Fun with words and words for fun

Monthly Archives: August 2017

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“She was six,” Rose said. “A little girl, innocent, happy, born to wealthy parents who seemed so normal. She went to school in Bayside, in the best school district in New York City, which is why her parents didn’t immediately send her off to private school. They lived in Bayside Manor with their own boat dock on the bay.

“She was a good student. She got up and dressed herself every day, got herself ready for school, sat quietly and ate breakfast prepared by the housekeeper. Evelyn wasn’t a nanny although she served in that capacity when the girl’s mother was exceptionally busy with her work. Mommy was a socialite who did an extraordinary amount of charity work. That work kept her happy and busy and the girl would grow up to do the same, but not before becoming a stunning young lady, a debutante brought out at the debutante’s ball.

“Every day the girl came home from school and did the little homework a first-grader had and then she ate a snack. After the snack either her mother or Evelyn would take her out to her playground to play.

“ ‘One day you’ll have little brothers and sisters to play with,’ the girl’s mother had been saying for awhile. Then, one day the little girl saw the bulge, very small at first, but she knew her mother was pregnant and understood that her words about brothers and sisters had been designed to prepare her for the day that was coming.”

Rose poured coffee for herself and after returning the coffee pot to the kitchen she sat down to drink it. Today she was wearing a simple cotton dress and sandals and Murph could see she had not put on any makeup. “I’m going to show you my panties in a few moments, so don’t be shocked. And I’m going to ask you to touch me. Don’t get scared. It’s not sexual.”

Murph didn’t say anything. He was thinking about what Rose had told him so far—nothing much of anything—but he sensed where it was going though of course he had nothing but a gut feeling.

Look for Rose’s Story on Amazon Kindle this week.

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kitchen-4They didn’t run behind. No matter what you thought about him, Drenovis was an ace at expediting and he called the orders efficiently. Mr. Jim made it clear to Bill and Henry Lee that he didn’t want Drenovis to have any chance to say anything negative or critical, so they made sure to be swift and accurate. All plates were released only when they’d satisfied Mr. Jim’s aesthetics.

At the lunch table they all had choice words for the disliked manager. Mary recalled how he’d hit on her. She laughed it off, said he was one ugly cracker. “Now you,” she said to Bill, “you’re one cute white boy.”

They all had a few good laughs. Drenovis could see them and hear them and the harder they laughed the more irked he was. When he’d had enough such that he felt he was gonna blow his temper, he called Lexi into the office. He gave her a dressing down for being inebriated on the job and offered her a choice, not a good one, not one with any good alternative for her.

Mr. Jim had just gone out the back door. Henry Lee and Bill were standing in the hall. Lexi, in tears, ran through the kitchen and out to them. She threw herself down on the lettuce cases and wept.

Mary and Bea came out. Seeing Lexi run through the kitchen, they already knew what happened. Mary put her arms around Lexi and stroked her back.

“It was give him a you-know-what or get fired. So I guess I’m through.”

“Shit,” Henry Lee said, drawing out the word to “shee-it.”

“You done right, girl,” Mary said. She continued stroking Lexi’s back.

“What you think?” Bea asked Mary.

“I think we need to stick up for her.”

“Me too,” Bea said.

“You ain’t hitting that today,” Henry Lee said to Bill.

“Guess not,” Bill said. “Maybe not ever.”

Even distraught as she was, Lexi heard that interchange. She looked up at Bill then down to her feet. “I don’t mean to cause any trouble,” she said.

“He’s mad with us,” said Mary. “We gave him a hard time all through lunch. And so you know, I didn’t give him no favors either. But lots of the waitresses do.”

“I’d rather work in a fast food joint flipping burgers. The hell with him.”

“Wait around till Tommy gets back. Me and Bea’ll see what we can do. Take her with you in the meat room,” Mary said to Henry Lee.

Downstairs, Lexi sat on the stainless steel counter while Bill and Henry Lee cut meat. Drenovis came in once to see what they were doing. Seeing Lexi there, he turned red and told her to get her things and get out. Bill took this one on. He stepped between her and Drenovis and told Drenovis she was staying to see Tommy. Then, most uncharacteristically, he told Drenovis to cart his funky ass out of the meat room.

“I’m gonna fire you too,” Drenovis said.

“Go for it,” Bill said. He looked Drenovis straight in the eyes. “I know six other places give me a job and more money too. I’ll take a few days off and be working next week.”

“You’re getting too big for your britches,” Drenovis said.

“You’re the one out of line,” Bill said. He picked up the sharpening steel and his curved butcher’s knife, honed the blade’s edge on the steel. “Go on out of here before you get yourself in a situation you don’t want to be in.”

