Archive for February 2017

Still Looking for Your Cheese?   1 comment

Image result for maze with cheeseThe Trump administration blocked some liberal media outlets from a press conference and the blocked ones are freaking out as if this has never happened before. Apparently, they’ve forgotten that the Obama administration routinely blocked access of some media outlets.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2013/10/10/cpj-report-on-obama-press/2960607/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2014/10/27/usa-todays-susan-page-obama-administration-most-dangerous-to-media-in-history/?utm_term=.3e230376f3aa

Note these articles are dated 2013 and 2014. The both center on the opacity — the lack of transparency — of the Obama administration.

Trump is incredibly transparent. Just read his tweets — though I wouldn’t believe everything he tweets. If you don’t feel him tweaking your strings, you’re really not that sensitive. Reporters from some media outlets don’t like that they are no longer the gatekeepers of information. They don’t get to manipulate the message and put their own spin on it and then claim that anyone else with another take on the message is not a legitimate news source.

The Trump administration has moved the liberal media’s cheese and they’re so busy protesting that it’s been moved that they don’t seem to be seeking where it might have gone.

May I make a suggestion? Try being balanced. Instead of presenting your opinions and the half of the facts you like and screeching about how the sky is falling, try presenting the entire story, leaving your opinion at the door and digging for some actual evidence rather than just dealing in half-truths.

I think if you did that for six months or a year, you might get your press passes back.

Posted February 25, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Media

Tagged with , , , ,

What is Fascism?   3 comments

Someone on social media said I had “fascist leanings” a few days ago, which sort of made me laugh, but then I sobered up and realized that he really meant the use of the word, but he was using the term completely incorrectly.

Related imageIt’s sort of remarkable that we use that term “fascism” all the time these days, but we have no idea what it means. Yes, this term is omnipresent these days, shouted by furious young people on college campuses, on the floor of the Irish Senate, and used just about daily at the Huffington Post.  If we’re going to use a word that much and use it against people on social media I think we really ought to know what it means.

Don’t you?

George Orwell wrote a landmark 1944 essay “What is Fascism?lamenting the transformation of fascism as a system of government and economics into little more than a swear word.

“You will find that there is almost no set of people- certainly no political party or organized body of any kind- which has not been denounced as Fascist during the past ten years.”

You hear the word, but it really isn’t used to mean a specific system of government or economics. It’s more of a way of saying we disagree with whatever the other person is saying. It’s like shouting “racist” at anyone who disagreed, no matter how briefly, with President Obama or like little kids screaming “doodoohead” on the playground.

When Orwell wrote his essay in 1944, much of the free world had declared war against fascism, but even then, most people didn’t have a firm definition of who or what was fascist. Why?

Primarily because, then as today, the definition of fascism has been perverted to suit the agenda of the moment to such an extent that Orwell wrote,

The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies something not desirable.

But fascism had a meaning when it was first used. Benito Mussolini founded the Fascist Party in Italy and invented the word himself. Mussolini was THE fascist, and his essay, the Doctrine of Fascism, lays the definition out. Here is one excerpt:

“Anti-individualistic, the Fascist conception of life stresses the importance of the State and accepts the individual only in so far as his interests coincide with those of the State.”

In other words, individualists (for example libertarians with anarchist leanings) are not fascists because we strenuously oppose collectivism and the State, things THE Fascist strongly believed in.

Image result for image of orwell on fascismHistorian Martin Kitchen explains that fascist totalitarianism incorporates six main features:

  • an over-reaching ideology
  • a single political party
  • a state terror apparatus
  • a government-controlled media
  • a monopoly on arms
  • a centrally-directed economy

Anyone who has read my blog knows that I don’t hold with any of those concepts.

So, how did it come to mean nothing? Yes, the answer is found in history.

