Archive for the Book Reports Category

Trumpian Economic Report 2020

Posted in Book Reports, Cartoon Comics, Commercial Corporations, Cooperative collaboration, Crafts, Critical Commentary of Civilization, jobs, Legal / Laws, Multimedia Communication, news, Organic Development, portraits, relationships, Services, Sales or Trade, Society Clubs or Social Groups, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2019 by Drogo

Artisan Vs. Commercial Market Selling

By Drogo Empedocles – January 2020

In a Trumpian economy most of us are forced to be beggars even when we offer work in return for money, due to an excess of labor not needed or desired by the rich. Trickle-down Reaganomics has failed us, and is still being pushed on us by Trump and all corporate politicians who sold out. We must resist falling to the attacks causing the destruction of our lives and plan to not just survive but rebuild a better world for our children.

Trump’s tax plan benefits the rich, and diminishes the middle class. The estate tax is gone now so that rich children can inherit all their parent’s wealth freely without earning it, while poor children suffer without deserving it. Personal exemptions have been removed. You can still itemize donations, but the standard deduction bar was raised with an overall .5% tax rate reduction. Those basic changes might negligibly benefit lower incomes, but average to upper middle class households are losing thousands on whole due to other changes in the tax plan.

I lost some financial support despite my working through the holidays on several projects. I won’t be able to do as much free or low-budget work with others, until i can secure more income to cover my own expenses at least. my income is only $700 a year recently, so i feel like i get by with quite a little actually. I only currently use one sound program most weeks, and focus on word (writing) programs, which have glitches between formats, but i am able to publish that way. So for over a year i have only been using two editing programs.

Most people should know that any work has a price; and so my work is for sale, as with any artist; we need means to live so we try to sell prints and originals if we can. If people do not know how to want to share money with others, i am not sure how i can help them except to remind them by bringing it up sometimes. I focus on my work more than sales, because i do it for the work not the sales. If i am asked to be more of a sales person i would not do it. i dont know if stating that i will keep doing my own work the way i want no matter what will reduce interest in investing in me or increase it long term; but i really do not see many options to sustain my career legacy. I may get some temporary side jobs like working for Census, but even if i got a huge increase in income what matters to me is what is created with what i have ultimately.

SCOD social capital has increased overall i believe, which is hard to define since it is not income based. I am close to founding a tristate network for hosting art, music, and writing events; but the design is mostly socially dependent, using properties in WV, MD, and VA. The financial components like ticket sales and payments are totally based on how many people i can get to coordinate together. we currently have several proposals still being formed, for multimedia broadcasting and sharing local events, i can pursue these negotiations without financial losses. ive felt on the verge of something big over the years, but i never know when the tipping point will come because … and this is the hard part to talk about, the complex dynamics of partnerships.

I am proud to ‘beg’ with something of quality to offer in return. When you buy my work, you support many other people; because I collaborate with and buy from other artists and friends. To anyone that thinks I am begging by being honest that I do not earn much, I argue that bragging about how good your work is and saying you have been ‘financially successful’ by taking more than you need is worse than begging because to me that could be considered just as unworthy of support. Getting money from other people is not proof of deserving money, it is simply how people pay their bills. Also I am not just begging because I offer plenty of services and products in various fields. I am simply saying why I could use more income, as opposed to those who do not need more for basic living. I have many jobs, and i do them. I tend to give things away for free and make reasonable deals to work with lower income people.  I apply to better paying jobs, but I do not get them, and when i have had them before i cannot keep them for psychological reasons, one being i cannot stand authoritarian control because i desire to fight back against bosses the same as I would with any willful cruel or ignorant jackass; but when we trade self-respect for money we suppress our resentment which can fester and build to a break-down or illness.

I will not spend time defending myself by arguing against assholes, they are not worth my time. I am too expensive for them because they cannot pay me enough to work for them, and it is easy enough to block them and delete their petty comments. Their attempts to troll me are pathetic when i can shut them down easily. It is amazing that people will ‘friend’ me only to wait for chances to attack, without ever once being kind.  These are the type of people that would tell homeless street musicians to “get a job” too.

