Thursday, September 30, 2010

Keep Fear Alive II


Stephen Colbert is holding a March to Keep Fear Alive on Oct 30, 2010. I am supporting this by making motivational posters for everyone who chooses to live in fear rather than sanity.

This week’s poster is a rebuttal to the Rally to Restore Sanity Post on Worker Safety.

Rand Paul has said that Government Safety Regulations keep mining companies from hiring. This is absolutely true. Before there were safety regulations roughly 3,500 workers a year died in mining accidents.

In the 90s this number was down to an average of 2 deaths per year with it going up after 2000 under weak enforcement.

With 3,500 workers dieing every year those miners needed to be replaced with living breathing workers. So Rand Paul’s idea of getting rid of safety regulations will lead to 3,500 people being hired by the mining companies every year. It is thinking like this that will get our country able to compete in a 19th century economy.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Writing Wednesday: Delivery to the Devil

I was going to try and write something profound about writing today, but time got away from me so I'll post an excerpt from my novel, "The Pizza Diaries".



From THE PIZZA DIARIES

Delivery to the Devil

The Dark Priest walked onto the Alter and approached the pentagram shaped offering table. He stood above the motionless body strapped there and nodded to the four naked “Daughters of the Dark Lord” that stood in position by the other four points of the star.

The candles held by the Daughters lighted the body, a red candle in each of their right hands, a black candle in their left.

The Dark Priest smiled that the ritual was going as planned after the delays and started to perform the rites that he had memorized.

“Before the Almighty and ineffable God Satan/Lucifer and in the presence of all Demons of Hell, We ask Thee to accept our offering of this soul’s-“

His rite was interrupted by the sound of the doorbell.

“Who the hell is that?” He screamed to the gathered congregation.

“Sorry,” Bob stood up and addressed the Dark Priest, “I was put in charge of refreshments and my wife had to go out of town for her sister’s wedding, so I thought it would be easiest to order pizza.”

“You ordered pizza? To be delivered during our Black Sacrifice?” The Dark Priest asked.

“I thought we were going to start earlier,” Bob defended himself, “I figured Sacrifice, then Pizza, then the Blood Orgy.”

The Dark Priest sighed and was about to unleash his fury on Bob when the doorbell rang again. “Well go answer it. Get the pizzas so we can get on with it.”

As Bob left the basement the Dark Priest shook his head in disbelief.

“Well, he’s your son.” The lead Daughter of the Dark Lord told him.

“Why is it whenever he messes up, he is my son.” The Dark Priest replied, “But he’s your son when he does something right.”

“That’s how it works, Mike.” She smiled.

The Dark Priest knew better than to argue with her when she was naked, it just led to sex and he wanted to save that for the Blood Orgy.

“Well while we are waiting,” The Dark Priest changed the subject and addressed the congregation, “How many of you will be coming to the Pot Luck dinner next Thursday?”

As he was tallying up the show of hands, Bob came back into the basement.

“Ah we can resume.” The Dark Priest said.

“Um, sorry. He won’t take a check.” Bob told him.

The Dark Priest sighed, “Did you tell him we are a church?”

“Yeah, But the checks don’t say that.” Bob informed him, “They just say C.O.D.L.”

“I had asked that the checks proudly say ‘Church of Satan’ in bold red lettering with blood dripping off the letters.” The Dark Priest howled.

“There was a problem with that.” Phil, the church’s accountant stood up, “The Church of Satan is copyrighted. I tried to change it to ‘Church of the Dark Lord’ but the bank confused my A with an I and my R with a C and I didn’t think ‘Church of the Dick Lord” had the same authority you were looking for. So I had them just use the initials.”

“Ok everyone pony up some cash so we can get on with it.” The Dark Priest tried to salvage the situation.

The Daughters of the Dark Lord looked over their naked bodies.

“I left my money in my clothes.” The Lead Daughter said.

“I’ll take care of your share. Linda.” The Dark Priest sighed and pulled out his wallet, “Everyone add a little more to make up for the ladies if you want to get on with the Orgy.”

“Here everyone put the money in this.” Phil grabbed a bowl.

“You want us to pass out a collection plate for the pizza?” The Dark Priest was astonished.

“Sure it seems the simplest way.” Phil said, “What’s wrong?”

“We are The Church of Satan!” The Dark Priest screamed, “We don’t pass out the collection plate!”

“Well what do you suggest?” Phil asked.

“Fine,” The Dark Priest shook his head and pulled his wallet out of the pocket of his jeans that he was wearing under his robes, “Here’s $10 bucks for me and Linda. How much is it?”

“$106 plus tip.” Bob told him.

“How many pizzas did you order?” The Dark Priest asked.

“15, I figured everyone would be a little hungry after the orgy so I wanted to make sure we had enough.” Bob said.

“He’s got a point,” Linda said, “I know I get the munchies big time after the Orgies.”

“Ok, Everyone except the Daughters of the Dark Lord put in $10 and that should cover the pizzas and a nice tip and we can get on with it.” The Dark Priest commanded.

After the collection plate was passed around Phil counted up the money. “Hey, who didn’t put in? Evil Bastard, I mean um, Bastard.”

“I’ll cover it.” The Dark Priest pulled out another ten-dollar bill, “Let’s just get on with it.”

While everyone was busy with getting the money for the pizzas, their eyes were off the motionless body sprawled naked on the offering table. His fingers slowly started to move, followed by his hands and feet.

When everyone’s eyes were concentrated on Bob taking the money up to the front door, the sacrifice leaped off the offering table and crashed into the folding chairs/pews. As everyone was too stunned to move, he ran to the back exit of the basement and was out the door before the shocked group could react.

“Oh Great.” The Dark Priest held up his hands, “Now how are we going hold our sacrifice?”

“We could move straight on to the Orgy.” Linda suggested.

“That’s your solution to everything isn’t it?” The Dark Priest screamed at his wife, “Move straight to the Orgy. Nothing on TV, I suggest a game of cards, you say, ‘hey why not have an Orgy.’ I mention we have bald patches in our lawn and want to pick up some fertilizer, you say, ‘Let’s have an Orgy to make the Dark Lord fix it.’

“You know I’m beginning to think you’re not truly in this to give your soul to Satan. I think you just do it for the Orgies.”

“Well maybe if you gave me some outside the Orgies, I wouldn’t be thinking about them all the time.” Linda shot back.

“Guys, I hate to interrupt.” Phil said, “But the pizza boy is right upstairs and you’re yelling loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear about giving Orgies for the Dark Lord.”

“I don’t care what the Pizza boy…” The Dark Priest suddenly came up with a devious plan, “Actually, I think I know where we can get a new sacrifice.

“Phil, Have the Pizza Boy bring the Pizzas down here.

“Ralph, do you still have any of your paralyzing potion left?”

“Sure.” Ralph said.

“And can you make sure it works this time?” The Dark Priest said condescendingly.

“It worked last time,” Ralph defended himself, “I didn’t realize we would be running so late or I would have given him a bigger dose.”

“Great we can use the Pizza Guy for the ritual.” The Dark Priest grinned.

“How do we know he’s a virgin?” One of the Daughters of the Dark Lord asked.

“The last guy wasn’t.” Linda said then blushed, “I mean I, um, didn’t, um, think to ask. That’s what I meant, I forgot to ask.”

The Dark Priest glared at his wife then walked over to the entrance of the basement/church, past Bob who was holding a warming bag filled with pizzas, to greet the Delivery Driver. “Greetings, I’m glad you came. These little gatherings make us mighty hungry.”

Brian stopped dead in his tracks as he looked over his two warming bags that each held five pizzas each to see the four Daughters of the Dark Lord standing naked on the Alter looking him over.

“I-I-I” Was all he could say.

“Oh that’s my wife Linda and her um, friends.” The Dark Priest told him, “Linda why don’t you and the girls come down here and help…um…”

“Brian.” He managed to spit out as the four naked ladies approached him.

“…Brian with the pizzas.”

Two of the naked ladies relieved Brian of the pizza bags leaving Linda standing in front of him letting her eyes look him over.

“Glad to meet you, Brian.” She told him.

“You’re welcome, same here.” Brian managed to say.

“Her eyes are a little higher.” The Dark Priest said, snapping him out of his trance.

