Cassidy O’Callaghan is an intelligent, resourceful eleven-year-old whose father was killed in one of our many wars when she was less than a year old. She most wants a beagle and a father, but her mother won’t allow her to have a dog, and her mother isn’t interested in remarrying. So Cassidy makes do with a calico cat she chose because of its color similarity to beagles, and a father substitute in her mother’s kind and mentoring boyfriend.
Red Tackett is a small, independent farmer who long ago lost his wife and only son in a tragic accident. In Cassidy and her friend Laurie, he finds the joy so long missing from his heart even as Cassidy begins to look to him as a caring grandfather figure.
Red Tackett’s farm adjoins a country club. The richest members of the country club are bailout recipients who work on Wall Street and utilize the club while they stay at their second or third homes for summer weekends. They expect the abundance and status of Wall Street wherever they go, and especially when they entertain their friends at the country club.
Because of modern golf clubs and golf balls, the country club golf course is now too short and too easy to be prestigious. So the rich members want to lengthen it and redesign it to professional standards. But the only way to lengthen their course is to acquire part of Red Tackett’s farm. He, however, refuses to sell as he wants to keep his farm large enough for independent sustainability for generations into the future.
Used to getting whatever they want, the rich bailout recipients turn to the federal government to help them take what they cannot buy. With a power combining both that which is illegal and that which should be illegal, they put Red Tackett in jeopardy and isolate him from his community’s support.
With her intelligence and maturity, Cassidy has straddled the world of youth and that of grownups. But helping the kindly farmer who has befriended her requires that she step fully into the adult world. Armed with a special bicycle, a moral compass, and a tenacious American spirit, Cassidy sets out to prove Red Tackett’s innocence. In so doing, her life is threatened by a Homeland Security officer. But Cassidy has inherited the character of the father she never knew and the values of a nation once grounded in law, and she stands ready to match her wits against the wiles of those who would harm the innocent.
Free Men Real Men
A mid-1990s novel of ideas.
The rich philanthropist Ted Arbit is a darling of the media for generously supporting some of its most cherished causes. But secretly, Ted despises the media for promoting values and priorities that he believes are responsible for the demise of his son and the loss of his wife.
One night, while seeking medical care, Ted meets Charles Repord, an ER doctor whose combination of compassion and impartiality contrast with the bureaucratic coldness of the hospital’s administrative staff. As a philanthropist, Ted is ever on the lookout for worthy causes, and Repord’s comportment suggests his hospital as one such cause.
But when Ted investigates Repord’s background, he finds something more intriguing. Ted learns that Repord was a top-notch athlete whose amateur career was cut short by political correctness. Concurrently, Ted has been legally helping Jack Smith, a former star football player who was court-martialed by the army on trumped-up charges. After Ted’s lawyers clear Smith’s military record, Ted helps to reintegrate Smith by buying him a semipro football franchise. As a silent partner, Ted makes only one demand—that Smith recruit Repord as a player for the team.
When the professional football players strike at the end of their regular season, Ted puts up the money to lure the defending world-champion Jacksonville Tigers into a game against the semipro Jack Smith Athletes. Though ostensibly a laughable mismatch, Ted adjusts the odds by requiring the game to be played under the 11 Man rules of the semipro league. Those rules limit substitution and require all players to master skills for offense, defense, and special teams. The Jacksonville Tigers—world champions though they be—are specialists who play only part of a game. The Jack Smith Athletes—semiprofessional though they be—are well rounded and superbly conditioned football players who excel at playing an entire 60-minute game.
The media only knows as true that which it propagandizes, and since it glamorizes the rich superstars and ignores the lowly paid semiprofessionals, the inevitable media narrative is that the Athletes don’t stand a chance of winning. Compounding its sports bias is an ideological bias for political correctness. As Ted well knows, Repord’s views are anathema to the media, and so, Ted schedules a pregame media conference where Repord inflames the media with politically incorrect views on masculinity and female sports. Then, the inflamed media—confident of Repord’s upcoming defeat—widely publicizes the game to draw the largest audience for his athletic humiliation.