If fees are low enough with time i can advertise more without major losses on more websites; in hopes to get at least a few sales. Social reception is usually less than enthusiastic on a whole from audiences on platforms. Amazon is the best example ive had because ive been using it for years, i struggle to get a few sales a year even when i post the links and talk about them etc. I know it is not because my books are not as good as ‘Diary of a Whimpy Kid’ or ‘Captain Underpants’ which are best sellers, it has to do with commercial control of the market at the high levels. I mean sure we could argue whose art or story sucks more, but with enough exposure anti-authoritarian subversive books like ours do well with children and ne’er-do-wellz, which are a large portion of the population.

Ironically most of the people who buy my books are part of the vanishing middle class; not the lowest or the highest earning. There are more lower middle class people so they do buy more books, compared to the few upper middle class people who are interested in my books. I have had people with large incomes talk with me for hours, and i gave them books and they still did not buy any, so spending money has more to do with personalities than wealth; which is why those with less wealth will spend more if they have an income, which creates financial flow and opportunities in an economy.

All of these opinions of observations are reasons why many of us are not satisfied with status-quo commercial politics. We want more leaders like Bernie Sanders and progressives on the right or left who can be held to account by their voters who are also the majority of their campaign financing. We cannot afford allowing corporate sell-outs to further rig our own economy, environment, and country against us.

[ see also Lucas Chancel, World Inequality Lab ]

 

B.D.U.: Boot Camp Diary Unauthorized

Posted in Biographies, Book Reports, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Military, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2019 by Drogo

Title – BDU: Bootcamp Diary Unauthorized
Subtitle – My Un-Official Air Force BMT Journal

This non-fiction historical book is a real 2006 memoir and analysis of Air Force Basic Training (BMT), including some personal auto-biographical experiences and opinions. This journal has been made public to document the psychological treatment of young soldiers by the Military Industrial Complex (MIC) training system. It is based on a secret diary inside an official notebook that the author kept during training, despite constant antagonism by the Training Sergeants (TIs). While not every experience is included in this first edition for Amazon, it is unabridged compared to the official summary edition submitted to commanding officers. This more expressive version contains strong adult language. Airman Stowell (also author of ‘Operation 10 COW’) provides specific details and general summaries from original notes and actual documents about BMT, and is both honest and patriotic. Mouth-piece propaganda for our conventional establishment will seek to discredit authentic journals like this, as individual civil rights are threatening to authoritarians who want ritual hazing and brain-washing to be a confidential surprise (despite films showing historical accounts dramatized, see ‘Band of Brothers’ and ‘Full Metal Jacket’). It is the US ‘War On Terror’ training version of war time stories that have been attacked for showing realism in their home countries (see Solzhenitsyn & Grossman). There is no top secret information revealed here, but it is a personal perspective for national self-reflection about the unethical tyranny of psychologically conditioning soldiers to perpetually operate on hate, anger, and fear. If you like this type of work, please write a supportive comment on Amazon’s sales page for ‘BDU The Book‘, thank you!

Long live our American ideals of freedom, democracy, and peace!!!

“I’m a historian by profession. I’ve probably read several thousand journals and diaries in my time, including ones by soldiers and others living through the Revolution, Civil War, Spanish American War, and others. This book reads true, both in content and form. One would expect a diary to be disjointed and have a grammar glitch or two here or there. Someone undergoing the physical and intellectual traumas of this type, and writing on the run to boot, is not going to write with the polish of a Victorian sitting at his desk on Beacon Hill.” – thank you so much Professor Michael Swanson

Listen to an Audiomack recording – BDU Book Reading

Please show support even by simply clicking that the nice reviews were helpful, as most consumer critics do not care what their words mean to the author, and do not take into account the pains of writing and publishing controversial content.

