Archive for August, 2013

Received some terrific feedback from a reader yesterday.  Not only did he love the book but got so caught up in it he read it all in a day and a half!  Feedback like that is inspiring.  So on with the story and Chapter Five.

CHAPTER FIVE

 “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.  Somebody else made that happen.”

 US President Barack Obama

 “Whence does [the state] draw those resources that it is urged to dispense by way of benefits to individuals?  Is it not from the individuals themselves?  How, then, can these resources be increased by passing through the hands of a parasitic and voracious intermediary?”

 Frederic Batiat

While autumn cast its mottled blend of orange and yellows across a dry landscape in the fall of 2016, the air was filled with the blue lies of political rhetoric.

Cliffson was weary of it.  None of the nation’s so-called leaders were proposing any real answers to the nation’s problems.  Sure, there were a few congressmen who saw things as they were and spoke out with the truth, but the government controlled press made fools of them.

Truth’s blood ran in the streets, but the sheeple were more concerned with their video games, celebrities and voting themselves riches from the treasury.

Cliffson couldn’t believe it.  After everything that had happened, people still looked to government.  The nation’s debt had quadrupled in just six years, unemployment surpassed thirty percent and the U.S. was engaged in war on every front.  The sheeple were going to have their heads handed to them.  But what do those of us who see through the charade, the lies and deceit do?  Cliffson wondered.

On a stunning fall day with a sapphire sky and mild but comfortable temperatures, Cliffson took the occasion to relish the moment and one of his more expensive cigars.  Resting comfortably on a wooden bench under a handsome spruce tree at the edge of garden, he was just putting a match to his cigar when Monk approached from next door.

“Seen the news Cliffson?”

“I try not to.  Like a cigar?”

“Well thank you, don’t mind if I do.”

Cliffson clipped the end and patiently waited while Monk pulled matches from a denim shirt pocket and applied a yellow flame to the tip of his cigar.  Satisfied, Monk leaned back to savor the treat.

“Umm, mighty nice Cliffson.  Now, as I was a sayin.  China has done it.  No more threats.  With the exception of the North Sea oil and a couple of minor sources, they’ve cut off Europe’s access to oil and natural gas.”

“How’d they manage that?”

“As I understand it, they struck deals with Russia and other nations supplying energy to Europe.”  Monk blew a thick cloud of smoke.

“But Europe’s the largest economy in the world, what do they accomplish by shutting it down?”

“Not sure Cliffson, but saving face is more important to the Chinese than money.  Though I have a feeling they are going to get both.”

Cliffson tapped his cigar and gazed into the distance towards the snow capped Cascade Mountains.  “Europe can’t pay, can they?”

“No, I reckon not.  Socialist states soon run out of other people’s money and go broke.”

Cliffson grinned at that.  It was something Margaret Thatcher had said.

Monk continued.  “As with all socialist societies, the poor bear the cost to support the rich elites.  Somehow the idiots still believe you can rob Peter to pay Paul without destroying Peter’s incentive to work.  Before long Peter says screw it and your society becomes unproductive.  Remember, for one person to collect without earning, another must earn without receiving.  Somehow the Zombies never figure this out and continually return their masters to office.  They never associate the resulting economic slavery with the policies they support.”

“Well said Monk, but how do you really feel?”

Monk squinted with his good eye and gave Cliffson a sly look.  “Well sonny, I’ll tell ya.”  He rolled the cigar from one side of his mouth to the other and continued.  “If you think things are bad now, wait until Europe falls and crushes the global economy.  The U.S. will soon find itself in the same boat as the Europeans.”

“You think China will use similar tactics against the U.S.?”

“If they can do it to Europe, they can surely do it to us.  Think about it Cliffson, for environmental reasons, our country has refused to develop its own energy resources and we’re nearly as dependant on foreign oil as the Europeans.  Remember back when the department of energy was established in the ‘70s to free us from dependence on foreign oil?”

“Sure do.”

“Well, in the ‘70s we got thirty percent of our oil from foreign sources, now it’s more than 70 percent.  It’s all a ruse.”

“It’s crazy Monk.  How’d our nation ever fall so far away from the values that made us successful?  Every day I get more disillusioned.  I can’t even escape it when planting my garden.”

“How’s that matey?”  Monk quietly puffed his cigar.

“How’s that?  Corporations and their genetically modified seed—I can’t get away from it.  The banks and corporations are nothing more than extensions of the government.  A government that’s grown more brutish and threatening every year, yet no one seems to figure it out.”

“Spoken like a true conservative Cliffson.”

“You’d be wrong in thinking that Monk.”

“How so?”

“The two parties are one and the same.  There’s no difference.  If you ignore what they say and look at what they do, what do we have?  Wars, debt, welfare, dependency and lies.  It makes no difference which party’s in office.”  Cliffson spat in disgust.

“Sounding a little radical matey.”  Monk delivered his comment with a wry smile.

“Don’t get me wrong Monk.  I still love America and what it used to stand for.  Radical?  You bet.  The constitution’s a very radical document.  Nothing like it in the history of the world,”  Cliffson said proudly.  “The values represented there are what I believe in.  How we got so far away from ‘em I’ll never know.”

“Well my friend, that’s not so hard to figure. We lost touch with the traditional values that made the country great when the nation became urbanized.  Think about it.  City dwellers get caught up in the frivolity and superficiality of city life.  They look down on those who work the land and the politicians join them in making fun of the so called simpletons who provide the city folk with food and other basic necessities.”

