the tax situation. Robbing drug cartels of their mainstay, removing crime from cannabis use. This isn't rocket science and states with legal cannabis are proving this to extraordinary degree. Including my own state of Washington. Where we are also leading the way on serious drugs like heroin use in needle exchanges and safe injection and use locations.

This is America and I've always been stunned at how our government continues to try to make decisions for us, that we should be making ourselves...if America is such a great and free nation.

Let us see it. Let us decide. And stop abusing us for mere political gain.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Overhead Conversation in a Bar Near Biloxi, Mississippi

Conversation overheard in a bar near Biloxi, Mississippi:

A regular patron walks in and shouts:

"Happy GREAT Americans Day!"

First time visitor of another regular:

"Uh, what's that again?"

Regular loudly as he sits with a group of large friends:

"Just what they've been calling Martin Luther King's Day in Biloxi since the 80s is all."

"Since When again?"

"Well you know. It's also Robert E. Lee's birthday as well."

"Seriously? Doesn't the irony in that choke you at all? Besides, aren't their birthdays like four days apart."

"So?" Another: "What of it!?"

"Well?" Worried, "Uh, King's, is first?"

"So? Lee was born first!"

"Okay, fine," looking around at everyone staring him down, "I... surrender."

"About time the south won one." Cheers!

Thanks Tig Notaro for the initial idea.

Monday, May 28, 2018

US Attacked with Mind Control Weapons?

First off, today is Memorial Day. I was in the military myself years ago. It paid for my college and university degrees (thanks everyone!) And I know not all of us are that lucky and instead have massive college debt. But, that's another topic for another time (and one that needs to be addressed).
I have to say, having had an appreciation of the military before hand, after serving in the military, I had an even better understanding of it all.

Memorial Day is a day for reflection and appreciation of all those who have gone before us, died for us, for their beliefs in our country, and for all those who currently serve and are daily in harm's way. We thank you all!

That being said, with so many false narratives lately, postured patriotism and disingenuous partisanship, a word from our President...our FIRST President:

Now, for today's blog....

BEIJING — An American government employee posted in southern China has signs of possible brain injury after reporting disturbing sounds and sensations, the State Department said on Wednesday, in events that seemed to draw parallels with mysterious ailments that struck American diplomats in Cuba.- New York Times

What in the hell exactly is going on here?

If I had to guess with a gun to my head, I'd have to lean toward the plausibility of it being Putin yet again. Another Russian operation. It just fits the scenario we're seeing. Beginning in Cuba, moving to China. Russia has traditionally and historically had easy access to Cuba, to do things both with and without government knowledge.

So Cuba may be telling the truth about their ignorance and if it's Russia they may not have wanted to share or alert Cuban officials for obvious reasons.

In then doing this in Chian, Russia may feel they are thinning the argument against them. And as well, double bonus, sending a warning signal to China... and others.

Pretty slick if you think about it. But has a Donald Trump feel to it also, if you keep thinking about it. Not that he did it, but a dramatic mentality he might dream up. Along with a lack of associated ethical implications and considerations.

Of course we know about Chinese black hat hackers like China Eagle, funded by the Chinese military. But the Russians have been the biggest threat to us of late. Obviously they have been researching and applying that in operations against us. Well, in part it's what we do to one another. We have done some underhanded things to be sure, but Russia under Putin certainly, isn't constrained by the same considerations we are, do to the nature of our government. And perhaps, mindset? Maybe.

It may not even have been a weapon directed AT us, but a weapon, more ingenuously, using the components already in place, or perhaps, subtly added to.

Here's an article on that.

These types of weapons are no longer the purview of science fiction. Many of them are now science fact, with more are to come. Apparently some of those which the American government are developing came to light recently in accidentally disclosed documents through a FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) request.

To anyone paying attention this isn't news, overall. Regardless, the specifics are indeed fascinating.

"Forced orgasm?" They could make a killing on that alone.Seriously, if some people would just get laid, they just might mellow out. I jest. Sort of. But others just need to get relax, smoke a joint, stop the alcohol or pills, or perhaps...simply have a drink.

Who knows, maybe they've discovered THE anti war weapons: Forced Orgasm. There are already several in popular and branded culture. The Orgasmatron. Cultural examples have been in various incarnations by name and otherwise. As in Barbarella, called the Excessive Machine, a famous scene in cinema. Or Woody Allen's Sleeper. And Motorhead's album of the same name.

