Sunday, January 15, 2017

Today’s Embarrassing Left by Suz deMello (#Milo #politics #protest #FirstAmendment)

On the evening of Friday, January 13 I went to UC Davis with a friend to hear what Breitbart columnist Milo Yiannopoulos had to say. I was intrigued by this darling of the alt-right, who seemed to be a mass of walking contradictions: a gay Jewish man aligned with the most regressive, repressive bigots on the planet.

Milo, walking contradiction and
alt-right rising star
I was introduced to Milo by my cousin’s kid Jonah, a slyly charming teenager who always is the best dressed, most intelligent person in any room. When I met him for the first time, it was at Friday night dinner at my uncle’s home in north London. His brother came in wearing a T-shirt and cargo pants. His parents were nicely dressed, but Jonah outshone everyone with his navy pinstriped three-piece suit.

Wow. A teenager whose professed favorite music is heavy metal (the Iron Maiden logo is his FB profile pic) in a navy, pinstriped three-piece. Wow. I was suitably blown away.

A few days later I ate dinner and hung out with his family. Up in Jonah’s room we explored music he liked and talked politics. He’s very conservative, while I am about to fall off the far-left wing feather of the American eagle. Nevertheless, I wanted to give his ideas a fair hearing because he’s a smart, thoughtful person.

He introduced me to Milo by showing me a few youtube vids, and I was again impressed by a right-wing Brit. He seems articulate, intelligent and personable as well as layered and interesting—the kind of person I most enjoy.

So we went out to UCD to see and hear Milo. We arrived at about 6:30 p.m., the time that the event was supposed to start. With the help of our phones’ GPS and by following a stream of other folks, we found the lecture hall where the event was scheduled to take place. As we rounded a corner, we were confronted by a noisy protest that blocked easy access to the building. We asked how to get in and were directed to a line that stretched along the side of the building, curving around stands of pine and, more prosaically, a parking structure.

We waited patiently in the cold for a half-hour, then called it quits when rumors
Embarrassing..."speach"? At a UC?
of cancellation began to circulate; apparently the event had been called off because the university couldn’t guarantee Milo's or anyone else’s safety due to the nastiness of the protest. I can testify that as we left, we noticed that the protest had become much rowdier.

I understand that liberals on the left are scared and sad about the Electoral College results and Trump’s ensuing presidency. I feel the same. The PEEOTUS is illegitimate, the ideas he espouses are dangerous to our democracy, and the people he has proposed for cabinet positions are either unqualified or corrupted by conflicts of interest and even treasonous behavior.

A very smart person once told me that "it's easier to be mad than sad," so our sorrow and anxiety are manifesting in counter-productive ways. The left’s anger has led to revolting, offensive acts that are self-defeating. For example, at this event, a Breitbart cameraman was sworn at and spat upon. No one who’s lawfully doing his job deserves that.


The next day, Milo reportedly led a protest that centered upon the denial of his right to speak.  

The left's over-the-top protest ceded the moral high ground to the alt-right. Whatever happened to “when they go low, we go high”?

Whatever happened to the peaceful sit-ins I remember from my teenage years? Of course, these events occasionally became violent, but the violence was generally started by the police or National Guard rather than the protesters. 

Remember Kent State?
Four unarmed students were shot and killed at an
anti-war protest at Kent State University in 1970
I sure do.


On top of that, events like the over-the-top protest at UCD contribute to the decline of civility in our society. If we cease to be polite and kind to others, eventually society will become a vicious arena that no one will enjoy. That civilization and civility have the same Latin root isn’t random.

What can be done?

Insist upon courteous discourse when discussing politics. For example, on FB I block users who come onto my page and insult me and others by name-calling.

I hope that others will adopt a zero-tolerance policy regarding rudeness. And please don't use the excuse "the right behaved badly when Obama was elected." So what? Remember: When they go low, we go high. 

This doesn’t mean that the left should roll over and play dead. For example: what if, instead of a protest, folks participated in a sit-in? At least a hundred protesters were there, so the building would have been effectively blocked and the event cancelled—same result without the participants looking like immature, rude jerks.

What if the protesters had made certain by getting tickets in advance that the lecture hall was filled with liberals? That would have provided the opportunity to ask Milo pointed questions that would perhaps puncture the balloon of his alt-right beliefs.


