An Educated Populace

Posted: August 26, 2014 in Space. Politics. Fiction.

The two websites below are a great start for doing thorough political research. If you comb through the information it’s easy to see patterns.

This website has all the information you’d ever want about a politician’s campaign contributions. It also shows the amount they raised vs. the average. If you’ve ever wondered what lobbying groups are funding these guys, you can easily find out here. Campaign Contributions Disclosed

^^ Campaign Contributor’s

This website has an easy to navigate menu that allow you to search every elected official in the country’s voting record. It breaks down bills they sponsored all the way down to marginal things that garner no media attention. The coolest feature of this site is the ability to search through a specific person’s record on an individual issue. Drop down menu’s include everything from gun rights to abortion. The site itself is non partisan. They have over 150 political scientist’s who classify voting trends as well as journalist’s from all 50 states.

Voting Record ^^

A Bright Flame

Posted: August 25, 2014 in Space. Politics. Fiction.

I guess I’ll start from the very beginning.

It was a little over two years ago that we met, and you were throttled by me. Everything I did and said was just so fucking amazing. You really loved me, and it was incredible. I loved you too.

The person who defines your understanding of love is not inherently different from anyone else, and they’re often just the first person you met when you really, really, wanted to love someone. But that person still wins, and you lose. Because for the rest of your life, they will control how you feel about everyone else.

Something about you stuck to me like glue from the first moment I saw the real you hidden under all of that exterior beauty. I knew that you were that one girl that was going to shake me. I knew long before you ever even knew my name.

You said that you had never met anyone like me before and before we became friends we used to go out of our way to avoid each other like school kids. I told you that my life was always going to be an uphill battle. You said that being a part of that was what made it all worth while. We ran around like the world was our playground.

You told me that you once had your own battles with drugs, and you almost fainted when I didn’t judge you for it. When I said that it was all part of what made you seem human to me, since everything else about you was so otherworldly – You didn’t know how to smile that big yet. And every line in every song was about us.

Seeing me do my best to elevate, and at the same time watch me grow up was why you loved me. You loved me because no matter how hard I got hit, I still kept going. Nothing could stop me. I was invincible and just stupid enough to hit the ground and bounce. I was larger than life.

I was 19. I had just met my best friend and started living a life that was intoxicating. Living like a truly free man. I was out of a job, out of my city, out of money, and had no place to live, but I was happy.

And when I really met you, got underneath all of your expertly constructed armor, my heart sighed.

The sigh radiated from the hole in my chest, from that place that had never seen the light, that place that had taken all my joy and given me only loneliness.r

“There you are,” it said,” You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for you.”

You used to offer me rides home, and laugh because I carried a toothbrush in my backpack. I told you that I liked to skate home because I didn’t want you to know there wasn’t a home to skate to.

I told you that I was happy, because I was. I was happy to be in that situation, because as you learned later, where I come from is a very sad place.

Almost all of my oldest friends, people that I’ve known my whole life are either shooting Heroine, drinking every single night, or smoking weed all day like it’s an Olympic sport. With no exception. I’ve seen some of the brightest people ever born into this world succumb to pills like it was death itself.

I buried both of my parents, and one of my best friends before I was 18, and I told myself that if I left and I battled it out, I would never be better than them, I would never be stronger, or smarter, only happier.

I told myself that if I started over and began to create new memories and a new life, that eventually I would meet the people that would inspire me. I would make my own family.

The only thing different about me was deciding to bite the bullet and walk away.

When you first heard that, it was enough to seal your fate forever. Such fools in love we both were. You were amazed that I was a living, breathing, walking, smiling, human being.

I was amazed that girl raised half way across the world, as beautiful as they make em’ could find a way to relate to me.

As soon as we started dating we both knew that we had gotten farther with each other than anyone else ever had. We had only been together for three weeks when I ran completely out of money. I was so broke that I had to steal food from 7/11 at times, but you still loved me. It was incredible.

I had a crew of the best friends a man could ask for. They fucking loved me. They treated me like a brother. Like a time capsule of true friendship. When you and I found out I had to leave in three weeks, to go home for the first time in over a year, we lived every single day like it was our last.

I had never seen a woman so beautiful. I had never imagined I would meet a woman that I felt so passionately about. Every moment of every day was beautiful. It really was like magic.

We swam in the pool and listened to Elton John, you said you had never had someone touch you the way that I did. I said you reminded me of my mother.

From the way that I put my hands on your face, on your hips as we swam you knew there was something different about this time.

We always said that relationships started up here. In the head. We always said that effective communication was the key to survival, and it was friendship first. We didn’t mean we were just friends, we meant that our friendship, that actual love for spending time together was what would set us apart. We said that we were smart enough to conquer a relationship.

I said I was playing for keeps. You said that was music to your ears.

We spent the night together at an amphitheater. Right there on the worlds stage.