I've experienced that transparent eyelid thing myself. It's weird, disconcerting when I'm trying to go to sleep. Too much mind, I think, as my Aikido Sensei liked to say. It's like a dream stare overtaking a waking state and you can "see" what you can't see.

I remember studying that in M. Merleau-Ponty's book Phenomenology of Perception in college toward my psychology degree. I taught it to my kids and have used the concept in my novella, Andrew.

Seeing things that aren't able to be seen and yet, you can see them, and so on. It's also useful for martial reasons. For instance, one can hit a target that can't be seen clearly with bullet, throwing knife (or dart) or arrow. I've done that many times. Initially to my great surprise. My college archery instructor taught it to us, though I'd already known about it for some time.

Some simply call it, Zen. I believe Zen in the Art of Archery may even discuss it. One tries to aim when the target CAN be seen and yet miss, but in using one's mind, it can be hit seemingly way too accurately.

I don't doubt that any of what's on that diagram is in research stages, though it doesn't mean they've already achieved it, fully. Or was it not an accidental release at all? As for thoughts, we're doing interesting research and products on that, but not in a direct way we'd expect. Rather in a roundabout way of achieving similar results and a little less exciting that it at first sounds.

Or, maybe they're just staring at goats again.

I'm glad we're researching these things though. I've been a proponent of non lethal weapons for years. We have GOT to stop relying so heavily upon firearms. Just as we have to do the same for internal combustion engines and using fossil fuels as sources of energy. They're anachronistic, archaic, and it's time to look to the future and put behind us our childish ways.

I'm not complaining here about other countries having these weapons. That was bound to happen. My concern is the same obvious concern anyone would have in hearing these news reports. Essentially terrorist tactics to harm people doing nothing overtly to harm those attacking them.

I understand for instance, general tactics of espionage. I get harassing foreign agents, especially in countries not of either combatant's. I also understand the concept, in place for hundreds of years  if not thousands, of leaving known agents in place to monitor and gleam intelligence from them, if not at times to also feed false intel to.

But to do damage to others, to those not directly in the field against your own agents, is unacceptable. People working in offices? Really?

Regardless, it seems pretty clear this is Russia.

It also seems pretty clear that both Russia AND America have problems with who their current leaders are. Both of which have been in office for far too long for the sanity and safety of either country, or the entire world.

Putin has been in power far too long at the detriment of his country and their reputations. Trump should never have been allowed anywhere near the White House and our reputation has been damaged in only a single year. That as well as regulations, protections, laws and issues of trust will take us years if not decades to rectify.

So many years of hard work, of people dying for our cause, have been damaged or destroyed by only one narcissist, one Russian Oligarch style man as our president, as POTUS. Term limits, if not special prosecutors, may be our saving grace. And luckily people around the world are aware we change presidents at least every two terms of four years ago. Our government overall is strong, weakened only recently by a defective nationalism mindset and populism run amuck.

We are living in interesting times. So pay attention.

Because what is happening during this period will be discussed and studied for many decades to come.

Monday, May 21, 2018

A Brief Word on Cannabis and Psychedelics

With due consideration to a variety of changes going on in this country, politically but also socially and medically, I thought it might be good to say a word about a certain drug (cannabis) and certain psychedelics.

Check out Nightline's Growing Promises, piece. As for those who would remark about the final scientist's comments about loving CBDs but hating THC.... I would then ask him to compare and contrast it to alcohol which is legal. Because I suspect, that he would rather have alcohol illegal and legalize cannabis for recreational use.

It's really all in the Gestalt of the information, not just the information by itself. That's something that far too many people have no clue or awareness of. Sadly.

Science is about finding truth in our physical reality. It is not to be about partisanship, tribalism, or beliefs over peer reviewed, repeatable and verifiable facts. So why do we base science oriented issues on emotions and politics? Especially when it damages our culture and citizens?

In that vein I feel I need to diverge from the internally organic (legal) to the organically derived and illegal. I came to this article in doing the audiobook for my psychology article (my degree is in psychology and writing) on synesthesia and schizophrenia where at the end I conjecture we could one day train ourselves to use natural abilities to hallucinate as entertainment.

Which we can now do with drugs in using caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, or cannabis, so called "magic" mushrooms and so on. Some of those legal are not that safe, some of those illegal ones, are.

Although the article focuses on the natural and organic, internal forms of doing what people have typically used chemicals or drugs to do, there has of late been an increasing amount of interest in the media about psychedelics. This is in part because of the increasing trend of states in America legalizing cannabis for recreational use.

