We DID Start The Fire…

Two fires are burning in America, both fueled by ignorance, indifference, and plain old stupidity.

Curious Kids: when I swipe a matchstick how does it make fire?

In the western US, wildfires burn out of control, consuming millions of acres of forests, entire towns, killing unknown numbers of wildlife, and destroying humans. Many of our fellow Americans push aside the overwhelming evidence of climate change—the intensity of these fires and resulting firestorms are a symptom of the problem—for politics or because of a vested interest in ignoring the science.

Despite the enormous evidence of anthropogenic climate change, we have a President who ignores it all and tells people to “rake their leaves.” That such an unsophisticated, uninformed, scientifically bereft attitude exists in 21st century America is astounding.

We are returning to the Dark Ages where mystics and charlatans guided decisions absent any rational basis. They hide their actions from us by the smoke of fires of our own creation.

We ignore these signs at our own peril, for the earth is resilient. Like any sophisticated, self-sustaining system, our planet has an immune system. If we continue down this path, the earth may come to see us not as the most fantastic product of evolution, but a dangerous one. The signs are already there with glaciers disappearing, sea levels rising, temperatures climbing, and storm intensities increasing.

The planet will protect itself either with us… or from us.

We repeat the pattern of ignoring problems in hopes they will just go away in other matters, the other fire burning across this country—the fire of racism, intolerance, and violent resistance to acknowleding the inequalities in our society.

Despite the mounds of evidence of climate change and racism, we continue to ignore the signs. The only difference between these two issues is we have been ignoring racism for a much longer period, despite having documented it with our own words. Words written by well-intentioned (mostly) individuals or commissions, published with a grand ceremony, then forgotten when the attention fades,

In 1922, the Chicago Commission of Race Relations published a seven-hundred-page report entitled “The Negro in Chicago: A Study of Race Relations and Race Riot.” The report documented evidence of housing and employment discrimination and brutal mistreatment at the hands of the police and the criminal justice system.

(From the report) “… investigations indicate that Negroes are more commonly arrested, subjected to police identification, and convicted than white offenders, that on similar evidence they are generally held and convicted on more serious charges, and that they are given longer sentence… These practices and tendencies are not only unfair to Negroes, but weaken the machinery of Justice and, when taken with the greater inability of Negroes to pay fines in addition to or in lieu of terms of jail, produce misleading statistics of Negro crime.” (emphasis mine)

Nothing changed.

In 1935, following riots in Harlem, another report said.

“… The sudden breach of the public order was the result of a highly emotional situation among the colored people of Harlem, due in large part to the nervous strain of years of unemployment and insecurity…it is probable that their justifiable pent-up feelings, that they were victims of gross injustice and prejudice, would sooner or later have brought about an explosion…

The blame belongs to a society that tolerates inadequate and often wretched housing, inadequate and inefficient schools and other public facilities, unemployment, unduly high rents, lack of recreational grounds, discrimination in industry and public utilities against colored people, brutality and lack of courtesy of the police.” (emphasis mine)

Nothing changed.

In 1977, Michael Lipsky and David J. Olson published a study entitled “Commission Politics: The Processing of Racial Crisis in America.” They said between 1917 and 1943, at least twenty-one commissions were appointed to investigate race riots.

Take a look at you and me,

are we too blind to see,

do we simply turn our heads

and look the other way

Well the world turns

Despite the sincerity and good intentions of theses twenty-one commissions, nothing changed. The reports were printed, distributed, read, and forgotten.

The Kerner Commission, the grandaddy of race riot reports written after the Watts Riot in LA in the 1960s, is another example. Well written and meticulously researched, it documented the conditions leading to the riot and was largely ignored.

President Lyndon Johnson, who could not understand why his Great Society initiative—Voter Rights Act, Welfare Reform, and other programs—did not solve the problem, refused to accept it.

Nothing changed.

In 1969, Elvis Presley had a hit record called In the Ghetto, written by Mac Davis. A prophetic tune then, and now.

As the snow flies
On a cold and gray Chicago mornin
A poor little baby child is born
In the ghetto
And his mama cries
’cause if there’s one thing that she don’t need
it’s another hungry mouth to feed
In the ghetto
People, don’t you understand
the child needs a helping hand
or he’ll grow to be an angry young man some day
Take a look at you and me,
are we too blind to see,
do we simply turn our heads
and look the other way
Well the world turns
and a hungry little boy with a runny nose
plays in the street as the cold wind blows
In the ghetto
And his hunger burns
so he starts to roam the streets at night
and he learns how to steal
and he learns how to fight
In the ghetto
Then one night in desperation
a young man breaks away
He buys a gun, steals a car,
tries to run, but he don’t get far
And his mama cries
As a crowd gathers ’round an angry young man
face down on the street with a gun in his hand
In the ghetto
As her young man dies,
on a cold and gray Chicago mornin’,
another little baby child is born
In the ghetto

 We face a turning point in America. The challenges we face– the raging inferno of wildfires amplified by climate change, and the hellish nightmare of our failure to address racism and discrimination against our fellow Americans–can be our descent into Armageddon or our rise to Enlightenment.

There have been times in our history when a leader emerged—often one we might least suspect of having the courage or ability—to guide and unite us in a time of need.

George Washington, a surveyor and soldier, who rose to become the epitome of a selfless statesman dedicated to the good of the country, led us through the birth of a nation.

Abraham Lincoln, a Kentucky woodsman who rose to lead us toward reunifying the country and abolishing slavery. Who knows how different we might have been if he had lived out his second term?

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, once seen as weak and ineffectual, rose to lead us out of not one, but two dangerous dark times in our history, the Great Depression and World War II.

We face such a choice this November. Can Joe Biden rise to this moment in history and lead this country out of the conflagration we face? I am uncertain. But I am sure of this; Mr. Trump will not. He is not the leader we desperately need at this moment in history.

We need someone to quell the flames, not fan them.

We need someone who embraces science and reason, not disparages it,

We need someone with compassion for the challenges facing people of color, not one who openly encourages white supremacy and fear-mongering.

