I’m Disappointed in You, Mr. President

Dear President Trump,

I am disappointed in you, sir.  This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last.  I pointed out in 2012 you were unfit to be president.  I repeated it in 2016.  I’ve kept repeating it in blogs, on Twitter, in Facebook, in Alternative Truths and in More Alternative Truths.

I am disappointed in you.  Not surprised by your vulgarity — I’ve come to expect that –but disappointed that you are doing such a poor job as leader of the United States of America and a worse job as the international representative of our nation.

An acquaintance of mine pointed out that this has been a busy week for you: people seriously suggesting that Oprah Winfrey is better qualified for your job than you are, cancelling/postponing a trip to the UK and lying about the reasons, Mr. Ed jokes about you being a stable genius, and rudely referring to other countries by a word I prefer not to repeat.

Some people think you have Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  If true, you may be incapable of distinguishing between truth and lies.  Some people think you’ve inherited your father’s Alzheimer’s syndrome.  I’m curious as to the results of your physical examination.  I hope it included a mental and psychological evaluation, so these questions may be answered.

It’s been suggested that you’re suffering from the after-effects of syphilis.  You have claimed to have been extraordinarily sexually active in your youth.  It’s also been suggested you’re just a petty-souled, mean-hearted SOB, which based on what I’ve read about you, seems very likely (although not necessarily mutually exclusive with you having one or more medical problems aggravating your condition).

Whatever the reason, sir, your behavior is unpresidential.  It is unbecoming.  We’ve had racist presidents before.  We’ve had sexist presidents before.  We’ve had presidents who used too much profanity before.  They, however, were at least aware of the concept of discretion, that there’s a time and place to say certain things, and the Oval Office is not that place when it comes to making vulgar and discourteous comments.

There are grounds — multiple grounds — for impeachment, sir.  Emoluments, conflicts of interest, nepotism for a certainty, with the possibility of treason for your dealings with Russia.  Your behavior gives grounds for the 25th Amendment.  You don’t seem to be enjoying your job, Mr. President.  You’re certainly not very good at it.  You are soiling the good name of the United States of America in the eyes of the world, lowering our reputation amongst our peers.  Why not resign?  It would be easier for you and easier for the nation.  You’d have more time for golf and more time to spend with your grandchildren.

You don’t understand the three branches of government or the system of checks and balances.  You don’t understand the Constitution.  Worse, you don’t seem to understand how little you do comprehend.

Please, sir, for the good of the nation, seriously consider resigning.  There’s no shame in admitting the job was too big for you.

Respectfully yours,

Susan M. Macdonald

 

PS  I was a fifth-generation Republican until November 9, 2016.  I refuse to belong to any party that has an unethical businessman with a documented history of sexism and racism as its leader.  I have not decided whether or not I may return to the GOP if you step down from the presidency.

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Should the President, Senators, and Supreme Court Justices Have an Upper Age Limit?

Some friends and I were discussing on Facebook whether the presidency should be subject to a maximum age limit, as well as a minimum age limit. Many of the senators being suggested as possible candidates for 2020 are in their 70s now.

The Brooks Museum in Memphis had a display of presidential images a few years ago. Paintings, sculpture, death masks, photographs — every president looked 10-15 years older instead of 4-8. That position is wearying on the soul and the body. Electing someone who is qualified, but may not survive the strain of office, is unwise.

I couldn’t help thinking of what Emperor Ezar Vobarra said in Lois McMaster Bujold‘s SHARDS OF HONOR, when he was defining what would be required of an imperial regent for his grandson.

“What the Regency requires is a man of impeccable rank, no more than middle-aged, with a strong military background. He should be popular with his officers and men, well-known to the public, and above all respected by the General Staff. Ruthless enough to hold near-absolute power in this madhouse for sixteen years, and honest enough to hand over that power at the end of those sixteen years to a boy who will no doubt be an idiot — I was, at that age, and as I recall, so were you — and, oh, yes, happily married. Reduces the temptation of becoming bedroom Emperor through the Princess.”

