Tuesday, January 1, 2013
It's time for a look back and a look forward. You can read the prognostications I made on this date last year on my 2012 post. How did I do, eh? Did most of that stuff not fall into place just as I predicted?
As a person whose career was in the financial field, including eleven years at the IRS in various capacities, of course I have been following the Fiscal Cliff Fiasco closely. I don't have many issues with the outcome of the negotiations as we know them at this point. Of course the $450,000 cutoff point for the new tax rates is way too high: $250,000 is a far more rational figure. Unlike many far left wingers, I think the estate taxes are severe enough as negotiated. The most important issue I have is that the IRS concept of earned and unearned income, as mandated by the millionaires in congress, should have been thrown in the trash bin ages ago! The whole idea is a disgrace. If any income should be taxed higher, it should be the gravy from investments, not the meager wages of a poor, struggling family of four. The EITC should be the ITC. The massive numbers of filers of the Earned Income Tax Credit for children should have as simplified a tax form as possible. The unearned income crap needlessly complicates things. I am glad to see the capital gains tax raised to 20%, but that is still too low. All income should be taxed equally.
The blogs have been squabbling viciously over Obama's Chained CPI. This attempt by Obama to destroy the middle class once and for all cuts me to the bone. I feel strongly that this is and will be remembered as his NAFTA if he gets his way. I have always felt that NAFTA was Clinton's biggest mistake and the Chained CPI could be Obama's. This issue to me is second only to overpopulation as a definition of what has gone wrong with our economy and the soul of our once great nation. It has been crystal clear for a very long time that the millionaires and corporations of America do not give a rat's ass if they destroy the middle class by outsourcing, downsizing, and the general race to the bottom of the wage scale. I did not vote for Obama until I had to and I stand behind that concept. He is the lesser of evils and nothing more. He is good at war, but he sucks in standing up to the Republicans and his corporate masters.
I am reminded of one of Bill Hicks' most inspired comic bits. Bill barely lived to see Clinton elected. The legendary Austin comic had few grand illusions about our political system. He described the new President in The White House soon after his election. A few quietly serious guys in suits took the new President down to the basement. They sat him down and showed him a short film shot from a different camera angle than The Magruder Film, then asked the new president if he had any questions. Of course I seriously doubt that this has actually happened as stated in the joke. Haven't you ever wondered exactly who made the momentous decision to place an inexperienced state senator on the stage to give the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention in the summer of 2004?
My biggest concern is that this stupid little two-month delay in the cliff crisis will just prolong the agony until President Chickennuts gets the cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that he wants. Why does he want them so badly? First of all, because his ego and popularity are the forces that control him. His relentless need to be popular defines who he is. I am amazed that his fat head even fits through the White House doors! Will the dreaded Chained CPI pass in 2013? I hesitate to make that call, but I do think it is more than a little possible. Although I think Obama is an excellent face of America to deal with our foreign affairs, I think the nickname I gave him is appropriate for most of his domestic battles. He wants to help the American people, but not at the expense of incurring the wrath of his corporate masters.
The Wall Street Journal published an article yesterday about four American corporate institutions that might go the way of the dodo in 2013. Sadly, I cannot agree more. They may not meet their demise this year, but we shall see it happen soon enough. The only questions are exactly when and in what order. Radio Shack, a Texas institution, was one of the first retailers to begin selling information about their customers. For this reason and others, I was a bigger fan of Lafayette Radio Electronics back in the good old days. What are they selling now that a customer cannot easily get elsewhere? Best Buy is caught in a retail shark sandwich between Amazon/J&R and Walmart/Target. I hate to see them go, but what can you do? They cannot undercut the prices of these competitors, no matter how hard they may try. Even their relatively small appliance market is under severe attack from Lowes and Home Depot. Penny's is going down? You mean they are still around? What are the hillbillies of America going to do when they no longer have the ubiquitous Sears & Roebuck catalog in their outhouses? What? You mean the Roebuck name and the big, fat catalogs have been gone for decades? Goodbye mall anchors!
Don't look for posts to consistently appear on this blog in the near future. I have almost completely ceased blogging. I have decided it is mostly a waste of time and creativity. All my energies of late have been put into my book projects, and that is the way things will likely stay for most or all of 2013. If you have read my 2012 post, surely you have realized by now that the infamous Fred book was a scam that has never come to fruition. The Blog Wars won. The American voters lost. I have disgustingly learned that the Cultural Elite of the Democratic Party is not a group that thinks like me. Look at the current slap-fights between Common Dreams/Firedoglake and Huffington Post/Politicususa. Have you caught on yet how much this is just like the infamous Babygate Blog Wars? I made only one short comment at Politicus about this topic: United we stand, divided we fall. I'll stick with that attitude.
