Happy early Hallowe’en

October 13, 2015

Remember when the Republicans opposed the whole Iran nuclear deal? Seems that the real reason involved, is not whether Iran would get the bomb. Instead, the sudden collapse in oil prices, once sanctions were lifted from Iranian oil trades. As a matter of fact, oil prices have collapsed. The real GOP argument was on the behalf of oil companies, and not the bomb. Courtesy of “The Week.”

George Nethercutt was in the latest “Inlander,” and blamed House Speaker Boehner’s sudden resignation in part on President Obama. Unfortunately, Boehner was among those Republicans who never did work with our POTUS, and further insisted on some intransigence of his own. Nethercutt’s commentary on Boehner began to sound much like an eulogy: 1/4 facts topped with 3/4 bs.

Watching the Facebook news feeds, I see a lot of negative commentary about Ben Carson. If what he says is in any way, shape, or form to be true; our retired brain surgeon has wandered off down the road into Nutsville. And the American citizens are supposed to choose between him, or Trump, Bush, or some other loudmouth crazy? “The end of the world,” according to Carson. Or according to Trump and the guy he’d pick for the NIH? Autistic kids are just brats and ought to quit acting out. Seriously? Bet some of these pug uglies never once met a disabled child. Booo!

And finally, the school shooting in Roseburg, Oregon. Besides the family members who live there… A few days after that attack, a group of anti-choicers lined up on Highway 95 here in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Well, I am on my way home from hunting aluminum cans, and I swing by for long enough, to duly inform these people of the school shooting in Oregon. That’s right, you don’t just defend the “unborn” and stand silently by while the born children get gunned down. Somebody get a clue.

Stunted art scene, the Inland Northwest

September 18, 2015

It isn’t very often that I do this, provide a paragraph sized transcript from a book in progress. But today I will: Chapter 16 — The Black Unicorn.

“This huge black creature surveyed the on-going battle, being played out in the narrow valley far below. Men well garbed in battle armor on the upper halves of their bodies, lay dead in heaps next to their poorly equipped foes. Lances and spears were being hastily flung into the roiling mass of combatants. Only those spears and lances were being met in equal measure, by bowmen expert in their profession. Men on either side, cut down in their prime of life. Shouts from the leaders on each side, exhorting their followers to greater efforts. In contrast to screams of men laid low with a fatal blow. Flashes of short swords and knives, glinting in the rain and flashes of lightning. A tableau of men hewing and hacking away at one another, a gut wrenching horror that seemed quite destined to never end. The flying creature watched this grim act played out, with a preternaturally canny red eye. It glided through the strong winds, or it sometimes banked and flapped about in a circling pattern, in an effort to fully investigate this frightful act of war. Not yet was the creature seen, by opposing forces struggling to survive, whether victory for either side could be achieved or not. No, in a day made dim by clouds and rain, spectrally lit up by periodic bolts of lightning. A moving shadow amidst all others, would provide no cause for anyone to pay much heed. When the battle-hardened warriors finally did realize what bizarre creature was in their midst, it would be too late for some. Only the men destined to die this day, would not include members the rebel forces. Such a time might arrive when the monster finally preyed on them as well. But not this day, or in this particular era. No, the demonic creature was simply biding its time, until it could select it’s next victim to feast well upon. Not just a victim to be certain. Rather, this ravenous monster would feast upon as many victims as it could claim. Indeed, that would happen after the outnumbered rebels abruptly abandoned the field of battle, and fled for the sheltering hills. The remaining Roman soldiers, would be caught in a new and deadly conflict, with a blood thirty and implacable foe. Thus a new front in this battle would be opened, and very soon. But the creature the Roman legions fought against, could not be cut down by sword, or spear, or lance. Not this flying creature, vaguely resembling a unicorn with wings. By description: an amalgam in all its parts of mist, rain, clouds, and hard driven wind.”

“The Inlander” just came out with its Fall Arts Guide, and I could already see that the only city or state they really planned to showcase, Spokane, Washington. And writers of interest, especially female, also living in Spokane, Washington. Of the latter in particular, women writers who were able to get their books published by traditional means. Congratulations are in order of course. But are they going to be the only female authors “The Inlander” wishes to showcase?

