Considerations and Complications on Guns, Gun Control and Violence in America

I usually stay away from the gun debate as the argument is typically a no win ban guns-gun rights. And then some mention about mental illness that may or may not be the case.

Gun violence and guns, which will never get banned may be but one instrument of expressing the systemic maladies that so affect American society. There are the easy solutions, discipline the kids better, ban guns, ban bullets, limit magazines, run background checks. Played off of second amendment rights, and the pervasive crime and the expansion of gangs and violence. We won’t even get into preserving the country against the government, as that for me is a tough one to buy into to.

Guns are definitely part of the greater equation. But there are other significant considerations. What we never bother to ask, after 30 odd years of impressing on kids how special each one is, we never stop to wonder what effect it has when they discover that they are just another regular kid, at best one of many, at worst the freak, the outcast subjected to bullying and ridicule, reaching a point where they are ready to die to achieve their objectives as long as they can take a lot of their antagonists with them.

Then there is the fact that every third movie shows the best resolution is to go to the gun to resolve your problems within the allotted hour and 30 minute time frame. And then in grand cinematic fashion they shoot the shit out of the movie, or TV screen, massive gun play, to embellish the point. Add to that Violent video games. I realize certain people insist this is fantasy and kids make the distinction between real violence and fantasy. If that was the case then how do you explain say, with fashion in films and other behavior patterns that kids and adults readily emulate?

And then there is this other fact that is frequently overlooked. It seems that most mass shooters, especially young ones come from middle to affluent neighborhoods. Kids from poorer districts may get into gang violence, but you almost never see them shooting up a school or movie theater. They are too close to violence and seemingly are less inclined to live out the fantasy. So what is that about?

So in short this is a messed up society in far too many ways to think there is a single solution. Theoretically, banning all guns may eliminate mass shootings, but all reality dictates that is never going to happen. And then we have to ask the question that we had both gun ownership and schools since the creation of the country. And we seldom if ever heard of gun violence in schools or movie theaters or wherever until the past 50 years or so. And even that was sporadic. Charles Whitman, shooting from the University of Texas Tower was the first one that comes to mind, in 1966. But following that such events were rare, if anything. And even then Whitman had used knives to kill his wife and mother, before climbing the tower. He liked to mix it up a bit. The next major mass school shooting was Columbine in 1994. And then it kicked in from there.

There are other considerations, but I’m sure by now you get the point.

So besides the gun issue, the killings are most horrific, we should be asking ourselves what are we doing to this society over the past several decades to bring this shit about.



Minstrel’s Alley Author, Gordon Basichis, to Write Non-Fiction book as a Follow Up to His Novel, The Guys Who Spied for China

The Guys Who Spied for ChinaMinstrel’s Alley author, Gordon Basichis, is writing a non-fiction follow up to his earlier novel, The Guys Who Spied for China. The novel was a Quarter Finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Fiction Awards, and is a roman a clef based on Basichis’ true experiences, detailing how Chinese Espionage Networks were first discovered in the United States during the early and middle 1980’s. Basichis intends for the new book to describe the progress and failures in thwarting Chinese espionage attempts in recent years.

“I’m not the first one to say the United States policy toward China is inconsistent and often erratic,” said Basichis. “It is understandable, considering we are in a co-dependent relationship with neither side wanting to ever stretch tensions to the breaking point. At the same time, it has cost this country dearly in stolen technology and real and potential advantages in both the global economy and military superiority.

“The most recent mess is where the New York Times and other media outlets published how cyber breaches and possible Chinese moles all but destroyed American espionage efforts against China. It is a total debacle. It is just devastating. As I can only speculate on how such a breach may have occurred, I also think there is a pressing need for both the President and Congress to reassess its current policy with China and for the Intelligence Community to restructure its operation so that can assure the American public that moving forward oversight is such that it reduces the chance of calamity. And if a breach is discovered, it is quickly remedied.”

Basichis indicated that the book he is considering will be non-fiction and will help address the need for a more coherent policy toward China. He noted how the recent Chinese military buildup is based on both homegrown technology and advanced technology stolen from the American Defense Industry.

For the complete press release, please click on this link

When We Lock Ourselves Into the Cages of Our Own Constraints


Here is what I find disturbing about this election campaign. It is less about the candidates than the people supporting them. It is less about the short term and the longer term and the fate of the nation. I have long held the mantra that I will survive any asshole who gets the job, so the hysteria of what one will do as opposed to the other leaves me if not sanguine at least skeptical about their ultimate potency. In short, not much changes.

But we have turned a new corner with their supporters. The supporters are so intent on stopping one candidate or the other they have given their direct or tacit approval to the manipulation of certain realities so that they will overlook even the most obvious displays of corruption and duplicity. In their alleged quest for the GREATER GOOD, it is now okay for the media to be openly partial, to fudge the facts, or, worse, to bury seriously damaging information that would adversely effect their candidate. It has now become okay to lie, cheat, obfuscate and conceal. All again for the GREATER GOOD.