Another great example of a creative, courteous protest is Colin Kaepernick's taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem before football games. It's quiet, respectful and very effective; other football teams all over the nation, both pro and student, copied him. Brilliant.

And if people really want to make a difference, read this document and
Don't get mad. Take action.
 It's easier than you think to make a difference.
implement its recommendations.



Change can happen. Resistance isn’t futile, but choosing one’s battles and fighting them with intelligence and creativity leads to better results than what we saw in Davis this weekend.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Thunderclap, Headtalker and other Promo Mysteries by Suz deMello (#marketing #promotions #Thunderclap #headtalker)

I'm running a Thunderclap to support Temptation in Tartan, and one of the purposes of this blog is to ask you to help out. 


http://a.co/a20pe37

And here's the book and its blurb:

She has to marry a monster. 


Rumors have followed the chieftains of Clan Kilborn for centuries. Said to be descended from the Viking berserkers, they are ferocious in battle, known for tearing off the heads of their enemies and drinking their blood.



But English noblewoman Lydia Swann-Williston will marry Kieran, Laird Kilborn, to bring peace to the Kilborn lands after the horror of Culloden and the brutal pacification. A widow, she also brings needed wealth to the clan. For her part, eighteen-year-old Lydia wants children. With her husband killed at Culloden, she will make a new life in the Highlands. 



The old chieftain of Clan Kilborn also died in battle, and Lydia hopes the new young laird will lack his ancestors' ferocity. 


She was wrong.

But I'm not only concerned about getting enough supporters but to compare these two promo devices. Both are "crowdspeaking" platforms. When you enlist supporters, each presses a button that permits their system to tweet or post about your book (or any other product or message) at exactly the same time. The object is to create a "disturbance in the Force," i.e, to get your book or product trending.


So which should you choose?

Both are free. However, Thunderclap will not allow a user to change a date without a steep charge: $55. Plus, 100 participants is the minimum required for a T'Clap to drop, and if a user doesn't garner enough participants, all the effort required to get even 99 is wasted.

Kickstarter suffers from the same issue. If a user doesn't hit the monetary goal, all funds pledged are lost. That's the reason Indiegogo has been so successful.

Headtalker seems the better platform. No minimum number of supporters necessary, and a shorter lead time--one day as opposed to three, though in reality people will need at least a week or two to get enough supporters to make the effort pay off.

Hope this info helps other authors as well as others with products to flog. Good luck!



Friday, December 30, 2016

NAUGHTY LITERATI ANTHO SALE! Be warned--on 1/1/17 prices will go up! by Suz deMello (#99cents #sale!)


We in the Naughty Literati have been tinkering with pricing throughout our two year publication schedule. We've placed books on permafree, raised and lowered prices, did rolling sales...everything we could think of. And now, another change is in the wind.

For a while, we'll be releasing each new set at 99 cents and increasing the price after a month to $2.99. The anthologies are still a great deal--most of them have ten stories or more, and therefore are at least a $10 value, offered for one-third the price.

So get them now, while they're still 99 cents!

Anthologies on sale now include the bestselling Naughty List:


http://a.co/h0xRzwM



This set, which contains thirteen stories by award-winning, bestselling authors including Lynne Connolly and the late Charlotte Boyett-Compo, has been a perennial favorite with our readers.

Tired of the winter? Read our set of sexy summer getaways, Naughty Escapes:



http://a.co/2RD3qIn

Are you a fan of Sabrina York? If so, pick up a copy of our latest, Naughty Flames, a set of intense stories that will heat up those cold winter nights.

http://a.co/4z1cfd8



GET THEM WHILE THEY'RE HOT!

REMEMBER PRICES ON ALL ANTHOS WILL RISE TO $2.99 ON NEW YEAR'S DAY!






Saturday, December 24, 2016

A Very Lovely Christmas Tale for You by Catherine Cavendish (@CatherineCavendish #Christmas #Free)

For the last couple of years, I have run a beautiful little Christmas shortie by one of my author buddies, Catherine Cavendish. I was lucky enough to edit Cat professionally, and not only is she very agreeable to work with, she's also a very creative writer. I love her work and hope you do too.


