All posts by John Maberry

A writer, a lapsed lawyer, a former government employee, a father of two and a 30+ year (in this lifetime) Bodhisattva of the Earth. Author of Waiting for Westmoreland. A happy man and a funny guy.

Comrade Trump and the Russo-Publicans

Cropped image of Titanic sinking painting by Stower
The Trumptanic is sinking

Fake President Trump foolishly fires one secretary or another, thinking he will finally get the White House he wants or needs. Actually, Trump is rearranging the deckchairs on the Trumptanic as the ship of state slowly sinks beneath the waves of the Mueller investigation. Click To Tweet

Yes, it’s time for the monthly rant about America’s Fake President and the sycophants who support him. Hereinafter, we’ll just refer to him as Comrade Trump. While he calls today for the death penalty for drug dealers, he neglects to note that treason also carries a death penalty. In truth, of course, it’s unlikely that his efforts on behalf of Vladimir Putin would rise to a level qualifying for that penalty if convicted. Meanwhile, the behavior of the “Russo-Publicans” in Congress may not be as treasonous as Trump’s offenses but some may be serious criminal offenses. Under the speech and debate clause, they may be safe from slander charges for what they said about Comey, et al.

Who are the Russo-Publicans? We call them that because they don’t care that the Russians intervened in the 2016 election–OR that the Russians plan on meddling in the 2018 mid-terms. All they care about is protecting their boy–Comrade Trump. Maybe the Russians even have something on them too.

Devin “Numbnuts” Nunes is one of them. Jim “Shouter” Jordan is another. Matt Gaetz is one more. There are way too many others to mention–but you know who they are. Then there’s Trump TV (AKA Fox News/Fox and Friends) with Sean Hannity heading up the cheerleading squad of anti-FBI ranters.

Will Comrade Trump find someone who will fire Mueller? It won’t be Rosenstein. Sessions can’t. If Mueller is fired, will the Russo-Publicans care enough to do anything about it? Here’s some of what might happen if Comrade Trump does succeed in getting rid of Mueller and the Russo-Publicans do nothing.

  • The Mueller team, which has been watertight up until now, will spring a leak—with some members revealing details of the criminal offenses it has found among Trumpistan party members
  • The American populace will take to the streets in numbers vastly exceeding the Women’s March of January 2017
  • The 2018 Mid-Term Elections will not be a wave—it will be a tsunami. That will afford Democrats an opportunity to impeach Trump and begin investigations of those members of the Russo-Publicans that survive the election. That could result in expulsion from Congress for some and/or criminal prosecution.

But let’s say Comrade Trump doesn’t manage to rid himself of Mueller and the probe, then we can expect more indictments. First will come the hacking, cybercrimes, money laundering and other financial offenses and—the collusion (legally known as conspiracy) that Comrade Trump and Trump TV (AKA, Fox News) has insisted didn’t happen.

Obstruction charges will come last, but relatively quickly on the heels of the other indictments.

So, who will Mueller indict and who will Trump pardon?

Here’s my prediction of some who will be indicted (the most likely in my opinion):

  • Fuzzy Bear, Foxy Bear and Guccifer 2.0 (and probably many other Russians who can be identified)
  • Wikileaks and Julian Assange (who better hope that the current government of Ecuador never changes to one that doesn’t like him)
  • Cambridge Analytica—and perhaps Brad Parscale
  • Roger “Zippy” Stone (think of the polka dot clown suit and hair strands tied in a bow)
  • Jared Kushner
  • Ivanka? Probably not
  • Steve Bannon? Not too likely
  • Jeff Sessions? Nah
  • Devin Nunes—should be but won’t be

What about pardons? We all know Trump demands loyalty from everyone but gives it to none. But he might pardon son-in-law Kushner.

Two other reasons to pardon someone:

  • To avoid them testifying against him
  • Because Putin demands it

It’s too late for Flynn and the rest who have cooperated with Mueller; their testimony is admissible regardless of pardons. Here’s my pardon predictions:

  • Kushner—probably
  • Russian oligarchs but not lower level people
  • Manafort–not too likely; he better cut a deal

Will Pence pardon Comrade Trump once he is booted out of office? Pence is between a rock and a hard place.

