Friday, July 21, 2017


The Strange Case of the Zany Zionist

    "Please imagine that you are a poor defenseless elderly women, slight of frame and weighing only 103 pounds," writes Dr. Watson.  Sorry, can't do that.  In my own mind's eye, I'm still only 15 years old and in prime physical shape.  But what else do you got?  "Next try to imagine that some lumbering 300-pound oaf with a dyed-orange hairdo suddenly grabs your forearm and starts to tighten and tighten his grip...."  Yikes!

     "And then imagine that all this manhandling is taking place in a courtroom -- and that suddenly all eyes are upon this elder-abusing bully and he is forced to loosen his grip."  Wait a minute.  Now this story is beginning to sound uncomfortably familiar.  Perhaps that little old lady might actually be me after all.

     But assuming that this powerful and dramatic court scene is the climax of Dr. Watson's story, then where exactly did this strange case actually begin?  Stand down, Dr. Watson.  I can take it from here. 

     It all began back around 2003, even before I had joined a small California branch of the International Solidarity Movement, a non-violent group devoted to bringing peace and justice to Israel and Palestine.  And the lumbering oaf in Dr. Watson's courtroom drama appears to be the exact same guy who has devoted the last two decades of his life to stalking ISM members, bullying us, acting shady and generally giving Zionism a bad name.  https://palsolidarity.org/tag/rachel-corrie/

     14 years ago, this guy first turned up at one of our meetings disguised as a Pakistani -- that is until his pancake makeup began to run.

     Then in 2006, this zany Zionist made an appearance on the Bill O'Reilly show, telling every kook and nut watching it that ISM supported terrorists (which we don't!)  And then when even Bill O'Reilly seemed to think that perhaps this hulking oaf might be a bit extreme even for his show, this guy just kept re-publishing that same tired segment over and over again on his blog -- for the next eleven years.

     And then this hulking stalker-for-Zionism began falsely accusing us of being members of Hezbollah and fraternizing with Hamas (totally untrue!)  He even started publishing photos of us on his website as if we were wanted criminals (including a rather flattering mugshot of me).

     Then our zany Zionist stalker started becoming even more obsessive and sent in an "undercover agent" to secretly videotape our meetings (and eat up our refreshments too).  Are all Zionists as weird as this one?  Now that's a scary thought.  https://www.democracynow.org/2017/7/19/unlivable_gaza_on_verge_of_collapse

      So.  "How does this story finally end?" you might ask.  "What was the final courtroom decision and who finally won the case?"  Unfortunately it wasn't me -- but it wasn't him either!  The judge just shrugged and threw up her hands.  "This case is too complex for me to try in this court," she said.  Okay.  I agree.  The judge then indicated that it was time for this overzealous and zany Zionist to be tried in a higher court instead.  But which court?  The Supreme Court?  The Court of Public Opinion?  Or an even Higher Court than that -- one involving pearly gates vs. the Fires of Hell?  http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47495.htm

     As the ancient Hebrew prophet Micah was fond of saying, "Men will be judged by whether or not they love justice, and whether or not they show mercy".  Or words to that effect.  ISM passes these criteria with flying colors.  But, unfortunately, the Zany Zionist does not.  Case closed.  

     Or is it?

     Apparently, our very own U.S. Congress has also become a nest of zany Zionists too.  Good grief, now Congress wants to pass a bill that will make it a felony if someone like me demands justice in Israel in the same manner that Nelson Mandela demanded justice in South Africa back in the 1980s.  If I keep on insisting on justice in Israel, I could also get stalked by zany Zionists in Congress too.  Yikes!  http://mondoweiss.net/2017/07/shockwaves-progressive-community/

PS:  Just found out that I (and hopefully  Dr. Watson too) will be going to Israel in early September as an ISM volunteer in Palestine -- hopefully in Jenin.  http://www.thefreedomtheatre.org/

PPS:  Dr. Watson is currently busy writing up his latest adventure, the fascinating "Case of the Missing Grandchildren".  And I also hear that Dr. Phil is helping him out.
_________________________________

Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world.   And while you're at it, please buy my books!  http://straitwellbooks.blogspot.com/2016/04/our-top-best-seller-right-now-is-bring.html 

     Plus here's a sneak preview of my latest book, a thrilling murder mystery entitled "Road Trip to Damascus," hopefully coming out by the end of 2017:  http://straitwellbooks.blogspot.com/2017/05/new-book-by-straitwell-press-coming-out.html

Friday, July 14, 2017


Clear & Present: SaudiGate, IsraelGate, Nixon & Reagan

     I've got some good news and some bad news. 

