The Samurai Warrior

Samurai warrior costume“I am the only living samurai warrior!” Jacob announced to his friends when he was showing off his new costume for the school play. He waved his rubber samurai sword in the air.

“Yeah, you’ll have them rolling in the aisles with fear,” said Michael, chuckling.

Yada, yada, yada,” said Frank.

“You must be so proud,” said Johnny, his voice dripping in sarcasm.

The three boys broke out laughing when Jacob’s mother called out, “Jacob, sweetie, get in the Caravan. We don’t want you to be late.”

Johnny looked at Michael and Frank and said in a stage whisper loud enough for Jacob to hear, “Yes, sweetie, the minivan has always been the favored mode of transportation for samurai warriors.

When tears welled up in Jacob’s eyes, his mother reached over to Jacob and hugged him. “Don’t let those boys upset you, honey. You are the sweetest samurai warrior ever.”

Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (only), The Daily Spur (samurai), Ragtag Daily Prompt (yada, yada, yada), Your Daily Word Prompt (proud), and Word of the Day Challenge (caravan).

Spreading FUD

When I was still working before I retired, one of our most effective business-to-business (B2B) sales tools was something called “FUD.” It’s an acronym for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. The idea was to persuade a prospective client that either doing nothing or deciding to go with another vendor would be a risky decision. One that would lead to bad outcomes.

IBM used to have an expression that it used to very great effect: “No one ever lost his/her job by hiring IBM.” IBM was considered the safe option when it came to anything related to computers, software, and technology solutions.

Donald Trump and his Republican sycophants are doing their best to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt among the electorate in their efforts to get Trump re-elected and to maintain GOP control of the Senate.

Trump is claiming that, should Biden win in November, American cities would dissolve into “chaos and anarchy” — as if Trump, thanks, in a large part, to his militaristic actions in cities like Portland, hasn’t already escalated chaos and instigated violence.

He and his cronies are telling white suburbanites that, under Biden, their American Dream will be lost when minorities, the poor, and members of MS-13 infect their suburban enclaves. Trump and the Republicans are suggesting that, should Biden win, these guys will be your new neighbors. Yikes!MS-13Trump has threatened to “very quickly” stifle riots on election night if Democrats organize protests against his potential victory by employing a law allowing him to deploy active-duty troops domestically.

“We’ll put them down very quickly if they do that,” Trump told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro when she asked him how he would stop potential riots on election night should he win. “We have the right to do that, we have the power to do that if we want. We’ll put them down very quickly if they do that. We have the right to do that, we have the power to do that if we want. Look, it’s called insurrection. We just send in and we do it, very easy. I mean, it’s very easy. I’d rather not do that because there’s no reason for it, but if we had to we’d do that and put it down within minutes.”

Trump believes that creating chaos and violence and spreading uncertainty and doubt about such things as mail-in ballots and the legitimacy the vote, will benefit his political power and help him win in November, thus allowing him in power for the next four years — and potentially beyond that.

He is aggressively selling FUD. All you have to do is vote for him to avoid fear, uncertainty, and doubt. He is the solution to the problem. He alone can fix it. Even if he has to deploy the military against American citizens to do it.

Just to demonstrate my point about spreading FUD, this came across my newsfeed this morning:Caputo — without evidence — accused career government scientists yesterday of “sedition” in their handling of the pandemic and warned that left-wing hit squads were preparing for armed insurrection after the election. This is crazy. Caputo is crazy. Trump is crazy.

This is spreading FUD.

Share Your World — Wizardry and Honesty

Share Your WorldOnce again, Melanie is sharing her Share Your World prompt this week with Roger Shipp. Roger’s questions focus on Harry Potter stuff, while Melanie’s are more traditional SYW questions.

Let’s get started with Roger’s Harry Potter Questions.

You have just been gifted a magic wand that specializes in completing household chores. You can request the completion of only two household chores. Which chores would you assign your wand to complete?

Cooking meals and cleaning the pots, pans, and dishes afterwards.

