Mirrors for Mayors: The Press, Opinion, and Freelance Writers

PORT JERVIS, N.Y. — Less than a week after his hopeful State of the City Address for a Port Jervis “that still needs nurturing to succeed,” Mayor Kelly Decker has, as many in the city would characterize, came out of his face.

Monday, in a letter-made-public-rebuttal on his Facebook Page, to a Sunday piece by the Times Herald-Record under the editorial tagline “Our Opinion,” entitled “A methadone clinic is not a crime scene,” Decker not only calls out the Record’s editor, Barry Lewis but also calls the newspaper in.


While plausible arguments are made by the Port Jervis Mayor, he goes on to completely flout arguments such as this one:

“Numbers, percentages, and statistics can be skewed in many different ways depending on the presenter’s angle.”

Mayor Kelly Decker

By leading with this aside before what should be the meat and potatoes staple of his argument, Decker builds up a strawman, an easy target to set ablaze. A simple reframing to make the dominoes fall easier, per se.

Nonetheless, those dominoes fall in both directions.


As Decker goes on to “assert that [Lewis’s] math is wrong” he has already given readers contrary to his viewpoint an out. Whatever math he cited, became all methed up, when he cast doubt upon mathematics as a whole prior to playing the Texas sharpshooter. He lost those that he needed on his side as he attacked the publication.

Yes, the letter was “a response” to the editor of the Times Herald-Record, Lewis, regardless, here a few factors that make this more of a political attack:
  1. It was an opinion piece, and as such, didn’t necessarily merit such an official response as taking to the Elected Official Page that his Facebook is. Perhaps simply a letter-made-public-rebuttal on his personal page would have sufficed.
  2. Decker’s political, elected official position put him at a disadvantage for a fair fight against the editor of a counterbalance of government.
  3. Decker’s logical argumentation in his letter is riddled with fallacies.

Lewis, the editor of the Times Herald-Record deals in a world of changing opinions and changing headlines. It’ll be perceived as a political attack from the Mayor’s office not only because of these three factorss but most of all because of public opinion.


One: Opinion

In the end, shouldn’t matter to the Mayor, as many who read opinion pieces have already made up their minds, they’ve already voiced their own opinions and they have already signed their positions’ petitions.

“Once formed,” the researchers observed dryly, “impressions are remarkably perseverant.”

The New Yorker, Feb. 27, 2017


Two: Authority

Now the inseparable quality of their positions immediately puts Decker at a disadvantage: Mayor of Port Jervis versus Editor of the Times Herald-Record. Not a pretty fight. Nor a fair fight.

Though it didn’t have to be a bout.

The majority of Port Jervis constituents would likely agree, that Donald J. Trump as President could teach mayoral successors a thing or two about responding to the media:

  • When put into a defensive position, don’t show it:
    Deny, deny, deny.
  • When refuting statements, as there’s no option for denial: use keywords that fire up your base and monosyllabic words and arguments that are guaranteed to win public opinion.


Don’t do as Decker did. But don’t do any of the above either. The media is wise to it all. Readers, listeners, and viewers, too.

Not responding at all, would have been the denial. Yet, Decker chose to tear off his suit, snap his Port Pride singlet and dive headstrong into the muddied ring for a political King-of-the-Hill match.


Three: Logic

Although the location has already been ruled out, there were, and still are, three positions available in the methadone clinic debate. As a reporter, here not discussing either of the former, being of the latter position: for the clinic, against the clinic, and neither for nor against the clinic.

This writer puts aside the journalist hat now and dons the hat that she studied in college: philosophy and linguistics. Mostly philosophy as logic is delved into here past the Texas Sharpshooter data cherrypicker argument. This is the writer’s playground, and those in politics could learn from this and avoid unnecessary future debate and compunction.

Editor of the Times Herald-Record, Barry Lewis: making positions for the cure of addiction, for the clinic.

Mayor of Port Jervis, Kelly Decker, coming from a position of the war on drugs: on record, against the clinic.

While most readers opposite to Decker’s view may stop at his first paragraph, they’re surprisingly not alone. Even those that agree that a methadone clinic is unnecessary in the city stop at the argument that he presents. It’s a no true Scotsman argument that precedes a genetic argument.



