Book Trailer For Madam President

Friday, June 23, 2017

Trump Voters Will Suffer the Most Under Health Care Bill

If you are fit then you will live. If you are not you will die. So says Aynn Rand who is a favorite author of Paul Ryan and company.  Social Darwinism is  alive and well now and only the strong shall survive. If you are  lower middle class, working class, will lose. The Lower Middle Class will take one in the gut and then start to die off. Trumps base will be torpedoed with McConnell's gift to America. The underlying premise is all Scrooge. If the poor must die then let them and decrease the surplus population.

The NY Times and others see this as a giveback to the rich. But it is more than that. This is what the Republicans have wanted ever since FDR pushed through the New Deal. They want to return to a Horatio Alger world. Everyone has the same chance in America, and if you cannot make it then it is your fault and expect no help from the government. IF you are not smart enough to become rich or at least well off then you should not walk the planet. It is a direct attack on redistributionism began in the thirties and ending under Donald Trump.

This is why the Republicans shall pass the bill. It is an ideological sledgehammer to the premise of helping the poor and the less fortunate by taxing the rich and giving to the poor. Social programs like Social Security, Medicare, will be next. If you did not save then you deserve to die in your old age. This is the premise. Only the strong shall survive...and the rich.

Forging A President

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Did Teddy Roosevelt Hold off 5 Indians in the Badlands ?

Yes. It might have been four but no matter. The Dude newly arrived in the West was out looking for some horses when Indians appeared on the horizon and started galloping toward him. This is 1884 with Geronimo still on the loose and atrocities occurring on both sides. Men carried poison with them in case they were captured as stories of Indians cutting off men's organs while alive was well known. Enter Teddy Roosevelt to the Badlands fresh off the train from Manhattan. He had come out to find his piece of the West after his wife and mother died on the same day.

So the Indians with Winchesters raised charge Teddy. He swings down and puts his rifle across the pommel of his saddle and pins it to the center Indian. They stop and legend has it they professed they were friendly. The man with thick glasses from Manhattan would have none of it and told them to keep their distance. They then cussed at him and Teddy would later write he knew they had a good command of English then.

So how much danger was Teddy in? Possibly a lot. The Indians could have easily killed him and taken his horse and rifle and left his bones to rot in the Badlands. Cowboys were found many times scalped and worse after Indian encounters. So Roosevelt was smart to hold his ground. Apparently they then followed him but eventually gave it up. Teddy Roosevelt's stock went up in the West and the Roosevelt legend climbed just a little higher.

Forging A President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt

Monday, June 19, 2017

Otto Warmbier Stirs a Sleeping Giant

I saw him when he was first arrested It did not look good. He was heading into hell. Otto Warmbier has died. He had so much brain damage the tissue in his brain had died from lack of blood flow. Heart attack or respiratory arrest the doctors said...after that they had no explanation. Teddy Roosevelt would have had a very simple answer for the North Koreans. Lock and load. He would have screamed from the rooftops to attack and would not have been satisfied until the first American soldiers hit the beach. Things were simpler in 1906.

Otto Warmbier took down a political poster and for that he was sentenced to fifteen years. This we know. It was their revenge. Now what? Remember the Maine. That started the war with with Spain. Teddy saw it as inevitable. The war had to be fought and settled. It was. Now we have the Koreans building an ICBM. Teddy would see this one way. The issue would have to be settled sooner or later. Might as well be sooner.

Something about a human face put on the nebulous war of words. Otto Warmbier is gone for taking a political poster down. But we know he was killed for much more. It was the only way to strike at a giant. Step on his toes, tweak his nose, spit in his eye. What does the giant do? When Teddy Roosevelt died Woodrow Wilson said, death had to take Roosevelt when he was sleeping, otherwise there would have been a fight...

Otto never woke up, but you never know when a sleeping giant might.

Forging A President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

How the People in the Baseball Shooting Feel Now

Your first thought is to stay alive. To run. This is incredible in itself. Middle class people are not used to running for their lives. Maybe the military, the soldier, the veteran, but now you are running from the bullets. It is the shots you hear. This is the sound that gets you running like you have never run before. And everyone else is running too. It is an avalanche or a tornado of humans doing what they are not used to and that is dealing with a fight of flight response that is overwhelming. Time slows down during this or ceases to exist. You are somewhere between moments that might be your last. 