“I hear ya.  Separate a nation of people from the land and they become lost.  Once lost, they become self-serving and self-absorbed, surrendering all principles it would seem.  A few false promises to the Zombies and the dictators rule.  Isn’t it about that simple?”

Monk grinned.  “You and me, were on the same page mate.  Problem is there’s not many of us around and little we can do about it.  Shit’s gonna hit the fan real soon Cliffson.”

“How soon?”

“China won’t be happy just shutting off Europe’s power.  They’ll want to be paid back as well as save face.  Something big’s coming.”

“I agree Monk.  It’s not hard to feel the tension gathering all around.”

The two old men sat together enjoying the finer taste of an excellent cigar and the warmth of good friendship.  Welfare wandered over looking for attention.

“What a dog Cliffson.  If’n I was to have one myself this would be it.”

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CHAPTER FOUR

“Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting of their own free will.”

Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Propaganda Minister

 “The wicked return to the grave, all the nations that forget God.”

 Psalm 9:17

A brilliant spring sun was out and so were the witless, faddish people always there to chase the latest trend—each of them as brain dead as the next, Cliffson thought.  He was returning from the store with his youngest son Zach after purchasing an inner tube to repair the tire on their wheelbarrow.

Zach had been laid off from his job in Boise and was thankful to be able to return to a job he’d once held at a local greenhouse where Jean worked as a bookkeeper.  Though the Fed’s voodoo numbers put unemployment at 9.9 percent, real unemployment was nearing thirty percent and jobs were tough to come by.  As much as Cliffson was sorry to see his son lose his job, he had to admit he enjoyed having him around the house.

The mid May weather was improving nicely and the two of them detoured through the garden to look for newly sprouted pumpkins, before beginning repairs on the wheelbarrow. Raising pumpkins was something they’d done together since Zach was a little boy.  In the fall they would collect wheelbarrows full of them, make a fire in the fire pit and “gut” the pumpkins to collect the seeds. That little boy was now a strikingly handsome young man.  At six foot four, his trim son stood out in a crowd and his dark hair and complexion was an instant draw for many young women.

Cliffson relished the time he had to spend with his son.  For a little while he would escape his concerns over the condition of the nation and take his time repairing the wheelbarrow.


On the other side of the mountains Thomas Jefferson was storing camping gear in the garage and listening to the radio.  School was out and his family had just returned from a weeklong stay at their private cabin in the Cascade Mountains.

The talk show host warned about what the president’s policies were doing to the nation and how badly people were hurting as a result.  Thomas rarely listened to these programs and figured his son must have changed the channel.

“……..our economy is in a shambles, micromanaged by those who have never had a real job, but incredibly the Zombies remain in denial.  People, how can you still cling to these government promises? It’s time to wake up people. Now is the time to act.”

Reporters writing negative stories about the current administration often turned up missing and it was evident no story critical of the administration would be found in any newspaper in America.  Censorship of the press was nearing completion.

Davis walked back into the garage to help his Dad finish putting the gear away.

The broadcaster continued. “Like all democracies falling into tyranny, one of the first things a government does is control the press.  I recall how you people lashed out when the president outlawed a common bumper sticker, telling us it was “mean spirited” and “wasn’t helping the nation come together, but we…”

“Amen brotha’,” Davis cheered.

Thomas looked up from the fishing gear he was working on to say something to his son and then thought better of it.  Politics had become a serious battleground between the two of them but today was not the day for it.  Thomas couldn’t help wondering why people got so worked up over the loss of a few minor freedoms and remained largely unconcerned.  The government will work it out, he reasoned.

Besides, they’d just finished going through the pile of mail that accumulated while away on vacation and it included five new scholarship offers.  Two from smaller schools and one from Oregon State, but it was the other two offers that left them dancing about the room.  Both Texas and LSU had offered Davis full ride baseball scholarships.  Thomas was not about to dampen the excitement with an argument over politics.

At the age of eighteen the weight of a full ride scholarship may not have been entirely appreciated by the young Davis, but it wasn’t missed by his father.  He thrilled at the potential for his son to have a professional baseball career.  Certainly there were no guarantees of making it to the Pro’s, but everything was on the right track.

“Son,” Thomas said, “let’s go find that new car we’ve been talking about getting you for college.”  Davis began laughing and Thomas grew a puzzled face.

“Dad, it’s just so much all at once, but sure, let’s go, just don’t get upset if you find me laughing out loud when we test drive them.  I’m way out on cloud nine right now.”

Five hours later Mary watched them drive up in a brand new, black BMW convertible.  It was a great day for them and now she was going to make her husband take them all out for dinner to celebrate.

Continuing with the next chapter of Truth’s Blood.  It’s a long chapter but in it you’ll meet Thomas.

CHAPTER THREE

 “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence; it is force!  Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.”

George Washington

Scattered gray clouds rode across the sky on a chill zephyr born of winter, while a cool breeze played hide and seek throughout last year’s raspberry canes and raised the hair on the back of Cliffson’s neck.   The meager spring sun was spending all its energy pulling the first new blades of grass from the ground and doing little to keep him warm.

Cliffson needing some time alone to think after a restless night, had prepared a hot cup of coffee and found his way to the garden.  He regretted the city had spread to where he lived and the loss of that country feeling, but most the time he still found solace in his garden.

How do people miss the stench riding these winds of revolution?  Our nation is sliding into the abyss, yet few take notice.  It’s so similar to what happened in Nazi Germany and to Rome.  What about my family, my brother? And what should I be doing to prepare instead of standing here with this coffee?

These were some of the things he pondered while watching the geese fly north in “V” formation.  The warm mug of coffee interrupted his thoughts, returning him to the soft ground of his garden.  Coffee.  Even the gods must need a first-class cup of coffee each morning.  I wonder how long I’ll be able to afford it.

