My latest podcast features my take on the Duggar Scandal, Lindenhurst racial stupidity, and a few smoochies at the end!

If I look half as good as this guy does, everyone needs to get their eyes checked!
If I look half as good as this guy does, everyone needs to get their eyes checked!

If you want to think, listen to some non-right/left wing opinions, and laugh at the expense of Rob Schneider, Frozen, and Mike Huckabee, check out my latest podcast available at this link in MP3 format – if you have issues downloaded, please let me know, don’t let it go (ba-dum-bump!)  It’s only 15 minutes for your listening pleasure and convenience.

Click here to open my podcast – MP3 format, 15 minutes.

Rowling row reinforces the need for editors and publishers to clean up their own houses

Welcome to Books and Blondes

Recently, the (London) Daily Mail was ordered by a British judge to issue a formal apology to J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame. According to the (London) Guardian, this all stems from a suit filed by Rowling in 2013 in which she alleged the Daily Mail knowingly published a article in which Rowling’s tale as a single mother was characterized as a “sob story” and in which members of her own church were reported to have been left upset and confused, an allegation which was later acknowledged by the publisher as “completely false and indefensible.”

And the media wonders why there is such little regard for reporters.

The very first rule of journalism, at least the way I learned it, was two words:  fact check.  Unfortunately, today’s media seems to be more concerned with sensationalism and creating a buzz to sell copies, create clicks, or attract viewers than it…

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Lamenting the decline in student writing

Welcome to Books and Blondes

writing

NOTE:  It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted to this blog, and with good reason.  I am in the process of finishing my education at Georgia Southwestern State University, a degree long overdue for completion.  What does this have to do with writing, emerging authors and publishing business?  Quite bit, actually.  For a sense of perspective, I wish to post this essay written for my English class, which I retook to raise my grade-point average.

The world of collegiate writing is facing a crisis. As recent scandals involving standardized testing have proven, the current crop of incoming freshmen have proven, on many occasions, ill-equipped to handle the demands of college-level English classes. Yes, reading levels have seen a marked improvement over the past decade, but the ability to writing coherent, concise, and intelligent sentences continues to lag.

Think, for a moment, about your collegiate English classes. Were they boring?…

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This is MY vision for our country – the words of a moderate, nonpartisan “Gutless Wonder”

As a left-leaning moderate, I have become so fed up with both Democrats and Republicans, I have chosen to completely break away.  In effect, I have chosen to secede from the American political duopoly (how does that one grab you, right wingers?)  Rather than states’ rights, I am exercising citizens’ rights.  After all, isn’t that what the big debate is about?

Ha!  Think again.  It’s about power, plain and simple.  It’s about gaining power, holding power, using power to enrich and settle scores.  That’s what it’s all about.

What to do, what to do, what to do?  How about a declaration?  Perhaps a simple statement of what moderates, like myself, consider a real vision for our government and *GASP* our nation!  Maybe it should be bulleted – everyone loves a list, right? – maybe it should be run by a billion focus groups and news editors for clarity and political correctness.  Hmmm, maybe it should even be endorsed by a celebrity or two.  That just sounds wonderful and simple and a guarantee of people getting behind it, doesn’t it.

*Two fingers waaaayyyy down the ol’ gullet*

This is what I believe a moderate vision should look like – at least as far as a real platform goes.  Maybe someone will have to the guts to either stand up and run or recruit someone to run on this platform as a real moderate, a real “gutless wonder” that so many on both sides hate.  Yes, Limbaugh, Maddow, Erickson, Stephanopoulos, Boortz, Matthews, Hannity, Cooper and Savage, I’m talking to all of you fools!

How about that?  Someone is finally standing up to both the left and the right?  Well, I’m expecting to lose everything anyday now *tongue pressed firmly in cheek*  Here’s the principles which comprise my vision:

  • Veterans get ALL their benefits, regardless of our Congressional and bureaucratic ability to show a spine and pay. Enlisted men get paid a living wage – not just a sorry excuse for an allotment.  Food stamps to the immediate families of enlisted personnel should be automatic and guaranteed – if we can blow the deficit for some stupid weapons system even the Pentagon doesn’t want, we can take care of our fighting men and women, no questions asked!
  • We rebuild the infrastructure, period. Roads collapsing, trains derailing, bridges falling down, and you fools are screaming about government spending?  Really?  Lives are being lost and all you both do is go “neener, neener” at each other?  You all should be ashamed of yourselves!  If you can’t fix this, moderates will!
  • Citizens United was a win for big business? Fine!  Moderates will revise the tax code to make each and every political group, from the local party to the national 527s, a for-profit corporation subject to federal income taxes, with ZERO EXEMPTIONS or DEDUCTIONS!  How about that one, Koch and Soros?
  • Acts of Congress to make DC and Puerto Rico states, post haste.
  • Love Obamacare so much, Congress? No problem – you get to have it, like everyone else.  Kiss the Congressional Health Plan goodbye.
  • Income caps on all Congressional Representatives – anyone with a net worth of over $1 million gets no pay for their ENTIRE term!
  • Ditto for the President. Oh, and the first family pays a percentage of their vacations on Air Force One. Staycation, anyone?
  • To hell with the “Fairness Doctrine,” just a simple message before all political programs – The following is a politically-oriented program which may, or may not, have been financed through advertising by a party and therefore, the opinions expressed may not be wholly that of the host.
  • Repeal the Real ID Act because ANYONE who wants to get a black-market birth certificate to have a Drivers License can do it, while law-abiding “grey market” babies who are now adults CAN’T EVEN RENEW!!!!!

