Saturday, June 25, 2016

In Support of Jill Stein

Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein Ticks Up In Polls. Again.

Featured image courtesy of Jill Stein for President.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) poll released Tuesday shows Green Party candidate Jill Stein gaining support for her presidential bid yet again. The poll of 891 registered voters conducted from June 16-19 showed Stein earning the support of 7 percent of respondents.
An NBC News/Survey Monkey poll released a week earlier showed Stein polling at five percent. In mid-April she was at only two percent, according to a press release from her campaign.
As The Progressive Standard previously reported, if Stein can reach the 15 percent threshold in national polls, she’ll be eligible to participate in the televised presidential debates. The CNN/ORC poll, along with the overall trajectory of polling numbers, suggests that Stein is well on her way to reaching that goal.

The Numbers May Be Even Better Than The Poll Suggests

There are indicators that the poll underrespresented the true level of support for Stein. Like Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, Stein performs particularly well among millennials. The CNN/ORC poll, however, relied on interviews with 601 landline respondents and 400 cell phone respondents.
Considering that few millennials own landlines, these numbers suggest that millennials may have accounted for a disproportionately small sample of respondents. In the poll’s break down of respondents by age, millennials are in fact the only group whose numbers are not included. There is an “N/A” listed under that category, presumably because there were not enough millennial respondents to provide measurable data.
Screenshot 2016-06-22 12.54.37
The poll had a margin of error of +/- 3.5 percent.

Throwing Jill Stein In The Mix Would Certainly Make For Interesting Debates

If Stein does make it onto the televised debates, there are bound to be fireworks. Stein has been equally directin her criticisms of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Unlike Sanders, Stein has no love for the Democratic Party or Hillary Clinton and will not pull any punches when addressing the former secretary of state’s record on a number of policy issues. Stein has already called out Clinton for her stances on immigration, the environment, and foreign policy. She has also questioned Clinton’s record on feminist issues, a line of attack Clinton has not previously encountered in a debate opponent.
In perhaps her most bold attack on Clinton, Stein argued that there are no substantial differences in many of the policies of Trump and Clinton. Stein maintains that whatever policy distinctions there are between those two candidates tend to be a matter of rhetoric rather than substance. As she puts it: “What we fear from Donald Trump, we have already seen from Hillary Clinton.” In other words, Trump may say horrible things but we know that Clinton actually does horrible things.
Also, Stein is not sick and tired of hearing about Clinton’s ongoing email scandal and the FBI investigation into it.
If Stein does reach the 15 percent threshold necessary to be on the televised presidential debates, hopefully Clinton and Trump won’t try ducking debates with her.

Featured image courtesy of Jill Stein for President.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Clogged lines, no Plummer

Yesterday evening, my toilet quit flushing. I could tell the line beyond it was clogged, because whenever I pulled the handle, water went through it and began backing up into the shower. Plunging did no good. Liquid clog busters did no good. Next morning, I drove around, until I found an auger with a six foot cable and augered it three times. Still no success. I plunged it with all my might numerous times. Put in the strongest chemicals I could find. Plunged with all my might numerous times. Put a heavy weight over the shower drain to stop water from moving in that direction. Plunged with all my might numerous times. Decided to go under the house, with the intent to cut the pipe and clean it out. Anybody that has ever owned an old mobile home knows an old man such as myself is not going to get all the way under there and dig pipes out of the dirt and cut fiberglass insulation to see where the shower drain is joined to the main line. Decided that taking the toilet up from the floor was the way to go. But, the drawback there was the need to rebuild the floor afterwards, plus the fact that the cutoff valve, though it turned freely and snugged up nicely, did not cut off the water. A major project, with no toilet for the duration. I sat down and watched the movie, Lilo and Stitch. Then I went to the toilet and plunged it like a total maniac. Sudden success. The toilet now flushes like a charm. I did essential cleanup and left the rest for in the morning. Elapsed time of successful repair: nine hours.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Revising First Draft - Lesson Learned

Because I could not trust the computer to retain a copy of my book, I printed the whole thing and then began to correct it by retyping every word. I also put in a disc to copy each step of the revision. It proved to be incredibly hard and I quickly bogged down, losing nearly all momentum. Sometimes I would hit a snag, then ponder a couple of days before moving forward again. Yesterday I made the decision to upload the non revised portions, attached directly at the end of the completed portion. It just took a few minutes to realize that by typing every word, as I had been doing, I was essentially rewriting the entire manuscript. For, I questioned each sentence, each word, and ended doing the same work all over again. Now I keep in whole paragraphs I would have recomposed the other way. Since putting it on line, I have begun making adequate progress.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Yaupon Holly: The Curse and the Blessing Of

For the past twenty years I have been fighting a private war against this pernicious weed-tree. At the apartments where I worked they often grew up under the established shrubs and gradually over grew the shrubs until the ground crew was trimming them instead of the shrubs we bought. I fought them until one manager told me to leave them alone. So, half of the shrubbery there is now replaced by yaupons.

