• Tag Archives America
  • A Letter to my Granddaughter regarding the Election of Donald Trump

    Dear G,

    You don’t know this, but America has elected a new president, Donald J. Trump.

     

    This letter is for you to read in ten years or so. At age 5, you are much too young to understand the events of the past 8 years, or what happened during the run up to the election of Mr. Trump.

    In fact, you and your brother have no idea that an election even took place. This is in contrast to the children of others.One woman went on TV and disclosed that her 11 year old daughter is afraid to sleep alone, now that Hillary Clinton will not be president.

    One can only wonder what her parents told her about Mr. Trump and the people who voted for him. Whatever it was, it caused their daughter great fear, and does not speak well of their parenting.

    Others, people on my Facebook contacts list, or friends of friends, have posted that they do not know how to tell their children that Trump won, because of A,B,C,D,E or any number of other things they believe Trump has done or will do.

    Many of their fears are baseless, because they read them in newspapers that told lies about Trump and his supporters.

    You see, the big newspapers and TV news media wanted Hillary to win. And because they no longer subscribe to what were formerly the tenets of journalism, they decided to manage the news.

    They lied by omission many times.They also lied outright, or cherry picked bits of truth and spun them into stories that they wanted people to believe, but were actually the opposite of truth.

    Many people who wanted Hillary to be president cannot accept defeat. They are currently attempting to overthrow the democratic process, and the peaceful transition of power that has been part of our government since it’s inception.

    They have done all sorts of crazy things, including attacking and beating people who they believed voted for Trump, rioting, setting fires, looting, vandalizing businesses, and other crimes.

    They have also made it a point to burn the American Flag.This is a shameful thing.

    All of this may sound like a scary story, but rest assured, it’s true. I would never lie to you, G. If someday you are in high school and are taught history that does not match what I have written here, do not accept it. I am telling the truth.

    Then you will have to investigate on your own. Many teachers did not want Mr. Trump to win. They wanted Hillary, too. Some teachers have even declared that the Electoral College (the system designed by our founders to prevent large population centers in one or two states from electing leaders for everyone in the country) should be abolished.

    Never mind that had the results been different, they would be upholding the Electoral College with every fiber in their being; such nuance does not compute when folks have invested so much in any one candidate. Hypocrisy is now the rule.

    Hillary lost, and they must blame something other than the fact that she was a terrible candidate who was under investigation by the FBI, among other things.

    Again, G, I would never lie to you. The reason I am using only your first initial rather than your full name, is because your Pop Pop and I voted for Mr. Trump.

    I have never posted a photo of your face on this blog. Nor have I ever referred you by anything but your first initial.

    This is not because I am not proud of you. I am very proud that you are my granddaughter. I hide your face for reasons of privacy, because I don’t want the people who do not agree with me politically to know your name or what you look like.

    Because of the way your Pop Pop and I were treated over the past 8 years due to  our politics, I do not feel safe enough to put my own name on this blog or my books. So of course I would never allow you to be known.

    I’m hoping the previous paragraph sounds far-fetched when you read it in the future, but believe me, it is certainly applicable now. You have only to do research if you doubt me.

    Ask me and I will help you find the resources. Or ask your Pop Pop, or Aunt Allie. Aunt Allie is a college student now, and she will back me up.

    Before I write my hopes for you, I need to show you something. The following screenshots were taken this morning, and show headlines of news stories happening today.

     

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    Here are the remainder of the headlines.

     

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    As you can plainly see, the world is in an uproar. You can get the idea of what is going on by looking at different headlines.

    Many people– those in positions of power, with bully pulpits in the news business, in Hollywood, and in the Democrat party–believe things will get worse now, because Hillary Clinton will not  be president.

    The current First Lady, Michelle Obama, even went on TV and told everyone who was watching that she feels like there is no hope anymore, because her husband is leaving office, and instead of Hillary Clinton, who would have continued his policies, the voters chose Donald Trump to lead our nation.

    But I have great hope. I will write a letter to your little brother, E, and your baby cousin, B, some other time. Today I wanted to write for you, to tell you what I would like your future to look like. So, here are my hopes.

    Hope One: I hope the terror attacks will be brought under control over the next 8 years, so you will be safe. Safe to go to school, or to the movies with your friends, or to a part-time job. Safe to play sports or go to dance class.

    And safe to go to church. The people who attack do it because they do not want girls and women to do the the things I hope you will do. And they especially do not like our Catholic faith.

    Other people (Americans) try to suppress Christianity because it clashes with the lifestyles they have chosen. They don’t like Jesus’ teachings, and they don’t want to follow God’s rules.

    These other Americans have decided that they want no restrictions on the brutal practice of abortion, and because our faith forbids the killing of unborn children, they marginalize us and say we are religious freaks.

    At some point you will be told that having an abortion is every woman’s right, and that religion is hateful for attempting to remove that right.

    When this happens you must ask yourself: What about the baby’s rights? Then think long and hard about it. Do not follow along with the crowd, just because they believe this.

    You must think for yourself. Say the Hail Mary and the Our Father while thinking about the horror of abortion, and I know you will find the answer. And again, talk to your aunts if you don’t want to ask your mom or me. They are young, but they know what is true.

    Yes, I understand how hard it is for you to believe the above, because you have loved Jesus and Mary since you were only a baby. Each time I picked you up, you would grab my medal and crucifix, and when you were older you always said hi to Mary.

    This Christmas Pop Pop and I are giving you your very own “Mary Medal”, because you asked for one. And, you like to pray.

    Each night you pray the Hail Mary. I want you to be able to do it for the rest of your life without fear of being attacked for your faith.

     

    Hope Two: I hope that the scourge of heroin is gone from the youth of America. Every day there is another instance of a young person succumbing to this terrible drug.

    It is much too easy for teenagers to get, because America at this time is a country without borders. Drugs snake their way into our country, and kids always end up dead.

    Please, never, ever think that you can try this drug. You can’t. It will take control of you and turn you into a shadow, someone no one will recognize. And then something worse might happen.

     

    Hope Three: I hope you will be able to be yourself. You are a modest little girl. At age 5 you are already shy, and you don’t want to change in front of anyone but me when I am babysitting.

    I am quite sure that you will want to be a little girl who can have privacy. There are some people in America who do not believe girls should have this option, or boys either.

    Because some kids and adults are confused about their gender, activists are pushing for schools to allow boys into the girls bathroom and locker room, and vice versa.

    When girls complain that they are uncomfortable undressing in front of a boy (even if the boy believes he is a girl), the girls are told that they must get used to it, and that they need to become comfortable with letting a strange boy see them getting undressed.

    Yes, I understand that this sounds like the ravings of a lunatic. Nevertheless, it is true. So my hope is that this issue will be settled soon, and that the many kids who feel uncomfortable will not be forced to “get used to it”, just to make one or two kids that are confused feel comfortable.

     

    Hope Four: I hope you do not grow up too fast. The issues I wrote about above are not anything a child should have to deal with.

    I hope you read lots of books. Good books that do not push the messages above into your brain until you believe they are “just the way things are.”

    I hope you will be kind and smile a lot. I hope you will make nice friends. I hope you will have good health care. I hope you will learn to help others, and that you will grow up loving your neighbor and your country.

    I hope that you will have every advantage your own parents had while growing up. I pray every day for this.

    There are many more hopes that I could list, but these are the ones that pertain to President Trump and the people he will appoint to help him make our country great again.

    I prayed every day for the past 8 years that God would help us–we who want to keep the right to practice our religion without government interference, and our right to self defense, and our right to speak our minds without being marginalized or suppressed.

