WASTEFUL MANAGEMENT – My New Novel

Wasteful Management is a satirical black comedy mystery novel that goes after the true villains in our global society… the most egregious of the multinational corporation CEOs; essentially, the leaders of the Military Industrial Complex.

As the book begins, sometime in the present, corporate tyranny reigns supreme. To stop this madness, what can one person do? What can anybody do? Until one day… the largest multinational companies’ CEOs begin to disappear. Who is doing this, and why?

It’s a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma… or is it?

In the book, Wasteful Management, these executives are “removed” from society in ways that illustrate poetic justice. They are replaced with thoughtful individuals with integrity, who, with the help of others, ultimately bring about a new age of enlightenment to the world… and that is just for starters!

As an example of this “poetic justice”, one CEO, the Agribusiness leader of Tyrranex, Inc., is trampled by a giant GMO tomato in a remote part of India.

Jim Hightower says, “Wasteful Management is a refreshing combination of intrigue, humor, camp and serious politics, which fuses the gravitas of a Noam Chomsky or a Bill Moyer with the edgy, stinging social commentary of a Jon Stewart or a Stephen Colbert, into a satirical mystery romp.”

Wasteful Management lampoons the powerful wealthy elite, their practices, their elite clubs (CFR, Skull and Bones, Bilderberg, etc.) and their institutions (WTO, IMF, World Bank, etc.) as well as address their sociopathic behaviors.

Ground-breaking, controversial, uplifting…bring your popcorn and come prepared to “boo, hiss!” the villian and “cheer!” for the hero; sit back, and enjoy the ride!

Book available at Creatspace eStore: https://www.createspace.com/5796614

Below are six excerpts from the book that describe some of my book’s characters, beginning with some esteemed leading representatives of the Church, Industrial, and Military complexes, followed by Simon, Michael Quinn, and Madeline.

(Excerpt from my new novel… Wasteful Management)

NATHANIEL NIGHTSHADE – ETERNAL OBEDIENCE MEGACHURCH MINISTRIES INC.

Nathaniel Nightshade glanced at the large clock that hung over his dressing room mirror. The clock’s rounded frame was gold-leafed 24 carat gold. Its armature midsection was designed to represent the figure of Jesus Christ, his arms and hands simulating the hands of the clock. His present configuration resembled a man hailing a cab.

Nathaniel still had an hour before showtime. His adjacent walls exhibited other similar uniquely designed clocks, each representing a different time zone and religion. The Israeli clock had a rabbi figure and the Islam clock had an Ayatollah figure, each with their arms and hands extended.

He next caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror on the wall, and smiled approvingly. In his late 50s, his facial features were still strong, new teeth glistening white, and only a few distinguishing gray streaks in his otherwise raven colored thick head of hair.

Nathaniel Nightshade, the world’s most prominent ultra conservative evangelical preacher, was preparing himself in his opulent dressing room to give another sermon performance to a crowd of thousands, as well as possibly a million more via satellite.

A large line of cocaine had been neatly arranged on his table along with a crisp hundred dollar bill that a young boy had placed on the table setting. The church leader gave him a wink and a pat on his bottom as the young boy scurried out of the room. Nathaniel, alone, picked up the rolled bill, bent over the alluring white powder, and inhaled the contents in one swift motion. Smiling, he sat back in his chair and reflected upon his life.

In recent years, Nathaniel Nightshade had achieved the evangelical zenith in popularity; his fire and brimstone diatribes branded anyone who defied not only him but also the great pillars of corporate capitalism whom he represented and supported. He would instruct his faithful followers that they must denounce these foul sinners, or they would certainly not make it to the Lord’s pearly gates.

No evangelical preacher before or since Nathaniel’s prominence on the religious scene had so masterfully interwoven Biblical passages with corporate dogma, merging the Bible’s script with multinational CEO’s edicts to perfection, like chocolate and peanut butter in a Reese’s candy cup.

Nathaniel was blessed with a silver tongue. For Nathaniel had even reshaped the Old Testament and the Ten Commandments into a corporate how-to manual, espousing his own unique revisionist interpretation. His most famous Commandments included:

Thou Shalt Not do anything to harm the Free Marketplace.

Thou Shalt Not raise the minimum wage.

Thou Shalt Not reinstate the Glass Seagal Act nor the Anti-Trust Act.

Thou Shalt Not dismiss War as an Alternative Solution.

Thou Shalt Not believe in the US Constitution except for the Right to Bear Arms or Red States’ Rights.

Thou Shalt Not Believe in Evolution or Revolution.

Thou Shalt Smite the Communist, Socialist, College-Educated, Liberal, Union Sympathizers, French sympathizers, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Open-minded, and Tie-Dye Wearers as heathens.

Among his loyal obedient followers, Nathaniel had successfully demonized all present and future human impediments to the Establishment’s goals as well as having paved jingoistic support for any Military Industrial Complex future lucrative endeavor.

“Help us create the enemy, my boy, and they will follow their leaders against them like three blind patriotic mice,” Big Bank’s CEO David Rotburger had assured Nathaniel over an especially fine brandy.

