Thursday, September 27, 2018
Welcome to the Blog,'Zine, and Bookstore of Priscilla King. The Blog is in the process of conversion to pay-per-view mode; new posts will appear as they are paid for. The Bookstore, and the free-public-information part of the'Zine, continue to appear as they have done in the past. Old posts, and keyword lists for new posts that may not be visible, can be found by using the site-specific search bar on your right. New posts can be seen at Live Journal for $1 and become visible free of charge, in a graphics-friendly format here and a graphics-free format at Live Journal, when they've earned $5.
There are three ways to purchase items from the Bookstore online:
1. For most, not all, books and some other products discussed, this web site offers a direct link to an Amazon page. If you use that link right away to buy the product shown from Amazon, we earn a few pennies in commissions.
2. To buy directly from this site and support living writers, e-mail salolianigodagewi @ yahoo to get the correct Paypal address for making a payment to the book or product you want. (This web site supports multiple Paypal accounts.) Paypal adds a surcharge of $1 for each payment up to $100. Your browser may or may not be showing a working Paypal "Donate" button at the bottom of this post. If it works for you, it will automatically send payment to a member of this web site who will manually redirect the payment if necessary.
3. If security and frugality are more important to you than convenience, send a note specifying what you're buying, wrapped around a U.S. postal money order, to Boxholder, P.O. Box 322, Gate City, Virginia, 24251-0322.
Amazon cookies are embedded in book and other product links, of which almost every post contains at least one. They may be used to remind you of Amazon merchandise when you visit other Amazon Affiliate sites. This site uses Amazon images to show you more about, and help you purchase, specific products cited in posts and articles. Many Amazon Affiliate sites use what the company calls "Native Ads," which remind you of Amazon links that your browser has opened but that you did not use to make a purchase in the past. Although only one "Native Ad" has appeared here, merchandise discussed here is likely to appear in "Native Ads" you see elsewhere.
This web site does not deliberately embed other cookies, big splashy graphics, self-playing audio or visual gimmicks, or anything likely to overload or harm your computer in any way. Working with older and smaller devices is one way we keep it real and filter out links to anything that's not browser-friendly.
This web site does not discriminate according to physical disability or device limitations. Newer devices should be able to convert almost all posts to either a printed copy or an audio file, but users of older devices may order those at the rate of $1 per printout or $5 per audio file.
Payment options for supporting this web site currently include, but are not necessarily limited to:
Paid-up subscribers can see all posts at my Live Journal page, with a tiny padlock picture beside the titles of the posts not yet available to the public. Non-paying visitors will see paid posts and a timeline of my Tweets at:
Monday, December 11, 2017
Sunday, December 10, 2017
"Soothing" verbiage has been used to oppress and discourage active women, in our time, just as some ideas that used to be accepted about "gentleness" were used to discourage people with vocations to medicine, arts, or crafts, in previous centuries. That didn't mean that there was no good use for the ideals of gentleness, or even of gentlemanliness; nor does it mean that there's no good use for soothing and relaxing. If you can find a use for "soothing" verbiage that doesn't trigger angry memories of those who've misused it, then you can find a use for this book. Gently used copies cost $5 per book, plus $5 per package (at least six more small paperbacks would fit into one $5 package with the copy I have) and $1 per online payment, from the appropriate address at this web site.
But is this a Fair Trade Book? Hard to say. People who spell the name "Ashleigh" are usually young, but I'm not finding information about Clayton in cyberspace. Is she still a living writer who just prefers to stay out of cyberspace? (To what extent is the compiler of an anthology a writer, anyway?) Is "A.B.C." a pseudonym, perhaps for "A Barbour Committee"? If you buy the book here, I will take the time to write to Barbour and find out whether Clayton is a real writer and, if so, whether she prefers to receive $1 from each sale of this book or forward it to a charity.
Friday, December 8, 2017
Friday, December 8, 2017 –
Disclaimer: This column deals with a Middle Eastern issue. It is dangerous to make any attempt to explain the Middle East in less than four volumes, but on the issue of our embassy in Jerusalem, I will attempt to nonetheless.
The city of Jerusalem holds a place of special importance in the story of civilization, and on December 6, President Trump acknowledged its unique connection to the people of Israel in particular. Standing in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House on that day, he officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. As a concrete result of this action, the American embassy to Israel will soon transfer from Tel Aviv, where it is currently located, to Jerusalem.
