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Since publishing my novel, Halestorm, I have wound up on a variety of email-lists. Several of them presume that as a struggling, impecunious writer, I am open to the idea of stealing from all of you — so long as I don’t have to hold you at gunpoint myself. No, the folks behind these lists assume that I am gutless enough to expect politicians and bureaucrats to do my dirty work and, once they have, shameless enough to whine for my “share” of the plunder. One such offensive company notified me today that their guide to professional, polished theft and beggary, “new and revised” for 2013, is now “available.” And there is not an area of life in which the sewer rats swarming Capitol Hill won’t rob you to finance my “project”: “Programs in the [American Grants and Loans] Catalog,” the email gushes, “provide a wide range of benefits and services for categories such as:

Agriculture

Business and Commerce

Community Development

Consumer Protection

Cultural Affairs

Disaster Prevention and Relief

Education

Employment, Labor and Training

Energy

Environmental Quality

Food and Nutrition

Health

Housing

Income Security and Social Services

Information and Statistics

Law, Justice, and Legal Services

Natural Resources

Regional Development

Science and Technology

Transportation”

Everyone can “benefit” at his neighbor’s expense, the ad enthuses: “Businesses, students, researchers, scientists, teachers, doctors, private individuals, municipalities, government departments, educational institutions, law enforcementagencies, nonprofits, foundations and associations will find a wealth of information that will help them with their new ventures or existing projects.”

“Help them with their new ventures or existing projects.” So sanitary, so euphemistic. As a writer, I object. At least these fascists could use the proper terminology for what they hope to enable: “Businesses, students, researchers, scientists… etc, ad nauseam … will find a wealth of information that will help them sponge off everyone else, robbing, thieving and stealing.”

9:52 am on January 15, 2013