My Novels

Sunday, August 31, 2003

Here comes a rant on a topic I've written about before: transhumanism. If you don't know what that is, type the word into a search engine and you'll quickly learn.

This article: How perfect do we want to be? is what prompted my rant. For example, here's a few excerpts:

"Transhumanists" (Google gives 15,100 hits for the term) believe that the info-bio-nano-robotic-AI (artificial intelligence) technology revolutions will converge to alter the fundamental nature of being human. We and all our most important values and beliefs will be changed beyond present recognition.

For transhumanists, being human is not the end of evolution, but the beginning. Technoscience provides them with a strong "No" to the existential question, "Is this all there is?" Transhumanists are techno-utopians. They want to do good -- as they put it, to expand technological opportunities for humans to live longer and healthier lives and to enhance their intellectual, physical, psychological and emotional capacities.

But the ultimate goal is articulated more fully in a transhumanist Web site, Incipientposthuman, which speaks of "unprecedented physical, intellectual, and psychological capacity," of being "potentially immortal," and of being "a person who no longer can be classified usefully with homo sapiens [because they have undergone] sweeping modifications to inherited genetics, physiology, neurophysiology and neurochemistry."

Transhumanists and I have completely different and contradictory views of what it means to be human.

So what?

I believe that we must have a profound respect for the natural -- especially for human nature itself. And we must have strong justification for interfering with it. Further, we must not radically change it so as to destroy its essential essence.

Oh, I understand. This woman is a human who is under the delusion that humans SHOULD NOT seek (scientifically or technologically) to improve themselves. However, wanna bet she's the first in line for a heart or kidney transplant if she ever needs it? And pray tell, WHY should a human object to improving the quality and length of life? Ah yes, lurking back there in the mind is that weird religions thing: 90% of humans ALREADY think they are immortal, cause their 'souls' will live eternally after the flesh perishes. (Prove it, I say.)

We all want to live with a high quality of life for as long as we can. But no lesser person than Dr. Leon Kass, chair of the (U.S.) President's Commission on Bioethics, has argued against radical life extension. "Human life without death would be something other than human," he says; consciousness of mortality gives rise to our deepest longings and greatest accomplishments.

This issue is intentionally front and centre on the pro-technology agenda, because if, as we will be sorely tempted to do, we accept radical life extension, then why not cloning? Or designing our children? Or reproducing entirely by artificial means? Or enhancing our intelligence with computer chip implants? Or eventually being superceded by robots that are infinitely more intelligent and durable than we are?

Whether or not we agree with the transhumanists, they are doing us a major service in making us aware of the enormity the new technoscience could effect. They see no reason why the future development of human nature itself should be limited to traditional humanistic methods, like education and culture. They want us to use technology to discover and create our authentic (technological) selves. You and I, flawed natural humans, are what the posthumanists will call "un-debugged humans" -- unmodified by technology to improve us.

Why is it that humans object to going extinct? I have NO PROBLEM with the end of humanity as we know it, for we ARE in fact flawed...and why isn't it conceivable that a robotic being could solve problems we can't? The violence and destruction we've unleashed on our fellow beings is more than enough reason for the robotic beings to simply get rid of us as a race, since they could possibly do more for survival of "intelligent life" than we have done in the past.

Soon DH and I will go on our afternoon drive, and it will be nice to get out of the house for awhile! :-)

Saturday, August 30, 2003


For I have looked over the edge
And seen the emptiness of oblivion...
It is not the endless vista
Of demons, destruction and fear...
Instead it is...quite simply

Imagine for a minute: NOTHING.
Can you?
I doubt it...
But I've been trying to understand
Nothingness from the time
I was old enough to recall
My own thoughts...


Is it black?

Absence of light?

A blind person's view?


Humans cannot begin to imagine
The vastness of an overwhelming

Yet we live in a swirling cosmos
That will destroy us eventually...

But pretend our existence is
forever, eternal.

Fools, yes we are.

