Rest and Writing

While writing a novel I have all of my characters swirling around inside of me–their motivations, their fears, their joys, their good days and bad. Right now I am working on a war novel that is about a group of 12 soldiers and an army Chaplain who fight those who create wars: bankers, politicians, and war profiteers.

Novels Books

While writing a novel I have all of my characters swirling around inside of me–their motivations, their fears, their joys, their good days and bad. Right now I am working on a war novel that is about a group of 12 soldiers and an army Chaplain who fight those who create wars: bankers, politicians, and war profiteers. And I carry all of these characters with me inside of my subconscious throughout my waking hours and for the entirety of the time I write my novel until completion.

If you want to know what I write about, imagine war stories, serial killers, people who are insane, people who have been hurt, tormented in life. And I know all of my characters as much as I know myself. At times it becomes painful knowing all of these things, carrying their pain and suffering with me along with my own.

coffee-cup-desk-pen

And though I enjoy what I do immensely, it is very trying at times, as I’m sure you can imagine, to have these characters, some who are not the nicest people in the world, hurting some of the other characters who are nice and kind people around inside of me. They are living beings, doing their things, sometimes harmful things to themselves and others, and I have to remember that they are simply characters in a work of fiction.

But that is also why I have to have a drink, exercise daily, and get plenty of rest otherwise I am overwhelmed with my characters’ battle fatigue.  When it is time to rest it is time to rest. Usually I slog along until the novel is done and then I take my vacation from those very painful situations and strained individuals. A welcomed respite indeed.

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Giving Thanks

As a nation, today we give thanks for another year we’ve made it through the sowing and reaping in life.

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As a nation, today we give thanks for another year we’ve made it through the sowing and reaping in life.

Personally I’m grateful for my life, warts and all. It hasn’t always been easy or fun, but it has been well worth the ride, tough times included.

We all should be thankful for another day, another year alive. If you are reading this then you have much to be grateful for and in fact even the poorest of us live better than royalty even a few hundred years ago.

For those who struggle in life, just remember that it gets better as you go along. You will find a way through the darkness and with Grace you will find a better world and life for you and your loved ones.

Even if you have disabling conditions, just remember that there are some who are no longer alive or have a worse condition than yourself. And know that you, those afflicted and infirmed, carry the weight of a lot of the world on your shoulders. If it wasn’t for your strength to carry on, many of us would give up ourselves. You are the bastion of strong character and will of the spirit. And sometimes in life we are broken in ways that others can’t fathomed BECAUSE our creator knew we could carry it without making a mess for others. I’ve known many able bodied and “sane” people who were some of the biggest wimps you’d ever meet and would not be able to carry your pain and suffering the way you do.

I leave you with American President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation.

Good day and God’s speed.

President Abraham Lincoln’s
Proclamation of Thanksgiving
Issued, October 3, 1863

The year that is drawing towards its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to invite and provoke the aggressions of foreign States, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere, except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

The needful diversions of wealth and strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship. The axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battlefield; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised, nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people; I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer to our beneficent Father, who dwelleth in the heavens. And I recommend to them that, while offering up the ascriptions justly due to him that, for such singular deliverances and blessings; they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.

Abraham Lincoln

 

 

The American Empire Part 6 Conclusion

The American Empire will collapse someday…as all other great civilizations have in the past when they’ve turned from truth, tradition, and soul to mindless amusements, the God of government and money, and brutality.

an inconvenient truth meme

The American Empire will collapse someday…as all other great civilizations have in the past when they’ve turned from truth, tradition, and soul to mindless amusements, the God of government and money, and brutality.

In the end it will go like other empires, burning at the hands of barbarians, lost in the sands of time with only broken monuments as a remembrance of something staggering and wonderful in its inception and a slide into moral and ethical decay.

Can we save it?

I believe we already hit the iceberg and are sinking like the Titanic did some years ago. The main reason I believe this is because everyone has become accustomed to their lifestyles regardless of what they might hold. And in order to save it we would have to change a lot of things about how we act in our communities and around the world. There are a lot of people in high and low places with their snouts in the trough. In fact everyone has a part in this game though it’s not completely our fault: most of us were handed this life and told to get their piece of the pie.

Sadly, America will be remembered, as all empires are, as once a beacon of hope for its people and those who wanted to partake in it from foreign lands who then slid into an avalanche of things that didn’t matter and concluded with non-traditional values.

I don’t care what happens at this point. I feel the empire will outlast me. But someday it will be gone and whether it happens in my lifetime or not is moot. I feel like if it does collapse in my day that I will actually get some enjoyment out of the sublime destruction of a Titanic unsinkable ship as it breaks up in the sea. But, I would also like to be there to throw a life raft to those in need and to rudder toward calmer waters.