The USA is not the planet Barrayar. Our needs, laws, and customs are different. However, these requirements aren’t too far off from what we should consider. The president should be old enough to be experienced, but young enough to not only survive the job but live through the conditions s/he creates. A certain degree of ruthlessness is required to make the hard decisions. Some experience with the military is helpful; the commander-in-chief should know something of the military life, when s/he asks men and women to fight and die. A career military leader may not be the best, simply because military methods are very different from civilian administration.  Many presidents served when their country needed them,  but did not spend their entire life in the military:  James Monroe in the American Revolution, Abraham Lincoln in the Blackhawk War (he never saw combat), Teddy Roosevelt in the Spanish-American War, Jimmy Carter in Korea.  Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, and George H. Bush were all in the military or in the reserves during WWII.

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Honesty, integrity, and a belief in the American Constitution are necessities. The president must be willing and able to step down after 4-8 years, not try to stay in power for decades like some African or Central American tinpot dictator. Happily married also helps; although no American politician will try to win the White House by marrying a predecessor’s widow(er), marriage — at least a good one — teaches compromise, partnership, and other skills valuable to a public servant.

Perhaps that’s the most important job requirement of all. The president must remember although s/he is the most powerful person in the world, s/he is a servant as well as a leader. The American president is a public servant.

“The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about anyone else.”   Theodore Roosevelt

Dianne Feinstein is 84. Orrin Hatch (currently fourth in line to the presidency) is 83. Maxine Waters is 79. Barbara Boxer is 77. Bernie Sanders is 76. Joe Biden is 75. Robert Reich is 71. Hillary Clinton and Olympia Snowe are 70. Susan Collins, John Kasich, John Hickenlooper, and Bob Corker are 65. Gary Johnson is 64.

Think how old they will be in 2024. It’s time to consider some younger possibilities.

Bill Haslam is 59. Jon Huntsman is 57. Laura Ebke is 55. Martin O’Malley, Keith Ellison, and Jeff Flake are 54. Kamala Harris is 53. Marco Rubio is 46. Nikki Haley is 45. Evan McMillian is 41. Joe Kennedy is 37.

My bookmate Rebecca McFarland Kyle said the presidency  “is a job for a mature person but not necessarily an aged one.”  Another bookmate, Voss Foster, countered “I don’t agree with a maximum age limit, as I feel it’s shutting out some good candidates that we may not even know about. I do think lowering the minimum age to 30 would alleviate some of this.”

My clan-cousin, Laurie MacDonald (she’s from the branch of the family that capitalizes the D) pointed out: “The problem is that some people are fully competent and physically fit to perform the duties of President of the United States at the age of 70 and beyond, while others are neither competent or physically fit at a much younger age… I keep thinking there should be some sort of test for mental competence in order to be president, but I don’t know how this situation should be handled. Who would administer the tests? If the person is declared mentally unfit, the person would immediately scream prejudice.”

The late Douglas Adams may have said it best:

“The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.  To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.  To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.  To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.”

This rationale was the theme of one of the stories in MORE ALTERNATIVE TRUTHS.

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My friends and I also discussed the possibility of term limits for legislators, and/or mandatory retirement age for legislators and Supreme Court justices.  It was brought up that legislators, administrators, and judges should have to live long enough to deal with the consequences of their actions.

Our current Supreme Court justices range in age from 50 (Neil Gorsuch) to 84 (Ruth Bader Ginsburg).  Supreme Court justices are appointed for life, although they may voluntarily retire or resign.  Because they were not awarded pensions until 1869, many justices stayed longer than they may have wished, or longer than they were fit to, for financial reasons.  As Jonathan Turley pointed out, “If a justice is significantly impaired, there is no way to remove him from the bench.  The Constitution provides for involuntarily removal of justices only by a process of impeachment. It requires a showing of serious wrongdoing but has nothing to do with mental competence. And yet since its founding, the court has struggled with incompetent, addicted and even insane justices.”  Rather than a life term, should justices be appointed for a decade, and then have the president have the option of re-appointing them or not?  Should justices be required to step down at 70, or 75, or 80?  The Notorious RBG is still mentally fit at 84.  Other justices (John Rutledge, Robert Grier, etc.) were unfit much younger.