Dance Me To The End Of Time
by
Catherine Cavendish

          I’ve always loved Christmas. The tree, tinsel and a roaring fire… Candles flickering and the sound of carollers striving to hit the top register in “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”
           This year’s no different. Of course, there’s no roaring fire anymore. That’s been replaced with one of those living flame gas affairs. Quite nice, but you never could beat the real thing.
            “Penny for them.” My husband, Charles, interrupts my reverie.
            “Oh, nothing. I was just musing and remembering Christmases past.” I smile at him.
             
He adjusts his tie and smoothes his glossy black hair, 

all  gestures I have seen him perform countless times. “Do you think it will snow this year?” he asks, studying his reflection in the mirror.
            I turn to look out of the window. “It’s too dark to tell, but it looks damp out there. It must have been raining earlier.”
            “I didn’t notice,” Charles says, “but then I suppose I wouldn’t, would I?” He smiles at me and takes my hand, brushing it against his lips. Then I catch him examining my dress.
            “Something wrong?” I ask and instinctively look down at my white, floor-length gown. I see some creases in the silk which I attempt to smooth away.
            “That’s better. It was just a little wrinkled.”
            “Hardly surprising,” I say. “It only gets an outing once a year.”
            We laugh, and Charles strokes away a long, dark brown lock of hair which has escaped my elaborate coiffure and has wandered across my cheek.
            “Shall we dance, Emily?” he asks.
            “Certainly, Charles, it will be my pleasure.”
            We waltz to a phantom orchestra. In my head I can hear the strains of the Blue Danube, and I am transported back to another time and place. I can see a young girl and her young man, their eyes locked in an embrace as they swirl around a ballroom in Vienna while a conductor, violin in hand, steers the orchestra through his latest composition.
            “I miss the scent of roasting chestnuts,” I tell Charles.
           His mouth widens in a grin. “But can’t you smell them, Emily?  Concentrate really hard.”
            I close my eyes and let him lead me round and round as the music grows louder, and now I can smell them. Chestnuts, little fried potatoes and the warming aroma of cinnamon from the Gl├╝hwein.  I can hear the bells of St Stephen’s Cathedral and feel the chill of the night air on my cheek. Little flecks of snow are falling onto my face, and my feet crunch on the icy ground.             
          Charles is waltzing me faster and faster. And now I can hear the voices.  The orchestra has faded and a choir is singing in German: “Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht…”
            “Oh Charles--”
            “No, Emily, don’t open your eyes.”
            I obey. “Don’t let it stop, Charles, please don’t let it stop,” I cry, “Not this time. Not this year.”
            “Dance with me, Emily. Dance with me.”
            The choir has faded, and the orchestra builds to a crescendo. I know if I open my eyes, I will see the wild black hair of the conductor, falling over his eyes as his violin bow slashes through the air.
            But I mustn’t open my eyes.  Charles told me not to.
            “Oh Emily, Emily,” Charles says, “Let us never lose this moment.  Never.”
            “Never, Charles.”
            And then I open my eyes.
            “No, Emily, no!” Charles’ agonized face is before me. But the moment has passed.
            The orchestra is silent. There are no roasting chestnuts, no carol singers, no hot spiced wine.
            Vienna has gone.
            “Oh Emily, you did it again. Just like last year. Just like every year.”
            I am crestfallen. He takes my face in his hands. He kisses my lips, and I close my eyes again, trying to recapture the dream. But it’s too late.
            “Never mind, my love, there’s always next year.”
            “As long as we’re still here,” I say, my old fears returning.
            “I expect we will be. They seem to like us well enough.”
            From the hallway, I hear the unmistakable sound of a key in the lock. It’s time.
            “Come, my love. We must return.” Charles once again takes my hand and together we gaze at the empty picture above the mantelpiece.
            “Until next year and the magic returns,” he whispers.
            “Until next year. Happy Christmas, Charles.”
            “Happy Christmas, Emily.”
            The door opens and a young couple wanders in, each holding a glass of red wine. They are both dressed smartly, she in a navy suit, he in dark grey. She has short blond hair, and his is dark. They look very modern to me.
            The woman’s gaze is drawn to the painting. “I’ve always loved that picture.” She sighs, raising her glass to her lips and taking a sip.
            “That’s why I bought it for you,” the man says and nuzzles her neck.
            “Dance Me to the End of Time,” she murmurs. “Such an evocative title. And it really looks as if that’s what they’re doing, doesn’t it? You feel they could just step out of that frame and glide around the room.”
            Her husband laughs. “You and your imagination.”
            The woman moves toward the fireplace and is peering closer. “There it is again.  The damnedest thing!”
            “What?” he asks.
            “I noticed it last year, but only on Christmas Eve, and it’s happened again this year. Look at her eyes.”
            The man does as he is bid.
            “Can you see it? There at the corner of her eye. A tear. It looks as if it’s just about to spill down her cheek, but I bet you it won’t be there in the morning.”
            The man laughs. “You’re imagining it. Too much wine at dinner.”
            “Say what you like. I know what I saw.” She steps back.
            She’s right, of course.  It’s the tear I cannot cry every Christmas when the magic ends.
            And we are frozen here in time and space.