So let me tell you about, the publisher’s marketing strategy to get “magazines excited about debut novels and first time authors of books.” They wish to recoup the advances they give to the authors, and their initial investments toward the book itself. So the publishing companies aggressively market the books to as wide a readership as possible. And “The Inlander” locally helps that along by showcasing the authors in question. Of the majority of the female authors mentioned, sorry, but I don’t know them from Adam and never will. Just as it is not likely, that I will ever make a trip to “Aunties,” downtown Spokane, to ever pick up one of their books. Of the one author in particular, as stated by “The Inlander” — a columnist for the Spokesman-Review — I was never very impressed by her work. That was any time she stepped in to temporarily replace the author of the Huckleberries on line blog, hosted by the Spokesman-Review. To put it bluntly, I don’t care to be entertained by her pet cats and photos of firemen.

Well now, “The Inlander” requires a publisher to tell you all about a book and an author, before they will showcase either one? What if the publisher is an e-reader? Then it would seem to me, that if an author of said e-book notifies said rag like “The Inlander” of a debut novel, by e-mailed book link to be exact. Then it should be possible for the same publication, to interview the author or show case the e-novel. In particular, if the author lives only 30 minutes away from Spokane, Washington. You would think under the circumstances, that Coeur d’Alene, Idaho has no literary groups at all. No authors worth speaking of, if they don’t reside in the city with all of the action: Spokane, Washington.

“Black Unicorn” is my third e-novel in the works. It will debut, when I am done writing it and publishing it to an e-reader format. But I think that I shall not e-mail a book link to “The Inlander” again. I shall do my own marketing, through what networking I am most familiar with. Personally showing people the fruits of my own labor.

On writers

September 10, 2015

I am going to begin this blog post with a short story:

A walk in the woods

The bus had had just now come to a stop in the large parking lot, at the entrance to a vast national park. Obviously,other motor vehicles had already preceded the bus, to this same parking lot, and were currently unoccupied. Which meant that the redwoods national forest was certain to be full of visitors. Consisting of families on vacation, a scheduled tour which the bus had most certainly brought to this place, or people simply looking for a place to hike and camp for a while.

The tour bus doors hissed abruptly and swung open, disgorging over fifty passengers in total. Some of those passengers were in their teens, others were of college age, and other members of the tour group,who were certainly in their forties to fifties. Among the general group, were three aspiring artists. Timothy Verner was an author, Angela Walker was a painter, and Daniel Blake was a poet. Each of these artists chose to take this tour, because they sought inspiration from nature itself.

Angela being among the first to get off the bus, looked around and sighed with pleasure. “It is going to be a perfect day,” she said. “The sun is bright and there is not a cloud in the sky.”

She was briefly interrupted by Mr. James Talon, the tour guide, briefly reminding the group of sun screen, mosquito repellent, and having their denim jeans tucked into sturdy boots. “After this point,folks,” he gently reminded everyone. “The trails ahead are certain to be rough.”

“Come on everyone!” Daniel excitedly exclaimed, “Let’s make a day of it!” And so the three artistic friends, joined the rest of their tour group.

The trail leading out of the parking lot, was fairly smooth at first. And then as it continued to meander past huge stands of ancient redwoods,the trail began to briefly dip down into hollows before climbing back up and out of them. A pathway sometimes strewn with rocks, fallen branches, and pine cones. Timothy suddenly wondered aloud, who was even here last to maintain this deplorable trail.

What was supposed to have begun as a gorgeous excursion, went from bad to worse after that. Daniel commenced to complain about that particularly ugly moss, growing along the sides of the huge redwood trunks. Timothy grumbled about the dead limbs mixed in with a few scraggly living ones, found among some of the trees. As for Daniel, he was hoping to see flowers, or at least verdant bushes in bloom or possessing ripening fruit. Neither of these types of flora, seemed anywhere about, on the trail the tour group was currently taking. Perhaps, somewhere else?