We laid around all night drinking Corona and Jagermeister, star gazing. You told me how you wanted to show me the city. I told you that I wanted to show you the world.

You said that it was cosmic, me coming to Glendale of all places in the world. Like it was fate that I out of 6 billion other people in the world would be the one to come and sweep you off your feet. We talked about my parents for the first time in depth. We crossed the lines from watching tongues and protecting vibes, to learning our roots and revealing what made us human. Our fears and our passions.

I told you that my main goal in life was to become the head of a happy healthy family. That I didn’t want to get trapped underneath a kid with a girl I hated, like my father. That I would never let a woman I truly loved walk the same path as my mother.

You kissed me and said I would become something greater than I ever knew. We lied there together for hours, holding hands and staring up at the stars. You said you were the luckiest girl in the world to have met me. That I made you look at life in a way that you never thought possible before.

That was the first time you ever told me about your parents. How you could never be with someone who wasn’t the same race as you. How they would never approve. You told me how they had ruined your past relationships.

I told you that made me sad. That I wished I would be able to meet them. That they could love me one day. You said me to.

In these moments we both knew that what we had was unbreakable. Nothing could crush it except for us giving up. Or our own stupidity. And neither of those two were an option.

That was the first time you ever told me you loved me. You said Jon, “right here on this stage I am all yours.”

You said that no matter what, even if it was five years down the road, somehow, we would end up together. You said that love would see us through.

We spoke of weddings and traveling. Houses and children. Not even speaking of us as one, but sharing our views separately. It was a level far beyond anything I ever knew before.

When I looked at you the whole world came to a stop. There was nothing else, no thoughts, no memories, no noise, no tomorrow, no yesterday, and time froze like I was staring into a movie of what my life could eventually become.

When the day came for me to leave, I walked in with my backpack. All I owned that day was the oxygen in between us. I stared at you from outside and you skipped out to me. You took one look at me, bit me on the shoulder, and grabbed the rose I had picked on my walk and started peeling the pedals one by one.

He loves, me he loves me not.

I rested on a bench outside and waited as you finished up. This could have been the last time I saw this place for a long time. The last time I saw you. Forever even.

The walk to the car was casual. And the ride to the airport was bitter sweet.

You asked me if I was going to come back, and I said yes. I don’t know if you believed me, but I told you I would do whatever I had to do to get back here. I said that I was coming back because I wanted to live the life I had out here. The life that I loved.

It wasn’t about you. Although the potential of us was a great incentive. Love is intoxicating and has a way of making even the water taste sweeter.

I used to sit and play you Everlong on guitar and as we drove towards LAX it came on the radio.

When it played that was probably the only time we made eye contact the whole ride, and when your eyes met mine there was a hurricane behind them.

You knew that I was on fire, and I could tell even through your impenetrable emotions that you were burning to. I could tell because our hands never separated, no matter how sweaty they got. I could feel your pulse racing.

As we came to a stop in front of my terminal we both knew this could be the last time we ever saw each other.

You said, you better come back to me James Cleary. You can’t just sweep a girl off her feet and leave her there waiting.

I said I will. I promise. That was the second time I ever told you I loved you.

I had no idea where I was going to be staying when I got off that plane. I had no Idea how I was going to make money. Anything. All I knew, is that I might not get many more chances at real love. I knew what value that held to me. And for once in my life I honestly knew that I would do right by you if I had the chance.

I had never been able to look at a woman and say, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep her happy, I’ll bite whatever bullets I have to, just to know that I’m coming home to her every night. I made myself that promise right there. You were my goddess from that moment on.

You reached in your glove box and grabbed a seashell. You had found it on our first date.

You told me to keep it with me no matter what happened to me. You said that as long as I had that, we would be together again one day. I put it in my backpack and swore on my life I wouldn’t lose it. Something so small quickly became one of my most prized possessions.

As we sat the air began to smell of tension as we both knew that I had to get out and leave, three weeks of heaven had come to a close as quickly as they had started.

When I walked away I turned around to look back at you for one last second. You bit your lip and hit the gas. A silhouette of a beauty that almost made me shiver.

That was the last time I was going to see you for a long time.

People like to play pretend that the two situations are not comparable, that they are totally different, but they are wrong.

In both cases some of the protesters broke the law. In both cases some protesters endangered the safety of public officials. In both cases protesters were standing up to what they saw as government corruption and abuse. The difference being that Bundy was in clear violation of court orders, while in Ferguson they are protesting the murder of a teenager.

If anything the situation with Bundy was a greater violation of the law – using the threat of violence to coerce the government to concede to your demands is the actual definition of domestic terrorism. A few people taking advantage of a situation to loot seems like less of an issue than an organized group undermining the law.

So You Know.

Posted: August 21, 2014 in Space. Politics. Fiction.

Just, ya know, so you understand. Then I’m quitting Facebook for the day.