There is one other thing I am confident we do not need. We do not need another commission to study these problems. We need a leader who will gather the best and the brightest among us and craft solutions.

Or the song will just repeat itself all over again and the country will continue to burn until there is nothing left of America…

As her young man dies,
on a cold and gray Chicago mornin’,
another little baby child is born
In the ghetto

JEBWizard Publishing (www.jebwizardpublishing.com) is a hybrid publishing company focusing on new and emerging authors. We offer a full range of customized publishing services.

Everyone has a story to tell, let us help you share it with the world. We turn publishing dreams into a reality. For more information and manuscript submission guidelines contact us at info@jebwizardpublishing.com or 401-533-3988.

Signup here for our mailing list for information on all upcoming releases, book signings, and media appearances.

Trail Tribulations: Deciphering Trail Descriptions

funny hiking quotes

I am a big fan of hiking. Some might call it an addiction and, with what I’m going to share, you might agree. But I hope you find it useful enough to join us in our shared misery/ecstasy.

Where else can you experience the thrill of a bear encounter and the possibility (no matter how slight) of being a bear’s meal?

But that is a minor consideration. Almost every time you see a bear, it is a fleeting glimpse of the hind end running away. (The almost part was deemed necessary by the bear’s lawyers, sometimes food is scarce.)

The real challenge is not if you should hike, but where you should hike.

The most confusing part of hiking is reading the trail descriptions. They come in three varies; easy, moderate, and hard.  Despite these simple-sounding appellations, they require some translation and dissection.

Trail descriptions involve several elements, elevation, terrain, and distance. I’ll explain each in context of the trail description.

Elevation gains happen where the trail is mostly straight up, with the occasional descent to give back the hard-won elevation. At the moment, it seems like a pleasant respite. It is not. Because on the way back, when you are exhausted, sweaty, muddy (more on this later,) and considering throwing yourself off a cliff, this will be a section you have to climb up on the way down. It is all part of the diabolical joy of hiking.

The elevation gain, which may seem gentle at times, is not. Despite all scientific evidence to the contrary, as you climb higher in the mountains measurements stretch out.  And there is one consistent  aspect of every trail in the world, the last half-mile is always steep and muddy.  Even when you’re coming down, I think they change out the trailhead once you’ve started up the trail. It’s the only logical explanation.

Terrain descriptions are notoriously inaccurate. Some rocky sections mean all rocks. May be muddy when wet means always muddy. There are sections of some trails that have not dried out since the Jurassic Period.  Some sections require scrambles means hanging off the edge of a cliff.

In a nutshell, the terrain will give you the experience of an enhanced interrogation session.

Distance is deceptive.  One foot at the trailhead becomes a yard at 3000 feet. This is borne out by the signs placed by the US Forest Service. If the sign says 1.5 miles to a waypoint, it works out to be 2 miles or more. NEVER BELIEVE THE SIGNS. They are like spectators shouting at marathoners in the 20th mile. “You can do it! Push, Push!” Easy to say when you’re sitting in a folding chair drinking a beer, not so for the guy actually running, or in this case hiking a mountain.

Combining these elements together you have a trail description which tells you nothing.

There are no easy trails. There are easier trails which are dependent on your own ability to tolerate pain.

Each of the descriptions—easy, moderate, or hard—are relative to the person who wrote them. I’ve often read of a trail described as easy, and it was not. It was clearly written by a sado-masochistic person trying to make up for his (and it almost always a him) inadequacies by pretending to be superior.

The opposite is also true. Trails described as hard are often written by people who think getting out of their car to walk into Dunkin’ Donuts constitutes strenuous exercise.

So how do you know what to hike? Just do it. There are easier trails and harder trails and you will know them when you see them.

I can sum them up as follows.

Easy trails are like when a doctor says, “you may feel slight discomfort.”

Moderate trails are when the doctor says, “this is gonna sting a bit.”

Hard trails are when the doctor says, “Hold him down.”

Here’s a word about roots, rocks, and other inhabitants of the trail.  They move. Roots and rocks adjust themselves to be in the perfect position to snag your foot just as you attempt to jump over a stream, a rock, or muddy section. While they appear dormant and in a fixed position, they are not.

They hear you coming and maneuver for their chance to strike.

On a positive note, when you do get tripped by a root—and it is only a matter of when, not if—one of two things will happen, you will fall forward or backwards, each has pleasant possibilities.

Falling forward, a sharp rock will rise out of the ground allowing your shin to absorb the force of the fall. Or, if for some reason, you miss this safety feature, a sharp-pointed yet deceptively flat rock will position itself so your knee can absorb the force of the fall.

Falling backward is even better. Since the shin is no longer available, your butt will absorb the fall and it will feel like you have as many cracks in it as the San Andreas Fault. Or a certain anatomical aspect of your butt will land on a sharp pointed rock with the precision of a cruise missile. For those of you of a certain age, your next colonoscopy will not require anesthetic, for the others it will be an eye-opening experience.

And just like the nuclear trigger in our military arsenal, roots have a failsafe mechanism in the event you’re able to avoid being snagged by one. The roots manage—perhaps aided by the Elvish folk who inhabit the woods—to subtlety snag your bootlaces until one has come loose. Then, just as you try to step forward, you’ve tripped yourself into the cascading process of falling.

Now a word about bugs. They are one of the constancies of hiking. Even if no one wants to hike, bugs will come with you. There is a progression to your tolerance to bugs. First, they are annoying, then the are infuriating, but, like attaining Nirvana, if you hike enough and swallow enough bugs (again, when not if) you come to consider them bonus protein.

Now before you get disgusted by such thoughts, I am sure many of you eat oatmeal. How you manage this I do not understand, but you do. You realize people once used oatmeal to hang wallpaper, right? You’re eating wallpaper paste so you have no room for haughty superiority.

I think those little gelatinous sacks frog eggs come in that appear in murky ponds every spring likely taste like oatmeal. Bugs taste better, require less preparation, and offer themselves up willingly.

