Slavery is not why most men fought in the Civil War.
I’m going to explain this in a moment, but stop a moment and observe: The first reaction of many people to my initial statement is one of instant and violent rejection. In these emotionally charged times, fully half of my readers will refuse to go on from here; many more will fail to understand their meaning in the light of their preconceptions. Some will doubtless accuse me of lying or of deliberately being hateful.
And so let me hasten to clarify: Slavery was one of the great horrors of history, a crime against (more…)
I just read a news report about Warner Brothers and how they’re taking the Confederate flag off the top of the General Lee. This surprised me on many levels, not the least of which being that they were spending money on digital editing while not renaming the car.
Turns out the story was misleading (Shock! Amaze!); all they did was (more…)
Once again, some poor dumb schmuck blew himself up along with a bunch of innocents. And once again, all we can do is send our thoughts and prayers.
His name was released, but I can’t be bothered to look for it. We all know who he was anyway; it’s always the same: a loner, picked on in school, frequently humiliated, timid, introverted, had trouble communicating, was severely depressed. Your basic loser, picked up by a group that preys on losers, mildly (more…)
In the Mexican state of Sinaloa, a new wave of violence has erupted since the January inauguration of new Governor Quirino Ordaz Coppel, who reportedly is contesting the Sinaloa Cartel‘s exclusive control of the police force.
Meanwhile, in Mindanao, in the southern Philippines, martial law has been declared following armed clashes between the national army and Moro separatists allegedly fighting under the banner of Abu Sayyaf, an ISIS affiliate which funds its activities through the smuggling of guns, drugs, and slaves — much like the Sinaloa Cartel, albeit with a strikingly different ethos.
What do these two conflicts have in common? Among other things, they’re both being largely paid for by the United States. Both sides of both wars are using American dollars to kill each other. (more…)
Google made headlines recently when they announced an adjustment to their search algorithm to reduce the spread of “Fake News”. Apparently, The Not Fake News has made their list. I’m annoyed, but on the other hand — that’s life in a nation of free speech, free expression, and a free press.
I want to be very clear from the beginning: I dislike Donald J. Trump. I find him odious and I believe him to be unprincipled and dangerously impulsive.
And I don’t think he’s done anything terribly illegal during his time in office. If it’s found that he has, it’ll be a surprise to me, and I’ve been watching about as closely as an outsider can. (more…)
It’s been a long couple of years now, and let’s face it: we’ve got a right to feel worn out. It’s been exhausting, a roller-coaster ride of war and politics and ambition and guile. We’ve been lied to, cheated, insulted, and abused, and if you’re anything at all like me, you’re pretty sick of it.
The thing is, we’re tired of it — tired of all of it. We’re tired of sound bytes and memes masquerading as facts, of a long recession masquerading as an economic recovery, of politics masquerading as government.
My name’s John, and I’m a recovering bookseller. (“Hi, John!”)
Running a used book shop was the most satisfying and fulfilling occupation I’ve ever had, and I’ve done a lot of things in my life. Computer programming and applications design, process engineering, pizza delivery, construction big and small, hooking up live sewer lines, teaching — if it’s low-pay or high-stress, I’ve probably done it.
The beautiful part about selling books lies in matching the book to the person. So, if you’re a jaded Manhattanite who drinks to keep your remaining humanity crushed down out of sight while surviving day to day in the naked city, I’ll tell you to read Lawrence Block (more…)