Make the Safety Net Safe and Useful
Social Security and Medicare


Insanity in America? You Betcha!
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Get Real About Taxation and Spending
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Efficient, Effective, and Appropriate

Create a Government That is Efficient, Effective, and Appropriate
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Bring the Troops Home

Why are our forces still abroad? The only possible explanation seems to be inertia.
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A Safety Net for All

Many Americans, most notably government employees, are not part of the Social Security or Medicare systems.
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Let’s Be Neighborly!

Stop the embargo on Cuba
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Bring the Postal Service into the 21st Century
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College Education

Bring College Education into the 21st Century
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Technical and Vocational Education

Build a World Class Technical and Vocational Education System
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Bring K-12 Education into the 21st Century

The United States ranks 17th in the world in terms of overall student achievement. We need to do better.
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Mega Banks: Too Big NOT to Fail

Their size and power, along with an ongoing assumption that the government will always bail them out, is a clear path to more risk taking
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Punishment, Not Imprisonment

The United States has the highest rate of incarceration of any country in the world
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Making Laws That Work

Many laws that are written and passed fail to meet claims and projections made prior to passage
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Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

What is really needed to in order to generate new and worthwhile jobs in the American economy?
Jobs, Jobs, Jobs post image

Stretch the Safety Net

Many American retirees move overseas so they can enjoy better lifestyles, but by doing this they forfeit their Medicare benefits.
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“To me, the government is as insane as the voters who send the same representatives back time and time again.
And as long as those voters continue to reelect the same worthless politicians, the insanity in Washington will continue.”

A memoir of Love, Courage, and Devotion

Ting pict 3Douglas Cooper has written a dramatic, heart wrenching, and in the end heart warming, true life account of his relationship and eventual long marriage with his wife Ting. The book is titled: Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage, and Devotion and the title is a truly apt describtion of the story in the book.

In reading a summary of the book I was deeply touched by Mr. Cooper’s love for and devotion to his wife but wasn’t sure how it would fit in with my typical politically oriented author interviews. In discussing this issue with Mr. Cooper we found there were some significant social, and thus political, issues involved and thus decided to do the following interview as well as a live radio interview on my Books and Politics Show on Monday night, August 19th at 7 p.m. California time. Please listen in at: www.blogtalkradio/angelsandwarriors.

I will first discuss the book itself since it is a truly touching story and one I am sure many of you will be interested in reading.

Then, as you might expect, we will drift into some serious social and political issues.

So, let’s get started:

1.  Douglas, before we get into your book could you briefly tell us about your background.

I lived in Manhattan until my early teens, subsequently moving to Walden, NY, a town of about five thousand, where I went to high school. I graduated tops in my class, won a Regents Cornell Scholarship and received my bachelor’s degree in physics at Cornell. I worked for IBM near my hometown for six months, got drafted into the U.S. Army and, after Basic Training, served at the Ft. Detrick biological warfare and defense installation, with a Secret clearance, doing research on early detection of biological agents. That led to work at Penn State and my M.S. in physics with an environmental thesis, followed by my Ph.D. at Harvard in engineering, again with a topic related to environmental evaluation.

In my thirties, I worked in contract research on pollution control, followed by years of teaching and research at the Harvard School of Public Health. I left as an Associate Professor and worked for a decade at IBM’s  Yorktown Heights Research Center, again doing research on environmental  questions…primarily contamination control.

After ten years there, I took an early retirement package from IBM, worked another half-dozen years for a small firm in the contamination control field, and retired at 58, partly to help care for my disabled wife, Tina Su Cooper, who has multiple sclerosis.

We moved to the countryside, where I have helped with Tina’s care and  eventually came out of profound retirement to establish a small business helping others to write and publish their memoirs, as I did with TING AND I in 2011.

Before retiring, I had authored or co-authored over 100 scientific papers published in peer-reviewed technical journals and was made a Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology.


I was born Republican and was politically active at Cornell and one of the leaders of college conservatives at Penn State and Harvard. In 1968 in Central Pennsylvania I was elected to the Republican National Nominating Convention, where Richard Nixon was nominated.

In retirement, after writing my memoir, TING AND I. I established a blog in which I discussed a wide variety of topics, some of them having political implications.

2.  Now for the book. Could you begin by telling us how you first met?

Ting and I coverAs a physics major at Cornell, I had a language requirement that I could have satisfied with French, but I decided to study Chinese, as I found the written language’s characters intriguing and I expected China to become progressively more important geopolitically.

Tina Su joined the class mid-way in the year, having had some Chinese language exposure at home, as her professor father and well-educated mother were both originally from China, where Tina was born, her birth name being Su Ting-ting.

I was captivated by Tina, first by her beauty, then by her manner, and finally by her talents, intellect, and world-view. We were both high school valedictorians, senior class presidents, yearbook editors, and children of Republicans. She was a highly accomplished pianist, I was a mediocre tuba player, but a spirited high school football defensive end.

We fell in love within weeks, the official date being Valentine Day, 1963. We were almost inseparable the rest of my junior and senior years, Tina’s first two years at Cornell.

If this were not an interracial romance, we would have gotten engaged when she graduated and we would have married not long after. Instead, both sets of parents were against our marrying, and we tearfully accepted their judgments.

3. After you were forced to end this promising relationship what happened next?

Tina was sent by her parents for her junior year abroad in England. I went to work for IBM and was then drafted. When Tina returned to Cornell, she dated only Chinese students, and she continued this while pursuing her MS degree at Harvard. I went from the army to Penn State in late 1966, and Tina graduated from Harvard and married a Ph.D. scientist from Taiwan in 1967; they moved to Chicago, where he had obtained a faculty position.

While at Penn State, I fell in love with a Caucasian woman who reminded me of Tina, married her in 1972 while I was studying at Harvard, and had eight fine years and a couple of bad months, when I discovered she was having an affair. We divorced. I was on the faculty of the Harvard School of Public Health and suddenly living beyond my means in Boston, as my ex-wife had been from a rich family. Something had to change.

4.  Could you tell how you were reunited with Ting and what happened then?

When my marriage failed, I was broken-hearted, although it occurred to me that perhaps some day I could marry Tina. I wrote her a casual letter informing her of the break-up, and her reply was that she was sorry and that she was still married, with her son giving her great pleasure. I noted the limited endorsement of the marriage.

I dated several women, got engaged and then disengaged. Traveling through Chicago on school business, I called Tina and we chatted as though we had been apart only weeks, not nineteen years. I was elated. I told her that I still loved her and hoped that one day we could be together. At that point, I thought her husband would have to die before this could happen.

Tina and I wrote and called. I learned that her marriage had been hard on her and she had been considering divorce. She told me she had multiple sclerosis, with minimal symptoms at the time. I researched MS and learned there was a non-trivial chance that Tina would be wheelchair-bound, even quadriplegic and ventilator-dependent. I was both very sad and committed to rescuing her. Her plight seemed to justify asking her to divorce her authoritarian husband and to marry me, and she agreed with great enthusiasm.

A year later, we were joyously married, with parental approval even. Her younger son, age 2, came with her, and her elder son, age 9, stayed with his father.

We have had twenty-nine terrific years and are married to the max, committed to be together forever.

5.  Now, for the difficult part, please tell us about Ting’s illness and how that has effected your life.

For the first ten years of our marriage, Tina’s symptoms were minimal, only showing up as a slow pace with small steps and a tendency to tire easily.

After a severe MS attack Tina became unable to walk. I had taken an early buy-out from IBM, knowing that such an attack could happen, and the IBM medical plan was guaranteed as part of the agreement. We had also purchased long-term home health care insurance, which after the attack ended up paying for 14 years of part-time home health aides.

We moved to the countryside after son Phil graduated from high school. We had four more years in which Tina could still use her arms and hands to have some independence.

Another severe MS attack nearly killed Tina and left her quadriplegic, on a ventilator, fed through a gastric tube. We were given the choice of hospice or home care, as her life expectancy was only a few months. Through IBM medical insurance, we have had almost unbroken 24-hour-per-day skilled nursing care in our home, for nine years rather than a few months!

6.  What is the present state of Ting’s health and how is she being cared for?

Tina is more robust than nine years ago, but still quadriplegic, ventilator-dependent, fed through a gastric tube. She gets bed care and medications almost every hour of the waking day, and somewhat less over-night. She is alert and happy. Her nurses agree she is the most up-beat patient they have ever had. Her family doctor called the care she has gotten the best he has ever seen in a comparable situation.

7.  Douglas, that is truly a touching story. I’m sure many of those reading or listening will want to buy the book and get all of the details. So, where can they get a copy of Ting and I: A Memoir of Love, Courage, and Devotion?

The book is available in paperback and ebook formats through and Outskirts Press, among others.

8.  Now let’s discuss some of the social issues that your story raises. First, the expenses for your wife’s care are far more than one person or even a large family can possibly be expected to bear. Does society have an obligation or responsibility to help with the costs of such an unfortunate situation?

If she had not been paying into Medicare, then I would say the US would have no responsibility for her care. Given her payments, there is a contract between Tina and the government that should be honored. I chose to work for IBM partly because of its generous medical benefits, and Tina’s condition was a factor in my decision. We bought long-term care insurance while making the company aware of her MS. Companies should also carry out their contractual obligations.

9.  I know you are a Libertarian. Doesn’t Libertarian philosophy say that we are all individuals and as such should be responsible for our own problems?

Yes, this is why we arranged to be so well insured. On the other hand, some government programs are part of contractual agreements between citizen and government, such as Medicare and Social Security. Medicaid is more like government-sponsored charity, with which I have less sympathy, despite the greater need of some of its recipients.

10.         If society is responsible for helping with the burden in a case like that of you and your wife isn’t it reasonable that we have some sort of national health care plan such as Obamacare?

As you see, I reject that society has such a responsibility, beyond living up the promises it has made while taking our money. Obamacare actually threatens Tina and me, as many companies are using it as an excuse to move their retirees off the company medical plan and onto the public plan, which I can assure you will not pay the $1000 per day in nursing costs IBM currently supplies. If IBM moves us to Obamacare, our savings will be wiped out in a few years.

11.         Douglas, your story shows the deep devotion that can only exist in a really great marriage. What is your feeling about the place of marriage in our society?

Marriage is key to the well being of many people, and it is especially important where children are involved.

12.         To what degree should government be involved in marriage?

Marriage is governed by law, and law is needed where agreements break down, either through circumstances or misbehavior. The courts and the police are needed to enforce agreements.

13.         With respect to the current issue of gay marriage, what is your position?

Gay marriage is a misnomer. Marriage has meant the union of men and women, not two men or two women.

Civil unions are fine with me, contractual agreements between consenting adults.

Homosexuals would prefer the term marriage to make their unions seem more acceptable. It is not clear how well the common law that has developed around traditional marriage will fit homosexual unions.

14.         While we are on the subject of marriage and family what obligation do you believe society should have for the education of children and young adults?

Ideally, parents should be responsible, and I would supply education through private, not public schools. Getting there would be very difficult. School vouchers supported by taxation are an intermediate step. I do not believe society has a responsibility to educate children, though I think such education is worthwhile and in the absence of government support would be supported by charities and private arrangements.

15.         Should people who do not have children be forced to pay for the education of other peoples children?

Ideally, no. However, getting to the situation where people are responsible only for their own children will be difficult.

16.         If society is obligated to pay for the education of children how far does that obligation go? Is it through high school? College? Post graduate study?

Traditionally, in the US we have accepted that public education be supported through high school. The more we subsidize education, the more it will be wasted. Exceptions might be for legitimate governmental activities, such as defense, law, communicable disease, and pollution.

17.         One last thing, could you once again remind people where they can find your book, Ting and I?

It can be ordered through or at Barnes and Noble or through Outskirts Press.  It shows the power of love and the value of life, even severely handicapped life.

Douglas, I really appreciate you taking time to participate in this interview. I sincerely hope people will feel as I do about your fascinating story and rush out to buy your book.  I see it is available for just $0.99 in the e-book format from Amazon so it is really an incredible value.

Anyone who buys it before the live radio show will be better prepared to call in with questions so if you will be able to listen in please buy a copy in advance.