Term limits for Congress have been discussed and debated for years.  On the one hand, term limits prevent the growth of a permanent legislator class who’ve lost touch with the ordinary lives of their constituents.  They also help the nation avoid unfit or senile legislators. [Strom Thurmond, who spent 48 years in the senate, was 100 years old when he finally retired. Was he able to represent his state as well in 2003 as he did in 1956?]  As George Will pointed out, senator and senile share the same root word, and the current senate is very different from what the Founding Fathers had envisioned.  On the other hand,  term limits deprive the people of experienced legislators who understand the system.  Washington, DC, as our current president has proven, is a confusing labyrinth to newcomers.  If term limits are enacted, the entire congressional system of power based on seniority  will need to be redesigned.

Bernie Sanders and Maxine Waters are sharp-witted, despite their age.  Most voters consider their age the reason for their wisdom and experience.  Other senators and congressional representatives far younger than them (Tom Cotton, for example, or Ted Cruz, or Todd Akin) have said and done things to make many voters doubt their qualifications. Kevin Drum suggested moderate term limits.

I’m just an ex-teacher and a freelance copy editor.  I don’t claim to have all the answers.  But anyone who reads a newspaper can see that our government needs a little help; maintaining the status quo will be bad for our children and grandchildren.  What can we do to improve our nation, to help it be the best country in the world, “with liberty and justice for all”?  I’m interested in your opinions.


Disclaimer:  Rebecca McFarland Kyle and Voss Foster are bookmates of mine; we have stories in the same anthologies.  Laurie MacDonald has purchased an autographed copy of ALTERNATIVE TRUTHS.

Alt truths cover


Happy Bill of Rights Day!

People of MAT: Steve Weddle

(yet another guest blog from More Alternative Truths editor Bob Brown)

Steve Weddle

As we’ve said from the beginning. More Alternative Truths is more than paper. It is people. One of those is Steve Weddle, who holds an MFA in creative writing from Louisiana State University. His debut novel, Country Hardball, is published in North America by Simon and Schuster. The follow-up to Country Hardball, “South of Bradley,” appeared in the November 2015 issue of Playboy magazine.

But there is so much more. Without Steve, we might not be asking ourselves the question of “where.”  Steve brings the images to print like few authors can. You can feel the pain of those who suffered most in this tragic remembrance of one of America’s greatest tragedies.

 

Steve Weedle has had several stories in Needle Magazine.  He is the author of “Remembering the Bowling Green Massacre” in More Alternative Truths.

People of MAT: Phyllis Irene Radford

More Alternative Truths, coming November 11, from B Cubed Press, is more than a book. It is people.

Irene Radford is one of the stars of the Alternative Truth universe.

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Her bio says a lot.

Irene Radford is the daughter of a sailor man who saw the Far East before the skyscrapers buried the mysterious orient in western glass and steel. He brought home the stories of other worlds and forever changed the perspective of his petite bookworm of a daughter. Now, grown into a leading voice in F&SF as both a writer and editor she passes on this gift of the story, bringing perspectives that not only span her own life, but the generations of storytellers that preceded her.

But there is so much more to Irene Radford than seeing her would tell you. On the surface you see sparkle of intellect in her eyes, the body of a dancer and if she blesses you with conversation, you will find the soul of a wanderer. And those are the obvious traits. The real jewels are hidden deeper.

I met Irene, Phyl to her friends, driving her to a school visit in a tiny school district where a writer coming to visit was a big deal. Her warmth came out. She spent time talking books with the librarian and each of the students she encountered left that day knowing little more about what was possible if you wanted to write. If this tiny grandmother could soar in the New York publishing world, so could they.

I could tell stories for hours. The dancing in the fountain, the tears of pain and coping when her mother died. The fight to stay on top, and not slide into obscurity. The tireless work ethic that has her working on two to three books at any given time while squeezing in short stories and editing gigs on the side.

