Posts Tagged ‘News’

The Court of Just Opinion

Author: Fred Grenvile

It is a fact that the USSC* (not SCOTUS, I’m sick of the play on POTUS) is empowered to Interpret laws, common law and statutes in light of the US Constitution. (NOT the other way round btw. No power exists to interpret the constitution in light of law or case law.) But can we just dispense with the ludicrous perception that the findings of the court, or ANY court, are truth or justice? They are the opinions derived from interpreting the facts in light of personal bias and law. Truth is an objective reality like fact, and can only be approached not completely ascertained. People make mistakes and courts–juries, judges, and justices–are people. They are people with power and the bias of authority that makes them difficult or impossible to challenge. But challenged or not, they can be wrong.

We need these institutions. Without them we’d have the chaos of an unregulated democracy, because even an anarchy will resolve into absolute rule by the majority and suppression of the minority, indifference to the individual, and influence peddling by the privileged, beautiful, or charismatic. (If it sounds like I’m antidemocratic, you are spot on. The purpose of Good Government is to protect the minority against abuse by the majority and protect the individual from all collectives INCLUDING the minority.) But the point is, while these institutions serve our best interest, only an Idjit would mistake their findings for truth rather than expediency.

* This is just a one time usage. USSC is properly the United States Service Code which the body of statutes, broken into numerical sections called Titles, we commonly refer to as Federal Law.

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The biggest motivators in the new sport of shooting mass killings, is media attention. Not the fact the tragedies are covered but the salacious way in which the shooter is notorized and his psychology is made such an amateur study. The role of a free press is to inform objectively and allow a well educated public to apply critical reason, make informed opinions, and coerce their legislators and executives to comply with the majority opinion.
 
When the press turns these incidents into media events and attempts to sway public opinion, they are no longer free press but editorial. There is no effective difference between a headline news reader who takes a biased perspective (yellow journalist) and a shock jock like Hannidy or Limbaugh. Their speech is protected under the same Bill of Rights they are denigrating.
 
However, it is dishonest and potentially criminal to purport it to be objective news coverage. That is no different from the much touted “Russian Influence” in the American political process. I’m far more concerned about Canadian and Anglo influence. IT’s far easier for the English and Anglo Canadians to masquerade as American citizns and act to pervert the political process in the US. IF Russians helping Trump with dirt on Hillary is criminal, then Canadian PACs advertising in favor of gun-laws or Barack Obama or (yes) Hillary is just as criminal for precisely the same reasons.
 
Leftist nuts and dictators are the only groups historically to have blamed violence on the prevalence of weapons rather than the prevalence of bad actors. Leftists need a disarmed public so that their extremist politics can be enforced on an unwilling populace. Dictators of the feudal, monarchical, fascist, or plutocratic need a disarmed public in order to enforce unwelcome rule on the . . . Hey! That’s the same reason!
 
Go figure.

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The broader issue of the recent sexual abuse/harassment revelations is the depravity of the media based celebrity machine. Louie CK would never have been in a position to behave the way he did if not for the perceived authority attached to fame and media success. This is the biggest lie of the cult of celebrity. Entertainers, while a lot more fun than your average motorcycle mechanic or fast food delivery driver, are actually less important. This goes for the producers, editors, writers (Ugh! They got me, Joe) and technicians in movies and television as well. Actors like Spacey, producers like Weinstein, they are instrumental in providing a product you may like or pass on. But they aren’t important. Their failures, however criminal, don’t matter directly to you and yours, unless you are a victim or concerned with the very real problem of predatory sexuality. We all should be. And we all should do our part to change the social environment so that the victim is free and even comfortable telling.