  • If he doesn’t pardon him, the Russo-Publicans and the rabid base voters won’t support Pence for the 2020 election
  • If he does pardon him, Pence won’t stand a chance with the rest of the American voters in 2020 (see what happened to Gerry Ford after his pardon of Richard Nixon)

Bonus material for March

  • Stormy Daniels!!!! What’s the prenup look like for Melania?
  • What will Stormy tell the World that she and Donald did?  Must be juicier than salacious stuff in the Steele dossier for all the efforts to hush her up

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 John Maberry

A Review of Words We Carry, by D.G. Kaye

Words We CarryWords We Carry by D.G. Kaye
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I entered the inner sanctum of the other gender. The perspective of those members of the female sex who are concerned with appearance is foreign to me. I’ve heard it said that women dress for women and so do men. I have seen some truth in that but also have some reservations. Still, D.G. Kaye’s evolution of her own concerns with hair, makeup, clothes and more was interesting and informative to me. As a man, it’s difficult to fully appreciate the stresses and strains of all the effort that goes into what appears to me as a theatrical exercise that culture and insecurities demand. Kaye goes into the details of her own reasons for making the effort and how she has evolved beyond the superficial and insecure to the confidence of self-assurance in presenting herself. She offers much advice for fellow females from her years in the trenches of romantic encounters. So for women, my guess is that this book will be helpful, reassuring and instructive. For men, it will be at times bewildering and at times revealing.

Two anecdotal incidents have some relationship to this entertaining book. One was the appearance of a fellow law student in the late 1970s. While most first year students (including women) dressed much as they did as undergraduates. This woman, on the other hand, wore clothes and makeup that appeared to my eyes as somewhere north of high-end office/professional and evening cocktail party. Some fellow male students mocked her (not to her face) as “showgirl.” Given the times, misogyny was rampant so I took it as such, even as I wondered why she looked as she did. But for all the guys, including myself, for all any of us might have known, she might have a job as on-air TV personality or a high-level hill staffer that she might go to directly from classes. Such is the shortfall of sense in many men that continues on into later age from youth.

The other incidents that confirm that men dress for women is my own history, when trying to advance in the dating game with a woman I’d grown interested in. By the time things got secure, some sloughing off commonly occurred. While I have always appreciated beauty, that hasn’t been the attraction for me–rather it’s the personality beneath that has been most attractive. I think Kaye’s book confirms the sensibility of that perspective.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Vampyrie: Origin of the Vampire

Finally getting back to my reading.  😉

This one grabbed me in the first few paragraphs. Occasionally, you’ll find tweaks on the vampire genre. This story has more than one, but I won’t offer any spoilers here. It’s well-written–with believable characters and dialogue. Tension and suspense grows as conflicts arise between the protagonist and her supporters.  Secrets and more secrets are revealed like an onion being peeled. The last few offer unexpected twists. If you like the genre–with accompanying suspense, you’ll love this one as I did.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 John Maberry

yes, there are things to do about gun violence

In 2015, I ran a series on gun violence in America on this blog. I consolidated the series into one extensive article in the November 2015 Eagle Peak Quarterly. The piece analyzed much available data from a variety of sources and excerpted salient points. It presented some facts, offered conclusions and recommendations for reducing those deaths. Little has changed since, except more deaths by guns. Those conclusions and recommendations remain as valid today as they did then. I remain hopeful that change for the better CAN happen. If you believe all is hopeless or are angry that nothing has, the first step in making change happen is to be well-informed and not be swayed by rhetoric, emotion or myths.

There are many myths out there about gun violence, much of it driven by political ideology. So let’s clear the fog of emotion and politics that has arisen after the most recent mass shooting at the Parkland school in Florida.

Here are the conclusions of the November 2015 article. About the only things that have changed are the numbers–more mass shootings. That and the repeal of a law that made it more difficult for those with mental illness to purchase a gun (which may not matter greatly anyway, as you will see in the bullet points below).

