Conspiracy Theories, Trump & Voter Fraud

Conspiracy theories can be fun so here is one to think about. Why would Trump in the third debate not agree to accept the results of the election?

Trump had to realize this would make him look bad. America prides itself on having a peaceful transfer of power. If Trump wants to make America great our democracy is one of our countries finest attributes. The idea that the people (or our delegates) elect a president is a central tenant of democracy.

Besides why not wait until the voting results come in. Trump could at that time disavow his comments at the debate. He could say he didn’t have all the information at the time of the debate. He could point out that he discovered new information. In truth who cares if he accepts or does not accept the results of the election.

All of the Republican candidates agreed to support the eventual GOP nominee. Trump had no problem rescinding this promise, well until he became the nominee. Kasich and Cruz also rescinded the pledge. Until Cruz changed his mind again and supported Trump. Going back on their pledge did not appear to hurt any of the candidates.

So why would Trump make a point of saying he might not accept the results of the election? Now for my conspiracy theory. If illegal aliens, dead people and felons vote it will be unlikely to have any real impact on the result of the election. Yet, if our electronic voting machines and computer tabulators are hacked it could have an impact.

Various states and counties leave no paper trail and could in theory be hacked. Other electronic voting machines are susceptible to hacking.

See:

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/millions-voters-could-cast-ballots-machines-leave-no-paper-trail

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/rigged-presidential-elections-hackers-demonstrate-voting-threat-old-machines/

http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/23/opinions/elections-hacks-russia-warning-zegart/index.html

The issue of the hacking of the DNC emails and Hillary Clinton emails have been one sided. Russia is believed to be behind the hacking of the emails.Did WikiLeaks get their information from Russia? Trump has indicated on a number of occasions his support of Putin. On the other hand Putin appears not to like Hilary Clinton.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/15/opinions/putin-clinton-hate-affair-ghitis/index.html

Now for the conspiracy theory part of the blog. What if Trump believes Russian will try and hack the computers and voting machines to his benefit. If Trump were to win the election It would look bad for Clinton to claim the election was rigged after attacking Trump for such a claim. It would look bad to claim the computers and/or voting machines were hacked.

 

 

Ouija Origin of Evil – Review

The  few weeks before Halloween should be filled with scary movies but Ouija Origin of Evil was the only one in the theater this weekend. It was a prequel to the 2014 movie Ouija. The 2014 movie was watchable but unremarkable. Thus, my expectations for the prequel were not very high.

I was pleasantly surprised. It is hard for me to write movie reviews because I try to avoid spoilers. That being said I will have to provide some information I learned from watching the film. As such I won’t be offended if you stop reading this blog until after you have seen the movie.

Some of the characters have become clique over the years. An innocent child possessed by evil. A single mother trying to get by after the death of her husband. A teenage girl struggling with moving towards adulthood. A kind priest trying to fight his own internal demons.Yet, this does not bother me. All characters are cliques at a point. We are surrounded by entertainment. We have seen so many television shows, movies and books it is rare for anything to be truly unique.

I found the characters believable. Lulu Wilson who played Doris and Annalise Basso who played Lina were both up to the task and convincing in their rolls. I also found the special effects to be creepy and not overused. When Doris contorts her body in unnatural ways it is subtle but also truly disturbing.

I liked the juxtaposition of 1965 and the innocence of that time against the evil of the spirits. Ouija boards have been around forever but in 1966 Parker Brothers bought the rights to the name Ouija (Hasbro purchased it from Parker Brothers in 1991) I assume this is the beginning the movie is referencing. 1965 was prior to the summer of love and was a quite and conservative time compared to the world today. The innocence of the girls and of the time period compared to the darkness and evil of the spirits made for a good contrast.

In addition the house itself became a character. Hiding secrets of it’s prior owners. The Priest was trying to help without being judgmental. The mother was doing her best to get by. I felt  her willingness to scam her customers and her justification of the dishonesty made her more relate-able.

This movie is not going to win the Oscar for Best Film but I suspect it will be a winner at the box office from now to Halloween. It was fun, spooky and a good time. I would recommend seeing it.