The problem is the Baby Boomers have gotten increasingly paranoid and they’ve shared that paranoia with the Millennials. Every new violent crime, immediately brings out the [x] Broadcasting Company, or the [y] News Network to open the big top and pedantically call the play by play like some OCD sportscaster. “Okay, let’s go to Jimmy Joe who’s watching from the police barricade. Tell me Jimmy is the suspect wearing paisley with stripes? That looks like stripes. Did you know that Paisleys are made int the shape of the perimeter of the Himalayas?–”

This is followed by an endless cry for tighter laws governing every spoken word, meal item, clothing choice, etc. of the private citizen. Every move is strategically placed to further limit individuality, choice and privacy guaranteed by the US Constitution. From Louie CK to Civil Liberty? Really? Well, yeah. If louie had done the same thing in a protest against organized religion, guns, Donald Trump–staged on the White House lawn–the same people crying “foul unclean, go thee to perdition” would be celebrating his brave act of conscience in pursuit of PC values. The media would not be concerned with the collateral damage to young impressionable minds of children or young women. Why? Because as a celebrity, he would be perceived as having some authority on issues social and political.

This is the heart of it. If Weinstein were just an employer, a choice among many, women would have felt free to avoid his casting couch–and report to man for sexual harassment or rape. But as celebrities they had to protect public opinion about their private life. A Rumor of misconduct by those women, would have lead to an end of career. “A few phone calls,” and they’d “never work in Hollywood again.”

Why should an actors private sexuality, criminal misconduct, political opinions, religious affiliations, etc. matter one whit. They really aren’t stars. They are artists and craftspeople. They make a product you like buying. Nothing more. But nothing less. If a factory worker can’t get a job because he spent time in prison as a young adult, we say poor man. It becomes and Hallmark movie about human triumph, and we get Spacey to play the poor unfortunate. If a young girl struggling with too much celebrity and a total lack of privacy, shoplifts to self-medicate we crucify her and relegate her to years without work, until we forget and move on to the next victim.

The star system is nothing more than a particularly successful marketing scheme. It’s like fast food games and giveaway, BOGO, get your free gift with purchase, over a billion served. If it’s kept in propotion it serves its purpose. But when it creates a standard for vetting employees it is a problem. When that trend spreads and corporations begin vetting employees based on their social media, background checks, and an invasion of privacy worse than Big Brother, it is a threat to peace and security and needs to be put on hiatus.

When a young man has to wait 15 years to report a sexual assault by a drunken coworker, because he will be seen as a troublemaker and his career ended, due to his attackers Star status on broadway– When a writer finds it difficult to be published, not because of his skill with the elements of story and plot, but because he falls in the wrong canine classification– When a rising actress and comedienne can’t complain about a drunken lout masturbating in front of her because he thinks her discomfort is comedic–It’s not time for stars to fall, its time to take down the black velvet curtain.

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The irony of the “animal rights” movement is the wild eyed murderous attitudes toward a particularly beloved primate species. How can you claim to love animals and insist that they be allowed to express their nature while attacking humans for exercising their instinct to hunt and prey? It’s laughably self contradictory.

Yabba-dabba-do!

Because I like to think, I like to read. I’m into freedom of speech, freedom of choice. I’m the kind if guy who would sit in the greasy spoon and think “Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the big rack of Barbecued spare ribs with the side order of gravy fries?

This spoof meme is a perfect example of the hate rhetoric that hunters and omnivores suffer from extremists like PETA. The picture is a link to an article exposing the silly responses that this photo generated on social media. Some got the joke, some like the author of the article only got part of it, and some may have missed the point entirely.

“Jay” the individual who originally posted the pic, was of course making fun of the big game hunter memes, including one that featured a young athletic female with her rifle and her kills. I think that one was photoshopped but regardless, the reaction was hysterical in every sense of the word. The ones who got the Jurassic Bwanna meme featuring Speilberg (above) simply reacted with the frenzied vitriol that so often attends real imagery of the sort. This lead them to stay in the moment so to speak with regard to the hunting incident and spoof the insanity of the animal rights lobby, as if the tricerotops were really the victim of a homicide.

