An Important Holiday Reminder

Back in law school, I took a course on Wills and Estates. There was case we studied involving a woman asked her attorney to draft a new Will for her. This was done and the client was notified. The problem was the lawyer told the client she didn’t have to rush in to sign. She could wait until after the holiday. Just don’t die, ha ha, the lawyer told her.  Naturally (and this was why we were studying it), she died over the holiday, never signing the new Will. The Courts ultimately ruled while the new Will may have reflected the deceased’s intent, because it was never signed, it was not valid and the prior Will, which was signed by the woman, controlled.

After we finished discussing the case, the professor told us the back story. He knew some of the parties involved. Turns out, the lawyer who drafted the new Will was a functioning alcoholic. The holiday was the Fourth of July. Said lawyer was looking forward to going on a bender for the holiday, he didn’t want to waste any time he could be drinking having to wait around his office for his client to show up and sign the new Will.

The moral, the professor told us, was this:

DON’T CELEBRATE THE FOURTH ON THE THIRD WITH A FIFTH .

Have a happy and safe Holiday.

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The Progressive Who Cried Racist

Once Upon a Time….

There was a young progressive who lived in a village. The Progressive’s self appointed job was to protect the villagers from harmful things, such as referring to people by the wrong gender pronouns. (This is why the progressive was known as “The Progressive”.) The Progressive was always finding something wrong with the way the village was being run and would feel compelled to lecture the villagers about it and the proper, progressive way to run a village. The Progressive was very vigilant that only the correct type of people should be in the village or have any say in its governance. And by the correct type, The Progressive meant those who agreed with The Progressive’s beliefs. While the village was nice, the Progressive always dreamed of making the village into…, well…. The Village.

The villager, while not overly happy with the young progressive, tried to humor him/her/whatever for two reasons: 1) Occasionally The Progressive was right and 2) the village as a whole was far more tolerant about The Progressive’s beliefs than The Progressive was about theirs.

Now the progressive’s mentor, an Alinskyite, had always told The Progressive that it was very important to keep the wrong people out of the village lest the Sheep be harmed by a Wolf. Though when the Mentor said “Sheep”, he meant the villagers. And the Mentor said “Wolf”, he meant  anyone who did not agree with the young progressive’s world view. And so The Progressive was ever vigilant for wolves.

One day when the village was seeking a new leader (dealing with The Progressive caused a lot of early retirements in the position),  The Progressive sat watching the Sheep and road that lead through the quiet forest, always on the lookout for people who might come to village and undermine progressive ideology. The mentor had told the Progressive, should a  such Wolf be seen, The Progressive should call for help by shouting “Racists”. “For remember,” the mentor said, Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” This would cause the Villagers would drive away the wolf because they would not want to be seen as racists. 

And on this day, an old man came towards the Village. He had the bearing dignity of someone who had suffered many hardships but was determined to put his best foot forward regardless. “Hello,” he said to The Progressive, “I’ve come about the leadership position. My name is John McCain. Here are my qualifications.” McCain handed the progressive his C.V. The progressive looked at the qualifications, looked up at McCain and then shouted, “Racists! Racists!!”

As expected, the Villagers who heard the cry dropped their work and ran in great excitement to the where the progressive was sitting and chased a very confused John McCain away. (This treatment caused McCain to become quite disordered. For he was later seen wandering the forest shouting nonsensical things such as, “Complete the Danged Fence!“).

When the villagers returned, they asked the young progressive, “What were his racist policies?”

“Well, you can tell by the coded language he uses,” said The Progressive, changing the subject by using a tone that suggested everyone should know what he meant.

The villagers were confused and there was some muttering. One asked The Progressive, “What coded language?”

  The Progressive gave the exasperated sigh one gives to a small child. “The witch hunt he incited,” the Progressive responded, condescension dripping from every syllable. “The way he talked about everyone but him. He was catering to racists and xenophobes.”

The villagers looked at one another. None of them recalled a Witch Hunt. And since they had chased off the man before they had even heard him spoke, they weren’t sure what language the Progressive meant. But even with these nagging doubts, the villagers felt good for getting rid of someone who could have been racists. Some did suggest, in the dark of night, when no one could hear them speak unpopular truths, that maybe there had been rush to judgment and that maybe the old man wasn’t really a racist.