The biggest issue we all face is still global warming and the overpopulation and over-consumption that drives it. At the rate we are going, I doubt that America will do much to change its collective mind about these issues in 2013. The political will still has its head firmly planted where it does none of us any good. The last two years have been chocked full of excitement if you are a weatherman, but very little seems to break through the fog.
Let's hope that twenty little first-graders who did not survive to experience the delights of Santa Claus in 2012 will adequately inspire our do-nothing Congress to finally clamp down on our rampant and rabid gun culture. I have lived in the South practically all my life. My favorite toys as a child were guns and I received my first rifle for Christmas at the age of ten. Most of the people I have known in my life have been gun owners. I still own a gun now. None of these validates the presence of military grade and style weapons pervasive throughout our civilian culture. The assault rifles, large magazines, and miscellaneous military and police paraphernalia need to go. I have no problem with other guns, including semi-automatic pistols with clips holding ten or less bullets. No one ever shot Bambi or defended his home with an assault rifle holding a hundred rounds of ammo. It's time to clamp down on Internet and gun show sales of these products, too. Maybe put some sort of limit on how much ammunition can be purchased by a single individual within a given period of time.
There is little question as to the effect mental instability has upon some of the individuals who carry out these mass murders. Surprisingly, the most detailed news story I have read on the latest mass shooting was in The National Enquirer. While the story was hot, I read the articles in the local Newtown papers. The Newtown Bee was a good second source. Aside from the direct tragedy of it all, the poignant issue I first noticed in the news was that the police and media held back as long as they could in describing the shooter's mental problems and the details of his weaponry. The fact that a shotgun was left in the suspect's deceased mother's car was repeated over and over. The fact that most, if not all, of the school murders were done with a military-style assault rifle was held back from the public for nearly two days. If you read the Enquirer article, you will learn that even the shotgun was unusual, a clue that Mom was indeed a survivalist gun nut, if not an outright Left Behind psycho. Guess what qualities she apparently instilled in her mentally disturbed son? I think the media wanted to hold back this information from the general public until the last minute. They knew that gun control issues would step back onto the table. Millionaires, corporations, and the media are the trifecta of evil control in America.
Some people think Hillary will be the next Democratic Presidential candidate. They are wrong. She is too old and too tired and she has done her duty. If I had the power to remove a decade from the ages of Hillary and Elizabeth Warren, I would do so in a heartbeat. As it is, I think the Dems are making a humongous mistake by not privately and publicly grooming a new youngster or two to replace Chickennuts. Hello, President Ryan (or Rubio or Jeb Bush or some other Republican). As the Firedoglakers are saying, if Obama succeeds in making the Chained CPI his NAFTA, the Democrats will lose in 2014, and again in 2016.
There is one thing I would like to see happen in 2013 that has little if any downside. It would boost the economy and save zillions in the federal budget. Take marijuana off the Schedule 1 drug list!!!
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Let's wander into the darkness for a while, meandering through the canyons of both the past and the future. Movie goers were introduced to the lovely Natasha Henstridge back in 1995 with the release of her first film, Species. She played the part of a hideous, murderous alien who shapeshifted into a beautiful wench lustfully seeking a mate. Much like John Carpenter's 1982 movie, The Thing, Natasha's movie debut foreshadowed the coming of a monster deeply concealed within the imaginations of modern Americans. The real monster was born simultaneously with the founding of our once great nation, the same nation that now only casts a shadow of its former greatness.
The monster is not racism, although that concept is its close first cousin. Democrats see money as the root of all evil and Republicans see sex as the root instead, and this difference has divided us all at a level that is probably beyond repair. The only hope we have is for the Democrats to cease playing the race card. Calling the other side names will never bring any converts to our side. The Democratic platform should be based on the 99% vs. the 1% above all else, but I have long ago given up on that happening. The race card is too benign to their controllers, the power brokers of The Left, the same people who put a little known and little experienced Barack Obama on that DNC stage in 2004. Soon after 9 a.m. on Monday, October 22, you will find me pushing the electronic voting button for all Democrats, including President Chickennuts, but I refuse to watch the debate tonight, or the upcoming other three debates. The debates are simply the media's great financial reward. Any citizen who does not know who he or she is voting for by now is truly a moron, politely known as a low-information voter. The monster is the civil war in the minds of Americans that never seems to end. We shall meet our demise like two tomcats fighting in a street full of traffic while our economic power and our earthly environment crumble into oblivion.