      Catherine Cavendish is joint winner of the Samhain Gothic Horror Anthology
competition 2013. Her winning novella – Linden Manor – is available in all digital formats and in the print anthology, What Waits In The Shadows. She is the author of a number of paranormal horror and Gothic horror novellas and short stories. Her novel, Saving Grace Devine,has recently been published by Samhain Publishing and her new novel -The Pendle Curse - is coming out on February 3rd.

     She lives with a longsuffering husband in North Wales. Her home was built in the mid-

18th century and is haunted by a friendly ghost, who announces her presence 

by footsteps, switching lights on and strange phenomena involving the washing 

machine and the TV.

     When not slaving over a hot computer, Cat enjoys wandering around Neolithic stone 

circles and visiting old haunted houses.

You can connect with Cat here:

www.catherinecavendish.com
https://www.facebook.com/CatherineCavendishWriter?ref=hl
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4961171.Catherine_Cavendish

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Travel: It’s All About the Shopping---18th Century Style (#MFRW_ORG #kindle)

Those of you who follow my blogs (Mom? bro?) are aware that I’ve written two prior blogs about this subject, one when I lived in southeast Asia (http://tinyurl.com/mjrpexn) and one when I spent a year in China teaching English to toddlers (http://tinyurl.com/nxdk5jz).
Weirdly, I’m not a particularly avid shopper. I don’t go malling and don’t view shopping as a pastime. Sometimes it’s okay when I’m in the mood, but usually...not. But when I find myself in a new, exotic city, I love to wander around the stores and see what’s being sold, compare foods, clothes, trinkets to goods I’d find in my hometown.
And thus it might have been for Isobel Kilburn, the heroine of Lovers in Tartan. At age eighteen, she traveled to Edinburgh to enjoy the 1766 social season before she was slated to enter an arranged marriage to Edgar, laird of the neighboring clan, the MacReivers.
Leaving aside the question of what strong-willed Isobel thought about being denied the choice of a mate, what would she have seen in the Edinburgh shops? How might she react?
Though Isobel was a high-born young lady from a wealthy clan, Kilburn Castle is located in the far northwest of the Highlands, far away from any town or city of substance. So imagine: before she arrived in Edinburgh, Isobel had never seen a shop. She would have seen goods for sale at fairs or other gatherings, but such events would have been few at remote Kilburn.
So the first wonder for Isobel would have been the city itself. And even now, in the 21st century, Edinburgh is a wonder and a joy. I’ve been there a couple of times, and it’s a lovely city. Then, however, Edinburgh had the undesirable reputation as the dirtiest and most crowded city in Europe.
Let’s get back to the question: what would have been sold in the shops of 1766 Edinburgh?
At the time Edinburgh was the center of the Scottish Enlightenment. From the 1740s onward, the city came to be seen as a center of forward thinking, especially in the areas of economics, history, science, philosophy and medicine—a new medical branch had been formed at the university there in 1726.  So bookstores and coffeehouses flourished. Having been educated by her governess, Alice Derwent Kilburn (the heroine of Desire in Tartan), Isobel would have been capable of participating in the intellectual discussions of the time. But ‘tis unlikely she was interested—her main pursuits at Kilburn were riding unbroken horses and getting into trouble.
And, though the city was unmarred by excessive industrialization, a linen weaving works had been established in Canongate. So drapers—what we’d call fabric stores—abounded.
And what was the nature of the city? Wealthy and cultured. Several major banks were headquartered there. Music was popular and the Edinburgh Music Society established in 1728. Many improvements were made during the time Isobel visited. And improvements were needed—as I mentioned, Edinburgh was thought to be one of the most crowded and unsanitary cities in Europe.  However, the overcrowding threw all social classes together—lords might live in the same tall row-house as a chimney sweep.
But the improvements changed that to a certain degree. The newer parts of the town were seen as more desirable than the older quarter, where the poor remained while the wealthier moved on.
I hope I’ve intrigued you enough! If not, here’s what the story is about:
Blurb: Lovers in Tartan by Suz deMello:

Scotland, 1766.

Edgar, Laird MacReiver, has never regretted his decision to wed Isobel, daughter of Clan Kilburn’s laird, until she bites his tongue and drinks his blood. Still, he's determined to bridle the wild child of the infamous vampire clan by any means necessary, including bondage and discipline.

But are some women impossible to tame? 

Find it here:


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

How Trump Did It and a Few More Words about Politics by Suz deMello (#TrumpTrainWreck #NotMyPresident #CalExit)

Many of us are still shell-shocked by DJT's Electoral College win. How on earth did he do this? we wonder, given his offensive style, numerous bigoted remarks, continual lying, sexism, racism... I could go on and on, but most of my readers know about DJT already, given that he's been ubiquitous for the last eighteen months.

not my family, but it might as well have been
What you may not know is that I am very much a political animal. My first clear memory is at five years old, watching primary election returns on TV. I started reading the LA Times newspaper and Newsweek shortly thereafter--what I could understand of it. I later earned a master's in political science and worked on several political campaigns--I was going door-to-door for George McGovern even before I was qualified to vote.

So I do write with some background in US politics.

And to the point: how did he do it?

First, he started with a massive fan base from Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice.

I don't watch reality TV, but millions of people do. This URL has some stats: 

To condense them: the season one finale of Apprentice had nearly 30 million viewers. The shows aired for 14 seasons, and by the end of the run, a lot of people felt comfortable with Trump. In fact, they probably loved his direct, bombastic style. They loved how he insulted the contestants on his show--why else would they watch? 

Here's one example:

Feel free to surf youtube for more. There's plenty there. But the point is: there are millions of voting Americans who aren't distressed by sexism. There are millions of voting Americans who aren't distressed by religious or racial bigotry...his fan base.

Millions of Americans aren't bothered by his manners or his message. In fact, they love him, inexplicable as that seems to the rest of us.

Second--surmising here--he, or someone in his organization researched his fan base to discover their political opinions, fears, and motivations.

And he spoke to those, aware that those were shared by an astoundingly large
number of less-well-educated Americans. And those were the additional folks he needed to get the EC.

He didn't care that he was pandering to the worst in America. He cares only about one person, the guy he sees in the mirror when he brushes his teeth (and I don't mean his valet).

The problem? We don't actually know what DJT thinks. He's been too busy catering to his fan base to give us any sort of truth, whether it be about climate change or his own heart.

Problem #2: His message brought out a lot of people we wish had stayed in their caves:


Third: Trump was an aspirational candidate.

DJT cleverly appealed to the hopes and fears of millions of old white guys who feel dispossessed. They lost their jobs to computer geeks. They lost their women to feminism. They're really not badly off--very few in the USA are. 

Let's not forget that we live in a time when each of us lives better than 99.9% of the people in the world have ever lived.

But many are always discontented with their lot. It's just their nature to be negative rather than positive, to look at their neighbor's slightly-bigger flat-screen TV and feel deprived.

nothing says "man of the people" like gold-leaf chairs!
Many who voted for Trump looked at the fat, ugly old guy with the mega-bucks, sexy wife and the Stepford-perfect kids and wanted to be like him. This isn't something that occurs on a conscious level, but this is how branding works and this is why it's valuable to purveyors of products. Remember that DJT rarely makes or builds anything of value--he simply sells his name, and people buying Trump Steaks or ties or whatever feel that they now are a part of the gold-leafed Trump World.