“It’s OK.” Linda laughed as Brian looked her in the eye, “I get that a lot.”

“Now Brian, I know you guys pretty much live off your tips.” The Dark Priest said to him.

“Uh hum.” Brian’s eyes started involuntarily started drifting downward.

“So If I had a way for you to make a quick twenty on top of the tip we already gave you, would you be interested?” The Dark Priest asked pulling a twenty-dollar bill out of his wallet.

“It depends what I’d have to do.” Brian said looking the Dark Priest in the eye for the first time.

“Well you see, our church here is doing a little production number next month and we are doing our first tech rehearsal…but unfortunately one of our actors was sick and we need someone to fill in his spot for the night.

“It’s just a minor spot where he plays dead and the Daughters of… I mean the girls, frolic around him. It’s critical we get the frolicking right; I mean we’d hate to have one of the girls accidentally trip and fall on top of our dead guy when we do this in front of a live audience.”

“Can’t have that.” Brian agreed, “And those four ladies will be doing the frolicking?”

“Why yes.” The Dark Priest grinned, “We really need to get Linda to get her frolicking down, She’s sweet but a little clumsy, She keeps falling face first on top the dead guy.”

“Can I keep my clothes on?” Brian asked.

“Well the part is supposed to be played naked.” The Dark Priest paused to see Brian’s reaction, when he didn’t say anything the Dark Priest continued, “But since this is only the Tech Rehearsal we can make an exception.”

“OK.” Brian said, “But I’ve only got a few minutes.”

“That’s all it will take.” The Dark Priest grinned, “Now I’ll have Linda and the girls show you your spot and Ralph, he’s the director, will show you how you need to lay.”

Brian let Linda take his arm and lead him over to the offering table. She stood beside him grinning down on him as the other girls took their places.

Ralph came over and told him to put his arms at his sides and relax. He took the opportunity to look over the naked girls that surrounded him.

As he looked back at Linda, he saw a glint of light in the corner of her eye, he looked up to see Ralph holding a syringe getting ready to stab him in the neck.

Brian jumped off the offering table and slammed into one of the naked Daughters of the Dark Lord, knocking her over and landing on top of her.

“Sorry Ma’am.” He told her.

“Don’t go.” She said as he struggled to get back on his feet.

Once he was back on his feet, he dashed over to the Dark Priest and snatched the twenty out of his hand. He grabbed the three warming bags from the table and was out the back door before anyone could stop him.

“I told you to get that lock fixed!” Linda screamed at her husband.

“No time for that now,” The Dark Priest Commanded, “Quick everyone to the Astro-Van of Evil.”

By the time Satan’s Minions got outside to their cars, Brian had already started his Sentra and was turning around in their driveway.

“Don’t let him escape.” The Dark Priest yelled as he got in the Astro-Van.

As the Priest of the Dark Lord fumbled for his keys, Linda and the Daughters of the Dark Lord got in the minivan with him.

Bob and Ralph tried to get in but there was no room.

“I’ve got the leftover items from our yard sale in here.” Linda explained, “I’ve been meaning to take them to the Salvation Army.”

“That was three weeks ago.” The Dark Priest exclaimed as he started up the mighty 2.4-liter engine. “Never mind, we’ll handle him ourselves.”

The Dark Priest put the van in drive and floored it, making the rear tires of the minivan let out a squeak as they nearly broke traction.

As Brian got out onto the main road, he saw that they were following him and realized he had a problem, the little 1.6 liter in his Sentra was no match for the minivan as far as pure speed. He knew he needed to come up with something quick, and then he saw the sign for Bristol Road. Out of habit, he hit his turn signal before taking the right hand turn. He barreled down the narrow road at over 35 miles per hour, and saw the minivan closing on him. The minivan was just a few feet from his rear bumper when he saw what he needed to lose them. The road had a sharp 90-degree turn that popped up with no warning. In his first month as a delivery driver he had nearly gone off the road the first few times he delivered out here. He hit his brakes and just made the sudden turn. The minivan came within a few inches of his bumper as he turned. He watched in his back mirror as the minivan continued to go straight, flying off the road that turned with no warning.

“Is everyone OK?” The Dark Priest asked after the minivan came to an abrupt halt in the swamp beyond the road.

After everyone replied that they were ok, Linda said, “You know if we told the victim before hand that we need them to sacrifice their virginity to me and the Daughters of the Dark Lord. And that we’d let them go after they had sex with the four of us, they might not run away.”

“That’s not part of the ritual, they have to give us their virginity involuntarily.” The Dark Priest said, “On to more pressing matters, does anyone have a cell phone on them so we can call a tow truck?”

“Does it look like any of us have a cell phone?” Linda said looking down at her naked body.


Back at the Pizza Joint Brian told Bernie, the night-shift manager, what had happened.

“So do you think they were going to kill you?” Bernie asked.

“I got that impression.” Brian told him.

“Well I’ll show them.” Bernie was furious, “No one tries to kill my drivers and gets away with it.”

Bernie pulled up the account for the phone number that had placed the order and furiously typed in the notes. “Carry-Out Only.”

“They’ll regret this night next time they don’t feel like cooking.”

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Temper Tantrum Tuesday: Economic Reality


George W Bush once commented, “We make our own reality!”

Well I just read this article over at Tax.com that examined how that reality played out.

If you cherry-pick the numbers going through 2003 to 2007 the “best” years of the Bush Administration you find out that Bush’s tax policy cost the government $951 Billion and average incomes dropped $3,512. That is ignoring the worst years of the Bush Administration.

I’m not posting this just to beat up on George W Bush, I think everyone can agree that his stewardship over the economy was a disaster. I’m post this because GOP’s “Plague on America” promises the same policies that led to the “best” years costing the government billions and making average incomes drop by thousands of dollars.

I totally understand the frustration that people are feeling by the fact that this country is effectively being run by a hand full of Blue Dog Democrats who are basically the diet version of Republicans. I understand how people would want the government to go one way or another and stop with the half measures that these Blue Dogs have made sure are the only things that can get through the congress. But the Republican answer of doing the same thing that made the “best” years of the last administration be down right horrible is not the answer.

My congressman Ben Chandler used to be a decent slightly conservative democrat who shifted after the last election to be a full fledged Blue Dog Democrat. I would do almost anything to get rid of him, anything but vote for someone who promises to return us to the “best” years of the Bush Administration.

A decent Eisenhower Republican could sweep him out of office in a second, but instead I’m left with the choice of one candidate that will pursue half measures that guarantee that the economy will only slowly improve and take a decade to recover from the Great Recession or a candidate that will pursue bad economic policies that guarantee that, at best, average wages will continue to drop and the Federal Government will have to make huge cuts in services over the next decade.

I guess I have to look at the graph above to make my choice.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Monday, September 27, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity II


This is the second motivational poster to help those of you that support Jon Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity march on Oct 30.

If you prefer that disagreements are handled using your indoor voice.

If you think facts are helpful things to have BEFORE taking action.

If you think costumes are better for Halloween than Political Rallies.

Then this rally is for you.

The above motivational poster is for you.

Only two generations ago it wasn’t uncommon in industrial towns to see several armless men walking around the streets. That’s because there were few regulations on worker safety. So industrial accidents were commonplace and a few workers every year would lose an arm to the machinery. Companies would take out insurance on this and it was considered part of the cost of doing business.

Three generations ago those workers wouldn’t even be insured by the companies as working in a factory was considered an assumed risk and the worker was considered at fault for any industrial accidents.

Before the civil war the only recourse to unsafe work practices was if you were Irish you could contact the Molly Maguires and if a supervisor continually tried to have workers go into unsafe work conditions, the Mollies would kill that supervisor.

Most sane people agree that having safety engineers devise ways of reducing accidents so that workers can keep their limbs is a better business practice than having to kill your supervisor if the conditions are too unsafe.

Like always the rebuttal for this will be posted on Thursday in my “Keep Fear Alive” post.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Shut up Stupid Sunday: Whiny Rich People


1% of the population in this country make roughly 25% of the income, now they are hitting the MSM protesting that raising their taxes 3% is horrible because they already generate 23.5% of the tax revenue.

