Monday, May 26, 2014

Review: TAKEDOWN, by Brett Battles and Robert Gregory Browne

Takedown (Alexandra Poe, #2)Takedown by Brett Battles
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Poe boys (Robert Gregory Browne and Brett Battles) are back with the second installment in the Alexandra Poe series. I really liked the first one, and I have to say this one is even better. The pacing is letter-perfect and the action scenes are crisper and more focused.

Like the writers of a great TV show, the authors do a good job of weaving the plot of this "episode" in with the overall story arc of Alexandra Poe's search to find out the truth about her missing father and murdered mother, and like great TV, the end of this story leaves you gasping to find out what happens next time. Recommended.

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Suppose They Had a Revolution and Nobody Came

The Pilot Newspaper: Opinion

Those wild and wacky wingnuts are at it again!
What are those zany scamps up to this time? Why, trying to overthrow the government, of course! Unfortunately for them (and hilariously for citizens of the non-crackpot variety), the government didn’t seem to notice.
It happened (or more accurately, didn’t happen) last weekend, at an event called Operation American Spring, OAS for short. OAS was the “brainchild” of a former U.S. Army colonel named Harry Riley. On his website, Riley laid out his plan to “restore the Constitution.” In fine military fashion, Riley broke the op down into three “phases.”
1: OAS would “field millions, as many as 10 million, patriots” who would assemble on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., “spiritually/ Constitutionally armed” to replace the “current government.”
2: One million of the 10 million (Riley later told Alan Colmes that the count could go as high as 30 million) would remain on-site “as long as it takes to see Obama, Biden, Reid, McConnell, Boehner, Pelosi, and Attorney General Holder removed from office.”
3: “Those with the principles of a West, Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Lee, DeMint, Paul, Gov. Walker, Sessions, Gowdy, Jordan, should comprise a tribunal and assume positions of authority to convene investigations, recommend appropriate charges against politicians and government employees to the new U.S. attorney general appointed by the new president.”
Yes, there’s nothing that says “restoring the Constitution” like a minority of disgruntled voters overthrowing a freely elected government because they didn’t like the election result, then establishing an unelected tribunal to arrest and punish those they designate as political undesirables. Reign of Terror, anyone?
The coup wouldn’t be easy, Riley warned.
“It will be painful,” he said, “and some people may die because the government will not be nonviolent; some of us will end up in a cell, and some may be injured.”
A fellow named Terry Trussell, who identified himself as OAS’s “chief of staff,” told the “Patriot Nation” radio show that “if things got bigger,” the administration could “pull in drones,” but confidently predicted that “when the government destroys the capital just to get rid of us, I think it’s going to work to their discredit.”
Well, yeah, I guess that would be true. If, that is, the basic premise of the statement weren’t bat-spit crazy.
So the big day, May 16, rolled around, and — well, not much happened. From the live feed that the OAS people thoughtfully set up on the Internet, it looked like about 200 people showed up. It was kind of hard to tell, because for a long time, the camera was apparently lying on its side.
What could be seen in the feed, and in various photos posted from the event, was small knots of people (mostly older, almost exclusively white) milling around aimlessly, shouting a lot, and most definitely not being slaughtered by Obama’s Killer Drones.

“It’s a very dismal turnout,” 61-year-old Jackie Milton, the head of Texans for Operation American Spring, glumly told The Washington Times. One “patriot” was even more poignant; he stood in front of the camera and screamed “Where you AT?” over and over.

It is true that, in advance of the coming of the OAS wavelet, the president and Mr. Biden actually did flee the White House — all the way to a local Shake Shack, where they had a nice lunch and talked to reporters about raising the minimum wage. From the pictures, a lot more people showed up at that event than at the Mall.
Faced with this kind of embarrassment, some OAS supporters took to Twitter, with a variety of excuses for the poor turnout that were so lame that #Americanspringexcuses became a trending topic all its own.

Some posted photos of massive crowds on the Mall, only to have others note from a cursory examination of the signs and clothing that the pictures were from civil rights marches from 40 years ago.
My personal favorite was the often-repeated “well, a lot of these patriots have jobs.” Possibly, but here’s a thought: When the horrible tyranny under which you claim to suffer isn’t enough to make you ask for a personal day to overthrow the government, then maybe the tyranny isn’t so horrible after all.
Another right wing attempt to overturn the election has failed, because, despite the drama-queen ranting of the worshippers of “West, Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson,” etc., normal people look around and, for the most part, see things as getting better. They may not be completely happy, but unlike the deluded misfits of OAS, they’re not unhappy to the point of treason.