While trying to come up with a plant that will shield my home from the eyes of the neighbors in the cul de sac, behind the yard, I suddenly realized I already have it. Two years ago, when I made the decision to clear all the overgrowth back there, it was rife with yaupons. I had to clear thorny vines, poison ivy and yaupons. The yaupons grow like weeds, get as big as trees, stay green all year and they are already there. I have been cutting them to the ground every few months; yet they persist in growing. So, they are to be my ally, this go around.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Our Lt. Governor

Dan Patrick: Texas Lieutenant Governor Deletes 'Reap What You Sow' Bible Verse After Orlando Shooting
Patrick was criticized after tweeting the bible verse, "A man reaps what he sows," following the shooting at an LGBT club in Orlando, Fla. His office said the tweet was pre-scheduled.

06/12/2016 AT 01:00 PM EDT
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has faced a social media backlash for what some perceive as anti-gay commentary after Sunday's mass shooting at a popular Orlando, Florida, gay nightclub

"Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows," Patrick tweeted Sunday morning, quoting the Bible, hours after a mass shooting at Orlando's Pulse which left at least 50 people dead and 53 injured. Officials have called the attack the deadliest mass shooting in American history. 

Patrick posted the same verse to his Facebook page soon after. Both posts were deleted before noon. 

It was not immediately clear if Patrick was commenting on the Orlando shooting. Representatives from his office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment. 

Many users on both platforms read Patrick's quotation as anti-gay, as that verse (and the one succeeding it) have frequently been quoted as evidence of Christianity's intolerance of gays. 

"You're such a poor example of Texas, and of Christianity. May those affected my this morning's violence be protected from the thoughtless words of idiots like you," one Facebook user commented on Patrick's post. 

Another wrote, "What a horrific post. Disgusting. But then, I guess you failed to remember that the entire book of Galatians was written to the CHURCH, and that Paul's anger was to the bigotry and selfishness within the Christian church at Galatians. In other words – he was talking about people like you. 

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

On Twitter, businessman and sometimes Shark Tank guest Chris Saccaresponded, "You pervert Christianity in a way that would make Jesus cringe. Where is your compassion?" 