Cliffson was startled out of his reverie by the sudden appearance of six military vehicles in desert camouflage, descending on his elderly neighbor’s home across the street.  Two humvees with mounted machine guns positioned themselves to cover the house and surrounding area.  At least twenty men dressed in camouflage, dark helmets and tall black boots poured from the vehicles, smashed the front door and stormed the modest home.

Shocked, senses returning in time to catch the rising tide of anger boiling up inside, Cliffson suppressed his emotions at the sound of a Blackhawk helicopter approaching from behind.  Raising his hands, he backed away, withdrawing deeper into his own property.  From there, he watched jack-booted thugs drag two elderly people from the house and throw them into the back of one of the vehicles.  Cliffson flinched at the sound of their groans rattling through his own aging body, almost as if he were receiving the beating himself.

Marge and Harry were in their seventies, and about as innocent as one could be in a nation filled with so many laws that no one person was entirely free of their entrapment.  If the government felt threatened by them, how much longer would it be until he was taken away in the same manner? Though the two neighbors had been active participants in protests against the ever growing power of America’s police state, they’d never been violent or threatening.

Such was the state of America in 2016.  The Bill of Rights was suspended, and American citizens deemed a threat could be detained indefinitely, or worse.  The president had commandeered the ultimate power of judge, jury and executioner.  His personal “kill list” was updated weekly, as those rubbed out with drone attacks and sniper hits were dropped and the new names added.  Drones monitored all activity and no one fell outside his purview.  The right to a speedy trial by a jury of your peers was no longer recognized. Citizens were deprived of their liberty and property without regard for the due process of law.

All forms of electronic communication were monitored, and even in private, friends held hushed conversations if speaking of the government’s actions.  You saw them in the corners of local pubs, discreetly gathered under the cover of night.  Hushed conversations shared in secret, as one or the other furtively glanced about, wondering who might be the traitor in their midst.  Who present was planted by the Bureau of Security?  The slip of a quivering tongue voicing opposition to the government was all it took to be swept away and disappeared.

After the military vehicles left and the roar of the Blackhawk faded, a shaken Cliffson pulled up the collar on his insulated jacket and parked his six foot three inch frame on a wooden bench near his tiny vineyard.  News of these crackdowns was common and though the media always portrayed them as the round up of more terrorists, Cliffson knew otherwise.  But the news was one thing.  To see your friends beaten and dragged away rent his reality and crushed his spirit, which was, of course, the intended result.

Having watched the government thugs from her kitchen window, his wife Jean came to join him.  Numbed by the attack on their friends, the two sat together on the bench consoling one another.  Perched beside them in the limbs of a Norway spruce, yellow feathered finches were in full throat, unaffected by the turn of events or the cool breeze.

Sitting quietly in the solitude of their garden, Jean and Cliffson spent a few more moments together recovering from the trauma of the attack.  Both believed their day would come.   They would confide in a trusted friend and one day be taken away by government agents.  Yet, there was really nothing to be done, outside of laying low and getting by the best they could.

“I’d better go check on the stew,” Jean said, and patted Cliffson’s knee before returning to the kitchen.  Cliffson stared across the street at the open door to his friends’ empty house and shook his head in disgust over the government’s brutality, before ambling back to the vegetable plot.

Not knowing what else to do, he found himself contemplating how it just didn’t seem right the weeds would start growing so far in advance of the desirable things.  And why was it the pests liked his garden so well, but never touched the weeds?  Certainly life would be easier for the sparrow if they drew sustenance from the dandelion.  Couldn’t the mice and voles feed as well on the weeds as they did the new peas and lettuce bursting forth from the ground?

A blaring horn startled Cliffson out of his reverie and he turned just in time to see the Cranks flipping off the car they’d nearly hit while backing out of their driveway.  His neighbors, Cliffson thought, what a piece of work—rude, obnoxious and all about themselves.  Cliffson saw them as the perfect example of what society had become—entirely and completely self-absorbed.

It wasn’t just the Cranks though.  People everywhere were rude and angry.  There was a strain in life that pulled on you like gravity and was just as ubiquitous.  It choked you when you breathed, tugged at your feet when you walked, and clung to you like a cold wet fog whenever you left your home.  If you were one of the few people who still cared about others, you recognized it and knew something was wrong.  Not a small something—a very big something.

It was part of the reason Cliffson and his wife Jean had drawn even nearer to the basics of life and self-sufficiency, much in the way of their grandparents.  They canned garden produce, dried fruit, swapped labor for beef, kept bees and raised chickens.  Recognizing what would eventually happen to their paper currency, they stored extra clothing, necessary supplies and returned to heating with a wood stove.

Heck, they didn’t even own a cell phone.  A “social disease” as Cliffson called it, claiming it kept people from being neighborly and destroying any sense of community.

Monk, their next door neighbor, and their best friends, the Wests, were the only people they knew who also recognized how warped and out of balance things were.

Yet, most people had no sense of it and seemed quite oblivious to the demise of common sense and honest values. Cliffson had come to think of them as “Zombies”.

Neighbors and acquaintances often made fun of the frugal way they lived.  They treat us as if we were building an ark or something.  Cliffson thought.  They just didn’t get it when he tried to explain.  Of course it wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark, so he figured he was in good company.

Cliffson viewed the simple life as a blessing and recalled the days of his youth when people made things with their hands and took pride in their work; a time when agreements were struck with a handshake and a steady look in the eye.  He was a fish out of water in today’s world where people followed the herd, rarely even questioning their place in line, much less where it was headed.