 

 

Killer Clowns, Sexy Outfits, Politics & What Not to Wear – Halloween Costume Advice

Sexy – Who doesn’t love sexy in a costume? Sure there is the naughty nurse or sexy french maid. Other classics include the playboy bunny or slinky feline. These days any costume can be sexy. The results can be down right creepy. From food to children’s cartoon characters.  I have seen sexy costumes such as the following: sexy carrot, sexy corn, sexy banana and sexyTeletubbie. More disturbing are the sexy politicians. If you felt like ripping your eyes out of your head after opening the bedroom door and seeing your parents snuggling  wait until you see the sexy Trump and sexy Bernie Sanders costumes. http://time.com/4041671/sexy-donald-trump-costume/  My advice be sexy but use good judgement.

Killer Clowns – Yes, like most Americans clowns give me the creeps. Stephen King’s: IT certainly has not put clowns in the best of light and a remake does not bode well for people with coulrophobia. Movies such as Killer Klowns from Outer Space and characters like Captain Spalding from The Devils Rejects add to the negative image of clowns. Not to mention clown spokes persons for restaurants have been known to cause people with phobias distress.

With all the recent clown sightings I suspect there will be a lot of people dressing as clowns this year. I should warn people it might be dangerous. There was a news story out of Chicago of a woman being attacked for wearing too much make up. This year I would encourage people not to go out dressed as a clown.

Politicians – Sure it may seem like a great idea to dress as Trump given his skin color is similar to a pumpkin and a trump wig is easy to find. Hillary also may seem like a great costume. All you need is a pant suit. Cat costumes may seem seem like a good idea as well in light of certain comments by the Republican candidate but I would suggest taking a more tasteful approach. This year politics is scary enough. Why overly scare the little demons and goblins in your neighborhood. I guess you could go as Gary Johnson or Jill Stein but who would recognize you.

Superheros – Superheros are always a good choice. You can be as sexy or as heroic as you like. Remember children look up to superheros so don’t let them down. Super villains are a whole other matter. The Joker is a little too close to a clown costume and Harley Quinn might be a bit disturbing.

Classic Costumes – You can’t go wrong with classic creatures of the night. Penny Dreadful has brought Frankenstein, The Wolf-man and Dracula back in vogue. These creatures of the night never go out of Halloween vogue. Ghosts are also a good costume idea. All you need is a sheet and scissors. You can’t go wrong by going back to the classics. This includes many of the characters in my books. Demons, witches, mummies and voodoo spirits are good options.

Why dress up?  Remember costumes serve two purposes. The first is it is fun to pretend to be someone or something else. Even if it is just for the night costumes are freeing in some ways. The second is wearing a costume hides your true identity from the real creatures of the night who might to and steal your soul. Once a creature of the night determines  you are human and actually have one it can be unsafe*. So have fun this Halloween season.

  • The author makes no real or implied warranty that all humans have souls. As of late there is substantial support that some people may be lacking in that department. 

Could it happen in America? The answer is yes.

I want to start out by saying it is not my intent to compare any politician to Hitler. I do not believe that is appropriate. I do not believe any candidate is suggesting mass murder. Yet, the similarities between Hitler’s policies and some of the suggested policies in the presidential contest are worth noting. The real question is  under the right circumstances could the Holocaust happen here?

It is easy to say that the Germans were evil or easily led. The same evil nature would also have to include the Italians, the Japanese and the remaining Axis Powers. I do not believe such large groups of people are inherently evil.

America is not exempt from all responsibility for Hitler’s Germany. America turned away boat loads of Jewish refugees knowing that they would be returned to Germany to die. America knew about the murder of innocents but failed to act. America could have bombed the train tracks leading to the concentration camps but did nothing. America created interment camps for American citizens of Japanese dissent.

After WWI Germany was in shambles. On top of having to rebuild the infrastructure of their country the Germans had to care for their returning soldiers, their wives and widows. To make matters worse they had to pay reparations to England and France. The result was hyperinflation and an economic depression. The depression was not limited to the Germany as the depression spread throughout the world from 1929 for the next ten years.

Middle class Germans could see their futures and that of their children slipping away. That desperation paved the way for the Third Reich. This desperation allowed Adolph Hitler to rise to power.

Hitler was able to convince the German people that their country was on the brink of disaster. He convinced the people that if extreme actions were not taken than there was no hope for the future. In addition he was able to convince the voters that he alone could make Germany great again.

Hitler blamed the Jews for Germany’s misfortune. This was despite the fact that Jews made up less than 1% of the German population. There was no evidence to support any claim that Jews had a negative impact on the German economy.

