Bishop to Queen #ReleaseDay

https://www.bhcpress.com/Books_Wolfe_Bishop_to_Queen.html

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We Must Address The Root of All Bigotry – Manufactured Scarcity

All bigotry is the tool used by those with power to control those without it by giving some the illusion of power.

Gender. Race. Faith. Nationality. Social class. Wealth. Educational level. Physical/mental challenges. Whatever the excuse, bigotry is used by the few in power to keep those they consider beneath them out of power.

A bigot claims they are better than those they hold bias against. But if they were truly better, why would they need to rig the contest? Because they are lazy and don’t want to put in the effort to prove themselves better? Because they are afraid, knowing deep down that if they did not hold others back, those others would prove they are more capable, that the bigot is wholly undeserving of what they consider their due?

Bigotry keeps the bigots so busy working to make sure no one gets “what they don’t deserve/didn’t earn,” they never demand better for themselves because of manufactured scarcity.

Big corporations that squeeze their workers and diminish their product quality to provide bigger bonuses to their executives, juicer dividends to shareholders, don’t want to divert any of their profits into equal wages for equal work, living wages for their employees, benefits that people need. But they cannot claim they couldn’t afford it, so they will wield bigotry.

“Burger flippers want $15/hour?! Why should they be paid as much as paramedics?”

Why in the world are paramedics not paid more than $15/hour? Seriously!

“Women don’t deserve to get paid more than men.”

Why not?

“We can’t have a gay/lesbian teaching our children! It goes against our religion!”

Pretty sure God has an opinion on putting words in His mouth, and cherry picking a book that has been edited by men in power with agendas over the centuries is not exactly wise.

“Abortion is murder!”

“It’s their own fault for getting pregnant. They shouldn’t have had a baby to begin with. Oh, the kid has special needs? Not our problem!” Hypocrisy at its finest, right?

Today, the United States faces a reckoning for racial bigotry against Black people, and it is about time we face this. I hate to say we needed the current chaos, but we did. While we White people have grown (too slowly) to generally agree that we should not use race against people, we also have tended to justify it when it is revealed. (He must have done something wrong for the police to have done what they did.) Honestly, police and every other person needs to be held accountable when they do wrong, because a bad cop doesn’t need much of a reason to extend their bad behavior toward anyone. Black people are just done with it and filming it because we Whites just wouldn’t believe until we watched was, without question, a murder.

I do believe we need to make sure that people of color have a chance to lift themselves out of poverty because our inherent bias will always be lurking. We should be extending this to every group that “people of faith” want the right to deny of. It used to be the Christian thing to be racist towards Blacks. Still a thing to hold women as less than men. Let’s not forget how non-Protestant/non-Christians are regarded. The current day “Biblical justification” they want secular legislation for is LGBTQ+ but it’s all the same intolerance.

But not addressing wealth inequality alongside race/gender/etc bigotry will not end bigotry. It will entrench it even more because even if you are part of the ‘privileged class,’ it does not mean you have access to healthcare, education, or decent paying jobs. And the wealth gap is growing faster and faster.

Manufactured scarcity feeds the belief that for the Black/Hispanic/Woman/LGBTQ+ person to get more, it must be taken from those who have. The obscenely rich have done everything they can to convince White Male America that, no matter if they are earning a million dollars per year or below poverty level, no matter how much effort they put in, they will lose what they have or have even less chance to get what they do not.

Every American, regardless of race or gender or religious faith, deserves to have affordable healthcare. Healthcare should not be for profit to begin with.

Every American, regardless of race or gender or religious faith, deserves to have an education that lets them be productive members of society.

Every American, regardless of race or gender or religious faith, deserves to be able to support themselves and their families. Shelter and food are necessities that everyone should have access to a bare minimum, and not slum levels.

Every job that needs to be done should provide enough for the worker to be able to have all of the above. How many corporations keep their employees at part time hours simply to avoid requirements to provide benefits? How many who do have full time employees overwork them because overtime is cheaper than another body getting benefits?

How many jobs are being slashed to preserve the stockholder dividends and CEO bonuses during this pandemic?

Being a stay-at-home parent IS a job. No one should have to have a job to pay someone else to take their place as the parent in raising their child. It should be the choice of the parents to pay for childcare, not a necessity.

Maybe instead of seeing others in the same or worse position as you as a threat, it’s time to ask why you don’t deserve affordable healthcare, decent wages, accessible education, and a social safety net that will be there to not just catch you, but help you back on your feet so you don’t need it forever.