If the concern is conservation of species, bear in mind that latest research argues that at least in the sea, predation drives population growth rather than suppressing it. The conservation movement was begun and grown by sportsmen attempting to preserve sufficient numbers of prey to continue the sport. bear in mind that without predation you can’t have your KFC, McDonalds or sushi. Or for that matter a reasonably healthy and alert human population.

Murder, Death, Kill!

Top Predators [including hunters] Preserve Ecosystems

Problems arise when predatory species are thinned and not allowed to compete with human predation. Trolling, culling, and other species management methods used in the past to protect prey species from starvation are based on models that fail to account for the balance between predation and competition between prey or between hunters. A better approach will likely eliminate corporate “farmed livestock” and deep sea trolling with floating canneries.

In fact, sportsmen with their low stress approach to species management will be critical to a healthy biosphere as just one of the natural predators necessary to restore a balanced ecosystem.

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Antitrust laws in Europe split Microsoft wide for exactly the sort of merged functionality that both Google and Firefox are offering.

The Unbelievable Thing Firefox Is Doing Now | OPEN Forum.

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This article announces a technology that uses cloned tissues to print 3d Replicas of real human tissues. The analogue to “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” is remarkable. It’s nothing new for technological advancement to mirror Science Fiction and Fantasy but, for me at least, the idea of homonculi assembled from living tissues is nearly as pase’ as Frankenstein’s Monster. It seemed that the destination of science and technology was moving inexorably toward the organic growth of replacement tissues and tailored organisms. This miniature liver however presents all sorts of intriguing and horrifying possibilities.

First 3D Printed Liver Is Mini But Mighty: Could Transplantable Human Organs Eventually Be Bioprinted?.

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Download as PDF
Penfeathers: An Illustrated Mother Goose for New Readers

Front Cover

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OXNARD ARTIST, F FRANKLIN DAVIS, MAKES READING ACCESSIBLE WITH 21 HUMOROUSLY ILLUSTRATED CHILDREN’S RHYMES.

One concern parents have is how to inspire their children to love and excel at reading. From Jack and Jill to Jack Sprat, classic and not so well-known nursery rhymes are brought to colorful life by Franklin Davis quirky Characters. Learning to read with classic Mother Goose counting rhymes, and humorous full color illustrations is a fun and intuitive path to success. Set the young children in your life on a path toward reading excellence!

 

Author/editor Richard Fredric Grenvile and artist F Franklin Davis–native to Oxnard, CA–have selectively edited and illustrated twenty-one mother goose favorites with the goal of easing the learning curve toward reading. From Jack and Jill to Jack Sprat, this kid-size book depicts these favorite characters in bright, lively and humorous detail. Penfeathers provides an intuitive path to reading success by combining beloved children’s rhymes with humorous and colorful images designed to encourage association between text and image.

 

Traditional counting rhymes have long been used to capture young imaginations, and easily commit themselves to memory. New readers approach the learning curve empowered with familiar and fun text, enabled to anticipate context. Humorous depictions encourage the reader to form visual associations between spoken verse, written text and iconic images. Oversize text and images allow a teacher or parent to create an interactive learning environment. Familiar verses help the new reader to feel more comfortable with the learning process. New readers are encouraged to transition from being read to, through simulated reading play, to reading success. Penfeathers: An illustrated Mother Goose is a perfect foundation for any beginner’s library, and

 

“In Penfeathers, Richard Fredric Grenvile has captured some of the liveliest Mother Goose rhymes with an uncomplicated, unadorned folk-art-style of illustration which nicely accompanies this selection of classics without overshadowing them.”

~Timothy Reynolds, author of Dragons in Suburbia and other short, dark tales.

 

On sale online June 1st, 2013 at Amazon.com, dieselbookstore.com, Barnes & Noble, and Powell’s Books. eBook format also available at Kindle, Nook, iTunes/iBooks, Kobo, diesel, Sony Reader Store Indigo, and Smashwords.com. Get yours now and speed your new readers to success.