Fox News did not birth The Tea Party. Sarah Palin and CNN did. There is a photo in my files of President Obama stepping out of an airplane with his pal Steve Case. I have often considered writing a political post about that photo, but at this late date I am certain that I would only be crucified as the messenger if I did. Steve Case is surely one of the most despicable Wall Street-type characters that has ever been born. He is a multimillionaire from Obama's home state of Hawaii. He is the a-hole who our President put in charge of his jobs program. He is the same a-hole who conspired with Jerry Levin in 2000 to merge his AOL with Levin's Time Warner and oust Ted Turner from power in the process. If you have ever wondered why CNN has become such an immoral, trashy news network, you should look no further than the actions of Levin and Case back in 2000-2001. Everything they did they did solely for power and money. Morality had absolutely nothing to do with it. Ted Turner is one of the very few morally compassionate billionaires left in this wretchedly corrupt nation. He may have been a fool for letting Little Ted lead him outside Jane Fonda's marriage bed, but his views and actions toward overpopulation and the environment have been quietly commendable. Aside from the very few with minimal power to make changes, such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Alan Grayson, our entire political field represent little more than shills for the corporate 1%.
Sarah Palin herself is not the monster. The real monster is concealed within the minds of the people she represents. Much of America knows why we cannot seem to remove Bristol Palin from our faces on television, printed news, or the Internet. Her celebrity was bought in exchange for her cooperation in the biggest political scam of our lifetimes. Many individuals who have held the power in their typing fingers to rid us of this arrogant monster have deliberately failed to do so. They have fumbled the ball at every obvious opportunity. I have tried numerous times using every approach I can muster to enlighten my readers of this truth, but few seem willing to listen. Too many are listening to the devious whisperings in their ears from the enablers of the monster. Just as those who envisioned what sex would be like with Natasha's character Sil in Species until they were consumed by the monster concealed within lovely skin, hair, and T &A, the Babygators of today have become nothing more than the sycophants of the secret monster within. They heed no warnings because the warnings do not emanate from their masters. Joining the Tea Party morons on the other side, it takes two parties to make a civil war.
"Are you going to the game, huh, huh, are you going to the big game?" I remember being asked this question repeatedly in college at a time when the Bulldogs were at the bottom of their historical record. It was a repeatedly losing team and I rarely answered the question in the affirmative. I feel the same way about the upcoming debates. I already know the expected outcome, so why should I waste my time? Life is too short. Four debates will soon be history and nothing will have changed. Although Chickennuts will most likely get a second term, the direction of the nation will continue to head down the drain. No one has the guts to do the right thing anymore. The Ted Turners have all been deposed from their positions of power. The moral compass of America has been lost in space.
What does the future hold? We may never be rid of Sarah or Bristol Palin in our current lifetimes. In this cultural sewer we have created for ourselves, the gradoo is rarely flushed down the drainpipe. It just floats endlessly on our television screens until it dissolves into something even stinkier. The Tea Party asylum residents and their Wall Street enablers are completely beyond hope for a realm of sanity. They will take not only the country, but eventually the entire planet, down with them, while screaming obscenities at The Left and mumbling platitudes to themselves. Unfortunately for us all, The Left lacks the guts to do the right thing. Like most of the Babygate bloggers, they will never pull the trigger. The monster that appears to be a beautiful woman on the outside will eventually devour us all.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
I have been following the release of the newest book by the highly acclaimed authors, Chuck Heath Sr. & Jr., for several weeks. You can apply the title of this story however you wish. Here are a few examples to get you started: (a) the two clowns pictured at left, (b) what the person who made this deal at the publisher has been doing with his time since the book's release, (c) what anyone who has scheduled a book signing for this bomb is doing about now, or (d) what you will feel like if you read even the Look Inside parts of Our Sarah at Amazon.