And let's not forget: he got a lot of help:

Fourth: The mass media gave Trump, oh, maybe close to one billion dollars of free airtime.

I don't think that DJT is a particularly intelligent person, and wouldn't be stunned if it came out that Daddy DJT had bribed Junior's way through Wharton. However, I believe that in business school, DJT excelled in marketing and promotions. 

A shrewd, clever man, he knows how to get media attention and to keep it, and that made a big difference:


Fifth: The GOP's 25 year-long Hate Hillary campaign.

If you don't believe that this has been a carefully crafted, decades-long campaign, read these:



She has an undeserved reputation as being abrasive and shrill--fact is, strong women are often labeled as such. Hillary Clinton is actually a likable, even charming woman. Check out this reel:


Most importantly: she has spent her entire adult life trying to help others. Her focus has always been on empowering women, strengthening families, and uplifting children. 

Though the GOP has painted her as one of the elite, the opposite is true. Her mother was so poor that she had to go to work as a maid at age 14. Her father, a WW2 vet, had a small business which designed, printed and sold draperies.

Although HRC attended Yale Law School, and could have gone immediately to Wall Street for a high-paying job, she instead worked for the Children's Defense Fund. She later landed a prestigious appointment as an attorney advising the Congressional committee investigating then-President Nixon. She then moved to Arkansas, taught law, and co-founded Arkansas Advocates for Women and Children.

Clinton's long list of accomplishments includes spearheading the effort to bring health care to all Americans during the 1990s. While that effort failed, she didn't give up, instead creating CHIP, which continues to provide health insurance for eight million children, cutting their insurance rates in half. 

She ceaselessly used her position as First Lady to speak on behalf of women and children, bravely telling  the Chinese in 1995, human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights."

And what were the Republicants doing to her then?

She was accused of murdering Deputy White House counsel Vince Foster, a man who had been one of the Clintons' closest friends. (He actually committed suicide).

The GOP launched a multi-million dollar investigation into a failed real estate investment called Whitewater. That spilled over into the infamous Monica Lewinsky scandal.

In toto, $79.3 million was spent on investigating the Clinton Administration. (source: http://edition.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/04/01/counsel.probe.costs/)

Bill Clinton's sexual strayings didn't help Hillary's image much. No one can understand the interior of a human heart, and many find her "stand by your man" stance incomprehensible. I, personally, probably would have dumped Bill, but it's really not my business, as I'm not named Hillary, Chelsea or Monica.

About the Clinton Foundation: every accusation in its regard has been found worthless. It's rated very highly by organizations that investigate charities:

And while the Clinton Foundation did indeed receive donations from sexist leaders of sexist countries like Saudi Arabia, I find a little poetic irony in that--the Clintons took money from the worst misogynists on the planet and used it to help women.

And did she accept six-figures to speak to Wall Street executives? Yep, she sure did. I would have also. Be honest, dear reader: wouldn't you also have done the same thing?

And then there was the investigation into the Benghazi debacle, which cost American taxpayers a whopping $6.8 million.(https://www.bustle.com/articles/161251-how-much-has-been-spent-on-the-benghazi-investigation-the-hearings-have-cost-taxpayers-millions)

HRC testified  for 11 hours in front of the Benghazi committee--
which found nothing.
The GOP has admitted that the investigation was a witch-hunt
designed to discredit HRC
On top of that, the State Department spent $14 million answering the GOP Congress's demands for information:

It's tragic that four people, good people, died at Benghazi. However, please do note that Americans have died in embassy attacks on numerous occasions. Rarely if ever have these terrible events generated controversy and investigations that uncovered no wrongdoing. 

Two events during Reagan's presidency resulted in 258 US deaths, and yet, no meaningful investigations were launched attacking high officials.
Instead, bipartisan investigations occurred that were helpful and productive--not witch-hunts designed to tarnish or destroy a public servant's career.

So do please note that the GOP has spent at least $20 million of your money on the Benghazi investigation idiocy. And top GOP congressmen have admitted that it was designed to discredit and damage HRC. 
http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/14/politics/hillary-clinton-benghazi-committee/

Sixth: The GOP's decades-long, very strategic campaign to erode voting rights.

http://www.brennancenter.org/voting-restrictions-first-time-2016

Check out this article for details, but what you need to know is that the Republicans have been consciously working hard to deny access to the ballot box for groups that tend to vote Democratic: persons of color and the younger voter.

