New Books!

I’ve recently published two new books. Escape is a collection of short fiction in the crime and humor genres. Credible? explores how readers in the 21st century can know what’s real and true in media. Both may be purchased at a discount from the list price by visiting Lulu.com.

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Credible? — Recognize the authentic…

Cover of Credible? book.

This book, Credible?, asserts that anyone can tell what’s authentic simply by close inspection of the content and knowing the source. These pages are chock full of practical insights and tools to sharpen your ability to sniff out media that distorts reality. These ideas are neither obscure or difficult to master, and none require research or fact-checking.

When it comes to discerning truth, our credulity is a factor. To be truly street-wise about media, a person must also be aware of their internalized values, beliefs, and personality traits. Drawing upon the insights of Jung and general psychology, the authors point the way to self-awareness that reveals hidden biases and our human tendency to be less skeptical about information that bolsters what we believe. These same insights also reveal how we unintentionally tune out information that might change our attitudes and opinions.

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Escape Anthology

Tropical islands, small towns, and busy airports hold allure as getaways. But the promise of simple pleasures can hide unexpected perils.

MONEYMAKER
An elderly widow responds to a frightening robocall. The ensuing conflict to recover her lost savings ensnares her son and his family in an epic fight for financial survival.

DELIGHT
A casual happy-hour encounter turns embarrassingly intimate for a weary business traveler.

ESCAPE
A prosecutor battles a jailed drug dealer’s desperate efforts to get free with murderous consequences.

DUKE
An independent trucker down on his luck finds his guardian angel in the unlikely guise of a Harley-riding drifter.

HOLE
A curious pothole appears in an old man’s driveway and grows relentlessly through the summer afternoon becoming sinister as darkness approaches.

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Issues (not Personalities)

There is far too much media attention on personality at the expense of the urgent issues facing America. Moreover, those who fear to discuss issues always seek to create a meme or trope so the rest of us won’t pay attention to the issue talkers.

AOC speaks issues at SXSW…

It’s all about our concerns, politics yes – partisanship no.

The Economy

This week the president dismissed a question he didn’t like from a reporter and called for questions on the economy. Too bad Robert Reich wasn’t there …

Or maybe he’d like to respond to this?

I’ll give him this, the last GOP President crashed the economy–he hasn’t (yet). Although many of the flaws in the regulatory safeguards have not been fixed and there is no GOP support for good oversight to be seen.

Who’s Minding The Store?

We’ve become inured to self-dealing, and hiring the fox to guard the chickens. There are great risks involved in not paying attention. That’s why I support the Project on Government Oversight (POGO). They shine the spotlight on issues we all should be concerned about. Here is one of the latest…

The Auditors aren’t Auditing

Your alarm bells should go off every time you hear a politician complain about “over-regulation” and government “overreach.” If the government doesn’t look out for Joe Average Guy, who will?

Guns: License The Owners/buyers

All the talk about universal background checks is a diversion from taking effective action to reduce gun violence. The fact remains that most gun violence is happening between people who know each other, not by criminals who buy guns to do crimes. Rigorous background checks don’t prevent suicides, domestic violence, and the other assorted motivations for one person shooting another.

Vox explains why licensing owners would help and presents statistics that support the assertion. Here is the video:

Why licensing is more effective than background checks.

Search “guns” on this site for more on this topic. The stats are old, but not much has changed for the better.

Coalescence?

All the candidates we are watching vie for limelight–each of them has his or her cohort of backers, and each of them presents issues that motivate some element of the liberal base to back them. My concern has been not knowing how these diverse followings can be fused into a groundswell of grassroots support.
Enter Tom from the shadows at the back of the stage, not from stage right, not from stage left. Kinda looks like he may have been there all along working as a grassroots organizer. Listen to this guy. He may have what’s needed…

A minute is not Enough

My early impression of Marianne Williamson was that she was just another opportunist building her celebrity status. I was wrong, as were most of the media pundits who mocked her.

The Democratic debates only served to make matters worse and ended up being a media spectacle with little substance and a ton of hype.

But some more thoughtful observers saw something that the rest of us missed. Williamson was speaking to the core problem of America. She alone among the hopefuls had a big vision of what we could and should be. Here’s what NY Times’ David Brooks saw:

And the LA Times:

And the Washington Post:

What she brings to the debate is too complex for the over-compressed and frenetic format of the debates. Her ideas, once understood, have the ring of authenticity. There is vision and a strong sense of what the soul of our nation truly is. It resonates.

Here in no particular order are video clips from interviews that raised challenging questions and gave Williamson time to make her point. See if you don’t find what she is saying compelling.

Vision is what’s missing from the political rhetoric–vision and soul. Williamson has awaked us to that.

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