Nathaniel’s natural charisma and persuasive prowess, combined with his well-hewed political connections through his Skull and Bones, Masonic, and Job Bones University associations, had helped him immensely in his meteoric rise up the evangelical ladder. As the unmistakable leader within the ecclesiastical council, Nathaniel had seen to ensuring that all his ministry underlings as well as other evangelical ministers would preach the corporate scripted teachings.

In the 1920s and 30s radio had played a pivotal role for evangelicals. Recognizing the potential large scale influences that a national radio program broadcast could command, early corporate industrialists would bankroll these evangelicals so as to more easily manipulate the devout masses of the American heartland.

Often these early evangelicals would favor Laissez-faire economics and be outspoken critics of the New Deal, and later the Great Society, helping their industrialist sponsors distract and misdirect the religious flock, through fear-mongering fire and brimstone rhetoric.

“Always look toward the man of color, the new immigrant, or the commie sympathizer as your true villain” the evangelical leaders would say, pointing the blame for their followers’ impoverished economic conditions elsewhere.

This invaluable lesson was not lost upon Nathaniel and his corporate cronies by the 1970s, as plans were drawn for similar manipulative tactics to be implemented through new religious TV networks; a reborn, refinanced conservative evangelical radio network was created as well. Notable religious TV networks brought to prominence during this period included the Good Christian Network and the 666 Club.

Nathaniel fondly recalled those early ministry events, when, after a rousing evangelical revival, held primarily across the Southern states, his fellow ministers would get together on a Sunday night for their weekly poker game. The meeting place often was held in an old abandoned Southern Baptist church. The cases of liquor and beer were hauled to the church’s back entrance as well as the near truckload full of money that had been acquired at the collection plates of each minister’s revival meetings.

“Hallelujah, Brothers! God has smiled on us again this week!” Nathaniel would proclaim, broad grin on his face, a cigar dangling from the corner of his mouth. Each evangelical colleague laughed, raised his Jack Daniels bottle, each taking a hard swig in salute to this latest haul from their pigeon parishioners.

To kick off the poker game, Nathaniel would produce a bright pink piggy bank that had been left in his collection plate by a young black boy, at the insistence of his grandmother. He would then ceremoniously break the poor defenseless ceramic piggy into a million pieces, coins flying everywhere on the table.“Alright, boys… let’s ante up!” Nathaniel yelled.

Now, those humble beginnings were distant memories. Today, the collection plate receipts reached over a billion dollars a year. Every member of that original group had become multi-millionaires living in opulent surroundings, and the recreational activities had exponentially expanded as well.

On Nathaniel’s desk sat a family portrait. His wife, a tall sturdy woman with blonde hair, stood erect, hands clasped in a fig leaf pose, as were his five children, also in fig leaf poses. Next to them sat the family dog, he too in a bland fig leaf pose.
Nathaniel hated that dog. He always urinated on his shoes when he entered the mansion. Two children were gay while the other three were on drugs. His wife remained mean and sober at all times, when the spotlight was not on her. Nathaniel remained in constant fear of his wife.

Not too many years ago, The Establishment had decreed that the world’s traditional religions should, for greater economies of scale and control, be merged into one consolidated venture with one corporate religious executive in charge, reporting exclusively to The Establishment. Naturally, such a business arrangement would be completely secret. The reporting traditional religions would be Christianity, Islam and Judaism, and the agreed upon corporate religious executive would be Nathaniel Nightshade.

On Nathaniel’s desk sat a phone shaped like Jesus Christ on the cross that flashed bright blood red when it rang. At that moment the phone began to flash. Only the highest church representatives used this private line, so this incoming call was most unexpected since he rarely received such calls before a performance… religious etiquette. None, outside of himself, his twin brother Daniel, the leader of the Shining Path Megachurch, and Big Bank’s David Rotburger knew the secret behind such calls.
Nathaniel picked up the phone and slowly put it to his ear.

“Hello, this is Nathaniel.”
On the other end of the line, a tired, exasperated voice spoke in broken English, laced with a heavy Italian accent.
“Buona sera, Signor Nightshade. This is Cardinal Giuseppe, speaking from the Vatican, on behalf of the Pope of the Catholic Church.”
“How are things Cardinal Giuseppe?”
“Well… my prostrate has swelled the size of a basketball… that darn foot fungus on my left testicle keeps making me itch during confessional, and I have a rash on my ass the size of Sicily… but hey, other than that… I can’t complain.”
“No, no, Cardinal Giuseppe… I meant how is the situation in the Vatican?”

(end of excerpt 1}

————————————————————————————————-

Nathan Harrison CEO – EVICON

“Power has its privileges” Nathan Harrison said to himself, smiling as he gazed out his enormous panoramic office window. Twilight was fast approaching this remote outpost in the former Russian province. Beaming satisfaction, he stared toward the seductive maze of steel beams, refinery tanks, and wispy, toxic steam. Nathan Harrison resembled many men in his executive position: mid-50s, average height, thinning hair. Good living had expanded a once respectable physique. Fortunately, well-tailored suits could mask any physical deficiencies. The office where he stood showed no personal belongings, not even framed family portraits, the type many married men brought with them to assignments in foreign lands, to provide that personal touch. Nathan despised his wife and children. They were a necessary evil for appearances only. Frankly, he enjoyed these getaways; now that he was settled in his new surroundings, he could order the prerequisite prostitutes for his miscreant pleasures.
Nathan picked up his phone, hit speed dial and after several seconds, began to speak.
“Yes, yes, that’s right. You know my usual taste in women. They’re Arabic, or something like that in this forsaken region. Find an exotic looking one. Yeah, lots of veils.”

