B Cubed Press Offers Alternatives

B Cubed Press

Since the days of the ancient Greek playwrights, writers have used humor to cut would-be tyrants down to size.  “The pen is mightier than the sword,” but the feather of the quill can be used to tickle.

B Cubed Press was developed to create books that hold a mirror up to the oaf in the White House and his neo-fascist henchmen.  Admittedly, sometimes it’s a funhouse mirror.  In an era of “Fake News,” censorship, and clumsy propaganda, B Cubed Press invites readers to think and laugh.

Alternative Truths, the first anthology in the series, has 94 positive reviews on Amazon.  It’s a five-star book that contains my Darrell Award-nominated contemporary fantasy “As Prophesied of Old.”

Alternative Truths anthology was formed, when on February 23, 2017, I, and many of my friends, asked what we could do. We could write, we could join that noble tradition of using the pen, to poke the powerful.  So was born, Alternative Truths. And our pens became word processors and our ideas became stories.  Bob Brown”  As my colleague K. G. Anderson said, “Twenty-four science fiction writers had one hundred days to think about Trump.  The result is Alternative Truths.” The book was published just before Trump’s 100th day in office.

More Alternative Truths was more of the same, but with poetry added.  (It contains a filk song I co-wrote with Nebula winner Elizabeth Ann Scarborough.)

Alternative Theologies: Parables for a Modern Age took a religious bent.  Some thieves took exception to the notion that there might be alternative interpretations to their theology and stole every copy of the book from MisCon in Montana.

Alternative Truths: Endgames is the fourth and final book of the Alternatives quartet.  It offers fictional possibilities of what might be the result of this interruption into the experiment of American democracy.

After the Orange explores long-term possibilities of what the current regime could do to us and our descendants.

Digging Up My Bones  is an anthology of feminist poetry.

It’s nearly time for summer reading.  Check out these B Cubed Press offerings at your local library or bookstore.  Also available on-line through Amazon.com.

B Cubed Press

Buy a book, then leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads.  Reviews are love.  Even if it’s just a tweet saying “I liked this book.  You might, too.”

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this blog are my own and do not reflect the official opinions of Krypton Radio, Kelly Educational Services, nor the County of San Diego.

Digging Up My Bones

A book review

Sorry I haven’t committed bloggery in a while, but I had a minor stroke in September, and I’ve been concentrating on recovery.

Digging Up My Bones is a poetry anthology by Gwyndyn Alexander.  It’s a marvelous collection of powerefully poignant poems, on subjects as diverse as dysfunctional families, romance, sealioning, Greek mythology and feminism.  I seriously believe my grandchildren and great-grandchildren will read some of these poems in their high school English classes.  If you’re planning to have smart descendents, invest in this book so they’ll have the original at home.  It will impress their teacher.

“Gwyndyn Alexander, is one of the essential poets of our generation. Her poems strike deeply into the heart of the pain and joy of being a woman in a patriarchal society, her work speak truth to power in a way that only her heartfelt and stunningly crafted poems can do”

My favorite thus far is “Seasons of You (For Jonathan),” which is a love poem Ms. Alexander wrote for her husband.

You’re walking through the storm,

cloaked in rain.
Droplets bead on your hair
crowning you with diamonds.
Late night conversation,
and your words
fall in my mind like seeds.
Ideas bloom amid strange growth,
and I am wrapped in your
verdant intellect.
Air moves across your skin,
raising the shivers.
Even the wind
wants to caress you.
You lounge by the hearth,
moving shadows painting your face.
You stretch like a sated cat,
your eyes full of fire.

Because this book is published by B Cubed Press, naturally there are some political poems.  Everything feminist is at least slightly political, when written by a woman of intellect, but “A Consevative Prayer,” (excerpt below), “Democracy Dies in Silence,” and “The Alt Right to Bear Arms are overtly political.

Republican Jesus,
save us from liberals,
bless our sacred guns,
protect us from regulations
we pray.
Republican Mary,
Lady of Gerrymandering,
hear our prayers.
Give us this day
our daily kickback
from the NRA.

