The War on Biological Terror

Fiancé Mark Tomlin described how Lucy had been supportive of the vaccine, but he’s now cautioning others to be wary of risks. “I don’t want people to be put off having a vaccine but I do want people to know that there are risks,” Tomlin stated, according to the Mail. “We’re not anti-vax. Lucy certainly wasn’t – she was so excited about getting it.”

News of Saginaw County resident Jacob Clynick’s death was spread on social media late last month, with a woman posting a picture of her nephew’s vaccine card to Twitter claiming he died after his second Covid shot. “The initial autopsy results (done Friday) were that his heart was enlarged and there was some fluid surrounding it. He had no known health problems. Was on no medications,” Tami Burages wrote. (Despite the death, Burages said she would still vaccinate her 14-year-old daughter.)

Paragraphs like these have caught my attention as of late. I wonder why it is that the relations of experimental vaccine casualties are feeling the need to effectively apologize that their loved ones died? I suppose there are two major explanations.

The first is that they believe the vaccines will save far more lives than they take, and so they would not wish for the news of their loved one’s death to cause even more deaths by promoting vaccine hesitancy. This reason is illogical in the sense that it is utterly unnecessary. Of course the vaccines save more lives than they take. If this were not the case, no one would take them; we’re dumb but we’re not stupid, etc.

The fact that this need factor in at all indicates a complete disconnect between the reality of vaccine hesitancy and the red letter “anti-vaxxer” slur. I have yet to encounter a single person who doubts that the mRNA COVID vaccines can prevent some COVID deaths, and that the number of people who either experience positive benefits or at least have a neutral reaction to said vaccines dramatically outnumbers those who are damaged or die from them.

These factors are in mass, while vaccine hesitancy is a matter of individuality. It is nearly the difference between epidemiology and general or preventative care. Both are branches of medicine, but the one prioritizes entire populations while the other prioritizes one patient at a time. Thus we descend to the philosophical core of the issue which politicians and media have so far been unable or unwilling to articulate. Do individual rights–the ability to prefer one’s own (self-determined) self-interest over others’–persist during a pandemic?

The mainstream kneejerk response to this question is obviously No. Certainly if COVID were but a little more fatal, the public could have been convinced that these vaccines should be forcibly mandated–and still may be if any variant supplies the necessary amount of mortal fear. The downside to answering No to the question of course is that you have just given up Freedom, and not on a temporary basis either. This answer renders Law and the will of the people utterly powerless before the might of biological warfare. Any would-be dictator on Earth eyeing a pesky democracy need only manufacture and release something of similarly high transmissibility and low lethality to permanently infringe human rights. Not to mention that simultaneous control over the vaccine supply chain would mean the ability to lethally inject all of one’s enemies and win in two moves, both of which could probably be done for a budget of less than a billion.

This will of course be mere sci-fi tinfoil right up until it isn’t. In the name of combating terrorism (while oddly failing to invade or even sever ties with the countries actually responsible), the U.S. government post-9/11 became the greatest menace to human liberty that has ever existed. If the surveillance infrastructure Julian Assange and Edward Snowden revealed ever falls into the wrong hands (let’s face it, it was always in the wrong hands), the catastrophe that will ensue will render every one of its engineers morally bankrupt in the eyes of history. We are simply discussing a medical comparable which is frankly simpler to achieve. It also serves as a useful comparable since the question was structured the same: Do individual rights persist during the threat of terrorism? Unfortunately, we elected to answer No on that one too.

9/11, regardless of whether it was an attack or a false flag, bestowed so much advantage upon the military-industrial complex that one would have to lie in order to argue that any major U.S. politician or general is genuinely sorry it happened. Sure, maybe they lost someone they liked, but they have most certainly cried all the way to the bank. Many picture hooded figures about a pentagram when they think of human sacrifice in return for dark empowerment. I prefer to envision the towers’ fall.

The second explanation of these postmortem apologies is that the death of their loved one is politically inexpedient, and they do not wish to be harassed for such. Social media alone would be a sufficient explanation, but the involvement of actual politics seals the deal. Due to the fact that human lives are on the line during this pandemic (kind of like they’re on the line during threats of terrorism), the White House has anointed itself as the arbiter of truth that must step in to save Americans who cannot save themselves.