With the media in vulture mode, the big corporations fall in line. They clamor to demonstrate their own political correctness by purchasing advertising for the game that they expect will humiliate the politically incorrect Repord.
But the real game is on the field where Repord ignores the propaganda of the media and the big corporations and challenges the inflated athletic reputation of the world champions.
If the Shoe Fits
In a society controlled by pedamors, the foot is exalted above the hand. Combining such nonsensical beliefs with equally repugnant practices, pedamors alienate and disgust the rest of the society they control. But their control is total, and under the guise of prohibiting insensitivity, they actually prohibit dissent. So the rest of society goes along and pretends to admire that which it abhors. No one speaks up. That is, except a few who are willing to accept the label of resistive and the penalties associated with it.
Kevin Woodbury knows that prison terms await those who break the laws, and poverty engulfs those whose cultural resistance make them unemployable. But Kevin can’t serve the lies of the day, and so, he unapologetically accepts his designation as a resistive even as he carefully sidesteps the traps laid to ensnare those who resist.
It’s a life of rules, sacrifices and submission, and as Kevin eventually learns, a life isolated from love. The Code of Encompassing Language effectively eliminates political opposition because practically anything one might say in opposition is prohibited by it. But that limitation on speech has ramifications beyond removing political threats. It also stifles heartfelt communication by resistives with the goal of eliminating resistives’ heartfelt bonds. And should the pedamors fall short in that regard, they eliminate any bonds between resistives. “Let a man and woman unite in resistance, and injustice shall be born” reads the sign in marriage offices where resistives are torn from their love. Kevin’s conscience will not yield, but neither will his hope for one who shares that conscience.
Thou Shalt Not
In Court, They Swear on a Stack of Bills.
The Maneuverist religion teaches that lying is wrong if you’re unconvincing, and stealing is sinful if you’re the victim. To enforce those standards on their membership, they maintain ecclesiastical courts which try those who break either of their Two Commandments.
Andrew Rawlings is an ecclesiastical lawyer. As a proctor of absolution, his job is to defend those charged with breaking the Two Commandments or the Cardinal Rules of Status and Success. Andrew himself lives by the rules of his religion even as he superbly represents those who do not. His success comes from his analytical skill, his adroitness at cutting corners around the rules of procedure, and his psychological manipulation of opposing counsel. In court, he consistently defeats a repugnant proctor of sanctions who sometimes charges women for refusing his advances.
At times, Andrew laments the harshness of his religion’s disciplinary system, but he attributes that to an overzealous application of sound principles. His mentor, the chief attorney at his corporation, has always cautioned him about unbridled greed, and the woman he most desires has privately expressed opinions bordering on altruism. Andrew deeply respects both of them, but he basks in his wealth and status while fully supporting the societal system that makes it all possible.
Maneuverists corral their society’s wealth by granting themselves preferences in government contracting. Their corporations are allowed to win up to 40% of their contracts in a non-competitive process that effectively excludes non-Maneuverists. However, that doesn’t satisfy the contracting officers in Andrew’s corporation, and his corporation has been caught exceeding the 40% limit. Afraid of losing its preferences altogether, his CEO assigns its defense to Andrew.
Andrew struggles to devise a defense to spare his corporation the disaster of litigation. His initial efforts reveal that the illegality is more serious than previously known, and his mentor admonishes him for digging the corporation into a deeper hole. Andrew, however, sticks to the principles his mentor taught him years ago and ponders his mentor’s apparent change of character.
Throughout his life, Andrew has followed his religious upbringing to exalt status and success. But the small rift with his mentor and the desire for a woman who privately questions those precepts opens his heart to influences he had previously not felt. Without himself fully understanding it, he is guided by two masters, and he must solve his corporation’s legal problems even as he contemplates new principles of honesty and fairness.
Non Sine Abrogado
A luckless college student outlasts his professor of homeland security.
For They Are the Children of
Judgment Day for a war-mongering statesman. Will the once mighty ruler eternally serve the Prince of Darkness?
All lives on earth come to an end, but some are ended prematurely by the ruthless and the greedy who start wars to secure their power and fortune. All people experience embarrassment, but some are sexually humiliated. All people experience pain, but some are tortured.
