Genesis of ‘Eyes of the Predator’

Cover 042513 Reduced Some have asked where the idea for “Eyes of the Predator” came from. It is, admittedly, a dark story. After reading it, some have queried my wife as to whether she sleeps with one eye open, lying inches away from the brain that envisioned such a dark story.

So here’s the scoop. Like most of my stories, ‘Predator’ spent some years in the boiling and simmering process inside my head, before I began putting actual words on a computer screen. (no I don’t use pen and paper, pencils and tablets, or typewriters. I am actually able to keyboard quite proficiently for an old guy, thank you)

I was 14 years old and living in Atlanta in 1965. The City was rocked by the abduction and presumed murder of a young newlywed at Lenox Square a large shopping center that is now a huge upscale mall in the Buckhead area. Although her body was never found, her bloodstained car was. The incident was covered repeatedly in the media for months.

You have to understand that Atlanta 1965 was a different world from the sprawling metropolis of today.

In some parts of the city, mothers still left their babies in strollers outside stores while they went in and shopped. It did not occur to anyone that someone would harm a child, or for that matter a young newlywed walking across a parking lot.

The airport (called then simply Atlanta Airport not the ponderous Hartsfield – Jackson International Airport) was not international. To fly overseas you had to first fly somewhere else.

The Atlanta Braves would not come to the city from Milwaukee until 1966. There was no NFL Atlanta Falcons.

The tallest building downtown was One Park Tower, also called 34 Peachtree Street. It stood a dazzling thirty-two stories tall. Today, it is the 24th tallest building in Atlanta. As of this writing the tallest is the Bank of America Plaza at 1,023 feet (three times the height of the old One Park Tower building), and no doubt taller buildings are currently on the drawing boards.

As young teenagers without a driver’s license, we rode the bus downtown, went on dates and walked around the city, completely at ease and without parents worrying about our safety. I would not be so free and easy about that today.

In short, Atlanta was then still, somewhat, a quiet, backwater city, and the disappearance of the young woman made a deep impression on the mind of a lot of people, including me. The idea that people could just disappear permanently was deeply disconcerting.

In those days, no one had ever heard of Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy. I remember that even in school (Yes, believe it or not I was young enough to be in high school) teachers and students were in shock that such an occurrence could happen in 1965. We talked about it, it was in the news for months. When a new lead would be announced, the media coverage would increase again for weeks. The city was truly traumatized, and Atlanta joined the ranks of other big cities…with big city crime.

In the seventies and eighties I was policing in the Atlanta area, DeKalb County to be exact. Periodically, someone, almost always a young woman would disappear from some parking lot. The end was never good for them. I met some very bad people, almost always men and witnessed the ongoing patterns of abuse responding to domestic violence calls. I became aware in a very real way that some people live lives of terror and fear right under our noses.

I also became aware of the fact that there are human predators in the world. Like other predators, they seek weakness and vulnerability in their victims and the opportunity to exercise their will. I also learned that for many, if not most, the driving motivation behind their terrible acts is power, the ability to inflict pain on others. Sex for many of these predators is secondary and another way of controlling and inflicting pain.

I realize that “Eyes of the Predator: The Pickham County Murders” may be a bit intense for some readers. I apologize for this. It tells a story, that, while not a true story, is intended to be realistic and “true to life”. By that I mean the story is not based on any single case or event. It is a composite sketch of predators and their victims.

An additional parallel plot in the book is the parental abuse of the main female character. Again, this plotline is not based on any true story. It is intended to paint a realistic picture of abuse and the desperation that drives some young people to do desperate things and to seek escape from their personal hell.

In any event, I realize the story is somewhat dark. Truth be known, I found writing some of the passages to be deeply disturbing but as the characters acted out on my computer screen, they took on their own lives and acted for themselves. I simply recorded the action as I saw it.

I hope you enjoy the story. In the end, that is all that it is. If there are lessons to be learned, maybe we can all learn them.