    America is a wonderful place. And now that Hillary Clinton will never be president, there’s a good chance that the headlines above will change for the better, and that our rights will not diminish.

    I have all of this hope not because I believe in government, or in Donald Trump, or in any earthly institution or person.

    This hope has come from God, and I am thankful every day that He, in his mercy, has given us a chance to change things.

    I hope you read these words someday, and know how much I love you, and that I did everything I could to make sure you will grow up to be free.


  • Happy Thanksgiving

    We have so much to be thankful for.
    I have been blessed with a loving family & good friends, many of whom I have never met personally; they are friends I met online.

    It’s is important to have the love of family and friends, and for this I am thankful.

     

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    The past year has been a trial. The lead up to the general election was a time of great division and discord. But now it’s over, and I am thankful for our republic.

    We now have a new president elect who is filling cabinet positions with great Americans. I’m very thankful the election is over, and I hope our country can heal.

    A great many lives will be saved when Planned Parenthood is defunded. I have been fighting for the rights of the unborn for the past eight years. Each year we asked our representatives to help lessen the amount of innocent life taken in clinics across America.

    But nothing changed. Millions of unborn infants, some of them viable, had their tiny heartbeats stopped. And we were paying for this through our hard earned tax dollars.

    We asked and asked and asked the government to defund Planned Parenthood, but they refused to fight for the babies, even after evidence that baby body parts were being sold for profit was caught on video.

    But now things are different. I have prayed daily for those who have no voice. These children can’t speak for themselves. They have only us to help them.

    Hillary Clinton, in a statement, said that these unborn American babies have NO rights.

    Think about that. No rights. None.

    I’m thankful Mrs. Clinton didn’t win the election, if only for this reason. Under a Trump presidency, unborn babies have a better chance of making it into the world, where one of them may grow up to be president someday.

     

    Prayers for Children, Born and Unborn

    For orphaned children throughout the world,
    and especially those
    who are abused or neglected,
    that we might work to save them;
    We pray to the Lord

    For children who are unwanted by their parents,
    that God’s grace might send others to love
    and care for them;
    We pray to the Lord

    For the children of our country,
    especially those who are forgotten or neglected,
    that their presence might remind us
    of the infinite value of human life;
    We pray to the Lord

    For every little child:
    That we might accept and preserve each one
    as a sign of the infinite love of God for us;
    We pray to the Lord

    For all unborn children:
    that our love for them may keep them safe
    until the joyous day of their birth;
    We pray to the Lord

    That the Lord,
    who rescues the life of the poor
    from the power of the wicked,
    might send an angel to guard and protect
    all unborn children;
    We pray to the Lord

    For every little child
    and especially for those who
    live in their mother’s womb,
    that they might grow
    in the image and likeness of
    the God who made them;
    We pray to the Lord

    For the littlest child in her mother’s womb,
    that in her life we may see the infinite love of God;
    We pray to the Lord

    That through the intercession of Saint Vincent,
    who spilled his blood for the defense of the Gospel,
    the lives of unborn children may be spared;
    We pray to the Lord

    For all children who have died from abortion,
    that God might cradle them in his arms
    and grant them eternal peace with him;
    We pray to the Lord

    For every child who lives in the womb,
    that God might send an angel to guard and protect
    the innocent and defenseless;
    We pray to the Lord

    For all unborn children,
    and especially for the babies of unmarried mothers,
    that God might send an angel to protect them:
    We pray to the Lord

    For the children who have died from abortion in our nation,
    and for their mothers and fathers,
    for mercy, peace and the loving embrace of Christ:
    We pray to the Lord

    For little children,
    who await the birth of a brother or sister:
    that they may learn to cherish
    the child in her mother’s womb;
    We pray to the Lord

     

     

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    Wishing everyone a Blessed and HappyThanksgiving. 

     

    God Bless America

     


  • #ImWithHer

    Tomorrow will decide whether America moves toward Liberty or into a hellish Tyranny.

     

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    From “The Crisis“, by Thomas Paine:

    December 23, 1776

    THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

     

     

    As the old saying goes: Pray and don’t worry. So, here are some powerful prayers.

     

    The Holy Rosary:

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    I used to pray it daily, but have slacked off over the past year. Still, it’s my go to prayer in times of uncertainty.

    O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

     

    The Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel:

     

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    Saint Michael the Archangel, Pray for us.

     

     

    Saint Patrick’s Breastplate- (Lorica)

     

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    This prayer is so lyrical and mysterious. I’ve been praying it almost daily for some time. It’s also beautiful in song.

     

     

     

    Saint Patrick, pray for us.

     

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    Prayer for Religious Liberty:

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    #ImWithHer

    Mary Immaculate, Patroness of Our Country, Pray for Us.

     

    Divine Mercy:

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    Jesus, I trust in you.

     

     

     


  • Voting My Catholic Conscience

    Many freedom minded people have been arguing about the election for many months.

    So, I see no reason not to weigh in during the last stretch. A month from now we will know who will be the president, so why not?

    With the exception of once or twice in moments of despair, I have kept my mouth shut on my Facebook page. I believe every person has the right to vote the way they choose, and I would expect them to give me the same option.

    Nevertheless, I have made the decision, using my well formed Catholic conscience, to vote for Donald Trump in November, and against Hillary Clinton. Following is an article in the National Catholic Register that supports my position and that of many other pro life Catholics: Vote as a Catholic with a Catholic Moral Vision

    MSGR. Charles Pope says:
    .

    On the eve of an election and as a priest I frequently am baited to comment more directly on politics by naming names, and parties. I will not do so. The temporal order belongs to the laity, not the clergy. But as a priest I must convey the moral teachings and insist that Catholics connect the dots when it comes to voting. And my advice is simple: Vote as a Catholic, not as a Republican, Democrat, conservative, or liberal. Vote as a Catholic with a Catholic moral vision.

    It is a simple fact, beyond the control of the Church, or of any individual and faithful Catholic, that most politicians of a certain party support the right of others to kill pre-born children. (Emphasis mine).

    This is a heinous crime and cannot be papered over by jargonistic terminology or overlooked by moral equivocations such as “Well, he is right on the other issues.”  Would the excuse that “he is right on the other issues” hold if the word abortion were replaced by genocide or slavery? Abortion is not an abstraction. It is a horrifying reality whose death toll has reached over 50 million in this country alone.

    Proverbs 24 says,Rescue those who are being led off to death; hold back those who are being carried to slaughter. And if you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive you? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work? (Prov 24:11-14) If we do not oppose this moral evil, we are part of the problem and God will judge us.

    The same holds for euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, and same-sex “marriage.” We cannot remain silent, let alone honor and promote those who hold these views. Do not neglect the other moral issues — but these non-negotiables, for the reasons stated and due to their deadly quality and/or the severe moral harm they cause, must be our first concern.

     

    So, here we all are. The above are non negotiable in the Catholic Church. I have loved my faith and the truths taught by the Church for so many years…I have to vote my conscience.

    Most of my concern is for Life. All human life. That of unborn children, the elderly, the mentally and physically disabled, and others who are under attack by the Democrats.

    I myself have given up worrying about same sex marriage. It’s the law of the land, and I couldn’t care less what people do in their private lives.

    However, I do have many concerns about the militant LGBT activists and their Liberal fellow travelers’ push to force churches to kowtow to THEIR moral vision.

    I’m not going to bother posting any links re the Gay lobby. The information is available online by typing in a few keywords. The same goes for the abortion push by Hilary Clinton, Planned Parenthood and others.

