Thursday, July 26, 2012

Invisible Guns


Oh dear.  Politics.  Run away!  Run away!

Actually, this post isn’t so much about politics as it is simple government philosophy.  Game or Gamey?
I should poll you, actually.  I don’t often dive into the sordid world of hopelessly dichotic beliefs, but recent events have me lathered.  Before anyone asks me about Chick-fil-A, it’s a free country.  I don’t eat there because the food lacks enough distinction to warrant an average 30% price premium.  If you patronize them because you like the food or believe your money is going to a worthy organization, you are exercising your First Amendment rights.  Good for you!  I beg you though; don’t forget why you have that right in the first place.

Humanity’s polarizers are diligently wrecking any notions of moderate thinking lately.

Okay, wait.  That was a stupid sentence.  They’ve been at it since the beginning of time, but they’ve been doing it on an accelerated pace these days, and without any discretion.  Haven’t you noticed?  American media outlets such as CNN and FOX (I lovingly nickname them Certainly Not News and For Only Xenophobes) regularly joust opposing ideology upon their quasi-objective high-horses.  Pick a side, there is no middle.  That’s what they prefer, anyway.  The pragmatic middle isn’t good TV.  It also doesn’t go hand-in-hand with a two-party political system.  Yes, I know there are other parties and independent candidates, but until any of them wins the highest seat—that chair being in the Oval Office—perception reigns.

Make no mistake, both the Dems and Pubs have spooky agendas behind their good-willed fa├žades.  Obviously, Barak Obama’s efforts create a larger government with increasing oversight and intrusion.  Their old paradigm of throwing money at our problems apparently still applies.  One commonly overlooked reinforcement, however, is a basic lesson from Macroeconomics 101.  Indeed, government spending is recession preventative maintenance.  Ain’t Hoover Dam nice?  Someone just forgot to tell the current president that we actually don’t have unlimited national wealth.  Umm, Mr. President, who’s going to pay it all back and when?  Us, and later.  Always later, if at all.  Why aren’t congressmen jailed with Bernie Madoff?  Ponzis are okay when it’s the government, right? 

Just as frightening is the prospect of returning to corporate money grabs runneth amok.  Bush Administration—oil, insurance, pharma, military-industrial—take your pick, everything jumped.  Given Romney’s history, I see legislative sessions running full tilt for the highest-paying <cough cough> er…lobbied advantages for certain friendly industries.  Which do you think his will be?

But What Keeps Them Honest?

These days, not much.  With regard to the media, you now have easy access to outside outlets such as the BBC, Der Spiegel and Al Jazeera.  If you dare look at those, occasionally you might find some obvious stories our local media would rather not report.  After all, who wants to hear about America’s diplomatic failures!  But the media can’t seem to reel in our nation’s policy makers.  Embarrassment aversion is only an Oscar-worthy apology away.  Frankly, they are driven by motives ranging anywhere from personal esteem to the typical mega-windfall consultancies that await their eventual public exit.  And some don’t even bother waiting!  Yeah, I don't like the constant posturing and what our system's political reality has become.  I was suddenly reminded of something yesterday—the one unfathomable recourse that’s been lost for generations: insurrection.

WHAT?

Yes, the fear of violent insurrection.  The kind you may have read about in a middle school’s history textbook but never truly understood because you were either hormone distracted, or only concerned with which particular phrase applied to the next pop quiz.  Insurrection is the public’s last resort for out-of-control politicians who’ve forgotten the word “representative”.  Too much time elapses before we vote them out.  The damage is done; their payday awaits.  NEXT!  Insurrection, or at least the fear of it, has been carefully whittled away, first in our minds, and now whenever the chance to push firearm regulation presents itself.

The Joker

First, I offer my sincerest condolences to the victims of the Aurora Colorado movie theater shooting.  Justice will be yours, and when so, hopefully peace.

Because of that disaster, and typically after similar events, gun control advocates launch into action, citing the need to ban certain firearms.  Just today our president said, “I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals."  And, "…they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities.”  A lot, eh?  Sounds like a challenge, but that’s not my point.  As well, I don’t believe Kalashnikovs belong out on the streets.  They belong in our closets, brought out routinely for practice and maintenance in home defense, and to remind our beloved representatives that there is an alternative solution for rampant greed.  Insurrection!  Now folks, don’t go taking my commentary out of context and running to the FBI or Secret Service with concerns I’m planning an assassination.  We have enough extremist poppycock traipsing around in the minds of, to quote Gene Wilder from Blazing Saddles, “…you know—morons.”  Our representatives need always embrace but also fear their constituency—for votes and for forced expulsion.  Similarly, our military must not entertain unchallengeable hubris. 

Have you ever really considered the full intent of our nation’s Second Amendment?