  • The USA leads the world in gun ownership and deaths by guns (other than a very few outliers with ongoing conflicts and/or other severe problems)
  • The substantial majority (over 60% of gun deaths) are suicides
  • Police kill more people than police are killed by others –at least by 20 to 1 and probably more
  • Of those killed by police, 25% are mentally ill or are disproportionately non-white (most often black, who are 7 times more likely than whites to be killed while unarmed)
  • Police are seldom charged in shootings and far less often actually convicted of a criminal offense for shooting even an unarmed person
  • Mass shooting (theaters, malls, schools) and “active shooter” (disgruntled employees, etc.) incidents are becoming more common but are still a tiny percentage of all gun deaths
  • Mentally disturbed individuals are NOT responsible for most gun deaths, including mass shootings or active shooter incidents (less than 5% of them)
  • Domestic violence accounts for a significant, but not a substantial percentage of deaths. People living in homes with guns were three times more likely than those in homes without them to lose lives by guns
  • Gang-related violence amounts to as much as 11-12% of gun deaths but those deaths are overwhelmingly gang members killing members of other gangs and are seldom related to drugs
  • States with more guns had more gun deaths. States with stronger gun controls had less deaths
  • Terrorism isn’t a big part of the issue, newsworthy as it may be 

 

Here’s what we suggested in that 2015 article should be done politically/legally with qualifiers on whether it could be done. None of it has been done since then but it still can and should be done. One thing left out of those recommendations is universal background checks–probably desired by a substantial percentage of the public but also the most politically untenable change. 

  • Reinstate the automatic weapons ban—i.e. the sale, trade or possession of such weapons with substantial added penalties for use in a crime. Rationale: Hunters don’t need them. Militia (or extremist) groups want them but shouldn’t have them. Recreational shooters could rent and shoot them at licensed gun ranges if they simply must fire them for fun. Politically, this will be difficult at best in the current pro-gun Congress with its fear of and financial support from the NRA and their friends.
  • Prohibit sale to the public of highcapacity magazines—if you have to reload, you can’t kill as many people. Again, difficult in the current political climate
  • Prohibit sale to the public of armorpiercing rounds—they have been banned for handguns since 1986 but the bullets that are used in AR-15s can be used in handguns. The Obama administration caved to NRA and gun organizations to pull an ATF proposal to do this this year. So that tells you the political reality. Armor-piercing rounds can penetrate police body armor. Since deer and other game don’t wear body armor, it’s difficult to see how such bullets are needed for sportsmen.
  • Destroy every weapon seized in a crime once forensics and trials are completed—evidence rooms are supposed to be secure, but they aren’t always. Some percentage of the guns on the street come from ones stolen from police or sold by corrupt officers. This should be doable. Goes along with turn-in programs periodically run in some jurisdictions. Otherwise, the same guns are used in crime after crime.
  • Better secure federal, state and local armories—some percentage of the guns on the street come from theft or corrupt sales from military bases, national guard armories, police departments, etc. Could cost a little money on the security side, but since some of the weapons are used against law enforcement, at least they should support it. Prosecute more harshly those employed there who sell such weapons from inventory.
  • Reduce militarization of state and local law enforcement—current law allows the federal government (especially the military) to offer surplus equipment at little or no cost to locals in ostensible support of anti-terrorism, drug-enforcement and other programs. Since there really are few genuine terrorist incidents, the main use of armored vehicles, military grade weapons and the like is in urban protest situations (see Ferguson, Missouri for example). This exacerbates problems between law enforcement and the local populace. Urban and suburban enclaves in America are NOT similar to war zones around the world; military weapons are NOT appropriate here.
  • Provide more and better mental health services—including PTSD treatment for veterans, in conjunction with better shelters. Although mentally disturbed people are not responsible for most shootings, they are responsible for some and they need the help. Following the deinstitutionalization movement of the 70s and 80s, the community mental health services that were supposed to be available have become less so after budget cuts. A majority of homeless people suffer from mental illness; likewise incarcerated people.
Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 John Maberry

