I can almost touch it

One of the many, MANY quirks of my personality is that when I am very close to finishing a project I become frantic to complete it. During the last 5% or so of the task I am obsessed with getting it all done. It doesn’t matter if I am painting a room, cross-stitching a sampler, or writing a book – when the end is nigh I yearn for it.

Yes, I’m weird. Y’all KNEW that.

I am on the last part of the last chapter of my newest book. Granted, it’s the rough draft (and thus by definition shit) but I am nonetheless filled with hosannas about its near completion. I am fixated upon it. That’s why I have not made my usual round of appearances on social media. It’s why this blog post is weak-sauce.

Don’t judge me.

I will, with any luck, be kicking it back into normal gear on Monday. I am SO CLOSE to being done with this book.  I just need a good way to sum it all up in a pithy comment or two. If my blog is crap again on Monday, you’ll know the pith continues to elude me. You could even say it has pithed me off.

I have no shame.

Posted in I've been thinking too much, life as I know it | 2 Comments

Keep Them Safe, Dammit

Children from Central America, who have legally entered the USA to request asylum (AKA refugees), are being rapidly deported and some of them have already been murdered.

“Between five and ten migrant children have been killed since February after the United States deported them back to Honduras, a morgue director told the Los Angeles Times. Lawmakers have yet to come up with best practices to deal with the waves of unaccompanied children apprehended by Border Patrol agents, but some politicians refute claims that children are fleeing violence and are opting instead to fund legislation that would fast-track their deportations. San Pedro Sula (Honduras) morgue director Hector Hernandez told the Los Angeles Times that his morgue has taken in 42 dead children since February. According to an interview with relatives by the LA Times, one teenager was shot dead hours after getting deported.”

The reason we are deporting them? They are brown. No matter how much tap-dancing is going on to justify this horseshit that is the root cause.

What make me want to rip out my hair is that the reason that Central America is such a fokking hellhole right now is because the West has meddled with the entire region. It is a  fact that America (under FDR, whom I otherwise admire) created and maintained the Somoza dictatorship, which was overthrown by Sandinistas 1979, which made some Americans afraid because of the socialist nature of the Sandinistas (they wanted literacy and equal right for women oh noes), which caused the Regan administration to throw billions of your tax dollars away on the Contras and create the School of the Americas to train terrorists, but Contra terrorist atrocities and drug running and human trafficking made them all kinds of despised in the US and in the countries they operated, so for the Regan administration and its political allies to keep funding the bastards they sold illegal arms to Iran and funneled the money to the Contra terrorists (The Iran-Contra Affair),  but the Contras were too busy raping nuns and killing children to bring about government change so Nicaragua has returned to the control of the Sandinistas.  Which means we could have burned the money and murdered people directly for all the damn good it did. Moreover, thanks to our hosting the Contras in the surrounding countries, the whole area is awash in drugs and gangs – the leftovers of the Contras.  

Now, we send kids back to that mess to die. Like we had nothing to do with it. Our country (under BOTH Democratic and Republican Presidents so NO ONE is on the moral high ground here) did that shit and even if we hadn’t those kids are innocent human beings and it is wrong to send them back to a place where they have such a high risk of being murdered.

See this little girl?

refugee child

If the US deports her there are strong odds she will be raped and forced into prostitution by a gang or she get murdered or both. She is a human being. She is no older than Lilo, who is in forth grade and loves My Little Ponies and The Lego Movie. I would crawl across razors and swim through a pool of alcohol and then be buried alive to prevent something like that from happening to my daughters.

*sobs*

Posted in are you kidding me with this shit?, daughters, I've been thinking too much, poli-ticks, shit I think y'all should know, victim blaming | 1 Comment

Frisky Business Review

My review of Tawna Fenske’s latest opus, Frisky Business, is up on The Romance Reviews.

Follow the link and give it some love please!

If you aren’t in the mood to click the link, here’s a copy:

Frisky Business by Tawna Fenske (5 stars)

There he is again

No more rich men for Marley Cartman. Absolutely not. Thanks to her dad, her ex-fiancé, and the overbearing donors she schmoozes for a living, she’s had more than her fill. From now on, she wants blue-collar men with dirt under their fingernails. But when Marley makes a break to handle donor relations for a wildlife sanctuary, she finds herself drawn to the annoyingly charming—and disturbingly wealthy—chairman of the board.

