June 11, 2015

What if Vader took over Manhattan?

What would we do if Darth Vader showed up in our world?

That was the question that set off my first book, The Mad Doser Presents #1: VPI – the Saga Begins. It was the Summer of 1999 and Episode 1 just came out, the hype alone made every fanboy like me go crazy, and I was on vacation in Virginia reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman in the car when something in the pages made me stop and ask myself in all seriousness, if a Sith Lord were to try to take over the world right now, what the hell would we do?

Kevin Smith was huge at the time and my buddy and I were doing the sort of things in real life that Jay and Silent Bob were in the movies, which opened up a world of possibilities in the type of story you could tell. So I kicked the idea around for a while wondering exactly what a couple of idiots like us would do to stop something like that.

It really only started out as something to do on my lunch break to entertain my friends at work, but every day when I’d write a little more they’d laugh and laugh, so I kept it going. Before I knew it I was at the first turn and everyone wanted to know where I was going and how I would end it and things just grew from there.

I wanted the story to move like the Timothy Zahn Thrawn trilogy, which were just some of the most entertaining books I’ve ever read, they never get boring. Flow is important to me in storytelling because once I get bored and put it down I won’t pick it up again, and if don't like that then I refuse to do it to my readers. So I wanted a lot of characters to weave in and out of the storyline and come together at the end the way Zahn had so masterfully done it, while opening up storylines for things that I might want to try down the road. But at the heart of it there still had to be that goofy, not too serious fun that Kevin Smith gave us, albeit with a harder edge. After all, we were a lot cruder, and a bit rawer.

The funniest real life detail that makes it into the main characters, how I settled on two pothead private detectives, was how everyone everywhere actually thought that we were undercover cops. I guess it was in the way we dressed, and that certain swagger that we carried ourselves with, but even cops thought we were plain clothes cops. It didn’t hurt that I think Sam Spade is the coolest cat ever written.

Writing them became all too easy, a good deal of the scenes involving Vega and Pellegrino actually happened, or close to it, which in a sense not only makes it an homage to the creators that always inspired me, but to my buddies as well. There isn’t anything written in the book that wouldn’t sound like it would come out of my mouth, so it’s pretty natural and has a real feel to it because of that.

There are so many things that I love about this book. It taught me who I am as a writer, and you can tell that I get stronger and stronger as it goes on. But mostly, I really had a good time doing it, and so many people have told me what a good time they’ve had reading it. It’s just a fun story, with a lot of places left open to take you in the future, and I know for sure, if you’re a fan of Kevin Smith films, a fan of Star Wars and comics and don’t take yourself too seriously, well I know you’ll love it too.

You can find the book here for just $1.99 - The Mad Doser Presents #1: VPI – the Saga Begins.

Join my fanpage John LaSota - Writer
Or our creative team's page The Mad Doser Presents

March 3, 2015

GET PUBLISHED!!! Our schedule and how we do things

By now you've probably seen our ads offering percentage pay for writers submitting short stories to be published in our collections, and if you're reading this, they've at least piqued your interest.

If that's the case it means that you've considered writing professionally. Ask any writer though, and they'll tell you if you can do anything else, you should. The reason for that is how impossibly difficult it can seem to break out, and the borderline insane dedication it requires to make that happen.

86% of all books fail and 95% of all fiction writers never make any money. Even those who do happen to procure an advance from a publishing house only do so after showing how they'll use that money to advertise. Advances are NOT your money, and often must be paid back.

There's nothing more crushing to your dream than putting your soul into 60-100,000 words and years of your life into a manuscript, actually getting it published, only to end up spending more money advertising it than you make back in sales. And yet, that's exactly what what happens to the majority of us.

Does that mean you should pack it in and give up? NEVER!
It just means you have to change your approach.

It's a proven fact that people don't buy your books, they buy your name. Even Stephen King had a hard time selling under the name Richard Bachman until people found out Bachman was Stephen King. You have to get people to know who you are BEFORE your novel hits the stands. King sold short stories to magazines.

Take a moment to think about what's popular out there right now. AMC and HBO have HUGE hits and followings with shows like The Walking Dead, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones and so on. FX has American Horror Story and Sons of Anarchy; Showtime Shameless....