 

For more information on Penfeathers, Richard Fredric Grenvile, or F Franklin Davis contact Fred@Grenvile.com. Penfeathers is 170 pages; Library of Congress number 2013908453. The full sized paperback is ISBN 978-1-48487857-6, the compact paperback is ISBN 978-1-48497775-0, and the eBook is ISBN 978-1-30127624-0

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Dodging the Coffee Clutch

Author: Fred Grenvile

Yesterday, I was at The Coffee Place, or the coffee place, depending on my mood. I laid my burdens on the big black, enameled table and ordered a cafe’ au lait, with my usual swagger. The coffee came, I took my seat, and unpacked my little mobile office. I ride a gas powered scooter (Chinese made 150cc gy-7 with 16″ rims), so I’ve learned to travel with a courier’s bag and a computer case smaller than most purses. But, out of these, I can soon fill a large desk with pages of manuscript and electronics.

Sadly, I had covered the large table and, realizing I was being bad neighborly, I asked the woman at the next table if I might have the empty chair next to her, to pile on some of my stuff and clear room for others to share. She had her purse perched in the chair, in just the same way, but, after an awkward negotiation where I declined the chair and she pushed, I finally stacked my courier bag and helmet in the chair, and cleared the table, except for my netbook and my computer case (the little one).

Thus situated, I decided to check my Skype, before getting down to work. A friend had shared this story, about a four-year-old, Mini, and her precocious imagination, and the embarrassment it caused her mother. The story was funny, and touching, and a quirky commentary on the paranoid, judgmental culture, that is America today (or when Mini was four). When we got to the part where Mini was explaining proper water-ride etiquette to her exhausted mother, I burst out in laughter.

It was spontaneous, but the septuagenarian at the table next to me jumped nearly out of her seat. Apparently, she’d been watching me and paying an inordinate amount of attention to what I was doing. Rather a funny coincidence, given the story I was reading.

Since I’d disturbed her, asking for the chair and again with my laugh, I decided to give a short, very short, explanation of the conversation tween Mini and her mom. I was quite terse, but hit the high points regarding infectious water and water ride etiquette, (you really should read it). That done, I said, “Well, I best get back to my writing.”

Okay, technically, I was reading. But I was nearly finished with the entry, and about to move on to writing. I had a short story to finish–about a mysterious traveler forced by local bandits and an ignorant police inspector to investigate a murder he is illegally charged with. With the aid of an array of anachronistic inventions–you get the picture. But now I was stuck in one of those conversations.

Ah, yes. Those conversations. They are a pitfall of the coffee house. The large number of aging boomers and homeless who congregate as the coffee house have a tendency toward garrulousness that approaches the level of social disorder. They are a real impediment at times. It’s very hard to write bout faeries and steam powered interstellar craft, when the guy next to you won’t stop regaling you with the details of his motion for conservatorship over his father, or her forbidden love with a Mexican celebrity who she must watch from afar using Google Satellite images of his villa in Yucatan.

In this case, it was the movie she’d seen with her son. How disgusting! It was one of those juvenile romps where an adult who should know better, goes out and acts like a teen-ager on break in Cancun in the eighties. Of course there was the obligatory, unwanted insinuation we should go see a movie together. I listened politely, making concerned noises and even sharing a quick anecdote from my own life, to show my basal concern for her as a person, before excusing myself and getting back to writing. Remember that? It’s the reason I’m even at The Coffee Place.

That’s when things took a decidedly distasteful turn. In the course of the movie discussions, Siskel and Ebert came up. Of course, she felt the need to stress the tragedy of Roger Ebert’s disfiguring cancer. I pointed out that Gene Siskel had been a bit of a healthnick, and still died far earlier than Ebert. Rather than allowing me to return to my computer, she continued talking as if I had simply made a bad joke. Now, she began to try and get personal information about me. I tried to be polite, but I did, again, remind her I was there to work. She quizzed me about my computer, tried to drag me into a critique of the ethics of dumping beta tech on an unsuspecting buyer at Fry’s, and used colonoscopy recommendations as a means to try and get me to tell her my age.

