Category Archives: World

The Second Revolution

The following is in response to Fandango’s Story Starter #71. The idea came after reading an article that appeared in The Guardian titled These are conditions ripe for political violence’: how close is the US to civil war? It paints a terrifying future for America should it continue down the path it is currently on. More alarming is the fact that a second civil war may be inevitable. The fictional story posted below depicts how such a conflict may start.

Content Warning: The work contains violence and explores extremist political ideology. It is a piece of fiction and does not reflect the views of the author.

The Second Revolution

Craig sat in the garage looking at the box on the table. A collection of memorabilia from the 2016 presidential campaign. He wasn’t political by nature but belonged to that segment of white America swept up in a populous wave of enthusiasm. Clinging to a promise of the coming storm that would cleanse an America on life support.

He was a slice of middle America. Born and raised in the heart of the rust belt where he had managed to build a respectable blue-collar life. It had not always been like this. He had made some bad choices in his youth. A penchant for drunken violence and prison time for a string of robberies he committed had left his life in tatters. After serving his time he met Sarah. She was his saviour along with his parole officer who put him on to the job opportunity at the engine factory. Together they helped turn his life around.

The auto industry was once the backbone of this country and would help him fashion a life for his family here. Sure, the Koreans, Japanese, and Germans had up their game while the Big 3 wallowed in their own fat and complacency. With sales dropping like a stone and consumers apathetic to lagging quality or seeking more energy efficient foreign models it was clear the halcyon days of the Motor City were over.

The time had come to make his mark. America was faltering and he was part of the solution. Craig had to choose a path, but given his history of making poor decisions, he cast his vote for Donald Trump. Besides he couldn’t let the cold and heartless Clinton become president.

Back in his garage he looked at the box, his MAGA hat covered in dust, the promises to ‘Make America Great Again.’ cut short by an election the establishment stole. Not that his 2020 vote was tampered with, he didn’t even bother to cast one. His layoff from the plant was at 21 months and beginning to look permanent although he didn’t know it. Who had time to vote when it was hard enough to put food on the table? The election may have been stolen, but not from him.

After Trump’s defeat Craig would take a trip to the capitol to protest. His life would drift for the next couple of years while he bounced from job to dead-end job. His wife worked hard to keep the family together, shielding the children from their father as he slipped further and further to the right of centered. Alcoholic haze, conspiracy theories, and other crazy ideas filling his free time. It was time for a new revolution, he would call it America’s reckoning.

As he sat at a window overlooking the park anger swelled inside, incited by a series of algorithms that he had read a paragraph or two about online but that he’d lumped in with the other fake news because he really didn’t understand it. It sounded more like a Russian or Chinese plot than something an American tech company would do.

He watched the motorcade pull up to the gathering on the grassy hill. The President of the United States stepped from the vehicle and into the crosshairs as his finger moved for the trigger…  


Credits and Additional Information

The Cipher

The Cipher

A Month had passed since intercepting a message. Most believed it was intercepted from a Chinese-Russian military satellite, our enemy in a war the Allies were losing, but I believed it had come from someone or something else. Everyone knew cracking the code, completely indiscernible to the best and brightest working around the clock, was key to our victory.

As I sat staring at the letters, numbers, and symbols, my eyes bugging out of my head, they began to lift from the page and realign before my eyes. I had done it, I’d found the key to deciphering the entire transmission. The message read,

Continue reading

Buffalo

In light of this weekends senseless massacre in Buffalo, New York, it still baffles me that in this day and age people can’t wrap their heads around the idea that we are all human beings, the same species down to our DNA. As a Canadian from the Greater Toronto Area, I have spent a fair amount of time in Buffalo. For several years my son played baseball for a traveling team based in Depew and we would cross the border two to three times a week. My heart goes out to the friends and families of those slain. As a city mourns I sincerely hope the slow and seemingly tenuous process of racial healing in the United States and around the world can continue in light of this heinous act.

Buffalo

A killer lurks
in the shadows.
Silently shedding
white hot anger.

A snake slithering
into the spotlight.
Spitting venomous
black hate.

Continue reading

Hero of War

Hero of War

In 2003 a United States led coalition invaded Iraq. The Iraqi forces were quickly overwhelmed leading to the fall of the Ba’athist government led by Saddam Hussein. The coalition would remain in Iraq for the next 8 years, officially withdrawing from the country in 2011.

In October 2008 Chicago based punk rock giants Rise Against released their 5th studio album entitled “Appeal to Reason“. The theme for this week Song Lyric Sunday is Army / Soldier / War and I have chosen to highlight the track “Hero of War” from that release. The track was only released as a promo single but did receive significant play on alternative radio.

