Friday, October 26, 2012

My presidential pick for 2012…

When I decided to wrote down my presidential pick in this election as a blog entry, I thought, “Now, that one is going to take a while. Make sure you have plenty of time to write – because you’ll end up writing a book.” After all, politics are complex and nuanced and require carefully worded answers in order to…

But the hell with that.

Because as soon as I thought that, I remembered some important truths.

Let’s start with Romney. Would I endorse and vote for Romney? Are you kidding? Hell no! The man and his running-moron have been caught in more lies than I can count. Their system of ethics is based on how many people they can step on. Their economic plan goes from “trickle down” to a full pee stream. Anyone who votes Republican is either stupid or grotesquely broken.

So, that rules out Romney.

Of course, you were probably expecting that answer, just as you’re probably expecting me to pick Obama.

Wrong again.

Listen, I wish I could vote for President Obama again. I believe he’s a far better man than Romney, just as I believe the Democrats are far better (not just ethically, but mentally as well) than the Republicans. If you are going to vote for one of the two major candidates, I believe Obama is the clear choice.

However, with all of the promises Obama did not keep, I cannot vote for the man. He kills indiscriminately with drone strikes. He still allows illegal wiretapping and never moved to make sure torture was illegal. He never closed Guantanamo and continued the growth of our war machine. He did nothing about the banks and on an on and, for my money, he’s just too conservative.

I want someone in the White House more liberal – yes, I said it – than that. Someone who takes a more progressive stand towards the economy and towards peace, towards global warming and towards the future.

Sadly, no one like that stands a chance of getting elected.

But I’ve always felt that you only waste your vote if you chose not to vote your conscience. And so, this year, I will be voting for Jill Stein. I do not believe she will win, but I know that party building is important to give the Green Party a chance to win in the future.

Then, I’ll hold my nose for four more years, and hope for the best.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The funniest thing that happened to you today…

What’s the funniest thing that happened to you today? Just name it. Anything. It could be a joke you heard or a funny movie you saw. It could be something you saw on the street or thought of out of the blue. Anything.

Sadly… many of us – most of us – don’t really think in those terms.

I got to thinking about that the other day. If you look around you, it seems as though most people just don’t find the humor in their lives. They don’t focus on it. They find it a waste of time.

But why not? Humor is one of those things that makes life really worth living. It makes life fun!

And yet, you don’t have to go far to find someone who just doesn’t think about it.

And so, I thought I’d send a little note out into the universe and suggest you think about the funniest thing that happened to you today. What made you smile? What gave you a chuckle?

Think about it.

And smile again.

Wasn’t that nice?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Dog on the trail...

I was out jogging yesterday when I came across a dog on the trail.

You see, I jog on the Santa Ana River Trail. It’s cheaper than the gym and much more scenic, especially when you get up into northern Orange County. It’s a nice way of getting out in the world when, as a writer, I find myself cooped up in front of a keyboard so often.

So, there I was, jogging away when this great big pit bull came up to me. Actually, it might not have even been a pit bull because I don’t know if they get this big. The dog came up to my waist! It was out on the trail with its human, but the idiot human didn’t have him on a leash. One of the rules of trail is that all pets should be on a leash, but nobody ever follows that. Okay – so that’s one of the downsides.

It’s especially one of the downsides when this dog that is off his leash is half your size and is running up to you with its mouth full of razor-sharp teeth bared!

A decade ago, I probably wouldn’t have handled this very well. I won’t kid you; I used to be terrified of dogs, especially large dogs. This goes back to my childhood, when I watched my sister get bit by a large dog.

But people change and I’m happy to say that in at least this one way I have changed for the better. Dogs don’t freak me out any more. This is probably because I own two dogs of my own. They’re not big dogs but I’ve learned how to handle myself, how dogs communicate and what they like and don’t like.

I also thought, as this dog was approaching me, that I have Vicky to thank for this as well. Vicky has had a very calming effect on my life. People in my family are pretty high-strung, he said tactfully, and I am no different. But Vicky handles things so well, dare I say “gracefully”, that I believe some of that has rubbed off onto me.

It’s nice to be married to someone who has such a beneficial influence. When I say I’m a better man because of her, this is just one of the ways.

And so, this big dog came up to me, its owner oblivious and walking as though nothing was wrong. (Of course, there was plenty wrong. I could think of ten different ways this dog unleashed could be a hazard but what are you going to do?) I slowed my jog and lowered my hand, palm-out.

He gave it a juicy sniff.

And… that was it.

I kept jogging and the dog kept… doing whatever dogs do.

And yet, the experience reminded me of a few things I have to be thankful for… and I thought I’d share them with you.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Great News about Climbing Maya...

Who would have thought Climbing Maya would be a best seller at such a great price?

That's right! The paperback version of Climbing Maya has climbed up the Amazon charts and even reached #16 this week! Have you picked up your paperback copy? You can get it for only $12.99 here:!

And if you think $12.99 is a great price for a paperback - and these days it is pretty darned good - you e-readers will be thrilled with the price of the Climbing Maya e-book. For a short time, Solstice Publishing has reduced the price on the e-book to just $2.99! That's right: $2.99! Heck, that's less that... well, anything!

You can pick it up Climbing Maya...
For your Kindle:
For your Nook:
And for all e-readers:

Again, that's just $12.99 for the paperback and only $2.99 for the e-book (for just a short time)!

Thanks to everyone who picks up a copy. I'm sure you'll enjoy it and hope to hear from you.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Lies are not debatable…

Watching the first Presidential debate this week, I couldn’t help thinking, “You can’t debate lies, not as long as the liar is allowed to keep lying.”

I suppose I should say up front that I don’t have a horse in this race. I won’t be voting for either Romney or Obama. Romney is a corporate stooge with no more conscience than a corporation. His disdain for the poor is only overshadowed by his Bushian incompetence so… No. As for President Obama, as much as I might want to like the man I cannot simply ignore his library of broken promises. Is Gitmo shut down? No. Did he keep his promise to respect state decisions on medical marijuana? No. And on and on. So, I can’t vote for either of them.

All the same, I feel it’s important to be politically educated and a part of that is watching these debates. In the end, however, all I watched was a white guy drown the nation in lies while the black guy stood speechless with this, “Are you really going to allow that?” look on his face. That look was directed to a moderator who was about as useful as the parts of Romney’s religion that tell him not to lie… or any religion at all for that matter.

President Obama began by mentioning the tax plan Romney has been selling for months now, which would devastate the nation. Romney responded with, “I never said that.” Obama waited for the moderate to step in and… you know… moderate. But he didn’t.

Now, listen, I understand that politicians lie. I get that. But what’s the point of having a moderator who refuses to do his job? The sad truth, of course, is that he couldn’t do his job. News outlets are beholden to politicians, at the holy alter of ACCESS, so they don’t dare offend anyone and everything has to be equal lest there be any hint of favoritism… even to the facts.

I know there will be plenty of people who gloat at Romney’s so-called victory, if it’s possible to be a victor and a liar at the same time. There will be those who say, “He got away with it!” with a kind of glee. I get that. I don’t like it but I get that.

But what’s the point of having debates when one party can just make shit up? Romney never did give specifics about his economic plan but he might as well have said it was a “Magic Mormon Mincantation.” He would have probably got away with it.