That’s Us – The Pale Blue Dot

 

Carl Sagan’s “Pale Blue Dot” …. take a moment to consider. The video is based on images of earth from the Voyager space craft. The entire text below is thought provoking and humbling. No further comment from me required:

“From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity — in all this vastness — there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

See More

Write Right, Damn It!

Proper Use of You'reUh oh…the old fart is in a bad mood.

Deep breath…no not really. I just came across one of my pet peeves…the improper use of the words – Your and You’re. They are not interchangeable people!

Now I don’t pretend to be an expert in grammar and punctuation. I have my struggles, along with my never-ending battle with sentence-ending prepositions, if you can understand where I’m at…I mean the point at which I am…Bullshit…I mean where I’m at.

Still, there are certain fundamental grammatical forms that, when used improperly, are just plain incorrect because they MEAN SOMETHING DIFFERENT than what is intended. This is not the same as improper conjugation of a verb or using a comma instead of a semicolon, or the aforementioned preposition-ending sentence. I can see those errors and still understand the meaning of the passage I am reading. In truth, I also comprehend what is meant when someone misuses Your and You’re, but I always wonder if the writer does.

So, before I go any further (not farther, by the way) let’s get this straight.

Your: An adjective that describes the possession of something tangible or intangible. Ex. Your book, Your idea.

– You’re: A contraction of the pronoun You and the verb Are, (1st person plural of the verb infinitive ‘to be’ which is used to link the subject (read pronoun You) to some information about the subject (read pronoun You). Ex. You’re never going to be published if you don’t (another contraction) learn the difference between Your and You’re!

 Get it?

Okay, so what’s the point old man, you ask. Just this, serious writing requires the same attention to detail that a carpenter puts into building a cabinet, or an engineer designing an airplane.

Words have meanings. When I read a sentence that misuses simple vocabulary, I wonder how much time and thought went into the writing of the piece.

I’m not referring to dialogue…although the You’re contraction should be correctly used there as well. We all know that dialogue must be real to be meaningful. That means that it frequently is written the way people actually speak. My books are full of southernisms and dialect that is intended to bring color and realism to the action.

But if I want to say “You are the very distasteful offspring of a female dog” as spoken by a character in a story, I might say:

“You’re one mean son of a bitch” (I might even throw ‘asshole’ in for emphasis.)

I would not say:

Your one mean son of a bitch.”

Get my point?

Okay. That’s enough ranting by an old curmudgeon.

This to my writer friends, work,  hone your skills, learn your trade the way a carpenter or engineer does. Learn how to use words; don’t be used by them.

I mentioned in my last post that truly becoming a writer requires work, but the work is a thrill ride that I would not trade for anything else. When you know that the words you have written have found a way into the hearts of readers, that in some way they have been absorbed into their life experience, you will embrace the work of writing as well as the passion.

Easy Reading Hard Writing

Want to Be A Writer? Cut the Crap!

Steinbeck - Writers Clowns

Welcome to the world of Clowns and Trained Seals…or somewhere in between.

A little over two and a half years ago, I published my first novel, Eyes of the Predator, on Amazon. I make no claims to be an expert in writing, publishing or making a ton of money as an author (I wish), but I have had a modicum of success and a few observations that might be of help if you are a new Independent Author. Or you might, just decide the old man is full of…well, you know. Only way to know is to read on, or not…your choice. I did learn that lesson early on in my writing career.

First, learn to write. Seems to be a no-brainer, right? Not so much.

If you haven’t already discovered it for yourself, there is a lot of junk out on the various ebook publishers’ sites. When I first started publishing my novels, I read that one way to become known is to do book reviews for other Independent Authors. I thought, great idea, and started building relationships on Social Media and soon had a few requests to review books for authors. I soon stopped that practice. Why? Because most of what I was reading was silly drivel, poorly written and poorly edited. I could not in good conscience give a positive review, and my personal feeling is that if I can’t say something positive about an author, struggling as I am in my own writing experience, I prefer to say nothing at all.