The following day, Cliffson found himself back in the garden.  Dark clouds threatened rain and a cool breeze descended from the north, but the weeds were getting ahead of the lettuce and spinach seedlings, so Cliffson set to the task of pulling them.  But his real reason was to be there for the neighbor’s daughter who was expected home this day.

When she arrived, Cliffson walked over.  For the lack of a front door he knocked lightly on the side of the house, and though he could hear weeping coming from inside, Cliffson received no answer.  Softly he stepped inside the darkened hallway as Jessie rose from the couch on unsteady feet and rushed to embrace him.  Her tears wet his neck and broke his heart.  The younger generation was going to pay a terrible price for the government’s foolishness but most of them had yet to realize it.

An adopted daughter, Jessie was just twenty-one and her parents, for that is what she considered them, meant everything to her.  Cliffson comforted her as best he could, but there was little to be done outside of offering her a place to stay.  Jessie thanked him for being there for her, but said it wouldn’t be necessary.

Together they walked outside to her car where he told her their door was always open if she ever needed anything, then stepped back and waved good-bye.  He was heartsick for her.

Crossing the street to return home, he saw their fifteen year-old Honda round the corner and his wife returning from the store.  Jean was the woman God had made for him, this he knew for sure.  A shapely brunette, he had particularly been drawn to her green eyes, for they revealed her tender soul, good heart and concern for others.  Strong and self-sufficient, yet not so reserved you couldn’t get close to her, she was a throwback to a time of old fashioned values and possessed a resourcefulness that continually amazed him.   She also harbored an inner strength he could never dream of matching, and he loved her sharp wit, which she was not afraid to use to keep him in line.

He cherished her, and often felt guilty for not reminding her of how dear she was to him.  As dark as the world was becoming, she was the shining light that made it all bearable.  Jean was simply irreplaceable, like a piece of old farm equipment, “they just didn’t make em’ like that anymore”.  Plus, she had a bit of an independent streak in her, which for Cliffson was a special kind of magic.

“Hello,” he said, giving her a hug and picking up a couple of bags of groceries. “How’d it go?”

“People!” she exclaimed, nearly slamming the car door.  “The store was packed and the woman in line ahead of me was talking on her cell phone, completely oblivious to those around her.  She ignored the checker when asked for her for I.D. and got all huffy when she was finally interrupted.  She made the entire line of people wait while chatting about all the empty things in her head.”

“And get this, at the counter next to me the checker forgot to ring up a bag of potatoes laying in the bottom of the cart.  It was an older couple, and as they prepared to leave, they discovered the potatoes and brought this to the attention of the woman working the register.  The checker told them she would ring it up in just a moment, but the customer she was checking out said to just put it on his bill, which she promptly did.   The elderly couple was utterly shocked!  You should have seen the looks on their faces when they realized someone had actually done something for them. They shook the guy’s hand like they had just won the lottery.”

Smiling sadly and shaking his head, Cliffson commented, “You know how the world is hun.”

“But that’s not even what’s so amazing”, Jean answered.  Cliffson loved how the lines crinkled around her eyes when she got real serious.  “There was a woman standing in line behind the man who’d purchased the potatoes for the couple.   It was what she said that just floored me!”

“And what was that?”

“She mocked the man saying how that must make him feel so special and better than everyone else.”

Cliffson held up his hands to slow Jean down. “Ok, take a breath.  Besides all of that, how’s the old woman this morning?” Cliffson kidded.

“Don’t call me old, I’m not sixty yet,” she snapped, a little sharper than Cliffson had anticipated. “How’s the old man?”  She couldn’t help but be attracted to his handlebar mustache and the salt and pepper look of his still full head of hair.

He smiled at her emphasis on old.  “Well, the sixties ain’t so bad if you’re seventy, but if you’re really askin’, I slept pretty tense last night so my knee’s kinda sore today,”  Cliffson was sixty-three, tall, wiry and still in good shape, but time has a way of grinding people down and he knew his strength was not what it used to be.

“So the store was jammed, huh?” Cliffson asked.

“Yes.  There are shortages of some staples, but if you can imagine, the cops were called in to break up a fight over a new video game,”  Jean said.

Cliffson rubbed the back of his neck.  “Geez.  Will people never get it?  I keep thinking they have to wake up and see reality.”

“Yah, well good luck with that.  The Zombies don’t get it and still place their faith in government.”

“Cliffson replied with a hint of sadness in his voice.  “I know.  Goes a long way towards explaining why our nation’s in the condition it’s in.”

When they returned to get the last few items from the car their year-old English Mastiff came bounding up to greet them, “Hey big fella, how’s Welfare today?” Cliffson roughed the big dog’s head.

“Why do you call him Welfare,” Monk called out as he strolled up the sidewalk on stubby legs.  His laced up boots tapped out a soft rhythm on the concrete.  “I’ve been meaning to ask you and always forget.”

“Good Morning, Monk.  We call him that because he lives off the chickens.  They do all the work producing the eggs, we sell the eggs and use the money to buy his dog food,” Cliffson said.  “He eats the food and lies around sleeping.”

“Ha, ha, now if that ain’t funny.  Seems like a perfect name for him.”

Monk was a friendly, but crusty old coot and his squeaky duo-tone voice always reminded Cliffson of the actor, Andy DeVine.  Over a long sleeve blue shirt, he wore a shoulder holster and the ever present Colt 45 Defender Cliffson had never seen him without.