     The good news is that, for at least the next few months, several million Americans will live a little bit longer because they will still have affordable healthcare.  Even though it's not single-payer healthcare (which could save millions more American lives and cost billions of dollars less), it's still better than Trump-Ryan-McConnell-Don't-Care by a long shot.  But then this isn't really news at all, right?  Just the same old story of our corporate-sponsored government vs. what Jesus would have done.  Boring.  Nothing to see here, folks.  Let's move on.

     The bad news is that I just got into a big fight with a friend of mine over RussiaGate.  https://consortiumnews.com/2017/07/09/ten-problems-with-anti-russian-obsession/

     "The Trumps should be arrested," my friend shouted at me, "for using Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election!"

     "But what about the Clintons and their use of the Saudis and Israelis to influence the 2016 election?" I replied.

     "But that's completely different." 

      Is it now?  In exactly what way?  Israelis have used the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to rule our elections with an iron hand for the past four decades, and the Saudis have used the Clinton Foundation to influence our elections by donating all kinds of $$$$ to it.  But nobody appears to be whining their little hearts out about that kind of stuff.  https://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/21/us/politics/hillary-clinton-presidential-campaign-charity.html

      "Yeah, but..." countered my friend.  "Both AIPAC and the Clinton Foundation are run by Americans, not foreign nationals."  And that makes it okay?  Americans who are unregistered agents of foreign countries are supposed to declare themselves according to the Foreign Agents Registration Act, Section 22 et seq.  Or perhaps these Americans are just committing treason?   

     Is my friend really actually trying to tell me that, "Treason is okay -- just as long as it doesn't involve Russia...." 

     Then I replied, "But AIPAC and Israel have tried to influence the outcome of almost every single American federal election in the past 50 years -- and in the past few decades, almost no politician has been sent to Washington without AIPAC's stamp of approval.  Just ask former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney about that one."  Not to mention Israel's grim influence in attempting to sink the USS Liberty 50 years ago today.  http://usslibertyveteransblog.org/cong-jerrald-nadler-accepts-discredited-version-of-uss-liberty-attack-1378/

      "But what about Barbara Lee?" answered my friend.  Geez Louise.  Bad example.  Rep. Lee is what we call a PEP -- Progressive Except for Palestine.  In America, PEPs are elected all the time.  Even Al Franken and Bernie Sanders are PEPs.  But you never ever hear of any PER (Progressive Except for Russia) getting elected.  In fact, according to spell-check, that isn't even a word.  https://972mag.com/gaza-will-be-unlivable-next-year-not-2020-as-the-un-says/128598/

     Nobody on The Hill dares to cross Israel or the Saudis -- for fear of not getting re-elected.  And yet almost everybody on The Hill feels free to bad-mouth Russia.  I rest my case.  https://www.thenation.com/article/congress-has-removed-a-ban-on-funding-neo-nazis-from-its-year-end-spending-bill/

PS:  No, wait.  I don't rest my case either.  Have you ever gotten yourself into a debate and then gone home and told yourself, "Good grief, I shoulda said this..."  Well.  Perhaps what I should have also said to my friend is, "Donald Jr. talked with some Russian attorney?  HELL, REAGAN KEPT AMERICANS HOSTAGE IN TEHRAN for months in order to get elected -- and later even illegally sold weapons to Iran during the Iran-Contra scandal when our ally Iraq was at 'war' with Iran.  But nobody complained about that.  You never heard of ReaganGate.  Of course you didn't."