    So, my decision is made. Trump, even though he was not my first choice, is the only candidate that might beat Clinton. And Trump has surrounded himself with people who believe what I believe re the above moral issues and others. Therefore, I will vote for Trump, and pray that he wins. Despite his problems, he is the better candidate in my opinion.

    I’ve always believed that if our country continues toward MORE abortion, ill treatment of the elderly, and other death cult practices, that we will fade away.

    There is no way we will remain free if we allow the party who fosters a death cult to remain in power, when we can at least throw a wrench in their operation for a few years, if not longer.

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    So again… I have to vote against the Democrats. But, if the Democrats and Hillary win in November, I personally believe that America will never recover. It will be impossible for this country to ever regain any semblance of freedom in my lifetime.

    Clinton has vowed to continue and expand on the policies already in place, those that take away the rights of people like me. She will not fix economy, since she vows to keep high taxes.

    She will not increase jobs, since she plans to continue Obama’s policies without change, and has threatened to put coal miners out of business, among other energy/environmental policies.

    She has vowed to see that the Hyde Amendment is overturned, which in reality would make me a slave, because it will remove any protection whatsoever to keep my hard earned money from paying for abortions. I do not want to pay for this barbaric practice. To force me to do so via taxes is a violation of my rights as a free American.

    She is pushing for more gun control, and will appoint Supreme Court justices to see that Americans lose their 2nd amendment rights, and she has promised to allow open borders and import un-vetted refugees to America.

    There is no way to vet the refugees. They are from war torn Syria and other Muslim controlled countries, and it would take too much time to vet each one. Also, many of these people do not wish to assimilate and become Americans. They want Americans to become like them instead.

    I could go on, but the gist of it is that in four years, anyone who runs against her has no chance of winning. Democrats have recently been caught registering dead people to vote in Virginia. There are numerous other examples of voter fraud, yet they insist there is none, and will not allow voter ID laws in many states.

    So, with the above in mind, I do not believe anyone can beat Hillary in 2020. She is a criminal, and she is not above stealing votes. By the time 2020 comes around, there will be way too many immigrants who’ve come over the open Southern border on the voting rolls. They will be registered Democrats, and even if they don’t actually go into a voting booth, they WILL “vote.” And they’ll vote for Hillary.

    It will not matter who runs against her in 2020. She will win again, and by 2024, 16 years of far Left policy will have completely transformed America. We will not recognize our country, all of our traditions will have gone the way of the dinosaur, and we will be, in truth, dhimmis.

    I know some folks believe Congress will hold Hillary in check, and not approve her SCOTUS picks, but I don’t believe it. They haven’t held Obama back, and they won’t mess with Hillary either, so IMO, America will be over if she’s elected.

     

    Take a look at this video of Hillary Clinton standing for the right to dissent:

     

     

    Now please understand the truth. The above may have been true when the Democrats were protesting GWB’s presidency, but no such allowances will be made for anyone who speaks out against Hillary Clinton if she wins.

    Political Correctness has eroded the country. Federal bureaucracies have already been used against conservatives under Obama.

    If Hillary is elected, she will double down on us–those she deems irredeemable deplorables. Also, please note this fact: Just because someone does not vote for Trump doesn’t mean they won’t be counted among the deplorables.

    The Democrat flunkies who will be carrying out the Clinton agenda will not care if any given American was against Trump. If a far Leftist sees an American’s name on some list, they will not be given a free pass just because they voted Libertarian, or wrote in someone else.

    Anyone who does not vote for Hillary will also be considered a deplorable, irredeemable, un-American peon who can be targeted for anything these government workers dream up.

    Take a look at the following. I know it’s ten minutes long, and you don’t have to watch the whole thing, but it illustrates exactly the type of person who will be lording it over all of us if Hillary wins:

     

     

    The above is not an isolated incident. It is a common practice now. If Hillary wins, people like the woman above will grow braver and stronger, and will make the lives of more and more Americans a living hell.

    I can’t help but wish that such a person could be put on notice. Such behavior is abusive and bigoted, yet she’s proud of herself. But if Hillary wins, more of this type of behavior will become the norm.

    There will be more violence, more division, more denigration, and more abuse. There will be less inclusiveness, and more distrust. The country will divide yet further, and Conservatives and Libertarians will be considered non-persons, to the press, the government, and Leftists like the woman above.

    So, here’s my dilemma. I am rather ill with depression/anxiety, as diagnosed by a physician. I consider myself blessed that I found a great doctor who listens to me, and who will work tirelessly to help me manage my condition.

    Still, I must admit that battling the Leftists for the past 8 years has left me exhausted. And the constant worry about what has happened and will happen if Clinton is elected has exacerbated my condition to the point of physical illness at times.

    Sometimes I lose hours or even days when I’m overcome with depression. I’m not ashamed of my illness. It’s real, it’s chronic, it’s debilitating and it’s hellacious.

    But as I’ve said before, it’s what I was given, and it’s my responsibility to manage it, and to keep myself in the best health I can.

    So I have to plan what I will do if Clinton wins the election. And unfortunately, I’ve decided that I will not engage in politics in the future if she wins.

    I can’t deal with another election, knowing it’s Kabuki Theater. If we can’t win now, we certainly won’t win in 4 or 8 years, no matter who the Republicans run, for the reasons I listed above.

    So, I’ve already decided that I will stay off of social media in the days after the election, no matter who wins. I’m sure it will be a contentious place, and I can’t allow myself to lose a week of my life over something beyond my control.

    And if Clinton wins, I will not be involved in any way, shape or form in protesting or trying to change things. This includes voting.

    I am simply going to drop out and live my life as best I can. It hurts way too much to see news stories about Planned Parenthood clinics and the amount of death, destruction and waste of women and children’s lives as it is. I cannot bear to see these things anymore, knowing they are here to stay.

    The same goes for all the other issues.

    So… if Hillary wins, this November will be the last time I ever vote.

    I don’t say this lightly. I’ve voted in every election except one since I was 18 years old. Not to vote is a foreign idea to me.

    But at this point, it won’t do any good, and my health has suffered way too much already.

    I hope people won’t hold it against me in 2020, but I absolutely will not get involved in any attempt to “beat” Hillary. I refuse to go through this again, and I will not bother to drive to the polling place. I am staying home.

    In closing, I’m going to embed a tweet with a video re Donald Trump. I have watched it quite a few times, because it made me happy to see the little girl’s face when she realized someone cared enough to help her.

    Related Posts:

     

    Les Deplorables

    Saint Augustine and The Donald


  • Update on Cadáin’s Watch

    My last update on progress was published back in March. (Click here to read).

     

     

    I’m happy report that my tiny grandson thrived in the NICU, and went home with his parents two weeks ago. He now weighs 6 pounds. (He weighed 2 pounds, 13 oz at birth).

    Isn’t he darling? We are so happy and thankful to God for him. 🙂

     

    Baby Grandson

     

    During the past couple of months, work on my manuscript has been slow but steady. I have managed to average around 4,000 words per week, in addition to blogging and attempting to create my vision of Cadáin, the warrior angel, in photoshop.

    I had the image of the warrior in my mind and set about finding him somewhere on the internet. I looked all over Deviant Art to find artwork that I could lease or buy, but I had no luck to speak of, so I decided to make my own angel. He’s in progress and the going is slow. Still, I’m learning a new skill.

    If my artwork is acceptable to me when the book is ready to be published, it will be on the back cover of the paperback, and if I find that I’m not happy with my creation, it will never be seen by anyone but me. (And the few trusted family members and friends who gave me their honest opinion that it stunk.)