Monk had some eccentric quirks which the patch over his left eye served to accentuate.  He seemed to know a lot about a lot of things, or so he said.  Retired from the military, Cliffson had come to believe that he had not been honorably discharged.  It was a story he could never get to the bottom of, and the patch over Monk’s eye always reminded him of this.

So you hear anything?” asked Cliffson.  “Maybe something on your “ham” radio.

“Well, that’s why I was a comin’ over.  The word from the “hams” is that the President will be speaking this afternoon.”

“All right”, Cliffson said flatly.  “I’ll have the TV on today to see if I can catch any news.  Anything else I should know?”

“Well actually there is.”  Both men glanced up for a moment when their conversation was interrupted by the low flight of a drone passing overhead.  “You remember when Greece defaulted last year and bankrupt all of Europe?”  Monk asked.

“Sure do. The PIIGS default brought down the entire European Union and put an end to the Euro.  Who could forget that?”

“And it dishonored and embarrassed the hell out of the Chinese when they were stuck with trillions of dollars in losses on their loans.”

“But Monk, I thought European leaders had reached an agreement with China and the loans were being repaid.”

“It’s fallen through and China’s just issued an ultimatum—immediately pay back the loans in full, or suffer the termination of all outside energy sources.”  Monk smacked a fist into his palm.

“How they gonna do that?”  Cliffson took a seat on the rock wall surrounding his garden to tie his shoe.

“Europe ain’t buying it either.”

“What do you think Monk, can it be done?”

“I have my doubts, but I wouldn’t put anything past them.  They’re the greatest economic force on the planet and will make no bones about doing what they have to do.  Saving face is everything to the Chinese and they’ll go to great lengths to regain their honor.  We could be looking at war Cliffson.”

“Just when you think things can’t get any worse.  Anyway, what’re you up to today?”  Cliffson got back on his feet after tying his shoes.

“Was a thinkin’ I’d be planting some spuds.  Time’s ‘bout right and I’m in the mood for it.  I need to run down to the feed store first though.  Anything you need Cliffson?”

“Nope, I think we’re good for now, but thanks for askin’.”

“All right then, see you folks later.”

“Take care Monk.”

“Keep your powder dry mate.”


On the west side of the Cascade Mountains, Thomas Jefferson was backing his black Mercedes out of a parking spot reserved for faculty at Valley University in Salem, Oregon.  It was a private university where Thomas was a respected senior professor, instructing history and sociology.  He’d promised not to be late but that never seemed to change anything and once again, he found himself rushing to his son’s ball game.  Davis was a senior and starting pitcher for the Silverton High Patriots. Thomas had missed far too many games and kicked himself for being late to the start of another one.

It was hot for May and Thomas could hear the tar bubbles popping in the black top when he left the parking lot.  Reaching over to turn on the radio and fire up the AC, he wrenched the wheel sharply to avoid hitting a street person who’d taken up residence at the edge of the parking lot.  These people are everywhere!  He thought to himself.  I’m sure security will be taking care of it soon.

NPR came on and Thomas merged onto the freeway as the news began……”Spain and Greece have sworn allegiance to China and agreed to Chinese military occupation of their nations in exchange for basic fuel supplies.  Italy is expected to follow.”

The announcer proceeded to describe how debt talks between Chinese and U.S. diplomats had broken down.  China wasn’t going to stand for being paid with funny money any longer and the broadcaster wondered how this was going to affect the nation.

Thomas mentally tuned him out.  No way would this affect the United States.  China’s pre-occupied with Europe and they wouldn’t dare attack us.  Besides, Helicopter Ben’s still printing all the money needed to pay the bills that will assure our own economy continues to improve. He changed channels and his thoughts turned to a confrontation in the class room today.

“Sir, you conveniently ignore the fact Keynes’s only supported inflating the money supply during depressed economic times, not during times of economic growth,” the student countered.

“Nelson, I don’t know what comic books you’ve been getting your economics from, but that’s just not true.”

A few chuckles rose from around the class room.

Thomas rested his lanky frame against the lectern. “Keynes was a progressive of the first kind.  His views saw the future of economics.”

“That’s B.S. professor and you know it.” Nelson stood his ground.

The class held its collective breath, wondering what the professor would do.

“Excuse me Mr. Nelson, this is an institute of learning not an underclass locker room.”

Nelson stood and nearly shouted, “Keynes saw the future of economics like Doctor Frankenstein saw the future of medicine.  If you really knew Keynes, you’d know what he said in his own publications.”

A smattering of applause followed.

Mr. Nelson.  Keynes clearly stated the printing of fiat currency and inflating the money supply would be necessary in slow economic times.  Do you fold, or raise?”

Professor Jefferson was roundly applauded.

“So where are the jobs Professor?  Where are the real people, those who make a life for themselves in construction, farming, logging, mining and producing basic goods that benefit the people of our nation?” Nelson responded.

“They’re all around you, the librarian, policeman, teacher, hospital worker and the post office employee.”

“Ah, but you make my point for me.  Teachers, government employees, soldiers and even you sir, are all part of the dependant class.  Your own six figure salary is paid with taxpayer dollars funneled through us students, yet you produce nothing!”

A round of boo’s rose from the back of the room.

Thomas groaned and shook his head.  “That’s simply not true son.”  Thomas felt the need for a cigarette, having quit a few months previous.

“If we can stay on task, I would point out that our government has been printing money for decades to pay for its social programs, and during that time there were periods of great economic growth when the artificial stimulus was not needed.  That is not Keynesian economics.”

“Throw him out,” one student yelled above the jeers and cat calls.

Well it certainly is.  Keynes specifically stated that debasing the nation’s currency would have no lingering ill effects if it led to an improving economy,” Thomas said.