I think most of us recall the right to bear arms and well-regulated militia bits, but why did our founding fathers craft these particular words into our laws?  Don’t forget why we are a nation in the first place!  I think New Hampshire’s Constitution said it best in Article 10:

”Government being instituted for the common benefit, protection, and security, of the whole community, and not for the private interest or emolument of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.”

In a nutshell, that’s the bottom line case for weapon ownership in this country.  Sure, firearms carry intrinsic problems.  I cannot disagree that guns make it much easier for the criminally-minded to do their will.  Fortunately, the vast majority of us are not criminally-minded.  Firearms are a deterrent of the highest order.  Without them, undesirables may be more inclined (at least, in this particular country) to commit all sorts of violent mayhem.  Worse, governments are free to tyrannize unchecked.  Waiting for a Godwin’s Law reference?  Seriously, it’s not needed.  I think history has proven that unbridled governments eventually create human-costly rebellions.  Arab Spring is nothing new.  And, while I endear so many things from our European friends, my identity will remain distinctly and independently American.  I don’t want your monarchies, I don’t need your socialized healthcare, and I don’t want your 50% personal tax rates.  What I want is for the rest of the world to truly believe it when someone points to our country on a map and says, "That is the land of the free."  I so very much want to believe it too, and if protecting our constitutional rights means keeping a tool hidden in the closet or next to the bed, perhaps it's best that way.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Thank You!

The promotional weekend is over, but Amazon Prime members will enjoy borrowing access to DUST for quite some time.  Thanks to all you who took advantage.  The promo was indeed a success and I welcome all of you to my little adventure!  Enjoy the read and when you're done, please revisit Amazon and give your review.

More Soon!  ~T

Friday, July 6, 2012

FREE Dust Promotion!

Kindle Users, get your FREE copy of DUST starting Saturday (03:00PST) and ending Sunday (11:59 PST)
CLICK HERE.  Amazon Prime members can borrow it free for the next 88 days.  START THE ADVENTURE NOW!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

DUST Anew!


George Lucas has been forever chastised for his constant fiddling with the original Star Wars trilogy.  That thought was front-and-center before contemplating a second edition of my first novel, DUST.  Why go through the trouble?

Besides the obvious fact that I’m not Mr. Lucas, nor has DUST become a global icon with billions infected, the story plainly wasn’t written the way I originally intended.  What?  Yes, perhaps I listened to some commercial writing advice during my career infancy that should have been tossed into Mount Doom’s cauldron.  The glory that is Print On Demand also allows me this luxury.

The first thing you should know:  THE STORY HASN’T CHANGED.  Well...not exactly.  Then, what exactly did I do?  Taking a few months longer than writing the original story, I expanded the characters’ depth, changed the tense, added dialog, added an entirely new scene, sharpened the language, and handcuffed the editors to each paragraph before approving this edition.  It’s an entirely new book, and the perfect exercise before…  Well, let me hit reverse gear for a moment.

“WHEN IS THE NEXT BOOK COMING OUT?”

That is The Most Frequently Asked Question regularly received by this author.  There once was this grand diversion named BOLITA.  Shortly after DUST’s publication, my father approached me about writing the story of a Tampa detective’s assassination by the mob.  He was deeply involved in it, as was my godfather, whose health had greatly deteriorated.  We reviewed a few books that merely contained a side mention or annotation of the murder, without knowledge of the epic lying underneath.  Actually, I didn’t know BOLITA was destined as such a sprawling endeavor until the research was at the midway.  Worse, another project (I help pay the bills with 3D animation) interrupted the process and stretched it to two years.  It’s a dread shame to leave a little girl hanging that long, I know.

During that time, my skills sharpened and I had this other epiphany:  This is where I realized that I wrote DUST completely unlike any of my favorite authors.  So who’s more qualified to give advice and inspiration?  I rewrote the first chapter and a sudden calm fell over me.  Ahhhh…  much better.  That’s settles it then.  What better way to get myself finely tuned for the next than a full rewrite?  So, guess what I’ll be up to in the coming months?

I can’t wait.

There is, however, this matter about actually publishing and marketing the Second Edition…and I have a surprise for you all.

DUST is now available at Amazon’s Kindle Lending Library a lend for FREE under that program.  If you’re not in the program, the Kindle 2ND EDITION is available for download for just $2.99 US.  There will be more free promotions coming soon.  The Amazon Paperback is just out for $11.99 US, 2ND Edition Collectible Hardcover 30% OFF! available now at Lulu.  Signed editions are also in the pipe (Mr. Hopwood!).

START THE ADVENTURE!

Stay tuned to this blog and LIKE ON FACEBOOK for the latest updates.
T. Nelson Taylor | Official Site | DusT | Bolita