The Declaration of Independence & July 4th

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

(The above is copied and pasted from

June ’20 Roundup & Ramblings



Raw Data:

Books – 11

Pages – 4912

Words – 1337.5K

Average Rating – 3.64


The Less Good:

In all honesty, I can’t even call these mediocre, because they weren’t. They just weren’t as good as the rest of the books I read this month.  Which is a fantastic problem to have!

Harrigan – 3 Stars

Sabbat Martyr – 3 Stars


The Good:

Princeps’ Fury – 5 Stars

Gulag Archipelago – 4 Stars



Karas left me reeling like an amnesiac drunk in a hurricane. I simply had no clue what was going on in that anime and had to wonder why I ever picked it up back in the day.  Not a good experience.


Miscellaneous Posts:

Once again, I’ll just bullet point these if you happened to miss any during the month.



Summer is here.  Which means it has been getting into the 90’s. All I can say is thank goodness for central air and air conditioning!

Church is back open but I’d estimate about half the people aren’t comfortable coming back yet and so have still been watching on facebook livestream.

Our bluray player got stuck in an on/off cycle that put the kibosh on using it. Thankfully, it was cheap enough to pick up another one at Target, so my anime watching plans didn’t go off the rails.

WordPress has pulled back from forcing everyone to switch to the new block editor until at least 2021.  I remain pessimistic though 😦


Plans for Next Month:

Hoping to take a vacation at the end of July, beginning of August,  so not exactly sure how that will impact the blog.  Probably hardly at all for July. I suspect August will be where things might get off the rails. Or I end up doing such an excellent job of scheduling things that nobody ever notices. But who believes in best case scenarios?

I am planning on making Sundays all about anime that I really hope turn out better than Karas. If it works out well for me, I might try to do more in future months. Problem is, anime series are just that, series. Consisting of 6-26 episodes, they are much more of a time commitment than a single movie. So I guess July will be another experiment on my part. If it ends up impinging on my reading time, then forget about it. But if I can fit it in where I would normally watch amazon prime or something, then sure.

See you all tomorrow!


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“What My Favorite Characters Would Be Doing in Quarantine” Tag


The inestimable Mrs Mugrage recently tagged me in her own “Favorite Character Quarantine” post.  There were some rules, but I obviously threw them out the window as I always do.

So let’s see what happens when I put some of my favorite fictional characters into illegal lockdown!


Kensho Quarantine

Jerome, now a master swordsman and follower of the Way, would resign his position as head of the Order, strap on his sword, put on his cloak and take a journey.  To New York State where he would behead the Governor, one Andrew Cuomo, for his tyrannical, despotic and illegal actions. He would then be gunned down by a cadre of corrupt New York police officers for “resisting arrest”.


Phantom Tollbooth Quarantine


Milo, from the The Phantom Tollbooth, would simply get in his little car and drive through the tollbooth and enter another land until it was all over.  He’d have some wonderful adventures and come back fully refreshed and ready to take on the world. Lucky guy!


Yotsuba Quarantine


Yotsuba, only being 5, would quickly go crazy and her dad would have to find things for her to do so she wouldn’t drive HIM crazy.  He’d probably have her clean the house, every day!


Black Stallion Quarantine

I think we ALL know what would happen to the Black Stallion …..
♪♪I’m Lovin’ It!♪♪


Enchanted Forest Chronicles Quarantine

Princess Cimorene,  now Queen Cimorene, would tirelessly help out the inhabitants of the Enchanted Forest as they came down with the virus. Sadly, she would succumb herself and die a slow, lingering and agonizing death.  Mendenbarr, her husband and King of the Enchanted Forest with all of its powers at his command becomes unhinged and declares war on the wizards who he blames for the virus. The wizards, being sneaky no-good scum, drag the dragons into things. Mendenbarr destroys the wizards but also hurt the dragons who try to burn down the Enchanted Forest in retaliation. They fail but end up killing Mendenbarr. Because he is crazy from Cimorene’s death he unleashes one final blast of magic that destroys the world as he dies.  Truly tragic.


Ahhh, good times! What a great tag.


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A Brief Introduction to: Dr. Lord Bookstooge

I like to give my About page some awareness every once in a while, just to make it easier for those who follow me who might not have explored around my site (and can you blame them? I don’t explore too many of your sites!)



Here are some things to know about me that might make your interactions a tiny bit easier. If you still have questions,  you can always email me:

Bookstoog eat gmaild otcom


1) I am a pretty devout Christian. Weird personal mix of Baptist and 7th Day Adventist. To over-simplify it, that means I believe in the Bible literally and I go to church on Saturday instead of Sunday. It also means that it influences what I read, how I read and how I review.