    Now, back to the manuscript. Today I outlined the last few chapters of the book, and after months of planning and outlining, and a year of writing during every spare minute, it’s getting close to being finished.

    As I said in the post linked above, I have learned not to set deadlines. They are counterproductive, and my use of them most likely made the writing of this book take longer than it it would have without them, because I get too stressed. At the thought of a deadline I freeze like a deer in the headlights, and sit with my fingers poised above my laptop, worrying about whether or not I will finish on time.

    Without a deadline, I sit down to enjoy writing and end up with finished chapters. So I can’t say when the first draft will be finished, but I will say it’s getting close.

    It will be a great day when I finally finish this book, but also a little sad. It’s the final book in the Storms Series, and I’ll miss writing about Michelle, Jason, Brad and all the other characters. Still, the time is fitting for this series to end.

    My characters have been through a lot over the past seven years since I began writing my vision of a fundamentally transformed America. I have also been through a lot, since some of the scenarios I have written seem to be on the verge of becoming reality, or close to it.

    Writing a near future dystopia during this particular period of time is not something I would recommend to everyone. You need to be calm when news stories appear that mimic what you wrote a few years earlier. Sometimes it’s not easy to remain calm, and I end up in a puddle, trying to drag myself back to my computer so I can finish this series before America becomes something it was never intended to be.

    But lately I have a little hope. Maybe things are getting a bit brighter. My characters have survived, and America, though demoralized, tired, battered and bruised, has also survived this transformation that some of us didn’t ask for. We can never go back, but perhaps we can learn from our experiences.

    Cadáin’s Watch will be finished and ready to be published sometime before the November elections, unless another family crisis occurs. The grace of God was responsible for the entire project, since I never set out with firm plans to write such a series. Though I did have dreams of writing as a child, I never pursued them until the idea for Michelle came to me in the summer of 2009.

    So, I think I’ll keep working as hard as I can, and readers will have the book when the time is right.

    I will write another update when the first draft is finished. And then… the revisions begin.

    Related Posts:
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    Rock & Roll Fantasy

     


  • Coping through the Election

    With all the worries laid on many of us due to upheavals in politics, government overreach, and other matters that shouldn’t be happening in a free country, we may find ourselves feeling overwhelmed.

    When the above are added to our everyday stresses of work and family, if we’re not careful we might become ill. Depression, anxiety, and stress can lead to physical symptoms like headaches and sciatica. (I should know).

    So I’m going to simply trust in God that everything will work out as He planned. After all, with the exception of casting our own vote, we have no control. We can’t control what other folks choose to do, nor should we wish to. Everyone is an individual, and has their own reasons for their own positions. We should simply love our friends, period.

     

    So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

    Matthew 7:12

     

    The above is a pretty good way to live. If everyone did it, the world would be a better place right now.

    A friend recently told me the following, which she had heard from someone else. I don’t know the author of this quote, but whoever it is seems a genius.

     

    Love others, trust God, the end.

     

    This is all we can do. Remember God’s words to His children:

     

    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    Jeremiah 29:11

     

    We should enjoy our lives. It’s going to be a long, hot summer. I’m gonna keep my cool, prepare for the worst and hope for the best.

    Unknown

     


  • Internet Debate ~ A Spectator Sport

    This post is my response to the friends whom I know do believe what I wrote in a previous post regarding the ascent of Donald Trump.

    It’s also a rebuttal to those who tossed around different words and phrases which all meant the same thing to me.

    My friend, Linda, liked the post, and asked if she could share it on her Facebook page.  However, my post was the subject of a terrible comments thread. For my part, I regret losing my temper, and using foul language, however, I must chalk it up to my temper. I do work on controlling my temper, but it escapes me at times, especially when people accuse me without cause.

    I would like to apologize to my friends, and forgive those who hurt me. I pray sincerely for each person who commented, and wish the best for all, even those whom I felt best to block from seeing me on Facebook. This was a decision I made long ago; I cannot have the worry of folks who for all intents and purposes say I’m a liar having access to my family photos or other information. It makes me nervous to contemplate that people who believe I engage in fabricating tales might possibly be looking at my family.

    I feel like I need to write all of this. I was unfairly attacked, to the point of being told I hate Catholics. (I’m a cradle Catholic, and very devoted to Jesus and His Mother). But as another friend once said: Jesus never told us to be doormats. Sigh.

    I only recently decided to place a small biography on my own page, consisting of my website and blog information. This was because I never really felt comfortable with announcing the fact that I have written two novels. Other writers say the same; it may be that we are introverts, or nervous about our work being rejected, or any number of other reasons.

    However, after almost two years, I decided to be proud of my accomplishments, and to put the information on my page. Friends knew I was a writer, of course; such things cannot be a secret, but I kept my writing life separate from my personal Facebook page for whatever reason.

    As I said to the commenters at large, I am respected in my field. I have many friends, some of whom commented at the end of the post that upset some of the people I went to school with.  One of my dearest friends, Daria DiGiovanni, is an author, ghostwriter, blogger, internet radio host and co-owner of a new publishing venture. Daria in particular, has been my mainstay. I could not ask for a better friend. Another friend, Kia Heavey, has recently been awarded a contract for her third novel, Domino. Domino was published by Kindle Press, Amazon’s new publishing venture.

    I remember how proud I was when I was asked to appear on Daria’s radio show, Writestream Tuesday, Shatter the Narrative, with other members of the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance. All are well respected authors.

    These people are my acquaintances, and, in some cases, dear, dear friends. Marina, an immigrant from the former Soviet Union, recently published her debut novel, Chasing Freedom.

    So, I decided that I wouldn’t hide from my community anymore.

    Even though I have been termed worse than a liar many times on comments threads in the past, I didn’t expect to be maligned on Linda’s page. I don’t know why I thought I would be respected by folks who, for whatever reason, do not understand the concept of such a thing, but for some reason I still didn’t expect it. Perhaps because with all that has happened in America, I believed more people would see the truth.  Anyway, that’s neither here nor there. It happened, and it can’t be undone.

    Within ten minutes of the initial post, the first comments came in. The word used by the nastiest commenter was “liar.” Other  terms thrown around are paraphrased here.

    My post was: “All over the place” — “Started off interesting, but she quickly lost credibility” — the stories do not seem as if they could really have happened”… and on and on.

    Again, the above are paraphrases. I couldn’t screenshot them, since Linda deleted the post from her page the next day. I certainly don’t blame her, and I’m happy she did delete it. It had descended into something that did not in any way resemble a debate.

    In addition the phrases above, the following words, or in some cases memes containing them, were used while describing Linda and me:  Racist, Hater, Angry, and even Hitler. Hitler was being compared to Donald Trump, who, as I said in my post, I do not support.

    However, Donald Trump is the Republican frontrunner, and most likely to be our next President. Part of this is due to riots over the weekend by people who hate Trump. Again… when people, (especially people who claim to be kind and tolerant) disrupt a rally and cause violence, it drives Americans who are watching the proceedings directly toward the person or people against whom the violence was perpetrated. It’s what I said in the post which caused all of this upset, and it’s the truth.

    Just for the record: I’m a registered Republican, but I have, in the past, split my ticket or voted for candidates not of the party. The party is part of the problem. Same with the other party.

    Following is an excerpt from page 255 of my first novel, a dystopia. I began writing Tears Of Paradox in 2009, and published it in May, 2014. Protagonist Jason is remembering his youth, from the vantage point of having survived the beginning of America’s descent into totalitarianism. The “drones” are the media. The “sharks” are members of a government bureaucracy that has assumed control  of each American’s life.

