Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Absolved: Introduction

“Whenever the legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience.” ~ John Locke

So reads the plaque on Phil Gordon's wall. In Absolved, I try to explore the depths of that belief to discover where it might lead us in the near future. When I began writing it almost two years ago, it seemed in some ways unlikely. I no longer think that. Events now rush at us like incoming artillery rounds. It is an even-money bet as I write this whether the society will suffer an Absolved-like civil conflict or simply fall apart of accumulated self-inflicted stresses.

The present administration acts as if chaos propagation – the destruction of the American economy (including the debasement of its fiat currency by monetizing the incredible national debt), the compromise of our national security interests, the appeasement of our traditional enemies, the selling-out of what few friends we have in the world, the willing discard of our national sovereignty – were going to get them re-elected. No one is that stupid. Which leads me to wonder if, like the Russian Bolsheviks and the German National Socialists before them, the Obama regime – the “gangster government” as Michael Barrone rightly called them at the time of the auto “bailout” -- intends that the last election actually be the LAST election.

Paranoid? Perhaps. Yet how else can such otherwise self-destructive behavior be explained? Besides, as I learned only too well in the Nineties, you’re not paranoid if someone really is out to get you, and you’re not a conspiracy “theorist” if there really is a conspiracy going on.

The sad fact is that Absolved may be a rosy scenario compared to the darkness that could actually befall us.

Since I began posting chapters of Absolved on the ‘Net, I have been the recipient of many emails, some laudatory, some critical. Some take me to task for killing off all my characters. My novel, like war, has its casualties. Yet, I "kill off" no one in my tale who either doesn't deserve it or who isn't willing to make the trade for what they perceive to be the greater good.

Like all wars, there are "collateral" casualties. It would not be believable if there weren't. I can only tell you that I am not bloodthirsty. Writing about this subject actually depresses me. I have a son and two teenage daughters. My son, in turn, has two sons of his own. I want to live long enough to sing all my grandchildren to sleep to the tunes of “Hobo's Lullaby,” “Bold Fenian Men,” “Rising of the Moon” and “The Minstrel Boy,” just as I did with my own children.

Another civil war in this country is the last thing I want.

"The Useful Dire Warning."

So why write about one? Perhaps, as David Brin, author of the magnificent book The Postman (which bears no resemblance to the Costner cinematic flop) wrote in a forward to a reprint of Pat Frank's classic Alas, Babylon:

Two books that emerged at roughly the same time as Alas, Babylon were Eugene Burdick's Fail Safe and Peter George's Red Alert, which later inspired Stanley Kubrick to make the magnificently humorous and thoughtful Dr. Strangelove. As archetypes of the useful dire warning, each dissected a specific possible failure mode, bringing it to the awareness of so many that, ironically, their particular type of debacle became much less likely. Indeed, the "self-preventing prophecy" may be the highest and most useful species in all of the vast, imaginative genus of speculative fiction. In much the same way that Orwell's 1984 girded millions against "Big Brother," these tales may have helped to keep their own nightmares from coming true. In other words, our most vivid nightmares may have been utterly practical, helping to save our lives. -- David Brin, Foreward to the First Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition of Pat Frank's Alas, Babylon, 2005, p. X.

One of the things about Absolved that has come in for both praise and criticism is the deadly details. When Phil Gordon or Kraut Mueller craft improvised rifle grenades, you can tell from the detail that it is certainly possible to do so. When thousands of Brightfire mercenaries-in-training are crushed under a fuel-air-explosive delivered by crop duster, you believe it is possible because, frankly, it IS. They say to write about what you know, and although in most cases I have not personally done the things that my characters in the book do, I have done enough research to know that it can be done.

Internet readers will note that there is less mind-numbing detail in the publication version of Absolved than in the Internet chapters. The original plan was to make Absolved part novel, part Resistance manual. The details, frankly, are an impediment to the flow of the story, so the plan is for a companion volume, tentatively titled The Absolved Resistance Field & Technical Manual, authored by two of the stalwarts of the novel, Kraut Mueller and Charlie Quintard.

There are characters in the book (most of them in fact) that resemble real people, or composites of two or three real people, who I have actually known. For example, "The Flying Dutchman," introduced in a future chapter is a sure-'nuff real smuggler pilot, a larger-than-life character I met a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, as they say.

The Dutchman represents the archetype of the smuggler as freedom fighter just as much as John Hancock, Dr. Syn, Han Solo, Malcolm Reynolds or the grocery stockboy Dale in the cancelled CBS television series, Jericho. Like Hancock, however, the Flying Dutchman has the advantage of being a real American. If I place him in fictional circumstances, he reacts the way he would in life, I think. If he dislikes my representation of him, I'm sure he'll let me know. After I'm done, you may play the game of pin-the-caricature-on-the-real-jackass to your heart's content and those who know me best will no doubt be able to pick out characters who I have patterned on them.