Interview with Reuben Dunn, author of A House Divided Cannot Stand.

foreclose pict

Some time ago I read about a soon to be published book on mortgage modifications written by an experienced mortgage industry professional. Because of my involvement with my brother in his mortgage modification business I tracked down the author, Reuben Dunn, and arranged both this written interview and a live blog radio interview scheduled for the evening of September 23rd on my Books and Politics Show. In addition to reading the following I hope you will listen to the live interview which will be more comprehensive and that you will call in to ask questions. It is on Monday night at 7:00 p.m. California time, Monday, September 23rd, and you can find it at: Just look for the Books and Politics Show.

The following is my written interview with Reuben:

Reuben please tell us about your background and what qualifies you to talk about mortgage modifications.

I have over 18 years experience with consumer credit finance and debt counseling. I have experience with underwriting loans, both on a non-secured and a secured basis. For the past 4 and a half years I have worked exclusively with mortgage modifications. During this time I worked at Bank of America, initially in their Home retention Department. I finished my time with them as an Account Specialist in the Office of the President and CEO, working on escalated modification requests and complaints.

There was a recent settlement between major banks and the Attorney Generals from various states where the banks paid billions of dollars because of alleged violations in conjunction with mortgages and mortgage modifications. Could you explain what illegal practices the banks were accused of and what the money from the settlement will be used for?

Simply put, this agreement settles state and federal investigations finding that the five largest mortgage servicers in the country ( Ally/GMAC – Bank of America – Citi – JPMorgan Chase – Wells Fargo) routinely signed foreclosure related documents outside the presence of a notary public and without really knowing whether the facts they contained were correct. Both of these practices violate the law.  This was known as Robo-Signing.

The settlement provided benefits to borrowers in the signing states whose loans are owned by the settling banks as well as to many of the borrowers whose loans they service.

The Settlement also provided for monies to be distributed to certain homeowners who had lost their homes to foreclosure. In June of this year, the National Mortgage Settlement Administrator distributed approximately $1.5 billion in settlement funds to certain borrowers who lost their home to foreclosure. Payments were mailed June 10 through June 17, 2013, and were for amounts of approximately $1,480.00

You might want look at this URL for reference:

Is there any justification for the robo signing that was practiced by many banks?

No. None at all. I do understand what may have driven bank management to do this however, high volume of delinquent mortgages, a push to get these issues resolved. It was wrong. It harmed both the homeowners as well as the reputation of several banks. The ripple effect of these actions are still being felt today.

Most people who obtain a mortgage from a bank assume that their bank is the one making the loan. In fact, many such loans are sold to investors and the bank merely acts as a servicing agent. Could you explain how this works?

Most banks will carry their own mortgage programs that are sold to homeowners who meet specific criteria, .e.g, income, credit history, debt and expenses. Those homeowners who do not meet these criteria are then referred to other investors, including Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FHA, USDA , Bank of New York, etc.  Loans that are not bank held are referred as being 3rd party servicers. Banks will buy bundles of mortgages will fit their sales and marketing profile. The homeowner is notified when these mortages are sold off to other lenders. Bank of America for example will sell in bulk form, those mortgages that no longer fit their sales and investment profile. They will also buy in bulk mortgages that fit these same profiles. The thing to remember is that the original terms and conditions of the mortgage are not changed, payments are the same, and delinquencies are still in effect.

I have read that it is sometimes to the advantage of a servicing agent to force a foreclosure when both the investor and the home owner would be better served by a modification. Is there any truth to this and could you explain why or why not?

I have heard this rumor for several years and just do not buy into it. Foreclosure is a lose-lose proposition for both the homeowner as well as for the lender. The homeowner loses out due both losing the home as the rather toxic effect that a foreclosure will have on their credit rating. The lender loses out simply due to the lost investment; they are already losing money on the mortgage loan itself, as well as the missed payments. Putting a house under foreclosure means that the house will eventually be sold off at a far less amount than either the original amount loaned, or what the current fair market value of the property is. It is in their best interests to try to keep the homeowner in the property.

There are some cases where the investor does not participate in any sort of modification program, either the banks or the government program. These sorts of mortgages are generally going to be the low end of the subprime mortgage, will have a severe delinquency attached to them, or the homeowner will have an extremely poor credit rating. In these rare cases, the homeowner will have the option of either repaying the back debt, or putting the house on the market as a short sale. I will say that this is the severe exception to the rule.

I have never been in the position of automatically putting a foreclosure order through, nor have I heard any of my former colleagues at Bank America, for example, get this sort of instruction.

Your book explains the income requirements for obtaining a mortgage modification and I understand that there are also acceptable ranges for expenses that the homeowner can have to secure a modification. When a modification applicant does not meet either of these standards does the bank advise them how far off they are? Why or why not?

As a rule we would not tell them how far off they are from meeting lending qualifications concerning income; the reason being that some homeowners, in an act of desperation, would then resubmit new income information that has been, to put it kindly, massaged, to fit the requirements. The main problem with this is that if a modification is done with inaccurate information, the homeowner will suffer for it in the long term. If there were problems with too much debt, I would suggest to the homeowner that they proactively reach out to their other debtors and see if arrangements could be made to accept a reduction in payments, after explaining to them why this request was made.

I am aware of one bank that declined a mortgage modification because a computer model determined that the modification could not be made at 31% of the homeowner income. However, the computer model calculated the property tax payment rather than accept the amount that the homeowner had submitted with his application. It was pointed out to the bank that the computer model was wrong since the property was in California and had very low property taxes because of Prop 13 since the homeowner had owned the property for a long time. The bank representative said nothing could be done once the computer rejected the application. What should be done in such a case?

I am not really sure how to answer this one, as each lender will have their own processes and internal guidelines to follow for their in-house modification processes. When I was doing underwriting for an in-house modification the property tax information was obtained by us from the customer directly, both over the phone, and in some cases, in hard copy, they would send in a copy of their property tax statement. If there were any discrepancies of information the customer would be expected to bring them up at the time of application.

Taking all of this into consideration it is doubtful that the application would have been declined on this single fact alone; property tax is taken into consideration, in many cases whether or not it is delinquent or not. If the homeowner is able to provide written confirmation from their County Tax Office that the tax information has been amended, then they should be able to resubmit the needed information in a new application.

Not knowing what the specific bank concerned was, nor all of the specific details of this file, it is hard to come to a specific conclusion. All I can say is that when a homeowner informed me that some information was not correct, they were invited to resubmit it to me.

Again, simply having a change in the amount of money paid for County Taxes alone would not necessarily cause an application to be declined.

California passed a law prohibiting third party modifiers, other than lawyers, from collecting advance payment for modification services. Do you think such a law is in the best interest of the homeowners?

I think that overall it is in the best interest of the homeowner to know that if they are paying an upfront fee for modification assistance, that the company that they are doing business with is regulated, in this case by the California Bar Association. Prior to this legislation, not only in California, but nationally as well, there were no legal requirements for anyone to follow when setting up a modification assistance company. This meant that anyone could set up shop, advertise as a modification expert and then wait for business.

In the early days of the modification crisis, there were hundreds of companies all over the United States doing just that. In many cases, they were charging upfront fees of several thousand dollars and, many times, guaranteeing to the homeowner not only a modification, but both forgiveness of back debt, reduced interest rate, as well as a principle reduction of the outstanding balance.

The problem was that these were empty promises for the most part, and many of these companies would simply take the up front fees, send in the paperwork to the banks and lenders, then do nothing else, except move on to the next customer.

I have had many conversations with homeowners who had been scammed but these kinds of companies. On one occasion I attempted to contact a modification company a week after receiving some paperwork, only to find that their phone number had been disconnected. The company took several thousand dollars from the homeowner and disappeared. Fortunately I was able to work directly with the homeowner and work out a modification solution for them.

At least now, with the requirements as they are, concerning law firms, there is a better recourse for the homeowner to pursue should they need to. The State Bar Associations in the country take an extremely dim view of law firms who fail to deliver.

With housing prices on the rebound and many mortgages that were underwater, with the loan amount in excess of the home value, do you believe mortgage modifications will cease to be a problem in the near future?

No. here in the State of California, for example, both housing prices and the interest rates are increasing, as they are across the nation. Earlier this week there was a spot on the local news that said that the guidelines for buying a new home are now harder than ever before. While the news about the housing prices and interest rate rise, and the tighter lending guidelines is long overdue and welcome, let us not forget that this only applies to homeowners who are currently buying their homes; it has nothing to do with the several million homeowners who are underwater and in trouble today.

I think that the only way that the modification problem/crisis will be cease to be a problem in the near future, would be if the banks and lenders stopped taking applications for assistance today. Drawing a line in the sand and saying that after this date there would not be any further assistance provided. That is the only way I can see in having this problem cease in the near future.

Fortunately, for the distressed homeowner, this will not happen, and both the government and the lending institutions will continue to provide assistance.

The question perhaps should be asked what can be done to speed up the process. Well, I have felt that looking at the modification policies for both the private sector and the government sector, insofar as some form of Principle Balance reduction,  a portion of the outstanding debt forgiven/ written off in some cases, would make the playing field a bit more level. Having a lender buyback program where the lenders get the property title back, and then, if the homeowner can afford the rent, renting/leasing back the home to the occupier. Several lenders already do this with the majority of those being offered this opportunity, being able to remain in the residence due to their being able to afford the rent.

I think there needs to be better care and conditioning of the homeowner should it be found that they are simply not able to meet any sort of repayment options due to their level of income.

Several lenders are taking the lead on this, and are mirroring the HAMP program of offering relocation assistance to the homeowner, should it be necessary for them to move out of the home, due to short sale, deed in lieu of foreclosure, or through foreclosure itself.

This is a problem that took several years to cascade into existence, and it will take a few more years to get sorted out, assuming that the number of homeowners who are seeking help, does not increase as it has been doing over the past twenty four months.

Ok Reuben, I am going to end the written interview at this point. I do have some follow up questions concerning the answers you have given above and also some additional questions concerning the recently announced plan to phase out Freddie Mae and Fannie Mac and have investors bear more of the risk with home loans but those can all wait until our live radio interview.

For those readers who would like more information about mortgage modification from Reuben I recommend his book, A House Divided Cannot Stand, which will be available soon on Amazon. And I also suggest that it would be well worth your while to listen in to our live interview and be prepared to ask questions about anything that is not crystal clear. You will be able to get up to date information about the date A House Divided Cannot Stand will be published. And if you have a friend who faces foreclosure, or other serious financial problems concerning their home mortgage, advise them to listen in as well.


Insight into the Middle East and Iran

from a former CIA Officer who knows 

Cooper's revenSometimes we can find out more about what really goes on in the world by reading fiction than from our new media which tends to have an agenda of their own. I suspect that Cooper’s Revenge is just that kind of book. Written by a former CIA Officer with extensive Middle East experience the story tells about a Navy Seal who is seriously injured, separated from the service, and then goes on a mission to get revenge for the murder of his brother.

Exciting action with an undertone of realism that suggests the story is plausable if not real.

Because of the nature of Cooper’s Revenge I was intregued by the opportunity to interview the author, Terry Williams. I began with a written interview, which you can read below, and then scheduled a live blog radio interview for July 15th which you can listen to Monday night at 7 p.m. California by going to Look for my Books and Politics show.

The written interview follows:

1.     Terry, your book provides some pretty clear details about the war in Iraq. Could you give our listeners a little information about your background and how you know so much about the conflict in Iraq and the situation in Iran?

I spent thirty years as an Operations Officer and Operations Manager for the Central Intelligence Agency.  Although the bulk of my career was spent in Asia, everyone at CIA was called upon to support our military in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as well as the less conventional war on terror.  And just as a concerned citizen following our foreign policy as we insert ourselves into these military quagmires.  I think we need to reduce our footprint in foreign military engagements and increase our covert action capabilities.

 2.     What do you hope to accomplish by publishing Cooper’s Revenge?

My goal was to highlight the role that Iran has played and indeed continues to play as a state sponsor of terrorism through its proxies in Hezbollah, Al Qaeda and the Taliban.  Specifically the horrible impact IEDs have had on our military in terms of deaths, wounded and dismembered combatants.

 3.     How would you characterize you book in terms of genre. Is is a war story? And adventure story? Or what?

I would characterize Cooper’s Revenge as Suspense /Thriller fiction.  Although there are many factual aspects to the story, it is a work of fiction that is meant to entertain as well as inform.