    Some seemed not to care what their choices did to others, though. The politicians and the media are the hardest to forgive, even though they were deceived and betrayed themselves. It’s not easy to forgive the drones, but I take no comfort in the fact that most of them have received their comeuppance. I’m not talking about those who did report the truth; they were shut down long ago. It was probably a blessing, since it enabled some of them to get out; to begin spreading truth from far-away places. The ones I refer to as drones are those who wouldn’t recognize Truth if it touched them on the shoulder, (which I have no doubt in my mind He did). Or the ones who knew what the facts were, but spun them or hid them or scrubbed them outright, just to further their own ends. After all, they had all resources available to them, all of history to learn from, and back then they also had the protection of the First Amendment.

    They should have known better. They shouldn’t have let themselves be blinded by false party allegiance. They should have realized that donkeys and elephants didn’t matter; that what mattered was truth and humanity, and that Washington was disintegrating into two stinking, rotting rat carcasses. They were only half-alive, but they still had snapping mouths full of sharks teeth, which did a great deal of damage as they slowly mutated into one.

    The drones should have stuck to reporting facts. That’s what they were supposed to do. If they had they might have realized that even though most of them favored one party, neither party favored them—and that behind closed doors they were referred to with mirth as perfect examples of the term “useful idiots”. Most of them had no idea though. They didn’t understand what they’d been given, and they didn’t see the sharks circling until it was way too late. They held a sacred trust, protected by the First Amendment, and they should have followed the truth instead of spinning a huge ugly web of poisonous lies.

    They were too busy for facts, though. If they’d studied history they might have been able to read the writing on the wall. The blinders might have come off, and they would have seen what had happened over and over throughout the ages—the fact that after people such as the sharks finally chewed their way into complete control, the journalists were always the first to go. It’s a shame they were blind. Now it’s too late for them.

     

    If you read the above with an open mind, you cannot help but come to the conclusion that I don’t favor either party at this point. I just want my children and grandchildren to be free. I choose to focus on my writing, since politics is downstream from culture.

    Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn’t mean politics won’t take an interest in you.

    Pericles

     

    The above, I have come to understand, is the truth. That is why I do what I do, even though it can be difficult at times.

    And now we come to the point: Internet debate is  a spectator sport.

    In the comments thread on Linda’s post, I did defend myself against some of the claims. One commenter insinuated that if such a thing had happened, perhaps it was in some way merited. After I spoke back, the commenter backpedaled. And then again, it was communicated to me that people like me ought to know their place. “A place for everything.”  To me those are fighting words.

    I’m an American. We do not have “places.” We are not required to sit down and be quiet and keep to our place. As long as we are not breaking the law, we are free to say what we please. We cannot yell fire in a crowded theater, but we can stand up for ourselves and our beliefs. It doesn’t matter how unpopular our positions are; we have the right to think and believe what we want, as long as we do not break the law or cause harm to our neighbors. (Unlike the protesters at the Chicago Trump rally).

    So… here goes. Please click this link if you would like some backstory, but the headline should be enough to scare any thinking person: SJWs are purging politically incorrect Sci-Fi Authors from Bookstores. Linked within is the following post: The Hugo Wars: How Sci-fi’s Most Prestigious Awards Became a Political Battleground.

    As you can see, what happened with regard to my puny post is nothing compared to what others are enduring at the hands of Leftists and Social Justice Warriors like the worst guy on Linda’s comment thread.

    Again: We are Americans. We do not suppress the speech of another, or attempt to threaten their livelihoods. That is what they do in Communist countries, or Socialist countries, or countries run by fascists. This is not what Americans do.

    But, unfortunately, it seems to be becoming the norm. Again, this is what is driving people to Trump. They can’t fight the whole media, all of the PC politicians and the spineless GOP who have promised to help them for the past six years because they are continually maligned and shouted down with terms such as racist, sexist, homophobe, liar, stupid, redneck, tea bagger, and others. They have become the punching bag for any Liberal with a cell phone who happens to be having a bad day, and so, they are flocking to Trump, who stands up to the media and the haters.

    Anyway… The comments thread was for the spectators. If I had known for a fact that no one was watching, I would not have spoken back, or bothered, because for people like the man who called me an angry racist hater, no words, however reasoned, will suffice. It would have been pointless.

    But… I know for a fact that other people were watching that thread, and I know some of them sympathize with me. Others may have been indifferent, and may have been swayed by watching the venom of the nasty guy. Perhaps they do not wish to be like him, and so, they may give me the benefit of the doubt, or begin to believe that his way is not the way of Free Americans.

    I’m going to link here to a “fisk” by Larry Correia, founder of the Sad Puppies, who was featured in the previous link.  The applicable quote follows:

     

    Arguing is a spectator sport. You don’t waste your time on the already decided, you convince the undecided, and give ammo to your side. If there isn’t an audience, don’t waste your time.

    And again:

    This is the reason Linda and  I continued to speak. It was for our friends who may have been watching, and for any others who might have been convinced that the abuser was wrong.

    Though going through such an ordeal was difficult, I still feel it was worth it. I even have a new Facebook contact. Someone was watching, and the person sent me friend request. This alone made the whole ordeal worthwhile. It let me know that I’m not alone, and that I am worthy of someone’s respect. (Even though I know I am only living for God, and He knows my heart).

    Also, in my attempt to find the above quote/story for use in this post, I posed a question in my writer’s group, asking who it was that said internet debating is for the spectators.

     

    Image-1

    I was answered by other members in the comments thread right away. Mr. Correia is a famous author, well respected and someone to emulate. Imagine my surprise when he took time away from his busy schedule to answer my question personally.

    This is what it’s like to be part of something real. We do not attempt to tear each other down. We only fight back when we are attacked, and we will never stop.

    *This post has been updated.*

     

    Related post:

    The Trump Phenomenon ~ My Take

     


  • Rock and Roll Fantasy

    Music is extremely important to me. I have blogged about this before. Music inspires me every day.

    For the past six months, I’ve been compiling a list of songs to describe the characters in my books. It hasn’t been an easy task. I love music so much, and listen to so many different artists while writing, that several songs came to mind for each character. It was hard to narrow it down.

    My genre is Classic Rock, heavy on the Springsteen, so naturally, Springsteen dominates the following list. I listened to his album, Darkness On The Edge Of Town, almost every day during the formation of my first book. I also listened to other Springsteen works, but DOTEOT was, and remains, my favorite. This is due to the undeniable fact that the stories that come through the songs describe characters who fight to hang on to what they have.

    This is a major theme in The Storms Series, and, to an extent, America at this time. Americans are flailing. There’s no denying this. Each day another freedom comes under attack. Sometimes it’s the freedom to worship according to he tenets of one’s Faith. Other times it’s the freedom to speak the truth. Still other times the freedom to defend one’s self and one’s family comes under attack.

    It’s very difficult to absorb everything. DOTEOT tells tales of running, fleeing, dreaming of a Promised Land. It speaks of work and prayer. Human weakness is acknowledged. One of the songs, (Candy’s Room) tells the story of a boy who is in love with a prostitute. The overall theme seems to be that of trying to emerge from smothering darkness. It seems, to me, that the characters in DOTEOT never emerge from the darkness, try as they might.

