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Rodney Page

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Powers Not Delegated
by Rodney Page   

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Category: 

Action/Thriller

Publisher:  BQB Publishing ISBN-10:  1937084691 Type: 
Pages: 

315

Copyright:  January, 2012 ISBN-13:  9781937084691
Fiction

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A book of the 'present,' melding factual history, current politics and sophisticated plot lines.

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Powers Not Delegated
Powers Not Delegated

 Against a backdrop of a corrupt Democratic administration, an out-of-touch Republican Party, and demons resulting from combat during the first Gulf War, Georgia Congressman Tyler Armistead faces enormous obstacles if he chooses to run for president as the Liberty Party candidate.

 

The Democratic administration is plagued by corruption: manipulation of the world’s securities and currency markets, attempts to fraudulently alter Census data to impact apportionment, and blackmail of a Supreme Court Justice to influence an important First Amendment case. The administration must eliminate any and all threats to its power.

 

The administration’s appeasement policies result in unintended consequences. A resurgent Al Qaeda senses weakness and renews attacks on the United States. Iran, threatened by the success of Iraq’s political and economic democracy, must take action, further threatening the global balance.

 

Remarkable courage displayed by a group of governors and the CEO of an automobile company convince Tyler he must run. But can he win? Can he effect change quickly and expediently enough? Can the reluctant congressman from coastal Georgia bring the country back from the abyss?


