RIP Tom Petty

Tom Petty wanted to be in a band since he had first seen The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. He said The Rolling Stones were his punk rock and they made him believe that he could be a success in music. Grown up in Gainesville Florida, Petty was in a couple of bands before he formed Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers.  They had their first hit in 1976 and kept on making hits through the 1980’s.

Petty also joined the super  group The Traveling Wilbury’s which was formed by George Harrison and Jeff Lynne and included Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison.  He had a duet hit with Stevie Nicks called “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” which he originally wrote for Hard Promises, the follow up album to his platinum LP “Damn The Torpedoes”. Nicks convinced him to let her sing it and he insisted on singing it with her. That song launched Nick’s solo career but dampened the potential of Hard Promises which did well but not as well as Damn The Torpedoes.

Although Petty’s sound was considered Heartland Rock I always felt his sound was rock and roll with a bit of a punky edge to it. This is more obvious in his earlier work, songs like Breakdown and Refugee than it is in his later, more mature efforts like Free Fallin’ but it’s that edginess that I believe keeps his music fresh and current and helps explain why his popularity has transcended generations  and is still popular with teens today.

Tom Petty so 80 million records worldwide during his career. He was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. He died of a heart attack. He was just 66 years old.

Copyright 2017 Loveforce International Publishing Company. All Rights Reserved.

Advertisements

Latest Update on The Las Vegas Massacre!

Guest columnist Mark Wilkins has some insight into this important story.

The Latest on the Las Vegas Massacre Investigation

By Mark Wilkins
Imagine you are at a concert with thousands of other people. The headliner for the night is performing. Suddenly you hear what sounds like fireworks. You think to yourself, oh, that’s a nice touch, fireworks for the final act. Then you notice people running. More firecracker noises happen and a couple of people in the crowd fall down. Then you see the head of a person about 10 feet behind you explode. You realize these are not firecrackers but gunshots!
This is what it might have been like for someone in the crowd of 22,000 that attended a Country Music Festival Concert Sunday Night as a man shot bullets semi-automatic rifles at them from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. There were off duty police officers at the concert but they couldn’t return fire because weapons were not allowed at the concert.
When the shooting was over more than 50 people lay dead and over 500 lay injured. It is now considered the worst mass shooting in U.S. History. Transport of the victims began immediately. Las Vegas has a tier 1 Trauma center within a few miles of the shooting. Many victims were driven there in the cars of concert goers as well as by ambulance. Many of the injured walked to nearby Tropicana Hotel to seek assistance.
Within the first minute from the time the shooting began, a police officer identified where the shots were coming from and radioed the information to dispatch. Within five minutes from the time the shooting began Officers were coming the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay Hotel searching for the room where the shots were coming from. An officer on the 31st floor was able to identify that the shots were coming from the floor above him. Within six minutes from the time the shooting began, officers had identified the room where the shooting was coming from and were preparing to breach the door. Then the shooting stopped. Officers waited another hour before breaching the door.
When Las Vegas PD SWAT officers entered the hotel room where the shots came from they found 64 year old Stephen Paddock dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. They found 23 guns, lots of spent ammunition and dozens of bullet magazines both empty and full. They also saw notes next to the open window and gun perch with calculations on elevation, angle and bullet speed. These were shooting directions which allowed Paddock to maximize his kills.
Further investigation revealed that he lived in nearby Mesquite Nevada with a female, 62 year old Marilou Danley. She was in the Philippines and returned to the U.S. for questioning. Police are seeking her as a person of interest. She told the FBI that she had no clue about the attack and that he sent her out of the country and then sent her $100.000. She thought it was his way of breaking up with her.
Paddock’s car, which was parked on the hotel property, contained ammonia nitrate half of the critical components to making a bomb which can bring down a building like the one used in the Oklahoma City Bombing. It was originally thought that Paddock was attempting to bring down the building but ran out of time. It was later discovered that the ammonia nitrate, if a bullet hit it, would cause the car to explode like a bomb. It is thought that the car was part of Paddock’s escape plan with catastrophic results if he was fired upon by police.
It is now thought that Paddock spent a long time planning the attack. Bullet holes in a fuel tank at nearby McCarren airport demonstrate that he may have been trying to start a fire there as well. Investigators found that he also rented several condos overlooking a rock concert in another part of Las Vegas the week before his attack at the Country music Festival across from the Mandalay Bay Hotel. A search of Paddock’s residence yielded 19 more guns, explosives and another computer. It. Authorities will be looking at that computer to help figure out a motive.
ISIS claimed credit for the shooting stating that “A soldier of the Islamic State executed concertgoers. No ties have been found to link Paddock with international terrorist organizations or domestic terror organizations either. In the past few months, ISIS has claimed credit for everything from Hurricanes Harvey, Iris and Maria as well as the earthquake in Mexico and the Hepatitis A outbreak among the homeless in Orange and Los Angeles Counties in California.
Paddock was retired and purchased the home in a retirement community in Mesquite in 2015. Danley moved in with him in January 2017. Paddock was not on any domestic terrorist lists. A criminal records search revealed that he had a citation several years ago but other than that he was unknown to most police departments.
Paddock worked as an accountant who lived in 27 different places in several different during his adult lifetime. He owned some buildings with his mother in Florida and was a licensed pilot who owned 2 airplanes. He was married and separated from his wife, possibly going through a divorce although no records of it have been found so far. Department of Treasury Records show that Paddock had some successful gambling transactions at Las Vegas casinos over the last few weeks that earned him tens of thousands of dollars. Casinos have to file forms with the IRS whenever someone wins over $10,000 or more in one sitting. Paddock’s father, Benjamin Paddock was a notorious bank robber in the 1960’s who was on the FBI Most Wanted list.
Paddock’s brother Eric told reporters that Paddock had no political affiliations. He was not involved with any terror groups. He said “He must’ve just snapped”. At this point in the investigation Paddock’s brother’s explanation is as good as any of the other ones out there because at this point, no one knows what caused Paddock to bring 23 semi-automatic rifles into a hotel room and begin shooting at a crowd across the street.