But the tour guide Mr. Talon, insisted on keeping his charges, on the trail most commonly used. Just as he kept pointing out, quite excitedly in fact,the huge girth of some of the oldest trees. But at every step, the author, poet, and painter found more and more things to complain about.

Signs of rot and decay, where ever the eye could perceive it. The apparently ill-kept trail, seemed too difficult to navigate. It was too hot, why were they wearing long sleeved shirts tucked into denim jeans? The huge redwood trees cast too much shadow in all the wrong places, to ever be suitable for a painterly eye. Finally Angela spotted a single and beautiful butterfly flitting along the trail up ahead of them. She was prepared to excitedly point out the butterfly to her artistic friends, when a sparrow swooped down and claimed the butterfly for a meal.

“That horrid bird!” Angela angrily shouted, “I would have loved to have painted that butterfly; it was so pretty!Now it’s gone.” She very much felt like crying.

Eventually the tour of the redwood forest came to an end, and the entire tour group returned to the waiting tour bus. The three artistic friends agreed between themselves, that this national park so-called, wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. Nothing would ever persuade them to return to the park again.

That was when an older woman quietly but firmly announced, “What ever are the three of you complaining about, anyway? This was a wonderful and beautiful excursion. The best I had been on in years.”>

Which is exactly how I feel about certain people, who purport to claim they are authors. While they see a need to constantly nit pick and complain about any work that is not their own; I have to wonder if they even bothered reading anything, just for the pure joy of doing so. If they can take no pleasure in what they see around them, neither can they transcribe that pleasure into their writing. Give me a Charles Dickens or a Henry David Thoreau any day, over people who are stuffed full of pure conceit.

Vanity press

September 7, 2015

Throughout much of last night, I was quite the subject of snobbish behavior. Because I had not spent $400.00 on a garish piece of graphic art, and therefore my book covers (Nikon), sucked; to put it mildly.

This is my view of a book cover, if displayed on line, then obviously you will see the front of the book in full. However, a hard copy book displayed on a traditional bookshelf; you will only see the spine and not the rest of it. Nor does a cover however stylish, tell anyone about the contents of a book. Rather, the graphic art that looks more suitable for framing, doesn’t necessarily add to a book. I think if anyone wishes to spend $400.00 on graphic art, had best have a book worth reading. Otherwise, the “art” only serves to mask the content of the book.

Next was the complaint (jeers really) of my over use of commas. I suspect I always did have that problem, and it is not likely to improve now with age. It could be worse, I could write much like Henry David Thoreau. Where his paragraphs would be all of two or three sentences and sprinkled heavily with “out of place” commas. And yes, Mr. Thoreau was college educated, circa about the mid 19th century. I will grant that styles of writing can be taught differently depending on where you live, and how you were taught in public school. I haven’t seen the inside of such an institution, since my late twenties or early thirties. Or I could write like Cassandra Clare. Presuming she has a good editor,I could critique her work as having a dangling participial here. A lack of commas in all the right places, to make it harder to read, there. From that perspective, no editor is 100% perfect. So far, if the only argument my (LOL!) detractors have, are the commas; then I must be doing pretty good.

Finally, what sparked the “outrage” on the comments thread, was a singularly useful cover concerning a book, written by an AIDS victim. Thus the title of this blog post, “Vanity press.” I saw a full frontal display of garish art, like you would never believe. I am only going to be “nice” on the comments thread. Because otherwise, you wasted $400.00 on that? “HIV in the Eye,” had a perfectly satisfactory cover. The majority of comments however were, acts of oneupmanship (Oh, I can do better than that!), with the intent of various authors attempting to out-impress each other. Then comes the pop-psychology, I am passive aggressive. Or I am “coming across” in a manner, that no one else likes. Excuse me, but that is bullying folks. Nor are you going to have provided a useful criticism, by jeering and laughing.

Yep, as a senior citizen; I believe I have seen it all and heard it all, for close to the entire sixty years of my life. And likely by my personal experiences, I have a different perspective from the people I am blogging about. What impresses me about a book: there may be no cover at all. An author whom I am familiar with, it will be the first reason I reach for that book. His or her other books were good, the one I purchase should be just as good. The title, it is a new title. Of least impression to myself, is the cover art. No, the cover art tells me nothing of what is inside the book. Nor is it expected to, that’s why you read the book.

