Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Something Still in the Air

There seems to be a rising chorus of people, on the left and right, who know that the current  system is out of wack, that the emperor has no clothes, that the power structure has no vialbility, no real moral authority and must thus fall.

Monday, August 22, 2016

More on Trump et al

I've written more about this election than previous ones but perhaps that's because of what's going on. My main point was that the Trumps and the Clintons are not what they seem and it would be best if we don't heed the call to bend the knee for one side or another (which usually means some odd fetish for no criticisms at all).

Well, sometimes others say it better than I. One of my reservations, besides Hillary's turn to the right (which seemed all too natural), was how the people on the right against Trump either viewed him as a liberal or were joker neocons who had no right to call Trump unfit for Presidency. In fact that latter reaction makes the deep state more suspect than ever. [1] For more I highly recommend this post by those over at nakedcapitalism. It's a solid review of the need to be careful since those who are on the right and who don't like Trump are not necessarily our friend. One also

[1] Not that I'm some tin foil, I just mean those who seem to swim beneath the surface of almost every administration (Hayden et al).

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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Seymour Hersh

Seymour Hersh is a journalist who has more than earned his place among the greatest in his field. However, the recent mainstream reaction to the likes of Hersh has been revealing. The main point of contention was his story about the killing of Osama bin Laden. The reaction against him was loud and impressive. [1] Few people in the media bothered to look at themselves and ask why they hadn't even asked questions about the official story (left or right wingers). Didn't it seem odd that the story was changing? Didn't it seem odd that the body was "buried at sea"? 


Update: One should read the essay first.  Here, there's a great piece on the Tudor myth that is Richard III and some other points. Good backstory.

I just finished watching Richard III, an impeccable performance by Montana Shakespeare in the Park here in Spokane. It was a beautiful evening and I find that such a performance only enhances the word play and other subtleties in Shakespeare's work. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Why I Write: What is Fiction

I read a book on Subtext  and it took a rather disparaging view of genre books or the techno-thrillers and romance books one finds in airports around the country. Not that I'm against disparaging anything, much less a certain type of writing, but I just don't agree with what the author was saying about these genres. 

This Election, The Clintons, & What is Evil

There have been several enjoyable moments during this campaign season. One was the fact that a reality show star decided to come out and  take advantage of the inherent weaknesses of the process of choosing a candidate. A process which some cheerleaders of neoliberalism, such as The Economist, have continuously hailed as the best democratic show in the world. Well, they had one word right. Said reality show star came forth and out-maneuvered everyone and made it out of the primaries.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Some Thoughts on Veterans (my comments in bold)

(2/4) “The 2nd Battle of Fallujah began on November 8th, 2004. The plan basically called for the entire 1st Marine Division to form a giant line and advance through Fallujah from north to south. The city was overrun with insurgents. My company commander ordered the platoon that I led to establish a forward position. Forty-six of us snuck across a highway at 3 AM to seize a building 150 meters in front of everyone else. It was a candy store. The guys were excited at first because the place was filled with chips and soda. And we were starving and thirsty. But all hell broke loose when the sun came up. RPG’s started slamming into the side of the building. We could see guys in black sneaking up all around us. My platoon sergeant was shot through the helmet and knocked unconscious. Another of our guys got shot in the femoral artery and his blood covered the floors. And we couldn’t get out. Every exit was dialed in with machine gun fire. You couldn’t even poke your head out. We were pinned down all day. And suddenly my company commander is on the radio saying that we’ve got to advance. And I’m shouting into the radio over the gunfire that we're probably going to die if we leave the store. I’m shouting so loud and for so long that I lost my voice for four days. But he’s saying that we have no choice. He’s being pressured by his commanders, all the way up to the generals. And the generals are being pressured by the White House. And all my guys are looking at me because they know if I lose that argument, we're going out there. And I lose the argument. And I tell them that we have to go. But instead of running out the door, we piled a bunch of explosives on the back wall, and we blew it out. And we ran. And everyone survived. Twenty-five guys were wounded, but everyone survived. A lot of that was luck. And a lot of that was our platoon and how good those guys were. But I also feel that my decisions mattered that day. And if I had decided not to serve, and stayed home, it could've ended much worse. So no, I don't have any regrets about going to Iraq.”
A photo posted by Humans of New York (@humansofny) on

Friday, August 12, 2016

Modern Humans, Conspiracies & Belief.

