Vultures: Self Publishers are like vultures!Success Starts Here They prey on the poor and hopeful writers who dream of seeing their words in print. They are really high tech cyber criminals with no face and no name and a new way to empty trusting pockets.

Like so many “foolish” people around the globe I would like to be a published writer. In the past it was difficult. Perhaps half of 1% of what was ever written got published. Even Dickens and Elliot began by publishing their own manuscripts.

Today we have self publishing. The cost is high, the anxiety leads to depression, and the lack of marketing skills lead to rejection and heartbreak.literature

After years of toiling over that MS and spending hard earned (sometimes borrowed) money to self publish and not being able to get a return on your labour and investment – well it is disillusioning, especially if you believe in the subject you have so carefully developed.

What is amazing about the publishing industry is that a movie star or a politician or a ball player could write trash about their sex life, war mongering, drug habits, or absolute tripe and they buy and publish such drivel.DSC_5394

To publish a book on educating parents and the public about the state of American education would not be of interest to publishers. And yet every publishing house has swindlers / salesmen preying on writers to self publish so they can make money.

These swindlers, these vultures, are merciless in their campaign to get one’s money to self publish.

Yes, I fell into the trap – and lost some retirement funds.

 

 

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“The fact that someone has been elected doesn’t mean that he is smart.”  Meir Dagan, Article written by Ronen Bergman, NY Times Magazine, January 29, 2012.breaking news

This is so true. I feel the same way and have written on this blog about our dumb members of Congress who are poor when elected, but become millionaires within months.

The Israeli / Palestinian “peace” talks have collapsed again. Is anyone – even with limited intelligence – surprised? Oh! Yes! The dumb politicians! They tried so hard, but Alas! Nothing.

When I was in those countries, I spoke to the shopkeepers, cab drivers, hotel and restaurant workers. The Israelis said, “Let’s get it over, so we can begin to live peace – not talk about it.”

The Palestinians – Muslims and Christians – said, “There will never be a Palestinian State because it’s not in the interest of the major powers.” When I asked why they felt so, the answer was, “If there is peace and statehood in Palestine it would ruin the US arms sales in the Middle East.” End of story.

The Jordanians said that we want peace as much as they do. No one realizes how much this situation affects our economy.words

When one is standing on their soil and listening to the ordinary people tell their stories, it is very different from the politicians’ speeches, and the media propaganda. Politicians are by training LIARS. It is sad that they are elected by the people, and once they take office they go deaf and greedy. Politicians do as they please and the people can go to hell.

My journey took me to incomparable Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Masada, the Dead Sea, Capernaum and the Golan heights. Then unto Amman, Mount Nebo, Petra, Wadi Rum and Moses Well.

I was pleased and grateful to God to be able to walk where God’s Prophets walked. Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, the Tribes, Moses, Aaron, David Solomon, John, Zachariah, Jesus, and Muhammad at the Dome of the Rock.SONY DSC

For a place that is so holy to all of Abraham’s children, one wonders how politics can take precedence over God, and politicians can corrupt it and cause so much pain and suffering to its people.

Well, it’s only land, isn’t it? That’s what they’re fighting about. All the holy prophets of God departed and left the land. So too shall the corrupt politicians – those new sages of our day.

“The fact that someone has been elected doesn’t mean that he is smart.”

 

One of the most interesting observations in Israel – and Jerusalem in particular – is the “dress” of the women. Whether they were Jewish, Christian or Muslim their ways of dressing were distinct and certainly signified their religious background.MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

The religious women of all three religions covered their heads and were modestly dressed. On the other hand, some young women of all three religions wore skin tight pants and bosom hugging tops, and some wore colourful, matching head scarves with their modern outfits.

Imagine seeing every curve, crack and crevice of their bodies, but their heads properly covered!

Anyway, two things set me thinking. First, US and European opinion of Muslim women tend to be that their style of dress is associated with oppression. Throughout history, the men in all the Abrahamic Faiths have used religion to oppress their women. No one can dispute this claim.