     Not to mention that Nixon totally screwed the Paris peace talks with Vietnam in order to get elected, causing the grim and unnecessary deaths of hundreds of American soldiers.  Where's the anger about that?  Plus the Bushes, the Clintons, Obama, etc. all regularly chatted it up with Saudi princes and Israeli neo-colonialists in order to get elected too.  Hypocrites.  All of them."  http://www.globalresearch.ca/ syria-a-civil-war-supported- by-washington-and-its-allies- us-wants-to-partition-and- reconfigure-the-middle-east/ 5598841

     And, duh, I also should have told my friend about how I myself have lived through the grim and useless 1950s First Cold War, deliberately started by the Dulles brothers -- and that it was a miserable, scary, McCarthyism-laden time that I wouldn't wish on a dog.  And that Putin is no Stalin.  And that Trump, Netanyahu, Prince What's-his-Name and Mitch McConnell are not John and Bobby Kennedy either.
_________________________________

Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world.   And while you're at it, please buy my books!  http://straitwellbooks.blogspot.com/2016/04/our-top-best-seller-right-now-is-bring.html 

     Plus here's a sneak preview of my latest book, a thrilling murder mystery entitled "Road Trip to Damascus," hopefully coming out by the end of 2017:  http://straitwellbooks.blogspot.com/2017/05/new-book-by-straitwell-press-coming-out.html

Friday, July 07, 2017


America supplies the Taliban's weapons? What!

     For the last 16 (sixteen) long miserable years, America has been at war with the Taliban in Afghanistan, right?  And so I'm starting to feel rather foolish because, after all these 16 (sixteen) long miserable years, I'm only now just  beginning to ask myself, "Who the freak is financing the Taliban?  And who is supplying all their weapons?"  

     And don't try to tell me that the Talibs are still using those rusty old guns and RPGs that the Soviets left lying around in the 1980s or the ones that the Americans used to arm bin Laden and al Qaeda back in the 1990s.  That is so yesterday.  Let's move on.

     Even an American fourth-grader could eventually have figured this out -- that the Taliban have just got to be using sophisticated and up-to-date weaponry.  Why?  Because they are still in the mix -- even after 16 (sixteen) long miserable years of battling America, Canada, Europe, NATO, the UN, whatever.  The most weaponized countries in the world have skin in this game -- and yet they are still losing this "war".

     For instance, just look at Palestine.  Palestinians use rocks and stones and the occasional bottle-rocket in order to defend themselves from their brutal occupiers who use the most advanced arsenal there is.  Plus the IDF now claims that Palestinians have also escalated their weapons arsenal to knives but those are probably just throw-downs.  Perhaps the Palestinians use knives.  Perhaps not.  But see how far stone-age weaponry has gotten them -- they basically live in concentration camps.  Their rocks (and even knives) are a joke. 

     And don't even get me started on the Yemenis -- who appear to be fighting off the entire Saudi air force, army and killer drones only by the grace of slingshots and the willingness to become corpses rather than submit to tyranny.  "Give me liberty or give me death!" they cry from behind their pea-shooters and BB guns.  https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/20/america-will-regret-helping-saudi-arabia-bomb-yemen/

     So.  I wrote to a friend of mine who works for the Afghan government and asked her, "Who finances the Taliban and supplies them with weapons?  Surely they aren't manufacturing RPGs inside their caves?"  Here is her answer.

     "Yes, you are correct to ask this.  The continued persistence of the Taliban is really important, a question that has been sitting out there in plain sight that American media and scholars tend not to ask.  This is not just a question of financing; but also the fact that Americans have probably killed more Taliban insurgents since 2001 than the total number of Taliban in 2001.

     "Funding seems to come from two sources.  First, the opium trade.  Last I checked, Helmand Province had gone from negligible production before 2001 to producing 70% of the world's opium by 2010.

     "The second major source of funding is charitable organizations in the Gulf, channeled through Pakistan and contributed to by Pakistan.  Not sure of the proportion of this funding compared to the narcotics trade.  Yep.  Our 'allies' in the Gulf seem to be major supporters of the Taliban."

     What?  The Taliban buys arms with money from opium sales?  And who, exactly, buys up most of their opium?  Americans do, yeah duh.  But let's move on.  Again.  

     The Gulf States supply the Taliban's weapons?  And where exactly do the Saudis and them even get any weapons to supply the Taliban with?  Hell, even I know the answer to that one.  From America!  https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201707031055192256-qatar-ace-saudi-nemesis/

     What the freak do you think that the Saudis are going to do with all the 130 billion dollars worth of weapons that America just contracted to sell them?  Give them out as party favors at weddings?  Yeah right.

