government


Nine months ago, Devon discovered that humans were not alone in the universe and his family was killed for it. He mourned for his family alone. Devon had been altered but faced impossible odds as he was chased around the world by other world forces. Devon’s growing abilities were no match for these unseen creatures and he did the only sensible thing he could do, run. Devon ran from Them. He hid from Them, but he would never escape. 

He returned returned home. In the debris and rain soaked rubble that was once his home, he found a half burnt stuffed butterfly. It had belonged to his one year old daughter Brianna, it was all that remained. Devon attached the butterfly to his backpack.

The Altered
By MG Hardie

 
Nearly 1100 readers checked out my review of Them when it was published. Now, the second book in the series (predicted because this book was left hanging…), The Altered, presents more extraordinary and unique science fiction with a concept that, simply, blows your mind!

The System, which, generally, refers to the governments across the world, is to blame…for…Them! And everything that happened thereafter! Coming from a second, more advanced earth, Them came to attack and destroy through any, seemingly, natural catastrophe that ultimately will end this earth. Why? Because The System had already done it to most of theirs by using nuclear bombs that blasted beyond and into another dimension where the majority of people were killed instantly and the radiation slowly destroying the rest, as well as animals and vegetation.

Devon has been murdered, altered by Them and has even met with Prime the leader of Them. Devon had lost his family…Prime, more or less, responded, now you know how we feel…

 


With a mixture of vengeance, empathy and sympathy, Devon began to follow after them, wherever there was a crisis, to try to save, as well as work to rid the earth of Them. Soon he realized, though altered, he still was not enough to fight back. He went to two of his old friends, one a lover, and shared what had happened, provided the means by which they, too, would be altered, and began their training…

Joshua had been saved from Them by Devon. “Will Power” had been coming into his mind at night… motivating him with what they wanted him to do…
Devon could see…Them…and he talked to them to free his mind of what they’d planted. Joshua is an interesting character that hooked into the stories and adventure of what Devon was doing…but he wanted to use violence in the process…Devon slowly was weaning his thoughts into more productive thinking. Later, he did the same activities with Gina. 

This is a more slow-paced novel, where training and learning to deal with the future was uppermost in Devon’s mind…While, he also was moving across the world helping wherever a tornado or a hurricane had visited. Later, both of his friends did the same in local areas.

Devon had also been seeking out “rifts” that connected the two earths. He was slowly acclimating himself, and later, the others, to move from one earth to another… What he saw was devastating and yet wondrous and beautiful in so many ways.

Hardie presents many conceptual electronic and scientific issues that are amazing or beyond the norm for those who aren’t inventive… Either way, many are cool ideas and with the three together, they come up with exciting ways to keep working to fight Them… At the same time, Devon has never given up hoping to convince Prime that they are serious about working together…

