So long we have nutshells or synopses early on so you’ll know what to expect. The magazine format, BTW, doesn’t permit the standard read more process.
Here’s what’s in the Annual— jump right in via the links
The Climate Crisis
It’s no longer climate change–it’s now a crisis. That means the change is serious—and getting worse. We need to deal with it NOW. Why? Because of the accelerating change and the trend line. You probably already believe it’s happening. This article will help you inform friends, family and others of the facts–and what needs doing.
The Third Age–Living It and Loving It
Are you retired or will be soon? Are you living your dreams? Enjoying your golden years? Got a plan if you’re not there yet? We have the info you need–money, travel, staying involved, health and more. You don’t have to be rich, you just need ideas. We have some, plus a guide to finding many more.
Perspectives on the Eternity of Life–and a Remembrance
We all will die someday–that’s a certainty. How we live our lives will make a difference on what happens thereafter. Heaven, hell, rebirth–your faith and your choice. If nothing else, a life lived well offers an easier death and good memories of you by others. Read on for perspectives on a different view of eternity.
More Writing Tips–New and Revisited
If you’re a writer–aspiring or otherwise, tips are always welcome. You can never know too much about the art or craft of writing. More tools, more ways to connect with a reader. We get so many, so often, it’s hard to keep up with them. Bookmark these. Then try them when you have the time.
Images from Here and There–Landscape and More
A photo gallery from our own home–outdoors. Southwestern New Mexico may be arid but it’s not a desert. Lots of beautiful flowers bloom here–even if they are atop cacti. The rocks are pretty in the West as well. So too further north. We love it here but we’re going more places in the Third Age.
Works in Progress–Coming from Eagle Peak Press
We have an ambitious schedule for the next several years. Lots of books coming–short story collections, Sci-fi, mysteries and more. Read all about it in this compilation of works in progress. PLUS read excerpts or samples of the new short story collection coming for the 2019 holidays. The stories range from flash fiction to traditional.
ALMOSTeveryone knows it–even a substantial percentage of those who deny it.
In honor of today’s Global Climate Strike, here’s a brief excerpt from the Climate Crisis article in the first ever Eagle Peak Annual. (it was a quarterly for 17 issues)
Click the link above for the entire very long article.
A recap of what’s happening
Climate vs weather—we’ll explain the difference
A brief history of Earth’s climate and when it started changing
The science (in simple terms)
Why it’s a crisis—not something that can be put off for another day, year, or decade
If humans caused it, humans can fix it
Throughout the article–efforts by various scientific, governmental and non-governmental groups or organizations to deal with the crisis
Links to additional resources at the end
You get the news or experience the weather yourself. Record breaking heat. The hottest temperatures ever recorded worldwide in June and July 2019–August may turn out the same. More severe storms. Deadly tornadoes. Multiple 100- or 500-year floods within a few years. Severe droughts in other areas. India’s sixth largest city, Chennai, is running out of water. Disastrous hurricanes or typhoons. Sunny day flooding in coastal cities like Miami. More and worse wildfires—including the Amazon Rainforest, known as the world’s lungs—which converts carbon dioxide to 20% of the planet’s oxygen.
Our planet is getting hotter—everywhere, on land and sea. The arctic ice sheet is getting smaller. Sometime soon, its disappearance may offer global shipping from one continent to another. Good thing? For some. Not for polar bears, sea life, indigenous people and fishermen.
Glaciers are melting—raising the sea level. Slowly at first, faster as time wears on. In 2005, my wife and I drove along the Columbia Ice Fields Parkway in Alberta Canada. In 1900, the glacier’s edge would have been a short walk from the road. Now it’s over a mile away from the parkway built in the 1940s.
How much hotter is it? The planetary surface has risen an average of 1.62 degrees Fahrenheit (0.9 degrees Celsius) since the 1880s. That’s according to facts on climate change from NASA. Well, that doesn’t sound like much, does it?Except that most of it has been in the last 35 years. That’s long enough to mean climate change—nota change in the weather.
Fake News–“President” Trump’s encounter with an El Paso survivor
Yes, this is fiction. But it could go something like this. Assuming a gunshot victim in the hospital agrees to a visit with the “President.” (Italicized from now on, because he’s not legitimate).
