Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Approaching Armageddon

How to vote in a system that ignores most of the people...

I am not here to say we should all vote.  Some people vote without a clue who they vote for.  I am not here to say not vote.  I believe that democracy needs informed voters to work.  But then between these two points we have an enormous chasm filled with variant ideas.  Some argue you should never use a vote against someone, but rather to give a vote is to say I believe in ___.  Others say a vote is meant to be the voters way of sending a message.  I believe it should, but I do not believe that it does.

Voting for either of the two mainstream candidates suggests you are a part of the mainstream.  But if you do say so, ask yourself, what part of it are you?  The system favors two parties as the deciders of our leadership.  One is center left, the other is center right.  If you believe in the message of either good for you, but the system of favoring centrists might has kept away dictators, but hasn't really addressed any of the issues we have in the country.

After two centuries, how many women have we elected president?  After two centuries how many Americans of color have we elected president?  How many people who are gay or transgendered have we elected president?  The two party system is good for the status quo, and that is all it is good for. 

We have a country that now has many voices that have a legitimate demand to be heard.  If you vote for Hillary Clinton however, are you voting for her ovaries or her views?  If you vote for a male, as has been done for two centuries, are voting for his having testicles?  You cannot vote simply for the equipment the candidate has or was born with, you have to consider the viewpoints they will bring to the forefront.  The Left has continuously argued that Donald Trump is a fascist or bully, racist or jerk.  I think it is all fair to think or accuse this, any candidate places themselves and their views up for consideration.  But the voice of Trump that resounds is found in the numbers of people who feel the previous 8 years of Democratic leadership to have gone to far.  He appeals to people who don't care if he is all those accusations.  He isn't a prince charming, he is a jerk who tells you, supposedly, like it is. 

I have done work with professors and non profit organizations regarding political maps and predictions of where a message might resonate.  I cannot begin to predict who will win in November, because I doubt the polls, and I doubt the system.  I am not sure where I will vote, except to say, it is unlucky to be cast for the centrists , rather for the outlaying candidates and parties who haven't a chance to win.

I did an exercise with a professor for a class wherein we tore apart the vote of a presidential election.  With a low voter turnout the result showed that less than 30% of the population had their voices heard and rewarded.  That isn't, actually, a good thing.  The political debate makes every election sound as if 49% will be in the minority, and 51% will be in the majority.  But we don't, ever, have that.  So my point after all of this is to suggest, we need to change the system, respond to all views, because the results we get bring morons to the front of leadership, and we do not get candidates that work for anyone but their voters.

I don't want Hillary Clinton for president.  I don't want Donald Trump for president.  But with the system we have, so unequal, maybe they are who we deserve.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Hymn of praise

El Shaddei
Great defender
All sufficient
Eternal creator
Great God on high
My eyes cannot perceive
The glory you should receive
But I am able to believe
Without seeing a thing
You are merciful
Great is your name
El Shaddei
Lord of this universe
Almighty and great
You are worthy
Of praise
And sacrifice
I am unashamed
El Shaddei
I am yours
Unworthy of you
But you called me
To be
Your child
And I am
Filled with your flame
Burning so bright
I burn for you
To know your truth
In my heart and mind
My spirit and flesh
You are my creator
My God
And my king
You are life
And I am blessed
Because you are
El Shaddei

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Where my book Samurai comes from


It isn't really anything mind blowing here, but every written work has a source of inspiration.

Origin of inspire
Middle English inspiren ; from Old French inspirer ; from Classical Latin inspirare ; from in-, in, on + spirare, to breathe: see spirit
  1. to inhale
  2. to give inspiration
That is, to be inspired, is to have a spirit breathed into you.  And that is absolutely true for me, because since being a child I've been fascinated by the warrior culture of Japan.

Samurai, the term in Japanese means "to serve".  For me their example has served to provide for me a means to deal with the vagaries of existence.  I was constantly told to believe in things I did not, to do things I did not agree with, and that the world was a certain way, that I knew that it was not.  There is no one to blame, generations and culture always conflict, and there isn't, truly, a single right way to exist.