President Trump’s move grabbed headlines. I am surprised that so many consider it newsworthy, however, because the President is simply following the law.
Twenty-two years ago, Congress recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Jerusalem Embassy Act was passed and signed into law by President Clinton in 1995. Further, the law declares as a statement of policy that “the United States Embassy in Israel should be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999.”
Presidents who have served since passage of the Jerusalem Embassy Act have exercised the law’s provision allowing him to waive recognition of Jerusalem as the capital every six months in the name of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
If Congress had any second thoughts about the soundness of the law, its Members haven’t expressed them recently; the Senate reaffirmed it in a resolution that passed 90-0 in June.
President Trump’s action is not one of unilateral lawmaking but one of faithfully executing the law, just as the office of president was conceived in Article II of the Constitution.
Critics have painted ugly pictures of the consequences that will follow the United States moving its embassy to the same city that currently houses Israel’s government. The Atlantic called it “a deadly provocation,” while a Washington Post headline suggested the move “could spark unrest.” The Post may not have noticed that plenty of unrest can be found in the Middle East already. There will likely be perpetual unrest while Israel’s enemies still deny its right to exist.
Israel has had to fight for its survival from the beginning. The 1948 Arab-Israeli War began one day after Israel came into being as a state. During the 1967 Six Days War, Israel had to fend off all of its neighbors save Lebanon. Some of those enemies, such as Egypt, have since come to terms with Israel’s presence. But many haven’t.
When I visited Israel in 2014, we were able to download an app that would show us the trajectory of missiles fired from the Gaza Strip, a territory controlled by the Islamic militant group Hamas. Hamas is also a significant political player in the West Bank, the other Palestinian territory, as well. Those shells came despite the American embassy being in Tel Aviv, not Jerusalem. When a country or group doesn’t think Israel should exist in the first place, as Hamas does, how can it possess the moral authority to tell the United States where it should place its embassy?
The peace process between the Israeli and the Palestinian peoples has been stalled for a long time. Waiving the Jerusalem Embassy Act hasn’t brought them any closer to a lasting peace. Albert Einstein is famously attributed with defining insanity as doing the same thing again and again expecting a different result.
So that raises the question: has there really been any movement in the peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis since 1999? Is there not a time to acknowledge that keeping our embassy in Tel Aviv is not really the issue? Isn’t the issue Palestinians wanting Israel driven into the sea, and knowing that keeps Israelis from agreeing to a full-fledged Palestinian state?
As President Trump noted, recognition does not determine the American position on the details of a potential peace settlement, but recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital shows all the actors in the Middle East that the United States follows through on its commitments embedded in law. It enhances our country’s credibility. It does not fundamentally alter the reality in the Middle East, since Israel is already governed from Jerusalem.
Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel carries out American law, respects one of our closest allies, and does not signal the outcome of the peace process. I believe it is the right call.
If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.
But recently, in an attempt to streamline pages, Twitter has lumped "likes," "retweets," and "mentions" together...and "mentions" include eeeeverything.
For those who don't use Twitter, I can imagine this becoming a reason not to.
Suppose you, as a new Twit (meaning Twitter user), post a comment on a news item that a few thousand people are Twittering about. Keeping it simple...say it's a winter weather report, and you post something like "What a pretty snow picture."
You are now part of a "conversation" among a few thousand people you don't know, and Twitter will now "notify" you of all the other utterances in that conversation.
Juvenile Twit A: "that snowplow looks like yo mama @JuvenileTwitB"
Juvenile Twit B (posting ugly animal picture): "This is yr Mom."
Juvenile Twit A (posting public outhouse picture): "This is your house @JuvenileTwitB."
Juvenile Twit B: "Also yr religion is insane."
Juvenile Twit A: "Well u voted for a fool." (References to voting and party loyalty do not necessarily imply that the Twits posting them are old enough to vote in actual elections; schools have mock elections too.)
Juvenile Twit B (posting garbage picture): "heres what @JuvenileTwitA had for lunch."
Etc. Etc. Etc. This kind of thing is not necessarily to be confused with bullying--the children involved may think it's fun, or even funny--but it's not interesting for you. And it literally goes on day and night. And unless they took the trouble to click a "Reply To" button and remove 599 news item readers' names, all of it is classified as "conversation that includes you," although it obviously doesn't.
And you have to scroll through it--all of it--to see your own notifications, to learn that, e.g., your e-friend "liked" that you replied to her "home, ill" post with "best wishes," and that somebody retweeted your link to the pretty snow picture. Well, that's nice, but was it worth scrolling through all those other people's blather? Probably not. You'd like to find out whether anybody answered a question you asked, or asked a question you need to answer...but Twitter does not make that easy.
An early post at this web site affirmed that I didn't do Twitter. Well, now I do. It's been a great source of links and news stories, an easy way to keep up with breaking weather disaster news, a way to communicate with people in disaster areas, a safer way to share links that might be mistaken for spam, and potentially a useful tool for bill readers...but the new notifications system is seriously annoying.
|Let's just say I've not found any candidates for the sequel to this book, lately.|
This web site's readership just took a sharp drop. Was it something I said? No; although I stuck my neck out last week--Candidate Moore's the one I've been following, but what really pushed me over the edge with that post was the hate people were dumping on Congressman Conyers in the hospital, people, get a grip already--U.S. readership has been steady. What this web site lost was two foreign countries where, although we've welcomed legitimate readers if any, a lot of hacking activity has been going on. We had thousands of readers in those countries; this week we have none. Well, who misses would-be hackers?
Earlier this year my Twitter "following/followers" numbers crashed. I'd been following a few hundred people, followed by a few thousands. Thousands of Twitter followers just totally disappeared, overnight. My actual Twitter experience did not change. Those thousands of followers who suddenly popped up and as suddenly blinked out hadn't been contributing any actual tweets to my Twitter stream. I never even knew most of their names.
What was going on at Twitter was that I'd picked up a few thousand "bot" followers. People build these automatic "robot" widgets, pure strings of code unconnected to any living human, and give them little names and accounts on Twitter, Facebook, other social media sites where follower-ship may count. Some bots are designed to spy on people, or annoy them--I remember one bot whose reason for existing was to correct the way people spelled a celebrity's name. Many are designed just to pump up people's page view or follower counts. Because there are people who judge a new e-friend by numbers, who assume a blog is good if lots of "people" seem to be "reading" it and a product may even be good if lots of "people" seem to be "visiting" the company web site, there is actually a brisk(ish) trade in bots. At that Seoclerks.com site where I hang out, people are constantly offering payment to anybody who can program a few hundred bots to retweet their tweets on Twitter. And for several months I had the "benefit" of all those bots free of charge.
The bots made me look good, as a writer, but I'm not planning to pay anybody to send them back. There is just something ineffably meretricious about a bot. However, I will say that most bots do at least have cute avatars. Bot builders usually gank images of beautiful models, adorable animals, or funny cartoons...
Back when Associated Content was a viable site that promoted the articles it purchased, I had a following of several hundred daily readers around the English-speaking world, with occasional peaks over a thousand. That's flattering to me, and good enough for the itsy-bitsy publishers, but the big-name publishers that really make a book pay off look for bigger numbers. Oh, they're realistic--they understand that writing about books, knitting, food, frugality, or even cute and clever cats, is not going to sell the way get-rich-quick books and celebrity memoirs sell. They also understand that one real blog reader who posts even lame "I wuz ere" comments is likely to mean more book sales than a hundred bots--or hackers. But they want thousands of daily views, not hundreds. So far, this web site as a "we" venture where I've done most of the work, and the Twitter account as a "me alone" venture, have frequently had thousands, but the thousands seem to have been mostly bots and would-be hackers.
As a writer I'm not happy about this, but it's only fair to note that this site attracted a few more real readers, along with those battalions of bots, when we were sharing images of adoptable animals from Petfinder.
I enjoyed finding those animal pictures; picking out the cutest picture of almost any type of animal you can imagine is like picking your favorite flavor (before glyphosate pollution) of Ben & Jerry's. Since I posted from the computer center during Heather's long months of loneliness, earlier this year, Heather actually saw very few of "her e-friends," but I saw them. I was delighted to read that people were rescuing them from shelters! It's impossible to tell, online, what the shelter experience has done to an animal or why it was taken to a shelter in the first place. (Shelter staff get ugly about those "irresponsible pet owners" who tick boxes on a form indicating that they can't keep the animal any more...in reality the animal may, like "our" horrible Barnie, be unfit for keeping because it's hurt other pets or even a child. I've wondered whether beautiful Jade, the green-eyed tortie in Atlanta whose coat reminded me of Heather's, languished in a shelter because there really is a mean tortoiseshell cat somewhere and she's it.) It's always nice, though, to know that an animal has received a chance to live.