Disclaimer: I am not entirely a disinterested party.  I have had one story, the Darrell-nominated “As Prophesied of Old, and one song “Donald, Where’s Your Taxes?” published by B Cubed Press, and I used to proofread for them when my brain synapses synapted better.

At any rate, if you like poetry or feminist thought, I recommend this book.  You don’t need a Ph. D. in literature to understand or appreciate these poems.

Destroying Citizenship

a guest post by Elizabeth Moon

Elizabeth Moon

Destroying Citizenship

The Constitution, the legal foundation and framework of this country, defined it as “birth citizenship.” Born here, citizen here. Those not born here could become citizens in a variety of ways, but citizenship was intended to be permanent, inviolable unless the citizen decided to deny their citizenship and change to another country. Criminals could be prosecuted, tried, convicted, and punished…but not stripped of their citizenship just because they stole, murdered, set fires, etc.

The only times in our history that this was violated (first with slavery, later with other racist acts and Japanese internment) it was a national scandal *and recognized as such.* Those bad days, I was taught, were over–we’d never make that mistake again.

But it’s happening now. It began as a move by the Texas state government to refuse to issue birth certificates for the children of foreigners (Mexican and Central Americans) born in this country. It continued with the attack of GOP politicians on the concept of “chain migration” (the most common form of immigration in our history–families moved here piecemeal, as they could afford.) And earlier this year I read that the State Department was starting to refuse to issue passports to persons born out of hospital, on the grounds that *even when reported promptly and certified by a state-issued birth certificate*, the place of birth might have been right and the person might not *really* be a citizen.

Worth noting, for those who don’t know: until well into the 20th century *most* births were out of hospital…mostly at home (like my mother, her mother, her mother’s mother, her father, both her grandparents…) In WWII, my mother (born at home) joined nurses in Chicago’s slums to provide birthing service for poor women in their tenements. Post WWII, many rural people (especially rural poor, who could not afford hospital care) had their children at home. When we moved here to central Texas, quite a few people were still having their babies at home, most for financial reasons and a few for the concept of a “natural” birth. Babies born out of a hospital are no more likely to be born in a foreign country than those born in a hospital (for instance, to a pregnant US citizen who misjudged her due date and had her child in London or Bangkok.)

But the GOP paranoia about citizenship, their incredible racism–which would have deported most of their own ancestors and denied citizenship to their children–led to an Administration hell bent on denying citizenship to American citizens and deporting as many as possible. Trump & Sessions both said earlier this year that some naturalized citizens should be deported. This would include people I know who immigrated to this country after WWII, some as adults and some as children. And from day one of the “crackdown” on illegal immigrants, ICE has been arresting, holding, and even deporting *native born American citizens*, with passports, who were not allowed to retrieve their passport to prove citizenship while in detention. Their “crime” was being brown. A man arrested in Colorado was told “You don’t look like you were born here.” (Remember, a Navajo man running for public office was accosted by angry white people telling him “Go back where you came from.”)

And now the State Department is confiscating passports from people born on the Texas-Mexico border (which denies them their proof of citizenship), having them detained by ICE, threatening to deport them. Natural born American citizens. Our fellow citizens. Business owners. Veterans of our military services. Farmers. Citizens who were not only born in this country, but had bothered to get passports (most people in my childhood did not have them; you needed them only for foreign travel, not to prove citizenship.) Citizens–fellow citizens–are informed that they aren’t citizens, really, because of where they live, where they were born.

I’m going to take a wild guess that the State Department isn’t yanking the passports of *white* people born in South Texas…only brown people. Not targeting people with last names like Clark or Miller or Schroeder or Whetzel…but only those with names like Moreno, Rodriguez, Garcia, or Flores. Families whose ancestors were there when Texas (and then the U.S.) annexed the territory, drove them off their land grants, stole their land and their history. Among other things.

