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So, I Read This Book Today

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NOT Funny!

The U.S. has Gone F&*%ing Mad

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James Allworth

Director @Medallia, Co-host @exponentFM, Co-author @MeasureYourLife, Fellow @ClayChristensen‘s thinktank, writer @HarvardBiz. Previous: HBS, Apple, Booz, ANU

WordPress doesn’t allow embedded code, so I can’t post the whole article here, but everyone – American or not – should read his article posted to Medium.com. Click the link to read the whole article. I had no idea that “Those In Power” have decided that the way to stop gun violence in the US, such as the mass shooting in San Bernardino and, pertinent to me as a Colorado resident, the Columbine shooting, is to force cell companies, like Apple, into opening a back door into your phone so they can spy on you. What the fucking fuckity fuck?!?!?

Wow. I know we have a bit of a terrorist problem (nothing, compared to other countries such as Britain, France, and, oh, yeah, The Middle East ((and maybe, just maybe, if we weren’t so bent on controlling the whole world, we wouldn’t PISS PEOPLE OFF so badly)) but….. I got news for you, Old Men With Suits, Cigars, And More Money Than You Know What To Do With At The Expense Of Those You Are Supposed To Be Working For  . . . you are so focused on “Terrorism” (and retaining the payoffs from the NRA) that you fail to acknowledge that, 1) “Lone Gunman” is the more realistic shooter profile, i.e.  “Run off and shoot lots and lots of people because I am a psychotic FREAK, and 2) and listen closely here, You Can’t Shoot Someone With A Cell Phone. Got that, you Pompous, Overfed Windbags? Oh, and should you really get that backdoor – are you really and truly that stupid, that you think that the shooters will use their cell phone to spew out all their secrets and plans, a monologue from a Cartoon Villain?!?!

(OK, yes, I am ranting.)

Are we REALLY this STUPID?!?! Well, seeing as how the world’s largest Pompous, Blowhard Windbag that ever crushed a company and put thousands out of work (come on, the guy Bankrupted a CASINO!!! Don’t they say the house always WINS?!?!?!) is still topping the US Political Scene, I guess that, as a whole, we really are that stupid as a Nation. Just where are all the Intelligent People who should be out there fighting against every bad thing that is happening in this country to turn us all into Robot Slaves to the upper class? Sigh.

“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.”
George Orwell, 1984

A Read It Forward Giveaway – Ted Koppel’s “Lights Out”

Non-Fiction Giveaway: Lights Out by Ted Koppel

In this tour de force of investigative reporting, Ted Koppel reveals that a major cyberattack on America’s power grid is not only possible but likely, that it would be devastating, and that the United States is shockingly unprepared.

Imagine a blackout lasting not days, but weeks or months. Tens of millions of people over several states are affected. For those without access to a generator, there is no running water, no sewage, no refrigeration or light. Food and medical supplies are dwindling. Devices we rely on have gone dark. Banks no longer function, looting is widespread, and law and order are being tested as never before.

It isn’t just a scenario. A well-designed attack on just one of the nation’s three electric power grids could cripple much of our infrastructure—and in the age of cyber warfare, a laptop has become the only necessary weapon.

With urgency and authority, one of our most renowned journalists examines a threat unique to our time and evaluates potential ways to prepare for a catastrophe that is all but inevitable.

Read It Forward
Click to visit Read It Forward

Review and Warning: Don’t Give This Book A Second Look

crummy
I am not going to encourage you to waste your time with this. No links to Amazon, or anywhere else for that matter. “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!” ™

OK, first you must realize that I am a Stage IIIb Breast Cancer survivor. TWO YEARS! WOOOO HOOOO!!!  During my excruciating journey through devastating chemotherapy, radiation therapy, several inpatient hospital stays, and vicious complications, I came out the other end pretty sound overall, and happy to be alive.

