Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Electoral College is Good

It seems 12 states have already passed laws granting all of their electoral votes to the candidate who wins the majority of the popular vote in the country as a whole. We all remember Al Gore winning the popular vote but losing the election due to the Electoral College system our Founders gave us. I understand people’s ire with that result, but we need to really consider why the Electoral system was envisioned as the optimal choice for our great country.

Even though the Federal government has been growing like a weed for decades and most people have forgotten, the United States was formed as a union of independent states. When the country was founded, the people in each state were proud of the culture, history and way of life in their state. I would like to believe we feel that way to this day. In my opinion, the elimination of the Electoral College is a direct affront to state’s rights, and may well lead to state governments being nothing more than the local branch offices of the Feds. I don’t think that would be a good thing. Here are a couple examples:

Let’s say you live in Iowa, where I spent many years and attended college. At the 2010 census, Iowa had a population of 3.0 million. In some future presidential election, imagine that 99% of Iowans vote for candidate A, about 1.5 million votes. Candidate B ends up winning the popular vote by 500,000 votes nationwide. With these new laws, Iowa gives all their electoral votes to B, negating the votes of virtually all Iowans. Perhaps the best candidate did win, but the will of the people of Iowa is wiped away.

Now here is the insidious part. According to that same census, the US population in 2010 was 312.9 million. The nine most populated states account for more than 1/2 of the total. The top 16 states account for 2/3s of Americans. The rest is spread among the remaining 34 states and our territories (mainly Puerto Rico). In a United States without the Electoral College, no candidate is going to campaign heavily in any of those other states or territories. What’s the point? Focus on the highly populated states and major cities. Spend a little money on a network on the next tier of ten states. The rest only account for 16% of the popular vote. You can afford to ignore them and spend money where the bodies are. If you prevail, you’ll get their votes by default.

To me, this will disenfranchise those states, turning them into back waters no politician every talks about or visits. That isn’t right. Each state should have its own voice and it should be heard. And so this isn’t considered a partisan post, here are the bottom ten on the list, excluding territories: New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Montana, Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Washington DC, Vermont and Wyoming. Combined into one state, they would be the 12th largest in population, but now their 8 million voices will be silenced.

What the Electoral College does is to force candidates for President to campaign in every state. Not only is each person’s vote important, but so are the issues and needs of the states they live in. I believe these new laws will lead us backward in time to the days of the Boston Tea Party. What was that brouhaha about? Taxation without representation. Every state counts. When I was younger, I did not really understand state’s rights or the Electoral College. Now it seems so clear, and our Founders were right!

Out of Control on Keystone XL

Did anyone see the Canadian ambassador to the United States on Fox News yesterday?

His take on the Keystone XL pipeline was amazing. First of all, he obviously has no dog in this political hunt. He is Canadian (much more liberal than the USA), and represents his country’s interests, not the Dems or Reps in our country. What he said is critically important, although no one is talking about it. He said that his country has already looked at the environment impact, as has our State Department. His point is that the oil is already flowing from Alberta to the American refineries. Right now, and into the future, that oil is moving by rail and tractor trailers. Therefore, the ruse that canceling XL will help the environment is a lie. He said the pipeline will actually help the environment as Keystone XL moves the oil by pipe rather than rail or truck, which generate significantly higher CO2 emissions than pipes. Therefore, fighting Keystone XL is actually a desire to increase pollution, not lower it.

Believe me, the Canadians are more environmentally focused than us, and that isn’t good, but in this case it lays bare the political agenda behind the fighting in Congress. The fricking market will do what it will do. The ONLY other option is to kill the pipeline, let the oil stay on rail and increase pollution, or ship it directly to China, where they don’t give a damn for the environment, and raise pollution even higher. Let’s all take a step back, and do what’s right for the USA for once. All of the helter-skelter in Washington is  a ruse (as it has always been) for the folks there to control all of us. If you love the NSA spying and all the other governmental abuses of power, you won’t care what I say. If you still think, consider this.


Join the Adventure for Free

Poster-LoRez1 (2)As an incentive to discover the Dave Brewster Series and especially The Accord (book 5), the e-book version of Showdown Over Neptune (book 1) is now available FREE for a limited time!

Those interested in diving into a new science fiction universe can now dip their toes in for nothing. Seems like a good deal, right? Head over to Smashwords now to download your copy. Find out why Dave and his family took the chance to leave their own time behind and venture 1,100 years into the future. Be there when Dave and Charlie meet the great Gallicean General Fa-a-Di and fly over the swirling gases of Jupiter. Meet the maklans of Neptune, and find out how their existence could lead to intergalactic war.

Once the promotional period is over, I intend to do the same for book 2, The Second Predaxian War. And as always, honest and thoughtful reviews are greatly appreciated.

While you are browsing for Showdown Over Neptune, please take a look at my other books, including my first fantasy series, Heartstone, and learn about my upcoming series called Modern Prophets.


The Hypocrisy of Settled Science

First of all, to be clear, this post does not express an opinion on the validity of claims of anthropomorphically caused climate change or global warming. What I wish to discuss is actually more important than that. When I heard the President of the United States claim during his State of the Union address that climate change was “settled science”, I almost fell off the couch.

Perhaps the President and other laypeople can be forgiven for their lack of understanding of how science works, but using the bully pulpit to say such things should make you squirm in your chair. The idea that anything in science is settled contradicts the very nature of scientific experimentation. Many progressives talk about the fallacy of religion, and yet, thousands of years ago when those faiths were beginning, they were the highest state of knowledge. When Isaac Newton discovered the laws of thermodynamics and physics, that was the state of the art for its time, even though the works of Einstein and others have shown Newton’s laws are approximations that work well within the macroscopic confines of our existence on Earth. Now, physicists know there is much more to science that what Newton knew, and that is fantastic. We live and we learn.