Excerpt

Though Zeke was a soldier’s soldier, he had learned to successfully navigate the treacherous political waters of the armchair military bureaucracy. Tyler had always wondered how Zeke, an outspoken, blunt, and often profane warrior could tolerate that landscape, much less survive in the bastion of political correctness that the Pentagon was becoming. However, Zeke not only survived, he had gotten a star on his shoulder. Zeke’s promotion gave Tyler some confidence that at least somebody in the Pentagon knew what the hell they were doing.
Zeke’s last overseas assignment was as liaison to the Iraqi Army’s developing Special Operations units. His efforts were critical in acquiring and maintaining the funding and support needed to transform the Iraqis into a professional outfit.
Zeke hopped a military flight from Fort Bragg to Hunter Army Airfield in Savannah, rented a car, and made the quick drive down I-95 to Saint Simons. Once he arrived, Zeke, Chuck, Ashley, and Tyler, with the ubiquitous Secret Service detail close by, dined on shrimp, grouper, and fresh vegetables and drank beer long into the evening, telling war stories. Ashley hoped that most of the stories were lies. Certainly Tyler, Chuck, and Zeke hadn’t done all that stuff?
After some trout fishing in the marsh early next morning, the three men got down to business on the patio around noon. Tyler was concerned about U.S. readiness due to recent defense spending cuts. He wanted to know the actual military situations in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was also concerned about rumors of political infiltration of the Pentagon’s policy-making and strategic planning processes. If anyone knew the truth and would tell it, it was Zack.
“What are the defense budget cuts doing to us, Zack?” Tyler asked.
In a West Tennessee drawl deeper and slower than Tyler’s south Georgia accent, Zeke was his typical direct, no-nonsense self.
“It’s hurting us. As always, the first things to suffer aren’t obvious: training, maintenance, and upgrades. We have tanks that won’t run, airplanes that won’t fly, and electronics that are broken. Our readiness has deteriorated tremendously. My guess it’s 30 percent off where it was three or four years ago.
“We’re still getting good people; a shitty economy always boosts recruitment. But the training budgets have been cut to the bone. We’ve got everything from infantry recruits who don’t have bullets and grenades for live-fire exercises, to pilots whose training is stalled because the simulators are broken, to sailors who ain’t sailing because the ships don’t have fuel.”
Tyler was listening carefully.
“It’s a mess, guys,” Zeke continued. “We’re still developing and buying the new electronic toys, but we ain’t going to have anyone who knows how to use them. In my humble opinion, the Administration keeps the sexy stuff they can talk to the press about, but we’re rusting away from the inside.”
Tyler asked, “What about Iraq and Afghanistan?”
“Two totally different situations, Tyler. It’s going to take more time and money, but the Iraqis can take care of themselves militarily, certainly in a conventional conflict. Iranian nukes, that’s a whole different question. I’ve got a theory no one in Washington was interested in; probably means it makes sense.”
All three men laughed.
“I don’t think Iran’s going to screw around with Israel, but I do think they’re scared as hell of Iraq. There’s too much good going on there. Shit, simple things. They have beer, TVs, they can get a job and go to the movies. Their politicians are like all politicians, but generally not too corrupt; they’re not screaming fanatics and can actually have their asses booted out of office if the people get pissed.”
“You ought to use that in a campaign ad, Tyler,” added Zeke.
“Another worrisome thing is that the White House is calling the shots on the Iraqi counterterrorism efforts, micromanaging the hell out of it. Most of the problems over there are on the Iranian border; lots of bad guys and material coming across. The Iraqi Special Ops guys are excellent at interdiction, but if we let them cross the border for preemptive raids, a lot of lives would be saved. Hell, you can stand on a Coca-Cola crate and see the bastards’ staging areas with a good pair of binoculars. I still have good contacts over there, and the Iraqis are getting very frustrated.”
To underscore his point, he spit and smiled.
“Afghanistan is like chasing cockroaches. You know you’ll never get rid of them, but you have to keep them on the move so they won’t eat your saltines. We could put a million troops in the mountains and never catch the Al Qaeda bastards; it ain’t going to happen. We hurt ’em bad for a few years. But we didn’t have enough assets to keep ’em underground. And we have fewer assets there now than we did.”
Chuck nodded in agreement.
“Trust me, Tyler, Al Qaeda pretty much kept their heads down the last couple of years, but it’s not because we were on their asses. Another guess is they are up to something big. We have intel that says they are busy training and deploying in Africa and South America. Thorpe and his pals are telling everybody we’ve whipped them, but it ain’t so. We have just enough people on the ground over there now to protect ourselves. We aren’t out in the countryside or in the mountains. We haven’t heard the last of Al Qaeda.”
Tyler asked for details, and Zeke provided them. He was the kind of guy who didn’t tell you something unless he could back it up.
Later that evening and with no beer flowing, Tyler broached the subject of political influence at the Pentagon. Zeke went off like a bottle rocket.
“Tyler, if I hadn’t been in the middle of it and seen it for myself, I wouldn’t have believed it. Do you remember, right after Thorpe took office, there was a little publicity about some civilian political hack who was appointed to an assistant secretary job or something?”
“I recall,” replied Tyler, “but I don’t remember hearing anything more about it.”
“I’m sure you didn’t. But he was the first of dozens Thorpe sent to the Pentagon. Their purpose is obvious, because they don’t know shit about anything even remotely related to national defense. They’ve spread themselves out like a bunch of rats, crawling in every nook and cranny to find out what’s going on. I was in a few meetings with some of them; they hardly open their mouths, just took notes. When they open their mouths, they all start their sentences with the same thing: ‘The Administration believes …’ We called ’em TABs.”
“This is not good,” said Tyler.
“Yeah, I hear you,” Zeke agreed. “Their shit works when they’re in low-level meetings. Captains, majors and DoD civilians are scared as hell of them. Most senior officers tell ’em to go pound sand. In either case, when the TABs make a report to whoever the hell they report to, some good people find their asses in a bind the very next day!”
“Creepy,” interjected Chuck.
“Let me tell you how bad it’s become,” Zeke illustrated. “The TABs scoured computer meeting announcements to find out what’s going on. Then they’d show up, take notes, and/or pull the TAB routine. After a while, the military people just stopped using computer meeting notices and set them up by phone. The damn TABs caught on and would roam the halls looking for meetings and invite themselves in. Some of them have very high security clearances and can go damn near anywhere they want.”
Tyler issued a low whistle.
“I’ll tell you this, Tyler. More national defense business is being done on the road, in homes, and in Arlington bars and restaurants than in the Pentagon. Military people are discreet, but they’re taking security risks they believe are necessary to do their jobs.”
“What’s Secretary Pickett’s stance on this?” asked Tyler.
“I think she’s doing the best she can. I think she takes a lot of shit from the White House and buffers the good guys. On a couple of occasions, the TABs said or did something particularly outrageous—don’t know what it was—and Pickett read them the riot act in public. There are rumors she took IDs from three TABs who walked into a videoconference with Centcom and the theatre commanders in Afghanistan. I believe it could have happened. There’s scuttlebutt that Pickett told security to shoot the bastards if they came back on Pentagon property. Probably not true, but fun to think about anyway.”
Zeke grinned broadly.
“But, seriously, guys, this chicken shit is not helping us keep our eye on the ball. When you have generals running around to find secret meeting places, they ain’t doing what they should be doing. And for sure the secretary shouldn’t be a referee. Now she’s spending her time keeping the Administration’s flunkies off the backs of good people trying keep the bad guys from blowing all our asses up.”