The American progressives of the 1920s and 30s liked fascism a lot! Rexford Guy Tugwell, one of the chief architects of the New Deal (which is the foundation of modern “liberalism”) remarked that fascism, “[is] the cleanest, neatest most efficiently operating piece of social machinery I’ve ever seen. It makes me envious.”  In fact, at the time the New Deal was underway, the radical left thought this was America’s own experiment with fascism and they were quite excited about it. This was going to remake their world as they though it should be. Go back up to those six features. American progressives had read Mussolini’s essay and they subscribed to its ideals. We have to remember that Mussolini hadn’t yet gained a reputation as a butcher, so “for the radicals of the twenties the whiff from Italy carried no foul ideological order.” (John Patrick Diggins). It just seemed like the best way to put the “right people” in control of society.

Once Mussolini and Hitler’s reputations began to change, fascism’s American admirers worried for their own reputation, so they began cursing anyone on their political right with the questionable label of “fascist”. That mostly worked. Historian John Lukacs remarks “the overall application of ‘fascism’ to all right-wing, and strongly anti-communist parties and practices and phenomena was very useful for international communist and left-wing rhetoric and practice.” Since communism has mostly disappeared from the world state in the last 20 years, today’s progressives have shifted their animosity to American conservatives and brand anyone who doesn’t agree with them as a “fascist” because this sometimes results in those who disagree with them being too flummoxed to answer their foolish arguments.

The attempts to liken American conservatives to fascists, then and now, have gone to some absurd lengths. Economic liberty is even deplored as fascist, with Marxist ideologues like Leon Trotsky insisting that capitalism is the same thing as fascism and that Marxism must stand opposed to it.

Although the outward trappings of Communism have mostly faded, it really isn’t historically accurate to ignore the deep influence marxism has had on today’s liberals.

A more modern example comes from Brian W. Kulik:

“We live in a democracy, after all, and is that not the very antithesis of fascism? But even democracy is not without its limitations. We may have a choice of what car to buy and what designer clothes to purchase, but we have little choice but to be a consumer.”

 

To a committed Marxist-influenced social liberal, even freedom is fascist because it is protected by the law. The Doctrine of Fascism, however, clarifies itself on the issue, “It is not the people who make the state but the state that makes the people.” The free market does not make that claim. In fact, it’s entirely opposed to such a sentiment.

Of course, democracy is not free market capitalism, as Kulik seems to suggest. Hitler’s rise was completely democratic, but Hitler’s Germany was an engine of national socialism, not capitalism.

What the left refuses to talk about is that corporatism and capitalism are not the same thing. Corporations (called corporazioni, in fascist Italy) weren’t and still aren’t creations of individuals. In Mussolini’s Italy, they were creations of the fascist state itself. Mussolini wanted a “return to the guilds.” He opposed private companies. The Doctrine of Fascism says:

“We are, in other words, a state which controls all forces acting in nature. We control political forces, we control moral forces, we control economic forces, therefore we are a full-blown Corporative state.”

There is no escaping the historical fondness progressive economists have had for fascism. Mussolini liked them a lot too:

“Fascism entirely agrees with Mr. Maynard Keynes, despite the latter’s prominent position as a Liberal. In fact, Mr. Keynes’ excellent little book, The End of Laissez-Faire (1926) might, so far as it goes, serve as a useful introduction to fascist economics. There is scarcely anything to object to in it and there is much to applaud.”

Leftists who are not focused on economics simply have a tendency to conflate America’s right, or La Pen’s National Front, or British conservatives, with what was once, in 1933, known as “the right,” simply because they bear the same moniker. This is an illusory correlation akin to thinking today’s liberals have something in common with the classical liberals of early America. Co-opting a title or having it pinned on you doesn’t mean you share the same values.

Fascism shares an extricable relationship with statism, which could also be called “collectivism”, so it cannot rightfully be applied to people who focus on reducing state interventions in favor of individual liberty. Seeing the benefits of capitalism is not the same thing as being a fascist.

 

It is regrettable then that the word “fascism” continues to be applied to those who oppose fascist systems like American Republicans and conservative. If you did a bit, you find the real meaning and learn that the American right, particularly libertarians, are the antithesis of fascists.

Eclipse of Liberalism   3 comments

The following was printed in the newspaper “The Nation” on August 9, 1900. Special thanks to the Molinari Institute for preserving this essay.

