Friday, March 27, 2015

Why Obama May Face Indictment Over the Bergdhal Scandal

 3/28/15 VOX UPDATE:

Retired General (Speaking to MSNBC) Has Harsh One-Word Description For Obama’s Press Conference With Bergdahl’s Parents

Click HERE for more.

3/27/15 VOX UPDATE: FOX NEWS reports,

House panel asks White House for documents related to Bergdahl swap

Click HERE for the full story.

Political Photo Op: Bob Bergdhal and the President in the Rose Garden

Last year Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released from his Taliban-associated Haqqani terrorist captors in Afghanistan in a trade for five top Taliban terrorists who were being held inside the Guantanamo Detection Center in Cuba. While the White House hailed the trade as a victory for the US in their never ending campaign for leaving no solider behind, others, like Bergdhal’s own brothers in arms, immediately recognized the trade as a dangerous political maneuver, even going as far as to point out that the captured soldier wasn’t captured at all, but voluntarily walked away, or deserted, his post. But this didn’t stop President Barack Obama from presiding as a Master of Ceremonies at a White House Rose Garden gathering in which the released soldier’s father spontaneously began quoting from the Koran. “Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim,” announced a heavily bearded Bob Bergdhal, which when interpreted means, “In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Compassionate.”
Here are five reasons why releasing Bowe Bergdhal in exchange for the Taliban 5 was so dangerous, and why Barack Obama may himself face criminal indictment for it.

--The Taliban terrorists who were released to Qatar, will eventually get back into the terrorist racket and once more, become a lethal enemy of the US. Three of the so-called Taliban Five have already made contact with other Jihadists, or so CNN reported on January 29 of this year. 
--Releasing a suspected deserter such as Bergdhal was a slap in the face to other US soldiers who not only fought bravely on the field of battle, but who also lost their lives in the search for Bowe Bergdhal.
--Traditionally, the US has never negotiated with terrorists in fear of setting a precedent that would make every soldier and/or citizen stationed or traveling abroad a terrorist target. Since Obama’s negotiations with the Taliban, the dangers of innocent westerners being captured, held for ransom, and/or killed by terrorists abroad has increased dramatically.
--America is now seen as weak. Once considered the strongest and most steadfast of the world super powers, America has become considerably weaker in the eyes of the world, including Russia, since the Bergdhal exchange. This shift in America's global standing has not happened by accident, but is a strategic maneuver on the part of the President who appears to loathe the US to such an extent, that he is forging an alliance with Iran, the enemy, while breaking bonds with Israel and NATO. Clearly, the President has an agenda, and it is not a pretty one for Americans.

--The President of the United States’ first priority is the security of its people. President Obama was not acting on behalf of the American people and their security when he initiated the exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdhal. Bergdahl was not sick or near death as Obama and his minions had originally asserted. He had not acted honorably on the field of battle. He was not courageous. He was a deserter and soldiers died trying to locate him. Obama was acting on behalf of his own political agenda when he traded with the enemy for agenda that includes the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, which ironically, has now become a political pipe dream given the Middle East's and North Africa's current swift and rapid deteriorating political situation. 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Last Writer on Earth...

Papa writing in London during WWII

In his book about winning the creative battle, The War of Art, author Steven Pressfield asks, "If you were the last person on earth, would you still write?" So, what of it? If you suddenly found yourself all alone on this big black and blue planet, would you still spend your days putting words on a page?

If you are already issuing an emphatic Yes to this question, you are a true artist. If you are saying yes, but deep down inside, you know you wouldn't write so much as a comma, you're not a true artist. You're into the glory of it all, writing for the sake of fortune and fame, which of course, you feel entitled to.

Why did you start writing in the first place? Was it to fulfill some sort of inner desire? A need to craft words and sentences into something that seems truer on the page than it if happened in real life? Do you respect your art and talent, and do you respect the art and talent of others? How much time do you devote to your craft? How much "life" do you sacrifice in order to be a better writer regardless of your age? Do you give it your all without thinking about fame or financial reward or popularity? Would you write even if you were the last living person on the earth?

Perhaps your ambitions as a writer are purely selfish. Maybe you're like the kid who desperately
wants to be a part of the popular gang and is willing to do anything to grab a spot on the inside. Does working day in and day out without recognition just plain piss you off? Maybe you wish to jump start your success by hiring another writer to pen your words for you. Maybe your the vindictive type who leaves 1-star reviews for books that are propelled to the top of the Amazon lists in the hope that this will discourage readers from purchasing. Perhaps you think that regardless of the billions of souls occupying planet earth, you are the only writer. It's your books that count. Everyone else's are just taking up space and/or, stealing your glory.

I'm the first to admit, that when I saw old pictures of writers like Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn, carousing with friends, fishing, traveling to exotic locals, being adored by fans, I knew I wanted to be a writer. But I was young and foolish. It wasn't until I faced the absolute truth about the agonizing hard work that goes into being a successful writer, that I realized for all the fun Hemingway seemed to be having, he was putting in a whole lot of labor and sacrifice to get there.

Authors need to be thick-skinned to be sure. Good reviews and bad reviews are all well and good so long as they bring attention to the work. But do they matter in the long run? What matters in the end is that you can look at yourself in the mirror and admit without a doubt that if you had to do it all over again, you would write the same exact novel, word for word. You would not change a thing. You wrote it because you had to. Because it was a means to its own end, not a means for glory or fame or money. These things are nice, but they are only tangential and secondary in importance.

We write because we have a gift. Why we possess that gift is a great mystery. The writing centers us and soothes us and satisfies us like nothing else can. It makes us who we are. No God, or food, or sexual act can compete with the desire to write as well as one can, and then to wake up the next day and do it even better than the day before. Even if we were the last person on earth, we would write with all the negative capability we could muster.



Sunday, March 15, 2015

Hollywood Noir

A break in the filming for dinner at El Coyote
I'm not the first writer who's turned to film as another creative outlet. Countless word scribes like Norman Mailer, Sam Fuller, and Sam Shepard, have utilized the motion picture camera as an extension of their typewriters. Much of my work has been considered for film by companies like Dreamworks, George Clooney, and a bunch of others that I can't remember right now on a Sunday morning, my first steaming cup of coffee set out beside the laptop. Nothing has ever been produced, but that doesn't mean it won't be. It also doesn't mean I can't dabble in the medium on my own.

This past February, indie film maker Edward Alves asked me to write, direct, produce and star in (if you wanna call it that) a short noir piece that I could use as a promotional author trailer. It took us a few days to actually shoot the film down on Sunset Boulevard and at the close by Avalon Hotel, and many more days and nights in the production room, but here's what we came up with.

I think the film captures perfectly how I was living while writing Everything Burns...the paranoid, tense, living-on-the-edge quality of the life that flashes by day in and day out when you are writing all alone in a room with nothing but your story, and the invented people who occupy it.

Everything does indeed burn. So too does this trailer...