Grandma Bonnie Peters really doesn't like cookies. She tolerates Amazon and Google cookies, warily, since they work well together, but her preference would be that this web site never link to any other site that uses any cookies. She didn't like that I set up a Blogjob account. She periodically prods me to make sure that at least the cookies this site has picked up are the legitimate kind that crumble quickly. "I installed a cookie cleaner on that computer! Use it!"
"It cleans only this computer. It does nothing for readers, at all."
"At least, if the cookies you pick up give you problems, you can remove the links and warn the readers."
Petfinder.com gave this web site due notice that it was going to be using more cookies. I ran the cookie cleaner. Three Petfinder cookies failed the crumble test. So this web site no longer does Petfinder animal pictures.
Then there was Zazzle. I enjoyed Zazzle. Some of you, especially those of you who've put your cute pet pictures on coffee mugs and gift tags, enjoyed those Zazzle links too. Google does not like Zazzle. Getting Zazzle photo links onto this site was often complicated by cookie conflicts. So this web site no longer does Zazzle animal pictures either.
Readers said they loved the Petfinder and Zazzle links--but they were causing some sites' spam and cookie filters to classify this site as spam, which is disgusting. I don't use an e-mailing widget or service. You practically have to send me an e-mail to get me to send one back, and every e-mail that legitimately goes out under my name, or from my address, is individually hand-typed by me. I don't spam, but I have no control over whatever those Petfinder or Zazzle links may have allowed hackers to do.
So now animal posts have to depend on existing photos of resident cats, past or present, and one unflattering snapshot I took of a friend's dog, for eye appeal.
How bad is that, Gentle Readers? Do you want the cute photo links back here?
Should they go in a separate Blogspot blog--one that wouldn't link to my comments or e-mails, so other people's computers wouldn't tell them that I was to be blamed if they get spam?
Should they go on Twitter only, since Twitter has its own automatic relinking system just for the purpose of keeping yucky cookies or viruses from being spread when people unthinkingly share links?
Would you rather just send me some extra Tracfone minutes--it takes at least 5 minutes to upload a picture, and Tracfone minutes are obscenely overpriced if you buy fewer than 200--so I could at least post new blurry pictures of Heather, Samantha, Sydney, and other animals that are not up for adoption but are still cute? (Tracfone minutes can be purchased for cash at big-chain supermarkets, Wal-Marts, and convenience stores everywhere, on cards, and mailed to Boxholder, P.O. Box 322, Gate City, Virginia, 24251-0322. A Gopro camera would also be appreciated, if you get a chance to mention it to Santa Claus.)
Thursday, December 7, 2017
This book has gone into the collector price zone. To buy it here, send $10 per copy + $5 per package + $1 if paying online to the appropriate address at the very bottom of the screen. (The post office collects its own "surcharge" on U.S. postal money orders and envelopes; Paypal makes online sellers do it.) You can get copies cheaper on Amazon, or (maybe) at a charity sale organized by people who don't look up the market value of "westerns," but if you buy it here you could probably add seven more paperbacks of this size to one $5 package, which might make our price more competitive.
Wednesday, December 6, 2017
* Use the "donate" button in the Greeting post if it works for you (it should be visible at https://priscillaking.blogspot.com , always, and it has worked for some e-friends, but it does not work in my part of the world). "Donate" is what Paypal puts on buttons for web sites that don't use Paypal daily. It does not mean you have to feed the Gimmee Monster! Paypal should prompt you to add a message; you can use that to propose a book or topic you'd like to see discussed here. If for some reason you're not prompted to send the message via Paypal, feel free to send it to the e-mail address at the bottom of the screen.
* https://www.guru.com/freelancers/priscilla-king (This is the site processing the e-book projects. So far it seems to be the most efficient of these writing sites.)
* Or mail a U.S. postal money order to Boxholder, P.O. Box 322, Gate City, Virginia, 24251-0322.)
Yardbird Myers has become a collector's item, and although I'm willing to sell the copy I physically own for less in cash, under current conditions a copy sold through this web site will cost $20 + $5 per package + $1 per e-payment. (Sometimes when I post collector prices here, readers are motivated to offer books they own on Amazon for less...yes, if this web site gave a price that exceeds the current price on Amazon by more than $5, in the past, and you want to buy a cheaper copy or reprint, salolianigodagewi @ yahoo is willing to negotiate.)