News, Thoughts and Opinions

Feature & Follow Friday Hop

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This is from Alison Can Read. Do check out the featured blog and everyone else, and join in on the fun. And if you’d like to follow me back, while I do prefer WordPress, I have some other options.

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“Question of the Week: Name a book you hated – Suggested by Bookish Findings.

I’m trying to remember the last book I hated. Usually I just stop reading a book when I’m not enjoying it. Occasionally I’ll flip through books who’s political view I disagree with and generally dislike those. I wasn’t able to get through Legacy of Kings, which is a book many people have raved about. But I wouldn’t say I hated it – more that I haven’t loved it yet.

How about you?”

I’ve had a couple this year: They just weren’t to my taste.

The Girl Who Wouldn't Die
Falling For A Redneck
Cat's Lair (Leopard People #7)

Cat’s Lair (#7)

News, Thoughts and Opinions

When reading history, it should be accurate to be worthwhile. Or why Texas has stepped into a steaming pile of stupid.

Texas History

You know something is big when conservatives and liberals both start sharing something. And it is huge, a huge mistake for the state of Texas. Apparently Texas has decided to re-write history.

This is insane, it’s not education or history. It’s fiction, and it needs to stop. Be honest. Don’t lie to each other, and especially don’t lie to children. Effing READ. Hell, start with A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union. Almost the ENTIRE thing is about slavery. Face it, the only state right they were concerned with was slavery.

And to illustrate that fact. Here is the ENTIRE Texas Declaration of causes. And what I am going to do is highlight every instance of slave, slavery, negro, race, etc. I think you’ll get the point pretty quickly.

“The government of the United States, by certain joint resolutions, bearing date the 1st day of March, in the year A.D. 1845, proposed to the Republic of Texas, then *a free, sovereign and independent nation* [emphasis in the original], the annexation of the latter to the former, as one of the co-equal states thereof,

The people of Texas, by deputies in convention assembled, on the fourth day of July of the same year, assented to and accepted said proposals and formed a constitution for the proposed State, upon which on the 29th day of December in the same year, said State was formally admitted into the Confederated Union.

Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits– a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?

The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under various pretences and disguises, has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slaveholding States.

By the disloyalty of the Northern States and their citizens and the imbecility of the Federal Government, infamous combinations of incendiaries and outlaws have been permitted in those States and the common territory of Kansas to trample upon the federal laws, to war upon the lives and property of Southern citizens in that territory, and finally, by violence and mob law, to usurp the possession of the same as exclusively the property of the Northern States.

The Federal Government, while but partially under the control of these our unnatural and sectional enemies, has for years almost entirely failed to protect the lives and property of the people of Texas against the Indian savages on our border, and more recently against the murderous forays of banditti from the neighboring territory of Mexico; and when our State government has expended large amounts for such purpose, the Federal Government has refuse reimbursement therefor, thus rendering our condition more insecure and harassing than it was during the existence of the Republic of Texas.

These and other wrongs we have patiently borne in the vain hope that a returning sense of justice and humanity would induce a different course of administration.

When we advert to the course of individual non-slave-holding States, and that a majority of their citizens, our grievances assume far greater magnitude.

The States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, by solemn legislative enactments, have deliberately, directly or indirectly violated the 3rd clause of the 2nd section of the 4th article [the fugitive slave clause] of the federal constitution, and laws passed in pursuance thereof; thereby annulling a material provision of the compact, designed by its framers to perpetuate the amity between the members of the confederacy and to secure the rights of the slave-holding States in their domestic institutions– a provision founded in justice and wisdom, and without the enforcement of which the compact fails to accomplish the object of its creation. Some of those States have imposed high fines and degrading penalties upon any of their citizens or officers who may carry out in good faith that provision of the compact, or the federal laws enacted in accordance therewith.

In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color— a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.

For years past this abolition organization has been actively sowing the seeds of discord through the Union, and has rendered the federal congress the arena for spreading firebrands and hatred between the slave-holding and non-slave-holding States.