“Hello, Mrs. Garcetti, how are you feeling?” says a smiling Trump.
“That’s Garcia. I’m doing OK, all things considered,” she looks out the window as a tear forms in her eye, then back at the unwanted visitor.
“Well, this is a wonderful hospital. I’m sure they will take good care of you here.”
“Yes, they’re very kind. But I want to ask you something”
“All right, how can I help you?” He smiles broadly and looks at an aide.
“Why do you hate me so much–hate Hispanics so much?” Mrs. Garcia looks directly at the “President,” staring into his face.
“Hate you? Why I don’t hate you or Hispanics.”
“But that young man who shot me, he shouted out vile things about us. He said you were the best thing that ever happened to America. A man who wanted to rid the country of people like us,” she frowned then, nodding her head.
“Oh no, he was mentally ill–a crazy man! Not my responsibility. It’s the fake news that says that!” His face changed from its normal orange to red.
“No, he was angry–full of hate, not crazy. Full of hate just like you. I’ve seen you on TV, the way you talk about us. The things people at your rallies yell–and how you laugh and smile. You are a racist, Mr. Trump. You are a white nationalist. He shot us because it’s your wish–it’s YOUR FAULT!” she raised up in her bed, yelling and pointing at him.
“How DARE you speak to me that way?” He screamed, turning to his aide. “Let’s leave this crazy woman’s room. She must be watching fake news from MSNBC or one of those Democrat channels.”
At that, the “President” was ushered from the room by a flunky and accompanied by his secret service protective detail.
Could it happen like this?Who knows.
What would it take for the WNC to own up to his responsibility?Not likely to happen!
There are still two days left until the 45th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s resignation in the face of certain impeachment. Maybe something will hit the fan and Trump will jump!
The impeachment inquiry could start soon.The House returns next month, having heard lots from their constituents. Now we have the white nationalist situation to add fuel to the impeachment fire!
A very mixed post today. A very long post today. Bear with me as I cover
Progress and obstacles to getting out the Eagle Peak Annual
Trump and the GOP
Creating value from chaos—not being provoked into a responsive rant
Well, the Eagle Peak Annual is moving along—ponderously slowly. More obstacles arise when one is striving to accomplish a thing of value. So it goes for one who lives the life of a Bodhisattva—dedicated to leading others to enlightenment.
I had my annual Medicare wellness visit on Tuesday. Tests were all great. HDL cholesterol is outstanding and LDL is low. Perhaps it’s something untested or a medication that could/should be stopped or its dosage reduced. As it is, I sometimes (over the past two years) have as much as three or four good writing hours a day. Other days I may have an hour or less.
Non-creative tasks or chores are possible. Walking the dog, sweeping and vacuuming. Even financial entries on Quicken or the spreadsheet—a mental subroutine, as it were. I have prevailed upon my primary care physician, who is now aligned with me to solve the problem. He and I will be victorious! I have too many books to write before I die.
Meanwhile, Donald “Biff” Trump and the KK-GOP conspire to cause a reactionary rant. That won’t help. It just feeds into the mindset of them and us.
Send her back his supporters yell at his North Carolina rally. He, them and the GOP persist in an effort to destroy America. I can’t abide that.
So, instead of working on the Annual, I must now work on yet another response to all them.
That, after returning from the vet to get my dog an antibiotic shot and some pills for a gastrointestinal ailment.
Obstacles! One cannot allow them to defeat progress.
Yes, I AM calling out the GOP. They are reincarnations of the Know Nothing Party members from the 1850s. They are reincarnations of the enablers of Adolph Hitler—who promoted his rise to power as an expedient. Hitler had ten times as much charisma as Trump. Watch Leni Reifenstahl’s Triumph of the Will–which G. Gordon Liddy showed at the Nixon White House as leader of the Plumbers.
Laws were passed giving Hitler autocratic power. Would the GOP do that for Trump?Probably, if they had a chance–but they don’t, NOW.
In the run-up to his reelection campaign for 1972, Richard Nixon came up with the Southern Strategy. Very conservative Southern Democrats became Republicans. Nixon won reelection in a landslide—then he was impeached.
Trump is worse, of course than Nixon—as far as criminal offenses go. He’s also not nearly as smart as Nixon.
