Legal case by former veteran stationed at Fort Eustis looks to me (or my book) for historical information

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I got an email from someone working with  veteran who was apparently harmed by a chemical spill at Fort Eustis, VA in June 1968.  But I did not arrive at Fort Eustis until September 1968, and was there until my active duty ended on Feb. 7, 1970.

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My time at Fort Eustis is described in section 11 (“Safe Place for a Chickenman’s Revenge”) of Chapter 2 (“Sputnik, the Draft, and the Proles, 1968”) of my first book, “Do Ask, Do Tell: A Gay Conservative Lashes Back“. The most direct reference online is here.  The previous section gives a factual account of my time in Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson.  In my 2014 book, “Do Ask, Do Tell: Speech Is a Fundamental Right, Being Listened to Is a Privilege“,  the first “Fiction” section, effectively Chapter 7, gives a more detailed but somewhat fictionalized account of my Basic Training with a Post name change (to a fictitious Fort Wilson, which could have been Fort Gordon, GA, which was doing BCT at the time; now it helps house the NSA, despite Edward Snowden).

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(Published: Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016 at 5:15 PM EDT)

Chess at Starbucks-Harris Teeter in Arlington VA

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Yes, I played two five-minute games today outside the Starbucks at Lee Highway and Harrison St in Arlington VA.

There was a Cronus clock and we played no delay.

In the first game, I had White and faced a Slav.  The opponent gave up his queen bishop for my night and “won” a pawn, with his king stranded in the center.  But, while ahead in time,  I made an illegal move and lost.

In the second game, I played an accelerated Dragon and my opponent played the Alapin setup with PQB3,  He seemed to get some central control and file control, but allowed a cheapo and finally made an illegal move.

So I split the two games.  Black won both games.

(Published: Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016 at 11:45 PM EDT)

Yes, my “Do Ask, Do Tell” books convey important LGBT history, which is getting forgotten by younger generations

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Soon I will be contacting several museums that present LGBT history to see if they could benefit from having copies of my three “Do Ask Do Tell” books.  The last of these can be presented in hardcover.

First, I’ll mention and give links for a few of the major museums:

Fort Lauderdale, FL

New York, NY

San Francisco, CA

Washington DC

Since I live (at least for now) in northern Virginia, a visit to the DC and probably NYC venues should be simple;  the others would depend on how things develop.

There was also a push to build a Smithsonian style National LGBT Museum on the Mall.  The 2013 Slate  story by Hugh Ryan was removed, but there is a story in Washington Business Journal by Rebecca Cooper about interest in building one in New York City, link. 

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Basic information about the books is on the “How to Purchase” page on this blog. But it’s convenient to give a quick summary of each book here.

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DADT 1:

“Do Ask Do Tell: A Gay Conservative Lashes” back, was self-published with a print-run under my imprint, “High Productivity Publishing”, in July 1997.  Publication was transferred to POD at iUniverse in August 2000.

The book, in six chapters, makes a case, based on my own narrative, for libertarian approaches to the rights for personal adult sexual behaviors and values, regardless of arguments about immutability. I start the narrative with my own expulsion from William and Mary in my freshman semester of 1961 for “admitting latent homosexuality” to the Dean of Men under pressure.  I cover my “treatment” at NIH in 1962, repeated draft physicals, and eventual military service.  I then chronicle my own “second coming out” early in my information technology work career, then my involvement with the debate over “don’t ask don’t tell” for gays in the military in the 1990s and 2000s.  I describe a parallel between the arguments over “privacy” in the barracks and “unit cohesion” and my own experience in a civilian college. Later, I give a comparable account of how both job discrimination and “family values” play out I mainstream society.  I take the position that, over and above religious issues, some people feel that “gay” is a proxy for avoiding the commitments and personal psychological risk of raising a family, and that it is easier for “them” to do what they need to if they believe that everyone else has to do the same thing.  I finally propose a constitutional amendment centered around the right to personal privacy.

Some of the ideas (vintage mid 1990s)  in the book have indeed been outflanked by history.  I wanted states to be able to experiment on their own with the marriage issue, and we know that the “DOMA-like” arguments of the past are no longer accepted by the courts.

The backcover summary is here.

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DADT 2:

“Do Ask, Do Tell: When Liberty Is Stressed”, published by iUniverse as POD in December 2002, is a collection of ten essays somewhat motivated by the new existential threats to freedom posted by 9/11.  But the book also includes a proposal for a “Bill of Rights II”, as well as essays on conscription, gays in the military, the state of “gay rights” as of the immediate post 9/11 period under Bush, and psychological growth.  I also cover growing speech issues: the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), and my involvement as a plaintiff (which could have led to LGBT online censorship) , and the “perils” of self-publishing.  Original backcover summary is here.