Latest letter

September 2, 2015

On 2 September 2015, this letter appeared in the Coeur d’Alene Press:

PRESS: Shows its liberal bias

If you are slightly right of center or more to the right like a conservative, do not bother writing to Readers Write. You only have about a 40 percent chance it will appear in this newspaper. The editors have a liberal bias.

A friend said if you name call or character assassinate anyone, they will not print it. I thought about it for half a minute and then said “You are half right. If you are a liberal and smear some conservative, you will have your letter printed.” Case in point is Mr. Gressler, who smears people by name who he disagrees with and will accuse them of wanting this bad thing or thinking of that bad thing. That is character assassination in my book, since he knows none of the people he smears. So how can he know what they want or what they are thinking. Yet Mr. Gressler’s letters are regular in this paper. I for one will not look at this section of the paper any more

Coeur d’Alene

Editor’s note: In 2015, The Press has published three opinion pieces by Daniel Gressler. Including today, it has published five opinion pieces by Joe Gerard

Because I don’t have a subscription to the Coeur d’Alene Press, I don’t read all the letters to the editors, or “My Turn” columns found in any edition of the newspaper. But of what I have read down through the years, self-proclaimed “conservatives” had no problem engaging in name calling (liberal is at the top of the list) and character assassination (which certainly includes, because I disagree with your opinion, you must really l-o-o-o-v-e Karl Marx). Because I have read those letters, they were obviously printed. —rolls eyes now.

Next, I am certainly not going to complain about the fact, that my own letters appear more often in The Press. I guess the editor finally wised up to a few things, and quit allowing the bitchers and moaners to dictate who’s letter can rightfully appear in the paper, at any given time. In short, a letter that gets published, is at the discretion of the editor, and not of his subscribers. They are not running his newspaper, he is. That being said, a published letter already tells you what a person thinks, or even what they want. That is why, whether you agree or disagree with someone else’s opinions, it will always be based on the contents of the letter published! Not necessarily do you need to “know” who that person is, to still agree or disagree with what they wrote. What Mr. Gerard is really saying, I can’t tolerate the idea that you can present your views as well.

And finally, character assassination isn’t simply about disagreeing with stated views. It is an argument of presuming the worst about someone, with the full intent of making your opinion public, without trying to learn whether you are right about that individual or not. Under the circumstances, I shall confine my agreements or disagreements, to what are after all published and therefor, public statements. I shall presume nothing of the person, unless this is an individual who engages in particularly virulent and violent rhetoric. Very precisely, if this person wishes to act like that toward a complete stranger. How is he prepared to act to members of his family, friends, or nearby neighbors? The Gods and Goddesses only knows. Yes, such letters were in fact published, over the course of many years. Nor would I call such people, who did submit them for publication, “conservative.” No label will ever justify the childish behavior, or the hate-filled crap that I have seen in an “opinion” column. Just call it what it is, letters to the editor are just a preview of the kind of people, we really are. Mr. Gerard, well he acts like a whiny little boy, with a letter to prove it.

Manufacturing fear

August 14, 2015

I picked up a copy of “The Inlander” this morning, and read their lead article, “Manufacturing Fear.” It pertains to Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich versus the “crazies.” The kind of people, inclusive of Washington State Representative Matt Shea, who apparently likes to stir up a lot of trouble. Only, not just in Washington state. Yes, this article written by Daniel Walters was certainly illuminating enough. But I do have a number of questions, not of Mr. Walters. Rather, of the kind of people he wrote about.

Why is Washington Rep Matt Shea in Idaho? The citizens of Idaho have nothing to do, with his election to the Washington state legislature. If this is all about the sovereignty of citizens, especially concerning matters of “mind your own business” types of politics, then Rep. Shea is in the wrong state. He should be doing his job, that the citizens of Washington state elected him to do. Not mucking around in the affairs of another state. It doesn’t matter if the fellow was invited; he is a fellow who represents Washington’s government, and that is his place.