So, learn to write. How do you do that? Pretty simple really…write.

Oh, you can spend months researching, studying, reading, listening to advice from “experts”, but in the end you must write. I would also add, that you must read. Reading increases your feel for language, the conveying of emotion, sensory perception, drama and tension through words.

When, I go back and reread one of my novels, I invariably find passages that I wish I had written differently. Maybe one day I will return to the manuscripts and rework them, but for now, I push on, and I…yes, that’s correct…I write.

Second, cut the crap. Why, Glenn, whatever do you mean? Writing is my passion…my calling…he/she said, as he/she puts a wrist to their forehead and gazes dreamily into space overwhelmed by the majesty of the artistic calling of authorship…Bullshit.

Once you have decided to string words and sentences together in such a way that others will want read them, it is time to cut the drama…and the crap. Trust me, readers don’t give a flying &8$# about your calling. They want a good story, a riveting plot, characters they can relate to…they want to be entertained, or educated, or elevated in some way. They want to laugh, cry, feel fear, and hope, happiness and pain…they want a good book!

I am constantly annoyed by the drama I see in various writer’s groups, seminars, circles etc. I freely admit that I am not a young man and I tend to be easily annoyed by many things and people anyway, but I have a special distaste for the need of some to create drama in their lives. I do not speak of the drama in a good plot. I am talking about the personal, self-inflicted, breast-beating, look at me world sort of drama, or as I have termed it…crap.

For those authors who feel they must opine about their calling as a writer, I say…shut the hell up! Want to know what may be preventing you from fulfilling your “calling”, your “passion”? Forgive me for being direct (actually I don’t care if you forgive me or not), but the self-indulgent, narcissistic need to explain your calling and passion is sure to inhibit your focus on what you claim to be…a writer…. Additionally, it will annoy others (read Glenn). Seriously, cut the personal drama and write. You will be surprised at how much better you become at your “calling”.

 Third, be careful from whom you accept advice (including from me). Find your own way. Discover your own writing voice, style and way of sharing your stories with the world.

That is not to say that you can’t mimic styles. We all do, whether we admit it or not. Somewhere along the way, however, your style of writing becomes yours…personal and recognizable as belonging to you.

Fourth, writing is your job…your business. If you say to yourself, “I write for the joy of writing. I don’t care if anyone reads my words or not.” I say to you…Bullshit. (I use that word a lot I guess…call it my writing voice. I found it years ago,)

If you feel that way, you are a hobbyist. You are not a writer. Sorry if that sounds harsh. There is a place in the world for hobbyists, but not in the world of writers.

My advice, don’t take yourself as a writer too seriously (see Steinbeck’s quote above), but take the business of writing, damned seriously. Those of you who are engaged in the struggle to become published authors know that writing words means that you want someone, somewhere to read them. That’s the point of it all! There is no shame in being honest and admitting it. Deny it and you are a damned liar, or supremely confused about what being a writer entails.

How do you treat writing as a business? Have a work ethic. Go to work, so to speak, daily and write. Sit down and do it…stop talking about it. The more you do it, the better you get at it. Imagine that.

Fifth, promote your writing…your business. In fact, promote, promote, promote. No way around it, unless you have one of the premier literary agents and a sweet contract with one of the big publishing houses (In which case, you will likely not be reading this post).

Learn marketing and promotion so that others (call them readers…or even customers) know you are a writer and want to read what you have written. Be shameless about it. Are you proud of your work? Then promote it. If you don’t, no one else will.

Marketing and Promotion is a big topic. I am currently gathering some data that may be of interest to you about independent marketing. I will share it in an upcoming post…maybe. Until then, do what I did. Figure it out and keep promoting.

Oh, by the way, you must have a backlist…more books…lots more books. If you write one book, promote the hell out of it and have some success, readers will want to read more from you. If there is nothing to read, they (your readers…customers) will soon go somewhere else. I learned this the hard way. I’m slow, but eventually I figure things out. So as I have said above, write and keep writing!

