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So What Else is New?

Yeah, I owe you two posts. NOT THAT ANYBODY COMPLAINED!!!!

Post #1: Things Promotional

I did an interview with the Hangin’ With Web Show and it will be up on Youtube tomorrow!

Hangin’ With Youtube Channel

And Wednesday, April 25, 2017 (aka TOMORROW) I will be LIVE on Facebook, you can come hassle me at BookRhythm’s Night of Romance live event:

Night of Romance – Facebook

Plus, Affaire de Coeur magazine has been tweeting me up all over the place and… Monique DeSoto.  Monique. Yeah. We’ll talk about her later.

Post #2: So What the Hell Have I Been Doing?

 

I have been doing some non-book stuff. I make bracelets for healing. They look like this:

anti anxiety lepidolite anti anxiety sodalite

Both are anti-anxiety. The left is made with lepidolite, which is more of a mood stabilizer. The right is sodalite to fend off anxiety attacks.

prosperity prosperity 2

These guys are for prosperity. Both are made with green aventurine, which attracts prosperity.

anti migraine 1

Anti-migraine: Amethyst, Lapis lazuli

And

dragon bracelet strung

Courage: dragons blood jasper and dragon head bead. This stone is new to me. I love it.

All for sale. Inquire within.

Besides that, I rewrote a friend’s resume and edited a couple of stories.

And baked a ham.

Yes, I’ve been busy.

Warning: Politics

No, I don’t like the current President and my gut feeling says he shouldn’t be on the job (Yes, I know what the results were. He doesn’t shut up about his 306 Electroral College votes). Back in 2001, HBO made a documentary showing how easy it is to hack a Diebold voting machine and the technology in the last sixteen years has improved. Just when you get better security, you get better hackers. Here’s a link:

Hacking Democracy

 

Look, I haven’t liked the GOP since Reagan, and the succeeding generations have mutated the party by trying to be more conservative than each other while appealing to the CHRINOs (Christians in Name Only. This would be Westboro Baptist, the Duggars, Focus on the Family, the Falwell empire, Pat Robertson, Kim Davis, Chik Fil A, Ted Cruz, and anyone who proposes intolerance hiding behind Christ’s robes. Keep your religion out of my government and we’ll get along just fine). Evangelical Christianity is a multi-billion dollar industry (Yes, it is, folks. TV shows, books, personal appearances, merchandise. It’s Star Wars with Jesus). I have seen commentary from people who are “called to spread the Good News” which gives them license to push it on the rest of us, but God forbid (Yes, I see it) proselytizing go the other way. I confronted someone online who thought it was okay to work on kids to convert them without the knowledge or permission of the parents, yet WOULD NOT TOLERATE someone Muslim, Jewish, or Hindu people to proselytize THEIR kids. And then they whine about being persecuted. ]

But I digress.

I am aghast that the current administration seems to have committed treason to win an election. I know there are a lot of dirty tricks and shortcuts taken in elections. However, this is first time a political party has actively colluded with an unfriendly foreign government to secure victory. GW Bush, President #43, said in 2001 of Vladimir Putin, “I looked the man in the eye. I found him very straightforward and trustworthy – I was able to get a sense of his soul.” I’m wondering now if Putin, who had been on the job a year by then, had started monkeying in American politics at that point. Were Bush, Cheney, Rove (who had been a Junior Varsity Dirty Trickster in the 1972 Nixon campaign, where Roger Stone, longtime friend and advisor to President #45, was the head of the Ratfuckers, the Dirty Tricks squad) taking payoffs from Russia? Bush and Cheney were oil men, Russia has a shit ton of the stuff and has been using that and their natural gas as a weapon (In 2006, Russia cut off natural gas supplied to Ukraine because the government was pro-Western and Putin is not). Sanctions were applied after the 2014 annexation of Crimea. Additional sanctions were applied at the end of 2016 due to evidence of Russian hacking of the DNC (and RNC, but they didn’t do anything with the info). There was to be a $500 billion deal between ExxonMobil and Russia to develop oil fields. The sanctions put the kibosh on that. Our Secretary of State who’s blowing off NATO? Former CEO of ExxonMobil. There is talk of a 19.5% stake in Rozneft, Russian state oil company being privatized, possibly given to Trump in exchange for lifting sanctions. People don’t fuck around with that kind of money on the line.

46 US attorneys were asking to resign, one was fired for not complying. Preet Bharara, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.  He was working on a case against Deutsche Bank (to whom our current President owes $300 million through his businesses) for laundering money for the Russians.

And I suspect many of my fellow Americans brought this upon us because Trump was a guy they knew from TV and he talked in simple phrases, or they wanted an old white man as the head of the country, or they hated Hillary Clinton. Or, as one woman put it, “I always vote Republican and I hate Trump, but if he’s the jackass pulling the wagon, then I’m voting for a jackass.”