Contact me at: markwilkinsauthor@gmail.com

Copyright 2017 Loveforce International Publishing Company. All Rights Reserved.

Hef

Editor’s Note: Guest Writer Mark Wilkins has an illuminating perspective on the Life of Hugh Hefner who died today. 

By Mark Wilkins

Hugh Hefner died today. Many younger people who think they know who Hugh Hefner was, remember the wrinkled old man with a bunch of hot young women hanging around him. Hugh Hefner was that but he was so much more.

Playboy was launched in 1953 when Hefner, who was a copy writer for Esquire Men’s Magazine, decided to start his own Men’s Magazine. He took a loan against his home and borrowed a total $8,000 from various small investors. He bought some nudes of rising superstar Marilyn Monroe and published his first issue. It sold out.  Nude women became a staple of Playboy but it was not just a nudie magazine. It had well written articles on thought provoking topics.

Playboy also created a culture of wealth, style and sex. It rocked the traditional American prudishness of Eisenhower’s 1950’s. Not only did its literature take on sexual mores of the time but it explored controversial issues of the day, politics, and over time, offered both fiction and non-fiction by up and coming superstars of all races. People like Saul Bellow, Alex Haley and James Baldwin wrote articles for Playboy. Playboy also featured interviews with icons and controversial figures alike. John Lennon gave Playboy his last interview before he was assassinated.

To be sure, Playboy did objectify and exploit women. Hefner’s empire was built on the photos of nude bodies of countless women. That being said, Hefner’s main sin in many people’s eyes was outweighed by his positive actions for the world community.

Hefner was, for instance, involved in the civil Rights Movement by employing African Americans when others didn’t and by helping to promote and finance people like Dick Gregory and Martin Luther King Jr. He helped found and finance Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Push Coalition. He was a promoter of Gay rights, same sex marriage and Women’s Reproductive Rights and their Right to Choose long before many others in the media were. He championed first amendment rights from Playboy’s beginning. He regularly contributed to legal cases that championed civil rights and first amendment rights.

Hefner expanded the Playboy Empire to include night clubs, television programs and movies and of course, merchandising. Unlike other magazine which featured nudes, Playboy was considered a mainstream magazine. He hosted the annual Playboy Jazz Festival for decades.

Hefner was no saint, his entrepreneurial efforts created a brand, a lifestyle and a culture which promoted the objectifying of women. His actions on many social fronts however, had an impact on the world in countless different areas. The world would be a much different place if Hugh Hefner wasn’t in it and what better can be said about the value of a person’s life than that?