Our Sarah was first offered at Amazon in a pre-release mode several months ago. From April until yesterday, the official release date, the sales of Our Sarah dribbled. Twenty-five copies of the book were sold at Amazon on the 25th, its opening day. It is now the 26th and the last copy was sold from Amazon sixteen hours ago (and counting). The lowest Amazon ranking I have seen is 505. It might have been 585; I did not look closely enough to verify it. Currently the ranking is 1108. The total Amazon sales according to NovelRank is 104, including one at Amazon UK, the only copy sold outside the U.S. so far.
For contrast, let's look at another book released on the same day, September 25, and marketed to almost the exactly the same right-wing delusional readership. Ann Coulter's Mugged has sold 53 since late yesterday. I was not aware of the book until then so I do not have any tracking numbers throughout its pre-release period, however long that might have been. From watching the figures since yesterday evening, I can ascertain that the sales of Mugged were far beyond those of Our Sarah, as in out in the stratosfear! The NovelRank charts clearly show, for instance, that Ann's book has sold 28 copies since midnight while Chuckie & Chuckie's has bombed with a goose egg over the same time period. Mugged is currently ranked at #39, and I saw it as low as #25 yesterday.
As Bob Dylan once said, "Everybody must get mugged!" Whoever set up the publishing deal for Our Sarah must not have looked too closely at the sales charts of the many pro-Palin books as they have slid slowly down the drain. From the explosive boom of Going Rogue to the stumbling mumbles of Bristlebutt's pack of lies to Levi's ghostwritten nonsense, the downhill slide of the sales figures of each release has been inevitable. If I remember correctly, Going Rogue sold 2.3 million and Sarah's book signing at the Mall of America was a stupendous success. Two years later the signing of Not Afraid of Life and America by Heart by both Palin celebrities at the same venue was a bust with a couple hundred diehard fans showing up for signatures. Maybe someone should have kept her mouth shut after the Gabby Giffords shooting, you think?
Watching this dud slowly grind to a screeching halt has been a lot of fun. The dud is Our Sarah, the whole Palin phenomenon, and of course Sarah herself. I did read most of the Look Inside portions of Our Sarah, and it really is a dud. The font is large and the margins wide, so it is not a book with a high word count. Most of the words that are present are just one big baloney sandwich, anyway. A good example is Chuck Jr. complaining about the media questioning Sarah's college career. He spins the question off into something that it never was, as if we care that Sarah did not attend a fancy Ivy League school. Pass the baloney sandwich, please. Why did she return to the dipshit MatSu Valley college between two semesters at the University of Idaho? Just before that bit of horse puckey, he stated that she left the first Hawaii location because it rained too much. He claimed that she wanted to enjoy the sun and surf of Hawaii, and that's why she and her friends went there in the first place. But then he does a one-eighty and claims that she left the fun and sun for the snow of Idaho after only one semester. Does this make any sense to anyone?
Aside from this bit of balogna sandwich making, much of the book seems to suddenly and repeatedly veer off into an oblivion of anecdotes about various friends and family of the Palins. If you are a Palin fan at the depth of lunacy you might enjoy these little side trips, but I seriously doubt the mass appeal of such a book. Chuckie & Chuckie appeared on Fox & Friends early yesterday morning to promote this tale of nonsense, but it seems to have had minimal effect on the buying audience. I am waiting with bated breath to see what happens with the book tour planned for the next few weeks. My best guess is that the most likely sound we will hear from it is SPLAT!!
Monday, September 24, 2012
Long-range plans are one of my specialties. Sometimes I wait years for the technology to catch up to my ideas at an affordable cost. A few examples of these have been the audio and video collages I created from 1972 through about 1998. The book projects I began to publish in late 2000 began more examples. My Tiddlerosis website is yet another one. Now there is finally a new kid on the block in the form of computer aquarium programs now on the market at affordable prices.
These latest programs are actually quite stupendous in their capabilities. A few very primitive such programs were first marketed more than a decade ago. These were quite disappointing to me from many angles, from the limitations of the fish to the simplicity of the tank layouts. In the early 2000's, Encore Software first released its Marine Aquarium. The program was developed through several versions and the latest one is called Serene Screen Marine Aquarium Version 3. This latest version of a saltwater tank is three years old, but its visual impact is stunning! Soon after the saltwater program hit the marketplace, a competing firm developed a freshwater system called Dream Aquarium. Both of these magnificent programs offer many ways and styles to develop a beautiful aquarium. You can buy the CD-ROM of Marine Aquarium from Office Depot or other sources, but the Dream Aquarium is available only via direct download. You will need a decently modern computer to power either of these programs more than adequately. At least two GB of RAM with XP, as well as a significant level of Video RAM, would be a good start. I am running 8 GB of RAM and 1 GB of VRAM on a 64-bit Windows 7 and the fifty tanks I have set up run flawlessly.