 If you are a writer, and I have offended you…well, it wouldn’t be the first time. If you are a “writer by calling” (sigh of passionate joy at the thought of your literary calling)…I don’t care.

But, if you are serious about writing…if you want to write…take the mystery out of it and…Write!

Book Review – The Happy Spinster, by Karena Marie

Happy Spinster As I have said in the past, I read everything, and yes, on occasion I have been known to read erotica, but when I do it is only the best….and Karena Marie is the best.

Why is she the best? Have you ever noticed that many, most even, authors of erotica write as if they are scripting a scene from a C level porn video (Not that I would know anything about porn videos, of course).

Ms. Marie is not a porn writer, she is an author whose specialized niche is erotica. As in all of her books, the most erotic part of the book is the reality of her characters and the situations they encounter. There are no silly pretexts leading to the erotic scenes.(Nurses, pool boys, lonely housewives, etc.) Her characters are real, in real situations and that makes all the difference.

Sexuality is a part of life, a darned good part if you ask me. In the way that the most terrifying horror stories and thrillers have some basis in reality (Hitchcock’s Psycho, and The Rear Window come to mind), for me, the most tantalizing, scintillating erotica comes from the real world.

Karena Marie’s work is based in reality, and the reality increases the erotic tension of her stories. The Happy Spinster is no exception. Tawny is a believable character,  in control of her life and sexuality. Her encounters, while graphic, are believable , making them even more erotic.

Yes, I read everything. I like a good story and when I read erotica, I want it based in a lusty reality that I can envision.

In short, when I read erotica, I read Karena Marie.

Book Review – ‘From Manassas to Appomattox Memoirs of The Civil War in America’, by James Longstreet

longstreetThe war of northern aggression…the War between the States…the Civil War…call it what you will, the conflict that took more American lives than any other war and more than almost all of our other wars combined, changed the United States from a collection of, mostly independent, states into a nation. Without the Civil War, the history of this continent would have been vastly different.

For the record, I am a southerner, born in Georgia. I am not an apologist for slavery or the plantation society that made the south of the 19th century one of the richest places on earth at the expense of the terrible bondage of other human beings.

There is no doubt that many of the rank and file felt that they were fighting for freedom from the aggression of the Federal government, intent on preserving the union of states. Most southerners, in fact, did not own slaves. But, for those of my southern friends who try to justify the war on the basis of state’s rights, make no mistake about it…the states’ right they were trying to preserve was the right to own slaves.

Having said that, I have respect for my forebears who, misguided and wrong as they were, fought against overwhelming odds to secure what they mistakenly and ironically thought was “their freedom” to enslave others.

James Longstreet’s memoirs of the war is, perhaps, one of the finest and most detailed accounts of a great portion of the conflict that tore the country apart and resolved the issue of slavery that the Founding Fathers had put aside during the writing of the U.S. Constitution. Full of details and descriptive accounts of the movements of troops, battles and statistics Longstreet takes the reader backstage, into private meetings and strategy sessions with Lee and other generals as they planned campaigns and fought to stave off their eventual defeat.

His memoirs begin with his service in the Mexican War and subsequently in the west as a fairly junior officer. When war breaks out, he and a number of other officers, resign their commissions to return home and fight for their native state (country). During the course of the war, he rises to the rank of Lieutenant General, commanding the First Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia under Robert E. Lee.

In addition to gaining a better understanding of the strategies and battlefield conflicts, Longstreet gives us a rare, eyewitness view of the personalities involved, from his perspective.

The memoirs occasionally take on a tone of self-justification that the reader may not understand without knowing in advance that at the conclusion of the war, there were those in the south who tried to blame Longstreet for the south’s loss. To many at the time, it was impossible that Robert E. Lee, who had been elevated to almost god-like status, could have made mistakes. Instead, some found a scapegoat in Longstreet, claiming that he had not carried out orders aggressively enough or had failed to carry them out at all. Longstreet goes to great lengths to provide letters and documentation, many from Lee himself, to prove that his actions were in strict accordance with orders and with the military protocols of the day. The truth was that many of his detractors were covering their own failings and culpability for the loss of the war.

