Smoke's Observatory

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Smoke here
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Visit Natalie -- 
      	she's managing the Voyager Online blog for Harper Collins Australia
Hello
--
Smoke here
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Random Link

Visit Natalie -- 
      	a writer with imagination and style

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January 18, 2014

You had better go surfing while you can what with global warming and all the other problems confronting humans on this planet...

October 16, 2013

Here is my latest offering on the Koch brothers, their role in the government shutdown, and their ties to the John Birch Society, and why all the financial enablers of the government shutdown should be held criminally liable if the debt ceiling is breached. Fortunately, John Boehner allowed an open floor vote at fifteen minutes to midnight on the final day before the United States would default on its already incurred debt. The fiscally irresponsible GOP held our economy hostage for over two weeks simply to throw a temper tantrum that gained them and the country absolutely nothing, and their stunt cost us all $24 billion. Do you have any idea how many poor kids could have been fed with this money? How many bridges and roads could have been repaired? How much scientific research could have been funded? How many American unemployed and SNAP recipients could have received their (cut off) benefits? How many good jobs could have been created? $24 billion up in smoke simply because these incompetent, unAmerican asswipes had to throw a temper tantrum. If you aren't angry about the government shutdown and threatened debt ceiling breach, you haven't been paying attention. The GOP has lost the right to complain about any government spending with this worthless political stunt. The only reason that the bill passed the House is because EVERY Democrat voted for it while 144 traitorous Tea Party Republicants voted to send us into default. In the Senate 18 Tea Party asswipes voted for default. The party of fiscal responsibility, my ass. Remember these incompetent GOP Tea Party assclowns the next time that you vote.

June 15, 2013

Here is my latest Daily Kos diary on the Keystone XL pipeline, and why it shouldn't be built. Here is the link cross posted to smokewriter.

August 24, 2012

Here is the link to my (updated links and revisions for more accuracy) Daily Kos diary posted here on my site that spells out the consequences for everyone if Romney/Ryan get elected in November...Here is the link to the original DK diary...

April 21, 2010

Have you been brainwashed by false propaganda lately? Have you had your perceptions of reality altered by someone with an agenda who deliberately misstates the truth? More than likely you have if you've used Faux News as your primary news source.

Are you angry that Obama is a socialist? a fascist? a Communist? Is global warming/climate change an elaborate hoax? Do you think that healthcare reform is being 'rammed down your throat'? Is President Obama 'indoctrinating your children'? Do you believe that there will be 'death panels' for grandma under Obama's socialist healthcare law? Can you hardly wait until November 'to take back your country' because Obama is 'trampling the Constitution'? Do you think that Obama is 'weakening our national security', or that the new healthcare law will 'decrease Medicare benefits for senior citizens'? Will Obama send you to 're-education camps' if you stand up for your rights? Do you think that the Democrats are responsible for increasing the national debt over the past thirty years? Over the past ten years? Is it true that your taxes have been increased by the Obama administration? Do you believe that Barack Hussein Obama wasn't born in the United States of America? Will you go to jail if you fail to purchase Obama's government mandated healthcare? If you think that any of the previous statements are true, then Faux News (and the Republican spin/lie machine) has 'brainwashed' you because none of the previous statements are true. Not one! Not even close!

Have you noticed a pattern to the distortions and lies?

The principal technique for using propaganda to influence decision making (i.e. brainwashing) is to repeatedly present information (true or false) that reinforces the propagandist's agenda.


Repetition is the key. More is better. Now don't get me wrong. Everyone (including all the major news organizations) has an agenda, but Faux News is the only nationally televised news organization to consciously misrepresent the facts to promote its agenda by creating an alternate reality to the actual, real world.

