Clive and I are working furiously on the next Fargo novel, the as yet untitled tome that is the continuation of the series I co-authored the last installment of, which releases Sept. 2, titled The Eye Of Heaven.
So if you haven’t seen much of me, that’s why.
Either that, or I’ve been incarcerated by the Mexican authorities again for deviant behavior. Kidding. Here, I think they throw you a parade and make you mayor, they don’t jail you.
Which brings up an interesting point that was raised the other day by a buddy who was bemoaning how hard it is to use cash in the U.S. any more.
I’m not surprised. Even though I’ve been living abroad for over a decade, I saw it coming way before 9-11. Back then, of course, it wasn’t a war on terror that was the reasoning for criminalizing the use of cash, it was the war on drugs. But even if the playbook has changed, the net result has remained the same: the government wants to be able to track every dime you spend, and it can’t do that with cash, only electronic purchases. It also can’t control you as easily if you can put your net worth into a briefcase and walk across a border, but it’s got all the options if it only needs to shut off your access to bank accounts with the flick of a switch.
I’m reminded of that movie, Enemy of the State. George Orwell saw this developing many years ago. Now, if you read 1984, it reads like a sober description of the current state of affairs in the U.S. and many first world countries in Europe, whose privately-owned central banks are dictating terms to those governments. The message is simple: You must be able to control your population with the implicit threat of imprisonment for any and all reasons, including de facto imprisonment within your borders via currency controls and locking up your citizenry’s assets.
I write conspiracy theory-based novels. But what makes them provocative, at least for me, is how closely they track reality.
Most don’t know that the IRS was created in the same bill that created the Federal Reserve (you know, the privately owned central bank that had to be called something that sounded governmental so the average Joe would think it was part of the government), back in 1913. The reasoning was simple. The banks intended to siphon off most of the nation’s net worth over generations by printing money and taking a cut, but there was a problem – they needed a mechanism to pull all that money back out of circulation so they didn’t create runaway inflation, merely controllable inflation, which is another way of saying debasing the value of the currency (its buying power) at a controlled rate every year, the loss effectively being their profit via their banking Ponzi scheme.
So suddenly a tax on personal income was introduced, and bam, there was the mechanism to suck the money that had been created back. It had zero to do with paying one’s fair share, and everything to do with a rinse and repeat mechanism. Most also don’t know that 100% of the government’s obligations were met each year from corporate and import/export tax, so there was no requirement for a new tax base. It was purely to create that print money, suck it out cycle, which is why the same bill, written by a relative of one of the bankers behind the bill and passed in a special session of Congress over the Christmas break when only his cronies would be in town to vote on it, created the IRS. You learn something new every day. Go read about it. Check out The Creature From Jekyll Island – a non-fiction tome that details the entire nefarious scheme (and which was denied for generations by the Fed and the government – until the internet made it impossible to hide the ownership anymore).
The problem becomes that all systems that abuse their populations encourage the smarter ones to bail out of it at some point. To take their marbles and go elsewhere. That has to be stopped, especially as the state requires the productive to support the unproductive at an ever increasing level.
This is all about control. About a federal apparatus that doesn’t work for you, but rather for the enrichment of its backers and the power of its politicians, who require ever increasing say over every aspect of your life. If it can track every purchase you make, if the implicit threat of being able to cut you off at the knees and seize everything is always waiting in the wings, then it owns your ass, and it can do whatever it wants in spite of your feeble protests.
Bluntly, when your government becomes a master to be feared rather than a servant to be distrusted, you’ve lost.
That’s the sad state of affairs. And no, this isn’t anti-American. The same situation is in place in the Euro zone for the exact same reasons. It’s the same banks, after all. Bank of England’s been privately owned for centuries – back in the 1800’s, it essentially seized all the government’s assets when the UK government couldn’t pay its debts to the privately owned bank, and has been using it as its bitch ever since. Ditto for every other European economy – even the central bank of the central banks, The Bank For International Settlement, is privately owned.
