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The Missing, by Shiloh Walker

Coming out on November 4th from Berkley, The Missing is my current favorite of the novels by Ms Walker that I’ve read so far. Honestly, I think her writing improves with every work she puts out.

The Missing explores the realm of paranormal, or psychic, abilities, and whether they can be harnessed and used as tools, as well as the toll such gifts can take on those who possess them. It is perhaps not a coincidence that foresight, psychometry, and other paranormal powers have been long branded as “curses.”

The back cover blurb:

Love lost
As a teenager, Taige Branch was able to do things with her psychic gift that others couldn’t understand—except for Cullen Morgan, the boy who stole her heart. He did his best to accept her abilities, until his mother was brutally murdered—and he couldn’t forgive Taige for not preventing her death.

Passion found
Now a widowed father, Cullen Morgan has never forgotten Taige. But what brings her back into his life is another tragic event. His beloved little girl has been kidnapped, and Taige is his only hope of finding her.

A love that never died
Working together against the clock, Cullen and Taige can’t help but wonder whether—if they find his daughter in time—it isn’t too late for the overpowering love that still burns between them…

(more…)

Are You As Excited Today As I Am?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Posted in: American Politics

TTG and I will be staying up all night again to watch the results come in, just like we did in 2004, back at a time when I thought Bush was a better prospect than Kerry. Oh how times have changed. TTG wants McCain to win, and I of course want Obama to be the next POTUS.

Anyhoo, for people who aren’t sure what the candidate’s positions are on key issues, here’s a great synopsis drawn up by one of the editors at Yahoo UK:

1. Economy

McCain: Pledges to maintain and even extend tax cuts put in place under President Bush. He has promised to balance the budget by the end of his first term in 2013 and has unveiled a 300 billion-dollar “McCain Resurgence Plan” to buy up bad home loans from homeowners and mortgage servicers, and replace them with fixed-rate mortgages, enabling families to stay in their homes.

Obama: Promises to cut taxes for working class families and low-income homes earning less than 75,000 dollars a year, while raising taxes for those homes with an average income of more than 250,000 dollars per year. Obama says 95 percent of Americans would see their taxes lowered or unchanged. He has proposed a 50 billion dollar fund to jumpstart the economy and save more than a million Americans from losing their jobs.

2. Iraq

McCain: A fervent supporter of the US surge launched in 2007. He has vowed “no surrender” and has said he is convinced that Washington is winning the war against the insurgency. He believes it would be a mistake to leave Iraq before Al-Qaeda in Iraq is defeated and before a properly trained Iraqi security force is in place. When Iraqi troops can safeguard their country, then US troops can go home.

Obama: Said he was against the war in 2002 and has vowed to end the conflict and begin to withdraw the troops immediately. He says military commanders believe US troops can be withdrawn from Iraq at the rate of one or two brigades a month. That would take 16 months, until mid-2010. A residual force would remain in Iraq for counter-insurgency missions and to protect American personnel, but Obama is opposed to establishing permanent bases.

3. Energy

McCain: Wants to expand America’s offshore drilling and promote and expand the use of domestic supplies of natural gas. Also wants to limit carbon gas emissions but has set a modest goal of cutting them by two-thirds by 2050. He wants to build 45 nuclear energy plants, and is opposed to federal support for clean energy. McCain will also issue a Clean Car Challenge with a 5,000 dollar tax credit for every customer who buys a zero carbon emission car. He will also commit two billion a year to promoting clean coal initiatives.

Obama: Wants to limit carbon gas emissions and has fixed the goal of reducing greenhouse gases by 80 percent before 2050. He wants to pump 150 billion dollars into the research of clean energy over the next 10 years. Now supports after initially opposing limited US offshore drilling. Within 10 years, he wants to save more oil than is currently imported from the Middle East and Venezuela and create some five million green collar jobs. Obama also wants one million plug-in hybrid cars which can get 150 miles to the gallon on the roads by 2015.

4. Russia

McCain: Has called for Russia to be excluded from the Group of Eight most industrialised nations and criticised former president and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin as “a dangerous man.”

Obama: Has denounced “Russian aggression” in Georgia and says pressure has to be kept up on Moscow to be more transparent and democratic. He says he will address the challenges posed by a resurgent Russia with a strategy which will encompass the entire region.

5. Health Care

McCain: Believes health care should be made more accessible, and believes this can be achieved by increasing competition in the market-place among insurers. He thus proposes replacing a tax break on employer-sponsored health plans with a 5,000 dollar tax credit enabling working Americans to shop around for coverage. He also proposes greater oversight of insurance and pharmaceutical companies to prevent them from profiting unreasonably at the expense of consumers.

Obama: Wants all Americans to be covered by a universal health care plan. His plan, based on incentives and cost cuts, would be voluntary but oblige parents to insure their children. He also wants to require insurance companies to cover pre-existing health conditions, and provide a small business tax credit to help them afford protection for all employees.

6. Iran

McCain: Says “there is only one thing worse than military action and that is a nuclear-armed Iran.” He is against any presidential-level talks, which he believes would only lend legitimacy to the regime’s hardliners. He would like to tighten sanctions, mostly economic, outside the UN sphere if necessary.

Obama: Is in favor of launching a dialogue with Iran, without pre-conditions as he says it represents a serious threat to the Middle East region and the United States. He has indicated talks would begin at a lower level first. He says if Tehran abandons its nuclear program and support for terrorism, the US would offer incentives like membership in the World Trade Organization, economic investments, and a move toward normal diplomatic relations.

7. Immigration

McCain: Was a key mover in 2006 legislation to try to regularize the situation of illegal immigrants, but insists on the need to secure the borders before any other reforms can be carried out.

Obama: Supports immigration reform which boosts border controls while legalizing under certain conditions the 12 million illegal immigrants already in the United States.

Good yes? OK, now go off and vote, before it’s too late if you haven’t already.

Now, from a personal point of view, let’s hope that the people who say they are going to vote for Obama, actually vote for him once they get into the voting booth, or this could be an absolute disaster for the Democrats. Also I couldn’t possibly bear TTG’s smugness if Mccain was to win. Urrgghh.