Until, he is proven wrong… 

“Coated in Hypernium, I should have known,” Joshua said. He quietly hummed a few bars from ‘I Feel the Earth Move’. His eyes narrowed as the floating percentages of success decreased before him.
~~~

Hardie pulls a shocker at the ending! Wow! NOT expected and even you won’t be able to guess while you’re reading–right up to the climax! There is a moral to this story…but I’ll have to think about it–or maybe you’ll be able to discuss after your read! Hate to say it but lost of little errors…But, on the other hand, Hardie knows how to write a story and keep people trying to figure out…What Is Going On?!” 5 for story; 3 for editing…You decide… But I’m already wondering what happened to Devon…
 
 


After the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Connecticut where 18 six and seven year-olds were shot and killed by a single armed individual, President Barack Obama took to the airwaves and we all heard his emotional condolences to other affected. Back in 2008, when Candidate Obama was being honest he said that cultural changes will make people “cling to their guns and religion”, he couldn’t have been righter. In fact some would say that the gun is a religion. The United States of America has more guns than any other ‘civilized” country in the world. We have more people in prison than any other civilized country, prison is supposed to be a deterrent–obviously what we have been doing isn’t working. It can even be argued that the violence we do abroad is merely an extension of the violence in our hearts that sometimes spills out at home…

You will hear the terms “Kids killing Kids”, “Boys will be Boys”, “Guns don’t kill people”, these are paid for slogans that turn shooting tragedies, like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School into nothing more than nursery rhymes. Nursery rhymes right along side other rhymes like “babies having babies”, “Just say no”. Slogans that make you feel better, as if someone has a handle on it enough to craft a catchy slogan for it, while another avoidable shooting becomes nothing more than a parade of faces and a footnote in history. Disregarding the warnings from these events, the media and political framework from these events have become common. They pick sides, cloud the issues only to keep the same ways of thinking in place, year after year, incident after incident, half-measure after half-measure. Why half-measure and promises, because this is the culture of violence that we have created…all of us.

You will also hear words like “troubled”, “problems” and if no on is troubled or has problems. These media slick personalities will cloud the issue by making it a mental health debate. If the individual “snapped” how an examination beforehand reveals that is beyond any psychologist. They will also turn any remedy it into a privacy issues, or a rights issue. One as arbitrary as, at 18 one can smoke and at 21 one can drink alcohol, how is that working out?  They aren’t working, they don’t work. We as a society have not revisited those issues either, but it makes us feel better that we did something, maybe not the right thing, but we did something. “But it’s our right” they’ll scream, but since 9/11 the same screamers have allowed their right to be taken and twisted and their privacy to be intruded upon, without so much as a whimper—why? Because it was for the “Greater Good”. In the case of guns, finger pointing usually follows a shooting like this, but taking money out of the pockets of elected officials can save lives.

This tragedy in Sandy Hook, Connecticut will be tied to false arguments and false conclusions, just as all the tragedies before it were. You hear the questions being asked: What happened to the shooter to make him act in this manner? This can’t be normal, he’s a monster, a monster really–so is America raising monster? This is all done to prevent us from squaring look ourselves in the face. Looking at the society we have created for ourselves and for our children to grow up in. Arbitrarily putting people on a ‘not eligible’ list, stopping the poor for getting guns, preventing minorities from getting guns, ect… none of it will work. We all know it that’s why we pray, we hold vigils, and we debate.

A week after the Sandy Hook shooting the NRA held a national press conference that blamed 1980 and 1990 era video games Splatterhouse, Bulletstorm and Mortal Kombat, and sports for America’s violent culture. The NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre urged congress to create a national database for the mentally ill, he also blamed the media for being complicity in misinforming people and President Barack Obama for cutting funds. The NRA proposes that every school in America has a police officer. The press conference was so out of touch and so sickening the only thing missing was the Wayne LaPierre brandishing a gun, and metaphorically he was. However, the NRA’s proposal seems like a great solution until the armed protector is the shooter. Make it tougher to get a gun won’t work, because the capitalist will find something else deadly to market and sell to the violence hungry masses. Scenes like the ones at Sandy Hook Elementary School have become as common as law enforcement police shooting unarmed people,and  as normal as the violence from our unmanned drone strikes in other countries. We the so-called educated masses, have lost the clarity and the fortitude to do the right thing.

How many guns does a person need? One for upstairs, one for downstairs, one for the car and one for the white tail deer. I know hunting is a way of life. Yes hunting defenseless animals with high powered weaponry for sport, is a way of life that desensitizes us to the value of life as a whole. We as a society hold the power to take life as our absolute right if someone, anyone offends us, unfortunately the taking of life is in direct conflict with the constitution the evangelist praise so highly, but just as so many religious do with their text, the constitution is left largely unread. Thinking that one right can take another right has to be a mental condition.

Here is what you won’t hear.

There have been 28 mass shootings since Columbine and 19 mass shooting since the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, 30,000 gun deaths yearly, 100,000 people get shot yearly, 18,000 people commit  gun suicides each year, yet there has been no meaningful change in the gun laws or the gun debate. Unfortunately, American citizens will fork over trillions of dollars and  the wherewith all for wars, but they no longer have the guts to do the right thing here at home. Any of these numbers should have indicated that our culture is in crisis, has been in crisis and every decision we make stems from the bad ones before it. This time, this incident in Connecticut, involved so many children and females in particular involved that the assault weapons ban might get a national tweak, might.  What if the next mass shooter’s are girls would that be enough to make us think? Probably not.