Phyl didn’t just show up as the editor of a best selling anthology, she made a best selling anthology with her heart and her vision. She is the core of this project, she carries its soul inside of her and it could not have happened without her.

She has spent the last 193 days working every day on Alternative Truths and yet she is preparing a release party for her new book, A Spoonful of Magic, blogging on her blog the “The Cranky Old Crone, and preparing for the February release of her new series, Tricksters Dance, book one of the Trance Dancer series. All while putting out two short stories on the side.

She is a tireless and wonderful woman, a creative spirit, and magical part of my life.  I am pleased to call my friend.  (written by Bob Brown)

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 As Phyllis Irene Radford, she is the editor of Alternative Truths and More Alternative Truths.  As Irene Radford, she is the author of “Illegal Citizens.”

People of MAT: Philip Brian Hall

More Alternative Truths, coming November 11, from B Cubed Press, is more than a book. It is people.  Not all those people are American citizens.

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More Alternative Truths has the most interesting writers on the planet: Meet Philip Brian Hall.  He’s a Yorkshireman and a graduate of Oxford University. A former diplomat and teacher, at one time or another he’s stood for Parliament, sung solos in amateur operettas, rowed at Henley Royal Regatta, completed a 40 mile cross-country walk in under 12 hours, and ridden in over one hundred steeplechase horse races. Mr. Hall now lives on a very small farm in Scotland, but once upon a time he lived in an English village, not unlike the setting of “Conspiracy of Silence.”

Philip Brian Hall is the author of “Conspiracy of Silence” and “A Sonnet on Truth,” both of which will appear in More Alternative Truths.

People of MAT: Gwyndyn Alexander

More Alternative Truths, coming November 11, from B Cubed Press, is more than a book. It is people.

One of them is Gwyndyn T. Alexander, author of “America, Year Zero.”

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Gwyndyn Alexander is the real thing, a mega ohm resister.

With the advent of the Age of Trump she has dedicated herself to the Resistance.

Up to her neck in the work associated with the various grass roots organizations, she is putting her self out there in the struggle to retain voting rights, spreading truth to counter the deluge of lies from the White Supremacist House, and working locally both to elect sane and normal human beings, and to help local charities to fill in the gaps of care.

But wait, there is more to offset the insanity of being a thinking person in a sometimes unthinking society, she channels energy into creating fabulous feather costume pieces and accessories, because the options were that, or heavy drinking.

She even has her own Etsy store, and found a way to mesh her obsessions by donating creations to political and charitable fundraisers.


She can be found, these days, railing savagely on Twitter against the tide of cartoon villainy that is destroying our country, ( @GwynTAlexander), or helping people get in touch with their inner Miss Fisher with her fabulous feathers (Feather In Your Cap NOLA on Etsy.)

Be the parade you want to see in the world!

B Cubed Is glad to have Gwyndyn Alexander on board and looks forward to introducing you to the other writers who are going to make this volume a must have.

People of MAT: K. G. Anderson

More Alternative Truths, coming November 11, from B Cubed Press, is more than a book. It is people.

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One of them is Karen Anderson, author of “The Right Man for the Job.”

Karen, who writes as K.G. Anderson, has been working as a journalist since the day she left college. She’s written about vegetarian restaurants, the final days of the war in Vietnam, Johnny Cash, the drug paraphernalia industry, hazardous waste dumping, travel in Italy, cross-dressing, and how to choose a dentist. She’s also worked in corporate communications and marketing, with clients in publishing, high tech, medical technology, government, and landscape design.

All this comes together in her equally eclectic speculative fiction. Especially in the story she wrote for More Alternative Truths, where journalists and politicians from the past and present collide in her hometown of Washington, D.C.

While Karen had written extensively about city and state politics, she’d never gotten involved in a political campaign until 2016. She was part of a West Coast fundraising effort for Clinton coordinated by science fiction fans and Star Trek writers and actors (SF writer David Gerrold was one of the hosts).

