Before You Get too Proud of Yourself

It has been a while since I made a political post and I hope it will be some time again before I write another, but I feel it is important to have my say before things happen that people will want to quickly forget about.  Shame on America, shame on all Republicans and shame on all Democrats for what you have done to this country.  Because of your greed, hatred, and apathy has brought to this country the plague that is the Donald Trump Presidency, including the oozing, pustular sores that are the Senate and Congress.

Shame on the Republican Party for letting their greed become the root for the tree of Neo-Nazis and White Supremacists.  A greed so all consuming that you forsook your obligation to protect America from all threats, external and internal.  Shame on all decent Republican Americans who allowed their better Angels to be suffocated in their sleep by the devils of their darker nature.  Shame on you for forgetting histories lessons from the World and the United States, which would have told you exactly what would happen when you put Trump into power.

Shame on the Democratic Party for choosing to support the greedy donors over the suffering people at home and abroad.  Shame on you for the same greed that allowed the Republicans to overlook every glaring fault of their candidate.  You are not blameless when it comes to Hillary Clinton, the only candidate on a par with Donald Trump for sleazy, corrupt leadership.  Shame on all Democrats for voting for either worthless candidate for fear that the other would get in.  The damage to this country is as much your fault as it is the Republicans.

Shame on all Americans who have carried a swelled sense of Pride from our victories in WWI and WWII.  Your pride allowed you to blind yourself to the horrible things our government has done in the name of American Interests (commonly known as corporate greed).  We have backed dictators, murderers, drug dealers, thieves, monarchs, and torturers in the name of profit and cheap oil.  We have turned a blind eye on the use of chemical weapons and torture for the sake of convenience.  The greed of our banking industry and financial markets have brought ruin upon this earth many times and still we drink the poisoned kool-aid.

Shame on Republicans and Democrats alike for turning away from the historic opportunity the 2016 election offered us.  An opportunity even more historic than the election of the first Black President.  The opportunity to soundly reject the miserable candidates selected for us by the greedy banks and corporate wealthy.  To choose, as Richard Pryor’s Brewster campaigned, None of the Above.  The chance to say no, we will not be forced to choose between the evils you have picked for us.  Imagine the shock on the Koch bothers faces if the election had come out with no winner.  That could have happened if you would have written in a candidate instead of choosing either Donald J. Trump or Hillary R. Clinton.  The foundations of Hell would have quaked at the sight.

Very soon we will have another historic chance.  We will be faced with the demise of the most disgusting President to have power over the fate of this country.  We can chose to let the Republican and Democratic parties slink away to hide in a corner until we forget the mess they made, giving them a chance to begin the dog and pony show all over again or, we can rise up as one nation and hold their collective noses in their own filth so they remember, never do it again.

One final thought for tonight, remember it daily.  We all bare the blame for this mess.  We were greedy for money, cheap garbage, and short term-hate satisfaction.  We have allowed the lobbyists, bank CEOs, WallStreet financiers, Corporate Leaders, haters, and Politicians to bring this Country to the brink of destruction and the World to the edge of Armageddon.

And shame on me for being so frustrated that I could not express this so well before.

Just an Observation

The biggest lie mankind has told itself and continually bases decisions on is that humans, for the most part, are rational beings.  I dare you to sit and think of one thing mankind has done that has not been perverted, abused, or taken for granted.  If mankind were rational, would we still have wars, murder, or rape?  Would we have arguments over silly things because we no longer see what is really bothering us?  Would there be greed, corruption, or lust?  Our very irrational nature, do to the multitude of variables in our physical make-up, will eventually be our undoing.  Not because we have them, but because we failed to learn to account for them.  If we do not account for greed, corruption, hate, lust, violence, etc. in our governing processes, they will grow unchecked.  To put it bluntly, humans are ruled by their emotions, which are in turn greatly affected by nature.  Changes in our environment will change our own reactions because, like it or not, we will always be a part of it.  Even more important, we are all connected in this world.  There is nothing that you do that will not have an effect on everyone else in the world.  Welcome to chaos theory 101.  Thus, the irrational/emotional actions of someone in China will affect you and vice versa.

No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

From time to time I will still post thoughts on events or topics in America, and the world, that I have formed an opinion on.  In this case it is on the subject of free education.