“And you think we have an improving economy,” Nelson stated flatly.

“Our president is doing everything he can…….”

“To destroy our nation.”  Nelson would not be deterred or intimidated.  “More debt does not jump start an economy already choked with debt.  Sir, a silver dime, worth just a dime as recently as 1970, now costs six paper dollars.  Can’t you see how printing money has led to inflation and economic failure?”

Now the room fell silent.

“That’s not relevant in today’s economics,” Thomas countered.

Nelson wasn’t finished. “With all due respect sir, historically speaking, Keynesian economics has always failed.  It’s the Austrian school of economic thought history has proven right.  Only you and the zombie’s in this classroom believe these policies lead to economic growth.”

Half the classroom stood as if to threaten Nelson.

“Sit down, everyone.”  The professor paused to control his desire for a smoke.  “Nelson, as I said in the beginning, your brand of economic comic book has misled you.  Keynesian economics has been used the world over for the last century with great success.”

The room burst into laughter and applause.

Ah yes, great success indeed.  Europe is about to be invaded by the Chinese because of their great economic success.  Am I not correct?”  Nelson parried and countered.

“China will not invade Europe.  It’s only saber rattling to force the European leaders to accept terms they do not want to accept.”

“Sir, China has secured energy supplies the world over and recently struck a major new deal with Russia.  Their sword now hangs over all of Europe.”

The room fell silent.

“History also demonstrates the Chinese are not ruled by emotion and reserve the sword for measures of last resort.”  Thomas was smug in his reply.

“Seems clear to me if it were not for the so-called ‘success’ of Keynesian economics, this debate wouldn’t even be taking place.  Presently, the world’s freest markets are found in China.  Their economic power all but makes them rulers of the globe, while the developed world struggles under the burden of Keynes economics and its resulting debt.”

A low rumble carried through the auditorium.  The students had heard enough.

“And you would leave the poor to suffer, Mr. Nelson?”

“That’s a straw dog argument and you know it.  No one’s against improving the lot of the common man, but trading the basic values of freedom for government handouts is enslavement.  It’s the free societies who prosper and maintaining those freedoms and opportunities for the present and future generations is of much greater importance than taking a temporary handout from the current administration.”

“But Mr. Nelson, look around you.  The world’s governments have embraced the wisdom of Keynes.  You presume to know more than they?”

That brought the students to their feet with a loud round of applause.

Nelson remained unfazed.  “It’s simple history.  The failed principles of Keynes central planning litter the landscape.  What history clearly demonstrates is how men crave the power to enslave other men and the Keynes model is perfect for doing so.  Man’s past is filled with truth’s shed blood.  If only you would see it for what it really is.  ”

“Well Mr. Nelson, I think I see it quite clearly.”

“I don’t believe you do sir.  To see the truth, you cannot be for or against, because the truth simply is.”

“Again, Mr. Nelson, it’s been a stimulating debate and as much as I would like to continue this discussion, we’ve run out of time for today.  Class is dismissed.”

Nelson was immediately surrounded by Zombies. “What’re you trying to do dude?  Can’t you appreciate a good thing?  The government’s paying for everything these days, where do you get off taking an attitude like that?”

Thomas smiled to himself as he recalled the students swooping in on Nelson at the close of class.  Then his thoughts returned to the present and he silently cursed to himself, remembering he was supposed to stop for cat food.  It would make him even later for the game but he didn’t want to incur his wife’s wrath for neglecting the errand she had requested.  He would make a quick stop at a store near the ballpark.

The tires on his Mercedes squealed when he turned into the parking lot, parked and jogged inside.   He hurried to the pet food aisle and found their usual brand.  Wait a moment, he thought.  Could it really have gone up that much since the last time I bought it?  He didn’t have time to concern himself with it but for the second time today, thought about how thankful he was to have a six figure income.

Rushing outside to his car, one of the local street people approached him and asked for money.  Brusquely he pushed the man aside and told him to get a job.  The boldness of these people; weren’t there government programs to help them?  Besides, he’d paid his dues in long hours and sacrifice to make it where he was, and they should do the same.

Thomas arrived at his son’s game in the middle of the fifth inning with the team down one to nothing.  The run had been scored on an error but he was pleased to hear Davis was pitching well.   He loved watching his son pitch.  The accuracy and speed with which he threw had brought offers of scholarships, though they were still hoping to hear from a couple of the nation’s top colleges.

As the game progressed it remained a one to nothing contest and Davis now had eleven strikeouts to his credit.  Thomas realized that with just two games left on the schedule, he was really going to miss these games and mentally chewed himself out again for not seeing more of them.

In the freshening evening air, a light breeze rustled the maple trees bordering the field.  Thomas loved being wrapped up in the middle of an exciting game and strove to commit it all to memory.

During the seventh inning stretch a fan sitting near Thomas turned on a radio.  The news came on and Thomas overheard talk of flash mobs descending on businesses in Chicago and Detroit.  Pharmacies and food stores were favorite targets.  Law enforcement had yet to find an answer and the groups were becoming bolder and more violent.  It made Thomas angry.  Across the nation violence was rising and it concerned him.  They should be locking these thugs up.  Society is unraveling and the government needs to do more, he calculated.

Davis was pitching a one hitter when the game entered the top of the ninth inning, and the coach decided to leave him in.  He subsequently mowed down the first three batters; the Patriots would come to bat in the bottom of the ninth, needing a run to tie the game.  No different than most pitchers, Davis wasn’t known as a hitter and as much as Thomas loved watching his son pitch, he always grew nervous when Davis came to the plate.  He would be the fourth batter up if any of the first three batters made it to base.