Comic book movies, while once taboo, are enormously successful to the point where it's become not only accepted, but mainstream. And what is a single episode of television or issue of Detective but a one-shot, short story that's part of a larger series using characters we love to create vast worlds?

Rather than pour everything you've got into the crap shoot that is novel writing, wouldn't it be more constructive to develop your characters and skill in small monthly installments, all while practicing your marketing techniques and building your fan base?

It's important to keep in mind that some of the giants in story telling made their mark in just this way. Charles Dickens is remembered for great novels, but those novels were originally printed as shorts in monthly publications, just as we're proposing to you now. Dickens was able to use fan feedback to change direction and mold his tales into something memorable.

The first modern detective story was "Murders in the Rue Morgue", a short story with two sequels that later became the basis for Sherlock Holmes. The Holmes tales themselves were short stories, as were the radio serials and comic strips that launched other iconic characters such as The Lone Ranger and Flash Gordon. No Flash Gordon, no Star Wars.

What we're proposing here is a proven method that allows you to freely try new techniques while simultaneously getting new fans through cross promotion, and using the feedback from those fans to help your characters and worlds grow.

You don't even have to write a full story to pull it off, Pulp Fiction was a bunch of disjointed, bad ass scenes. Let's face it, if you can't put down one bad ass scene a month then you probably shouldn't be doing this, should you?

Now that we've gotten the pitch out of the way, let me explain how it all works. Throughout this post you'll have seen several sample covers with an example of the type of tales that we're looking for for each. These are the books we're looking to produce in the coming eighteen months, though we're always open to suggestions. The purpose of the themes is to focus your creative energy.

We publish the book for Kindle and set the price at $0.99, of which you get 2% per sale for each of your stories that we select. Upon release, you market your work. Sell yourself. No one but yourself. Sell to your friends, go on podcasts and radio shows, practice all the techniques it takes to get the word out for when you DO drop that novel. While you're doing that, each author in the collection will be doing the same, bringing THEIR audience to YOUR work by doing nothing but selling themselves.

Payments come in $10 increments, meaning 500 copies would have to be sold for every ten bucks you get, but the money isn't the point, it's getting as many people to read your work as possible. You just have a chance to get some money out it. Due to the prohibitive costs, we wait until 5,000 copies of the eBook are sold before going to the print version, which will be available to contributors at cost.

Now, before you scoff at that 2%, here's the part that makes it enticing for you. The average royalty for a novel is 6%. At $7 per book that's $0.42 per sale. Even at the low end, 60,000 words for a novel, that equates to 20 entries our way, which comes to $0.40 for the same amount of work, except that you'll have been marketing your work for 20 months, with a number of other authors SELLING FOR YOU, in the time it would take to put that novel out.

And it doesn't stop there. This is the best part. Once you've written 10 stories or bad ass scenes of your own we release an "annual" comprised of just your work using stories you've already written and set the price at $2.99, of which you get 40%, or $1.20 per sale. Hell, hold back scenes that connect the dots so fans HAVE to buy the annual if they want the whole story.

We create multiple streams of income, multiple avenues for finding new fans, all while providing quality entertainment to those fans at a low, low price. And all you have to do is the minimum amount of what you SHOULD be doing if you want to write for a living. Build up your fans and bounce so we can help bring along more talent. It's a win-win for everyone involved.

All it takes is one short story a month.

Get Published
Build your brand
The Mad Doser Presents

August 5, 2014

Feeling August 4th 2014

In - Spirit

I'm all blocked up. I'm having the hardest time getting loose enough, free enough, to dream up my stories. Nothing is coming easy and free.

Free and easy.

Some people eat their feelings. I was getting fat again as it is. Can't do that again. The one benefit of my current situation is the shape that I'm getting into.

Some people cover it all up, drown it with drugs and booze. I can't do that anymore. I freak the fuck out.

The Law of Attraction says to stay positive, stay grateful, and I try. Every night I pray to God; I say "Thank you for my daughter. Thank you for my wife. Please keep them healthy. Please keep them happy. Please keep them safe. Let them shine their light, and shine yours through them, so that they may be a light unto the world."