Bugs are just an underappreciated food group

Mount Pierce looking toward Mounts Washington and Eisenhower

Despite all of this. once you reach the summit something magical happens. The spirit of the mountain infiltrates your soul, erasing and easing all the pain of the effort. You see things most people never see. You look out on a vista of nature undisturbed.

It makes it all worthwhile.

Reaching the summit is better pain relief than Ibuprofen. Something those of us who’ve hiked the Appalachian Trail called Vitamin I. (But just in case, have some Ibuprofen to wash down with your celebratory drink at the trail’s end.)

This intoxication—or temporary insanity—lasts just long enough to carry you back down the trail and then goes dormant. After the muscle aches fade, and the mud is washed from your clothes, and the bruises have faded, it re-emerges and whispers in your ear…

“Let’s find another trail to hike and another mountain to climb.”

Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience. —Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson

______________________________________________________________________________

JEBWizard Publishing (www.jebwizardpublishing.com) is a hybrid publishing company focusing on new and emerging authors. We offer a full range of customized publishing services.

Everyone has a story to tell, let us help you share it with the world. We turn publishing dreams into a reality. For more information and manuscript submission guidelines contact us at info@jebwizardpublishing.com or 401-533-3988.

Signup here for our mailing list for information on all upcoming releases, book signings, and media appearances.

The War on Cops: Wrong Enemy, Wrong War, Wrong Headed

Cops have become the focal point of the failure of society to address the cause of violence in America. This results from the unfiltered flood of social media stories lacking any corroboration or factual basis, even though overall violence has decreased in America and within police agencies.

While a troubling number of cops engage in unnecessary and unlawful violence, most are responding to situations and circumstances of violence beyond their capacity to prevent or control. By focusing on just the violence-prone officers, we run the risk of overlooking the essential function police officers provide to society.

A society that presumes a norm of violence and celebrates aggression, whether in the subway, on the football field, or in the conduct of its business, cannot help making celebrities of the people who would destroy it.     

Lewis H. Lapham

Some criminal behavior is pathological, little can be done absent intense psychiatric intervention. But the overwhelming majority of people who commit crimes are motivated by several common factors; poverty, poor education, lack of family support, drug use, discrimination, or other identifiable and rectifiable circumstances.

Because society does not want to face its responsibilities for fostering and ignoring the causes behind such criminality and violence, they need a convenient scapegoat. Instead of recognizing that drug abuse, one of the most significant causes of criminal acts, is primarily a health issue, they prefer to criminalize it and dump the responsibility of solving the problem on cops.

It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Enormous sums of money made in the drug trade cause those in control to arm themselves to protect their assets. Cops then face the reality of dealing with armed resistance to their efforts, setting the stage for violent confrontations and increasingly dangerous situations for the public. The violence breeds more violence and the police endure the criticism for their inability to control it..

We are treating the symptom, not the cause. Like injecting morphine into a broken arm. It no longer hurts, but it is still broken.

The violence surrounding the drug trade, and the criminal behavior it engenders among users and dealers, creates violence-prone territories within cities that are more combat zones than neighborhoods.

We have turned police departments into armies of occupation, failed to provide them with adequate resources, tasked them responsibilities outside their area of expertise, then blamed them for their failure to solve the problem.

A society that thrusts cops into violent neighborhoods and expects them to endure violence against them only with restraint is abdicating its responsibility.

We would not send a carpenter to teach History in a high school class, or a Doctor of Philosophy to repair a plumbing problem. Why do we send cops into our neighborhoods and expect them to be social workers, counselors, medics, priests, surrogate parents, and disciplinarians without the least bit of training or support to perform these functions?

So now, still refusing to address their own abdication of responsibility and failures, the solution they offer is to defund the police? To take the one societal resource that answers the phone twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year, and reduce their already limited ability to deal with society’s problems?

This is the height of idiocy.

Let me abundantly clarify a couple of things. Implicit racism is endemic to Police Departments because it is endemic to society. The difference is simple. When a carpenter or a bartender or a priest acts in a manner prejudicial to another because of the color of their skin, sexual orientation, or ethnic origin, it is not replayed in the news and blasted across social media ad nauseum.

While I would concede police officers, because of their position, should expect close scrutiny, they do not deserve condemnation absent a full understanding of the conditions under which they operate. Nor should their actions be automatically assumed to be motivated by prejudice.

Here is another hard and fast rule. If officers are guilty of pre-judging a person simply because of the color of their skin, they deserve to be punished or charged for acting unlawfully in such a matter. But, until all the facts are clear, the actions of officers should not be pre-judged simply because they have become a convenient target for the ills of society.

If you want to defund things and provide resources to actually change things, here are some suggestions.

Defund the politicians who turn elected public service into a lifetime welfare system

Defund the mindless feel-good programs in schools and government that only create patronage jobs for the well connected with little results.

Defund an educational system that rewards mediocrity, avoids placing challenges on students, and ostracizes those who excel at learning.

Defund the nonsense of forced racial balancing at the expense of education and eliminating the ignorance of prejudice. These stop-gap efforts, while well-intentioned, fail to address the fundamental causes of racism; ignorance, lack of education, and inability to embrace differences.

Defund any state-sponsored support of religion, be it tax exemptions, feel-good legislation, or the best-intentioned but misguided efforts of tacit acceptance of its efficacy in secular matters, at the expense of science and secular progress. These matters further exasperate the separation of individuals into segregated groups who suffer from the lack of experiencing different ideas, cultures, and histories.

Defunding the police as a wholesale solution to the problem is like turning the radio up loud to drown out engine noise. It might mask the problem, but eventually the engine will seize up and nothing will move.

Excerpt from Divine Providence

Coming this fall from JEBWizard Publishing, a new book by Joe Broadmeadow with Pat Cortellessa

Divine Providence: The Mayor, The Mob, and The Man in the Middle

Here’s the excerpt. To be notified of updates, author appearances, and pre-release discounts sign up for our email list here.

This is the story of a Mayor who would be King, The Mob, who would demand its share of the kingdom, and a man caught in the middle. A story so unique, so endemic to the city, so uniquely Rhode Island, that it casts a spell even to this day.