During that time I did a LOT of research on breast cancer. Everything statistical, of course, from race makeup (I am Native American and Caucasian), percentage of cases that metastasize, rates of remission, types of treatment, length of post treatment mortality, you name it. I asked it all, researched it all, and made sure that I understood why my body had turned against me and what I could do to help it repair itself. And yes, I read books. MANY books. Some good, some not so good. In some cases, the books were not so good in that they were written for a rather broader cancer base than mine – I really wasn’t interested in colon or testicular cancer, just breast cancer. For others, they weren’t really as technical as I would have wished (I have a medical background)  but would be perfect for the less technically oriented.

And then we get to this little missive.

DON’T BUY IT

Especially if you have breast cancer, have a family member who has breast cancer, a friend, or even a dog who has breast cancer (yes, your dog can get it too if you don’t have her spayed. It is kinder all the way around not to force your pet to go through heats and breeding. There are enough unwanted animals in the word already. OK, off my soapbox.)

This so-called book is a collection of, well, you can’t really call it “knowledge.” It is more like a middle school kid sat down in detention with a stack of books in front of him (notice the “him”) and was told to write a 30 page essay on breast cancer before he can go out to play. Grab a sentence here, one there, smooch them all together, and BLAMO! Now you can go out to play with all the other boys! Sooooo…. useless. Totally. Completely. Useless. Looking at the publication list of the “author” (and believe me, I use that term loosely) he woke up one morning and decided that, since he had problems in his life, he was going to take advantage of that fact and write “books” (I use that term loosely also) to “help” (loosely, anyone?) others with problems. And that truly, Truly makes me want to scream and throw things!

Whew. OK. Calm down. Deep breath. Big yoga stretch. There, Isn’t that better? Now. Here is what you want to do. If you have breast cancer, or even SUSPECT you, or someone you know or love is at risk, DON’T PLAY AROUND. There are many, many resources out there from clear cut, intelligent, EDUCATED PROFESSIONALS (and free of charge, may I add) that are better, clearer, better written, and more helpful than what is found in these few pages. Some of the statistical information within the book is even highly questionable (where in the heck did the under-forty population go? Do they not get breast cancer? Uh, WRONG. One of my ‘cancer partners’ was in her early twenties, several only a bit older. Additionally, women under the age of 30 who get breast cancer have a very poor prognosis for survival past the five-year NCBD timeline, which this particular pamphlet doesn’t even mention.)

If you feel that you are at risk for breast cancer, don’t delay, and don’t let some cocky GP convince you that just because you are young, you can’t get breast cancer. Any time a medical professional blows you off, blow them off. There is someone better out there. 

Do breast exams. Get checked out every year by a, and I can’t state this seriously enough, CARING physician. Once who listens, and is educated in the way a woman’s body really works. Yes, there are smart, educated male physicians out there, just like there are uncaring, uneducated women physicians. Medicine is just like any other profession – it is run by humans, and humans are in no way, shape or form infallible. Go with what feels right for you, not for what other people say should feel right for you. It’s your body. Listen to it. If you want real, useful information, there are many sites on-line.  There are also local groups, agencies, and facilities who are more than happy to answer your questions and ease you into the process of understanding what is going on with your body.

Just don’t forget – there is help, excellent help, for breast cancer related issues. Whether you are a friend, family member, or fear that you are at risk, reach out for help. This isn’t your grandmother’s medical system any longer. You can find help. You don’t have to rely on this type of, dare I say, predatory marketing. Instead, check out the free professional information below. And, if you want to chat? Are afraid or uncertain? Look for local breast cancer support groups. And if all else fails? I am always here. Drop me a line. You are not alone!!!

Breastcancer.org – Includes an exceptionally good “Breast Cancer 101” class

Breast Cancer Facts and Figures – 2011-2012

Trends in Breast Cancer in Younger Women

CureDiva.com – Just because you are bald, doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful!

National Library of Medicine – You want simple? This even has photos and diagrams of EXACTLY what is happening, and will happen, to your body.

The National Cancer Institute – Everything from genetics to approved clinical trials for new and coming medications and treatments

Male Breast Cancer Information – Yes, men get breast cancer too

National Cancer Institute – Afraid you have, or do have, another form of cancer? Go here first.