Turning off his phone, Nathan stepped over to the mahogany bar and poured himself another pre-mixed high ball. Taking a long hard sip, he let his mind playfully reminisce, thinking back over his early years and his pre-ordained rise up the corporate ladder.

“We’re better than the rest,” his father had always told him. “Greatness and supremacy are in our blood.” Nathan always believed that. “Power is the greatest aphrodisiac” was his credo. “Acts of kindness reflect a man’s weakness,” a phrase his father had drilled into his psyche. He really couldn’t remember his father saying anything else.

Nathan had performed all the proper steps necessary to achieve success. He had attended all the appropriate schools, starting with the prestigious East Coast prep school, continuing his education at Yale for his chemical engineering degree. In response to his college major selection his father had remarked, “You always enjoyed blowing up things when you were a kid.”

While attending university Nathan discovered he shared similar traits with his fellow classmates; they all were ambitiously driven and intellectually superior. Few, however, had the prowess to manipulate opportunities to their advantage, at any price… as he did. The end always justified the means. Those who did demonstrate this ability would eventually, as he had, rise to the dizzying height of the tallest towers, guiding the helm of industry toward their ultimate destination…global dominance!

Social Darwinism, he sighed. There were those destined to rule; the rest took the appropriate orders. Those considered the dominant bloodline had defined this distinction in humanity.

As Nathan poured himself another high ball, he failed to notice on his monitor console the activity taking place just outside the main gate. A delivery truck approached the guard station of the plant’s front entrance. After an obligatory inspection of the linen service van, the guard waved the driver on, then returned to his Absurdistan porn magazine… unaware of the chicken feathers drifting from the back of the truck.

Taking a sizable swig from his drink, Nathan turned his thoughts to more serious issues. The situation had worsened, here in this remote region of Absurdistan, and thus had required his personal attention and finesse. His company, EVICON, the largest multinational oil corporation in the world… had a considerable stake in Absurdistan’s untapped oil resources, which until recent developments, had been a well-kept secret. Absurdistan had of course been included on the United States’ axis of evil terrorist hit list. This political facade, designed for various political and business agendas, had banned all American corporations’ business transactions with the Absurdistan government. Naturally, these restrictions were not really to be imposed or enforced upon EVICON’s current project in this country. Nonetheless, the secret had been exposed.

Nathan had always vehemently disliked the press… those irritating journalists, especially the occasional freelance kind. The obedient journalists, thought Nathan, knew to stay clear… if they wanted to keep their privileged limelight jobs and lucrative paychecks. Nathan made a mental note to himself to contact Carl at Multimedia Conglomerate and insist he accelerate the acquisition of all remaining media outlets.

The civil war in Absurdistan had continued beyond the initial targeted schedule. The combination of Russian military ineptitude and the rebels’ nagging resilience to resist the onslaught of mass destruction weaponry was really trying Nathan’s patience. What would father have thought of all this? He could hear his father now: “Why, in my day, we would have disposed of the pesky peasants and put them in their graves before tea time!” He was a hard man to please.

To prevent the current situation from worsening, damage control had become essential. The word among the Corporate Roundtable Association was that a company named Wasteful Management, a consulting firm that specialized in delicate environmental and political risk management scenarios, was the company to hire for this job. They had successfully eliminated unwanted publicity for several companies accused of alleged environmental and labor violations. Their savvy ability for spinning what might otherwise appear a corporation’s blatant abuse of power… into a benevolent yarn, preaching company goodwill, was rapidly becoming legendary among the Fortune 100. Only the wary environmental activists knew this devious tactic by its real intent…greenwashing.

As part of their conditions for successfully tackling these assignments, the Wasteful Management team required access to top management’s personnel files as well as crucial project documents so that they could better ascertain a counter misinformation strategy to present to the media and the general public.

Such risk management tactics, as they were so benignly referred to, had been applied in the past for EVICON though with less satisfactory results. Before soliciting the services of Wasteful Management, markers were called in to key politicians and various key media personnel executives loyal to the firm, to mitigate public outcry over several delicate situations.

These situations included numerous oil spills along the Alaskan coast, the North Sea oil rig fires, the Alaskan National Wildlife Reserve drilling, cozy relationships with African and Indonesian dictators, and the South American offshore drilling operations. The black and white plaque on Nathan’s desk stated to him the obvious, a credo his father and others had taught him well… Oil Is Power. No cost is too high to secure this sanctified philosophy. Global dominance must not be sacrificed for the mere nuisance of ecological damage, the livelihood of a few poor fishermen, tribal genocide or the displacement of some ignorant Indian tribes like the Inupiat in Alaska.