While all people make mistakes and commit wrongs, only some willfully and wantonly debase, degrade, and demean others for conquest, profit or power.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.
And those who start wars…
The Night Men Stole Muscles from Women
Patriarchal Plunder Among the Ancients
An unreliable narrator spins a novelette for those who remember the propaganda of the educational system.
Regal Beagle, Ph.Dog
A Renaissance Dog challenges the replacement of socialization with medication.
As a teacher, Regal Beagle employs a pedagogy of classical methods shaped around normative canine development. He incorporates the adage that “pups will be pups” even as he guides his students from their innocent juvenile misconduct toward responsible adult behavior.
The Harrier School District views traditional canine behavior as deviant and encourages teachers to promptly eradicate it with the drug Fatherlin.
Reg heterodoxically believes in teaching his students proper behavior rather than drugging them into passivity. For fatherless pups who engage in unsociable acts such as barking in class, Reg insists on caring discipline instead of pharmaceutical manipulation. But that violates the social control paradigms of the educational bureaucracy, and it dooms Reg’s career opportunities. So despite his holding a dogtorate, he’s relegated to teaching lower division.
With a resolve born of conviction and experience, Reg chooses to navigate his way around those practices that would harm his students while steadfastly guiding them toward responsible and natural canine ideals.
Torture Rots the Soul of the Torturer
Greg Carbaugh lives in a society at war against dislightenors—those who attack their enemies with chemical and biological weapons. Like all people in his society, Greg fears and opposes those attacks. But unlike others, Greg blames those attacks on the leaders of his society, the Democracy. He tirelessly points out that the chemical and biological attacks known as dislightenments never occurred before the Democracy launched its own attacks against other countries.
His fellow citizens’ blind acceptance of unending war exasperates Greg, and he futilely writes letters to the editor trying to awaken their sense of practicality if not morality. But editors just use the letters as bait to attract war supporters who denounce Greg’s positions as unpatriotic. Less hostile opponents call him an idealist. No one seriously considers his positions because no successful person in the Democracy promotes such positions. As a result, Greg is doomed to irrelevancy in political discourse and mediocrity in the occupational world. He’s so unsuccessful, he barely gets a reciprocal hello from the attractive teacher in his neighboring condo.
If the rest of society ignores Greg, his entreaties for peace do attract the attention of one person—an agent of the Security Administration. Special Agent Dexter Neumattix shocks Greg one morning with a visit intended to make him think he’s suspected of disloyalty. But Neumattix knows full well Greg’s loyalty to the founding principles of the Democracy. It is, in fact, Greg’s loyalty to those principles and to those of the Geneva Conventions that makes him so attractive to Neumattix. For Neumattix is a violator of those principles, and though he may be without conscience, he knows his soul is rotting from the inhumane treatment he metes out to dislightenors. Greg’s purity is Neumattix’ last chance to hold onto his soul.
Under the pretense of helping him differentiate peace activists from supporters of the enemy, Neumattix has Greg examine emails and other writings of suspects. But that’s only a start, and Neumattix really wants Greg to witness abuse and thereby lower his own standards of humane treatment so that they encompass Neumattix’ behavior.
Greg unexpectedly reaps a financial windfall when the Security Administration seizes the assets of a cell of dislightenors. He also unexpectedly learns that the pervasive surveillance of the Security Administration can be employed to leverage personal relationships. As a result, the attractive teacher who previously shunned him, soon welcomes his advances and admires his status. Greg is torn about his methods, but his longing for the attractive teacher overwhelms his conscience.
With his conscience thus compromised for his romantic needs, Greg then learns the depravity of Neumattix’ methods. Even in his compromised state, Greg cannot stomach the abuse of dislightenors, much less the abuse of innocent suspects swept up in a dragnet. But his conscience has suffered enough to blur his moral focus, and he feels he’s become an actor in the fight against dislightenors. Conflicted, part of him wants to actively support that fight, and part of him wants to leave the Security Administration. But he fears losing his just acquired lover if he leaves. At the same time, he fears losing his soul if he doesn’t.
Structured poetry—mostly rhymed and metered.
Bruised & Battlewise
Rhymed and metered poetry with a mixed-genre introduction.