While I am for it, this post is not about the pros and cons or even the moral reasons about making education accessible to all, but rather that the moniker of “free education” is incorrect and hurts progressive democrats’ abilities to sell a larger portion of America on the subject.  Progressive democrats would not in truth be giving Americans free education.  What they are really doing is spreading what has become an outrageous burden of obtaining higher education for a better lifestyle over the life of the person getting the education.  In effect, they are amortizing the cost of the education.

Whaaaaa …!  What the hell am I talking about.  They tell us that we will not have to pay for an education.  Well, the truth is that they aren’t lying to you technically.  Whaaaaa …!  It can’t be both.  Ah, it isn’t.  You have to read closely what I stated.  Technically, you would not be paying for your education upfront.  Right now, higher education has become so expensive that to pay the upfront costs demanded by schools, we have to take out hefty loans, which not only leave us with the burden of the cost of the education but also the profit margin desired by the loan companies.

The progressive method would change that dynamic by shifting the cost from upfront to over the lifetime of the person being educated.  Again, what the hell am I talking about?  Just this, in the progressive scenario, how are the educations paid for?  Taxes.  That’s right, through increased taxes on all of us.  This is the huge sticking point in most people’s minds.  Why should I have to pay for someone else’s education? Yes, it seems that way by the how it has been presented by the right, the media, and even the progressives.  The fact is that the person getting the education will still be paying for it.  Whaaaaa … t?

What happens after a person finishes college?  Hopefully, they get a job, right.  Then what happens?  Boom. You guessed it, they pay TAXES.  They will now be paying back into the system that helped them get their education so that the next person can be educated.  They don’t get a “get out of jail free” card.  They will be paying into the system like you did and are to give future citizens a chance at a better life.  Finally, for those that will say “What if I don’t want or can’t get into college? Why should I be taxed?” there are several answers.  One, I think the definition of higher education needs to be broadened to include non-traditional forms that help people better their situation, trade schools for example.  Two, improving the success of our people improves the condition of our people and improves the lives of us all.  Last, the person educated this way may be the person that saves your life, or wins your court case, or takes us to the stars.  The progressive plan for what is mistakenly called a free education is really nothing more than a nationalized system of paying it forward, which is what the new testament is allllllllll about.

So what the hell is so wrong with that America?

Why Fund Arts? (also on my Patreon page)

Our illustrious leader has sent a budget to congress with the idea that we can no longer fund a program without concrete evidence of its effectiveness.  Putting aside the reality that many of the programs he plans to cut impact large segments of our population, while requiring less money per person than if the resources were not pulled together by the government, there is the fact that the results of these programs can not easily be distilled down to profit/loss statements.  Also, put aside that the so-called savings will be offset by increased military spending and tax cuts for the wealthy.  Well one of the programs to be cut is the Endowment for the Arts.

I find it laughable that the President and the people he has surrounded himself with are so clueless as to the amount the arts affect the world around them and us.  Do you have an Iphone, twitter account, or television?  Well all of these are influenced by the arts.  The screens on your Iphone and the layout of Twitter were all designed by graphic artists who may have gotten support or been influenced by someone whom got support from the Endowment for the Arts.  Graphic Artists design how our cars, computers, and appliances look.  They give your favorite websites the style that catches your eyes.

Musicians make the music for your TV shows and Movies, making them more entertaining and life more enjoyable.  They play the songs writers create or create them themselves.  The commercials our economy depends upon feature music from all walks of life to connect with customers on an emotional level, including ads for political candidates.  Writers come up with the stories that become the movies we can’t wait to see.  They also write the commercials that help businesses survive, as well as the manuals that help their customers use their products.  Writers even come up with the lines in political ads.

Wow, there sure seems to be a strong case here for the benefits of the arts.  Without all the things creative people do for business, our economy would be much weaker than it is.  Hell, the Iphone’s ability to stream live music and television is a major selling point and they seem to constantly be trying to improve those abilities.  What would be the point of that without the arts?  The days of the public being wowed by watching a train arrive at a station, one of the first examples of motion pictures, are long gone.  Providing content solely by what we observe is in the past; now the public demands more and you can’t get that without art.   So, does funding the arts have an impact?  Hell yeah, if you aren’t stupid or greedy.

Art Does Matter (from my Patreon page)

I want to make a case for funding the arts for obvious reasons and I don’t mean because I am an artist.  Of course, I am an artist so I do lean toward an artistic point of view.  Also, the arts are more than just images, they are music, they are writing, and they are theater.  How many of these affect your life?  Well, by how much money actors, singers, and writers can and do make, I would say a lot.