And then you are trying to make yourself small. You will hide behind grass if you have too. Anything to stop those bullets that surely have your name. You just cant get away fast enough and everyone else is trying to do the same. You have no time to consider you are literally running for your life. That will come later when you go to bed and you hear the shots over and over. Right now you are in the land of hyper-awareness fueled by adrenal cells working overtime. You are a revved up machine that is bent on trying to get out of the trajectory of a piece of flying metal that might have your name on it. 

And then when the shooter is secure the situation is still active. This means no one knows if there are others. You cannot relax. You are still in danger. And the ambulances and police and Swat teams and media come in a flood. You talk like someone else and recant your experience. You marvel how calm you sound as you learn of those who were not so lucky. And once the wave passes and you finally get home you are different. You will never ever be the same. You will never view a public place the same way. You will never trust the world again. In the time it takes a bullet to go a mile you have been changed. You are now in a club no one wants to belong to, the victims of a mass shooting. 

*William Hazelgrove and his family were in the Ft Lauderdale Mass Shooting. He is writing a book The Shots In Terminal 2 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Selling Books at Printers Row Chicago

You get there early and no one is in your tent yet. You unload your books and position them on the table along with your bookmarks, water, pad, money for change. Other people arrive. The temperature will soon be in the nineties and your tent is in the middle of Dearborn Street. This is one of the few times you are shoulder to shoulder with other authors selling books. This is good and bad. You are all after the same customers and it is a bit of  an open market with everyone pitching. Nine O'clock rolls around and the first people pass by.

Your books are hardcovers but this doesn't matter. People will pay 30.00 for a book they want. The  man across the street is selling everything for three bucks. You begin to sweat and now you are pushing up against the other authors because suddenly the tent is full. It is already hot, heat rash hot, and the water is not enough. The heat is an enemy that zaps your energy and you need every bit of it to pitch your book over and over and over.  This will go on for two days.

You would like to think you are beyond Printers Row. That your books should magically sell themselves and there are a lot of self published authors there. Your books are more expensive with a big publisher who will not discount. But this is the Midwest Mecca for books and it is long hot and grueling and you fall into bed exhausted and dehydrated at the end of the day. Your books sell out twice and at the end you take home a lot less books than you came with.

You wake on Monday wondering where the weekend went and then you remember, Printers Row. You will be there again next year with another book.

Forging A President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Book Media in the Age of Trump

Unless you are a senator or a talk show host or a pundit then you will have a hard time busting through to the media Gods. Pushing a book is hard enough but in the age of Trump where the oxygen is used up by the President 24/7 it is like spitting into the wind. I just finished over twenty radio stations and I would like to think that makes a difference to book sales but I also know that the media cycle is now down to about fifteen nanoseconds per person for media attention and then the spotlight moves on.

Unless you are Al Franken or Chris Hayes or Rachel Maddow. Then you are assured a NY Times Bestseller regardless of content. Authors see this as grossly unfair. The mid list author toils for years and then fights for a bit of the media pie only to see his book fall quickly into obscurity. One would like to think the cream rises to the top and I do believe eventually it does but when you see the television personalities hawking their own books then you start to believe the fix is in.

You could make a case that they deserved it. They fought their way to the top of the media mountain and it is time to cash in. Why not? But still, one does feel like the deck is stacked and the best you can do between our Twittering President and our publishing television landscape is hope those who want to read will seek you out. Tis a big hope in the year 2017.

Forging A President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Trump Steals the Thunder from House of Cards

Big fan. Love House of Cards. But something happened between the last episode and the beginning of this season. There was a sea change and it had nothing do do with the series but everything to do with the world. House of Cards was outrageous. Frank Underwood did things that no one else in Washington would ever think of doing. The moral center was outside of House of Cards. But now that has all changed and House of Cards is now...boring.

Unbelievable. That the world outside of this fictitious black heart Frank Underwood should be more incredible. Franks problems and his solutions seem tame compared to Donald Trump. Imagine this as a plot. The Russians hack our election and Frank makes a deal with them to throw the election his way and he will back off on sanctions and look the other way as they invade countries. And then a Special Prosecutor is hired and the noose tightens. Viewers would be on the edge of their respective couches.

And Claire doesn't want to live in the White House. In fact Claire doesn't want to be First Lady at all and would rather raise their son in New York where she ends up staying. Frank then goes to Europe while scandal abounds and tells our allies its game over. That the United States might not come to their aid if attacked. Meanwhile he fires the FBI cheif when he wouldnt play ball after a Frank Underwood dinner where he demands allegiance. Then his son in law gets nailed for setting up a secret communication link with the Russians.

You cannot make this stuff up. House of Cards really ended last season when that new show came on.  The House of Trump.

Forging A President How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt

Books by William Hazelgrove