The kind of man she doesn’t want

Judging by his hipster T-shirts, motley assortment of canine companions, and penchant for shaking up stuffy board meetings, you’d never guess that William Barclay the Fifth is a brilliantly successful businessman. Will has good reason to be leery of scheming women, and as he and Marley butt heads over the wisdom of bringing grumpy badgers to charity events, he can’t help but wonder if his new donor relations coordinator is hiding something other than a perfect figure beneath that designer suit…

I really enjoy reading Tawna Fenske’s books and short stories. I read the first one because I liked the way she communicated on blogs, and then on Facebook, but all the others I read because the writing was hella good. Her tales are funny and hot, two things that I think go great together. Fenske’s books are like peanut butter and chocolate but without any allergic reactions or sugar crashes afterward.

Nevertheless, I have never read a single one of the blurbs for her books without feeling either “yuck” or “meh” about the plot. Then I read the book and she has managed to make another plot work yet again and I really like it despite it’s wretched blurb.  

This book was no exception.

When it’s implied that the worst thing about the hero is that he is secretly rich, and that the pretty heroine will have to get over having a rich lover as well as a rich daddy, that book is usually not for me. Cry me a river and get me a boat; I’m outta here. However, the blurb (albeit accurate) does nothing to convey the contextual fiber Fenske manages to lay down into that cupcake of a plot.

Marley Cartman, while entertaining the reader with her God Forsaken bad dates and canine poo on her shoes, also draws in the reader with a depth of character. She is not Daddy’s Princess. She is not rescued; she rescues others. She is smart, stands on her own two feet, and does the Right Thing. Moreover, she has a damn good reason for wanting to avoid guys whose wallets are even bigger than their egos, but she doesn’t allow that to pigeonhole her heart.

Will Barclay, while doing many things to prove to the reader he is a sweetie-pie, also manages to have Real Issues other than his moolah. He has trust issues out the wahzoo and they are not those whingy “is she only with me for my money?” trust issues either. He is genuinely terrified that a woman may not be what she seems and his heart will get broken. In fact, Will’s fears turn out to be the main barrier to the protagonists’ romantic relationship, rather than his lucre.

Happily, the hero pulls his head out of his own butt in time for a well-earned HEA. Nor does the heroine do any petulant crap to string out the final woo. There is even a place where a domineering twit gets her comeuppance, which is always a plus in a final chapter.

This novel get’s a solid five stars.

(The blurb gets negative one star, though.)

Posted in I like this, dammit., reviews | 1 Comment

Why People Are Angry In Ferguson

Protesters in Ferguson (including plenty of white folks who aren’t being shown as much on the news because white people shouting out for racial justice isn’t as titillating as ‘scary’ black people doing it) are protesting because they are pissed off. They are righteously vexed. They are mad.  They are irked. They are angry.

They are angry about racial inequality. They are angry because all too often black men/boys are shot down by law enforcement even though they were unarmed. They are angry because white criminals are treated with more respect and courtesy by the press than black victims.  They are angry a video of Michael Brown stealing a cigarillo was released to the press even though it is completely irrelevant to the shooting.

Moreover, they are angry because of the disproportionate police response to black protestors. Compare the police response at Ferguson with the response to the Bundy Ranch Standoff.  A group of white “patriots” at the Bundy Ranch Standoff could aim sniper rifles at federal officers and local law enforcement without having teargas shot at them, so why are unarmed black and white protesters met with SWAT teams, tanks, teargas and rubber bullets?

The Ferguson protesters are angry because they have been given a curfew, as if their constitutional and civil rights end after sundown. The Ferguson protesters are angry because they are being teargassed without warning hours before the official “curfew” even begins. They are angry because the media are being threatened and assaulted by law enforcement in an attempt to keep what’s happening in Ferguson from being widely known.

They are angry because they are supposed to shut up and sit down and stop rocking the boat. Why should the trade peaceful protest for peace and quite, when they have no justice?

There is a reason why the rallying cry of Ferguson, MO and the support protests is “No Justice, No Peace”.

Posted in I've been thinking too much, racism, shit I think y'all should know, victim blaming | 1 Comment

Images Shape Reality

On average a black man is shot by a police or security officer every 28 hours . A lot of the time these guys are young and unarmed and had only committed the crime of being “uppity” or something as minor as jaywalking. Moreover, black men are shot by authorities when in the same circumstances white guys aren’t.

WTF? Are cops just that racist? Are we, as a culture, so racist we don’t understand black humanity??

Cynthia Lee of George Washington University Law School suggests:

“Borrowing from Charles Lawrence’s theory of unconscious racism, I suggest that racial stereotypes operate at a subconscious level to influence the police officer’s decision to use deadly force. The police officer may not consciously decide to use deadly force because of the suspect’s race, but the suspect’s race nonetheless influences the officer. Racial stereotypes thus may alter the officer’s perception of danger, threat, and resistance to authority. A simple question, Officer, why am I being stopped? may be perceived as behavior challenging the officer’s authority when asked by someone who is Black. Police officers may also see danger more readily when dealing with a person of color. Just as racial and ethnic stereotypes influence private citizens’ decisions to use force in self-defense, such stereotypes can also influence police officers’ decisions to use force.”