A friend of mine was the ultimate conspiracist. No, he wasn't  paranoid, wasn't even an atheist (the real conspiracy theorists). See, he subscribed to the same anarchist Christian theory as Tolstoy did, except my friend went a step further and considered the moment Constantinople accepted Christianity as the moment it was corrupted.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Left & Trump

Update (hopefully the final one): Some good notes on Corey Robin the odd hate coming from the center left.

I was going to say something about the whole reaction to Trump. I suppose I've been more patient than most because I'm not a fan of the center left [1] and think that their condescending mocking of Trump has mainly been about etiquette. But I cannot stay above the fray much longer, even if I think that some of the reasons against Trump are unfair. There are too many examples of those following Trump and things that he have said that point to a xenophobia that is dangerous, too dangerous for this nation. [2]

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Some Cheese, Please.

Well, I'm not one to complain too much about the solitary aspects of writing [1], but I will note it. Blessed are the fans who reach out and claim that my writing has changed them. Not always in the way I wish, of course. Books like The Struggle still reach out to those who know little about the Iraq war but also to those going out there to fight another futile war. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

More on Art and Seattle and that Which Moves Us

I recently came back and posted about a trip to the western part of Washington state. In the trip my partner and I managed to visit the wilds of Olympic National Park and even touched up on the great metropolis of Seattle [1]. I want to talk about Seattle and how seeing art there was a breath of fresh air. I think I mentioned how I saw simplistic graffiti in the form of "'All Lies Matter'—Trump", an innovative way to make a statement about our first, truly, post-modern presidential candidate. But let me instead focus on the different types of art I saw, what they signified to me—and others and the artist. 
Street Art in Seattle 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

My Trip & Books Read

I mentioned how I'm trying to read more as I write even more (though admittedly less than before). I mentioned The Sympathizer, a book that was solid, but hasn't done well with my filter of time[1]. I suppose I hoped that it would say more than the standard semi-hawkish view, but it really didn't. 
Olympic National Park: this natural beauty did not help the books I read.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Seattle and Art

I've been enjoying the western edges of my newest state, Washington. Beautiful place this, though the weather has certainly been to my liking. I'm in the city, now, and enjoying the bustle of human activity after the masses of other organic matter in Olympic Park and south of the Cascades. I've grown tired of hikes, but the contrast of those two types of environments has been great for my writing. 

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Writer & Art

I've been finding more and more places with art, and not just in museums. This has been a great boon  for me to create more with my writing. Again, it's still been a vast amount of short stories, but even these are coming together very well. There will be more here soon. Thanks for the patience, all my readers!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

A Good Book to Read

I just read the book, The Sympathizer, a book about the Vietnam War, as well as the Vietnamese immigrant experience here in the States. Whatever my thoughts about the book, I'm of the mind that you should read it. [1] When compared to many of its contemporary brothers and sisters, the book is able to say quite a lot of things about America, Vietnam and the war. And when compared to previous Pulitzer Prize winners that I've read, this one seems heads and tails above them all. 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Another Sad Day

The city of Nice is a beautiful place to visit. My first book, Tree of Freedom was based there. Sad to hear about what happened there on the Promenade de Anglais. There are fewer things more tragic than the killing of innocents. Of any innocents. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Spokane as a Place for Inspiration: Art, What is it Good For?

Now, most people don't think inspiration when they think on Spokane. But it can provide those moments where the mind can wander. [1] Recently, I went out to buy some milk, and instead I found myself wandering some second story gallery. It held some amazing pieces, and when compared to the plethora of realistic or impressionistic pieces I've seen in the area, it was a breath of fresh air.