 4.     Tell us a little about Logan Alexander, the main character in your story.

Logan is a Navy SEAL, probably a composite of some of the Special Forces personnel I have trained and worked with over the years.  He is a patriot, a warrior, someone for whom family and loyalty are paramount. 

 5.     Now that we know about Logan Alexander could you provide a little more detail about the plot without spoiling things for people who want to read the book?

Logan finds himself immersed in the world of international terrorism, when his younger brother dies in an Improvised Explosives Device attack in Iraq.   Logan responds by mounting a covert operation with the help of several like- minded Special Forces operators against the perpetrators.  This fast paced plot takes Logan and his cohorts around the world.

 6.     The Iranian Qods play an important role in the story. Could you tell us a bit more about them and what you believe their overall objective is?

The Qods Force is a paramilitary organization that was originally created in 1979 when Ayatollah Khomeini forced Reza Shah Pahlavi from power.  Their role at the time was mostly internal, keeping an eye on military commanders whose loyalty to the new regime was untested.  To this day they remain under the direct command of Iran’s Supreme Leader.  Their role and influence have expanded considerably as they serve as a foreign covert action arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

 7.     The Iranians recently elected a new president. Do you believe this will result in any significant changes in the way they deal with the West?

Iran’s election of Hasan Rowhani in recent presidential elections would appear to signal that the Iranian people are ready for a more moderate leader.  However, real power in Iran lies in the hands of the theocrats, led by the Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.  They have been behind the policies of the last 35 years that have made Iran an international pariah that chooses to provoke the west rather than seek rapproachment.  I don’t see this changing as a result of this election.

 8.     What should U.S. policy be towards Iran?

The U.S. has a difficult diplomatic task vis-à-vis Iran.  How can the U.S. advance a relationship when the other side is bent on pursing policies and actions that contravene International law.  The U.S. should be open to dialog with Iran, and strive not to demonize their leadership, hard as this might be.  At the same time we must be resolute in punishing Iran to the full extent allowable under U.S. and International law for its bad behavior.

 9.     What is the risk if Iran does develop nuclear weapons? Would they be likely to use them on say Israel or even Europe or the U.S.? Or is the real problem that they might make them available to terrorist organizations?

Iran’s tenacious pursuit of a nuclear weapon comes at great cost.  Look at the sanctions that have been imposed upon them.  But the threat a nuclear-armed Iran poses to the world is far greater.  Their avowed desire to destroy Israel threatens all of us because the nuclear conflagration that would result could destroy civilization as we know it.  And if Iran’s proxies were ever to get their hands on a nuclear weapon and the delivery system to put it in play it would be Armageddon.

 10.       If you had a short meeting with President Obama and had the opportunity to tell him one thing about Iran what would it be?

Be open to dialog but remain vigilant.  Don’t get sucked into a war with Iran, but use the power of your office to approve covert action programs against Iran’s nuclear program.  Effect political change in Iran by supporting opposition groups who may in time change the nature of Iran’s policies towards the west.

 11.   Early in your book you point out the easy transit across the Afghanistan Pakistan border by Taliban. In light of the limited cooperation we receive from Pakistan should we be providing them financial assistance?

The leadership in Pakistan continues to disappoint on so many levels.  Going back to the days of A.Q. Khan, the nuclear proliferator, their inexplicable sanctuary of Osama Bin Laden in Abbottabad and the Taliban leadership in Quetta are all startling betrayals of our bilateral relationship.

There are things we don’t know about that Pakistan is doing for us.  Our leaders need to weigh these against Pakistan’s divided loyalties and assess if our continued financial assistance is warranted.

 12.     Do you have any other books in the works? And, if so, will Logan Alexander be involved?

Yes, I have just finished writing Unit 400 ‘The Assassins’ which is a sequel to Cooper’s Revenge and which brings back many of the original characters.  Logan is again, our leading man.

 13.   Ok, my last question. Where can readers find your book?

In bookstores and on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Apple’s website.

Many thanks Terry for answering my questions in this written interview. I am really looking forward to our live radio interview and hope people who read this will listen in for a more detailed explanation of your book and of the situation in the Middle East. Meanwhile I would strongly suggest that they buy and read your book before the show since it might give them some ideas for call in questions and because it is such a tremendous value at just 99 cents for the e-book version. Imagine, an interesting novel with a lot of relevant information for just 99 cents. Hard to go wrong with this!






In the last six months I have had the privledge of interviewing some twenty authors, many of them quite good. Their books have all been interesting and most had an overt focus on politics which is my primary interest. But, to be honest, none of the authors I have interviewed are household names, none have achieved the literary success of top authors as reflected in huge book sales and a prominent place for their books on the shelves in bookstores.

A world Photo for FB & Twitter (crop2)Accordingly, the following interview breaks new ground. Oddly the author is not a household name, IN THE UNITED STATES, even though he is an American. He is however extremely well known in Asia and even in Europe where his books are prominently featured on shelves in book stores and elsewhere. His books are sold in e-book format in the U.S. and typically sell up to 50,000 each year yet American Publishers seem to avoid him as someone whose books do not have a great appeal to American audiences. Not that American book publishers have ever been wrong!

The author is Jake Needham, an American expatriate who lives in Bangkok and who writes mostlly about Asia, in particular mystery stories set in Asia. The book I will discuss with Jake is A world of trouble which is one of his wildly popular Jack Sheppard novels and fortunately, for my purposes, does touch upon some political issues. True, these are not really political issues of great concern in the U.S., although at least one of the issues I raise in the interview should be. I will leave it too the reader to figure out which issue I am referring to but if you have read my essay, Things are going to get much worse, ( you can probably get it right.

Anyway, I am really honored to interview my first big time author and hope you will find the interview interesting and add yourself to the growing number of Americans who buy and enjoy Jake Needham books.

Note that Jake has agreed to both a written interview and a live blog radio interview for my Books and Politics Show. It will be on Monday night, September 2nd at 7 p.m. California time (early morning in Bangkok) at Do not miss this since I am sure it will be a fantastic interview and you will have a chance to ask questions of a really big time author.

AWorldofTroubleThe written interview follows:

  1. Jake, this interview has two quite separate objectives. First, I would like readers to know more about you and your book, A World of Trouble which I find quite interesting. Second, I would like to get your views on some real world political issues in SE Asia and the world. Is this dual purpose interview ok with you?

Okay do it.

  1. Great, so could you tell my readers a little about your background, what qualifies you to write about Thailand and other SE Asia countries?

I have lived and worked in cities in the Asia Pacific region for over thirty years now. Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, and Bangkok. A magazine called Asia Business once said, Needham certainly knows where some bodies are buried. I ought to. I helped bury enough of them.

  1. What inspired you to write A World of Trouble?

I thought injecting Jack Shepherd into the social and political upheavals that have tormented Thailand over the last few years might produce a good novel, so I took a shot at it. I think it worked out pretty well.

  1. Is A World of Trouble just a mystery novel, or is it also a political commentary?

I do not do political commentary. I write novels. I tell stories. I make stuff up. But I still like for the stories I tell to have their roots in times and places that people recognize. CNN said my books read like they were ripped from the headlines. I thought that was a pretty nice complement, especially coming from CNN.

  1. Would you tell us about the plot of your book and provide a little detail about your hero, Jack Shepherd, and about Charlie Kitnarock?

Okay, here is the pitch for A WORLD OF TROUBLE:

Jack Shepherd was sick of Washington politics, sick of corporate law, and even a little sick of himself. So he hit the road looking for a new start, made a couple of wrong turns, and somehow wound up in Hong Kong. Now he needs a job, and being General Chalerm Kitnarock’s lawyer is a job, so he takes it.

Shepherd could certainly have done a lot worse for himself. Charlie Kitnarok is the world’s ninety-eighth richest man. But he is also a former prime minister of Thailand now living in exile in Dubai. When he is not making money, he is plotting his return to political power.

For Shepherd, that could be a real problem. Thailand already has a prime minister, and she is a woman with whom Shepherd once had a brief relationship. It will get particularly messy if, as Shepherd suspects, Charlie is smuggling arms to his supporters and intends to use the Thai army to seize control of the country. Can Shepherd keep his two friends from destroying each other and prevent Thailand from sliding into chaos?

Thailand is hurtling closer and closer to a bloody civil war. And as unlikely as it may sound, Jack Shepherd is probably the only person on earth who can stop it.

This is the third book I have written featuring Jack Shepherd. The first was LAUNDRY MAN and the second was KILLING PLATO. The fourth Jack Shepherd is being released this fall. It is called THE KING OF MACAU.

  1. Are there any other characters in your book that need specific mention? And if so please tell us a bit about them.

I think the third major character in A WORLD OF TROUBLE is pretty interesting. She is a Thai woman named Kathleeya Srisophon who my readers first met in KILLING PLATO. Kate was the Director General of the Thai National Intelligence Agency then, and she and Shepherd developed a strong connection as a result of their joint involvement with a very important American fugitive named Plato Karsarkis. In A WORLD OF TROUBLE, through a series of accidents and coincidences that absolutely no one anticipated, least of all her, Kate becomes prime minister of Thailand.

As you may already know, the current prime minister of Thailand is a woman, but when I wrote A WORLD OF TROUBLE the whole idea of a woman prime minister was pretty much unthinkable to anyone who knew Thailand. A couple of people who read early drafts of the manuscript that became A WORLD OF TROUBLE even suggested I ought to take out the part about Kate becoming prime minister because it damaged the credibility of the rest of the novel.

So there you go. Life imitated art once again.

  1. Does the story accurately reflect political issues in Thailand today? Or is it pure fiction?

Let me answer that by quoting a couple of paragraphs from a note I added to the front of A WORLD OF TROUBLE just before it was published:

I have a friend who was a senior intelligence officer in Asia for most of his career. On a night not long ago in Macau, we were smoking a couple of good cigars and talking about my books. He asked me how I had found out the truth about an event around which I had built the plot of one of them. I did not find out about anything, I told him. I just made it up.

That is the thing about Asia, he chuckled. You really can not make anything up. No matter how outrageous what you have written might seem, one day somebody will come up to you and tell you it really happened, or that it is about to happen.

Let me make this absolutely clear: I made up the events, the characters, and most of the politics in this novel. But more than once while writing it, I remembered what my friend had said that night in Macau. He usually turns out to be right when he makes an observation like that about Asia.

Just this once, however, I really do hope he is wrong.

  1. Charlie is a billionaire ex Prime Minister of Thailand, and as most readers know there is a billionaire ex Prime Minister of Thailand by the name of Thaksin Shinawatra. How would you compare the two?

Clearly the whole idea of Charlie Kitnarock, a Thai billionaire and former prime minister now living in exile in Dubai, grew out of Thaksin Shinawatra, but — as I keep saying — this is a novel. Its basic elements may be rooted in things that are real, but that does not mean that the novel is real. For example, Charlie Kitnarock is a former general and rallies the military behind his scheme to return to power in Thailand. Thaksin Shinawatra is a former policeman, and it was the military that forced him out of power and exiled him to Dubai in the first place.

  1. You are known within Asia as being one of the top American fiction writers in the world yet you are a relative unknown in the U.S. Can you explain this?

Easily. None of my books have ever been published or distributed in the United States in spite of being big sellers in Europe, Asia, and the UK. The Bangkok Post put it this way: Needham is probably the best known American writer nobody in America ever heard of.

For fifteen years I have been told by the gatekeepers to the book business in the United States that Americans do not want to read books by an American living in Asia who writes crime novels set in Asian cities. On the other hand, I have also heard from a lot of readers in the US who wanted to get their hands on copies of my books but could not find them. So I arranged for all my titles to be made available in the U.S. in all the popular e-book formats and now I am selling about 50,000 copies a year there. Not bad for books that American publishers keep insisting to me that Americans do not want to read, huh?

  1. What can you tell us about the financial status of Thailand? Does it thrive because of sweatshops making cheap products for export or is there something more enduring that underlies their economy?

Thailand really is in a somewhat difficult position with regard to its long-term economic prospects. It no longer offers particularly low labor costs, certainly not when compared to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar, and it lacks the educated work force needed to produce greater productivity and justify higher wages.

The standard of English in Thailand has consistently been rated by various business surveys as the worst in Southeast Asia and, in comparison say to China, the educational standards in Thailand in fields like computer science are incredibly low. You can make a good case that Thailand political instability and its lack of any comparative advantage as a commercial partner will lead to an economy more and more dependent on tourism and less involved in anything sophisticated that required education and innovation.