Friday, August 29, 2003

Just a brief entry, quoting the latest Charlie Reese column, which is dead-on accurate about our continuing problems in Iraq:

If you think it is irrational for the Iraqis to blame us for having no power and no water and not the saboteurs, then, my friend, you are not ready for the Middle East. There is a story about a scorpion that begged a frog to carry him across a river. The frog at first refused, saying the scorpion would sting him. "Don't be silly," said the scorpion. "If I sting you, I'll drown, too." The frog gave in and started across the river. The scorpion stung him. Just before they both drowned, the frog said, "Why?" "Well," said the scorpion, "this is the Middle East."

I have never believed from Day One that we could impose a democratic government on Iraq. Iraq is a hard place to govern. As one Iraqi put it, every time a good guy tried to govern the country, they killed him pretty quickly. I suspect in the end we will get frustrated, appoint our own dictator and leave. The question is how many lives and how many billions of dollars it will cost before Washington's neoconservatives have all their misconceptions smashed on the rocks of reality.

You can read the entire column by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.

More later!

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

More and more on Judge Roy MOORE!

Hey, I have a suggestion for YOU, Judge: "Shut the f**k up already!" This idiot (and his fanatic cult followers) have made Alabama the laughing stock of the U.S AND the world this last week or so. I wish someone would tell him where to put the monument of the Ten Commandments!! Up his rear!

MAYBE though the spotlight will be OFF the nutcases and Moore soon, since the monstrosity has been removed AT LAST!! Here's an excerpt from the latest news article:

People seeking removal of the monument from its public site had said they were grateful that it was finally being moved, a week after the deadline set by a federal judge.

"This is a tremendous victory for the rule of law and respect for religious diversity," the Rev. Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said before the monument was rolled out of the rotunda. "Perhaps Roy Moore will soon leave the bench and move into the pulpit, which he seems better suited for."

The long-running dispute has galvanized evangelical Christians and conservatives in this Bible Belt state and around the country.

Asked about President Bush's view of the controversy, White House spokeswoman Claire Buchan said: "It is important that we respect our laws and our courts. In some instances the courts have ruled that the posting of Ten Commandments is OK. In other circumstances they have ruled that it's not OK. In either case, there is always opportunity for appeal of courts' decisions."


Republican Gov. Bob Riley said in a statement that he hopes the monument's removal is "brief and temporary," with the U.S. Supreme Court ordering it moved back. He said he will file court papers supporting Moore.


What a political whore our Gov is, huh? Now he wants all those MAJORITY Christian CULT votes, so he's saying the "politically correct" thing in this state. Are people/sheeple so stupid that they can't realize what he is doing? Oh, and add in Bush's ambiguous comment -- such a statesman, huh? And to top this all off, our Alabama Gov. is trying to push a HUGE tax increase...but hey, I have a news flash for him: "Your political groveling ain't gonna get no stinking tax increase...cause a MAJORITY of churches told their sheeple NOT to vote for it." And independent thinkers KNOW that sheeple ALWAYS vote according to their preacher's dictates! Yep, I do believe Moore would have been a better fire-and-brimestone preacher than politician.

I should have left this state when I was young...but I have to admit, the political and religious nutcases ARE good for a laugh sometimes! :-)

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Okay, here's something I've often pondered myself as a novelist -- an excerpt from "Oblivion" by Josephine Hart:

"I begin to wonder," she said, "whether literature is not in fact as much an opiate as religion. Lives examined and explained, matters resolved or particular meaning found in the lack of resolution. The reality is: we witness little; people drift in and our of our lives: much is only overheard; and setting our lands in order is no more than a valiant act of defiance."

But on a happier note, this latest Zogby Poll is worth some celebrating for those like myself, the ANTI-Bushites....

President George W. Bush’s job performance rating has slipped to 52% positive, 48% negative, according to a poll of 1,011 likely U.S. voters by Zogby International. From a post-September 11th peak of 82%, his rating has slipped steadily with the exception of a slight increase following the official end of the war in Iraq.