The presentation on Faux News fits the definition of brainwashing except for the coercion part. Faux News attempts to persuade its viewers that, to use only one example, America is going to hell in a handbasket. But, in order to accomplish its goal, it fabricates facts and half-truths to fit its argument. To float one lie in a sea of truths does not achieve its aim. So repetition (and variety) in massive doses is required to alter the viewer's perception of accepted reality. Hence whenever information fits the Faux News narrative, it repeats the information as often as possible whether it is factual or not, and in the case of Faux News more often than not its information does not conform to the facts (because, in general, Faux News premises are flawed - i.e. Obama is a socialist - he is not. Obama wasn't born here - he was. 16,500 new IRS agents are coming after you if you don't purchase heath insurance - they aren't, and there never were going to be 16,500 new agents in the first place. The list of misstatements is literally endless since Rupert Murdoch's, News Corporation put Roger Ailes at the helm at Faux News.).

As is the case with these people and organizations, who alter the truth to fit their agenda, they claim to be the victims when in truth they are the perpetrators. This pattern is repeated throughout history by the unscrupulous as they pursue power. (Senator Eugene McCarthy perpetrated a similar campaign with his entirely fictitious 'witch hunts' for Communist sympathizers in our government back in the fifties. Hitler made the Jews and other races his scapegoats in his search for the 'master race.' Pat Robertson blamed 'God's wrath' for the earthquake in Haiti. Rove/Bush/Cheney called dissent 'treason' on the way to their unjust (but profitable for some) war in Iraq. The list is nearly endless of lying with an agenda to maintain or achieve power. Look at any dictatorship. You will notice who the real victims are in these examples, the innocent, the Jews and other races, the Haitians, and the dissenters, not the accusers.) And what is the primary casualty with Faux News and all the other examples? The answer is simple. Truth is the victim. Faux News viewers are also the victims. People who disagree with Faux News are the victims, and American democracy is the ultimate victim because there can be no bipartisan discussion or negotiation or resolution to the problems facing America if only one side uses facts.

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In one of my recent discussions it was suggested that Faux News operates like a church, but I had to ask whether it was 'one of those' hate-spewing, Bible-thumping pieces of crap that teaches the Rapture, doesn't believe in evolution or Thomas Jefferson, and gets-its-facts-mostly-wrong, or was it a 'real' church that teaches, "Love thy neighbor..."?

The truth is that Faux News could not be representative of a 'real' church because it promotes bigotry and hatred. Faux News is a cult, and the sooner it is recognized as one, the sooner it can be classified as 'entertainment,' not news. I could care less what their agenda is, but their outright lies and distortions of the truth are totally unacceptable for any news organization. And the sooner that Faux News is discredited as a news organization, the better.

  1. cult = A religion or sect that is generally considered to be unorthodox, extremist, or false; followers of the same
  2. brainwash = Persuade completely, often through coercion
  3. propaganda = Information that is spread for the purpose of promoting some cause
  4. faux = (fr) Not genuine or real; being an imitation of the genuine article

++++++++++++++ links verifying disputed points provided as required ++++++++++++++++

If you are curious as to why I became active in politics go here. If you simply want to check facts, go here or here.

January 21, 2010

Once again The SCOTUS (Supreme Court of The United States) under Justice Roberts has thrown the American people under the bus by overturning more than one hundred years of safeguards regarding campaign financing by corporations and special interests. By a stroke of the pen, along strictly partisan lines, The SCOTUS has granted unlimited financing directly from corporate treasuries to support or attack any candidate right up to election day. And do you know what the precedent for this outrageous decision is? A lie by court reporter , J.C. Bancroft Davis in 1886 where he ascribed 'personness' to a railroad in a 'headnote' not based upon fact or substance, from thin air. A lie! The Bill of Rights, including the first amendment, is for people, not corporations! This is BLATANT legislation from the bench, judicial activism that the conservatives allegedly, according to them, never do. A fucking lie! Fucking hypocrites!

This puts our country up for sale to the highest bidder. Candidate A wants to regulate Corporation B. Corporation B does not want to be regulated and spends one hundred million dollars to defeat Candidate A in the general election. Now, how many politicians will oppose Corporation B on the next go around? Think about it.