For information on Breast Cancer Support Groups in your areas, here are great places to start:

You’ll also find an active on-line support community at the Breastcancer.org Discussion Boards.

Review: Redemption – C.J. Barry

redemption
SO not recommended.

Sigh. I simply can’t express how much I hated this book. Of course, as I will now enumerate many of the things that made me so intensely dislike the book, that is sort of a silly statement, but you get the point, right?

Let’s see, where do I start. The good. The cover is terrific. The art is beautifully done, and it makes you want to read the book. You are expecting to find a strong, paranormal female heroine inside, and in some ways that is what you get. The main character, Reya, is a Redeemer, basically the last entity you see before the Grim Reaper comes to sweep you away to where you are going.

While it sounded like a Paranormal/Urban Fantasy thriller, what you get instead is a mishmash of Christian mythos and crystals, New Age philosophy and lei lines as Angelic power points, Atlantis and six dimensional physics, all rolled into a snarled bundle of “let’s put in a little something for everyone” that was, well, absurd. The Christians will hate it for the new age philosophy; the New Agers will hate it for turning their beliefs into a joke; and the scientists will just laugh uproariously. Of course, I did run across a New Ager once that said that anything bad that happened to you (she was talking to a cancer patient at the time-a cancer patient with small children who would be without their mother soon) “brought it on herself because she must have been putting bad vibes out into the universe.” Yes, I did slap her silly.

I won’t go into the actual storyline, as it is a rather basic ‘good (sic) guys chase the bad guys’ mystery/action adventure plot. What I do want to talk about is the underlying thesis of the story which is, in short, no matter what atrocities you have committed in life, all you have to do when Reya shows up is bat your eyelashes and say something to the effect of “Aww! I wuz a baaad little boy, I am sooo sowweee, weally I am!” and you automatically get trotted off the Heaven to decide if you want to be a sadistic, baby-raping murderer all over again. Or maybe play the role of Hitler or Pol Pot all over again. But hey, that’s A-OK with God, cause it’s just a learning experience. And hey, you over there, you chose to be an infant who is sodomized to death, cause you just had to learn what that felt like. Can anyone say “Let’s Blame The Victim?”

The “let’s blame the victim” attitude of the book is what really made me find this book to be the worst kind of psychological abuse. The whole story arc takes the blame away from the worst dregs of society and dumps it right onto the victim, premising that the victim chose their own abuse, that they brought whatever happens to them into their own lives. It gives sanction to the worst that humanity has to offer, assuring them that, whatever they do, no matter how heinous, they just have to say the equivalent of “Oops, my bad” and they are off scott free.  There is no judge or jury in Heaven. So, does that mean when Jews get to heaven they get to share a meal and a giggle with Hitler and reminisce about the good old days?

As a Redeemer, she offers the soon-to-be-departed one last chance to atone for their sins. I didn’t really give that line all that much thought, and I apparently should have, because when I got into the book I came to a point of wanting to gouge my eyes out with a dull spoon. If this is the author’s concept of “God” I will take the courts any day. They may not always get it right, but at least they try.

All in all, the book mouthed platitudes about “loving one another” and still managed to make it perfectly acceptable to do whatever you want, no matter how depraved, with impunity. If you have ever been a victim, of physical, mental, emotional or even financial misconduct of others, I encourage you not to read this book unless you are into self-flagellation and blaming yourself for your treatment at the hands of others.

NOT recommended.

Blurred Lines

I was checking my mail this morning and got an e-mail entitled “Twerk This” from Laura E. Harner, author of the Willow Springs Ranch and Altered States series, among others. Her message said:

With all the fuss over Miley and her twerking at the VMA, some groups have gotten together to point out the ‘blurred lines’ of the semi-consensual sex lyrics of Robin Thick’s song and the general debasing of women in the media. Interestingly, I’ve noticed a serious trend of misogyny among readers and writers of male/male romance. I’m not sure why it caught me so off guard, except that I’ve been a proponent of  equal rights a whole lot longer than marriage equality has the cause d’jour. Equal is equal.