In short, the odds are good that most of the police officers who are filling innocent black men full of lead are not consciously targeting young black men; it’s that they have been told by media messaging all their lives that black men are “dangerous” and that black people are “Other” than white people. Thus, they shoot first before the “monster” gets them.

Racism comes from the enculturation of black people as dangerous aliens on planet Whitey.

This representation of black men as “thugs” continues even after an unarmed teen has been shot. There is currently trending a hashtag on twitter #IfTheyGunnedMeDown. What picture would the media use to represent you? The one where you were goofing off with friends and look like a “thug”, or your graduation picture? Guess which one the media tends to use?

Here are some examples of the same person to explain how context makes the narrative radically different:

iftheygunnedmedown1

iftheygunnedmedown2

Recently an unarmed black teenager was gunned down by a police officer in Ferguson, MO.  His body was left uncovered, in the street, in view of his parents and grandmother for four hours. Here are two of the pictures that the media could chose from to represent the young man, Michael Brown, who was getting ready to start college in just a few days:

good micheal brown bad_Michael_Brown

Guess which one national media went with?

Meanwhile, protesters for Michael Brown have been called an “angry mob” and protests were labeled “riots”. When some people used the protests  to loot stores, police officers used tear gas and rubber bullets on the crowd of protesters who were not looting. Newspapers reported the protesters where shouting “Kill the Police” when they were actually shouting “No Justice, No Peace”.

Here are some lesser seen photos of the protesters at the “riots”:

Ferguson riot 1

They really hate his man-purse?

ferguson riots 2

The rioter mercantile?

ferguson riots 3

Can you believe that they STILL have to point that out?

ferguson riots 4

Uh oh! Some of the rioters are white! I’ll bet he was a “protester” instead.

Ferguson riots 5

They have their hands in the air, but their skin is still dangerously non-white!

In the modern world the media shapes the cultural narrative. If we ever want to see a cessation of the tragic slaughter of unarmed black men by cops then we need to stop having black men and black people displayed as “scary” all over our TV, Movies, and News. Until culture shows cops that fear is not the necessary axiomatic response to black men, they will overreact violently when in even a minor confrontation with black men.

Jesus wept.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Spinal Trap

My Sweet Babou’s back is healing, but he still isn’t “spry”. We are headed back to the chiropractor’s in a couple of hours so that poking/prodding/flexing/rotation can occur. Most of the jelly seems to be back in the doughnut. The doc is also showing Sweet Babou how to correctly move his body. My husband has been moving “wrong” for decades, apparently. Last week the chiropractor taught Sweet Babou how to sit.

I wonder if today he’ll teach my husband how to stay and roll over.

Flippancy aside, even the simple movement modifications that Sweet Babou has learned thus far have helped his pain tremendously. I am glad of that, because watching someone you love suffer is wretched and I don’t like it a bit.

Posted in health, life as I know it | 1 Comment

GOP led House Committee admits the Benghazi “scandal” is malarkey

Y’all are probably aware that inaccurate reports and articles about Benghazi, many of witch had to resort to lying outright to perpetuate the “scandal”, have driven me batshit crazy. It wasn’t even the politics of the whole thing that got to me; it was the God-forsaken lack of facts.

Halleluiah, there is finally a report than cannot be dismissed as Democratic propaganda by Team Republicans.

“The House Intelligence Committee, led by Republicans, has concluded that there was no deliberate wrongdoing by the Obama administration in the 2012 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans … the report “confirms that no one was deliberately misled, no military assets were withheld and no stand-down order (to U.S. forces) was given.”

The Democrats cannot have skewed or faked this data, because there was a majority of Republicans on the committee who would have screamed blue murder if the Democrats had pulled any such shenanigans. The Republicans would not have skewed or faked this data, because it does them absolutely no good politically to confirm no wrong-doing in Benghazi. One side couldn’t lie and the other side did not benefit from a lie. Thus it is a reasonable facsimile of the TRUTH.

Now, with any luck, myths and distortions about Benghazi will stop popping up on my fokking Facebook page, disseminated by far-right relatives who think Obama is the Antichrist. It’s doubtful, because reality has not been their friend in the past, but hope springs eternal.

Posted in I like this, dammit., poli-ticks, shit I think y'all should know | 2 Comments