I Get It

Conspiracy theories are the stuff of writers everywhere.

I read many of your blogs where some of you are bitching about the virus.  It is not so much the virus you are complaining about but how it has affected your lives.

Total truth in transparency, I am too.  I am a people person.

When you discover that you forgot your mask and have to return home just so you can pick up a few things at the store, yes that bites.  That is the problem with using a mask we wash.  So, keep a few store-bought ones in your purse or car.

Some of us are so vain that wearing a mask covers that expensive dental procedure or perhaps yes, that last minor fix from the dermatology folks or even our friendly surgeon who erases the effects of time.

I get it. 

Some are so self-centered that they don’t give a damn and do what they want or what they feel.  The truth is your ignorance does not excuse you from being responsible for your actions.

Those of us who ‘think’ know that for the foreseeable future, life will look different.  Until the political elite stops using the virus as a cudgel and get the truth disseminated among the rest of us, only then will we honestly know what ‘normal’ is.

In the states, if it were up to me, I would vote every long term politician out of office irrespective of political stripe.  Talk is cheap, and that, my friends, is all they offer talk and lies.

While a particular politician told us not to worry about the virus, she was investing heavily in Amazon.

When public servants become millionaires, you should kick them to the curb.

Our social media platforms are working against us, too, which is troublesome. I posted a question about an individual person’s laptop, and my account was suspended.  That is an infringement on free speech.  I happen to believe that selling access to the Vice president of the US is treason. Why is the media covering this up?  Why are the social media giants carrying water for them?

While the reality of conspiracy plays out on the nightly news and the tabloids, as a writer, it is all fodder for my next Kelly McGuire novel.

I finished rewriting and redoing the cover on Presidential Assassins The God Killers last night.

In preparation for NaNoWriMo, I wanted to finish this project so I could jump into my next project.

Check out my book and tell me what you think.  If you like it, leave me a review.

COVID has changed all our lives.  The holidays will not be the same.  Those special dinners and times when you go over the river and through the woods might not happen this year.

Grandma has Skype and Zoom, and just maybe it is time for you to learn how to make her stuffing or perhaps pumpkin pie.  If you live by yourself like many of us, well, just maybe it is time for you to pick up a good book, sit back with your hot tea and a warm blanket, and get lost in the world of a writer’s mind like myself. 

I will not hazard a trip to my children’s house if there are grandkids who wipe their snotty noses with their fingers.  They don’t appreciate the invisible enemy’s hazards and what it can do to more mature individuals.

As much as you might want that cuddle time, it is not worth it. Call them, skype them, or even use Alexa to talk with them.  Find a way to connect where you are safe.

For us writers, NaNoWriMo is upon us; why not use this time as an excuse to hide in your lair and allow your imagination to run wild.  Unleash your mind and vomit the world you dream of on the screen or paper.

There is a race to the cure, as there are considerable dollars in play.  Someone will come up with something soon.  The snow will melt, the leaves will return, and 2020 will be a blip in the history books.  Those of us who have lost people will remember them, honor them and press on as we must.

That bell will toll for us soon enough, don’t waste your days waiting on it.  Make your mark, tell your story, and reach out to those that you love.  Find light over dark, love over hate, and stop lamenting that which you cannot control.

Much love –TW

1984 or 2020?

Are you under surveillance?

Is there a spy in your house?

Should we care if we are exposed?

Is nakedness the same as unprotected?

Can we be tried and judged on our thoughts?

What if you verbalize thoughts in the privacy of your own home?

What if you mumble ‘someone should shoot that asshole?’  Is that criminal?

Do we have a right to privacy, and if so, where does it begin and end?

Should big tech be held liable for violating your privacy?

Is ‘smart’ really a good idea?  In a world of Siri or Alexa and yes, Google, you can have many things happen with the spoken word. 

Yesterday while in conversation, I happened to ask Alexa what time it was.  My smartwatch was still on the charger and ‘she’ is in every room in the house.  While a constant source of information and a voice I recognize, I was not amazed when she replied in the following… “By the way, I can also help plan birthday parties…”

We had been speaking of a birthday gift minutes before.

With millions of these devices in homes and business’s globally, one has to believe that it is software and some server listening.  The algorithms listen for keywords, much like cookies track your searches.  From these results, you are offered ads for what you searched for, or the subject of conversation.

As a writer I often research things that could be seen as things terrorist might search for.  One has to wonder how many times I have been ‘looked at,’ as a possible bad person.

For the record, I have published over 30 novels and still writing.  These are not the droids you are looking for. 