In the end, the discussion of responsibility for the loss of the war is moot. The south was destined to lose, as long as slavery was an accepted institution authorized by the government and as long as the north had the will to fight on and incur the significant losses in men and material the south inflicted on them. Certainly, when Ulysses Grant took command of union forces, the war became a war of attrition. The south could not replace losses as quickly as the north. At that point, the war was lost, as Longstreet, forcefully points out.

Longstreet writes in the 19th century style, which may make it a bit tedious for some readers, but if you are student of the Civil war, it is necessary reading in order to gain a full understanding of the relationship between what was happening on the battlefield and the political atmosphere of the day.

Want to understand our nation today, and the struggle that continues to put the shame of slavery behind us? If so, ‘From Manassas to Appomattox Memoirs of The Civil War in America’, by James Longstreet is a must read.

Note – The Kindle version is free ( or was) but does not contain maps, charts etc. Paperback or hardcover editions provide more visual context with maps etc., to help the reader understand the action at times.

 

An Easter Thought

Originally Posted – April 20, 2014

Happy Easter to all. If you count yourself among the faithful Christians, I truly hope the day is more for you and your children than colored eggs, bunny rabbits and candy.

I have been asked in the past about my religion, and my standard reply for those who are curious is that I do believe in God. I do not believe in religion. I should explain.

I have a general, universal distrust for groups, churches, governments, who make rules and laws for others. I think it is a healthy distrust. I am not an anarchist, or opposed to religion or government in general. I believe in law and order and protecting the rights of all people, whether I agree with them or not. And as I stated above, I do believe in God, a creator, if not in religion.

But I do see the tendency for groups of people who band together for whatever the purpose may be…political, religious, social, educational, etc…almost immediately to begin to expand their belief system and attempt to force, coerce or convince others to accept or live by it. Sometimes this expansion of group influence uses brute force. There are countless examples throughout history of brutal, military expansion, one nation forcibly occupying another, one group forcibly enslaving another. 

At other times social coercion is employed to expand the group’s influence and control. There are places where accepting the socially correct religious belief, Baptist, Methodist, Mormon, Jew, Muslim, is crucial to your ability to conduct business or to be treated as a first class citizen.

Sometimes the expansion is more innocuous. Missionaries knocking on my door to convince me of the truth of their particular belief system seem innocent enough and they generally are. But the act of proselytizing does indicate a general belief that the group feels compelled to convince others of the rightness, the superiority, of their beliefs. 

As an aside, I believe in freedom of religion and absolutely in free speech and would never try to restrict the rights of any person or group to say or teach what they think or believe. I merely use this as an example of the premise that groups of people have a tendency to feel that they have a solution or belief system that others should, or must, subscribe to.

I also, believe that people, individuals are generally trustworthy and good in their hearts. Yes, there are exceptions, and I write about those exceptions in my stories, but mostly, people are good. I trust people. When I stand face to face with another and conduct business, exchange ideas, share a laugh, appreciate a sunset or a mountain view, I respect that person and am grateful for the shared time, thoughts and laughter.

I have read Hawking, Darwin and the Bible. I have many questions about all three, but I have looked in awe at the enormous and magnificently intricate universe around us. I marvel at its beauty and power. I am excited by, and fearful of, its ability to eliminate us in a moment. It is complex and majestic. For me, reason and logic tell me that there is, in fact, a creator. Call him or her, God. That is what I believe.

I might add that the movement amongst atheists to curtail the celebrations of others is repugnant to me. This movement has become a sort of religion on its own, and as I said about groups in general, they always seem to have a tendency to want to control others and expand their belief system. Atheists are no exception to the rule.

Having said that, I am not offended by non-believers, or by those who believe more than I do. The celebration, or lack of celebration, of one group does not abrogate my rights, unless I am forced to subscribe to that group’s belief system.