Divine providence: The mayor, the mob, and the man in the middle
by joe broadmeadow

Introduction

The echo of the court clerk’s announcement of guilty on the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) count still reverberated in the halls of  Judge Ernest Torres’ court as the implication ricocheted at the speed of light throughout Providence.

The King is Dead, Long Live the King!

Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci, the inimitable, affable, yet darkly complex Mayor of Providence, tarnished forever as a convicted felon. The Providence Renaissance, forever linked to Buddy in fable if not reality, now facing having the curtain pulled back on the myth enveloping the man..

As Shakespeare said, “the evil men do….” The good Buddy would now be buried in the Federal Prison system, removed from the City he loved almost as much as he loved himself.

All that remained now was for someone to pick up the pieces in City Hall and steer the City forward.

Pat Cortellessa—the long-time nemesis of Buddy, fresh from the courtroom where he watched the trial and verdict unfold— now stood in city hall with the man who would bear the burden of acting Mayor, John Lombardi. The scene was surreal, unimaginable just a few short months before. Few expected Buddy to be convicted. Most thought Buddy would emerge dirtied but otherwise unscathed, back in the Mayor’s office once again running his domain. Now the celebration of what many viewed as the end of corruption in City Hall was on.

Pat made his way to the Mayor’s office and walked into what was once the exclusive domain of Buddy. The office, trashed by the celebration, held echoes of so much promise and so many disappointments. Pat wandered over to the window overlooking Kennedy Plaza. The Cafe Plaza building, a prominent place in the plaza, the site of so many battles with Buddy, stood as a reminder of the now former Mayor’s penchant for exerting his control wherever he saw an opportunity.

Pat wondered if it had all been worth it. All those battles fighting for what he believed was right for the city, now mere memories. Buddy was no longer a force to be reckoned with, the conviction took that away. Where it would lead was anyone’s guess.

What lay ahead for Pat, he could only guess. But the memories of the war with the City and Buddy had taken its toll. How had it all come to this?

This is the story of a Mayor who would be King, The Mob, who would demand its share of the kingdom, and a man caught in the middle. A story so unique, so endemic to the city, so uniquely Rhode Island, that it casts a spell even to this day.

And Buddy was now out of sight…but he was far from finished.

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JEBWizard Publishing (www.jebwizardpublishing.com) is a hybrid publishing company focusing on new and emerging authors. We offer a full range of customized publishing services.

Everyone has a story to tell, let us help you share it with the world. We turn publishing dreams into a reality. For more information and manuscript submission guidelines contact us at info@jebwizardpublishing.com or 401-533-3988.

Signup here for our mailing list for information on all upcoming releases, book signings, and media appearances.

A Summer Vacation’s Worth of Stories

This time of year—scorching humid days, once verdant green Spring grass turned brown and coarse, evening fireflies sparking the imagination—always makes me think of summer vacations long ago. Not those taken for a week or two, but the real summer vacation that punctuated our progress in life.

The opening days of Summer—those first glorious days of not having to get up for school, the freedom of having an entire day to do whatever we wanted, the seemingly endless days ahead—made such a powerful impression in our memories.

See you in September

See you when the summer’s through

Here we are (bye, baby, goodbye)

Saying goodbye at the station (bye, baby, goodbye)

Summer vacation (bye, baby bye, baby)

Is taking you away (bye, baby, goodbye)

The Happenings, See you in september

Then, as June slipped into July and July to August, the first thoughts of returning to school bubbled to the surface. A new grade, new challenges, new teachers, new things to learn, and experience. I may not have looked forward to the end of the summer, but I looked forward to returning to school.

For me it was Ashton School, then Highland Middle, and finally Cumberland High School, CHS ’74.

We had something with us when we ventured back that’s denied today’s generations. Something that made our return both comforting and exciting.

We had stories.

Summer stories to tell our friends in the long tradition of human storytelling. In the telling of the stories, we reinforced (and often enhanced) the memories, ensuring they would last a lifetime.

Today, every moment of every day—tweeted, texted, Instagrammed, Facebooked, or Instant messaged—becomes the same as all the others.

In telling our stories, we had to recall from memory those moments that mattered to us. The things that made enough of an impression on an eight-year-old or a fourteen-year-old to warrant a story.

They would lose their magic in a mere text message.

The stories we told came from the heart—enhanced by our imagination—and created a bond between the storyteller and the listener. It was a way of saying, “you’re important to me, I want you to hear my stories, and I want to hear yours.”

We cannot share such a bond in an email or text. The immediacy of such technology robs the story of all emotion and value.  It is just another bit of noise in a noisy world, lost among the cacophony, becoming only more background static.

August is when these thoughts and memories rise to the surface. Back then, it seemed the dog days of summer grew shorter, even if we knew that the days had grown shorter almost from the moment summer vacation began.

The sun, making its way back south, posed new challenges to baseball games. Early summer sunlit ball fields now became danger zones as fly balls disappeared into the blinding August afternoon sun and caromed off a player’s head. (Something which we might turn into a great story.)

Now, we were not without our means of instant communication. We had telephones, and the sound of a ringing phone brought anticipation, hope, and surprises. We often planned calls—I’ll call you at 6—and battles would ensue if the phone was in use.

We faced the frustrations of a busy signal or an unanswered call. Answering machines—those first links in the chain bonding us to communication technology—came later. But when a call went through, we had those glorious moments of speaking with someone we likely hadn’t seen since the last day of school. In these calls, we laid the groundwork for future stories—I’ll tell you more later, I have to hang up now.

Until we hit that magic age of driver’s licenses and the freedom it brought, all we had on returning to school was our summer stories.

If I could give anything of value to today’s world, it would be moments like those I shared with my friends telling those stories.

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JEBWizard Publishing (www.jebwizardpublishing.com) is a hybrid publishing company focusing on new and emerging authors. We offer a full range of customized publishing services.

Everyone has a story to tell, let us help you share it with the world. We turn publishing dreams into a reality. For more information and manuscript submission guidelines contact us at info@jebwizardpublishing.com or 401-533-3988.