At the local Wizards-R-Us store there was a sale on handshake shockers, instant darkness pellets, and levitation pills. Which of these ‘party thrillers’ are you more likely to purchase?

I’ve had recurring dreams in the past about being able to fly and I’ve always been disappointed when I woke up and realized that I’m earthbound. So without hesitation, I’d choose levitation pills.

In the alley behind Wizards-R-Us, there was a tradesman selling a Love Potion. The sales pitch was too much for you and you yielded and purchased one vial. What do you do with it?

I have a hard and fast rule to never, ever buy something from anyone selling anything from an alley. Even a love potion.

You are the Great Clearinghouse Winner of a new ‘good luck’ potion – Felix Felicis. It has to be used within the next thirty days or its potency becomes diminished. Do you use it? Do you give it to a friend in need?

I suppose I’d use it right before I go out and buy a multi-million dollar lottery ticket. Then, if I won a huge sum of money, I would give some of it to that friend in need. I’d say that’s a win-win situation, right?

And now for Melanie’s questions.

If everyone spoke their mind, would this world be a better or worse place?  Why?

I think it would be great, in my opinion, if people could be totally honest in everything they say and do. But I think a lot of people would be seriously pissed off about it.

Can achieving nothing make a person happy?

Sure, if your goal in life is to achieve nothing.

How do you know if you love someone enough to marry them?

When you feel that your existence would be incomplete without that person being your life partner.

Blogging Insights — Speak To Me

Blogging insightsFor this week’s edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants us to talk about the value of comments, and she’s especially interested in the longer, “meaningful” comments that are the subject the discussion. Dr. Tanya asks…

Do you think that comments add value to a blog post? If so, how?

Dr. Tanya points out in her post that, being human, she sometimes leaves comments like “Good one,” “Great Post,” or “Loved this.” We all do this at times, don’t we? Or we comment with emojis like 👍 or 👏 or 😉 or 😂 or maybe even 😡. But Dr. Tanya wants us to talk about long, meaningful comments, comments that demonstrate that we have read the post and have something valuable to say in response.

I previously answered this question about whether comments add value to a blog post when Dr. Tanya, in her Blogging Insights post back in May, asked “How important is the comments section to your blog?” As I noted back then, I love my blog’s comment section. I love reading what others have to say. It’s that sense of community and the interchange of ideas that make all the hours I spend writing and reading posts worthwhile. It’s that feeling you get when you know that something you wrote and posted resonated enough with someone else that they actually took their time to write a comment in response.

In my opinion, the best part about blogging is the interaction and engagement one gets through comments. Were it not for that aspect of blogging, why not just keep a personal journal in Word on your computer or in a handwritten paper diary? It’s the interaction — the comments on what you posted — that is the true allure, for me anyway, of blogging.

As to “longer, meaningful,” I am not sure, in the case of comments, anyway, that size matters. What’s more important to me is that someone took the time to read and write a comment that demonstrated that they appreciated what I wrote, and felt compelled to respond via a comment. That can be accomplished in a few words sometimes even better than in a long-winded comment.

And sometimes it’s rewarding when a blogger is so inspired by something I’ve posted — and I’m not talking about my prompt posts — that, rather than posting a long comment on my post, they will write their own “spin-off” post in response to what I wrote and link it back to my original post.

Okay, I think I’ve said about as much as I can on this topic. Your comments are appreciated.

Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #83

FFFCWelcome to “Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge.” Each week I will be posting a photo I grab off the internet and challenge bloggers to write a flash fiction piece or a poem inspired by the photo. There are no style or word limits.

The image below is from fellow blogger Ruth at Ruth Scribbles.For the visually challenged writer, the photo shows four paved paths leading off into the distance, one of which has a biker heading toward the point where the paths converge.

If this week’s image inspires you and you wish to participate, please write your post, use the tag #FFFC, and link back to this post. I hope it will generate some great posts.

Thanks to all of you who have participated in these challenges. Your posts have been very creative. Please take a few minutes to read the other responses to this photo challenge.

Please create a pingback to this post or manually add your link in the comments.