Original Book from 2004 
Much has been learned since then
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Chapter One

"Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing than he who believes what is wrong."
                                                  -Thomas Jefferson (Notes on Virginia, 1782)

The Fabituso Society Meeting
January, 2000

The slush had oozed into his rubber boot a block away from the Yale Club, sending a shock of cold into his foot through the growing crack on the bottom. The shoes looked fine from the top and had seen him through his graduation from high school in Shipslide, Connecticut, through four years of college at Moundville and into his first job here in New York. He ignored the smirk of the footman who took his coat and rubbers, pouring out the rest of the water. His socks were soggy. He tried to ignore the squishing sound it made; he grabbed the ticket from the man, already grudging the dollar it would cost to redeem his stuff. MORE


“Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.”
- George Washington

Dave’s Apartment - January 2000

Dave woke Sunday morning face down on his bed. The first thing he heard was the rising noise of traffic and commerce filtering up from the street three flights below. He did not immediately open his eyes. That seemed like too much of a commitment. Images wafted through his mind, drawn from the curious intersection of his entire life history and the new insights last night had left there like the ring in a bathtub. Not that he had a bathtub. The shower in the bathroom was the size of a coffin upended though not nearly so well built. The kitchen was an alcove in the back corner to the left of the door. 

He had not started to drink until rather late in the evening, long after his memorable conversation with Lindsey and her mother. Dave did not usually drink at all which accounted for his present state.  MORE


 “By gold all good faith has been banished; by gold our rights are abused; the law itself is influenced by gold, and soon there will be an end of every modest restraint.”
                                                                                                             - Sextus Propertius

Malaysian Fantasy

February, 1992

His family loved living in Malaysia. Their villa was located in a lushly landscaped residential area convenient to every imaginable kind of shopping. Fran had initially been slightly intimidated with handling a staff of two but she had rapidly grown used to not having to clean or cook. She and her endless cadre of friends, mostly wives of other Benron employees, spent time nearly every day wandering along the streets looking into the windows, dashing in to buy, and then doing afternoon tea at one of the many charming shops dedicated to the purpose. The British Empire might have left in the flesh but it still lingered in the quaint cottages of the Genting Highlands and in the day to day culture. Rule Britannia had become a part of the complex weavings of peoples and cultures that is Malaysia, joined in an amazing amalgamation with that of the French, Chinese, Indian, and native Malay.  MORE

“That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”
                                                                                                            Bible: I Timothy (Chapters. VI, v. 18-19)

The Fabituso Society Meeting
March, 2000

It was now obvious that the Lawrence campaign was going south. Dave had no doubt his candidate deserved the nomination. Lawrence was honorable, courageous, intelligent and kind. But neither Lawrence nor his staff had been able to effectively respond to the ugly rumors that had come out of no where or the imbalance of money. It was not fair but it was the bottom line.
The New Hampshire election had confronted Dave with the necessity of picking up and moving if he wanted to stay with the campaign for even another month. This less than appetizing proposition was rendered moot by the death of his grandfather. Lawrence had been everything that was decent, calling him to express his sympathy even as Dave was packing his bag to leave.
The train of events that unfolded from that sad change broadened his choices, leaving him saddened and in a state of semi shock.  MORE

“Every social institution which teaches human beings to cringe to those above and step on those below must be replaced by institutions which teach people to look each other straight in the face.”

                                                                                                 --Margaret Mead

High up in the balcony, London, 1973

Sometimes life provides insights when least expected. Sometimes those unexpected insights prove to be worth their weight in diamonds no matter how long we have to wait for the clear, clean edges of thought to crystallize.