The NSA’s spying began in direct response to 911. When a president makes an executive order, that new law exists on into foreverness unless repealed. Therefore, every president that comes into office has to live with that decision, and the media attention that comes with it.

Be mad about warrant-less spying on US citizens. Don’t blame Obama though. It makes you look like an idiot. They are clearly Bush policies and a republican congress has made repeal nearly impossible.

Also, just so you know, Obama tried to close Guantanamo Bay. The responsibility for the prison still being open lies with Congress, which has thwarted President Barack Obama’s plans to close the detention center, which the Bush administration opened on January 11, 2002 with 20 captives.

Take Sean Hannity as a prime example of why nobody takes the GOP seriously.

Politics are fun

The Things We Own

Posted: August 21, 2014 in Space. Politics. Fiction.

Earlier today Bank of America agreed to pay a 17 Billion dollar settlement for mortgage fraud. Bank of America, among may other financial institutions, knowingly gave out loans to people that they knew were going to fail. This gross misleading of the American people led us into the most recent financial crisis.

You know what they should have gotten? Prison time. Hard, federal-pound-me-in-the-ass, prison time. Imagine if anyone else stole that kind of money from people. The reason they didn’t is up for debate. I’d wager it has a lot to do with the “Too Big To Fail” mantra they threw around. They weren’t too big to fail, they were too big to let fail. The US government needs these banks to keep preaching the idea that we all need credit to survive. If the Banks can’t give out loans, who is gonna give people money to buy all the shit they don’t need?

Bank of America got off with a warning and everyone went on with their lives. The people watched as their homes were taken and some big-wig, dickbag, capitalist, laughed his way to the resort.

Protests erupted nationwide but nothing happened. Protests don’t work for anything other than drawing media attention to an issue. Once the media arrives it’s only a matter of time until the people make an ass out of themselves and the country and the media move on. I didn’t go to any protests for Occupy. I cheered from the sidelines. I supported it, but I knew that a bunch of half-assed revolutionaries camping in a park wasn’t going to do anything, so I took it a step further.

I got a credit card from BOA. I ran it to the maximum, then never payed a dime on it. I know the Federal Government eventually has to pay that off. I did it anyways. The Government should have to cover that debt for letting the banksters of this country buy their way into our political process.

People used to tell me, “You’re the reason my rates are so high,” and I used to feel bad. A little bad. Then I learned something. The reason your rates are high is because they can do whatever they want. They have all the batteries and you want all the toys. It’s fake money. It doesn’t exist. It’s a system that is governed by 1 simple rule, ” Fuck you, I set the rules, and you play the game whether you really want to or not.”

This country markets consumerism better than ever before in the history of humanity. They want you to see shiny things and lifestyles greater than your own. They want you to want things. They know that you’ll have to use their money to get them. That’s the best part.

You’re playing with house money and the casino always wins. Interest is killing you and your credit score isn’t even based on your ability to pay the whole debt. Your rating is reflective of your ability to make small, life-long payments. Forever.

The banks don’t want you to pay these debts off. They want the interest. Banks know that when you default on your payments, they get to keep the interest, and the government gives them a tax write off to compensate the losses. You know what you get? Nothing. You get your precious toys taken away because they aren’t really yours. It isn’t your money. It isn’t your property.

The only thing you own is your meat. You own your mind. You own your thoughts and you own your body. The rest of it is on lease and as soon as you don’t play by the rules, they take it away. Ownership, just like rights, are defined by the fact that they can not be taken away. Anything that can be taken away is a privilege.

You know what I say? Fuck them. Grow your own food. Buy things with cash only. It has been hammered into our heads that the things we own define us. That we need “things” to be happy. They don’t. We don’t.

What we do defines us. You can keep your nice new cars and your half-million dollar houses. I’ll keep my feet on the ground. It’s all gonna get taken away from you one day. When it does, I won’t be laughing at you, but I won’t be kissing your forehead either.

Robin Willams’ 90 minutes HBO stand up special ‘Weapons of Self Destruction’ – He was a comic before he was an actor and his comedy is what launched his long and diverse career. He started with dick jokes and ended up as Peter Pan. “You’re doing it Peter, you’re flying.”

Robin Williams’ Weapons of Self Destruction

Having talent in the world of storytelling is important and can’t be downplayed. That’s what got me to start writing in the first place. You soon learn that talent isn’t what creates amazing stories. There is more to creating a believable world, character, and a deep emotional response than talking about something you experienced. The people who read your stories don’t know you. They don’t know what you were feeling. You need recreate the scenarios that led to those feelings and let the reader feel it for themselves.

Here is a list of sites I’ve found that can help you better hone your craft. The most important post in my 4 post series of sites I’ve found through Stumbleupon.com. This list has all sorts of good reminders included, as well as some legitimate websites and software that can take you from a B player in the writing world to a professional.

Tools to Improve Your Craft