Professional Reviews

Author Trumps Obama and Soros in 'Powers Not Delegated'/Susan Bradford
By now, most people sense that something is amiss with the Obama Administration. Many are waking up to the fact that President Barack Obama is a Marxist who has surrounded himself with radicals intent upon imposing their socialist vision onto the United States, whether the citizens are on board or not. They are also nervous that sinister puppeteer, billionaire George Soros, continues to work his magic on the president, pulling his strings through his vast financial war chest and political clout while drawing from his endless cash reserves to destabilize the United States. While Obama proceeds to transform the country, inflicting serious damage on the nation’s financial viability, its democratic structures, and the free market, the electorate feels powerless to reverse the trend towards collectivism. What if Obama wins re-election? Is our country doomed?

Not so fast, writes Rodney Page.

Page, who has served in senior management positions and provided consultation for startups and Fortune 50 firms has recently written a book, Powers Not Delegated, charts a path that will allow the people to take back their country. The book dramatizes Obama’s rise to power, from his obscure origins to his promising start as President of the United States, incorporating his campaign against Sen. John McCain to Soros’ manipulation of him, except that the names have been changed to protect the guilty. Half of the fun of this book, which is as engrossing as an Irving Stone novel, is trying to figure out which political figure Page is writing about, but he captures the essence of each character beautifully, from Sen. John McCain (Clint Garman)’s desperation to become president and Obama (Ben Thorpe)’s narcissism and lack of experience to Rahm Emanuel (Victor Sherman)’s thuggery.

In a purely fictional work, which cuts devastatingly close to the truth, Page dramatizes Obama’s rise to power, from his obscure origins to his promising start as President of the United States. “It was election night, and elation filled the hotel suite,” he writes. “Ben Thorpe basked in the glow of victory…. The outcome of the election had not been in doubt for months. For Thorpe, watching his opponent’s concession speech had only confirmed the obvious. His entourage when listening to it hooted with joy and took a few last disrespectful shots at Clint Garman, the defeated Republican. His self-admiration was cut short by an interruption from his closest adviser, Victor Sherman, Thorpe’s soon to be chief of staff.”

Once Thorpe assumes power, the story takes a turn for the worse. “The Thorpe Administration effectively exploited the momentum of the election and Thorpe’s personal popularity to change domestic policy,” he writes. “It relentlessly increased its influence (and in some cases, control) of key US industries. Under the guise of saving the economy, the federal government gained control of the banking, investment, insurance, and mortgage industries. Two thirds of the US-owned automotive industry became effectively owned and managed by the government. Further, the central planners in DC were targeting the health care, energy, and pharmaceutical segments for a similar fate.”

While Thorpe ushers socialism into the United States and explodes the national debt, Isadore Krakos (Soros) feneigles in the background, with Page capturing the billionaire’s pathology for power (tyranny lust) with delicious precision.

The tale is a cautionary one. The story, “melds historical fact and fiction to illustrate how misguided, corrupt, and evil individuals and government institutions have the capacity to irreparably harm our republic,” he writes. “Only an informed electorate and courageous leaders who are grounded in fundamental constitutional values stand between a government that is by and for the people, or one bent on tyranny.”

Page reminds the reader of the Tenth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution which states that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Has Thorpe, a constitutional lawyer, forgotten this?

While attempting to bring their nefarious plans to fruition, Krakos and Thorpe find that they have underestimated the intelligence of the American people to perceive the agenda in play – and too easily dismissed their determination to fight back.

Without revealing too many of the intriguing twists and turns of this engrossing novel, which portrays “backroom skullduggery, political bribes, threats, and pork spending,” the ending ultimately is a happy one. If Thorpe can envision a socialist United States, Page can envision a country without Thorpe.

SPOILER ALERT

With each chapter, corruption increasingly seeps out of the Thorpe Administration from every crevice until it gushes. By ruthlessly covering up his treachery and intimidating opponents, Thorpe tries with all his might to impose Krakos’ agenda on the country. Just as the United States reaches the precipice, a knock sounds on the door.

Who can this be?

“In my briefcase, I have solid evidence proving you guilty of high crimes, misdemeanors, and bribery,” the President is told. “The first matter is related to your involvement with and participation in the deliberate attempt to destabilize the U.S. and world economies for the purpose of gaining advantage in the presidential election. You conspired with Isadore Krakos in planning and implementing a strategy to manipulate the world’s securities, currency, precious metals, and commodity markets to accomplish that objective.”

Thorpe must listen as he is confronted with his scurrilous conduct as charge after charge is read off to him. In his blind quest for power, Thorpe recognized no limits to his authority, with his Administration descending to murder and other skulduggery to cover up its misconduct. “It is certain, you will be indicted or at least subpoenaed in connection with these crimes,” he is told.