Yes, I said fifty tanks! There is no official limit on the number of tanks you can develop in Dream Aquarium. You can choose 23 fish species and several backgrounds and other details. An additional ten fish have just recently been added as an upgrade for about $10. The most interesting choice to me is the camera angle. You can view a tank in a standard widescreen format or one that slowly pans through the tank as if you were following fish with your eyes with your nose pressed against the glass! You can add a free downloadable Size Editor that allows you to create baby fish or large examples of the species. Another free download allows you to add more backgrounds than the basic four that come in the original program. Here is yet another group of backgrounds. This second batch of twenty-one backgrounds is composed of zipped files of approximately 1.5 MB each. You save each file to your computer, unzip it to its full size, and add it to your Dream Aquarium program files. Right now I am still running the free demo version of Marine Aquarium. It is considerably more usable as a basic tank than is the free version of Dream Aquarium. I intend to buy the full version of Marine Aquarium after I get bored with playing with all the freshwater tanks.
A neighbor gave me three Guppies in a fish bowl back about 1961 and that began my aquarium hobby. Over the years I progressed up through a 2.5-gallon tank, a three-gallon, and then wowie zowie a ten-gallon! Since moving into my present location, I have never set up any of my multiple aquariums, a twenty-wide, a thirteen-tall, and various smaller tanks. Now that my computer is doing the job, I have already put the whole array of tanks and equipment for sale on Craigs List.
No matter how many years and tank setups I stumbled my way through, I never was very good at keeping fish healthy and happy. The well-read books are still on my library shelf. I read and I practiced, but I still sucked at it! I have never had a green thumb and I suppose I do not have a wet, soggy one either, except out on a boat. The disgusting, disappointing fact is that any aquarium in my care, much less that of the average kid in Walmart begging his mom for fish, is nothing much above fish torture! I have wanted for years to finally get out of the fish torturing hobby and now I am completely cured of my addiction. No tropical fish will ever suffer under my care again. I am going Cold Turkey Digital!
When I mentioned audio and video collages, these included many hours of experimenting with videography of my various fish tank setups. I have hours of tape edited and set to music. The problem is that you cannot videotape tropical fish in a tank in any manner that exudes a quality product. The fish are too small, they swim wherever they damn well please when you are trying to photograph them, and the lighting available leaves a lot to be desired. None of my camcorder tapes look even remotely as beautiful as these computer-generated fish!
There is a bit of bad news with these programs. My favorite species are totally unavailable in the freshwater Dream Aquarium. There are no Guppies, Bettas, or catfish species! The photo above is of real Guppies, although this is about how good the computer-generated fish look. I would also like to have even more variety in the backgrounds available. As for the saltwater program, I have no complaints yet. Since all my familiarity lies with freshwater species, I am more easily amused by the beauty of most saltwater species, even while understanding very little of their real-life characteristics.
Both programs are set up from quickly downloadable free samples of each. The free version of Marine Aquarium is quite usable as it arrives, but you will want to graduate to the full $20 version of Dream Aquarium soon after viewing the free sample version. The free Dream Aquarium goes to a blank background and only two fish after a few minutes, but the Marine Aquarium continues indefinitely until you stop it. Click the Dream Aquarium link and download the free version. When you are ready, purchase the full version and DA will send you a long code that you can copy and paste into the appropriate box on the free version to fully expand it. The Marine Aquarium can currently be downloaded like the free version or purchased on a disc from Amazon or Office Depot. Notice that the downloadable MA is Version 3.2, but the most recent CD version seems to be Version 3.0. I do not know what the differences between the two versions are, since I have yet to see the full version of either. Both the free and full version of the freshwater tanks can be downloaded at Dream Aquarium. No CD-ROM version of DA is available.
Please stop the tropical fish torture and set up these programs on your computers. They are everything you would like fish tanks to be except heavy, messy, noisy, stinky, deadly (for the plants and fish) and generally troublesome. Let's free the enslaved and tortured tropical fish forever!
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Always Looking Forward...