If he goes ahead with his agenda, the land of the free and the home of the brave will no longer exist because we surrendered our freedom to a dictator because we weren’t brave enough to say “No” to his apocalyptic vision of the world.

He has labeled the mainstream news outlets who report on his dirty deals (and who provided him with over $1 billion in FREE coverage by reporting on his every twitch and tweet) “fake news.” The New York Times and the Washington Post (for whom Woodward and Bernstein wrote. They’re the guys who took the Watergate iceberg tip that was a break-in at Democratic headquarters and showed the behemoth of corruption that was the Watergate cover-up) as “failing.” Their circulations have been rising since his election, hardly failing, but that doesn’t matter to him. If he can get us to distrust the mainstream media, we won’t know what is truth.  We do know that the January 21 marches were far better attended than his inauguration. We have proof. He denies it.

There is a Twitter account, Rogue_POTUS Staff. They’ve been providing accurate inside views of what’s going on at the White House. Right now, they’re saying that Trump is racing to consolidate his power before the Russian connections put him in prison. Getting rid of the US Attorneys (which puts Jeff Sessions. the US Attorney General, also a target of investigation, in charge of those offices) is a step towards that. The Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, has also been implicated. He’s the one who would chair hearings.

What can we do? Here:

 

Minority chair of the House Committee on Intelligence, Adam Schiff is asking the public to DEMAND the Trump/Russian ties hearing on MONDAY be OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.
Majority leader Nunes has decided it will now be CLOSED to the public and is also refusing to release information. Nunes has convincingly let us know protecting our democracy is NOT his top priority. Chair Nunes (202) 225-2523 BARRAGE Nunes with calls.
Since information will be discussed about the Trump Campaign’s ties to Russia, it is imperative that the American Public know first hand whether or not Trump and his associates committed treason.
1. Call or internet fax the Intel Committee’s Majority Staff: Ph: (202) 225-4121
Fax: (202) 225-1991
The script:
“This is X, calling from Y, It is completely outrageous, considering the shadiness that has already characterized the hearings regarding the administration’s Russian ties, that Chairman Nunes has closed them to the public.
Transparency has never been more critical to the legitimacy of our government than now. The public must hear this testimony. Reopen the hearings immediately.”
2. Then call your representative and deliver the same message DEMANDING they make a public statement:
“This is X, calling from Y. I just learned that Chairman Nunes has closed the hearings about the Administration’s Russian ties to the public. This is completely outrageous, particularly considering the underhandedness that has already come to light. I call on Rep. Z to make a public statement calling for the reopening of the hearings.”
The following are phone numbers of GOP members. Important to target them individually as well. ESPECIALLY NUNES
?Chair Devin Nunes -(202) 225-2523 (barrage his office)

As Americans, we have a Constitutional right to petition our government for redress of grievances. I suggest we exercise that right, find out what the hell happened, and proceed accordingly. This time, I’m not a pissed-off twelve year old who’s mad at Watergate and John Dean for ruining her summer soap opera watching. I’m an American citizen who’s pissed off at the Republicans for selling out her country.

 

Imaginary Conversation, Part I

She sat down across the table from me. It was a nice day and Dunkin Donuts had a bunch of empty tables outside. Her face was stony, like she was about to be interrogated by a cop after getting caught speeding. Ashley took her privilege seriously and I was not among those allowed to to violate it.

“Ashley,” I said.

“Lou,” she grunted.

“So how have you been?” I asked. “Haven’t hear from you in ages.”

She sneered. “You’re just saying that because I blocked you on Facebook.”

“Yeah, you did, ” I said. “Right sisterly of you. Remember that the next time you and Dina are telling your friends how important family is to you.” She looked uncomfortable. She deserved to.

“What do you want, Lou?”

“Must I necessarily have an ulterior motive? Maybe I was in the area and thought it would be nice to talk to my own sister.” She snorted. “That’s right, Ash. I forgot. That’s your M.O. Yours and Dina’s. Only time I ever heard from either one of you, there was something you wanted.” She looked uncomfortable again. “Funny how Mom and Dad thought we were all so tight. Or should have been.”

“Fuck you,” she said. She sipped her coffee. I continued. “Well, I do have an ulterior motive this time. I want my pictures.”

“Your what?”

“My pictures from Mom and Dad’s. The ones of me. They were in the hall. That’s what I want. My memories.”

I don’t care much for pictures of myself, but they were ones I liked: my baby picture, graduations, a publicity still from my work, Dudley the cat in my arms. I was out of touch with my mother when she passed, partly due to Ashley. The Facebook block took place a long time ago.