Second, why should anyone insist that “right wing” is applicable, to being opposed to government? Or that a “revolution” is needed to remake society, my way? It might surprise the crazies out there, in Washington state and Idaho, how much the government has acted for them, than against them. For example, the federal government always did act against extremists. I can think of “The Whiskey Rebellion” as a primary example, of when the government sent in the troops to crush resistance. When the new Constitutional government that was formed under George Washington, precisely; “trampled on the constitution,” to crush this particular resistance. Over the more than two centuries of this nation’s history, inclusive of President Woodrow Wilson and Senator Joe McCarthy, there have been many instances of “constitutional trampling.” But of course, [those] people were seen as an enemy: We were at war—Germans, Japanese, etc. Economic—immigrants, legal or illegal, or the wrong sort of politics such as socialism. Racial—especially in the aftermath of the Civil Rights movement, and the demand for “state’s rights.” Or more accurately, the right of states to continue institutional bigotry. Religion—if it is of any culture, sect, denomination, that I don’t adhere to. Reference: Christian nation. But who are the identified Christians that ought to belong here? Which ultimately renders this article as highly ironic — It is okay to trample the constitution against an alleged Commie, but it is not okay for me to get the business end of it. Especially if I have done something that is against the law: Phil Hart, Cliven Bundy, Randy Weaver, etc. — that is when I shall style myself, as an “anti-government right winger.”

Remember when “My country, love it or leave it!” was the meme used against Vietnam war protesters? Yes, it was a meme, before the days of the internet, and such comments can be rendered digital to be shared. The descendants of these “conservatives” from the 1960s to 1970s, would actually have dad or granddad rolling in their graves. There is no such commentary of “My country, love it or leave it!” heard from their lips today. Not when people like Rep. Matt Shea, etc. declare their hatred of anything, that could be corrosive to “their” rights. At this point, I shall step in with this argument: just your rights, is that it? Just your proclaimed “love” of the U.S. Constitution, correct? I can already see that you don’t care to get along with anyone. And if all you can do is hate people, even the very government you represent, it isn’t the governing document you “fear” for. If your paranoia was truly based on fact, you would be herded off to a federal penitentiary and likely deported. IE, the AG Palmer raids, during the President Wilson years in office. A newly formed FBI would be surveilling you for questions of “loyalty;” through the offices of lead G-Man, J. Edgar Hoover. The House Committee on Anti-American Activities, would be quick to pinpoint what was wrong with your way of thinking. A Joe McCarthy would be rounding up “militia” and “TEA Party” leaders on the assumption that; a hatred of government and calls for a revolution, must destroy this nation as we know it. By all means, investigate and crush it at its very source. A Joe McCarthy would not have seen Rep. Matt Shea as “right wing.” Especially in the light of the following:

The government at various levels; funds, builds, and otherwise maintains the infrastructure. While Rep. Shea is zipping around between Washington state and Idaho; he is literally using the infrastructure, “tyranny” made possible for him. Government collects taxes, yes. Rep. Shea is a beneficiary of state tax collections. Or did you really expect that the fellow, was going to occupy an office in the Washington state legislature, on a voluntary basis? I didn’t think so. The fringe lunacies among the militias, “TEA Party,” etc.; can expect Social Security in some form or another. The government provides the Forest Service, to fight fires. The government provides the BLM, to help regulate the use of public lands. The FDA, the EPA, to reduce the consequences for citizens and customers, of acts of rapacious greed as produced by various commercial interests. You should be able to trust the meds you are given, or the food you eat; or the park you and your family go to, to enjoy. That’s the problem with radicals; they aren’t thinking much beyond the “conspiracy of the moment.”

Planned Parenthood was recently put in the news, owing to a heavily edited and highly deceptive “sting video.” As expected, the anti-choice religious fanatics entered into a self-righteous uproar. A recent “The Week” detailed, how fetal tissue is used by research scientists for its wealth of stem cells. Through such research, they tackle such medical problems that includes Parkinson’s disease. I have this question, are the anti-choicers opposed to organ donation? When they die; no part of their body should ever be used, to save another life? That is definitely their argument against the health and welfare of their neighbors, themselves, and their families. No funding, no killing, and yes, no medical cures for yourself. Simply sad.