2) I am a Man. I cannot state this boldly enough or enough times. Be prepared. Mancakes Ahead!




3) I like Science fiction, Fantasy, Classics [1900’s and earlier] and manga. I’ll read other stuff, but not regularly.


4) I tend to read 100+ books a year.



5) Of the 5 Love Languages, [quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, or physical touch] my main one is Words of affirmation. Or just words 🙂 Which means that I tend to post and comment quite a bit. I am NOT a once a week poster.


6) To go along with #1, I graduated from a non-accredited Bible school, so I’ve got a working man’s knowledge of how to be a Pastor, just not the actual degree. Or the temperament.



7) I am NOT a people person. People wear me out, even online. Then I say things that later I sometimes regret. Then I need chicken fingers to recover!



8) I am happily married to Mrs Bookstooge. So I’m sorry ladies, but I am not on the market.



9) If you disagree with something in my posts or reviews, feel free to say so; IF you want to actually have a conversation with someone who disagrees with you. Most times I will try to move such conversations to email.


10) I am a land surveyor. I work outdoors year round in New England. The picture below is of me. It typifies why I like being a surveyor.





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(the following is a post by the lovely and talented Mrs Bookstooge, a paragoness of virtue!)

We currently live in a time where wearing a mask is considered normal. When walking around without a mask, it is common for me to see the other person do one of the following: tighten their mask, shudder, walk further away, or chastisement, all stemming from fear of sickness. Which leads me to ask, is wearing a mask truly helpful?

Many types of masks are available: cloth masks, surgical masks, dust masks, respirators, and finally, HEPA filter masks.

First off, cloth masks can be made at home with a handkerchief or cut cloth and a couple hair bands or elastics. Cloth masks can also be bought at most convenience stores. What do you get for your money? Fashion. That’s right. These are considered fashion masks, and function best as a placebo. There have been no randomized clinical trials or guidance for cloth masks and just because it is perceived as helpful doesn’t mean that it actually does anything besides look pretty.



All Masks from Target come with a paper in the outer carton that looks like this

Well, Mrs. B., you might ask, “What about surgical masks?” Surgical masks are designed to catch large droplets of liquid like sweat, sneezing, and runny noses. It’s basically like wearing a facial tissue. Look at the loose fit between the mask and face. Does this look like something preventing you from breathing in a virus? I don’t think so! All surgical masks were NOT designed to prevent their wearers from inhaling airborne contaminants or viruses. Don’t believe me? Just ask the Government!


This is a surgical mask.  “As they cut your bones out!” – Thus saith Bookstooge

Do I need to spell out what happens with a dust mask? It’s to stop dust! Dirt in the air! NOT disease. NOT viruses. Dust. The end.

Thus we come to an end of what I have seen people outside: cloth (fashion) masks, surgical (tissue) masks, and dust (dirt) masks.

But wait… there’s more!

Around the turn of the 21st century, I worked for an allergy relief superstore in Southern California for several years and sold HEPA filtration masks and purifiers for the home.

HEPA stands for High-efficiency particulate absorbing and is an efficiency standard for an air filter. Filters meeting the HEPA standard must remove at least 99.95% of particles equal to or greater than 0.3 micrometers in diameter.

HEPA filtration systems WORK. Question: Have you seen a HEPA filtration mask around YOU?


True HEPA Mask

Warning: Anything labeled “HEPA-type, HEPA-like, HEPA-style, or 99% HEPA” are NOT HEPA standard. Do not be fooled. They are NOT HEPA filters!

After working with HEPA filters, anything less feels like a real let-down. Most respirators don’t make my cut as something “good”. Do respirators work? Some more, Some less.


Two final thoughts on filters:

One lady suggested I use money as filters. “They’re paper and this way you can smell money!” She said. I didn’t say anything to her, but please don’t try this at home. Money is filthy. Do you really want the smell of unwashed hands shoved in your nose?

Another lady suggested I use a tea bag as a filter. “It’s paper and you can smell tea!” She said. While not as bad as money, I wouldn’t want a used tea bag for multiple reasons. I didn’t say anything to her, but a clean tea bag is simply like a cloth mask, not effective at stopping you from breathing in contaminants.

My personal feelings about all the masks I see is that it’s better for someone to wear a mask if they are the type to sneeze or cough in your face because it’s better than nothing for preventing saliva from spraying you in the face. HOWEVER, the masks we see in the supermarket are mostly a placebo effort and it would do just as well to sneeze/cough into your own inner elbow as to wear one of the commonly seen masks.

