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I thought these things might be clues.



Last Build Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2017 11:25:00 -0700

Copyright: Copyright 2017
 



First Book

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 11:25:00 -0700

I've just published my first book on Amazon. It's a collection of seventy-two stories written over the past fifteen years. I use the term "stories" as a catchall for what includes creative non-fiction, flash fiction, prose poetry, and memoir. All of the pieces are short, usually just a few hundred words. I've tried to capture the interesting bits and pieces of life as I see it. I find it's all interesting, if you pay attention.

My book, "Mostly Anecdotal: Stories" is now available on Amazon both as an e-book ($3.99)and paperback ($6.95). It's also available for free for those enrolled in kindle unlimited. If you purchase a paperback copy you can also purchase the kindle edition for $0.99 through Kindle's Matchbook program.



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End of the World

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 08:26:48 -0700




Favorite Books of 2016

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 19:11:04 -0700

[...]



Links With Your Coffee

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 15:57:24 -0700

Philosophy Professor Explains

Why you're not entitled to your own opinion.

Fuck Work

Economists believe in full employment. Americans think that work builds character. But what if jobs aren't working anymore?

(image) (image)




A Cheese Puff in a Suit

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 13:07:11 -0700

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Character Matters

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 13:49:13 -0700

The sun came up again today, leaving me a bit surprised. It had an orange cast to it like a giant cheese puff, lacking substance, but bright, shiny, and appealing albeit in an unhealthy way.

And then I remembered we elected a bigot, a buffoon, a bungler. A man with an easy sense of entitlement and fingers that go a tweeting.

It's probably true that Hillary Clinton should have focused more on the policy differences with her opponent than character. She gave the American People too much credit when she focused on Donald Trump's character which by any criteria is abysmal.

Trump supporters bought into the idea that as long as his issues are aligned with their's character didn't matter. But character is that which we rely on when deciding to trust someone or not, to believe that they will follow through on their promises. If one lacks character, there is no way to predict how they will behave but you can assume it will be in their interest, not yours. Honesty, empathy, and reliability are paramount.

If dishonest in one area how can we rely on it in another? Will his supporters suffer buyers remorse? Will they be embarrassed just a little?

I've asked. They seem reticent to answer. They repeat their assurances that they are not racists, they are not misogynists, they are not xenophobic, but they fail to answer the question. They've closed their eyes tightly hoping that when they open them, all will be well. I think they're embarrassed by him; I think they're having second thoughts, but like him, many of them lack the character to say so. Like a cheese puff left out in the rain, they are truly deplorable.




Staying Mentally Strong

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 16:21:20 -0700

My Republican friends, Trump supporters, the ones who aren't ranting on airline flights about Hillary Bitches but are more subtle in their celebration are posting this advice.

(image)

And while I agree with the sentiment I'm not sure the motive behind it is pure.

When I first saw this I dwelled on the final suggestion that we should celebrate other's successes, I recognized that many times it was clearly the right thing to do. Your friend's daughter is accepted to Yale; their son just ran the marathon making a personal best. But that's not quite the same as it is in zero-sum games those situations where one's gain comes at the expense of another's loss. Did anyone expect the Detroit Tigers' fans to celebrate the win of the Chicago Cubs? Perhaps a better word here would have been to congratulate them on their win. To expect a celebration seems to me to be just another form of taunting, of poor sportsmanship and if the game were football rather than a national election, I'd expect a penalty. But to be fair, I'll just accept that celebrate is just a poor choice of words, that what they really mean is to congratulate them.

But there is an irony here too rich to pass by. Hillary Clinton is leading in the popular vote by more than two million votes. Is Donald Trump a mentally strong person, one worthy of holding the highest office in the land. The man who is now claiming that he would have also won the popular vote too if all the illegal votes for Hillary were subtracted, and he makes this claim with no evidence at all. Is he suggesting a recount? Maybe he should follow my Republican friend's suggestion and show us that he is mentally strong. He should celebrate Hillary's win in the popular vote by acknowledging that he has no mandate, that he recognizes that more people are for keeping Obamacare than are for destroying it. That more Americans want a livable minimum wage than the status quo. That being a poor winner is perhaps even worse than being a poor loser.




Fear and Loathing in 2016

Sat, 12 Nov 2016 09:40:59 -0700

We long ago agreed to disagree with our Republican friends on the basic differences in our world view. They that if you give a man a helping hand that he will come to depend on you and lose his will to work, a tough love approach to the world. One where if you failed it was because you hadn't done enough. You'd been lazy, and when you suffered the consequences of your laziness you'd learn and be better for it.

We, on the other hand, believed that if sometimes took more than one try. We knew what they called lazy wasn't always a lack of character but a lack of opportunity. They believe that we all have an equal opportunity to succeed. We watched as Donald Trump told us he was a self-made man, and although there are a few that are self-made, it is much more common that they got more than a little help from others, fourteen million in Donald's case. Sometimes that little bit of help was the right schools, or the network of friends who helped with the first job, and their sense of entitlement. They thought that everyone had an equal chance while we knew that there was no equal opportunity, the deck was stacked, and it was the role of government to level the playing-field.

But this election was about more than those philosophical differences. Their candidate who spoke of policy only in the most general terms, but spent the days of campaigning repeating his xenophobic, racist, misogynistic hate. Their candidate was a man who spoke of core values but had none. A candidate who asked not what he could do for his country but what he could get from his country. And we watched the hate grow.

Now they're surprised at how we react because in previous elections we accepted the results with equanimity, if not with delight. But this time we stand up, we protest, we wail because this man they elected doesn't just differ from us on a philosophical level but one of basic human decency.




Taking a Break

Wed, 01 Apr 2015 13:52:23 -0700

I don't know if I'll post to this blog again, it is possible for who can predict such things, but until that day you can find me on Facebook, Norm Jenson, and the little writing I continue to do atMostly Anecdotal >.




The Emperor's New Clothes

Thu, 03 Apr 2014 15:37:22 -0700

You remember the story. The king hires a couple of hucksters who tell him they can weave garments so fine that they are invisible to the stupid and those unfit for their jobs. The king hires them. His entourage all pretend that they can see the garment so as not to lose their jobs and appear stupid. It's not until the King displays his new clothes to the town that the problem is obvious. Everyone pretends to see the clothes but one young boy who points out the King's nakedness. Whereupon the whole town see's it for what it is, but the king continues unwilling to acknowledge his lack of clothes.

Richard Dawkins has been pointing out for a long time how the personal gods man has created are like the emperor's new clothes, but instead of being admired for his honesty, for his frankness, like the boy in the story. He is told that such things are just not said in polite company. And so there are those who continue pretending that the problem is with Dawkins and not them. They believe it is okay to pretend that their God exists They have faith (pretending to know something you have no evidence for) and that is enough. They are as hypocritical as the characters in Hans Christian Andersen's tale.