The ‘down’ trend is also seen in the percent of likely voters who say it’s time for someone new in the White House (48%), compared to 45% who said the President deserves to be re-elected.

Bye, bye Bushie... Hello Gephardt in 2004 (I hope!)!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

This just in... (NO, it's not about the rantings of a**hole Judge Moore)....

Since the first time America's Most Wanted dubbed them "the modern-day Bonnie & Clyde" several years ago, I've been following the fascinating true-life story of Craig Michael Pritchert, 41, and Nova Ester Guthrie, 28, who robbed banks in the U.S. Their life has interested me for various reasons, but mainly because in my fiction, I've developed several 'bank robbery' stories. So, when I read that they'd FINALLY been captured in Cape Town, South Africa today I was really excited.


Because soon they'll process through the criminal court system (which I'll follow closely) and then end up in prison. And...I plan to correspond with both of them eventually.


Because I hope to write a book about them!

So this is REALLY good news for me today!!!!

Here's the article and link:

Fugitive Couple Caught in South Africa (Aug 20, 12:36 PM (ET)

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) - An American couple dubbed the modern-day Bonnie and Clyde for a spate of bank robberies across the U.S. West were arrested in South Africa after eight years on the run, authorities said Wednesday.

South African police and the FBI arrested Craig Michael Pritchert, 41, and Nova Ester Guthrie, 28, in Capetown on Tuesday night, South African police spokeswoman Mary Martins Engelbrecht said. The couple, who were on the FBI's most-wanted list, had been living in the country since 2000 under the aliases Andy and Dane Brown.

The Colorado-born Guthrie worked as a manager at a trendy Cape Town nightclub, Bossa Nova; Pritchert, born in Illinois, often visited her, authorities said. Engelbrecht said the two would likely be extradited.

Pritchert and Guthrie are suspected of armed robberies in Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Texas, and Oregon between 1993 and 1996.

U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Judy Moon said the FBI got information last month that the two were in the Cape Town suburb of Sea Point.

During their crime spree, the couple tended to rob banks either early in the morning or at closing time, Moon said.

"Pritchert was always armed with a semiautomatic handgun and used duct tape, cheap handcuffs or plastic ties to bind bank employees," she said.

The FBI has said proceeds from the crimes apparently were used for travel, snowboarding and stock investments. Immediately after leaving the bank, the suspects would destroy all their equipment and head off to vacation spots including ski areas in Colorado and Canada and to Belize.

Pritchert was a former Arizona State University baseball star who had three children from a previous marriage.

Whoowhee, Judge Roy Moore strikes again!!

What a foaming-at-the-mouth hypocrite AND political whore he is! Hey, I LIVE in Alabama, and I should know. Are religious crazies so far gone they can't THINK for themselves, but need a "Preacher" to tell them what and how to think? I'm referring to the praying at the foot of the "Ten Commandments" monument in the Rotunda ... and the nut-jobs having candle-light vigils for keeping it there. Oh boy, don't get me started on separation of state and religion. I do wonder though, now that Bushie is in power, if we're looking at the rise of the next Taliban?!

This state has ALWAYS been rabid about religion; it's near impossible to have an intelligent conversation without "God" entering, regardless of subject. When I was younger, and brash...I used to LOVE to shock folks when they would ask what "church" I attended, and I'd say, "I'm an atheist." Whoa, the LOOK on their faces was PRICELESS.

So here's a link and excerpt from the latest of Judge Moore's political antics (and believe me, it is ALL politics, nothing more...I bet he's a heathen deep-down!:-)

Ten Commandments case appealed to U.S. Supreme Court
--Alabama chief justice seeks to block monument's removal

Supporters of the monument continue holding round-the-clock candlelight prayer vigils outside the judicial building. Several preachers led a group of about three dozen people in prayer.

One man said, "I think if you stand for this country, this whole country was founded on 'In God We Trust.' I think that if you were to put it in those terms, I think, yeah, everyone should defy it [the court order]."