A genetic argument is one that means most of the following logic relies upon the first clause. That first clause here is an argument similar to an ad hominem, or an attack on one’s character rather than their argument: it’s a no true Scotsman argument. It’s an argument that focuses on the purity of one’s position, which sounds a lot like Nikki Minaj.

That’s not even including the child-human shield appeal to emotion argument ending the tu quoque “Let’s begin with this question” paragraph where the critique is turned 180 from Decker to Lewis.

“What do you know about Port Jervis? Clearly, you hardly know nothing about us at all! Except for one public forum about the opioid epidemic in our community, you have been non-existent in this community for at least the last 4 years. You didn’t even have the decency to respond to an email that I sent to you back on June 12, 2017 that said how dismayed I was with your paper and their lack of coverage for our Soap Box Derby. This is a kid-friendly event that brings thousands of people to our city each year and there was not one mention of it in your paper. However, now you feel compelled to write about a free or reduced pay clinic that wants come to our city? Your priorities are clearly miscued.”

Mayor Kelly Decker

To the point within the no true Scotsman argumentation by Decker, I have to insert my agreement. Indeed, the newspaper requires more coverage of the “city that is on the move.” If it’s of any solace to either party in this regard, I offer my services as a freelance writer and reporter.

Paragraph Two

Again, Nikki Minaj. Since she’s so relevant here, enjoy a video:

The following paragraph is the foremost example of the Texas Sharpshooter logical fallacy. The one referenced above is a muddled example to heat up the conversation about logic. Decker would have been better off simplifying this letter down to, or at least, leading with this second sentence in his fifth paragraph:

“I have never said ‘No.’ I said put it in a medical facility, especially one with detox and mental health.”

Mayor Kelly Decker

Decker may have also done very well leading with the knowledge that he personally has. Rather than trying to chop up the data that was served against him. For instance, without condescension:

“… your [claim] that I am making the situation more dangerous. […] it’s called Mens Rea, or the guilty mind of criminal intent, and then acting on that criminal intent is Actus Reus. The majority of Cornerstone’s clientele are heroin attacks. Heroin is illegal. [….] Therefore, these patients not only have Mens Rea but also Actus Reus and those are the people I don’t want invited to our city […]”

Mayor Kelly Decker

The next few paragraphs are called a bandwagon argument. It’s not that critical and really only acts as a public support rallying cry. Trump is great at using this, however, Decker should steer clear of it, and stick to the simplest of facts. He doesn’t need to reassert his position as an elected official in this way, especially not so deep into an already messy argument, but perhaps could have opened with some of his own facts rather than refuting those offered by Lewis.

Before his closing paragraph, he sets up a nice strawman argument against the Editor. The alcohol and criminality strawman. If the Mayor had used alcohol and criminality statistics, along with his own facts, in a second paragraph, he would have solidified a solid logical argument.

In closing, Decker uses another purity, or, no true Scotsman argument. He follows it with my favorite logical fallacy: the loaded question. This writer is going to do him a service, free of charge: reorganize and rescue what can be in a whole new letter:


Letter to the Editor:
re: “A methadone clinic is not a crime scene.”

For starters, “I have never said ‘No.’ I said put [the methadone clinic] in a medical facility, especially one with detox and mental health.”

“Your [claim] that I am making the situation more dangerous [is unfounded…] It’s called Mens Rea, or the guilty mind of criminal intent, and [to then act] on that criminal intent is Actus Reus. The majority of Cornerstone’s clientele are heroin [addicts]. Heroin is illegal. [….] Therefore, these patients not only have Mens Rea but also Actus Reus[,] and those are the people I don’t want [to be] invited to our city[.]”

“[I invite you to hire more reporters for our growing city to see that there’s more than only an] opioid epidemic in our community[. For instance, there could be more coverage of city revenue-driving events, such as] our Soap Box Derby. This is a kid-friendly event that brings thousands of people to our city each year[.]”

Short and sweet.


Lez-pard Spots: How to Spot a Lesbian

For Siera; hope you find that lucky lesbian & get locked down, or something…

I had originally written this for another blog project, but I figure that the casual quality of the blog-side of my website could use more light posts such as this. I’m even going to tag it. So let the vitriol roll in! This post is for Siera, and no criticism can stifle that!

