Monday words of wisdom…

October 23rd, 2017

Our nation cannot survive morally or economically when so few have so much while so many have so little.—Bernie Sanders


Sci-fi book sale: More than Human: The Mensa Contagion and Rogue Planet are now on sale at Smashwords from October 1 through October 31. Their prices are reduced to $1.99—that’s one-third off. In the first novel, an ET virus changes the world, but in a good way, and leads to the colonization of Mars. In the second, there’s a wee bit of “Game of Thrones” fantasy mixed into the hard sci-fi as Prince Kaushal leads his Second Tribe in their fight against the First Tribe’s brutal theocracy. Both books are stand-alone, not part of a series. Use the Smashwords coupon numbers when you check out. Note that the second book is also available in paper format at Amazon. Lots of exciting fall entertainment for a reasonable price!

In libris libertas!

Review of Edita A. Petrick’s Ribbons of Death…

October 20th, 2017

(Edita A. Petrick, Ribbons of Death (2nd ed.), Peacetaker series #1, 2017)

I suspect this started with a play on words. We all know what peacemaker means, but what is a peacetaker? You can find out in detail by reading this sci-fi/fantasy/mystery/thriller. I’ll start by explaining the genre overlap. The sciences are archaeology and linguistics. The fantasy is a curse that has affected several ancient civilizations. The mystery is in how it is now affecting our modern world…and why. The thriller is in trying to stop people from being murdered by the peacetaker.

That’s quite a lot for a plot, but the author handles it well. She goes too deep into the archaeological/linguistic narrative with the ex-prof who is the main character and wrote a book about the curse—I skipped a lot of that once I got the gist. The subtitle of every chapter also contains some ancient historical reference that I usually didn’t understand—maybe the author saying, “I did a lot of research for this”? The ex-prof is a solid character. Her on-again-off-again romantic interest isn’t—he’s a thriller stereotype, shallow but violent. I believe both continue on in the series—the ex-prof should have dumped him.

What the peacetaker does is scary—he makes people go mad. (I wonder if one was operating in Las Vegas. Nah. That was just one guy. The peacetaker makes whole crowds of people go mad and try to kill each other.) There’s some fantastic gobbledygook about “why” this happens that never makes much sense—because it borders on magic, it’s pure fantasy and akin to werewolves going wild with a full moon, and I hate stories about werewolves, especially the Twilight series.

The plot moves along in spite of the narrative overload mentioned above (especially if you skip most of it). It held my interest for the most part, and there’s a nice twist at the end involving that nasty peacetaker. This is basically a road-trip story where the womansplaining ex-prof takes her mansplaining hunk around the country trying to prove her theories about the peacetaker, and he tries to prove her wrong. There’s a nice hook at the beginning when that soldier-of-fortune stereotype also goes mad in a crowd affected by the peacetaker. The hunk’s scars from his injuries play a small role in the story, as well as the stereotypical ambivalence of a feebie who’s contracted that soldier-of-fortune  (he’s torn between obeying the ex-prof and the feebie, of course). There’s an evil rich guy as villain in this story too, generally skulking around in the wings like some ghoulish phantom of the opera. You don’t actually know for sure he’s the villain. Is the peacetaker ultimately controlled by him? Does the villain get what he deserves? You’ll have to read the book to find out. No spoilers here.

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Amazon: one size fits all…

October 19th, 2017

This giant retailer has expanded so far beyond books that now books are only a small part of Bezo’s business. The company can no longer be considered a friend of readers and writers as a consequence.

Let’s start by listing some recent sins: they offer only one format for ebooks—theirs, of course. While they compensate for that by offering the Kindle app, available for most devices, readers with older ereaders can’t be too happy with the situation because the app isn’t universal.

In fact, Amazon has destroyed the competition as far as ereaders go. They’re putting a lot of print-on-demand companies out of business too with their Create Space print-book publishing option. Bookstores almost universally refuse to stock Create Space books for a multitude of reasons; that affects readers who might like to read an author’s book in a print version, and it obviously diminishes an author’s distribution options.

The borrowing option with Prime is potentially a source of income for authors, but they’d make more selling the entire ebook; even when a reader reads the full book, it’s a way for Amazon to pay writers fewer royalties. Another negative for authors is that to offer a book at a sale price on Amazon, the book must only be available on Amazon! That is detrimental for an author’s marketing options.

There are other pros and cons. One positive point is that Amazon is the largest retailer in the world. Unfortunately books are only a small part of that retail business now. And people can often find better deals at a mom&pop bookstore or even a B&N book barn, as well as other online book retailers like Smashwords. The latter retailer offers almost every ebook format, including Amazon’s .mobi. It also has affiliates, both retailers and book lenders. It allows authors a variety of marketing options, including special sales on ebooks. And it allows an author to set a lower price for public library purchasers. Best of all, it’s all about books, just like any bookstore in your neighborhood. Amazon fails to compete in most of these venues. In fact, in shuns them with despicable snobbery.

For once I agree with Douglas Preston. He’s rather famous for his on-going feud with indie authors, Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath, in particular, and his blatant rants in support of Big Five publishing conglomerates—forget those small presses, of course. But in his recent (Thursday, October 12) op-ed in the NY Times, “Publishing’s Unfair Gray Market,” his title is a wee bit misstated and certainly unexplained. “White market” refers to legit booksellers and distributors who do NOT scam the reading public; “black market” presumably refers to book piracy (see my previous article about that subject). “Gray market” refers to the ambivalent—perhaps legit but most certainly unethical.

Some of what Preston describes has been going on a long time, but a lot of what he says focuses on Amazon. The retailer has sneakily changed its book merchandising policy to match their policies for other products it sells, where third party vendors can actually compete with Amazon and sell used and returned items as new. Their review process has always treated books as products like shoes and hairdryers (I received one negative review from a person who mainly reviews women’s apparel!). Now they’ve gone too far. And you wonder why my books are no longer exclusive to Amazon and I only offer sales on Smashwords? Any author who’s exclusive to Amazon is shooting her- or himself in the foot!

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News and Notices from the Writing Trenches # 151…

October 18th, 2017

Indie Author Day, October 14. If you attended one of these events near you, or any other local book fair, for that matter (‘tis the season), thank you. Whether reader or writer, these events carry on an important tradition—books are part of being human.

At the event in Montclair, I enjoyed chatting with readers, many of them Montclair Public Library supporters, who wandered through talking to the participating authors. I enjoyed chatting with other authors too. Such experiences file off some of my rough edges of introverted author, probably not unusual when everyone is interested in the same things—books, in this case.

“Indie” is a very ambiguous term when applied to authors. Very few indies in the room were 100% DIY (not recommended—if you’re a writer, you probably aren’t a cover artist, for example). Traditional publishing was represented by authors who write for small presses, sometimes called “indie publishers,” i.e. those traditional publishers that aren’t part of a huge Big Five publishing conglomerate. Readers are the ones who benefit—so many good books and good authors now.

Internet readers. Not all readers read books. Maybe you read shorter and pithier articles on internet websites more than books, if you read the latter at all? I do both (not tweets, though), but I get it. You have a busy life and don’t have time for books? That’s OK. That’s why I provide lots of content JUST FOR YOU at this website. I haven’t perused the websites of authors I met at Indie Author Day yet, but just from talking to people it seemed my website is unusual (it is what it is, whether good or bad).

Here are the usually weekly offerings: a quote of note, one relating to current event or reading and writing (Mon); an op-ed article commenting on recent news items or general societal and cultural concerns (Tues); short fiction pieces and/or this newsletter (Weds); an article about reading, writing, and/or the writing business (Thurs); and a book or movie review (Fri).

In total, this amounts to a weekly online newspaper, written just for you. You can peruse the daily offering on the bus or train (please don’t do it while driving). Some days there’s nothing, though, because I either had nothing to say that day or my caffeine just hadn’t kicked in enough to write it down. Good reading!

Oxford comma. In jest on my Facebook author page, I defined this as “a sleepy docent in England who hits one too many m’s on his laptop.” What it really means is adding that last comma in a series: X, Y, and Z, and NOT X, Y and Z. There’s an ongoing battle (because Oxford somehow got involved, shall we call it a “storm in a teacup”?) with fanatical writers choosing sides on whether that comma is needed.

My take: once one of my old English teachers, from back in the days when they actually taught students how to write, told me, “Put a comma in when you’d pause while reading the phrase aloud.” (Yeah, I mentally corrected her—sometimes a semicolon has to be used.) If you can say “Jack went to the levee in his shiny new Chevy, Jill stayed home to play solitaire while drying her hair, and Thomas drove to Toledo to play basketball in his speedo” and not pause before “and Thomas,” you should be free-diving for pearls in the South Seas, not writing. ‘Nough said.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? This is the great title from a 1968 novel by Philip K. Dick. I agonize over my titles as much as I do for “the hook” (found sometimes in a first chapter, other times in a prologue) that begins a story and the climax that ends it (usually followed by a denouement or rehash that ties things together and answers questions the reader might still have—sometimes in an epilogue). I usually don’t settle on a title until I’m ready to copy-edit a final manuscript before sending it to beta-readers. The Last Humans, my new project, had the working title Oasis Redux, for example.

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Reasonable gun control…

October 17th, 2017

Too many of us interpret the Second Amendment incorrectly.  It states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms should not be infringed.” Let’s ignore the incorrect English—the Constitution is full of illiteracy, at least in modern terms, which often gives rise to misinterpretation. But please note the emphasis on militias—the word is even capitalized. Gun fanatics focus on the last clause and take it out of context, thinking it says everyone has a right to have a gun, “keep…arms,” as well as carry them, “bear arms.” That’s crock, of course, but maybe understandable because gun fanatics often don’t know anything about American history.

The American Revolution was started by militias. Those ragtag groups of men armed themselves and fought the British. Let’s forget the point that they were terrorists terrorizing the Brits by any modern interpretation, and they were primarily driven by greed: Why should the Brits make all the money from trade? The writers of the Constitution are recognizing militias and their importance in “winning our freedoms” (they’d be aghast at the taxes we have to pay now, of course—they’d probably have fought the Brits even sooner).

In other words, my interpretation of that badly written Second Amendment is that men in t\]militias have a right to arm themselves and carry their weapons. Duh! But considering that our militias are now institutionalized as the states’ National Guards, which the federal government can send to fight and die overseas, no one else has the right to own and carry guns. Like driving a car, it’s a privilege, not a right. We can regulate drivers’ licenses so DUI assassins and incapacitated people, physical or mentally, can’t wreak havoc on our nation’s streets and highways. Because gun ownership is a privilege, why can’t we do the same with guns?

Moreover, we regulate the condition and type of vehicles people drive, in particular, keeping them from being killing machines—none of those James Bond cars where the hubcaps become claws, for example. Why can’t we regulate the types of guns people own and how they use them?

The answer to the last questions seems to be that the NRA and all the gun addicts are binary thinkers, but so are those who want to do away with guns entirely. Gun ownership isn’t a binary issue like many people think it is. It’s not 0 = no one can own a gun, versus 1 = anyone can own a gun. There are many shades of gray between 0 and 1 here, and people have to become smart about gun control. Idiots’ solutions don’t work! Moreover, the Constitution isn’t much help here and just leads to confusion.

What are some reasonable gun control options that the NRA and gun fanatics refuse to accept? Banning of all military-style weapons is one. Assault weapons, even semi-automatic ones, and, of course, all automatic weapons must be banned. You don’t need one of those for sport or hunting, and you don’t need one to protect your home either. Gun manufacturers should be allowed to sell them only to the military and law enforcement agencies. And those gizmos (“bump stocks” are the current words in vogue) that convert semi-automatic weapons into ones of mass destruction should also be outlawed, period. When you can buy such gizmos at Walmart, you know something is terribly wrong with America.

Many people who bow their heads to honor gun victims as Trump et al did after Las Vegas, and then go on to do nothing about reasonable gun control, are hypocrites. Bowing heads is a stupid PR moment—“See America, we care!”—and of no real comfort for the dead and wounded and their families and friends. That’s why survivors and others outraged by incidents of gun violence fervently protest for more gun control. America is doing nothing.

Or, should I say, politicos are doing nothing, because a majority of American voters want reasonable gun control but can’t seem to vote out the jerks in government who feed off the campaign funds provided the NRA and similar groups. Hypocritical devils, all of them. People bowed their heads for the victims of Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, the Orlando nightclub shooting, and the Las Vegas massacre; people bowed their heads for many other incidents too numerous to name here. The NRA and the gun fanatics bow their heads too, but they’re hoping concerned people forget all about Las Vegas until the next time…and the next…and the next. By doing so, they and we encourage domestic terrorism. The NRA is the largest and richest organization that supports terrorism. They are at least as bad as Sinn Fein and probably  ISIS because they’re American terrorism’s lobbyist and political wing.

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Monday words of wisdom…

October 16th, 2017

To learn which questions are unanswerable, and not to answer them; this skill is most needful in times of stress and darkness.—Ursula Le Guin


Sci-fi book sale: More than Human: The Mensa Contagion and Rogue Planet are now on sale at Smashwords from October 1 through October 31. Their prices are reduced to $1.99—that’s one-third off. In the first novel, an ET virus changes the world, but in a good way, and leads to the colonization of Mars. In the second, there’s a wee bit of “Game of Thrones” fantasy mixed into the hard sci-fi as Prince Kaushal leads his Second Tribe in their fight against the First Tribe’s brutal theocracy. Both books are stand-alone, not part of a series. Use the Smashwords coupon numbers when you check out. Note that the second book is also available in paper format at Amazon. Lots of exciting fall entertainment for a reasonable price!

In libris libertas!

Movie Reviews # 54…

October 13th, 2017

Blade Runner 2049. Denis Villenueve, dir. There’s a new and improved Blade Runner, and unlike Deckard, Joe K. is most assuredly a replicant, but just as lethal. This sequel isn’t as groundbreaking as the original, arguably the best sci-fi movie ever made, but it’s a great story. Ryan Gosling does a fantastic job as K, AKA Joe K., one of the many 2.0 version replicants whose programming is supposed to guarantee subservience to their human masters. There are a lot of old ones around still, which is why K is still in business, but they and the newer models still have a disobedient orneriness.

Ana de Armas plays Joi, K’s AI lover; Robin Wright plays Lt. Joshi, K’s conflicted boss; and Jared Leto has basically a cameo as Niander Wallace, the villain with a god complex who supposedly made Tyrell’s replicants more subservient. Oh, and Harrison Ford reprises his role as Rick Deckard, but only at the end in the film’s climax, so don’t be disappointed.

And hard sci-fi lovers everywhere shouldn’t be disappointed. I won’t mention the plot only to say it’s simple and powerful. It’s also intense, without a moment’s rest from the intensity (choose your bathroom breaks carefully, because this movie is long), as we follow K on his road to inner discovery and finding his humanity. Subtleties abound. Fans of the first movie will revel in the references to it, but this cinematic tale can stand on its own, like all good sequels, whether in books or movies, so people born after the first movie can enjoy this one (and maybe then see the original?).

And the best movies are based on books, as Hollywood has discovered with sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick. In this movie, the images are fantastic, the soundtrack pounding but appropriate (and romantic enough at times), the dialogue sometimes hard to understand but like that of a hard-boiled detective story, and the action often ugly and lethal but fitting comfortably into the plot (and perhaps creating the R rating as much as the visuals?). The final product is superb.

I love this movie. It makes Star Wars and Star Trek movies seem like fantasy and baby food for the mind. This is serious sci-fi that bears well the current banner of dystopian and post-apocalyptic neo-noir films and books. Old Philip must be smiling in whatever sci-fi metaverse he now inhabits.


Sci-fi book sale: More than Human: The Mensa Contagion and Rogue Planet are now on sale at Smashwords from October 1 through October 31. Their prices are reduced to $1.99—that’s one-third off. In the first novel, an ET virus changes the world, but in a good way, and leads to the colonization of Mars. In the second, there’s a wee bit of “Game of Thrones” fantasy mixed into the hard sci-fi as Prince Kaushal leads his Second Tribe in their fight against the First Tribe’s brutal theocracy. Both books are stand-alone, not part of a series. Use the Smashwords coupon numbers when you check out. Note that the second book is also available in paper format at Amazon. Lots of exciting fall entertainment for a reasonable price!

In libris libertas!


Mixing facts and fiction…

October 12th, 2017

No, I’m not talking about Trump’s moaning about “fake news,” much of which he or his Russian friends create (Trump’s lies total 1145 at last count). My title relates to the idea that good fiction mixes in facts with the fiction in such a way that the reader either thinks the fiction is real or at least seems to be real.

One thing that impressed me about Forsyth’s novel The Day of the Jackal was that events surrounding the Algerian War (the facts) smoothly became an assassination plot against De Gaulle (the fiction). Forsyth, an excellent journalist, obviously could report facts, but he made his fiction seem just as real.

That’s something to emulate. I try to do so in every story, even in my sci-fi stories. The reader knows the latter aren’t real, of course, but if s/he reacts to the prose as if it were real or could be, s/he will have a more entertaining experience.

Forsyth’s theme was the bitterness surrounding the Algerian War. Disgruntled French soldiers were mad at De Gaulle for giving Algeria its independence, if I remember correctly. Themes in fiction are what makes fiction seem fact—in other words, real-world themes make fiction seem real. That might be obvious for near-current stories like Angels Need Not Apply (drug trafficking), Teeter-Totter between Lust and Murder (illegal arms trafficking), and The Collector (sex trafficking), to name a few of my mystery and thriller books, but it’s also true for sci-fi books More than Human: The Mensa Contagion (exploration of and colonies on Mars) and Rogue Planet (brutal theocracies).

I’ve written about “themes” in my many posts about writing. Stephen King implied in his book On Writing that themes aren’t important—I guess that’s why I can’t enjoy many of his books. I’ll be blunt: novelists who avoid themes so as not to offend anyone are cowardly. Sure, you can write a mystery, thriller, or sci-fi story without any serious themes, but I probably won’t like it very much as an avid reader, I’ll be reluctant to review it even more, and I’ll certainly won’t emulate it as a writer.

Fiction must be a blend of serious themes and a great story about seemingly real characters who react and relate to those interwoven themes. The themes cannot be trivial either. Ones in most romances and horror stories are if they exist. I don’t object to a wee bit of X meets Y and they have an affair, but if that’s it, my reactions are ho-hums and yawns. Same for blood and gore and nothing more (King’s oeuvre).

I respect an author who takes a theme and writes a great story to surround it. Yeah, that takes courage—the writer is sure to offend some readers who treat fiction as escapist pablum to turn off their minds. I’m not that kind of reader, and I don’t write for that kind of reader. Maybe many readers are looking for that mind-numbing escape. Fine. To each her or his own. Reading tastes are subjective anyway, and readers have a wide variety of books to choose from. For every writer like me, there are probably ten (maybe more?) who don’t have any themes at all in their books so they don’t run the risk of offending anyone. My writing is an example of the following Cyril Connolly quote: “Better to write for yourself and have no public, than write for the public and have no self.”

Yes, reading tastes are subjective, but I’m one avid reader who reads to turn my mind on, not off. Of course, I also want to be entertained. It might seem I’m asking for a lot. Maybe so in today’s publishing world, but I don’t think I’m the only reader who feels this way. And authors can reach such readers by including interesting themes to make their fiction seem like fact.


Rembrandt’s Angel (Penmore Press). How far would you go to recover a missing masterpiece? Have great fun this fall reading about the adventures of Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiques Inspector Esther Brookstone and her paramour/sidekick, Interpol agent Bastiann van Coevorden. Esther becomes obsessed with recovering Rembrandt’s “An Angel with Titus’ Features,” a painting stolen by the Nazis for Hitler’s museum. The crime-fighting duo goes after the painting and those currently possessing the painting, but the whole caper becomes much more dangerous as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens the security of Europe. With all the danger, their budding romance becomes full-blown. This book is available as an ebook on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, B&N, and Apple, and also as a print book from Amazon and your local bookstore (if they don’t have it, ask for them to order it). Check out the review and interview at Feathered Quill.

In libris libertas!

More likely an ET attack?

October 11th, 2017

I always had my doubts when it was announced that our U.S. diplomatic corps in Cuba had suffered a sonic attack that made them sick and even brain-damaged (never mind that politicians suffer brain damage to begin with). But I didn’t have any data to back up my doubts. While high intensity sound can lead to hearing losses—baby boomers like me who’ve done a few rock concerts are beginning to experience them—it seemed to be a stretch that sound waves were the culprits. I thought it was more likely that there were nests of ETs hiding in Cuba, and the renewal of diplomatic relations with that Communist paradise had interrupted their plans for world domination.

I know a bit about acoustic and electromagnetic radiation. I had a previous life in academia as a physicist, mostly in Colombia. Although I was more theoretical than experimental—that’s common in South America where fancy research labs are a luxury—we used sound and electromagnetic waves in our classroom demos to keep the students awake. And, of course, I understood the theory (past tense because now I’m a bit rusty).

Sound waves and electromagnetic waves are different. You can more easily beam the former upon transmission. While PIs and the FBI can use those listening devices, they rely more on sensitivity in the direction they’re pointing around. To go the other way is not easy, as any stereo addict knows. And they were talking about low frequency waves. Your stereo speaker probably has directional tweeters but omnidirectional woofers—it’s hard to aim low frequency waves, and harder for humans to detect any directionality for them, so manufacturers of stereo speakers just don’t bother.

Moreover, sound waves need a medium; electromagnetic waves don’t (that plagued physicists from a century ago, more or less, but that’s another story). Air is a fickle medium for both, but especially sound waves, which depend on that medium (“In space, now one hears you scream”). No, the “official diagnosis” of Trump’s state department seemed to be a red herring (or emanations from digesting black beans because we’re talking about Cuba).

While Russia might have a secret lab making James Bond-like sonic cannons for its assassins, I thought that wasn’t likely, so I latche onto the idea that some ET group’s technology was behind this, not nasty little Cubans doing the bidding of Mr. Putin. Of course, Mr. Putin could be an ET shapeshifter who delights in seeding discourse in free elections—you just never know. I mean, after all, he seems proud of that human body, so he might just be admiring his shapeshifting skills.

Carl Zimmer’s article in the October 6 NY Times confirms my doubts about sonic death rays, though. “Experts on Acoustics are Doubtful,” to quote part of the title. Those experts don’t know what the source of the malady is, but they’re also doubtful that it’s commie-directed sound waves.

I guess my ET theory is still a possibility. Maybe the Castro brothers are the ET shapeshifters who took a liking to fascism—in other words, Communism with a capital C. Maybe Putin isn’t guilty in this case, just guilty of narcissism. That would tie everything together for a conspiracy story, wouldn’t it? Who says that I don’t hand out ideas for sci-fi thrillers? I can’t write everything, you know. Get to work!


Sci-fi book sale: More than Human: The Mensa Contagion and Rogue Planet are now on sale at Smashwords from October 1 through October 31. Their prices are reduced to $1.99—that’s one-third off. In the first novel, an ET virus changes the world, but in a good way, and leads to the colonization of Mars. In the second, there’s a wee bit of “Game of Thrones” fantasy mixed into the hard sci-fi as Prince Kaushal leads his Second Tribe in their fight against the First Tribe’s brutal theocracy. Both books are stand-alone, not part of a series. Use the Smashwords coupon numbers when you check out. Note that the second book is also available in paper format at Amazon. Lots of exciting fall entertainment for a reasonable price!

In libris libertas!

Real tax reform…

October 10th, 2017

…won’t happen. It never does. Lobbyists and special interests vie for their special deals, the GOP hauls out its debunked trickle-down economics theory to make the rich richer and widen the income gap, the middle class gets the shaft yet again, and the poor just become poorer as always. We don’t need a Sheriff of Nottingham or Prince John when federal, state, and local taxes are much more egregious than Robin Hood’s foes’ and make the revolutionary mantra “No taxation without representation!” completely meaningless.

The average citizen is burdened with tiers of taxes. Local ones are usually in the form of property taxes. They are often the worst in the sense that they’re not progressive; the many fees charged locally are regressive too. You start asking yourself, “Why can’t renters and businesses also pay for schools?” and “What can I do that doesn’t have an associated fee?” (In our town, for example, you have to pay $250 to chop down a diseased tree on your property, but I suppose the pain would be much worse if it ever fell on the easement the town owns in front—they own ten yards or so, yet we’re responsible for maintaining THEIR sidewalks!)

What’s good about Trump’s plan? Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nil. Everything is bad, but some items are worse than others. The major evil is the institutionalization of trickle-down: corporate taxes go from 35% to 20%. That will make Corporate America happy, I suppose, and the rich even richer—a GOP mantra—but it won’t help the economy at all because ordinary people will have even less wherewithal to spend on industry’s products. If Trump and the GOP don’t use trickle-down as justification, they haul out something more stupid and hypocritical like “taxing Corporate America is communism!” because those rich SOBs riding in from Connecticut to Wall Street on the commuter rail or driving on Silicon Valley’s highways equate socialism and communism and yet using the government-provided transportation system. Etc. Etc.

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