Locus Amœnus on “No Lies Radio”

lacoversmallI just sent my manuscript off to the publisher a week ago, and, as luck would have it, I got a call from Andrew Steele, host of  No Lies Radio, asking me to do an interview on the theme of the book.

The program will air Thursday, January 23, 2014

Here’s a summary of the story: In this dark comedy, a 9/11 widow and her son, Hamlet, have retreated from Brooklyn to the idyllic rural countryside upstate, where for nearly eight years they have run a sustainable farm. Unfortunately their outrageously obese neighbors, who prefer the starchy products of industrial agriculture, shun their elitist ways (recycling, eating healthy, reading). Hamlet, who is now 18, is beginning to suspect that something is rotten in the United States of America, when health, happiness and freedom are traded for cheap Walmart goods, Zoloft, endless war, core curriculum, and environmental degradation. He becomes very depressed when, on the very day of the 8th anniversary of his father’s death, his mother marries a horrid, boring bureaucrat named Claudius. Things get even more depressing for Hamlet when his friend Horatio, a conspiracy theorist, claims Claudius is a fraud. The deceptions, spying, corruption, will ultimately lead, as in Shakespeare’s play, to tragedy.
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Digital Journal articles on politics

My political posts here have dwindled in number since I began writing articles for Digital Journal, an online Canadian newspaper. My favorite subjects have been the illegality of the NDAA, third-party presidential candidates, the war on terror, and various ways in which centralization, standardization and global economies of scale are basically ruining everything. All this is background for thinking about the new novel I’m writing, Locus Amœnus.

The Erosion of Freedom since 9/11: Patriot Act, NDAA, and SOPA / PIPA

SOPA/PIPA is not about loosing your right to post pet trick videos with Radiohead playing in the background. It’s about educational fair use copyright laws, without which effective political speech will be impossible.

With the Patriot Act we lost our 4th amendment rights. The government can examine our papers, email, computers, internet activity, and cell phone activity without a warrant and, in many cases, without our knowledge.

With the NDAA we lost our 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th amendment rights of due process. Any one can potentially be arrested and held without trial indefinitely.  Continue reading

Gillibrand makes pathetic excuses for her support of the NDAA

Photo courtesy

I wrote to my senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, criticizing her yes vote in support of the NDAA, the new piece of legislation that allows the federal government to imprison any US citizen without trial or evidence. Gillibrand’s office responded with a poor excuse  for what is effectively an act of treason. Her office explains that, after voting “yes” to the destruction of our most basic rights,

“Senator Gillibrand voted for an amendment by Senator Udall to strike the detainee language in the bill. When that effort failed, she supported another effort by Senator Feinstein to curb this provision. While the conference committee has produced a better result, it is not ideal and she will continue to work with her colleagues for a better solution. Last week, she co-sponsored new follow-up legislation by Sen. Feinstein to immediately establish a ‘clear statement rule’ that requires Congress to expressly authorize detention authority when it comes to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents for all military authorizations and similar authorities.”

That’s right, Senator, doing away with habeas corpus is not “ideal” and the “better solution” you are seeking is the one in the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th amendments to the Constitution, which you just trampled on. It should be pointed out too, that the US considers it a violation of human rights when a country like Iran holds prisoners without trial or evidence.  If we are committed to justice, we should never take away this right from anyone, even, or especially, from suspected Continue reading