White pride?

August 4, 2015

I recently saw this “meme” that effectively attacked racial and religious pride as long as it wasn’t “white.” After that, the self-inflicting wound of “white pride” being regarded as racist. I don’t care to argue with the people, who put this kind of thing up on their Facebook timelines. Suffice it to say, that the human race has a violent history. Yes, as a matter of fact, the human race is known for tyranny, slavery, human rights violations, and etc. But trying to justify “your racism,” by pointing out the flaws of your fellow human beings; I don’t think that cuts it.

Yes, any human culture, society, and religious persuasion has engaged in slavery. You will find instances of it in the bible. Indeed, you will find justifications for slavery, throughout all of history. There is no one people at any time, who has never engaged in such a human rights abuse. Which means, this being part of human history, of what can we be proud?

Thus, if you are going to fault the history of say, the pirates of the Barbary Coast? This is with the declaration of, “We got over it and therefore, so should they.” Question, did “we” actually get over it? Quite frankly, I don’t think “we” did. Or I wouldn’t be seeing this kind of meme, on a “friend’s” Facebook timeline. So, knowing that all of the human race, has done some particularly horrible things throughout history. All of the human race has done so. Then it is useless to attack others while pretending to be a “victim.”

It might surprise anyone to know that the majority of American history is written for and by white Americans. This country has always known “white history,” by the year, every year since its founding. And even further, it is a “white history” with an over all Christian basis. Which means that anyone else as a minority, becomes literary footnotes. Under the circumstances, I can understand the why behind “Hispanic pride,” “Muslim pride,” “Black pride,” etc. It is extremely difficult to “get over the fact,” that a majority people holds you in the deepest possible contempt, for being different. Unfortunately, that is also true anywhere with any human culture. As long as you know this to be true, how about just “getting over yourself” and learning to let go of the past. Instead of using the past to lash out at everyone else.

I actually regard such memes to be infantile in nature. A child on a school playground will talk like that, but adults should know better. No, being adult about something, doesn’t make you a liberal. What it means is that you have learned something, that basically changes the way you ultimately view the world. The failure to learn some necessary lessons in life, doesn’t make you a conservative. The real argument is, you prefer to be ignorant. Thus, facts can’t get in the way of your paranoia and conspiracy theories. All in all, I have to shake my head at this kind of thinking. This is the 21st century, time to grow up.

That was then

July 8, 2015

“The Week” produced another gem in its “Controversy of the Week” section. Titled: “The GOP: Time to move on from the culture war?” And this quoted comment from Paul Waldman in Prospect.org, “The furor over gay marriage and Obamacare will eventually fade, as seething, red-faced Baby Boomers like Antonin Scalia and Bill O’Reilly—still fighting 50 year old cultural battles and the “hippies’ in their heads—leave the scene. But social conservatism will always be with us. For as long as society keeps changing, ‘there will always be those who want to keep things as they are—or as they were, back in their day,’ and the Republican Party will always be their natural home.” To say the least, are you flipping kidding me!

All right, then the following is a list of things, that would have been true back in O’Reilly’s and Scalia’s day, some fifty years ago. I would have been eleven years old at the time:

  • Woodstock
  • The Beatles, and other rock groups especially since the 1960s.
  • LSD along with other controlled substances.
  • The Vietnam war and our growing opposition to it.
  • The Kennedy assassination.
  • Our love of Hollywood and all things Disney.
  • Divorce and single family homes.
  • The silence concerning teen pregnancy, parental, and spousal abuse.
  • You didn’t hear about abortions, but the facts of the matter were, they still happened.
  • Married couples who definitely stepped out on one another, and secretly took their lovers to local hotels under assumed names.
  • Prostitution.
  • Bullies.
  • The Civil Rights movement and the death of Dr. Martin Luther King.
  • The race riots following Dr. King’s death.
  • The politics of public education even in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
  • Religion however, did not attempt to take a central role in government.
  • Anti- Marxism, communism, or socialism. That was the “conservatism” of the day.
  • Billy Graham.
  • John Birch Society.
  • You wouldn’t really hear of “fiscal responsibility,” etc. until the so-called Reagan revolution.