1. Support all forms of birth control as a right of all Americans and provide the necessary funding.
2. Legalize marijuana and begin a downsizing of the effects and funding of the War on Drugs.
3. Downsize the overseas military empire in peaceful locations.
4. Begin a retraction of troops involved in all current wars and don't start any more.
5. Put a cap on ethanol production for fuel.
6. Decrease agricultural subsidies.
7. No increases in drilling for oil or gas will be allowed in national parks, offshore, or other sensitive areas.
8. Overturn Citizens United.
9. Close Guantanamo Bay and cease all uses of torture of prisoners anywhere.
10. Delete the death penalty for any and all prisoners.
11. Remove all tax breaks from corporations who shelter income offshore.
12. Give tax credits to employers who hire Americans and retract any applicable tax credits from those who seek labor from outside the U.S.
13. Encourage all forms of green building and infrastructure replenishment with proper funding and tax breaks wherever appropriate.
14. Raise the national minimum wage and enforce it vigorously, and this includes all agricultural, seasonal, and undocumented workers.
15. Levy a small federal tax on all securities transactions.
16. Allow an unlimited Mortgage Interest Deduction on any single main residence of any taxpayer with no income level restrictions outside the already established Schedule A limitations.
17. Remove the cap on Social Security and Medicare Tax calculations.
18. Remove the distinction of Earned and Unearned Income from the IRS rules in all applications, including changing the Earned Income Credit to a simple Income Child Care Credit based on all income of all types.
19. Repeal the special capital gains rate and tax all income at the same level.
20. Increase the income tax rate on all income from the $250,000 to $1,000,000 Taxable Income Level to 40%.
21. Increase the income tax rate on all income above the $1,000,000 Taxable Income Level to 50%.
Friday, September 14, 2012
Sarah Palin is not a stupid person. She may be angrier than a swarm of killer bees and mad as a hatter, yet she remains about as smart as the average bear. Within the depth of her innermost thoughts, if not outright verbally with whatever management team she still employs, she must currently be facing a political and economic reality that haunts her dreams. She must hope like hell that President Obama remains in The White House until 2016! Any alternative future leads inevitably to a painfully slow demise of her special gift for either making large sums of money or influencing a significant number of voters.
Let's review how her particular dilemma reached this impasse. I covered most of the wide-reaching details and motivations concerning her rise to power in The Palin Matrix. Dr. Brad Scharlott has presented a particularly concise, and most likely accurate, description of exactly how she orchestrated the beginning of Babygate. As anyone who reads my work knows, I have been influenced in my opinion of the origins of Babygate particularly by Mrs, Palin's unprecedented athleticism as a considerably pregnant woman. Few people in the general public may have recognized John Heilemann's cameo in Game Change, but my perception is that this was another dog whistle message to the viewers that the insiders, such as the authors of the book, do indeed know. No telling how many others know, too. The truth is out there and too many influential Republicans know it for Sarah to ever sleep truly soundly again.
At this point Republicans are the people who concern Sarah the most. Democrats like me are cheering her on! Go, Sarah, go! The only thing you can do to me is make a few more people interested in my book about you. All you can do to the Democrats in general is to make them all look more sane and rational than the Republicans. You want to start a third party and lead it to victory in either 2012 or 2016? Go ahead, be my guest. There is no prayer strong enough to get you or anyone else in a third party elected. So what else might you do? You can throw tacky bombshells full of fighting words and salad dressing at the politicians who are winning and you are not. Let's see, who could that be? You better hope in the deepest depth of your black heart that our President stays in his chair! I am sure that Fox News will renew your contract and continue to pay you next year to continue bashing President Romney. Yeah, that's the ticket! Everybody knows that Fox News was created to bash Republican politicians.
Your daddy's biography of you isn't selling too well so far, is it? The figures I have been tracking at Novel Rank show 36 sales so far at Amazon. Yes, I know that the book will not be released for another ten days, but how many copies of Going Rogue had sold by the same equivalent time? By my calculation, the only book on a similar subject that possibly sold less was Levi's Deer in the Headlights. Bristol's book stomped the sales record so far of Our Sarah, even with that disastrous book signing event at the Mall of America where only a few hundred fans showed up to meet both you and Bristol. I guess you might expect at least 20,000 copies to be printed and shipped to Wal-Mart, Target, and B&N stores at the wholesale level, but how many million did your first book sell? Methinks somebody's popularity is swirling the drain!