White House ‘flagging’ posts for Facebook to censor over COVID ‘misinformation’

Biden accuses Facebook of ‘killing people’ amid censorship row

“planning to engage fact-checkers more aggressively and work with SMS carriers to dispel misinformation about vaccines”

White House calling out critics of door-to-door vaccine push

How the turns table. As liberals who opposed the War on Terror were “anti-American” in light of terrorism, so conservatives who are opting to forego the vaccine are “anti-American” in light of the pandemic. One begins to suspect that we no longer have any idea what “American” means in a values-sense. The only certainty is that we have a real hard-on for using Invisible Enemies as our excuse.

A final question occurs to me at the moment. It is a Socratic one that I would ask of two sorts of people:

-Those who hate conservatives

-Those who think human overpopulation is a threat to the species

…Why are you obsessed with vaccinating those who don’t want it? If the vaccine works, you and yours should be protected from the invisible foe, while that invisible foe continues to remove your enemies from the world. You wished for less conservatives and a smaller human population in general. That wish has been granted. I would council you not to let your political zealotry (“everyone should take it!”) remove your political advantage (“the only people who took it are the ones I like”).

To do otherwise would be akin to admitting that this is a purely political rather than scientific matter, wherein you want everyone to take the vaccine–not because it may save their lives but–because it establishes their fealty to your kingdom.

Editing for an accomplished voice actor and communication coach

Reading the spoils of (editing) war

During the tedium of 2020 I had the great fortune of befriending a man via the internet who I consider to be akin to the Dale Carnegie of our day. He’s a voice actor for numerous Fortune 100 companies & even The Obama Administration, and a communication skills coach who is equipped to improve seasoned executives and the communication-crippled alike. His name is Richard Di Britannia.

As I got to know Richard better, I came to think of him in Carnegian terms because his commitment to excellent communication seems absolute, for himself and his clients. While many in the communication coaching business of today are akin to Bandaid salesmen in an ICU ward—teaching people shortcuts in order to gloss over foundational issues that have and will continue to hinder their thought, speech, and thus life entire—he takes a holistic approach. He addresses head-on the difficult reality that if one struggles to speak effectively, it is probably because they do not understand their own thoughts and thus themselves well enough to articulate their innermost contents to others. Thus he considers communication coaching equal parts physical (the voice), practical (how and when to speak), and psychological (what and why to speak).

This is a radically contrarian choice in an age with an ever-shrinking attention span. Indeed, there is no question that he has foregone much quick-and-easy profit in the idealistic attempt to provide clients with what they ultimately need in addition to what they immediately want. He is the sort who could not live with the thought of telling a lie, even a partial one, while teaching others to speak well and true.

It is this integrity which made me thrilled at the chance to edit Richard’s second book, an opus upon how intentional self-talk, self-knowledge, and private preparation are the X-factor which renders once-regular humans capable of dazzling others with nothing but their voice. It is a rare look under the hood of some carefully-guarded tricks-of-the-trade across a plethora of industries–including those of friendship, partnership, and love that we all must occasionally ply.

If you would like to learn from a living master who is as committed to continued learning as he is to continued teaching, you can find Speak Your Way to Wealth: How to Talk to Yourself, So You can Speak With Others on Amazon today.

First Story of 2021 Now Available!

C.S. Lewis once said “I was with book, as woman is with child,” and writing this story has helped me understand his sentiment. While I have certainly experienced an urgency to churn out a final draft before, this project was accompanied by what I can only describe as mortal dread. There was no logical reason to ask such a morbid question, but ask it I did: will I live to finish it–and what if I don’t?! This was also the first time that I was truly able to confess to a confidant, “My characters are saying things I didn’t expect them to say.” I have heard other, better authors describe a similar mid-draft realization that they are no longer in control…Let us hope it portends the same for me.