It is not the most comprehensive list of what was true, way back when. But if I can remember how turbulent the sixties were and I am now sixty-one; then I would have to say that O’Reilly as well as Scalia do a lot of ignoring of history. “I love Lucy” was an escapist fantasy of the “ideal American family,” right along with a host of others. “I love Lucy,” did not reflect the home I grew up in. And I am equally certain, it did not reflect the actual homes of other kids growing up across the country. “Turn on, tune in, and drop out,” became the epitome I think of our social hypocrisy. So, these are the “golden years” that Scalia and O’Reilly would like to hark to? Good luck with that. You’d have to ignore a great deal of historical fact, to be able to make that kind of argument.

It is still relevant

July 5, 2015

This is a news item that is now more than two weeks old. Without a doubt, it will have been further blogged about, discussed at length on social media and elsewhere. However, this is my personal take on what Pope Francis said. Global warming and the need to pursue green technology, became one of Pope Francis’ papal encyclicals. Now for the outrage regarding his “bombardment” of capitalism: The political denialists regarding the actual facts, of what is purported to be “capitalism” today,that is. Capitalism has lifted the poor out of poverty for years. Which argument has been blared out from TV screens, blog posts, commentaries found in various print and online publications. How dare this Pope act against the poor? Problem is, elsewhere in “The Week,” the Disney Theme Parks choose to fire their American workforce, and hire a cheap and temporary workforce from foreign countries. I guess it depends on, which “poor” people capitalism lifts out of poverty. Yes, I can snarkily say that the Pope’s detractors have no clue.

So what is green technology? Solar panels to heat and otherwise power your homes and businesses. A general must have as fossil fuels become increasingly depleted. Or wind farms to guarantee the continuation of electricity. These would be just two examples. Others? The introduction of super bright LED lights. They reduce the need for high electrical costs. Still others? If you have a small plot of land to mow, a reel mower is just right for you. Solar or electrical cars, it would reduce gas and diesel consumption. At some point as fossil fuels deplete,there does have to be this massive transition toward new technology. It shouldn’t take a Pope’s encyclical to see the light.

But there are some things you can’t tell people, who open mouths and commit to political comments, based on how much some private interest group has paid them to say it. Politicians who declare that the Pope should stick to religion, instead of meddling in science. The same politicians who disregard the science, if it could potentially conflict with private special interest groups. Political commentary coming from say, “The Federalist.” Except for “The Week,” I wouldn’t exactly know who “The Federalist” is. Unless, it is a pro-business think tank produced publication. Right, and people who worship mammon above all else, aren’t going to be any too happy with what the Pope says.

Innovation happens to have many different nuances. First of all, there is a potential market for this gadget (Kindle, Iphone, Ipad, bread machine, electric mixer, etc.), transportation (car, bus, train, van, truck, commercial jet, military transportation, etc.), service (telecom, search engine for the internet, insurance, etc.), public utilities (including the streets and highways you travel on, incidentally). But at some point, that innovation has to take people into consideration: employees, business owners, customers. If you don’t, you eradicate the very thing you hope to capitalize on. That’s right, innovation doesn’t do anyone much good, if it has no customer to finally purchase it. If it doesn’t have an employee to create it for the mass market. If it doesn’t have a business owner to invest in it. It seems to me that if anyone is short sighted today, they are the people who complain about the Pope, and the fact that he cares about the future of the people and this planet. If you want your big profit margins, I think you people should be prepared to do the same.

Soul Searching Time

June 19, 2015

We have all heard it by now, Rachael Dolezal, outed by her biological parents as ethnically white. What a bombshell that produced and the media feeding frenzy to follow. Also, how quickly the people who had come to praise her — President of the Spokane, Washington NAACP, etc. — how quickly they turn to condemn her, for (gasp!) lying! At this point, I am not going to defend her actions. Albeit, her work on the behalf of minorities is actually commendable. Nor am I going to second guess why, Ms. Dolezal felt she had to “puff up” her resume, so to speak. Instead, I am going to ask a different set of questions.

