This is nothing as dramatic as the battle between Amazon and Hachette or the arrival of a sequel to Gone Girl or Shades of Grey, but exciting for me. I have already provided this story as a gift of Christmas Day, but someone might be desperate/foolish enough to want to read my masterpiece on an ebook reader of their choice. You can download this FOR FREE at the below link.
This is more like strange German ways…
The verb rutshcen means to slip or slide. This is used often in winter, when roads are covered with snow or ice. However, it is used most on the days leading up to the New Year. Germans wish one another ein guter Rutsch, which means something like have an easy time slipping into the New Year. Alcohol has been known to help. Millions are spent on fireworks, scaring rather than lubricating the way.
One wishes “Happy New Year” only after the calendar has changed, so I will wait until tomorrow…
Remember the NRA’s favorite saying? You know, about guns not killing people.
Well, once again a gun has not killed someone….a 2-year old child has killed someone: his mother. The NRA will claim that the woman had a right—no, obligation—to carry a gun. Her child had surely seen her handle it and had seen firearms and violence glorified on television and in video games. Authorities are calling this a “tragic accident”. Well, most accidents are preventable, especially ones with firearms. People without guns do not have “tragic accidents”. But, a silly woman, who insisted on carrying a loaded pistol with the safety off in her handbag, was an accident looking for a time and place to happen. Oh, and, by the way, everything will be deemed okay, because she had a permit.
I suggest a corollary to the worn-out NRA phrase: guns don’t kill people, the NRA kills people.
I spotted the following in Salon:
“No civilization would tolerate what America has done”
Institutional racism. Rampant income inequality. A broken justice system.
America may never be a great society
To show what a sentimentalist I am, I will reveal that I like the film Parent Trap, the one with Lindsay Lohan. I have watched it several times over the years. At that age, she was a fine actress, who captured the essence of the role better than whoever played in the older version. Of course, she has become a tabloid train wreck, but she was a credible actress in this movie. Too bad that she had to grow up. I also like the story. The one flaw (the only one I noticed) was the car trip from London’s Heathrow Airport to her mother’s home in Belgravia: this was merely a cobbled-together bit of London sights. Seeing Natasha Richardson one is reminded that she died so young. At least the film had a happy ending.
I read the following line in Time magazine blurb about an article on the Pentagon:
“…a pervasive sense of foreboding that the country is about to be attacked, overrun and conquered…”
Seriously? This cannot be true. Do these people know nothing about the rest of the world? Who wants to attack the United States, besides a few rabid idiots? Who is able to overrun a continent? And, who has the ability to conquer the nation with the greatest military machine ever cobbled together?
Even the US military, as bloated as it is, could attack any country of its choosing, but could overrun, oh, maybe Luxemburg, and could conquer no country, without the concurrence of its citizens. Just look at the Vietnam experience, the Iraq debacle, and the Afghanistan junket. How many died, because politicians and think tanks were deluded? Of course, “victory” and “success” were always used creatively.
So, citizens of the United States: you can sleep easily. The only thing you should fear are those geniuses running the country and the military, all so beholden to think tanks, pundits, and profiteers.
If you do not believe or have not known that economic reporting is a game, then here is one example of proof.
A while back, the UK reported that their economy has grown and bragged about having passed France in global ranking. This was some time after rating agencies had threatened to degrade their bond rating and the media reported a threat of recession.
Now, we have learned why the economy has “grown”: they have changed what is included in the GDP number. Instead of real growth, they merely added prostitution and drug trade—both of which are illegal—to the nation’s GDP. This shows that crime does pay…if you are an economist or politician.
There is a saying that you would not worry about what people think of you, if you knew how rarely—if ever—anyone thinks of you. I have learned how many people do not think of me…or are simply just as lazy.
This year, I did not get around to retrieving from the attic my box with left-over Christmas cards and my list of previous recipients. I kept putting off this chore, until it was too late. During that time, Christmas greetings trickled in, revealing who has been thinking of me or has a list, which they slavishly follow each year (as I have in the past).
Although I have yet to do it (sloth seems to be the default position of the season), I will write to everyone that has been kind and a few that I want to remind that I’m still here…
Better late than never...
White Christmas arrived on December 27, a day late. (Remember what I told you: Germany has two Christmas days.) But, because it is a weekend, there are two more days to enjoy the season. A bit of snow falling outside the window, where the decorated tree still glows, adds a festive touch to the waning holiday period. Of course, the streets are not great for anyone that must travel, but I don’t care: I ain’t goin’ nowhere.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.