Defining Terms

With the election of Giorgia Meloni as Italy’s new prime minister, the terms “fascist” and “fascism” are being tossed around even more than they were when Trump was president. In almost every case these terms are wrongly defined. Reading all the ignorant garbage “reporting” about Meloni and her “far right-wing” party with its “fascist” ideology, has brought out the political science professor in me. For those who don’t know… yes, I have a Ph.D. in political science. I spent over twenty years teaching college students about not only the American political system, but about political systems throughout the world and over the last two hundred years or so. I worked hard to be this pedantic and sarcastic.

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Book Review: “Tales Yet Unsung” by Denton Salle

Tales Yet Unsung is a collection of short stories and almost novella length stories that provide history or backstory and fill in some gaps in Denton Salle’s Avatar Wizard series. Some of the stories take place before the first book in the series, Sworn to the Light. In Tales Yet Unsung, we are gifted with ten stories. Two take place before Book 1, one tells us what happened in Book 3 while Jeremy and his friends were in Krali Marko’s black mountain, one takes place immediately after the events in Book 4, and the remaining six are set after Book 5… which has yet to be published.

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True Science Demands Dissent

Lately we’ve been deluged with proclamations that the science of climate change, vaccines, greenhouse gases, the viability of nuclear power, the effectiveness of coal-generated power, the practicality of solar power, you name it, is settled and the answers trumpeted in the press and other public venues is the one true answer to any problems within these areas. I call shenanigans and bullshit.

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Strange Visitors

A couple of days later, Lina stood in the living room of her grandmother’s, now her, house. She shook her head. How had this happened? Just a few weeks ago she was a wildly successful lawyer, on track to make partner next year, and now, she was finishing up the paperwork to open her own law office in the small town of Hidden River. Even though she’d grown up here, she’d never expected that she would give up city life and Big Law to come back and deal with the much less momentous problems of a small town population.

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Paper Roses

The house smelled musty. Lina thought it could have been worse considering the place had been shut up for about a month. Hopefully there wasn’t anything growing in the fridge. She glanced around the entry hall. She marveled at how it all looked just the same, but nothing was the same. Gran was gone and not coming back. Her chest heaved and she braced against the wall until she regained her equilibrium. No, Gran wasn’t coming back and she couldn’t change that.

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Cats…

She was floating… no, that wasn’t quite right. Yes, she was floating, but in a boat… there was a tall, good-looking man (how did she know he was good looking? his back was to her… she just knew) at the helm. He braced himself as he brought the little boat around to head into a wave. He turned to her, smiled, and said…

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Banning Books and People

I’ve written about this before, but the issue seems to have come around once again (truly, it’s never ending). There has been a huge kerfuffle in recent weeks and months over the “banning” of certain books. Yes, parents in some school districts have argued for the removal of certain books from the school library as not appropriate for the age group of the school (does anybody really think that third graders should be reading books more appropriate for middle-schoolers or high-schoolers? Yes, it’s happening in some school libraries). But in the end, that is not banning books. If you can go out and get the book from your local public library or pick it up off the “banned books” table at Barnes and Noble, the book is not banned. And if your small-town library doesn’t have a copy of the scandalous book you’re looking for… they’ll use interlibrary loan to get it from elsewhere for you.

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Music

The old man glared at her. “You must treat this instrument like your child,” he growled.

“I will, Pop-pop. I will. I promise,” K’niethra told him.

“Hmph. This came on one of the first arkships with my father’s father. He hoped to start an orchestra… but it was not to be.” K’niethra thought she saw the shine of tears in the eyes of the crusty oldster. She laid a gentle hand over his where it rested on the neck of the graceful instrument.

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