Then I ask for the same for myself. I could really use a miracle right now, but recognize too that what's most important to me is my family. It's the one thing I've always wanted above all else. A man isn't a man without a family. So I end my prayers with "but give me those first few for my wife and daughter, take care of my family, and we're good."

I'm not religious. I AM spiritual. Every time I've needed a miracle, somehow, some way, it always comes through. It just takes a while.

You don't have to believe what I believe, so long as you believe in something. I believe that God is right where science and soul meet. I don't much trust anyone who doesn't believe in anything. What keeps them honest? What keeps them true? And true to what?

I write my feelings. Then I share them with you. Maybe you can relate. Maybe you feel the same.

Maybe tomorrow will bring a story.
But I've got to go.

Until then....

February 14, 2014

Valentine's Pooh Pooh

It's Valentine's Day and I'm stuck in my house, all but bed ridden, with an enormous hole in my leg so deep that you could stick your fingers into that bad boy knuckles deep.

How it happened is anyone's guess, I was mowing the lawn when something shot out and I was struck by what the French call a certain I don't know what. The day was off to a miserable start already, I had just been turned down for a job that I had really wanted, only for this to happen. As I lay on my bathroom floor with no health insurance, bleeding everywhere and slipping into shock, a strange haze and darkness taking over me, my last thoughts were on the ever easy negatives... "why me?", "how does this even happen?"

 Honestly, "man killed mowing lawn" is something you hear on Stupid News....

And then my wife threw freezing cold water over me, and I instantly snapped to attention, back from that bad place I was falling into.

So today is Valentine's day and I'm hobbled. I don't know how I'm going to give my wife her gift, if you know what I'm saying....

You Stole my Mojo!

And here is where you come in, and why I'm writing, why I'm talking to you.....

There will no doubt be tons of things flying around today about the horror's of Valentine's, scores of lonely souls crying out "Why ME?", just as the picture below suggests. And I can't say that I blame you, while I don't think we celebrate nearly enough in life and as such, should have MORE holidays rather than less, Valentine's Day is nothing more than a greeting card holiday, one trumped up to guilt trip you and apply social pressure into spending money you don't have on things you don't need to do something you should be doing every single day for your loved ones anyway; showing them how you feel about them.

Taken from the Daenerys Targaryen Page

And let's face it, 364 days a year you treat your lover like part of the furniture and a box of candy is supposed to reverse it? Not likely.

What it DOES do is make lonely people feel all the more so, pulling their focus on to just how lonely they are. So yes, generally I'm against the holiday. When you love someone, every day should be Valentine's Day.

But despite every single word listed above, I am in no way shape or form in a negative mood. Not at all. Not one bit. My spirits are currently higher than they've been in some time, and the reason is the point of what I write to you today, the message of love I give you as my Valentine....

Late last night, stuck on the couch with no way of going anywhere or doing anything, my wife and I watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. While it's a sad movie, the messages there couldn't have been clearer, and I'm a full on believer of Universe sending you the messages you need, when you need them, and from the oddest places..... if you listen closely.

There's a brilliant sequence in the film that shows, better than any other I've seen, how a series of small seemingly random things can coalesce into huge, sometimes catastrophic events in our lives. And that's how the Universe works, how things are brought into being. And while the film shows how much sadness there can be in life, how much pain, disappointment, missed opportunities, it also makes it very clear that it's precisely those pains that show us what's important, how we tell how very good things are when they're very good. So we must learn to embrace these hard times and events, and use them to help us focus on what's important, on what we're grateful we DO have.

Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button

So I had a freak thing happen to me and got really badly hurt mowing the lawn, but I'm lucky enough to live in a place where the weather is beautiful enough to do so in February. My friends snowed in in the North East would LOVE that about now.

So I'm hobbled by a chasm in my leg large enough to throw coins in and make a wish, but a few inches one way and what ever did the damage would have torn through my tendon, a few inches the other and it would have completely destroyed my knee cap. Had either of those happened I'd be on the shelf for six months followed by toms of physical therapy, instead, I was hit in the one and only spot I could have been that wouldn't do any real, lasting damage.

I can't give my wife the night she deserves tonight, but I have a beautiful woman who loves me enough to take care of me when I can't take care of myself.