The classic generational land grab by the banks is usually war. They finance both sides, reap the profits as countries are destroyed, and repeat again after everything’s rebuilt using money borrowed from them. Nowadays, though, except for limited wars without end like Afghanistan, that’s not feasible, so the new technique is to encourage reckless spending by government using debt, and then grabbing all their assets when they need yet more money – it’s what they’ve been doing to Greece, Spain, Portugal, and so on. Works every time. Before, they had to get them to go to war. Now, just hand them a credit card for a few years. Same net effect.
The antidote to free exchange of information is to scare the crap out of the citizenry so it doesn’t dare protest, and flinches like a whipped pup whenever it’s threatened.
Welcome to the 21st century.
The German edition of JET was nominated for an award in the Beauty And The Book contest. I’m particularly happy about this as that’s my favorite cover to date.
But there’s a problem. It needs votes. Your vote.
Could you please go to the website, click EN in the upper right corner to choose English, and then scroll about halfway down the page to the JET cover, and vote for it by clicking the little butterfly? I’d owe you one. And you know how prompt I am about paying.
I’m starting on another one with Clive now, and it’s a humdinger of a plot. Can’t tell you how happy I am with it. Here’s to hoping the first one with him, releasing in September, does well. I’m enjoying inhabiting that Fargo world. Fingers are crossed!
Thanks for voting on the cover. You rock.
My new pseudonym, R.E. Blake, is now live, in preparation for the first in a string of NA/YA and CR novels. You can view RE’s new blog here, or check out and like the Facebook page, which I would appreciate. Friend it, too, while you’re at it.
I’ve been too busy to do Twitter, but that too shall come.
The first R.E. Blake novels will release in October, and are more in the tradition of Twilight and The Fault In Our Stars than my usual fare, hence my creation of a new brand. I don’t want Russell Blake readers to inadvertently pick up an R.E. Blake novel expecting car chases and gunfights, just as I don’t want R.E. Blake readers to pick up JET or BLACK expecting a poignant NA romance.
This is an example of me walking my talk. I’ve long maintained that the author name is a brand, and that you want to make it painfully easy for readers to understand what they’re getting when they see your brand.
Russell Blake novels are breakneck-paced adrenaline rushes in the action/thriller genre, R.E. Blake…aren’t.
Which isn’t to say that some Russell Blake readers won’t be interested in R.E. Blake’s work. Early beta readers have said that the first R.E. Blake novel, Less Than Nothing, is a blockbuster YA/NA novel that manages to combine the romantic coming-of-age saga of two teen runaways with a classic road novel like Huckleberry Finn, which makes for a unique mashup that’s unlike anything I’ve ever read. I probably should have thrown in a fight for survival in a dystopian future, but hey, hindsight…
But many won’t be interested in that new and completely different genre. Which is as it should be. This way they won’t inadvertently pick up the wrong author’s work and be disappointed.
In other news, I’m delighted to announce that I’m hard at work on a second Fargo novel with Clive Cussler, and this one, like my first co-authored novel with the “Grand Master of Adventure,” is going to be a hell of a yarn. That debut effort, The Eye Of Heaven, releases Sept. 2, so we don’t have much longer to go before we see how his fans like our new offering.
That’s all I have for now. Hope you’re enjoying your summer. I know I am.
I’m always in favor of a new excuse to have a cocktail. So why not a new global holiday? We can make it on July 4th, so at least in the States you’ll benefit from free fireworks and a day off work.
I hereby propose the holiday of Independent’s Day – a celebration honoring those who are indie. Film makers, musicians, small businesses, and…authors who self-publish.
All of these groups have one thing in common: they’re self-sufficient, requiring nothing from any established industry player for their existence, and are essentially entrepreneurial endeavors. They’re the mavericks going it alone, who, in the best hunter/gatherer tradition, eat what they kill. In some cases, they’re revolutionizing whole industries. More power to em, I say. Innovation rarely comes from established behemoths.
It’s fitting that this would fall on July 4. If any segment represents the quintessential American spirit of rebellion and independence, it’s self-published authors.
Forbes has a remarkable piece on this phenomenon, and I recommend everyone read it. Not only because I feature prominently in it, although that’s a pretty good reason.
So, in order to set a good example, I’m headed to the beach for margaritas. Indie margaritas, of course.
You would be well served to do the same.