Signup here for our mailing list for information on all upcoming releases, book signings, and media appearances.

If I Had Known There Was a Test…

Recently I wrote a piece about why I intend to vote for Joe Biden rather than against President Trump.  (https://joebroadmeadowblog.com/2020/08/21/why-joe-biden/)

This sparked the usual round of responses both for and against. At one point, I was asked my opinion on a litany of issues.  These were both too complex and too numerous to answer on social media alone, thus the genesis of this latest blog.

File:Test-Logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

And he went to Paris looking for answers
To questions that bother him so…

Jimmy Buffett, He Went to Paris

As always, I welcome anyone who wishes to write a piece addressing these or any issues. Submit it to me (joseph.broadmeadow@gmail.com) and I will happily publish it on the blog. My only caveat is the discussion be respectful. Passion is good, impoliteness is not.

Now, here are the questions and my answers.

Are you for legal immigration?

This one is easy. I support legal immigration. No rational person supports illegal immigration, if by illegal immigration you mean someone unlawfully entering this country absent a legitimate amnesty need. But there are exceptions. Creating a path to citizenship for those who were brought here as children by their parents without legal documents is the American thing to do.

However, there needs to be a time limit on the window of opportunity.  For example, once an individual reaches eighteen years of age or, if already 18 or older, upon the creation of this program, they must apply for the citizenship process within two years.  Miss that window of opportunity, and you are subject to deportation.

Are you for free enterprise?

Again, an easy one. Yes I am. But government regulations play an essential role in ensuring a level playing field. Labor laws, OSHA regulations, EPA standards, and others are all necessary to protect workers, customers, the environment, and those operating a business.

At one time, child labor was a significant contributor to a free capitalist market. Such conditions and practices are abhorrent and government regulations necessary to prevent such abuses.

And Joe Biden hit on something critically important to free enterprise, labor unions. 

Labor unions, more than government regulations, made workplaces safer, pay and benefits more fair, and established a balance of power between management and labor. The pendulum swing away from union membership is partially responsible for the earnings gap. In 1983 union membership was 20.1% of workers, today it is 10.1%.

In 1965,the ratio of CEO to Worker compensation was 20 to 1. In 1989, it was 58 to 1. Today, it is 278 to 1. CEO compensation has risen 940% while only 11.9% for workers.

That some unions were corrupted is not an indictment of all unions or union members any more than the prosecution of corporate executives, say Brietbart for example, is an indictment of all executives.

Are you for energy independence?

Seeking energy independence is a critical national security matter. I support renewable energy research and alternative energy sources.  Coal, which accounts for almost 25% of electricity production in the US (and more elsewhere) combined with other fossil fuels (which account for 62%,) are two of the most significant contributors to anthropogenic accelerated global warming.

The Department of Defense, those ultimately responsible for defending this nation, has identified climate change as one of the most significant national security challenges facing this country.

We are at the point where the level of Dangerous Anthropogenic Interference (DAI) with the climate may be unrecoverable. Energy independence for the US must also include a significant investment in new energy sources, not just a surge in coal mining or improving fossil fuel extraction technology.

I know this may be heresy to some, but nuclear energy provided by the latest generation of reactors is dramatically less harmful to the environment, and safer overall, than fossil fuels. From an overall safety and environmental perspective, the more you know about fossil fuel, the more concerned you become. The more you know about nuclear energy, the less concerned you become. Once again, it is science that offers the answers, non politicized and unbiased.

Are you for more government regulations?

I support necessary government regulations; Health and Safety (OSHA), labor laws, automotive safety standards, FDA regulations. Speed limits on roadways limiting the speed at which cars can operate, even though they are capable of much higher speeds, makes everyone safer. Same thing with most regulations.

Do you support abortion on demand?

I support a woman’s right to choose and the guidelines laid out in Roe v. Wade.  The one aspect of Roe that gets lost in the rancor and emotion is that Roe was about fair and equitable access to abortions. Abortion for medical reasons has always been legal. It was the discrepancy in access to abortions that Roe addressed.

Wealthy individuals always had access to safe and legal abortions because they could afford to find a doctor who would deem the procedure medically necessary. 

Poor people did not have that option.

The decision to seek an abortion, for whatever reason, is the most difficult personal choice a woman has to make.  The government has no business interfering with such a significant private matter.

The other myth of abortions is that women will use this as birth control.  The data shows otherwise.  I suggest one read the book The Turnaway Study: Ten Years, a Thousand Women, and the Consequences of Having—or Being Denied—an Abortion (https://www.amazon.com/Turnaway-Study-Consequences-Having-Denied-ebook/dp/B0831S4XB2)

One certain way to reduce the need for abortions is a comprehensive health care system offering contraception, family planning, pre- and post-natal care and support, and a strong system of child care assistance for those in need.

Do you think the Iran deal was a good one?

I believe the Iran deal was the best solution to an insoluble problem absent the elimination of theocratic governments. What is now clear, by withdrawing from the Iran agreement, the US has created more instability in the region and lost any opportunity to build a coalition against further nuclear development by Iran.

Instead, we have left it to the Israelis to deal with the problem militarily, which increases the likelihood of open conflict in the Middle East.

The only lasting solution to the Iranian problem will have to come from the Iranian people. By imposing sanctions on a government that cares little for the welfare of its citizens, the ones who suffer most are the very people we need to achieve success.

Much like the Treaty of Versailles, we are imposing draconian demands that will, over time, have the exact opposite effect to what we need in the region.



Organizations like BLM will never gain the support of a majority of Americans until they decry the illegal possession and use of firearms as much as they criticize the actions of law enforcement.

Are you for defunding the police?

Another softball. Of course not.  But re-evaluating the tasks assigned to police departments and reallocating funds to more appropriate solutions makes sense. This trend toward the militarization of police (begun when I was on the job and no one embraced the toys more than us) was, in hindsight, a mistake.

But with that said, the reality of American society presents different challenges to police officers than other developed democratic countries. While police officers in many countries do not routinely carry firearms, the fact that there are 300 million weapons in civilian hands makes arming American officers critical.