What do you think?

Here’s a video parody of the song put together by three law students…

OK, so I don’t pay a lot of attention to what is going on in the entertainment world. I basically couldn’t care who is doing what to whom. I did hear about the whole “Miley” thing, but other than thinking that daddy must have been really embarrassed . . . Meh. I have my own, real life. But anyway, I have been really concerned myself about the mood of the American public regarding the abuse of women, from movies and music to the popularity of books which feature women as slaves, treated like yard dogs by men – with the women’s tacit, and sometimes blatant, consent. Come on – I fought like a wild woman to get women the right to hold their heads up in public, to walk the streets safely, to be equal partners in relationships, to be able to stand up in court and say “Yes, he DID rape me, and he didn’t have the RIGHT!” . . . to have control over your own body and not turn that control over to an 80-something guy in a dress, and THIS is what you do with it?  Come on! When I was small, THIS was considered an appropriate coffee advertisement – and now you are ASKING to be treated like this?  misogyny3jpgGrrrrr……

Anyway, I laughed my ass off at this video. I hope you do too. Enjoy.

 

And then, of course, there are those poor women who live in Texas – just how many trucks DID U-Haul rent to smart women to move them out of that ridiculous state?

(I can say that, because I used to live there – then left, at a DEAD RUN!)

A Very Offended Rant

I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence would save us, but it won’t.  –  Audre Lorde

Speaking very generally, I find that women are spiritually, emotionally, and often physically stronger than men.  –  Gary Oldman

The link below is to a post from the site of a blogger I have been following for a while. To be perfectly clear, the  particular post I am responding to was not posted by Gabriel, but on his site in response to a blog he wrote about the effect of porn on human relationships; “Why Real Men Shouldn’t Fanaticize About Women”. The full post may be accessed at:

thttp://syl101.com/2013/07/12/why-real-men-shouldnt-fantasize-about-women/?replytocom=3349#respond

Gabriel makes some exceptionally good points regarding the detrimental effect of porn on the ability of men to having loving, realistic relationships with women. I would also point out that his points should also apply to women and their addictions to porn – yes, it is out there, we just don’t talk about it is all. Women can become just as addicted to porn in the books they read. The typical erotica novel hero is no more realistic than the typical female porn star. And the typical male is not totally ripped while still being totally in touch with his feelings. Or totally alpha, but this whole ‘totally alpha’ thing turns my stomach anyway so we won’t go there. Does the typical “real” female truly want to be tied up and beaten and humiliated every night before they can get off? I would certainly hope not, or that would be a truly bad sign about where we are going as a society . . .

Anyway, the following is my rant. Read it or not, respond to it or not, I believe I have some solid points in response to what I believe to be a completely twisted vision of what male/female relationships should be about. And I would greatly hope I am not the only person to think this way, or I am going to be really frustrated with the whole situation!

A man who graduated high in his class at Yale Law School and made partnership in a top law firm would be celebrated. A man who invested wisely would be admired, but a woman who accomplishes this is treated with suspicion.  –  Barbara Streisand

================================

The following is my particular rant, and doesn’t reflect on Gabriel in any way, but to the post by Dota on July 30, 2013 at 4:56 PM. You can scroll down to see the comment.

This is the post:

This is indeed a good article and you’ve raised several good points. Porn does destroy self confidence and is ultimately a destructive and self defeating activity.

I believe (as you do) that most men today view porn because they cannot seem to respect women. While I agree with you that men should ultimately respect women, I do not believe that the modern North American woman makes it easy to respect her. Our grandfathers never objectified women because women back then made excellent mates, nurturing and loyal. Today’s North American/Western European woman is an overgrown child with ADD who is lacking in character, moral fiber, basic etiquette, and over all integrity. Today’s women want to participate in behaviours that were unacceptable 5 decades ago (drinking/smoking/cussing in public) but still want men to respect them in the way our grandfathers respected their women.

I think the juncture where we disagree is that you believe porn makes men disrespect women, and this is true to some extent. I believe that 5 decades of Feminism has made the modern woman so undesirable, that most men gravitate towards porn as a result.

But porn is indeed a cancer upon society and one that seems to be winning.

_________________________

Hold the phone! Wait just a moment. Back up. You have GOT to be kidding me! What planet do you live on? They must do some really interesting drugs there . . .

Have you really READ history, or do you live in a la-la land of “Leave It To Beaver”? Where women wore house-dresses and high heels to cook and clean and said “yes dear” and had sex in the missionary position and never, NEVER, EVER had an orgasm? And drank vodka and took pills to dull the pain of being totally, unequivocally unfulfilled? Where women of intelligence and wit, instead of being college educated and reaching their potential, becoming doctors and engineers, became baby factories and domestic slaves? Who turned a blind eye while their husbands screwed their secretaries and had second families on the side while their wives pretended they didn’t know? These same women who, when their husbands died, or left them, were left with children to feed and raise, who had no skills or training to provide the money to do so?

Is the fact that I gained a Bachelor’s degree and a Masters degree and held down a corporate position reason to not respect me? Or the fact that I made my own money, was respected for my intelligence and contributions to society, to charity and to scholarly works reason to disrespect me as a woman? Maybe it is my love of 20-year-old single malt Highland Scotch and having my needs met in bed? Does that make me undeserving of respect? Or maybe it is the fact that I left a husband who expected the very things you seem to crave in a spouse – total, uncomplaining submission, while he totally controlled my access to money, who wanted to control what I wore, where I went, who I saw and whether or not I had an orgasm, just like his own father did to his mother. Does that make me unworthy of respect, when I went out on my own, got a job, a home, and gained the aforementioned degrees and personal and public respect?

How much has society lost, treating women like they would their dogs, training them to obey, to snap to commands, to fall within a narrow boundary of acceptable behaviours? What have we lost, decreeing women to be second-class citizens? Cures for cancer, diabetes, heart disease? Answers to world poverty or peace or how we are going to be able to handle overpopulation or addressing our coming energy or pollution problems? Men certainly haven’t done a bang-up job of any of that. Men are seemingly incapable of living beside one another without destroying anyone they find to be different than themselves, or to have something that they want for their own. Wars over oil, religion, land. Cultures where women and children are raped and murdered in response to rape and abuse that was out of their control. Male oriented religions that demean and objectify women, men in dresses, waving texts designed and written by men, that curtail the rights of women over even their own bodies. Societies that allow men to murder their own wives because they were taken by force and raped by a stranger or a neighbor or an “enemy”?

Wake up and smell the coffee. In your little Leave It To Beaver world, women weren’t “respected”. They were paid less even when their work product was better than a male coworker. They weren’t safe on the streets, and if anything happened to them through no fault of their own they were denied legal recourse. They were abused at home with no recourse to women’s shelters or even the comfort of family members. Their children were abused as well, and all the little perfect people you envision turned a blind eye – including family members and priests. Apparently, your vision of “respect” is putting women in “Their Place” where they bow down to you as a cook, maid, breeder and body slave.

I am old enough to remember those days, and believe me, they were NOT the gumdrops and kittens you seem to crave. Wake up. I suggest you do a bit of reading of the “non-fantastical” variety. Take a look around you at the women and children who are STILL being mistreated by men who think they own their partners, just like they own their dogs and their pickup trucks. I am willing to give a male just as much respect as he shows himself to be deserving of. I am also willing to make sure that I rip his balls off should he show me disrespect, just as I would expect to be brought to task for not showing respect for any male who showed himself to be deserving of same. The key word here is deserving. You, Dota, are not deserving of my respect, because you do not respect me. And that is the whole point – just because you have dangly junk does NOT automatically make you deserving of respect. A mans mind, heart and actions are what decide their respectability, not their Y-chromosome.

In the words of Maya Angelou;

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.

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