Happy Valentine’s Day

roses

A shallow person will have only shallow relationships. Real love is not one person clinging to another; it can only be fostered between two strong people secure in their individuality. Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of The Little Prince wrote in a work called Wind, Sand and Stars, “Love is not two people gazing at each other, but two people looking ahead together in the same direction.” from Buddhism Day by  Day–Wisdom for Modern Life, by Daisaku Ikeda, February 14. 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 John Maberry

Banana Republicans or Keystone Konspirators

Well, they released the memo–what a dud! The Keystone Kops were an early 20th century comedic farce. Fox News, Breitbart, Jim Jordan, Paul Ryan and the star of the Keystone Konspirators–Devin “Oleg” Nunes (AKA, numbnuts), couldn’t even conspire sensibly after months of preparation!

As James Comey, former FBI director tweeted,

That’s it? Dishonest and misleading memo wrecked the House intel committee, destroyed trust with Intelligence Community, damaged relationship with FISA court, and inexcusably exposed classified investigation of an American citizen.

Yes, months of preparation. The Konspirators have been attacking the Steele dossier for most of last year. They brought in Glenn Simpson, head of Fusion GPS (that hired Steele) for 21 hours of testimony by House and Senate committees. Did that disprove any of the findings by Steele? NO! The research was initially funded by an unnamed REPUBLICAN (presidential primary?) opponent of Trump and only later by Democrats. The dossier, unlike the Konspirator’s memo, wasn’t a piece of fiction, it came from interviews with sources by Steele.

As you know by now, the memo alleged bias on Steele’s part–he was desperate that Trump lose. Why? As Glenn Simpson’s testimony revealed, it was because of what he found in his investigation–the amazing number of connections by Trump with Russian mafia, Russian officials and oligarchs, etc.

The memo stupidly alleges that the FISA warrant against Carter Page was based, if not exclusively, at least primarily on the dossier. No, it undoubtedly wasn’t–given that the FBI had been interested in Steele since 2013 when Russian agents attempted to recruit him–two of which fled when charges were filed in 2015 and one remained and was convicted.

The memo, even more stupidly, confirms that the entire counterintelligence investigation of the Russian intervention and the connection to the Trump campaign began in July of 2016. The FISA warrant against Carter Page came in October of 2016. Why in July? That’s when Australian intelligence officials alerted the US to George Papadopolous’s drunken comments to an Australian diplomat a few months later.

The memo, supposedly, is intended to serve as a pretext to fire Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General and Special Counsel Mueller’s boss. Rosenstein apparently signed off on one of the RENEWALS of the FISA warrant. Since Rosenstein wasn’t sworn in as DAG until April of 2017, he couldn’t have had anything to do with the original–only the SECOND renewal! The renewals are granted based not on the original application, but on what activity and evidence has been gleaned since.  Yes, a Keystone Konspiracy.

More revealing, is that MSNBC showed tape of an appearance by Carter Page himself from October 2017, during which he expressed gladness that Paul Ryan would be releasing information on the “FISA warrant” and the “dodgy dossier.” So this memo had been in the works for some time AND to the knowledge of Page! So it’s not all just Nunes in the Keystone Konspirator Kadre, it’s Paul Ryan too!

As John McCain tweeted about the Konspirator’s actions,

The latest attacks on the FBI and Department of Justice serve no American interests – no party’s, no president’s, only Putin’s.

Both Steve Schmidt (Republican strategist) and Jonathon Alter (journalist and author) recently called those in the GOP attacking the FBI, the Justice Department and the US intelligence community “Banana Republicans.”  (The term was used in 2004 as a book title by John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton).  An apt epithet–implying the creation of a banana republic–where a dictator controls law enforcement, the legislature and the news media. Trump isn’t quite there yet, but he’s trying and his Banana Republican friends are doing the best to make it happen.

James Comey also recently tweeted,

American history shows that, in the long run, weasels and liars never hold the field, so long as good people stand up. Not a lot of schools or streets named for Joe McCarthy.