Jews had nothing to do with Germany’s negative economic Hitler’s final solution did have a negative economic impact. Hitler wasted the resources of Germany, when Germany needed them the most. Mass murder took man power, fuel, weapons and other resources from the German people.

In addition Germany had laws that barred Jewish scientists from working. Germany at the time was the envy of the scientific world. This policy adversely effected the German economy by excluding contributors to the economy.

On a side note The Manhattan Project that created the nuclear bomb was made up of a large number of European Jews. The vast majority of the leadership of the Manhattan Project was Jewish. If Hitler had not made the decision to destroy the Jewish population Germany might have been the  first to create the nuclear bomb.

I would like to turn my analysis to today and our current election. I do see some similarities in proposed policies that cause me concern. Again I am not attacking parties or candidates only bringing up suggested policies that cause me concern.

Illegal immigration is a problem in this country but in the scheme of things it is not a big problem. The population of illegal immigrants is approximately 3.5% of the overall population. (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/20/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/) Illegal Immigrants are not entitled to welfare. They do pay taxes through property  taxes and sales tax. In addition many pay other payroll taxes through their employment using fake social security cards but don’t get social security in return.

There is some cost to tax payers relating to illegal immigration in terms of medical care and education. Also, some people may commit fraud to obtain government assistance. Yet, all in all it would be hard to argue that there is a net economic loss to America caused by illegal immigration.

Illegal immigration may be a problem but it has no real negative impact on America’s economy. As a political and economic issue it is a smoke screen. It is like blaming the Jews for Germany’s economy.

The issues related to Muslims with in our country also has limited impact on our countries economy but is being used politically. Even though a large number of terrorists are Muslim that does not mean a large number of Muslims are terrorists. It does bring some disturbing parallels to WW2 to argue that America should refuse to admit refugees. It is even more bothersome if we were to base or decisions on religion. Obviously, we need to make sure refugees are not terrorists and that we limit the number of refugees to an amount we can provide for.

I believe America is great. There may be some argument that white, male, Americans felt they had a greater potential to succeed in the 1950’s and 1960’s. After WW2 America was competing with a Europe that was devastated by war. Europe’s manufacturing base was in turmoil.  China, Mexico and India were underdeveloped as was their manufacturing base. America was the worlds first superpower. We could use a disproportional amount of the worlds resources and dominate world trade. I don’t know how any political person or body can recreate those circumstances.

America is in need of money. To solve the problem we need to look for solutions where the money is. When the bank robber, Willie Sutton, was asked why he robbed banks, he allegedly said, “That’s were the money is”. Today the money is in the hands of multinational corporations and the top 1% of the population. If we need to make major changes related to our economy that is the first place to look. Making efforts to stamp out fraud in social services is important but will have little impact on the overall economy.

Issues like gay marriage, abortion and guns may be important but have little to do with the economy. The economy is the real issue for voters. (http://www.gallup.com/poll/158267/economy-dominant-issue-americans-election-nears.aspx)

I am not trying to attack specific politicians. Both of our presidential candidates may have the best of intentions. Yet, some similarities between suggested policies and the policies of Germany in the 1930’s should cause Americans concern.

  1.  The effort to convince people that America is going down the drain and if a certain candidate is not elected there will be dire consequences that can never be recovered from.
  2. The effort to convince people that the reason their country is going down the drain is the actions of some group of minorities who have no negative impact on the economy.
  3. The efforts to convince the people that they do not need to work with other countries or uphold contracts, international laws or other agreements (trade agreements, NATO, The Treaty of Versailles).
  4.  Arguing for an increase in police powers and police presence. The support for “stop and frisk” and the suggestion that additional police authorities are needed to hunt down and remove millions of people.
  5. If a candidate appears to have the support of White Supremacist groups.

 

Be A Clam- There Are Reasons To Be Happy

Yes, it is hard to be happy when the world around us seems to be crumbling. Yes, there is racial injustice, violence and hopelessness all around us. Yes, we have two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in history. Yes, our computer and television screens show images of hopelessness around the clock.

The truth is we see more evil today than ever before. Yet, there is not more evil today than in the past. The murder rate has declined over time despite what a person might thing based on the news of mass shootings. http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2013/05/17/rick_nevin_murder_statistics_safest_year_ever.html

There are people alive today that were around when six million Jews were slaughtered in Europe. In my lifetime people could be denied service in restaurants based on the color of their skin. Woman were denied the right to vote until 1920.