I grew up in that border mix, and I experienced the influx of white northerners in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s–the winter tourists from Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, etc. who complained *endlessly* about the people who lived where they wanted to spend the winter and enjoy the semi-tropical climate, plants, birds, etc. Some of them settled, and brought their attitudes with them. They were offended that our local stop signs also had ALTO on them. They were offended if greeted in Spanish, or if someone’s English had an accent. And there were people like that north of us in all directions. North Texans can be just as snooty and mean as someone from the upper midwest. (My grandfather moved the family to Dallas one year; my mother was harassed and ridiculed because she’d come from the border area; she also had straight black hair, so she was called “dirty Mexican.”) And there’s always been racism in Texas, from the first and all the way to the present.

But seizing the passports–the proof of citizenship–of American citizens without any evidence, declaring them non-citizens without any chance to defend themselves in court, to offer *their* evidence? This is violating our national Constitution and our national honor. And it is also already one floor down the slippery slope to tyranny in this country. Not taxes, not gun control: when the government claims the right to change the rules about who is and who isn’t a citizen–to make that change at the whim of the president or any other individual (or political party) we are already hip deep in Nazi Germany’s determination to “purify” the country–to make it all white and all Christian a certain way. If We the People of the United States don’t stop this right now, this next election, then ANY of us could be declared a non-citizen and our belongings–from passport to land to the clothes on our backs–seized by a lawless government. (Remember the picture of all the rosaries the Border Patrol stole from those they detained: rosaries, wedding rings, family pictures…)

This is not the country I joined the Marines to protect. This is not the country I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution for…not a country that strips citizens of their citizenship on the whim of a political party, or a secret cluster within it, or the senior officials or elected representatives or a president. THIS is a line in the sand, as were the children kidnapped, trafficked, and abused. THIS is NOT OK.

Originally posted by Elizabeth Moon on her Facebook page, August 30, 2018.


U.S. Is Denying Passports to Americans Along the Border

Trump’s Illegal Policy of Denying Passports to Hispanic Citizens


Where Will We Be After The Orange?

I’m not in this book, but several of my friends and acquaintances are. You might find it worth reading.

A guest-post by Karen G. Anderson

Writer Way

Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 8.12.06 PMThe writers and editors who put together the Alternative Truths and More Alternative Truths anthologies have taken a collective leap into our uncertain future with a new book, After the Orange: Ruin and Recovery.

Edited by my talented friend Manny Frishberg, the newest B Cubed Press anthology has stories by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Paula Hammond, Mike Adamson, J.G. Follansbee, me and 24 others. Our stories in After the Orange provide a glimpse of the world in 2032 and beyond.

Manny says: “Some stories are about imagined Resistance fighters while others, like ‘Garbage Patch Kids,’ envision people cheerfully making the best of their situation. Generally, the farther in the future a story looks, the more likely it is to be optimistic.”

“Maybe the Monarchs,” by Endeaver Award-winner Brenda Cooper, and J.G. Follansbee’s “The Orange St. Parking Garage Is FULL/OPEN” are all-to-plausible, and disturbingly so. I heard Brenda read “Maybe the…

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Complaints Against DJT and His Administration

When the American colonies broke away from England, Thomas Jefferson wrote “when in the course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

A friend of mine, Laurie MacDonald, listed reasons why DJT and his administration are failing this nation.

Immigrant children torn away from their parents

Parents and children separated for months.

Children kept in what amount to dog kennels.

A border wall.

Using children as bargaining chips to get a border wall built.

Immigrant teenage girls kept from having perfectly legal abortions.

A movement to make it legal to seize property from people accused of crimes but not yet convicted.

Praising brutal dictators, while alienating our allies.

Meeting with a brutal dictator for no other purposes than to have a photo op and use the meeting as a tool to win the upcoming election.

Cancelling military maneuvers with South Korea.

Starting a deliberate trade war with our allies.

Deliberately destroying our environment.

Relaxation of safety regulations in the workplace and in the manufacture of cars.

Refusing to admit that a hostile foreign power meddled in our election.

Refusing to take steps to make sure that a hostile power can’t meddle in our elections again.

Voter suppression laws.

Increasing the power of the Executive Branch.

Waging war on the Justice Department.

Talking about imprisoning political opponents.

Inviting brutal dictators to the White House.

Multiple and ongoing attempts to end a Justice Department investigation into corruption in one’s own campaign team and administration.