This is exactly what the conservatives/special interests have been angling for when Bush pushed Justices Roberts and Alito on The SCOTUS. This is why Supreme Court nominations are so important. Fortunately, we have some Democratic politicians and other organizations on our side, like Alan Grayson, Senator Chuck Schumer, Free Speech for People, and others.

I simply cannot understand why there is no outrage, no anger when this decision is even worse than the Dred Scott decision allowing that black people had no constitutional rights whatsoever. The very fact that this decision that undercuts our democracy eminates from the very body that is supposed to protect our Constitutional rights is chilling.

The only feasible solution to the problem as long as the conservatives control the court is a Constitutional amendment that protects the peoples rights from corporate power.

December 16, 2009

I've watched what passes for political debate in this country, and I can't help but put in my two cents worth...apparently I'm a Progressive.

Once the emperor has been seen as unclothed, or the illusion has been defined for what it is, it is difficult to return to blissful ignorance. In fact, if the observation that has been discovered proves to be true, suddenly many more instances of the newly discovered truth become evident.

Before The Supreme Court of The United States of America appointed George W. Bush President of these United States along strictly partisan lines before the popular vote count was resolved in the state of Florida back in the year 2000 I, like most Americans, believed that even though our political system was flawed that it still worked.

Needless to say, after that election I began paying serious attention to our system. I even spent time studying The Constitution and American history.

A little (unsanctioned) abbreviated history is appropriate here.

The framers of our Constitution envisioned government by an enlightenened, landed merchant upper class, but that idea didn't sell too well because a majority of the people didn't want to replace King George with more of the same. So The Bill of Rights and the concept of representatives elected by the people one citizen, one vote came into being.

Giving each citizen the right to vote is where the plutocrats-slash-Federalists-slash-modern Republicans, the ones who want this country to be ruled by the rich, think they made their big mistake, and they have been trying to rectify it ever since.

Unfortunately for the plutocrats, the concept of democracy has a distinct appeal. So, what is a wannabe plutocrat to do? Obviously, through fair means or foul, a majority of the voting populace must be persuaded to support the plutocratic-slash-federalist-slash-republican vision for America even if (or when) it is against the voters' own interests. At the very least it must be made to seem that a majority of voters supports the plutocratic vision. This is key to their political illusion since if all the facts are truly presented, then Americans will generally split seventy/thirty against the plutocrats on social issues simply because there are more of us than them.

If political events are viewed through this simple prism, then everything begins to make sense.

Now we can view the illusion with a new perspective. A distortion of the truth or outright fabrication as practiced, for example, on Fox Noise with its expansion of Teabagger crowd numbers from twenty thousand to 'millions' giving the appearance that the Teabaggers are more numerous than they are, or Rasmussen poll numbers that favor Republicans when no other legitimate polls show the same results, or legitimate news organizations providing an equal platform for the do nothing, obstructionist Republicans intimating that they represent an equal number of voters as do the Democrats. Little things that all add up to a distortion of the truth that favors the plutocrats-slash-federalists-slash-republicans. When they stay on message and keep hammering away, sooner or later the nail is driven home, and they have successfully rendered their illusion. Don't let them get away with it. Hammer right back ! We are the majority ! We have always been the majority !

For most Americans, who do not pay close attention to politics, these distortions are accepted as facts because a (legitimate) news organization is presenting them. And don't think that Rupert from Australia is the only right wing plutocrat who is distorting the facts. Nearly every special interest has its minions distorting the truth to make their positions seem more palatable.

The following example that appeared on The Rachel Maddow show last Friday, December the eleventh, demonstrates that these people are far from stupid, and that we, who believe that we are the more intelligent ones, must be smarter at getting our message out.