Senator Joe McCarthy was eventually censured by the US Senate and died in disgrace after a few years of claiming that Communists could be found everywhere in the US government. During the early to mid-fifties, McCarthy held a series of hearings on his claims, during the height of the Cold War. His chief counsel was Roy Cohn. Years, later, despite the association with McCarthy, Cohn became a fixer and power broker in New York City. He also became Donald Trump’s mentor and person attorney for some number of years in the 1970s and early 80s. Cohn did have his own legal problems and was disbarred in 1986, shortly before dying of AIDs.

In the spring of 2017, after AG  Sessions recused himself from the Russian investigation, Trump reportedly called out, “Where’s my Roy Cohn.”  Trump learned at the hands of a master manipulator in fighting back hard when attacked. Perhaps we should read between the lines of Comey’s comments about McCarthy?

Eventually, we can hope that Trump and many current and former members of his administration will be indicted and spend time in jail. It’s entirely possible that some of the Keystone Konspirators and the Banana Republicans will join them. Quite likely in numbers exceeding the members of the Nixon administration in the aftermath of Watergate.

Money laundering, obstruction of justice and conspiracy with foreign powers to subvert the American democracy are craven and reprehensible offenses. Perhaps “reprehensibles” should replace the Clinton term “deplorables” to describe Trump supporters–at least the ones that exert the power of office or media to destroy American institutions in support of Trump’s Banana Republic.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 John Maberry

Blade Runner 2049–a Review

I so looked forward to this movie. I am so disappointed. Great visuals and special effects. That’s just not enough when it comes to a movie that is supposed to build on the classic movie from 1982. Acting, it seems, is simply not important. Plot and storyline  are, well, not as important as the visuals to directors who make movies for millennials and those in their forties–or maybe even in their early fifties. In other words, for those who may not even have seen the original. Sorry if I’m being ageist.

Not being among those in the age group noted, I did see the original. A movie that richly portrayed the moral challenges of  a society envisioned by Philip K. Dick in his short story “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep.” A movie that richly portrayed the Cartesian challenges of created beings, replicants, with self-awareness. A society which treated them at least as badly, if not worse, than the slaves of American history.

If I were a psychologist watching Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049, I’d have to conclude the character he portrayed had a disorder. No doubt it’s the director that had him act as though he had a flat affect. I have seen many robots and androids portrayed in one movie or another with more emotion, with more personality. Why?

Few, if any, expressions of pain, pleasure, surprise, by Gosling’s character. Everyone else–replicants or human, all acted normally, with no flat affect. Maybe it’s not the director–maybe it’s Gosling. A shame that Ridley Scott couldn’t have directed this one, like he did the original, rather than being an executive producer. Money talks, I guess–eh Ridley?

In a better director’s hands with a better actor than Gosling and a better script, this could have been the movie I anticipated. I’m sorry we spent the money to buy the Blu-ray, never having seen the movie. Maybe there’ll be some saving grace in viewing some of the special features. I’m not holding my breath. No flat affects for the replicants of the original. Consider Rutger Hauer’s soliloquy on the rooftop. You won’t find much of anything like that in the 2049 movie. But you will see visuals–which are almost as good as those that the crew of the original were able to create with technology available in 1982!

I’m leaving out other defects, like scenes that suggested unexplored plot lines. Non sequiters. Flaws galore from start to finish. No spoilers here, in case you haven’t seen the movie and relying on critics reviews or friends advice, still want to see it. Speaking of critics, note that they liked it better than those ordinary folks did.

If YOU liked the movie, please tell me why.

 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 John Maberry

Charitable Gifts and the New US Tax Code

Some non-profits reportedly fear a loss of donations after the changes to the US Tax Code last month. Why? Because the standard deduction has been doubled–to $12,000 for a single person or $24,000 for a married couple filing a joint return. That, in turn, may encourage many people to choose the standard deduction rather than itemizing.

Itemizing, it so happens, is the only way that charitable donations can be deducted (but see below on a legal way around this). I’m not quite sure of the logic that the primary reason people give to charity is that they can get a tax deduction. An itemized deduction does reduce taxable income and hence taxes paid–but is that really why people donate? Don’t they care about the programs, services or causes the charity provides or supports?