Are you afraid to be unmasked?



#6Degrees — Normal People to …



This month we are starting with the book Normal People by Sally Rooney. The Librarything  blurb is as follows:

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. When they both earn places at Trinity College in Dublin, a connection that has grown between them lasts long into the following years. This is an exquisite love story about how a person can change another person’s life – a simple yet profound realisation that unfolds beautifully over the course of the novel. It tells us how difficult it is to talk about how we feel and it tells us – blazingly – about cycles of domination, legitimacy and privilege. Alternating menace with overwhelming tenderness, Sally Rooney’s second novel breathes fiction with new life.




The last several books have all been award winners of some sort or another. And as far as I’m concerned, they’ve all been nothing but utter trash, a waste of the readers time and a showcase for the arrogance and stupidity of the authors.  I don’t feel very strongly on this though, as I’m sure you can tell 😉





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Another book I “didn’t” feel strongly about was Torchship Captain.  When I look at that cover, I see the Captain’s face in her little space helmet. It looks pretty cool actually.








A book, or series of books really, that stood out for their interesting “face on the cover” was the Necroscope series by Lumley. I picked Deadspeak to showcase the flavor of the art. Screaming metallic skulls are cool. As long as they aren’t anybody I know anyway.  Sometimes knowing people isn’t a good thing.







It is definitely not a good idea to know someone when you are reading their book. Interphase was just such a book. I was way too nice in my review.  I probably should have known better as well, since the authors talked about nothing but gaming in the short time I interacted with them.








A non-fiction book about gaming was Masters of Doom. A quick and dirty look at the co-creators of the video game Doom, that was such a hit in the 90’s. It brought back all the nostalgia feelz for me.









The books based on the video game, sadly, elicited no such feelz. Knee-Deep in the Dead was a novelization of a walk through of the first Doom Game.  In my review I said that to call this cardboard’y was to insult cardboard. It was that bad.






And that is how you go from Normal People to Doom in 5 easy steps!


If you’d like to participate in the #6degrees series of posts, head over to #6Degrees Meme to find out the starting point for each month. They’re not always punctual, so sometimes you have to wait until a week into the month.


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A Quote from: The Gulag Archipelago, Vol. 1 (5)

Shut your eyes, reader. Do you hear the thundering of wheels? Those are the Stolypin cars rolling on and on. Those are the red cows rolling. Every minute of the day. And every day of the year. And you can hear the water gurgling — those are prisoners’ barges moving on and on. And the motors of the Black Marias roar. They are arresting someone all the time, cramming him in somewhere, moving him about. And what is that hum you hear? The overcrowded cells of the transit prisons. And that cry? The complaints of those who have been plundered, raped, beaten to within an inch of their lives.

We have reviewed and considered all the methods of delivering prisoners, and we have found that they are all . . . worse. We have examined the transit prisons, but we have not found any that were good. And even the last human hope that there is something better ahead, that it will be better in camp, is a false hope.

In camp it will be . .. worse.

~ page 703

Talk about cheery stuff eh? I just got shivers reading that final sentence.

“Would You Rather” Tag

From Chuckles at Blogspot. I’ve been doing a few more tag style posts than usual in the last couple of months. They’re so easy.

1) Would you rather be a vampire or a werewolf?

This is a tough one indeed. Well, I’ve always been a morning person and if I couldn’t see the sun anymore, I don’t think I’d want to live. So I guess I’m building myself a cage!


2) Would you rather use magic or technology for an easier life?

How about both? Can I choose Techno-Mage? Sure I can. I’m the one answering these questions! But to be fair, I won’t choose both again. Call this a one time get out of jail free choice 😉


3) Would you rather be invisible or able to fly?

A picture is worth 1000 words.


4) Would you rather have gas or electricity?

Without electricity, no amount of gas in the world will do you any good.  I choose you, turbino! (that’s a very rare pokemon!)


5) Would you rather read fiction or non fiction?

While truth might be stranger than fiction, fiction is definitely a lot more fun to read!


6) Would you rather have sweet or savoury snacks?

Man, these questions are killing me! While I love things like smartfood popcorn and cheeto puffs, I think I love icecream more.  And icecream with cherries is the best!


7) Would you rather have Indian or Italian food?

Spaghetti and sauce with a 1/4lb of grated parmesan cheese, perfecto!


8) Would you rather have a beachside house or a riverside cabin in the woods?

I’m going with a riverside cabin. Beachfront property sounds popular, with a lot of neighbors and stuff. Not a huge fan of that. A river sounds nice and peaceful too.