Caught in his own web of deceit, Thorpe is left with only one choice – he must step down.

This should be a moment for celebration, and yet, Page does not gloat over an outcome that would allow the country to breathe a collective sigh of relief. The man who exposed the fictional president found “no pleasure in Thorpe’s demise,” he writes, “In fact, it saddened him. He wasn’t sad because he had to expose crimes and had ended a threat to the country; those things had to be done. The sadness came from knowing that people like Thorpe existed. Worse yet, that such people would continue to worm their way into public office. Perverse ambition had transformed Thorpe. He was a very talented man—someone who could have done much for the country.”

Readers will relish Page’s dramatic account of the frustrated, pathological Krakos, whose plans were ultimately foiled. “Krakos grudgingly gave the Americans credit,” he writes. “They had been on the brink of losing their country, but they had managed to snatch it back. He sighed. One opportunity had been lost, but there were always new opportunities. Perhaps the Germans, French, or Spanish would not be as resilient as the Americans.”

As Page reminds us, all is not lost. The power still resides with the American people. Will they stand idly by while a corrupt Administration ushers collectivism into the United States or will they educate themselves and take their country back? The ending is one that remains to be written, but with writers like Page sounding the clarion call, the country can be exactly what the people envision, one with honorable leaders who respect the limits of power enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and embrace the country’s exceptionalism.

Published by BQB Publishing, Powers Not Delegated will be released on October 30, 2012.

Susan Bradford is the author of Lynched! The Shocking Story of How the Political Establishment Manufactured a Scandal to Have Republican Superlobbyist Jack Abramoff Removed from Power. For more information, please visit: www.susanbradford.org.


Book Review/Jamie Wilson/Conservativefiction.com
Just in time for this year’s presidential election comes Rodney Page’s Powers Not Delegated, the story of a principled man who decides he must defeat the hyperliberal, poorly-performing current president in order to save America. Sound familiar? Page includes his own recognizable fictional versions of many of today’s political players – Rush Limbaugh, Barack Obama, George Soros, Rahm Emanuel – placing them within a slightly-changed version of the political landscape we are familiar with from the last four years.

Powers Not Delegated covers four years of American political life, from the election of the new and relatively unknown President Thorpe, who ran on a platform of “Change!” (and not much else), to the hotly-contested presidential election season immediately following, in which a popular congressman switches his allegiance from Republican to Page’s version of the Tea Party and gives both candidates a real challenge. Meanwhile, Thorpe’s shoddy handling of every presidential duty results in terrible economic conditions, an increasingly porous border, and the secret possession by Iran of suitcase nukes. Page’s version of our world as it stands today is chillingly well-supported by easily documented facts.

Though I still had to finish the book (it was a real page-turner in spots), I confess to some disappointment. Page’s book was a slow starter, largely because it introduced about a dozen characters in parallel plotlines at the beginning of the book. While at some point all these characters did cross paths. it was harder to follow the story this way than it would have been had they been introduced at more natural story moments in the main plot thread, with flashbacks or narrative fill-in covering necessary background information. Page also made a classic first-time-novelist mistake: he failed to go for the throat emotionally. While danger was a clear element throughout and he did not shy from killing off characters, it felt flat, as if he had not reached deeply enough. I honestly think Page would have been better off holding off publication and instead running his book through a gauntlet of unforgivingly critical (but loving) conservative readers and writers who could help him identify the flaws in his novel and give advice on how to repair them.

That said, I still recommend the book. Why? Because it’s different, and it addresses something important in the conservative fiction world. I’ve been talking for a few posts about how changing the story can change the culture. Page’s story takes the standard political potboiler and, without apology, uses it to expose some of the real-life horrors that today’s politically liberal establishment leaves us open to. Yes, not paying attention to border enforcement makes us vulnerable to the worst possible terrorist attacks. Yes, blowing off Iran’s nuclear development ignores their clear and undeniable ties to terrorism. And yes, a lack of close and balanced scrutinization of any presidential candidate’s background leaves us open to government by shadowy figures driven by their own agendas. Fiction is uniquely positioned to help us understand why we need to pay attention to these big-picture things in real life; Rodney Page does an excellent job demonstrating this in his book.

I’m very much looking forward to Mr. Page’s next book.

Jamie is a conservative writer from Kentucky, but lives wherever the whims of the Navy take her husband. She is also the mother of five - count 'em - children, all of them above average.



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