Today we have an African American President. The next president of the United States may be a woman. Woman and minority citizens are CEO’s running major corporations.

Prior to 1973 the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) found that homosexuality was a mental disorder. Until 1986 sexual orientation was still considered in the DSM. Today gay marriage is a constitutional right.

During the Cold War we were at the brink of nuclear annihilation. Today the world’s nuclear arsenals have been reduced. The United State’s does not have a draft. The current military conflicts are mostly confined to the Middle-East.

Oil was almost completely gone in the 1970’s now it is at record low prices. More food can be grown with less land today then ever before. Almost everyone has a Smartphone. Almost everyone has indoor plumbing, a flat screen television and a refrigerator.

In addition you can be entertained for almost nothing anywhere you want. You can get any of my novels for less than five bucks on Kindle or Nook. You can watch movies on Netflix on your phone.

I live in a small town but I can get Sushi, Thai, Korean, Middle Eastern, Indian or almost any other type of food without driving more than ten minutes. I could get on a plane and be in Europe tomorrow. People will provide goods and services to me in exchange for paper or plastic.

We live in a time of miracles. Advances in technology,transportation and medical fields are moving forward at an amazing pace. I am not saying we need to ignore the social injustice in the world. I am simply suggesting we need to remember how far as a nation we have progressed.

In conclusion be happy. Be as happy as a clam. Be as happy as a dog with two tails. Be as happy as a lark. Be as happy as a kid in a candy store or a bird with a french fry.

FYI: Has anyone noted that Robin Tunney in the Craft looks a lot like Kristen Stewart in those vampire movies?

Guns vs. Common Sense

Shootings in schools, nightclubs and movies seem to be a regular occurrence. The incidence of police shooting citizens and citizens shooting police are all too common. As people see no opportunities in their life the value of human life is diminished. As Bob Dylan said, “When you’ve got nothing, you’ve got nothing to loose”.

The Second Amendment is not as ambiguous as we like to pretend it is. The intent of the Second Amendment is to allow citizens the right to own guns. The intent of the drafters of The Second Amendment includes the right to have guns that might be used in arming a militia. At the time the Bill of Rights was written America just fought a war against the British. This supports the argument for military style weapons. The Bill of Rights was written because the people were suspicious and distrustful of government. At the time it would not be unusual to gather up a posse and have ordinary citizens (provided they were white and male) perform what today would be police or military duties.

That being said we do not live in the 18th Century and have to take a common sense look at what the right to bear arms means in a modern society. In Dallas, when police officers were gunned down, no gun bearing citizen shot the perpetrator. The police took longer to find the killer because other people in the crowd were walking around with long guns strapped to their back. The writers of the Bill of Rights had no concept of modern assault rifles. Yet, even if they could imagination the weapons of the future they had no concept of modern society. Rather than trying to wrap our minds around the thoughts of citizens in the Colonial Era we need to use common sense to regulate guns to protect citizens today. The United States Supreme Court has found that the reasonable regulation of firearms does not violate the Second Amendment. Just as the First Amendment is not violated by barring a person from yelling “fire” in a crowded theater.

Donald Trump talked about how the Orlando shooting could have been stopped by armed club goers. Even the NRA had the rare sense to point out, “No one thinks people should go into a nightclub drinking and caring firearms.” Chris Fox NRA’s Institute of Legislative Action. http://nypost.com/2016/06/19/nra-says-trumps-orlando-comments-defy-common-sense/

When we consider the distrust people have towards the police fed by recent deaths of people in police custody it is a recipe for disaster. The July 9, 2016 sniper attack is an example of what happens when citizens have easy excess to military style weapons and don’t trust the government. People have to believe in justice and have respect for the police. That respect, however, must be earned.

I understand there has always been the abuse of power by police officers and others in positions of authority. Most police officers are hard working individuals who put their lives on the line for the betterment of society. Most police officers are overworked and underpaid for a thankless job. Yet, like all groups there are individuals within the ranks of police officers who are bullies. There are individuals who are racist. The advent of cell phone cameras and body cameras have brought to light the abuse of power that was swept under the rug before.

In Illinois the eavesdropping law was found unconstitutional because it was used by police to avoid being recorded. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-03-20/news/chi-supreme-court-eavesdropping-law-20140320_1_illinois-supreme-court-illinois-eavesdropping-act-cook-county-jail. It has since been rewritten.