A Jesuit priest once told me that if men were making the rules, would they make rules against themselves? In conversation, a Rabbi also admitted that religion oppresses women.

Is the world ready for women to be equal to men?KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Second, it is a fact that Jewish and Christian women in those same parts of the world dress in a modest manner, but there modest dresses are not connected to oppression. However, the Muslim women, with their head scarves, are seen as oppressed because of the head scarf.

I think that all men and women should dress with decorum in public places. To associate women’s clothing with oppression is missing the point. It is man made laws – in the name of God – that oppress women.

We need to change those laws to end women’s oppression. But that will never happen! Men will never be content to play second fiddle or to accept that God gave women stuff in their heads too!

Israel, Palestine and Jordon: Exciting, informative and disillusioning.

I just returned from a trip to those holy and historic places. It started with Jerusalem. For most of my adult life I wanted to visit Jerusalem. Every time I said aloud that I wanted to go to Jerusalem my family and friends dissuaded me from such a foolish venture. It was not safe.

Finally, I told no one I was going and just went there. There was fear, but the way I saw it, if I was going to die there, then I would just die there.Desert

My daily itinerary was filled with historical facts and holy places – which is exactly what I wanted. There was also a lot of propaganda which one could dismiss, but also take seriously.

Jerusalem Old City was humbling. The places I visited include Masada and the Dead Sea. Many Roman archaeological sites. Yardenit – a popular baptismal sight on the Jordon River. Tiberias, the Golan Heights. Bethlehem, Petra, Amman, Wadi Rum (Lawrence of Arabia) among others.

Tulips

This trip taught me a lot about propaganda, refugee camps, hunger and starvation, medical needs, hope and a bright future, and loss of hope and a past but no future.

I hope to share these experiences in the days ahead.

Everyone knows that about 1,200 people died when the Rana Building collapsed in Bangladesh.

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Another 112 burned to death in the Tazreen factory fire. Another 1,800 were injured and/or hospitalized.

Well, Wal*mart exhibited proper scorn for the dead and injured workers when they refused to contribute a copper penny to the families of the dead and injured.

This is not about blame. This is about being a human being and having a conscience. Of course, Wal*Mart is not a human being, but a logo in the slave trade business.

Some European companies have recognized their “responsibility” to the Bangladeshi workers and have started a fund to help the victims of that deadly fire and building collapse.

They asked Wal*Mart to contribute. Wal*Mart refused.

Yes, Wal*Mart refused! Wal*Mart also suffered. They lost cheap labour – 20 cents per hour. They were suffering because of all that cheap labour crushed and burned to death. They were grieving so much, they had to run out of Bangladesh and rush into Cambodia? Thailand? Or some other country with cheap labour so as not to lose any business.

Those European companies are collecting money from all the companies who were in those buildings to help defray funeral expenses, hospital bills, rehabilitation for the injured and burn victims, and re-establishing displaced workers.

One sad line in one news story was that kids had to quit school and go to work to support family.

A protest in Utah against Wal-Mart

A protest in Utah against Wal-Mart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wal*Mart refused to help, to contribute, to show their human side. One wonders what kind of people own Wal*Mart? What kind of people runs this empire? What kind of people can be so indifferent to human suffering when they contributed to that particular slave trade?

Wal*Mart contributed to the death of about 1,300 of its victims, and to the injuries and suffering of thousands more; but Wal*Mart can not contribute a penny to help ease these people’s daily and continuing misery and grief. There is no profit to be gained in helping helpless people.

Wal*Mart scorned the victims – dead and alive – of the Bangladeshi tragedies. They exploited, oppressed and cast in slavery the cheap labour they “employed”.

People think they get stuff cheap at Wal*Mart. But the stuff is not cheap. Their clothes and shoes have blood all over it. And some sweat and tears too. Ask those Bangladeshis – dead and alive.