Anyway, there is one way to give to charity and still pay less in taxes: Give your RMD directly to charity. Here’s the deal: If you had a tax-deferred investment–like an IRA, once you turn 70 1/2, the IRS wants the taxes that you deferred and any earnings on that investment.  So you must take a required minimum distribution (RMD) from that account. It adds to your taxable income. If you have enough deductions (mortgage interest, state property and income taxes, medical expenses and charitable deductions) to exceed that standard deduction, then you itemize. You’d take that RMD, put it in the bank and donate the cash to the charity. If not, read on.

IF you receive that RMD and THEN give it to the charity, it’s taxable.  BUT, if you arrange to have that RMD go directly to the charity–never touching your hands or your bank account, it is not included in your gross income. Voila–your tax deduction survives, in a manner of speaking, and the charity still gets its money.

Talk to the RMD administrator and to the charity to set this up. Don’t want to give all of the RMD to the charity? Arrange for a percentage amount. Most account administrators have flexibility on dates, where the money is going, etc. Never fear that the charity won’t be happy to receive your money and work out the details with you and the administrator.

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 John Maberry

Happy New Year! and Resolutions That Work

Happy New Year! Hope you had a great 2017 or at least survived it and look forward to a wonderful 2018.  😀 

Like the blog itself, this will be an eclectic post. Often, the posts here are about my thoughts or opinions–it is my blog after all.  😉 In 2018, we’ll try to reach out and involve others more. What are friends for after all?  😛

Here’s what’s in this New Year’s first post: 

  • A thank you to the friends I grew closer to and valued more, as well as some new ones who I discovered or who discovered me
  • Accomplishments we have made in 2017
  • A blessedly brief reminder of the most frequent topic here in 2017–Trump and the GOP (Greedy Old Plutocrats)
  • A very short synopsis of and link to a post about resolutions that has graced Views before–the point being to regard them as real as you want them to be and how to make them happen
  • My own goals and determinations for 2018–in other words, not what I wish for but what I will do [if you want to skip ahead, it’s at the end of this longish post]

Thank you

Getting more engaged with more fellow writers–a resolution that I didn’t make expressly clear in my own mind but succeeded at (somewhat) in 2017. So thank you to all that visited here or elsewhere among my blogs and websites. We helped one another this year. I will extend myself more in 2018. The value of that became evident to me as I launched The Fountain short story collection and a tenth anniversary edition of Waiting for Westmoreland.

So thank you to Debby Gies, Sally Cronin, Chris “The Story Reading Ape” Graham, Nicholas Rossis, June Randolph, Tina Frisco, Byron Edgington  and many more. For those I didn’t name, please don’t feel slighted; the memory isn’t what it used to be and time is running short to finish this. 🙄 Many of you launched new books this year as well. I will try harder next year to be of more help to you. I know the 80-20 prescription–I just need to follow it.  😉

2017 Revisited–i.e., mostly victories 

  • Lost more than 23% of body weight (nearly 60 pounds), substantially exceeding the goal I set
  • Exercised more consistently than ever
  • Unexpected bonus–the change in our eating habits that made weight loss possible also saved big bucks on the grocery bill!
  • As noted above, published a short story collection and a tenth anniversary edition of Waiting for Westmoreland
  • Made more connections with other writers
  • Made more sales of my books (thankfully, I’m retired and don’t need to sell books to meet expenses, hahahaha)
  • Gave away many more books than ever before, see above 😎
  • My wife and I made a trip back east to visit family and friends that we greatly enjoyed, while the traffic and human congestion reminded us why we don’t miss the DC suburbs
  • Victories were many and defeats few–most of the latter were minor home maintenance issues which themselves were covered by warranties (hurrah)

Trump and the GOP

Just do a search and you’ll find 30 or so posts on them, just last year with more in 2016. I will try to restrain myself to one per month in 2018. Let’s do the first one right now–very short.