Nixon was an anti-Semite. Trump is fine with Jews. He hates Muslims (except rich, nation-leading ones like MBS who might spend money at Mar-a-Lago or his golf courses, etc.), Mexicans, people from s-hole countries and other non-whites.
During the Vietnam War era, the bumper sticker for the right was America, “love it or leave it.” The response among antiwar people during Vietnam, was “change it or lose it.”
The Vietnam experience, Nixon and Watergate ineluctably led me to Buddhism. From the Buddhism of Nichiren Daishonin and the SGI, I learned that to change the world, I must change myself. Read the book, Waiting for Westmoreland—you’ll understand.
Trump recently invoked the memories of love it leave it. In his warped mind, he equates criticism of his policies as hatred of America. He, of course, is NOT America. He doesn’t care about America–he cares about money and adulation from fans.His values are not those of American democracy. His policies are racist, misogynistic, sexist, etc.
Pundits or analysts offer an armchair diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder for Trump. Yes, but that’s not the whole story. How about the Dark Triad?
The Dark Triad personality is one that combines narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. A Psychology Today article from 2013 says the Dark Triad is:
“Defined as a set of traits that include the tendency to seek admiration and special treatment (otherwise known as narcissism), to be callous and insensitive (psychopathy) and to manipulate others (Machiavellianism) . . .”
They also note that: “Researchers are finding that the Dark Triad underlies a host of undesirable behaviors including aggressiveness, sexual opportunism, and impulsivity.”
Wow, sounds like him, doesn’t it? Check out the 12-question test in the article to confirm the diagnosis. But does anyone really need to identify Trump’s problems?
The real problem is that his behavior and actions are not only condoned but endorsed by the Republicans. A party that destroyed the hope that the election of Barack Obama engendered. A party that is OK with the rollback of regulations that would protect America from dirty air, dirty water and a sooner devolution into economic chaos (see the deficit increase their tax cut wrought) even as they deny the Climate Crisis.
So, are more rants needed? Hell no! More protest marches? Hell no! More sit-ins at Congressional offices? I marched in countless protests to end the Vietnam War. Nixon and his supporters were unmoved.
What does work?Voting?
Democrats took over the House by 40 seats. That’s not enough.
What then? The Senate and the White House? That’s not enough either.
No, the ill-fated strategy of the Vietnam War was winning the hearts and minds of the people.The Vietnamese people. America didn’t succeed at that. For good reason.
This time, it’s the hearts and minds of Americans that need winning.The Americans who are misguided and deluded by the Dark Triad Trump and the Neo-Nazi/KKK/Know Nothing-Republican Party. Those who believe that immigrants, non-whites and of other than Judeo-Christian beliefs are the problem.
We must create value—not simply respond to insults in kind. Which it may read like what I am doing descriptively about Trump and the GOP.
If we hold hate in OUR hearts and minds, we cannot change America. We will lose it.
In Buddhism, we understand that our karma—the results of our words and deeds creates effects we would as soon not endure. We have the President we have through some horrible collective karma as Americans. A very large, very hard pill to swallow. You may well not believe that.
Buddhism is not a turn the other cheek religion. It’s OK to send bad people to jail. It’s OK to impeach presidents or to vote them out of office. It’s not OK to physically attack them. We can argue with them–show them and tell them the error of their ways.
So, we begin by changing ourselves and by so doing, changing them. It’s not enough to blame or hate them. They are human, if mistaken and misguided. I can hope and imagine that the GOP as it is now known will fail as a party or be reconstituted with more principled and morally correct members. But that’s not MY job.
We must create value in the workplace, on the highway, in the neighborhood, at home and in school. Sit with the other. Talk with the other. Aid and give comfort to the other. Don’t just castigate those whom we hold responsible for the ills of America–despite the distinct possibility our assessment is correct.
It’s that venerable holiday when Americans have picnics, parades and fireworks. Often times when people go away to the beach, the mountains or other places.
It’s supposed to be in recognition of that day in 1776 that patriots declared their independence from the British Empire and its monarch, King George. Most people don’t give that a great deal of thought, one suspects.
Ironically, today one is reminded of those allegedly tyrannical times by the Tyrant Trump. An aspiring autocrat more concerned with increasing his own and his family’s wealth. A man who disregards the checks and balances established the Founding Fathers, aided by Banana Republicans.