“The issue is not just violence in the media but the construction of violent masculinity as a cultural norm. From rock and rap music and videos, Hollywood action films, professional and college sports, the culture produces a stream of images of violent, abusive men and promotes characteristics such as dominance, power, and control as means of establishing or maintaining manhood.”

For one segment of American society the gun itself is a symbol of honor, human mastery over nature, authority, individual self-sufficiency and history. To that segment by opposing gun control affirm the value of those symbolic meanings and the vision of the good society that the gun helped to construct. However, to the other segment of  society guns perpetuate illicit social hierarchies, the elevation of force over reason, the expression of collective indifference to the well-being of strangers, and the only way the the fearful can sleep at night. To this segment supporting gun control means repudiation these things, meanwhile one sides interest’s are realized at the detriment to the other side. The truth is that injecting partisan cultural values into this debate are inappropriate. People have a tendency to adopt views shared by others of their cultural orientation, this is self-reinforcing. We need a new vocabulary, we need new voices on the matter and no compromise, or middle ground solution will remedy this. We must change our thinking completely.

What would the forefathers think? Where is congress on the matter? Who is paying who? It’s too much for the busy citizenry to deal with, right? So lets put it to a vote, and watch every year as the numbers for a ban grow, but that’s when the real violence will happen. The shooter could have used an SUV and ran down just as many young victims crossing the street to school. Why didn’t he? Because guns and ammunition are far cheaper and more effective ways to kill, when you are killing for power. So why not make guns more costly, but then only the wealthy would have them. We could make it into War on Guns, but how have the wars on Terror, Drugs and Gangs turned out? Why not just ban the firearm and keep the 2nd amendment, which is doable, but the capitalist would never allow that.

The numbers and our actions just don’t add up, what would happen if we as a society were to take firearms out of the equation?

MG Hardie

In case you hadn’t heard that Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department will no longer have DEA agents or the government resources used to raid California cannabis clubs. Why, the official reasoning is that the government has more important thing to do than stopping people with cancer from easing their pain and arresting patients. The real reason is a little more detailed, to find out you need to have a little bit of what I like to call

 

Marijuana History

 

Marijuana is the herb of peace that is why American Indians smoked it in the Peace Pipe. Most people don’t know why marijuana is federally illegal in the first place. Well in Big Tobacco’s hey-day they lobbied, cough paid for cough, congress to outlaw the herb. Marijuana does not have a global conglomerate to fill the coffers of senators. By the way those in power do take donations just make sure they are not traceable. If you think this is hog-wash then ask yourself why do we have a Super Highway system in California instead of a subway system? That is another story but it involves money, the big three automakers and certain tire companies… anyway. Subsequently Marijuana was outlawed, don’t believe that whole crossing state lines jurisdiction stuff, besides how do you expect Tobacco companies to compete with something that just grows naturally if you water it.

Lobbiest– It’s only a small amount of rat poisoning senator… now what fund do I make the check out to?

Though Mary Jane was illegal, people continued to smoked the little herb. In the 60’s the enlightened marijuana culture gained full force, some people called them hippies. In the 70’s the movies of the comedic duo Cheech and Chong added marijuana to pop-culture and many studies were done on the innocent herb. I bet you didn’t know that the Federal government grows and maintains the largest crop of marijuana on the planet did you. I wonder what they are using it for. They say it is for research… I say half-baked research. In the 80’s the culture spread and many entertainers were advocates of the little herbs decriminalization and Cheech and Chong broke up so it was a truly a sad day. In 1995 Chris Tucker and Ice Cube starred in a marijuana culture movie named Friday this movie has become a cult legend. The popularity of this little movie had much to do with the voters of California passing Prop 215, a law making marijuana available for medical purposes in 1996.  Other states also have passed laws of this nature as well. Although somewhat legal in California the Federal Government continued to raid medical cannabis clubs. However, if you have $100 in California a doctor will give you a certificate that states that you have a medical condition requiring an occasional puff or two. Which brings us to the reason behind this decision?

 

Marijuana Today  

 

With some estimates being as high as 40 billion dollars annually Cannabis is the biggest cash crop in America and you thought it was wheat or corn didn’t you. That can only mean that people are rolling an occasional joint and some are abusing it even though you may not see them smoking it. Most people fall on one side or the other when debating the effect of Marijuana. Most of the people who are against it are because they have a predisposition to using it. The people that are for pots legalization have used it or know someone who has and has seen no negative affect of it. By the way marijuana’s use is so prevalent that you do know someone who has or is using it. In the California’s Emerald Triangle people have houses with no tables and no chairs they are just growing reefer plants in the living room. Many countries around the world have legalized the herb with no problems. Honestly marijuana’s use is accepted today no one really cares and the tables have turned for Big Tobacco. Remember the Marijuana growers and sellers do not want it to be legalized because it would erase their profits. How accepted is it?  