She shrugged. “I don’t know where they are.” She didn’t look me in the eye.  That was a lie. When you’ve known someone her entire life, you know her body language. Ashley never looked anyone in the eye when she was lying. If she was trying hard to sell it, she’d touch the person she was talking to. It always amazed me how quickly her demeanor would change from talking to our parents or people she liked to talking to those she didn’t. The smile, the flirtatious air would melt away and be replaced by a scowl and curt tone. I let the lie go for the moment.

“Well, that’s unfortunate.,” I said. “I really wanted those pictures. I like so few.”

“Try not eating so much. That might help.” She smirked.

I resisted the urge to punch her in the face. There it was. The old game. Bored fiyr year old goes out of her way to provoke the ten year old until the ten year old reacts. Then four year runs to Mom complaining that the ten year was being mean. Then five years old, six, seven, until I left home for college.

I smiled a tight smile.

“You can’t run to Mom anymore, Ash Hole,” I said. “So you can stop.”

She glared at me. I wasn’t playing her game. “Okay, so if there’s nothing else,” she started to rise.

“Oh, there’s plenty,” I said. “Sit your ass down.” She did.

“I’m not the asshole,” she said. “You were never nice to me. You’re lucky I’m so forgiving.”

I laughed. “Keep telling yourself that. You know, when someone says ‘I am forgiving or kind or able to laugh at myself,’ that’s the biggest clue that they aren’t. You’re so ‘forgiving’,” I emphasized the word, “that there were people at your wedding who didn’t know  you had a sister besides Dina.”

She looked startled. “Yeah,’ I said. “I know. You want the names?”

Ashley’s face flushed. She opened her mouth and closed it again. “I know,” I said. ‘There’s not a damned thing you can say about that.”

“While we’re on the subject of invitations and events, I noticed when I wasn’t invited to your thirtieth birthday party…”

“You were studying,” she said. “I didn’t want to interrupt you.” She wasn’t making eye contact. A lie, but I’d known for years it was a lie.

“That’s bullshit and we both know it,” I answered. I looked her straight in the eye. “Were you really good at hiding your hatred from Mom and Dad or they just didn’t care? Seems like they were always willing to go on vacation with you and Dina. Me, not so much.”

She shrugged. “I can’t help it if they liked me better.”

“Right,” I said, “despite Mom saying over and over again how she loved her children all the same, somehow you’ve come to the conclusion that she liked you better than any of us for no reason. Had nothing to do with you bullying us and then running to tell.” She glared at me. “Nah. Making us look bad and you the perpetual victim. No wonder you vote Republican. ”

I leaned towards her. “You know why I eat?” She shook her head. “Because I don’t do drugs and there are enough alcoholics in the family. Dina may not have as much weight, but boy, does she like her wine. Think the fact that two of you have been competing for ‘Best Daughter’ for over forty years has something to do with it? How’s that going now that Mom and Dad are dead?”

“Fuck you,” she said again. “You’re just jealous and bitter.”

“Jealous of what?’ I asked.

“Me. Everything. You’re fat. I’m not. You’re single and alone. I’m marred with kids. You’re a failure. I’m not. You’re just jealous.” She was looking me straight in the face.

I leaned back. “Actually, I’ve done a bunch of stuff with my life that would count as ‘bucket list’ if I had one. I’m not married because I’ve been surrounded by a bunch of examples of people who fought each other for control, who turned their self-loathing into ways to torment others, who found new and different ways to use the people around them in the name of family and make a big show of it  and were MIA when called upon, unless Dad was watching. Or could be told. As for no kids, you are the reason I don’t like children.”

“What?”

“You were petted and praised for bratty behavior. You had a potty mouth almost as soon as you could speak and Mom encouraged it by laughing and repeating it as ‘isn’t she cute?’ Dina and Joe would laugh when you said rude things, especially when you said them to me. If I fought back,  I ‘didn’t have a sense of humor’ or ‘don’t react. You’re older than she is. Act like it’ or ‘don’t ignore your sister. You two should be friends.’ I was forced into babysitting you, bathing with you, giving up my room because you wanted it, doing the household chores you didn’t want to to do, and you wonder why I don’t care for you very much.”

“Well you weren’t very nice to me, either.” Ashley was defiant. “You told me to go fuck myself.”

“You never gave me a moment’s peace,” I said. “I get a flood of bad memories when I smell baby powder. Or vanilla,  because you’d throw a tantrum if you didn’t get vanilla ice cream.”

“Poor you,” she said, “You suffered because you had to help care for your baby sister. So you weren’t the baby anymore. Boo fucking hoo.”

I took a breath. “You weren’t my child. I missed Drama Club rehearsals and parties because I had to watch you. You weren’t my child, but I had to give up my personal space, my time because of you. And as for being the baby, given the level of self-absorption you have, maybe I dodged a bullet.”

 

to be continued…