The performance that evening at the opera house in London included singing by Ramona Dewitt, but although a polite hoard of attendees from all over the world were in attendance and the performers were excellent, no one had come just to hear the singing. Tonight marked the pomp filled opening of the first Environmental Conference for the United Nations, held here in England and attended by everyone who was anyone. Her Majesty, the Queen of England, was also in attendance.  MORE
A government that is big enough to give you all you want is big enough to take it all away.”
                                                                                                                                - Barry Goldwater

The Republican Convention, Philadelphia

                                      July 29 - August 3rd, 2000

Dave stepped off the train into chaos. The station in Philadelphia was crammed with people leaving, being met, yelling and hauling baggage. The trip from New York had been pretty exciting, too. Dave’s car had also carried a contingent of Young Republicans who were obviously keyed up for the main event of the Republican world – The National Convention.
Delegates and media had begun arriving on Friday. Saturday was given over to pre-convention activities that included navigating a maze of credentialing procedures. That was not exactly fun, but it did give you an opportunity to mix and see people. For ‘just a visitor’, the Convention meant meeting old friends, cutting deals of several varieties and talking shop. At most conventions, being a delegate or an alternate meant being courted by the floor committees of the candidates. This convention was already decided. So while there would be some chasing, most of it was just a formality for the presidential nomination and the word had come down through channels that the VP slot was also decided.  MORE

“Elections are futures markets in stolen property.”

- H. L. Mencken

Dave Returns to Texas

The conventions were both over and done with and the summer had burned itself into the crisp of almost autumn. It wasn’t here yet but you could smell it on the air when you walked through Central Park. Dave knew that his friends wondered why he was not returning to Columbia Law right away. They had accepted his burning desire, expressed just months ago, to change careers. Most of them had found this sea change commendable. Politics was a risky career. But why on God’s good name would anyone want to go to Texas?

Dave wondered that himself right now, another long grey highway stretching out ahead of him. But Texas was still a long ways away. He had other things to do first.

The call had come in from Bert Sowers to his home in Connecticut, a call delayed by the fact no one had called Bert to let him know that Gramps had died in February. Bert was shocked; he later told Dave he would have come up for the funeral if he had known.

Dave was sure that was true. Bert was that kind of guy, and he and Gramps had been good friends. That exchange had lead to Bert getting Dave’s new phone number from Dave’s Dad and calling him, leaving the message Dave found on his answering machine when he came in from the train following the Republican Convention. The conversation that took place when Dave called Bert back had lead, step by step, to Dave packing up a motor home in Indiana and heading out, Texas his final destination.  MORE

“Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company.”
                                                                                                         - George Washington

The Chad Party

Dave’s plane touched down in La Guardia on November 9th from Dallas-Ft. Worth. For once he had thrown caution to the winds and flown first class, enjoying the service and pampering. The meal had come in three courses, served on linen. The first course consisted of an appetizer of salmon pate with French bread that smelled and felt so fresh he actually did take a moment to inhale as he let a pat of butter melt on it. That was followed by a salad of vegetables marinated in a savory basil dressing and a veal cutlet so thin and tender it literally melted in his mouth. The cutlet came with the thinnest, crispest asparagus he had ever tasted. A chocolate mouse topped with a piquant raspberry sauce followed along afterwards with a flow of full bodied coffee. As he ate he thought about the events of the last few days.

He had thought the election would be over and, along with the rest of the country, lived in hourly suspense. But now he was not sure if it mattered which of the two candidates won. Either way, it seemed to him that America would be the loser. He yearned fleetingly for a return to the respect and confidence he had felt when he knew that President William Wallace occupied the Oval Office. 1980 seemed like a million years in the past.  MORE

“Hatred ever kills, love never dies; such is the vast difference between the two. What is obtained by love is retained for all time. What is obtained by hatred proves a burden in reality for it increases hatred.”
- Mohandas K. Gandhi