A few days later the progressive was seated in the same place, working on plans to improve the breeding stock of the Sheep, when another man came walking towards the village. While the last man was old, this man was younger, with finely coiffed hair and had an aura of leadership. “Hello,” the man said, flashing his amazingly white teeth. “My name is Willard Montgomery Romney. Most people called me Mitt. I understand your village needs a leader. I’ve done a good job turning around other villagers. Perhaps I can help yours.” As Romney handed his resume, The Progressive shouted, “Racist! Racist!” Again the Villagers ran to help The Progressive and chased Mitt Romney away.

(Though don’t feel to bad for Mitt. While he fled that village, he enjoyed his life, taking time to vacation with his grand-kids).

When the villagers returned from chasing away the “Wolf”, they asked the progressive, “What were his racists policies?”

“Well, if he became the leader, he would literally put black people back in chains,” The Progressive said.

“He actually said that?” asked one of the villagers.

Waving Mitt’s CV, the progressive said, “His whole agenda was a dog whistle to racists.”

A villager looked at the CV and then passed it around to others. None of them could see, or hear this supposed dog whistle. “What else did he say?” another villager asked, skepticism creeping into his voice.

“He kept lists full of women and their information. Binders full of them,” the progressive said smugly.

This got murmurs of disapproval from the crowd. That was surely wrong. But then a third villager, who was looking at the CV said, “According to this, the binders were lists full of women who were capable of running major businesses and government agencies This looks like he was trying to help them, not hurt them.”

“He was a racist and a sexist,” The Progressive stated. “Surely you are not saying we should accept racists and sexists, are you?

The crowd of villagers started to shift uneasily under The Progressive’s gaze.. No one wanted to be called a racist. There were murmurs of “No, of course not” before the crowd slowly dissolved. But, as they all walked home, many villagers started to wonder about recent events. There seemed to have been a lot of cries of racism without any actual proof. Some villagers started to talk to one another about this. (Not openly, of course. They didn’t want to be seen as racist). Had the Progressive not been seated at the edge of the village drinking his coconut milk, no foam latte ( made with ethically sourced coffee beans sold by the Clinton Foundation)  with an air of superiority, the Progressive might have sensed the shifting mood of the village.

Then one evening, as the sun was setting behind the forest and the shadows were creeping out over the pasture, another man appeared. He was well dressed. The man was clearly balding but had an amazing comb-over that all but defied the laws of gravity. The man looked at The Progressive and then the village. “I’m here to run this village. This village is really bad,” the man said. “I mean, I’ve talked to lots of people and they’ve all said, ‘Donald, that Village near the woods is horrible. The Worst. A complete mess. So that’s why I’m here. I’m going to Make this Village Great Again. We’re going to start by getting rid of all of the taco wagons. Then we are going to build a wall. Because everyone knows, and I mean I’ve talked to a lot of people and they all say ‘The village needs a Wall.’ So we are going to have the yugest, most luxurious wall ever built. And we will used it to get rid of all of the undesirable people. And of course we will stop trading with the undesirable people and make everything we need right here. And we’re not going to have any of this political correctness crap. We’re going big league. Not out of my way, Pajama Boy.”

Not understanding that “bigly” was actually Trump saying “big league”, the Progressive was too stunned to move or even speak. And before he knew it, the people of the village had chosen The Donald had become their leader. The Progressive’s mind reeled. “But he’s a racist, xenophobic, misogynist,” the Progressive cried out. “And he is being supported by the Russians!” But no one was around to hear The Progressive’s whines. Being distraught, the Progressive walked into the first bar he spotted. When he opened the door, he was shocked to find a large gathering of white men. “What’s this? Who are these people” he blurted.

“Oh, they’re 199 Neo-Nazis,” said a woman.

The Progressive looked at the group. They were indeed all white men. And they were all dressed like Lady Gaga at a Hillary Clinton Rally. But they didn’t look like the pride of the Aryan Race. It was more like a room full of Joseph Goebbels impersonators. Then the Progressive did a double take. “Tila Tequila?”