PS:  This constant river of weapons sales to both sides of the Afghan conflict is really working out well for US weapons manufacturers, ya think?  They sell to the Taliban and they also sell to the Marines.  What could be a better way to turn a profit?  This is almost exactly the same deal that the weapons manufacturers had going for themselves during the Iran-Iraq "war".  They sold weapons to the Pentagon who sold or gave them to their buddy Saddam Hussein -- and then American entrepreneurs turned around and sold weapons to Iran too.  Remember Ollie North and the Iran-Contra scandal?  "It's just business." 
https://trud.bg/350-diplomatic-flights-carry-weapons-for-terrorists/

      These weapons manufacturers really need to be put in check before even more US Marines get murdered.  http://mondoweiss.net/2017/07/clinton-because-communities/

PPS:  America's current fairy-tale-generating propaganda machine has just gotten even the freaking NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC involved in its evil schemes to swamp us with even more blatant advertisements for "war".  WMD consumerism?  Exactly how many more deadly weapons do we need? 

     How many deadly weapons does it take to destroy the entire Earth?  To slaughter all seven billion of us humans?  Apparently we still don't have enough WMDs.  Apparently we gotta keep making (and using) even more and more!  And as the flood of propaganda lies about Syria continue to drown us, even the freaking National Geographic has jumped into the lucrative business of lying.  Yikes!  http://dissidentvoice.org/2017/07/the-national-geographic-hell-on-earth-syria-hoax/#more-69686
___________________

Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world.   And while you're at it, please buy my books!  http://straitwellbooks.blogspot.com/2016/04/our-top-best-seller-right-now-is-bring.html 

     Plus here's a sneak preview of my latest book, a thrilling murder mystery entitled "Road Trip to Damascus," hopefully coming out by the end of 2017:  http://straitwellbooks.blogspot.com/2017/05/new-book-by-straitwell-press-coming-out.html

Sunday, July 02, 2017


Carpetbagger:  What I resent most about Donald Trump

    Could it be Trump's weird bad-hair-day approach to grooming that I resent most?  No, not really.  He's actually been getting his hair to behave itself lately.

     Is it that The Donald is an even worse president than George W. Bush?  Nah, it's not that -- even though Trump seems to be trying really hard to be the absolute worst American president ev-ah.  But at least DJT actually did get legally elected (sort of, if you ignore our country's new Jim Crow voting laws, that electoral college nonsense, blatant electronic vote tampering and Citizens United).  Bush definitely did not get elected.  GWB bought the 2000 election straight up.

     Is it because Trump (like Johnson, Bush, Clinton, Bush 2, Reagan and Obama) lied us into yet another phony act of "war"?  Nope, that seems to be what American presidents do these days -- make sure that weapons contractors (not us) get all the taxpayers' money.  It's part of the job description as far as I can tell.

     Is it because Trump lies through his teeth about almost everything else?  No, almost all politicians lie through their teeth -- with the possible exception of PEP Senator Al Franken (please read his new book "Giant of the Senate").  I've come to expect constant waterfalls of lies from DC and try to work around them.  http://www.businessinsider.com/new-york-times-used-full-page-to-print-all-trump-lies-since-taking-office-2017-6

     Is it because Trump kisses the arse of the evil Deep State?  Nope, almost everyone in Washington does that (see below regarding HRC).  Why just single out Trump?

     Is it because Trump promised us that he would end the freaking illegal and criminal "war" on Syria?  That he even pinky-swore that he would stop the Pentagon and CIA's traitorous funneling of blood money to ISIS and al Qaeda in Syria and Iraq -- but yet under Trump's watch there are still blatant American ratlines to these disgusting terrorist groups who only Syria's President Assad and the Russians are actually fighting against?  No.  Trump lied and I fell for it.  That one's on me.  http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/06/more-us-torture-a-saudi-coup-and-isis-crimes-but-progressives-are-militant.html

     Is it because Trump generates hate between Americans everywhere he goes, blaming immigrants and Blacks and Muslims for all the troubles that the Deep State has systematically caused?  Uh-uh.  Wall Street and War Street have been screwing Americans for decades, centuries even.  If Americans are still falling for this shite, it's not Trump's fault.  This one's on the Americans who elected him.  To get at the real truth, all Americans have to do is just occasionally read my blog!   http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2017/05/the-us-freed-libya.html

     Is it because Trump has shamelessly disrespected the skilled and vital immigrant labor force that is currently re-building America in the 21st century and doing it under almost slave-labor conditions -- in the same manner that African slaves built America in the 18th century, and that 19th-century America was built by cheap labor supplied by Chinese coolies, immigrants from impoverished European serf classes and America's own exploited and wage-enslaved white factory workers and miners?  Well, that too -- but this isn't the main Trump yucky grossness that I resent.

