Sandy Hook Shooting ~ 7th Anniversary

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In retrospect, Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.

~ Dan Hodges, British Political Commentator ~

Inside, by D.M. Siciliano ~ 4.5 Stars

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Thanks to NetGalley and Parliament House Press for providing an ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: Available Now

354 Pages

Synopsis: 1987 “Does it burn in the dark?”

Reid is a bully, but he’s still Alex’s best friend.

When Reid pushes Alex and their friends into invading a historically haunted Massachusetts house, Alex knows it’s a terrible idea, but he indulges his friend. What could go wrong?

Inside, a mysterious Shadow looms in the darkness. The door to the house vanishes, leaving them trapped. The group flees through the tiny, one-roomed house that defies logic, constantly shifting, presenting them with new doors, hallways, and rooms that seem to be plucked from their memories and fears. One by one, the Shadow hunts them, intent on burning them all from within.

Is there any way to escape? Or will they be burned from the inside out?

I was initially attracted to Inside because of the comparisons to The Blair Witch Project and Stranger Things, and while yes, there a few similarities, for the most part this story stands strongly on its own merits. Amidst the horror of what’s happening in the house the friends and their interactions with one another also help drive the story. Reid is especially fascinating and winds up being much more sympathetic as his backstory is revealed. I was initially afraid that at 354 pages, the whole wandering around the house looking for an escape was going to get old, but it doesn’t. The pace remains steady and I easily polished this off in two sittings. I do warn you though, what happens to these kids is just awful, and there is no happy ending. They all pay a very high price for their lack of common sense. There are a couple of elements in regards to the entity haunting the house that I was left me a little confused, but overall I quite enjoyed Inside and highly recommend it to horror fans who are looking for something off the beaten path.

Time’s Person of the Year

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Teen climate activist Greta Thunberg has been named Time Magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year. While I was personally rooting for the Hong Kong protesters who have been risking their lives on a daily basis to champion democracy, Ms Thunberg also has my deep admiration. In its announcement Time stated:

The politics of climate action are as entrenched and complex as the phenomenon itself, and Thunberg has no magic solution. But she has succeeded in creating a global attitudinal shift, transforming millions of vague middle-of-the-night anxieties into a worldwide movement calling for change. She has offered a moral clarion call to those who are willing to act, and hurled shame on those who are not.

 

a guide to impeachment..or what the steps actually are.

There has been so much confusion regarding the impeachment inquiry thus far, as well as where it goes from here. This is a succinct explanation courtesy of Suze that should dispel any questions still lingering.

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  1. it is a PROCESS involving several steps designated by Constitutional law.
  2. The H of Rep holds hearings, closed or open depending entirely upon which committee is holding them, to determine if there is enough information to bring about articles of impeachment.
  3. Hearings by committee are the equivalent of a grand jury. Witnesses are called and questioned. The PERSON UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR IMPEACHMENT may be asked to provide responses BUT this is not a requirement.
  4. If enough credible evidence is obtained to establish probable cause for indictment, the articles are formally voted upon by the entire House of Representatives.
  5. IF PASSED, the Articles are sent to the Senate for trial.
  6. The House selects “managers” to present the evidence to the Senate and to subpoena witnesses. (the prosecutor and defense attorney)
  7. The Senate issues a Writ of Summons to the impeached individual to appear.
  8. A trial occurs…NOT a criminal trial…

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Nancy Pelosi Spoke Today-Loud and Clear

This is a wonderful post by Jeff regarding today’s announcement of the two articles of impeachment which will be brought forth to a vote.

On The Fence Voters

Nancy Pelosi spoke today, and Donald Trump’s day of reckoning fast approaches. For only the fourth time in the history of this republic, articles of impeachment were submitted against a sitting president of the United States of America. Two articles, one for abuse of power, the other for obstruction of Congress, were released by the House Judiciary Committee. You can read them here.

In all, the document consists of only eight pages, a nod towards an increasing attention-averse population. The entire inquiry proceeded in this manner. Just short of 80 days, we’ve seen the committee do its work in swift and sweeping fashion. The Republican Party is left with no other option than to whine and complain to whoever is within shouting distance. President Trump is about to be impeached. As Trump’s Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said in his press conference weeks back, “Get over it!”

There’s an…

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R.I.P. Pete Frates ~ 1984 – 2019

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Pete Frates, who along with Patrick Quinn, made the Ice Bucket Challenge a worldwide viral phenomenon, has sadly lost his own battle with ALS. The Ice Bucket Challenge is estimated to have raised between $160 million and $200 million for ALS research. In 2016, a worldwide gene sequencing effort funded by Challenge donations made to the ALS Association, led to the discovery of a new ALS gene. While Frates tragically died before ALS could be eradicated, when a cure is found, there is no doubt that his efforts will have played a major role. The following quote is from a 2014 column he wrote for the Bleacher Report:

My dream is for this article to be found by someone in a Google search one day—much like the one that linked my symptoms to ALS—and for he or she to wonder how anyone ever could have died from something treated so easily. I want the 100th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s speech to be a celebration of a courageous man who became the poster boy for a disease with a cure, not a cruel reminder of how nothing has changed in a century.

 

No Bad Deed, by Heather Chavez ~ 4.5 Stars

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Thanks to NetGalley and William Morrow for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Release Date: February 18th, 2020

320 Pages

Synopsis: Driving home one rainy night, Cassie Larkin sees a man and woman fighting on the side of the road. After calling 911, the veterinarian makes a split second-decision that will throw her sedate suburban life into chaos. Against all reason and advice, she gets out of her minivan and chases after the violent man, trying to help his victim. When Cassie physically tries to stop him, he suddenly turns on her and spits out an ominous threat: “Let her die, and I’ll let you live.”

A veterinarian trained to heal, Cassie can’t let the woman die. But while she’s examining the unconscious victim, the attacker steals her car. Now he has her name. Her address. And he knows about her children. Thought they warn her to be careful, the police assure her that the perpetrator —a criminal named Carver Sweet—won’t get near her. Cassie isn’t so sure.

The next day—Halloween—her husband disappears while trick-or-treating with their daughter. Are these disturbing events a coincidence or the beginning of a horrifying nightmare? Her husband has been growing distant—is it possible he’s become involved with another woman? Is Cassie’s confrontation with the road-side attacker connected to her husband’s disappearance? With all these questions swirling in her mind, Cassie can trust no one, maybe not even herself. The only thing she know for sure is that she can’t sit back while the people she loves are in danger.

As she desperately searches for answers, Cassie discovers that nothing is as random as it seems, and that she is more than willing to fight—to go to the most terrifying extremes—to save her family and her marriage.

HOLY GUACAMOLE! No Bad Deed is without a doubt one of the craziest books I’ve read, and the fact that this is Heather Chavez’s debut, has me expecting great things from her! While readers will have to suspend their disbelief over some of Cassie’s actions, she still comes off as a sympathetic character as she desperately tries to make sense of the sudden downward spiral her life has taken. Almost every chapter has a plot twist, and what you think are random, albeit crazy coincidences, are anything but. The only thing that’s clear is what’s down is up and what’s up is down. Each revelation leads to an explosive climax, but I didn’t know what the heck was happening or why until Cassie’s backstory is unveiled. While it’s not entirely believable, it does explain everything that’s happened.

Overall, No Bad Deed is a fantastic popcorn read that will suck you in from the very first page. I read this in under three hours because I couldn’t bring myself to put it down until I knew what was happening. I HIGHLY recommend this for fans of unputdownable high octane thrillers with enough twists to make your head spin. I can’t wait to see what Heather Chavez does for an encore!