And, of course, I saved the best for last – a single sentence law.

Any legal American citizen over eighteen years of age, who is either a non-felon or a felon who has fully served their court-imposed sentence, is guaranteed the right to vote, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

Go ahead, Dems and GOPers…say I’m full of crap…I dare ya! 

If you agree with this post, please share it with as many people as you can – I’m just a citizen who loves his country and is tired of money, power, and greed being the impetus for alleged “public service.”  If I could run and survive all the moral and financial stupidity I committed in my life, I would do it in a heartbeat.

A personal message to the leadership of both the Democratic and Republican Parties

This message is intended for the Democratic and Republican Parties.

As I’m an American citizen, I hereby exercising my rights and terminating my recognition of your organizations as legitimate representatives of the interests of our nation, effective immediately.

The issue is simple:  to both of you, it’s not about doing what’s best, but about keeping your base happy.  Its about having power and using it to settle scores.  This isn’t ancient Rome, but both of you have done a remarkable job of attempting to apply the lessons of Roman politics to our republic.

This is not the only issue.  You both failed to recognize the lie that is the definition of the middle class.  Those who make over $250,000, but plead poverty, are not only behaving childish, they are flat out lying.  You have failed pur nation by buying into this lie to perserve your position.  Instead of trying to help those who work long hours, both of you act like the popular children on high school, deciding who should advance and who should fail.

This is not high school.  This is real life.

You have both failed this nation.  Focusing on morals and religion does not solve pur problems.  Yelling at each other like rival football teams is a baldfaced lie we all see through.  We “gutless wonders” in the moderate zone have been declared irrelevant until election time, when you and ypur lackeys on both sides bombard us with television, radio and print ads.  We are regarded afterwards as chumps amd dupes, and blamed for everything wrong.

For these and innumerable other reasons, as far as I am concerned, I have just two words for both the Democrats and Republicans.

You’re fired.

A crisis of faith, and searching for answers

It’s time for a confession – I’ve been suffering a massive crisis of faith for many years. The cause?  Simply put, a feeling that, because of all the things which I have endured in my life, God simply abandoned me.

It’s really not that uncommon a feeling, I’ve come to find out.  As humans, I have learned that at some point – actually, innumerable points – we feel the deity which we have sworn unwavering allegiance to had chosen to toss our lives upon a proverbial pyre of foolish dreams and good intentions.  One need only to look upon the dreams and hopes of starving artists to see this assertion come to light.

This, of course, brought me to my ongoing crisis of faith.  Why does God seem to look upon me as being unworthy of favor?  How can I atone for the sins of my past?  Is it simply enough to “accept” or “submit”?  Is a wholesale conversion from what I know to be right necessary?  After all, the world is replete with tales of how Jack or Jill chose to “find religion,” whichever one it was and, within seeming seconds of this event, the clouds parted, sunbeams shined down upon them, and every blessing and earthly trapping we could imagine became theirs.  It was as though they simply turned a key, embraced a “new you,” and walked into the sun after years of torment and anguish.  Why not take this alleged “hard way” if the rewards equals effort?

Here’s the answer, and it’s not the popular one – it’s never that simple, nor that easy, and God is not an ATM of rewards and favor drawn from deposits of verbal faith and fealty sworn.

Yes, there are examples of God’s favor being showered upon the faithful, and those who believe receiving the perceived “instant karma” of good equaling reward.  This sounds appealing because it jibes with our notion of the Law of Attraction – like attracts like.  Still, there are multiple examples of the faithful being ignored, afflicted, even outright smitten by the Almighty – Job among the most famous.   But it seems that for every one example of pain and suffering of the faithful, there are hundreds, even thousands, of examples of those enjoys the blessings of the omnipotent and omniscient one upon choosing to embrace the “true faith.”

To call it “confusing” is the understatement of the universe, and there are no easy answers.