Since the end of World War II, America has been the dominant military and economic power throughout the world. Trump, in his profound ignorance and self-delusions of greatness, has nearly succeeded in destroying America’s reputation and leadership.
Admittedly, America has had its low points. Slavery. The Civil War and Reconstruction. Vietnam. The training and support of Latin American military forces of despots. Racism. Income inequality. The intervention of the CIA in the affairs of other countries. Corrupt politicians of every party, every era—and from local officials to the White House.
Nonetheless, America has been a shining city on the hill. Better than many other countries–though not as great as it once was. Trump’s slogan is an oxymoron–Make America Great Again. By his actions and ideals, he will return it to an abysmal past.
Trump is an aberration. One that can and must be corrected. Just as true patriots declared their independence those many years ago, we must do so again. Not by taking up arms but by removing the worst President in American history. Impeachment must begin NOW. Failing conviction, he must not be restored to the White House. Then he must be prosecuted, convicted, sentenced and imprisoned.
Today, in his unmitigated gall, Trump dares make the celebration of America’s independence all about him. Worse, he does so by offering remarks at one of America’s best Presidents—Lincoln. One could expect that leader of the Republican Party to turn over in his grave at the offenses of Trump and the lack of any morality, decency or honor among the current so-called Republicans.
Happy Fourth of July—celebrate it by urging your elected officials to do the right thing: remove the abomination occupying the White House illegitimately with aid of Vladimir Putin. America CAN be great again–greater than ever before, once the criminally insane man in the White House is gone and Americans come to their senses.
No President has committed more offenses. None has obstructed justice more often. Abused power more cavalierly. Been so manifestly unfit for the office. High crimes and misdemeanors? Let me count the ways–no, on second thought, there’s too many. That would take too many pages.
I am SO tired of not-quite-treasonous, Republicans
They not only tolerate but excuse Trump’s lawlessness. He couldn’t get away, so far, with what he does without their support. About the only thing Trump hasn’t done is the oft-quoted shooting of someone on 5th Avenue.Forgive me for doubting that few Republicans would do more than wring their hands and say tsk, tsk if Trump actually did.
Meanwhile, Nancy Pelosi is SO afraid of political fallout from impeachment that she considers talking about it something like discussing the pros and cons of incest.NO Nancy—impeachment is NOT a dirty word. It’s a legitimate response to abuses of power, obstruction of justice and all the other offenses for which Mueller could have indicted Trump—if not for the OLC flawed and outdated opinion that a sitting President cannot be indicted.
Now Trump has a cadre of lawyers willing, apparently, to risk judicial sanctions for filing frivolous suits or motions. Like what? Asserting executive privilege over anything former White House Counsel Don McGahn might say in testimony before House committees. Having waived privilege to allow McGahn to freely talk to Special Counsel Mueller, the privilege cannot now be asserted.Some say such legal cases might take months or years. Seriously? Slam dunks. Dismissed with sanctions on the lawyers. Quickly. Short appeals. Denial of hearing by the Supremes. Six weeks total unless heard by Trump appointees.
Should be a writ of mandamus to the IRS Commissioner issued by a Federal Court to immediately release Trump’s tax returns.Ways and Means Chairman Neal needs to stop pussyfooting along and get this before a judge—who will warn the IRS (and Steve Mnuchin) of the penalty for violating applicable IRS codes, five years in the slammer.
Yes, the American public isn’t yet ready to support impeachment. Trump’s approval rating has dropped five points since the Mueller report came out and his disapproval rating gone up. Yes, the public needs live testimony reciting the contents of the Mueller report. Yes, they need documents and testimony from the banks, mortgage companies, accounting firms, etc. With all those, large numbers of Republicans would still kneel before Trump or kiss parts of his anatomy. But the public would support impeachment.
How then to get that testimony before House committees? Get Mueller, his legal staff and/or FBI agents to appear—hopefully with video recordings of the interviews with those people. Can Trump block that? He’d try. But the harder he tries, the more counts of obstruction pile up. At that point, either Nancy Pelosi gets over her fears or she can expect to have a great many Democrats receive primary opponents next year—especially including herself.