Take Kraut Mueller, for example. Like the fictional Kraut, I have played a cat-and-mouse game with the ATF since the 90s. There is, I confess, more than a slight resemblance between us. Even so, Kraut is a better man than me -- smarter, more aggressive in his actions, and more competent. The real me is not half as interesting as Kraut. If I were to try to cook up shaped charges in a basement I'd be dead already. Frankly, I'm a klutz.

I hope you’ll find that the reality of the characters and the believability of the action coalesce into a narrative that flows from the terrible opening to a logical conclusion with a good read in between. Believability is key to my purpose. For if this book is to operate as a "useful dire warning," then both real sides in my imaginary civil war -- and they are VERY real, just ask David Olofson and his victimized family -- must be able to recognize the imminent threat to avoid it.

In this, I am writing as much a cautionary tale for the out-of-control gun cops of the ATF as anyone. Both sides must get the point in order to avoid conflict.

I hope that when I'm done with what I envision now as a trilogy (plus the technical manual), the Absolved series can perhaps take its place alongside these other "useful dire warnings." Being a practical man, however, I recognize that this is but a glimmering hope. Events rush by, pushing us like rudder-less boats in a strong current to where we know not.

A peaceful pool? Perhaps.

The thunderous cataclysm of a deadly falls?

Perhaps, in the wicked light of the Olofson case, more likely.

The Unintended Inspiration

Books are most often dedicated to the one person, or persons, who made the project possible – to those who inspired and informed the author. This book has a forward thanking all the folks who have assisted me in my project, among these my long-suffering wife Rosey, my kids, other gunnies and fellow workers in the thankless task of trying to restore our tottering constitutional republic.

But I think it is appropriate to dedicate Absolved to "Waco Jim" Cavanaugh and Agent Jody Keeku of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the twin unintended inspirations for all my recent work. For the coterie of my Internet friends, neither needs an introduction. For the rest of you, the very moniker of "Waco Jim" should tell you the larger portion of his sins. Keeku was the principal agent of David Olofson's frame-up and imprisonment. Whether my novel is a prescient glimpse into a bloody future or a "useful dire warning" that is heeded, is entirely up to the likes of them and to the corrupt politicians who hold their leashes.

It is they who, by their conduct, will absolve us of the necessity of any further obedience to an oppressive regime. As I point out in Absolved, if the law no longer protects us, then they will find to their sorrow that it no longer protects them either. The choice is theirs. So I dedicate Absolved to them and their thuggish fellow gang members of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. As Ho Chi Minh once observed, "Cherish your enemies, they teach you the best lessons."

I hope they understand that before it is too late.

If not, there is always Aunt Jenny Brooks’ soap dish.

Believe me, you mess with Winston County, Alabama, at your own peril.

Mike Vanderboegh
Pinson, AL
20 October 2009


idahobob said...

So, is "Absolved" finished?

I sure hope so.

And a companion book....priceless.


A 3%er's 2 cent's worth... said...

These Evildoers have been trying to get their talons into America for many generations. It has never occurred to me since November 4th last that they have any intention whatsoever of giving us a chance to be rid of them. Especially if we do indeed "FLIP the House" in 2010. That would clearly signal to the Marxist rats that they will have to either openly declare war on us by denying us the opportunity or fake a crisis so catastrophic as to postpone an election indefinitely.

The only way I see that these devils would risk another election is if they were able to hold the 2010 election in their favor by such a huge margin that they could enter comfortably into the race in 2012. (That ain't happenin' and they know it.) But if it would, they'd then need only add the usual voter fraud tactics they've used in the past to the new ones they are setting up now, like giving the vote to illegals in exchange for some security, rigging the demographic vote structure as they just did in DC, and every other cowardly method to secure their win. If the dangerous Utopian social volunteer programs about to be launched upon us at the end of the month were to take hold, this regime might also have a regiment of enslaved voters by then.

I see the above mentioned efforts on their part as a way to do all they can now in order to assess later whether or not they dare risk an election. I can't imagine enough KoolAid drinkers or social slaves or outright fraudulent votes for them to pull it off. I don't think they will see it either, so they will do their dirty deed and call down an American Armageddon upon themselves. And us.

tjbbpgobIII said...

It can be seen in this administrations work to keep the illegal former president of Costa Rica(?) in office even though they have followed their own constitution in ousting him. He has cozyed up to the dictators of Venezuala and other countries around the world. He kissess the assess of all the America hating clowns anywhere he can find one. He is pissing off our one true ally in the Middle East and, as you say, trying to give illegals in this country rights they don't deserve including the right to vote. I, like you believe that if we are not able to flip the "house" in 2010 then we will finally be to the line in the sand as the demoncraps will then use the rest of their tricks. Everything they are doing now is straight out of the communist manifesto obammy was taught from his earliest age. The people now in charge are the 60's brats (except for Mike V of course) who really started this hate America and all she stands for business. One of the things I told my friends that woe be unto the country when that bunch was able to take charge. I'll stop my rant now, but you all get the picture of where i am.

Peter Four said...

Look, whether or not you are paranoid has little to do with facts.