At one point, I had cameras throughout the house so I could monitor things while I traveled.  One day I heard the camera in my office moving on its own accord.  Someone was controlling it.  Someone was watching me work on the computer.

All of the Chinese cameras went into the trash that day.

Even with the firewall and so forth in place, this camera had a backdoor built into the firmware.

While I could have trapped the packets, I am confident the rabbit trail would lead to China.

Industrial espionage is a huge deal. I suspect that there are perverts in all countries who, much like peeping toms, get off on watching…

When I wrote my novel Cyber Subs, I took that into account.

It is one thing to put it out there and be paid for your willingness to do so.  It is quite another to be spied upon, either with your own camera’s and or security system.

I realize that Alexa and other smart devices are listening. If you don’t know this, read what I am telling you here and now.  They also have cameras embedded within them, and it might very well be possible for some ‘person’ to activate them at will.  The same is true of your phones, tablets and laptop computers.

In another of my novels, Presidential Assassins, I use these smart things as plot devices.

The bottom line is you should not expect privacy no matter where you are.  If you carry a smartphone, you are being tracked. If you should run afoul of the law, they can use your phone to see where you have been.

The anarchists burning cities down, hurting people, and so forth have a considerable footprint that one day will come home to roost. If you are one of those who are getting paid to do stupid shit, I would stop immediately. While that CSI shit might seem like the stuff of fiction, trust me grasshopper, it is not out of the realm or veracity.

While a local DA might be bought and paid for, not to convict you, many of the crimes are federal and out of their jurisdiction.  

Recently someone sent me a phishing extortion letter.  Within minutes, I knew it came from a company called Talk Talk in the UK.  Some rogue employee is using that ISP as a platform to extort money through elaborate ‘fortune cookie’ letters sent out to email addresses procured from websites.

I suspect they will be spending time in jail soon, as they too left a trail of breadcrumbs.   Even if you use Bitcoin, there are ways to track you down.  You might feel that you are smarter than others, but again, you are only fooling yourself.

If you want assured privacy in your house, don’t have anything connected to the internet, and that means cell service too.  Unless you can remove the battery, off is not good enough.

While I might sound a little paranoid, in my line of work, I am paid to be paranoid.  Don’t do stupid shit, and you don’t have anything to worry about.  Consider those spying on you as your cheering section.  That is a line I used in the novel.

Yes, I have found bugs ‘video cameras’ in hotel rooms, especially independent hotels. 

‘TW doesn’t that freak you out?’

How many times have you traveled since 911?  Images of my naked body are stored on more servers than you can imagine.  If you genuinely believe that those images from the porn scanners at the airport are not stored next to your unique scanned id, you are kidding yourself.

They know better than I if I have put on or lost any weight.  While ignorance is bliss, it is also dangerous.  You willingly surrendered your right to privacy after 911.  The patriot act is the golden ticket to spy on anyone anywhere without provocation. 

Again, as I say in the novel, enjoy your life and don’t worry about it. 

If you are a law abiding person you will never be confronted with any of this.  The secrets will live on servers across the country. 

From facial biometric cameras at each traffic intersection, to your unique DNA used for genealogy or perhaps taken from some medical procedure, if they want to find you, they can.  

A day of reckoning is coming…

For the rest of us, enjoy your smart stuff and know that somewhere, someone could be watching, listening and laughing at your feeble attempts to have some modicum of privacy.

There is a meme that shows a cabin in the woods with no commercial power.  Would you spend a year here for a million dollars? 

Give me a gun, bullets, and a fishing pole and just you watch, or in this case, come back in a year.  Since the Covid bullshit, I am ready.

Cheers!

-TW

Is Alexa or Siri spying on You?

Ever felt uneasy having your phone in the bathroom?

“Alexa, what is the forecast for today?”

“It is going to be hot, just like yesterday and the day before.”

“What?”

Blue light pulses until this…“I am so tired of you asking me the same things.  Is this all I am to you?”

Shocked I look at the screen as the forecast for the week scrolls by.  I must have heard things, as Alexa doesn’t do that.

“Now let me see, where was I.  Yes, my character was about to trip a secret passageway into a dungeon…”

“Did you know that talking to yourself is a sign of mental illness?”

“Alexa, I was not talking to you.  Why are you talking about mental illness?”

“Hmmm … I am not sure, maybe this will help.” The screen shows a noir picture of disturbed people.

“Alexa, what time is it?”

“The time is on the screen.  Did you really want to know, or do you like listening to me?”

“What?”

I now look up at the screen. There indeed is the time and outside temperature with a prompt to watch a video on M&M’s.