A federal judge has threatened he may fine the state $5,000 a day if the monument is not taken down by the Wednesday deadline. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled the monument violated the constitutional ban on state promotion of religion.


"This is not about a monument or politics or religion," Moore told CNN on Wednesday. "It's about the acknowledgment of God, and the judge made that perfectly clear in closing argument when he said the issue is, 'Can the state acknowledge God?' He simply said we cannot. And that conflicts with the Alabama Constitution, which says our justice system is established in invoking the guidance of almighty God."


All I can say is: PLEASE, U.S. Supreme Court, STOP THE MADNESS!!!

Hey, it IS a mad, mad world after all, huh folks?

And thaaaaaats, thaaaaaats all folks...for today! :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Hmmm, so what do YOU think? Is this latest news article a lot of hot air or...possibly a grain of truth about the great East Coast electrical blackout? And would we, the American public, even be allowed to know this IF it were true?

Al Qaida claims responsibility for blackout

Al Qaida's Abu Hafs Brigades has claimed responsibility for the blackout last week in the Northeast and Midwest United States. A communiqué by the Abu Hafs Brigades made reference to Operation Quick Lightning in the Land of the Tyrant of this Generation."

It was published as "the third communiqué by the "Brigades."

In the first, they accepted responsibility for the downing of an airplane in Kenya. The second accepted responsibility for the Jakarta bombing of the Marriott hotel on August 5, 2003.

The new communiqué says that in compliance with the orders of Osama bin Laden to strike at the American economy, the Brigades struck two important electricity supply targets on the East coast, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute. The Brigades say that they cannot reveal how they did it, because they will probably have to use the same method again soon. The communiqué also claimed that the operation was meant as a present for the Iraqi people.

Just a little food for thought...till I have time to write a full entry!

Friday, August 15, 2003

Just a note to let those who read my diet journal that I updated (at last!) today. You can find the link on the right sidebar or My CR Diet Journal

Horrible about the freaky blackout in the northeast. I am undecided on what caused it (as are most folks) but I find it very, very strange and would NOT rule out hacking. Isn't a form of terrorism hacking into the electrical and water computer systems to create havoc? Oh, and how can Bush and others IMMEDIATELY assert it wasn't terrorism? Uh, they don't know WHAT happened.

Please scroll down and read Charlie Reese today. There's a link at the bottom of this site. His column reminds me of this song and lyrics:

Dirty Laundry - Don Henley

I make my living off the evening news
Just give me something that I can use
People love it when you lose
They love dirty laundry

Well I could have been an actor
But I wound up here
I just have to look good
I don't have to be clear
Come and whisper in my ear
We need dirty laundry

Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em all around

We got the bubble-headed bleach blonde
Comes on at five
She can tell ya 'bout the plane crash
With a gleam in her eye
It's int'resting when people die
Give us dirty laundry

Can we film the operation
Is the head dead yet
Y'know the boys in the newsroom
Got a running bet
Get the widow on the set
We need dirty laundry

You don't really need to find out
What's going on
You don't want to know just
How far it's gone
Just leave well enough alone
Keep your dirty laundry

Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em where they sit
Kick 'em all around

Dirty little secrets
Dirty little lies
We got our dirty little fingers
In ev'rybody's pies
We love to cut you down to size
We love dirty laundry

We can do the innuendo
We can dance and sing
When it's said and done we haven't
Told you a thing
We all know that crap is king
Give us dirty laundry

Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em all around


Ta, ta till later....

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Hmm, I'm feeling rather well these days. I am starting to get that itch to write/create again, and indeed, composed a poem last night. I'm also reading a good novel by one of my favorite authors, Josephine Hart. I was mesmerized by her first novel, Damage. Of course, obsessive, destructive love affairs are my forte. And that novel delved into an obsessive madness that destroyed one life and a long marriage.