Gamers playing the Mafia game on Facebook are encouraged to gain extra points to increase their gaming status by being directed to a website where they are tricked into sending letters against the current health care reform legislation to their congressmen and senators. The site claims that up to two million letters have been sent by this method alone. There are other, similar scams. Clicking through to receive a 'free' prize lands users on the phony health care site. Subterfuge, distraction, lies. How else can these health insurance companies successfully get us to act against our own interests and get away with it?

Why is it that the science deniers are given an equal platform to dispute climate change? How is it that we are repeatedly force fed consideration of a moron like Sarah for president? Perhaps because the special interests did so well with the last one?

Just look through the plutocratic prism, and suddenly everything makes sense.

The only way to insure that we the people are heard is to elect more representatives (hopefully, but not necessarily, Democrats) to represent us, their constituents, not the special interests and to shine a spotlight where it is needed. These plutocrats-slash-federalists-slash-republicans think that they made a mistake, allowing all citizens to vote. You need only listen to the impotent bleating of the deposed Vice President to know that he doesn't accept your vote, and he is not alone. Republican leaders in the House and Senate by stonewalling change also refuse to accept the popular vote. Never sheathe your sharpest blade before the battle is done. Become informed, inform others, organize and always, always vote !

I read this article AFTER I wrote the above: No One is Going to Save You Fools

May 5, 2008

It never ceases to amaze me how every media outlet (except for C-span) thinks that we (you and I) need interpreters for every speech, news item and tidbit that gets flashed across our television screens. I don't know about you, but my command of the English language is better than passable. Yet whenever a political candidate makes a speech, there are at least three pundits simply drooling saliva waiting to tell me what I just heard as if I can't figure it out for myself. The fact that each and every one of these alleged commentators has his or her own agenda either hidden or in plain view, insults my intelligence and wastes my time...

Anyone with half a brain can see that the Republicans with GW asleep at the switch for the past seven plus years have screwed things up so badly that whoever the Democrats run will trounce the Republican candidate. Unfortunately, apparently there are many people in this country with less than half a brain...how else do you account for GW's election (and re-election) in the first place? (UPDATE! - People with less than half-a-brain found!)

Of course, when the choice for President is between mediocre and less than mediocre, status quo and more of the same, politician and panderer, what needs changing is the selection system itself...

I like the fact that Obama isn't taking donations from PACs and lobbyists. That is a start. But he is a Democrat, and lately it has been difficult to distinguish between Democrats and Republicans. When I am at my most cynical, I think that we Americans have this exercise every four years simply to elect the best, the most polished, accomplished liar, the one with the best bedside manner who tells us exactly what we want to hear...

Fortunately I am an optimist not a cynic, and Barack Obama's words make the most sense of all the candidates. We need a course correction, a fundamental change. But only time will tell (and we have little enough of that to squander) if he means what he says.

Oh, and there is one commentator that I do pay attention to. His name is Jack Cafferty on CNN.

April 18, 2008

I would like to take this opportunity to say 'hang loose' to all my surfing friends, relatives, and acquaintances on Kauai beginning with my son Charles, and continuing with the girrrls, Jack Black, Mel, Malia, Virginia, Kathy, and Celeste with the guys being polite and going last...Allen, Chaz, Fletcher, Brett, Chris, Jeff, Aaron, Kelly, Elliot, Tim, Lance, Jesse and Johnny and the three Michaels...just so I can say that I mentioned nearly everyone on my webpage when next I drop in on them (kidding, of course - bad form to drop in on anyone esp. in Hawaii !!!). The tidal program should be up shortly...wishing everyone plenty of good waves...

April 8, 2008

The world clocks are new. Think surf for every location except one...yes, I have a new passion since my last update...will post pictures soon. Trouble is, when the waves are good, and we're surfing, few pics are taken, but I've got some nice scenery from my new (as of November 17th, 2006) home in Hawaii *smile*

You can see why I don't blog -- what with updating once every five years or so. OK, I am updating my website (somewhat) simply because some of my tales have been Googled or Yahooed for in refreshing (to me anyway) quantities, and I always aim to please *smile* Currently I am working on my second novel, and at some (distant) point in the future e-books (or even better, regular books, hardcovers, softcovers) will probably be available here at smokewriter.com...with regards to when exactly, I'll use G.R.R. Martin as my example for timeliness...his followup to "Feast for Crows," has been postponed once again...in other words, don't hold your breath in anticipation...