Treating Congress as a subordinate branch of government.

A Congress that refuses to exercise its oversight of the Executive Branch.

Packing the Judicial Branch with unqualified judges, appointed for life, who will continue to support the administration’s extreme policies.

Zero tolerance for dissent.

A complete lack of respect for democratic principles.

Does this sound like we still live in a democracy?

(Feel free to add your own items to this list.)


Children in Concentration Camps

Does the USA have the right to control its borders and decide who may or may not immigrate?  Yes, of course.  Every nation does.

Is our immigration system, and especially ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) in need of reform?  Yes, dire need.

Why do so many Mexicans and Central Americans migrate to the USA illegally?  Why don’t they follow the rules and come legally? It’s much tougher than most people realize.

Is it right, is it moral, is it legal, to separate children from their parents and place them in sub-par holding facilities?  No.  It’s not right.  It’s not moral.  And to the best of my knowledge, it isn’t legal (or at least it shouldn’t be) no matter what DJT says.

Elizabeth Moon

Elizabeth Moon is a retired USMC officer.  She swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and she takes that oath seriously.  Mrs. Moon is more than a little upset about the way immigrant children, both illegal immigrants and would-be refugees, are being treated by our government’s current administration.  She had this to say on Facebook today.

If the notion of children in prison camps on military bases in this country doesn’t make your stomach turn…go away. If you want to make excuses about “Oh, they came illegally” and you think that justifies children in prison camps on military bases in this country…go farther away. If you are so empty of empathy, so arrogant in your certainty that these children “deserve” to be in prison camps on military bases in this country, GET THE HELL OUT OF MY COUNTRY AND GO BACK WHERE YOUR ROTTEN ANCESTORS CAME FROM. I don’t care how long you think your people have been here…you do not deserve the good things this country did, if you think children in prison camps on military bases are a good idea.

Imagine what you’d think if you had ICE at your door and they grabbed *YOUR* child away from you, and put them in one car while they handcuffed you and put you in another. Like that picture? Oh, but you’re sure it would never happen to you? Face facts. If they will imprison someone else’s kids, what besides boot-licking and butt-kissing will keep yours safe? And how MUCH boot-licking and butt-kissing will be demanded? More and more, is the rule of this kind of leader. Do you want your kids to grow up to be boot-licking, butt-kissing, bend-over-young-sailors for this bunch of criminals? Do you really think that makes them safe? Ask the Germans. Ask the Russians. Ask the Chinese. For that matter ask African-Americans, who have sadly learned that no amount of good behavior as defined by white people will keep them safe. Ask Native Americans, here long before any whites. And they’ll tell you the truth. NOTHING will make your white kids safe once you let these bastards put other children in prison camps.

There are no excuses for this. There are no legitimate reasons for this. This does not make America safer. It makes us viler, more criminal, weaker in the world. And if you don’t agree, go back where you came from. Or face the wrath of mothers and grandmothers and fathers and grandfathers who have hearts and souls as well as minds.

Quoted from Elizabeth Moon’s Facebook page, June 13, 2018, with her permission.

I commented on Mrs. Moon’s Facebook page that this was unAmerican, but the sad truth is that this has precedents in American history.

  • African and African-American slave children sold away from their parents
  • Native American children sent to boarding schools to be “civilized”
  • immigrant children being removed from their families in the 19th century
  • Nisei concentration camps in WWII

The United Nations has complained about DJT’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents, calling it a serious human rights violation.

The practice of separating families amounts to arbitrary and unlawful interference in family life, and is a serious violation of the rights of the child.  The use of immigration detention and family separation as a deterrent runs counter to human rights standards and principles.

Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman, UN Human Rights Office

#ThisIsNotNormal.  #ThisIsNotRight.  #ThisIsNotAcceptable.

Please, call or write your representatives in Congress.  Call or write the White House.  Speak up.

Feature image by Dr. Seuss, copyright 1941.

Photo of Elizabeth Moon taken from her Facebook page.

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.

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.


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.


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.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, eyeglasses, selfie and closeup

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.”