Star Wars: The Force
your focus determines your reality

The message here, and one I needed very much to be reminded of, is that what we choose to focus our thoughts, our minds, our energy, our emotions on, is precisely what the Universe continually brings to us. But you have so much more than just that dark side, so much to be positive about; to be thankful for. There's so much for us to love. All of us do. Everyone one, and you do too. You just have to remember what it is, and often it can be the worst things that happen to us that remind us of what they are. So when you ask, "why did this happen?" or "why me?".... well there's your answer.

As I went to bed the sudden thought, fear, came into my head, which is very understandable and easy to happen at times like this.... "what if I bleed out, what if I don't wake up in the morning?"

Towards the end of the film, Benjamin Button, who is rapidly growing young, looks at his daughter and makes the hard decision, "She's going to need a father", and so leaves.... and at that moment before bed I thought of that little girl, and I thought of my own little girl..... and I answered my own question. "I have to wake up, my little girl needs her father."

My Daughter

I think about all the inconsequential things that I allow myself to get wrapped up in, that I allow to throw me off course, something we all do; I think about myself lying on the bathroom floor bleeding, going into shock; And then I think about my wife and my daughter, and the people that I HAVE made positive impacts on in my life, and what it would mean in real world terms if I wouldn't be here any more..... and it all comes clearly into focus, and the nonsense melts away. I realize my importance, my significance, and I'm happy again. In fact, I couldn't be happier.

And you can too.
You IS kind....
You IS smart....
You IS important....
You just have to think about it, and refocus.

And no, you can't date my daughter, lol.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Join my fanpage John LaSota - Writer
Or our creative team's page The Mad Doser Presents

December 15, 2013

For my Father on Christmas

When I was ten years old my father took me to a baseball card signing to meet Willie McCovey (HoF 1986), Willie Stargell (HoF 1988) and Johnny Mize (HoF 1981) at the New York Penn Hotel. It was a day that I think about often, even now as a man grown, because of the way that these stars went out of their way to make it a special experience for me. Hundreds of people waited in line with their countless wares looking to make a big score in that world of memorabilia speculation, but when I approached the table at which McCovey sat, the former great brought me around to his side of things, pulled up a second chair, and spent fifteen minutes while he signed pictures and whatnot for others, talking to me about baseball.

Some time later in the afternoon, when I came to meet Willie Stargell, "Pops" did the exact same thing.

I'm sure you can imagine, for a young boy who never wanted to do anything but play ball, what an incredible series of events that had to have been. Needless to say, as if I needed any kind of push at that point, I was hooked. I would be a baseball fan forever. Even now, in a life full of highs and lows, it continues to be one of my best days.

My father and I have never had what you would consider a close relationship, but what can never be explained to masses of people flocking towards the newer, more exciting games the likes of NFL Football or NBA Basketball, and away from America's Past-time, are the unbreakable bonds formed between the first pitch, and the seventh inning stretch, and that last strike in the bottom of the ninth. For whatever disagreements we may have had, whatever ills during a lifetime of struggles and mistakes and miscues, for whatever hurts may have pulled us apart, my dad and I could always talk about baseball. So when I pulled his name for our family's first Christmas Secret Santa, and thought about what I could do, my mind went instantly to McCovey, and Stargell, and my first love, the New York Yankees.

Way back, before they were the Evil Empire, when the Mets ruled the city and the fans in the upper deck seemed more interested in the cartoons on the big screen than the game on the field, it didn't matter to me that the Yanks would lose close to a hundred games a year. What I remember was my father, trying to get me to a game at least once for every homestand. I remember him taking me out of school for trips to the Stadium for opening day, and the magic that hung in the air of the place. I remember the Yankees as my father's way of telling me that I was special. For all the winning that I've seen them do since, there's not a thing on the earth that compares to that; something the legion of Yankee haters will never be able to take away from me, and maybe few can understand.

So what can I do for my dad on Christmas? The best I can figure, it's to honor my favorite memories of him by teaching my own children the lessons about life that he taught me through the game we both love, those universal truths we can all understand, whether a parent, a child, a Hall of Famer or a 10 year old kid. It only takes one. Keep fouling them off till you get your pitch. As long as you've got a strike left, we can pull this one out. If you only succeed 30% of the time... you're in the Hall of Fame.

