Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Thursday, April 30, 2020

#APC #Spotlight: The Dark Valley: An Electric Eclectic Book By Claire Plaisted!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Claire Plaisted in my APC spotlight, today! Lisa is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her young adult, witches and magic, dark fantasy, short story, The Dark Valley, looks great! Here's the description:
A dark fairy tale with some not very likeable creatures called Trolls who run mines to source precious gems.

The Crones are witch-like characters who want what every older woman wants – to be young and pretty. They also have magical powers, and they take the soul of the young people to help them achieve this. That is until along came Clarissa who is determined to break the curse on their valley.ve them, she must learn to open her heart and sacrifice... everything.
If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)



Wednesday, April 29, 2020

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 1124


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Eleven-Hundred-Twenty-Four:
Now that I have had some time to recuperate, I am ready to report on the unmitigated disaster that my attempt to evade my hominid-servant’s restrictions on my movement long enough to conduct my research turned into. I will admit up front, though it pains me to do so, that I do not appear in the most favorable light during course of these events.

To begin, I waited for what appeared to be the perfect opportunity. The hominid who delivers my hominid-servant’s parcels never fails to provoke a show of aggression from the canid. So, when this individual arrived, I waited until the canid had worked himself into a state of near-hysterics, and then created a loud noise by knocking some breakable items from one of the horizontal platforms my hominid-servant has placed throughout my domicile. I knew this would have the multi-effect of adding to the confusion the canid’s excessively loud vocalizations were already causing for my hominid-servant, further fueling said creature’s already exaggerated feelings of aggression and causing my hominid-servant to have to focus her attention on restraining him, and startling the juvenile felid. Accomplishing the murder of multiple small, winged avians with one manually propelled projectile, as the hominids are fond of saying.

I knew, of course, that the little idiot would react to the sudden burst of adrenaline caused by the sudden cacophony by engaging in a frantic display of movement and interjecting himself into the chaos initiated by the canid and aggravated by my efforts, further exacerbating the commotion and distracting my hominid-servant. My intent, obviously, was to use the created confusion as a diversion that would allow me to evade my hominid-servant's attention long enough to escape the confines of my domicile and conduct my research.

Alas, as I have already intimated, the results were not what I had hoped for. However, I fear I have been spending too much time among the hominids, for I find myself, once again, overcome with emotion as I relive the humiliation I endured. I must take some time to compose myself before completing this report.


Oh, my! The best-laid plans of mice and men, it seems. ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!






Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Getting Some Tail...


Hey Everyone!

I thought it was time for a break in all the seriousness, so here's a little nonsense for your reading pleasure. Enjoy! ;-)

Bartleby, aka The Small, is a strange little dude. He's a bit of a spook and will startle over nothing and take off to hide out under my bed for hours. But when it comes to the other furry people, he's pretty chill. He tends to get along fairly well with everyone and, generally, everyone gets along with him.

So, I was a bit surprised when I heard him in the other room hissing and growling and creating a ruckus. I went to check on him and see who had gotten him so worked up because, like I said, that kind of behavior was totally out of character for him. But when I got there, he was completely alone. It was just him in the room. Him and his tail.

You see, it was his tail that had offended him so badly. I'm not sure what his tail did to provoke him, but he was sitting there staring it down and growling. And every time it twitched, he smacked it and hissed at it. To be fair, he did try to get away from it several times, but the darn thing kept following him!

Fortunately, I was able to intervene and calm him down. Since I don't know what happened between them, I wasn't able to aid in any negotiations. But my presence seemed to give The Small some peace of mind, and he doesn't seem to be quite so determined to settle their differences with violence.

Still, he does keep casting deeply suspicious looks over at his tail, especially if it happens to move. So, I'm not yet certain that hostilities won't resume.





Monday, April 27, 2020

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. When you see people protesting against common-sense restrictions during a pandemic, you have to wonder about their motivation. I think this video offers some insight, and also pulls back the curtain a bit so we can all see who's pulling the strings. Peace!