According to my favorite author Albert Camus the world we live in is absurd.  "The realization that life is absurd cannot be an end, but only a beginning. This is a truth nearly all great minds have taken as their starting point. It is not this discovery that is interesting, but the consequences and rules of action drawn from it."  And I agree, life is absurd.

The world around me is absurd, but escaping into the lessons of the past were very helpful.  So I have read, watched and studied the Samurai.  In my life there were additional areas of chaos and absurdity.  I was born of dark circumstance, I suffered from brain disorders, I had cruel life experiences that caused PTSD.  The end result of these absurdities made my life different than many other people's life.  I tried to organize my mind by living more ordered and aware by the things I've learned via studies of the Samurai.  I am also a Christian, so my pursuit of God and morality was guided by those principles as well.

One last area of inspiration came from a nearby and recent source.  My friendship with Josh Brown made me want to write about our shared interests. 

“If you are unaware that the world is teeming with ineptitude from the beginning, you will develop a bitter countenance, and in turn others will eschew you.” Tsunetomo Yamamoto

“Perfect purity is possible if you turn your life into a line of poetry written with a splash of blood.”  Yukio Mishima, Runaway Horses

"What do you think of farmers? You think they're saints? Hah! They're foxy beasts! They say, "We've got no rice, we've no wheat. We've got nothing!" But they have! They have everything! Dig under the floors! Or search the barns! You'll find plenty! Beans, salt, rice, sake! Look in the valleys, they've got hidden warehouses! They pose as saints but are full of lies! If they smell a battle, they hunt the defeated! They're nothing but stingy, greedy, blubbering, foxy, and mean! God damn it all! But then . . . who made them such beasts? You did! You samurai did it! You burn their villages! Destroy their farms! Steal their food! Force them to labour! Take their women! And kill them if they resist! So what should farmers do? Damn... damn... damn..."  Kikuchiyo

Seven Samurai

Stephen Turnbull


Shambhala Publications

"The Way of the Samurai is found in death. When it comes to either/or, there is only the quick choice of death. It is not particularly difficult. Be determined and advance. To say that dying without reaching one's aim is to die a dog's death is the frivolous way of sophisticates. When pressed with the choice of life or death, it is not necessary to gain one's aim."   Yamamoto Tsunetomo

As a historian I've read, studied, and researched Japan.  The culture, the military history, the people and the mythic beliefs are sources of constant interest for me.  I've been a believer in a religion from the western civilization, but I practice it as one who uses the mental and spiritual learning I found in Japan, and primarily, the Samurai warrior.  I am not a person who transcends culture, I have a separation due to language, a haze across my eyes due to time, and more.  But I do love Japan.  I love Japan very much.

I am not a person who watches a ton of movies.  But I moved deeply by many aspects of Japanese culture, including the cinema of Japan.  From the children's entertainment to adult concepts, the cinema from Japan is my world of comfort and interest.


I read about Japan nearly every day.  Sometimes in fiction, sometimes in non-fiction, often I read about the military history.


There are a great variety of comics from and about Japan that I am a fan of.

Comic Books aka Manga and Anime

Friday, August 5, 2016

I never met him, but I've read him



Over the years I've begun to read many authors of horror.  Few though, I bothered to finish reading.  The reason for that is simple, horror is about taking the reading through a place they don't want to go, and returning mostly whole, perhaps shaken, but entertained by the adventure.  Many authors of modern horror write splatter porn.  Stories that replace dread with blood and viscera flying. Other horror writers write about torture or abuse, instead of danger, and fear. 

I found over the years of reading his work that Brian Lumley knows how to write about horror.  He rarely uses curse words, or illustrates by pornographically describing the subjects of his stories.  I find his characters to be salty, but wise, eloquent but border on sage idiot savant in matters of the other side of reality. 

Necroscope is a different sort of vampire world, where psychic terror and life sucking powers exist to threaten the unwary.   Harry Keogh and kin have fought these "vampires" for as long as he and his family have existed.  The Keoghs are gifted with psychic powers that they use to fight the enemy.

I wanted here to share the awesomely dark beauty of the covers chosen.  Enclosed are covers from Germany and the UK.