Briefly, what was once called “marijuana”, mostly in order to vilify and associate it with its use by Mexican, Blacks and the poorer classes, should really now more reasonably be referred to using its proper name, cannabis. Thus shedding the historically negative racist baggage forced upon it by our national and local government and police.

This renewed interest now however is also because of a much more knowledgeable citizenry. This is due in part to the prevalence and evolution of today's media. But as well to the rise of our overall national level, if one can momentarily sidestep concerns of what has generally and sadly been referred to as this “post truth” world, of what we could nominally call, wisdom. That is, we are as a group wiser now than ever before in history.

Even though the news media calls into question just how wise we are anymore, people are in general more aware of what is going on now than ever before rather than just what we were once told to believe. I am sure that one day hopefully soon, we will all learn better how to more appropriately handle this awesome responsibility.

The trouble of late in our transition is an inability of so many, mostly on the political right, to be unable to tell the boundaries of reality and think that actual journalistic efforts are "fake news", and much that actually is fake news, is real news, actual journalism. Not the least for the efforts of those who are trying, like our president Donald Trump, to further their own agendas, at the expense of American citizens, for self aggrandizement and protection.

Reality always needs to trump opinion and lies.

Since as we have seen the government was apparently incorrect in so many of their professed fears about certain “recreational” drugs which they had so disingenuously sown into the fabric of our nation, our citizens are now reasonably beginning to wonder, and rightly to question.

For decades our government assiduously denigrated cannabis since the Nixon Administration first initiated their miscast "war on drugs," with the ensuing devastation it has perpetrated upon the American people. A devastation born mostly by our fellow citizens within our ethnic minorities. But also by every American tax payer.

The Shafer Commission formally known as the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, was appointed by Republican U.S. President Richard Nixon in the early 1970s and concluded that:

"Neither the marihuana user nor the drug itself can be said to constitute a danger to public safety," concluded the report's authors, led by then-Gov. Raymond Shafer of Pennsylvania. "Therefore, the Commission recommends ... [the] possession of marijuana for personal use no longer be an offense, [and that the] casual distribution of small amounts of marihuana for no remuneration, or insignificant remuneration no longer be an offense."
What happened was the Nixon commission recommended legalizing marijuana and Nixon completely ignored his own commission's rational and factual assessment, plunging the nation into decades of waste and abuse.

Ever since ridiculously being labeled a dangerous drug, cannabis has been grouped in with such drugs as heroin and cocaine as a Schedule 1 drug. Reality, sanity and facts would include alcohol as it has many of the dangerous and descriptive elements of cocaine. LSD also does not belong listed as a Schedule 1 drug. The categorizing of cannabis and even LSD in this group are therefore political and not rational, factual medical considerations. It is a political boondoggle.

SCHEDULE 1 (CLASS I) DRUGS are illegal because they have high abuse potential, no medical use, and severe safety concerns; for example, narcotics such as Heroin,LSD, and cocaineMarijuana is also included as a Class 1 drug despite it being legal in some states and it being used as a medicinal drug in some states.
Even some of our most conservative leaders are now beginning not to see the mistake in keeping cannabis illegal when so many find it so reasonable, safe and useful. Useful both to themselves but also to our society at large.

If cannabis isn't as bad as we were told, people now wonder, what about other drugs? Truth be told we have devastated entire sectors of our society, especially within our social minorities, destroying people's lives, the lives of their families and many of their (and our) social structures.

Mission creep from the war on drug's original intent moved aggressively to one of vast losses to our economy, social strata and national persona. It has jammed up and made defective our police, our courts, our prisons and our social services. It has affected children growing up unnecessarily without one or both parents.

It has forced people into seeking methods of social lubrication limited to what is legal, with dangerous prescription drugs and alcohol and even dangerously mixing them so that now we have had useless deaths and a massive opioid crisis. All perhaps while there were far better, safer and cheaper alternatives.

So why the institutional and governmental allergy to “this” actual reality? To actuality? Rather than to their own desires of what they merely want to be true for some unfathomable reason with all the damage it has, and they have caused.

This has been a trend lately and one we need quickly to get under control. We have recently seen more authors and self professed experts turning up in the media, trying to sound very politic and clever. If their research is not at times exactly legal, then they attempt to decry professional credentials of, if not medical, then journalistic. At the very least they try to sound educated and authoritative. What they have to say is actually if not simply entertaining, frequently useful and insightful to our newer American consciousness. To our latest, Zeitgeist.