And most importantly, in that way that the long marathon of a baseball season most resembles life, because you play it every day.... if you lose this one, as my dad always told me, "Tomorrow's another day".

I love you Dad.

Let's Go Yankees!!!

February 16, 2013

Time to Right something Knew

Today I'm going to take some time out from a piece that I've been working on to talk about something that's come up a lot recently, and I feel is an important matter that needs to be addressed. And yes, the title is worded and spelled exactly the way I intended.

In case you haven't seen or heard, the creative team over at The Mad Doser Presents, of which I am a part, just recently announced their very first short story writing contest with a cash prize of $250 to the winner, as well as the featured story in the next book that we publish.

Just as with any career or business, especially when you're talking about the entertainment industry, even if you're outstanding at whatever it is that you do the hardest part of getting going is actually getting going; getting people to know that you're there, and getting them to buy into what you're trying to do. The money we're offering is nothing more than a small incentive to get people moving, and get them doing what they should be doing all the time anyway if they hope to have any sort of career in this, and that's to keep working on their craft, and to keep trying to get people to know about it.

A while back when I had come out with my first book, Ross Richie of Boom Studios, one of the nicest people you'll ever meet, gave me a ton of advice (which he didn't have to do), and now that I'm right in the thick of trying to carve out my own little niche in the business, every single word that he spoke has manifested into a truth, an understanding, that's almost as visual as the comics that he publishes. That's how well I can see it in front of me. What was at the heart of his message? "Write, write, write, write, write."

You're the man now dawg!

As Sean Connery put it in the film Finding Forester, "The business of a writer is to write". You have to do it constantly. And you have to do everything you can to try to get whatever it is that you write out to as many people as you can, and then maybe, just maybe, someone may actually start paying you to do it. And that can take years. And years. And years.

You’re the best!
Nothing’s gonna ever keep you down

But us writers are an odd group. Every one of us has this arrogance, thinks we're the best around, while at the same exact time we are our own worst critics, scared to death that we're trash, that our work is garbage. We think that we should get paid for every single thing that we do, and good money, even if no one has ever heard of us before. Yet when it comes to throwing ourselves on the altar, entering contests, submitting to editors, publishers, etc..... we're terrified of that ever present horror.... REJECTION. God forbid someone doesn't like our work.

God Forbid!

And so, just as with any business just starting out, its hard to get people to sign on, hence the contest. Now, some people won't think the prize is enough, that they're above the contest, while others who want to enter are too scared that they'll somehow get embarrassed. And their entire attitude can go either way, it all depends on whether or not they think John LaSota, or any of the other members of The Mad Doser Presents, is a good writer, or if they think that the website looks cool enough, or professional enough.

Shameless SEO ploy? You betcha kiddo!

In social dynamics we call that Social Proof, and any man who's ever walked into a bar with a beautiful friend and had an easier time meeting other girls because of it, or any woman who's seen some momo out in the club with a woman way out of his league and caught herself thinking "I wonder what he's got, what's so great about him, that SHE would be interested" knows exactly what I mean. Its exactly that social proof, precisely that, which makes you a star. The only evidence you need to show you this is Kim Kardasian. Exactly what is it that she does? Yet she's HUGE, and I don't just mean her backside.

Kim Kardashian's Butt

Hemingway believed that this arrogance was essential to a writer, that you believe that your ideas are the BEST ideas, and what is a writer but a person who uses words to get their ideas across? In truth, according to every principal of success, that belief that you ARE the best is essential to ANY career. After all, who's going to believe in your abilities, think you're good in anything, if you don't believe it yourself? Make no mistake, that energy comes through in your work, in every thing that you do, and the people you're trying to connect with read it every bit as much as they do the words off the page.

But what good is that confidence if you're too good to show it to anyone? How do you ever get that social proof if you never actually show off what you do? As good as you may think you are, you're not better than Shakespeare, or Hemingway, or Vonnegut, Twain, Dickens, and the list goes on and on. Maybe you're just as good, but how do I know unless you show me? The world is full of people who know so much, who feel they're so great, that they look down and put down everyone and everything else. It's easy to do while you're sitting on the sidelines, unwilling to put yourself to the very same test. Invariably, 5-10-15 years later, those people are still doing the exact same thing they're doing now; nothing. They go on to lead completely unremarkable lives, ultimately doomed to become as insignificant as they claim others work and lives to be.