 

Found on Foundation of Economic Education (FEE.org)

Edwin Godkin

As the nineteenth century draws to its close it is impossible not to contrast the political ideals now dominant with those of the preceding era. It was the rights of man which engaged the attention of the political thinkers of the eighteenth century. The world had suffered so much misery from the results of dynastic ambitions and jealousies, the masses of mankind were everywhere so burdened by the exactions of the superior classes, as to bring about a universal revulsion against the principle of authority. Government, it was plainly seen, had become the vehicle of oppression; and the methods by which it could be subordinated to the needs of individual development, and could be made to foster liberty rather than to suppress it, were the favorite study of the most enlightened philosophers. In opposition to the theory of divine right, whether of kings or demagogues, the doctrine of natural rights was set up. Humanity was exalted above human institutions, man was held superior to the State, and universal brotherhood supplanted the ideals of national power and glory.

These eighteenth-century ideas were the soil in which modern Liberalism flourished. Under their influence the demand for Constitutional Government arose. Rulers were to be the servants of the people, and were to be restrained and held in check by bills of rights and fundamental laws which defined the liberties proved by experience to be most important and vulnerable. Hence arose the demands for Constitutional reform in all the countries of Europe; abortive and unsuccessful in certain respects, but frightening despots into a semblance of regard for human liberty, and into practical concessions which at least curbed despotic authority. Republics were established and Constitutions were ordained. The revolutions of 1848 proved the power of the spirit of Liberalism, and where despotism reasserted itself, it did so with fear and trembling.

Image result for image of liberty distortedTo the principles and precepts of Liberalism the prodigious material progress of the age was largely due. Freed from the vexatious meddling of governments, men devoted themselves to their natural task, the bettering of their condition, with the wonderful results which surround us. But it now seems that its material comfort has blinded the eyes of the present generation to the cause which made it possible. In the politics of the world, Liberalism is a declining, almost a defunct force. The condition of the Liberal party in England is indeed parlous. There is actually talk of a organizing a Liberal-Imperialist party; a combination of repugnant tendencies and theories as impossible as that of fire and water. On the other hand, there is a faction of so-called Liberals who so little understand their traditions as to make common cause with the Socialists. Only a remnant, old men for the most part, still uphold the Liberal doctrine, and when they are gone, it will have no champions.

True Liberalism has never been understood by the masses of the French people; and while it has no more consistent and enlightened defenders than the select group of orthodox economists that still reverence the principles of Turgot and Say, there is no longer even a Liberal faction in the Chamber. Much the same is true of Spain, of Italy, and of Austria, while the present condition of Liberalism in Germany is in painful contrast with what it was less than a generation ago.

In our country recent events show how much ground has been lost. The Declaration of Independence no longer arouses enthusiasm; it is an embarrassing instrument which requires to be explained away. The Constitution is said to be “outgrown”; and at all events the rights which it guarantees must be carefully reserved to our own citizens, and not allowed to human beings over whom we have purchased sovereignty. The great party which boasted that it had secured for the negro the rights of humanity and of citizenship, now listens in silence to the proclamation of white supremacy and makes no protest against the nullifications of the Fifteenth Amendment. Its mouth is closed, for it has become “patriot only in pernicious toils,” and the present boasts of this “champion of human kind” are “To mix with Kings in the low lust of sway, Yell in the hunt, and share the murderous prey; To insult the shrine of Liberty with spoils From freemen torn, to tempt and to betray.”

Nationalism in the sense of national greed has supplanted Liberalism. It is an old foe under a new name. By making the aggrandizement of a particular nation a higher end than the welfare of mankind, it has sophisticated the moral sense of Christendom. Aristotle justified slavery, because Barbarians were “naturally” inferior to Greeks, and we have gone back to his philosophy. We hear no more of natural rights, but of inferior races, whose part it is to submit to the government of those whom God has made their superiors. The old fallacy of divine right has once more asserted its ruinous power, and before it is again repudiated there must be international struggles on a terrific scale.

At home all criticism on the foreign policy of our rulers is denounced as unpatriotic. They must not be changed, for the national policy must be continuous. Abroad, the rulers of every country must hasten to every scene of international plunder, that they may secure their share. To succeed in these predatory expeditions the restraints on parliamentary, even of party, government must be cast aside. The Czar of Russia and the Emperor of Germany have a free hand in China; they are not hampered by constitutions or by representatives of the common people. Lord Salisbury is more embarrassed, and the President of the United States is, according to our Constitution, helpless without the support of Congress. That is what our Imperialists mean by saying that we have outgrown the Constitution.