He could not find remorse or sympathy for such complaints. The critics could not understand the big picture that he, and others, saw as the greater good… which was accomplished by their expansion and rule. Humanity needed a strong mother and a stronger father.
Nathan had the brief opportunity to meet with the Wasteful Management team. A very capable, charismatic lot, he thought… though something about their demeanor puzzled him.

His thoughts were suddenly interrupted. He heard noises in the hall. No one had authorization to be on the top floor that evening except for his special security guards. In recent weeks, extremists from the Absurdistan rebel group Tar-Tar had threatened harm to EVICON and its chief officers. Hence, executives had been alerted, and traveled under secrecy and protection. Few people currently knew of Nathan’s whereabouts.

Nathan called out to the guards in the hallway. No reply. Feeling a tightening of his nerves, he immediately moved to the bar and poured himself another highball. He downed the drink quickly, hoping to relieve his mounting anxiety. For a brief respite, the alcohol’s seduction had worked its charm.

“Imbecilic guards! You can’t trust anyone to be competent in this world!” he roared. “They are sheep grazing on my land… and I have a good mind to flog them all!” Another noise, this one much closer, swiftly derailed his train of thought; Nathan’s whole body began to tremble. He turned toward the window, at which point his eyes flared wide at seeing what appeared to be the form of a man’s dark shadow moving along the ledge.

Nathan scrambled for the phone on his desk, in hopes of alerting security… but the line was dead. Feigning defiance, he shouted toward the window. No response was returned…only deafening silence. The minutes passed like hours. Nathan could feel the gin oozing from his pores.

He tried to think of pleasant thoughts. He remembered fondly walking the glistening steel corridor in the Zurich bank, and opening up his secret Swiss bank account on Christmas Day. Another memory drifted back to the moment he had first seen his face on the cover of Times as the Best Executive of the Year. That was the year his company had laid off a record number of employees; he could recall his father’s face actually cracking a smile when he heard the news.

Without warning… the bay window shattered with a determined ferocity, shards of glass slicing through the air in every imaginable direction. The impact of this sudden intrusion sent Nathan stumbling for the carpet. As abruptly, two men cloaked in black fatigues and masks hoisted his body upright. Nathan could see only the piercing brown eyes of a masked stranger who was pulling Nathan’s body to within inches of his face. Stating his words in a slow, purposeful manner, in the language of Absurdistan, the masked man decreed, “Your sweet justice has at last arrived!”

This said, the men dragged Nathan outside to the edge of the balcony.

As a stunned, frightened Nathan looked downward, the rising toxic fumes and the eerie wisps of steam from the refinery below seemed less appealing than a few moments previous, almost to the point of making him nauseous. Struggling to no avail, a coating of gooey tar was sprayed over his body. Next, a large fan was placed in front of a box of chicken feathers. The second masked stranger hit the switch, sending a flurry of chicken feathers in Nathan’s direction.

This act represented a classic tar and feathering, a historical method of reprisal enacted upon those charged with dastardly deeds, designed for public humiliation and mockery. Powerful EVICON CEO Nathan Harrison now resembled a black and white feathery buffoon.

Spitting feathers, Nathan shouted hysterically, “Are you satisfied now!”

Judging from the cold, steely stares of his assailants, he realized that he shouldn’t have opened his mouth.

Trapped in the corner of a dangerously high ledge, Nathan had no recourse for escape. His sticky body was lifted high, held for what seemed like an eternity, so as to give Nathan one long last look at his poetic ending: a hot cauldron filled with boiling oil, eagerly awaiting him below.

The other assailant, who had been silent, suddenly spoke softly, this time in clear, specific English. He stepped over, and whispered in Nathan’s ear, “A fitting ending… don’t you think Nathan?”

Before feeling his body being hurled to its demise, Nathan experienced an epiphany, a vision of an early childhood memory: a moment in his room where he had torn to shreds his first stuffed toy; a cuddly replica of a baby seal… the first of many seals that Nathan in his lifetime would be responsible for annihilating. The vision vanished… and Nathan went unconscious.

(end of excerpt 2 )

Testimonials:

Koch Brothers — @#$&%@#$!

David Rockefeller — @#$&%@#$!

Dick Cheney ——– @#$%&%@#$!

George “W” ——— Too many big words…. any pictures?

EXCERPT # 3

SCHOOL OF THE PEACEKEEPING KILLERS

Like clockwork, at the crack of dawn, the camp commandant stepped out onto the barrack’s porch to greet the new day as the hot desert sun rose in the east. The colonel sniffed the air, smiled, and said to no one in particular how much he liked the smell of napalm in the morning…and the afternoon…oh heck, he’d admit it: he was a 24/7 napalm man!