The American Empire Part 5

Our final destination on the Titanic sinking of the American Empire is the devaluing of human life.

The Chaplain Hap Kennedy

Our final destination on the Titanic sinking of the American Empire is the devaluing of human life.

Since World War II America has been in at least 37 nations fighting wars (against whom and for what?) and has caused approximately 20 million deaths to for people living inside the war zones outside of the United States.

The number of war deaths of Americans since its inception stands at approximately 1.1 million.

A staggering number of modern United States Veteran deaths by suicide since the fighting in the Middle East after 9/11 is more than its combat deaths during those wars. (But these wars are “good” wars?)

 

Divorce

Another way the American experience devalues human life is how it treats its children. More than half of all American marriages end in divorce. The staggering statistics on children raised in single-parent households tells the tale of what impact that has on the children involved in those divorced households.

Children living in single-parent households are 200% more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems than those in two-parent households. 80% of psychiatric hospitalizations are children and people raised in single-parent households. Across the board children in SP households are worse off. Grades, truancy, substance abuse issues, criminality, teen pregnancy rate, the aforementioned psychological issues, ET AL. are all worse when a child is raised in a single-parent household. (But we love our children.)

 

Jack Kervorkian

Two final notes about the devaluing of human life are controversial. Assisted suicide, which some would argue is necessary and needed, as well as abortion being a choice that a mother should make are demeaning examples of how Americans view life.

The pictured crazy-eye doctor is Jack Kervorkian, a euthanasia provider and proponent, who claimed to have killed at least 130 people during his reign of terror in the 1990s. Say what you will about someone who is suffering who chooses to kill themselves, but regardless it is a devaluing of humanity when we commit such acts.

Kermit Gosnell Comic

 

And the issue that will probably get me pilloried for speaking out about is the hot-button issue of abortion. Since it became legal in 1973, abortion has ended the life of at least 50 million children.

The comic is one of an America abortion doctor named Kermit Gosnell who recently went to prison after his acts were brought to light. He is said to have done abortions on babies that were “big enough to walk around with me or walk me to the bus stop” (his words) just before severing their spinal cord with a pair of scissors. This is the extremes of what abortion providers do as most abortions are early-stage deaths. But even so, I ask to you, those who feel like abortion is proper if you’ve seen an abortion taking place or seen the tiny body parts of aborted fetuses? Personally, before I’d seen anything related to abortion I was Pro-choice. After, I see it as barbaric, a war against children, and an essence of what America has become: brutal and mindless.

 

Concluding thoughts by EOB on Thursday of this week.

 

 

 

The American Empire Part 4

Our next stop in the failing of empires is immorality.

Sex shop neon sign
Designed by Katemangostar

Our next stop in the failing of empires is immorality. In ancient empires immorality was usually the last sign that a civilization was in decline and falling fast. Books have been written about this fact and the first-wave American feminist intellectual, Camille Paglia, studied androgyny in ancient cultures and found that near the end of every empire that the art, and, one would also assume, the people became more androgynous. Men became more feminine, women masculine.  Does this sound familiar?

Chester Bennington

The pictured male is Chester Bennington of the band Linkin Park who I’ve written about before. He was found dead of suicide a little more than a year ago after struggling with substance abuse caused in part by his upbringing and the fact that he was raped as a child. Pedophilia was part of most ancient civilizations and American life has this fact as well. Those who’ve been taken advantage of sexually live with lifetimes of pain, anger, and hurt usually culminating in substance abuse as a means of medicating the pain and other destructive behaviors. Roman culture devolved into orgies, pedophilia, and sexual aggression whereby you could consummate any sex act as long as you were the aggressor. The rise of internet pornography in modern times has lead to immorality within the American landscape as well and too has devolved into more extreme sex acts over time to view for free online.

Another similar aspect between Roman days and American deals with blood sports. In the Roman Empire gladiators fought to the death along with other methods of dying for consumption by the masses. America is not quite at that level yet, but the road trod is closing in on it. Modern American society includes sports in its various and arguably violent forms and whereas the true blood sports of its age–boxing and professional wrestling–have now morphed into the Mixed Martial Arts fights that are usually very bloody and violent exchanges between combatants. Though MMA fights have rules and there hasn’t been a death caused by a match yet, eventually after the current incarnation of MMA fighting have become passe, much like its boxing and pro wrestling forebears, it’s not much of a reach to have fights to the death. RIP.

Part 5 to be delivered on Monday. A conclusion on Thursday of next week.

The American Empire Part 3

Part three of my series of blog posts on the American Empire details something that has plagued all past empires and what is affecting America and most of the Western democracies: political malfeasance.