I suspect Godkin would send a copy of this essay to the current editor of “The Nation” were he alive today. Lela

Posted February 23, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Liberty, Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

Anaerfell 4   2 comments

anaerfell-promo-coverExcerpt 3

The room still whirled from last night. He tried to close his eyes to keep his stomach from doing the same, but closing his eyes actually made it worse. Drast was somewhat surprised that the drink was still affecting him like this. He had been having more than his fill for—he did not know how long. How long ago did Tyran leave? His mind was too foggy to remember. And Walstan was gone, too.

Vaguely, Drast saw that the sky was just turning blue with the rising sun. At least, he was fairly certain it was sunrise. None of the hues of sunset had begun to color the sky.

“Ser Drast?”

He turned his head to the entrance into his chambers and pulled himself more upright to lean against the nightstand beside his bed. One of the serving women stood just inside of his room. “What?”

anaerfell-jc-author-pic“The Arkhon wishes to speak with you.”

He was not certain what string of curses came from his lips, but the maid blanched and her face grew pink, almost to the color of her hair. The room swirled again while she spoke.

“What?” he asked again.

“I said, Ser Drast, the Arkhon instructed me to remain with you until you came to meet with him.” Her voice quivered.

She was right to fear him. Her voice was fuzzy, just like everything. But, he knew he had not been particularly kind to any of the servants of late. He had managed to avoid his father by effectively frightening the servants. Their fear, combined with late nights, ale, and sleeping until the sun set, had allowed him to avoid talking with anyone who did not enjoy a mug or two.

PictureA few of the servants had initially joined him in drinking. He loosely recalled this maid among them. Ura? Mura? Lura?

“Kura,” he finally muttered. He had been a little too handsy and she had since avoided him like—he could not clearly comprise a simile. Like. Like? Like the moon avoided the sun? Good enough.

“Yes, Kura,” she murmured.

Drast spat at the chamber pot. He was fairly certain he missed. “Well, come on in, Kura.” He belched. “I know how we can pass the time.”

Posted February 22, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion

Tagged with , , ,

Anaerfell 3   3 comments

anaerfell-promo-coverExcerpt 2

His brother looked at his hands, now covered by great warm mittens. “Drast?”

“Mm?” Drast grunted, mimicking his brother.

“How are they going to remember us?”

“Who?”

Tyran shrugged his heavy shoulders. “The Stuhia. The Vucari. The world, I suppose.”

“By our apotheosis.”

“Does it always come down to glory?”

Drast snorted. “Yes. If we fail we will not be remembered. It must come to glory.”

Tyran shook his head. “But is what we are doing glorious?”

“We are off to kill a god. How could it not be?”

Tyran stopped and turned. “But if we are wrong. If killing Wolos is somehow an evil act. Or, if we fail and we are remembered because of our tyrant father—”

“Tyran the Tyrant,” Drast interrupted, chittering.

“I am serious. How do we know that we should even be doing what we are planning on doing? How do we know it is right? How do we know we can?”

“Tyran, you are overthinking this. Why do you even care how people will remember you to begin with? It will not matter. We will either succeed, in which case we are allowed to tell whatever tale of our victory we choose, or we fail and are dead and it doesn’t matter. Regardless, people will remember us for the height of our lives, when we faced a god.”

“I want to believe that I did something right for this world before I died.”

Amazon

Anaerfell 2   Leave a comment

anaerfell-promo-coverBLURB

 

Drast, cunning but reckless, is on the hunt for admiration. Tyran, calculating but tactless, is in search of affection. Bound by a friendship thicker than blood, the two brothers have been hardened by their father’s ambitions. Drast and Tyran are forced to set aside their own hopes and dreams during their struggle to fulfill their father’s desire for immortality. Now, the two will face skin-switchers and dragons, ultimately leading to a final clash with Wolos, God of the Dead.