Copyright 2017 Loveforce International Publishing Company. All Rights Reserved.

 

A Solution to the Take A Knee Issue

Editor’s Note: I am always keen on finding good ideas. This author has a good idea that I believe is worth thinking about.

By Mark Wilkins, Author

A Solution to the Take A Knee Issue

Last Season, NFL Player Colin  Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem for all of the league games he participated in.  He was subsequently released by his team and no other NFL team has picked him up. He took a knee to protest the continuous wave of unarmed African American and Hispanic youth and men killed by armed police officers in America. He used his constitutional right of free speech to express himself  by taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem.

What Kaepernick may not have realized is that the constitutional right to free speech has limitations. Employers have the right to sanction and even fire employees who express themselves in a form that isn’t in alignment with their company values. Kaepernick expressed himself for a cause he really believes in and in so doing, may have sacrificed his career.

This season, NFL players on many teams are also taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem at pro football games. Partly as a result of this, the ratings on televised NFL games have suffered. The NFL is in a quandary. Many Americans realize that the killings of unarmed African American and Hispanic youth and men is wrong but they don’t feel that taking a knee is justified because taking a knee during the national anthem disrespects the entire nation and those who have fought and died to preserve and defend it.

I have a proposed solution to the issue. I propose that the NFL issue a fine to those who take a knee during the national anthem. The money from the fine should go to charities that help disabled military veterans or that provide disaster relief in the U.S.A.  The fine should be fair so as to be felt by players commensurate with their salary.  I propose the fine be 1% of annual their salary per incident of taking a knee during the national anthem.  In this way, a player who makes $200.000 a year will be fined $2,000 and one who makes $20,000,000 will be fined $200,000. They will both feel it the same instead of the big money players barely feeling the pinch and the players getting less money losing a financial finger. I also think that the players union should go along with this.

Some may think that this is harsh but to them I say, the right to free speech isn’t free.  Almost every player in the NFL is part of America’s financial elite. Many of them rose up from poverty and adverse circumstances but now they are making more money in one season than most Americans earn in 5-10 years of their working lives and many Americans will earn in their lifetime. A guy who works at a fast food restaurant for minimum wage could easily be fired for taking a knee during the national anthem so why should one of America’s financial elite be able to protest without some kind of sacrifice? Players Unions should go along with this because if NFL ratings continue to go down, NFL revenues will go down and so will player’s salaries. Is it fair that every player’s salaries should go down because of the actions of some players?

I propose that the NFL make an announcement before the playing of the national anthem, letting people know that players who take a knee do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the NFL but that in so doing they are agreeing to do something patriotic and are donating 1% of annual their salary towards a charity that benefits disabled veterans or provides American disaster relief.  Colin Kaepernick made a much larger sacrifice than that for expressing his beliefs. The least the other NFL players should do is make a financial sacrifice.

This is what I believe will be an equitable solution for the NFL.

Mark Wilkins, Author.

Reply back to me at Markwilkinsauthor@gmail.com or #takeaknee

Copyright 2017, Loveforce International Publishing Company. All Rights Reserved.

Free ebooks Today, 9-22-17

 

Here is a complete list of free e-books I wrote and by two other authors assigned to my publisher that are free today Friday, 9-22! Go to amazon anywhere in the world and type in Loveforce International Publishing and all of my books will come up. Pick one of the books on this list and its free today only!

e-books by Mark Wilkins

Karma, Mark Wilkins
A Week’s Worth of Fiction 1, 7 Stories, Mark Wilkins
El Valor de Una Semana de Ficcion 2, Mark Wilkins
A Week’s Worth of Fiction 3, Mark Wilkins
El valor de una semana de ficción 3, Mark Wilkins
Slices of Life 2 mark Wilkins
Stories of The Supernatural 2 Mark Wilkins
Rebanadas de Vida, Mark Wilkins
Historias de Sobrenatural 2 Mark Wilkins
Outrageous Stories 1, Mark Wilkins
School Kidz Volume 2, Mark Wilkins
Every Lyric Tells A Story, Mark Wilkins & The Prophet of Life

e-books by The Prophet of Life:

Every Lyric Tells A Story, Mark Wilkins & The Prophet of Life
Black in America, The Prophet of Life
True Stories of Crime and Punishment, The Prophet of Life
The Best Spiritual Quotes The Prophet of Life
Finding God in a Chaotic World, The Prophet of Life
Controversy, The Prophet of Life
The Best Quotes on Topics of General Interest, The Prophet of Life
Inspiration for All: Selected Inspirational Writings, The Prophet of Life
Lo Que La Fe Me ha enseñado El Profeta de la Vida
Inspiración para todos: 1, El Profeta de la Vida
Verdaderas Historias de Crimen y Castigo, El Profeta de la Vida
Citas Sobre Dios, El Profeta de la Vida
Verdaderas Historias de Inspiración e Interés General El Profeta de la Vida

e-books by Dr. Goose:

Classic Children’s Stories You’ve Likely Never Heard by Dr. Goose
Historias clssicas para ninos Que uested probablemente nunca oido, Dr. Ganso

The World Will Not End on 9/23/17

There are several prominent prophecies about 9/23/17 being a day of bad omens. One links a prophecy from the Bible’s Book of Revelations about a virgin giving birth as the dawning of the dawning time of tribulation. Others interpret it as the birth of the Antichrist. There actually will be a planetary alignment in which the stars in the constellations of Leo (power) and Virgo (the Virgin) and the sun, the moon and several planets in our solar system on that day.

This unusual alignment of stars and planets will have some magnetic effect on Earth but it will not cause the end of the planet. It will not trigger the birth of the antichrist. It will not trigger the beginning of tribulations. It will, however, augment whatever perceptions or beliefs people already have. Until it passes and people realize that 9/23/17 didn’t trigger anything significant at all.

The Prophet of Life

Copyright 2017 Loveforce International Publishing Company. All Rights Reserved.

New Insights about Joel Osteen

Joel Osteen has been the butt of many mean spirited jokes and memes lately. He has even been dubbed and “Fake Christian”. Some of the people who are engaged in these activities are not Christians. Others are Christians. Those Christians who are engaged in these mean spirited activities are not acting like Christians. Those who are not Christians are not acting in a way that follows the teachings of their faith either.

To be sure, Joel Osteen did not  act like a Christian when he didn’t offer his church as shelter for his neighbors in need. I am sure that he realizes what he did was wrong.  I am sure that he will learn from this mistake because, he is, after all, a smart man. I am also sure that Joel Osteen is a good man. Not offering his church to his neighbors was an error in judgement, not a calculated, mean spirited decision.

Joel Osteen Preaches in a positive, uplifting way. He talks about the blessings that God has for each of us. He often talks about forgiveness and redemption. I believe that Joel Osteen deserves our forgiveness and he deserves redemption through The actions that he is now taking and will likely take in the future.

Joel Osteen is an imperfect human being and he has an awful lot of company. In the Holy Bible Jesus said “Let him that is without sin cast the first stone.” Those who have been casting stones at Joel Osteen should consider examining their own lives and see if they are without sin. They should examine their own actions and decide if they truly acted in a way that is in alignment with their faith. Did they act in a way that would please God? Those who truly follow the teachings of Jesus wouldn’t join the feeding frenzy or the angry mob that drove the “Rain Vengeance Upon Joel Osteen bandwagon. They do not sit in judgement of others for they know that judgement is reserved for God.

Joel Osteen and his church may feel more heat and take a financial hit from this fiasco in the short term but if Mr. Osteen is shunned and his voice is forever silenced over this that would truly be a tragedy on multiple levels. Not only for him but for people of faith everywhere as well. It would be a tragedy because Joel Osteen is a powerful, positive voice in the world faith community. It would be a tragedy because the things he talks about and the way he says them need to be heard. It would be a tragedy because the forgiveness that is put forth by all faiths wasn’t afforded to a person of faith by the community of faith and what would that say about the community of faith?

This entire episode should teach us that not all Christians act like Christians all of the time. Not Mr. Osteen and not his detractors either. The lesson that this episode is meant to teach us is that we are all imperfect human beings and it is only through forgiveness that we can heal, move on and get closer to God.

In True Faith,

The Prophet of Life

Copyright 2017, Loveforce International Publishing Company. All Rights Reserved.