And the facts are clear.

This administration has done little in the way of being "transparent" and has done much to obfuscate not only it's actions but it's intentions.

It has in it's employ every manor of illegitimate social reformist that history has identified to date, un-apologetically, and it is using tactics from every socialist revolutionary of those eras to undermine our nations legitimate construct and every Americans Rights.

Now, even with out a degree one can understand we are under attack at the fundamental level, just as Obama promised 5 days before his inauguration.

"Rights" are fundamental. They are clearly outlined and equally clearly protected. Yet, they are being more narrowly drawn by this administration and burdened with penalties for those to whom they belong, you and me.

This is fundamentally wrong. And equally an affront to each and every American.

There is but one answer for such effrontery; an involved concerned citizenry.

Anonymous said...

Here's a scenario;
Bankruptcies often end in reorganization of the bankrupt corporation. By creating the conditions where the creditors of the US could call in the note, the US could be in a very clear cut inescapable case of bankrupcty on the world stage.

A major societal breakdown ensues. President Obama is begged to exercise temporary emergency powers to maintain order and keep America working. (Think of the scene in Star Wars II where Palpatine reluctantly accepted these powers from the Senate.) Promise security in exchange for temporarily suspending a few freedoms. (And of course, will not fulfill either promise.)

During the emergency powers, he'll reorganize the US government along lines favorable to our creditors, and to all of his indoctrination.

Welcome to the USSA.

Sort of puts Obama's insane spending spree into a new light, doesn't it?

Mike says: If the law no longer protects us, then no longer protects them either.

This may be glaringly obvious, but if government feels no duty to respect for the founding document that restrains them, then do the people have a duty to respect the successive laws passed to restrain us?


III more than them said...

When you mentioned that the novel will be updated to a more flowing form, reducing some of the rambling details, my heart sank. Mike, I RELISH those details. In fact, I was hoping that more would be added. To me, life is details, and the more included in a fine literary work, the happier I am... so long as the style of writing is agreeable, and yours most certainly is that - to me.

Then, just a few short seconds later, you mentioned the companion manual. I do hope that it is ready soon after the release of Absolved. I know I'll miss the excluded portions of the book. The Manual will be a needed addition - "in my book" - pun intended.

Thanks, by the way, for sticking to it. It's been a wait, but well worth it. The released material does nothing to detract from the expected reading bliss by way of spoilers. I've read over the net releases a few times each, and I enjoy them.

rexxhead said...

If we FLIP the Congress in 2010... please, God, let it not FLIP to the GOP. They've already screwed us enough.

Larry said...


Can we buy it now?


Happy D said...

Mike, now I have to wait for the Absolved Resistance Field & Technical Manual as well?
Why? Why! Why!? Must I suffer? If the book was available right now my check would be in the mail.
I don't Know which I want more Absolved or the Absolved Resistance Field & Technical Manual.
What did I do that you must make me suffer so?
Though watching the Libs squirm after you release it will be worth the wait.
Happy D

Anonymous said...

Where do I order this book? Who is the author?

Skeezix Roscoe said...

Check in hand, I await.

Anonymous said...

I would like to order a stack of these, to share in the community.

And I apologize about harping on this, but the difference between 1775, when massively popular militias were sprouting in the fertile soil of the Colonies, and the present day.. is that a majority of the bleeping population approves of what's currently happening. They keep voting for the same bastards. They have long since traded liberty for what they thought was temporary safety.

Can we have a proper uprising in spite of the popular sentiment, and especially considering how deeply sheepified people are today? The notion of a citizen with a gun, much less an active patriot with a gun, scares the crap out of a lot of people.

They cannot fathom such behavior; they don't approve. They know next to nothing of the history of the nation and of the body of thought underlying its (formerly) cherished principles.

Sometimes I am tempted to say, screw the sheeple. Let them have the shackles they're so persistently grasping for. Let the country slide into the abyss.

But on the other hand, there is nowhere else to go. This is about the only place in the world where a stand for liberty can still be made, though it's looking like it would be a rather unpopular stand.

My concern is this. Everyone will read the self-preventing cautionary tale. Everyone will grow cautious. Other than some Night-and-Fog style disappearances, the government will do nothing major. No second Waco. They'll simply destroy the country economically, transfer the remainder of the wealth to the elites, and when children get cold and hungry, parents will get in line for gov't cheese, and voila.. USSA.

What are we to make of such caution if that would indeed be the outcome?

I don't pretend to have the answers, but I do wonder...

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember when the government started spying on it's citizens without a warrant? Or when it decided it was ok to hold US citizens in military prisons without charges? Or when it was ok to torture people? Where were you 3% then?

tjbbpgobIII said...

To anon. @8:36 am; we were right here, cursing the adminstration and reading Mike V. Do you think all this has come about just because we have 1/2 black man as president? Mike has been fighting this fight for years. Anyway this is not about the president it is about the congress (both sides of the aisle) and the unlawful at the ATF. Thanks Mike for all you do.