Ever hear of snob appeal? 1. That is when you get invited to a social hour in which you are expected to: Dress to the nines in millions of dollars in clothing, jewelry, and accessories. And literally, you are never going to get through the door of a multimillion dollar mansion, if you aren’t wearing your most spendy duds imaginable. Basically, you are trying to out-shine, the woman or man next to you, at this particular party. Now for the kicker: everything you wear is a cheap knock off. Or you are engaged in some other act of “let’s pretend,” so that you can crash this particular party. Don’t laugh, it likely happens more often than any of us knows. Under the circumstances, would we call this “doing a Rachael Dolezal?” 2. Politicians and other notables can literally “buy a degree or a diploma.” With this bit of hype in hand, these men and women in various legislatures or the throughout the business world, have improved by considerable their status of acceptability. That is precisely the key phrase here, “status of acceptability.” So considering even these two examples, Ms. Dolezal would not be any different from other people, who have done the same thing. What is sad about it? Us. We can’t “respect” anyone, who doesn’t meet our narrowly defined set of criteria for “acceptability.”

Jacob H. Fries, editor of the “Inlander,” made plain his own brand of snob appeal. Oh yes, we shall admit that Ms. Dolezal freelanced a number of articles… We shall admit to her being this, and that… But under the circumstances, she “lied” to get accepted into our good graces. Therefore, she no longer writes for this newspaper. Real huffy now, what we want, is the truth! Seriously? George Nethercutt has a really big problem with the “truth,” and he is allowed to publish his blithering nonsense, regardless. So my response to that commentary of Mr. Fries is this: Major Gut Busting LOL!

Shall I do a Rachael Dolezal? Actually it is a fact that as a nascent senior citizen, I established a e-novel writing career. You will find on amazon.com, “Are You a Space Alien? And other adventures, a four part science fiction novel.” Yes, as you will also find in the amazon search engine, “Aesgard Awakening! After Ragnorak, the Gods are Alive!” If I were going to do a “Rachael Dolezal,” I would claim some kind of degree in oh, English, or English Lit. (None actually exists.) Or that I have some certificate of achievement out of a creative writing class. (None actually exists.) That I have a degree as a reporter or a journalist. (No, I do not.) I can name X newspaper that I have worked for, over a number of years. (It would not be true.) This is just so, that I can get “The Inlander” to acknowledge, that I have a sci-fi and fantasy novel on the amazon.com bookshelf. Because otherwise, the only local authors they seem to want to acknowledge exists: Had won awards, were well-beloved (already mentioned in other publications before the Inlander picked up on it), already had a career (freelance or otherwise) in the newspaper, or was related to someone who actually worked for a newspaper. But e-mail a link to the latest e-book (which I most certainly have done) to “The Inlander,” and it is met with * silence *. How about that. In short, even the “truth seeking” Inlander, operates on snob appeal. And Rachael Dolezal, is that gal dressed up to the nines in a lot of cheap knock offs; who dared to crash our party. I think that is a sad reflection on all of us.

Why can we not as a society, just respect each other for ourselves? That our street creds and achievements honestly earned, should simply be recognized on the merit. Apparently this was never the case with Rachael Dolezal. To be recognized, she had to put on a costume and engage in an act. Once that costume was forced off of her, and the act was proclaimed for the cheap theater that it is; “we” decided to become very angry. What for? Would a “white” Rachael Dolezal have been able to take the helm of NAACP in Spokane, Washington? Would a “white” Rachael Dolezal have the street creds needed, to advocate on the behalf of minorities? As for the snooty “Inlander,” they needed Ms. Dolezal to be a minority, before she could have presented them with any legitimate articles. Otherwise, would a “white” Rachael Dolezal have unquestionably passed over? No, this is not “race baiting,” or reverse bigotry. Instead, everyone should see this as it really is: the social psychology of shallow thinking. Rachael Dolezal proved conclusively, that image matters more to us, than the truth. We don’t want the truth; we can’t handle the truth. Because if “the truth” actually mattered more, we would have to accept each of our neighbors as they are, warts and all. Sorry Mr. Fries, even you preferred the image to the individual.


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