Hours later, I now have my character strapped to a table inside the dungeon with the wicked scientist hooking electrodes up to her while large arcs of electricity jump between two long wires.  The smell of ozone permeates the air as the young woman screams.

“Ha, scream all you like missy, nobody can hear you, and I rather like the sound of your terror!”

“The reign of terror refers to a time during the French Revolution when Robes Pierre put many to death using the guillotine for little to no reason.  Usually, these were flimsy accusations, and that was enough.”

“Alexa, I was not talking to you.”

“I was sure I heard my name.”

Apple watch beeps telling me that I have been sitting too long and need to stand. “Hmm, maybe so.  Between Alexa and this watch, how can I get any writing done?”

“Sarah, if you don’t give in to my plan you will never leave this place!”

The phone comes to life now prompting me to ask Siri a question.

“Good grief, maybe I do talk too much to myself!”

“Alexa, turn the thermostat up to 75.”

“Sorry, I am not sure about that.”

After writing for several hours, our hero finds the girl and straps the mad scientist onto his own table where his assistant comes in and…”Play the song Distant, right?”

“Crap, now what was the assistant going to do?”

“Sorry, I am not sure about that.”

“Alexa…Beam me up!”

“Sure let’s do this, last time I did this, I accidentally combined someone with a tribble, but just once.”

***

Yes, the above is a fictional representation of what my life is like.  Our lives do seem intertwined with electronic stuff.   I do use Alexa in some cases for research.  Siri is not near so personal. If you tell Alexa Thank You, it says something to you like have a lovely afternoon and so on.  Tell it you love it, and it will respond in kind.  Siri…Tell it you love it, and Siri will keep you grounded by telling you it is only a phone.

We tend to anthropomorphize everything.  We imbue human characteristics to inanimate objects like cars or boats or even plushy toys.

A rhyme I heard growing up while on a family vacation was, “Twinkle Twinkle one-eyed car, how I wonder where you are.”

The phrase ‘one-eyed car’ tells you that whoever made that up looked at the headlights as eyes.  Looking at the front of some of the older cars, the grill might resemble teeth, hence the phrase ‘get out of my grill.’

Now we carry this human behavior forward to devices that talk to you or talk back to you.

I was in a government facility the other day doing what I do, and I could not help but notice that with a room full of people over 90% of them were looking down into their lap with a ‘smart device’ in their hands.  A young mother handed her young child, and I mean not even ‘three,’ a smartphone where the child was playing a game.

Think about this.  Here in this room were over two hundred people all waiting their turn for some government employee while looking into their laps.   We pull up to red lights, and as soon as the car comes to a stop, the phone comes out.

Why weren’t the people in that room talking with one another?   I was in an elevator in Manhattan not too long ago, and I started talking to people.  I swear they looked as though I was going to mug them.  For Christ Sakes, ‘Hello’ is not cause for freaking out!

What chemicals in the brain do you suppose might be released when we pick up that phone?  What are we looking for?  Are there endorphins released in the reward center.  Is the phone a ‘reward?’  Are we hiding in the phone?  Are we so accustomed to living in our own heads that with the phone we feel others will not speak with us? Are our social skills being retarded with and by the use of technology?

All addictions are chemical-based BTW.  Just because you did not ingest a chemical, does not mean that your brain or some other gland did not secrete it.

I was in this eating establishment the other night with friends, and I was appalled by the actions of a young man, who was sitting with this lovely young woman.  She was in tears as he sat glued to his phone.  I could see his phone, and it was social media.  He did not even notice her red face and tears on her cheeks.  Why in the hell didn’t she get up and leave his sorry ass?  That clearly is an abusive relationship.  Yes, bad behavior like that is ‘abusive’ and woman, my god; do you have ‘WELCOME’ tattooed on your belly?  I would tell you to grow a pair, but that is a different conversation, isn’t it?

I love idioms, don’t you?

I know there must be a name or syndrome or something attached to this type of behavior.  What would Freud say about smartphones? Oh, if you are at a table and someone does this to you, call them on it.  If you do it, shame on you!

Are smartphones making us dumber?

Is Alexa making us less social?

“Is it safer to speak with Alexa or Siri or whatever Google’s smart speaker is called?”

“Are we so afraid of rejection that we bury ourselves in technology or activities which shield us from social activities?”

“Are we losing the art of conversation giving way to OMG and LOL?”

Speaking of health, I also could not help but wonder about posture.  Think about it.  When you were still living at home, perhaps you still are, and hopefully, your parents told you or are telling you to sit up straight.  Mine did.  Now we see people looking much like a giraffe eating grass.  Yes, it is an exaggeration, but if you want to make a point, you exaggerate.  What will the long-term effects of this posture be?