Sarah can run for President in 2016. She can try to talk Ryan or whatever other candidate the Republican establishment actually likes to add her to the VP slot one more time... or she can crown herself Queen of the Tea Party and run against the massive Republican machine. There is little stopping her from running anything she chooses to run. The dilemma is that she knows she cannot win at any of it. She can only try to stay relevant enough to continue expanding her bank balance. She can risk Fox News not renewing her lucrative contract and continue to toss her verbal brickbats from whatever backwater network or AM radio host will have her. She could even swallow her relentless pride with a big gulp of ego drain and appear on channels that are at least pretending to be something other than Republican propaganda outlets.
If President Obama wins, I am afraid that we shall not have the screechy one out of our ears or faces for at least four more years. If Romney wins, Sarah may face the biggest decision of her career, or at least what's left of it.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Call it America's Hitler, call it The American Taliban. It really doesn't matter much. We're all trapped on the same Titanic. America is just stupid enough, America is just mean enough, and America is just selfish and greedy enough to put this abomination in the White House in 2016... and I think that is exactly what they will do.
I used the third person pronoun above because I am certainly not going to help this horror happen! President Chickennuts may clearly be no better than the lesser of two evils, but pushing the voting button for All Democrats is the only viable alternative we have left to us at this point. There is no hope for any third party until hell freezes over, and global warming will see that that never happens.
The problem with the Democratic Party is that it refuses to give up the identity politics it adopted so fully back in the Sixties. The Southern Strategy from the other side was nothing more than a backlash against the identity politics so totally embraced by the Left. You know something is happening here, but you don't know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones? What is happening is that all the right wing media is lying to you because of The Southern Strategy and all of the left wing media is lying to you because of identity politics. Neither side has any intention of telling the truth because the greater truth is that all of them are paid too damn much! The psychotic culture we live in cares about only three things: money, sex, and celebrity, in that order. The Democrats are lying because it pays too well to throw the game! All the issues of identity politics are just noise and nothing more. What Mr. Jones cannot seem to figure out is that we as a nation have desperately needed class warfare, and not identity politics, for forty years now!
There are two ways to (possibly) fix the economy and banish the national madness from our psyches. The Republicans would not be able to win a national election for some time to come if either tactic was utilized. The first is to simply make voting mandatory. Since no one seems to like that idea, that leaves only one other alternative. The Democratic power brokers and their media sycophants must quietly phase out their relentless support and usage of identity politics. They must slowly but firmly convince the more sane members of the voting bloc on the right that we are no longer the party of minorities. We are the Party of the People, the party of the 99%, the party of all average and low-income Americans. The Left does not have to change any of its policies, but we MUST stop engaging in the endless slap-fight that continually pushes members of a huge voting bloc to the political dark side. We must leave some of our fantasies of idealism outside the political realm and begin to vote and act in a more tactical, successful manner. The peak of liberalism in America occurred way back in 1969. We have been sliding ever so slowly into a right-wing oblivion of selfishness and greed ever since. It is way past time for the Left to realize that it has become the Mr. Jones. It was a far different nation and world back when Bob Dylan wrote the refrain to "Ballad of a Thin Man" back in 1965!
I am going to switch gears for just a moment. You will see that at the top of the left column, I have added a link to my fourth book, Timeline of America: Sound Bytes from the Consumer Culture. Recent thoughts about this book inspired this article. Timeline has always been my weakest selling book, even though it should be the one with far the most widespread appeal! Of course I realize the high price of the print version is one of the problems, but I had no control over that issue. The Kindle and Nook versions are well under $5, so what are you waiting for? I have often considered releasing an updated print version, now that I have control of the cover price, but there has always been a great big monster that has stifled that idea whenever it pops up for consideration. The timelines of wonderful, nostalgic memories of American culture stop at 2006 because that is where they stopped in real life! Timeline was an enormous project to create. The parade of delightful memories identified and elevated in the book were clearly running out of steam by the middle of the last decade. Even as I approached that final year six years ago, positive creations and events in America were quickly losing momentum. To be honest, it was something of a struggle to take the book even as far as I did.
Then came Paradigm Shift, which for decades was referred to as The Hyde Papers, as in the Jekyll and Hyde of American culture. Timeline was the Jekyll and Paradigm was the Hyde. I have seen or experienced nothing since to give me hope that this is not the whole, final, complete truth. America is clearly on a suicide mission. Obviously, far too few Americans are able to see the Mr. Jones reflecting back at them in the mirrors of their insanity.