AF BMT 1b

 

 

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The Horror of Lovecraft

Posted in Book Reports, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, Memorials / Obituaries / Epitaphs, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 19, 2018 by Drogo

The thing about writing horror is that you basically admit you are really sick and twisted. His racist writing describes accurately how people like him would think as they narrate the events. For me it shows how the concept of evil is a human perspective, based on what we fear; from fish people to aliens. To write about your fears shows your weakness and vulnerabilities, in my opinion. Lovecraft shows how fear is a scary illness from hating ethnic differences to being petrified of anything resembling fish or squids. Another aspect of Lovecraft is that his “heroes” do not ever really “win” against the demonic powers that spread, as migrants in NY did while he was living there, and they were thriving while he was failing. Clearly Lovecraft shows how conservative culture always dies of entropy as progressive immigrants take over, for better or worse, depending on who you are. That he describes the changes in culture as evil in fictional demonic terms exaggerates his own feelings to an absurd level of parody, which i feel he must have been conscious about to marry a Jew.

RIP H.P. Lovecraft  1890-1937

Self-Publishing Paradox

Posted in Book Reports, Commercial Corporations, Crafts, Critical Commentary of Civilization, jobs, Languages, Pub Library, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2018 by Drogo

How DC area book stores handle major publishers vs. local authors in 2018.

Book stores are still stuck in the old mentality with major publishers, rather than allow the flooded local markets to flourish with support. Retail profits largely hinge on perceived ‘popularity’ of brands, which is largely self-perpetuating based on reduced whole sale rates, and exaggerated sales advertising to push the merchandise on customers. Book mongers still have a very snobbish attitude towards local authors, even more so now that printed books are in competition with ebooks. Book mongers, like other capitalists will often declare that “there is a DEMAND’ for what they are selling, just as housing developers do when they create a artificial demand by making the supply and cornering the market with advertising and debt based commercial production.

Here is how one book store describes their consignment process on their website:

“Our consignment program helps us accommodate the overwhelming number of requests from local authors who wish to sell their books and host events at Curious Iguana. If, after reading all the information here, you have any questions, email. Please do not stop by or call the store with questions about our consignment program. Click here to download our Consignment Policies and Consignment Form for Author. Note that we do not read review copies, and we do not accept any books without a completed consignment form and FEE. About events – We receive numerous event requests from local authors every week. Only authors whose books have strong consignment sales and broad reader appeal will be considered for an event on a case-by-case basis. Authors should not expect that consigning books will result in an event.”

Consignment usually forces the local author to be in debt to the local store, rather than provide them with any net income. Local authors tend to purchase more books at stores from commercial authors in one visit, than their books may sell all year; so even local authors are more likely to spend more on international authors than their own book sales will make in years. After a few years of their books not being advertised, but often hidden, the author must then contact the store and ask what has sold, and then pick up their check if any have sold. Now that there are more local authors, they are even asked to pick up their remaining books to make room for others. In essence local authors are treated like cattle, and told they are not worthy to make money, and they should be lucky to have a consignment deal before getting kicked out. Quality differences in the contents of books, whether self published or not, have very little to do with these market issues; as mistakes can be found with many mass produced products. Even National Geographic published the wrong image of a sparrow in a major commercial release; not just typos but the very information that is the focus of the ‘best selling’ book can be factually wrong.

Perhaps some day there will be a book store just for local and self-published authors, and their books will be PURCHASED just like the major brand names are now, rather than relegated to forgotten shelves and treated as though they are not worth the paper they are printed on. Perhaps some day we will invest more in our local economies, rather than giving all profits to a few rich fat cats that could barely care less.

So in this area there are basically 2 stores that accept local authors, but due to demands by local authors that they have a place to sell their books, it is increasingly rare that the small portion of the store dedicated to local authors will have room for everyone in the flooded self-published book market. It seems that self-published is a niche market that is not being allowed space due to corporate monopolist priorities. The competitive cut-throat capitalist monopoly model of economics, stands in contrast to the sharing and networking pluralist (multiplicity) more free-market model. Some business workers pride themselves for being very morally patient with customers, clients, bosses, employees, co-workers, and partners; in that they value them as fellow humans and are very generous to the point of pleasantly accepting financial loss as sacrifice for more happiness. That moral model is considered a bad business model for serious capitalists however, because survival success of business is based on financial capital, not ethical capital. There is a strong historic argument to be made that more financial wealth can be made quicker and greater by meaner people that take huge risks, rather than generous people who tend to give away and share more (studies show these people are often considered ‘poor’).