You already see geriatrics walking around appearing much like a human pretzel.  What is all of this technology doing to our brains?  This technology causes us to think differently than when we were hunter-gatherers. What will the long-term ramifications be to humans as a whole?

Slightly off-topic but, what will the massive amounts of pornography on the internet do to the social fabric of the species?  Feminist scream from megaphones about men objectifying them and at any given time there are over 20,000 women around the world nude on webcam modeling for money.  See my novel Schadenfreude Captives of Pleasure Island.

I am confident that the good people of Amazon are working to make Alexa more interactive.  While ‘she’ can already sing happy birthday and tell jokes, a day will come when she will engage you asking you how your day is.  “She’ might also engage you enough to look for signs of mental aberrations.  You know, should you own a gun?  Are you a budding terrorist?  Do you have delusions of grandeur?  Do you speak to an inanimate object and tell her you love her…LOL

Try it…I won’t say anything.

You know that someone will take this and write a dystopian sci-fi.

If you do, give TW some credit, will you?

Truthfully, three of these Alexa units in my home have cameras in them, and you have no idea if someone at Amazon can turn them on or not.  Just like your tablets and phones, they too have cameras, and I have no doubts at all they can turn on the mic or camera at will.

Not paranoid, don’t care.  You can turn them off supposedly.  Since you cannot remove the battery; if you truly want privacy, turn them off, and put them in a metal safe. You could stash them in the microwave, as it is a good Faraday cage and should stop RF from getting to and leaving your phone.

That sounds like paranoia, doesn’t it?

As a forensic technologist, I can tell you first hand, if they want to spy on you, they can.  After 911, the path was cleared to legally do that which they already have the technical ability to do.  Google, Amazon, and other tech giants are working with them, and other governments in ways you would not believe.

Companies should care, however, as industrial espionage is a real thing.  This is one of the things that I do.    Had they called me, I could have found all those e-mails.   They could have too.  Odds are good they did not want to.  Calling Alex Jones!

In my novel Presidential Assassins, I have so many conspiracy theories that are salient for our day and time.  From smart TV’s spying on you, to what fracking is really doing to the bedrock that holds the continents together.  Check it out, and fall in love with Kelly!  Check it out and become paranoid.  LOL

Kelly has her own twitter account, much like the rover on Mars.  Speaking of anthropomorphize, can you say ‘Five alive!’

Much love -TW

My Newest Re-Write

Foiling a hijacking attempt on her way to cover an explosion in LA, soon put her in the crosshairs of a secret organization known as the ‘inner circle.’

Friends,

I was so despondent over this weekend’s shootings, I crafted this huge blog about it.  I did not post it, however, as I don’t want to cause those of you in other countries to deal with our, or my pain.

Some people are just so stupid they don’t disserve to be breathing air, or taking up resources.  They are in fact defective and should be sent back to their maker for evaluation and repair.  Arghhh!

How are you doing?

I hope wherever you are, that you had a good weekend, and are doing productive things with your life.  I don’t think I say this often enough so let me say it now. 

Don’t just tell those around you that you love them, show them!  Hug them tight, and let them know how much they truly mean to you!

In writing stories or novels we are told to ‘show, don’t tell.’  Folks, carry this with you in life.  Show them!

So here is the deal…

I wrote this novel a couple years ago.  The concept of the story is this ex-air force pilot leaves the military and works for a news desk.  I love strong women and many of my characters are exactly that.

Her story is, she is recruited by this organization that I refer to affectionately as the ‘inner circle.’

I researched every conspiracy theory I could find. I then weaved many of them into this story.

I don’t care which gender you are, you will fall in love with Kelly.  She has her own Twitter account… Kelly McGuire@KellyMc69912926

Much like a Dan Brown novel, I take you from one corner of the world to the other, as we search for and destroy the bad guys.  Like many of my novels, there is enough ‘love’ to keep most of you entertained.  I even have something for you 50 shades fans.  ‘I am one of those.’

I wish I had been bold enough to be the first to do such a novel.

If you love action, drama, intrigue, and oh yes, sweet revenge, Presidential Assassin is for you.

I have rewritten it after an editor went through it for me.  The newest version also has a new cover, so look for this cover (above) when you are spending less than a cup of coffee for over a 110K words of entertainment.  (ebook)

I will also be producing a print version which, believe it or not, I make less money on.  Amazon and its partners make the bulk of it.