By consolidating their strength, they have placed the slave-holding States in a hopeless minority in the federal congress, and rendered representation of no avail in protecting Southern rights against their exactions and encroachments. They have proclaimed, and at the ballot box sustained, the revolutionary doctrine that there is a ‘higher law’ than the constitution and laws of our Federal Union, and virtually that they will disregard their oaths and trample upon our rights.

They have for years past encouraged and sustained lawless organizations to steal our slaves and prevent their recapture, and have repeatedly murdered Southern citizens while lawfully seeking their rendition.

They have invaded Southern soil and murdered unoffending citizens, and through the press their leading men and a fanatical pulpit have bestowed praise upon the actors and assassins in these crimes, while the governors of several of their States have refused to deliver parties implicated and indicted for participation in such offenses, upon the legal demands of the States aggrieved.

They have, through the mails and hired emissaries, sent seditious pamphlets and papers among us to stir up servile insurrection and bring blood and carnage to our firesides.

They have sent hired emissaries among us to burn our towns and distribute arms and poison to our slaves for the same purpose.

They have impoverished the slave-holding States by unequal and partial legislation, thereby enriching themselves by draining our substance.

They have refused to vote appropriations for protecting Texas against ruthless savages, for the sole reason that she is a slave-holding State.

And, finally, by the combined sectional vote of the seventeen non-slave-holding States, they have elected as president and vice-president of the whole confederacy two men whose chief claims to such high positions are their approval of these long continued wrongs, and their pledges to continue them to the final consummation of these schemes for the ruin of the slave-holding States.

In view of these and many other facts, it is meet that our own views should be distinctly proclaimed.

We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.

That in this free government *all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights* [emphasis in the original]; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.

By the secession of six of the slave-holding States, and the certainty that others will speedily do likewise, Texas has no alternative but to remain in an isolated connection with the North, or unite her destinies with the South.

For these and other reasons, solemnly asserting that the federal constitution has been violated and virtually abrogated by the several States named, seeing that the federal government is now passing under the control of our enemies to be diverted from the exalted objects of its creation to those of oppression and wrong, and realizing that our own State can no longer look for protection, but to God and her own sons– We the delegates of the people of Texas, in Convention assembled, have passed an ordinance dissolving all political connection with the government of the United States of America and the people thereof and confidently appeal to the intelligence and patriotism of the freemen of Texas to ratify the same at the ballot box, on the 23rd day of the present month.

Adopted in Convention on the 2nd day of Feby, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one and of the independence of Texas the twenty-fifth.”

All the other Confederate states have similar declarations. If this doesn’t illuminate that the cause of the Civil War was completely about slavery, then that person must be willfully blind. And I am not even addressing the complete lack of information on significant historical events and movements. I am ONLY talking about lies and misinformation.

And this is not fiction. It is not a book or a movie where you can just retcon the story line for your own purposes. This is about real history, it affects real lives. How we perceive our past is how we perceive our present and how we address our futures. People in this country already have enough difficulty discussing race issues already. So if you don’t have a problem with the changes Texas is making in textbooks, then you need to take a good close look at your motivations. Because guess what? No one is saying that anyone living now was at fault for what happened. No one is saying it is your fault or your responsibility. But if your feelings are so hurt by having it public information, that people who may have looked like you or were maybe even your ancestors, did this, and thought this way, that you feel the need to re-write history, then you need to sit down and shut up and realize that this is NOT about you. History is about truth. It is about separating fact from fiction whenever possible. And inserting fiction into the narrative so you can feel better helps no one. It doesn’t even help you. You can’t address issues when you spend all of your time covering things up. This isn’t going away. Current events should seem to show that. But the narrative we build upon lies and misinformation twists things until all people can do is be angry, be defensive.

Let’s not be those types of people. Let’s embrace truth and teach our children to do the same.

News, Thoughts and Opinions

Social media is the devil, but I am trapped here anyway.

Too Much Social Media

I am probably headed down the rabbit hole here, but for better or for worse, I am expanding my social media repertoire.

Facebook Page




G+ (Does anyone still use that? I like it but rarely get interactions)


So questions. Why are there so many social media outlets? Why am I insane? Why am I so bad at Twitter? And please why won’t 6 more people like my Facebook Page? That last one is kind of serious, 6 more likes will have me reaching 100. Don’t judge, it is a goal.


The magic that is library cards!


Seriously, if you live in Texas and you love to read, drop what you are doing and read on. This will be the best news you have heard all year.

The Houston Public Library has a provision where if you are a Texas resident then you can get a public library card from them for FREE.

You fill out their application and scan that and your ID and either mail or email it to them. It really is that simple, I have mine and have already been checking out ebooks from Overdrive. So for residents of Texas it is free. But what about non-residents? For you guys the charge is $40.00 per year. But look around, because chances are good that your state offers something like this too. And if anyone out there finds other options that are either free or available for a nominal fee, please respond in the comments. Surely someone out there has already started compiling these kinds of lists.

I’ll probably come back and make this post more asthetically pleasing, but for now here’s a link to additional cities that offer this.


Two weeks with a Kindle Paperwhite.


After my poor Nook Simple Touch Died, an early adopter who’d upgraded, saw my distress and very kindly donated her old Paperwhite to my cause. So, here are my thoughts.

1. I am really enjoying not having to go through the extra steps to side load things when I purchase from kindle.

2. The light is less noticeable than I suspected it would be, on the very lowest setting (you can’t turn it all the way off without hacks) there are just a few angles or positions where it is irksome.

3. It is also a benefit, because at night if I wander off and leave it somewhere, I can turn off all the lights and find it from the glow.

4. It is also way easier to check out books from Overdrive/library.

5. I still miss the side page turn buttons.

6. I’m struggling to get used to the menu set up and the fact that taping the middle of the screen doesn’t bring up said menus.

Now that I am in, I will probably never get out again, and unless Google comes out with an actual eink tablet (please do that Google, I’m ready to gorge until I die on a Scribd subscription), I will forevermore be a slave to the Kindle ecosystem.


Blogger to WordPress

I’ve migrated my blog from Blogger to WordPress.

Please let me know if there is anything broken or weird. Thanks!


Blog Migration

News, Thoughts and Opinions

Because no one should be harried and bankrupted for having an effing opinion.

Right now in Nevada, legislation is on the table that would effectively strip anti-SLAPP protections, which is one of the few things that stand in the way of honest people being punished unfairly for having a dissenting opinion. This affects every aspect of our public lives, whether you’re doing the reviewing (even on something as basic and ubiquitous as Amazon) or trying to find reviews on something you’re considering purchasing. Reliance on the public review process is already fraught enough with the surge of paid for positive reviews, and stifling negative reviews even further can only be a detriment to the consumer. So even if you never write reviews yourself, stop and think about how many reviews you’ve read and how they’ve affected your purchasing. There are plenty of other aspects that would be affected besides reviewing, but it’s the aspect that’s closest to me. And, I could probably pontificate for a while on this, but plenty of people have already done it better.

Her Hands, My Hands

Marc Randazza

Jacob Sullum

Ken White at PopeHat

Mike Cernovich

If you like free speech and the free market, this should concern you. Not all states yet have anti-SLAPP legislation, and rolling back one of the stronger examples isn’t going to help matters any, so even if you don’t live in Nevada, this affects you too.


Ilona Andrews Magic Shifts Excerpt..or why I really need a time machine.

This is almost too much for my heart to bear. Magic Shifts chapters 1 & 2 have been posted. It starts with a bang and ends with an explosion. I don’t know how I am going the be able to wait until it is finally released August 4, 2015. I’m telling you, I really need a time machine so I can go to the future and read ALL the books.