They feel it is totally unfair for someone making over a million dollars a year to be taxed at nearly the percentage as someone making $90,000. 39% for the top 1% in the proposed tax plan vs. 25% federal + 13% Social Security + 1.5% Medicaid/Medicare = 39.5%

I was planning picking on the comments some of them have made like how it costs more to be rich because their jet uses more fuel than my Sentra and having to maintain several homes is so damn costly, but I think readers of this blog can see the stupidity in those statements for themselves.

A lot of what I was planning to cover in this post was covered here:
The End is Always Near: Killing the Golden Goose.
It’s a really good, if a little long, post on why the current income inequity in America is so bad for the nation.

Instead of just paraphrasing that post I’ll just wrap up by saying to the top 1% of the population that makes 25% of the income and moans about having to pay an additional 3% on their taxes, “Shut up Stupid, That rate is the same it was in the 90s and less than what someone making $90,000 a year pays.”


By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Silliness: Just Funny, No Message



Enjoy!

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fantastic Future Friday: Icy Worlds


So far in my Fantastic Future series I’ve written about terraforming the inner solar system. It is a nice start to expanding human civilization, but the inner solar system really only gives us (if we terraform Mercury, Venus, and Mars) a little more than one and a half extra Earths. If we distributed the Earths population across the inner solar system it would still be as crowded as pre-World War Two Earth. In order to really expand we need to look at the outer solar system.

The gas giants themselves can’t be colonized or terraformed but they all have complex systems of moons. Jupiter has Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto which all would be considered at least dwarf planets if they were in there own orbit, Ganymede is 8% larger than Mercury.

Unfortunately it is a bit chilly out there, -261.67 ° Fahrenheit and these worlds are within Jupiter’s magnetosphere making the surface have high radiation.

The advantage of these worlds is the gas giants have nearly unlimited amount of energy that can be gathered from the upper atmosphere in the form of Helium 3 for use in fusion reactors.

Using that unlimited energy instead of trying to live on the surface colonists could burrow down about a mile under the ice and set up tubes in the underground oceans of these worlds.

Here on Earth the pressure at a depth of one mile would crush anything we could make, but on these worlds the gravity is one-sixth of what is on Earth so the pressure would be considerably less.

Even if it turns out the pressure at that depth is too great, the unlimited amount of energy supplied by Helium 3 fusion reactors could warm up the oceans until the ice layer was thin enough to place a habitat that wasn’t under that much pressure, but still thick enough to keep the water from being exposed to the vacuum of space.

By expanding human civilization to the outer solar system we could easily have the equivalent of 11 to 12 Earths. That is enough room for every human to spread out and never have to worry about scarcity again.

And that will lead to a Fantastic Future.


By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Keep Fear Alive


The Rev. Sir Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A. will be holding a March to Keep Fear Alive on October 30, 2010. On his website for this event he gives the following reason:

America, the Greatest Country God ever gave Man, was built on three bedrock principles: Freedom. Liberty. And Fear -- that someone might take our Freedom and Liberty. But now, there are dark, optimistic forces trying to take away our Fear

Source: Keep Fear Alive

And don’t forget Reason is just one letter away from Treason.

Is this march for you? Take this quiz to find out:

Are you afraid of Muslims, Gays, Atheists, and anyone else that is not just like you?

Do you believe Communism, Fascism, and Socialism are all the same thing?

Would you give up your basic freedoms to keep the boogeyman from selling yellow cake uranium to unwed teenage mothers?

Does the first person to draw a Hitler mustache on a poster of their opponent win the argument?


If you answered yes to these questions then this rally is for you.

Just so you don’t feel left out I’ve created a motivational poster to counter the motivational poster for sane people that I made in my Restoring Sanity post.

Here is the rebuttal to that piece about roads:

Rand Paul is running for Senate in order to abolish the Department of Transportation, he is a true patriot who will stand up against this Nazi organization.

The first world leader to establish a national highway system was Adolph Hitler. The US Highway System was set up by a President who spent several years in Europe while Hitler was in power, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Therefore the Department of Transportation is an organization to turn the US into a Nazi nation.

President Obama says he was born in 1961, this is conveniently the same year Eisenhower was President. Obama wants to repair and expand the US Highway System.

It is clear to anyone who goes out of their way to find things to be frightened of that idea of a US Highway System is a Nazi program, started by Hitler passed to Eisenhower and now commanded by Obama.

Luckily we have Rand Paul speaking out against this Nazi program designed to take away our freedoms by giving us a safe and convenient way to travel from one city to another.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Writing Wednesday: The Corvette Scene


In the latest Star Trek movie there was the scene of young Kirk taking a Corvette and racing off the edge of one of the famous canyons of Iowa. To me, and many others this made absolutely no sense and did nothing to further the movie or Kirk’s character development. Who would have expected such a nonsense scene from the producer of CLOVERFIELD and the writers of TRANSFORMERS? Okay I guess I should have seen that coming.

To make it worse in order to make time for that scene they had to cut the scene where Nero was held captive by the Klingons for 23 years, making his absence for that time and why he was now totally insane make sense.

Luckily, books don’t have quite the need to cut one scene for another, if you are shooting for between 65,000 words and 120,000 you have some leeway as to what stuff to keep in. However the temptation to put in the Corvette Scene, the chapter or plot tread that you love but no one else in the world gets, is hard to overcome.

My big weakness is wanting the plot to do something artistic, like end at the same place it started and sacrifice the story telling for that. In The Pizza Diaries I wrote 7,500 words to make it do that and it made it begin and end at the worst time for the story. I later wrote 700 words that did the same thing in a cool way that helps rather than hinders the story.

Unfortunately it is really tough to spot the Corvette Scenes in your own writing, but I’ve been trying to go back through my work and look at all the scenes that I really feel passionate about and ask myself “Does this advance the story? Is there a better, more concise way to convey the scene? How much would the book suck if this was taken out?”

It’s tough parting with a scene you love, but sometimes the scene you love is keeping your work from being a book you absolutely love.

The new shorter opening:

I felt the new beginning little scene that replaced the 7,500 words I had before was good enough to enter into “Guide to Literary Agents” contest where you can submit the first 200 words of your novel and the winner gets a critique of the first 10 pages of your novel.

Here was my entry:

Brian was a little taken back by the note that the customer handed him. The customer was female but he couldn’t make out much else as she was wearing a wide brimmed leather hat pulled down to almost touch her dark sunglasses. She was several inches shorter than Brian so the hat hid her face from his view. She had the collar of her heavy leather jacket pulled up hiding her jaw. Brian thought that odd, as it was a warm summer night. But she had given him a dollar tip just for handing the pizza to her so he opened her note gladly.

He always ignored notes that women gave him, but he was still flattered by them. The mysterious woman who handed him the note was somehow different even though he couldn’t see what she looked like he thought it might be worth following up.

He opened the note expecting a name and a phone number but instead there were two sentences written in a male’s handwriting. “Believe in yourself. Don’t trust Dr. Hyams.”

That left him confused, he didn’t know a Dr. Hyams. He looked closer at the note and recognized the handwriting; it was his.


By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Temper Tantrum Tuesday: Green Jobs


The New York Times is reporting that the Senate’s inaction on the climate change bill has cost the US roughly 2 million jobs. Clean Energy Trade Dispute

The reason the GOP Senators give for denying 2 million Americans jobs is that adding 2 million jobs will cost jobs. I think those Senators missed the episode of Sesame Street where they covered Adding and Subtracting.

Here is a message to GOP Senators, when you add 2 million jobs it is called gaining jobs not losing them.

The money is available for investing in clean energy and it will go to the countries that offer incentives to invest in it. Since it is an infant industry as it grows up it will generate far more money than is put into research, which will be taxed, lowering the deficit. Clean energy needs to be produced locally freeing us from dependence on imports from terrorist sponsoring countries making our country safer.

Even if you do not agree with the 97% of scientists who say that man-made climate change is real the Climate Change bill is good for our country so learn the difference between gaining and losing and vote for the damn bill.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Monday, September 20, 2010

Rally to Restore Sanity


The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart is going to holding a Rally to Restore Sanity on Oct. 30, 2010 in Washington D.C. This rally is for the people he calls the busy majority, the 70% of Americans who would like national policy to be set by people who know about the issues at hand instead of whoever can yell the loudest.

Are you one of these people? Here is a simple quiz.

Have you ever disagreed with someone and didn’t call them Hitler?