Also, there were pretty pictures, but f*** ’em! Pretty ladies like yerselfneed no pretty pictures! (a-wink)

You have a particular type. It’s girls. Okay, you’re gay; you’re a girl into girls. Great, so what? You don’t live in the city, nor does your town have a gay bar or café bookstore. Or you do and just don’t know how to use those balls in your visage. What’s a girl to do?

I’ve been there — not really but it makes you feel better right? Not that I care.

That’s when I learned that the library is always open. No I didn’t meet her at the library, yet, but I learned to read more. In the tradition of Paris Is Burning, bien sûr.

Reading is recognizing symbols, characters that hold reference and together mean something greater. That’s what this shit is all about: meaning something (whatever that would be). Here, I’ll list the symbols that together mean lesbian.

If you’re reading this, you probably don’t drive a Lezbaru.

You don’t really do group activities like softball, cross country or motorcycling, and you don’t have a puppy kennel or dog rescue clinic in Maine.

This list of contingent markers of the lesbian look, gathered from personal experience, that of others, and observation of representation in popular American culture should help you change your fortunes.

Be brave. Compliment her. Be confident. Ask her out.

However, don’t be too attached to the outcome, no matter what it is, good or bad. Though if I’ve learned anything from dating, it’s this: it’ll suck.

What she looks like:

  • Hair like Skrillex
  • Crew cut
  • Fauxhawk
  • Sleeve tattoos
  • Neck tattoos

What she’s wearing

  • Plaid fabrics
  • Flannel
  • Corduroy
  • Sports caps worn backwards
  • Tims (tan Timberlands boots)
  • Doc Martins (boots, often black)
  • Purple lipstick (w/o being black
  • Basketball shorts
  • Jean shorts
  • Button ups
  • Lace chokers (while older than thirteen)

Lastly, but definitely not leastly…

A Love of:

  • Lady Gaga
  • Lifetime
  • Logo; and,
  • Real Housewives

Rice One!: Doing Good in 2018

Was your 2018 New Year’s Resolution to get smarter? Give more? Well, if you don’t feel like reading or searching for the charity for you, here’s one possible solution: FreeRice.

It’s an oldie but a goodie.

Created back in 2007, the game has donated trillions of grains of rice, from the United Nations World Food Program, and millions of users have helped accomplish this. The “100% non-profit website” accomplishes two goals: 1) it provides free education; and, 2) it strives to end world hunger one free grain of rice at a time.

I used to play it in the computer lab instead of solitaire, galaxy pinball, Runescape or Kongregate like the other kids. With several game types to choose from on FreeRice, my favorite right now is “famous paintings.” Thanks, Google Arts & Culture.

During the Aughts, there were a lot of sites that did similar things for idle, maybe even educational, gaming, to support such causes as feeding dogs, giving flour or beans.

From websites to apps, some things have changed. The top hits from the list are the following two, for donating for activity, rather than per dollar. Donate a Photo, supported by Johnson & Johnson only asks a photo! Charity Miles may make you walk a bit, but hey, cardio that gives to charity at no cost? Nice!

What I like about this

Apps that do good things are great. Altruism doesn’t need to be an uncomfortable adventure with the Peace Corps or Habitats for Humanity anymore! Now you can be your own type of superhero right from the comfort of home! Or at the gym!

That’s all pretty wonderful, but the ease of altruistic behavior and doing good isn’t entirely what keeps me excited about things like this. It’s where things like this will develop. What’s the diachronic outlook here?

Look at 2007 to 2017! Our charitable giving can start from a larger screen, playing games, answering questions and ultimately donating grains of rice at a time, to taking a selfie or a landscape photo and donating money to a variety of causes. Things look to be opening up in the direction of doing good.

People want to not only simplify their budgeting but do good with their wealth too. Even if only with spare change, they want to save easier, retire securer, and invest in their futures. I’d love nothing more than to delve into how the world around millennials is changing personal finance, but that’s for another article.

Here, I would like to conclude on an idea that I brought up in talking about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It came up in that post and may make a milestone moment this year: Universal Basic Income. It’s a topic that, like finance apps, will need to be further expounded elsewhere, because the concept of free money, as Finland has proven, is better than it sounds.

A Universal Basic Income sounds awesome already, but it could get even better if it were integrated with the taxing system. Not stopping there though! Transparency is a must for personal finance and all parts of civil society.

