Thursday, August 9, 2012

History Corner/ Book Review: Smeared by Mark Rogers

It's a good week and we've got not one, but TWO history based books for review this week!

First the modern one!

But first a warning- this is an HONEST review, there is NO slant here-I'm not Fox or ABC News- I've been an Independent Voter since I got my first Voter Registration card. I didn't want ANYONE telling me HOW I had to vote. I wanted to research, educate myself and vote accordingly. So consider this an AMERICAN review, nothing else.

smeared cover

SynopsisIn Washington D.C. where actual policy change is a fool’s game while voter manipulation an every day occurrence, Hartford Keepe is everybody’s go-to guy. Chief of Staff to six term, senator, Harold P. Feldstone, chairman of the almighty Senate Appropriations Committee, Hartford wields his influence like a skilled marksman with uncanny aim. His job, his lot in life, his sole reason for being, is to keep the senator in power. 

Annie Green, Hart’s live-in girlfriend, doesn’t buy the image he pedals. She believes government’s claim of attracting the best and the brightest is pure fraud and sees her boyfriend as one of those geniuses helping to shove her country over a cliff. She wastes entirely too much of her time trying to uncover his conscience, temper his actions and salvage their relationship. 

When a formal little man named Thomas, decked out in eighteenth century colonial garb, with no last name and no recent memory, pokes his head into the crosshairs, Hart can hardly believe his luck. He figures the gods aren’t just smiling on him, they’re throwing him a party. Then somewhere between the “no return point” and “what the hell have I done,” Hart realizes he’s unleashed a smear campaign on this unsuspecting little dupe, of gargantuan proportions. Not only is the man’s survival in jeopardy, so is the fate of a nation. 

Review: I am pretty much BEYOND shocked that this is the author's FIRST book! It grabs you from page one and doesn't let you go, as it insightfully and correctly skews and  magnifies today's political and social climates. It doesn't matter WHICH side of the fence you are on, both sides are at fault and equally skewed. What the author wants to stress is the country our founding fathers not only imagined, but fought for, and that we have continued to fight for in multiple world wars and conflicts.

I turned down SO many pages, the entire book looks dog eared! When he describes the power plays of the last election and since, and how the legislation is not FOR the good of the people, but to keep the parties in power and money flowing to them, you know the book is a wake up call. I also know that it will be negated and torn apart, much like the end result of the characters in the book- another well worn tactic. Fair play has gone the way of cassette tapes- the destruction of an opponent character, aka mudslinging, aka Louisiana politics for as long as I can remember now on a national stage, is now the 'game', the norm. When he makes the analogy of a football coach not blaming the previous coach before him and choices he made in games in previous seasons, you can easily see the stupidity of blaming one's predecessor, and not owning up to one's bad decisions.

Who wouldn't want to be a senator/congressman? They get huge pensions for a minimum of service to their country, cushy officers and travel funds, underlings to do their bidding, and limited work hours. Yet, why does our military, who literally put their lives on the line for freedom, frequently come in barely above poverty level, with pensions that come nowhere near letting them stay retired? Not what the founding fathers sought indeed. When did we let such greed run amok? When the free press stopped being the third check and balance on the government. Anybody remember 'Deep Throat'? The press exposed the bureaucracy and illegal actions of the presidential office and a president was impeached. Think that would happen today when the press slants EVERY news coverage to the left or right? 

We think of our country as a capitalist country, but as the author points out, we NO LONGER are. A free market capatalism allows for an INDIVIDUAL to come with an idea or product, market it, sell it and make a profit. He can succeed or fail, ON HIS OWN MERIT.If he is successful, he is free to hire employees, , to pay them by mutual agreement (don't want that salary? DON'T take the job!), and let them go, if they fail to meet the standard he has set for HIS company. The employees are also free to leave at any time. This free enterprise system prospers, is efficient and productive and SUCCESSFUL.

BUT, it's opposite is taking over the country. The country is being taking over by unionism. Unions do not create business and enterprise, they feed off of it, like a parasite, they will go down with the ship, even if it means crippling the host and killing it off. Business owners are hampered by rules and regulations, where subjects are promoted based on seniority, not merit. The individual not longer can be a star player and succeed within the company. Private business unions have declined but government FUNDED ones have increased, especially in public sector jobs. Think this is wrong? Ask the cities going bankrupt in California what is their number one financial issue. The answer: keeping up with pensions. Groups are favored by politicians- they can vote en mass and not question them. Favors can be granted and legislation passed. But if the legislation is so wonderful for everyone, why are so many groups exempted from the legislation?

Are we to be led like sheep, by shepherds who lie to us and do not have our best interest in heart, or should we be represented by those who understand capitalism and will vote for what is best for the TRUE pursuit of life, liberty and happiness, that our founding fathers demanded when they wrote the Constitution. This book does an excellent job in making you rethink what is ACTUALLY going on in our country and how we have all allowed ourselves to become sheep, and how we as a nation, seek to destroy those that stand up and say 'hey wait a minute, that's NOT right'. 

I urge EVERYONE period, no matter what your party affliation to READ THIS BOOK!

Educate yourselves and make SOUND choices when you vote, not choices based on who you 'should' vote for, who's more like you in looks, who shares your economic background. Look BEHIND the lies, spin and propaganda (sound familiar? We used to calls those tenets of Communism and Nazi-ism) and vote as an INDIVIDUAL, not a sheep!

About the AuthorMark Rogers graduated Georgia Tech earning a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering. He served in the military as a U S Navy pilot for six years. Upon leaving the military Mark and his wife Ann realized a longtime goal by starting and running their own business in pursuit of the American dream. After fifteen years of risk and hard work they sold their imprinted sportswear company which had reached nationwide distribution and employed over a hundred people. Mark wonders if such entrepreneurism is still possible today. This novel, Smeared, came about while searching for the answer.

Disclosure / Disclaimer:  I received this book free of charge, from the author, via Bostick Communications, for review purposes. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it. 

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