Do you believe that roads, libraries, water and sewer lines, parks, street lights, and the internet are nice things to have around and aren’t a form of slavery?

Do you think that what your neighbors do in their bedroom, where you can’t see it, doesn’t inflict on your freedoms?

If you answered yes to these questions then you are a sane person and this rally is for you.

Knowing that the busy majority is well, busy, I am offering my support to Team Stewart by starting a weekly series of motivational posters for those people who agree with the cause of bringing sanity back into the discussion of national issues.

To start it off I’ll focus on a controversial issue between the sane people and the lunatics that get a lot of airtime: Roads.

A lot of sane people like roads and use them to go back and forth to work and when they are running errands. These sane people think that while we have a lot of unemployed people in the nation it is a good time to repair them after they have been ignored for so long.

If you agree with that I’ve made a motivational poster for you.

If you disagree I’ll be posting a motivational poster against the idea on Thursday as part of my support for Team Colbert’s “Keeping Fear Alive” Rally.

Update: I have posted a rebuttal to this sanity, with a motivational poster on my Keep Fear Alive post.


By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Shut-up Stupid Sunday: Bill Maher

Summing up the Teabagger world view

The Teabaggers are celebrating the fact that Christine O'Donnell, famous for being in favor of banning masturbation and believing that Joe Biden is listening in on her conversations, beat the one of the most intelligent and sanest members of the Republican Party, Mike Castle.

Christine O’Donnell’s rise to fame was brought about by the Mainstream Media’s approach to “journalism” which is to rip off Bill Maher and pretend its news.

In 1993 Bill Maher launched a talk show “Politically Incorrect” which put the most extreme (crazy) people in politics together with actors and comedians and had them talk about craziness. It was a funny show as he and the other comedians poked fun at the crazies. He went on to turn it into “Real Time with Bill Maher” after people were offended by comments made by conservative pundit Dinesh D'Souza and the show was canceled.

“Politically Incorrect” was and the new show is funny, but it’s not meant to be taken too seriously. It’s a comedy show.

Unfortunately, the MSM has decided to rip off Bill Maher’s idea of having the most out there nutjobs be guests on the news shows, they just got rid of the comedians that made it funny so that seems like wacko ideas are actual news.

Meet the Wackos:

Some of these Wackos are constantly being reported on when there is no reason what so ever to care what they think.

Newt Gingrich – The disgraced former leader of the house. He had to resign after a series of political scandals forced him to resign or lose his election for the most conservative district in Georgia. If he is too far right for them why should the rest of America care what he has to say.

Sarah Palin – Former half term governor of the fourth least popular state in the union, currently a Facebook and twitter user. Her popularity hovers around 12%. Famous for threatening to sue bloggers that post unflattering things about her and then running for the hills when they challenge her to go forward. While she doesn’t actually do interviews on cable programs, because her exact words will be used and placed in proper context making her look like an idiot, her ghost-written tweets and Facebook postings are reported like they were spoken from someone that people should give a shit about.

Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Laura Ingram ect. – These are conservative airheads that just go around insulting people and it is reported as news. They all rose to national fame by appearing on Bill Maher’s show for comedians to make fun of. They and the cable news networks didn’t realize it was a joke and now are treated like there opinions mean something.

Finally, Christine O'Donnell – She came to national attention by appearing on Bill Maher’s show and MTV to talk about her wacko views that masturbation is adultery that should be banned and her experiences in dating witches. That made cable news programs think she was a good person to interview.

Which brings me to Bill Maher.

Bill, I think you’re a great comedian and commentator on current events, but in making a show that has the wackiest people out there have a place to have their ideas laughed at you started a trend that cable news networks who weren’t in on the joke took seriously. Although I loved your show and think you’re a great guy, I must say, “Shut-up Stupid, You’ve gave birth to a monster that the MSM has nurtured and used to lower the intelligence level of the national discourse.”

Announcement:
If you are a fan of my Shut-Up Stupid Series you will love the new feature that I am starting on Thursday September 23, 2010.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Saturday Silliness with a big announcement

Whenever I feel that life is being mean to me, I can always turn to this little clip and it brightens up my day.



Enjoy!

I would like to use this post to announce that I will be starting a new feature here on Project Savior on Monday September, 20 2010. If you are the type of person that enjoyed the above clip you will love this new feature.

See you then.


By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Thursday, September 16, 2010

400th Post


Another milestone, I’ve written 400 posts. My posts tend to be fairly long by blog standards, over 1,000 words compared to the 500 word average so using a fairly conservative estimate I’d say this blog has over half a million words.

Stephen King commented that the first million words are the hardest for a writer. If I were to add up the half million words from this blog and the over half million words I’ve written in novels and short stories I’ve surpassed that number in the past two and a half years.

Overall it has been a blast doing this blog, I started it with two major goals. First I wanted to improve my writing and the best way to do that is to write (there’s a surprise) by writing several thousand words a week here I can tell it has helped me do that. The second goal was to help me keep my sanity, it’s debatable whether it did that but at least it gave me a safe outlet for my craziness so that it’s not unleashed onto the unsuspecting public.

The one thing that did sort of surprise me is that I have been slowly but surely building an audience. All the advice I’ve read on building an audience for a blog is to keep a narrow focus. I have no focus so I tried to minimize the shock of topic switching by tackling specific topics on specific days but even doing that I don’t tend to stay very focused.

One thing I would like to say about reaching the 400 milestone is that unfortunately a lot of the blogs I’ve been reading are shutting down because blogging is a lot of work with little tangible payoff. No monetary reward unless you gear your blog as a business endeavor and then it is actual work. As far a publicity even a moderately successful blog won’t help establish your name out of the millions of blogs that are out there. I’d like to say that I’m not going anywhere, I’m shooting for reaching 1,000 posts in the next two and a half years.

So to everyone I’d like to say thanks for sticking with me for the last 399 posts.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Writing Wednesday: The Bad Guy


Every once in awhile I come up with an idea for a story that I know is completely unmarketable, yet I have to write it up anyway.

I wrote THE ADJUSTER a couple of years ago when a friend of mine was working on a similar story over at the old TIBU website. He went a completely different way with his so I grabbed his idea of having all citizens having carbon rations. I thought of how I could make the ultimate Bad Guy using his idea.

As I wrote this story I realized it was completely unmarketable as any editor would look at it as a story that just preached of the dangers of Global Warming something I’m sure they have seen a lot of over the past 30 years. Unfortunately I couldn’t build my bad guy without him being preachy, so I figured I’d just tuck this story away and use this bad guy in a novel I’ve got outlined.

I figured since this story is unmarketable I’d share it here.

*****

The Adjuster
By Darrell B. Nelson

Maria walked down the street wearing a large hat to keep the sun off, the thinnest tank top she owned, and short-shorts. A year ago she would have been to embarrassed to leave the house in clothing this skimpy, but a lot had changed in the past year. Last year she would drive her car with the air conditioner cranked to avoid the heat.

The heat made her feet swell up and each step was painful. Amazingly for all the shoes she had in her closet, before she got rid of most of them, she didn’t have a single pair of sandals. All her shoes made her feet hurt when the temperature got above 90.

She had mixed feelings about going the remaining 5 blocks back to her apartment, she would be able to put her feet up which would be nice, but the apartment wouldn’t be much cooler than the street.

She made a decision, she headed into the nearest store. She would use their air conditioning to cool herself down before walking the remaining 5 blocks to her apartment.

As she walked through the door she basked in the cool breeze coming from the store’s air conditioner. She took a deep breath and noticed the welcoming, familiar odor. It was the smell of leather and suede. She looked around in horror, she had accidentally entered the worst place on Earth, she was in a shoe store.

“I’m a stronger person now.” She told herself not wanting to face the heat on the street, “I can look without buying.”

She pretended to look at the shoes that last year she would have picked up without a second thought and was proud of herself that she was able to resist trying any of them on. She had almost cooled down to the point where she could brave the heat and head back home. Then a pair of boots grabbed her attention and she could only stare at them. They were the loveliest pair of boots she had ever seen.

“Those will look lovely on you.” The clerk noticed her staring at the boots.

“I’m just looking.” She replied.

“OK, but while you’re here why don’t you try them on?” The clerk asked, taking them off the shelf. “Just sitting on the shelve doesn’t do them justice, as they were designed to be worn by a beautiful girl like yourself.”