“This isn’t over,” Drenovis said.

“I suppose not. No matter. We’ll finish it.”

“You watch your step.”

“You watch yours,” said Bill.

Coming This Week:

The Ghost Writer, Rose’s Story: A Look At The Worlds We Hide

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my fathers eyesI generally stay away from using first person. It’s a tricky form overall. It very often leads to lies, certainly to overstatement, and it woos users of it into bragging and overestimating themselves. For example, we have that “master politician” Nancy Pelosi. Need I say more?

First person, if one isn’t the bragging type, can lead to self-flagellation or public apology, and that’s a tough one too.

In one of the high-level lit courses I took in graduate school, I remember once being told that writers were notorious liars. That seemed about right to me since that’s what they do for a living, or at least what fiction writers do anyway. I think our politicians do it these days too, and certainly our would-be journalists are busy at it as I write this. Too bad so many people believe their lies as truths, believe our politicians’ lies as truths too.

So here we are. I generally don’t talk about myself per se. As it is, most people don’t know too much about themselves anyway. They have their notions and ideas about themselves, but it’s difficult to get a full and clear perspective of oneself. I know for a fact that since I was about fifteen all I ever wanted to do was write. After that, things get cloudy.

I believe I’ve mostly been strongly opinionated. I believe when I was younger I thought I knew better than my father, but as I’ve grown older, I’m sure now I’m not sure and probably didn’t. I know I was much more liberal back when I was younger, and I was sure those Beatles’ songs were right, you know, Imagine and All You Need Is Love. I think I really would like to be in an Octopus’ Garden. (Yes, I know Imagine is John Lennon’s.)

I’m in my late sixties now and I see all these young, pretty people all over the place giving opinions and leading things as if they actually know what they’re talking about, as if they know what they’re doing. But here’s a little secret. They don’t! The young ones lack perspective and context and the liberals who empower them only do it for their own self-serving purposes. In part, that explains the current state of our inner cities, our education system, and our national debt.

So I look back at my father’s perspective. His parents were legal immigrants. He spoke three languages. He lived through The Depression. He fought in World War II and spent three and a half years as a POW in Nazi Germany, in Stalag III B Furstenberg. He was a working-class stiff who worked all his life, a Jimmy Hoffa Teamster when Labor Unions were relevant and not self-serving political animals. The Government did not give him a disability and denied that his rheumatic heart was related to his war/POW experience.

He had it pretty rough.

Compared to our lives today, he had it really rough. Still, he maintained certain beliefs. He believed in America, in right or wrong, my country. He believed in hard work and in education. He scoffed at stupidity. The idea of hugging and coddling an enemy that would kill you without hesitation was anathema to him. He believed one should work for what he gets; he didn’t believe in freebies. He believed in helping people who needed help but not in entertaining or supporting scammers. He did not believe in a welfare state. He believed in marriage between a man and a woman, in two genders, not thirty-two. He believed in God up until his war experiences, then I think he doubted but believed his children should be brought up with God, with Judaism, and with his and their heritage.

That’s not all his beliefs, but it’s a good sense of them. He warned that our liberal government was crazy, that it was ruining our country by destroying work ethic and supporting freeloaders. He feared that being soft on enemies would destroy us. He understood a budget and the consequences of not living within your means.

My father’s beliefs were simple and straightforward. Sometimes, more often now, I think we should revisit some of them and consider that from his and many people’s perspectives we’ve gone way astray and should head back to simpler, more concrete approaches to our modern times. All that liberal, intellectual, smarter-than-thou, I-know-better hogwash is just that, hogwash.


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Social Darwinism! Murph had written about Social Darwinism not too long ago saying that Social Security, Medicare and all the social welfare programs, programs like Food Stamps, ADC, TANF, WIC, and especially the protective agencies like CPS, were begun with the best of intentions, the true desire to help the ill, the helpless and the needy. But their intentions and desires were perverted over time, superseded by the need to survive, the first premise of evolution. At the precise moment this occurred, these programs started becoming detrimental to their clientele, to society and to the taxpayers who ultimately funded them. The reason: Social Darwinism, in this case, agency evolution, the survival of the fittest agencies through funding, funding because money was the agencies’ representative manifestation of strength and power.

Murph had written that Child Protective Services (CPS) perfectly demonstrated this evolution. The goal of CPS should only be assisting its clientele in accordance with the purpose for the organization. But its evolution suggested that its primary goal had become its own survival. It justified its existence by keeping a healthy number of kids in its control, thus maintaining funding (and quite neatly, he thought) somewhat like an agent or even a record company does, by collecting commissions and royalties on each property handled.