If you are a Christian, I sincerely wish you the happiest and most meaningful of Easter celebrations. If you do not subscribe to Christianity, I wish you well equally in your own belief system. Most of all I would hope for tolerance and freedom for everyone to believe, or not believe, according to the dictates of their hearts and their reason.

I leave you with the thoughts of a couple of people I admire.

“When I do good, I feel good; when I do bad, I feel bad, and that is my religion” ~Abraham Lincoln~ (attributed)

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind. ~Albert Einstein~ “Science, Philosophy and Religion: a Symposium”, 1941

Best wishes – Glenn

 

The World Was A Very Dark Place

Try One More Time - Edison

It is uncertain how many attempts Thomas Edison made before he found a suitable carbon substance to use as the filament in the first viable electric light bulb. Different reports  say 10,000 others 6,000. In one interview,  Edison was asked if he felt like a failure and if he didn’t think that perhaps it was time to quit, to give up on the electric light bulb.

Edison is reported to have replied, “Young man, why would I feel like a failure? And why would I ever give up? I now know definitively over 9,000 ways that an electric light bulb will not work. Success is almost in my grasp.”

His wasn’t the first light bulb. The concept had been around for a while. Others had given up. He did not. The world was a very dark place before Edison.  We hunkered down in the dark, staying close to our candles and gaslights. He changed that, but it took time.

For me, the greatest sin is this…To give up, to allow our lives to be dark and barren because we did not try, because we gave up. Never let others talk you out of your dreams.

Our dreams make our lives.
Best – Glenn

The Great American Novel? uhmmm…. well….Review of Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Review: ‘Moby Dick; or The Whale’ by Herman Melville

The Great American Novel? My high school literature teacher said that it was. I’m old enough now to disagree and say…No. A great American classic. Yes, I would go along with that, but the one great American novel…No.

I don’t believe in a one “Great” anything. There will always be someone or something different or better, including novels. Having said that, I did manage to work my way through Melville’s ponderous, and often tedious classic tale for the second time, and surely the last time, in my life.

So why is it a “Classic”? The story line, I suppose. Melville created a dark, ominous and intriguing character in Ahab, possessed by the need for revenge against the Great White Whale, Moby Dick. His obsession becomes possession, pitting him against pious Starbuck as innocent Ishmael looks on and records their battle for the souls of the crew.

In truth, there are some literary gems in the book as well. I find the opening chapters, Ishmael’s arrival in Nantucket, the inn, signing on as part of the crew of the Pequod, description of the Pequod’s two owners, Captains Peleg and Bildad and Ishmael’s interaction with his pagan friend Queequeg to be well written and enjoyable by any standard.

After that, the story bogs down in Melville’s tedious and usually incorrect study and classification of whales. Melville maintained, as did many of his day that whales were fish, not mammals, although he was not alone in that analysis at the time.

There are moments of interesting dialogue interaction among the characters, but in general, the parts of the book that everyone knows are the parts that we see in the various film adaptations of the story. There is a reason for this. Melville’s style in Moby Dick is tedious.

Even taking into account that he was a nineteenth century writer, his sentence structure and deeply dramatic descriptive passages can be tiring and sometimes confusing. I enjoy and prefer a number of other nineteenth century writers -Dickens, Cooper, Bierce, Crane, Poe, Emerson, Thoreau- and find their works enjoyable, even if written in the formalized style of the times. Frankly, Melville wears me out, at least in Moby Dick.

A word to all of my animal loving friends. Moby Dick is about whaling and whales are killed. Some of Melville’s best passages relate to the killing of the whales and the men who faced them in small boats on the open ocean. Lest we judge too harshly and impose our twenty-first century morality on those who lived before us, we should remember that the world was a very dark place before electricity. Whale oil made it a bit brighter. That’s not a defense, just reality.

I have no doubt that if Melville were to plop his manuscript down on the desk of a modern agent or publisher he would be rejected with only a form letter and no call back.