Where to begin?  First, let us deal with the fact that Republicans once again want to scrape funding for the endowments to the arts and public television, which make up a small percentage of the governmental budget.  Why do they target these programs?  One, they are rich and can afford to get any art, entertainment, and learning for said they want so they feel they shouldn’t have to be taxed to help people who cannot afford access to same.  Classic “if it does not benefit me directly, I don’t want to pay for it”.  Unfortunately, it does benefit them greatly but they are too myopic and greedy to see that.  I will explain later.  In addition, they are not the only ones being taxed for these programs and the voters should have more say in what is cut.  You know, that whole  “taxation without representation” jazz the Republicans spew when it is not in their favor.   Two, cutting such programs make them look like they are fiscally responsible without having to dig into programs that benefit their largest donors.  Note, I do not say base because their base does not count, only their largest donors.  Finally, the artistic community is in general one of their biggest oppositions, so it is logical to do all they can to undermine that sector.

Now, let us focus on why the arts need funded.  The basic reason, and one that is directly in their favor, is that the arts take peoples minds off their woes.  After dealing with all the pressure of work, what is one of the first things people reach for to relax, TV – entertainment.  What makes entertainment possible?  Art, music, and theater.  The arts help soothe the frustrations we all feel.  Music calms the savage beast.  Next, the arts directly influence scientific discovery.  How many times have you heard that Star Trek has influenced a scientist or astronaut to become who they are?  How many ideas have been generated from artistic endeavors?  Also, the arts help to relax the minds of people so that they can better focus on the work tasks that are given to them.  Finally, by limiting art access to only those you are willing to pay for directly, you risk becoming frozen in a set of artistic values that will eventually erode their worth.  You in effect create a stagnant pond that begins to have a negative affect on scientific and technological creation.  How many great artistic and technological innovations have come from random citizens in our country?  The bigger the pool of talent, the better the results.

So, are the arts important?  Hell yes!  Where do the Republicans think the ideas for their ad campaigns come from?  Where do they think the ideas for wrist watches and cell phones came from?  Star Trek and Dick Tracy!  How do scientists and movie makers visualize for the public their ideas?  Artwork!  Where do scientists and engineers get a lot of their ideas about the future from?  Science Fiction Writers!  Life without the arts would be dull, meaningless, and dangerous.  Hey, I can understand that cuts need to be made, but you don’t have to totally wipe out these important programs.  Try dipping into all the items in the governmental budget evenly and quit lining your pockets with our tax dollars/future.  Quit shifting the burden solely onto the middle class you claim to care for so much.  Try trimming some of that corporate welfare fueling the 350 to 1 income differential between the top 1% and middle class incomes.  Take your stinking paws off the arts you damn dirty apes!

World Creation (from my Patreon page)

One of the fun aspects of writing any story is creating the world or universe your characters live in.  For example, in “Sensu Learns a Lesson”, while I did not go in-depth into the politics and players of this story, I had to think about a universe that was full of aliens and political intrigue.  Also, I made a beginning into the living and social structures of the Altharians, they lived underground and looked like transparent blue slugs.  The Altharians live in underground structures carved out over millennia by the passage of their ancestors.  They are master spies (their society is completely focused on spying) because of their ability to shape change.  I also began to create a class structure through the mention of royal blood.  If I ever manage to expand this story, I will have to vigorously expand on all these choices.

Another example comes from my story “Lepidoptera” coming up next month.  By the way, for anyone that does not know, lepidoptera is the order name for butterflies (technically moths and butterflies).  I began the world by creating a society of elves similar to Tad William’s Sithi in the series “Memory, Thorn, and Sorrow”.  I wanted that mix of age, wisdom, and magic which his Sithi had.  I also wanted to give the sense that when you entered the lands of my Sindains, you entered a world separate from the rest of the world.  In their lands, the forests move and living spaces are made from the living plants around them.  When Sindains enter the Woods of Calling, the outside world disappears and time runs differently.  Basically, they live constantly with magic.

My final example comes from my story “Sanity”.  In this story I focused on a single world with lots of political intrigue between kingdoms and a powerful outside race that dabbles in this plotting for their own unfathomable reasons.  All the players know something about this race, but none have hard evidence of their goals or methods of achieving them only that they are powerful.  The race is non human, which leaves you wandering if they are part of the world or come from another.  The world in general is a metaphor for our political nature of playing for power where each dog thinks they are at the peak until some bigger dog takes them down.