His was a striking figure: bald, 6’2”, 210 lbs., wore dark shades, and always maintained a perennial cigar wedged into the corner of his mouth. This training facility had provided him with a lot of fine memories over the years. He thought back to the wonderful bloodthirsty graduates who had been successfully trained under his tutelage. Men that included every military dictator the world had seen over the last thirty years. These were his beloved thugs, mugs, burglars, halfwits, dimwits… he paused in his thoughts, glanced around, observed no one within sight… then proceeded to wipe a small tear from his eye.
Regaining his composure, he continued with his reminiscing. His School of the Peacekeeping Killers had seen a litany of accomplishments under his supervision. The military industrial complex had been well served. The school helped train our future enemies’ generals and colonels to help ensure the money machine of war would stay well lubricated.
Besides military positions, these men would also serve their diplomatic and political positions in their respective countries. Their education, of course, came from American universities, most educated at East Coast Ivy League while the rest were educated at their West Coast equivalents. At these facilities would be trained the future puppet leaders of global war conflicts.

At least the war training ops kept him in the action during those brief doggone peaceful lulls that periodically took place in the world. The Colonel couldn’t help but sneer, thinking about his peers from the military Old School. They had grown too squeamish, too soft under the belly… when it came to the prospect of enduring any personal pain in battle, a little blood spillage on the playing field, a little shrapnel behind the ears.
He spat the remains of his wad of chew. No sir, they delegated those duties to the lower ranks. His fellow graduates who had moved up the military hierarchy to become generals had grown too ambitious as well, kissing wimpy politicians’ ass up on The Hill just so their battle-axe wives could attend those elite cocktail parties.
Sure, they had achieved a higher rank than he. So what! He had ribbons, and proudly carried his shrapnel behind his ears. The metal plate implanted next to his cerebral cortex came in quite handy when predicting a storm.
However, and most important, he had a job to do. There were Commies in the world…and terrorists…and peaceniks…and liberals…and college kids…and smart people…all those who stood in the way of the American way of life! By golly, if he had to train every soldier in the world to kill every one of those bastards in order to preserve that way of life… he’d do it!

His daddy didn’t raise no coward. He remembered how his daddy once dropped him in an open pit filled with wild boars… just to teach him a lesson. All he had to defend himself was his small plastic Playdough knife. An hour later his daddy came out, heard the silence, and saw his boy sitting back up on the grass with a bloated full stomach. His daddy had beamed with pride.

The Colonel was especially proud of their facilities’ top secret terrorist training cells, each equipped with special video equipment for producing their savage videos. The Colonel always got a good chuckle when he’d watch on the evening news channel the alleged terrorist videos our government would anonymously receive from a “known” terrorist organization.
These videos would have the customary Arabic-looking men wearing hoods over their heads, with some poor schmuck tied to a chair, blindfolded, ready to be beheaded. Next, the leader of this group of bearded men would proceed to read a script in Arabic translated into English by someone in the State Department for the American public to hear.
The videos of course would give an air of authenticity to the federal government’s premise that there were indeed Arab terrorists out there in the Islamic world, in countries like Pakistan, Iran, Absurdistan, wherever, that really hated Americans and wanted to systematically severe the heads of all 300 plus million of them. Extrapolated, this premise also implied the necessity for pre-empted warring action for… if not to choose such action… what chance did Americans have against three men with large knives?

This powerful weapon of fear would be driven into the average American’s psyche. The fearful American taxpayer would then happily give more money to the Federal Government to protect them from these evil terrorists. The perpetual “War on Terrorism” stratagem would become reality, and the Military Industrial Complex would have created their ultimate cash cow enemy…. the ubiquitous terrorist.
Yes, the Colonel was very proud of this successful psyche ops plan, a plan he himself had helped develop.
In reality, these Middle East terrorist videos were produced at the School for Peacekeeping Killers’ Al QAIDA ROOM. The men in the video dressed in Arab clothing were the Colonel’s own soldiers. A special wardrobe department provided the necessary assortment of long beards, robes and hoods. The fake giant Turkish sword had been acquired from a Hollywood prop department that had outfitted such classics as the Arabian Nights. The authentic giant Turkish sword had been acquired from the Colonel’s own weaponry collection.
The compounds’ technical department provided the video equipment and the assorted cassette tapes that contained the various declarative terrorist messages. One of the cassette tapes he had personally lent from his private Debby Boone tape collection.

Of course, as any Madison Avenue executive would tell you, you never rely solely on one product line. Applying this successful corporate principle, the school had seen to providing other similar production needs as well, including the need for a diversified terrorist portfolio. That is why the School for Peacekeeping Killers also had the IRA ROOM, the SHINING PATH ROOM, THE RED BRIGADE ROOM, etc.
For one of the originally produced terrorist videos, his command was ordered to actually behead one of their men acting as a prisoner. The reasoning for this act was to provide that extra touch of realism the video needed.

“Give the American public what they want and what they want is to have the living shit scared out of them!” the General had barked. “Remember… we are competing against the anesthetized effects those violent carnage video games have on young people… so we have to make it real.”
The order was followed and the beheading was done. The next day, at parade grounds, the Colonel commended the soldier who had been picked for this extreme sacrifice for his country. A letter would be mailed to his family, citing their son’s patriotism and heroism (on the battlefield in Absurdistan of course).
The Colonel personally considered this a waste of one of his good soldiers. He would have preferred to sacrifice a real Muslim. There always wanting to sacrifice themselves to Allah anyway… so why not provide them with this opportunity!

