Sunday, September 29, 2013

I Pulled the Trigger Today.

No, this isn’t a gun control rant.

Freedom Does Matter should be live at Amazon, Smashwords and Kobo as you read this. I have the paper version in process at CreateSpace, but due to proofing and shipping, that will be longer.

Now, on to complete the third Mercenaries book, Background Check, which I’m thinking of renaming Love, Consequences, Love, or Unintended Consequences, or something I’ve not yet considered.

Finally, to prepare for NaNoWriMo, I’ve been researching the story after BC; named Coda. I feel pretty confident in that name sticking, and hope to get more than half of it done in November.

Update October 5: Added the link for Kobo. I expect the paperback version to be available next month, due to my schedule.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fair Warning: A Political Post, on Syria

An open letter to my Senators and Representative concerning the upcoming vote on President Obama's request for military action in Syria.

Dear Senator/Representative;
As one of your constituents, I'd like to inform you of my position vis a vis President Obama's plan to punish Bashar al-Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons.

While the tragedy of the almost 1500 Syrian citizens cannot be denied, I doubt that those involved really discriminate between Sarin and incendiary bombs or gunfire. The hundred thousand plus other Syrian (and other) dead should have roused an equal outrage. Since they have not, I'm left to think the President would have me believe that the treaty -- to which Syria and other MidEastern countries are not signatories -- ranks higher than the offense to common human decency that the other killings fill us with.

That's a common enough argument, I suppose. I am confident in President Obama's record for doing what he says, and the record gives me confidence as well that, given authorization, he will not allow events to overcome him and us.

If you will read my suggestion: Listen carefully to every briefing. Discover the mission's goal, its definition and how we may recognize it. Discover the disengagement process. More importantly, find out what happens when the plan fails and chemical weapons are again used, because to me, it seems certain that they will be. I am not as confident as Secretary Kerry that the rebels are lily white in this matter, and our actions may well embolden them to attempt to frame al-Assad, intent on putting America in the position where we must increase our involvement to "punish" his "continuing" evil.

Understanding the goal is crucial, I believe, since I think none of the parties in the civil war particularly like America; President Obama and Secretary Kerry have the unenviable job of picking the least worst, and no matter what we do, I see a fundamentalist regime in Syria's near future, as much as I believe in secular government. The goal should be limited, clearly defined, and in your opinion if you vote Yea, achievable. It should be a better outcome for Syria and for the world than declining to act as the President believes necessary.

Similarly, you must believe if you vote Yea that the consequences of both success and failure are accurately described, and acceptable. Also, they must be more acceptable to the country than those of voting Nay, preventing the President and the United States from additional involvement.

Personally, I don't believe that intervention is a wise move. I believe our moral outrage is sadly misplaced. I'm not convinced al-Assad is the only culprit. I'm sure that our action will play into the hands of those in America who would have us at war for their profit, and I'm as certain as can be that without a full-fledged intervention, our actions will vanish like smoke. Except in the history books.

However, I also believe that the President, the Secretary and you as my representative, have more detailed, accurate and comprehensive information than I. I ask you to use that information to make the best decision you can on this crucial matter.
No matter how you feel about this, please take a few minutes to inform your Senators and Representative of your views. That's the way it works. And of course, vote when the time comes.

If you don't know your Congress-critters' email addresses, check this web page

Comments welcome.