Even so, I give it four stars for a couple of reasons. The story is classic. As mentioned above, certain parts of the story and the conflict between good and evil, obsession and reality are masterful. The characterization of people who crewed ships powered by sail, and went out on the waters to face the great whales is honest and real. For its day, Moby Dick was, indeed, a classic.

Here’s a link to get it free on Amazon Kindle if you are courageous enough to give it a try, but no dishonor for passing on it. I’m just a devil for punishment.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004TRXX7C/

Best – Glenn

Good and Evil in A Dangerous World – An Important Discussion

 

Evil Danger - Einstein

I recently posted the above quote on my Facebook page and received the following comment from a very good person. I wish I were as good. My response was too long for Facebook so I thought I would share it here. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts if you want to share. This is an important discussion.

 “You could really spark some real conversations with posts like this, Glenn! So here’s my two cents: I would say that people who think that they have to do something about evil are misguided into thinking that means they have to fight evil. You stop evil by shining so brightly that there is no darkness in which to do evil in. If the people who wish no harm to others are out there supporting and (God forbid) helping each other, then evil cannot get a foothold.

I sincerely appreciate the purity of your comments Sara. You are a good person, much better than I, and I accept your thoughts without dismissal.

Having said that, and meaning it, I feel compelled to add my own comment. In my personal experience, sometimes directly confronting evil is the only way to remove it and that means at times, that good people must face, fight and erase the evil…yes, that’s a euphemism for ‘kill it’.

Good people led their lives and set good examples while the Nazis murdered millions of Jews, Poles, Slavs, Gypsies, the infirm, homosexuals, the handicapped and anybody else they didn’t much like. Pol Pot led the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people, often forcing them to dig their own graves and then burying them alive so as not to waste bullets. The good people of the world lived good lives, setting good examples all the while. I have personally encountered in my law enforcement career a few truly evil people whose elimination from humanity (read ‘death’) would have made the world a better place. No I didn’t kill them, but could have and slept very soundly for the rest of my life if I had.

As a believer in freedom and liberty for all, I am at heart a non-aggressor…even a pacifist. As long as a person does not try to deprive me, my family, my friends of their liberties, including their lives, I am at peace with them. Do what they will, leave me alone and all is well. However, if a person wishes to deprive us of our basic liberties, then I will confront and erase the threat to liberty.

My definition of evil is this – the deprivation of basic human liberties, natural rights. These are rights we all possess, not because of the country we were born in, but because we were born as human beings. They are the desires of the human heart. They separate us from the other animals. The natural rights include life, freedom of speech, thought, to work, not to work, to worship God, not to worship God, movement, commerce to provide for my family, to protect myself and family, etc. You do not have to be an American to desire these rights; you only have to be born. Those ideas are not original with me. John Locke, Voltaire, Jefferson, Napolitano, Hayek have all written eloquently about these ideas. I highly recommend their works.

Liberty Easy Die - Anderson

So, to me, there are times when one must fight, even die if necessary. Those who would deprive us of liberty, our natural rights, are evil in ways that humanity cannot and must not accept, if we are to remain human.

Remember, Einstein, whose quote about evil began this conversation, fled Germany because of the evil there. By all reports, he was a good person, if somewhat eccentric. His goodness did not change the fact that had he remained in Germany he would have likely died a terrible death in a concentration camp.

There are many forms of evil. In many cases, I agree that setting your own good example, living life peacefully is the best way to address the daily evils around us. But other evils must be addressed, in my opinion, directly.

As I said, the yearning for those basic natural rights is what makes us human. Those who would deprive or eliminate those rights have demonstrated that they are, in fact, outside of humanity. When evildoers leave the bounds of basic humanity, when their goal is to deprive us of our basic natural rights, then, in my opinion, they must be confronted…and eliminated.

Just the thoughts of an old man…who would protect your liberties.

Best – Glenn

Evil - Rand

%d bloggers like this: