It’s almost Halloween!
Anyway, by the time you are reading this blog, hopefully the massive butt plug that has been keeping our elected representatives from representing the best interests of their constituents has been removed. Hopefully. I am sure of it. I hope. Maybe.
Quite frankly, in my personal opinion, this entire affair has been ridiculous. I do not blame one individual or one party, but every elected official in Washington. Have they forgotten that they represent the citizens of this country? Have they forgotten that the democratic process works through negotiation, through give-and-take, and not through the stubborn ideological stances of some party members or a party line repeated by rote? (No doubt lobbyists have had “behind the scenes” influence too.)
So, where has our political leadership led us to now? To give a few examples:
- World War II veterans remove guard barriers so they can visit the closed-down World War II memorial.
- National parks are closed, though states are stepping forward to pay to have them re-opened.
- Death benefits to the families of fallen service members are being paid by a real estate mogul/philanthropist (though he will be reimbursed).
- The civilian and technical side of the Reserve Components (Reserve, and National Guard) are sitting at home, waiting to be recalled.
- Those with vacation homes/homes on Federal land, due to closure, are being told to get out of their homes or face arrest.
- The reach of Federal money, and now the drying up, means state governments/agencies will start laying off employees, and those they service will be further impacted.
- Furloughed military personnel trimming the grass and hedges at the USS Arizona memorial in Hawaii.
If you doubt what I have written, just “google” it. The legitimate news media not concerned with “twerking” and reality TV and the Kardashians, are filing reports every day. Are some reports biased one way or another? Of course! But you can begin to see how the Federal shutdown is impacting our fellow citizens and even what image (not positive) we are portraying to the global community.
You know, I have never been very political in my life.
But I believe it is time for a massive recall of our elected representatives. Every one of them. Holding political office should not be a hereditary position or one due only to the rich, powerful, and well-connected (or backed by Political Action Committees and lobbyists).
However, sadly, I know there won’t be any recalls except for those engineered by narrowly-focused groups for non-budgetary reasons. Come the next round of elections in 2014 I am sure most politicians will still be seated in their “almost hereditary offices.”
Anyway, take a moment to forget all of this.
Give your children a hug, decorate the house, apartment, or homeless shelter that you live in, and get ready for Halloween. Go trick or treating with your children, and afterwards sit on the floor with them and divvy up the candy. Even though others who are better paid and more educated than the rest of us, have lost their minds, you can still have fun on Halloween night.
So, Happy Halloween!
PS (21 October): Oh yeah—start saving your money to pay bills and accumulate a percentage of your food stamps in order to get what you need, come January 2014. After all, this temporary agreement the politicians settled on, on 16 October, runs out in about 90 days, right?
“The Gates of Moses.” Melange Books, August 2012.
BLURB: An engineer dedicated to saving Venice from the rising seas, fails in his task. As a severe storm and high tides threaten to burst through the flood walls, he resolves to remain in Venice with a ghostly lover who claimed his heart years before. A woman from his staff who loves him, does not evacuate, but remains to battle his ghostly lover before he dies in a sinking Venice…
EXCERPT: The dull booms, like the measured beats of a primeval heart, echoed through the gray drizzling afternoon. Each boom was a countdown to a finely predicted cataclysm that man, through his mistaken notion that he could control nature, had finally admitted that he was powerless to hold back.
Dr. Gregorio Romano, tall, with dark brown hair and watchful hazel eyes, stood before the open tall narrow window of his corner office in the ornate, gilded Ducal Palace of the once La Serenissima Repubblica di Venezia, the Most Serene Republic of Venice, and peered into the gray drizzle toward the unseen barrier islands. The almost submerged islands of Lido and Pellestrina, with their channels opening onto the Adriatic Sea, formed the southeastern perimeter of the timeless Venetian lagoon. He listened to the echoing booms of the rising, stormy Adriatic, and thought of a mythical, prehistoric mother who gave birth to an imaginative species that dreamed of the impossible and often made it happen. And now the mother was ready to take back one of the greatest dreams of her children, ready to clasp it deep within her bosom.
“Yes,” he replied as he gazed at the gray choppy waters of the lagoon.
“Have you reconsidered? Are you ready to evacuate?”
“Not yet.” Gregorio tilted his head slightly as a sleek dark gondola glided effortlessly across frothy, white-capped waters and halted before the flooded wharf, the Riva degli Schiavoni, in front of the Palace.
Patrizia Celentano, the first and last female gondolier of Venice, looked up at him and gave a friendly wave. He raised a hand in return. Her gondola was a traditionally built and shaped boat, but rather than the traditional black as required by law, she painted it a dark wine color. Though she offered to erect a shelter to protect Gregorio from the elements, he always preferred to ride in the open.
“We can evacuate you by force if necessary.”
“You won’t,” Gregorio smiled as he turned to face his computer on the polished wooden desk. The broad, bearded face of his boss, Dr. Niccolo Ricci, nodded in agreement. “There’s no need, and a helicopter is scheduled to pick me up from the roof of my home tomorrow morning at 0600 hours.”
“The calculations might be incorrect. The gates could break tonight…”
SS Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 wonderful grandchildren, a published photographer and photojournalist, and a member of the Military Writers Society of America. He retired on 1 July 2013 from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Ready Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007). His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others. Second-career goals include becoming a painter and studying for a degree in photography and anthropology—hopefully to someday work in and photograph underwater archaeology. After 12 years of brown desert in the Southwest and overseas, he misses the Rocky Mountains, yellow aspens in the fall, running rivers, and a warm fireplace during snowy winters. As of December 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Hampton officially became a homeless Iraq War veteran.
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