“As we came into the final months of the 2016 campaign, I had this sense of impending doom,” she said. “When my worse fears were realized, I was inspired to write ‘Patti 209,’ a dark, dystopian story that B Cubed bought for Alternative Truths.”

For More Alternative Truths, Karen changed gears and went for political comedy with “The Right Man for the Job.”

Karen has written about the experience of being part of the B Cubed writing/editing/publishing community on her blog, WriterWay:

https://writerway.com/…/alternative-truths-an-unexpected-s…/

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People of MAT: Susan Murrie Macdonald

More Alternative Truths, coming November 11, from B Cubed Press, is more than a book. It is people.

One of them is Susan Murrie Macdonald, co-author of “Donald, Where’s Your Taxes” in MAT and author of “As Prophesied of Old” in Alternative Truths.

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Susan Murrie Macdonald was a fifth generation Republican – her great-great-grandfather voted for Fremont in 1856 and Lincoln in 1860 – but left the party on November 9, 2016, after DJT was elected.  Susan can’t knit pink hats.  She doesn’t have piles of money to donate to politicians.  But she can write, so that’s what she did.  Inspired by the words of Walt Disney, Toni Morrison, and H. G. Wells, Susan called upon others to join her in the CREATE Initiative. “Sing. Compose. Write. Perform. Draw. Sculpt. Blog. Remind Americans of our better selves. Remember our rights and responsibilities as citizens, lest those rights be washed away.”

Walt Disney Dream Quote

“That’s what we storytellers do. We restore order with imagination. We instill hope again and again and again.” Walt Disney

Toni Morrison quote

“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.” Toni Morrison

H G Wells writing

“Civilization is in a race between education and catastrophe. Let us learn the truth and spread it as far and wide as our circumstances allow. For the truth is the greatest weapon we have.” H. G. Wells

Thousands of miles away, Bob Brown and Phyllis Irene Radford were doing the same thing, so Susan was eager to submit a story to their anthology. She was pleasantly surprised (OK, shocked but delighted) when Alternative Truths shot to the top of Amazon’s bestseller list.

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In addition to having a story in the first volume and a song in the second volume, Susan has been on the proofreading teams for both Alternative Truths and More Alternative Truths.  She is a freelance proofreader and copy editor, who has worked with B Cubed Press, Norilana Press, and Gold Rush Publishing.

B Cubed Press is glad to have Susan Murrie Macdonald on board and looks forward to introducing you to the other writers who are going to make this volume a must-have.

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Susan M. Macdonald, dressed as an extra for the 1908 county fair scene in TIME BOYS.

$451

When editor Bob Brown first came up with the idea for Alternative Truths, he decided that one share of the royalties would be paid to the American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) for three years.  At the end of three years, all royalties would go to the ACLU.  Everyone involved with the project agreed to this.

Bob recently sent out the first royalty checks from Alternative Truths.  Because some of the authors agreed to donate their share to the ACLU, over and above what they were getting already, the ACLU got more than any author, illustrator, or editor.  Bob wrote the following press release.

On July 6, 2017 three representatives of B Cubed Press, Karen Anderson, Blaze Ward, and Janka Hobbs presented the first of many checks to the American Civil Liberty Union of Washington.

The money is part of a commitment to set aside a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Alternative Truths, an anthology that looks at the America that might be if the current political path continues unabated.

On hand to receive the check was Caitlin Lombardi, Community Relations Director at the ACLU of Washington.

Should you have any questions or desire a review copy of the book, please contact Bob Brown, owner of B Cubed Press, at Kionadad@aol.com.

Alternate Truths check for ACLU

Left to right, Karen Anderson, Caitlin Lombardi, Blaze Ward, Janka Hobbs

The following text accompanied the donation.

In 1953, a nation was reeling from the unapologetic assault on free speech from the likes of Joseph McCarthy.  In answer came the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  It is in this dystopian future where books are outlawed and firemen burn what books are reported, that we saw reflections of evil.

It was this world that we, who grew up in an America where freedom of the Press was sacred and the idea of burning books brought visions of storm troopers, could fear, but never imagine.