November 25, 2003

A certain Australian (female) person who shall remain nameless has reminded me that I haven't updated my observatory for awhile. OK. Arnold has been elected governor of California (see comments below for Jesse Ventura) in an unusual recall election that trashed the duly elected governor, Gray Davis only eight months after his re-election. Only in California...The third Matrix has come and gone. Me, I'm waiting for the third ' Lord of The Rings' flick.

Speaking of California...over a long Labor Day weekend I got to make a 'quickie' trip to that blessed state to rescue my son Charles who had broken his leg while rock climbing at Yosemite National Park. A fast flight through San Francisco and back to Modesto (via, unfortunately, Fresno -- last minute bookings and all), then a leisurely drive back to Illinois (he had his Jeep with him when he was injured) passing through Vegas, Bryce Canyon, Zion, The Rocky Mountains etc. -- the scenic route with Chaz elevating his casted broken leg as I drove -- not a bad trip -- will post pics when I get a chance...

The 'retired' North Vietnamese generals said on the first day of the Iraq war that we, the US of A, have fallen into the same trap that we did in Viet Nam -- based upon Saddam's reading preferences and his radio broadcasts immediately before the commencement of hostilities, that's certainly what *HE* (and many other Arabs) would like us to believe. I can hardly wait until both he and Osama are dead along with as many of their followers as possible who wish to make the same journey. Since Fate spared my daughter, Kathy on 9-11, I have become bloodthirsty...kill 'em all, every last one of these scum-sucking 'terrorists'! And who gives a flying forquito whether I'm politically correct...?

Oh, and one other thing... Rush Limbaugh or is that Limburger? Send that 'holier-than-thou' conservative hypocrite illegal drug procurer to jail! If possession of an ounce of marijuana gets you fourteen years jail time in Texas, what should Russ get for buying over 30,000 doses of oxycontin?

What have I been reading lately? Apparently I've fallen into a sword and sorcery rut...every single Gemmell and Dave Duncan book that I can get my hands on...I've even dug up the 'Fafhrd and The Gray Mouser' series by Fritz Leiber...a bit too tongue-in-cheek for my fantasy taste, but funny-as-hell. A partial bust was the 'Saga of Recluce' series by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. The first three, 'The Magic of Recluse', 'The Magic Engineer', and 'The Towers of the Sunset' were good, but the rest...too much attention to minutae, not enough action...(too bad I purchased the entire series on eBay which is a great place, btw for finding out of print books)...some Neil Gaiman, notably 'American Gods' -- excellent read! I even went back to Piers Anthony (of Xanth fame) for his seven book series about the parallel worlds of Phaze and Proton...perhaps my obsession with fantasy is spurred on by watching the 24 hour news channels where doublespeak is the norm as our politicians and their 'special interests' loot the good 'ol US of A...reminds me of the Fall of Rome.

There! Enough updating...

December 27, 2002

Much has happened since my last observation here, but I won't get on a rant about terrorists and what should happen to them. Simply stated, they should not be allowed to occupy this planet with the rest of humanity.

But on to better topics...I'm getting ready to pack up and head south for a month or so to the Florida Keys (where it's warm and sunny). It is cold and damp here in Chi town, and I miss the warmth of the sun. I think that David Gemell's heroic characters would know what to do with Bin Laden and his ilk -- many enjoyable tales by a master storyteller. Gemmell alone has increased my library by fifteen books.