    No, what I really resent about Trump is that he's always asking his grassroots base for money -- sending out several lie-filled emails a day, trying to nickel-and-dime America's poor sweet misguided grandmas and grandpas to death.  Trump always makes it sound like a national emergency if Junior doesn't cough up his lunch money for Trump.

     That's what irritates me most. 

     Isn't it enough that Trump is stripping his grassroots base of their medical care, their jobs, their emergency back-up food supplies, their chance at a good education, their soldier-boy sons (who will now come back in a box after fighting his senseless "wars" for him), their chances of having a real home and all their hopes of becoming part of the middle-class American Dream?  Now Trump's going after their life-savings too?

     Because so many of Trump's supporters come from the Red-State South, one would think that his supporters in those states -- with their intense love of dwelling on the past -- would be able to immediately spot a Northern carpetbagger when they see one.  But apparently not.

     And speaking of Northerners, here's the next episode of my recent adventure in New York City, wherein Hillary Clinton tells all.  But what I don't understand is why Red-State voters recognize Clinton as the carpetbagger that she is at heart -- but don't seem to catch on that Donald Trump is one too.  Huh?

 New York City, Day Three, Part Two:   Here's one of my favorite things to do in NYC -- go eat rice pudding at B&H Dairy on Second Avenue.  Met a friend there and we talked.  The 14th Street cross-town bus took forever to get there.  I could have walked faster.  At B&H, I told my friend about all the latest soap opera back in Berkeley and she caught me up on Lower East Side news.

     "There's a lot of construction going on here in Manhattan right now," she said, "and also all over the world.  There's a lot of money-laundering out there apparently and building construction is the best way to do it.  Even in Ramallah, buildings are going up like crazy."  Even in Berkeley.  10,000 units of housing.  They build it and then sell it off to the Saudis or else to the Chinese."  I just gotta write a blog post about that!   http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-real-estate-boom-in-nyc-money.html

     My friend looked great by the way.  What's her secret?

     "There was a big explosion next to the B&H last year and B&H was shut down as a result.  The whole neighborhood rallied, even started a Go-Fund-Me site and saved B&H!"  So there I was, still eating B&H rice pudding thanks to my friend and the neighborhoodThe owners needed the money to rewire their gas lines before they could reopen.

     Then I dealt with the subway and transferred two times without getting lost.  Boo-yah!  Aster Place to 14th Street to 34th Street and Eighth Avenue. 

     Next?  A panel discussion at the Book Expo on how to sell one's book to Hollywood.  I asked them, "How do I sell my book to Studio Ghibli in Japan?"  Nobody on the panel even knew who Studio Ghibli was.  Humph. 

      Now I'm waiting in line with the rest of the media to get into see Hillary Rodham Clinton.  There are about 50 of us.  We've already been sniffed by bomb-sniffing dogs.  Now it's just wait and see.  There are hundreds of people here who actually came (and actually paid good money) to see Killery explain all those dead babies who were murdered on her watch.  Gross.  But I'm not going to say anything -- at least not until I get home to blog my heart out.  Trump may be hitting America over the head with a hammer -- but Hillary and her Deep State friends would have us die slowly by a thousand (budget) cuts.  http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2017/06/hillary-clintons-bea-speech-gettin.html 

     Someone just handed me a glass of white wine.  I wonder if they will serve food.  I wonder if there are any press people here that I know.  Probably not.  I wonder if the Secret Service is here too.  And then the crowd starts moving and I'm inside the auditorium, in the front but off to the side.  No food. 

     Tomorrow Senator Al Franken is going to speak.  Should I get up early enough to go to the children's authors' breakfast too?  Nah.  No free food that I can eat. 

     Carolyn Reedy of Simon and Schuster was the introducer.  "She's a major best-selling author.  She's published all five of her books with us -- and a new one is coming soon.  Cheryl Strayed, an author in her own right, will interview her.  Remember that 65,000,000 people voted for Hillary Clinton and if only a small percentage of those buy her book…." 

     HRC came out.  She got an actual standing ovation -- except for from me.  "Do you know how much we love you?"  Not me.  Not after the slaughter in Libya and Syria.  She talked about the re-publications of "It Takes a Village". 