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DADT 3:

“Do Ask, Do Tell: Speech Is a Fundamental Right, Being Listened to Is a Privilege: (February, 2014) is published POD by Xlibris. is in two parts, “Non-Fiction” and “Fiction” so it is a like a poioumenon.

The Non-Fiction part brings several topics up to date, especially the repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell” and gay marriage (through 2013). It covers the cultural divide between hyper-individualism and solidarity or communitarianism.  There is a lot of attention to the way the Internet has enabled “newbies” to become known for their views, but there is also coverage of how un-elected family responsibilities can affect people in the LGBT community, particularly with eldercare, particularly stressful for those who did not have children.  LGBT people (as I found out unexpectedly working as a substitute teacher) can find themselves suddenly challenged to take care of “OPC” (other people’s children), not to mention that same-sex couples raising children are gradually becoming more common.

The fiction part presents three stories.  The first is a detailed account of Basic Combat Training at Fort Jackson SC in 1968, from an unpublished 1969 novel manuscript called “The Proles”.  The other two are parallel stories (time periods 1972, then present day) of two road trips.  The second takes place just as a national calamity is about to happen and involves an deeply wished erotic encounter.

Here is the text of the Book Summary from the back cover: “This book is the third in my series of Do Ask, Do Tell books. Is the libertarian view of hyper-individualism, so essential to modern human rights and equality, sustainable? Does “personal responsibility” necessarily incorporate contingent provision for others? If so, how is “marriage and family” affected? How is “free speech” and especially its self-distribution affected? When do people need to “step up” even if doing so costs something? If what people “own” sometimes derives from invisible sacrifices by others, is occasional payback unreasonable? Maybe “paying your dues” matters as much as “paying your bills.”

The author bio on the back cover reads as follows: “Bill Boushka was born in 1943 and raised as an only child in Arlington, VA. He became a good student and started piano at age 8. But he fell behind in physical and social development. He was expelled from college after saying that he was gay in late 1961. Nevertheless, he graduated from another school and earned an MA in Mathematics, and was drafted in 1968. When the “don’t ask don’t tell” policy emerged in 1993, he leveraged his own irony to become a writer and blogger.”

There is an earlier summary on this blog June 1, 2015.  This is a press release which summarizes DADT III on April 11, 2014.

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The books are available at the William Mitchell Law School at the College of William and Mary in Willamsburg, VA. (Picture is Svem library, the only one I took, in Oct. 2011).

(Published: Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016, at 6:00 PM EDT(

More about offering credit cards on your own as an individual merchant

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I do have the ability to process credit cards by phone but have not yet implemented an interface on this site (it will be on the purchase page).

I got a statement from a company named “BlueSquare Resolutions” in Hagerstown, MD.   I believe the company is connected to BlueHost.  The capability will require an annual $9.00 Jeanie Network fee for prospective costs of debit card resolutions, and a total of $30 annually for Amex and Discover Dispute and Resolution.

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There is a Small Merchant Security Program, whereby Visa will require merchants with fewer than 1 million transactions annually to undergo audits, as of January 31, 2017.  The source of companies that can do the audit is here at “Pci Security Standards”.

The statement also recommends another company to validate a merchant’s compliance with security standards, Firsdata, here.

It’s apparent to me that both the book self-publishing industry and web service hosting industry are becoming more concerned in the past that “speakers” with their own operations develop a legitimate commercial presence.  Traditionally the biggest concerns have come from people who use OPM, other people’s money (and possibly have to deal with the SEC).  But there is more concern than there used to be even with “self-funded” soapbox campaigns, that they could still be harmful to other authors who need to make a living on their writing, by creating unrealistic expectations with the public (the “It’s Free, It’s Free” problem). I’ve noticed this tone in companies increasing since about 2012, compared to how things were 10-15 years ago.   These companies are very concerned about the sustainability of their business models, and employees (especially sales people) are very concerned about having jobs and actually making a living from opinionated or loquacious authors.

There are several author projects of other authors / musicians / filmmakers with which I am aware, and it might be possible to join together to create a separate platform for selling, away from the attention of beancounters.

(Published: Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016 at 10 AM EDT)

 

New advertising push for my third “Do Ask, Do Tell” book (and indirectly, the first two, too)

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The self-supported self-publishing industry (print on-demand) is pushing authors much harder to sell books (not just Kindle) than it did four years ago, partly perhaps due to concerns over business model sustainability.

Anyway, I agreed to one Google marketing program on the third book.