BIOS

 

Joshua Robertson was born in Kingman, Kansas on May 23, 1984. A graduate of Norwich High School, Robertson attended Wichita State University where he received his Masters in Social Work with minors in Psychology and Sociology. His bestselling novel, Melkorka, the first in The Kaelandur Series, was released in 2015. Known most for his Thrice Nine Legends Saga, Robertson enjoys an ever-expanding and extremely loyal following of readers. He counts R.A. Salvatore and J.R.R. Tolkien among his literary influences.

 

http://www.robertsonwrites.com/
@robertsonwrites

 

anaerfell-jc-author-picJ.C. lives in the Midwest with his wife and two dogs. He recently earned his MA in English Literature and is working on his debut novel for his own fantasy world. Despite growing up with Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings, and a collection of both Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms novels, J.C. has an abiding love of classics and spends his free time reading anything he can get his hands on.

 

http://www.crimsonedgepress.com

@jcboyd_author

 

LINKS

 

Amazon

Posted February 22, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in book promotion

Tagged with , , ,

Anaerfell   Leave a comment

anaerfell-promo-coverExcerpt 1

Erzebeth convulsed. Her fur and skin shedding away while she wheeled about on the ground in agony. The bones readjusted and organs reset from beast to human. Where a beast had stood was now the naked figure of Erzebeth. Cuts and scratches patterned her body, but none were fatal.

Tyran had no place for modesty. The Vucari woman, within the privacy of the ice dome, struggled to her feet. Again, her dark eyes met his own, filled with compassion.

“You need to be put down, young Red.” Her voice was calm as her feet crossed in front of one another, closing the distance between them. “Your power is greater than any I have seen before, even from the Anshedar.”

“What?” Tyran said, forehead wrinkled with confusion. He had never heard of the race before, whether beast or otherwise.

“You are like a rabid dog, young Red. You are the perfect companion, loyal, and possibly even loving somewhere deep inside,” Erzebeth bit her lip. Her breasts, barely covered by her dark hair, touched the front of his chest. She halted her feet. “But, you are tainted by a disease that is stronger than the goodness in you. You cannot be left to live in this world, or you will corrupt every living thing around you.”

Tyran tilted his chin, lips parting. His free hand touched her pale skin, as whitish as the ice fortress that veiled this moment.

“You would taint me, young Red.” She stepped up on her tiptoes. “As with the rabid dog, you need to be put down.”

Amazon

He grabbed her by the back of the neck, and pulled her to him. He kissed her with more force than he had ever kissed any woman.

This woman was not Isolde. This woman was battle hardened, and a warrior. She was not plain.

She grabbed his shoulders and returned the embrace, her tongue touching his lips. Her body was far warmer than his own, as if it were heated by the darkness.

He did not know what he was doing in this moment. It may have likely been the first time that his mind was clear from thought, acting without thinking. Though, in time, he may consider that when his death was nigh, he found that this was something he wanted to do before death found him.

The crashing against the ice pulled him from the moment. Tyran pulled back, moving the Vucari’s hair from her cheek. “You won’t kill me, Erzebeth.”

“No,” she breathed. Her hands fell to his chest. “But, it still needs to be done.”

Inside My Mind

My name is Ryan Langdon and I accidentally blew the minds of over 10 million people.

Happiness Between Tails by da-AL

Tales + Tail Wagging + Book Love + Writing + Art + Food + Dance + Travel + Joy

Fairfax and Glew

Vigilante Justice

The Wolf's Den

Overthink Everything

SaltandNovels

Sprinkling wonder into writing

Remmington Reads

A book enthusiast bringing you all things bookish

MiddleMe

Becoming Unstuck

Magical BookLush

A New Dimension to Explore!! Love for books and series is all we need. Life can be lonely without books. All I love is books, series, and talking about serious causes like bodyshaming. Do join me if you love to live your life to the fullest

Jacquie Biggar-USA Today Best-selling author

It's All about the Romance 💕💕💕

Not Very Deep Thoughts

Short Fiction and Other Things

Ediciones Promonet

Libros e eBooks educativos y de ficción

the dying fish

Book info, ordering, about me etc. in upper right

STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

Never underestimate the power of a question

%d bloggers like this: