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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Interview at Dab of Darkness!

Go to Dab of Darkness for an interview and book giveaway!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Thrilling Fantasy Adventure (Review of Tash McAdam's Blood in the Water: Warp Weavers)

This fast-paced novella is told in the voice of Hallie, a teenage "weaver" whose magical powers enable her to close dangerous gaps between our world and others where ferocious people-eating monsters lurk. I was intrigued by the democratic idea that all human beings have magical powers but only some will be called to develop and use them to guard our world, either as weavers, "warlocks" or "warriors"--all three categories open to both sexes, though people in their teens and early twenties are generally the best at using them. Not too different from the usual age of soldiers in the real world, one might add. McAdam captures perfectly in the character of Hallie that tension between rebelling against and desperately wanting the approval of one's elders that is so typical of adolescence. And the remarkable thing about her lesbian relationship is that it's so unremarkable--the differences in sexual desire really make so little difference in what's really important and special in human relationships. My only critique of this satisfying adventure story is that there is too much explication front-loaded into the first chapter. I urge readers to get through it to the fun and thrills that follow.
Three Phoboses (out of three)

Monday, July 20, 2015

History's Dreadful Rhymes

"Before giving a verdict upon this arrangement, we should do well to avoid describing it as a personal or a national triumph for anyone. The real triumph is that it has shown that representatives of four great Powers can find it possible to agree on a way of carrying out a difficult and delicate operation by discussion instead of by force of arms, and thereby they have averted a catastrophe which would have ended civilisation as we have known it." Change the number "four" to "seven" and spell civilization with a "z," we have Barack Obama or John Kerry defending their nuclear deal with Iran instead of Neville Chamberlain defending his Munich deal with Hitler to the British Parliament.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

"It Is Worse Than a Crime, It Is a Blunder." -- Goerges Clemenceau

The deal does not block Iran from getting the Bomb. The two worst things I noticed in this morning's Washington Post report were:
1. If the International Atomic Energy Agency wants to inspect an "undeclared" site (i.e., a deliberately hidden location where Iran has been secretly working on the Bomb), and Iran refuses, it takes 24 days to even begin the process of re-imposing sanctions. Nearly a month is plenty of time for Iran to move everything and then open the site to inspection. See clauses 75-78, pages 42-43 of the PDF text of the agreement, for the "undeclared sites" stuff.
2. The conventional arms embargo on Iran will be lifted in no more than five years, and the missile embargo in eight years.
And of course, Iran gets a $150 billion cash bonus to fund the near-genocidal war in Syria and worldwide terrorism almost immediately.

An Open Letter To President Obama

"Dear Mr. President,
I am writing you in pain and outrage in hopes that you will reconsider the terrible, dangerous deal that has been struck with Iran over its nuclear program. As a lifelong Democrat who voted for you in 2008 and 2012, I feel betrayed, but much more important is the fact that this deal is a sellout of the American national interest, America’s allies in the Middle East, your own hard work in tightening sanctions on Iran, and the cause of peace itself. While the talks were ongoing, the criminal Iranian regime constantly made genocidal threats against Israel and expressed its undying hatred of America, and yet your administration appears to have brushed all that aside along with every one of your own so-called red lines in the rush to get an agreement at any price. I urge you to reconsider before this deal is implemented and leads to an apocalyptic nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
Martin Berman-Gorvine"
These are the people Obama and Kerry have placed their trust in. How quickly we forget.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Extended Diddling

June 30 was the deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran. Then it was today. Now it's maybe Friday. "I am not talking about extension," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini says.