In addition it is frightening how many incidents, where a person dies in police custody, and police cameras are not working. It is is unlikely to be a coincidence when government controlled cameras fail to function at the moment a person is killed. In addition to those killed through police action there are those killed through inaction. How many people are dying in county jails from suicide and heroin withdraw without medical assistance?

Readily available guns and devaluing human life results in the unnecessary loss of life. One question is what steps can be taken to address this situation? Another question is if our government is willing to stand up for it’s citizens to take the steps necessary to protect us?

It is obvious we need to regulate the sale of assault rifles. It should be as hard to get a gun as a driver’s license. Automatic weapons should  be banned as well as many semi-automatic weapons. We should make efforts to keep people who are terrorists, dangerous, mentally ill and/or violent from purchasing guns.

People need to know that human life has value. A person who works 40 hours per week but can’t feed his children feels hopeless. He feels that his life has no value. This also diminishes the value he puts on the lives of others.  In the past factory owners had to treat employees as human beings because those people lived in their community. Now the factory is in China and the factory owner is a multi-national corporation.

Why are so most terrorists from the poorest countries in the world? Why don’t find a lot of wealthy people blowing themselves up? It is the absence of a hope for the future that makes them ripe to be picked by radical groups.

If citizens are denied justice they are more likely to act out violently. If a police officer violates the law he should be prosecuted just as an ordinary citizen would be. We need to be more transparent when it comes to these matters. Police records should be review-able and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests complied with. Video images of people harmed or killed in police custody should be made available to the public.

If I learned one thing from Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure it is that we must be “Excellent to each other”. If we were to follow that one rule the world would be a better place.

The Price of Freedom

The murder of fifty people in the happiest place on earth is a reminder of the cost of freedom. The response to such tragedy is to stand firm in our beliefs. This is not the time to pass more laws to give the government the power to further seize our liberty. This is the time to stand up for freedom and take a stand against racism, homophobia and hatred.

There are people who are filled with hate. Those people wont be changed by my words or those of anyone else. Yet, these are desperate acts of a radical few people holding on to an uncivilized time that has passed them by. These terrorists must act out violently because no one will hear their words otherwise. No one cares about a minority of evil people so they must murder people who are cared for. This is a last ditch effort to make an irrelevant group feel important. They must strike down something of value because they themselves have none.

After such a tragedy there will be radical talk to extend and expand The Patriot Act. There will be talk about giving the police further power and to erode the freedoms guaranteed by Fourth Amendment to the United State’s Constitution. It is our constitution and our freedom that makes Americans the target to evil doers.

Freedom has always required sacrifice. The price of freedom has often been death. Fifty people in Florida should never have had to pay that price. They were innocents not soldiers. Yet, America is at war. It is a war we must fight not by bullets or police power but by speaking out against the force of darkness. It is a war we fight when we stand up for individuals picked on because of their religion, sexual preference or the color of their skin. It is a war we fight when we uphold the United State’s Constitution. It is a war we will win.

Our politicians may use this tragedy to embrace hatred. Yet, one gunman lacking a soul is not the face of America. America is in the faces of those speaking up against hatred. America is reflected in the people giving blood and giving of their time. American exceptionalism is about embracing freedom.

 

Bees, Global Warming, and the Apocalypse

I recently took a class on Bees and Beekeeping at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign*. I took two things away from the class. One, beekeeping is not easy. The other is that the world may be in real trouble.

The decline in the honeybee population has a real impact on the overall environment we live in. We need bees for honey but more importantly pollination. One of the lessons we learned in the class is that even minor changes in the environment have a large impact on bees.

Global warming clearly has an impact on bees. One such negative consequence is that Africanized bees are expanding their territory further North. Africanized bees bees are not only more aggressive but have a greater likelihood to swarm. They are also more likely to leave their hives and not return.

Another problem that may be exacerbated by the change in climate are increased problems with pests, in particular Varroa Mites and Hive Beetles. Varroa Mites were not discovered until 1987 but are a devastating problem that can eventually kill entire hives. It seems as though almost every hive suffers from them. The Hive Beetle came from Africa and they are also an enormous problem.

Pesticides also are having a negative impact on bees. Even if pesticides don’t kill the bees directly they weaken their immune system such that it makes bees more vulnerable to the effects of global warming and pests. Attempts to limit the use of some types of pesticides do not appear entirely effective.