“No.” She said, even though she wanted to try them on, see how they looked on her in the mirror and do a test walk just like she did in her old life, last year.

“I was really just coming in here to get out of the heat.” She broke down, for the past year she never let it show the struggle she was going through. She always remembered her daddy’s advise, “Never show weakness.” But here in the place she used to go for comfort her defenses broke down.

“If it’s the heat that bothers you, you’ll love this new material that these boots use for liner.” The clerk told her, “Not only does it conform perfectly to your feet the first time you wear them, they have a special heat regulating property that will transfer the heat away from your feet so they will always be cool.”

“I,I… I’m on Carbon Credit probation.” Maria was almost in tears, she hadn’t told even her closest friends about how she had overspent her carbons, but for some reason blurted it out to a complete stranger.

“I am so sorry,” The clerk said, “It’s not that uncommon though.”

“It’s not?” For the past year Maria had lived in silence about her terrible secret, afraid everyone would judge her for not being a responsible citizen of the planet.

“No, I have a friend that runs a tree planting company, he is always taking on clients that are on carbon probation or close to running out.” The clerk smiled at her, “He’s helped lots of people in your shoes, so to speak.”

“You can earn carbons for planting trees?” Maria asked, “I thought only large corporations could do that.”

“Oh my god.” The clerk gasped, “You tried to live through carbon probation by saving? How did you even manage? I mean I’m pretty tight with my credits but I still have to buy a day or two a month tree planting or working at the algae farms. I can’t imagine living on half that.”

“Two-Thirds.” Maria corrected him, “At my appeal it was raised to Two-Thirds the normal allowance.”

“Still, I’d never be able to do that.” The clerk admitted. “You must have phenomenal will-power.”

“It wasn’t easy,” Maria opened up to the first person ever about her ordeal, “I had been cutting back for awhile, going around only using lights when absolutely necessary, limiting myself to one hour of media a day. But what killed me was the air conditioner in my apartment.

“I grew up in my parents ultra-efficient home, it actually generated carbons every month. So when I moved out I didn’t even think about it. I signed a three-year lease on a pre-carbon law apartment. It was the cutest place, and money-wise it was a great deal. It was only after I moved in that I found out it was a carbon hog. The air conditioner alone used up most of my carbons.

“My daddy helped me out for awhile, he’d use his carbons to get me things I needed, but after helping me for 6 months straight he cut me off. He said I needed to learn how to live on my carbon rations. I tried, I really, really, tried but I couldn’t make them last the entire month and one month I over-spent, that got me put on probation.” Maria couldn’t help but start to cry in front of the complete stranger.

“How terrible for you,” The clerk sympathized, “And you never knew there were carbon jobs available for a price?”

“No, I just cut back more,” Maria fought back her tears, “When I was put on probation I stopped using my media center, I turned off the air conditioner and water heater. Turning off the water heater helped with not having air conditioning as even on hot days the 60 degree shower would cool me down.”

“I’ll bet.” The clerk agreed.

“I sold my car and used my bike to go down to the library and fell in love with books. But the real hard part was I had to avoid places like this as I could easily burn through a months worth of credits in a day. No offense.”

“None taken.” The clerk said, “I’m amazed at your spirit, I’ve met a lot of people struggling with the carbon rations that the Adjuster gives us. Yet I’ve never met anyone who was willing to sacrifice everything just to prove she could do it on her own.

“Everyone needs help now and again, I’m surprised you didn’t take on a roommate to help share the cost of the carbons.”

“I didn’t want anyone to know I couldn’t handle it.” Maria couldn’t hold back the tears any longer, “I didn’t want them to think I was a loser.”

“Nonsense, you’re not a loser.” The clerk handed her a tissue to dry her eyes, “Everyone needs help now and again. I’m going to call my friend right now and see if he can get you in.

“I don’t mean to be blunt, I know you have no carbons but do you have any cash? My friend charges $50 a day to work at tree planting.”

“Money is not a problem, carbons are.” Maria told him.

“Good news,” The clerk said when Maria got back from the bathroom where she dried her eyes, “My friend can get you in this weekend. You’ll earn 50 carbon credits for 8 hours work. If you do a good job he’ll keep you on.”

“I don’t know how to repay you.” Maria was overwhelmed by the kindness of the stranger.

“I think I know of something that will help both of us out.” The clerk smiled, “Remember those boots you were looking at?”

“They had a 250 carbon credit price tag, there is no way I could afford that.” Maria said.

“200 of that is just the material they use so that fat rich ladies can brag about how many carbons their husbands earn. I hate them, coming in here like they own the world.” The clerk spat out then got a said in a conspiratorial whisper , “I’ve got a knock-off pair that has the same lining, looks almost identical, but is 98% recyclable.

“They only cost 50 carbons and they are just as good as the name brand.” The clerk told her, “I’ve been saving them for just the right person, who has both the beauty to show them off properly and has the mental attitude to show them off like they deserve.”

“Only 50 carbons?” Maria quickly did some mental calculations. Her fugal ways had given her a savings of 60 carbons, and she had paid all her bills for the month. Having a 10-carbon cushion wasn’t something she was comfortable with but since the clerk was so nice and had given her a way to earn the credits back this weekend, she decided she would not use anything that that required carbons for the rest of the week. “I’d like to try them on first.”

Maria loved her new boots; the walk home felt more like a foot massage than a walk. Plus, she knew getting the coveted position tree planting would help her get back on her feet. She had a huge smile on her face the whole walk home as things were finally looking up for her. After her nine months of living hell she was finally seeing light at the end of the tunnel.

Her smile turned to a look of horror as she entered her apartment and saw the broken window.

Her things were thrown everywhere; she knew she had been robbed. She didn’t care that the thief took her entertainment center, as she hadn’t used it in months. What horrified her was the thief had gone through her personal private items.

She was staring in horror at the contents of her underwear drawer thrown all over the floor when she noticed the ominous sound. The thief had turned on her Air Conditioner to be comfortable as he violated her things.

She looked around in horror; every light in the apartment was on. The thief wasn’t content just to steal her stuff and violate her property; he had to burn up her Carbon Credits like they were going out of style.

Before she could even make a move to turn anything off, all the power in the apartment died. She knew exactly what that meant. Her Carbon Credits were over the limit.

When the men from the Adjuster’s office came to pick her up they found her naked on the floor of her dark apartment. She was almost passed out from the cheap liquor that she had given $1,000 to a stranger for. In front of her were the remains of her new boots, that she had spent the night taking her anger out on.

“It’s not fair!” She said over and over again as they gently escorted her out of her apartment, “I really, really tried.”

#

The Adjuster entered his office, he didn’t need to turn on any lights as the entire building was lit by carefully placed light-tubes, that directed the natural sunlight into key areas. He took a deep breath and enjoyed the fresh air that the plants on the living wall provided.

The entire building was a great feat of Eco-Engineering; everything was designed to work with the environment. Every piece of furniture, every scrap of carpet, even the paint on the walls were all made from recycled material, and were all planned to be recycled again.

The building was so efficient that it actually generated Carbon Credits, which were returned to the people. The entire department was asked to bear a larger burden than what was asked of the people.

He had just settled into his chair made of recycled material and began looking over the day’s work when his secretary buzzed him on the intercom. “The President is here to see you.”

“It’s election season again, isn’t it?” The Adjuster asked rhetorically, “Send him in, I’ve got a few minutes to spare.”

“I’ll cut right to the point,” The President told him after the formalities were out of the way, “You know who Franklin Abagnale is, right?”

“If I’m not mistaken, he’s now the third richest man in the country. He was the richest but the co-founders of Ecohappy Solutions beat him out two years ago. I’m not sure if some of the other Ecopreneurs have over taken him or not.”

“Um, yes his business his falling, but he still has a lot power,” The President said, “But I’m not here to talk about his business, I’m here because his daughter over extended her credits while on Carbon Credit Probation.”

“And you want me to pardon her?” The Adjuster asked.

“Yes, He is still a powerful man that can make life unpleasant for you.” The President said.

The Adjuster looked at the President with a thoughtful expression.