Most gun owners never commit a crime. But the easy availability of weapons—both legal and illegal—makes their use in the commission of crimes more frequent and thus more of a risk factor.

Organizations like BLM will never gain the support of a majority of Americans until they decry the illegal possession and use of firearms as much as they criticize the actions of law enforcement. 

The implicit racism by many officers to persons of color is reinforced by the number of crimes committed by those who illegally possess weapons. This is not blaming the victims of unlawful police actions. This is bringing to the forefront the realities cops must deal with on the streets.

The perception of persons of color having a higher propensity to violence is one of the worst aspects of implicit racism, yet it is equally promulgated by ignorant racists and those who commit violent crimes with firearms.

And the inequities in the criminal justice system–where persons of color face longer sentences and make up a disproportionate number of those in prison–further reinforces the myth absent an understanding of the conditions behind the statistics.

Each of these factors reinforce to equal measure the misconception.

Do you think we should defend Federal Buildings?

Defend them, of course. Intercede in local situations absent specific requests from local law enforcement or elected officials, or absent evidence of abdication of responsibility by local authorities, no.

Do you think cities run by Democrats are thriving? (if so, name one).

This is my favorite. This is the classic example of how correlation does not equal causation. For instance, I could argue there has been an increase in violence in Chicago and other cities since 2016, when a Republican President took office. It correlates, but it doesn’t mean it caused it.

(Now if we want to argue the rhetoric coming from the administration—saying the white supremacists in Charlottesville were good people, for example—creates an atmosphere provoking violent acts, that might be a different discussion.)

To infer from data like the FBI crime reports, which are the ones most used to make these assertions despite FBI warnings against drawing such conclusions, distorts the reality.  In one more accurate study of gun violence in Chicago, 70% of the non-fatal gun injuries happened within areas containing just 6% of the city’s population. The study referred to these as “micro-geographic hot spots.”

There is no reliable way to gauge the political affiliation of a city’s administration to the city’s economic health as a significant factor in whether or not a city is “thriving.” 

One could argue that under two Republican mayors, Giuliani and Bloomberg, NYC saw an increase in violence and a downturn in economic viability. Under Giuliani’s tenure, New York suffered the most significant terrorist attacks in US history.  Does this mean a Republican-led city, or country, is more likely to face a terrorist attack? It may correlate, but it does not establish the cause.

Do you think the virus came from China?

I know the virus came from China because the CDC, WHO, and a host of other organizations–based on verifiable scientific pathogen methodologies–have traced the virus origin to China.

Do you think China is run by an evil regime?

China is a communist country with capitalistic overtones economically and a repressive dictatorship on civil liberties. The implication of these two questions being linked is that China intentionally released the virus.  While this makes for a great novel, the evidence suggests otherwise. Unless one wishes to abandon all rationality because of the equally deadly viral affliction of unprovable, often paranoid and irrational , conspiracy theories. I will adhere to staying with the evidence.

As a footnote, I am confident Bill Gates and Dr. Fauci, should they ever conspire to take over the world, would come up with a more controllable and effective method. 

Do you believe that the Muller investigation was legit and that the FISA Court was not deceived?

If we cannot have confidence in a man of proven character such as Robert Mueller to act in a manner consistent with the letter and spirit of the law, there is no hope for us. I would say Mr. Mueller’s refusal to offer a conclusion as to the President’s culpability in the matter, much to the chagrin of those who oppose the President, is a clear indication of Mr. Mueller’s character and integrity in rising above the temptation of political gain.

I would also refer you to the Senate Intelligence Committee report as to the indisputable fact of Russian interference in the election and the undeniable evidence of criminal activity.  As to the FISA warrant, there has been no evidence produced of any intentional misrepresentation of facts by the FBI in the warrant application. Acting in good faith is the standard in seeking warrants when evaluating information submitted in support of the application.

Sometimes, the information used to obtain a warrant turns out to be incorrect or inaccurate. But the level of probable cause needed to convince this court of the need to surveil American citizens is a high bar and, in this case, did not depend on just one dossier or alleged element in the application. 

Do you think BLM is controlled by avowed Marxist?

First, BLM is not a centralized organization like some would believe. They tend to be independent groups across the country operating under a common banner.  That someone who is an “avowed” Marxist is involved in such a group is not surprising, but they do not “control” the group.  And while I see Marxism as a failed philosophy doomed by the very nature of humans, to embrace such a philosophy in its pure theoretical form is both lawful and acceptable under our concept of free speech.

Do you think Joe Biden bribed the Pres. of Ukraine to remove the Prosecutor investigating Burisma?  

No, and no shred of reliable evidence proving this allegation has ever been shown. That is the standard of our criminal justice system, innocent until proven guilty. Much like Mr. Trump is not guilty of collusion with the Russians.

Are you for funding health care for illegal aliens?

If one means an otherwise capable adult who enters the country illegally to work, no. But it is more complicated.

What of an injured or ill young child brought here illegally by their parents?  Would you have us deny treating the child? Would you have us let them die because of their immigration status?  Or a pregnant mother? You would deny her the choice of abortion and refuse her treatment to bring the child to full term?

These are not yes/no situations, they are much more complicated.

Until we resolve the overarching issue of immigration with effective and humane programs, finding solutions to problems such as healthcare will be impossible.  

Why are people fleeing democratically controlled cities?

Migration patterns to and from cities are in constant flux.  The political affiliation of the city’s administration is a very low consideration in such decisions. The reasons people leave or move to cities vary with the current economy, crimes, employment opportunities, etc.

I would argue much of the most recent exodus from major cities is because of the disastrous manner in which we handled the pandemic.

Cities like New York with diverse populations, large numbers of foreign travelers, and serving as major points of entry into the country were more vulnerable than other less cosmopolitan cities.  These are not circumstances or conditions predicated or created by the political party holding the mayor’s chair.

To imply people are “fleeing” cities because of the political affiliation of the mayor contradicts the facts.  People leave cities for a variety of reasons, very few of them political.