The reason I am writing about bees is not for beekeepers who already know about these problems. I am discussing these issues as an allegory. The impact of global warming and environmental damage through pesticides and other chemicals can be seen in all forms of life.That certainly includes humans.

The food we eat, the liquids we drink, and the chemicals we ingest purposefully or through pollution are slowly destroying our world. It is more likely society will die out as a result of a thousand cuts rather than a sword through the heart. An atomic bomb or a giant meteor are less likely to end the world than continuing the slow path to destruction we are already on.

Genetic engineering may be looked at as a solution to solving the problems we created. We can make bees more pest resistant or better able to tolerated climate changes. We can do the same with plants and food products. The question is, should we?

We have mapped the genome of the honey bee as well as that of a human being. Genetic mapping becomes cheaper and easier each year. The result of this work has been a huge benefit to science. The practical and positive impact of these accomplishments is so great it is hard to quantify.

Yet, the potential for negative consequences related to genetic engendering has greatly increased. Genetically modified corn and potatoes have been around for a while. So far with little adverse effect. Genetically modified salmon have also been approved to join their starchy friends on our dinner table. A salmon that grows twice as fast as its natural brother does cause me greater concern than a pest resistant spud.

The more we damage our ecosystem the more radical the steps we will need to try and repair it. Pests, throughout history, have adapted to the escalating war of poisons. What will happen when we take even more radical steps to protect the environment we are destroying?

The solution maybe taking a step back rather than a jump forward. Cutting down on green house gases and organic farming may be a backward step in the right direction. Even though these old fashion ideas may be harder than developing new poisons and relying on genetic engineering. Energy from sources other than coal and oil might also be a step in the right direction.

I have been considering these concepts for the book Bunny Blood Feud. What will the future look like if we have a race between mother nature and technology to maintain a livable ecosystem. In the past technology has been our savior. What will be the role of technology in the future?

As the population expands we have been able to keep pace by growing more food faster. We have used pesticides and fertilizers to make it so fewer people can grow food on less land. We have been able to locate oil where it would have been impossible to do so a few years back. What if we reach the end of the road. What if out of desperation we take things too far? These are the concepts I want to explore in Bunny Blood Feud.

* I would like to thank the 2016 Bees & Beekeeping Short Course held at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign for teaching me about bees. If I made an errors in my explanation of bee related issues it is likely my fault not theirs.

The Next American Revolution

As the election draws near it is clear that Americans are seeking change. Trump and Sanders may not win the nomination for their prospective parties but their popularity is an indication that the American people are not happy with the status quo. I should stress that The Commander and Chief no matter who that person is can’t solve the major underlying problems with this nation. Yet, he or she can help lead us in the right direction. This is a critical time in American history.

It is a mistake to look to the past for solutions to our current  problems. Yet, we can’t ignore history either. I find some of the rhetoric from the candidates reminiscent of the mistakes this nation has made in the past.

Some people believe that this countries unprecedented post WWII growth can be repeated and the way to do so is to live by the social values of the 1950’s. That is simply nonsense. We live in a bigger world today and the world’s resources are being shared by more and more industrialized countries.

Henry Ford sold his cars cheaply enough so that his employees could afford to buy them. In the past the rich recognized that they had to live among factory workers and thus needed to provide a living wage. Multinational corporations are not set up to care about individuals within this nation.

Today products are made in China. The factory owners don’t ever see their employee’s and wouldn’t recognize them if they did. The rich can live in gated communities and never be confronted with the poor. Factory owners no longer live in the same city where their products are made.

Many issues the politicians discuss in debates and on the campaign trail are designed to appeal to the listeners passion and prejudice rather than their needs and expectations. People shouldn’t vote against their financial interests because a candidate claims to share their religion or side with them as to some social issue.

What made America great was our education system and the size of the Middle Class.The Middle Class is shrinking and our education system is no longer the best in the world. As more of the world’s wealth is put in the hands of fewer people the likelihood of a second American Revolution increases.

Programs like social security, food stamps and welfare are about more then a nation’s generosity. Starving people are dangerous. People will kill to feed their children. It is a mistake to vote for anyone who does not believe in a safety net. Yet, the system can’t work if a person with a full time job does no have a better standard of living than a person on welfare. These are issues candidates need to discuss.

This election we need to elect a president who:

A.  Will work to help education her citizens.

B.  Allow people to believe through hard work they can succeed and actually support legislation that will make that happen.