Promises of Peace
2001 – June

Darrin Youngblood was delighted to hear from Dave. Their brief visit at the Republican Convention the year before had bumped them back into occasional e-mail contact, exchanging articles and jokes, but neither had followed up with a phone call until Dave called Darrin at his place in Sabastapol, near Santa Rosa. Darrin was in the throes of working over the new business plan for Revolving Rocketry, the nominally dead company that had for a brief moment actually hoped to put a privately funded low orbit reentry vehicle in space. Several of the folks who had helped to build the initial vehicle, which had worked, rising several dozen feet off the ground before settling back to the thunderous applause of thousands of space devotees, were still working and living in the god-forsaken town of Mojave, hoping to resurrect the effort. This was their life’s dream and they were not going to give up easily.
But meanwhile, while they raised the 100 million deemed necessary to continue, they had other interests.
Darrin had gone on to join the group that, while still determined to make it into orbit, had shifted gears a touch. Since for now they were stuck on this god-forsaken ball of dirt they better make sure it would still be supporting human life when their grandchildren were born. This turn had surprised Dave, who knew from experience that Libertarians, the most intelligent and intellectually innovative end of the Republican Party, were inclined to be from the Earth First – We’ll pave the other planets later persuasion. They had been at Moundville, anyway. MORE
“You assist an evil system most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. - An evil system never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. - A good person will resist an evil system with his or her whole soul.”
                                                                                                                                                           - Mohandas K. Gandhi

Gathering in D. C.: The Tome of Truth
Camp David

He hated it when they assigned him to Rosebud, but the President thought that was funny, along with the rude nicknames that occasionally emerged during meetings. Along with the charisma, and it was the real thing there, the President had a nasty streak, especially when he was annoyed.

If he had been born looking different…….but he hadn’t. The problem was he looked soft and round no matter what he tried to do about it. Which, really, was pretty damn little; he had always been unathletic.
It had been a thrill to come up here for the first time after the inauguration. Reading about all of the Presidential privileges and perks had been his favorite form of fantasy when he was young. The other boys snuck Playboys and bought pornographic movies, but he liked to read about the men who had occupied the Oval Office, living the life of power. He had always known his entrée to power would have to be different. Along with having the charisma of a mud pack and the tubby form, complete with a baby face, he also knew perfectly well that he lacked the family ties you needed. The less said about his family in public, the better.  MORE

"Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws."
- Plato (427-347 B.C.)

September 11, 2001

New York had very few perfect days, but this looked like it was going to be one of them. Dave lingered in bed with Fuzz Ball curled up on his chest. Fuzz Ball was not sure he liked the change to City cat, but Dave’s Mom was not home very much and after Dave had gone off to college “The Fuzz” as they called him, had adopted Gramps. With Gramps gone, Fuzz Ball needed someone. So did Dave. Out his window he could just see the tip of the Empire State Building. He could see more of it from his balcony, which had been another selling point. Some mornings you didn’t want the windows open but today the air held the first nuance of autumn, not that it would be here for a while, but coming.

Dave glanced at the rosewood and brass clock sitting on his bedside table 8:30am. Most of the furniture had come with the apartment. It was old wood, coddled through generations with layerings of care. The bed was a four poster, also made of rosewood that was deeply etched, and looked as if it should be in a museum. That had initially made him nervous, but now he was used to it. His friends knew he had inherited some money from Gramps but not how much.
Stretching, he rolled out onto his feet, enjoying the softness of the Tibetan carpet. Its tones were muted reds and brown with roses edged in yellow tones. He had changed nothing about the room.
Fuzz Ball resettled himself into the pile of pillows and sighed.  MORE
        "If you are going through hell, keep going."
                                                                                                    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Fear Filled Interludes