I hope–and frankly expect–never to experience such literary dread again, because, while I undoubtedly have much room to grow in terms of writing purely entertaining stories, this is likely the most meaningful story that I can muster. On the surface, it is about a near-future, wherein a One-World Leader visits the last person alive who dares to oppose her. But, much like an iceberg, its heaviest mass lies below, in the barbs these mortal enemies trade and the ramifications of their divergent beliefs. I have often thought that fiction writers are merely philosophers who are afraid to be boring, and this piece at least proves it in my case.

I am also pleased to offer two forwards, one by the ambitious sci-fi project VivaEllipsis.com, and the other by my dear friend Professor Hoheisel. I should also add that this work–like most valuable things on Earth–was forged somewhat in tragedy. The person to whom it is dedicated, an esteemed Doctor both of medicine and of philosophy, passed away shortly after reading it. It was he who told me I was capable of, and ought to tackle these subjects, and so I did. Indeed, the last communication I ever had with him was to the effect that he was pleased by the dedication, and looked forward to discussing it in depth. I hope to hold him to that, one day.

A Real Writer?

I just received my first manuscript rejection from a New York literary agent.

I’m relieved to have this mandatory hazing ritual out of the way. Strangely, I feel more like “a real writer” now than any minor successes have ever caused. Perhaps I am consoled by a small sense of pride that this didn’t emotionally phase me. The juvenile phase of self-righteous indignation whenever someone calls “my baby” ugly has come and gone, thank God. (If fact, for a rejection it was quite civil).

I know that I’m happy with what I wrote; I know it can make some money for myself and some press; and I know there isn’t an agent or press on Earth who’s going to tell me “it’s perfect as it is; we’ll print it at once!”

There is an eerie peace to be had in knowing that it is now beyond my strength to alter without the aid of a professional editor. In some metaphysical sense, the process is already over. I just have to keep submitting.

Peter Hoheisel’s ‘South to the Rio Grande’ Available Now!

Hoheisel SttRG Facebook Announcement

My friend Prof. Peter Hoheisel’s new poetry book, South to the Rio Grande, is now available for purchase. It was a pleasure to work as his editor and defacto agent throughout this process, eventually finding the perfect home for this manuscript at New York’s Clare Songbirds Publishing House.

Peter is a free-verse poet inspired by the likes of Yeats and Rexroth, and his book comes as a breath of fresh air to anyone who still likes their poetry decipherable and meaningful.

You can read more about our collaboration, including an interview I conducted with him and our dual-appearance on a radio program, here.

The Meat of a Collection

Which of my books would I prioritize regaining if they were lost?

It’s a difficult question, and to my own surprise I found an unintentional theme while attempting to answer it. I feel perfectly comfortable with never again owning most of my fiction and poetry titles, knowing they can always be revisited via library. This is probably due to the fact that I’m now more interested in writing my own fiction than ingesting others’, and it’s rare that I need fictional works as a reference, whereas having major works of history and philosophy at hand are indispensable.

So, while I would never recommend anyone neglect fiction or poetry, it would be disingenuous to include such titles here. And, more often than not, I would simply recommend classics of the “no, duh” variety in those genres, whereas a few of my nonfiction selections manage to avoid the status of household names.

 

USA:

Theodore Draper’s A Struggle for Power

Tocqueville’s Democracy in America

Davis’ Three Roads to the Alamo

Carl Sandburg’s Lincoln (Prairie & War Years)

Shelby Foote’s Civil War

 

Grecorome:

The Landmark Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Arrian, Julius Caesar

Plutarch’s Lives

Gibbon’s Decline and Fall

Graves’ Greek Myths and White Goddess

Hall’s Secret Teachings of All Ages

Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations

 

Indochina:

Lin Yutang’s The Wisdom of China and India

Watson’s Grand Historians of China

Hagakure

 

Christianity:

KJV

Dante

Milton

Beowulf

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Le Morte D’arthur

William Blake

Chaucer

Spenser

Shakespeare

Marlowe Faustus

Goethe Faust

 

Philosophy:

Nietzsche’s Zarathustra

Machiavelli’s Prince

Mishima’s Sun and Steel

Clason’s Richest Man in Babylon