  • Let’s make a new fairy tale for the 21st century–“The President Has No Sense.” Today, the GOP sycophants all praise the mindless Trump as if he has wisdom. We all know differently. His tweets reveal the truth.
  • David Rothkopf said this morning on MSNBC, “It’s not hyperbole to say Trump has lost it.” Not hyperbole, just mistaken. Trump couldn’t lose what he never had. How can anyone run a casino into bankruptcy?
  • Steve Bannon says the June Trump Tower meeting with Donald Junior et al, was “treasonous” and that Mueller will “crack him like an egg on national TV”. Quite possible.
  • Consider Junior’s own words, there are people “at the highest levels of government that don’t want to let America be America.” Exactly, people like himself, his father and other members of the White House–not to mention the members of Congress who want to destroy the FBI and other institutions. Trump and many his supporters in the GOP would rather America be like Russia.
  • Do you suppose Trump will throw “his own son” under the bus during the Mueller investigation? Take a close look at the jet black hair and the face on “junior.” Was there a sperm donor way back when? Junior somewhat resembles Ivana, but not his supposed father. May make a difference when the fecal matter hits the fan!
  • Did you happen to watch the Bill Murray classic “Scrooged” this holiday season? We did and couldn’t miss this line while Mr. Cross (Murray) found himself below a street grate with an ice-covered Herman (Michael J. Pollard)–“Where are we, Trump Tower?” This movie was released in 1988! Trump Tower opened five years before!
  • To paraphrase Ivanka, there’s a cold place in hell for people who rob from the poor to give to the rich–and saddle grandchildren and great-grandchildren with a massive deficit to pay for. They’re the Greedy Old Plutocrats who passed the “Tax Scam and Millionaire and Up Wealth Enhancement Act of 2017.”
  • Finally, who has the smaller hands and shorter fingers–Kim Jong Un or Donald Trump? We know the latter is worried about the size of his manhood by the tweet about nuclear buttons don’t we? Maybe there’s been more than one sperm donor along the way, eh?

Make Your Resolutions Come True

  • Don’t call them resolutions–call them determinations
  • Make an action plan to attain or achieve them
  • Execute the plan
  • Monitor your progress
  • Forgive yourself for occasional shortfalls
  • Never give up
  • Reread my Resolutions Revisited post from last January–I planned on losing 36 pounds–I got there by the end of July and kept on losing.

2018 Goals, Determinations, Plans

  • Reconnect with our daughter (a blindsided estrangement that happened late summer of 2017–at her instigation)
  • Lose 30 more pounds and tone up the muscles on a home gym
  • Connect with many more fellow writers and bloggers–to support them and gain wisdom from them; I’ll flesh out some target numbers of subscriptions, follows, etc. by February 1st to make this real
  • Make more effective use of Goodreads
  • Read at least 24 books and post reviews of them
  • Transition from LinkedIn to Facebook mid year and retain 500+ connections
  • Publish a novel, The Vacation, for the 2018 holiday season–at 35,000 words of a first draft I have a long ways to go!
  • Post less political stuff and more writing tips here–subject to the winds of change  🙄
  • Continue posting snippets of works in progress on John’s Writing
  • Continue publishing the Eagle Peak Quarterly
  • Take at least one great vacation, location TBD, and a few short excursions
Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2018 John Maberry

Book Promo – Get ‘The Fountain: and six more fantasy and sci-fi stories’ FREE from 14th to 18th December…

Humor, twists and more in this collection of seven fantasy and sci-fi short stories.

Karma can be painful in “The Fountain”–when a plunderer meets a long-dead shaman.

A family adopts a retriever with special talents in “Lily, an Amazing Dog.”

The cover of The Fountain, a Kindle book

A vampire has a strange problem, in “Alfred’s Strange Blood Disorder.”

A perennial favorite, dimensional travel, with a strange twist in “The Closet Door.”

What could that column of fire be, rising from the Atlantic off the Outer Banks, read “The Flame” to find out what it meant to troubled writer Carson.

A wizard casts a spell that works well for a princess, but

will it be as good for him?

Check out “The Wizard.”

Finally, “The Fribble” offers an alien encounter of an odd sort, to a pharmaceutical company rep searching for new drugs in the Amazon Rain forest.

Source: Book Promo – Get ‘The Fountain: and six more fantasy and sci-fi stories’ FREE from 14th to 18th December…