Ignoring my own hypocrisy

The drone controversy reached a boiling point this week, as Senator Rand Paul filibustered the Senate for nearly 13 hours over the White House’s reluctance to assure the American citizenry “that drones will not be used against American citizens on U.S. soil.” I won’t get into all of the specifics and relive the drama here, but after a few emotional days of listening to both sides argue over this, I decided to weigh in a little on Facebook. I can’t help myself sometimes. At one point, I stated that I couldn’t foresee the need for any administration to use drones to kill ANYONE on U.S. soil. After all, we have law enforcement agencies that can hopefully contain and defuse most crises. I started to get riled up by the partisanship, really buying into my own assumption that many of these politicians were grandstanding…and many of them were. I kept finding myself asking if these people really believed that drones could be used to hit a Starbucks? OR Take out Jane Fonda? I heard both of these mentioned by Rand, in addition to a dozen other scenarios that spiraled into the stratosphere of ridiculous. So I thought. A combination of thoughts

The Jakarta Pandemic earns 200th Customer Review on Amazon…

and the statistics remain the same. One reader out of five would trip me in the grocery store aisle if they got the chance. Of course, if they read Black Flagged, the last place they would ever consider accosting me, would be a grocery store…especially Whole Foods. See the full spread here : 200 Reviews All kidding aside, I anticipated “number 200” to be one of the “beauties” that seem to come up out of nowhere to put balance back into my life and remind me that it is impossible to write a story that everybody will like, nor should you try.  I’ve developed a thicker skin since publishing my first book in the fall of 2010, and learned some hard lessons about writing in a genre that can be politically polarized. Especially if you throw the occasional dig in either political direction. Hands down, the conservatives were the most sensitive, though I did have liberals weigh in on the protagonist’s actions as well. In celebration of my “200th review” being a positive review, I’m sharing the top ten negative comments “earned” over the past 20 months. To be fair, I won’t add any commentary. 1. “I tried to finish

Heads Up “Lawmakers,” this one is gonna sting a little…

  This is my second installment in the “Heads Up” series. My son made an interesting comment the other evening over dinner. We were discussing a new law passed in San Francisco that requires cell phone retailers to include a warning about radiation emitted by cell phones, when I made a rather bitter comment about how the law will get crushed once enough lobbying money is mobilized by the wireless phone industry. My wife added a comment about how several European studies linking cancer to cell phones will not be enough to jolt our populace past the lobbyist funded media cloud, “assuring” us that cell phones meet acceptable federal safety standards. I replied, “who do you think paid to set those supposed safety standards.” My son, 11, put his fork down, and said, “I can’t believe we live in such a corrupt country.” Well, this wasn’t exactly the response we expected, or wanted. Both my wife and I spent the next five minutes assuring him that we live in a great country, and explaining how lawmakers and lobbyists work. We sort of glazed over the money aspects, and I’m not totally sure my son was convinced that we fully believed