Yet in some ways much of that is just so much nonsense.

We have seen for decades now that drugs aren't what they were purported to be. Some drugs once thought safe no longer are seen in that light. While others are viewed in quite the opposite manner.

Cannabis for instance is now seen as not only benign but indeed, it seems to have a wealth of associated benefits to both its use in imbibing, but also in a variety of manufacturing endeavors which is why our Founding Father grew hemp for very much the same reason. Though hemp has no psychoactive elements, it does have vast uses in making a variety products such as rope, clothes, paper, and even fuel, and so on.

Not to mention the decrease legalizing it would mean for policing, for prison overcrowding, for hampering drug cartels and in using legal taxation for the common good. Also the enhancement that would bring to bettering relationships between police, communities and citizens who use it.

With decades now of experience and of citizen testing, we now as a culture understand it and ourselves far better than we did in the 1980s, the 1970s and before. It is curious to consider that the government restricted agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to research certain things such as cannabis and even, and oddly enough... firearms.

After all, more knowledge is always better than less and is a mainstay of entire article on synesthesia, this present piece developed from. We can now be overall more informed, better aware and reasonably less fearful; not just simply, ignorant and fearful. We should never fear better and more accurate information. It is better to have it and decide what to do with it, than to not have it and base very important things on bad if not false, information.

Consider how seeing someone driving a modern car back in 1900 would appear, a car that could easily do over 100MPH when most cars could barely do 20MPH (in part because of the roads). As extremely novel things pop up we should indeed be wary of them. However wisely so and not just foolishly (or childishly) concerned or fearful about them.

Our world, the entire universe is something to explore, not to fear.

If someone were to drive say, a Chevrolet Corvette back in 1900, under the understanding and consideration back then of what is normal, it reasonably would be to the commoner a little least until they better understood it, and what it was, what its potential actually was for safety or for danger.

And so, there we all are now, with things like cannabis and some of the hallucinogens. Not all drugs are good or beneficial or easily and safely administered by the typical citizen. Those who say we are not now at that more informed and aware place are simply fear mongering. If not merely ignorant themselves. However do be aware that those in we put in authority are actually charged by us with shedding their ignorance more quickly than most. And yet, they seem to do that so infrequently.

Whenever they do not update their understanding of things, they are not following their agreed and accepted mandate to properly protect the citizenry whom they are sworn to protect and serve. There may always be plenty of those types around, sowing fear for their own agendas be they personal, or political party (or ideology) affiliated.

However with proper awareness and protection (as one should do in going out drinking alcohol over the course of an evening), many of these drugs in question are actually safer than current legal drugs, like alcohol. In point of fact, much safer. We should therefore give them due consideration and realize that legality and jurisprudence are not the modes through which we should deal with them. Rather we should deal through information, actual and confirmed, freeing them of the unreasonable legal strictures which have plagued us for so very long now.

As I have indicated at the end of my synesthesia article, perhaps one day most people will retire to home after work to organically relax. Perhaps using a method involving synesthetic experiences rather than drugs or alcohol. But until that time isn't it only rational, sane and economically if not sociologically (and psychologically) feasible (and reasonable) to allow other safe and novel ways of relaxing. To seek, if not inner peace then internal reflection and relaxation? In our fast paced world we need that relaxation, but in a more safe and not organically damaging way of tobacco, alcohol or prescription drugs.

I think we "jumped the shark" as it were, when we went from organically available natural drugs (a theist might say ones that |God gave us and that grow naturally and are useful merely by picking them in the world), and without the need to synthesize or even semi-synthesizing them.

There is a fascinating world available out there right before us.

We just need to merely open our minds and explore, rather than closing them, believing whatever a confused and biased government tells us.

Because in doing so we harm not only ourselves, but possibly all those around us.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Easily Debunking NRA's Wayne LaPierre's Lies

"Happy Mother's Day. You're child's been shot and killed."

This is life today in America and around the world. Except America has chosen it outright. We have argued it's a right. We have argued it's just as important as Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, or is even greater than that.

We have got to lay to rest this nonsense about how:

"Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun."

First off, it's not true. Did we not only recently see how a young black man stopped a bad guy with a gun... with his bare hands?

Not that President Donald Trump would mention that in his racistly disparaged beliefs. Weren't there also two Marines in Belgium who did the same on a train just not that long ago?


Certainly not the preferred method of going up against a gun, but it doesn't only take a gun, or a good guy.