What does science know today? Probably a lot more than I can imagine, but let me share a few things I learned from reading and watching science television. First, we know that matter acts very differently on the quantum level than it does on a larger scale. The computer I’m typing on and all modern electronics rely on how things happen on the quantum level. Our machines work because those tiny bits that make up atoms and everything else act like both waves and particles and can be in many places at the same time. It is one of the great challenges facing science today to link quantum mechanics and macro-scale physics into a grand unified theory. So far, no luck on that one, which means we know how big stuff works, and we’re glad the small stuff does what it does, but we don’t know how to reconcile the two. In other words, there are two types of physics out there.

Then there is dark matter, which accounts for roughly 25% of everything in the universe. Without it, the galaxies would spin apart, since there is not enough mass in them to hold their lovely spiral (and other) shapes. What is it? Who knows? And don’t forget dark energy, my personal favorite, which makes up 70% over everything there is. When you ignite a firecracker, there is a big pop as energy is released, and then it’s over. Using that logic, after the Big Bang, the universe should have expanded very fast until the energy of the explosion dissipated and then start to slow down. Perhaps due to the vacuum of space, that could take a long time. Well, to our surprise, after 13.8 billion years, the expansion is accelerating! Imagine lighting a firecracker a billion years ago, and the explosion is still going and getting bigger. How can this happen? Dark energy. What is it? Don’t know.

So, science knows a lot about the quantum and large-scale action of 5% of the universe, but not why the two are different. While science is amazing and I love it, for a school child, that’s like getting an A in kindergarten. There is so much more to know than we can possibly imagine. Nothing in science is settled.

By the way, I love the Morgan Freeman series “Through the Wormhole” and “Beyond the Wormhole”. Those programs showcase real scientists working on some of the anomalies of science. Over the last two weeks, some pretty outrageous ideas have been floated. During one program, scientists were explaining their experiments that “prove” there is no such thing as free will. Wow! That’s really bad news for Al Gore. If that is true, there is nothing we can do about global warming, since we do not make choices. We are just going through the motions. I do not believe that, but I am no scientist.

Last week, it was suggested that existence is an illusion. I have heard that before, with scientists speculating that reality is on a sphere at the edge of the universe, and our reality is just a hologram. It all seems very unlikely, but it did remind me of my favorite book ever, Illusions by Richard Bach. After hearing those discussions, my head was spinning, but the one thing I realized is that nothing in science is settled.

Join the Adventure!

The Accord Book Cover

Accord-ebookcoverNow that The Accord has been released, let me tell you about the cover. The design was created by Ronald Calica, the graphic artist I have used for my last six covers. I hope you agree with me that his talent is amazing. Ron spends most of his time doing artwork for video games. His work on those projects made him a perfect fit for my science fiction and fantasy covers.

The scene depicted here is from the beginning of Chapter 13. Dave Brewster has been captured by The Accord and is being transferred from a starship into the massive constructed planet that houses the brain of the leader of The Accord, Vanda. Dave was savagely beaten by a robot on his last day on the starship, and here is being helped toward his destiny with the machines. Two of Dave’s friends and fellow captives, Zobu Inther and Margas Ongool offer to help him down the ramp and into his new life as a slave. Those men are shorter than Dave (who is average height) because they come from the Nan race, which figures prominently in my works, starting with The Hive. The massive robots are shouting at everyone to hurry up, waving their blasters and razor like claws. The small robot with the glass head (brain in a jar, as Dave refers to him) is Nostu, a new Friend of The Accord, who becomes Dave’s friend and learns to regret his decision to join The Accord. And that’s just the cover!

If you’re interested, please check out more on The Accord here, or look for it at most e-book resellers. The paperback version should be available any day. Thanks for checking this out and Join the Adventure!

Sample Chapters from The Accord

Accord-ebookcoverThe link below will take you to the PDF of the first two chapters of Book 5 of the Dave Brewster Series, The Accord. This sets the linkage from the end of Book 4, Tears of Gallia, and highlights the threat that the cyborg civilization will be for our galaxy. There are a lot of things thrown at you in these few pages, for example, the original attack on our fleet by Zeet of The Accord during Tears of Gallia, High Priest Obu Neela of the planet Lagamar Ulu (one of Dave’s friends first mentioned in The Hive), a society of birdlike creatures known as the Bandabar Fold (also from The Hive), as well as most of the bridge crew of the starship Nightsky, which has been Dave’s home through most of the series. I hope you enjoy it and will consider the book for your library. Here is the link:



The Accord Has Arrived

Accord-ebookcoverBook Five of The Dave Brewster Series is coming to a bookseller near you. Instead of an economical and reliable compact car, The Accord is a society of cyborgs bent on galactic domination. Deep in the Small Magellanic Cloud, the people of Skee Lotho lived in terror that their former overlords from the Society of Humanity would find them and force them back into slavery.

To provide security, they construct a satellite controlled by the disembodied brain of the aged planetary leader, Eon. Fast forward a few hundred million years, and the machines have taken over dozens of planets. The leaders of The Accord inhabit massive constructed planets housing their huge brains, along with millions of lesser cyborgs and billions of humans who are both slaves and feedstock. Now The Accord has a new problem: The Clouds are running out of metal to construct more robots. They must move to our galaxy to continue to grow and add new members.

Our defenses are too weak to stop the machines, so Dave Brewster leads a team into the Clouds to find weaknesses and perhaps convince The Accord to stop their diabolical plan. There, he faces the inhuman cruelty of the machines, but there is something else. A strange force begins to help him. Perhaps there is hope for our galaxy, but Dave Brewster and Dar Lini will face injury and death at every turn. The Accord is coming, a massive battle rages, what will happen next? Join the Adventure!