     

    From “Badlands”

    Poor man wanna be rich,
    rich man wanna be king,
    And a king ain’t satisfied,
    till he rules everything,
    I wanna go out tonight,
    I wanna find out what I got

    I believe in the love that you gave me,
    I believe in the hope that can save me,
    I believe in the faith
    and I pray, that someday it may raise me,
    Above these badlands

    Badlands, you gotta live it everyday,
    Let the broken hearts stand
    As the price you’ve gotta pay,
    We’ll keep pushin’ till it’s understood,
    and these badlands start treating us good.For the ones who had a notion,
    A notion deep inside,
    That it ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive
    I wanna find one face that ain’t looking through me
    I wanna find one place,
    I wanna spit in the face of these Badlands, you gotta live it everyday,
    Let the broken hearts stand
    As the price you’ve gotta pay,
    We’ll keep pushin’ till it’s understood,
    and these badlands start treating us good.

    These lyrics speak volumes. I could go on, but I can’t really explain what I mean in words. It’s simply an overall theme of struggle.

    Since The Storms Series tells of ordinary Americans from the Vietnam era up through the present and into the future, there are songs from each era. Not all are Classic Rock. There are also examples of Bluegrass, Pop, Blues, Gospel, Alternative and Opera. Each was chosen carefully to describe my perception of a given character.

    Following is the list. When possible, I will embed videos. If I happened to have attended a live performance, I will link to the video of the song.  In certain instances I will link to live performances that I find speak to me, and in others I will link to the studio version of the songs.

    These songs will not be arranged chronologically. Rather, I will begin with Jason’s song and move on from there. I plan to get my husband to compile these songs as a playlist soon.

    You’re born with nothing,
    and better off that way,
    Soon as you’ve got something they send
    someone to try and take it away,
    You can ride this road ’till dawn,
    without another human being in sight,
    Just kids wasted on
    something in the night.
    I was lucky enough to be at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia for the concert above, where Springsteen and the E Streeters performed a mini Darkness concert. Five songs from the album were played. I was in the nosebleeds. (H/T Somewhere In Jersey 75).
    Michelle ~ The Scarlet Tide  ~ Written by Elvis Costello and Henry Burnett. Performed by Alison Krauss.
    Well I recall his parting words
    Must I accept his fate
    Or take myself far from this place
    I thought I heard a black bell toll
    A little bird did sing
    Man has no choice When he wants every thing
    We’ll rise above the scarlet tide
    That trickles down through the mountain
    And separates the widow from the bride
    Man goes beyond his own decision
    Gets caught up in the mechanism
    Of swindlers who act like kings
    And brokers who break everything
    The dark of night was swiftly fading
    Close to the dawn of day
    Why would I want him just to lose him again
    We’ll rise above the scarlet tide
    That trickles down through the mountain
    And separates the widow from the bride
    Michelle & Jason’s songThe FeverBruce Springsteen

     

    The above video is one of my favorite performances of the Fever. I wish I could have been there.

    Baby Boy Wallace ~ ParadiseBruce Springsteen, The Rising
    The Rising was released in 2002. The songs are reflections on the 9-11 attacks. The entire album is compelling, but this song in particular makes me ache. According to what I could find online, it’s the story of a Middle Eastern suicide bomber who blows himself up, hoping to find “Paradise.” It also speaks of a Virginia widow whose husband was killed in the Pentagon. The song speaks of victims. The fictional Baby Wallace never received a name. He was an innocent victim, as are the millions of children who die each year in abortions. These children are most assuredly in Paradise right now.

    Nicole & Brad’s song Black Dog ~ Led Zeppelin, 1971. Performed by Alison Krauss & Robert Plant.
    Michael Sean ~ It’s Hard to be a Saint in the CityBruce Springsteen, Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ, 1973

    With my blackjack and jacket and hair slicked sweet
    Silver star studs on my duds like a Harley in heat
    When I strut down the street I could hear its heartbeat
    The sisters fell back and said “Don’t that man look pretty”
    The cripple on the corner cried out “Nickels for your pity”
    Them gasoline boys downtown sure talk gritty
    It’s so hard to be a saint in the city.
     Michael Sean, Jason’s long lost father, was an Irish Catholic boy from a blue collar family. Though the character earned a college degree, he has a murky past, some of which may come to light in book three. At any rate, he’s no saint, and this song fits him. Again, I was privileged to be In Philly for the above performance. (H/T Biggboss Rivertunes).
    Eileen Gold Dust Woman ~ Fleetwood Mac, Rumors, 1977

     

    Eileen, Jason’s witch of a mother, was the most difficult character to assign a song. Nothing really fits her, including Gold Dust Woman. However, I chose this song for the simple reason that the Miss Gulch instrumental from The Wizard Of Oz would not really fit into this playlist. The above video was taken last fall. I was in the nosebleeds that night, and my video didn’t turn out well. The entire concert was absolutely phenomenal. (H/T Jim Powers).

     

    The Old Man Gloria ~ Van Morrison, 1964

     

     

    I chose the above video because it features scenes from The Outsiders. I liked the movie as well as the song.

     

    Marie Davis Someday We’ll Be TogetherDiana Ross and The Supremes

    Aunt Rosie I’ll Be Around ~ The Spinners, 1972

    The Sophomore (Jill) Candy’s RoomBruce Springsteen, DOTEOT, 1978

    In Candy’s room

    there are pictures of her heroes on the wall

    But to get to Candy’s room

    you gotta walk the darkness of Candy’s hall.

    Reese ~ Gimme Back My Bullets ~ Lynyrd Skynyrd, 1976

    Jeremy The Stranger ~ Billy Joel, 1977

    Johnny Hotel California ~ The Eagles, 1976

     

     

    My husband and I were lucky enough to be in the audience at Wells Fargo Center on 7/16/13. We had great seats. The Eagles were phenomenal. If you get a chance to see them, do it. (H/T Salvatore Bellamo).

    Cindy Baby Mine ~ Alison Krauss

    Junior The Man Who Sold The World ~ David Bowie, 1971. Performed by Nirvana.

     

     

    Jamie It’s Not My Time ~ 3 Doors Down, 2008

    CJ Midnight RiderAllman Brothers Band, 1970

     

     

    Mrs. CJ Jessica Allman Brothers Band, 1973

    Bella Only The Good Die Young ~ Billy Joel, The Stranger, 1977

     

     

    Patty Ode To Billy Joe ~ Bobbie Gentry, 1967

     

     

    Adela Down In The River To Pray ~ Traditional Hymn of the South. Origin Unknown. Sung by Alison Krauss.

     

     

    Clydie  ~ Wayfaring Stranger ~ Traditional Folk Song. Origin Unknown. Sung by Jack White.

     

     

    Brian No Quarter ~ Led Zeppelin, Houses Of The Holy, 1973

    Melanie Ironic ~ Alanis Morissette, Jagged Little Pill, 1995

     

     

    Mark Long Train Running ~ The Doobie Brothers, The Captain and Me, 1973

     

     

    The Doobies are another band I’ve had the privilege of seeing, live. Go if you get the chance.

    Sandy Summer Breeze ~ Seals & Crofts, Summer Breeze, 1972

     

     

    The above song is one of my all time favorites. I never get tired of it. The character Sandy, though minor, is one with whom I identify strongly, which is one reason I chose this song. Summer is my favorite season.

    There are three priests in the Storms Series — Father Gallucio, the town priest who counsels the main characters, and James and Richard O’Neill, brothers who aid them in their rebellion against the government, i.e. “The Sharks” and the “new way of doing business.” Following are their songs.

    Father Gallucio ~ Con Te Partirò  Performed by Andrea Bocelli.