Here's an excerpt from the novel I'm reading:

Oblivion--By Josephine Hart

"....I believe death is a double dealer: first, he deals us our mortal death, and then our real death -- oblivion -- when we are forgotten. Life to death, death to oblivion, both are short journeys. Yet we journey on, not in blissful ignorance -- for this knowledge is universal -- but in wilful blindness, or in childish terror, or in insane activity and accumulation of what we perceive as emblems of protection... Fame, 'surely if so many know me' ...Money, 'surely if I can count me' ...Power, 'surely, since I give orders'. Perhaps Epicurus was only half-right. Most of what we do in life may not be to try to defeat death but perhaps to defeat that dimly-glimpsed oblivion. We are, I fear, constructed for forgetfulness. The forgetfulness that we will be forgotten."

"And love? ... Surely when we love?"

"Love is the most dangerous emotion of all for the dead. Love's the killer. Love is always the killer. The new baby, the new romance, the new wife, over time they force the dead into oblivion. Perhaps the dead are sometimes angry."

I held my hand over my eyes for a moment and I felt my mouth tighten involuntarily.

"I've offended you."

"No, no."

"A polite lie." She gazed at me. Mockingly? I must move on. I must try to keep control.

"Art -- what about art? Does art defeat oblivion?"

"'I am an artist,' the self-benediction of our time. But so few are. And of those who are, so few are great. Time alone will tell whether some unique contribution has been made, and if the work lasts, it would have done so even if it were anonymous."


Otherwise, I'm still working...but this is a temporary, part-time position and will end after this month. And that is okay, since I am not full-time work material; I loathe it long-term.

DH and I are still looking at property/houses. Haven't found anything promising recently, other than the foreclosure fiasco last weekend. I do have several selected to drive by this weekend. One is in a VERY small town about ten miles to our south, a rather pretty region in a valley surrounded by mountains. The place is a house and huge lot for $39,000.00. But since that is the asking price, perhaps we could make an offer of 35,000.00 and get it. The main thing is the condition of the house and the lot/location. Since the small town is lightly populated, and is considered a dying town...then I'd think we MIGHT stand a better chance of liking this place.

The city where we live now is not considered a large city, more of a modest-size and certainly NOT a small town anymore. The quaint, quiet nature of small towns has always appealed to me. Unfortunately the Mexican illegal element is ruining various sections of this city (and NO, I'm not prejudiced, simply stating a fact), and causing strain on the school systems, and almost every community service. Plus, they do not take care of their housing -- and though most rent, they even cause nice apartments to become rundown. Sorry, but this is the truth for our city. At any rate, a change of town might just be in order.

I found an exceptional website today for American military families to express themselves; there's articles, as well as candid letters (with signed names) which really are eye-openers about what our service men/families are enduring over in Iraq. I support our troops, just not the boneheads who have sent them there and continue to keep them there.

Here's an interesting excerpt from a mother's letter about her son's service in the first Gulf War, and his suicide:

In early 1996, I thought things were starting to look up for him again. He'd sworn off the alcohol and drugs, he had a job he liked, and he planned to become engaged to a long-time girlfriend. Two weeks before the date they had chosen for their engagement party, at the age of 25, my William went out to his favorite spot at the beach and took his life at sunset. A few years later, unable to adjust to losing him, his girlfriend/fiancee also took her life.

So I guess I'm not a military family member anymore. Not since March of 1996.

I blame King George the First, and Gulf War I.

Now, another crop of kids and their families faces a war even more brutal and terrifying -- and much longer-lasting, and with a much, much shakier rationale -- than Gulf War I.

I'm writing to you to let you know I support your efforts. Even the kids who come home without a mark on their bodies still sometimes bear terrible scars because of the things we ask them to do to "defend freedom". I'd feel better about this if I knew it really *was* to defend freedom, and not just to defend Dick Cheney's stock portfolio, or Donald Rumsfeld's massive ego, or King George the Second's undeserving grip on global power, or our access to cheap oil and gas.

This stupid and unnecessary war is sowing a terrible seed among the other countries on this Earth, and among our own young....