In order to be heard over the relentless cacophony of gunfire, heavy machinery and bomb bursts, an alarm system had been rigged around the perimeter of his office to sound the alert any time their facility was receiving an incoming call. The calls usually came from the Pentagon, White House or, in a real emergency… from someplace higher up.
The alarm system started ringing. At first, the Colonel thought the ringing was coming from inside his head, an indication that another storm was approaching. This proved erroneous when he saw his staff sergeant come racing out the front door, yelling something about an urgent call. The Colonel spit out the last of his chew and walked toward the office entryway.
“Yes, this is Colonel Peabody. Yes, general, I do remember seeing something in yesterday’s brief sheet about that CEO Nathan Harrison and his disappearance in Absurdistan. Yes sir, I read the report”. The Colonel paused for the response. “One of OUR training groups in the area? No sir, negative. That operation was not conducted by any group we’re associated with in that area.”

THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF

The Joint Chiefs of Staff sat at his desk with a stern look on his face, listening intensely to the voice on the other end of the secure line telephone. His brow furrowed even more than usual.
“Thank you, Colonel. Keep me posted if you hear a word otherwise. Keep up the good work down there.”
The general hung up the phone. “That Peabody is one sick puppy but a hell of a soldier. He says he’s not aware of any organization that may have participated in this operation. How very odd…how very odd indeed.”

Would love to hear your feedback!
My e-mail address is: pecoskid@juno.com

Oh what the heck…. how about three more excerpts from my book, to provide balance to those other guys. Here’s SIMON, Michael Quinn and Madeline!

SIMON – BACK AT THE CIRCUS

Inside his trailer, Simon and his colleague Bob, a fellow circus performer, were watching on Simon’s computer monitor the latest Save the World music extravaganza being broadcast live from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Tens of thousands of cheering fans were swaying to a passionate pulse as the biggest names in the music industry from every continent on the globe… North America, Europe, South America, Africa, Asia, Australia, and Antarctica… had banded together to promote the concepts of universal freedom, love and human dignity through their music. While they watched, Bob asked Simon questions pertaining to how their lives had reached their current situation. Simon smiled, brushed back his long blond hair, sat back while propping his floppy clown shoes on the dresser, and began to answer.

“These world music jams had grown over the years, oscillating in intensity and purpose with each peaceful alternative reaction to the world stage. Each event’s founders and promoters were ever hopeful to influence new minds, and change old minds, to communicate through music a path toward a brighter future only to witness the Establishment’s committed ability to become even more entrenched in their pillaging and plundering pursuits.”

“How so?” said Bob.

“Corporate America simply stepped up the volume of mind numbing commercialism, consumerism, and pyrotechnic flag waving war, drowning out the voices of reason and love that briefly resonated in the concert halls and under the clear music venue skies.”
“How did people overcome Corporate America’s influence?” asked Bob.

Simon responded, “Fortunately, that positive energy had not been entirely squelched by the corporate ruling class. The vibes and the thoughtful words left an indelible mark on many good young souls. The revolution evolved in many forms: a greater internal reassessment of one’s own individuality, one’s own values and one’s personal interrelationship with all living things. Changes in life habits spread inward and outward, each awakened soul thumbing his or her metaphysical nose at society’s dictates and oppressive rules.
The revolution became an evolution for many. Inspirational music taps into this human of all human pulses, and nurtures the seeds of internal strength for genuine spiritual growth.

The truly good men and women are still out there among us, floating within the sea of humanity. They are the unsung heroes… the teachers, the mentors, the fire fighters, the farmers, the good father and good mother, the good kid, the hard worker, the artist, the protectors of Nature, the people with genuine smiles, the thoughtful creators, the people who value and respect all living creatures, the ones who make us laugh, and think, and the quiet, compassionate and generous souls.
Fortunately, the farsightedness of our country’s founding fathers saw to providing us with some fairly clever powers of our own. We The People, as a democracy, still have the power of the vote to change our representative leadership. As a republic, we can still challenge the moral validity of our enacted laws. We can still practice civil disobedience. We can laugh at our leaders’ attempts to strike fear into our lives.

We can also rethink our view of the very nature of large institutions. Smaller, decentralized forms of governance and commerce are always more humane methods of disseminating equality and fairness among a society, rather than the utilization of a larger, centralized approach. Our own Constitution and the entrepreneurial aspects of capitalism purport these views. Local utility cooperatives and farmers markets, grass root movements and township politics… are good examples of this school of thought.
We can even collectively rethink the philosophical basis of our economic model and societal values. As Czech Republic president Vaclav Havel once said, ‘Is not the handshake worth more than the dollar?'”

Simon’s words were interrupted with the appearance of a flashing red light on his panel. He had the light rigged so the presidential phone line ring from the movie “Our Man Flint” was duplicated on his sound system. Simon enjoyed its humorous irreverence.
(end of excerpt 4)

Michael Quinn’s Apartment

The large bay window offered Michael a superb view of the San Francisco skyline at night. From his bachelor pad perch, he could easily communicate with that vibrancy, that energy that surged through his favorite city by the bay.
He was compelled to grab his saxophone and let out a few notes of exuberance, still jazzed from the music gig a few hours earlier. He had a short time to relax, reflect over the recent events before returning to work. He poured himself a glass of Malbec wine, a wine produced in a beautiful Argentinean valley near Mendoza where he had visited many years ago. In that region the sun caressed those lustful giant grapes with tender loving care, under the watchfulness of the snow-capped Andean mountains in the distance.