After all, two guys rob a place, once starts shooting people, couldn't the bad guy suddenly go, "Hey, WTF?" And just shoot his partner because he may be a robber but not a murderer?


There are some very serious realities that are being completely ignored in that soundbite pro gun nuts so dearly love to reiterate like (not smart parrots) but dumb mimics. You'll never hear reality (stated below) from these people, because they are in love with their guns and their hero worship complex.

MANY people who carry guns ARE looking to get to use them someday. That is really not what you want in a person carrying because they view it romantically. They see it more as a toy, entertainment, through a kind of faux hero syndrome filter. Not as what it is, a killing tool. Not as a machine of death, as it was designed to be. (oddly enough, they also deny that, much to the offense and confusion of gun manufacturers who put a lot of money and research into just that end)

MANY people who carry guns are carrying out of fear and will NOT use them in a real life shooter scenario unless their life is directly at risk. It just makes them feel safe. To pull a gun in a real scenario takes far more than they are willing to experience, and do not experience UNTIL they are faced with having to pull or not to pull a gun out and face down someone shooting at them. It's all fun and games until someone really is about to get hurt. And they know, they may miss entirely as they get gunned down.

MANY people who carry guns are not trained or not well trained. Sometimes not trained is better as they won't pull their gun when faced with death. A semi trained person can be a danger both to themselves and to others. When you can buy a gun and get a license to carry (or not and still carry), with no training whatsoever, you...YOU are the danger to society.

MANY people who carry guns will NOT ever pull out their gun and use it, UNLESS maybe directly threatened in a mass shooting and possibly, not even then. Facing down the reality of death evokes fight or flight, or FREEZE.

MANY people who carry guns will miss if they do pull and shoot, they will instead hit bystanders, never hitting the shooter at all. They will actually add to the death toll, the maiming count and in the end, the shooter could potentially get away or kill the "good" guy with a gun too, anyway. Effectively having helped in killing or harming as many as possible, which was the shooter's purpose in the first place. And how does THAT help the situation.

Let's not forget, some carring and pulling could potentially be shot by police when they arrive. Especially if you are black or a minority or look like a bad guy, merely from your dress. What if you're Muslim? Or just look Muslim? Police see a white guy who WAS shooting people, but they don't see his gun but instead yours, who's going to get shot?

These are the things you NEVER hear alluded to in that statement:

"Only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun."

It's a trap. It avoids reality. It avoids dealing with the actual issues of there being guns killing innocent people in the first place.

It's a stop gap measure to add guns to stop guns, but it's not the solution, not the long term fix.

It just sounds good, and makes people feel like they are important.

And after all, that's what pro gun types and organizations like the NRA, the GOP, are all about.

We're better than that. We CAN be, better than that.

BE, better than that.

Monday, May 7, 2018

SPECIAL - Gina Haspel and Her First Female Director CIA Nomination

I don't feel good in supporting someone Donald Trump does, but he's bound to get something right as POTUS. And I think this is one.

Being an intellectual and with knowledge of the CIA and covert intelligence mechanism in general as well as how covert operations work and the dynamics therein, I have the following orientation on this topic. IF I did not, being the progressive I am and have been, I would possibly be against Gina Haspel.

For I see others like me, who are against her. But I feel in their good intentions, they are simply ignorant overall of how and what we're dealing with here. Even in the knowledge and intelligence of them of them, such as Kamala Harris, who unlike Fox News' juvenile opinion, had very succinct and direct questions, unlike some of the confirmation hearing.

I agree with Michael Hayden who said we NEED someone who will stand up to our questionably qualified POTUS. With all his people whittled down to the current YES men and women, who is telling this child president what reality is? Whomever you'd name, they're not enough. And who from intelligence would really push back on Trump's childish rantings?

That's Gina. Flat out.

If we really want to re-litigate CIA overreach in enhanced interrogations, then it should be those who ordered it, not those who were in the trenches and abandoned or abused later. Look, if you treat someone like Gina this way after what America demanded back in the day, then stop asking those things of our people and later abusing them for it.

As she has said today when testifying she would not follow an illegal order from the president. Odd that is actually a serious potential concern with Donald Trump but we've already seen that to be a serious concern. When you do put people in harm's way, as Gina was, don't later disingenuously claim ignorance and damn them for it.

And that, goes on up the chain right to George W. Bush, the #Republican party and their toxic #GOP methodologies of subverting America.