That strategy made a big difference in at least one swing state: Wisconsin, historically blue as the summer sky but went red in 2016.
http://heavy.com/news/2016/11/election-results-2016-voter-id-suppression-wisconsin-trump-clinton-hillary-north-carolina-ohio-arizona-polling-places-closed-reduced-decreased-closures-registration-purged/

Seventh: FBI/Comey interference

The media and others have milked the so-called Clinton email scandal as much as possible. This minimal infraction, which never endangered anyone or revealed anything involving national security, was blown up like Bimini during nuclear testing in the 50s. 

Keep in mind that the Clinton email server was never hacked. Says Politifact: "There’s no evidence that anyone successfully hacked Clinton’s email servers, but they certainly were not impervious to attack. It’s possible that a sophisticated hacker gained access but left no trace." 

However, the State Department servers have been under continual attack from Russia for many months if not years: http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/10/politics/state-department-hack-worst-ever/ and many government systems have been breached.

On top of that, HRC's predecessors at State used private systems to communicate.

Despite the facts, the FBI was pressured into launching another fruitless and expensive investigation of HRC. The FBI hasn't revealed what that investigation cost, but a couple of sources estimated anything from $20 million (http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2016/07/05/Investigating-Clinton-How-Many-Millions-Were-Spent-Email-Benghazi-Probes) to $13,000 per day--I guess we have to do the math (http://www.vocativ.com/302556/investigating-hillary-clintons-emails-costs-us-39000-a-day/)

The investigation resulted in unprecedented announcements by the FBI director, James Comey. One occurred on July 5, 2016, early enough to have little impact on the election. Not so the other two, which took place on October 28 and November 6, just two days before the election. 

These events undoubtedly impacted the election results severely.  Check the
interactive map on this page:

It shows clearly that prior to Comey's announcement on October 28, HRC enjoyed an 81.5% likelihood of winning the presidency. Her numbers dropped off a cliff, down to 64.7% after Comey's third statement. They began to rise slightly the next two days, but not enough time elapsed for HRC's campaign to recover from the damage.

So what now?

First: She's not done yet, folks.

I predict that not much will change for Hillary Clinton. She is a person of indomitable spirit and great determination. It's possible that her focus on her core issues: women, children and families--was part of the equation that cost her the presidency. She of all people understands the limitations, frustrations and hardships of that office. I don't believe she wanted the office for the sake of its power. I believe she wanted to wield that power to serve those core issues, and breaking that last, thickest glass ceiling would have done just that.

As such, perhaps she lacked that "fire in the belly" that she needed to win. Whatever.

But she's still a woman on fire for her causes. At a time in her life when most of us would have been sitting on a beach drowning our sorrows in mojitos--barely a week after Election Day--she gave an inspiring speech to the Children's Defense Fund:

Now more than ever, she will have venues open to her for the pursuit of her causes. She's polled as the most admired woman in the world for decades (http://www.gallup.com/poll/187922/clinton-admired-woman-record-20th-time.aspx), and I wouldn't be surprised if she received the Nobel Peace Price for her work, and not only as a slap at DJT.

Second: The Trumpsters will be greatly disappointed.

Barely three weeks have passed since Election day, but Der Trumpster has already walked back on many campaign promises. Most prominently, he swore many times that he'd "drain the swamp" in DC, but instead has hired a bunch of the nastiest swamp monsters to work for him.



What can be done?

--Give to legal defense funds dedicated to protecting the rights of minorities and women, especially access to health care and the ballot box. Two reasons the GOP has done so well is its unrelenting focus on eroding voting rights and gerrymandering of congressional districts in their favor, and not because their policies work or are popular. Fact is: the GOP wins only because they cheat.

--As a Californian, I support the exit of my state from the USA. Without the deadweight, Cali boasts the 6th largest economy in the world. And I'm tired of my vote being rendered meaningless, as are many Californians. FMI: http://www.yescalifornia.org/

Enjoy! I'm sure the next four years will be interesting. As for me, I'm off to Mexico as soon as arrangements can be made.