But oh, what changes a lifetime brings.  Ray Bradbury has left us and we live now in a world never envisioned as possible, where the President and his supporters regularly assault free speech and seek to limit the constitutionally mandated freedom of the press.  Where he stands at the podium and denounces the freedoms many of us served at home and abroad to protect.

We said NO!

We did what we could do in opposition to tyranny.

We wrote in the spirit of Thomas Paine.  In the spirit of free speech, we wrote.  And so was born Alternative Truths.

When we collectively decided to set aside a generous portion of the proceeds to the ACLU, we had no idea of the symbolic nature of the amount.  But today we presented the representatives of this staunch defender of our freedoms with the first installment of $451.  A symbolic number if ever there was one.

We made this decision jointly and freely because without the ACLU, it could be books like ours piled in the public square awaiting the match.

Without the ACLU, we could find that the freedom to express our views suppressed and denied.

So in the memory of Ray Bradbury, we stand against the stigma of the modern versions of McCarthy and those that would silence.  And we will continue to stand.

Thanks goes out to each and every writer, editor, and artist involved in B Cubed and Alternative Truths as we stand united in the name of Freedom.  True freedom that comes from making your ideas known, of speaking truth to power, and the ability to do so openly.

And as the ACLU has been in the forefront of the fight for, among other things, freedom of expression for nearly a century, we who are listed below support them as we freely express ourselves in fiction to the current crisis in American life.

Adam-Troy Castro

Alexander James Adams

Blaze Ward

Vonda McIntyre

Bob Brown

Bruno Lombardi

Cheyenne Summer Brown

Daniel M. Kimmel

David Steele

Diana Hauer

Vonda McIntyre

Gregg Chamberlain

Irene Radford

Janka Hobbs

Jim Wright

Joel Ewy

Karen G. Anderson

Ken Staley

Larry Hodges

Liam Hogan

Louse Marley

Marleen S. Barr

Paula Hammond

Rebecca McFarland Kyle

Rick Dunham

Sara Codair 

Susan Murrie Macdonald

Victor D Phillips

Wondra Vanian                                                                                             

Bobby Lee Featherston

Susan Omberg-Carro

 

(Caitlin Lombardi of the ACLU is no relation to Canadian author Bruno Lombardi.)

I’ve sold seven short stories now, and self-published a children’s book and an e-book.  However, Alternative Truths  is the first time I’ve earned royalties.  I have one teenager starting college in just over a month and another one planning to go to college in a few years, so I’d like to earn more royalties.  Buy Alternative Truths, $4.99 as an e-book, $11 as a paperback.

 

A Review of “Alternative Truths,” a Guest Blog by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough is a Nebula winning science fiction/fantasy writer and editor  She recently read and reviewed Alternative Truths, the political satire anthology from B Cubed Press, and was kind enough to give me permission to reprint her review as a guest blog.

E. A. Scarborough

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

In The Wind Between the Worlds, Robert Ford, an RAF radio operator unfortunate enough to be helping the Tibetan government set up radio links between the settlements when the Chinese invaded described his treatment as a prisoner. His captors softened him up with sleep deprivation and starvation, and with sessions of yelling at him that what he believed was lies and what he thought was wrong was true. They kept repeating the lies they wanted him to believe, substituting them for any real news until he was confused about what was true and what was not. By the end of his stay, following his “confession,” he was convinced that his enemies were his friends and vice versa. He said that it took him years after his release to sort out his own concept of reality. Everything he was told was counter to his own opinions and experience, but isolated and bombarded by his captor’s “alternative truths,” he was forced to accept their version of reality.

More recently, June Weinstock, woman from Fairbanks, Alaska, in Guatemala on an archaeological expedition, was waiting for a bus when a mob of villagers attacked her, beating and stabbing her until rescuers told them she was dead. The government had been spreading the story that American tourists were kidnapping Guatemalan kids and cutting them up for their organs. When one of the villagers couldn’t find her child, people set upon Ms. Weinstock, who later died from her injuries. The child was later found rehearsing for an Easter pageant. The disinformation that led to the death of the woman was a Guatemalan “alternative truth.”