Marijuana is the prevalent subculture in America it stands head and shoulders with the Hip Hop culture… which reminds me that I’ve got to remember to renew my subscription to High Times. You can buy marijuana trinkets, smokeware and books just about everywhere. “It’s good news for people in California who are so ill that they have gotten a doctor’s note in compliance with the law,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer. Of course she is trippin’ because people can already do that! These kinds of statements only go to show that many Senators are completely out of touch. Marijuana’s use has been featured songs, theaters and movies the most recent movie was Pineapple Express. Even the playwright Tyler Perry newest Play the Marriage Counselor prominently showcases marijuana’s use. The fact that my book EveryDay Life is at the forefront of the Legalization of Marijuana debate was named The Best Kept Literary Secret of 2008 and it is now a finalist for an annual literary award is further evidence that blunt rollers all over America may soon have a real reason to fire it up.

 

Is Marijuana bad for you?

 

That is the question we all want to know right? The answer varies depending on who you ask. Medically, no. Legally, yes. Is there a criminal element to it? Of course, it’s illegal. I personally know a 75 year old Caucasian woman who uses it. I spoke to three people this week who said that if it were legalized they would smoke it and these people were in the healthcare profession. Ganja is just like sugar. Some sugar is good for you too much sugar is not. If while on it you just won 8 Olympic gold medals, an Oscar for something you did it can’t be bad can it? What if you were on it and you just won the Presidency of the United States of American by the largest margin ever it can’t be bad for you can it? If smoking it is bad for you then what does that say about the people who are around you everyday that use it?.

 

What’s Next?

 

No one knows there is talk about decriminalizing it and taxing it. And without question this action if done right will lift all of America out of a depression, period. If the Governator get this right it will be the best thing he’s ever done as Governor, I mean really cutting education and letting out thousands of prisoners is really not a good move. The proper legislation on this matter could be a model for every state, but remember there is a difference between use and abuse and that the sellers, growers and those with preconceived notions will be against this. This is the right thing to do but it has to be done right. California’s government has shown its ability to be inept so I doubt that this will be done correctly, if at all. The hope at the moment Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, has introduced legislation, that if approved by the California Legislature, it would put marijuana on the same legal footing as alcohol. Under AB 390, adults over the age of 21 would be allowed to buy marijuana from licensed sellers, and driving under the influence of it would be prohibited. At this point I would question anyone’s reasoning for not voting for it to be legalized in some way.Now it seems that the debate of decriminalizing Pot may be a simple matter of economics.

There are some people who have been impressed by Barack’s first week as President. No doubt this is due to the fact that he didn’t fall on his face. Frankly as an American I am not impressed. Currently One Trillion has been given out since September 2008 and honestly things are worse, much worse than before the money was given out. When Healthcare companies start laying off you know things are very bad. Here is a question, what are the chances that any further stimulus, will stimulate? I mean you don’t  believe that Global Warming can be reverse, it can’t be done and they know it they will talk Alt. Fuels, Bio-Diesel, Nuclear and such things are nice for the press and trying to motivate the masses. This kind of reminds me of BattleStar Galactica when the president is this prophet leading the people to the lost 13th colony and when they finally get there Earth is all F’ed up, but I digress.

Here are a few things the new administration needs to know. We the people are not hatin’ on him or his policies, but we will be watching everything like hawks because last time we got burned big time and that included the congress too. With all due respect how can Barack’s actions so far get the country back on track policies like Funding Abortions in Third World Countries, when Americans don’t have universal healthcare, and 8 million children will go to bed hungry tonight. What is a WMD Czar? I guess that means that you are in charge of unhappiness and poverty. I know Barack is intelligent but please don’t mention education vouchers. Yes North Korea is threating the South and rockets are still being fired in Israel but that doesn’t have anything to do with 85,000 jobs being lost daily world wide. Personally I think the government’s focus should be right here on you and me, not them.

The President and Congress’ stimulus package is ill-concieved because it is no longer a stimulus package. They need to explain how giving 150 Million dollars to Honey Bee farmers will stop Walgreens from laying off 4,000 employees. They need to break down that if they are requesting 800 Billion to create 4 Million jobs, that’s an average of 200,000 per job if you are counting, how much are they paying these people? And where are these 200 thousand dollar a year jobs anyway?  Barack I thought you were in charge here so why is 75 Million in this bill allocated for anti-smoking ads in this bill and not something to stop universities from raising tutition? This stimulus bill is not a Christmas tree for those in congress to place their pet projects. If that is the case why are the common person’s interest not in this bill? Honey Bees… 600 Million for government cars? How can new business get bonuses for investing and you and I can’t? 6 Billion for high speed internet access? 650 Million for digital converter boxes? WTF?!!! You musta forgot these are the same people who spent 1,000 on a toilet seat.

 

When the Super Bowl ads go over 200 Million dollars trying to sell the public beer, who exactly is in a recession? And Barack believe me when I say this… The more you do, or give away the less America’s Governors will do. You win the election by the largest margin, running on change and you are still talking about partisanship… I don’t get that.  I know it is only been a few weeks, but isn’t that when your boss usually comes to talk to you.