Here are some of the answers to the questions:

On the search engine optimization (for the third book, not for all of my other websites): The 20 (metatag) keywords would be:   libertarianism, “filial responsibility laws”, “don’t ask don’t tell”, mainframes, “upward affiliation”, eldercare, “demographic winter”. “implicit content”, self-censorship, COPA, “Section 230”, “psychological polarities”, eusociality, hyperindividualism, “personal sovereignty”, GLTBQ, “social capital”, “social conservatism”, “short stories”, conscription .  The five subject areas are (1) individualism (2) inequality (3) “sexual orientation and gender identity” (4) “external conflicts or hazards” and (5) karma.

On the Goodreads (book sample giveaways on some campaigns)

Geographic areas are the US, Canada, UK (Brexit OK), Australia, France.  No specific age groups or minorities are selected.

The 100-word description comes from the book back-cover, viz:

This book is the third in my series of Do Ask, Do Tell books. Is the libertarian view of hyper-individualism, so essential to modern human rights and equality, sustainable? Does “personal responsibility” necessarily incorporate contingent provision for others?  If so, how is “marriage and family” affected? How is “free speech” and especially its self-distribution affected? When do people need to “step up” even if doing so costs something? If what people “own” sometimes derives from invisible sacrifices by others, is occasional payback unreasonable? Maybe “paying your dues” matters as much as “paying your bills.”

The 10 word slogan is

Personal responsibility is a very nuanced concept.

The genres are adult fiction, biography, literary fiction, fiction, non-fiction, politics, war, history, business, contemporary, memoir, philosophy.

Google Display Network

10 descriptive phrases:   hyperindividualism, social capital, eusociality, “don’t ask, don’ tell”, “marriage equality”, solidarity, Internet censorship, filial responsibility, eldercare, demographic winter

Add Belgium and Netherlands to preferred locations.

Add French, Dutch to languages

Target audiences: all

Topics:  Classical music enthusiasts, music lovers, political junkies, religion & belief, documentary & non-fiction TV fans

It would be nice to combine this with marketing of the first two DADT books, which would be on the iUniverse site.

As anyone can see, I don’t write for “niches” or to specific identity-groups of people.  And the third book is unusual in that it combines fiction and non-fiction, with narrative philosophy on top.  The first two books had combined memoir-style narratives with policy and social reflections and proposals.  These are more like “meta-books” or poioumena (Thomas Carlye’s “Sartor Resartus”, the bane of freshman English literature, is the notorious role model). The author is indeed self-indulgent, and more interested in his own unique and ironic narrative than in helping people with specific needs that create target markets that support other people’s jobs.

Some of the answers for the queries came from posts here June 2, 2015, Feb, 17, 2014 and April 11, 2014.

(Published: Thursday, Sept. 1, 2014, at 11:15 PM EDT)

 

Will Fort Jackson eventually move its valuable Basic Combat Training exhibit to civilian space (like the state museum downtown)?

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I’ve recently checked up on the Basic Combat Training Museum at Fort Jackson, SC,

Note the text in bold at their website link.

It’s a silly catch-22.  Only a member of the public who “knows someone” with a military ID to accompany him or her can visit.

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I spoke to them about this in 2015, and indeed there seems to be some long-term interest in moving the museum off-base to a privately managed non-profit space.  There is a little bit of BCT exhibit at the South Carolina State Museum in downtown Columbia.  There’s probably room to move other BCT exhibits to the second floor of the museum.  It would be nice to have a model of how the post looked in 1968 at the time of Tet — “Tank Hill”, and the “tent city” for Special Training Company.  A documentary film about training during the Vietnam era would be nice.  I visited the museum in September 2015 (just before the floods).

See earlier detailed post here Dec. 9, 2014.

OutWrite DC event for me; some other new books that begin with “my” wordmark (“Do Ask, Do Tell”)

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I did attend OutWrite  DC today and exhibit my three “Do Ask Do Tell” books.  There were sales.  I am capable to taking credit cards when I have a laptop with me (or iPad) but I don’t have the reader device yet, or a scripted page yet for the website.

I did not include “Our Fundamental Rights” today.  It got left out.

I’ve covered my interviews on the Media Reviews blog here.

Search results from Amazon for “Do Ask, Do Tell:” have recently changed.  My (older) books are farther down the chain, and there is a spurious result (including brackets) for the 1997 title 2000 reprint that shows only the third party resellers;  the link with POD does not include the brackets.  (This seems like an SQL coding issue in the internal dababase programming.)

Search results seem to drop if the same arguments are tried repeatedly, at least in Chrome;  Firefox seems to be less sensitive to accidental caching.