Continue reading

The Blood of War

This originally started as a reply to a post that Jim at A Unique Title for Me posted. It got me thinking about the broader context of government and in particular the idea that the people are accountable for the action of their government. In particular, Russians when it comes to Putin.

Yes, Vladimir Putin gave the order to invade Ukraine, the former Soviet republic that declared its independence on January 22nd, 1989. Putin has chosen this path not because of the excuses such as “denazification” or the perceived threat NATO presents to Russia if Ukraine achieves member status. It is all smoke and mirrors to hide the real reasons for Putin’s war, to turn back the clock to a bygone era. To return to some perceived Russian greatness that never really existed. He alone must answer to the world for his illegal actions in Ukraine and the war crimes he has committed in the name of Mother Russia.

I will say that from a world perspective I do not believe the international community and the allied countries of the West are doing enough to quell the Putin threat. Russian aggression in Ukraine has the eerie feel of Nazi Germany’s invasion of Poland in 1939. The parallels are well documented elsewhere and too many to list here. We the world must stand with Ukraine and prevent history from repeating itself.

I believe the Russian people are good people. Historically they have suffered immeasurable hardship. For the record, the Russian experience is not unique. Many other peoples in various parts of the world have suffered repeatedly at the hands of internal and external forces. That type of suffering creates a certain pathos that brings about insecurity in the people of a nation. It doesn’t require a great leap to see how people end up following someone like Putin who instills a sense of national pride by assuaging their collective vulnerabilities and making them feel whole again.

Continue reading

Safe Passage

Bombs rained down around the village, now a target in a tyrant’s senseless war. Heorhiy thumb the cracked screens on the electronic gadgets in his hands hoping the screens and circuitry survived the concussive force of nearby explosions.

He was a farmer, not a fighter but she knew he would defend his homeland to the end. First worked to secure safe passage for his family. Lesya did not want to leave him but he insisted. She understood and accepted his need to see them safe. She watched him frantic, harried, as he searched for a signal from anywhere. Seeking information on the safest corridor, ensuring they safely fled to refugee centers across the border.

As they joined the convoy of millions moving north she could see he was torn, tempted to stay. She begged him to abandon this foolish fight and stay with them. The losses inflicted were enormous. She knew staying was a death sentence.

Continue reading

Vladimir the Terrible

With the criminal actions of Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation, the world is less safe today. Democracy, freedom and the stability of Europe are threatened by the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. The world must respond harshly and without waiver in condemning the despicable act of war initiated by a tyrant and bully. This may seem abstract and distant to many in the West, do not be lulled into a false sense of security. Russian aggression and our responses are being watched by China and other threats to human rights, freedom of speech and the very core values of free and democratic societies. Now is the time for the international community to show these despots that our resolve is strong. Stand strong for Ukraine, Europe and for freedom everywhere.

Vladimir the Terrible,
Has he gone insane?
At the word of a madman
Tovarishchi Putin Ukraine.

Across the border
At lighting pace,
With an F. U. to the world,
“I Putin your face!”

To the West I implore
You’d best not forpass.
zanimat’sya svoim delom
or I’m Putin nukes up your ass.

For his reckless actions,
International sanctions he’ll face,
But with Beijing behind him
He won’t be Putin his place

No time to be insouciant,
We must stand up as one,
Thumb our noses at tyrants
And with Putin be done.

For this act of war,
He deserves a beat down,
or a dose of Novichok
For to be Putin the ground.

tovarishchi (товарищи) – Russian for “comrades”
zanimat’sya svoim delom (заниматься своим делом) – Russian for “mind your business”


Continue reading

What Are We Giving Up?

There have been a couple of events recently that make me wonder if we have given up too much of our privacy. We are nothing but a complex series of seemingly infinite data points to be mined for profit.

I am not a privacy zealot. I really have nothing to hide, I use my name and personal information online. I don’t hide behind fake accounts or pseudonyms. The intrusions I accept are the ones where I’ve agreed to allow access to my information. My concern is more about the stuff these companies seem to be collecting when I’m not online or working in the public realm.

The first example of note happened about three months ago. I work shifts and on a Saturday night about quitting time I received a notification from my phone. The notification from Google read “Would you like to call <insert wife’s name>. You normally call them at this time on Saturday evening.” I did a double-take. This was clearly based on my call history and that is none of their fucking business. It is not the same as agreeing to cookies when surfing on Amazon or Google or whatever website I visit. It is an invasion of my privacy pure and simple.

Continue reading

The Real Hypocrisy

popheader

This week social media blew up over Prince William suggesting the world do something to mitigate the effects of over-population while Kate is expecting Royal baby number three. He was branded a hypocrite for suggesting over-population is a global concern particularly in Africa where the human population is growing at a rate of three and a half million people per month.    Continue reading