I’ll give one example. There was a massive exodus from Boston after the school desegregation order. Whites who could afford it fled the city. The real estate market and rents collapsed; lower-income people filled the gap. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Cities experience changes all the time, and the most significant factors driving it are almost always outside the control of the local political structure.

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Each of these issues is complex and requires a deliberate and comprehensive analysis to craft the best solutions.  I would argue that, despite the constant repetition from this administration about ‘yeah, but what about what Obama did,’ the evidence of corrupt practices and wrongheaded policies put in place by Mr. Trump is more compelling and I believe he has done significant long-term damage to this country.

The facts bear this out. Not one principal member of the Obama administration in eight years was ever charged, let alone convicted of a crime. And if politics influences the Justice Department, even under a Republican Congress, nothing came of investigation after investigation into the Obama administration.

Yet under President Trump, in less than four years, we have the following.

Mr. Trump’s personal attorney (Michael Cohen) charged and convicted.

Mr. Trump’s White House national security advisor (Michael Flynn) charged and convicted.

Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman (Paul Manafort) charged and convicted.

Mr. Trump’s deputy campaign chairman (Rick Gates) charged and convicted.

Mr. Trump’s former campaign advisers (Roger Stone and George Papadopoulos) charged and convicted.

And these are just the top-line indictments. If ever there was a model for a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) case, the Trump administration is it.

When asked to explain his being surrounded by so many people he worked with being convicted, Trump was at a loss for words. Instead, he tried to avoid the question with the usual “But Obama spied on my campaign,” despite this fallacy being disproved.

In fact, had the FBI and the Justice Department not investigated Russian efforts to influence and support the Trump campaign (as detailed in the Senate Intelligence Report) I would argue they should be charged with Obstruction of Justice.

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Everyone has a story to tell, let us help you share it with the world. We turn publishing dreams into a reality. For more information and manuscript submission guidelines contact us at info@jebwizardpublishing.com or 401-533-3988.

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Why Joe Biden?

Distaste or disdain for one candidate is a terrible reason to vote for their opponent. I daresay it is how we find ourselves in our current situation.

We are led by an untrustworthy, churlish, unsophisticated, anti-intellectual, out-of-his-depth President with delusions of grandeur and little regard for the history or stature of the office of President of the United States.

I believe the demonization of Hillary Clinton—some of it self-inflicted—drove many to vote for Mr. Trump, with little regard for the consequences of such actions. The nonsense of a Deep State conspiracy gripping many Americans shows how rare analytical thinking—the ability to explore all avenues of an issue and separate facts from fiction—is among many of our fellow citizens.

Minds turned to mush by years of reality TV and rationality-sapping attention deficiencies—the dumbing down of America—has robbed many of the ability to think beyond a Tweet or a meme.

We are a country where common sense is as rare as unicorns. Yet one must find reasons to vote for a candidate, not just against them. I want to detail my own reasons for voting for Joe Biden rather than against President Trump.

The government of the United States is not a business. It is not a For-Profit corporation to be run for the benefit of stockholders, the enrichment of executives, or the empowerment of the party occupying the Oval Office.

Often, a President must make decisions in the best interest of the country even when it may go against the wishes of those who voted for him, or her.

That is the difference between a candidate and a President and that is the content of character one must seek out in casting your vote. Which person is best suited to transition from candidate to statesman?

In my humble opinion, Joe Biden has demonstrated the ability to move from candidate to statesman many times over his distinguished career.

The fallacy that America needs a businessperson to lead the government is just that, a fallacy. Businesspeople are zero-sum personalities, seeking an advantage over their competitors. In domestic and international affairs, such a narrow minded approach is a recipe for disaster.

Our government exists for three limited purposes; to protect our constitutional rights, to defend us from all enemies foreign and domestic, and to ensure the fair and equitable operation of our free capitalist economic system.

The immense sophistication of the government of the United States is not something one learns on the job. One must have elements of experience, a comprehensive understanding of history, and an intuitive level of decision-making ability tempered by strong analytical skills and the courage to make difficult choices in the best interest of the country.

Most critical, is the ability to work with those of the opposite political spectrum to reach those compromises which are in the best interest of the country, and the world.

Joe Biden brings years of government experience at the highest levels to the table. He has established both relationships and credibility with foreign governments, something we have lost to the most severe degree with the current administration. Consistent reliability was never more needed than in the pandemic now gripping the world.

America should be leading the way out, not foundering in misinformation and anti-scientific voodoo driven rancor. Joe Biden is the candidate best positioned to re-establish a sense of purpose and balance during this national crisis.

And more important than anything else, Mr. Biden is unafraid to admit mistakes, learn from them, and adapt to changing times. America has always had a greatness within her, but we have not always been great. The best leaders, those who make the best Presidents, are those who listen to their opponents and adapt when they hear good ideas, no matter where or who they come from.

That is the Joe Biden I see before us. A man who understands the most terrible of personal tragedies, the satisfaction of hard work for a job well done, and the joys of accomplishing great things.

A man from modest means who has accomplished great things.

Now Mr. Biden is not perfect, but he is unfazed by changing circumstances and willing to change with them, not resist them out of some whitewashed memory of the good ‘ole days. He embraces good and necessary change with an open mind, not intransigent stubbornness.

So hope for a great sea-change
On the far side of revenge.
Believe that further shore
Is reachable from here.
Believe in miracles
And cures and healing wells

Seamus Heaney

 I wish it had been Mr. Biden four years ago who faced Mr. Trump. I have little doubt the outcome would have been much different. Those who drove the political decisions back then will answer to the inquiries of history as to their culpability, but looking back is only useful if we apply the lessons to the future.

Joe Biden is the answer for the immediate future of this country, and Kamala Harris is the long-term future for change. The many controversies roiling this country; economic, health, racism, changes within criminal justice, climate change, are matters that will take time, and experience, to resolve. Placing someone like Ms. Harris in the position of Vice President, with a front-row seat to profiting from Joe Biden’s extensive experience, will offer a roadmap to future endeavors.

Why Joe Biden? Because for all the reasons I just pointed out, he is the best solution to regaining American greatness and our leadership and place of respect in the world.