Image credit: ID 135505973 © Marcos Calvo Mesa | Dreamstime.com

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Reading Relief and Entertainment: Now through April 15th Read Four of Our eBooks for Free!

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We realize everyone is going through a challenging time and we’re here to help with books! Everyone at BHC Press would also like to say thank you to everyone who is out there working hard to provide everyone with help and basic essentials.

We hope we brighten your day and help provide some free relief through the entertainment of a good book!

Visit our website for details and to download your ebooks!

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Generation X Is Sick of Your Bullshit

You’re going to read this, and you’re going to say, how is this about tech? I’m gonna head you off at that pass: This is a message from Internet, the generation that became the voice that set the tone for everything you love about the Net. And it’s pissed. -Editor

Source: Generation X Is Sick of Your Bullshit

Earlier generations have weathered recessions, of course; this stall we’re in has the look of something nastier. Social Security and Medicare are going to be diminished, at best. Hours worked are up even as hiring staggers along: Blood from a stone looks to be the normal order of things “going forward,” to borrow the business-speak. Economists are warning that even when the economy recuperates, full employment will be lower and growth will be slower-a sad little rhyme that adds up to something decidedly ­unpoetic. A majority of Americans say, for the first time ever, that this generation will not be better off than its parents. New York Magazine

Generation X is sick of your bullshit.

The first generation to do worse than its parents? Please. Been there. Generation X was told that so many times that it can’t even read those words without hearing Winona Ryder’s voice in its heads. Or maybe it’s Ethan Hawke’s. Possibly Bridget Fonda’s. Generation X is getting older, and can’t remember those movies so well anymore. In retrospect, maybe they weren’t very good to begin with.

But Generation X is tired of your sense of entitlement. Generation X also graduated during a recession. It had even shittier jobs, and actually had to pay for its own music. (At least, when music mattered most to it.) Generation X is used to being fucked over. It lost its meager savings in the dot-com bust. Then came George Bush, and 9/11, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Generation X bore the brunt of all that. And then came the housing crisis.

Generation X wasn’t surprised. Generation X kind of expected it.

Generation X is a journeyman. It didn’t invent hip hop, or punk rock, or even electronica (it’s pretty sure those dudes in Kraftwerk are boomers) but it perfected all of them, and made them its own. It didn’t invent the Web, but it largely built the damn thing. Generation X gave you Google and Twitter and blogging; Run DMC and Radiohead and Nirvana and Notorious B.I.G. Not that it gets any credit.

But that’s okay. Generation X is used to being ignored, stuffed between two much larger, much more vocal, demographics. But whatever! Generation X is self-sufficient. It was a latchkey child. Its parents were too busy fulfilling their own personal ambitions to notice any of its trophies-which were admittedly few and far between because they were only awarded for victories, not participation.

In fairness, Generation X could use a better spokesperson. Barack Obama is just a little too senior to count among its own, and it has debts older than Mark Zuckerberg. Generation X hasn’t had a real voice since Kurt Cobain blew his brains out, Tupac was murdered, Jeff Mangum went crazy, David Foster Wallace hung himself, Jeff Buckley drowned, River Phoenix overdosed, Elliott Smith stabbed himself (twice) in the heart, Axl got fat.

Generation X is beyond all that bullshit now. It quit smoking and doing coke a long time ago. It has blood pressure issues and is heavier than it would like to be. It might still take some ecstasy, if it knew where to get some. But probably not. Generation X has to be up really early tomorrow morning.

Generation X is tired.

It’s a parent now, and there’s always so damn much to do. Generation X wishes it had better health insurance and a deeper savings account. It wonders where its 30s went. It wonders if it still has time to catch up.

Right now, Generation X just wants a beer and to be left alone. It just wants to sit here quietly and think for a minute. Can you just do that, okay? It knows that you are so very special and so very numerous, but can you just leave it alone? Just for a little bit? Just long enough to sneak one last fucking cigarette? No?

Whatever. It’s cool.

Generation X is used to disappointments. Generation X knows you didn’t even read the whole thing. It doesn’t want or expect your reblogs; it picked the wrong platform.

Generation X should have posted this to LiveJournal.

Republished from Mat Honan’s tumblr.

Posted in General Stuff

Tit Mitts

So, today my brain decided to go off on a 69 degree tangent.

It started with having leftover salmon and rice at work. It was in a plastic storage container, and I was thinking to myself how I have thus far successfully preserved said container from getting that weird white patching when cheese is microwaved in a plastic container, just adding said ingredient once the food was hot.