The Universal Income (UI) and taxing software would need its own platform, like an app. The UI would need a fairly simple user interface, or (also) UI. In some of our minds, we may even imagine being able to move our money, plan, save, budget, and even decide how much of it is taxed and where it goes.

That would be the kind of future where getting involved and interactive means not only making money but budgeting and saving money and learning more about civics and taxes.

There’s another upside to it also: Say you don’t want to support war. Well, you can open up your UI app and would be able to set your taxes so none of your money went towards the military budget, and instead goes to the education budget or the highway budget. That would be the day, right?

We could use more organizations like OneTreePlanted too.

300: The Raw List of Literature for Us to Read in 2018

This is it. The uncut, unabridged, uncensored, list of 300 books that I’d LOVE to read in 2018, but likely will only read two of. With any luck, maybe six.

Ordered by highest average Goodreads rating first:

  1. The Decline of Black Politics: From Malcolm X to Barack Obama
  2. Dictatorship of Capital: Politics and Culture in the 21st Century
  3. The Law of Adaptation to Climate Change
  4. The Law of Clean Energy: Efficiency and Renewables
  5. The Transgender Issue
  6. trans/formation: A life on both sides of the gender divide
  7. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
  8. Democratizing Democracy: Beyond the Liberal Democratic Canon
  9. Trans Bodies, Trans Selves: A Resource for the Transgender Community
  10. Feminist Genealogies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures
  11. In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom
  12. Critical Race Theory: The Key Writings That Formed the Movement
  13. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
  14. Digital Sociologies
  15. Structures of Judicial Decision Making from Legal Formalism to Critical Theory
  16. Covering Government: A Civics Handbook for Journalists
  17. Emotive Language in Argumentation
  18. Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
  19. The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics
  20. Fame and Obscurity
  21. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People about Race
  22. Musashi
  23. The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song from Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed
  24. If They Come in the Morning: Voices of Resistance
  25. Pantheism
  26. Normal Life: Administrative Violence, Critical Trans Politics, and the Limits of Law
  27. Ultimate Guide to Local Business Marketing
  28. The Wisdom of No Escape: How to Love Yourself and Your World
  29. Sociolinguistic Typology: Social Determinants of Linguistic Complexity
  30. Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do about It
  31. Harry Potter: A History of Magic
  32. Revolutionary Suicide
  33. Inner Engineering: A Yogi’s Guide to Joy
  34. Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times
  35. Captive Genders: Trans Embodiment and the Prison Industrial Complex
  36. Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
  37. No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva
  38. Tell Me No Lies: Investigative Journalism and Its Triumphs
  39. Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center
  40. Stick It Up Your Punter!: The Uncut Story of the Sun Newspaper
  41. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom
  42. Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
  43. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
  44. Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black
  45. We Are the Change We Seek: The Speeches of Barack Obama
  46. Food Movements Unite!: Strategies to Transform Our Food System
  47. Postposttransexual: Key Concepts for a 21st Century Transgender Studies
  48. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!: Adventures of a Curious Character
  49. An Indigenous People’s History of the United States
  50. Matilda
  51. Basic Economics: A Citizen’s Guide to the Economy
  52. The Transgender Studies Reader
  53. Introduction to Animal Rights: Your Child or the Dog?
  54. Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces
  55. With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful
  56. Tell Me More: Stories about the 12 Hardest Things I’m Learning to Say
  57. What Do You Care What Other People Think?
  58. Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future
  59. Feminism and War: Confronting U.S. Imperialism
  60. Secret Affairs: Britain’s Collusion with Radical Islam
  61. And We Are Not Saved: The Elusive Quest for Racial Justice
  62. Seven Dada Manifestos and Lampisteries
  63. Surpassing Certainty: What My Twenties Taught Me
  64. Rain Without Thunder: The Ideology of the Animal Rights Movement
  65. Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha
  66. Eat Like You Care: An Examination of the Morality of Eating Animals
  67. Transgender Rights
  68. How to Be a Bawse: A Guide to Conquering Life
  69. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
  70. Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety
  71. Queen Victoria’s Matchmaking: The Royal Marriages that Shaped Europe
  72. Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman
  73. Sex and Social Justice
  74. Owning Our Future: The Emerging Ownership Revolution
  75. The New York Times Guide to Essential Knowledge: A Desk Reference for the Curious Mind
  76. Feminism without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity
  77. The Speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class
  78. Astrophysics for People in a Hurry
  79. Cat’s Cradle
  80. This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate
  81. What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
  82. Crow After Roe: How “Separate But Equal” Has Become the New Standard in Women’s Health and How We Can Change That
  83. Race, Reform, and Rebellion: The Second Reconstruction in Black America, 1945-1990
  84. Permanence and Change: An Anatomy of Purpose
  85. Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk
  86. Yes Means Yes!: Visions of Female Sexual Power and A World Without Rape
  87. Associated Press Guide to News Writing: The Resource for Professional Journalists