“I do know what he is going through, I’m a father myself.” He pointed to the picture of him holding his twin daughters that had been on his desk for the last 23 years. “When people come into this office they often ask me about that picture, why I would keep the picture of my daughters when they were newborns on my desk, even though they’ve grown up to be young ladies now, and my answer is always the same.

“The picture isn’t there just to celebrate their birth, it’s there to remind me of the exact moment when I devoted my life to saving the world.

“Every time I look at that picture it sends me back to the first time I held my fragile little babies in my arms. They looked up at me with an absolute trust that I would make a good life for them.

“When I looked down at them I vowed that I would turn back the damage that mankind had done to the planet after over 200 years of pumping CO2 into the atmosphere with reckless abandon. I couldn’t have them living in a devastated world where several times every decade millions of people starved to death from massive droughts as the weather systems tried to adjust to the new warmer temperatures. A world where even the richest countries spent a large portion of their wealth trying to keep their coastal cities from flooding as the sea levels rose. I needed to spare them the horror of watching the great cities of world being abandoned, as their governments couldn’t afford to build new levies.

“The thought of having these two innocent babies growing up in a world where disasters taking out entire cities were considered to be a positive impact on the economy, as people worked to clean up the devastation, was too much for me to bear.

“I watched the mass extinctions happen, as species were overcome by the quickly changing environment, the millions of dead fish washing to shore as the ocean turned more acidic, the sandstorms that would bury towns that had been agricultural centers. These were the horrors of my time; I vowed then and there that I will make damn sure that my daughters won’t have to see them first hand.”

“But you’ve done that now,” The President told him, “Over the past 15 years your program of carbon rationing has stopped the build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and we are actually reversing the damage.”

“That’s exactly why it’s more important than ever to continue the course we’ve set, it’s not enough to just stop the buildup we need to reverse the damage that has been done over the last 200 years.

“But one pardon won’t stop that.” The President said.

“But it will,” The Adjuster said, “If I let down my principals for just a second, the whole program will fall apart.

“23 years ago when I started my quest I became a bit of an engineer, I found out we could nearly stop the build up by using, the green technology of the time and with a research and development budget of just 3% of the federal budget we would be able to start reversing the trend by now.

“My findings were laughed at because the people in power were dependent on money made by dirty technology. People like Franklin.

“They underestimated my drive to make a better world for my twin daughters, I became a great computer programmer and, with some help, I devised the most accurate computer climate model so I could forecast the impacts that any changes would have on the planet.

“Again they scoffed at my ideas, and I realized that in order to fight the economic forces that conspired to destroy this planet, I would have to come up my own economic model. The old economic models were outdated as they dealt with the problem of scarcity, in an age of 3-D Printing when you merely have to send blueprints to a robotic factory to have an object made and edible algae farms supplying all the food humanity could ever need the only scarcity was that created by the artificial markets that the people like Franklin had set up.

“I made a new economic model that reflected this new world, the Economics of Abundance. In this new world the true cost of an object is not how much it costs to manufacture it, but how much it costs to throw it away. Like the Carbon Dioxide that is thrown away after energy is released from fossil fuels.

“I tied my economic model to my climate model and it showed me exactly how to save the Earth without involving the people who’s money was dependent on dirty technology.

“Finally, I became a politician. Again people like Franklin scoffed at me but this time I planned for that. I showed them how under the new economic models they were still in control of the money, what they didn’t realize was that money had become meaningless in the new economy. By the time Franklin and others like him realized what I had done, new green industries had sprung up to challenge their power.

“My new economic model guaranteed that this would be the most powerful force on the planet, as long as I did just one thing. I had to stay absolutely fair. Just like a force of nature doesn’t care who it affects, neither could I. Everyone had to bear the same responsibility, I made no distinction between the poorest individual or the daughter of the third richest man in the world, the punishment is the same for everyone.”

“But this time he is calling for your head.” The President told him, “Trust me Franklin Abagnale is not a man to be messed with. Especially as when his daughter is concerned.”

“Having Franklin Abagnale, or any of the old money cronies coming after my head is nothing new. Because of my being absolutely fair handling everyone, the new green technology companies have become dependent on my fairness. He can wage war on me and the green companies will wage war on him and it will come to nothing as far as I am concerned.” The Adjuster smiled, “You on the other hand might feel some of his wrath.”

The President just nodded.

“Here is what I can do to insulate you from him.” The Adjuster gave him a warm smile, “I’ve identified several key old industries which a 1% reduction can bring a huge payoff. If you can convince them to reduce their emissions by 1% and increase Research and Development budget in green innovation by 2% it would speed the Earth’s recovery dramatically.

“If those things are done I can increase the peoples Carbon Credit Rations by 2.5% just in time for the election.” The Adjuster promised, “The 2.5% adjustment is just enough to lift peoples spirits without drastically changing their patterns, The 1% reduction will more than offset this in the short run and increased budget in R&D will more than pay for that in the long run.

“Consider it done.” The President said. “I’ll tell Franklin you couldn’t be moved. Unfortunately, I’ll have to deflect most of his anger onto you.”

“I welcome his anger, and I assure you it will come to nothing. I’d like to say, I’m glad we could reach an agreement,” The Adjuster said, “And you’ve learned to never underestimate my drive to build a better world for my daughters.”

#

After the meeting with the President, the Adjuster could get back to his work. The first thing he did was look over the names of the people who had repeatedly abused their Carbon Credit Rations. He didn’t need to do this as he had never once pardoned a single person, but he felt he owed it to the people whose lives would be sacrificed to handle it himself and not just have the computer seal their fate.

He saw Franklin Abagnale’s daughter, Tracy, on the list and he was totally was unmoved. On the next line down he came across Maria’s name and for the first time since he set up the office his hand hesitated. He checked her citizens ID number to make sure it wasn’t a mistake as his hand involuntarily drifted over to the pardon button.

He thought to himself that he could do it just this one time. He could then cover it up and no one would know.

“No one but me.” He thought to himself as he dismissed the idea, “If I show weakness this one time, I’ll be more easily tempted the next, and the next. Then the whole system will break down and everything I’ve worked for will come to nothing.”

“Sweet Maria, I hope your sister can handle her credits better than you did.” The Adjuster said out loud even though he knew she couldn’t hear him.

The Adjuster didn’t shed one tear as he hit the button that sentenced his daughter to death.



By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Temper Tantrum Tuesday: A funny thing happened in the Polls


The GOP has started their election push and pulled out all the stops, Glenn Beck held a rally in Washington DC to defend intolerance. Sarah Palin has been doing a tour and was even interviewed on Fox to show her great intellectual powers. Newt Gingrich has been hitting the air talking about how Obama is anti-colonial unlike the Founding Fathers who loved colonialism. Mitch McConnell has been on the air constantly to make the case why billionaires should pay a lower percentage in taxes than the middle class.

Now the polls have come out showing the result, the Dems gained 10%. The talking heads in the media can’t figure out how the Dems got such a great boost when the GOP has dominated the media over the last week and are doing a great job of getting their message out. Naturally they can’t believe those two things are related.

On Sunday I told the bigots who are shouting about getting rid of anyone in this country who isn’t just like them to shut up. I’m going to issue a rare retraction. I want all the bigots and intolerant people to keep shouting at the top of their lungs.

The Tea Party has spoken and the media has broadcast their message and it is leading to an increase in the Democrats popularity.

The Democrats could win big this year if they were to buy airtime for the GOP. The more the GOP spread their message of hate and class entitlement the better the Democrats do. So GOP keep up your media campaign, it is giving a great boost to the Democrats.

By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Shut-up Stupid Sunday: Bigots


I’ve really never understood bigots, I’ve never understood why someone would hate someone they don’t know when if you get to know a person you can find a much better reason to hate them.

So all this summer I’ve been totally baffled by the rise of all the vocal bigots in the news. I understand that many of the feelings have been under the surface and not reported until now. I also understand that under stress the human fight or flight response is activated and it is easier to target individuals like gays, immigrants, and Muslims than the people who caused the stress Wall Street traitors traders, the Corporate Control of Government, and so on. But I’ve got no idea how so many people can listen to and repeat the terrible things that the haters are spewing.

How is it that the great melting pot that used to pride itself for taking the best of what each culture offers and make the sum greater than the whole is now filled with such hate?