     

     

    Father Richard O’Neill ~ The Weight ~ The Band, Music From Big Pink, 1968 (RIP Levon Helm).

     

     

    Father James O’Neill ~ The Promised Land ~ Bruce Springsteen, DOTEOT, 1978

     

     

    I was in the back of Wells Fargo Center that night. I had no video camera. (H/T TapeheadToo) It was sad to see the E Streeters without Clarence Clemons, but Clarence’s nephew, Jake Clemons, did a superb job on the saxophone.

     

    The Battling Angel (Cadáin) ~ The Battle Of Evermore ~ Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV, 1971

     

     

    The above song and album was a favorite of my cousin. We listened to it over and over in the summer of ’76. She had tickets to see Zeppelin in Philly in 1977, however the show was cancelled because of the death of Robert Plant’s child.

     

    The Sharks ~ Pigs, Three Different Ones ~ PinkFloyd, Animals, 1977

     

     

    According to Wikipedia, the above album was based on George Orwell’s Animal Farm, a critique of Stalinism. This makes sense. However, Wikipedia also states that the members of Pink Floyd intended Animals to be a critique of Capitalism  (i.e. Capitalist pigs). Whatever. The album makes me think of Communism, and that’s why I picked Pigs, Three Different Ones to represent the Sharks, although the song Dogs, from the same album, would have worked just as well.

    I will never forget the first time I heard the song, Dogs. My sister and I were hanging out at her boyfriend’s house after school. Tom, my boyfriend (and the man whom I eventually married and have spent the past 35 years with) and I were sitting on the couch listening to WYSP FM out of Philadelphia. (Or maybe it was WMMR). Anyway, the song gave me the creeps. Tom had already purchased the album; he was (and still is) on top of most Classic Rock news. The entire album is a strange piece of art in my op. Still, I was fascinated by it.
    (Sometime after that day, my sister’s boyfriend was killed in a car accident on the back road to West Chester. He was sixteen years old.)

    But Pigs is the song that describes the Sharks in the Storms series. The Sharks are those pigs at the top, those who micromanage every last detail of every American’s life. They are a brutal group of government thugs, who lie, steal, cheat, threaten and intimidate average Americans. They certainly put me in mind of the pigs in Animal Farm, those who stole the milk and set themselves above the rest of the animals on the farm. Incidentally, Orwell’s book is mentioned in the first chapter of Tears of Paradox, when Michelle tells readers that the book has been banned by the Sharks.

    Town ~ Darkness On The Edge Of Town ~ Bruce Springsteen, DOTEOT, 1978

     

     

    The town in the Storms Series is never named. I wanted it to represent small town America as a whole, though there are references to beaches, boardwalks, and other towns and cities in my area of the country.

     

    Tears Of Paradox Factory ~ Bruce Springsteen, DOTEOT, 1978

     

     

    I chose this song to represent Tears because Jason and most of the rest of the characters are blue-collar working men. Jason is also searching for his father. In this version of Factory Springsteen speaks of his own father, for whom he wrote the song. He tells of his father’s struggles to get to work on time at the factory. Springsteen’s father was stymied by unreliable junk cars. (He also went deaf as a result of working in a factory).

    Jason, Michelle, Brad, CJ, Reese, the old man, Bella and the rest of the Storms characters only want to work, practice their faith, and raise families. They don’t ask for anything other than what every American is guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. It shouldn’t be too much to ask, yet nowadays it is. Ordinary people have lost employment because of Government interference, and the jobs don’t seem to be coming back. Average Americans are being harassed by their government and forced to pay for things that go against their religious conscience. I’m not really concerned that my words will offend certain Americans, those who agree with the policies being shoved down our throats. Anyone who has read my books (or even reviews on Amazon) knows my stance on these issues. I refuse to apologize for my beliefs, and if this post turns people off… oh well.

    I’ll admit that I’ve been turned off for the past ten years or so. I’m at a loss as to why other Americans would choose to force their beliefs on me and mine, but for some reason, that’s what has happened. The fundamental transformation of America is going along exactly as planned. It’s difficult to make heads or tails of what has happened, how it happened, why it happened or why so many Americans either want it to happen or don’t really care what happens. I just don’t understand it.

    Since Bruce Springsteen’s music dominates this post, (and at times, my head) I must admit that I don’t understand what happened to him, either. With a few exceptions such as Born in the USA, the music he writes seems to champion and sympathize with ordinary Americans. DOTEOT speaks of work, work, work. It also speaks of  doing the right thing, trying to keep what you’ve earned, prayer, and similar themes. It doesn’t speak of giving what you’ve worked hard for to other people, leaving yourself and your own family worried and scared and wanting. It doesn’t speak of a collective, or crappy government healthcare, or being a subject of an overpowering totalitarian government.

    Yet Mr. Springsteen, for whatever reason, has chosen to embrace an ideology that is driving Americans directly toward these things and others. Springsteen was instrumental in helping propel our current president into office. I can’t begin to understand it. There’s no way to understand it, so I’ll just keep listening to the music, which has gotten me through numerous hard times. I usually don’t speak about my love of  Springsteen’s music to my family, (except for my husband). They can’t really stand the man, and I certainly don’t blame them. After Obama was reelected, my brother-in-law lost his job, and had a terrible time finding another one. After he finally found employment, his wife, my sister, who had worked in the corporate world for 25 years, lost her job, too. Their income was drastically reduced. One daughter was in college, the other a senior in high school.

    My sister was unable to find another job in her field. She’s currently working in a job for which she’s extremely overqualified, and which pays about 1/3 of what she previously earned. Real people are being hurt by the current “sharks.”  It’s pretty pathetic, actually. But the kings of Classic Rock, many of whom are featured in this post, seem to be perfectly okay with it. Fifty years ago they began their protest. They wanted to change the world. They spoke truth to power. They stood up to “The Man.” They wrote songs about Nixon and Vietnam and peace and love and flowers.

    What the hell happened to them? Today they march in lockstep with those who have their boot planted firmly on our necks. With a few exceptions, they, themselves, have become “The Man.”

     

    I’ll close with my pick for book two in my series, The Notice ~ My City Of Ruins ~ Bruce Springsteen, The Rising, 2002.

     

    It’s fitting. American cities are being destroyed, and lives are in ruins.

    There’s a blood red circle

    On the cold dark ground
    And the rain is falling down
    The church door’s thrown open
    I can hear the organ’s song
    But the congregation’s gone
    My city of ruins
    My city of ruins

    Now the sweet bells of mercy
    Drift through the evening trees
    Young men on the corner
    Like scattered leaves,
    The boarded up windows,
    The empty streets
    While my brother’s down on his knees
    My city of ruins
    My city of ruins

    What I wish is that the current sharks would back off and leave us alone. But the human spirit and quest for freedom will never be extinguished. Eventually, Americans will wake up. And then they will do what “The Boss” advises in this song. They will pray. And then they will Rise Up.


  • Baltimore

    I was glued to the TV last night, watching another American city self destruct. I don’t know the answers, and I’m waiting for the results of the investigation of Freddy Gray’s death. To judge anyone except the people who are supposed to be leading Maryland at this point would be wrong, and unfair. IMO, the mayor and Governor were and are derelict in their duty, but it’s much too late to change the results.

    Larger issues are in play, anyway. Has anyone noticed a pattern? How many more American cities will be destroyed before things change?

    quote-for-peace-is-not-mere-absence-of-war-but-is-a-virtue-that-springs-from-a-state-of-mind-a-baruch-spinoza-175778

    The above quote is profound. America, at this point in time, has retreated from anything remotely resembling the word “war.” We have retreated from even admitting we have enemies. So… the war is over!