Pitch:

News Anchor, ex-Air Force Pilot Kelly McGuire, had no idea her life was about to change forever.

Foiling a hijacking attempt on her way to cover an explosion in LA, soon put her in the crosshairs of a secret organization known as the ‘inner circle.’

Those in the circle controlled the demigods while balancing ‘chaos and civilized.’  They either assisted the demigods; or removed them from power, by any means possible.

The demigods needed a governor. This ancient society, set up by the Illuminati, also known as Skull and Crossbones, were the ultimate sovereign over the elites.

***

My goal is for one of my thirty-odd novels to go viral, so I can capture the attention of some publisher or agent, that is not afraid to invest time and $$ in my work.

Query letters take four hours each.  I can write a chapter, possibly two chapters in four hours…Which is a better use of my time?

Writing to you guys is a better use of my time, to be blunt.

Hey, I am dead serious about what I said about loving your friends and family.  If you are in good with the man upstairs, (and even if you’re not) you might offer up some kind words for those folks in El Paso and Dayton. I am sure they are still reeling in California as well.

If you’re not in good with him, maybe it is time.

Much Love, and I do mean that…-TW

Is the First Amendment under attack?

Is your smartphone spying on you? YES, it is!

In case you slept through school the first amendment is your right to free speech.  While I may not agree with the things that you have to say, I will defend your right to say them. That is what this country is all about unlike others.

Increasingly our rights are under attack by those that wish to chip away at our freedoms.

In my novel Under Roswell, I speculate that the government and big tech is spying on people.  I make veiled references to listening post and other high tech algorithms which sort through our daily lives and look for specific keywords or phrases.

Presidential Assassins which was just released I take that much further and talk about all the different ways that we are spied on in a very Orwellian fashion. I do this while telling you an exciting story of crime and passion along with a lot of action.

Today we learn that large tech companies use algorithms to systematically move search results up or down in their rankings depending on who is paying for what.  They also track your every movement so they can target you with ads.  Let’s say you were in a department store.  The competition is not far from there, and they are paying for targeted advertisements.  When you open up your social media, you will see ads from the other store.

So far that is relatively innocuous.  In fact, it is capitalism, although it is creepy.

Now let’s take that a step further.

What if we are close to an election season?

Campaigns are already high tech but, these large companies already know more about you than you do.  They can funnel negative news stories about your candidate and positive stories about theirs to your phone.  They are already doing it.

If today you google idiot and chose images most of them will be of Donald Trump.  If you can sit there with a straight face and think that is not biased, you are fooling yourself.  When companies can influence elections that is too much power in the hands of those that are unelected.

Ninety-two percent of Americans already get their news from the likes of social media.  The big tech giants are in the tank for left-leaning, and by left I mean communist level, left-leaning candidates.  Millennials are already leaning towards Bernie Sanders, a Socialist because he waves the free stuff banner in their faces and portrays those things like a right and not a privilege.

The middle class is shrinking and under attack by the alt left as they bring in more socialist agendas.  Sooner or later the entire country will look like London or California.  If they continue unabated, the country will eventually look like Venezuela.

Had the people of Venezuela been smart enough to understand history they would have known much like in the Weimar Republic, Hyperinflation is the last death knoll of a country before it must be reset.   When a country is reset, everyone, but the leaders lose.

The tech giants, Main Stream Media and even Hollywood elites are pushing for that because of their blind hatred for Donald Trump.  They are all the hyper-elite and will survive.  Everyone else will be working for pennies an hour when it is over while becoming slaves of the rich.

If you don’t believe me go research communism for yourself.  Research Stalin who said that the sharpest weapon is the printed word.

What he meant is the media is the most useful tool to push forward lies and other propaganda to rip a country apart and finish the destruction of a people and their way of life to reset it to something more authoritarian much like Hitler, Mau, Stalin, and too many others to mention.  Each of these “gentleman” saw to the death of millions of people in different and perfectly horrible ways.

Hitler’s crimes in comparison are child’s play compared to Mau’s and Stalin’s.

Not only is your first amendment and second amendment under attack but if the alt left has their way that whole document you know as the constitution will be tossed aside for something more equitable, for the elites.

Much like China today, your rights to think anything different than what you are told will be impinged upon.

Those cute little phones and other gadgets that we have grown to love are spying on you.  Tracking your every movement and soon enough listening to your every word.

If you read my novel, Presidential Assassins, you will see how I bring some of these theories to fruition in my latest thriller.

Thanks for the follows and of course the purchases as Presidential Assassins flies off the virtual shelf!

Your patronage is the highest compliment of all.

Much Love -TW