  88. Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise and Other Bribes
  89. No Exit
  90. The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard
  91. Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society
  92. Enemy Combatant: My Imprisonment at Guantanamo, Bagram, and Kandahar
  93. The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better
  94. The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America
  95. A Primer of Libertarian Education
  96. Sappho Is Burning
  97. The Impact of Inequality: How to Make Sick Societies Healthier
  98. The Unkillable Kitty O’Kane
  99. Confronting Authority:Reflections of an Ardent Protestor
  100. No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the U.S. Surveillance State
  101. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  102. Nevada
  103. Paul Takes the Form of a Mortal Girl
  104. The Language of News Media
  105. The Seven Day Circle: The History and Meaning of the Week
  106. The New Journalism
  107. The Fall
  108. In Cold Blood
  109. Live Through This: On Creativity and Self-Destruction
  110. The New New Journalism: Conversations with the Best Nonfiction Writers on Their Craft
  111. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking
  112. Transgender History
  113. The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language
  114. Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs
  115. Trans/Love: Radical Sex, Love & Relationships Beyond the Gender Binary
  116. America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction
  117. Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism: The Belief System That Enables Us to Eat Some Animals and Not Others
  118. The Lives of Transgender People
  119. Transgender Liberation: A Movement Whose Time Has Come
  120. Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice
  121. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
  122. Fear and Trembling
  123. Gender Diversity, Recognition and Citizenship: Towards a Politics of Difference
  124. The Universal Journalist
  125. Working as a Journalist
  126. The Reuters Handbook for Journalists
  127. Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion
  128. Writing for Broadcast Journalists
  129. The Heart of Meditation: Discovering Innermost Awareness
  130. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
  131. Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire
  132. The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life
  133. Influencer: The Power to Change Anything
  134. Boys Like Her: Transfictions
  135. How to Think about Weird Things: Critical Thinking for a New Age
  136. Why America Failed: The Roots of Imperial Decline
  137. One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society
  138. Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies that Will Improve and/or Ruin Everything
  139. Mcnae’s Essential Law for Journalists
  140. The Art of Asking; or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help
  141. The Jargon of Authenticity
  142. Chaos and Governance in the Modern World System
  143. The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism
  144. The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Rule
  145. The Big Screen: The Story of the Movies – and What They Have Done to Us
  146. Social Mindscapes: An Invitation to Cognitive Sociology
  147. Chicken Soup for the Soul
  148. Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle
  149. The Politics of Aesthetics
  150. Stuffed and Starved: Markets, Power and the Hidden Battle for the World Food System
  151. Beautiful Music for Ugly Children
  152. The Role of the Reader: Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts
  153. Media and Cultural Studies: Key Works
  154. Nina Here Nor There: My Journey Beyond Gender
  155. A Dictionary of Philosophical Quotations
  156. Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive
  157. Men Explain Things to Me
  158. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
  159. She’s Not There: A Life in Two Genders
  160. Playing the Whore: The Work of Sex Work
  161. Nausea
  162. What Every Person Should Know About War
  163. The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait
  164. Transgender Explained for Those Who Are Not
  165. In a Queer Time and Place: Transgender Bodies and Subcultural Lives
  166. Sex Changes: The Politics of Transgenderism
  167. Look at You Now: My Journey from Shame to Strength
  168. Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language
  169. The History of the Book in 100 Books: The Complete Story from Egypt to EBook
  170. Writers on Writing: Collected Essays from The New York Times
  171. Transgender Identities: Towards a Social Analysis of Gender Diversity
  172. Why not Me?
  173. Practical Strategies for Technical Communication
  174. The Grid: Electrical Infrastructure for the New Era
  175. Wall and Piece
  176. Global Climate Change and U.S. Law
  177. The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin
  178. Managing the Mental Game: How to Think More Effectively, Navigate Uncertainty, and Build Mental Fortitude
  179. No War
  180. One Market Under God: Extreme Capitalism, Market Populism, and the End of Economic Democracy
  181. In an Abusive State: How Neoliberalism Appropriated the Feminist Movement against Sexual Violence
  182. The Story of English in 100 Words
  183. The Fine Line
  184. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl
  185. Girl with a Pearl Earring
  186. Scoop
  187. Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of  a Category
  188. Assuming a Body: Transgender and Rhetorics of Materiality
  189. Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion
  190. What’s the Matter with Kansas? How Conservatives Won the Heart of America
  191. The Dip: A Little Book that Teaches You When to Quit
  192. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
  193. Slut!: Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation
  194. Character Is Destiny: Inspiring Stories Every Young Person Should Know and Every Adult Should Remember
  195. Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us
  196. With Respect to Sex: Negotiating Hijra Identity in South India
  197. The Truth About Me: A Hijra Life Story
  198. Picasso: Creator and Destroyer
  199. Feminism and Linguistic Theory