“Alternative truths” can have truly deadly consequences, and although the stories in the anthology of the same name are fiction and don’t pretend to be otherwise, they illustrate 24 reasons why it’s not a good way to run a country. The current administration should leave the story-telling to the professionals.
POTUS’s rambling oratory style is so well portrayed by Adam-Troy Castro in “Q&A” and Jim Wright’s “President Trump, Gettysburg, Nov. 19, 1863” mimic POTUS’S rambling oratory style that I almost couldn’t laugh for cringing.

My favorites were the more allegorical tales. Diana Hauer’s “The Trumperor and the Nightingale” gives a Trump/Midas twist to the Chinese fairytale about a real versus a fake songbird. The story is kind to “the royal family” but not as forgiving of the advisors and is one of very few in the book with a happy ending.

Louise Marley’s “Relics, a Fable” is a poignant tale of what life might be like for the old and poor in the shadow of the humongous wall that is supposed to keep Mexicans from immigrating to the US.

“Patti 309” by K.G. Anderson is also about older people, but the once-affluent and even celebrities in their–er–golden years, when age and ill-health have deprived them of not only their money, but also much of their identities.

“Melanoma Americana” is a thrilling uniquely Capitalist tale of where the money goes when big business meets medicine.

I particularly enjoyed the British humor in Parliament’s take on an a familiar-sounding American head of state in Susan Murrie Macdonald’s “As Prophesied of Old.”

I also found “Letters from the Heartland” by Janka Hobbs to have a more home-grown gallows humor.

Joel Ewy’s “about_the_change.wav” is a love story. It reminded me of a couple I know who almost split up over the election, though it has a bit of a Stepford Wives meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers twist to it. “Frozen” is also a love story, kind of, but this one doesn’t have any cute reindeer or princesses in it.

Particularly chilling were three stories about ordinary citizens caught up in the changes that come to pass when alternative truths become real. “Raid at 817 Maple Street” by Ken Staley, “Good Citizens” by Paula Hammond, “We’re Still Here,” by Rebecca McFarland Kyle and “The History Book” by Voss Foster show the horrific consequences of innocent behavior when monitored by a well-armed witch hunt in a time when paranoia substitutes for imagination and alternative truths trump (pardon the pun) reality.

“Altered to Truth” by the anthology’s co-editor (with Bob Brown) Irene Radford, “Alt Right for the President’s End” by Gregg Chamberlain, “Rage Against the Donald” by Bruno Lombardi, “It’s All Your Fault” by Daniel M. Kimmel, “Monkey Cage Rules” by Larry Hodges, “Duck, Donald: A Trump Exorcism” by Marleen S. Barr, and “Pinwheel Party” by Victor D. Phillips all feature different takes on what happens when the Wicked Witch of the West is also in charge of the West Wing.

“Walks Home Alone at Night” by Wondra Vanian is unfortunately non-futuristic, since it seems to be occurring right now.  The kind of mentality that threatens the protagonist in this story happens too often, particularly to minorities upon whom certain people currently in the Cabinet and Congress have declared “open season.”

In this versatile anthology, there’s even a story the NRA could love–a good old-fashioned-though-modern shoot-’em-up Western called “The Last Ranger (ANPS-1, CE 2053)” by Blaze Ward. An iron-jawed legendary hero, a young man earning his spurs, overwhelming odds, headin’ ’em off at the pass, and lots of things exploding!

This book doesn’t cure any of the evils that people do, but it does provide a feast of food for thought.

If this sounds like something you’d like to read and review, please do. It’s available at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Altern…/dp/B0718YNJ97/ref=sr_1_1… Please share!

white house snowflakes

Mahalo to Elizabeth Ann Scarborough for her kind words on my story, our book, and her permission to reprint this book review on my blog. And merci beaucoup to the 70 readers who have reviewed Alternative Truths on Amazon thus far.