My love is constant for those who have paid it.UPDATE: President Reagan's 1986 Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery.
My love is constant for those who have paid it.UPDATE: President Reagan's 1986 Memorial Day speech at Arlington National Cemetery.
As of Wednesday, all pre-ordered, autographed copies of Tale of the Tigers were sent to
those of you who ordered them. If you didn't received your copy yesterday, please let me know and I will correct that oversight.
And if you haven't bought it yet, it's available at Amazon (Kindle, too) and Barnes and Noble, along with being available at the Tale of the Tigers website.
After you read the novel, I would appreciate it if you went over to Amazon or B&N and put up a review. And if you are inclined to post a review on your own site, send me a link and I will post it, even if it's a negative verdict (which I know it won't be).
Thank you all for your patience and for reading my work.
And here are some photos of the oil on the Gulf Coast (Louisiana), a result of the British Petroleum oil platform accident over a month ago.
Now, my purpose in posting these photos is not to cast blame for these catastrophes in any direction--at least not today--nor am I inclined to advance any environmentalist agenda.
What strikes me is the symbolism of the location of the spillage, dirt and detritus. All of it lies on the borders, on the edges of the United States of America, seeming to be poised to overflow this nation and overtake it.
I'm not trying to induce fear and, since fear has a sinister source, its sole use is as a focus agent. But one can merely juxtapose the trash and the slime with the less tangible dangers and see the fork in the road, both literally and metaphorically. Do we let the refuse wash over what we hold dear? Or do we fight it off and fight back?
And if we choose to fight back, is it possible to keep from getting dirty ourselves?
We'll find out soon enough.
Nashville flood relief: Musicares
Okay, Tale of the Tigers was at 1M and a half on the Best Seller ranking when it first debuted on Amazon. Then it dropped waaay down to 240,000 plus. Now it's at nearly 2M! :(
Of course you could rectify that. If you've received a copy, please put up a review. A one-liner will do. Or if you don't want to buy my book, you could contribute to the writing of the next two--one fiction, the other not.
But, of course, I'd rather exchange goods for your monies; the American way.
If you say something on my blog--a space that I pay for--and I openly disagree with you or even if I ban you, I'm not infringing upon your rights. You don't have the right to say anything you want or say anything without having to brook criticism or behave in any manner you please on my property.
Below the fold is a 2008 post in which I compared the run-up to the that year's Russia-Georgia conflict to a no-longer-so-implausible situation in Arizona. Am I a prophet or what?
Whoah! When I looked at the Amazon Bestseller Rating for Tale of the Tigers yesterday, it was at 1.6 million plus. Today it's at 249,002! Does anyone know about how that has happened?
And, care to make it even lower?
The post below the fold is being re-posted due to criticism I received from Facebook "friends"--old Air Force acquaintances, no less--who claim that I don't support my opinions nor talk about the thinking which went into those opinions. (Actually, they never say anything that polite or with the slightest amount of good faith; they assume that no thinking went into my opinions and refer to me as a parrot and worse. I wonder why that is. Is it that difficult to click on the links on the left sidebar of my Facebook page?)
Fact is, I've grown weary of methodically laying out the chains of occurrences, premises, conclusions and examples which have served as undergird to my opinions. Fact is, whether I make the effort or don’t make the effort, I get this sort of thing (in response to Razing Arizona):
I object to you and almost everything you say. I think you are full of sh*t. That plain enough? I'm [here] to object to you and your invective, which I find personally offensive. At some point, people have to say, I object.
This guy kept insisting over and over again that he objected; I imagined him punctuating each objection with a foot stomp.
And, using the fact that he objects to me and everything I say, this “gentleman” came to the conclusion that I must be crazy and delusional. Surely, that is the only reason that I could possibly be 180 degrees from him in all opinions. Right?
The funniest thing, however, was that, in this man’s repeated exclamations of objection, there was never any specific direct object. (Linguists will groan at that pun.) He never did pick out a topic about which he and I are in opposition and defend his viewpoint on that topic, even after I repeatedly invited him to do so.
It's plain, Greg, but it's still pretty generalized.
There has to be a specific reason tha[t] you think
that I am full of sh*t and you certainly should be able to take a specific
issue and explain to me why I am wrong about it--in a sane and non-delusional,
invective-free and sh*t-less manner, of course.
Come on. I know you can do it.
To which, I received this charming response:
I don't have to defend it to you -- or explain it -- anymore than I expect you to do the same [sic]. You have an opinion -- I think you're full of sh*t. My opinion. I don't really TRULY have to say anything else.
My five-year-old niece would call such a response immature. I wouldn’t, however. It’s obvious that either the man is intellectually incapable of defending his opinions or he is too lazy to think through his premises and conclusion and, afterward, articulate them. Due to the puling, I vote the latter. Petulance in adults is almost always a cover-up.
Then again, hasn't our president repeatedly claimed that the time for talk is over?
President Obama to Mexican President Calderon: "We are not defined by our borders..."
Translation: "Give us your drug lords, your gangsters, your terrorists, yearning to behead the wayward and divert the upright...I've got a populace to subdue!"
(Thanks to Tammy Bruce)
Listening to the Climategate conference at PJTV. It's surprisingly engaging, even the technical side but I'm a recovering math geek.
Aside: does it seem as though all manner of frauds and lies are being exposed? That's a positive though in a scary time. Well, at least I think so.
Some time ago, I had a dream.
Before I explain what type of dream it was, I should mention that my dreams are very vivid—almost like being awake; like short visits to worlds yet unexplored. Sometimes, I can remember them immediately upon waking, but they will usually be forgotten if I fail to write them down. (As an aside, I think that the ability to remember one’s dreams goes hand-in-hand with having a well-developed imagination—something essential to a novelist.)
My subconscious will even, on occasion, incorporate sounds from the waking world and build a dream around it if the sound isn't loud and piercing enough to disrupt my sleep. Such was the case when Dan Gillerman's melodious, accented baritone memorably penetrated my dreams as it wafted from my television. In that dream, the voice seemed to be emanating from the throat of the man whom I loved and who seemed to pontificate about a war with Gaza.
However, for the dream mentioned at the beginning of this essay, there was never any need to write the details, and, whenever I reconsider it, it always looms large and has capital letters: The Dream.
At first, The Dream was a nightmare—the only nightmare ever in my nearly fifty years. I couldn’t see anything at first; I could only feel—and the feeling in question was pure terror. I’ve never come close to being that afraid when awake and I hope that I never do.
There was something--a living thing—in the room with me. What was it? Evil itself is the only way to describe this entity.
I lay on a floor, curled up in a ball like a potato bug and unable to move. My eyes—my dream-eyes—were slammed shut for fear of seeing the thing. It seemed to menace my back, crackling the skin of it. In the manner which dreams unfold, I could “see” pieces of skin fall from my back; then my flesh would reintegrate and the process would start again.
I wanted to uncurl and turn to face the being, but fear stopped me. I could feel my chest heaving; it seemed as though the mere sight of the Thing of Evil would stop my heart forever.
Then I cried out to God and He answered, reminding me that He had not given me the spirit of fear; that the particular emotion had a different source. This reassurance seemed to slow my breath and un-paralyze my body. I stood up and opened my eyes but I still wasn’t quite able to face the Creature. “Stretch out your arms,” He said. I did so and opened my right hand. In it was a sword or a handgun[i] (they seemed interchangeable) and, as is so in myth and in fantasy, my weapon had a given name.
Its name was “the Word of God.”
So, with weapon in hand, I “screwed my courage to the sticking-place” and turned to face my enemy, steeling myself to view its ugly face.
It was gone.
Weeks later, I was sitting in church and very much awake.
My pastor--learned in the languages of the Bible, Hebrew, Aramaic and Koine Greek—was expounding on the two Greek terms for "word of God." One is a term with which most English-speakers are familiar—logos. The other, however, is one I had heard before but had no idea what it meant until my pastor began to expound upon it: rhema [ii]. The difference? People far more theologically learned than I are still discussing it but the difference seems to be in scope. A rhema is more of a short aphorism, rather than a long sermon or the Word in its entirety, and it is intended to counter the Adversary quickly when he’s trying to induce doubt and/or fear. For example, Jesus Christ used a quick succession of rhema on Satan when the latter tried to induce doubt about God the Father.
In short, when you hear preachers talk about “a word from God,” most of the time they are talking about a rhema.
“What does this have to do with your dream,” I hear you ask. My mouth literally dropped open when my pastor mentioned the other definition of rhema….
The Sword of the Spirit[iii].
Whenever I feel anxious about anything, I think of this dream.
(Cross-posted at The Professional Black Writer)
[i] I own three handguns in the waking world. When people ask what they are for, I grin at the strange looks prompted by the answer: “for goblins.”
[ii] James Strong, The Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2001),1641
The first autograph-able copies are due to arrive at my house today. Cross all digits.
UPDATE: They're here!!!
For all of the early adopters, they'll be in the mail tomorrow morning. Thank you for believing in me! And as a sort of testimonial, I gifted my great-aunt and our neighbor--who has known me since I was a toddler--their copies and they began to read. Do you know how tough it is to silence a pair of seasoned-citizen black ladies? Tale of the Tigers managed to do that.
Keep the good people at Lightning Source (the printers) and all other Tennesseans in your prayers, please.
(Thanks to Lamar)
The temper tantrum over Arizona's adoption of federal law concerning illegal aliens proceeds apace:
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) said its 2.2 million members will not attend any meetings or conventions in Arizona as long as the new immigration law is in place.
I don’t know. It seems to me that the situation is akin to having your house repeatedly burglarized. Then when you put up a sign on the outside of your front door which reads “Don’t burgle me, bro. Ring the doorbell,” the burglars call you 'racist' and say that they’ll never darken (hah!) your door again.
Is there a downside that I’m not seeing?
(Thanks to David Hauptmann)
Those of you who bought my book—promised to be autographed--before it was on sale with the big online booksellers know that there has been a huge delay in getting those books into your hands. The day before yesterday, I sent out an email informing each of you that the books would be here at my house today. Well, early this morning, my publisher sent me an email saying that the delivery date is now the 10th.
Normally, I’d be feeling pretty frustrated about now. But ever since my publisher told me that the printers were located in Tennessee, the urge to look deeper at the disaster there has been stronger than my need to smack my fist on a table for not getting what I want when I want it. So, I looked and I am flabbergasted.
People are dead and another American city rich with history—Nashville--is under water. It is Katrina minus the demagogy of the Left.
Flash flooding and storms killed at least 29 people in Tennessee, Mississippi and Kentucky and at least two people were still missing Wednesday. The flooding was caused by rains of more than 13 inches and affected both rich and poor in this metropolitan area of about 1 million.
Mayor Karl Dean estimates the damage from weekend flooding could easily top $1 billion in Nashville alone.
As the rain-swollen Cumberland River continued to recede Wednesday, Nashville's downtown remained without power and one of two water plants was disabled, but officials said progress was being made on both problems.
And instead of waiting for a handout or a symbolic gesture from the federal government, Country Music stars have already begun the process of rebuilding Music City.
Radio fundraisers are taking place, and star-studded benefits are in the works after 19 people died in weekend storms in Tennessee.
Among the events is a telethon Thursday with Vince Gill for NBC affiliate WSMV-TV to benefit the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Second Harvest Food Bank.
"Nashville is a community of great spirit," country superstar Keith Urban told CNN's Rick Sanchez via Skype from the Nashville-area home he shares with his wife, Nicole Kidman, and their daughter.
Michelle Malkin has a list of those who are making it easy to donate and/or assist in other ways.
And Ed Morrissey calls this The Disaster America Ignored.
I cannot point fingers, for I am guilty of feeling only vaguely sorry for these people until their plight affected me personally. But this isn’t about my mea culpa while sitting here in my nice, dry home office with my nice, dry worldly possessions. It’s about the little and big taps on the shoulder which the Almighty gives Christians all the time to remind us of the second of Jesus the Christ’s two commandments: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
As was so when Hurricane Katrina battered the Gulf Coast (which is having contemporary problems again of its own; discussed in a bit), a philanthropy link for Tennessee flood victims will appear at the end of each post for at least two weeks.
Let’s start by lifting one from Michelle. I’m sure she won’t mind.
Happy "Cinco de Cuatro," to quote our most erudite, international president ever!
The fact that the president demonstrated, before the world, his lack of comprehension of the basic Spanish which many of us non-Spanish speakers learn as children reminds me of this:
It’s embarrassing when Europeans come over here, they all speak English, they speak French, they speak German. And then we go over to Europe and all we can say is merci beaucoup.
Comparing those two incidents gives me hope; real hope for real change.
PROUDLY ILLITERATE: President Obama give a "pat on the head" (as Allahpundit so bitingly puts it) to "Los Suns." Who's the embarrassment now?
Marie and Sebastian Stroughter of African American Conservatives and Kevin Jackson of The Blacksphere have collaborated to form the Black Conservative Census, urging conservatives who happen to be black to “stand up and be counted.” Of course, this is in response to the Big Media-driven notion that racism is indicated in the facts that most black Americans are liberal Democrats and that most of those who protest in/sympathize with the Tea Party movement are white.
An absurd notion, is it not? As my friends Mike and Sonja T. mentioned, if all-white groups over two in number were automatically racist, they became an official racist mob when their first-born entered the fray. (They have four. I'm scared!)
Deeming a group 'racist' which labels itself by race/ethnicity or incidentally consists of mostly one race isn’t an idea exclusive to Big Media, however. I recall that, back in 2005, when Jay Tea of Wizbang! was kind enough to publicize the efforts of another black conservative online alliance--the Conservative Brotherhood--a lot of assumptions were made regarding the nature of that group; assumptions which existed solely because we billed ourselves as a 'black' group. Many of us who belong to CB waded into the comments section and tried to dispel erroneous notions about the group, some of which were astonishingly stupid and racist themselves.
As it often goes, however, when people are on the side of the angels, one of the most eloquent defenders of the concept which produced the Conservative Brotherhood was Jeremy Pierce—the husband of one of CB’s members, Samantha. Jeremy is white.
The point of the CB is so more black people will be exposed to their ideas, because those are the people whom these ideas will most directly affect and the ones most commonly ignoring the CB members as Uncle Toms who are in Whitey's pocket.
It's a matter of connecting with those who have similar views from the same background, a group who tends to be ostracized and marginalized merely for being both black and conservative.
As they [band together], they haven't isolated [themselves]. They've just taken note of each other and become allies, with a central location that links to all of them. Then someone comes along and calls them racist, and others say it's immoral and against conservative principles. Why? Because they care about race. If we say it's racist or immoral in some other way to care about race, then we're not going to care about race, and that's going to feed into all the problems that come when you ignore the real racial problems in this country. That's catering to institutional and residual racism. It's thus part of the complex social forces that perpetuate racial problems. It's thus racism.
One of the ways in which discord and distrust have been sown for years by racists of all colors and persuasions is by accepting as valid the perception in which any group which formed on the basis of ethnicity is automatically racist, especially if the group is white—no if, ands or buts. So it is that Wizbang! guests applied the same standard to a black group--ignoring the nuance inherent in the adjective ‘conservative’ and ignoring the CB members' displayed words and actions up to that point in time. These people decided to see something sinister (no pun intended) in anything labeled black or composed mostly of black people.
(It doesn’t feel too good, does it, fellow Tea Partiers? And now you know why I posted the message about my affiliation with the social network, The Professional Black Writer.)
It’s the flip side of identity politics. It replaces thinking. And in acknowledgment that some people don't want to think these concepts through, Jackson and the Stroughters have provided a not-black affiliation field for the census. Understandable.