  200. Power and Politeness in the Workplace: A Sociolinguistic Analysis of Talk at Work
  201. Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved
  202. The Gang That Wouldn’t Write Straight: Wolfe, Thompson, Didion, Capote, and the New Journalism Revolution
  203. Here Comes Everybody; The Power of Organizing Without Organizations
  204. Corruption in America: From Benjamin Franklin’s Snuff Box to Citizens United
  205. Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army
  206. Adultolescence
  207. The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again
  208. Everything I Never Told You
  209. The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities
  210. Journalists Under Fire: The Psychological Hazards of Covering War
  211. Post-Democracy: A Sociological Introduction
  212. The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What’s Wrong with America
  213. Writing About Art
  214. Alternatives to Capitalism: Proposals for a Democratic Economy
  215. Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter
  216. Transgender Nation
  217. Food Rebellions!: Forging Food Sovereignty to Solve the Global Food Crisis
  218. How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter
  219. MAsters of the Universe: NATO’s Balkan Crusade
  220. 24 Hours in Journalism
  221. The Clockwork Muse: A Practical Guide to Writing Theses, Dissertations & Books
  222. The Riddle of Gender: Science, Activism, and Transgender Rights
  223. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values
  224. No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive
  225. Fascinate: Unlocking the Secret Triggers of Influence, Persuasion, and Captivation
  226. When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing
  227. Stuck in the Middle with You: A Memoir of Parenting in Three Genders
  228. State of War:  The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration
  229. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto
  230. Atonement and Forgiveness: A New Model for Black Reparations
  231. Mindwatching: Why We Behave the Way We Do
  232. 100 Deadly Skills: The Seal Operative’s Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation
  233. Vegan Freak: Being Vegan in a Non-Vegan World
  234. Wishful Drinking
  235. Black Like You: Blackface, Whiteface, Insult, and Imitation in American Popular Culture
  236. Trans-Sister Radio
  237. How to Be a Woman
  238. When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World  and the Birth of a New Global Order
  239. The Jungle
  240. The Man Who Quit Money
  241. As I Lay Dying
  242. Turning Back the Clock: Hot Wars and Media Populism
  243. I’m Looking Through You: Growing Up Haunted
  244. It’s All Relative: Adventures Up and Down the World’s Family Tree
  245. The Alchemy of Finance
  246. The Satanic Verses
  247. I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual
  248. Neither Man Nor Woman: The Hijras of India
  249. Holding Still for as Long as Possible
  250. Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath
  251. Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was
  252. Audition: A Memoir
  253. Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work
  254. Blur: How to Know What’s True in the Age of Information Overload
  255. Finnegans Wake
  256. The Activists’ Handbook: A step-by-step guide to participatory democracy
  257. Texts from Jane Eyre: and Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters
  258. War Reporting for Cowards
  259. But What If We’re Wrong? Thinking About the Present as if It Were the Past
  260. Criticizing Art: Understanding the Contemporary
  261. The Worrier’s Guide to Life
  262. Dark Matter and the Dinosaurs: The Astounding Interconnectedness of the Universe
  263. Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream
  264. Invisibles: The Power of Anonymous Work in an Age of Relentless Self-Promotion
  265. Getting It Wrong: Ten of the Greatest Misreported Stories in American Journalism
  266. Law Made Fun through Harry Potter’s Adventures: 99 Lessons in Law from the Wizarding World for Fans of All Ages
  267. Conglomerates and the Media
  268. Creative Community Organizing: A Guide for Rabble-Rousers, Activists, and Quiet Lovers of Justice
  269. Pigs at the Trough: How Corporate Greed and Political Corruption Are Undermining America
  270. What Happens When We Die?: A Groundbreaking Study into the Nature of Life and Death
  271. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
  272. The Politics of Social Ecology: Libertarian Municipalism
  273. Democratic Legitimacy: Impartiality, Reflexivity, Proximity
  274. Warrior Princess: A U.S. Navy Seal’s Journey to Coming Out Transgender
  275. The Art of Always Being Right
  276. The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom
  277. Fifty Key Contemporary Thinkers: From Structuralism to Postmodernity
  278. Not for Profit: Why Democracy Needs the Humanities
  279. Supermedia: Saving Journalism So It Can Save the World
  280. Front Row at the White House: My Life and Times
  281. Myra Breckinridge
  282. The European Dream: How Europe’s Vision of the Future is Quietly Eclipsing the American Dream
  283. The Crisis of Global Capitalism: Open Society Endangered
  284. The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer
  285. Wonders Beyond Numbers: A Brief History of All Things Mathematical
  286. Why Courage Matters: The Way to a Braver Life
  287. An Introduction to Theories of Popular Culture
  288. Millennial Momentum: How a New Generation is Remaking America
  289. Swearing is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language
  290. Covering the Courts: A Handbook for Journalists
  291. How to Lose Friends and Alienate People
  292. Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age
  293. How to Win at Feminism: The Definitive Guide to Having It All – And Then Some!
  294. Journalism and Memorialization in the Age of Social Media
  295. The You in Journalism: A Handbook for Journalists
  296. The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male
  297. The Transformation of the American Pension System: Was It Beneficial for Workers?
  298. Working with Numbers and Statistics: A Handbook for Journalists
  299. A Reference Guide to Journalism: Areas, Genres, Social Impact, News Media, Roles, and more
  300. Covering Politics: A Handbook for Journalists