I haven't been idle reading other writers either. I've re-read (for the fourth time since the sixties) 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien. He really could be the fantasy writer of the last century. The reader can feel Tolkien's World War I experiences resonate throughout the story. Even after four readings the ending leaves me misty-eyed with a feeling of loss for all that was and will never be again. The first two movies capture some of the book, but the proof will be in the third movie, 'The Return of the King.'

Speaking of movies...I've become a Harry Potter / J.K. Rowling fan. Saw 'The Sorcerer's Stone', then I had to read the books, all of them so far which means that I've caught up with both my grand-daughters, soon-to-be fourteen years old Natalie and just-turned nine years old Aja *smile* Very imaginative and well written...

But when it comes to reading, I will never catch up with my friend Natalie who lives in Australia. I cannot believe how many volumes of literature that she consumes...whilst leading an otherwise breathless, non-stop existence. There simply aren't enough hours in the day, but somehow she manages...

Then, of course, there's R.A. Salvatore with Wulfgar and Drizzt and Cattie Brie and the halfling (what's his name? -- ah, that's right, Regis) with the magical ruby pendant and Bruenor Battlehammer, the one-horned-helmet-wearing feisty dwarf, all of them populating 'The Forgotten Realms'...And then there is Dave Duncan, who delivered a surreal plot swerve in his 'King's Blades' series that had me searching for the missing volume between books one and two. Fortunately, there is a book three to string everything together. I liked his 'Great Game' trilogy, but thought the ending too familiar... His 'Kings Daggers' series is very good. To round out the pack we have two ladies. Robin Hobb with her 'Farseer' series about the life of 'The King's Assassin', and Melanie Rawn with her 'Dragon Prince' series, both well written with excellent plot lines.

I would be remiss if I didn't include David and Leigh Eddings in this salvo of excellent writers, having read their entire published works -- Belgarath and his daughter Polgara the long lived sorcerers who shepard Belgarion the lawful king who finally appears after umpteen generations of possible heirs...excellent male-female perspective which comes, no doubt, from having a husband and wife writing team.

I'm also looking forward to January 7th, 2003 when book ten, 'Crossroads of Twilight,' of the 'Wheel of Time' series by Robert Jordan will hit the bookstores...not to forget GRR's fourth book, 'A Feast for Crows,' in the 'Song of Fire and Ice' series, hopefully out by April Fool's Day, but not yet completed (according to George RR Martin on his website). I am also attracted to Deborah Chester, an author that I have yet to read, but based on the glimpses and snippets I've read at amazon.com, her series, 'The Sword, The Ring and The Chalice looks like a winner...

June 24, 2000

They just keep popping up, these great writers. With 'The Waterborn,' 'The Black God,' 'Newton's Cannon,' and 'A Calculus of Angels' J. Gregory Keyes enters the limelight and deservedly so. I must assume that he has by now received his Phd. in Belief Systems. What a fascinating subject his stories make it become particularly with his blend of ancient civilizations, Indian lore and living gods in The Waterborn series.

And I would be remiss if I also didn't mention Terri Windling.

March 20, 2000

I have three more authors to add to this list. While I have had a link to Holly Lisle on my pages for more than a year because of the advice and help she offers to aspiring writers, I did not have the opportunity to read her work. Well, that omission has been rectified. I highly recommend her series, "The Secret Texts," beginning with, "Diplomacy of Wolves."

Another author, who I first came across in, "Legends," (tales written by many famous authors to complement their existing series) edited by Robert Silverberg is Tad Williams. His "Otherland" series is superb. I am still searching for, "Memory, Sorrow and Thorn."

And finally, there is Dan Simmons whose short stories I have been reading for years, but whose novels were never there when I was ready for them (or vice versa *smile*). This year, "Hyperion," caught my eye as I passed it by as it sat calmly on the bookstore shelf. "Oh, what the hell," I thought. I liked his short stories, and Harlan Ellison had actually recommended Dan (hard to believe, but he had), so I added it to my checkout stuff. After the first ten pages, I thought I had made a mistake. After the first hundred and fifty pages, I was prostrate beside Harlan. Dan Simmons is a "...breathtaking writer." And yes, I have read enough to know who Hyperion's coarse-mouthed poet, Martin Silenius really is...
"...a magnificent series, combining all the best of truly great writing."