Part of the problem stems from the simple fact there is no proof of a hereafter, or that God really exists – the empirical, in fact, seems to disprove this notion at every turn.  Rather than see a remarkable occurrence, such as choosing to not board a doomed flight, or being late to a meeting at a building which is damaged in a deadly fire, we often look for an earthly explanation.  We focus on what we our senses tell is real – what we can see, touch, smell, hear or taste.  Instead of considering a greater plan, or a higher involvement, we dismiss such things as bunk, superstition, and straight up insanity.  Logic must rule the day, reason must be respected above faith.  Prosperity is almost always either the stuff of hard work, or of ill-gotten gains.  There can be no in-between.

What if there’s really something more to it than just that?  What if reason and faith are meant to co-mingle, to be equal to one another?  It would certainly explain some things about life with greater cohesion.  Rather than simply being the hardworking individual, a wealthy man’s fortune could be owed to some divine intervention.  Consider this – many in positions of power and wealth become that way through connections, hard work and, some would say, blind luck.  But yet, many of these power brokers eventually fall from grace, done in by their own hubris, poor choices, circumstances, or a combination of these factors and others.  Would it not be reasonable to consider that they were offered prosperity as a test of their faith, to determine if they could perform the delicate balancing act which requires prosperity to work in service to faith?

Today’s so-called “megachurch” leaders are a prime example of this.  Many leaders of these circuses of faith have amassed great fortunes, great power and influence, and flaunt that influence both unknowingly and in plain sight.  They drive fancy cars, fly in private jets, and live the lifestyle so many of us covet.  We love them, adore them, rest laurels upon their seemingly halo-donned heads, only to later see them fall from grace, and watch as they flail against their own personal night, blaming everyone for their ills except themselves.  Oh yes, they display righteous indignation towards themselves, but when we drill deeper, there is little left but an empty shell – persons who have abandoned their own principles, chosen spiritual apostasy and sacrificed their own values upon the altar of financial and political expediency.

I do not claim to have all the answers, far from it.  I can’t even find an answer to the crisis of faith I am enduring.  I have enough sinful occurrences in my life to fill an few thousand libraries.  I have experienced all forms of ill, and I continue to suffer, but this is about exploration, the deepest exploration one could undertake – the exploration of the soul.

I hope this and future writings will help you find some comfort in the craziness we all endure, because it’s something which I am working to square in my own life and, by doing this, perhaps I can help others.

Conch Republic announces alliance with U.S. in the event of Texas invasion

Interstate 10 could become a major staging ground for refugee charter fishing tours to the Conch Republic if a war with Texas breaks out
Interstate 10 could become a major staging ground for refugee charter fishing tours to the Conch Republic if a war with Texas breaks out

KEY WEST, Florida – The Conch Republic, a loosely allied quasi-nation of islands in the Florida Keys, today announced it has allied itself with the United States government in the event of a war with Texas.

“We cannot take any chances,” a source close to the situation said on the condition of confidentiality.  “We do not want to see any refugee Cowboys fans show up at our doorstep.  It was bad enough during the Mariel boatlift.  Criminals are one thing, we can incarcerate them, but Cowboys fans have a First Amendment right to be insufferable – we have to tolerate them.”

Some members of the Texas Republican Party, inspired by incumbent Governor Greg Abbott (R), are now convinced that the Pentagon’s “Jade Helm 15” operation is meant as a precursor to a takeover of the Lone Star State.  Even Senator and Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz was unconvinced of President Obama’s lack of intent with regards to the largest state in the lower 48.  A member of the Free Keys Party, the unofficial political movement of the Conch Republic, is not surprised by Cruz’s or Governor Abbott’s perceived paranoia.

“We receive threats from the U.S. Government all the time,” the party official said.  “There is plenty of reason for us to be afraid; we’re a coveted vacation spot with great fishing, parties in Key West, spectacular sunsets, and clear water.  Texas has the Alamo, a lot of cattle and…wait, they had oil wells once, didn’t they?”

Abbott’s decision to deploy the Texas National Guard to repel a federal invasion may be in vain, says the party member, who was also a member of the original Elite Guard of the Republic.  He pointed out that while Texas’ forces are more than a match for Mexico, President Obama can play a trump card.

“Abbott doesn’t realize that President Obama could always call in a favor or two from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban,” the member noted, “who is not only a proud Texas citizen, but also strident Democrat.  Cuban would likely offer lifetime tickets to Dallas Mavericks games and Texas college football games as inducements to troops to disobey orders and not fight.”

The member made one last point as to why a real shooting war will likely not break out, one which he states could lead to Abbott’s impeachment.

“This governor is risking committing blasphemy against an established major religion in Texas,” he stated.  “If a war breaks out, football season is officially shot to hell!”

The Conch Republic’s alliance with the United States is conditional.  In exchange for allowing the United States Navy and Coast Guard safe passage through the Straits of Florida, ships must allow Republic Guard members unlimited use of the vessels in peacetime for chartered fishing trips.  Of course, there is a benefit to the U.S. military.

“The alliance agreement states the government gets a twenty percent cut of every charter,” a Pentagon source admitted.  “You can’t beat that deal.”