Goddamn, he thought. He sat back in his desk chair and sipped his coffee. DFCS and all the CPS agencies have made caring for kids a byproduct. What they do is shuffle them around like chattel and collect royalties on them, all by maintaining the number of kids with the revolving door.

His friend, a lawyer, had fought DYFS in Jersey and he’d dealt with ACS in New York while at the BOE. DYFS was like every other bureaucracy and government agency, city, state or the big boy Federal, just like the BOE in New York where he worked for a quarter century. Most of the on-the-line workers, the combat troops as he liked to think of them, were just normal, regular people who wanted to do good, to do their jobs well and help the people they were supposed to help. Then there were the ones who were lazy and didn’t do much but collect the paycheck, the not-so-competent ones who tried but didn’t get much done, and finally the jaded, corrupt ones, the ones involved in what Rose Friedlander was alluding to in regard to what both her husband and her father had been involved in, in asking Murph to look into that Georgia Senator circa 2010 who had done a report on the corruption and child trafficking in the Georgia CPS system.

That Senator was killed, Murph thought, and then he thought if you believed otherwise, that she was the victim in a murder-suicide by her distraught husband, then you believed the check was in the mail and you believed that the protesters started the riots at the demonstration where he was arrested eons ago. Not. Sergeant Hopkins, the cop who arrested him, was just one of the jaded corrupt following the orders of the FBI, who actually started the riots, who was following the orders of President Nixon. No one wants to believe these things, Murph thought, the clandestine conspiracies our fiction and cinematography are saturated by, yet we all believe them on some level and stay quiet because… because of suppression, because the suppression is much more diabolical in the United States, Murph thought, because here they maintain the illusion of freedom and democracy. They don’t’ kill you, he thought.  They kill your life.

Look for Rose’s Story on Amazon Kindle this week.


Dennis PragerSometimes you have to let your fingers do the walking. Maybe many people won’t get the reference to the Yellow Pages since it is a relatively older reference and perhaps obscure these days. I’m not sure if I’m even allowed to use the term Yellow Pages because who knows what the PC Police will do these days.

I came across this article by Dennis Prager and am posting the link so it can easily be viewed in full.

How The Mainstream Media Operates

The thrust of the article is that the Mainstream Media distorts the truth. Prager begins with a quote:

 “Our leading media” are characterized by “indefensibly corrupt manipulations of language repeated incessantly.” (Patrick Lawrence in The Nation, Aug. 9, 2017, on the media’s reporting of the alleged collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia)

Then he goes on:

“To understand America’s crises today, one must first understand what has happened to two institutions: the university and the news media. They do not regard their mission as educating and informing but indoctrinating…

“When it comes to straight news stories–say, an earthquake in Central America — the news media often do their job responsibly. But when a story has a left-wing interest, the media abandon straight news reporting and take on the role of advocates…”

Prager relates the story of what happened to him, personally, and uses his experience to present his four lessons:

 Lesson No. 1: When the mainstream media write or say that a conservative “suggested” something that sounds outrageous, it usually means the conservative never actually said it.

 Lesson No. 2: When used by the mainstream media, the words “divisive” or “contentious” simply mean “leftists disagree with.”

 Lesson No. 3: Contrary evidence is omitted.

 Lesson No. 4: Subjects are covered in line with left-wing ideology.

We hear about this all the time now. President Trump calls it fake news and only the die-hard left themselves believe that the mainstream media is not biased. Or they believe it is biased but since it is biased and distorted in their favor and in favor of their cause, it’s basically okay.

Prager shows how the mainstream media distort the truth, how they literally break the rules of responsible reporting and also break the fundamental rules of basic research.

Then he shows how once the mainstream media have presented something, even though it is not the truth and is demonstrated not to be the truth, they continue to quote what they have presented as if it is the truth, further distorting the reality, further confuscating the facts, further advancing a narrative that is simply not true.

Regarding his own case, what the media did to him, he says:

 “In summary, all mainstream media coverage of this one story was tainted, biased, often false and predicated solely on left-wing presumptions. Magnify what they did to me a thousand-fold and you will begin to understand media behavior over the last two generations, and especially behavior today, when hysteria and advocacy have completely replaced news reporting.”

A distorting and manipulating mainstream media whose goal is to “indoctrinate rather than educate,” as Prager says, is dangerous. It is anathema to notion of a free press that was created to be unbiased. Worse, it attacks the very foundations upon which America was established. Particularly and specifically these days, it attacks one of the underlying principal of our democracy which is the peaceful transition of power. 