He took a moment to glance at a framed picture he had of his mother. She was so young and beautiful when that picture was taken. He had been just a little boy. Slightly choked up, he said “Here’s to you, Mama!” and raised his glass.

Following his well-spent apprentice days in the circus, Michael had traveled the country and later the world, for several years, years that had helped him fill the emptiness of his sorrow and anger with a newfound love, enlightenment and sense of purpose in life.
Every place he had stayed he discovered kind souls and kindred spirits, from youth hostels and the streets to farm houses, grass shacks and tin roof domiciles. People of modest means would welcome him and adopt him into their extended family.
These were special people who always seemed to have the most compassionate and giving hearts, people who valued love and respect and a passion for living, over the disingenuous virtues of the all mighty dollar.
He had witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of the corporate international syndicate of greedy bankers and businessmen: the famine, the poverty, the uprooting of communities for land thefts, the annihilation of crops and forests that once brought food to family tables as well as a proud livelihood and a harmonious relationship with Nature.

Michael had seen the casualties of the military industrial complex’s war machine: the amputated soldiers and children of war zones, the innocent who inevitably get caught in the cross fire of corporate profit pursuits.
These ruthless decisions were made in the boardrooms… boardrooms begat battlefields and battlefields begat blood. Yet, despite the onslaught, the victims somehow remained steadfast, and persevered, some with a shrug and some with a courageous grin, most not knowing why this state of chaos was so common in their lives and in the lives of their past generations.

The developing countries’ citizens seemed to suffer the most, whether in Africa or Asia, South American countries or Middle Eastern ones. Too often the people who maintained the closest relationship with the earth, the worse off their position in life, for the earth where they lived also offered a bounty of valuable natural resources that The Establishment desired. Thanks to the symbiotic relationship of sycophants and toady politicians, The Establishment would devour these natural resources, discarding those who had peacefully been caretakers to the land before them.
The oppressive mix of totalitarian governments and institutional religions, each utilized as controlling mechanisms, served their wealthy masters well.
In the industrialized countries, citizens tended to fare much better financially than their rural counterparts, though too often in worst shape spiritually, for the people in urban areas had become too detached from their earthly roots, and sequestered within the confines of their cemented city mausoleums

Michael wanted to help. He wanted to give back to these people, to all people, to our global community. He wanted to help begin the healing process of the planet and all its creatures. Yes, even those that were rapidly killing its lifeblood. Even they deserved a second chance to redeem themselves.
Having initially been raised among them, Michael knew their “motif operendi”, and he also believed in the credo “Know thine enemy”. He religiously studied the tactics the establishment employed, tactics such as dichotomy and duality, techniques used to pit various groups against one another: black against white, Liberal against Conservative, men against women, even in some cases, dog against cat.
Yes, before the Industrial Revolution, history spoke of the halcyon days when dogs and cats had embraced the world as good friends only to fall prey to the early manipulative feline/canine experiments that the think tank representatives of the 19th century had conducted on their psyche.

Many American institutions that had been set up as “intellectual think tanks” were working solely for the indiscriminate needs of the Establishment, and not the general populace. A well developed arsenal of mind game weaponry was at their disposal. Every subterfuge imaginable was employed to divert attention from the real battle ground… the very rich against all the rest. The Establishment strategists were experts in disinformation and misinformation; the concept of truth was simply obliterated from the people’s vocabulary, and ultimately, their minds.

Without a doubt, Michael had seen his share of injustice, both personally and throughout the global community at large. Through his research and investigations, ironically, Michael discovered there was no great profoundness to the Power Elite’s goals. The Establishment would like the misinformed public to believe it’s all a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma. However, in truth, the actual goals are quite transparent and rudimentary: power, greed, and retaining control of their amassed wealth at all costs. Only the machination that accomplishes these goals appears complex: the interwoven infrastructure, the ability to manipulate, to distort the truth, to polarize groups, always diverting the peoples’ attention from their true nature and identity.
Once this knowledge was in Michael’s possession he had to address the next more difficult question: where to start to begin positive change?

Michael concluded that the best place to start was with the environment for without clean air to breathe or clean water to drink or healthy soil and animals for sources of food, we were all in a collective mess together. The symbiotic relationship with our environment must be maintained, he concluded.
Hence, Michael studied and eventually joined the environmental movements and activism. He led campaigns against the multinationals that produced the genetically engineered foods.

He tackled the companies that profiteered from the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest, and challenged the companies that lay waste to coastlines with their oil spills. He took on the companies that consistently demonstrated a total disregard toward the air quality they fowled, the water they polluted, and so on… each time making some monetary dents in these corporations’ bottom line. The top management for these multinational corporations received some bad publicity, an occasional judicial slap on the wrist, but never any permanent damage that would reshape the corporate culture.

The Establishment still flourished, protected by an arsenal of legal and political sycophants that protected the interests of the upper class. No single individual was ever held accountable. No single individual was ever found guilty of criminal intent.