Woe is we, many Democrats fear. If we impeach Trump and the sycophantic Senate fails to convict, we’ll lose in 2020. Bulls**t! With all the Trump offenses already known, the GOP risks massive losses in the Senate. They have MANY seats up in 2020.Those who continue down the Trump path are who needs to worry–NOT NancyPelosi.
We won’t have the Barr/Mueller report until Thursday–heavily redacted by Trump’s Roy Cohn. I’ll wait a bit for the dust to settle but as of now, it appears I blew these:
Sealed indictments, along with the Mueller report, of:
Donald Trump, Jr.
Probably Steve Bannon
Those sealed indictments are NOT happening, according to Barr. Reportedly, they werenot requested or filed by Mueller.Why NOT?
All have lied to Congress and most to investigators. Could have charged them with that. Why NOT? Did Mueller chill? Afraid of blowback from Trump?
OK, enough Mueller bashing–for now, see let the dust settle comment above.
Trump, his sycophant posse, the news media, et al ALL seem confused by the alleged finding by Mueller of no conspiracy. FEW distinguish this from Trump’s refrain of NO Collusion. WRONG!
The alleged finding, per Barr, is that Mueller found no evidence of conspiracy between the members of the Trump campaign and the Russians.Explicated, this means Mueller supposedly found insufficient evidence to support a criminal conviction. Therefore, no indictment of anyone. Criminal conspiracy, however, is NOT synonymous with collusion.Hence, a finding of NO conspiracy does NOT mean NO collusion.
Did Trump family members and campaign staff/officials meet with Russians? YES. Did they accept or welcome help from them? YES. Did they offer sanctions relief? YES. Did they lie about those meetings (import, purpose, etc.)? YES. Did they call, text or otherwise communicate with them about all of this? YES.
It DOES matter if a political candidate welcomes and accepts help from an adversarial foreign power in his or her campaign. It matters if they are elected and try to work on their behalf.
It matters if a counterintelligence campaign is launched into that candidate and his/her campaign. THAT part of the investigation may not be in the Mueller report. America NEEDS TO KNOW the results.
I had a waking dream this morning as I lay in bed half asleep before rising. Wishful thinking perhaps. Trump had died of a massive stroke during the night. It didn’t happen. The facts are that he has put on weight since silly Ronnie Jackson’s first medical exam. He gets too little sleep (five hours maybe). He drinks more than a dozen diet sodas (caffeinated). His golfing exercise consists of getting out of the golf cart to swing the club and riding to the next hole (including driving onto the green). He gets no other exercise besides ranting. So his supposed good health is a myth by sycophantic medical personnel. A stroke or a cardiac event could well happen before the next election or even this year. Karma will get him–sooner or later.
Which also means, Trump may still resign–if the fecal matter hits the fan this spring or summer.
For the after the dust settles post, perhaps the new hashtag will be #ImpeachBarr.
The third and final book in The Sevens Prophecy continues in the same vein as the first two–challenging the light versus the dark psychics. If I knew more about it, I might say it has some allusions to Manichaeism–the 3rd century Persian dualistic religion. In any case, the characters continue to use both latter day technology and their own supernatural powers to meet the challenges facing them from the opposing side. I found that a creative and workable approach. Without adding any spoilers, I can say that some don’t survive (more on the dark or evil side) and nearing the climactic scene, the pace of the conflict ratchets up appropriately. Stay tuned for a surprising twist (or you could say two–given the denouement) about who is who. I’d recommend it to those into supernatural, paranormal and the current issues facing people around the world–various sorts of crime, drugs, the climate, etc. Read the series; you’ll see what I mean.
Hardly needs another review, but I’ll say this–it was hard to put down. Also very scary. Makes you wonder if this could happen to you. Not the kind of book you want to read if you have any sort of mental insecurities or disabilities. Do you believe in string theory? Parallel universes or the multiverse? Can you imagine what it would be like traveling between them and not losing your mind? Blake Crouch will help you with that in this book. He’ll also inspire other authors like me to go further in my own writing world. It’s a great book. I don’t give a lot of five stars, but I had to for this one.
NOTE: I managed to snag a library loan of Dark Matter through Overdrive. That’s a plug for those of you who are connected through your local or state library system. Support your indie authors when you can by buying their eBooks. For the $10 and up big five eBooks, I don’t feel badly getting them from the library.