 

 

Coming This Week:

The Ghost Writer, Rose’s Story: A Look At The Worlds We Hide

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo who killed you, Jack? One of them? Murph wondered.

Murph wondered what was hiding in the shadows. The worlds we don’t see, he said to himself, like who killed Kennedy and why Jack Ruby so easily killed Lee Harvey Oswald and then was himself so conveniently hushed up, like the realities of human trafficking.

In 2015, 11,800 runaways were reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Of them, it was estimated that a fourth, or 2900, were likely sex trafficking victims. Seventy-four percent of that fourth, or 2146 children, were in foster care when they went missing. So, Murph thought, was it one of them who killed you, Jack? One of their parents? One of their handlers?

Maybe one of them, he thought, thinking that Jack and his friends took those trips down south for the trysts supplied by CPS workers. Murph knew that up to 75% of kids in foster care were sexually abused, that the rate of sexual abuse within the foster care system was more than four times as high as in the general population. In group homes, the rate of sexual abuse was more than 28 times that of the general population. A CPS worker or hired killer to protect a CPS worker from being found out? A parent of one of the foster kids? Rose had a CD. Who else had one?

Yeah, Murph thought: the worlds we don’t see. He told himself again that the Georgia Senator and her husband were murdered. She was just weeks from exposing the human trafficking and sexual exploitation within DFCS. Coincidences like that weren’t usually coincidence. Politicians lie. Agencies lie and protect themselves. You can’t fight human trafficking with a sign saying # bring the girls back.

Look for Rose’s Story on Amazon Kindle this week.


media manipulationIt’s a good bet that if one begins a piece of research with a preconceived opinion and explicit bent one can find proof for that opinion or bent. So, if you wanted to prove that President Trump is a racist, you could pore over everything he’s said for which there is video or audio or actual print quotations, cite only that which might be construed as racist, disregard anything that would ameliorate or counterbalance your selections, and voila, you would have research, which could be verified, that he’s a racist.

Not quite. Not exactly. Not even close. But as per the insanity of today’s print standards, it would be cited as valid research by all the media outlets whose one goal is to undermine President Trump and de-legitimize his presidency.

Just to put it out there, because it’s the right thing to do, The Washington Post, same paper Mark Levin and others call The Washington Compost, hired some twenty or so reporters just to get dirt on Trump. There’s a giant likelihood that their reporting is skewed, slanted, biased. Now the  dirt-finders are  responsible for verifying their stories but their job is dirt, not whether the dirt is real or true. Furthermore, their salaries (and success) depend upon their finding dirt, not upon their finding truth.

Overall, looking at the mainstream media outlets that have presented about ninety percent negative stories on President Trump, there’s a good bet they have an ulterior motive, a slant, a bias, a direction they are purposefully heading in. A look at their owners provides clear validation of this point and indicates that the media and our news are now driven by personal interests and political bent rather than the quest for truth.

This continual attack on the President is unprecedented. It’s unheard-of. On some levels it strikes at the very core of our democracy, at the very core of the basis of our government which is the peaceful transition of power. It’s where no man has gone before in our society. In terms of who and what we are and what we say we stand for, it’s pure insanity for the mainstream media to rock the foundation of our country because they don’t like the president who was elected.

We’ve really gone off the deep end.

Also just to put it out there, the previous president was, for the most part, given a free ride by the press and social media for eight years. He bitched and moaned about the one outlet that did criticize him but the rest of the mainstream media thought that he was cute. He hung out in a racist church and listened to a racist pastor for some twenty years. He started his political campaign in the home of a domestic terrorist. Yet he was literally given a pass for this and oh so much more.

The politicization of the media is dangerous and diabolical. It threatens our country, our Constitution and our very democratic existence. It is insane for the American people to allow it to go unopposed, to not fact-check it and call it out for what it is. It is insane for us to dance with the real possibility of destroying the underlying foundations of the greatest country around merely for personal political interests.

In the fifties, they used to say “I’d rather be dead than red” meaning it was better to blow up the world with nuclear bombs than allow the U.S. to become communist. This was a statement of human arrogance and pure hubris. We used to think we were the only planet with life forms and by extension that humans were the superior life form of all. That was more human arrogance and hubris.

To act as the media are, by political beliefs rather than quest for truth, and thereby risk eroding the very foundation of our country, is the same pure human arrogance and hubris. It is actually beyond pure insanity.

Let our media go to any communist country they so readily espouse or to any totalitarian one and do there what they are doing here. Let them see how long they would survive.

Coming This Week:

The Ghost Writer, Rose’s Story: A Look At The Worlds We Hide