I will write about Russia.
But what about research? I need to read so many books, visit so many places, view so many primary source documents! How can I hope to write about Russia if I do anything less?
And then, before me appears a shade. The shade takes form, translucent and ethereal. It is Joseph Stalin. I am mortified. What evil have I done to be visited by the likes of this tyrant?
He speaks: “So. You wish to write about Russia? It is simple. You know enough. Just do it.”
“No,” I say, “I cannot. While I know much of the official version of this and the official version of that, I know that in history, especially Russian history, the official versions often have little connection to reality. They serve their masters, not the historians.”
How dare this thug judge me? “What do you mean, ‘You Westerners’? You say that like it’s an insult.” Continue reading →
Thanks so much to Malia for drawing her delightful illustrations! It was great fun writing it, and even more fun seeing her interpretations of the story! The book is free for one and all to enjoy if you can’t afford the $4.49 it normally costs. 🙂 Neither of us are in it for the money, but we sure are in it for the fun!
Get the book at the Zzzptm.com Zstore!
Rolling Stone has an important article that should be required reading for anyone that still believes markets are efficient or that it makes a difference if we vote for Democrats or Republicans. Markets are rigged, frequently, and the parties exercise a cozy duopoly in which they do the bidding of the big corporations doing the rigging of the markets.
This isn’t isolated stuff, either. This is the way things roll in the USA. We’re not a land of the free, nor is there justice for all. The big players pay tiny fines, keep their ill-gotten gains, and then go on to keep doing what they’ve been doing. They commit massive felonies, admit no guilt, and then the government sets them up to commit the same felonies over and over.
Three-time losers get life in jail, but only if they’re individual felons. Corporate three-time losers face no such penalties. Instead, they can bend Congress to let them murder to get gain. And before anyone balks and says nobody in the financial world is directly killing anyone, I’m going to come right back and say that acting as the killer or the killer’s accomplice is the same thing. They’re responsible for health care not provided to the poor, food not available for the hungry, shelters unbuilt for the cold. Inasmuch as they have done it unto the least among us, they have done it unto Jesus, as far as my religion goes.
And now you know why Jesus had so much hostility towards the rich. They tend to be Satan’s most dependable servants.
Boris Ivanovich couldn’t believe his ears. “What do you mean, you can’t write any more propaganda?”
Arkady Nikolaevich shrugged his shoulders. “It’s all derivative. I just keep on, over and over, praising the nation. I mean, I love the nation, and I especially love our dear leader, but I feel like I’m in a rut.”
Boris nodded. “Maybe you want to switch divisions? There might be an opening in the film department.”
Arkady shook his head. “No, it’s just the same thing, but as dialogues. I want to be able to explore my talents more. There’s only so much I can do with exhortations to increase steel production 12.5%.”
Boris went to his computer. “Let’s see what else is on the job board. I don’t want to see a good guy like you burn out. Let’s take a look, here…” The search query ran and a screen full of results popped up. “Here you go, there’s an opening as a patriotic novel writer. If that doesn’t give you permission to explore, I don’t know what will.”
“What’s the pay like?” Continue reading →
“Thank you for calling the Homeland Security Hotline. Please listen carefully, as our options have recently changed. To continue in English, please press 1. Para continuar in Es-”
“To report suspicious behavior, press 1. To claim responsibility for a past terrorist attack, press 2. To claim responsibility for a future terrorist attack, press 3. For directions to the near-”
“If this attack will take place in the USA in the contiguous 48 states, press 1. If this attack will take place in Alas-”
“If this attack has ecological motives, press 1. If this attack is for you or your organization’s struggle against the Great Satan, press 2. If this attack is in regards to Puer-”
“Please hold while we connect you to a live operator.”
Saifal Ohrmazd exhaled with relief. As he waited on hold, he thought of possibly attacking automated answering switchboards as his next target. That would certainly galvanize the downtrodden masses behind his movement.
The hold music was Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American.” Saifal Ohrmazd chuckled. “Well played, DHS. Well played.” Continue reading →
The television reporter asked a series of boring and obvious questions to Dr. H.P. Negron-Omikon. Yes, the good doctor was happy that he received the Teller Prize for inventing the Spirit Disengagement Field. Of course, he was thrilled that he was no longer a wanted man in the USA. It’s true that he and the current president are on the best of terms. And, yes, yes, the President himself will be in attendance at tonight’s public demonstration of the Commodity Reclamation and Augmentation Processor (CRAP), Dr. Negron-Omikon’s latest masterwork.
Using the latest in zeptotechnology, Dr. Negron-Omikon had managed to create quite the device. Continue reading →
No less a personage than the President himself attended the unveiling of the Spirit Communication Utilization Matrix, or SCUM. The President sat on the front row, along with several of his top cabinet advisors, bodyguards, mistresses, and so forth. The top bankers, media celebrities, and captains of industry filled the rest of the seats of the vast hall in lovely downtown San Diego.
The head of the SCUM project, Dr. H.P. Negron-Omikon, stepped up to the podium amidst wild applause. Today would be the grand day he would unveil his system, which would allow for humans to communicate with the spirits of the dead. No Ouija board or seance session, this! No, the science behind it was good and hard and the spirit in question would actually manifest itself in a visible, albeit ghostly form. Continue reading →
Betty the Bear loved her backscratcher.
You see, bears have very itchy backs and if they don’t have a tree with rough bark to rub against, they need backscratchers. Bears without backscratchers tend to be grumpy, short-tempered, and generally difficult to get along with.
That is why Betty the Bear loved her backscratcher. Continue reading →
Probably not. Even with direct campaign donation limits, the guys with the money can sit down in front of their friends whenever a Senate committee decides it’s time to have a hearing.
Here’s an idea for parents about to drop a packet of cash on a child’s college education: There’s an election this year. Make that money a campaign donation, instead, and your pride and joy will get the best job out of high school that money can buy. Given that George Bush gave the plan to evacuate New Orleans from Katrina to a person with zero experience, but maxed out in donations, your recent senior can count on a $500,000 contract with no experience and a $2500 donation. If you can give more, you can get more. This is the lesson Jamie Dimon teaches us: with enough money, anything is possible. Even if you have no experience or are about to bring the world financial system to its knees, the US Congress and Presidency will ride to your rescue if you’re a big donor.
Preface: Although written otherwise, the de facto language of these amendments has changed significantly through acts of Congress, interpretation of the Executive, and rulings of the Supreme Court. Citizens of the United States may appeal to the original language of the amendments, but the government of the United States may violate those amendments at will, placing the burden of both the breach and the proving of it thereof squarely on the shoulders of those oppressed by the actions of the government. Challenging the government over breaches of the amendments will likely meet in failure, for while it delights in clothing itself in the cloth of freedom and republican democracy, it is only to disguise an increasingly authoritarian power. Continue reading →