Sunday, April 26, 2020

Quick And Easy Mini #Pizza #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

This recipe is great for a quick meal when you don't have time to mess. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
1 English muffin cut open per person
1/3 cup mozzarella shredded per person
2-3 grape tomatoes halved per person
1 tbsp basil chopped per person
1 tbsp oregano chopped per person
1 tsp olive oil per person
Salt and pepper to taste

Lay the English muffin on a small baking tray. Place the tomatoes on the muffin with the cut sides up. sprinkle the basil and oregano over the tomatoes and then drizzle the olive oil over them. Season with salt and pepper according to your taste. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over both halves of the muffin. Pop the baking tray in a toaster oven set to broil for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese melts and starts to brown. Serve warm or refrigerate for later and serve cold.

Buon appetito!





Saturday, April 25, 2020

#Spring Flings & #Book Things #Giveaway! $39 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Spring Flings & Book Things Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 26 prizes, and the grand prize is $39 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  And don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)





Friday, April 24, 2020

Those Who Make Peaceful Revolution Impossible...


Hey Everyone!!

Since we're still in primary season, I thought this excerpt from Answers From Alyce might be food for thought. Enjoy!

Excerpt from Answers From Alyce:
I nodded. "And when they protest, the people in power send the police out to 'control' them, which really means stop them. The police already feel like the protestors are against them, and so they aren't usually inclined to be tolerant towards a protest they feel is criticizing them. So, they're already on the defensive, and then they're told to keep the protestors from getting out of line. Guess how often their interpretation of where the line lies tends to be less than liberal?"

"Under those circumstances? I'd say most likely quite often," said Squid-boy.

"And this dynamic is manufactured solely so that the powerful can use the police to control the rest of the population?" asked Yax.

"Not solely, but that's a big part of it. After all, if all the poor people begin marching in the streets because they can no longer afford to buy food, who do you think the powerful will look to for protection? It's in the interests of the powerful to keep the police divided from the communities they're supposed to serve."

"How does all this tie back into the laws that keep people from voting?" asked Squid-boy.

I sighed and rubbed the back of my neck. "Well, it goes back to how laws get passed and who decides what policies will be enforced and how. The people in power want to stay in power and they know that people who have been disenfranchised by them would most likely vote to get them out of power. So, they try to make it difficult for those people to vote. Which means, of course, that those people are denied a voice in choosing their elected representatives. And that means that the methods by which those people are able to effect change is limited." I pointed at the exhibit next to us. "This is the most peaceable of those means. But when the government uses the police to disrupt peaceful protests, and the people who are suffering get angrier and angrier, things can get ugly, fast."

"And when that happens, it just gives your government the justification it was looking for to suppress dissent," murmured Yax.

I nodded. "Almost 60 years ago now, we had a president, named John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated while he was in office. During one of his speeches, he said, 'Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable'. He was talking about other countries, but it's a universal truism when it comes to human beings."


Want to find out what else Alyce has to say about the state of affairs in this country? Grab your copy at the link below. Happy reading!! :-)











Thursday, April 23, 2020

#APC #Spotlight: Undocumented By Rick A. Mullins!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Rick A. Mullins in my APC spotlight, today! FD is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his political satire, myth and magic, social commentary, fantasy novel, Undocumented, looks great! Here's the description:
Thousands of years ago the magic folk were hunted and killed by early humans jealous and afraid of their magical abilities and longer lifespans, and they fled to a parallel world.
Elves, giants, and dwarves have returned to their homeworld and this time they refuse to be driven away by the political machinations and religious persecutions of mundane humans. 
WARNING! This fictional work contains large amounts of political satire and parody. If you voted for, and 'still' support the current (45th) administration, it is 'highly likely' you will be 'triggered' by the content. If so, you may not want to purchase this fictional fantasy in a parallel universe.
 If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)



Wednesday, April 22, 2020

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 1122


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Eleven-Hundred-Twenty-Two:
Once again, the hominid ability to be simultaneously both astonishingly clever and hopelessly obtuse has derailed my most fervent efforts to complete my mission. I am at once amused, disgusted, and flabbergasted at my hominid-servant's behavior. Naturally, I will provide a full report. But first, I must take some time to compose myself and organize my thoughts. This has been a most trying day. Thoth-out.


Uh-oh! Sounds like things didn't go quite as Agent Thoth had hoped. ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!






Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Intriguing Possibilities...


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Here's a little bit more of the third installment in the Petri Dish Chronicles! As always, the disclaimer is that this is a draft and, as such, it's unedited and likely full of errors and is subject to revision, revamping, and being completely scrapped and rewritten. But, with that in mind, I'm reasonably satisfied with the basics of it, at least at the moment, or I wouldn't have bothered posting it. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from the third Petri Dish book:
“Even if I go into the rainbow, I probably can't do what you want me to do. I've never done it before."

“Actually, Per Dish, I believe you may have partially accomplished the type of meld required for this merger of organic minds to synthetic minds,” interjected Vlad.

Petri startled at the interruption, and turned towards the screen. “I’m sorry, what did you say?”

“I said, I believe you partially blended your mind with the ‘mind’ that is the rainbow. I have spent quite a bit of time examining the signature echoes you left behind the first few times you connected, before you learned to shield yourself, and I believe that your mind instinctively tried to connect to the digital network in the same way you connect to the network of the organic hive-mind the Arcanum call the Collective.”

Astonished at what she was hearing, Petri blinked. “What?”

The enigmatic entity nodded. “Indeed. It was such an intriguing possibility; it’s what prompted me to reach out to you in the first place. Ultimately, your first few attempts were unsuccessful and disturbing to you, but your mentor," he inclined his head towards the lead Arcanum, “informed me that your first attempts to connect to their Collective were also overwhelming and difficult. It took time, patience, and guidance before you were able to successfully navigate within the network without losing your grip on your mind or your anchor to your body. The hope is that you and I will be able to work together to design a guide that the other Arcanum can use to replicate the meld you will create.”


Monday, April 20, 2020

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is just one of many examples of how the establishment, both the political establishment and the media establishment, helped rig the primary against Bernie. So, please take a few minutes to watch this video, and then go read Edward S. Herman's and Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent. Peace!







Sunday, April 19, 2020

Tomato Bean #Soup #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

This is one of my favorite soups. It seems like it would be really light, but because the cheese is so rich, it's actually very filling. Enjoy! :-)


Ingredients:
4 cups vegetable stock or water
2 cups pasta (your choice)
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
2 12oz cans white beans
3 onions diced
6 cloves garlic minced
3 cups fresh basil chopped
1 cup fresh oregano chopped
1 cup pecorino romano shredded
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a stockpot, add the onions and olive oil and saute until the onions start to caramelize. Add the garlic, oregano, and half the basil and stir until the herbs wilt. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and stock or water and stir to combine. Add the beans and stir to combine. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for an hour or two, stirring occasionally. Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings as necessary. Add the pasta and continue simmering until the pasta is almost cooked. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the cheese and the rest of the basil. Serve hot with a side of crusty bread.

Buon Appetito!




Saturday, April 18, 2020

#April2020 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

It's the 18th again, so time for my #IndieBooksBeSeen monthly indie author book review!! Enjoy! :-)

Red Tide: Dangerous Waters (The DeLuca Vampires Trilogy Book 1) by Claudette Melanson:

Maura is a young woman with a complicated family and a penchant for attracting trouble. The question is, can she spot all the traps before they snap shut around her, and will she find the strength and resourcefulness to find her way through the labyrinth that her world has become? You'll have to read to find out!

This is the first in the second trilogy about Maura, and I find I'm having a hard time describing it without giving too much away for those who may not have read the first part of the series yet. Suffice it to say, it's an excellent story. I enjoyed learning more about elves, and the ever-evolving soap opera that is Maura's family is riveting. If you enjoy young adult fantasy, this is a must-read series for you. Five stars.










Friday, April 17, 2020

#Spring Flings & #Book Things #Giveaway! $39 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Spring Flings & Book Things Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 26 prizes, and the grand prize is $39 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  And don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)





Thursday, April 16, 2020

#APC #Spotlight: Searching for Roy Buchanan (Sweet Dreams Book 1) By Tory Gates!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Tory Gates in my APC spotlight, today! Tory is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his teen/young adult, time-travel, sci-fi novel, Searching for Roy Buchanan, looks great! Here's the description:
Aki Sato is a 15-year-old girl living in Tokyo with her two brothers, Kenji (20) and Hiro (16). Their parents are gone, killed in a train accident. Kenji has dropped out of school to take over the family business, which the others help in. All three are dealing with the loss differently...Kenji remains stolid and quiet, Hiro is dark, brooding and not very communicative, and Aki remains optimistic.

Aki's deeper issue is the Amida Syndrome, which she inherited from her mother. Aki has the ability to time travel but has no training or experience in using it. Furthermore, Aki is beset by terrifying nightmares, including one in which she continues to hear a strange metallic sound.

A breakdown of the family truck leads to the incident that changes their lives forever. From the house comes that very sound. An investigation leads them to Kazu, an aging former blues musician. He agrees to teach Hiro guitar and becomes a mentor to Aki.

Kazu also is a traveler, and proves it by whisking them all to San Francisco of the 1960s, and infusing all of them with the blues, the music that so took him.

Aki decides to test her powers. A series of misadventure follows, as Aki brings her brothers to the Mississippi Delta of the 30s, London of the 60s, and pre-9/11 New York City, where they meet a legend who died before anyone knew his name.

Aki gains further understanding of her powers, and also discovers her own "voice." The story ends in a unique manner, but leaves the door wide open to a future where the reader will ask, "What happens next? How did they do?"
If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)



Wednesday, April 15, 2020

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 1120


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Eleven-Hundred-Twenty:
It took me several planetary rotations to devise a plan I believe will allow me to evade my hominid-servant’s efforts to interfere with my research. My biggest problem was the fact that I am absolutely certain that she means well. Once again, her refusal to learn to communicate properly has created a situation where I feel constrained from committing violence since I know her actions are due to nothing more than a concern for my well-being, but I still must find a way to circumvent the obstacle she presents as my work is simply too important to be obstructed.

However, I believe that I have found a strategy that will not involve harming my hapless hominid-servant, but will still allow me to evade her restrictions on my movement. It involves using both the canid and the juvenile felid as distractions, which may prove difficult as neither of them are inclined to cooperate with my designs, as a general rule. But I see no alternative that offers even a reasonable chance of success. As always, I will report back with further developments once I have attempted my escape, along with an analysis of both its successes and failures.


The game is afoot! ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!






Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Let's Do Some Math... ;-)


Hey Everyone! :-)

Okay, I have a thought experiment I'd like to propose to everyone. I keep hearing comparisons between Bernie and Bloomberg because Bernie wrote a best-selling book and made a couple of million dollars and some people -- disingenuously, I believe -- like to compare that to Bloomberg's billions. So, I'd like to draw an analogy that, I hope, will help people understand how absurd that comparison really is.

First off, a million dollars is an awful lot of money. When you consider that fully half of working Americans earn less than $30,000 per year, a million dollars is more than a lot of people will earn in a lifetime. At $30,000 per year, if you had to pay no taxes and had no living expenses and could save every single penny of that, it would still take you more than 33 years to save a million dollars. That's a LOT of money.

Now, let's consider what that means in the context of a billion dollars. A billion is not a hundred million. A billion is a thousand million. So someone who has a billion dollars has a thousand times as much as someone who has a million dollars. But that's really hard to conceptualize, so let's put it in terms we're more used to dealing with.

A billion is to a million what $1,000 is to $1. A thousand dollars is a lot of money. It's more than many people who work fulltime jobs earn in a week. But it goes beyond that. Because it's not just having $1,000 compared to $1; it's that almost everyone in the entire country only has $1. So, the entire economy is based around people having only $1.

What does that mean? Well, let's think about it. If everyone only earned $1 per week, which we already talked about most people earning far less than that when scaled up to the actual numbers but for the sake of simple math let's just use that for an example, then people would earn, on average, about $4 per month. Out of that would have to come rent or a mortgage, so we can say those would probably run somewhere around $1 per month if we keep it on the low side and not anywhere near a big city. That leaves people with $3 per month. Well, you've got to buy groceries, so say that would be around $0.30 to $0.50 per month, depending on the size of your family. Then there's electric/water/phone/internet/etc. So, say another $0.50 per month if we say that utility costs are fairly low where our fictional family is living. That brings us up to around $2, if you say someone has a couple of kids they have to feed, with about $2 left. You've got transportation expenses, say around $0.20 when you include gas, insurance, maintenance, tolls, etc. That leaves us with about $1.80. Then there are clothes and shoes for the family, so say about $0.60 per month. So, we're down to $1.20. And we'll say maybe $0.80 per month for entertainment expenses and incidentals for the family. Which leaves us with about $0.40 for the month that can be tucked away for emergencies.

So, now that we've established about what things might cost at that scale, consider what $1,000 could buy. That's pretty mind-boggling, isn't it? At that scale, someone with $1,000 could buy a regular person's life 250 times over. And, just to completely blow your mind, remember this important fact: Our comparison between $1,000 and $1 was equivalent to the comparison between a billion dollars and a million dollars! Now, think about how that would have to be scaled down to compare to a regular person's salary. $30,000 is only 3% of a million dollars. $30,000 is 0.003% of a billion dollars. Now does it become more clear the type of difference we're talking about? Instead of comparing dollars to a thousand dollars, we'd be comparing fractions of a cent.

Now, back to millionaires versus billionaires. There's no question that being a millionaire means you don't have to concern yourself with the same sort of financial worries that someone earning an average salary does. And if you surround yourself with people who have as much money as you, then you're inevitably going to lose touch with the sort concerns that most people deal with every day. I would argue that Bernie has not insulated himself from regular people in that way; that, on the contrary, he spends the majority of his time interacting with regular people from all walks of life and listening to them about what challenges they're dealing with. But, still, having a million dollars does mean that more empathy is required to truly connect with the people experiencing those problems themselves.

But having a billion dollars is a completely different scale. It not only makes it far more difficult to connect with regular people because that level of money means that one experiences the world as an entirely different reality from everyone else's reality. But it also makes it harder because the money, itself, acts as an insulator. Making it far more difficult for people with that kind of money to even interact with people who aren't also wealthy, to some extent. And that's where the kind of disconnect happens that allows a "let them eat cake" mentality to form.

But, again, this is meant as a thought experiment. The math isn't open to interpretation; it is what it is and those are the numbers. So, even if you don't agree with my analysis, just really think about those numbers and draw your own conclusions.

Peace!




Monday, April 13, 2020

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This one is just another reminder of why politicians, like Joe Biden, who are bought and paid for by the insurance industry aren't a viable option. Peace!






Sunday, April 12, 2020

Yummy Veggie Pasta #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I've got a yummy, easy pasta and vegetable dish to share with you. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked bowtie pasta
2 cups cooked lentils
1 cup vegetable stock
1 carrot peeled and diced
1 cup frozen peas
1 tomato diced
1 onion chopped
1 20oz package button mushrooms sliced
6 cloves garlic minced
1 cup milk
4 tbsp butter
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tbsp flour
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a pot full of water to boiling and add a teaspoon, or so, of salt. Add the pasta and cook until almost, but not quite, cooked. Remove the pasta from the heat, drain it, and set it aside.

Put the olive oil and onion in a large, deep-sided skillet. Saute the onion until it starts to caramelize, and then add the carrot. When the carrot starts to soften, add the mushrooms and garlic. Continue sauteing until the mushrooms soften. Remove the vegetables from the pan and add the butter and the flour. Cook the flour until it starts to brown and whisk in the stock. Continue whisking briskly until all the lumps are dissolved and then add the vegetables back to the pan. Add the lentils, tomato, and peas to the pan and stir in the milk. Once the milk is combined, add the pasta to the pan and allow it to simmer until the pasta finishes cooking. Remove the pan from the heat and serve the pasta dish warm with a side of crusty bread.

Bon Appetit!




Saturday, April 11, 2020

#Spring Flings & #Book Things #Giveaway! $39 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Spring Flings & Book Things Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 26 prizes, and the grand prize is $39 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  And don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)





Friday, April 10, 2020

Actions Speak Louder Than Words


Hey Everyone!

I'm writing this in mid-February, and it won't go live on this blog until April, so things may have substantially changed between now and then, but it's something I thought worth sharing because it picks at the idea of "Blue, no matter who," and I'm sure that won't have gone away by April. So, if it's a bit out of date, I apologize, but you might still consider it worth a read. Peace!


Bloomberg is Trump with his hair combed...

Yeah, yeah, I know. Thems fightin' words! This post is going to piss some people off, but I'm going to post it anyway. Because as much as the establishment is pushing the "Blue, no matter who" narrative -- though, I have to say they have a funny way of showing their commitment to that concept when they go on CNN or MSNBC to talk about Bernie Sanders. Funny how that works, isn't it? 🤔 -- policies actually do matter. "Blue, no matter who" is both a lazy and a counterproductive mindset when it comes to politics, because it encourages people to simply be loyal to a "team" rather than doing the work to determine if that "team" is really representing their interests.

Because, again, the only thing about politics that matters is not the color a candidate is flying or the letter after their name, but what policies they champion and what policies they oppose. Otherwise, a person's political affiliations are no more meaningful than their sports preferences. I think we can all agree, what policies are implemented affect far more people on a far more significant level than which athlete displays the most talent, or has the most luck, in playing a game. And, when it comes down to it, Bloomberg's policies really aren't a perceptible improvement over Trump's. Don't believe me? Well, let's take a look.

What's one of the first things any Democrat will complain about when it comes to Trump? His racism, right? Trump is putting brown people into concentration camps for committing the crime of being brown and ripping families apart in the process. That's horrible. Trump and every, single person involved in the conception and implementation of this injustice should be tried in international court for crimes against humanity and should spend the rest of their lives in prison. If you're looking for an argument against that, you'll not find one from me.

Now let's look at Bloomberg's record on race and human rights. Bloomberg was responsible for the Stop and Frisk policy that was implemented in NYC in the early 2000s. As a result of this policy, hundreds of thousands of American citizens were denied their Constitutional rights. Under then-Mayor Bloomberg's direction, NYC police officers stopped and detained people with no probable cause or due process, questioned them without offering them the benefit of legal counsel or reading them their Miranda rights, and frisked them without consent or a warrant authorizing them to do so. And, not so coincidentally, the vast majority of the people who were violated in this manner were people of color.

When questioned about the illegality of this policy and the fact that it overwhelmingly targeted minorities, Bloomberg excused himself by saying that minorities should have been targeted even more than they were because, in his opinion, racial minorities, particularly young, men of color, are responsible for the majority of violent crime and perpetually walk around armed. All evidence and statistical analysis to the contrary. He might as well just come out and call all racial minorities "rapists and criminals" and dispense with the pretense.

But we're all supposed to believe that Bloomberg would close Trump's concentration camps and start respecting the Fourth Amendment rights of immigrants when he didn't even respect the Fourth Amendment rights of American citizens? Just how stupid would we all have to be to buy that load of manure?

So, now that we've established there's no real difference between Trump and Bloomberg on racial issues, let's look at the next accusation Democrats like to lodge against Trump. Misogyny and the dismantling of the privacy laws that protect women's bodily autonomy. Well, Trump is certainly guilty of those charges. He has been recorded bragging about sexually assaulting women and has appointed two members of the corporately-owned, Christian Taliban -- one an accused rapist -- to the United States Supreme Court with the express intention of denying women their basic human rights. So, again, no argument on that.

Now, let's look at Bloomberg's record when it comes to women's rights. Bloomberg, like Trump, has been sued by women for sexual harassment. He has said that if women wanted to be admired for their brains, they'd go to the library, not Bloomingdale's. He is reported as telling some of his female employees the circumstances under which he would "do" them. And he has been accused of ordering female employees to get abortions because their maternity leave would inconvenience his business. But we're supposed to believe that Bloomberg respects women deeply, and he'll be very concerned with protecting women's rights and autonomy, right? Sure. Pull the other one.

Okay, so we've established that Bloomberg is no improvement over Trump on issues of race or misogyny, but how about the environment and climate change? Well, Bloomberg has publicly come out against the Green New Deal, and Greenpeace has given his policies a D+. The tricky thing about climate change, though, is that there's no real difference between a moderate approach, which is a standard that Bloomberg doesn't even meet, and Trump's approach. Because without immediate, sweeping change, this planet will become incapable of supporting human life and our species will cease to exist. So, we've already established there's no material difference between Trump and Bloomberg on this issue because unless Bloomberg was backing the most progressive proposals, he might as well not address the issue at all. But, in spite of the fact that there's no need to go on, there is more.

After the water crisis in Flint, MI was exposed and linked directly to Republican Governor, Rick Snyder's, corruption, Bloomberg continued to support Snyder. Bloomberg has also supported other climate-crisis-denying Republican candidates, like Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Scott Brown of Massachusetts. Why would Bloomberg support so many Republicans? Well, because he was one. And he continued to fundraise and donate to Republican members of Congress up through 2018. Which has to beg the question, why?

Well, that answer may be found in the policies Bloomberg opposes. Bloomberg is against a living wage minimum wage. He opposes this policy so much that when it passed the City Council in NYC, he vetoed and refused to implement it. And then he went to court -- not once, but twice -- to try to prevent the higher minimum wage from going into effect when his veto was overruled by the Council. Bloomberg also opposes such middle-class-friendly policies as Medicare For All and forgiving student loan and medical debt. So, again, when it comes to the financial issues that most affect working people, Bloomberg offers no appreciable improvement over Trump.

So, what about on the issue of interventionist wars?  Well, unlike Trump, Bloomberg doesn't admit that the war in Iraq was a mistake. Bloomberg thinks the debacle in Iraq was a good thing. Why? Well, I don't know. It certainly wasn't good for regular Americans, and it was an unmitigated disaster for the Iraqi people. About the only ones the war in Iraq was good for are military contracting and military manufacturing corporations. They, and their investors, made billions of dollars. How does that connect back to Bloomberg? Again, I don't know. Because Bloomberg, like Trump, is refusing to release his tax returns.

Now, I'm sure the party loyalists are wringing their hands at this point and whining about how people can change. And, yes, people can change. But I've seen no evidence whatsoever that Bloomberg has changed. And there are two more things that concern me quite a bit. These two things are intertwined and tie directly back to that establishment propensity for defending and excusing Bloomberg.

There has been a lot of concern, sincere or not, expressed regarding Trump's undeniable authoritarian streak. Trump wants to be king. He's not interested in opposing viewpoints, he's openly hostile towards the concept of checks and balances, and he runs roughshod over the law and the Consitution at every opportunity. And, yet, say what you will about his efforts at becoming a tyrant, Trump, at least, did participate in the democratic process to obtain his party's nomination. He didn't skip the process and just buy it, as Bloomberg is trying to do. And we have the benefit of having a press that is at least nominally interested in reining in Trump's worst impulses. So, when he oversteps his bounds, they report on it and we, The People, at least hear about it.

Bloomberg, on the other hand, is a darling of the establishment. He has already bought the corporate media with his millions spent on campaign ads, so we can expect no assistance from the fourth estate in holding Bloomberg to account or controlling his tyrannical tendencies. And, as has already been discussed in this post, Bloomberg has tyrannical tendencies a-plenty.

I don't think there's much question that Bloomberg is more intelligent than Trump. And he's not as crass or vulgar as Trump. Like I said before, he's Trump with his hair combed. But those very superficial differences make Bloomberg all the more dangerous because of their substantive similarities. Where members of the political establishment and the corporate media at least voice opposition to Trump, they'll praise and help conceal Bloomberg's abuses of power. And Bloomberg, himself, is smart enough not to publicly expose, confess to, brag about, and discuss his crimes on Twitter. Unlike Trump. But being more successful at hiding crimes from the public is not the same thing as not being a criminal.

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and for all the pretty rhetoric Bloomberg has been offering, of late, his behavior doesn't match. And I'm not in the market for any bridges. I believe Bloomberg represents an even greater threat to the nation and the planet than does Trump, and I will not vote for either of them. If Bloomberg successfully buys the Democratic nomination, I will vote third-party. And I'm sure I'm not alone in this analysis. So, if you're one of those people who like to talk about candidates' "electability," maybe this is food for thought.

Peace!




Thursday, April 9, 2020

#APC #Spotlight: The Specter: Waxwood Series: Book 1 By Tam May!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Tam May in my APC spotlight, today! Tam is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her gilded-age, family history, psychological-suspense, historical fiction novel, The Specter, looks great! Here's the description:
To what lengths will one go to exorcise a specter?

One rainy morning in 1892, people gather to mourn the death of San Francisco socialite Penelope Alderdice. Among them is a strange little woman named Bertha Ross, who claims to have known “Grace” in the 1850’s in the small town of Waxwood. But Penelope’s granddaughter, Vivian, has never heard of Grace or Waxwood.

Bertha reveals surprising details about Grace’s life in Waxwood, including a love affair with Evan, an artist and member of Brandywine, Waxwood’s art colony.Vivian’s mother, Larissa, insists Bertha is an imposter who has come not to mourn a woman she knew in her youth but to stir up trouble.

Vivian, however, suspects the key to her grandmother’s life and her own lies in Waxwood. She journeys to Brandywine where she meets Verina Jones, Evan’s niece, and discovers a packet of letters her grandmother wrote forty years ago about her time in Waxwood.

As Vivian confronts the specter that holds the truth to secrets buried in the family consciousness, she examines her grandmother’s life as a mid-19th century debutante and her own as a Gilded Age belle. Will she find her way out into the world as an autonomous being, or will she be haunted by the specter of her grandmother’s unhappiness all her life?
 If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)



Wednesday, April 8, 2020

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 1115


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Eleven-Hundred-Fifteen:
The part of the planet I’m on is once again approaching the portion of its revolution around the central star of this solar system where the planetary tilt places us in closer proximity to that star, causing a marketed increase in temperature as well as hours of daylight. This, as is usual, has resulted in the return migration of several species of winged avian. Species that, when they are present in this geographic area, seem to enjoy making their homes in the area immediately outside my domicile.

One would think this would be a prime opportunity to conduct research into the lives and habits of these fascinating creatures. However, as per her usual, my hominid-servant is acting as an obstacle to such studies. I simply cannot seem to make her understand how vital my work is, or that it is not her role to police my comings and goings. I simply require her to install a door that I am capable of operating independently and get out of my way.

Alas, there is no sign that such an accommodation will be forthcoming within the foreseeable future. So, I will have to be creative in devising a way to evade my hominid-servant's interference so that I may conduct my research.


Drat those hominids and their interfering ways! ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!






Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Priorities And Costs...


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Here's a little bit more of the third installment in the Petri Dish Chronicles! As always, the disclaimer is that this is a draft and, as such, it's unedited and likely full of errors and is subject to revision, revamping, and being completely scrapped and rewritten. But, with that in mind, I'm reasonably satisfied with the basics of it, at least at the moment, or I wouldn't have bothered posting it. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from the third Petri Dish book:
The lead Arcanum moved closer to her and reached a hand up as if to brush her cheek, but stopped just short of touching her. “I can feel your anger and pain, child. You learned much during our time together, and your shield is strong enough that I can no longer read your thoughts unless you let me through, but your emotions overpower your barriers and leak out. Does the resentment you project mean you believe we gain any pleasure from coercing you? I assure you, we do not. You are our greatest achievement; quite possibly the next step in our evolution. The last thing we wish is to cause you more distress and drive you further from us.”

Petri straightened. As short as she was compared to humans and many other species, she towered over the Arcanum. Her jaw clenched, she met its glowing gaze and said, “Then don't make me do this. Let my friends and me leave, and deal with this yourselves.”

The alien backed away, its hand falling to its side. “We cannot. We have tried and failed to discover the method to assume direct mastery over digital systems. And those you call the Hatari are advancing. There is no more time to learn through a slow process of controlled trials; we require your assistance.”

“No matter what it costs.”

The alien did not respond.