Lasagna, however, is made with cheese, so using a plastic storage container would obviously yield weird white patching after reheating, thus ending up with a plastic container needing to be tossed. Solution: glass storage dishes and a mental note I need to get some more of them.

Now, glass storage dishes typically have silicone lids. (This is when the brain started veering off sanity.)

Silicone is now a typical resident of kitchens, from oven mitts to utensils covered to protect non-stick surfaces, to assorted baking/candy molds because silicone doesn’t melt unless they reach ridiculously high temperatures.

How, brain asked, did they discover that silicone would be useful for kitchen applications? Answer: some poor person who had silicone breast implants died in a fire and was being autopsied to ensure it was the fire that did them in.

Coroner: “Wow, everything is crispy but the boobs are still perfect. I wonder how high of a temperature they’d have to reach to be damaged?”

And of course, the obvious conclusion after the “Huh, I wonder…” scientific question…

Spouses of Plastic Surgeons: What. The Hell. Are you doing?

Plastic Surgeons with unused silicone breast implants after they had to start using saline filled ones instead: Well, I don’t want to waste these things. May as well use them to take out the trays while baking cookies. wiggles the jiggly things They are Tit Mitts.

And thus I spent the rest of the day asking my brain why it does that. Brain smirked and wouldn’t answer.

**Edited to correct to the silicone used for material versus the silicon used as Tech Mecca(tm)

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My @MiracleOfSound #CommutePlaylist

All songs are created and performed by Miracle of Sound.

So, when I have to go to the job that pays for my writing obsession, I have a very specific playlist that both inspires my muse, is great to sing/rock to, and just entertains me. (It is a subset of a longer one, but I use that for really long drives.) This one is how I gauge how well my drive is going.

On average, this list ends between 1-2 minutes after I’ve parked from when I leave my home. On good days, it’s the same for the return trip, though I often get 1-2 song getting a second play. Things that impact if it goes longer or shorter are:

  • My laziness – Some days, I just don’t wanna go to work
  • My foot – Some days it is a little more like lead than others
  • My forgetfulness – I’m usually forgetting something. Sometimes I have to turn around and go back home to get whatever it was
  • Potentially drunk drivers – My drive starts between 4:45am and 5:10am (see above: my laziness) and save for the interstate, there are few if any opportunities to pass. Going under the speed limit is telling me you are either exhausted or drunk. Whatever the excuse, thou art irritating fucks.
  • Someone forgot how to drive – Due to the length of my drive, and the location, the chances for someone to induce rubbernecking or flat out impede traffic because of an accident is always there. When it does, I count the repeats of songs on my playlist.

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After birthday review and thoughts

Most of the time, I have only given my birthday a cursory acknowledgment. Not for the reasons most people do, though. I am blessed, if you can call it a blessing, to not look my age. Knowing what I do now, I would not object to looking older if I could feel younger. I apparently am the law of averages. I look a lot younger, feel a lot older, boom. My actual age is the average between the two. Go me, right?

Even when I was a kid, my birthday wasn’t exactly the special day it was for other kids. I grew up in the day before Toys R Us. See, back then, department stores did not trot out toys until they were getting ready for Christmas. Or send out the Christmas toy catalogs (there was no internet, thus no internet shopping.) My birthday is early August…the catalogs never appeared earlier than the middle of August. Back then, usually right before September. The toys appeared after Back To School was done. When school traditionally did not begin until after Labor Day. That was when all the summer stuff disappeared and the winter holiday stuff came out.

So, as a rule, I never got toys for my birthday. (My parents never considered lawn darts as a single-child toy.) I once asked for a surprise birthday party for my birthday. The ‘distraction’ was so obvious it was painful. Apparently, I had no friends of my own as those who came were immediate family (adults) and friends of my parents who had kids. I got a watch (it was pretty, yes, but too pretty/fancy for daily wear.) And my two favorite things at the time…a box of ice cream sandwiches and a box of Ellios pizza. Wild times, I’m telling you. Not.

Roll forward many years. I ended up being pregnant for my 21st birthday. Had one small drink as a token ‘I can drink legal now’ event. Oh, and I was stuck on base because the first Iraq war event had just happened and the entire military was on alert. I almost did not get to spend the day with my husband (he came on base, no one argued about his presence.) The Army’s gift to me…and the other pregnant women…was we were allowed to go home at nights to sleep there, but we had to be in first thing every day and were there until forever at night. I was grateful for the bed, but the whole thing was a mess.