This summer I’ve seen old people going on tour to promote homophobia, laws being enacted that make it illegal to drive while brown, protesters trying to ban a Muslim community center in a Muslim neighborhood, A preacher who wanted to burn the Quran, and 9/11 rallies that are nothing more hate mongering.

In response to the attack on Pearl Harbor FDR told the nation that, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”

Today when we as a nation face the worse crisis since FDR’s time there are people who are out there trying to spread the message that, “The only thing we can cling too is fear itself.”

I do understand that now that the old foundation of our economy that was kept hidden for thirty years has been shown to completely false some people would want to try and rebuild an unworkable system that is known rather than move forward into the scary unknown, and are expressing their fear by lashing out on the most convenient scapegoat. But it is time to move on and embrace change as we forge a new path.

Right now America and maybe all of humanity is at a crossroads. Currently there are people and companies working on new clean technology that will lead us into a new age of industrial production where the products we use today won’t destroy the future generations. There is a growing movement to have reality injected into public policy, so if 97% of scientists say something is happening that doesn’t mean 97% of scientists are liberal and we should give the other 3% an equal say, it means there is a 97% chance that something is happening and we should adjust our policies towards that.

On the other side are the people who are arrogant in their ignorance. Those who think we can revive the failed policies of the past and instead of using any logic and feel the one who screams the loudest wins. Those who feel that rather than looking for solutions we can just lash out in blind panic at whatever group is most convenient, be it gays, Hispanics, or Muslims, or some other group and blame them for all the problems in society and that will solve it.

The lashing out in blind panic reminds me of other group, Bison. When Bison are calm there was nothing before the introduction of guns to the west that could take them down. They withstand most primitive weapons and could kill a man or any other predator in seconds. The Native Americans knew that so rather than try and take them on when they were calm they would make the Bison panic and use their blind fear drive them off a cliff to their deaths.

So to all the bigots and hatemongers out there who are driven by their fear of the unknown and have turned their rage onto those in society that they feel are weaker, I say, “Shut-up Stupid, the old world is gone and hatred and bigotry will not bring it back. You can join us in ushering in a new age based on tolerance and constructive deeds, or let blind fear and hatred send you off the nearest cliff, the choice is yours but don’t expect the rest of us to follow.”


By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Late Saturday Silliness: Chris Griffin and Ah-Ha

Blogger was acting up this morning so I couldn't post my Saturday Silliness until now. Enjoy.


By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Writing Wednesday: The Secret to Great Characters

Character building is not my strength, so I studied a few writers that were strong in that area hoping to build strength in that area. After a while I had to take a break and read something for enjoyment. While reading Isaac Asimov and Edgar Rice Burroughs I found the true secret to having Great Characters in a book. I can hear Stephanie laughing right now as Asimov and Burroughs were even worse with their handling of characters than I am. So how can I learn about making characters from writers who are even worse at it than I am?

What Makes the Reader Identify with a Character?

I recently read an article by a best selling author that I had never heard of and can’t remember his name that said true writers shouldn’t admire Asimov, Burroughs, and Roberts they should despise them. The idea of learning from them is of course absurd.

This best selling author that I never heard of hated the those authors because they wrote novel after novel quickly without agonizing over their 5th revision, or in Asimov and Burroughs case they would have to rewrite a book to make revisions.

Is that any way to become a best seller? Apparently so as they all dominated the best sellers lists of their times.

I decided to glance at Asimov to see what put him on the best sellers list so many times. Warning: do not do that unless you have plenty of free time.

Then I grabbed an Edgar Rice Burroughs book to glance at, and read it cover to cover in one sitting. And that’s when I found the secret to what makes a reader identify with a character, even one-dimensional ones like Burroughs made.

The Secret

I realized a reader will be more likely to identify with a character if they read the book that character is in. This seems like a no-brainer but in a lot of articles talking about building characters they seem to think if you can create and convey an excellent character the reader will read the book because of that.

The problem is most readers won’t read beyond the first seven pages, so if you can make the reader fall in love at first sight with your character that’s great, but if your character has depth that you want to introduce subtly or if you want the reader to see the world you’ve imagined (that’s something I try to do) you have to get them passed that hump.

How to get someone to read more than seven pages, the 3 P’s.

One thing that is common with both Isaac Asimov and Edgar Rice Burroughs, I believe Nora Roberts does this as well but I don’t have a copy of any of her books on hand, is their chapters are short, 1 to 5 pages. The short chapters don’t allow the reader to get bored so they move on to the next chapter and then the next until their legs fall asleep and they look up at the clock and notice 3 hours has gone by.

The way they get the reader to go from one chapter to the next is to end their chapter with what I will call the 3 P’s Peril, Ponder, or Polar Bear.

Peril

This is pretty self-explanatory the main character’s life is in danger. They face death, imprisonment, or having their mission ruined. It was a staple of the old serials and while a little clique it kept people returning to the theater every week to hand over their hard earned nickel to see how Commando Cody got out of his latest jam.

Ponder

A decision must be made. The chapter ends when the hero is forced to make a decision that alters the events of the rest of the book. Naturally the reader must start the next chapter to see what that decision is.

Polar Bear

In the TV series “Lost”, whenever the poor castaways were in danger of having their ratings drop the polar bear would show up. This made the viewers wonder why a polar bear would be on a tropical island and tune in for the next episode hoping it would be revealed. This worked on me about 10 times until I stopped caring why there was a polar bear on the island or anything else about the series. I don’t know that they ever explained why the polar bear was there.

Nathan Branford called this the WTF moment in a book where you put in something strange so the reader has to continue reading to find out what it means. It is a very effective way to keep the reader reading, after all when I said the last P was for Polar Bear didn’t you want to continue reading to find out what I meant?

So how does using the three Ps help in a novel?

Drama and Pacing.

My novel THE PIZZA DIARIES isn’t a straightforward novel, I’ve had some success selling short stories so I thought I’d use this to my advantage and wrote a bunch of short stories with the same main character. Then I wrote a short novella to break up the short stories with third act tying them all together. As the beginning was mostly short stories they were complete individual story arches and each time they ended the reader was faced with the decision, “Should I read the next one?”

By changing where my chapters started and ended so instead of ending at the conclusion of the action they ended in the middle it both heightens the drama as the reader has to think, “What is he going to do?” before going on to the next chapter as opposed to immediately being posed with a threat and resolving it.

Placing the endings of chapters at the three P’s makes every action, every decision and every WTF moment stand out and makes the reader identify more with the main character.

It also makes the reader read more in each sitting than they would otherwise. To offer some proof of this 80% of web surfers only read the first 500 words on a post, that’s where google’s bounce rate comes from. Luckily I have a better audience than most blogs and have a 74% bounce rate, Thank You.

Even if you normally read more than the first 500 words of a post this one probably went by fast and you probably didn’t notice that it is over twice as long as most posts.


By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Terrific Tuesday: Ending my Summer


Labor Day marks the end of Summer, to signal the return of fall the evil minions came back. The extreme heat and humidity forced them into the line of trees behind my house and they only ventured out at night. With the cooler temperatures, only mid 80s instead of high 90s, they’ve returned.

Besides the cooler temperatures I’ve had some good luck in writing recently. I finally identified the huge structural weakness in my book THE PIZZA DIARIES and was able to get the done so it flows nicely now, I’ve just got to work on the first 500 words to set the new tone of the book and its finished for now. I’ll, hopefully, talk about that a little more tomorrow.

In the new book that I’m writing, MIND THIEF, I was struggling with a character so I tortured her quite brutally and she revealed her true self. Now I just have to go back and put that into her character in the first two thirds of the book.

An added benefit of the cooler weather, I was able to get some work done on the kitchen. It was a project I’ve put off for a few years but it should be finished this week. I’ll have pictures of it soon.

I should be able to work on some of my fall projects soon. I’ve got the plans laid out for a better version of the solar powered evil minion trap I made last year and plan on building it this month it should trap the evil minions even more effectively.

All and all my summer is ending on a high note.


By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Shut-up Stupid Sunday: Crickets


This is a message to all crickets, because I know they surf the web. You will have much better chances to score if you are outside. Chirping all night inside my house will not get you laid. You are more likely to wander onto the glue traps I placed than to find another cricket that didn’t get trapped in the traps.

All your effort to loudly court a mate at night will do nothing but keep me up at night making me put down more glue traps in the morning.