There are some entries using the introductory moniker with material unrelated to mine, or with a very different spin on their potential meaning. I’ll name a few of them here but “review” them later on the Media Commentary blog.

Brad Hambrick writes “Do Ask, Do Tell, Let’s Talk”: Why and How Christians Should Have Gay Friends” (March 2016), 125 pages, Cruciform Press. The book takes for granted supposed Christian view of homosexual behavior as sin (with no need for a secular intellectual explanation) and the author states that he does not experience “SSA” (same-sex attraction”) but accepts the fact that some other men do as biological fact.  I’ll leave further rationalizing for a review.  But this is a book “for” a specific audience (“evangelical Christians”) and a bit of a workbook, in a style I would never consider penning.

There are two interrelated short books, much cheaper (or free reading) on Kindle, the “Do As,k Do Tell Dating Guide: The Romantic Revolution” (Mar. 2016) and “Do Ask Do Tell Workbook: The Romantic Revolution Workbook, Vol. 2 (Feb. 2016), both by Christina Chemhuru (Amazon Digital Services).  Both are workbooks for those who want to look for relationships (presumably heterosexual).  One of them concerns what to ask the prospective partner, and one what to ask the self (“introspection”).  The idea of becoming “imprinted” with a fixation on someone is covered.

There is a summary of the Powers and Ellis “guides” using the “Do Ask Do Tell” buttons in the 1990s on my legacy site here.

The phrase seems most logically related to the repealed policy regarding homosexuals in the US military (with the policy repealed in 2011), but it has been used for psychological relationship (or social inclusion) counseling, especially for disclosure of HIV status before intimacy.  It seems like a phrase that should not be monopolized for one commercial use.

There is also “The End of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” by Marine Corps University Press.

(Posted: Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016 at 9:30 PM EDT)

Reader recommends footnote on special needs education for Chapter 5 of DADT-1

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A  spokesperson fo “Public Health Corps”  has recommended these links as a footnote for Chapter 5 of the first (1997) “Do Ask, Do Tell” book.  This would logically become footnote 53d.

Life long accommodations for special needs children.

Teaching your child about peers with special needs.

Creating the optimal living environment for a child with ADHD 

Autism service dogs

ADHD and Addiction: What Is the Risk

Supports, Modifications and Accommodations for Students”:

Austism and addiction: Coping with and treating your dual diagnosis/

20 incredible colleges for special needs students

(Published: Sunday, July 31, 2016, at 10 PM EDT)

Back to chess

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Finally played in the Arlington Chess Ladder last night:

Lost, with Black, but there may be something interesting.

Grunfeld defense (tranposition):

1 Nf3 Nf6 2 g3 g6 3 Bg2 Bg7 4 OO OO 5, d4 d5 6. c4 dxc 7. Nc3 c6 8. Re1 Nbd7 9. a4 Nd5 10 e4 (finally!) NxNc3 11 bxc e5 12 Ba3! Re8 13 Rc1 exd 14 cxd (the center is strong this time) Nf6 15 e5 Nd5 (again) 16 Rxc4 (finally) Bf8 17 BxBf8 KxB 18 Qs2 Kg7 19 Ng5 Bd7?  Now my counterplay implodes after all.  My opponent thought that …B f5! and giving up the bishop for white’s strong night would work, because then Black really could afford to start moving his Q-side majority.  But now watch what happens. 20 Ne4 b5 (now this won’t work tactically, so White was better) 21 axb cxb 22 Ra1 a5 23 Nd6 Be6 24 Rc5 Nb4 25 NxR e8 QxN 26 BxRa8 QxBa8 27 RxP Ba3 (a last swindle) 28 d5!  1-0  It isn’t often that two exchanges are lost by force in succession.

Update: Aug. 21

I happened by a chess game at the Montgomery Village Mall, MD, Saturday night on the way to the county fair.

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White had played a Colle opening; Black had set up an ordinary defense and gotten overrun in the center.  White opened the game on e and f files, won a piece and then another exchange with mate threats along the light squares.  The best setup against the Colle is a Grunfeld-like formation.

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Payment by credit cards for direct orders soon will be possible

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I have created an account with Payment Sphere, which means that in a short time I should be able to accept credit cards as well as Paypal or checks for books ordered directly.

The payment facility should get set up by August 1, 2016.   The facility would need to go through this specific domain because it has https (SSL).

I also should mention that I will be present at Outwrite in Washington DC on August 5, 2016 (more info).

Update: Aug. 3 — see instructions at end of the Purchase Page.

(Posted: Friday, July 29, 2016 at 2:45 PM EDT)

A repository of footnotes for my DADT books and other stuff