     "I never know what they are attacking me for," regarding the Republicans.  Her other new book is "a personal deep experience and catharsis".  It's a book of sayings and quotations.  "People shared their own stories with me.  Moments when people grab your hand and tell you their stories.  That was incredibly meaningful to me."  Did Kaddafi grab your hand and tell you his story before you murdered him?  "The courage to get back up when you've been knocked down.  It was incredibly painful."  The book doesn't have a title yet. 

     "Writing it was cathartic.  Resilience is a great gift."  Tell that to the Syrians, why don't you?  "Whatever gives you that faith to keep going.  The extraordinary capacity to keep going."  Like the dead people in Libya, Ukraine, Syria, etc. all have? 

      "One person told me how he was struck down by the landing gear of the plane on 9-11."  And lived to tell about it?  And why exactly was the landing gear down?  "There are challenges every step of the way.  A lot are rooted in family and friends but a lot is my own determination and resilience.  One foot in front of another.  For the part that is larger than myself.  I work in the little farmhouse we have."  You mean the 5,600-square-foot 2.5 million-dollar cottage with the swimming pool and guest house on acres of land just outside of Brooklyn? 

     She's going a lot farther in her new book than she had.  "This is my truth, no matter what others say.  How I saw it, felt and thought.  You cannot make up what happened!  This is how I experienced it.  Pulling the curtain back on running for president.  You will find out." She also said something about America's need to come to grips with the future.  I definitely agree with her on that one. 

     The hardest part for HRC was understanding what she didn't do well or what would have worked better.  "The more you understand what happened, the more we understand what we need to know.  Russia.  Russia's interference.  I am worried about my country.  The way this White House is behaving is deeply troubling.  The lies.  What happened that was totally unprecedented."  The foreign country that actually interfered in our elections?  What about Israel and Saudi Arabia?  Or the lies she told about Libya?  Gag me with a spoon.  If she hadn't lied and murdered her way through the world as Secretary of State, then perhaps people would have voted for her instead of Bernie or The Donald or Jill Stein.  But then that's just me.  http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2017/06/hillary-clintons-bea-speech-gettin.html 

     "I'm fine as a person after this election but I'm worried as an American.  Being an American was important when I was growing up.  It was an open time.  The world was out there waiting for us."  She then names Kennedy, Eisenhower.  "That's how we were raised.  And I always loved reading.  Nancy Drew, a girl who thought for herself."  Literature as inspiration and also distraction.  She likes murder mysteries too so she can't be all bad. 

     Hope?  Is she hopeful?  Yes, but hope needs to be linked to strategy, kindness.  She was deeply troubled by the white racist in Portland -- breaking through the veneer of civilization.  A level of behavior should be expected of everyone.  To unleash a level of vitriol is dangerous -- and yet that's exactly what she did with regard to Russia, Syria, Ukraine, Libya, etc. 

      "As Secretary of State, Senator and First Lady, I've traveled and it doesn't take much to rip off the level of civilization.  I've seen it in Bosnia and Rwanda.  Find your role.  Get involved.  People of reason -- there's been a deliberate assault on Truth and Reason." God I wish she'd shut up. 

     Advice to the first woman president?  "Read my book!  Plus our system is the most difficult in the world.  We don't have a parliamentary system where peers, colleagues and constituents know you first.  Here you have to raise a lot of money and run a gauntlet.  It's the hardest job in the world -- at least it used to be."  Plus women also have the double standard.  I've experienced it." 

     She is now reading "Jersey Brothers" which has authentic dialogue.  And she loves independent booksellers.  Of course she does.  She's talking to an audience full of them.  Then she made some snarky remarks about Trump and then asked "How can we be kinder?"  Stop bombing countries all over the world?  "We are now very divided in America, harder to cross over between each side, the Big Sort.  Take it out of politics and put it in the realm of citizenship.  Fund more opportunities for conversations like this one." 

     Then she stated that she was going to do everything she could to support The Resistance, from the ground level up.  School boards, county commissions, etc.  "I'm going to be active.  That's who I am.  That's my DNA."  Standing ovation, Queen Elizabeth wave. 

     Then I had a nice walk home to The Jane hotel, ate take-away dinner at the corner deli, showered, popped into bed, watched TV and read some more of Colin Cotterill's new book.
___________________

Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world.   And while you're at it, please buy my books!  http://straitwellbooks.blogspot.com/2016/04/our-top-best-seller-right-now-is-bring.html 

     Plus here's a sneak preview of my latest book, a thrilling murder mystery entitled "Road Trip to Damascus," hopefully coming out by the end of 2017:  http://straitwellbooks.blogspot.com/2017/05/new-book-by-straitwell-press-coming-out.html

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


Urban Shield: Doing unto us what we did to Iraq, Syria, etc.

     How many Americans even remember America's brutal and unnecessary "war" on Vietnam?  Even though 50,000 (fifty thousand) of our sons and daughters died in that conflict?  And that said "war" went very badly for us when a bunch of determined farmers in black pajamas kicked our butts?

     How many Americans even know that our military-industrial complex financed, encouraged and promoted Saddam Hussein's "war" on Iran in the 1980s -- even though that brutal and uncalled-for attack lasted ten long bloody years?  And that Iraq, even though it was working hand-in-hand with both America and Israel and probably most of Europe too, couldn't even manage to defeat puny Iran? 

     And journalist Steve Fournier also asks the same question about Russia.  "Would you entrust a war to an army that couldn’t defeat some of the weakest nations on earth?  The armed forces of the United States have been engaged for over a generation in warfare against governments in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Syria.  They have managed to destroy lives and property in abundance and have extinguished entire ancient cultures, but they have accomplished no discernible mission.  Typically facing poorly-armed and undernourished enemies, they have been unable to record a victory since 1945.  Should we trust them to take on Russia?"  http://www.currentinvective.com/wp/?p=223

      And then there were all those bloody and unnecessary "wars" on Nicaragua, Guatemala, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Palestine (by proxy), Syria, Yemen, Chile, Korea (twice so far) and so on -- all of them now conveniently forgotten.  http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/06/white-house-says-it-will-fake-chemical-weapon-attacks-in-syria.html#more

     Hell, Americans can't even remember any of the centuries of "wars" on poorly-armed American Indians or even the three or four centuries of brutal and cowardly attacks on defenseless Black people, conveniently referred to as either "slavery" or "Jim Crow". 

      And now the same folks who brought us all those stupid and shameful "wars" abroad are now trying to bring these same stupid and shameful "wars" home here too.  Does your local police department really need a tank?  Seriously?  Urban Shield sounds pretty much like Iraqi Shield or Afghan Shield or Syrian Shield, all of which ended badly for the civilians of those countries.  Bad news for them -- and now almost certainly bad news for us too.  http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-america-armed-terrorists-in-syria/ 

    But great news for the military-industrial complex!

     And speaking of urban stuff, here's the next chapter of my recent adventures in New York City:

Day Three, Part 1:  One would think that I would have fallen asleep easily last night after taking the red-eye from SFO -- but no.   Maybe I got a few hours of primo sleep.   But whether or not sleep was involved, my wake-up call still came at 6:15 am.  http://jpstillwater.blogspot.com/2017/06/are-americans-even-good-people-any-more.html

          And then I discovered Hudson Street Park.  20 blocks of lovely waterfront walkways going directly from The Jane hotel to the Javits Center.  Birds actually sang!

          Then I got in free to the Book Expo's authors' breakfast on my press pass.  Karmic reward!  Sweet.  But shoulda known that the breakfast was not going to be gluten-free.  Not even oatmeal or fruit cups were involved.  Just orange juice and cream cheese for me.
         
          Damn, there's a lot of people here -- and at $70 a pop.  Who's going to speak?  Stephen King.  Anyway, here I am, sitting right next to the Random House/Penguin VIP table.  There must be at least a thousand people here.  150 tables of ten, plus a bunch of seating for groundlings in the back.

          Oliver King, Stephen's son, spoke first.  "Our family sat around and pitched one-line story lines to each other at the dinner table.  One of those story lines was about a world without women.  Our new book 'Sleeping Beauty' resulted." 


          Stephen King said, "I used to be a latchkey kid back before there were even latchkey kids -- back in the 1950s.  And my mom used to say, 'If there's no ring around the toilet bowl, you know that a woman is around'.  Men just don't do things like that.  Women are the cooling factor in society when men run too hot."  Surely Stephen King didn't just say that, that all women are good for is cleaning the toilet.  I'm sure he meant something else.  Will have to read the book to find out.