Half the fun of writing a story is deciding what the underling facts of the universe is then seeing how these affect the interactions of the characters.  An example of world building that affects the actions of the characters is Brandon Sanderson’s Mist Born novels.  The principals set down for the universe are consistent and interesting.  Also, the world is not static as his new books in the series show, meaning that he introduces growth in the society with the introduction of technology.  However, the underlying magic still exists.  Mr. Sanderson seems to enjoy seeing how the invention of technology changes how society looks at those with magic.  How fun is that?

Got a Second?

Well, I think it is time for me to take a look at this issue.  No, this is not a post about the current American government, at least not in a direct way.  I promise to do my best to keep such commentary out of this post.  The issue I wish to breach is authors and politics.  Yep, I went there and so do many writers in the field excluding those that actually write about politics.  The reason this is on my mind tonight is because of a reply I saw to a post by one of my favorite authors where the commentator said “Just lost bunch of sales for your books”.

My first reaction is what a jerk, But I had to stop and think about the way I have been looking at the world lately.  I will admit that I am not very friendly right now toward people who are unwilling to respect my point of view.  If you are strongly advocating views that run the polar opposite to mine I dismiss you as you dismiss me.  Because of that I have become somewhat reclusive.  In addition, I have struggled with reading certain authors that I have become aware of their politics.  Luckily, I don’t know the views of many.

For example, I will not read one popular author who I believe I have heard has politics that run opposite of mine; however, in this case I learned this after reading one of his books.  Basically, after reading his book and not liking it, I found out about his politics, which did not surprise me.  Another author that I love was born into a Religion that I have come to find extremely questionable and at times questioned whether I should continue reading his books.  But they are very good, which brings me to another point.

By closing my mind off to writers because of their politics, what great stories might I be missing out on.  It is a fact of the human condition that people can act, think, and create in ways completely different from the persona they show the world.  For example, while acting as the chubby, lovable half of the comedic duo Abbott and Costello, Lou Costello was actually known as the un-nice person, while Bud Abbott who always played the conman was actually the friendlier of the two.  What I am trying to say here is that people are an odd mixture of hate and love, which may be something far more surprising than politics alone can illuminate.

Will I continue to struggle with authors with sharply opposing politics?  Yes, I am only human.  Will I be aware that it could be me as much as them?  Certainly.  Will I miss out on good stories?  Quite possibly.  What do I want you to take away from this post?  The sense that maybe giving other points of view a chance by at least being willing to read an author’s work even though you are aware of their politics.  I liken it to your parents telling you to at least try food before you don’t like it.  Most authors have multiple series out there, try one book and if you still don’t like them then okay.  There are numerous authors I had not read and quite half way through the book, while others became favorites that I search out now.   If you start limiting you diet, you may find yourself without new material or becoming bored and unsatisfied.

Finally, some food for thought.  Should you read an author vigorously champions political views opposite of yours and thoroughly like their writing, stop and think about it.  The fact that someone can write a book you really enjoyed believes differently then you.  In other words, something that you love came from someone you would despise.  The source is the same.  It is your viewpoint that is being challenged.  Open your mind to the possibility that their may be common ground.

As for me, guess what, I am an author.  If you have been coming to this site for some time, then you know where I am coming from.  With the launch of my Patreon page I have been struggling to find a balance between what up to that point had been my place to voice my feelings on the world as well as my creative endeavors.  One thing you would find from talking to people who know me is that I don’t sugar coat things.  What you see is pretty much what you get.  Unfortunately, I can not deny that I haven’t seen the drop in viewership in recent days.  Will I stop being who I am?  No.  I have lived to long trying to fit into other people’s worlds for that anymore.  What I can promise is that this site will be a mix of post from my Patreon page (mostly) and my feelings on what happens around me (not always about politics).  If you want to only see things about my creativity, then go to my Patreon or Deviantart pages.

To close, I would like to ask those that do not agree with my views to at least try one of my stories and if you don’t like it, unsubscribe.  It will only cost you a dollar to try and you can quit any time after the first month.  I won’t be offended or rail about you.  You may find that there are some you like and others you totally hate.  There are creators that have left me feeling that way over the years, yet I am still willing to give them a chance now and again.  Thanks for listening.