Well, this is why it is often said the path to hell is paved with good intentions. The quest to stop one candidate or the other at ANY PRICE relinquishes the power and control over the news and informational venues and grants them the same kind of access that Pravda used to share in the old Soviet Union. Events are no longer merely matters of interpretation. They are instead instruments of propaganda. This is a Bad Precedent. This is Dangerous. This is how the path to good intentions turns at the fork onto a proto-fascist thoroughfare where the news agencies and the information sources are firmly controlled by the corporate instruments.

Historically, this is how people lock themselves in the cages of their own creation, and then spend years wondering how and why. You are in essence giving them the license. So in an attempt to stop a candidate at any cost you are paying a far greater price than you may realize.

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Minstrel’s Alley Sees Sales Double on Gordon Basichis’ Biographical Novel, Beautiful Bad Girl, The Vicki Morgan Story

Minstrel’s Alley, has seen recent sales double on its bestselling, Beautiful Bad Girl, the Vicki Morgan Story. The non-fiction book describes in first person the scandalous self-destructive relationship between department store scion and Ronald Reagan Kitchen Cabinet Member, Alfred Bloomingdale, and Vicki Morgan, his mistress of some thirteen years. The book is told through author, Gordon Basichis’ point of view, as he knew Morgan and got swept up in her murder trial, serving as a witness for the prosecution.

“Beautiful Bad Girl was absolutely scandalous when it was first published back in the eighties, by Santa Barbara Press,” said Minstrel’s Alley Publisher, M.J. Hammond. “People were much more morally constrained and less accepting of the wild bad girl and her years as Bloomindale’s mistress. It is an amazing story, a wild ride depicting how a high school dropout off the streets of suburban Los Angeles found notoriety and fortune hobnobbing with some of the richest and most powerful people in the world. Vicki Morgan, of course, came to her tragic end.”

Hammond noted that the increase in book sales is a result of a brisker marketing campaign and that the author, Gordon Basichis, has been interviewed for an upcoming documentary film about the luminaries of the eighties and the social mores of the time. She added that Basichis has been interviewed before on a number of occasions, including the Vicki Morgan segment on Investigation Discovery.

“The sex scandal made international headlines,” said Hammond. “Several books, seemingly countless feature articles, and different television segments have been made about this incredible story. But the book’s author,Gordon Basichis, was the only one who knew Morgan. She had chosen him to write her book.

“It is one crazy love story,” said Hammond. “The book is timeless. It makes most stories about obsessive romance, sado-masochism and exotic sex play among the rich and power seem like The Runaway Bunny. Years later, the more people get to hear the story, the more they want to know. Doesn’t matter if they are fiction or true stories, Beautiful Bad Girl is the gold standard.

For the complete press release, click on this link

Minstrel’s Alley to Launch Campaign Marketing Beautiful Bad Girl; The Vicki Morgan Story as a Narrative of Eighties Female Empowerment

Beautiful Bad Girl


Here is a new press release where Minstrel’s Alley is going to run a new marketing campaign for Beautiful Bad Girl.  Thirty years ago most pundits got on their high moral horse about how could a woman take money for sex and indulge in BDSM.   Today, Fifty Shades of Grey is a best seller and hit movie.  My how times have changed.


Minstrel’s Alley announced it was planning on marketing its number one bestseller “Beautiful Bad Girl, The Vicki Morgan Story” as a thematic example of early female empowerment. Vicki Morgan was longtime mistress to department store scion and member of Ronald Reagan’s Kitchen Cabinet, Alfred Bloomingdale. The non-fiction novel is told as a first person narrative through the eyes of author, Gordon Basichis, who worked on the book with Morgan, until she was murdered in 1983.

“In any number of publications, including an article in the Sun Herald, Fifty Shades of Grey is considered by many as a story of female empowerment ,” said Minstrel’s Alley Publisher, M.J. Hammond. “While Fifty Shades is a highly readable book, it is fiction, a fantasy. To see the result of a true story of obsessive love and BDSM, then Beautiful Bad Girl is the real thing. And it did not end well for either of the lovers.

“Minstrel’s Alley believes it is time to create a new marketing campaign for Beautiful Bad Girl,” said Hammond. “We see this as a story of a high school dropout who in the world of very rich and powerful people was able to prevail for over a decade, before her devotion to the one love of her life resulted in her murder. But in her prime this was a woman making some mid-six figure income in 1980’s money as a mistress, confidant, and perfunctory lover of some of the more notable names in international society. That is no easy feat.”

Hammond pointed out how Gordon Basichis’ chronicle of Vicki Morgan’s life has displayed remarkable legs as it has sold consistently since its first publication in 1985. She cited how the advent of electronic publishing created a robust market for this highly controversial story. Hammond also remarked that the new Minstrel’s Alley marketing campaign should enable readers to see this story in a different light.


For the complete release click on this link