English: simulated Wal-Mart logo

English: simulated Wal-Mart logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Department opened at Wal*Mart: Slaves for sale. Cheap labour by the hour. Minority rights redefined. Develop plantation mentality. Free classes on exploitation, oppression, and slave trade. Call the heirs & board of directors to sign up.

HAPPY SHOPPING!

Dear President Obama:

I never thought I would feel sorry for the President of the United States of America. However, I feel great compassion for the position you are in with reference to the republican rats.

God the Father 04

God the Father 04 (Photo credit: Waiting For The Word)

The white republicans have taken hate, prejudice and racism to a new low. I can’t believe I am seeing and hearing these gutter snipes spew their venom daily. I can’t believe I am living with such dysfunctional people – people elected to serve the American people.

These republicans are sacrificing a whole nation just to invalidate a man because of the colour of his skin. But they won’t succeed.

Republicans are moral, God faring people who do not believe in abortion and human rights and any rights for the poor and hungry. They believe in white male power.

They won’t succeed – God willing – because God supports all the poor, hungry, oppressed, exploited people of the world.

With his family by his side, Barack Obama is s...

With his family by his side, Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the United States by Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2009. More than 5,000 men and women in uniform are providing military ceremonial support to the presidential inauguration, a tradition dating back to George Washington’s 1789 inauguration. VIRIN: 090120-F-3961R-919 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

They won’t succeed – God willing – because God made all our colours – yours and mine and theirs, and God is colour blind, and heaven and hell are also colour blind.

They won’t succeed – God willing – because no one can be so spiteful, hateful, prejudiced, and racist and not pay for their deeds. God is just and He will show you the way. Have Faith!

They did not succeed in 2012 because you were re-elected by an overwhelming majority. That was God speaking to the republicans, but they are deaf and blind.

Keep doing your best for the American people and leave the republicans to God. His wrath will descend on them at the right moment.

Lots of people love, honour and respect you. (Do not listen to the polls – propaganda.) Work for all people and the good of our nation.

People – parents, pundits, policy wonks, politicians – at every level of education – federal, state, city, private, public – are all pulling out their hair over the sub-standard of American education.

American Education is in the Dumpster

American Education is in the Dumpster (Photo credit: brewbooks)

They all need to take two things into consideration.
I. The dirty politics that permeates the education system.
II. The profitable business that education has become in the US.

We constantly bemoan our education dilemma and compare our broken system to Finland, China, Canada, and the other progressive systems, but do nothing to change the status quo.

I. Let us consider the dirty politics that has infested our system and has eaten the core of what education should be. Public education was meant for the masses, to get them out of poverty, to make them responsible and civic-minded citizens, to make them critical thinkers, to understand the world around them, and certainly to see through and analyze the propaganda of politics.

The present system has failed in every way. How many elected politicians are luxuriating in the pockets of lobbyists? Are they watching out for poor kids and public education or are they filling their pockets with money that belongs to the poor and uneducated? They constantly cut money for education, but not their salaries, the war chest, NSA, or taxes for the 1%.

Seal of the United States Department of Education

Seal of the United States Department of Education (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

II. Education is big and profitable business in the US. Look at all the useless technology we are pouring into schools. The Pearson testing, testing & testing; the sub-standard text books, and the money paid to these leeches while we cut essential needs and services to students & teachers. Education is not a business and should never have been allowed into the grasp of Capitalism 101. Politicians created this mess, and we must get politicians and businesses out of education.

Is education big business in Finland, or is it the unadulterated birthright of every child born on its soil? Has dirty politics, greedy politicians and multi-national corporations infiltrated their system?

Education in the US is not going to change anytime soon. First we must get raid of dirty politics, greedy politicians and profitable business conglomerates like Pearson and the technologies. Then we must seriously look at what is the best on the world stage, borrow it, reshape it, and implement it for our kids.

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