Saturday, October 29, 2011
Thursday, October 27, 2011
This is my personal opinion based on reading history and current event articles.
The Occupy Wall Street movement is protesting a number of issues, but the primary one that links all the issues together is the death of democracy that started with the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War.
The cause of death is the spectacular success of unfettered and loosely regulated capitalism. The politicians in Washington who were supposed to protect the Constitution and our democratic way of life have become slaves to the money faucet that capitalism has turned on in the form of lobbyists and campaign donations.
Our democratic system has been replaced by an oligarchy of money and influence.
While this change has been going on for a number of years, perhaps starting as long ago as 1776, the change process completed under Bush and Cheney, who are part of the oligarchy, and it took several years before we got the full impact.
The oligarchs are powerful leaders in the energy, drug, defense, banking and other major industries. They dictate policy to their bought Congressmen and the oligarchs expect their congressional minions to implement the demands. This means that all legislature passed in Congress is tilted to favor the oligarchs thus making their hold on the country even stronger
How do we take back democracy? I don't know the answer, but we can't expect Congress to turn off the money faucet by itself.
Some partial answers are to overturn the Supreme Court's ruling that corporations are people with a right to free speech (I.e. campaign donations). Lobbyists must be strictly regulated or even banned. A giant step in the right direction would be to institute strict term limits on Congress. A wave of fresh blood makes it much harder and expensive for the oligarchs to control Congressmen who are constantly getting replaced. They would be reluctant to fork over money to a Congressman who will soon be out of a job.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Friday, October 21, 2011
Today, I'm interviewing Stephanie Campbell who is also know as Ronnie Toll, one of her characters. I can never identify that closely with my characters, but mine tend to be non-humans. Steph's (or Ronnie's) new book is called Poachers.
First off, as a way of introduction, I am going to ask you why I am asking you these interview question?
I'm not one hundred percent sure. I fear that I may have stumbled here by mistake. Looks around anxiously. Is that an alien?
No, just kidding. I am here to pretend that this interview isn't a cleverly disguised way to talk about my new book, Poachers.
I see that you like to write comedy. Do you "get in the comedy mood" before you write?
Nope. I'm just funny naturally. At least, I am under the impression that I am funny naturally. Of course, chances are good that people are laughing at my apparent lack of common sense rather than my jokes, but who's to say?
Do you work people that you hate into your novels?
Not really. I relay the emotions that people create in me in my novels. I'll deliberately make myself depressed in order to get a dramatic scene if need be.
Say you are REALLY hungry. Do you find a way to write about food in your books?
Oh yes. I outline my books deliberately, but if you see any reference to food in my books, chances are good that it was a half an hour until lunch time when I was writing the scene and that I was desperate for some goodies.
Do you do anything really weird to prepare for writing?
I have a very set schedule. I get up at 7:45 and go for a nice, relaxing run and then begin my writing day. I also set aside schedules to do each thing, like editing and writing and querying.
Are you as funny in real life as you are in your books?
I would like to think so. You'd have to ask the people around me. I'm pretty sure that 75% of the world thinks I'm nuts more than funny, but that's my own guess. Laughs.
Are you a people person?
I am a bi-polar person. I will go in my cave to write, and then I have moments where all I want to do is socialize. I can get distant, though. I have a rule where I must leave my house at least one day a week to socialize, even during my “closeted” writing stages.
What is your favorite book?
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer. I have never met a more complex and amazing character as Artemis Fowl. I mean, he's an evil genius, but you want him to win! The tables are totally flipped from the norm. I love it!
If you had the choice between meeting a famous author and meeting Penelope Cruz, who would you choose to meet?
An author, unless it was Viggo Mortenson. Sighs dreamily. Dear Viggo, when will you realize that I am your true love.
Some writers have weird quirks. Jack London even pretended to be a wolf and ate raw meat. Do you have weird quirks?
Oh yeah. Some people don't know this about me, but I take on the personality of whoever it is I am writing about. It used to be a subconscious, but I guess it's conscious now that I realize that I'm doing it. I just can't stop. I get angry if I'm an angry character, and I get nuts if I'm writing a nuts character...though I suppose the fact that I method write so completely that I act like my characters is “nuts.” Also, I get emotional with my characters.
Finally, the question the separates the men from the boys. If you were a fruit, what kind of fruit would you be? Why?
Mmmm. A nectarine. It's my favorite fruit. I would then eat myself, and the world would be a better place.
Ronnie Toll has never played with other kids. He's never slept soundly throughout the night, turned a corner without checking first, or laughed for the sake of laughing. All Ronnie knows is a world of shadows and monsters. His mother and father, Marion and Leon, are the only ones by his side. But all that is about to change when his mother is murdered by the monsters that only he can see. With his only safe haven crumbling around him, Ronnie becomes a poacher for the other side to help protect human civilization as he knows it. The problem is, he’s taking on more than he bargained for when he tangles with creatures that are larger than life—and himself.
Stephanie Campbell had her first book, Until We Meet Again, published at the age of seventeen. Now, at twenty, she is still wacking away at her computer, one day at a time. When she isn't reading or writing, she likes to dance, take karate lessons, and run. After all, you never know when you're about to be sucked into another world.
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Faux News Network is proud to announce that it has signed agreements to greatly expand its network. Effective immediately, a news bureau will be established in Dun Hythe, the capital of Gundarland. A second bureau will be set up on Zaftan 31B, the home planet of the aliens known as Zaftans.
Our Gundarland bureau chief is named Sandra Elfenheimer. She will concentrate on interviews and updates on the lives of the many story characters that live there.
On Zaftan 31B, Chazerei will head up the bureau. We have asked her to compare election processors on Zaftan 31B and on Earth. Look for her report in the near future.
Since both these bureaus are in a parallel universe, Faux News Network is the first news organization to expand into other worlds and we will be the first news organization to use the newly developed Wormhole Communication System.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Jock Strapper, our sports reporter, filed this exclusive report. According to a NFL source who requested to remain anonymous, the booth review process will now be joined by teams of lawyers from both teams. The lawyers' job will be to ensure that the referees interpret the rules correctly. "Today's rules are extremely complex because they are written by squads of lawyers. It has become apparent that the field officials are not qualified to interpret all the nuances of the modern rules. Hence the need for teams of review lawyers."
Rather than have the lawyers bill on time spent, which could add thirty minutes or more to each review process, the NFL and the lawyers have reached an agreement that pays each lawyer a thousand dollars for every review they participate in.
Under the recently passed Full Employment for Lawyers Act, the Federal Government will reimburse the clubs for their new legal costs.
The source went on to say, that under this plan, the lawyers won't add more than five or seven minutes to the review process. We plan to entertain the fans during these extend reviews, we plan to air more commercials.
FNN will bring you more on the impact of this decision after we interviewed some fans who face even more boring breaks in the action.