          Whitney Cummings spoke next.  "I wanted to write something that will last forever.  Books are permanent.  I'm an unapologetic book nerd.  They don't bombard you with visual chaos like social media does."  She's funny as hell, is a screenwriter for "Two Broke Girls".

          "It's totally hard to write a book.  I thought it would be fun and sexy like when Cary Bradshaw did it on TV.  But it was actually pretty frustrating.  And then there's fact-checkers.  They should go over to Fox News.  Fox News needs fact-checkers.  Leave me alone!"

          She used to be crazy.  "You can't just magically stop being crazy.  I went into therapy.  I was co-dependent, couldn't say no.  Busy but unfulfilled.  Needing the approval of others."  She gave a really humorous presentation.  Made all this terrible stuff sound laugh-out-loud funny.  "Ambian and wine is not a sustainable combination." 

         Her book is a manual about how to change your brain.  "People only show their good sides on social media but a lot of people really are in pain.  But people do want to change and grow.  This book will hopefully provide healing laughs."

          Claire Messud spoke next.  "My novel, The Burning Girl, is about two young girls and their close friendship as they pass through the storm of adolescence.  We all remember middle school.  When something doesn't make sense just think, 'Picture this as happening in middle school,' and then it will make perfect sense.  A week can contain a year's worth of emotions."

          We all put together stories to make sense of our lives, Messud told us.  "We fill in the blanks.  Many elements are familiar, universal -- what we give up to become adults, from only pieces of what actually goes on.  But a state of uncertainty between knowing and unknowing is what makes us human."

          Scott Kelly spoke next.  520 days in space, 340 of them consecutively.  He wrote a book called "Endurance".  When he was a kid, he read a book called "The Right Stuff" and immediately decided to become an astronaut.  "It surprised even me that I did this, and my book is the story of how I got there.  Today is a critical day in our nation's future.  I have looked at the earth from space.  You don't see a lot of rain forests down there anymore.  You can actually see the pollution.  Plus all the cooperation between people and countries regarding space programs shows that we can do anything if we have dreams." 

          Then Jessmyn Ward spoke about her new book, "Sing, Unburied, Sing".  "Faulkner once said, 'To understand the world you must first understand Mississippi'.  My mother was a domestic and my father was a factory worker.  I never thought I would become a writer.  Mississippi will hug you before it smothers you."  Mississippi also has some of the best bookstores there is.  Jackson, Tupelo, Oxford.  "The past bears down especially hard on the present in Mississippi.  Why?  It was heavily invested in slavery and then later in Jim Crow and Parchman Farm.  How does the past live in the present?  That's the question I constantly ask myself.  Writing is my attempt to answer this question."

          She tells us that, "Mississippi is the foundation and walls.  America is the roof.  Your home fails you, murders you.  There is terror -- and there is hope."

          Pete Souza then spoke about his new book, "Obama".  He was the White House photographer during Obama's presidency.  "So.  I miss this guy.  I took two million photos in eight years."  A nice selection of his photos were projected onto a big screen, and that was the end of the authors' breakfast.

          Then it was off to the main exhibit hall to see who was giving away free pens.  Nobody was!  I only scored three or four pens.  Bummer.

          But at the Soho Press booth I scored the new Colin Cotterill book!  And a pre-publication copy at that!  Not to mention a new Timothy Hallinan book, "The Widows of Malabar Hill" and a few others as well.

          I also got a copy of the new Joe Ide book, "Righteous," and some free macadamia nuts -- but paid three whole dollars for a tiny bag of potato chips.  Had to.  By that time I was starving.

          Bought a deli salad after leaving Javits Center and then took the 9th Avenue bus back home to The Jane.  Am going back tonight to attend the Hillary Clinton School of Lies but that will be about it for the BEA for today.  I think.

To be continued...

___________________

Stop Wall Street and War Street from destroying our world.   And while you're at it, please buy my books!  http://straitwellbooks.blogspot.com/2016/04/our-top-best-seller-right-now-is-bring.html 

     Plus here's a sneak preview of my latest book, a thrilling murder mystery entitled "Road Trip to Damascus," hopefully coming out by the end of 2017:  http://straitwellbooks.blogspot.com/2017/05/new-book-by-straitwell-press-coming-out.html