Self-published authors can be economically vital, if local stores open to showcase them as the main product. Some regional examples may soon show that people will travel from around the world to visit unique collections that support populations directly with financing. Rather than stores asking you pay to maybe keep your book there temporarily, and refusing to talk to authors in person or on the phone about the issue of slavish consignment; an alternative option will be to support stores that support self-published authors, which would make independent authors the best meaning (and most fitting use) of the word ‘common’. Possibly current store owners don’t want to be harming the local economy by practicing their old business models, but supply and demand and advertising have very real aspects that corporations do not want commoners to discuss.

The self-publishing paradox is that although the book market is flooded by grassroots citizens writing and publishing books, the means to support them are not part of conventional business models. Even alternative efforts are suppressed due to social, economic, and linguistic self-destructive elitism. Most people that write books do it because they love it or are best at it, not because of the economic incentives because it is generally well known that artists, musicians, and writers are not given living wages. The attitude that the voice of the people is not worth hearing, has never been considered wise or good.

FBI

Posted in Book Reports, Uncategorized with tags , , on February 18, 2017 by Drogo

‘The Bureau’, Secret History of the FBI; by Ronald Kessler

Book about the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) which was founded in 1908; provides evidence that J. Edgar Hoover blackmailed Congress, sources Senator McCarthy’s communist claims, FBI kidnapping KGB agents, FBI MLK sex tapes, Hoover’s sexual psychology, FBI and Deep Throat, planting bugs, wiretaps, counter-terrorism leading to 9/11, leaks and funding, future goals…

(FBI Director) “Mawn was almost one of 3,024 victims. He had a personal stake in getting even.” (with whoever 9/11 was blamed on) “The SIO Center was a $20 million, 20-room complex of phones, secure computers, and video screens.” “America’s war on terrorism had begun, and the FBI was at its epicenter.”

Attorney general Palmer created a radical division in 1919 to collect information on American rebels. “The biggest threats were considered the American Communist Labor Party and the American Communist Party,… Palmer placed the new division under the direction of attorney J. Edgar Hoover.” “Two ideas were constantly drummed into us: pride at membership in an elite organization, and fear of failure.” FBI Director Hoover kept ‘secret files’ on politicians, which guaranteed he remained director, he sent threats to those he wanted to put in their place, and helped create a war on communism which gave him job security. “As the power of the FBI grew, Hoover’s thirst for glory would become unquenchable.” Secret documents were often destroyed, so that no one outside the FBI would ever have the file evidence that certain operations ever existed. “Hoover left nothing to chance.”

McCarthy, besides being an alcoholic, the senator was “crazy about girls about 18” Trohan said, “I always thought if the commies wanted to get him, all they had to do was supply him with a girl.” McCarthy said the FBI was a monument to its own director. Director Hoover knew McCarthy “made up numbers”, and “advised him to not give specifics numbers”. “Besides harassing journalistic critics, Hoover used the bureau to crack down on rumors that he was a homosexual.”

“But there was more to Hoover’s policy of ignoring organized crime than statistics. In 1993, Anthony Summers ( in Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover) claimed that Hoover did not pursue organized crime because the Mafia had blackmail material on him.” “Hoover was wearing a very fluffy black dress, and a black curly wig. He had make-up on and false eye-lashes.” Another time in drag, Hoover held a Bible as one boy read from it, and the other boy “played with him”.- Summers quoted Rosenstiel.

“Hoover told a Senate sub-committee that militant Catholic priests and nuns were plotting to ‘blow up underground electrical conduits and pipes serving Washington DC, to disrupt federal government operations’. The plotters, he said, were also planning to kidnap a highly placed government official who was later identified as Kissinger.”

In 1971 (same year as the Pentagon Papers) over 1000 FBI files were stolen by thieves called the ‘Citizens’ Commission to Investigate the FBI’, and the documents they released to the public revealed that the FBI had informants on college campuses and monitored left-wing groups.