Classic Author Iceberg Slim

And the same is true of those timid souls too afraid to lean themselves over the block. No one is ever going to give you anything in this world, you have to take it. Just for this very contest someone admitted to being scared of what I may think of their work, and it was brilliant. They did everything perfectly, the way a story is supposed to be told. But how would they have ever known that if they hadn't thrown themselves into the fray? They wouldn't. We read and write and fantasize about heroes and heroines all the time, but wouldn't you want to be the hero of your own story? Why would you want it any other way? As the great John Wayne once said, "Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway." And he would know. He eluded the KGB. Twice!

If you're that good of a writer, then why don't you put your mouth where your pen is? And if you'd like to be, but are afraid of the threats of the unknown, start learning to attack your fears. Either way, get up off the bench, get off the sideline, and get in the game! You don't score until you score! And you can't score from the bench. Even if it's not our contest, even if The Mad Doser Presents isn't for you, there's something out there that is.


So spread the word and encourage people. I'm all about helping people get to where they want to go. At the end of the day, your support system is everything when it comes to success. That's the entire concept behind what we're trying to do.

Don't take my word for it though, listen to the ultimate doer, a man who knew everything there was to know about over coming obstacles, and did it so brilliantly that they carved him into the side of a mountain....

Mt. Rushmore

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt

You called down the Thunder!
Kurt Russell - Tombstone

Or as Kurt Russell said it in the film Tombstone....
"Get in the fight or get out of the way!"

Stan Lee - Spiderman

In other words, as Ross Richie once told me, "Write, write, write, write, write.", without worrying yourself about how much or how long it will take. After all.... Stan Lee didn't come up with Spiderman until he was 40 years old.

Later People!

Join my fanpage John LaSota - Writer
Or our creative team's page The Mad Doser Presents

January 31, 2013

BLACK.... by popular demand!

No, no, no.... that wasn't a racial comment or a shot at the big O. No, that actually used to be the call sign of Walter Williams (not to be confused with Walter White... he's a badass), widely considered a genius economist (who also happens to be black) for his conservative radio talk show which followed Rush Limbaugh way back before Rush got high off his own, uh.... drugs. Rush should call Heisenberg!

It really has nothing to do with anything other than it was the first thing I thought about when deciding to make my triumphant return, and admittedly, its a cheap trick to use the controversial headline to grab your attention.

Walter Williams

It's been a good long while since I've written you all, and a great many things have gone down since, my own life now radically different, but the over whelming response by many of you has forced me out of retirement. You, the people, have called.... looking for a voice, and I have answered!

Walter White

"Just when I think I'm out... they PULL me back in!"

And so, the Dark Knight rises.... BLAC.... er, BACK by popular demand!

When last you heard from me I was busy twittling my one good thumb in a no good environment of dead end jobs and losing cultures into a self medicated downward spiral. My one hope, I knew, the thing I held onto was that all it would take was one positive break in an important life arena and I'd be on my way. Lo and behold, out of nowhere a buddy hooked me up with a good new job, a month later I met the woman who would quickly become my wife, and I wasted no time putting a baby inside of her. Radical change, I know, but finally in a positive manner; I'm a family man now, and I'm happier than I've ever been in my life.

It goes to prove two things, the first being that, of course, I was right again about life and how it all works, and more importantly, that no matter what stain of a situation you may find yourself in, it can all turn around at any moment, and in an instant. Ironically, because if you've read this space and know what an animal I can be, I'm having a daughter. That's either poetic justice or the universe knows what I need; I'm a cave man and this will force me to turn into some sort of human being.

Some sort of human. What sort? I don't know

So now that my re-introduction has come and gone it's time to turn our attention towards some of those worldly matters that often get me so riled up. And there's so much to go over after a near year hiatus that I'm lucky 2012 went out with such a bang. Of course, as things go these days that means precisely one thing.... Facebook fights!