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The Untold Story

Everyone has a story to tell. By some estimates, almost 80% of Americans have considered writing a book. Most never take the first step—putting pen to paper or hands to the keyboard—and write.

Yet the stories are still there, yearning to be told.

Everyone has a story, let us help you share yours with the world.

The world of publishing has changed. There was never a more opportune moment for new authors to break into the world of publishing. But the best opportunities are not through “traditional” publishing, nor is it in self-publishing (although sites like Amazon have made it remarkably simple.)

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new”

Socrates

The best opportunity for new authors is with a hybrid publishing company like JEBWizard Publishing.  Many of the hottest authors on the NY Times bestseller list began with this hybrid approach. Some of the traditional publishers use those who publish this way as a “hunting ground” for new talent.

It is a different world with books today, and this offers both opportunity and peril. The downside to this brave new world is the proliferation of ninety-nine cent eBooks that quite frankly are overpriced. If ever the expression “you get what you pay for” was apropos, it is with the avalanche of poorly written, unedited trash the floods the market.

Readers—by their very nature intuitive and perceptive—have learned how to tell the quality of a book by breaking the rule of “not judging a book by its cover.” An amateurish cover is the first warning of a book not worth buying or reading.

Even if the cover doesn’t discourage them and they look inside, lousy writing, poor formatting, and grammatical errors soon unmask the inferior quality of the book.

The upside is where JEBWizard Publishing’s hybrid approach comes in, offering the highest quality production standards resulting in a book readers will want to buy.

With hybrid publishing, the author keeps full creative control over the book, a higher percentage of sales, and benefits from the same professional level design, editing, and distribution chains of traditional publishing.

If you have ever dreamed of writing a book or have written one and would like to get it published, JEBWizard Publishing is a great choice. We will help you bring the book to market with the same quality one would expect from traditional publishing houses.

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A Miracle at Dachau by Laurin Haupt


Forbidden Emotions: The Key to Healing by Marti Murphy







JEBWizard Publishing is actively seeking manuscripts, book proposals, or cooperative book projects.

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JEBWizard Publishing
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www.jebwizardpublishing.com

Everyone has a story, let us help you share yours with the world.

The Power of Words

People often ask me why I write. Some because they disagree with much of what I have to say, but most just want to know what drives me to it.

My answer is simple. I don’t write because I want to, I write because I have to. There is something inside me compelling me to write. I do not always choose the topics, they sometimes choose me. Something I see, or hear, or remember, or read sparks an idea.

These ideas delve deep into my mind, often churning and churning just below the conscious level, fermenting and ripening until they burst forth into my consciousness, then driving me to a keyboard or pen and paper to capture these thoughts.

Much of what I write is driven by a concern and caring I have for this country, this world, and this universe. To paraphrase a line from Robert Kennedy who borrowed it from George Bernard Shaw, “Some see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?”

Some see things as they are and say why? I dream things that never were and say why not?

It is in stimulating discussions and sparking thoughts in others that are the reward in writing, even if it causes some to challenge the ideas or argue against them.

Yet there is a rare moment when something I write strikes a familiar chord with almost everyone. I can see it in the comments made in response to these pieces. Just words–an arrangement of twenty-six letters and some punctuation marks–can reach around the world and touch someone’s soul.

This is the power of words and it is for moments like those that I spend my limited time on this planet writing. I hope the ideas keep churning away…

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JEBWizard Publishing (www.jebwizardpublishing.com) is a hybrid publishing company focusing on new and emerging authors. We offer a full range of customized publishing services.

Everyone has a story to tell, let us help you share it with the world. We turn publishing dreams into a reality. For more information and manuscript submission guidelines contact us at info@jebwizardpublishing.com or 401-533-3988.

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Lost Ballfield Memories…

Is there anything sadder in today’s Covid-warped world than the sight of an empty Little League baseball field?

I know we face a myriad of problems, but problems have always been with us. From the beginning of these United States, turmoil, hardships, and troubles have been a familiar constancy—along with death and taxes.

“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” – Rogers Hornsby

Ever since Abner Doubleday invented the game—although, like many legends of the past, this may be in doubt—baseball brought joy to the hearts of many a young boy.  The game is a business in the major leagues, America’s favorite pastime corrupted by greed. But when I was growing up, it brought much joy and happiness to me and my friends in Cumberland, Rhode Island.

These were different times in the 1960s. We often cloud the reality of the past with the analgesic of nostalgia. Still, I think memories of baseball played on a Little League field are as close as one can come to remember the “good ole’ days” as they really were.

These are the faces of life-long memories

Girls weren’t on teams back then. There were no leagues for girls. Truth be told, it was more selfish protection of less-skilled male athletes from being outplayed by girls than anything else, but they were different times. One cannot change the way of the past. We were just little boys with no need or ability to understand such complex matters. We just wanted to be boys playing baseball.

Little League games gave ten-year-old boys the glorious moments of dreaming they would one day play at Fenway or Yankee Stadium (for the really, really outstanding players.) These lost moments on today’s empty fields can never be recovered. I know much has been lost to the pandemic—graduation celebrations, wedding receptions, travel plans, summer days before heading off to college—a whole host of missed opportunities. But these are adult things, or on the cusp, where a lesson in the vicissitudes of life can reap benefits down the line.

Ten-year-old boys don’t need such lessons at that moment in life, they’ll have time for that later. But they can never regain the moments of standing at-bat, the thwack of a ball on a wooden (never aluminum) bat, and the pure joy of making it in to score a run.

Standing in the late afternoon sun, on a warm and humid August day, even playing right field to minimize the chances of actually having to catch a fly ball,  is as close as one can come to pure joy in this life. Such is the cost of these challenges we face.

A field of dreams lost to time, and memories left unmade.

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JEBWizard Publishing (www.jebwizardpublishing.com) is a hybrid publishing company focusing on new and emerging authors. We offer a full range of customized publishing services.

Everyone has a story to tell, let us help you share it with the world. We turn publishing dreams into a reality. For more information and manuscript submission guidelines contact us at info@jebwizardpublishing.com or 401-533-3988.

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