Encouraged in some respects, frustrated in others, Michael decided to employ a different tactic. Could the evil dragon be baited from within his own lair? Could not the earlier lessons won by the legend of the Trojan horse be applied against these nefarious men, a way to find their Achilles’ heel?
(end of excerpt 5)

MADELINE

Walking in her usual hurried pace, Madeline glanced at her watch as she approached her building’s front door.
Oh shoot!” she exclaimed, not so silently to herself. She was late for work again. Madeline had been certain that this morning would be different: alarm set to go off precisely 45 and a half minutes before she had to get out of bed, shower, apply her make-up, dry her hair, get dressed, feed the cat, make her morning coffee to go, jump in her car, suffer through the downtown San Francisco morning traffic while catching the latest morning news on the radio, park in her building’s lot, and make it inside her office before her boss, the newspaper’s editor, had entered the same office, with thirty seconds to spare. With precision like that, how could she possibly be late?
Madeline quickly threw on her dark sunglasses, and tucked her head down as she walked past the front desk secretary.
“You’re late again, Madeline,” the elder secretary sneered.
“And what a lovely day it is to you too, Gladys,” Madeline quipped back, flashing a fake saccharine smile.
“He arrived ten minutes ago,” Gladys smiled in return.
“Thanks,” mumbled Madeline.

As usual, chaos ruled the newsroom. Her desk looked like a small twister had danced a merry dance, wreaking havoc upon an innocent sea of paper, pens, pencils, 3-m stickers, folders, Kleenex, and a jar of jelly beans.
The managing editor was ranting and raving, barking orders and deadlines in a choppier sea of mixed metaphors and hyperbole expletives. The newspaper they worked for was called The Clarion, an often forgotten underling of their larger parent corporation.

The Clarion was less favored, compared to its shining star sister rag, The Times, which glimmered in the upscale skyline across town. The managing editor for The Clarion was getting enormous pressure from his superiors to cover the mysterious disappearance of Jack O’ Cassidy, especially since the Harmony Hamlet Retreat where he had vanished was within two hours drive from the big city.

Madeline had been given the assignment to investigate the corporate executive’s mysterious disappearance since, despite her tardiness, disheveled desk, and rebellious independent streak, she was also tenacious as a bulldog, sharp as a tack, and had great journalistic instincts. In short, she was his best reporter.

Madeline slinked to her desk, hoping her boss wouldn’t notice her tardiness. He was quite occupied chewing out other poor working stiffs. Maybe he might miss this opportunity to chastise her. Despite her boss’s gruff exterior, he was a pussycat inside, and she knew she was the rebellious Ace reporter / daughter he never had, so she felt pretty secure in her job. Madeline really enjoyed this job and she knew she was good at it.
Rebellious Ace reporter /daughter was certainly not the daughter her father wanted from her… quite the opposite.

Madeline had been the only child of an extremely wealthy family. She had refused to marry the future husband appointed by her domineering father: a snobbish, ambitious young lawyer fresh from Harvard.

She of course had attended Smith College and had been slated for a journalism career in the fashion magazine industry. Rebellious in spirit since she was a child, she still acquiesced far too often to her parents’ wishes. Her father would scoff, saying her rebellious nature was a gene that neither he nor her mother carried. The longtime loyal head butler who had served her family for many years always winked at her when he passed her around the mansion. Madeline had often amused herself with the notion that he was her REAL father.

Several years ago, a dear friend of hers had provided the opportunity she needed for her grasp at independence, a sensation she remembered as a child riding on that magical carousel, trying to grasp the elusive ring.

And here she was….a budding reporter, exhausted from too much work and not enough sleep, barely afloat financially, and lacking time or an inclination for relationship pursuit; yet, she still loved every minute of her independence and freedom. She knew her craft too, despite the derogatory comments to the contrary that came from her senior colleagues. They were getting soft. Not her. Her tenacious quest for the truth and, if necessary, for the good of the story, an occasional flash of leg and an endearing smile had already put her in good grace with her boss. She had uncovered several stories on local corruption. Yes, she smiled to herself, she was making her mark, without the help of her father, and people were taking notice.

“Madeline! Stop daydreaming, get off your lazy butt and get in here!” hollered her boss from his office across the room. Madeline leaped away from her desk, nearly losing her balance, much to the amusement of her helpful colleagues, but managed to cross the remaining floor without further embarrassment.
“Hey girlie, I hope I haven’t disturbed you from your nap,” gibed her boss.
“Just putting the finishing touches on that city hall story, chief,” Madeline snapped back.

“Jeesus, Madeline, who are you, Lois Lane incarnated! Spare me the archaic “chief” jive and sit down. I have a hot story for you to follow, actually blistering is more like it. You think you’re ready?”
“Absolutely chief, er, I mean Mr. Connors!”
“Yeah, well, my veteran reporter who I’d usually assign is out with the flu today, so you’re all I have at my disposal.”
Thanks for the gushy boast of confidence, Madeline thought to herself.
“The story is about that CEO who vanished at that exclusive Harmony Hamlet retreat. I need leads and I need them yesterday!”

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