    Where the hell is the peace? Where? Is there peace in the Middle East? In Western Europe? In Eastern Europe? In South America? In Mexico? In the United States of America? Where is the peaceful state of mind? Where is the benevolent attitude, and the confidence that justice is being pursued? I look around, but I don’t see it. All I see is a number of ugly incidents which seem to be battles in some sort of war masquerading as “Peace.”

    Last night another American city was looted and burned. People’s homes, jobs and businesses were trashed. I think I may have written a blogpost on this same scenario during the Ferguson Riots. It seems to be getting closer to my neck of the woods. Right now I’m wondering which city will be next.

    The following song from Barry McGuire has been on my mind a lot lately. Click here to listen.

    “Eve Of Destruction”

    The eastern world it is exploding
    Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’
    You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’
    You don’t believe in war but whats that gun you’re totin’?
    And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin’

    But you tell me
    Over and over and over again my friend
    Ah, you don’t believe
    We’re on the eve of destruction

    Don’t you understand what I’m tryin’ to say
    Can’t you feel the fears I’m feelin’ today?
    If the button is pushed, there’s no runnin’ away
    There’ll be no one to save with the world in a grave
    Take a look around you boy, it’s bound to scare you boy

    And you tell me
    Over and over and over again my friend
    Ah, you don’t believe
    We’re on the eve of destruction

    Yeah my blood’s so mad feels like coagulating
    I’m sitting here just contemplatin’
    I can’t twist the truth it knows no regulation
    Handful of senators don’t pass legislation
    And marches alone can’t bring integration
    When human respect is disintegratin’
    This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’

    And you tell me
    Over and over and over again my friend
    Ah, you don’t believe
    We’re on the eve of destruction

    Think of all the hate there is in Red China
    Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
    You may leave here for four days in space
    But when you return it’s the same old place
    The pounding of the drums, the pride and disgrace
    You can bury your dead but don’t leave a trace
    Hate your next door neighbor but don’t forget to say grace

    And tell me
    Over and over and over and over again my friend
    You don’t believe
    We’re on the eve of destruction
    Mmm, no, no, you don’t believe
    We’re on the eve of destruction

    This was written in the 1960s. It’s one of those anti-Vietnam hippie songs that blame “the man” for everything going wrong in the world. The people who protested the Vietnam conflict said they were going to change the world.

    Well, who’s in charge now? Them. The same people who dissed American values back then are the ones running America now. So why all the conflict? Why all the riots? What the hell happened?

    IMO, they happened. The peace is always just out of reach, like one of those merry-go-round rings I could never reach as a child. Talking heads speak of justice and peace, but a few hours later we see destruction and flames. It’s no wonder ordinary people feel that we’re on the Eve Of Destruction.

    However, there is a wild card. Click here to see what one mom did to combat the absence of peace America is caught up in. She’s mother of the year as far as I’m concerned.

    As for Baltimore, at this point in time, we who have no power can only pray for the innocent victims, and pray that such a thing doesn’t erupt in another American city before the time comes to walk into the voting booth again.

    I’ve only visited Baltimore once or twice. I thought the Inner Harbor was a lovely place. It’s awful that the people who live in Baltimore are afraid and mourning their town. It’s another tragedy in this “peaceful” world.

    In honor of Baltimore, click here for  another piece of poetry in music.

    My City Of Ruins

    There’s a blood red circle
    on the cold dark ground
    and the rain is falling down
    The church doors blown open
    I can hear the organ’s song
    But the congregation’s gone

    My city of ruins
    My city of ruins

    Now the sweet veils of mercy
    drift through the evening trees
    Young men on the corner
    like scattered leaves
    The boarded up windows
    The hustlers and thieves
    While my brother’s down on his knees

    My city of ruins
    My city of ruins

    Come on rise up!
    Come on rise up!

    Now there’s tears on the pillow
    darling where we slept
    and you took my heart when you left
    without your sweet kiss
    my soul is lost, my friend
    Now tell me how do I begin again?

    My city’s in ruins
    My city’s in ruins

    Now with these hands
    I pray Lord
    with these hands
    for the strength Lord
    with these hands
    for the faith Lord
    with these hands
    I pray Lord
    with these hands
    for the strength Lord
    with these hands
    for the faith Lord
    with these hands

    Come on rise up!
    Come on rise up!

    Come on rise up….
    Bruce Springsteen
    Prayers for Baltimore, America and Peace in the World.

  • April Musings

    This is a busy time of year. In addition to working on book three in my series, and promoting the first two books, there are many other things that must somehow be accomplished.

    First is getting back into a routine of running, since I slacked during the winter. I’m doing this slowly. I have run only twice since the weather began to warm up, but both times were enjoyable. I get most of my inspiration for writing while running, so this is actually part of my job. Following is a photo taken earlier this week:

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    This is a road in my hometown. The stretch of road pictured has always been known as the flats. I’m not exactly sure when this name came into being, or why, but this stretch of road was the inspiration for an important scene in book two, The Notice.

    I have had feedback about this portion of the book, saying it was too long, and perhaps unnecessary, however, it seemed important to me to leave some scenes having to do with my hometown in the book, (though others were scrapped). I will not be here forever. I want my kids and grandkids to know about our lives and their ancestors. (Our family has lived in this area for over seventy years).

    Even though things I read and hear in the news are extremely depressing, I still have hope that America can somehow turn back into a free country. It will take many years, and I probably won’t be around to see it, but I believe it will happen, because people were born free. Americans are different. We will rebel at some point. We traditional Americans are patient, and we do follow the law and the rules, until the law turns on us. Then all bets are off. So, I’m leaving a record of sorts. My books are in print. My family can keep copies if they so choose, and if, for some reason America doesn’t turn around, perhaps my descendants will read the books, and know that at one time, people were free to speak without fear of being termed “racist, sexist, bigot, homophobe, white, misogynist, etc.” just for having a different political opinion than the current crop of “leaders” and their media jammers.

    However, I still have hope. This world is dark, and my books reflect this, but it doesn’t have to remain dark. Good people just need to face the fear of what I described above. It need not be public, but it can be done. Do it by turning off the mainstream news, and reading or listening to some other viewpoints. Do it by actually listening to individual candidates. Not just soundbites, but the actual message. Not the spin and derogatory snark filtered through the likes of Chris Matthews or others who seem to feel we are inferior beings, good for nothing but the taxes we pay to keep their gods on top, but actual messages, taken IN CONTEXT.

    Do it by reading history. Do it by checking your children’s homework, not only to make sure they have done their homework, but to see that what they’re being taught is true. If you see a questionable lesson in your children’s backpack, take the time to deprogram your child. Tell them the truth. Such children will be the leaders of the future. I am not advocating that anyone actually take on a school which has made the decision to indoctrinate a child. I’ve seen the results of such a thing firsthand, and they are not pretty. If you do not have the stomach for what my friends endured at the hands of their neighbors and their children’s teachers and administrators, no one can blame you. Dealing with lying, slandering bullies in positions of power is not for the faint of heart. However, people who know in their hearts that what’s happening will hurt their children can take the time to explain the real story to their kids.

    Do it in the secrecy the voting booth. Don’t listen to the hype, and the lies, and the nasty derogatory slanderous BS that is spouted every day about “Flyover Country.” We are not stupid. We are not backward. We are not bigots. We are the backbone of this country, and we have a voice. It may be muffled by fear at this time, but it’s there. Use it. Then wait for springtime to come back to America.

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