If you think this is a bad idea, you're just not fully informed and have only a Fox News level and mediocre orientation on this matter.

Let me give you another perspective on Gina Haspel, who, if she gets the position, will be the FIRST FEMALE head of the CiA!

Here's my point.

We had a chance for a woman to become the FIRST AMERICAN FEMALE PRESIDENT..

But NO. People allowed themselves to be easily swayed not to vote for her, which played right into Russia, Putin, Republican party and Donald Trump's grubby little hands.

Remember, if you didn't vote for her, you are part of that. Whatever your reasons.

NOW we have an opportunity for the FIRST HEAD OF THE CIA and what happens?

People are finding reasons not to let that happen. Again. Another women cvould lead but no, a woman has to be perfect to lead, unlike most of the make leaders.

WHAT IN THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? Are you children? Religius with juvenile views of reality? Virgins? I really don't get it.

We're losing to Republicans and conservatives repeatedly because of crap like this!

You don't get to have the perfect person to be the first.And this is really so very important.

On top of which she really is a very good, excellent choice even. But not, not touchy feely enough for you because of following orders at a time that was patently schizophrenic. And now people want to judge when they are calm, feeling safe, not terrorized, as happened back then and I SAID BACK THEN, THIS WAS THE KIND OF CRAP WE'D SEE AND...HERE WE ARE.

We demanded things of the military and intelligence communities I didn't want, they didn't want but it was shoved down their throats. I knew, and they knew they would be the ones to suffer later, and right then if they refused and would be called traitors. Don't remember what it was like then?

JUST THINK ABOUT THAT FOR A MINUTE. I get not wanting her because Trump chose her, I fully get that and I hate he agrees with me. But that's how it is. You don't get a perfect situation to make a woman first in anything and that's how it's going to be UNTIL YOU START PUTTING WOMEN IN CHARGE OF THINGS.

No! De Vos was a horrible choice, but hey, she's there. Now we have a woman I'd bet my life on, but she's not good enough? I wouldn't trust De Vos (or her brother, Erik Prince) to hold my lunch money.

What pisses me off about all this is I said this would happen and here we are, throwing those under the bus who did what we demanded.

Shame, America. All that talk about "Thank you for your service", but this. What do you think soldiers do in war? Hypocrites.

Stand behind the people you send out into harm's way who sacrifice to protect us.

Don't treat them like trash later when your senses return, when the Zeitgeist changes, and when you feel you can now feel pretty and judge others for our acts.

That's it. I'm done. Just consider the next time a woman, appropriate for an important position is up for it, will you support her, or pick at her to find a reason for her to not take the position.

Then wonder if you REALLY DO want women to have positions of importance.

Good grief. America gave Donald J Trump the presidency. And Gina can't head the CIA? Hillary couldn't be president?

Give me a break!

It's weird watching the Gina Haspel hearing and feeling on the side of mostly Republicans.

Surreal, distasteful considering their behaviors of late. It's like that hearing doesn't remember America just a few years ago.

Dems are playing Devil's advocate and that is good, but some very stupid questions, redundancies, lack of reality and history and I find it, disconcerting.

I'm used to Democrats not being bold enough, not fighting hard enough, while not being this foolish. In the most part they're asking the wrong questions. If feels like they don't like her just because Trump does, but let's not act like Trump as he does against Obama. Let's make the best choice.

As for those videos (echoes again of emails?), when I heard they were destroyed years ago, I said good! Because in the future there WILL be a REAL witch hunt, and... here we are. As the Bush administration was forcing things onto our intelligence community, I could foresee the future abuse of our intel officers in the future, it was obvious it would happen. The point being, if  they were going to ask too much, then stand by your people. Who are now being thrown under the bus. It was bound to happen.

I was against torture from the beginning, but if Bush was going to force it, as he did, then let's not wipe out our intelligence community now over leader's damages to the CIA and democracy. This, is ignorance. IF you want to do something now that is decent, put Bush on trial for the murder of thousands and thousands of Iraqis and Americans and others because of an illegal war they knew was illegal but had plausible deniability over. Which they built into it. But let's not now take it out on our foot soldiers.

Yes, we should be pissed, we should not ever have been torturing. But we were scared, we were afraid, and acting as such. Remember that. We acted like frightened children, striking out in the dark. I was embarrassed for us at the time. I still am. And this makes it worse because the reality I saw coming, is here.

We also have to protect and serve. Just let them do that. And don't ask of these people, what you will later chastise them for.