So to all crickets that wander into my house I say, “Shut up Stupid. I mean it Shut up.”


By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Saturday Silliness: Joker interrogation scene

For everyone who enjoyed “Dark Knight” but thought Christian Bale went to far with his silly voice for Batman here is a scene for you to enjoy:




By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fantastic Future Friday: Sex


The technology of sex has only had a couple of major breakthroughs in all of human history, which is odd considering how important it is in continuing our survival as a species.

The first major technological breakthrough was during Roman Times with the invention of the condom. It was originally made from lamb intestines and changed little over the next 2000 years, until the invention of first Vulcanized rubber in the late 1800’s and then latex.

Now research is being done on new materials like miroshear that are thinner and transmit sensations better, but a condom will never be able to compete with the sensations that millions of years of evolution have worked on to make unprotected sex rock.

The next technological breakthrough came in the 1960s with the invention of the Pill. It freed couples from unwanted pregnancies but has some serious drawbacks. The early birth control pill had very high amounts of estrogen, so high workers in the factories that made them grew breasts, which in some women lead to serious mood swings. New research has lessened that but there will always be some women that can’t take them.

So what is the next breakthrough in sex technology?

Both of these methods try to work against nature, the condom stops sperm from going where it wants to go and the Pill tricks the body into thinking its pregnant. Instead of working against nature it should be possible to work with it.

Sperm has one motivation and that is to get to the egg. It does this by looking for one chemotactic molecule, a 14-amino acid peptide called resact. In the future we should be able to refine this peptide and put it in a lubricant that is mildly sticky to the surface of sperm. The sperm would think they were in heaven when they came out, believing they were right next to the egg.

They would happily swim over to the lubricant and get it stuck on their surface making them both unable to swim rapidly and confused as to where to go as they would have the peptide they are looking for all around them.

This will be an easy to use form of birth control with little side effects and that will lead to a fantastic future.


By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Writing Wednesday: Another new beginning


One important thing I’ve learned recently is that I suck at writing the first chapter in my books. It is a skill I am working on and I it just takes practice and I’m sure I’ll develop it so I stop going through a checklist and it will become natural.

One thing I have noticed is I keep starting at the wrong place. I need to learn to pull the most important bit out of the book and put it up front.

I had posted the first chapter for THE SETTING EARTH last week and after a few comments I realized that I barely mentioned the whole point of the book, which is the Solar System was about to erupt into shooting war.

So I wrote a new beginning to emphasis this little point and will use the old first chapter as the second chapter.

I would love to hear any comments or suggestions about this new chapter.

Update: Nathan Bransford had to comment on his blog that I am not alone in starting at the wrong place in his post about the dangers of first ideas

********

The Setting Earth
Chapter 1


“The fate of humanity rests in your hands.” Isabella told Sam without formalities as he was escorted into her office.

“My hands, why me?” Sam asked the most powerful individual in Solar System.

“The government of Ganymede is no longer content to stay in their place in Jupiter’s system of moons and they are expanding their operations in the inner Solar System.” The Chief Executive Officer of the all-powerful Lunar Mining Consortium told him. “They have put considerable resources into the Dwarf Planet Ceres.

“It’s bad enough they plan on disrupting the normal markets for Helium3 with their mining operations there but we have also learned they are planning on using the giant asteroid as base to unleash a weapon that can threaten the very Earth itself.”

Sam took a second to think over what she said. The Socialist Government of Ganymede was his employer’s, the Lunar Mining Consortium, only competition for Helium3 in the Solar System. Helium3 was an atom worth more than gold or diamonds as it was the atom necessary to make controlled nuclear fusion reactors work. The little atom that was deposited by solar wind on the Earth’s Moon was so powerful a freight car worth of it could supply the equivalent of the energy used by civilization in the beginning of the 21st century.

The only sources for the element was either from his company, the Lunar Mining Consortium, that held a monopoly on the mining rights of the Moon, or the Government of Ganymede who had a nearly infinite supply from the gas giant Jupiter. The Lunar Mining Consortium was able to hold off the attempts of the Socialist Ganymede to use Helium3 to spread their influence because it took a shipment from Ganymede over 3 years to reach Mars or Earth.

With the discovery of Helium3 on Ceres, in the asteroid belt on the edge of the inner solar system, they could send it to Mars in a year, or Earth in 18 months. Everyone in the company knew that they needed to do their part win this trade battle. But Isabella was indicating that Ganymede was doing something even more sinister.

“Naturally I’ll do my part to help the company.” Sam told her, “But I’m not sure what I can do.”

“I’ll let Admiral Hanson fill you in.” Isabella gestured at the other man in her office.

“Thank you, Isabella.” Admiral Hanson told her and addressed Sam, “The Ganymede government has unveiled a plan to send not only Helium3 to Mars but huge supplies of metals and other resources. They claim they will do this by sending small asteroids from the asteroid belt into orbit around Mars.

“Naturally we don’t believe that is their true intention, we believe it is a cover story to hide the fact that they are building a large weapon on the Ceres. We have attempted to get the plans for this weapon but our spies have been blocked at every turn.

“We were ready to send a fleet of warships to Ganymede to demand that they allow us to inspect the project, even at risk of an all out war, when out of the blue they contacted the Lunar Mining Consortium asking for an engineer for the project.

“We seized on this opportunity to get someone inside their operation and sent them a list of engineers that also work for Earth Intelligence, they rejected them all. We then sent them a list of qualified engineers and they selected you.”

“I’m flattered.” Sam said, “But you must have mentioned that I’ve never left Earth. I’m not sure I can work in an off world environment.”

“It’s your brain they are interested in not your body.” Isabella told him, “We already send them plenty of lesser people for the menial tasks.”

“Thank you Isabella,” the Admiral continued, “You are the only way we can get the information we need without risking war.”

“I can look over the diagrams they will need to give me and tell you how their weapon will be used. If that’s what you want.” Sam told them confidently, if there was one thing he could do was figure out the properties of a new piece of equipment. It sounded like fun. “I don’t believe the reports that say they are 10 years ahead of us in laser engineering.”

“Believe them.” The Admiral said firmly, “The people of Earth might still out number all the colonies in the solar system 10 to 1 but they have invested all their resources into advancing science and engineering.”

“Still we believe you can easily work on their level.” Isabella told him, “Your superiors feel you are a gifted engineer.”

“Isabella is right as always,” the Admiral agreed, “It’s not the level of science that is going to be your obstacle of this mission. They will undoubtedly give you information on a need to know basis. Any information they give you won’t show their real intentions. You will need to gain the trust of the other engineers on the project and steal the plans for the entire project. Only then can we be sure that Earth will be safe from the Ganymede menace.”

“The company is prepared to reward you handsomely when you succeed.” Isabella told him, “Naturally you’ll get a promotion and a raise, but we can also give you something a little more personal. Your wife was transferred to be a clerk in London two years ago wasn’t she?”

“Yes Mame, the family must be prepared to sacrifice for the company.” Sam parroted the oath he and his wife took when they started working for the Lunar Mining Consortium, “We see each other on Christmas and when we can get a five day vacation.”

“We could easily have her transferred to work in Los Alamos with you.” Isabella smiled, “Close enough for you to live in the same house.”

Sam thought about what that would mean, he had only lived with his wife for 6 months before her transfer and they got along well enough but they didn’t get married for each others company. Promotions went to married employees first and Sam needed a wife to advance, the sex was just an added benefit. Having her back in town mean he wouldn’t have to schedule times to fly out to see her to have sex, but it also would mean she would be living with her and after two years of only seeing her briefly he wasn’t sure how well they would get along on a permanent basis. Still it would mean having sex more than a few times a year.

“Thank you.” He told Isabella, “I’ll try my best.”

“Remember gain their trust, but don’t lose sight of your mission.” The Admiral said.

“I can’t stress how important this mission is.” Isabella told him, “Our very way of life depends on your actions on Ceres. As Winston Churchill said, ‘Victory at all costs, for without victory, there is no survival.’ Remember that while you deal with the engineers on Ceres.”

“Your shuttle to Ceres leaves in two weeks,” The Admiral told him, “We will spend that time training you for your new role. We wish we had more time but as the old saying goes, time and orbital mechanics waits for no man.”




By Darrell B. Nelson author of Invasive Thoughts