Mind you, it never occurred to her to simply ask for the information she wanted, or to have an frank conversation. She was too busy playing at pushing to get anywhere with me, and her lack of subtlety only made it worse. Bearing in mind I’m a heterosexual, I’ve been hit on by both men and women. Not that I’m a George Clooney or Brad Pitt, but it happens. This is the first time, however, I’ve ever encountered:”Have you had a colonoscopy yet, they say every man should have one at fifty,” as a pick-up line. My advice don’t use it.

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I approached Timothy GM Reynolds aka Alex T Crisp, a rather prolific writer whom I think we can forgive for being Canadian, and asked him to comment on my new book of children’s Rhymes. Nope, not the German musician, or the expressionist painter. Tim was gracious enough to look over Penfeathers, despite his busy schedule and the egregious (my word not his) demands on his time and personal resources. The following is his response, which I deeply appreciate.

______
Hi Fred.

Firstly, thank you for letting me read your collection. It certainly took me back to my childhood. So, here is something I hope you can use for the back cover, although what you have there already is quite good:

“In Penfeathers, Richard Fredric Grenville has captured some of the liveliest Mother Goose rhymes with an uncomplicated, unadorned folk-art-style of illustration which nicely accompanies this selection of classics without overshadowing them.”
~Timothy Reynolds, author of ‘Dragons in Suburbia’ and other short, dark tales.

~~~~

Cheers,

Tim.

After the tildes, he also forwarded some extremely helpful critique which I appreciate, greatly. He is a real gentleman and a great writer. I suggest that after you have purchased Penfeathers, you then pick up a copy of Shanghai Steam, or Dragons.

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Recently I tried a foray into self publishing. I have had some items of non-fiction published in the past, but my current work is a somewhat dark fantasy and it’s a struggle to get read. On the other hand, I have seen some success stories in self publishing. So I thought I’d try testing the waters.

In the past I’ve viewed self publishing as vanity publishing, POD as an expensive version, and dedicated mainstream publishers as a necessity. But In my search for the right agent and/or publisher to love my work and put the effort into helping me refine and market my manuscripts as published works, I stumbled onto a couple of individuals who were committed to self publishing. Prolific writers (I’m the slow plodding sort) who work hard to make a presence that is bigger than their work and who have gradually moved from self publishing to minor indie publishers.

This inspired me to at least dip my toe in the waters and see what the process might bring. ePublishing got me some small response, so I thought I’d try printing with POD. Just as I made this decision a major POD changed their prices and fee schedule. I was amazed at how easily one could simply publish and be available for bricks and mortar as well as libraries and ed. institutions. So once more I got to editing and soon I was evaluating proofs and preparing to launch.

One thing I tried was contacting a major indie book store. Ironically, this store has as one of it’s facilities a POD of no small skill and no small fee. If purchasing their services, then you are given space in the storefront, however I had already published. I had my LCC and my very own ISBN-13 and a beautiful trades paperback to call my own.

It took a couple of weeks to hear back, and this is the core of what I was told”

We do not carry self-published books, those printed by vanity presses or print on demand titles. Previous sales tests have shown that, while our customers are interested in all subjects, they are much more likely to browse and purchase titles like this at their local bookstore or on-line rather than carrying them with them on their travels.

Now I didn’t understand the point about carrying them on their travels. Yes people buy books to read on flights and trains and ships. But a bookstore is about books. Also I immediately saw the way they lumped vanity, self-published, and POD into a single entity. That rankled. It hit my pride. I wasn’t a vanity published author. I was a real writer with a good book and it was real. How dare they make that comparison.

And then– it hit me.

Life, what a concept.

 

If you like a good story with some thought provoking undercurrents or you just like real old fashioned fairy tales, get Neverwas.

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