They held the memorial service for Nann at home in Shipslide, Connecticut. Nann’s parents and Jim had wanted it to be quiet and personal, but Nann had always been popular and now, with the Towers and death constantly in the minds of everyone, a small funeral would have been impossible. America needed to mourn and the victims and their families belonged to everyone.
On the train up Dave found himself staring out the window. He was dreading the next few days. He had promised his mother to spend some time at home, and since Gramp’s death it had become increasingly uncomfortable to spend time with his father.
Grimacing, Dave thought about the angry scenes with his father. At first delighted with the generous trust account, he had become sullen when he realized that it was a spendthrift trust and he would never be able to control the capital. He couldn’t even control the whole thing; each month a check arrived separately for him and Dave’s mother. Dave’s mother had set up her own banking account. The house, which Dave had learned only then was in Gramp’s name, had been left to Dave’s mother. Dad did not know the full extent of what Gramps had left; the old man had put in a contingency in his will ending Dad’s income from the trust account if he sued. Gramps had made sure of every particular; he had been great with details. MORE

“I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”
                                                                                                            Professor Bernardo de la Paz in
                                                                                                            The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein

The Freedom Movement

The terrace was iced with snow now, and Bernard and Dave watched the Empire State Building from behind the glass of the French windows. Fuzz Ball spent a significant amount of time leaping at birds that huddled there close to the glass, frustrated by the surface but unwilling to stop trying. Dave smiled, trying not to laugh. The Fuzz would look so offended if he did. Bernard, not normally a cat person, had accepted the huge old feline as the personality he was. Certainly Fuzz Ball had accepted him after a period of watching cautiously from under the coffee table and from the bookcases. The negotiations had lasted about a month. Now Bernard knew just where to scratch. Fuzz Ball would roll over so that Bernard could stroke his belly, too, purring deep grumbly purrs that vibrated his entire body.
Fuzz Ball was splayed out on his back on the carpet, inviting a good rub. He slowly swiveled his head and looked at Bernard, sitting on the couch, hands behind his head. Dave noticed and laughed, reaching down and giving the cat a rub that set the motor going.
The ice made fragile patterns on the surface of the window. They were always changing as the light glazed the surface, transforming as the minutes ticked past. Dave and Bernard had stopped paying attention to Fuzz Ball, much to the cat’s annoyance. They were talking about the frustrations of the present tense of their research.  MORE

                       "I begin by taking. I shall find scholars later to demonstrate my perfect right."
                                                                                                                                                        - Frederick (II) the Great

Hamiltonian Reflections

The Office for Social Truths is a nonprofit located in the heart of Hollywood. It is run by Frank Kravowitz, a former pink diaper baby who has reformatted himself as a conservative after a brief stint as a Libertarian. His organization was high up on the list of Alternative Libertarian groups that Dave and Christopher and Bernard had marked for investigation because of the visibility the organization had achieved in a rather short period of time, and because instead of being a formal think tank it was really a one man show in many ways.
Its founder and President, Kravowitz, had always made a living writing attack books from some point of view. Briefly, Dave wondered if it was strange for him to be selling his work to the ladies at National Forum for Republican Women.
Dave flew into LAX, having planned on the same swing to go to one of the informal evenings hosted by Rationality Foundation and the Friday for Breakfast Club Kravowitz sponsored. That was another meal event, but this time for breakfast.  MORE


"Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."
                                                                             - Sherlock Holmes (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859-1930)

Pleasures of the Flesh

The round of organizations had been depressing in a way. Dave had checked his bag through to New York at the Unity Counter in LAX and was now ensconced in the first row of the business class non-stop into La Guardia. For the first half hour he had just sipped a club soda and stared out the window, watching the left coast recede to be replaced by the vastness of farmlands, followed by desert and brown. Billows of clouds had first approached and then engulfed the plane. Closing his eyes he laid back and searched for the button to lower the seat. His body was tired, not with the physical fatigue of work but with the exhaustion of having to pretend; his mind felt raw, hammered, and stretched.
After the Russian Tea at the VorMortag pad Dave had hung around for a week so he could attend the Friday Morning Club. He spent his time either working in his room or sightseeing. This presented some conflicts for him. He found himself seeking out some of the places Lindsey had told him about from her childhood. He even drove up to the small town where she had grown up, nestled in the foothills of the Sierras. He stopped there for lunch and bought the local paper, the Tule River Times. He wondered where she was now. He had tried to call her and the phone had been disconnected.  MORE

            "All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusion is called a philosopher."
                                                                                                                                - Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

A Signal from the Bunker
Headquarters in New York

Dave could not believe he was back on an airplane already. Watching the ground drop away beneath him as the last flash of the Atlantic gave way to the green and tawny landscape as he headed west he sighed and sunk back into his seat.
It was not as if he was really needed in New York right now. Dolly had taken over the day to day work in addition to chewing into the new approach to ‘social security’ policy; Bernard and Christopher were busy familiarizing Larry S. Waterhouse with the parameters of the research. Larry, outdoing the savant reputation that had preceded him, had added several new dimensions to the search patterns. His last employment had been in a start up in Silicon Valley where they had used some of the same tools to generate data bases for the Internet. Larry had taken his stock and left as soon as the company went public, investing his profits in the next generation of recombinant DNA research.
Larry did not have to work but he did need a challenge. That, and the fact he was conversant and more so with the edge technologies of the Permaculture flow theories that were becoming ever more prominent in their research made him a perfect fit for the job. He had been installed in the apartment next to Dolly and hit it off with Margarine and Fuzz Ball like gangbusters. He said with a straight face that they spoke the same language and the behavior of both cats gave this assertion curious resonance. The cats actually groomed Larry, licking whatever part of him they could find.  MORE

"Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
—Margaret Mead

The War on Iraq

Springtime in New York

The lavender plant that climbed the trellis on the balcony was just starting to send out tiny spiky little buds of what would soon be tiny leaves. It spent winters comfortably tucked into the conservatory off of Dave’s bedroom but now it was ready to reach out its new tendrils and branches into the first soft air of a new spring day.
The flowers would follow perfuming the city air with scent. Bernard and Dolly had made dinner for the crew, all except for Dave who was off doing research, this time in Massachusetts. Christopher had offered to clean up and stacked dishes, loading them efficiently into the dish washer. Larry had wandered back to his computer leaving the cats bereft and watching the door for his return. Dolly usually brought Marge along now when she was working up here. Since the only apartments on this floor were Dave’s and the office they left the doors open and the cats wandered back and forth, enjoying the enlarged scope.   MORE
"Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it.
Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it.
Hatred darkens life; love illumines it."
—Martin Luther King

"The noblest fate that a man can endure is to place his own mortal body between his loved home and the war's desolation."
                                                              Colonel Dubois, quoting someone else in
                                                              Starship Troopers by Robert A. Heinlein

The Other War

The house where Rachael Cowlings lived was impressive. Cowlings was a professional woman whose regular job was in bookkeeping. Family money had paid for the house and for her vacation place in Martha’s Vineyard. Standing along a tree lined street in one of the best sections of the suburban area east of Boston the place was old but well maintained. Cowling had run for office twice now. She had done better the first time when there had been only one major party candidate but she was certainly credible. 

“Ms. Cowlings? I’m Dave….”
“So good of you to drop by!” Ms. Cowlings had obviously been looking for him. “Your secretary said you are interested in doing an article on the Libertarian Party?” Cowling’s voice was smooth and filled with a combination of eagerness and caution. Dolly or Christopher always made Dave’s appointments. It did not hurt to impress on politicians the fact that you could afford to hire people to do what you could perfectly well do for yourself. MORE
                       "A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
                                                                                                                    Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969),
                                                                                                                    Inaugural Address, January 20, 1953

Have I Got a Deal for You!
A Change of Procedure from the Highest Level

Humstead was well aware that county and state organizations of the Republican Party traditionally acted autonomously in most things. That had perhaps been an interesting privilege at one time when the world and America was a simpler and less competitive place. But things had changed now and this would just have to change with it. The Republican Party needed some reorganization.
A perusal of the numbers for the Get out the Vote and fundraising had persuaded Humstead that a new approach was needed that would enable the Republican Party to keep abreast of the times and keep the number of Republican votes rising. Local organizations had annoying ways of projecting their own concerns on the issues and also, sometimes, failed to feel the total and all out enthusiasm for electing the candidate that they should of course feel if they were good Republicans. One little chink in the smooth running of those cogs could mean that a whole block, a whole precinct, a whole part of a county, or even an entire county might not get the full on focus required. Briefly Humstead shuddered at the thought of a whole state or part of a state being left at the mercy of a volunteer.  MORE