Why, my wife explained, would I engage in senseless arguments with the ignorant when you can pontificate here? So here it is, and now you know why I married her.

Trouble is... you can't speak truth if it goes against popular opinion, that's not the way it works anymore, what you are F'en Crazy?!

We've had Hurricane Sandy, The Sand Hook School Shootings, the fiscal cliff debate, cries for gun control, taxing the rich, Terrorist attacks in Libya, people getting pushed in front of trains everywhere and all manner of craziness, and the one, the one lesson to come out of all of it is this.... 

That it doesn't matter. People have no interest in knowing what's actually going on out there. You can argue until your tongue falls off and your fingers bleed, point out fact after fact, but no one is ever going to listen to you. Their opinion, and this was actually said to me, is more important than the FACTS you present, and the minute you disagree, they turn you off. 


On a side note, 2012 also had a number of massage therapists come out against John Travolta. As they put it, he threatened them "Don't you know who I am?! You BETTER let me blow you!"

(And if you don't get the connection here.... well, that would explain a lot.)

So I've decided that my best course of action, since I can't seem to show people the light and turn them away from those cliffs at the edge of the rye fields, (they're not interested, they'd rather be right no matter how wrong they are) is that from now on I'll be speaking directly to my children, my daughter who's on the way and those yet to come, because at any time I can be beaten to death by pacifists protesting intolerance over the fact that they can't tolerate my different points of view.... or the truth rather than what sounds good,  and when I'm gone I'd like for them to know their father.

But before I go I'm going to make some quick points with verifiable FACTS based on empirical data which you can look up on your own, and you can take from them what you like.

As of 2012 the national average high school graduation rate is 78.2%
Which means 21%, more than 1 in every 5 Americans, doesn't graduate from High School.

The Presidents' answer to fix the economy is to send more kids to college. How do you send people to college if they can't get a high school diploma? How does that lead to jobs?

Between 1998 and 2012 more than 160 MILLION background checks were conducted in the United States for the purpose of buying a firearm. Very few checks result in the actual denial of purchase, and you can buy more than one gun per background check. In that span it's estimated that 40% of gun sales were done without any form of background check in all. In short, there are literally Hundreds of Millions of guns out on the streets. No matter how you feel about the subject, the cat is out of the bag on this one, just as it is with drugs and illegal immigrants, there's no way in hell you can possibly reign that in. No ban of any kind will get the guns off the street, no matter what anyone tells you.

Beyond that, the people want what they want and will do anything to get it. Alcohol was banned once, and it gave rise to Al Capone and the biggest organized crime syndicates this country has every known. Drugs are now banned, and you'd be hard pressed to meet someone who can't get their hands on them. The illegal drug   trade has bred life into the bloodiest, most ruthless criminals the world over. Abortion was illegal and women went into back alleys to get their guts ripped out with hangers.

What would happen with the illegal gun trade here if they're banned? People want what they want. Guns, drugs, abortion, prostitution, pirated goods, its all the same. They're never going away. What are we even fighting about?

Finally... and this brings us back full circle to the title of this piece. Try not to be too offended, these are purely statistics taken from government websites that you can verify. In all the talk of the economy, rich against poor, you often hear of the plight of the poor black kid....

As of 2012 just 12.2% of the U.S. Population is African American, or around 40 Million people. 1 in 6 Americans, 46 Million people, are currently collecting some form of welfare or another. Of that 46 million, 39% of welfare recipients are African American, more than any other group. That comes in at about 19 Million people.  Look at those numbers again, around 19 Million of the 40 Million (nearly HALF) African American people in the United States collect some form of welfare.

Many people will shout racism over this. Please be objective, there are an incredible number of reasons for why this is, but these are the statistical facts of the situation. Add in crime rates and school drop out rates which I won't even go into here and there is clearly a very serious problem within that community.

So why do I bring this up? Simple. The Struggles of the poor, the economy, racism, gun violence in America, failures in education, over spending on Government programs, every single one of these factors are inseparably tied together. The fix to all of America's problems lies in the answer to what ails the Black community. If we stop being over sensitive, worried about public perception, and take a good hard look at the problems and solutions within that populace, well, if we learn how to fix that we learn how to fix all of us.

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