Friday, June 10, 2016

Writer's Vocabulary

Written by Emily Harstone | May 26, 2016
There are many words and phrases associated with publishing. To a new author, or an experienced author new to publishing, it can seem a little overwhelming at first. This article focuses on defining  the most common terms associated with publishing. The article is organized alphabetically.
If you have any questions, comments, or additional words that you want to be added to this list, please email us at
An advance is a signing bonus  that is paid to the author before the book is published. It is paid against future royalty earnings. So for  every dollar you receive in an advance, you have to earn a dollar from book sales before you receive any additional royalty payments. Most independent publishers do not offer advances.
A published collection of poems or other pieces writing, usually on a theme.
“Big Five”
Previously known as “The Big Six, this term refers to Penguin Random House, Macmillan, HarperCollins, Hachette and Simon & Schuster, the five largest publishers in North America. All of these publishers have multiple imprints. All of these publishers and most of their imprints require agents. 
A 10-20 page collection of poetry, or less commonly fiction or creative non-fiction, by one author.
First Publication Rights
This term is most commonly used in the context of literary journals and magazines. Most publications will not publish work that has previously appeared in a different literary journal, print or online. Because of this most publishers require First Rights. These can also be called First North American Serial Rights or First Serial Rights. No matter what they are called it usually means that you are giving that publications exclusive rights to publish your poem first. After they publish work the rights revert to you, sometimes right away, sometimes after six months. Many publishers of poetry and short story manuscripts want your work to have been previously published in literary journals.
A category of artistic composition, characterized by similarities in form, style, or subject matter. Genre can refer to poetry, prose or non fiction in terms of form. Or it can be a subject matter classification referring to science fiction, mysteries, or various other established types of stories. If a  literary journal or publisher says they are not interested in genre work they are using it as a subject matter classification.
An imprint of a publisher is a trade name under which a work is published, many larger publishers use imprints as a way to market specific books. For example science fiction books are usually published by a different imprint than mystery books, even if they are published by the same publisher.
Independent Publishers
A publisher that is not an imprint of the Big Five or a large media corporation. Independent Publishers can be small start ups, or large established presses like Chronicle Books. Most do not require agents in order to submit.
Literary Agent
A literary agent is someone who represents writers and their written works to publishers and assists in the sale and deal negotiation of the same. Many publishers require authors to submit their work through a literary agent.
Literary Journal
A magazine that publishes primarily poetry, fiction, and/or creative non fiction. Also commonly referred to as journals or reviews.
An unpublished book length work of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry.
Used mostly in the context of larger journals and contests generally have volunteer readers, individuals who read a large chunk of the work submitted and who decide what part of that work they are going to pass on to the editors.
Work that has been previously published elsewhere. This includes self published work. Some publishers are particularly interested in publishing reprints as long as all the rights belong to the author. The majority of publishers only consider reprints of work that have been previously traditionally published.
Royalties at their most basic refer to the amount of money an author earns off each copy of their book that is sold.
SASE (Self Addressed and Stamped Envelope)
If you submit to a publisher, a contest, or a literary journal via the mail, most publishers require that you include a SASE (Self Addressed and Stamped Envelope) so that they can respond to your work with a rejection or acceptance letter.
Self Publishing
When you publish your own work either directly on a platform like the Kindle or when you use a vanity press.
Solicited Submissions
Submissions from authors that the publisher’s directly request. Most literary journals publish a mix of solicited and unsolicited submissions. Editor’s can solicit the work of friends or of famous or emerging writers. Most time when your work is solicited it is published.
Submission Manager
An online program that handles submissions electronically. The most common one is submittable. Both literary journals and manuscript publishers use submission managers.
Traditional Publisher
A publisher who never charges you any fees, and who pays the author for their rights.
Unsolicited Submissions
The bulk of submissions to most journals are unsolicited. They are the submissions sent through submission managers, post, or emails to literary journals. If a manuscript publisher says they do not accept unsolicited submissions, you can not submit to them unless someone at the publisher has explicitly asked to see your work, or you have an agent who can submit your work for you.
Vanity Publisher/ Press
Also known as assisted publishing. Any publisher that charges you in order to publish your work is a vanity publisher.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Rain Persists Until Damage Occurs

My neighborhood sits on a very long slope, with decent drainage at the bottom. It would be nearly impossible to flood us out. Not to say outside the neighborhood roads and nearby neighborhoods cannot flood. But the deepest water I ever saw flowing over the ground, here, was less than a foot deep. After eighteen years, I would say that is a pretty good indication that we are likely never going to flood.

Still, the constant heavy downpours wreak damage on the house and grounds, the way a river could wear a hole in a rock. A few days ago, the water suddenly dropped out of a cloud and pounded the roof like a fist. It made a hole, where there was otherwise no prior inclination to be open right there. In this instance, I happened to be in possession of a gallon of aluminum paint, which handily fixed the problem and covered some questionable other spots.

Today I lifted up all the two foot by two foot concrete pads that I use, in lieu of pouring a sidewalk, in front of my porch. The constant rain had the ground underneath collapsing and an unstable surface in a pool of water was what we had to contend with. I made it all nice and level and put the pads in again. They are much heavier than when I first put them in, about sixteen years ago. I am waiting until the water dries up more to check out other problem spots.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Remodeling on a Shoestring

After I retired, I had less money to play with. I had built some rooms on the front of the mobile home, but they were used only for storage, as there was nothing available to me to use to complete them. But, I had managed to get a new bathtub and install it in the one adjacent to the main bedroom. Piece by piece, I made that room functional. Then, it became desirable to be able to go in it from the bedroom, instead of a roundabout route beginning on the front porch.

I needed a door just a bit over six feet high. I had three two by four boards and a piece of plywood. So I put the boards on a bench and cut notches in them, the thickness of the plywood. I cut the plywood shorter, but went with the random width of it. I cut the two by fours at forty five degree angles and slipped them over the plywood edges. Some Gorilla Glue and eight screws held it together. The door ended being about twenty seven inches wide. Then I made a doorjamb of two by eight boards. I did all this first, for two reasons. I wanted to be able to install it right away, once I had a hole in the wall. More importantly, I now knew the exact size of hole to make.

There are so many interconnected parts in a mobile home wall, particularly with an added on roof tied in against the side at the top and some new PVC water pipes in it. It took two days to get the hole just right. But, the door fits like a dream. Now I have a one and a half bath home. There are details to complete in there, but that should be a lot easier, now.