  1. Hong Kong is part of China but is still quite different. For one thing the Hong Kong dollar is pegged against the U.S. dollar and not the Chinese Yuan. With the dollar being weakened by the foolish fiscal and monetary policy of the U.S. do you see this changing anytime soon? Is it likely that Hong Kong will adopt the Yuan as its currency?

At the moment, of course, the US dollar is incredibly strong and the common view is that, in the medium-term at least, it will remain strong against most Asian currencies, particularly the Yuan. The Yuan has a very long road to becoming a freely convertible international currency, and the opaque, even fragile nature of the Chinese political system certainly leaves open the possibility that the Yuan will never become a truly convertible international currency. Right now, it is very hard to see how a freely convertible currency controlled only by the market could be compatible with a closed and managed society like China.

That said, I do think it is a near certainty that Hong Kong will eventually re-fix the Hong Kong dollar in Yuan terms rather than US dollar terms, but I have no idea when that will happen. It could be tomorrow. It could be a generation away.

  1. Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and other SE Asia countries are all very active in International Trade. Can you provide any information as to the relative amount of trade these countries do with the U.S. versus their trade with Europe and with China?

I do not have any of those current numbers right at my fingertips, but let me at least say this from a general standpoint. An accurate ranking of the commercial influence those three regions have on Southeast Asia right now would go this way: (1) China, (2) China, (3) China, (4) Europe, (5) United States. It is impossible to overstate the degree to which China dominates the direction of economic growth in Southeast Asia. American influence is somewhere between very small and completely negligible.

When the United States fled Vietnam in 1975, we turned our back on Asia for over a generation. Nobody in American wanted to hear about Asia after that, nobody wanted to be reminded of the frustration and shame of Vietnam. We wanted out of Southeast Asia, and we got our wish. Now we have to live with it.

  1. I understand that there was a great deal of corruption involved when the new Bangkok airport was built a few years back. Can you offer any insight into what went on at that time?

It is frequently pointed out, mostly by cynical old expats like me, that if it were not for corruption, Thais would not be engaged in any productive commercial activity at all. The new airport was the gift that just kept on giving. It gushed bribes and kickbacks for thirty years. God only knows how many Mercedes Benzes and mistresses it paid for. Now Thailand is saddled with the worst major airport in Asia.

And you know what? Nobody here really cares. Welcome to Thailand.

Jake, again my sincere thanks for agreeing to this interview and I am really looking forward to the live interview on September 2nd. Naturally I want to encourage readers to go to and order the e-book version of A World of Trouble and to be honest I am so inspired by what I have learned from this interview that I plan to purchase a copy myself. If and when I get to Bangkok I will also purchase a printed version and look you up to get it signed.

And of course I hope everyone that reads this interview will listen in to the live interview on September 2nd since it will be a real treat.

David Welch


Angels in the Silicon

An author interview with

Richard Kusiolek

Angels in the silicon coverLiving in and having worked in Silicon Valley myself my interest was immediately aroused when I ran across a book with the provocative title “Angels in the Silicon.”  Of course I realized the reference was to so called ‘Angel Investors’ who often help early stage start up companies get off the ground. But despite understanding the source of the title I was concerned that it might be an attempt to portray the ‘Angel Investors’ and the Venture Capitalista that are involved in the next step of start up funding as being some kind of benevolent and kindly people with a great deal of wisdom, kindness and generousity. I know for a fact that simply isn’t the case. Most, but admittedly not all, of the Angel Investors are not kind and generous at all but are out to get in on the early stage of a good idea and turn their small investment into a huge gain. And as for the Venture Capitalists at the next level there is a very good reason they are often referred to as Vulture Capitalists.

So, with this concern in mind I took a look at “Angels in the Silicon,” and found it to be a much more open and honest appraisal of the true nature of Silicon Valley and its opportunities as well as the many problems.

With this in mind I proceeded to arrange and have an interview with Mr. Kusiolek, the author. The first interview was in writing and follows below. However, a second interview, live on blog talk radio is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. California time on Monday evening, July 8th. You can listen in at Look for my “Books and Politics Show.”

The written interview with questions and answers follows:

1.     Richard, please tell us a bit about your background and how you know so much about Silicon Valley?

I started my career in retailing with Shaeffer Pen, Riddell, and Rotex as a Product Brand Manager.  I moved to the Bay Area and soon began my high tech career in office products (Norelco)and then with Mini Computers (Xerox), Legacy Systems (Honeywell), Legacy Software (Computer Associates), IBM Data Center Monitoring software (Boole and Babbage), Internet Data Centers (Exodus), Business Processing Outsourcing (Achievo and WeSoftware), Server-based Digital Video Security Systems (Stanley Convergent Security Solutions).  I worked on several start-ups and visionary projects in Silicon Valley In addition; I negotiated overseas manufacturing operations for my cable modem design and Satellite antennas in China.

2.     What was your objective in writing “Angels in the Silicon?”

I have always been interested in history, business, and philosophy.  As a Midwesterner who was drawn into the mystique of Silicon Valley, I was interested in what makes Silicon Valley “tick?”  We hear the stories of great entrepreneurs starting visionary projects in their garages and then growing the entrepreneurial idea into a major global change agent.  However, I wondered what about the Silicon Valley technology knowledge-worker or the person with an idea who never makes the business headlines or gains funding from a venture capitalist.  What is the real life story behind the glitter of Silicon Valley’s public relations curtain?  I heard many stories about the high divorce rates in Silicon Valley.  I began to wonder how that factor affected the children of Silicon Valley, as well as the development of innovations.  This is a story of an entrepreneur who struggles to maintain his start-up venture dream against the backdrop of socio-political issues, which ends up restricting his liberty and entrepreneurial start-up realities.

3.     What should readers take away after reading your book?

Our archaic educational curriculum needs to change.  The Court System has become too political and we need real court reform.  The Court System is the not-so-invisible hand that is dividing our society into have and have-nots based on gender, race, non-sexual and political preferences.  Silicon Valley has stopped being a Mecca of global Innovation except in the minds of the Public Relations and Advertising minds.  The once great innovation engines have morphed into global monopolies, which restrict innovations that might influence their business hegemony.  We need to correct this reality.  VCs need to stop determining what is in their best interest as they build the Industrial/Business future.  Reform needs to happen now or Silicon Valley will become just another area for overseas tourist to ride around in tour buses admiring the locations of Silicon Valley historical and real estate sites

4.     Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Computer, recently appeared before Congress to answer questions about the hundred billion plus dollars Apple has stashed overseas to avoid U.S. Corporate Income Taxes.  Do you believe big Silicon Valley companies like Apple, H.P., and Oracle take unfair advantage of U.S. tax laws?

Many experts in Congress and Business have already noted companies leave profits offshore because they expect to pay 25% to 15% in corporate taxes, which is lower than the 35% statutory U.S. corporate tax rate.  When I was a consultant in China, the government gave lower taxes, free land, and low labor cost to induce Silicon Valley to invest and keep their profits in China for re-investments.  The tax code for the United States does incentivize companies to locate in tax haven countries.  This was the reason why Tim Cook is a good business leader as he is maximizing the corporation’s profits.  American Corporations are using the current tax code to meet their responsibility to their shareholders, directors, and employees.  If the tax code is unfair then is must be changed.  So far, President Obama, his Administration, and political party do not want to change the tax code.  Why should he when Apple, HP, and Oracle are contributing to his campaign (2016 mid-terms) and they do not have to deal with the labor quota system in the Affirmative Action Law.

5.     Apple and other high tech companies have almost all of their manufacturing work done by subcontractors overseas.  What impact does this outsourcing have on the U.S. economy and on jobs in the U.S.?

Before answering that question, I think we need primer of when did globalization begin in the USA and what were the effects.  I recently read MARK ARCHER’s review of Charles Emmerson’s book “1913: In Search of the World before the Great War”

Here are some notable insights: “Like today, the world in 1913 enjoyed a peaceful productivity so dependent on international trade and cooperation that the impossibility of general war seemed the most conventional of wisdoms.  Mr. Emmerson points out that the volume of world trade reached a share of global output in 1913 that it was not to surpass until the 1970s…Population growth, Mr. Emmerson explains, was the major impetus for world trade.  In the 30 years to 1913, he notes, Britain’s population increased to 45 million from 35 million and Germany’s to 68 million from 50 million…The growing demand for foodstuffs and commodities in developed nations wrought many an economic miracle in less developed countries.”

In 1913, England controlled the worlds finance as the USA did in 1960.  In 1912, China 4,000 years of imperial rule ended.  China began to be the hope as an economic international trade engine as proposed by the USA business elite in the 1990s.  “The Gold Standard came to be seen as a mechanism for generating economic insecurity rather than one for generating financial stability.  In 1931, in the face of the Great Depression, Britain left.  The principles of liberal free trade—and of the economic interdependence which this implied—were replaced with aspirations to economic self-sufficiency…”

I believe that the economic self-sufficiency cycle has already begun in Asia Pacific.

There has been a steady shift of the share of the global GDP.  By 2060, Europe will only be 9%, the USA 17%, India 18%, China 28%, and Japan only 3%.

The impact on the US economy and jobs is that the US is becoming a major global debtor, there has been a loss of national incentives to stimulate a surge in critical thinking American academic programs, the number of patents in High Tech has radically diminished, and  the US has become a politically correct nation that gives up its low skilled low wage jobs to illegal immigrants and its high skilled high wage jobs to the work force of India, China, Russia, Ireland, England, Japan, the Northern EU nations.  Take Apple for example, it employs 400,000 workers at Shenzhen China from a Taiwanese firm called FoxConn.  Apple also hires IT workers from overseas at his campus in Cupertino.  In 2012, Oracle currently had over 21,000 employees in India out of a global workforce of 104,569 employees.  Out of this, the US had 43,968 employees, the APAC region had 23,040 employees, and EMEA has 37,561 employees.  HP had approximately 331,800 employees worldwide.  Sixty thousand are in India.  Further, Sand Hill Road VCs encourage their start-up venture to place team members that reflect “diversity Executives”.  –This means that American need not apply to be team members.

6.     What could, or should, we do to bring manufacturing back to the U.S.?

I think I should state something about the unskilled illegals that provide the “outer-ring” of Silicon Valley serfdom to allow the IT knowledge workers the freedom to write code.  No border security fence is part of the 1000 paged, 100+ amendment Immigration Package.  The illegal drugs must get into the US as many Americans from all walks-of-life now depend on them.  Over an 80billion dollar, drug traffic arrives over America’s borders each year.  HLS would have to be downsized if the border fence would be built, but the border police are unionist.  They will not allow the fence to be built for then they will not be needed.  So far, the drugs and the illegals continue to move across our borders.  However, remember 36 miles of the fence have been completed and the funds to complete the project had been passed a long-time ago, but the Democratic Party patronage jobs are never going to go away except to continue to retire the agents at 50-year s-of-age and 80% of their highest salary

On June 18, 2013, the CBO Congressional Budget Office stated, “the increase in illegal immigrants would cut the budget deficit and boost economic growth.  The reality is that the Monopoly US enterprises moved 72% of their manufacturing processes to China and India.  The question that has been posed is how America can integrate not 11 million but 46 million unskilled Spanish-speaking workers who have on average 3-4 children.  As we have seen in Santa Clara County and especially Mountain View and San Jose, the children of illegals are receiving free healthcare, education, food stamps, and cash.  The Federal Program states that these immigrants will not receive any Federal benefits, but they will receive State Welfare benefits.  The States are already broke because

In 1993, I made an eyes-only recording for President William Clinton, which highlighted my views of keeping, for over 100 years, our core technology treasures to enable Americans to prosper and create the greatest high Technology Nation that the world has ever seen.

It is clear in a Monopoly driven IT Industry that little advantage exists to force these executives to forego their huge salaries and bonuses, to move their business models back to the US.  Of course, we need these American companies to make their main priority the economic stability of America.  So far, they have ignored their responsibilities to the People of America.  Further, we must realize that these IT monopolies will stifle innovations that replace their technology; they will pay millions to create the narrative that they need the “overseas high tech workers” because the engineer pool in America is low.

I have heard this same premise for over 13 years.  Companies look for the lowest labor cost for the same intellectual project result.  If they cannot find that skill set overseas, they will not create a campus teaching those skills overseas for they know the graduates will work for less over American IT engineers.

7.     Silicon Valley Venture Capital firms are male dominated.  Is this a problem?

Well, I looked at the 2013 list of the most active Silicon Valley VC firms and the Principals were all males.  As an early Democratic Party Community organizer of  the NOW movement and an author of  a magazine article draft on women in leadership positions in Global Enterprises, I can only state that gender is not a rational in American Business Enterprises, with the exception of Carly Florian, to promote woman to high executive positions because of gender.  Yes, Hillary Clinton has been beating this “feminism” drum since the early 1990s, but in 2013, Enterprises promote qualified leaders regardless of gender or race.

8.     Most Valley firms rely on the H-1 visa program to bring in skilled workers and programmers from overseas, particularly from India.  Why can’t they find American workers for these jobs?

I believe that I answered that question.  For the last 15 years, Silicon Valley ultra-progressive Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, has been the Democratic Party political lightening rod to increase the H1 visas.  The so-called Immigration Reform Bill that is coming out of without border security. 

US Senate Immigration Reform Bill has these provisions:

  • H1 visas currently 65,000 per year increased to 110,000 per year.
  • The advanced degree H1B cap for STEM degree holders from US schools will be increased from 20,000 to 25,000 visas.
  • There are provisions mentioned in the bill that the H1B cap could be potentially increased to 180,000 per year, if there is extreme demand for highly skilled workers that fiscal year.
  • More stringent rules on H1B Visa approvals for companies that have about 15% of their workforce as H1B visa.  Essentially, strict rules for someone who are planning to abuse the H1b program.
  • No Green Card limits for individuals with extraordinary abilities, especially research fellows, Professors, MNC executives, athletes.
  • A new startup visa for encouraging foreign entrepreneurs to start companies in USA
  • A new 250,000 merit based visas to immigrate to USA.  The point system will be based on education, employment, length of residence in US, etc.  The 55,000-diversity visa lottery program that is currently used today will be removed to cater to needs of employment and merit.

Americans High Tech workers cannot apply for these jobs because three-four Indian outsourcing firms have long-term contracts with the major IT enterprises.  Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., 532540.BY +0.27% is India’s largest software exporter by sales.  Infosys Ltd., INFY +0.91% another large Indian IT company.  Hexaware Technologies, IGATE, Trigyn Technologies, and six other Indian outsourcing firms dominate the IT outsourcing Industry.

China also is targeting Silicon Valley and other areas for IT outsourcing contracts.  Here are few that the CCP Ministry has allowed

1. Neusoft Corporation Software outsourcing, Data entry, Call center, R&D outsourcing

2. INSIGMA TECHNOLOGY Co., Ltd Software outsourcing, Data entry, Call center

3. VanceInfo Technologies Inc Software outsourcing, R&D outsourcing, BPO

4. WuXi AppTec Co., Ltd CRO

5. hiSoft Technology International Software outsourcing, R&D outsourcing, IT service 

6. Longtop Inc Software outsourcing, IT service R&D outsourcing 

7. Dalian Hi-Think Computer Technology, Corp Software outsourcing, Data entry, Call center

8. iSoftStone Information Technology ( Group ) Co., Ltd Software outsourcing, Call center, IT service

9. China Data Group (Suzhou) Co., Ltd Data entry, Call center

10. Inspur Group Ltd Software outsourcing, Data entry, IT service

9.     One last question, where can readers purchase your book?

Order this title through your local bookseller or preferred on-line retailer.

978-1-4772-9580-9 (Softcover ISBN)

978-1-4772-9579-3 (Hardcover ISBN)

978-1-4772-9578-6 (Electronic book ISBN)

We have many private bookstores like Keplers or Book Inc., but you can never get your book into their stores because they all have “progressive gate-keepers” who push the California “political correct” agenda, which is Global Warming, Gay Marriage, Open Borders, Illegal Immigration, Cap and Trade, unlimited access to State Welfare benefits, unlimited appointment to public and educational managerial positions based on gender and race, and a clear bias against self-published works.

Even the Mountain View Library, (lived here for over 30 years) which I paid for with my taxes sent me a lengthy form in order to do a simple in library meet and greet.  It is clear to me that Silicon Valley public institution suppresses free speech and are imperial in their interaction with the public. California, debt ridden, which exists for the UNIONS, has robbed the residents of the State of its treasury to waste resources to gain Union construction projects. The money comes back to build a one-political party mindness.

Thank you Richard for your frankness in answering my questions. I am looking forward to our live interview where we can have a bit more back and forth and discuss in more depth some of the issues you raise. And hopefully we will have some listeners call in with even more interesting questions.



STOP-THE-INSANITY-2Late last year I developed a Plan to put an end to the dysfunctional government in Washington and implement common sense solutions to some serious problems our country faces. I wrote a book, “Stop the Insanity Target 2014,” which explains the plan and describes the problems and recommended solutions. A key element of the plan is to vote out a number of incumbent members of the House of Representatives in the 2014 election and replace them with Independent representatives who will place the interest of the American people ahead of political party or other special interests.

However, writing a book is not enough. Real action is required to cause the change we need. So, I am now trying to start a ‘movement’ to implement the ideas in my book and shake the foundation of our dysfunctional government. I am inviting you to join and help this movement succeed.

The movement will require money but far more important it will require the participation of hundereds of thousands of patriotic Americans like yourself, Americans who are fed up with the current system and are willing to contribute both money and effort to achieve change.

The key to a successful movement is to start small and rapidly accelerate towards our goal. The beginning is crucial since we must be sure the message is conveyed clearly and that those we ask to participate realize the challenge we face as well as the reward if we succeed.

I asking you to help from the very beginning as I make sure there are enough of you who agree with me and who are willing to spend a small amount of money and a considerable amount of time to get our great country back on the right track.

The very first small step involves getting a minimum of 1,000 people, but hopefullly 2,000 to 5,000, to commit to being part of the movement. We need these early joiners to each contribute from one to ten dollars, an incredibly small amount for a movement that has the potential to save our country.

This first step will take place between now and the end of August, 2013 and, if successful, will raise between $3,000 and $10,000. That money will be used to set up a blog radio program, similar to my existing “Books and Politics Show,” but one that is on the air at least three nights a week with one night focusing exclusively on Candidates to be elected in 2014. A second evening will focus on current members of Congress that should absolutely be sent packing because of their failure to do what is best for the American public. The third will be an open forum for discussing ideas and changes that need to be made.

The initial seed money will also help set up the second step which involves raising an additional $50,000 to $100,000 and setting up mechanisms to identify and encourage additional Independent Candidates to run in 2014 and further mechanisms to give them a good chance to win the election. The second step will also lay the groundwork for expanding membership in the movement to the hundreds of thousands that are needed.

If you are willing and able to participate in the beginning step please send a check in the amount of $1 to $10, addressed to, and made out to, The Stop the Insanity Fund, 2986 Archwood Circle, San Jose, CA 95148. If you contribute a minimum of $5.00 and include an e-mail address in the envelope I will send you a complementary e-mail copy of my complete “Stop the Insanity Target 2014,” book. Or, if you and four friends each send a $1.00 check in the same envelope with a sheet of paper listing five e-mail addresses I will send each of you a copy of the book by e-mail.

If a minimum of 1,000 checks are received, from 1,000 different contributors, and if the total amount contributed is $3,000 or more, we will set up the new radio program and move on to Step Two. If I do not receive the required minimum then the checks will NOT be cashed and the movement will die at that point. Again I hope we can receive anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 contributions with a total dollar amouunt in excess of $10,000 but unless we receive the minimum amounts indicated your checks will not be cashed and there will be no step two.

So, please get out your checkbooks and send a check to:

The Stop the Insanity Fund

2986 Archwood Circle

San Jose, CA 95148

Your contribution will be greatly appreciated and every dollar will be used wisely and effectively to advance the movement.



David Welch

Note: You can read or download the first three chapters of “Stop the Insanity Target 2014,” for free. Just follow this link:



Interview with Craig Bowden

Independent Candidate for Congress

 Craig BowdenIn my never ending search for viable Independent Candidates to run for a seat in the House of Representatives in 2014 I believe I’ve found another winner. When I ran across Craigs twitter account I noticed he said he was running for Congress in 2014 so I immediately contacted him. When I discovered he had served in the Marine Corp in Iraq and was a patriotic American hoping to do something for his country and was running as an Independent because he, like myself, felt the two party system had let down the country and no longer represented the interests of the average American I was thrilled.

I arranged both a written interview, shown below, and a blog radio interview which will be on Monday, July 1st at 7 p.m. PST. Please listen at www.blogtalkradio/angelsandwarriors

If you can’t make it on July 1st the radio interview will be available for rebroadcast at your convenience. Just go to the above webpage address and scroll down to previous episodes and look for the Books and Politics show on July 1st.

 The written interview follows:

1. Craig, please tell me a little about yourself, your background,

Well, I was born and raised in Ogden, Utah.  Spent most of my life nestled close to the mountains, growing up to enjoy the outdoors; camping & hiking were a huge part of my childhood.  I am the oldest of five children, and my parents are still together going on 30 years!

I served in the Marine Corps for almost eight years, getting my honorable discharge in 2010.  I was in the infantry and served a couple of combat deployments to Iraq and some military advisement missions.

Currently I run my own business selling patriot supply and teaching firearms classes.

2. Why are running for Congress in 2014?

I felt like there was no other option left for me to be honest.  I have tried the phone calls, petitions, letter writing, etc. and nothing ever seems to change.  I decided to throw my hat into the ring after a couple years of wondering if I should or not. After seeing the political climate of the United States, I decided now was the time. I was also very tired of seeing finger pointing and lots of talk about what’s wrong, but no solutions.

I love my country very much and watching it being destroyed is killing me.  I also have to do it for my kids.  My dad always taught me about the greatness of America, a land of opportunity.  I want the same opportunities for my kids.

3. I understand you plan to run as an Independent. What party does the incumbent belong to and what is the registration split between Democrats, Republicans, and Independents in this district?

I am running as an independent in order to stay true to my values.  Rob Bishop is the current sitting incumbent of Utah’s 1st District and is a Republican.  2012’s breakdown of the election was 70% Republican, about 24% Democrat, and the remaining voters were various third party.

4. Running against an incumbent Republican in a heavily Republican district will be difficult. Do you believe you have any chance of winning?

I think I do.  I have something that is a little bit different in the way I am towards politics.  First of all, I am not partisan, it is about putting America and the voters of Utah first.  I also don’t have to worry about adhering to a party’s platform.  While Utah has primarily been a Republican state, the party has been slipping a lot on what kind of values really matter to Utahns.

I also have a strategy in mind to take things to a whole new level.  I don’t want to go too much into detail on the political strategy, but essentially the focus is on reaching out to the people, not big donors or businesses.

5. What do you believe are the top three issues in your District and what are your positions on those issues?

Between some polling I have gathered, and monitoring the various letters to the editor in local papers I have seen a definitive top three for Utah:

(a)   Federal government getting out of education.

(b)   Worries about the financial mess our country is in.

c)   And lowering taxes.

My stances are really simple with these. 

 a. The federal government, several hundred miles away does not know what is best for the state of Utah.  We keep pumping more and more money to the Department of Education and what has it done?  Schools are still failing, test scores aren’t going up, and many districts across the country have students that can’t read, right, or do basic math.  Instead of raising the bar, the government has lowered it so kids don’t feel bad about not graduating with their class.  Essentially the high school diploma has become nearly worthless.

b. Each state and municipality needs to have the ability to control the kind of education their children receive.  The community knows the best industry standards for their specific areas. This will also breed a recipe for competition.  Top performing areas are going to attract people.  If a state wants to be competitive in the job market, they step up their schools.

c.The other thing we need to do is allow bad teachers to be fired.  I have heard literally hundreds of horror stories of teachers that don’t care, won’t do their jobs, and in some cases even molest children, but they still get paid.  They still get to keep their jobs.  This is not the kind of education the American people need.  Trying to remove a bad teacher in a heavy union state is nearly impossible.  It can take up to two years to finally get rid of them.  That needs to change.

6. I note you are a former Marine. Do you feel our porous borders, particularly in the south represent a risk for possible infiltration by terrorists? If so what can we do about it?

No such thing technically as a former Marine. Once you earn the title, you are a Marine for life.  But I understand what you mean.

Not only do I think our borders represent a risk for infiltration, I know it is.  There have been reports of groups already working with coyotes and cartels in order to get their people across the border.  To name two notable ones: Hezbollah and Hamas.

As for what we can do about it, there is a lot.  First we need to build the fence. The president and Congress can produce 90 billion dollars to poor into green energy companies that go bankrupt, but we can’t find any money to finally finish the fence?  It’s ludicrous.

On top of the fence, I have a proposal in mind that would reduce the amount of military we have stationed overseas in non-conflict countries (saving millions of dollars) and moving them to assist in securing our borders.  They are already being paid on active duty, so I would like to see them rotate units to the border and work with our border agents.

We also need to suspend the restriction environmental groups have put along the border.  While I believe we do need to protect areas, we cannot sacrifice the well-being of our people in doing so.  A true environmentalist in my opinion is one who respects the area around him (pack it in, pack it out or cut a tree down, plant a new one).

7. My book, “Stop the Insanity Target 2014,” includes an idea that could reduce the cost of a four year college education by up to 40%. Is this something that voters in your District might be interested in? 

I know that this is an area that concerns many Americans, including the people of Utah.  As a personal example, my fiancé really wants to be a veterinary assistant.  There are only a few schools that offer the course.  Even if she got student loans, which would pay in the short term, the school was charging an outrageous sum that would have totaled nearly 50,000 dollars.  Bear in mind this was a two year associate’s degree.  Clearly something needs to be done in order to decrease the amount of tuition our future workers in America.

The debate over student loan interest rates is not the way to go about it.  It actually sets about a bad tone of debt equals success, which doesn’t always end well.  The majority of the time, when a large loan is taken out, it sets you behind, not ahead, especially when you are talking about getting into a job that makes only around 14 an hour.

What can be done? I am not 100% sure, but we do need to explore options to help out students get degrees to help them succeed without killing them.  Largely though, this needs to be left up to the states, because this is an area that is not listed in the Constitution as a power granted the federal government.  I would like to see states start taking the charge of creating lower cost schooling for degree and certificate programs, and would put my endorsement behind such plans in Utah.  But again, I feel this is an area that the federal government must not meddle.

Craig, I’m sure you will love my plan. It does involve the Federal Government but could be implemented by the State of Utah as well. Best of all it won’t cost taxpayers one red cent. We can discuss it on our scheduled radio show!

8. My book also proposes withdrawing a large percentage of our troops currently based overseas. Would this idea resonate in your district and what do you think of it?

As I mentioned earlier with my border security initiative, I wholeheartedly believe that we need to start evaluating the bases overseas and shutting down what is not absolutely necessary, bringing our troops home.  I believe this will save billions of dollars, and will provide an ample resource to protecting our borders.

9. Assuming you did manage to get elected, do you believe an Independent Congressman could have any effect in Washington?

I believe that I could have an effect, especially since I am attempting to show a perspective not often seen in DC.  I believe that when an Independent runs and makes it, they can be effective since there is not pressure to tow some line to stay popular with the party.  You are more able to stand up for the people.

I have been a firm believer that you should put the people first, not the party.  There has been a long standing power struggle between the Democrat and Republican parties, and when that happens, the best isn’t always done for the people.

Our first president, George Washington, actually warned of this danger in political parties fighting over power in his Farewell Address.  He had amazing foresight, and we really should heed the warning he laid out for us.

I would like to see less R vs. D and more of a government by the people, for the people.

10. My own belief is that to have any impact it would be necessary to elect 20 to 30 Independent members of Congress. If we did that would you be willing to work with the other new Independent members as a block to negotiate with the Democrats and Republicans to see that important changes are made to our government?

I would be willing to work with anyone, regardless of affiliation or lack thereof, so long as they keep the people and the US Constitution at the forefront of the policies and laws they seek to enact.

I would not be willing to work with someone wanting to continue the downward spiral the progressive movement has started.  I do believe we need to shake the balance of power, so I would endorse any third party or Independent candidate willing to do the right thing.

11. Could you provide listeners with the address for your webpage? And any other information that would allow them to keep up with your campaign plans and perhaps contribute towards your effort?

There are a couple of avenues you can connect with my campaign.

You can follow me on Twitter @CraigBowden2020.  My website is, and my blog site is

I do have the ability to accept donations on the two websites listed.

And my last word is this: we can keep doing what we have been doing for the last hundred or so years, electing the same people over and over, but get the same results.  Or we can seek out candidates like myself who are going to obey the oaths we take and bring a restoration to America.  The people must come first, and that is why I am doing what I do.

 Well Craig, you’ve just hit on the meaning of the title of my book. Einstein defined Indanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. We have to end this insane behavior of American voters and 2014 is the time to do it. Hence the title: Stop the Insanity Target 2014.

Craig, it has been a pleasure and I’m really looking forward to our live blog talk radio interview mentioned at the start. I hope the readers, especially those in Utah, noted that it is possible to contribute to your campaign through your website and will take advantage of that.

Best of luck and I’ll be talking to you again on July 1st.


A Conservative Future?

There is a well known saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. I’d like to add a new saying along the same line: A good idea is worth more than a thousand pictures. The point being that good ideas are few and far between and thus are extremely valuable.

Presidential Diary Book CoverAt first glance ‘Presidential Diary’ might seem to be the writing of someone on the far right of the political spectrum and thus have little to offer to people with moderate, not to mention liberal beliefs. However, reading a little deeper it turns out that Presidential Diary has a great deal to offer to people of any political pursuasion. Not that it is likely to change the minds of far left progressive thinkers but even to such people it offers ideas that they should well consider.

To people, such as myself, who consider themselves Independent, open minded and rational citizens of this great country of ours it does indeed have a number of good to great ideas and is thus a very valuable document indeed.

I read the book completely before setting plans for a live radio interview with Mr. Shupe. The live interview will be on Monday, June 24th on my Books and Politics Show which is at 7:00 p.m. California time. To listen to what I believe will be an interesting and lively discussion please tune in at

In preparing for the live interview Mr. Shupe and I had several discussions and exchanged a number of messages which allowed me to prepare the following written interview which should wet your appitite for listening to the real thing next Monday.

So, the following is the written interview I’ve prepared to lay out some of Mr. Shupe’s very interesting ideas. After reading this I sincerely hope you will listen in on Monday and perhaps even call in to the show to ask Mr. Shupe questions to clarify anything you do not understand or that you disagree with.

Ted Krager - incognito1. Lewis, could you please tell me a little about yourself, your background, what experience you have that qualifies you to write “Presidential Diary?”

I have written a brief tongue-in-cheek biography of myself on the website You can get there by googleing Presidential Diary.

In my working life I spent over 30 years in the computer field and owned a computer business in Louisville, Kentucky which was sold in 1985. I have a Master’s degree in business and spent over four years in the US Air Force during the Vietnam era. I also dabbled in Real Estate and owned two other small businesses. I have been observing politics since at least 1964 and during that period often asked myself why we are doing things that were never done before and why they were necessary. It seemed as if this country was being transformed by forces I did not completely understand and that the transformation was not for the better. The 2008 election of Barack Obama convinced me that the nation was on the wrong course and I tried to decide what I could do about it. These books were the result. The experience I have is the experience of life, my personal study, and the ability to read – which allows me to decide for myself the meaning of the US Constitution.

2. What was your purpose in writing the book?

A fundamental assertion of the book is that when economic problems become too great representative government breaks down since it is incapable of agreeing on how to solve the problems. My books are essentially three things: A condemnation of socialism; A platform for me to advance certain political ideas; and A warning – the warning is that unless you fundamentally change the way the government operates you will get someone who is forced to take over, and if it is not the right person things will only get worse. The books are about a conservative takeover of government, something that will soon not be out of the question.

3. There is a great deal of concern in our country over the environment and directly related to that the issue of global warming. In “Presidential Diary” you raise an interesting point, human population growth is the main driver of environmental problems yet is is seldom, if ever, mentioned by the environmentalists. Why is that? And, what, if anything, shoud we do about it.

The main goal of socialism is a socialist world government. Environmental issues are a primary mechanism for socialists to achieve that goal. Using the damage to the environment as a springboard, socialism tries to backdoor its way to achieving that goal and supposedly save the environment. There are many fine people in the environmental movement that sincerely care about the world around us. These fine people, however, are rarely selected for positions of leadership in environmental organizations. The socialist power structure tries to ensure that only people who share their political ideology are allowed to lead the environmental movement. Socialists do not care about the environment or population statistics – they only profess to care about them to achieve their ultimate goal. In actuality, the destruction of the environment only helps socialism to advance and they therefore have no interest in trying to find a reasonable way to control population. Agenda 21, carbon credits, and almost every other international effort in this regard is nothing more than socialism in action. There is nothing that can be done other than try to educate people about what is taking place. It would be helpful in this regard if some of the mainstream media would stop aiding and abetting socialism. In the latter part of my second book I get more specific about environmental issues.

4. One appalling statistic I’m familiar with is that the State of California spends more on the prison system than on higher education. Clearly something is wrong with our Criminal Justice system. Your book has some very clear ideas on what should be done. Would you please explain?

Plenty is wrong with our entire Justice System and several solutions are outlined in both books. When PETA can sue Sea World in San Diego because the whales are not being given their 14th Amendment rights you have serious structural problems. Attorneys are some of the greatest redistributors of wealth in the United States. Since you asked me only about The Criminal Justice System I will refine my remarks to that. A large percentage of the crimes in this country are related to illegal drugs either directly or indirectly – I would guess it is probably 80%. You now have a choice – you can either legalize these drugs or increase the penalties. In the book the President decides to increase the penalties. He does this by installing something I called a Federal Felony Point System. He also outlaws Capital Punishment in the States and reserves that right exclusively to the Federal Government. All of this of course requires a constitutional amendment and that is documented in the book. Points are then assigned for each felony and when an individual reaches the maximum point level he is automatically executed by the federal government. This allows you to release all kinds of prisoners from incarceration once they are deemed to not be dangerous to the public. So if you are convicted of possession of a controlled substance you are assigned a certain number of federal felony points and released. The same would hold true for a large number of non-violent felonies. I can tell you something else about the system I proposed, people like Bernie Madoff would not exist because they would pay the ultimate penalty if convicted. The first of my two books gets more specific in regard to the Federal Felony Point System.

5. The CEO of Apple Computer was recently required to testify before Congress about the $100 Billion plus Apple hoards offshore to avoid U.S. Corporate Income tax. Clearly something is wrong with our tax system to allow such clean cut tax avoidance. “Presidential Diary” has an incredibly good idea for solving this problem and drastically revising the way we tax Corporations. Please tell us about your idea?

The fundamental problem with our corporate tax system is that it is based upon profits. Corporate taxes should be based upon net US sales with no deductions allowed. We have companies in this country that do billions of dollars in business and through various machinations pay no tax. This is disgraceful and is a disservice to the American taxpayer who must then shoulder more of the load. In the first book I offer a system that includes how such a tax would be administered. I had to guess on the percentages and the structure and those portions are open to debate. The advantages of basing corporate taxes on sales are numerous. At present the federal government subsidizes up to 35% of all corporate expense by allowing deductions – this is now gone but replaced by a much smaller tax on sales. I am convinced tax revenues would increase since the underground economy has almost no incentive to hide sales. I also think it would attract foreign companies to headquarter here. The well-run companies may actually get a tax reduction and this would allow them to reduce prices, forcing their competition to become more efficient. There are so many advantages to this system I cannot begin to document them all. This is the one thing in my books that needs to be done as soon as possible. Thank you, David, for being astute enough to recognize the potential in this plan and for bringing the matter to people’s attention.

6. Another great idea in your book is getting rid of the two separate legislative houses in most State Governments. California has a State Senate and a State Assumbly and both do the same thing wasting a heck of a lot of taxpayer money. Please tell us more about your idea.

It is not necessary for states to have a bicameral system. The US has a bicameral system to protect the small states from the tyranny of the large states but not all the states need one. Nevada, for example, probably needs to retain a bicameral system to protect the many small counties in the state. Delaware, however, has only 3 counties and doesn’t need a bicameral system at all. Bicameral systems cause gridlock and legislation gets stalled because of its structure – you also have the additional cost of running such a system. Canada doesn’t have a bicameral system and they seem to do OK. Some of the states have a bicameral system but it is a hybrid that makes no sense. Each state needs to be evaluated individually to see what can be done.

7. While we are on the subject of stupid things States do, you also explain that the many counties and cities in our States result in a huge waste of taxpayer money because of the extensive and unnecessary duplication of administration that results. Please explain why reducing the number of counties and cities is such a good idea and how we can go about doing this.

Most states have incredible amounts of government that are unnecessary in the modern world. The case study I used in the book was the State of Michigan but the same thing applies to numerous states. All of these counties and cities were necessary in 1850 when communications and travel were poor but now we still are saddled with archaic government structures that are not needed today but are still in place. Why does every city with 100 people need its own fire, police, mayor and city council? All of this is incredibly expensive and costs the taxpayers large amounts of money to maintain. In the book in Michigan we reduced the number of counties from 83 to 12 and eliminated all city government except for zoning administrators. The cost savings of this one thing alone would save that state billions of dollars a year. You can do this now because we have radios, computers, telephones and vehicles that can travel rapidly to areas as needed. Socialists do not want to do any of this because it reduces the size of government, which is anathema to them. This is why it never gets done.

8. One last thing regarding State stupidity. The President of the U.S. is elected by an electoral system where each state is allowed a number of electors based on the number of Senators and Members of Congress representing their state. All but two of the states use a ‘winner take all’ approach where whichever candidate wins the popular vote in the state gets all the State’s electoral votes. Why is this a stupid system and how can it be changed?

Before I get to your question I want to make a comment. The entire relationship between the states and the federal government is crazy and is not in alignment with the US Constitution. This is one of the many reasons this nation has so many problems. This situation has deteriorated over time and we do not have the time to discuss all the reasons for it here tonight. Suffice it to say that in the book that relationship is restructured along more reasonable lines. Constitutional Amendment XXXIV Section 3 (page 219) is an important part of the entire restructured relationship and is an important part of the first book. Now on to your question.The electoral college is an absolute necessity and should be retained since it protects the small states. I personally favor the system used in Nebraska and Maine and think it should be adopted in all states. Take Nevada. Nevada has 6 electoral votes – 1 for each senator and one for each of the 4 representatives. The way the Nebraska/Maine system works is that the state overall vote allocates the 2 senatorial votes, and the vote in each congressional district allocates that congressional vote. So in Nevada in 2012, Obama would have received 4 votes and Romney would have received 2. The advantages to this system are: First, it is highly unlikely an entire state would have to be recounted as occurred in Florida in 2000. Second, there are no swing states. Candidates would have to campaign equally in all states. It should also be noted that if this system were in place in 2012 Romney would have won easily. The winner take all system promotes fraud and should be constitutionally changed.

9. Most Americans, including myself, are greatly worried about the future of our Social Security System. Your book makes an interesting and very appealling case for including all government workers in the system. Why should we do this, and why hasn’t it been done already?

To begin with, the federal government running a social security system is unconstitutional. If they had done this all properly in the 1930s as they should have and gotten a constitutional amendment we would be better able to evaluate how this system is to be administered. Having said that, we now have a system that people depend upon in their old age and it must be dealt with reasonably. All workers should be in the system for the simple reason of fairness. When you have a tax, everyone should pay something. When you have a federal program, to the extent possible everyone should be included. It hasn’t been done already because the people in power do not wish to participate in a flawed system, they prefer their own. The privacy options are an outstanding solution for social security but they will never be implemented because socialism does not want control of the social security system taken away from the central government. Remember, centralized political power is the essence of socialism. The greatest threat to social security in any form is the destruction of the value of the currency, which is now well under way at the federal level. If we do not reign in this debt and the resulting hyperinflation that will follow at some time in the near future your social security check will be worthless.

10. Your book presents some extremely conservative positions and at times seems to almost be unreasonable. Would you like to comment on that?

I consider myself a constitutional conservative. This book is fiction and is set in the future – as such it is a fantasy. Looking at the things I outlined in the book from the prospective of 2013 a few of these things may even seem bizarre. People do not seem to grasp, however, that if this system of government continues to operate in its present form disaster awaits. The forces of socialism hate capitalism and the free enterprise system and want to destroy it. Sitting down and trying to reason with them is futile since they are not interested in any good ideas that do not meet their requirements for inclusion. You have good ideas in your book, I think I have several in mine, and there are many well written books with wonderful solutions for many of our current problems. Socialism is not interested in these solutions. They are interested in replacing our current system with their own. You cannot tell them that their system doesn’t work because they always believe the next time it will. Ultimately there is only one solution to everything – the cancer of socialism must be rooted out of government at every level.

11. One last, and very important question. Where can people  purchase “Presidential Diary?”

It is available on line or in the bookstores of Barnes & Noble. You may also order it online at Amazon. You may also order it at the website If you want a signed copy you may go on the website and click on “Contact” and send me an email. I charge $15 for paperback and $25 for hard cover plus shipping & handling which is cheaper than you can get it at some locations.

Lewis, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to participate in this interview and hope that readers will purchase a copy of Presidential Diary since it has many more interesting ideas not covered in this interview. And by the same token, your second book in the series, “Presidential Diary II,” likewise has many additional ideas everyone should consider. I’m hoping to have you back for another interview to discuss your second book in a few months.

Readers, again please note that the above written interview is a precursor to a live blog radio interview that will be held on Monday evening at 7 p.m. California time (That’s 10 p.m. East Coast time). The live interview will be far more lively and interactive and listeners are invited to call in and participate.

It can be heard at:



SONY DSCIn my ongoing search for interesting people to interview I ran across Jon Wexford, author of Driven to Danger. Jon’s book is a fictional account of a Dictatorship and at first seemed to have little in the way of material that could be related to our present political problems in the U.S. However, upon reflection, and after seeing the seemingly never ending series of scandals (with the NSA fiasco being the latest) with our current Administration it occurred to me that Obama is becoming more and more like a Dictator.

Then I also discovered that Jon has a new book coming out soon which is about the Constitution. Putting two and two together I realized that a good Constitution that the citizens force leaders to follow is the one way to avoid a Dictatorship. Hopefully more of our citizens will become proactive and do something about the current unfortunate drift in our country.

Anyway, enough editorializing. But before we get started please note that I will have an expanded version of this interview live on blog talk radio on Monday, June 17th at the usual 7 p.m. California time slot. You can listen in to Books and Politics at at that time. But meantime you should find the following written interview quite interesting.

  1. Tell me a little about yourself, your background, etc.

My parents are older, so they instilled in me an old-world value system, one where government is not the answer to the world’s problems. I started writing when I was 15. I’ve always believed in myself, that I can do anything. It’s just a question of making money from it. I’ve also always been interested in foreign culture. I’m as close to being an expert as it can get in some areas in the world, like Central Asia, India, Europe.

2. I’ve read a bit about your book, “Driven to Danger,” and it seems that the bad guys in your story run the country and their main goal is to stay in power rather than do what is best for their subjects. Please explain how this works.

It’s the way of the world, reward your friends and punish your enemies. They, like the real Central Asian nations, are still run by Soviet-era hacks. These people know the game, when you give people power over themselves, you can’t control them. The dictator, Almatov tolerates no dissent. So then those who oppose him and whom he treats the cruelest plot to overthrow him clandestinely. But the main character is a poor musician named Vadim. He has a great talent, but no opportunity to do anything with it unless he plays the game and follows the “rules” the dictatorship has established. Vadim sure doesn’t want to do this, and fights it. Sound familiar?

3. Do you see a similarity between the regime in Driven to Danger, with its obsession on staying in power and the two major political parties in the U.S. (Democrats and Republicans) who also seem more interested in power than in doing what is best for our country?

Yes, because the further we get away from the US Constitution, the more corruption we’re going to have. It’s hard to put other people first, but good leaders do this; bad leaders put their own interests first. The difference is, and it makes me crazy, is that we still have the power to say no and vote these elitists out of office; the people of Derghistan and other nations like it don’t have that power. Those countries are “democracies,” but only in name. I don’t want America becoming like that.

4. Are there ‘special interests’ in your story and, if so, what do they do to maintain or enhance their position?

I guess the special interest is anyone who’s thirsty enough for power. It’s like the game king of the hill, you do all you can to knock off whoever’s at the top.

5. How can the people in a country like the one in your story, or like our own country for that matter, protect themselves against leaders whose primary interest is themselves?

It’s an easy answer, but it’s to do something about it. Getting people to do something about it is the tough part. Even just vote. You look at voter turnout and it makes me sick. I mean, we should do something about Washington while we STILL CAN do it peaceably, with a vote. Look at what the founders of this country had to do to shake off big government. Big government came after them with a bayonet. We’re not at that point yet.

6. But even if there is a Constitution, as we have in the U.S., what can prevent the leaders of a country from finding ways around it?

The people. We have to hold our government accountable. It makes me cringe when I hear people say that all politicians are corrupt. We allow them to get away with it.

7. What do you think of the current status of our own Constitution?

I know people all over the world, and I see how things go in their countries as far as taxes, regulation, corruption, job opportunities go, and believe it or not, I think America still isn’t in as bad a shape as some places, but, we’re headed in that direction. The US Constitution was one of the greatest gifts to mankind and has been replicated all over the world; but unfortunately people don’t know why it’s important, or care. That’s why I felt the need to write a book about why Americans should care about it, which is coming out on July 4th.

8. What can we do to strengthen the Constitutional protections that we supposedly have, but which seem to be eroding in recent years?

We’re going to have to start caring more. Again, it’s easy to say, but harder to do. I think that we who know better should be leaders and encourage everyone to do something. It seems like a Goliath, a Colossus, people hear 17 trillion in debt and it literally seems impossible to recover from. But just because something is hard doesn’t mean it can’t be done!

9. I understand you plan to release a new book about the Constitution in a few months. Can you tell us a little about that book and when it will be available?

It will be on Amazon on July 4th, so coming very soon. It’s called “Why Care About the Constitution? 10 Reasons to Give a Dang.” It’s a short book, but it’s short and to the point.

10. Where can readers/listeners get a copy of your current book, and how can they keep in touch so they know when your new book is available.

There are a lot of ways, the best is visiting I will be launching an email newsletter soon, so people can get updates, but check out for that too. I have links to my books on my website too. I’m on Twitter, @JONWEXFORD, on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, but all that can be found on too.

Jon I’d like to thank you for taking time to deal with this written interview in advance of our live interview Monday. I am really looking forward to that interview since it will allow us to be more interactive and will also allow listeners to call in with questions. But in the meantime the above written interview provides readers with an idea of what they can expect and should allow them to start thinking of the questions they would like to ask on Monday.

Again, the live interview will be on the Books and Politics Show, Monday evening, June 17th, at 7 p.m. California which is 10 p.m. on the East Coast. I hope you can all listen in. The address is

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From a ‘whistleblower’ who was there!

Skullduggery coverThe following is a written interview with Ted Krager, author of Skulldruggery. If you can read this without becoming completely disgusted with our government there is something wrong with you! And if you would like to listen in to a live interview on blog talk radio please go to  Monday night, June 10th, at 7 p.m. California time.

1. Ted, in your book you make some pretty serious accusations. Could you give our listeners a little information about your background and how you know so much about the Financial Crisis?

I worked on Wall Street for just over 10 years and one of my specialties was MBS – Mortgage Backed Securities, which are bundles of closed mortgage loans that conservative and / or retired investors like because they provide a steady stream of monthly or quarterly income, securitized my the mortgages. (Those conservative investors included individuals as well as institutional accounts like municipalities, public employees retirement unions, etc..)  Until the implosion of the economy in the fall of 2007, these MBS’s had never failed to provide that steady stream of income to conservative borrowers, many of whom by charter could only buy what they thought were AAA-rated securities.

After my Wall Street career, I started a mortgage banking company and built it from just me working out of my basement into a 310 employee company with offices in 39 states. We never did subprime loans because I don’t believe in them.

Ted Krager - incognito2. What do you hope to accomplish by publishing Skullduggery?

To expose the REAL story about who caused the Financial Crisis. It was an artificially/politically induced boom and bust and the true architects of this disaster will stop at no lengths to stop the truth from becoming common knowledge because many of them still serve at the highest levels in Washington. If they aren’t exposed for the roles they played in this, it could and probably would happen again.

3. What has the response been like thus far?

From the left, the book has provoked insults, threats (including 2 death threats) and attacks on my web sites.

