Come see me in Williamsburg this weekend!

If you’re planning on coming to RavenCon this weekend, come by my table and say Hi. Among the events going on:

RavenCon folks, you’re invited to join the Weird Wild West book party on Friday at 10pm!
Come join Emily Leverett, Margaret S. McGraw, and Gail Martin to celebrate the wildest West that never was!
Signings, giveaways and raffles. And books for sale of course! grin emoticon
http://www.ravencon.com

HB2, Laws of unintended consequences, and rearranging the deck chairs on the NC Titanic

Last night, half paying attention, I was surfing ye olde book of faces and an article popped up North Carolina Governor Sets Up Hotline To Report Anyone Not Using Correct Bathroom. I live in Charlotte, and I have friends on both sides of the argument, and being the jackass I am, I reposted it with a generic comment.

Within a few minutes, I had a friend respond “Fake News Site,” to which to me, was mostly irrelevant. And that point was proven over the next couple of hours after I agreed, and even commented on a couple of times in the thread. It was the overall ire and rant the post triggered. What was most interesting to me was how believable it is that we have devolved to this point in our society.

For anyone not paying attention to NC and US politics, HB2 was a bill passed, that in my view, is a poster child for the marriage of ‘The Law of Unintended Consequences’ and ‘Knee Jerk Reaction,’ being babysat by ‘Small Minded Well-Sheltered Ostriches.’ And they all have their heads up their ass.

First, let me state, I believe the law was ridiculous in principle, much less in execution. Its stated purpose was trying to fix a non-existent problem that was already covered by existing laws, even if it were an issue. In my opinion, this is a giant publicity stunt gone wrong in an election season, and has the potential to become the biggest States Rights case in decades. Why you ask?

It totally blew past long standing Federal Laws, and we are already seeing blowback on the people who are the most likely demographic to have thought it was a good idea. For example, the age discrimination suits that now have to go to Federal Court: http://www.wsoctv.com/news/local/man-files-federal-lawsuit-over-age-discrimination/209361628 and http://wncn.com/2016/04/01/nc-woman-suing-for-age-discrimination-gets-caught-up-in-hb2-bill-fallout/ for example.

Before we go any further, let me state I am a firm believer in States Rights, and in many ways the Federal Government has overreached its authority. This being said, my view is the power of the states exists to protect and guarantee our freedoms as people, not exert more oppression. And have no doubt, this bill is oppression of all people in this state, and will be for the others who are considering or who have passed similar legislation.

My personal beliefs go to the point where I don’t necessarily have to like or agree with your personal views, but as long as you are not forcing them on others, or harming others through your actions, I will defend your right to believe them to the end. I don’t want to live in a homogeneous society of drones, ala a Stepford community or even worse, Demolition Man.

No way am I doing Taco Bell every day.

At times in my career, I’ve been in traditional media, alt media, politics, small business, and the largest corporations on the planet. With the exception of small business, and sometimes even this, they all rely on the same motivator. Fear.

If you’re afraid of everything and everyone around you, you are easier to control. Almost all of the news is bad. Fear porn.

Politics used to be about motivating you to vote for someone or something. Look at the current election cycle. All of the discussion is about finding the least of the evils, and getting you to vote to stop someone else from getting into office.

Businesses rely on fear to sell you goods and services. Fear your neighbor will have something you don’t. Fear you might miss out on the next big thing. Fear that if you don’t have their service, you’ll be a victim. Don’t go in the bathroom without a baseball bat and a genitalia cop.

Guess what. This law doesn’t mean any more to a predator than ANY OTHER LAW. It’s a piece of legislation to make self-righteous people feel better about themselves and a little more false sense of security, it gives the media a firestorm to latch onto, and it lets us do it on the backs of people who are having more than enough challenges in their lives (just like the rest of us) without trying to figure out where to take a whizz without it becoming a potential life and death situation.

No, we don’t live in a perfect world. The more we fear, the further we’re driven into out caves, starring from the darkness hoping we get passed by when the angel of layoffs comes to town, or someone wants to sell us the latest upgrade of smartphone or else we might miss out on something. Guess what, in the process, you’re missing out on a lot.

I have a very simple answer to it all. Be true to yourself. Respect others, especially the ones you don’t agree with. There’s a very famous, and simple rule… Do unto others… as you wish to have done to you.

If we all lived by this one, life would be a hell of a lot nicer. Stop throwing stones in your glass houses, and throw them at the people causing the real problems.