C.  Will bring people together.

D.  Will put the blame on the people responsible for the problem.

E.  Understands where the money is and how money works.

F.  Is not so arrogant that they can’t consider the view point of others.

G.  Are guided by the best interest’s of individuals and not corporations.

This election we need to avoid candidates who:

A.  Believe God is on their side.

B.  Wrap themselves in the flag.

C.  Believe they can succeed through force of will.

D. Can’t answer a direct question with a direct answer.

E.  Promise the impossible.

It is also important to remember that the president has very little control over most social issues other than the nomination of Supreme Court Justices. Issues such as gay rights, abortion, and gun control are issues primarily addressed by state legislatures and by the judiciary. In addition the interpretation of the United State’s Constitution has nothing to do with the President that is an issue for the courts.

I am not endorsing a specific candidate. Even if I was who would listen. I am asking that people make an effort to educate themselves about the candidates. People need to pick a candidate who puts substance above rhetoric. I hope as a nation we will make the right decision for the people of this country.

 

 

Halloween -The Top Five Things to Do to Get Your Fright On and the Top Five to Avoid

Halloween is just around the corner and it is time to get in the spirit of the holiday. The release of The Wiccan Witch of the Midwest is certainly a festive way to celebrate. It is so spooky it should get your gibbets shaking well past Thanksgiving. I have decided this Halloween to provide a list of the top five things to do to get your fright on. I have also listed the top five to avoid.

Five Good Things to Do

  1.  See a scary movie in the theater. The theaters should provide a few good chills in October of 2015 with: Goosebumps, Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse, The Last Witch Hunter and Bone Tomahawk. I have not seen any of these but they look scary.
  2. Rent or Netflix a scary movie: It Follows is coming to the little screen. It is a fun film that takes the teen scream movie to a very different place. This was one of the best new horror flicks to come out last year.The Babadook is also out and this was original enough to give me a few chills. You can also enjoy all the Saw movies on Netflix.
  3. Pumpkin related activities. Yes, going to the local pumpkin patch to select your potential Jack-O-Lantern is always a good time. It is fun for the little goblins as well. Pumpkin related foods from pumpkin pie to pumpkin bread and ice-cream are a tasty fall treat. Although, I must confess I prefer butternut squash to pumpkin in my pie.
  4. Story Telling is particularly fun on and around Halloween. Every so often there will be events at bonfires, libraries and book stores promoting spooky story telling. I don’t know why we as I society we have forgotten how much fun tales around a fire can be.
  5. Real Haunted houses can be great on All Hallows Eve. I am not talking about the Haunted Houses that seem to spring up in abandoned stores and malls each year. I am recommending real haunted houses. Do some research there are a lot of haunted places all over the country. Around me there is the Lincoln Theater in Decatur, Illinois that gives tours and is said to be filled with ghosts. In Chicago the Congress Plaza Hotel has a reputation for spirits. I few of the old building at the University of Illinois are said to be haunted including the English Building and Lincoln Hall. The haunted tower at Urbana High School is also said to be haunted.

Things not to do.

1. Raising the dead is always a mistake. If have learned anything from Pet Cemetery,  Flatliners, and Frankenstein it never turns out well when you try to raise the dead. Sure it sound like fun until someone has their brains eaten.

2.  Killing people and playing with their guts. Life is sacred and it is wrong to snuff it out. Also, it is illegal and bad karma. Live and let live I always say. It is also near impossible to get blood and guts our of your clothes.

3.  Using a Ouija Board alone is a mistake. It is a bad idea to invite spirits and possibly demons into your home. It is a worse idea to do so alone. You need someone else to help tether you to this world. It also helps to have someone back you up in a fight with the supernatural.

4.  Say “Bloody Mary” or “Candy Man” into a mirror three times. Yes, there are movies named after Bloody Mary and the Candy Man. If you watch them you will get the idea of why this is not such a good idea. Let’s just say what you unleash is damn hard to put back in.

5.  Agree to a dare. Yes, it’s Halloween and your best friend has double dog dared  you to go up to the old Jenkins home knock on the door and run. Maybe you are promised a candy bar if you only spend the night at the abandoned house on Elm Street. To paraphrase the Nike Commercials, Just Don’t Do it.

So take my advice and you will have a lot of fun this Halloween. Don’t forget to get your copy of the Wiccan Witch of the Midwest on Amazon, B&N and the Camel Press web page. You can have a lot of fun and still be safe and respectful of the creatures that go bump in the night.