From the right, the book has received great responses and most purchases are now because of recommendations.

4. I’d like to go through the chain of events that led up to the Financial Crisis and if I understand what I’ve read from your book it began in 1995 and Barack Obama was involved. Could you tell us what happened at that time?

It actually started in 1977 with Jimmy Carter passing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). That Act was supposed to help mostly minorities that could not qualify under traditional mortgage parameters / rules as contained in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines.

Seeing as how mortgage defaults since records were kept back into the 1940s were less than 2%, it defied common sense as to why anyone would want to tinker with those obviously successful records. The banks refused to lower their lending standards and because Jimmy Carter was a milktoast president, the CRA just sat there, languished if you will, and served very little purpose other than symbolic and to provide the framework for what was to come decades later.

In 1995, there was a landmark lawsuit against Citibank by a Chicago law firm.  It was initiated by housing activist and progressive lawyer Fay Clayton and backed by people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. The lawsuit revived interest in using the CRA to force banks to make loans, ironically that they could sell to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because the loans wouldn’t meet their guidelines.  Banks only have so much money to lend for mortgage loans and because most of these banks were public companies, they had shereholders and Boards they had to answer to, both of whom resoundingly said “no” to subprime loans. But this 1995 lawsuit became a class action lawsuit with 186 litigants and extreme pressure was applied to the banks.

In 1997, Citibank settled out of court and the proverbial floodgate opened wide. The vast majority of people DO NOT KNOW that Barack Obama was one of the lawyers on that team in 1995 that basically were responsible for forcing the banks to lower their mortgage lending standards to what became known as subprime mortgages.  I liken Barack Obama to the Little Dutch Boy who pulled his finger from the dike. At first it was just a trickle but soon turned into a tsunami that took down the U.S. and the global economies because of the millions of subprime mortgage ticking time bombs that had been sold to the world as AAA rated securities. (The ratings agencies like Standards & Poors and Moody’s were complicit in rating those MBS’s as AAA but that is a whole other story.)

Interestingly, the banks really only gave lip service to the mandates of the CRA until Bill Clinton had his treasury Secretary, Robert Rubin, literally re-write the charters of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. allowing them for the first time ever to buy what we now know as subprime loans. That was in 1999 and the banks no longer had an excuse not to meet the quotas imposed on them by President Clinton.  Janet Reno, his Attorney General, literally threatened the banks that didn’t meet their quotas that there would be fines, refusal of requests for new branch locations and more. The spigot opened wide and in less than a decade, the very predictable boom and bust ran its course, hence the Great Recession of 2007 to 2010. (Officially those are the dates but many people still are suffering from the meltdown because of losing their homes and / or their jobs.)

In what I think is supreme irony against the progressive liberals pushed this agenda, as few as 19 of those 186 clients (in the Chicago area) still own homes with clean credit ratings, following a decade in which Obama and other progressives pushed banks to provide mortgages to poor African Americans.

It’s also estimated that more than 50% of all minorities who used subprime mortgages lost their homes to foreclosure since 2007. The very people progressives wanted to help are the ones who were hurt the most.  It calls to mind the cliche: “With friends like that, who needs enemies?”

5. Senator Dodd and Congressman Frank had a huge role in the loosening of bank lending standards the ultimately caused the housing crisis which is the root of the Financial Crisis. Could you explain what exactly went on?

See # 4 above! And, you now know that none other than Barack Obama as young attorney in Chicago was also quite instrumental in all the true reason for the Financial Crisis! Is it any wonder he went around proclaiming at EVERY opportunity as a young Senator and also as President, proclaiming that the Financial Crisis was caused by “Fat Cat Bankers, Greedy Wall Street and the Failed Policies of the Previous (George Bush) Administration.”  It is a classic case of projection because Obama’s fingerprints are all over the Financial Crisis!!

In my book, Skullduggery!, Obama is #4 in my “Top 10 list of Chief Architects of the Financial Crisis.”  
6. There is mention of a 63 page White Paper on other abuses by the mortgage industry. When was this Paper issued and what happened to it? 

This paper by Pershing Square Capital came out May 2007 and is titled: Who’s Holding the Bag?”   It is at the link below:

and was the main topic in my May 3rd, 2013 article at:

What was done with these findings?  Per the authors:
 ”We are in the process of identifying additional violations of NYS Insurance Laws. Stay Tuned. We are meeting with ‘the relevant congressional and regulatory authorities’ to focus attention on the problem.”
 Those “attentions” would have gone to the NY State insurance commissioner and to either or both of the heads of the Senate Banking Committee (Chris Dodd) and the House Financial Services Committee (Barney Frank). Why was nothing done about this?  Better yet, why was this white paper and its findings buried and who buried it? Those questions remain unanswered as part of the coverup of who and what caused the Financial Crisis.

7. I understand that the TARP bill that then Secretary of Treasury Paulson submitted to Congress on September 20, 2008 specifically limited the use of funds to purchasing mortgage related assets, in other words it was specifically intended to help homeowners who were underwater in their mortgages. Yet on October 19th, 2008 just 11 days after the TARP bill was passed the Treasury put $125 Billion into the nine largest banks and made another $125 Billion available to other banks that wanted to apply. This clearly was a bailout of the banks and did not help homeowners. What went on to cause this change of direction?

I have to surmise that only Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke know the answer.

Both of those men were involved in coercing President Bush and the select Senators and Representatives in that meeting into decisions that a select few people know about. I do know that the banks were all imploding due to what was deemed as “cross-collateralization” between all the largest banks.  Here is a link to an article on that:
Note the date on that article: March 27th, 2008  This was 7 months before the well known emergency meeting that caused John McCain to suspend the November presidential election and rush back to Washington to be a part of hurried meeting that seemingly decided the fate of the nation’s policies of government choosing the winners and losers in a capitalistic free market society. The article is powerful and should be read by everyone.

8. Whatever went on in 2008 under a Republican administration did not change once the Democrats came into office. The new Treasury Secretary, Geithner, continued providing assistance to the big banks and seemed to disregard the homeowners TARP was supposedly passed to help. Since both Paulson and Geithner were both from big Wall Street firms do you think there is a problem having our Treasury Secretary and key members of the Federal Reserve be on some kind of revolving door between the government and Wall Street?

Absolutely! The cronyism between presidential cabinets (Democrats and Republicans) is obvious  and these appointed positions are almost always filled with ex-Wall Street guys who have many friends at the highest levels of all the banks and investment banks!
9. Later on you indicate that a well known Hollywood actor and Director helped divert attention from the true causes of the Financial Crisis?

Here’s the passage on that in my book:

Hollywood far-lefties made a 2 hour movie “documentary” that is at best, incomplete.  This movie, narrated by Matt Damon, infamous and outspoken liberal, narrates this farce of a coverup.  This is the progressives of Hollywood attempt to support the corrupt politicians and activists efforts by bolstering the subterfuge that “fat-cat banks and greedy Wall Street companies” caused the meltdown.  The movie goes to great lengths to explain the incestuous relationship between Wall Street and the NY banks and how they caused the meltdown.  The movie actually does explain a great deal about the role that the banks and Wall Street played in exacerbating the meltdown.  But there just is no escaping the fact that without the subprime mortgage leviathan created by social / political progressives, there would never have been a subprime mortgage bubble and the ensuing meltdown!

My suggestion?  Go see this movie!  Rent it… NetFlix it… but see it.  It explains a lot and most of what’s in the movie is correct.  However, as radio commentator Paul Harvey was famous for – the rest of the story – is conspicuously missing!  Therefore, it is yet another effort from left-wing America, this time Hollywood, to deflect attention away from the true causes of the meltdown. 

10. Everyone knows we have suffered from an unacceptably high unemployment rate in recent years. We went many months with unemployment above 8% but you indicate that was just the ‘reported rate’ and the true rate was much higher. Could you explain this?

Sure. The seldom reported Labor Participation rate is down to something like 63%, a generational low. The attached chart vivid shows that. This is the percent of people that want a job but that don’t have a job and have given up. If these numbers were included, the true unemployment rate would be around 14%.  But the MSM media is complicit because they won’t cover this. Only FoxNews, their contributors and the WSJ talk about this.  The real unemployment rate is truly quite bleak.  No President has ever been re-elected with unemployment above 8% but because it was under-reported, Obama was the 1st one to do that.
11. It seems to me that the ‘too big to fail’ banks were a major cause in the financial crisis while our political leaders share a huge part of the responsibility. But today the biggest banks are bigger than ever and many of the same inept, or corrupt, political leaders are still in office. What can we do about this sorry state of affairs?

You hear a lot about the “low information voters” as the ones who elected and re-elected Obama. That isn’t a racist thing at all but the left slanders the right every time they try to use this argument to explain the polls that have been taken that prove most Obama voters just don’t know about things like the Labor Participation Rate or the IRs and Benghazi scandals. The answer to your question is therefore to educate the public but how conservatives go about doing that is something I don’t know the solution for.

12. That’s it for my questions, is there anything else you’d like to add that would provide a bit more information and make it clear to listeners why they should buy your book?

From my perspective, the most amazing thing about this Financial Crisis is that it was 100% perpetrated by  liberals / progressives and it was and still is in many ways, disastrous to the economies of the world and to the very people (minorities) that progressives always say they are the party that looks them! But those very people… minorities, the low income groups and the people who can’t take care of themselves are the ones who suffered and are still suffering the most.  The reality is that capitalism and entrepreneurship are the best and most successful systems in the world and have created the most wealth in the world.  Wealthy people give quite generously to those groups so you would think, logically, that all people would want more of those wealthy people because of how much they return to society.  yet the liberals continuously try to game the system and it never, ever works!  Keynesian economic theory has never worked, not once in any economy in the world. Never. Not once. You would think that the liberals would figure that out but every single time they get in power, the far-left wish lists spring up again and again and they spend money like a drunken sailor. Milton Freidman, demand side economics works, not supply side Keynesian theory. Why can’t liberals see this and learn this?

Liberals caused this Great Recession yet they have successfully, this far, shifted the blame to Fat Cat Bankers, Greedy Wall Streeters and the Failed Policies of the previous (Bush II) Administration.  I do a poll each quarter (my database is now up to close to 15,000 random people) through either or and the number of people that can correctly choose the right answer out of 8 possible answers to this question:
” What are the true causes of the Financial Crisis?”  hovers around 7%!

That number proves my theory that there are a lot of low information voters out there, people who just don’t pay attention, read the right papers and books and magazines or watch FoxNews, the only network that tells the whole truth.

Lastly, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission (FCIC) was formed by Obama to study the true causes of the Financial Crisis. However he stacked the deck with a very liberal guy, Phill Angelides, as head of that commission and 6 liberals and 4 conservatives.  You won’t believe who Phil Angelides is until you read the story at the link below.  It’s my most recent @theBrennerBrief and is about the FCIC:

Obama gets away with anything because not enough people know the truth and this is but 1 more example!

So, you asked why people should buy my book? Because it is THE ONLY ONE that tells the truth, the whole truth and also comes from someone who was there inside both a Wall Street firm and the mortgage banking industry.  I’m therefore arguably THE best whistleblower that could have written about this.

Ted, I really appreciate you being on the show and providing us with information  about the incredible true story behind the Financial Crisis.  I know there is a lot more  information in your book, Skullduggery, so please tell the listeners where they can buy your book?

Sure David, Here are two links where people can go to my webpage and buy my book:

You can look at those and judge for yourself if you agree with me that 99% of people do NOT know much if any of this information!

If you agree, I think this data will infuriate a great number of people who soon will realize 3 things about the Financial Crisis:

1. It was orchestrated by Democrats!

2. Homebuyers were egregiously ripped off by banks, mortgage banks and mortgage brokers using loans with interest rates that were guaranteed to escalate rapidly, even precipitously.

3. Powerful people in Congress learned of these abuses in January 2002 (Professor Howell Jackson’s presentation to the Senate Banking Committee) and they buried it?!

Provocative stuff!

Thanks Ted, you are correct, this really is provocative stuff and I hope readers will flock to buy your book and will get mad enough about what they read to actually do something about it.

Please remember, you can listen in to a live interview with Ted Krager on blog talk radio:  Monday night, June 10th, at 7 p.m. California time. Rebroadcasts will be available after the live show. Just go to the same address and look for the previous shows of “Books and Politics.”