“Yes.”

“But why?”

Law and order, I think that’s very important to have. Most people are so used to being all about their ‘freedom,’ so they becomes these little crybabies. They can’t live by laws and rules. Civilization needs to be civilized.

“Oh my Darwin, it’s happening,” he squeaked. The Progressive couldn’t believe racists had made it into his village. He also couldn’t believe people thought they could live by laws and rules he didn’t agree with. It was all too much for him. And he needed to warn the village of the danger it was facing.

The Progressive ran outside. “Racists! Ray-cists!” he cried.

Some of the town folk heard the Progressive. But none went to him. “We’ve been fooled too many times,” said one while another added, “It’s probably another hoax.”  A third looked out a window saw The Progressive fleeing down the street followed by Tequila and the Alt-Righters. This villager said, “Hey, it looks like Mel Brooks is doing a sequel to the Producers  starring Tila Tequila”.

And what is the moral?

The moral isn’t that there aren’t any wolves or racists.

The moral is if you call everyone a racist, no one will care or believe you when the real racists show-up.

 

(If you liked this piece, be sure to check out the Freedom’s Light Anthology, now available for pre-order: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NBAM5NG)

 

 

Naked Self Promotion: Freedom’s Light

This being the week of Thanksgiving, there will be no (overtly) political posts. So instead, I am going to plug Freedom’s Light. It is a collection of Short Stories by Libertarian and Conservative Authors. Many of them are well known. For others, like your’s truly, this is their first published work.

Any profits from the book will be donated to charity.

It will be published January 17, 2017, but can be pre-ordered today.

All Politics and No Play Will Drive You Crazy. Check CLFA November Booknado!

There are a large number of folks (over 25k) who have stopped by recently to check out the my post concerning misnomer of the “Popular Vote” and why Clinton did not win it. So since you clearly have good taste and are clearly well, read, you might be interested in the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance’s November Booknado. Here’s a blurb from CLFA’s original post:

The November CLFA Booknado churns across a darkened literary landscape, demolishing tired, old, ideologically Progressive pap and blasting fresh fiction choices all across the land! Pick up one of our featured titles today and join the movement. Click on the book image to learn more and shop! (Titles are considered new releases and/or sold at featured promotional price points […]

(via It’s the November CLFA Booknado! — Conservative-Libertarian Fiction Alliance)

So go check-out their site and pick up a book or two (or three).

 

 

The Sunday Review: Death by Cliche

Death by Cliché by Bob Defendi

****

If you are a nerd like me, you spent a large portion of your teenage years playing Dungeons & Dragons or some other Role Playing Game (RPG). (For those of you youngin’, RPGs are like World of Warcraft, except you sat around a table with others sort of like you and you had to imagine the giant dragon about to Kentucky Fry your character’s tuchus). And at some point you probably played an adventure that was full of really clichéd narrative events and stereotypical characters. Bob Defendi’s Death by Cliché gives the reader a humorous opportunity to see how such a world looks to the people in the game. And Defendi has inside knowledge of the gaming world as he is a game designer and troubleshooter.

Bob Defendi’s hero is an RPG game designer and troubleshooter named Bob Damico. (And yes, it is that obvious who the character is supposed to be). Damico is asked to check on a new game being play tested when he is shot in the head by the game creator and the next thing Damico knows, he is inside the game, not sure if he is dead or alive in the real world. Damicio finds himself in a party of adventurers, the dwarf Viking Gorthander who loves to fight and fight, the half-elf warrior Omar who loves to fight and loot, the bard Arithian who talks like someone trying to emulate Errol Flynn’s Robin Hood, and the magic using Lady Lotianna. All of his fellow adventurers are just characters in the game, being controlled by people in the real world, sitting around the gaming table, unaware he is a real person. Damico is forced to go along with the adventure to stop the evil Hraldolf (a man so beautiful, he can cause your head to explode in wonder and awe) from gaining the McGuffin Artifact that will destroy the world, enduring every cliché a bad game will have.

…Except….

Damico is unknowingly changing the world and the stock characters in it. Hraldolf begins to question why he simply puts a village to death because it can’t pay tribute because of a late crop season. Hraldolf starts wondering if maybe he offered his serfs health insurance, they would be more motivated to work. Another stock character, the beloved lord of another land, realizes he is in fact, a sociopath. By the end of the story, Damico has upended the rules of the game world and discovers what the true artifacts are and what has happened to himself.

The story works because it is not just a satire of bad gaming and clichés, but because the story is aware that it is a story about bad gaming and clichés, complete with introductory “quotes” for each chapter. If you’ve played RPGs, you’ll like this book because you can probably relate.

If you have never played an RPG, the story might not make quite as much sense at first, but relativity quickly the reader should be able to understand the basics of how RPGs work and enjoy what it would feel like to endure a bad RPG adventure.

Either way, the story is engrossing and funny and you will definitely enjoy it.

A Cure for the Political Doldrums

Yes the November election is shaping up to be a choice between cyanide and arsenic. But fear not. The folks over at the Conservative Libertarian Fiction Alliance have a Booknado to help you forget all of your troubles

What’s a Booknado? Well, it’s like a book-bomb, but a slight chance of shark sightings.

So go read a book or two and forget all about the elections for awhile.

Or maybe consider Blood of Invidia. The story behind the story is interesting in and of itself.

Happy Reading!

And yes, the Sunday Reviews will be starting up again shortly.

Sunday Review: Time Heals No Wounds

Time Heals No Wounds by Hendrik Falkenberg (translated by Patrick Brown)

4 stars

The subtitle announces this is part of the Baltic Sea Crime Novel series. It is actually the first, and it concerns Johannes “Hannes” Niehaus, newly promoted detective. He is assigned to his first case; a woman’s body has washed up on the beach of the Baltic Sea. Hannes is partnered with Fritz Janssen, an older detective who is quirky but gets results. Soon Niehaus and Janssen come across a bigger mystery involving a mute painter, a real estate broker, a pharmaceutical conglomerate which traces its origins to pre World War II Germany, and an “Anonymous”-like organization trying to make corporations atone for their Nazi past. There is also a sub-plot involving a young woman named Merle who has been kidnapped.

While Janssen as the old cop who doesn’t play by the rules sounds cliché, it doesn’t come across that way in the story and the resolution of the mystery does a good job of showing how the quirkiness is relevant. The subplot remains detached from the main story for the bulk of the novel, only resolving in the last few pages. But the reader will grasp at least part of the connection between the two plots much earlier than that. And by the end of the story, the reader will understand the book’s title.

The characters are well fleshed out, if not fully three dimensional. Some of Niehaus’s friends (whom he meets while trapped in a Ferris wheel) are a little stocky and seemed designed to show how the detective is still trying to find his way and assertiveness as a police officer. The story takes a little while to pick up steam, but not so difficult as to make you want to put the book down.

There is one odd moment in the story: Niehaus, Janssen and the leader of the anti-Nazi group have a discussion about the nature of capitalism. It doesn’t contribute to the plot and I can’t tell if this is scene is just to try to explain the characters’ view or if Falkenberg is injecting his own views on the dangers of capitalism. If it is the former, it doesn’t really advance the story in the main, though it does it indirectly and the plot point could have been done without the needless didactic. If it is the latter, it is the same sort of arguments usually heard in college dorm rooms around 3 am. It really is the only “What was the author thinking” moment in the novel.

This is apparently Falkenberg’s first novel. If that is true Falkenberg has a great gift and I am looking for to his subsequent novels. The book is translated from German by Patrick Brown. His translation is excellent. The mark of a good translator is for the reader not to realize the book has been translated from another language. Brown does a very good job and only once or twice did I come across a passage that felt like it was a translation.

If you like detective novels/police procedurals, you’ll like Time Heals No Wounds.

 

(**Note: I have an Amazon Prime account. As one of the benefits of the having said account, Amazon’s First Selection offers me a choice of one of the four books to own for free. That is how I obtained Time Heals No Wounds. This has no bearing on the review other than I had promised that I would tell you, the reader when I reviewed a book I did not purchase.)