The first batter was trying too hard and went down chasing a couple of bad pitches.  The Patriots next batter was a better hitter and often came through when the rest of the club was struggling.  Thomas hoped this would be the case today.  The first pitch was taken as a strike.  Come on you gotta swing that bat!  Thomas scolded to himself.  The second pitch was a ball and Thomas could feel the tension rising in the stands.  On the next pitch, the batter connected.  It looked like he might have a double but a great throw from left field held the runner on first.  That’s a start, Thomas thought, as his nervousness rose to match the level of his excitement.  His son would soon come to bat.

After fouling off numerous balls and fighting to hang in with each pitch, the third batter went down.  Thomas sat on the edge of his seat and the home crowd stands fell quiet. With two out, the Patriot’s hopes rested squarely in the hands of their pitcher.

The breeze was shifting now and Thomas noted it was blowing out towards right field.  That won’t be much help, he thought.  Davis always pulls the ball to his left.

Davis took the first pitch low for a ball and the stands relaxed, only to tense back up as the pitcher and catcher agreed on the next throw.  It was delivered outside, but Davis was fooled and went fishing.  It was an ugly swing and the crowd groaned.  The next pitch looked high and inside and Davis held his swing.  “STREEERIKE”, sounded the umpire.  The home town fans booed, but the pressure was on.

Game on the line, the pitcher prepared for his delivery, CRACK.  A hush fell across the stadium and the fans collectively held their breath.  The ball was headed towards the right-field fence when Thomas recalled the wind direction.  Could it get there?  Then the crowd erupted.  It was a home run.  His son leapt and celebrated as he ran the bases and the entire team met him at home plate to congratulate him.

Thomas and his wife Mary accepted frequent pats on the back and well wishes when they made their way from the stands.  “That son of yours has a real future ahead of him, Thomas”, “kids got one heck of an arm”, or “he made you proud parents today folks, tell him great game for us.”

On their way home Thomas began talking about the future and the possibility of Davis making the pros.

Mary cautioned him.  “Honey, he’s not even out of high school yet.  Let’s not get our hopes too high.

“You’re right, you’re right, but I do get excited for him.  He’s got a real future in the game.”

Are you a writer?  If so you probably know this struggle.  So many times life just gets in the way and doesn’t leave you much time for writing.  Then when the day comes you have the time, your mind is not in the mood and no matter how you try, it simply wont cooperate.

My wife and I have a huge garden, fruit trees, chickens and honeybees.  I call it my victory garden – a victory over Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMO’s.  Everything we do is organic and all seed is heirloom.  This time of year when the bounty rolls in and our labor is rewarded there seems to be little time for writing.  To further absorb what little time I have left I’ve begun a memoir, a new writing experience encouraged by my oldest son.  Then there’s the offer to write articles for a magazine.  That could be interesting.  I will keep you posted as this develops.

Tomorrow another chapter of Truths Blood.  Today a picture of the garden and a link to my other blog.

Have a great day everyone!

http://organictruths.wordpress.com/

 

100_4054 100_4051

Here is the next chapter in the dystopian thriller that is Truths Blood.

Chapter Two

“I hope our wisdom will grow with our power and teach us that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”

Thomas Jefferson

Chen was growing anxious to leave the god-forsaken ground where fate had abandoned him these many long months.  He was tired of the dust and the parched landscape with its prickly vegetation that grabbed at him wherever he went.  The tented awning under which he sat provided shade but only modest relief from the heat.  He longed for the warm, moist climate and lush vegetation of his home in Southeast Asia.

Lazily swatting at the ever present flies, Chen withdrew a photograph from his attaché case and gazed longingly at the dark haired beauty smiling back at him.  They came from two different worlds; hers, affluent and well appointed; his, poor and wanting.  Even so, and against the will of her parents, they’d kept their relationship alive.  Chen had vowed that somehow he would acquire the wealth needed to win her parent’s approval.  It wasn’t going to be found in this forlorn and desolate border post in northern Mexico, but he was working on a plan.

His thoughts were interrupted by the sudden rush of feet and salute of his communications officer.

“Relax Kang.  What has you so excited?”

“The orders, sir.”

Chen leaned back in his chair, read the hastily scribbled note and closed his eyes for a moment.  Upon opening them he gazed into the distance, towards the southern border of the United States.

Exhaling loudly, Chen returned to the moment.  “Finally Kang, our moment of redemption draws near.”  Chen reached for his attaché case to retrieve two small glasses and a bottle of scotch.  After pouring the drinks, he offered one to Kang.

“Really, sir?”

Chen simply nodded and raised his glass in a toast.  “To success and to returning home.”  The men tossed back their drinks and Kang returned to his station.  Chen poured himself another drink in an attempt to control his impatience for the night’s events to begin.

Finally, the wait is over.  Tonight we infiltrate the U.S. and prepare to pay them back for the wrongs perpetrated on mighty China.

 


 

Shortly after midnight, at the Animas Valley border patrol outpost in New Mexico’s Bootheel, Buzz Peterson poured two cups of coffee and stepped into the communications room.  His partner’s growing agitation was out of character.

“Steven what’s going on?”

“I can’t believe what’s happening.  Seven border patrol stations are under attack.

“Are you sure?”

“It’s all over the radio.  Every available unit including the National Guard is being called in to assist.”

The lights dimmed as the stations power switched to battery backup.