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US SECRET AGENCIES

Posted in Book Reports, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 18, 2017 by Drogo

I got a stack of non-fiction history books from the library about all the ‘plausible deniability’ branches of government (aka secret agencies). we are still feeling what people started realizing in the 60s; war mongers rule the sheep; and it is up to us if we want to change it. FBI is our step-mom and CIA is our step-dad, playing us. NSA is our nosey neighbor, watching and listening to us in our private places. Our government exhibits all the worst attributes of ‘1984’ and ‘Brave New World’, in large part due to secret agencies working with corporations and the Pentagon to take and keep money from lower class Americans, on behalf of plutocrats that put on a 2-party puppet show that promotes war.

FBI  –  ‘The Bureau, Secret History of the FBI’; by Ronald Kessler

NSA  – ‘Body of Secrets, Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency’; by James Bamford

CIA  –  ‘Legacy of Ashes, History of the CIA’; by Tim Weiner

‘Secret History of the CIA, Central Intelligence Agency’; by Joseph Trento

‘Devil’s Chessboard, Allen Dulles, CIA, & the Rise of America’s Secret Government’; by David Talbot

Homeland Security – I was at the opening of their head-quarters, so I got the tour.

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It seems the CIA will sabotage Left or Right Wings of any government, if they think it benefits them or their corporate sponsors, regardless of how peaceful, democratic, or American their enemies may be. “If it’s secret, it’s legal.” – President Nixon said, who constantly conspired to make plans against Left Wing Americans by using our own secret agencies against our own people. The CIA historic trend appears to lean Right Wing, probably because authoritarian military control is part of Right Wing doctrine; whereas Left Wing doctrine advocates humanitarian civil rights. It is not a conspiracy theory, that our government lies to us. Following ‘the money trail’ is always a good start for serious political investigations, as representatives tend to be swayed by funding more than any philosophical theory, because they have bills to pay like anyone else.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

– President Eisenhower 1961

Report on ‘American Witches’

Posted in Book Reports, Pagan, Uncategorized on November 11, 2016 by Drogo

Drogo’s Book Report on American Witches; A Broomstick Tour Through Four Centuries by Susan Fair

I am very pleased that Susan’s book on Witches was published! I am a fan of her book theme subjects and her witty yet friendly writing style. Her preface on being accused as a child of doing (or worse being) something terrible was relatable as an emotional personal experience. Indeed as Arthur Miller pointed out with the Crucible, being called a witch was similar to being called a communist in modern days; even today many of us are called both, and people still think that both are evil due to cultural conditioning.

Susan begins her book with the 2nd European Colony in north America, Jamestown; which makes sense for the scope of the book as indicated by the subtitle segment “Four Centuries”. Jamestown was the first English Colony, but the Spanish Colony of St. Augustine was actually first about 50 years earlier (RIP Dr. Albert Manucy, Spanish-American historian, love you gran-dad). As to how many witches were in the Spanish St. Augustine Colony, or if anyone was accused of witch-craft, I do not know. Considering the Spanish were responsible for THE Inquisition, it is certainly possible.

Anyway, that is my only criticism of the book, which does not at all ruin my enjoyment of her stories, and respect for the importance of the subject. Some critics are quick to criticize humor with serious subjects, but often they just lack a healthy sense of the importance of being able to laugh when others cry. People respond to tragedy in various ways, depending on their social conditioning, or psychological reaction to conditioning which they dislike.

Susan’s sense of humor in her style is delightful to those of us with an ‘Edward Gorey’ or ‘Tim Burton’ gothic satire sensibility. It is our love for dark or scary subjects which makes our glee pleasant and not harsh. Her descriptions are excellent, and at times so darkly honest, that levity is welcomed.

“What was mended one day, would the next day be in pieces.” This is the chaos magic of entropy, which haunts the weary world, even to this day. The mystery of magic in history, and the persecution of accused practitioners, is still a current issue. I recommend this book to anyone that loves the subject of ‘witches’.