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."
                                                                                                           Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)

Meeting of the Fabituso Society 
February 2004

It was strange to be back. Dave had avoided the Fabituso Society Meeting since the last time Bernard had bowed out in late 2001. Life goes on and people change. So the first thing that struck Dave was how very much the same this was. The same waiters, or their doubles, were pouring drinks at the bars located at each corner of the room. The same lavish presentations of hors d’ourves were laid out on the table in the middle. Even the flowers could have been the same, though of course they weren’t. Everything was real here except the perception that this represented a grass roots political movement. Now Dave knew that.
Walking in Dave had seen the same people mostly. Some of them looked a little older, a little fatter or thinner or balder but essentially they were no different. This impression was reinforced when he was greeted by some of his old acquaintances and they took up what seemed to be the same conversations that they had been having over two years ago. Everyone was delighted to see him. He said hello to Babbs, and a half dozen people he had gotten to know back then.  MORE

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.”
                                                                  - George Washington

A Father's Love for his Children

Saturday, June 5, 2004

Dave heard the news from Dolly. He had gotten up late on Saturday having worked until the first golden thrusts of dawn had lit the windows of his office. There was much to do and little time remained for getting it done. Waking at noon, he had been slow in rising, Fuzz Ball was sitting in the middle of his chest and he was loathed to disturb the paunchy feline, deciding to take the day off, an unusual practice. Scratching the cat’s neck as the feline dissolved even further into a puddle of happiness and contentment, he wished he had some of that himself. He was busy doing important work, but despite meeting dozens of eligible women he could not seen to find someone who touched his heart and mind, and he was not really happy.
It was nearly five in the afternoon when the phone had rang and Dolly’s voice, awash with emotion, had told him the news.
She had gotten up early that morning and gotten online to finish up some work to go out via FedEx so it could arrive on Monday morning. Then she and Bernard had gone for a walk; coming back after a late lunch she had gotten back to work, booting up her computer. The note had come through from one of their contacts in California before it was announced on the news.  MORE
               "Many a man's reputation would not know his character if they met on the street."
                                                                                                                                                Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915)

                                 The Market in Candidates
                                           Weapons of Mass Destruction
                                                      July – 2004

American Revival – An Intermission in Time

“Dave, I need to talk to you.” Larry sat down in the office library where Dave worked, leaning forward in the chair, his eyes fixed on Dave’s face.
“Sure Larry, what’s the matter?” It must be something with the research. Dave had determined that Larry had no personal life outside of gaming.
Larry nodded towards the computer screen. “I e-mailed you some of the data from the work I have been doing on the NeoCon affinity clusters. I found some anomalous correlations and I need you to give me good information.” Larry looked expectant. He had no doubts about what had been going on.  MORE

“Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.”

                                                                                                                                       - George Washington

Coming Together: A New Beginning

American Revival Headquarters

With events coming to a head in the election and the continuing unraveling of the War in Iraq, the get togethers at Headquarters were taking on a tone of urgency. Long discussions had gone on that ranged over every imaginable topic. Gladys’ long history in working with families, the outcome of her own experience with the injustice in law and the courts, had forced them to notice how the same behavioral strategies were applied in very different situations. The use of influence, deceit, coercion and violence in some combination were always present.

But the conversation on the night of September 30th was focused on the election. Although they had seen that solutions do not come from government, still it was impossible to ignore the fact that government could screw up everything more thoroughly than any natural disaster.   MORE

Characters and Places  

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