“Power’s out Buzz, we’d better go…

Explosions rocked the building and a fire burst into flame in the kitchen.  Heavy caliber bullets were pounding the station’s bullet proof glass as Buzz and Steven crawled through the smoke towards the backdoor.  Then the backdoor exploded in a blaze of brimstone and light.  Buzz and Steven lay dead.


Chen relaxed in a canvas backed chair smiling to himself and rubbing his hands with delight.  Everything was going exactly as planned.  The Americans were in a panic and confusion reigned across the airwaves.  Soon the order would come to send in his aircraft and their mission would be complete.

Its been a while since I’ve posted.  For me it seems that summer is more for relaxing and reading than for writing and all the activities of summer seem to get in the way somehow, but I hope to get back to being more regular on this blog.  What I’ve decided to do is to begin posting chapters of my book.  As time allows, I am working on the sequel, so you may want to follow along, or head out a pick a copy of the book itself.  Over the summer months I have picked up a number of five star reviews on Amazon where the book sells for just $2.51.  Below is the link to Amazon and also the first chapter of the book.

http://www.amazon.com/Truths-Blood-ebook/dp/B00AREMKV6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1376491754&sr=1-1&keywords=truths+blood

Preface

“Paradoxically enough, the release of initiative and enterprise made possible by popular self-government ultimately generates disintegrating forces from within.  Again and again after freedom has brought opportunity and some degree of plenty, the competent become selfish, luxury-loving and complacent, the incompetent and the unfortunate grow envious and covetous, and all three groups turn aside from the hard road of freedom to worship the Golden Calf of economic security.  The historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more.

At the stage between apathy and dependency, men always turn in fear to economic and political panaceas.  New conditions, it is claimed, require new remedies.  Under such circumstances, the competent citizen is certainly not a fool if he insists upon using the compass of history when forced to sail uncharted seas.  Usually so-called new remedies are not new at all.  Compulsory planned economy, for example, was tried by the Chinese some three millenniums ago, and by the Romans in the early centuries of the Christian era.  It was applied in Germany, Italy and Russia long before the present war broke out.  Yet it is being seriously advocated today as a solution of our economic problems in the United States.  Its proponents confidently assert that government can successfully plan and control all major business activity in the nation, and still not interfere with our political freedom and our hard-won civil and religious liberties.  The lessons of history all point in exactly the reverse direction.”

Henning W. Prentis, “Industrial Management in a Republic”, 1943

CHAPTER  ONE

 There is a Latin proverb – “Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur”.  “The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived.”

Once again I find myself here, resting on the old grey steps of this farm house. Reflecting on all that has happened and what lies before me, I pause a moment and listen to the darkness around me.  I want to absorb it all and take it with me, for I do not expect to see this place again.

In the end, the nuclear bombs weren’t the worst of it, for the holocaust was not what people anticipated.  But the economic collapse, starvation and ghastly executions went far beyond anything imagined.  The blade that severs life and divides our future from the past still glints an evil eye across the landscape and I think only of the fate being left to my sons.

The stars shine as brilliantly tonight as they did in ancient times.  With the twinkle of an eye they greet.  We were partners, they and I, witnesses to things no man should be required to bear.  Much more than me, they were a constant in the maelstrom.  So I assemble here late this night, to abide again with the one companion who has observed my struggle, endured as I have endured and seen what I have witnessed.  For nothing is left untouched, except the stars.

The rustling leaves of the poplar stir my soul and the siding on this old house cracks and pops in the cooling air, relaxing, breathing easier. Once a thriving farm on the outskirts of town, it was abandoned when the city expanded, bringing a halt to its country way of life.

In another age, another time, I used to ride my bike down the lane, past these quarters, often waving to the couple who worked the potato fields here. It’s a pleasant memory and in my mind’s eye I still see them standing not far from where I now sit. For reasons I’ve never understood, the land this house rests upon was not developed and I wonder if it wasn’t meant to remain for these times, just as I was destined to survive.

A sea of housing flows past me on three sides and laps at the front door steps, leaving only the single field behind. An enormous church sits across the intersection. Though in need of paint, the boards sorely worn, it remains untouched and for that I am glad.  The surrounding sub-divisions are filled with burned out houses, shallow graves and lost souls. The people who remain resemble the sub-divisions themselves—beat up, lifeless, worn and weathered.

The church and this farmhouse sit at the intersection of town and country, much as they sat at the crossroads of both unspeakable trials and compassionate moments of sacrifice and friendship. Their constant, unchanging nature comforts and I employ the peace they bring—a balm for my aching mind and dying body.

Now the first streaks of sunlight stretch fingers of orange and grey across the eastern sky and I am reminded that I sit astride two centuries, though not as centuries marked on a calendar. What was new is now old and what was old is now new. The day will come when these people will look out upon a new dawn and a day without the bridle, the whip or the execution, though the saddle of remorse will remain. I wonder if they will attempt to rebuild what was, or if they have learned not to repeat the same mistakes. Oh how I wish it were true, but history, that wise old sage, will argue otherwise.

I have been left here for reasons unknown. A quirk of fate, unseen hand, or crack in time allowed me to slip through the grip that wrenched our nation’s soul to sift bone from sinew, father from son and hell from the pit. Just how it is I remain, an old man, left over from another time, I do not know.

My horse whinnies, as if to remind me time is short and I must go. Though regret would bind me to this place, there is one job still required of me.  Muley stomps his feet as I move to untie the reins and I leave you now to join my eldest son.

Free Book Offer

Posted: August 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

For the next few days I will “gift” a copy of Truths Blood to anyone who has a kindle and requests a copy.  It’s that simple, just ask right here.  Be sure to include the email address for your kindle that I am to send the book to.