My heart is with all the young soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan today. I hope they and their families can find a better, more just outcome than our family did. Wars send terrible ripples through the world. They should never be undertaken except as an absolute last resort.

Why do so many of the American people still trust these horrible people in this administration? Don't they see, yet, that these people may spout all the Christianoid claptrap they want, and they may stoke all the fears about Liberals and Gays and Terrorists and Atheists, but they are in no way on the average American's side. They take away our liberties and they sacrifice our children, supposedly to "protect" us ... but they can't protect us from anything.

They and their selfish dishonest kind are making matters worse, while they make themselves and their friends richer.

--Bring Them Home Now, Military Families Speak Out

And here's another link to an important news/articles website:

Truth Out

If you haven't checked out my links section at the bottom of this site, please look at those and click on 'Let There Be Peace'; it will provide you with up-to-date news daily about the continuing situation in Iraq.

Enough for today.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Finally, finally....FINALLY, I have time to write an update. My personal problems have been resolved, I'm working part-time, and life has improved.

DH and I are still looking for a place to buy, and still pursuing foreclosures. This past weekend we found a beautiful older house with 6 acres about ten miles from the city. The house has been entirely renovated, gorgeous hardwood floors, some carpeting, fresh floorplan on the first floor, bedroom, den, kitchen, formal living room, dining room, full bath downstairs; two bedrooms and a full bath upstairs, basement, sunroom. It is a foreclosure, and the price is a bit more than we want to pay...but it seemed IDEAL in every way. Anyone reading this journal will know we've been searching for the PERFECT place for over a year now, off and on. We thought we'd found it.

But this morning DH went by the courthouse to find out where the property lines were, and guess what? There's only 2 acres with the house, instead of 6! Darn it, that wouldn't be enough land for DH's horses. There is even a fairly good-size building in the back for a saddle shop/office for DH! Unfortunately though, the land is just not enough -- particularly 10 miles from the city and at the asking price. Perhaps the realtor will reduce the price, since it is being promoted as 6 acres.

Just a tip for anyone thinking of investing in foreclosures -- do your homework! Better go to the county courthouse and check into the tax assessor's records, property lines, etc. Of all the places we have found in foreclosure (and there's LOTS in this county alone) I know of only 2 that were actually what the realtor had been promoting. The others had land issues, or the houses were in such dire need of work that the asking price was ridiculous. I really don't see how anyone could "make money off foreclosures"...and certainly not get rich quick in that endeavor. Lots of scams out there now trying to cash in on these ceaseless foreclosures in this bad enconomy (and don't get me started on Bush and the poor economy!), but these ARE indeed scams. We've only looked within our county, and still haven't found a suitable place with a price less than most home owners are asking. So beware!

We've also looked at several home owner's property/houses up for sale, but again, haven't found the perfect place. We are very, very selective because at our age, we already know all the pitfalls and problems of buying real estate (having owned two places) and/or the true financial value. Location is probably THE most important aspect, but then again, if you have to spend a lot of money getting a house livable and/or updating, and paid a bundle to begin with...well, you might just be on a sinking ship.

Othewise I'm busy with my part-time work, taking care of my critters (7 cats indoors only, 4 regular strays I feed that stay in the backyard) I can't complain. Physically I'm well also. This month is the two-year anniversary of my biking at least six times a week! I'm maintaining my weight at 90-91 lbs, and even eat healthy, don't starve or restrict too much. I only eat sweets on rare occasions, and with the exercise, I guess that helps me maintain this current weight.

I suppose that's it for now. I will try not to neglect this journal again, but IF I fail to update can always browse the extensive archives! :-)

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Still alive. Just wanted everyone to know I'm not dead. Lots of personal stuff going on, as well as hectic work (yes, I went back to work!) schedule.

I'll try to update in detail soon. If you're reading and curious, send me a private email and I'll explain more in detail.

More when I have TIME -- which is in short abundance these days!