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Part three of my series of blog posts on the American Empire details something that has plagued all past empires and what is affecting America and most of the Western democracies:  political malfeasance.

In Rome we know that at some point politicians began using their positions of power for economic enrichment, began separating themselves from those they were charged with representing, and began flights of fancy in the entertainment world.

Does any of this sound strikingly familiar in American government?

The White House

We know that a majority of American elected federal congress people have become millionaires on salaries that don’t often pay more than low six-figure incomes. Many live in expensive neighborhoods, others have more than one house. Some even have million-dollar mansions. Some have two or three highly priced automobiles.

How can this be??

Well, one thing we know is that recently congress passed legislation that essentially gives members of congress a free pass on insider trading information. That is they can profit from knowing beforehand information about publicly traded companies; something illegal to the American peasantry.

We also know that the best way for a corporation to turn higher profits or to remain profitable is not through increases in advertising budgets, not expansion of factory spaces or transferring to more favorable marketplaces in the country or the world, not even technological upgrades within their facilities can give boosts to their companies’ bottom lines better than sending lobbyists to Washington, D.C.

DT

Politics as spectator sport has become part of the American milieu and we can see this in DT’s rants on Twitter and his fight with “fake news.”

Of course all of this is just the evolution of political leaders being entertainment including Obama picking his brackets for the NCAA basketball tournament; of Bubba going on Arsenio to blow his horn or his current attempt at novel writing; of W. and his paintings. (Hitler was an artist too).

The Roman Emperor Nero had his hand in many different art forms and had to pay people to see and applaud his performances and works.

Not to be outdone in modern times, many of our politicians including DT have to pay people to come cheer at their bogus rallies. Both sides of the politic spectrum are guilty of propping themselves up with false facades.

Mount Rushmore

Lastly, politicians are ever increasingly moving away from the masses they represent through armed Secret Service agents after they retire and giving themselves the Cadillac medical and retirement benefits only befitting government gods.

I wonder what the founders would have thought of governance in modern America.

Part 4 later this week

The American Empire Part 2

One observation about historical empires deals with their economies.

Money

One observation about historical empires deals with their economies. Part of what we know today is that the Roman Empire began devaluing its money over time. This is due to ever expansion of the Empire and its governmental base. To pay for the foreign wars and expansion of the the Imperial state the government believed that the money from its conquests would bring in more money. But as is the case government always  overestimates how much it will cost any endeavor and how much will be made in return on investment. Over the span of 200 or so years the Roman Denarii went from pure silver to less than 1%. The idea came about during Nero’s reign. The thinking was that by slowly decreasing the amount of metals (gold and silver) in its coins that it could mint more coins to pay off its debts and to maintain the security and expansion efforts of the empire. (The Roman’s didn’t have the leisure and ease of using a fiat currency like we use today–they only used coins for currency exchanges.)

But like the Roman Empire the value of the world’s reserve currency, the United States Dollar, has slowly been eroded over time. If the United States needs money for whatever purpose they simply go to the Federal Reserve Bank and ask for them to print more money. Over time the US dollar will be worthless like the Roman currency of its day.

Money 3

So why do foreign countries accept the USD for exchanges of goods and services? I think it is simply because we have given them dollars for their goods over time and they have such a reserve of them that if the American currency collapses they will be stuck with dollars that are completely worthless while they will have given away products in exchange for essentially nothing. So it is in their best interest to keep propping up the United States by giving us goods and services for dollars hoping that in the long run the economy gets better and the currency doesn’t lose value. Robbing Peter to pay Paul comes to mind.

Money 5

Another element of empires’ economies includes massive income inequalities and they all tend to have top-heavy economies that become fragile over time. This occurs because the haves (the upper 1% having 90% of the wealth) have way more than they need or deserve and the have nots are left to fight over scraps. If enough people decide they will no longer be debt slaves and consume less of their master’s products the game will end…and so goes the American experience as well.

Money 4

Finally, taxation in empires usually run amok. Government works including especially those involving the military have to heavily tax the lower and middle classes in order to pay for their boondoggles. The upper crust makes the tax code and they make it so they don’t have to pay their share of using the government for their corporate welfare projects. The lower classes also need government handouts in the form of welfare in order to pay for their meager living.  We know that during the Roman days that in order to gain and keep political power in the empire that politicians gave the lower classes bread and circuses. Bread in the US empire is welfare. Circuses in America are the sports and entertainment industries.

Money 6

PART 3 OF MY AMERICAN EMPIRE SERIES WILL BE ADDED ON MONDAY. STAY TUNED SPORTS FANS, IT’S GONNA TO BE A STUNNER.