Poetry Response to a Friend’s Article

Is Print Media really dying?
Either way, I’m already crying.
No way the few papers are lying.
No doubt for this fact     Time’s Up.
Reverse of Times, sign a planet’s dying.

TheBreez – Dec. 14, 2017

Quote of the Day

“FAKE NEWS, he should be fired.” – President Trump’s Twitter call-to-action for the termination of Washington Post photojournalist Dave Weigel. The crowd size may remain contested!

Net Neutrality: Where Freedom Lies

The Story

Leading up to this week, readers may have seen something somewhere about Net Neutrality. Well that FCC vote was today at 10:30 a.m. EST. This, is where we are now:

The deets once more…

The FCC, chaired by Republican Ajit Pai, will vote today on the repeal of Democrat-created regulations which prohibit Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) from practices such as blocking websites, slowing down connection speeds and charging extra for faster delivery of content. Opponents of net neutrality, ISP lobbyists, have their fingers crossed about the vote,  in the name of their bottom lines.  Internet users, young people especially, have their fingers crossed in the opposite direction on this one.

Portugal’s internet without neutrality…

If you saw that Image on Facebook of Portugal’s internet… this one… meo

It may be “fake news,” but that could be the reality without net neutrality. As the EU may have  net neutrality, MEO, Portugal’s provider, does offer data packages as shown. This might be the direction the US ISP’s go if it proves to be profitable for companies like Comcast.

The polls are closed…

The clock struck midnight at 10:30 this morning for Net Neutrality. With a 3-to-2 vote successfully repealing the regulations, we can now expect some vast changes to internet service in the next year. This year’s Republican tagline reads: slash and burn.