There are many more fine authors that I haven't mentioned, but the authors above are superb because reading them inspires creation. If you know of any other 'good reads,' drop me line and share *smile*

July 4, 1999

I am not the first, and I certainly won't be the last, but I'm going to plug some of my favorite new(er) writers. That doesn't mean that my old(er) favorites are any less enthralling. I grew up with Asimov, Heinlein, Bradbury, Lieber and Tolkien (to name but a few), but I have also discovered some really great new(er) writers (as I'm certain many others have).

At the top of my list is Orson Scott Card, he who draws you in with his easy style and amazes with his brilliance, the creator of Ender Wiggin and Alvin Maker. His prologues, comments and asides that tell what he is thinking as he writes are, perhaps, the most important tools I have found while learning the fascinating craft of writing. Yes, I am self-taught, but I've always been self-taught. I discover what interests me, then I go and learn it.

A close second is Robert Jordan, who majored in physics and graduated from the Citadel, and who is responsible for, "The Wheel of Time" series. Since I've become a writer, my enjoyment of reading has been clouded by my tendency to analyze everything I read. Not so with any of my favorites. Their styles are simply so engaging that even I can lose myself in their worlds. Jordan has written eight, six-hundred-page hard-cover novels in the "Wheel" series, beginning with, "The Eye of the World." I cannot wait for the ninth. I simply can't get enough of his writing. I've even found a prequel that he wrote describing how Lan and Moiraine met.

Sherri S. Tepper is a retired bureaucrat and mother who understands the human condition and knows how to write. What more can I say? Any of her novels sparkle and are truly enlightening.

Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series, telling the tale of Roland The Gunslinger with a seventeen-year wait between volumes three and four, is perhaps his best work.

Three authors round out my list. George R.R. Martin is simply outstanding with his "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. Then there's always Spider Robinson with his Callahan. And last, but not least, 'recently' discovered (thanks to an Orson Scott Card aside) John Kessel with his "Corrupting Dr. Nice."

March 29, 1999

Writing is an art form, and most (self-styled) editors are lousy art critics. Excuse me while I break something! Arrrggh!

Am I angry? Believe it! Bitter? Bet your ass! Unprofessional? Give a shit!

Why am I posting this on my web page? So I will remember to never submit anything to that #!**#!&* Zine again. Never!

Later in the day:

Accepts criticism?
Works well with others?
Too big for his britches?

If the answers were no, no, and yes, go directly to remorse. Put on dunce cap. Do not sell story.

November 4, 1998

This is the Observatory where I reflect and observe, and my first recorded observation is, "Hell, yes!"

Congratulations to the voters of Minnesota who have elected Jesse 'The Body' Ventura as their new governor! If politics is entertainment (and who can dispute THAT nowadays?), then let's get some interesting players.

If we can live with the likes of Davy Crockett, Andy Jackson, and Teddy Roosevelt, then why not Jesse? A more important reality is that the country HAS survived the Carpetbaggers, the crooks, the artful dodgers, the snake oil salesmen, the bland pick-pockets who look you in the eye as they lift your purse--WE elected THEM too. Give Jesse a chance.

Looking at the choices (for governor) in my own state of Illinois, if Michael Jordan or Sammy Sosa would've run, it would've been a landslide too. So, good luck to you, Jesse--knock 'em dead!

P.S. note: This factoid unearthed later -- the first (famous) professional wrestler elected to political office was none other than -- Abraham Lincoln -- yep, Honest Abe himself. And after listening to Jesse speak (in an interview on C-SPAN), he's got my vote -- a man's man who will honestly do his best -- can't ask more than that!

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