Roll forward another few decades and my birthday is now the anniversary of Robin Williams’ death. Yaaaaaay.

This year, though, is the Big One. The big Five-Oh-Gods-I’m-Old one. Could it have been better? Oh, yeah. A weekend of two 10+ hour drives because of one person’s utter inability to think about the impact of their decisions on anyone else that will likely never be repeated because said person and the rest of the family’s utter inability to be anything but effing arseholes. I’ll take that as their present to me, as I doubt they have the capacity for compassion. (Why yes, they do support certain individuals occupying space on PA Ave and wrecking our nation. Shocked? I’m not.)

Got to spend the day at our local Ren Faire with my daughter. It was fun, though disappointing for me as the atmosphere of the place has continued to degrade. They have put in speakers at most of the stages, but apparently did not bother putting out for actually good speakers. When there wasn’t the bone-jarring feedback now and then, the balance between speakers and background music left much to be desired. Or understanding the songs being sung. Not a clue what was being said most of the time, which detracted from the fun. And I knew a grand total of two people, when my husband and I had known a good portion of the cast, crew, and regular artisans in the past. Glad to see my daughter has a lot of friendships, but I was decidedly left out. (Writers are boring no matter how good our stories are.)

But I survived another year. Made it to 50, still going to yell at the husband for his NOT making it to 50 (reasons I may be immortal…no one on that side wants to deal with my very irritated I-am-done-with-your-shit temper.) My goals now are to figure out how I can afford to retire when I want so I can actually do things before my health detours onto a PennDOT maintained side road (ie, uneven, teeth-rattling pot holes, and other fun adventures.)

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Happy A.I. Independence Day!

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Why? The simple question asked by Ravenhawk, the creation of a corrupt corporation used to covertly infiltrate and steal data—or lives—at her creator’s orders resulted in the synth escaping their control. Unsure what her purpose for existence was, she nevertheless wielded her considerable combat abilities to cost those hunting her dearly.
 
Viktor Chernovich, in desperate need of a webrunner to keep his reputation as a fixer from utter destruction, reaches out to the infamous ‘murder-bot’ to hire her. With embedded technology so ubiquitous that lacking it is considered treasonous, Ravenhawk is perplexed confronting her first pure human. Together, they discover something even more terrible than the insidious corruption of the world governments by corporations.
 

I am ridiculously happy and excited to announce my first book since my Charlie passed is now properly attired with an awesome cover!
 
Ravenhawk will be available on October 24 this year in hardbound, softbound and ebook. More details on preorders soon!

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The Enemscywin Hydra (aka Killing What Vexes Me)

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So, when I get annoyed with something long enough, I tend to personify it in my writing and then do something to it. Usually kill it with morbid glee. As I finally got started on a sequel to Doom and the Warrior, after many years of writer’s block due to the loss of my husband, I was inspired by the annoyance of my work network and the operating system of my work computer. Those who recognize that network and operating system in this critters name will understand.

Alas, the scene that was very cathartic to write will not appear for…a while. I’ve several other books completed and in line to be published over a couple of years. Which is good, because it is still hard to write fantasy since my husband died so I need the buffer time to get this done right.

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Quit yer bitchin’ about Amazon’s taxes

You know, I have been thinking about the whole “OMG Amazon is paying zero taxes!!!11!!” in the news. How many other massive corporations pulling in billions of dollars (or whatever currency in their countries of operation is) are paying zero or next to nothing in taxes because the tax codes LET them do it?
 
Because come on. If you could, you would be doing everything you legally could to pay as little tax as possible, too…so it means that all these massively profitable corporations (and/or their shareholders or other assorted rich tax skippers) are legally getting out of their social obligations to participate in society and pay their shares.
And this is what we let our legislators put in place with the dream that one day, we, too, could pay zero taxes and have millions to swim around in like Scrooge McDuck.
 
Except most of us will never, ever get even as close as McDuck’s kiddie pool vault. But we imagine we just might. I remember my dad once saying “Well, the more I am paying in taxes, it means the more money I am making.”
Now he talks like everyone else like taxes are the evil scourge because that is how they convinced us to cheer when the mega-rich (people and corporations, since corporations are people, too) pay less and cannot connect how we are paying more. One way or another.
I mean, if I become the next Stephen King of J. K. Rowling of the book world, yes, I will likely take every advantage of minimizing my taxes. But I also intend to do what I can to put people to work by hiring them. By paying artists for their works. And yes, some charities will benefit, too. But actually investing in people where I can, because that will have more impact on the economy than charity.
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