Whether in fact the FCC in this vote, is “helping consumers and promoting competition” has yet to be seen, but one thing looks clear: corporations and Republicans will both seize the day on this one. Even if not in full force after Alabama voted.

Caught in TheBreez

And in local news…

Orange County legislator Thomas Faggione criticized Mayor Kelly Decker over Port Jervis tax hikes. A point of contention that was mentioned was the 0.40 percent of that increase which solely goes to doubling the mayor’s salary to $40,000. Former city mayor, Gary Lopriore also criticized Decker about the proposal back in November.

We can work from home…

A new study reveals that working from home is more beneficial to most employees. Not only are people happier working from home, but more efficient in doing so! One catch however… the escape from home and isolation, is a desirable trait in a workspace.

More than hot dogs and poop emojis…

Snapchat is breaking open the world of augmented reality (AR). Dancing pigeons move over, because with Snap’s  launch of Lens Studio, anyone with a desktop or laptop computer can make their own AR dancing character. The holiday gift that just keeps on giving.



—— Person of the Year ——

The Story

Since President Trump “turned down” Time’s Person of the Year, the rightful cover-space went to those people, mostly women, that came forward this year, for justice.

The Silence Breakers…

Time’s Person of the Year cover goes to women, such as Ashley Judd, who in October of this year was the domino that caused the fallout of brave women, and men, when she came forward about sexual harassment she was victim to in 1997, by Harvey Weinstein. Since then, brave individuals  have come forward about a plethora of people who have acted sexually against others from a position of power. That power has in the past made the use of unwanted sexual advances and obscene remarks commonplace.

Who’s been fingered?

The list is massive!: New York Metropolitan Opera conductor James Levine, NBC News anchor Matt Lauer,  CBS News, PBS and Bloomberg journalist and host Charlie Rose, New York Times White House political journalist and correspondent Glenn Thrush, hip-hop producer Russell Simmons, actor Jeffrey Tambor, Minnesota Senator Al Franken, NBC News Senior Vice President for Booking Matt Zimmerman, “Arrow,” “Supergirl,” etc. executive producer Andrew Kreisberg,  Alabama Republican Senatorial candidate Roy Moore,  comedian Louis C.K.,  actor Steven Seagal, actor Ed Westwick,  Hollywood producer Brett Ratner, actor Dustin Hoffman, actor Jeremy Piven, NPR news chief Michael Oreskes, actor Kevin Spacey, NBC senior political analyst Mark Halperin, former President George H. W. Bush, celebrity photographer Terry Richardson,  literary critic and former editor for The Atlantic and New Republic Leon Wieseltier, Hollywood writer and director James Toback, celebrity chef John Besh, Harvey’s brother Bob Weinstein, director Oliver Stone, Amazon studios chief Roy Price, and actor Ben Affleck, in addition to Harvey Weinstein.

“One phone call and you’re done”

Those who know, those who don’t know, and those who aren’t sure about what they know all become complicit parties in malfeasance, whether of a sexual nature or another. The variations in complicity by casting a vote for a particular tax plan for instance, whether for a candidate federally or locally:

You either don’t vote because you don’t care, but aren’t necessarily voting against a terrible, maybe horribly sexist, bill or action somehow else is doing, or are voting regardless of which one, you’re not really wonderfully convinced about any, but you’re faithful, or you could know exactly what you’re voting for, vote for it and get it.

Sen. Al F-inally!

On the other hand with this issue, Democrats, including our very own Kirsten and Chuck, in the Senate are turning on Franken after a second allegation completed the thunder-clap! of his final days in Congress, and perhaps, politics entirely. But there may still be more promising time in comedy! Or not.  


We’re really glad that the Senate is doing something and victims are getting the strong support they deserve in the spotlight of media and government. The Silence Breakers, like whistleblowers are incredibly important to the ultimate fairness of our system. Our ways of life, and our hopes for the future.

— Caught in TheBreez 

The wrap-up…

Exactly next week (Thurs. Dec. 14), the FCC is set to vote on chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to remove net neutrality protections. Hollywood hills is burning! And Chelsea Handler may just be right that President Donald Trump is setting the world ablaze.

— Enjoying TheBreez?

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TheBreez will be picking a day! Coming out weekly, every Thursday morning before 10 a.m. catch hot and local stories, and one piece by yours truly.
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