Admittedly, however, President Obama’s racialism—indicated both before and after his election—has made mere “pride” in one’s heritage even more suspect. That racialism started on the very day of the election and has been officially condoned by the Obama Justice Department. The Obama Administration has planted and continues to plant the seeds of mistrust and discord among American brethren. Simply put, it has painted a target on each of our backs.
I assert that it’s up to all of us to think things through and to recognize the administration's strategy for what it is—a means to destroy the United States of America—and not to buy into the mutually-assured destruction this president offers.
Faisal Shahzad is the Pakistani-born U.S. citizen who confessed to trying to blow up NYC's Times Square last week. And CBS thinks that his motives are mysterious.
As I said to Dr. Melissa, evil is a mystery to the stupid. However, a deeper idiocy is indicated in that headline.
CBS types can't believe that Americans are still hated after we've gotten rid of the warmonger, George W. Bush and elected Barack Obama, peacemaker and might-be-Muslim (yes, I've changed my mind).
These sorts don't understand evil. Heck, many of them don't even think evil exists, or worse: that the value judgment of evil depends on the identity of the judge, which, of course, is the essence of identity politics.
BTW, does it seem to you that, since 9/11, jihadis in America can't handle anything more technically complicated that an M-16? Keep praying.
Oh for God's sake.
PHOENIX -- The The Phoenix Suns will wear "Los Suns" on their jerseys in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals on Wednesday night, owner Robert Sarver said, "to honor our Latino community and the diversity of our league, the state of Arizona, and our nation."
The decision to wear the jerseys on the Cinco de Mayo holiday stems from a law passed by the Arizona Legislature and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer that has drawn widespread criticism from Latino organizations and civil rights groups that say it could lead to racial profiling of Hispanics. President Barack Obama has called the law "misguided."
Sarver, who was born and raised in Tucson, said frustration with the federal government's failure to deal with the illegal immigration issue led to the passage of what he called "a flawed state law."
"However intended, the result of passing the law is that our basic principles of equal rights and protection under the law are being called into question," he said, "and Arizona's already struggling economy will suffer even further setbacks at a time when the state can ill-afford them."
I for one think this is great. Because everybody knows that the Phoenix Suns should be focusing on making a political statement, not...you know...winning playoff games.
National Review's Jay Nordlinger has spoken a great deal about the death of "safe zones"-venues and events that are free from the day-to-day grind of politics. Sports are one of those areas of life where people should be able to safely let down their partisan guards and simply be fans. What Robert Sarver has done is made many of the followers of his basketball team very uncomfortable. Why? Because, as AllahPundit notes, the law is very popular-try 70% favorability on for size-amongst the citizens of Arizona.
What exactly is Sarver saying to Suns fans by having his team stage a protest rally during one of their games? It sounds something like-"Hey Phoenix supporters: Thanks for buying our overpriced crap and shelling out a wad of cash to come to our playoff contest, you knuckledragging fascist dickbags." That's a pretty interesting method of winning over fans. What's next? 'Free Face Punch From Amar'e Stoudemire Night'?
Even better, Sarver has taken some heat from fans for being a cheap owner. Wow. So the douchedrinker won't spend money to get players to compliment the spectacularly gifted Steve Nash while the guard is still in his prime. On the other hand, he's willing to turn his team into a walking pep rally for an intensely unpopular partisan agenda that insults his team's fanbase. What an insufferable jerk.
I don’t feel like writing to convince anymore. I’m sure many have figured that out by now.
The problem, however, is that my “conscience” (read: the Holy Spirit) continuously reminds me that one should not be complacent or fearful when advocating a just cause. That just cause? Keeping the people of America free and, to that end, adding one more small voice to the millions who are angry and fed up at the daily encroachments on that freedom—daily since January 20, 2009.
So I’m going to ignore my feelings and put something up here every single day—even if it’s an Instapundit/Twitter-like one-liner. That’s my pledge.