9) Would you rather visit Asia or Africa?

I’d rather visit Asia. Mrs B likes those tikky sticks and we’d buy like a years supply and take them home. Tikky is like giant pocky sticks.


10) If you could only read one genre for a year, what would it be?

That is an easy one. Fantasy. I already read in that genre so cutting out the extraneous ones for a year wouldn’t be hard at all.


Well, I enjoyed finding the pictures for all of these. Sometimes I think the pictures are just as fun as the actual answers!

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ps, this is the first post I fully wrote with the new editor and it was enough to drive me to kill someone. While I tried to utilize the classic block, it wouldn’t do what I wanted and kept switching to the paragraph block. If I wasn’t already bald I would have pulled out all of my hair.

Real Neat Blog Award

Lashaan tagged me last month and since my well of inspiration was running dry this month, I figured I’d play along. Plus, after my last abysmal bad attitude tag, it just seemed right to do one wholeheartedly.




Well, my record of getting caught while robbing banks is spotless. I have NEVER been caught while carrying out a bank heist. To improve on that, upon consideration, would be to actually carry out a bank heist. Of course, maybe I need to work on my mystical kung fu skills if I’m going to try this:

No one ever tried to rob the Samurai Bank.



The Rapture. Seriously. While I don’t actually believe in the Rapture (being a 7th Day Adventist), it is one of those theological issues I would love to be wrong about.



The movie John Hobo 2: Chop (Stick) Suey. While the first John Hobo movie I ended up calling a total piece of trash, I think this second movie might be able to pull the franchise out of the gutter and at least into a low income housing strata.



I think the book Way-Farer has almost all of my favorite storyline tropes in it. Hero Quest, The Chosen One, One Man holding the fate of an entire world in his hands, Training Scenes, a Tragic Love Story. Yep, this book encapsulates them all!




Deconstructionism. Where the authors take an already existing story, character or idea and destroy it. Is something noble, is something good, is something pure? Let’s twist and bend and break until it stands for everything opposite it was originally meant to. The very idea simply disgusts me and can get me on a soapbox quicker than you can say Jack Sprat.

A good example of this is Frank Miller’s graphic novel Batman: The Dark Knight and his treatment of Superman. You don’t mess with my Superman like that!



A much needed outlet for words. I talked about this very thing in A History of ….. Journaling post a couple of years ago. Blogging also gets me all the socialization I need and can handle. As a misanthropic introvert, the internet gives me just enough space so I deal with everyone and not completely be a hermit.



If former President Obama had Nationalized Subway instead of doing that stupid healthcare thing, I think the world would be a much better place. Just walk in and order a free sub. Imagine how America’s Morale would soar if every American knew that each Friday they could look forward to a free tasty sub. I like a good spicy italian while Mrs B always gets the veggie delight.  We’re happy now, but free subs would make us even happier.


Make it so, Number One!



I’m going to give you ONE guess ….. and caviar is not on the list.



I was going to go with “An Intelligent Human” but decided I’d try to be more down to earth. No need to go that far astray from reality!

I think that Basilisks would top my list. Here’s an Old School magic the gathering card that portrays it well and gives me nostalgia vibes.




You’d think that I’d say “no” because of certain comments I made in the questions above, but the truth of the matter is I do believe there is a cure for stupidity; it’s just not palatable to most people.




That was good fun. If you ever feel dry feel free to give this to yourself and use Lashaan’s questions. I’m not going to bother making up 10 questions of my own.


bookstooge (Custom)


Switching Back to the Classic Editor

I don’t know if this will work for everyone but it is worth a shot. If you have been switched over to the block editor against your will, see if this works to get back. I know that I have NOT been forced over to the Block Editor even though it was trumpeted all over my homepage that June 1st was the day it was going to happen. Whatever the reason, it hasn’t.

I use chrome so if you use a different browser things might look a tiny bit different in the pictures below.


Step 1:

Start a new post while being terrorized by the block editor. I personally authorize any use of force you feel necessary, all the way up the nuclear option. We will not be held hostage by damnable traitorous terrorists! Or self-important computer engineers with their heads up their fundaments.

Step 2:

Over on the top right, there are 3 dots. Click those dots. See picture below:



Step 3:

Scroll down to the bottom and click on the “switch to classic editor”. See picture below:



That should do it. I’d be really interested to hear from those of you who were forced to use the block editor to see if this works for you. I’m also including a link to the forums where you can voice your complaints about the block editor.  I’ve complained and I’ll probably go back and complain some more.

Complain About the Block Editor!


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